Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Life Lessons Remembered

A couple of weeks ago I joined in a blog carnival at Bridget Chumbleys...I love her blog by the way...if you haven't visited by all means stop in. Today the carnival is hosted by Peter Pollackand he invites you to think and pray about this weeks word and then link your post. Today's word is remember.

My dad passed away in 1992 at the too young age of 66. I was given a gift in my father, perhaps something I didn't fully recognize until I myself was mostly grown but for which I am grateful every day of my life.

My father grew up as one of four sons of a Colorado farmer. He was tough and in fact a bit of a trouble maker as a boy and young man. He was eventually sent off to military school and it turns out the military suited him. He made the Marine Corps his career, eventually attending the US Naval Academy and serving his country in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. He retired from the Marine Corps and went on to have a second career at a university before retiring once more. He died less than four years later.

We love to talk about my dad in our family...we remember his funny sense of humor, the way he used to open his Christmas presents with a pocket knife so he didn't tear the paper, the fact that he put pepper on everything he ate, how he liked working with wood, loved watching sports in his favorite recliner, taught us all to drive, called us to the dinner table in Japanese...we remember him. Every day.

My father had an amazing testimony about how he came to know the Lord...he was married with three children at the time and it was a dramatic Paul- like event (well, without the blindness) and I remember so clearly sitting in a church pew listening as he shared his story.

Remember God changes people.

There are lessons I learned from the way my father lived his life that I'm not sure he ever said in words but as parents everywhere will attest- we are the book our children read.

My father taught a men's Sunday school class for years and when I think of my dad I remember him studying at the kitchen table with his bible and reference books all around him, writing in his chicken scrawl as we liked to call it, and then on Saturdays, standing in front of his bathroom mirror reviewing his lesson out loud. We used to do something in our house that my dad called Family Altar which I guess today people call family devotions. I don't remember it being a set day or time but I do remember my favorite part was the singing. For the most part we are not a musical bunch, my brother being the exception, but that didn't stop us from singing....we especially loved 'Give me That Old Time Religion' and my dad would let us call out the verses...does anyone still sing that song?

Remember to study Gods word so you'll know what He says about life and death andeverything else.

A lot of my childhood was spent at church and I saw my dad serve many different roles there which to me said no one part of the body is more important than another... he taught a men's SS class but he was also there to help in the church nursery, work in a Vacation Bible school class filled with three year old children, narrate our church cantata (oh, they'd never ask him to sing!)...he helped write our church constitution, was a deacon...not all at one time of course but steady...always quietly serving.

Remember God calls us to be servants.

My favorite memories are of my dad as Grandpa or Poppie as he was known...he loved his granddaughters and had a tender spot in his heart for children everywhere. I sometimes think about a boy named Kim...he was the child from Korea we sponsored through World Vision for most of my growing up years and my father especially encouraged my younger sister and I to write him letters.

Remember to help the helpless and the hopeless.

There is thankfully much publicity about the plight of children all around the world today but back in the sixties and seventies, pre-cable tv and pre-internet, not so much. My parents supported a child through World Vision all throughout my childhood and beyond and I know that was what prompted me to do the same. They helped and supported other organizations too and sometimes just people they knew who were down on their luck and in need of a helping hand from someone...a hand extended without shame or judgement.

Remember life isn't always fair.

My dad was the picture of health when he was diagnosed with cancer not long after retirement began. He fought hard though, without complaint and with amazing courage.

Remember God gives us strength and grace for every circumstance.

I know where my father is spending eternity. I have not one iota of doubt. None. That certainty and the peace that comes along with it is a gift in itself.

Remember death is not the end.

My father was not a man who doled out hugs easily nor was he a man who tossed out the words I love you easily yet, we knew we were loved. I remember my father as a sure and steady presence in my life, a man who lived with integrity, who made me feel safe. And underneath it all there was love...
I remember.


  1. Great post. I feel grateful to still have my dad and more importantly to be close to him with my family where a couple years ago we were half way around the country.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your Father... and the Lord.

  3. Great post ... good stuff to remember!

  4. Whew, I made it through with a lump in my throat and just a few tears. I needed to hear some of that today. I know your dad is proud of you. I even smiled.... my dad doesn't dole out many hugs either. He also opens "everything" with his pocket knife including gifts. God Bless!

  5. Simply beautiful Joyce. Thanks for sharing those remembrances.

  6. Your father sounds like an amazing man. I hope I get to meet him in heaven one day.

    Thank you for sharing your memories with us!

  7. Thanks for sharing your memories of your dad. I had a great dad, too. A wonderful father who introduces us to THE Father is a wonderful blessing.

  8. Joyce, this was beautiful! I still have both of my parents, but they have hearts that may or may not hold up as long as they should (or I'd like)...

    I so appreciate the memories you shared here. Thank you!

  9. Joyce,

    What a beautiful tribute to your father who truly did love the Lord!

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  10. What a lovely tribute to a Godly father. Like you, I had a father who was a faithful servant and yes I do remember "Give me that old time religion." My parents may not have left me material wealth, but they provided me with that legacy of faith. Praise God!

  11. My father was not an examplenary father like yours, what an amazing testmony about your father, it co-incides with that of our heavenly fathers love for us. Through your sharing his life you have blessed others.

  12. Your remembrances of your father are so precious. I lost my dad nearly 10 years ago and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him.

    I'm enjoying your blog and your list of things to be thankful for - that's how I found you☺