I had the privilege of traveling to Pasadena, Ca on Sunday to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. My father is the pastor of First A.M.E. Church in Pasadena and every year my brothers and I and our children and some close friends travel to spend the day with him. Each year I consider myself blessed to have such a man as my father. Many people can say that they were brought up in a "Christian Home" but often times, that Christian lifestyle has left a bitter taste of inconsistent behavior and disappointment which carries into adulthood and leads many away from Christ instead of towards Him. Not so in our family. My brothers and I were blessed with two parents who lived what they taught us daily. My father, a career navy man was sometimes away for extended periods of time but his love, support and compassion never left home. He was and still is the head of our family even though we are all grown with families of our own. We still call upon him for advice, encouragement and inspiration. He never is without and honest word for his children. He's never too busy to talk and to listen without judging us. Looking at my two brothers as fathers now, I am so proud of them and I'm filled with joy as I watch them raise their sons with the same patience, love and caring that our father raised us. The two of them, Ken and Craig have benefitted from our father's upbringing and now are blessing their sons with the wisdom of true Godly fatherhood. No doubt the pattern will continue as I watch my nephews grow into wonderful little boys and young men. My son, who grew up without a father in the home has also benefitted from his grandfather's love and affection and is now a man who stands firm and strong in the Lord and too will become a fantastic father in the future.
As our family dealt with the illness and death of our mother seven years ago, we watched, leaned and learned from our father as he worked his faith in an unfailing God. As he advocated and fought so that no stone was unturned in providing the best healthcare for our mother, my father proved that 50 years of love does not diminish with time but instead it grows and conquers all obstacles. And so, as I watch my father grow older, I pray that he continues to teach his children and grandchildren the value of loving relationships, a faith in and service to God and I also pray that we as his children will be wise enough to continue to listen and follow the example he so consistently and unselfishly sets before us.
Thank you Dad for all that you are and all that you have done for your family! We love you!