Being a father has been (and is) one of the greatest joys of my life. My kids, who are all grown now, are basically the main reason I have no regrets...the reason why I don't second guess the life-choices I've made along my path. If my life had gone in a different direction when I was a young man, I wouldn't have them now, so I'm so glad that everything has happened the way that it has, exactly as it has...
My four kids have each become wonderful young adults, and are all a part of my every day life now as my friends. In the last year, especially, their unconditional love and support has been more than I could ask or think.
And speaking of unconditional love and fatherhood, I also want to acknowledge that my own dad, who is now 78 years old, is an amazing, wise man...someone who has become the definition of a true Christian in his senior years, as far as I'm concerned. The last 9 months have been a challenge for him, to say the least, because the events of my life have so affected his life. But he has stood by me, without judgment, and has kept a great attitude, in spite of having to leave the denomination he served for decades because he attends my church, and losing many of his friends because he refused to publicly renounce me. He has no "agenda" in supporting me in this way...he's just being my dad.
So, I am grateful.
And I am blessed.
Here are some of my favorite "Then and Now" pics of dad and me, and of me with my kids, followed by a good Father's Day repost. Hope you enjoy...
DAD AND ME THEN AND NOW...
|My first outing...|
|In South Korea at Parliament...|
|I like this one because dad rarely smiles in pics...|
JARED AND ME THEN AND NOW...
|"Ministering" with me (age 2) at Faith Memorial...|
|Building a Habitat for Humanity House in Peru...|
|Performing a wedding ceremony for one of his friends...|
CHRISTINA AND ME THEN AND NOW...
|Singing with me (age 1) at Word of Faith A/G...|
|With Daisson (my fourth son)...|
|My beautiful daughter is a wonderful mother...|
|In Key West for their 5th anniversary party ("Stina Beena")...|
JUDAH AND ME THEN AND NOW...
|His Ordination Service...|
JONAH AND ME THEN AND NOW...
|Home from the hospital again...|
|Atop St. Paul's Cathedral, London...|
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
Originally posted June 21, 2009:
Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a good father. Let us praise those fathers who by their own account were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.- Kirk Loadman
Let us praise those fathers who, despite divorce, have remained in their children's lives. Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has offered healing. Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their step children's love and respect. Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death, and continue to hold the child in their heart.
Let us praise those men who have no children, but cherish the next generation as if they were their own. Let us praise those men who have "fathered" us in their role as mentors and guides. Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children. And let us praise those fathers who have died, but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.