In many ways, it was a difficult Father’s Day. Steve and I are both missing our own Dads, our family is spread out across the globe and to add insult to injury, Steve had to work. Nontheless, we have much to be thankful for. Not the least of which is that we both had decent fathers to begin with. Steve’s Dad was a prince of a man; kind and caring, stalwart and faithful, patient and enduring. Though suffering for years with both lung and bone cancer, he never complained of the pain or his treatment and remained until his dying breath focused on the welfare of his wife and children. After his death, his mother showed Steve a shoe box jammed full of letters from grateful clients and friends that his Dad received at his retirement, and each one gave testimony to a man who had lived his life in the service of others, and had displayed an attitude that had earned their gratitude and admiration.

Pam’s Dad was also a man who was greatly admired for his kindness and his fortitude; a man who was given to spending long hours at the bedside of his ailing wife, not just for months, but for years, earning the respect and appreciation of dozens of health care workers for his friendliness, helpfulness and perseverence through his wife’s long illness. For years he had worked two jobs to support his family, and yet on his rare days off would always use his time in the service of others, giving of his substance, both financial and physical to help those who were worse off than he, raising with his good wife six sons and one daughter. It is the legacy of these men that have have inspired both of us to serve our family and to serve the Lord our God with all our strength and resources. Their lives still speak to us of faithfulness and devotion; of lives well lived in the service of others.

Now a gracious Lord has blessed us in seeing our oldest establish his own family with his devoted wife Nicole; a family that also has put its priorities in the right place by devoting their children to God, just as we devoted ours to the Lord many years ago. We rejoice with Jon and Nicole in the birth of their third child, Elisa Grace, a name that speaks volumes of their commitment to God and their determination to let the Lord have the final say in how their children will be raised. In the Bible we read that “children are a blessing of the Lord.” We have seen that to be true in our lives, and this also is the witness of our son and his wife as they commit their childraising to God’s good guidance. It is therefore most appropriate that our latest granddaughter should be dedicated to God on Father’s Day; a fitting tribute to the father our son wishes to be, and to our Heavenly Father, who we are sure looked on with delight.

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