FATHER'S DAY

This "Spiritual Note" is dedicated to all Fathers.



"Hearken unto thy father that begat thee..."

(Proverbs 23:22)



"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice:

and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."

(Proverbs 23:24)





A Christian father is an instrument in God's hands!


On Father's Day, we celebrate fathers and appreciate the influence they have on our homes and society. Father's Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Sunday of June, but in other countries, the date is different. According to Wikipedia, "The first Father's Day was celebrated June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington" by a Christian woman, Sonora Smart Dodd. She "was the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart and was responsible for the founding of Father's Day." Later, "In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the 3rd Sunday of June each year."


Even though the Bible does not mention Father's Day, God has always recognized and honored fathers throughout history. It also speaks clearly about many of the responsibilities and privileges of fathers. From the beginning, the Bible mentions the role of the father for Adam, Noah, and later Abraham who become a "father" to Israel through whom all people would be blessed. God told him, "A father of many nations have I made thee" (Genesis 17:5), and God honored him for his fatherhood. The Lord

commands us to honor our fathers. "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Ephesians 6:2,3).


The Law of Moses instructs fathers, and the most important are the words of Deuteronomy 6:2,5-7.

"That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."


This tells us that fathers must have knowledge of the Bible, study it, teach it to their children, and be involved with their children every day.


Israelite fathers had to work hard to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord for their own healthy spiritual development. The obedient father had the responsibility to follow the commands of the Lord and the duty to practice Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."


This means the father and the mother must give the first training to a child. This is so important in his early years before he receives more education from outside of the home. In the New Testament, we find instructions for fathers. "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). The first part of this verse is cautioning advice and tells the fathers not to irritate or require extreme behavior from the child because this will only promote evil in the child's heart. The second part of this verse encourages fathers to educate the child about the Lord and His Word. It provides wisdom and helps them come to salvation and the knowledge of the Savior Jesus Christ.


In Matthew 7:9-11 we read, "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" This verse includes a father's determination to care, provide, and love his children, and also speaks of God's role as a Father.


The Christian father is an instrument in God's hand. The instruction and discipline must be that which God commands. A father must nurture, protect, provide, comfort, understand, forgive, teach and discipline his children in a responsible way with love. Martin Luther said, "Keep an apple beside the rod to give the child when he does well." Christian discipline is needed to enable the children to grow up with devotion and reverence for God, respect for parents, teachers, public authorities, and live by biblical convictions and standards.


A good father is known by the Lord. "For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD..." (Genesis 18:19). A godly father is to be an example to his children by serving the Lord "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD:" (Joshua 24:15) and be an honorable man. "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him" (Proverbs 20:7).


•    "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works"

(2 Timothy 3:16-17).


A father's primary responsibility is to educate his children with the Scriptures and teach them God's truth. This way, the Scriptures will take roots and help them later in their earthly lives and Christian journey. Bible teacher Arthur W. Pink said that fatherhood is at the same time "responsibility and privilege." This means that the children are not only a father's responsibility but also a father's privilege. The father teaches his children, models the Christian life for them, disciplines them, and prays for them. The Bible declares, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).


Children are a gift from God and should be cherished, encouraged, loved, and supported by fathers. Christian fathers, remember that your "Children are not casual guests in your home. They have been loaned to you for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built." — Dr. James Dobson


by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.



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Father, God has given you the tremendous responsibility of helping

your children develop a self-image base on Scripture.





BIBLE VERSES



"Listen to your father, who gave you life..." (Proverbs 23:22)


"A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent."(Proverbs 15:5)


"...A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." (Proverbs 10:1)


"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."(Proverbs 23:24)


"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:20)


"Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding."(Proverbs 4:1)


"Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:

but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:1-4)


"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him" (Leviticus 20:9)


"My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:11-12)


"The Lord ... commanded our fathers that they should make [​His Word] known to their children: that the generation to come might ... set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God" (Psalm 78:4-7)


"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..." (Malachi 4:6)


“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." (Colossians 3:20)



"As a father has compassion on his children,

so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him."

(Psalm 103:13 )





QUOTES


"Children are not casual guests in your home. They have been loaned to you for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built."— Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family


"Do you know how you measure a dad? By measuring the emotional and spiritual health of his family. Look at his children and you'll discover what kind of dad he likely is."— Dr.Adrian Rogers


"A good father does these basic things: provides for his family, protects his family, and gives spiritual and moral guidance."

David Blankenhorn


"A father's love gives strength to his sons, guidance to his daughters, and protection to the home. He is the most important teacher in their lives, because in him his children see the qualities they will look for in other men."— J.K.M.


"More than virtually any other factor, a biological father's presence in the family will determine a child's success and happiness." — U. S. News and World Report


"Committed fatherhood would do more to restore a normal childhood to every child, and dramatically reduce our nation's most costly social problems, than all of the pending legislation in America combined." — National Fatherhood Initiative


"A man's children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season." — Author Unknown


"Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers-and fathering is a very important stage in their development."

David M. Gottesman


"Our very survival as a nation will depend on the presence or absence of masculine leadership in the home."

Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family


Charles Francis Adams, the 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: "Went fishing with my son today--a day wasted." His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: "Went fishing with my father--the most wonderful day of my life!"The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but his son saw it as an investment of time. The only way to tell the difference between wasting and investing is to know one's ultimate purpose in life and to judge accordingly.— Silas Shotwell, in Homemade


"My only regret in my life is that it was always so difficult to let my father know the great depth of my affection for him."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower


In 1993, pitcher Tim Burke signed a $600,000 contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Just three months later, the veteran reliever surprised the sporting world by announcing a premature retirement. Tim and his wife had adopted four children with special needs which provided a special set of demands on the couple's time. When pressed by reporters to explain this unbelievable decision, he simply said, "Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I'm the only father my children have."



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Father, are you spending enough time with your children?

If your livelihood is hurting their lives, make some changes.

Although it might require a sacrifice, be a true father to your children.

You are the only one they have!




D + A + D = LOVE


"Does Daddy Go?"


Daddy had a little boy,

His soul was white as snow.

He never went to Sunday School

Cause Daddy wouldn't go.


He never heard the Word of God.

That thrills the childish mind,

While other children went to class,

This child was left behind.


As he grew from babe to youth,

Dad saw to his dismay,

A soul that once was snowy white,

Became a dingy grey.


Realizing that his son was lost,

Dad tried to win him back.

But now the soul that once was white,

Had turned an ugly black.


Dad even started back to church,

and Bible study too;

He begged the preacher,

"Isn't there a thing you can do?"


The preacher tried, failed, and said

"We're just too far behind;

I tried to tell you years ago,

But you would pay me no mind."


And so another soul was lost,

That once was white as snow;

Sunday School would have helped,

But Daddy wouldn't go.


— by Pulpit Helps


A Father


His shoulders are a little bent,

His youthful force a trifle spent,

But he's the finest man I know,

With heart of gold and hair of snow.


He's seldom cross and never mean;

He's always been so good and clean;

I only hope I'll always be

As kind to him as he's to me.


Sometimes he's tired and seems forlorn,

His happy face is lined and worn;

Yet he can smile when things are bad:

That's why I like my gray-haired dad.


He doesn't ask the world for much—

Just comfort, friendliness, and such;

But from the things I've heard him say,

I know it's up to me to pay.


For all the deeds he's done for me

Since I sat rocking on his knee;

Oh, not in dollars, dimes, or cents—

That's not a father's recompense.


Nor does he worship wealth and fame—

He'd have me honor Jesus' name.


— Source unknown



What father teaches:


He teaches kindness by being thoughtful and gracious even at home.


He teaches patience by being gentle and understanding over and over.


He teaches honesty by keeping his promises to his family even when it costs.


He teaches courage by living unafraid with faith, in all circumstances.


He teaches justice by being fair and dealing equally with everyone.


He teaches obedience to God's Word by precept and example as he reads and prays daily with his family.


He teaches love for God and His Church as he takes his family regularly to all the services.


His steps are important because others follow.


— by Jerry Fenter



Wonderful People


Fathers are wonderful people

too little understood,

And we do not sing their praises

as often as we should.


For somehow, Father seems to be

the man who pays the bills,

While Mother binds up little hurts

and nurses all our ills.


And Father struggles daily

to live up to "his image"

As protector and provider

and "hero of the scrimmage."


And perhaps that is the reason

we sometimes get the notion

That Fathers are not subject

to the thing we call emotion


But if you look inside Dad's heart,

where no one else can see,

You'll find he's sentimental

and as "soft' as he can be.


But he's so busy every day

in the grueling race of life,

He leaves the sentimental stuff

to his partner and his wife.


But Fathers are just wonderful

in a million different ways,

And they merit loving compliments

and accolades of praise.


For the only reason Dad aspires

to fortune and success

Is to make the family proud of him

and to bring them happiness.


And like our Heavenly Father,

he's guardian and guide,

Someone that we can count on

to be always on our side.


— by Helen Steiner Rice


What Makes A Dad


God took the strength of a mountain,

The majesty of a tree,

The warmth of a summer sun,

The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,

The comforting arm of night,

The wisdom of the ages,

The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,

The faith of a mustard seed,

The patience of eternity,

The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,

When there was nothing more to add,

He knew His masterpiece was complete,

And so,

He called it ... Dad


— Author Unknown


What Is A Dad


A dad is someone who

wants to catch you before you fall

but instead picks you up,

brushes you off,

and lets you try again.


A dad is someone who

wants to keep you from making mistakes

but instead lets you find your own way,

even though his heart breaks in silence

when you get hurt.


A dad is someone who

holds you when you cry,

scolds you when you break the rules,

shines with pride when you succeed,

and has faith in you even when you fall...


Dad, you're everything a dad should be

and some.


—Author: Susan Ceylise


​​​

A Father Like You


I just want you to know

you mean the world to me

Only a heart as dear as yours

would give so unselfishly.


The many things you've done,

all the times that you were there,

Helps me know deep down inside

how much you really care.


Even though I might not say it,

I appreciate all you do

So rich​ly blessed is how I feel

for having a father just like you


— by Anonymous




If you're amazed at how hard your dad can make it for you,

try it without him. 



A Love Letter to Parents


Most parents would risk their lives unto the death on behalf of their children. Why? Because of their love. And how we ought to love them! Have you ever written a letter to your parents telling them how much you love them? You say, "Well, it sounds so corny." I guarantee you they will never throw it away.


Do it while you can. If your parents are still alive, take advantage of that opportunity. I have preached a good number of funerals, and frequently I have stood there at the grave when children tried in a funeral to make up for lost time with an expensive casket, beautiful flowers, and words of admiration. I'm not against any of those things, but dead noses smell no roses. What you want to do, do it now. Exodus 20:12 says, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."Taken from a message by Dr. Adrian Rogers


A little boy and his father


One Sunday night D. L. Moody preached in a big circus tent near the Columbian Exposition in Chicago from the text, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost." After he had finished, a little boy was brought to the platform by an officer who had found the child wandering in the crowd lost. Mr. Moody took the child in his arms and asked the crowd to look at the lost child. Then he said, "The father of this child is much more anxious to find the child than the child is to be found. So it is with our heavenly Father. For long years He has been following you, oh sinner. He is following you still!" At that moment a man with a worried look on his face elbowed his way to the platform. The boy saw him and running threw himself into his father's outstretched arms. The crowd that witnessed the scene broke out into a mighty cheer. "Thus," cried Moody, "will God receive you if you will only run to Him today."

Dear Father, are you distant from your children?

Do you desire to see your kids come to Christ?

Call on the healing power of Jesus.

God honors the prayers of a father.

He'll turn the hearts of the children if you first turn your heart to Him!



Examples of Fatherhood


                                              Adam               A SINFUL father                      Disobeyed God

                                              Enoch              A GODLY father                       Walked with God

                                              Noah                A FAITHFUL father                  Worked for God

                                              Abraham          A MODEL father                      Obeyed God

                                              Lot                    A FAILING father                     Forgot God

                                              Moses              A NOBLE father                       Served God

                                              Joshua             A WISE father                          Chose God

                                              Saul                  A DISGRACEFUL father         Ignored God

                                              Zacharias         A HUMBLE father                    Worshipped God

                                              Joseph             A FRUITFUL father                  Honored God


Father, can you locate yourself in the above list?



"PAID IN FULL"


A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As graduation day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house.


Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7:11, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words "PAID IN FULL". "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11)


Dear Friend, how many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?



Example Of Bad Father


In Chicago a boy was sent by a drunken father to buy something at a store. Somehow the lad lost the money and he dared not go home, for when drunk his father got dreadfully angry about the slightest thing. A man who saw the boy shivering in a doorway learned of his trouble and gave him the dollar he had lost. Thanking the kind stranger the boy went off to the store, but suddenly he turned back and looking wistfully at the man said, "I wish't you was my father!"


He had just caught a glimpse of the difference it would make to have a good father instead of a drunken one.


Dear Parents, what are you letting into your home that may end up devouring your children? God has placed you as the gatekeepers for your family and you need to be extra diligent. Don't allow unsavory literature, TV programs, videos, or other "adult" materials any place in your home. Such things may seem harmless, but they can eat your family alive.


Dad Is Destiny


A cover article of U. S. News & World Report concluded that: "Dad is destiny. More than any other factor, a father’s presence in the family will determine a child's success and happiness." The article noted that nearly two out of every five children in America do not live with their fathers.



Fatherless Families


"Why There is No Substitute for Parents"

— By Wade F. Horn


In 1960, the total number of children living in fatherless families was fewer than eight million. Today, that total has risen to nearly twenty-four million. Nearly four out of ten children in America are being raised in homes without their fathers and soon it may be six out of ten. How did this happen? Why are so many of our nation's children growing up without a full-time father? It is because our culture has accepted the idea that fathers are superfluous—in other words, they are not necessary in the "modern" family. Supposedly, their contributions to the well-being of children can easily be performed by the state, which disburses welfare checks, subsidizes midnight basketball leagues, and establishes child-care facilities.


Ideas, of course, have consequences. And the consequences of this idea have been as profound as they have been disastrous. Almost 75 percent of American children living in fatherless households will experience poverty before the age of eleven, compared to only 20 percent of those raised by two parents. Children living in homes where fathers are absent are far more likely to be expelled from or drop out of school, develop emotional or behavioral problems, commit suicide, and fall victim to child abuse or neglect. The males are also far more likely to become violent criminals. As matter of fact, men who grew up without dads currently represent 70 percent of the prison population serving long-term sentences.



Sentence Me


Perhaps the most tragic and heart-rending cry in the Old Testament is the cry of David when he received the news of the death of his foolish and traitorous son, Absalom. A careful study of the relationship of Israel's great king with his son reveals that Absalom's errancy could in no small measure be laid at David's door. The poignancy of David's cry carries with it the sense of his own personal responsibility: "O my son Absalom, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" (2 Samuel 18:33).


"Sentence me!" a modern father said to the judge before whom his son stood to receive the sentence for a crime he had committed. "I have been so busy all my life making money, going through the chairs in my lodge, serving on boards and committees, I failed to concern myself with my boy. I alone am to blame." Undoubtedly, many a youth, serving a sentence in prison or reformatory, could point an accusing finger at his father who spent all his spare time on secondary matters to the neglect of his high responsibility of fatherhood.



Balance between home and career


A few generations ago, a man captured the essence of this truth in some powerful words about the balance between home and career. When I read this good counsel written by Edgar Guest in My Job as a Father back in 1923, I can almost see the ghost of Solomon in the background, sadly nodding his head.


I have known of a number of wealthy men who were not successes as fathers. They made money rapidly; their factories were marvels of organization; their money investments were sound and made with excellent judgment, and their contributions to public service were useful and willingly made. All this took time and thought. At the finish there was a fortune on the one hand, and a worthless and dissolute son on the other. WHY? Too much time spent in making money implies too little time spent with the boy.


When these children were youngsters romping on the floor, if someone had come to any one of those fathers and offered him a million dollars for his lad he would have spurned the offer and kicked him out the door. Had someone offered him ten million dollars in cash for the privilege of making a drunkard out of his son, the answer would have been the same. Had someone offered to buy from him for a fortune the privilege of playing with the boy, of going on picnics and fishing trips and outings, and being with him a part of every day, he would have refused the proposition without giving it a second thought.


Yet that is exactly the bargain those men made, and which many men are still making. They are coining their lives into fortunes and automobile factories and great industries, but their boys are growing up as they may. These men probably will succeed in business; but they will be failures as fathers. To me it seems that a little less industry and a little more comradeship with the boy is more desirable.


Not so much of me in the bank, and more of me and of my best in the lad, is what I should like to have to show at the end of my career. To be the father of a great son is what I should call success. ...This is what I conceive my job to be. — By Edgar Guest


Fathers Absence: Studies show that the absence of the father expresses itself in male children in two very different ways: it is linked to increased aggressiveness on one hand, and greater manifestations of effeminacy on the other. A 1987 study of violent rapists found that 60 percent of them came from single-parent homes. A Michigan State University study of adolescents who committed homicides found that 75 percent of them were from broken homes. Girls without fathers fare no better. They become sexually active sooner and are more likely to have out-of-wedlock children.


Harvard Study: Armand Nicholi, of Harvard University, found that American parents spend less time with their children than parents in any other country except Great Britain. Even compared with their Russian counterparts, American fathers spend two fewer hours a day interacting with their children.


The USA Weekend article "Fatherless America" states: "Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of the decline in the well being of children. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems from crime to adolescent pregnancy to domestic violence."


The Dad Difference: Josh McDowell has been trying to find out what dads are doing in Christian families, and the news isn't good. In his book The Dad Difference, McDowell reveals that there seems to be a parenting gap. These statistics are from McDowell’s book: The average teen in our churches spends only 2 minutes a day in meaningful dialogue with his dad. 25% of these teens say they have never had a meaningful conversation with their father—a talk centered on the teens’ interests. A positive and continuous relationship to one's father has been found to be associated with a good self-concept, higher self-esteem, higher self-confidence in personal and social interaction, higher moral maturity, reduced rates of unwed teen pregnancy, greater internal control and higher career aspirations. Fathers who are affectionate, nurturing and actively involved in child-rearing are more likely to have well-adjusted children.— Dr. George Rekers, in Homemade.


Dr. James Dobson cited a Cornell University study showing that fathers of preschool children on the average spend 37.7 seconds per day in real contact with their youngsters. In contrast, the study indicated that children watch television approximately 54 hours per week.— C.T.


Parent's Impact on Religious Beliefs : "Research has established that parents can have a significant impact on the religious beliefs and practices of their children. In one study it was found that fathers who frequently attend church (over three times per month), discuss religion at home, and are committed to their religion have sons who follow the same pattern concerning religious values and behavior. Interestingly, fathers who did not do these three things had an inconsistent pattern of influence over their son’s religious responses."— Dr. Michael Green



Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers


Effective Fathers are:

Committed to their children.

Know their children.

Are consistent in their attitudes and behavior.

Protect and Provide for their children.

Love their children's mother.

Are active listeners to their children.

Spiritually equip their children.



Practical Ways for Men to Impact Fatherless Kids:


1. Be a mentor to a boy without a father through Big Brother or some other agency

2. Contact your local junior or senior high school to tutor a needy kid

3. Teach Sunday School

4. Become a leader in Awana, Pioneer Clubs, or Adventure Club

5. Meet one-on-one weekly, with a boy in your church or neighborhood who doesn't have a father in the home

6. Become a leader in Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts

7. Coach Little League or some other sport

8. Volunteer to work with needy kids in an inner city ministry

9. Hire a potentially "at risk" kid for yard work or in your business

10. Become active youth leaders in your local church or a parachurch organization

11. Start a church-based sports league that reaches out to needy kids in the community

12. Lead a Bible study in a juvenile detention center or group home

— June 1996 issue of The Standard



Make Sure It's Really Dad! (Humor)


A minister was conducting the funeral of a difficult old man who had not attended church in years.


Nonetheless, he portrayed the man as though he had been his most intimate friend. In the most glowing colors he described him as a family man, a sportsman, and a business colleague.


As the minutes wore on, the widow said to her son, "Son, go up there, won't you - and make sure it really is your dad!"



It is easier today for parents to have children than for children to have parents.





Invest in your children and grandchildren now

so their lives will reap a harvest for eternity! 





PERSONAL TESTIMONY

By Ted Matamis


I WILL NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES

MY FATHER MADE FOR ME!


Dad,

Thanks for giving me

the finest things in life,

your time,

your care,

your love,

and teaching me

to love God!


"The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice:

and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him."

(Proverbs 23:24)


I believe, like me, that each of you has special memories of your father. I miss him very much. I think of him all the time and especially on Father's Day. My father was not a person with a lot of education. He did not even finish grammar school. He spent his life as a farmer, but he was brilliant, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, generous, hospitable, hardworking, and had a great sense of humor. His dream was to see his three sons have a better life than him, and he accomplished that by making many sacrifices.


During my high school years, from the age of twelve until eighteen, I lived by myself in a rented room in a larger town where the high school was located far from our village. I will never forget the sacrifices my father made for me. In the winter, on rainy and snowy days, he brought me food and wood for my fireplace to keep me warm. He spent three hours traveling with his mules to come where I was living, going through mountains and dangerous places. He did not have a lot of money, but he gave me 50 drachmas (about $1.50 at that time) a month to buy some food and kerosene for my lamp.


He loved all his sons very much. I was the youngest son. I had his father's name. He also had a special relationship with me, as Jesus had with the apostle John. My father was always proud of me because I never broke his heart with a bad attitude or embarrassed him in front of anybody, especially in the schools where he sent me. When people told him that my name was in the newspapers with good comments about my progress in school, it made his day. While I was in the army for two years, he voluntarily published my first book in Greece, which I had written before going to college.


I respected, honored, and loved my father very much. I never questioned him. I never talked back to him. I never considered myself above him in knowledge or experience. I never criticized him to anyone. To me, he was next to God. He became my hero, my friend, and my best counselor. When I was far from home, he regularly wrote wonderful letters to my family and me until the time he passed away.


My father never took Bible courses, but he loved God and had a fear of the Lord, both of which he passed along to me. He always took me to the church and taught me everything he knew about God and Christianity. He had a tender heart for the Word of God. Every time he heard someone preach in the church, he would shed tears.


The last time I visited my home country with my family, he came with a taxi to the airport to give us a ride to our village. When we left, he came to say goodbye at the airport. He felt so proud to be around us and to introduce us to his friends who did not know us.


My father asked me to help him on the farms in the summertime when I was home, but he never asked me for financial help. He always told me that he had more than enough and worried more about me because I had a family and more expenses. Still, because of my responsibility as a son, and out of love and appreciation, I supported him and my mother regularly. That was one of the priorities for both myself and my wife. Now, as I look back, I wish I would have been able to do more for them. Because of the Lord and them, I am who I am today, and I am extremely grateful.


When I got the bad news that he had a stroke at the age of 82, I took an airplane back home, went to the hospital, and spent the last days of his life with him. When I witnessed to two other patients who were in the same room and encouraged them to accept the Lord as their personal Savior, I felt that my father participated in our conversation. Even though he was not able to talk to me, tears flowed down his face until his last breath as he died in mine and my brother's arms.


He always agreed with me in our spiritual conversations and responded to the gospel as compared to my mother, who resisted. After his death, my mother became more receptive, and I was able to lead her to the Lord after 20 years of continually praying.


When both of them passed away, it cost me a lot. It took several years for my grief to lessen in my heart because most of my life, I lived far away from them. I believe that I will see both of them again one day and walk together with them on the golden streets of heaven. In the meantime, I have a special place at my home, planted with beautiful flowers in their memory.


My father's priority was his family, and he wanted his family to know that they always came first, no matter what. This made him a hero to me. He put others first, then himself.


Fathers, your children need you. Your love and sacrifices will make all the difference in their lives. Take time to invest in them. Especially, show love to your children with actions and not only with words. Your first priority must be to teach them about the Lord and encourage them to accept Him as their personal Savior. After that, teach them to love and serve the Lord. The father who fears the Lord also enjoys God's presence, wisdom, direction, and blessings all his life.


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The Bible says to love others, but when it comes to father and mother, it says to honor them:


"This is my commandment, That ye LOVE one another, as I have loved you."— John 15:12


"Husbands, LOVE your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

— Ephesians 5:25


"Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself." — Matthew 22:39


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"HONOUR thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."— Exodus 20:12


"HONOUR thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

— Deuteronomy 5:16


"HONOUR thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." — Matthew 19:19


"HONOUR thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;" — Ephesians 6:2


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"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." 

— Author Unknown




Christian discipline is needed to enable children to grow up

with reverence for God,

respect for parental authority,

knowledge of Christian standards

and habits of self-control.




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Love in Christ,

Ted and Deanna




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