Saturday, February 14, 2009


My Dad went to be with the Lord February 14, 2004. Today is 5 years and I miss him as much today as I did 5 years ago.

There are so many things that I could tell you about Dad. I could talk for hours about a lifetime of memories. Good memories....memories that will sustain me through the rest of my life. First, he was a son and a brother. Then a husband, father, uncle, grandfather and, finally, a great grandfather. In all of these roles, he was the best. Early on, he helped his Mother with the support of his many siblings. He was always there for his sisters and brothers. Later, when he had his own family, he worked even harder to give his children the best life possible. Dad did not use any unfortunate circumstances of his childhood as an excuse to be less than the best he could be. In fact, he used his early circumstances as his motivation and determination that his own children would never know lack of anything, nor suffer in any way.

I would like to share this scripture with you because it sums up the essence of my Father:
“Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 24:3-6

When I think of Dad, I think of wisdom, honesty, understanding and integrity....His guidance and his values ultimately increased my strength, increased my faith and, by his wise counsel, helped me wage my own battles in life....

I had an extra special relationship with Dad. He was my earthly Rock... and I could always trust his advice in all matters. I could tell Dad my worst problems, without fear of condemnation. He had the unique ability to see straight through the distractions to the very root of the problem. The advice he gave me was always wise, honest and straight forth. He was not critical. I valued what Dad had to say because he combined wisdom with love and he ALWAYS had my best interest at heart. My Dad's counsel was more precious to me than silver and gold. Some people ask for advice, then, maybe not trusting the advice, will ask someone else for advice, and another, and another.... I only had to ask my Dad... I could trust that he would never guide me wrong. Proverbs 20:7 says it best: "The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him." I AM BLESSED!

When I was struggling with my salvation, I really could not understand why God would forgive me for all that I had done, or why Jesus would die for my sin. One day, I read this scripture:
“…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:9-11

Suddenly, I understood how God can forgive me for things I had done because that is exactly what Dad had done - over and over and over. I also could understand why Jesus would die for my sin. Dad would have given his life to save any of his children. In the course of fellowship with other people in my church, I came to understand that salvation was more difficult for some people who did not have the earthly example that I had. Some people cannot trust their fathers, or their fathers had done harm to them, so coming to understand salvation and the love of our Father in Heaven is a concept they cannot grasp. My compassion is deep for persons who have not known the unconditional love of a good Father...A love that I know quite well...The protection of a Father who loves his children and wants only the best for them... A love and a counsel that I miss very much. I AM VERY, VERY BLESSED TO HAVE HAD SUCH A FATHER!

The Word of God tells me that my Dad's spirit came from God and has now returned to God. Also, Psalm 116:15 says "Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of His saints." I HAVE THE ASSURANCE THAT DAD IS WITH GOD AND THAT IS MY COMFORT.

Finally, I would like to read a poem that I wrote for Dad's birthday in 1989. It pretty much describes the man that Dad was:

It was 1947
That you first became a Dad;
As you tenderly held your new daughter,
What fears you must have had!

Within three years,
Our family grew.
Two more daughters!
How would you ever get through? time will,
The years flew by.
You heard us laugh,
You saw us cry.

You watched us play
And run and grow.
Your love and guidance valued
More than you'll ever know.

You are my Rock
Through good and bad.
You've earned your name -
You are my DAD!

I have now added another verse:

With wisdom you have guided me
To who I am this day.
My heart is full of riches as
I honor you today.

Thank you for the memories. I love you, Daddy. I'll see you soon.....




9/1/28 ~ 2/14/04

(Written for and delivered during Memorial Service for Dad – February 2004)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Everyone knows that if you throw a stone into a pond, the impact of that stone will start ripples on the surface of the water. These ripples may smooth away quickly in the case of a small pebble, but have far-reaching affects when the stone is large and heavy, the ripple continuing on and on, circle after circle until the ripples begin to lap the very edges of the pond. The decisions we make, both small and large, very often turn into ripples across our lives and the lives of others whose lives touch our lives, even indirectly.

There was a very young lady who married a young widower with two of the most precious little daughters that you ever met. The young woman was a Christian from her youth, but not mature in her beliefs and faith. Soon into the marriage, small problems appeared. Except for the small problems, their home was full of love and laughter. Neither husband nor wife recognized the problems as the beginning cracks in the fragile foundation of a young marriage. Cracks, not repaired, will weaken a foundation until it can no longer support a home. Lacking maturity and wisdom, the young lady gave up just 3 years into the marriage. She loved her little daughters with all her heart, but had no legal rights to keep them. Sadly, she let them slip away with the marriage. The decision to end the marriage was like a heavy rock, carelessly tossed into a pond. The ripples from that particular decision began.

The woman, emotionally damaged by her own decision, continued on in life in an unhealthy way. She drank too much the first seven years following the divorce. Although she stopped drinking after 7 years, she continued on an unhealthy emotional path. She focused on a career, was self centered and had difficulty maintaining relationships. During those years, she managed to marry her second husband three times, having divorced him twice, and was clearly headed towards another divorce. Steeped in pain, she was her own worst enemy and, in her pain, reached out and inflicted pain on others.

Her first husband remarried and had two more beautiful daughters. The woman imagined that her first husband had a perfect life and had found happiness. As much as she wanted to see her lost daughters and know that they were well, she did not want to be the cause of problems in his new marriage, so she carefully stayed away, forfeiting all contact with the two little girls that she loved so much.

Then one day in a moment of clarity many years later, she picked up her dusty Bible and began to read. Soon, she returned to the Lord, returned to church, continued to read her Bible and began to mature in her faith. She began to see how the Lord had blessed her in so many ways - completely undeserved. She saw her past mistakes, bad decisions and bad behavior that had stolen her happiness like a thief in the night. She also realized the ways the Lord had tried to bless her and how she carelessly, willfully, threw it all away.

Faced with what she had become, the hurt she had inflicted and all the damage she had done to self and others, a regret stronger than grief set in and began eating away at her very soul.

She was in her third marriage to her second husband and headed for another divorce when revelation set in. She had wasted so many years of her life and she had hurt so many people! Suddenly, she knew that her life had not been a life that could be pleasing to the Lord. She began deliberate change with herself and her marriage, amending where amends were needed, changing things that were not pleasing to the Lord and, in general, cleaning up the wreckage. Slowly, with God's help, she healed of past hurts. Her marriage grew stronger and, eventually, healed.

Over the years, the woman continued to mature in her faith and wisdom. As time went on, the yearning for the lost daughters got stronger and stronger. As she aged, she knew that she had to see or speak to them at least one more time. The need to apologize and tell them she loved them was almost more than she could bear. But, years passed, one by one, and she was afraid to reach out. The fear of rejection was great.

Finally, the day came when the woman could no longer bear the pain she had inflicted upon others during the many, many years that she had been selfish, willful and disobedient to the Lord. The need to apologize became so strong as to be a driving force in her life. So, after 35 years, she humbly sought out her precious daughters, intending an apology and hoping for a relationship. She apologized to her first husband as well.

Right here, I wish I could say that everything was happy ever after, but it was not. It was at this point in the woman's life that she learned the extend of the damage one decision can make. She thought the first husband lived happily ever after, but found out that he did not. She learned that he never stopped loving her and that it had been a point of contention in the subsequent marriage. More people hurt... The ripples continued... Will the selfish and willful damage done by one young lady, now touching lives of persons she never knew, extend into a third generation as well? Ripples - where will they end?

But the most devastating revelation of all came when each precious daughter separately and individually confided to the woman the hurts and harm they had suffered following the divorce. Hurts and harms that would never have happened to two little girls safely protected by two loving parents. As I said, the man and woman had small problems, happily married otherwise, but lacked maturity to successfully overcome the differences...far smaller differences than each experienced in subsequent relationships and marriages.

Had this young couple sought the Lord all those many years ago, read their Bibles and lived according to the Word of God, the outcome would absolutely have been very different. The changes in the woman only came about when she began reading her Bible and seeking the Lord. I can't tell you at just what point the reading of the Bible became a passion to study God's word. When you pursue the wisdom of the Lord, you find it and all the blessings that God is waiting to bestow upon you. The Bible is full of wisdom and instruction. Bible stories have a point - always. Best of all is that when you turn control of your life over to God, in many ways, He restores what was lost. You learn the ways of the enemy and are able to avoid the ensnaring traps of satan. I would encourage you to begin reading your Bible.

A good beginning is to read a chaper in Proverbs each day. In one month, you will have read the whole book. Don't stop it again the following month and the month after. Keep reading until you are able to see the wisdom afforded by Proverbs, you get it into your heart and until it shows in how you live your life. There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Begin on the first day of the month with Chapter 1, then read whatever chapter corresponds to the day of the month. It is easy to remember where you left off if you read the chapter corresponding with the day of the month. A wise man shared this secret with me and I am witness to the fact that it WILL make a difference in your life. Also, daily, read the gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John so that you will understand how much Jesus loves you. You may not be drawn to the Old Testament right away, but once the passion for God's Word sets into your heart, you will want to read it all! Spend time with God and He will bless you.

II Timothy 4:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, here's the end of the story: Today, the woman enjoys a loving relationship with her daughters. She is Mom again and loving every minute of it. She is also Grandma and Great-Grandma. God has restored her relationship with her daughters and added grandchildren to her happiness. Her marriage is still rock solid. Sadly, the first husband died within a year of her apology. She is grateful for the opportunity to make peace with him before his death and is more than grateful to be Mom again. The woman knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her relationship with the Lord through His Word, meditating on His Word and prayer are the only things that saved her from pain and sadness for the rest of her life. Best of all, God gave back what satan stole!....

This is a true story. I know because I lived it. ....

Written by Darlene