Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Dad Did It All

My dad was a hard-working man, a pastor of a church for 26 years and full of compassion for people.  He would work long hours, getting up before the sun and working as a general foreman of an electrical company for 10 hours everyday of the week.  He would then come home and sometimes make dinner (because my mom worked too) and then continue to work through the evening.  He tended to a football field sized garden in the evenings, mowed and did whatever else needed to be done until dusk.  Then, he would retire to his chair and fall asleep.  He also pastored a church of 120 people for 26 years and raised 3 children, which included me.

Some say that you can't pastor a church and have a family and work and grow a garden - but someone forgot to tell my dad that because he did it ALL!  I admire him for that.  I admire the fact that my dad was one of the hardest working men that I've ever known, who did what he had to do to put food on the table.  He could have came home and rested every evening but instead, he worked 13 hour days on average but always resting on Sunday - although he preached twice every Sunday.  He would get on top of his lunchbox at lunch time at the job site and preach, and no one dared told him it wasn't ok because he was the boss!  Many men rather wept and would kneel down to pray and even years later, they remember my dad and his stand for God.

He answered calls in the middle of the night from church members and went to be with many by their side to pray on them in the hospital.  He gave money to help people pay their bills and he gave a large portion of our money to the church that he loved and built from our living room.  He preached funerals and weddings and went through many hurts from friends who turned out to be enemies.  I remember those nights when I would hear my dad praying and crying from the barn up the hill by the garden.  He didn't know but I was listening and crying too.  I saw how my dad handled the hard times - prayer.  There were times we would be sick as children and I remember many times my parents laying hands on us and praying for healing and we were immediately healed.  One time I had a mercury thermometer in my mouth and it was extremely high.  My parents had no health insurance so they relied on God - while they were praying the red mercury ball went down to a normal temperature!  God healed me on the spot and it would forever show me that the prayer of faith can heal.

My dad never went to a bible college or learned how to pioneer a church, yet somehow he was successful in learning as he went.  The first night he started his church in our living room, there were 60 people in attendance.  It wasn't before long that they were able to rent a basement and then years later, they were able to buy it and build a top to it, then a fellowship hall.  My dad sacrificed for that church and the souls all because he wanted to do God's will.  He wasn't ashamed to preach against sin and run around the outside of the church and back in again still preaching!  He was always known for his firey preaching.

When I think of my dad, I think of a man that was able to do it all - a man that was a real man.  One that put God first, family second and still had time to work with hands providing our food and also to give to others.  He was never ashamed to cry when it was called for because he had such a love for people and us that he couldn't keep his care inside.  He had a license plate for years on his truck and it is something that I still remember today:

A Family That Prays Together Stays Together

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