Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts. A thankful mind-set keeps you in touch with Me. I hate it when My children grumble, casually despising My sovereignty. Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin. Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life. Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances. Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’s continue to express our gratitude. With this gratitude, let’s serve in a way that is pleasing to God with respect and awe, because our God really is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29 (Common English Translation)
I am grateful for my Dad today. I am grateful for my Dad every day, but today is his birthday, and I am so grateful that I am privileged enough to have him at this point in my life, privileged to be a daughter of the best Dad in the whole world.
I am grateful for the pictures I have, and I realize I do not have many of my Dad. I wish I had more. (Take advantage of the camera on your phone, Rhonda. If you have a camera, USE IT.) If I’ve learned anything from my brother, it is that pictures are memories, tell stories, and a picture is what we have to hold on to when our loved ones are not nearby.
Some lessons learned from my Dad:
Flowers are important. Dad realizes the beauty of God’s creation and brightens his apartment every week with fresh flowers. It was just one way he showed Mom that he loved her and was thinking about her, and he has continued to keep them in the apartment, even though Mom is not sitting in her chair to enjoy them every day. She is sitting in a new chair, enjoying them from a new vantage point, knowing that Dad is still thinking about her and still loves her.
Eat potato chips and macaroni and cheese, but exercise, too. I share this love of these foods with my Dad. You just can’t eat enough potato chips and macaroni and cheese. But I love that my Dad also walks alot and still plays golf. He lives on the 9th floor and sometimes walks the stairs just for exercise. He walks to work on good weather days. (Yes, he works a full time job.) He walks the golf course and carries his bag instead of riding in a cart. Did I mention that my Dad is 83 today and is pretty much amazing?
Read. Dad is a reader, and he keeps his mind so sharp because he reads A LOT. You can be entertained anywhere with a book. You are never too old to learn something new, and a book opens up your world to adventure and insight. AND, if you read a great book, pass it on to someone else. Dad shares his books, and I love that he buys “Love Does” by Bob Goff and gives it away to so many people.
Be a good friend. Dad has been a friend to Bill for many, many years. Bill began to lose his eyesight several years ago, and now he is blind. Dad is Bill’s ride around town, buys his groceries, takes him to the airport, cleans his house, takes him to church, and remains a good coffee buddy and all-around support.
Treat your customers well. If you were/are a customer of Dad’s, you knew you would receive the best service in town. His philosophy was to treat customers with respect and give them great service, and they will return, even if the price is a little higher than the competition. That philosophy creates loyal customers and good friends who know they can always count on Dad.
You don’t need much to be happy, but take care of what you DO have. Dad isn’t wealthy. Dad doesn’t have a lot. But he is abundantly rich, because he has what he needs and appreciates it all. I love that he keeps his apartment clean, he likes his car to be clean, and he always dresses so nice. He doesn’t spend money foolishly, but he is generous and thoughtful with his money and his possessions.
Serve where you can, when you can, with all you have. Dad and Mom cleaned the church, mowed the church lawn, served on committees, taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, Dad maintained and repaired the church van for years, and now Dad faithfully supplies the church with donuts every Sunday.
Be faithful to spend time each morning in prayer and reading devotions. Dad and Mom have done this for years, and it was and is the best way to start the day. I am so grateful that my Dad loves God and is an example to his family of Christ-likeness.
And finally, listen more than you speak. Dad has always been well-known for only speaking when he has something important to say. This character quality made his children sit up and pay attention and we respected him all the more for his example of James 1:19: “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.”
Every day at work, home, school, and play, God presents us with opportunities to be a blessing to people who may not be as nice to us as we deserve or desire. In the middle of these opportunities, He strengthens us and enables us to pay back good for evil. – Thelma Wells
I love you, Daddy. Cape or no cape, you’re my Superman.