Archive for December, 2009

Father of the Decade

As I began to consider this concept, I thought it would be fairly easy. After all, how many fathers are there in the world? There must be many that stand out. How much news has been reported in the last ten years? There must be great fathers among the reports.

Soon after beginning my research, I realized this was going to be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

There are fathers in the news alright.

Recently there was Dr. Umaru Abdulmutallab, the father of Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, otherwise known as the “underpants bomber”, or the “undergarments bomber”, or something like that. He is charged with attempting to blow up a Northwest flight headed for Detroit on Christmas day. Dr. Abdulmutallab showed his concern for his son and all mankind, when he sought out the United States embassy in Nigeria to report his son turned to extreme Islamic jihadism and might be a threat to the David Goldmans Son 9d74United States. Certainly an act of love.

Then there was Mr. David Goldman, who finally won custody of his nine year old son after a five year international battle in a Brazilian court. He was hailed a hero as television cameras captured him shielding his son while whisking him into a waiting car, the beginning of a long journey back to the United States and readjustment with a father he has barely known.

How about Tiger Woods? A man with a beautiful family, a wife and two loving children. After a late night car accident in his own front yard, Tiger Woods announces df0dsomehow involving a golf club and a broken car window, his life unraveled squarely in the public eye. Mistress after mistress came forward with stories of infidelity and deception. I can only imagine the impact on his children and his wife.

Perhaps the story of Michael Lohan. The estranged father of celebrity Lindsay Lohan, arrested for violating an order of protection that was requested by his ex-wife.

Most fathers don’t get in the news for being great fathers. On the positive, take the example of the following individuals:

Billy Graham Crusade e850Billy Graham, one of the most recognized names in the world. He is known for his ministry that is credited with immeasurable numbers of people who have come to a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has been the “pastor of presidents”, the author of books, and the voice to the nations. All that being said, his role as a father doesn’t come to mind when his name is uttered in most circles.

Oral Roberts, recently passed and has been recognized as the one who brought Christ to the television. His efforts a televangelism changed the role of the evangelist forever. Many people were healed under the hand of this gentle servant. He was a father and husband, who loved and was loved, but he is not known for his greatness as a father.

Finally, I mention Derek Loux. A musician and spiritual leader who is known for being a champion of adoption. He recently passed, after a tragic automobile accident, leaving behind a wife and ten children. Of his children there were two biological daughters, five daughters adopted from the Marshall Islands, and three sons, adopted from the Ukraine. A man who made fatherhood a priority in his life and ministry.

In my research for the “Father of the Decade”, I found that fathers who take their role to heart; recognize their role as prophet, priest, and king. They emulate the life and example of Jesus Christ and because of that; they are recognized for other accomplishments in their lives.

Fathers are heralded in the eyes and hearts of their wives and children.

When they accept their charge as a father, they make a difference that lasts for generations, but is seldom recognized by the news writers of this world.

Several of the men I mentioned are truly great fathers and the greatest legacy they will leave is their role as a father.

Now as I come to the end of my search. I recognize that the “Father of the Decade” isn’t one father but the generation of men who over the past ten years have realized their call as a father. They have recognized it and placed it in their heart. They have not always been perfect, but they have committed themselves to be the best they could be. They have pledged not to make the mistakes of others and to ask forgiveness when they did. They have sought help and mentors along the way and made their steps straight.

In the end I realize the “Father of the Decade” is you!

En servicio como Padre


Unopened Gifts

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows
James 1:17 NIV

We have heard if from the time were were children. This is the season of gift giving. In both the Christian holiday of Christmas and the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, the practice of giving gifts is the highlight in many of our eyes.

We spend months, days, and hours online and at the mall seeking the perfect gift. One drive by the local shopping center, this time of year, will confirm the importance of this aspect to the majority of people.

Every year, my wife and I struggle to determine the wishes of our children and grandchildren. The task gets harder each year due to the increasing advances in technology and the ever expanding stores of goods acquired by each of us.

We live in an increasingly material society. We have need for little and even less tolerance for, what we see as, marginal quality. We expect to be entertained or lavished upon by our gift givers.

Gift giving permeates out lives. We give gifts at work, at school, at church, at lunch with our friends, not to mention the gifting with our family.

It seems we have become masters of gift giving, but for what purpose?

The problem comes when we turn to the other side of this equation. The side that involves receiving.

We have so much of everything, we soon become insensitive to our role in receiving.

We all know the feeling, when a gift is given, that is not exactly what the recipient wanted. The reaction is evident in their eyes. The gift is destine to be re-gifted.

The rejection of a given gift is probably the greatest gift giving fear we have.

Some years ago, I worked in a joint venture company, between American and Japanese companies. The practice of bringing a gift was a very important part of doing business with our Japanese partners. During any visit it was important that a gift was brought to the host. Although the gift was graciously received, it was considered inappropriate to open it in front of the giver. If for some reason you did not like the gift, it would be impossible to hide your dissatisfaction. By not opening the gift in front of the giver they were spared the embarrassment of having to apologize.

How many of us would knowingly bring reject a gift? How many of us would take it one step further and never open the gift? I would guess the answer would be few.

Yet, on a daily basis, and especially at this time of year, many of us do just that.

We celebrate the greatest gift ever given. The birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Year after year the battle rages about taking Christ our of Christmas. Eventually we bow to the wishes of others and greet them with “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”. We remove the baby from the manger.

The greatest gift ever given remains unopened in the hearts of men and women throughout the world. We reject the grace and mercy of a loving God. A God who was willing to give all of Himself, that we would no longer taste the disappointment of the creations of our fellow man, both emotional and spiritual.

At this time of year, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This year take it one more step, receive the gift that He has given. The gift of His son Jesus Christ. Bring a change into your life that you never thought possible.

You will experience the blessings of the full gift giving cycle. The blessings of giving and receiving.

Merry Christmas


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