At times life is a whirlwind! Just the last two months we've been through dad's sickness and death, found out we were going to be grandparents, had both our sons and their wives in the moving (or just moved) process), completely moved my blog, dealt with some major stuff at church (some good, some bad, all major), tried to get in the mindset for the holidays and geared up for a new year AND lived life. Much of it I've felt like I was walking through a fog.
I feel so blessed it is at times overwhelming. God has been so good to me that I sometimes feel guilty about how I sometimes squander His goodness. But most of the time I just feel honored to know Him and secure that He loves me. And the emotions of my life sometimes just bubble up. This afternoon I was working from Chick-Fil-A. The "cow" came out and was greeting little kids - two little boys - about ages 3 and 5 and dressed for the holidays went over to him and gave him a "high-five". The mom, or was she the grand-mom, pulled out her phone to take a picture of them with him. For some strange reason I broke out in tears (didn't see that coming). I don't know if it was because I was thinking of my sons or of my own childhood but wow.
I find myself constantly referencing my dad, it seems he had said something on most any subject that comes up and it is at my ready reference. I’m wondering if I have been doing that all along or if this is something new. Maybe my own way of grieving or coping?
Today I was looking for a blog I had written a while back and ran across this one that I thought I had posted but can't seem to find it. It may have been on here before and lost in the move but if not I want to share it with you. At the time I wrote it I did not know that it would be my last time to hear my dad preach. Within a month he'd be in the hospital and within another he'd be gone. After hearing dad I called my brother Jeff and we talked. I was disappointed that dad had not been more personal in his communication to the several hundred young preachers there who I know revered him. I told Jeff that "dad seems old" - which was very different for our dad - he NEVER seemed old - dad always seemed to have a boundless and constant energy. I now suspicion he was already sick and just didn't know it.
Looking back I think he told those guys just what they needed to hear.
So here you go - from back in September. Seems more powerful now than then anyway:
"I want to close by commending those who have developed the growing Polishing the Pulpit program. It has risen to one of my top five programs to appear on. It continues to grow in numbers, balance and effectiveness. They pull in some of the best of the best as far as speakers (present company excluded - I'm just honored to be a part of it). They are creative and do things with excellence. The program is for any Christian! I was blessed to speak on the program several times this year and was amazed at the quality of the participants and how EVERY detail was handled. Congrats friends on what you are building! Dad spoke several times. One was on Monday about “What I would say to the next generation of preachers”. A brief outline of his lesson ends this blog:
I would tell the next generation of preachers...
1. ...to be committed to Jesus Christ
2. ...to be a lifelong student
3. ...to become fishers of men
4. ...to grow in faith and learn to trust God. God will take care of you."
And...that my friends I tell you through moist eyes...was my dad! I am blessed.