By Dave Brewer
As Father’s Day approaches, it makes me think of the time that I went to the National Center for Fathering. As attendees, we were asked to describe our own father in “one word”. The word I used for my dad was “devoted,” because he was always there for my brother and me.
One year when I was fourteen, I was deer hunting with my father on a farm near Franklin. In the afternoon he placed me on a stand and told me not to move, and said that he would come and get me around dark. About two hours later, a fierce snow storm suddenly fell upon us and soon covered everything. As the storm got worse, I decided to move out of the woods towards a field to find my father, but then I lost my way because the snow became almost blizzard- like in force.
Before long I realized I was lost, and I stumbled around in the dark trying to find my way back to our car. Finally, I saw a distant light about 400 yards away from me, and I knew it was my father searching for me. I never panicked because I knew in my heart that my father would never give up looking for me, because of the great love he had for me. I can’t tell you how relieved I was, however, when we found each other. His love and his faith gave me strength and purpose for the journey of life.
Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, described the powerful impact that his father had upon his life:
“When I was between ten and thirteen years of age, my Dad and I would rise very early before the sun came up on a wintry morning. We would put on our hunting clothes and heavy boots . . . and we would await the arrival of the sun and the awakening of the animal world . . . Something dramatic . . .occurred out there in the forest between my dad and me. An intense love and affection was generated on those mornings that set the tone for a lifetime of closeness and a oneness that made me want to be like that man . . . that made me choose his values as my values, his dreams as my dreams, his God as my God.”
Another fellow who was at the National Center for Fathering with me described his father as “destructive.” We all listened in hushed silence as he shared the story of his harsh, dysfunctional father who eventually abandoned his family. We know that “Fatherless America” is the most serious problem in America today, as the leading cause of more than 25 social, psychological, academic, and physical health problems. Over 24 million kids today in America go to bed each night without a father in their home.
Best- selling author Max Lucado wrote this tribute of his father:
“During the turbulent years of my adolescence, Dad was one part of my life that was predictable. Girlfriends came and went, but Dad was there. Summer vacation, algebra, first car, driveway basketball—they all had one thing in common: his presence. And because he was there things went smoothly. The car always ran, the bills got paid, and the lawn stayed mowed. Because he was there my growing up was what God intended it to be; a storybook scamper through the magic and mystery of the world. Because he was there we kids never worried about things like income tax, monthly bills, or mortgages. He taught me how to pray and taught me that wrong should be punished and righteousness had its own reward. He modeled the importance of getting up early and staying out of debt. When I see a bass boat, I see his face. I knew if I ever needed him, he’d be there, like a warm fireplace. “ (Stories for a Dad’s Heart by Alice Gray)
Christ Church has a commitment to building solid fathers and families. Family Pastor Jamie Kendrew does an amazing job promoting strong families through the Daddy/Daughter dance, father/son fishing trips and other activities.
The Men’s Ministry under the outstanding leadership of Mike Davis sponsors many father/son outings like the annual Canoe trip, the father/son bowling event, F-3 exercise program, etc.
And Senior Pastor Jared Ott worked for many years in the Silver Ring Ministry, helping teens learn the biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage. Through his ministry many thousands of young people today have strong Christian families. We are so blessed to have his strong, visionary leadership as our Senior Pastor, and his solid biblical sermons to help us grow in our faith.
As we celebrate Father’s Day, be thankful for your own father, and be thankful that Christ Church is having a powerful impact on the next generation, insuring that we will have strong, loving, Christian fathers who will bless their wife and children in the future.