Week-end Visitation Rights

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him  Psalm 103:13

My relationship with dad began with his week-end visitation rights granted when I was 15. Though I just barely knew what my dad looked like I eagerly looked forward to his one week-end [er month visits. Our relationship began about where our relationship with God often begins (It was all about me!) Dad would take me special places, buy me some things and then drop me back off at home on Sunday nights. In retrospect I am not sure what kept my dad going. But somehow my father loved me in spite of my inability to return that love for years and years until one day I realized, I really loved him. He had built the bridge single-handedly that joined us together.

In that very same way God has loving compassion on us. Even when our showing up in church is just about our blessings, our needs and our desires He remains willing to build the bridge through Jesus Christ to join our soul to Him. What a gentle awesome and patient Father we have. We have the choice on any day to walk across the bridge to Him and yield not just visitation rights, but the full rights of a father with a son or daughter to Him!

week-end visits

Full Custody

When most people say, “I really didn’t know my father,” what they really mean is “I had a terrible relationship,” or “My dad hardly talked to me” In my case it meant that he was like someone I had met once in a dream. Until I was 15 years old he was only able to visit twice and I only vaguely remembered the second visit when he brought me a football.

But the lack of relationship I had with my father was not his desire, it had come about because of a broken relationship. In the same way the greatest barrier we all have in our relationship with God is to realize that it is not His desire. God does not wish our separation nor is he satisfied with the week-end visitation rights that my own father finally received. God wants full custody and offers an amazing inheritance in our covenant relationship with Him. More to come in the next post. Stay tuned!

 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name John 1:12

week-end visits

Dad’s memory of Anzio

In tribute to my favorite veteran (my Dad)! I am posting a part of a poem he wrote   about his experience at Anzio, Italy. The ship he was in was hit by a bomb and sank and Dad was wounded yet by God’s grace he managed to swim to shore. Thanks to God and to my father and all those others who have served over the years we have the freedoms which we enjoy today. This is just my small way of saying, “Thank You!” He wrote this from France because it was written later in the year after he had recovered from his head wound.

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Photo from Dedication of the World War II memorial in Washington D C 

Invasion 282   by Al Caligiuri  France 1944

The flaming ship is bursting high;

The roars rebound!

Seething steel!

Fragments hissing by!

And yet the voices ——!

From out the night

Thoughout the night

Forevermore—–!

 

“Help me! Help me!”

The G.I. yell, but who can hear?

“This way, this way!” You can make it.

Come on you can make it!”

 

And then a silent prayer falls from his lips

His heart is sad!

Dear God, Watch over them!

Dear God, Help them!

 

Grandparents

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

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When grandparents and parents play on the same team kids come out ahead. Here are just a few ideas I have learned as a grandfather.

Grandparents don’t have all the answers but we have learned a few of the right questions…
Grandparents can’t keep up like Mom and Dad but we can help the kids to learn to slow down and wait…
Mom and Dad make sure there is always a good meal on the table. Grandparents make sure that there are always chocolate chip cookies!
Sometimes Dad and Mom feel like the demands will never end. Grandparents know that it all comes to an end too quickly!

God bless all you Moms and Dads as you share with us the gifts of our grandchildren. With God’s grace we hope to give them back to you wrapped in the love of a grandparent!

An Example of Peace

The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you Philippians 4:9

Do you have anyone you follow as an example? Throughout the Bible we see how God gives his people examples to follow. Some are obvious like the twelve disciples following Jesus. Some are more subtle, like Ruth following the faith of her mother-in-law Naomi even though Naomi was going through tough times. Maybe someone has seemed to be an example in your life, then they turned out to be a fraud. If that has happened, try remembering that just because you have tasted something bitter doesn’t mean that nothing can ever be sweet.again.

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In my own life the best example I had was my Dad. While I was growing up (especially as a teen-ager) I disregarded my Dad’s example. If I thought anything at all about the kind of life he was living I figured that he was nothing like I wanted to be. Dad seemed so meek and quiet, not bold as I imagined great men to be. Dad rarely pushed his opinion on others, while I was busy blabbing for all the world my high ideals. But as I grew older, got married and began trying to be a father myself there was no one who stood by me to help out like my Dad. He was a man who was deeply loved by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. All of Dad’s neighbors remembered him as a kind and thoughtful man. Year by year the tide washed away my own bold self-confidence and left behind a gentle reliance on God. Now when I look into life’s mirror, the reflection startles me because I have become in so many ways like my father.. He left an example without sermons or lectures. He left me an inheritance that I treasure above all the earthly reminders that still lie scattered about his family home. By what I saw in him, I received a glimpse of the God of peace and a hope in the Rock of Ages.

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand                    Edward Mote 1834