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Wednesday
Jun142017

Vintage Dad 

Even when I was little, I knew my dad was not “modern.” He systematically chose traditional or slower means to do most anything. If my dad had an option between driving a back road or the highway, he’d take the back road. On Sunday afternoons, we’d choose to play board games over watching TV. His attraction to all things retro was especially true when it came to family vacations. A Coleman coffee percolator and folding stove, lots of clothesline, and pup tents were standard equipment. Dad’s great escape was for all seven of us to go camping for most of the summer.

While some neighborhood children graduated from high school never having seen an ocean, we spent all summer going beach or forest camping. We came home only long enough to shake the sand (or dirt) from our belongings and to mend our canvas tent; then off we went again in our ‘70s VW bus.

The neighborhood kids teasingly dubbed our vehicle the “Quinker-mobile,” sensing our family was a throwback to an older time. The term “Quinker” came from our last name, Quinn, and the word Quaker. Suffice it to say that as transplants from New England to the more familial western Pennsylvania, we were different right off the bat—in accent, cuisine, and lack of extended family. That, coupled with my dad’s strong desire for privacy, made us ripe
for labels.

My dad had retro tendencies even as a young parent. He loved the music from the ‘30s and ‘40s. He seemed to always find stations playing old crooner songs like Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust. My dad even looked vintage. He maintained the same short brush cut he was issued on his first day as a Marine. Duty and tradition flanked his way as he led us—his small platoon.

These tendencies also spilled over into the holidays. Holiday preparation began in October with root beer production. We were like an assembly line as we bottled and stored the root beer until Thanksgiving. Then, with my mother’s home-cooked feast finally on the table, we would uncap the root beer. It was one of his traditions that we could all get behind.

As a teen, I thought my dad tried to make us culturally odd on purpose. However, as a young adult, I realized that he had built in us a sense of family identity. Within a larger culture spinning out of control, my dad had thoughtfully engineered our stable family culture. His insistence on low-tech, older ways was an effort to slow our world down so that we could be children. We grew up with a rich background of games and memories unique to us. Having only one child myself, I often retold my childhood stories to my son. As a mom, I created stories and songs for him to remember.

Belonging to Christ, I have come to realize the power of identity. With a family of people, there is joy in shared stories and meals. In the midst of hardship, we can fall in line behind what we know is true and it will light our paths, shielding us from the attacks of an enemy.

As a moral and duty-loving man, my father led us to the knowledge of right and wrong and instilled in us a faithfulness to serve. I thank God for my dad, and I stand on this promise: One day he will intimately know his heavenly Father who instilled every good thing in him.

Do you have a favorite childhood memory about your father? Share it below. We’d love to read about it!

Written by Eileen Quinn

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Tuesday
Jun132017

Bring Back the Dads

Fatherlessness has become all too common in our generation. The results have led to a deconstruction of the family God intended. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “between 1991 and 2009, children living with only their mother increased from 21 percent to 24 percent.”1 That’s almost one out of every four! Saying that’s not good would be an understatement. Although this crisis is relatively new to the U.S., it’s not new historically. It was a problem in Bible times too:

“You may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, but you don’t have
many fathers.”

1 Corinthians 4:15a, Easy-to-Read Version

Well, what, really, is a father?

Taking the above verse in context, Paul wasn’t necessarily talking about dads abandoning their posts. Essentially he was talking about spiritual fatherhood:

“For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

1 Corinthians 4:15b, New King James Version

Paul seemed to be indicating that there was an epidemic of men who were not part of raising up the next generation; that is, making disciples. Whether it was a matter of these men being unwilling or uninterested is not known. What is known today is that an entire family’s faith is in jeopardy when a father isn’t present. The Baptist Press, in its article entitled “Want your church to grow? Then bring in the men,” reports that if a father is the first to become a believer in his family, there is a 93 percent probability that everyone else in the household will follow.2 Wow! As a dad goes, so goes a family, and so goes a society. This tells me that if a society is going to be godly, dads must be a part of it, whether they are biological dads or spiritual dads.

Now, what is needed to remedy the problem of fatherlessness? I would venture to say it’s not a what that’s needed, but a who! Read this verse:

[John the Baptist] will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Luke 1:17, NKJV (brackets mine)

If John the Baptist was the cure for fatherlessness in his day, what would it be like to have a reemergence of people like him today? I believe it’s something that needs to happen.

I am thankful that God has sent men to be fathers in my life. They have raised me up to take my place in raising up the next generation. This Father’s Day, I’m going to honor them in the way the Lord says:

“Children honor their fathers.”

Malachi 1:6, ERV

I encourage you to honor the men in your life who have been fathers to you. They were used of God to help make you who you are. And, of course, make sure you honor the Father of all fathers, God Himself!

If this article has ministered to you, please leave a comment below.

_______________________

1 https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/children/cb11-117.html

2 http://www.bpnews.net/15630/

Written by David Moore II

For products and resources in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Jun122017

A Father's Love

“Dad.”

“I see them. I won’t run them over. She just never listens to me. I’m so
tired of—”

“Dad. They’re shooting at each other.”

This was one moment with my father that I will never forget. Dad and I were on our way through one of the more rundown parts of Flint, Michigan, to pick something up from a friend who lived there. Dad was distracted with a story he was telling me when I saw the teenagers who had been in the road suddenly scatter to duck behind trees and cars. Something inside told me things were off even before I heard the shots.

Dad immediately slammed the car into reverse to get away from them.

One boy was shot. I saw him go down behind a tree; I screamed that we had to try to save him. My father yelled, “We have to get out of here!” All I could do was cry as I watched the scene fade away.

I know a lot of people who might say my dad did something wrong that day. That instead of trying to save himself and me, he should have done the “Christian” thing. He should have tried to save the boy who had fallen.

But my father didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, in that moment, he emulated God so well that I will always remember it. He made me his priority.

And this is just like God does. God made each one of us His priority when He sent His Son to this earth to face the cross. By doing this, He showed us what love really is.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. [6] Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [7] It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, New International Version (emphasis mine)

God always protects what’s His. And that’s what my dad has always done
for me.

My relationship with my dad isn’t perfect, but I’ve always known that he wants what’s best for me. He has a gentle, but strong, nature that has shielded me in hard times and comforted me when everything in life hurt. He’s always done his best to take care of me. He may have never gotten around to building that treehouse he had promised, but he was present at nearly all my track meets and cheered me on. He always told me I was a winner, even when I didn’t believe him. Because of him, it’s easier for me to believe that God loves me.

Fathers are very important in our lives, but unfortunately, many of them don’t stick around. Let’s cheer on the ones who do! Show some appreciation to the dads in your life this week and remember that God the Father loves you even more than your earthly dad ever could.

Written by Dena Williams.

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.