I know you didn't know my Dad, but after reading this blog, you will have a very good idea of what kind of man he was.
My Dad loved to tell jokes, clean jokes, and he did so really well. Sometimes it was funnier just to watch him laugh while his belly and shoulders went up and down than the jokes themselves!
He was a very good singer and led the music in church for several years and he also sang in the choir. He inspired each of us kids to get involved in music in some way, too. He could spin tops better than anyone I've ever seen, some of which were called 'singing tops', because they had a certain pitch you could hear as they twirled around.
He was a hunter and a fisherman and loved the outdoors, and he could fix just about anything you asked him to. He was an incredible handyman. My mom appreciated that!
But the way my Dad will be remembered most is that he was a servant leader for the Lord. He trusted Christ as his personal Savior as a teenager and spent about 80 years touching lives for the Lord. He was so faithful in his walk with Jesus that you always knew where he stood on his principles...no wavering, just steady, predictable and reliable. There was never a gap between who he said he was and who he really was!
He was humble, never boastful, yet he had much to be proud of, such as:
He was one of the first white men to go into the villages of the Auca Indians in Ecuador after they had killed several missionaries in the late 1950's. He was a pastor for about 35 years for 6 different churches. He wrote over 500 devotionals that have been read around the world. And he was one of 5 men who started a Christian kid's camp in Minnesota called, "Camp Lebanon". Camp Lebanon served and reached kids and families for Christ for more than 60 years.
He was married to my Mom for 67 years, and they had 6 kids. My mom passed away 3 1/2 years ago. My parents also invited several foreign exchange students to live with us from around the world, and they still refer to our parents as Mom and Dad. He was a great example of a Godly husband and father. He really adored my mom, and he was always so proud of his kids.
My Dad taught us that our hope is found in Christ alone, and sometimes we have to stand alone to stand up for the Biblical principles we need to live by. He taught us to listen and obey and show respect to all others.
Dad taught us that God has a plan for our life, and we don't want to miss it! So we were to seek Godly wisdom through our Bible and through prayer, because we don't know what lies ahead, but God does.
Dad taught us by his example to be generous and grateful. That included tithing to our church and helping those in need as well as other people around us. It meant having a heart full of gratitude for all the many blessings in our lives and for the hardships as well, because they were lessons to be learned.
One of the most precious things I will remember about my Dad is that each night as he went to bed, he would lay there in the dark and pray for each of us kids, our spouses, all the grand-kids and the one great grandchild and our specific prayer requests. He was such a prayer warrior, and it's a wonder he got any sleep! But he did it, night after night. When I would go home to Minnesota to visit during these past few years, I would stand just outside his bedroom door with it slightly open so I could listen. Do you know what that feels like to know you are being lifted up in prayer every night?
What a heritage! What a blessing! What a teacher! What an example he was to me of how to carry on that legacy in my family for generations to come!
I will miss my Dad like I miss my Mom, but I know that when he entered the gates of heaven, God said, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I am so grateful this amazing man was my Dad! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
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