Just Like Dad – Guest Post

Re-introducing Rob Keller: Rob is a friend of mine who is not only the graphic artist behind the layout of our weekly publication Sunshine Newsletter; but he is also a writer of some of the articles. Seeing as Father’s Day is just a bit over a week away, here is one more look at being a dad.

Growing Up to be Just Like Dad by Rob Keller

Every July, my dad would bring our family to his company’s annual picnic. Because it was mostly adults and I was still a kid, I would get bored because there just wasn’t much for me to do. So, to make things interesting, I decided to entertain myself by seeing how many hot dogs, hamburgers, and steak sandwiches I could consume. On our way home, I would announce my stats and wait for the amazement to come rolling in. Aside from being a little queasy, I felt like a true champion. I had won the boy versus food challenge. As I look back at all of those picnics, there was one thing that left a lasting impression on me. All-day long, my father exchanged warm greetings and good-natured banter with a seemingly endless array of coworkers. Clearly, everyone liked my dad, and I was proud of him for that and wanted to grow up to be like him. By example, he taught me how to get along with the people around me and make them my friends.

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT

I thank God for my dad, but maybe you had a distant or even abusive relationship with yours. But no matter what our earthly fathers are like, we all have a Heavenly Father who is perfect. As we spend time with Him in prayer and trust in His word, He begins working in us by His Holy Spirit. As we face complicated circumstances and difficult people in our everyday life, He helps us to grow up to be more like Him. The more time we spend with him, the greater His influence will be in our lives. Jesus’ life showed the world exactly what His Father is like. He said,

“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. ” John 14:9 NIV

Even though we aren’t perfect like Jesus, as we follow Him, we can become examples of our Father in Heaven’s character to our children, friends and neighbors. Those things we have learned from God through the years are the best inheritance we can leave behind for our children. Which of God’s attributes do you want them to see?  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I love you and I love everything about you! Please help me to grow to be more like you. I pray that the people around me would see you in me.

Would You Do It For One?

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

I had just left the small prayer meeting we were having at the nursing home and small was the word of the day. Our tiny meeting had gotten even tinier and that afternoon as the elevator door closed behind me I was ready to give up. Then I heard a voice: no not an audible voice, but still a clear impression of a six-word question – “Would you do it for one?”

See in this day of the mega church, international worship conferences and YouTube videos with millions of views, it is easy to lose sight of individual people. But our God, who watches sparrows and counts the hairs on our heads never forgets a single one. He remembers a woman named Mary who stayed in her room for months at her nursing home because of Covid cases on her floor. He watches over Marcos, who is still confined to his bed and without a visitor for the last 18 months. He listens to the prayers of a nurse named Helen as she cares for them, day after day, and month after month. God knows, God sees, God cares and to Him they are all precious. He gave His life on the cross so He could reach out and touch them all – and He does that one person at a time. Would you be a servant to them for Jesus? It is never too late to begin!

To learn more about nursing home ministry you might find my newly revised book a useful place to start. Would You Do It For One? not only tells the story of how I got started , but also gives easy practical ways to get involved in your own community. If you have an interest in nursing home ministry and would like other resources, we also have a free weekly newsletter written by a small group of us. This morning I am so excited to be going out to two different homes to sing and be included in a special Father’s Day presentation. God bless and have a good week-end everybody!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520108710

Early in the Morning

And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: Genesis 19:27

Often when we think of early morning prayer times, a picture of a hot cup of coffee and a Bible in your hand comes to mind. But Abraham had a different idea. He went outside and found a place to stand and listen to God. I can identify with Abraham because I have loved waking up super-early since I was a kid. One of my earliest memories is hearing my mom say, “Go back to bed, it’s only six o’clock!” Maybe I was hungry or maybe I just felt that I might miss out on something exciting if I lay under the covers any longer. Either way mornings remain special to me and today that time includes going outdoors, weather permitting. While I am out walking around our neighborhood, the song that often comes to mind is “This Is My Father’s World.” According to the story, this was also the hymn writer’s inspiration when he would head outside, telling his wife, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.”

Some versions have attempted to “Improve” the song by removing all Father and male references. Such silly theology misses the point that we have not just a God but a Father in Heaven. He watches over us all through every night and is waiting every morning to greet us and speak to us about our day. There is nothing more important that we could do than to stand before him and listen. One day we will all stand before the Lord, why not freely chose to do so today? No one could ever love us like a Father who sent His only Son for us that we could spend every morning with Him in Heaven and worship at His feet!

Since it is Father’s day week I thought I would share my Father’s day video this morning which includes This Is My Father’s World. Have a blessed day everyone!