I love to hear my daddy preach. I know Christ because of daddy’s words of grace and salvation. Daddy knows how to preach Jesus.
Daddy did not grow up in a religious home, let alone a Christian one. As a teenager he came to know Christ and gave his life in service to the Lord.
His folks worked hard and had not had time to further their own educations. Daddy was a hard worker, too, and when he felt the call for full-time ministry, he went to college, married his hometown Wyoming sweetheart, continued his education and began serving pastorates in Colorado, South Dakota, Iowa, Oklahoma and then back to Colorado, where he and my mother have lived since the mid ‘70’s.
Both of my parents are readers, with piles of books by the side of their bed and the couch downstairs. Daddy can talk knowledgeably with anyone about any subject from nature to politics. Even though his eyesight is now poor, daddy continues to read every day.
His vocabulary is extensive. When he might ask us if we’ve had our daily ablutions, we would know what he was talking about because he and mamma gave us an understanding of the $100 words.
But the best words I have learned from daddy are simple ones like “grace” and “faith” and “mercy.” Some of the most powerful words are those.
I have heard my father talk from the pulpit about a God who knows our names, our histories, our faults, our desires, and loves us more than life.
I have heard my father share a God who loves beauty and laughter.
I have heard my patriarch, my pastor, my daddy, talk to God in prayer. His words have sought healing and blessing. I have heard him pray for people in hospitals, with family at mealtimes and on his knees in front of his congregation.
My father’s words still bless. He will celebrate his 84th birthday this Sunday. On this day we will pray our own words to God for him, words of thankfulness for giving him to us and for the blessing he has been, and still is.