This morning I boarded an early flight to make the trip from Dallas to Birmingham. I left my new grand daughter and my family in Oklahoma to come to Birmingham to be with my Dad. I’ll get back to the title of this post in a minute, but first please bear with me while I tell you more about why I am in Birmingham.
Most of the people who frequent this blog are either family members, close preacher friends, close friends in the church around the world, and our dear Lewisville church family. Many of you have asked about Dad, so here is what we know now.
A few weeks ago Dad suffered some mini-strokes. None of them were debilitating or caused long-term damage. He had some numbness in his left hand, but the doctor said it would go away with therapy.
He seemed to be doing better and in fact on Thursday had been moved to a rehab facility. Yesterday (Friday), Dad had another stroke. This one was more serious. It has affected his ability to communicate. It is too early to tell how long his speech will be affected. I am not sure how much Dad is able to recognize those of us who are around him. We believe he can and that he can hear us, but he just can't communicate to us, yet.
One thing I do know. It is not easy to see a man in this condition who has so boldly proclaimed the Good News to so many around the world. The number of people who have heard our Dad proclaim the Gospel, publicly and privately, is mind-boggling. It is also very strange for him and our family to be in a hospital room being visited and cared for by others. When I was a boy and even during my teenage years I made numerous hospital visits with my dad to encourage those who were hurting. He is the consummate minister and he attempted to pass that along to his children.
We are extremely grateful for every call, visit, message, and concern that we have received from so many. We are especially thankful for your prayers and we covet them continually. Our prayer is that God will heal Dad completely, that his full measure of health will be restored, and that he will quickly be able to do the great work he has been doing for more than fifty years. We will do our best to keep our family and friends up to date through emails, Facebook posts, etc.
So, I got on the plane this morning in Dallas and a man walked out of the cockpit in a pilot’s suit and grabbed the mike from the flight attendant. He said, “Ladies & Gentlemen, this is a very special day. Everyone will be extra safe today, because for the first time in my life I am flying my parents to their destination!” Everyone on the plane applauded.
My first thought was, “I’m sure glad he didn’t say for the first time in his life he was flying!” My second thought was, “His parents must be really, really proud of their son!!” All during the flight I prayed a lot and I thought a lot about how we should all do our very best to make our parents proud. I thought about some ways that we can all make our parents proud.
(1) We can make our parents proud by remembering what they taught us. Solomon was one of the wisest men who ever lived. He had a lot to say to children about how they should remember what they learned from their parents and how they should not forsake the teaching of their parents. I would encourage you to go back and read Proverbs 1:8-10; Proverbs 2:1-5; Proverbs 3:1-4; Proverbs 4:1-6; Proverbs 5:1-2; Proverbs 7:1-2.
(2) We can make our parents proud by taking care of them when they need us. We must never forget how our parents provided for us, cared for us, nurtured us, and taught us when we could not do any of that for ourselves. The Apostle Paul said that anyone who would not provide for their own families is worse than in unbeliever (1Timothy 5:8). This would include our providing and caring for our parents when they need us most.
(3) We can make our parents proud by showing love to other members of our families. There are times when families become estranged and there is not much communication. How wonderful when family unity can be restored and broken bridges can be mended. When the Bible tells us that we are to live at peace with all men (Romans 12:18; Hebrews 12:14) that would definitely include our family.
(4) We can make our parents proud by continuing the legacy they pass down to us. All of us receive a legacy from our families and we do well when we pass down to our children and grand children what we receive from our parents. We are reminded of the words recorded in Deuteronomy 6:1-25. May God help us to pass on the teachings of God to future generations.
(5) We can make our parents proud when we make our Heavenly Father proud. God is the ultimate example for all parents and when our parents have attempted to please Him, we should follow their lead.
Dear Father, we thank You for giving us our parents. We give You thanks for the legacy they have passed down to us. Help us, dear Lord to remember what they have taught us, help us to care for our parents when they need us, help us to love our family more, and help us Father to honor our parents by honoring You. In Jesus Name, Amen.