For those of you who don't know, I'm a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church, which simply means that I can help fill in with Bible studies, preaching, etc. Today, Gerald let me preach for him. I was really excited last month when he gave me the thumbs up to do it. But this week, as I tried to prepare to write it, my world had a million things happen at once. My mom was hospitalized and was very, very sick. At once point, I thought she would never get out, it was that serious and scary. Then, we went to Annual Conference, held at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina. While there, I tried to go to a coffee house with my husband's laptop to work, but my mind was on Mom. It wasn't until about Tuesday that I heard that she would be okay. Then, we got home and my son got sick. He's still sick. Luckily, my husband helped step in and we tag teamed to watch Ben. Surprisingly, today's sermon went pretty well. I am only going to share the very first part with you, because they are memories of my dad. And this is one of my ways to celebrate him and tell him I love him. By the way, he was at church today, and I made him cry! :)
"Lessons Learned From Dad"
There is a book called the "5 Love Languages"...it tells about how people give and receive love and there are 5 main ways they do this
Acts of service
and Words of Affirmation
Gerald's is Acts of Service. He feels the most loved when I do the dishes at home because that is usually his job. So I asked if I could preach for him today as part of his Father's Day gift.
Gerald is a great dad. He and Ben have a bond that is different than the one Ben and I share.
I had a really hard delivery, had to go back to the hospital and then I was on 6 weeks of bed rest.
So Gerald had to dive into the deep end of fatherhood and learn how to swim quickly. He did it all from rocking Ben to changing diapers.
Today, when Ben gets hurt, he will run right past me and into his daddy's arms. That's where he is comforted.
When my dad was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer last summer, my world fell apart. As an only child, I'm very close to my parents. And I wanted Ben to have a chance to know my dad and have memories of him. After I heard the news, I was flooded with my own memories and thoughts about what he means to me.
Dad taught me to enjoy the ride.
His favorite motto when I was growing up was "He who dies with the most toys wins." And Dad tried to live by that.
We had a Jeep and would pile in it to ride in the high desert of Southern California. Being in California meant we had beautiful weather most of the time, so Dad had motorcycles too. And either myself or Mom would hop on the back and we would go to the coast or mountains or desert to explore. Dad also liked to show off his classic cars in car shows.
My dad has a great sense of humor.
He was my partner in crime when I was growing up. We loved to jump out from nowhere and scare Mom. It may be why she has a heart problem today!
And one year for April 1st, he helped me concoct a plan to get my friends. He wrapped up my arm to make it look like I got hurt. And all day my friends carried my books, took notes for me in class...they even tied my shoelaces! And at the end of the day when we were saying good-bye, I waved to them and said "Bye! Happy April Fool's Day!"
My friends flipped! And at the end of the day when Dad got home, he wanted to know every detail and laughed. My parents still tell that story to people today.
My parents were always there for me when I was growing up. No matter what kind of trouble I got into, they were there to bail me out.
When I was a teenager, I carried a quarter in my shoe. Today, kids have cell phones. But car phones were attached to the car and were the size of bricks back then. And not everyone had one. So I carried a quarter in my shoe in case I needed to call home.
And I did have to use it one time. My friends and I were at McDonald's hanging out when they all decided they wanted to do something more fun, but I thought that fun would be trouble. So, I went to the pay phone to call my parents.
Dad came and got me. They always told me that they would pick me up wherever I was without questions.
When I was picked up, Dad told me he was proud of me for choosing to come on home and trusting him.
Dad has a lot of great qualities
I can trust him
He wants the best for me
He makes quality time for me, even now when I'm all grown up. He's here today!
Dad taught me that when you are given something, you take care of it.
When I was given my car, before I got the keys, my dad made me read the Owner's Manual from cover to cover. Then, he gave me a test! And to keep the privilege to have the keys, I had to wash my car inside and out weekly.
He wanted me to appreciate something that was valuable.
You know, our Heavenly Father has all these attributes too. The Bible is full of wonderful stories about people's relationship with him. But even today, people can tell you what he is like.
He wants us to enjoy the ride while we are here on earth.
No matter what kind of trouble we get into, he is there for us.
He has a great sense of humor.
Quality time is important to him
We can trust him - he comforts us.
God listens to us.
He wants the best for us
And when He gives us something, He wants us to take good care of it.
The sermon goes on, but I just wanted to share a piece of today's message. And here is the end, I'd love to hear about your memories and the special men in your life.
I am blessed to have a great dad. But I also have a great husband, wonderful uncles, memories of a loving grandpa, and sweet men here at church who look after me.
Who are the great men in your life? As we remember them, I want to encourage you to call them and let them know they are special.
When I'm with Ben, I think he is so cute. And my heart swells with so much love for him. And I think, if I love my child this much, how much more must our Heavenly Father have for us?
So let's take a moment to remember the World's Greatest Dad - our Heavenly Father, who loves us always and has given us so much. Try to find a way to celebrate Him today.