Heart Choices: 2014-06-15 -->

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The Gift of a Loving Dad

Father's Day has come and gone. My dad lives in Florida and I'm in Arizona. So I didn't get to spend the day with him. But as I reflect back on our relationship through the years, I can't help but feel grateful. Having a loving dad seems to be rare these days.

My dad has always been there for me. We've gone through our ups and downs of course. But I never doubted his love for me.

Even when I was a teenager and dating, he and my mom insisted on meeting every guy I went out with. My dad would quietly press a dime into my hand before leaving; just in case I needed to call home. I know I'm dating myself but they really used to have pay phones that cost 10 cents to make a call. And I never doubted that he would answer and pick me up if I was in need, no matter what the time.
When I was recruited for a job in Phoenix, my dad was the one who drove cross country with me. We laughed and talked about my future.

When my dad was 60 years old, he suffered a major heart attack. I vividly remember receiving the phone call and flew back. Seeing him in the hospital with an intra-aortic balloon pump assisting his failing heart, I cried silently. Praise God that after open heart surgery, 13 angioplasties, an implantable defibrillator and a pacemaker, he's still going strong at 85 years old!

I have a memory of my strong father that I want to share. He is a man of faith, although he isn't very vocal about it. He went through years of rebellion when he was younger. But he's returned to the faith he learned of since childhood and prays and reads his larger script Bible.

Dad called me after being discharged from the hospital. He rarely cried but this time he was all choked up as he told me of a young man in the hospital bed next to his. The man had been given bad news from the doctor. My dad couldn't help but overhear this conversation of cancer that had spread without much hope. When the doctor left, my dad pulled back the curtain separating their two beds. He listened as this young man shared some of his life and his despair and hopelessness regarding his future. My dad said he couldn't help but share the Good News of the Gospel. He told him there is hope in Jesus Christ. They prayed together and as my dad related this story to me on the phone ...he cried.

My dad recently visited me after staying with his sister in California. My Aunt Ruth had given him a gift; my grandfather's worn Bible. It was a treasure to my dad and one he will read.

I can't help but come back to the Scripture of Proverbs 22:6.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

I have witnessed this in the life of my father. So while I'm writing this post to share of the love of my dad, I'm also writing to encourage others. Do not give up on loved ones. Maybe you've taught your children about Jesus and they're not walking with Him now. Keep praying and live out a life of love in front of them. Let His light shine through you to others.

And Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there! I love you Dad.

Blessings and love,

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