The God-created fiber of the human personality is such a delicate blend of heredity, relationships and experiences that it's no wonder, in Psalms 139:14, David said, "we are fearfully and wonderfully made."
Like the paper cone that the cotton candy is spun around to form a large, delightful treat; so God intended for the father to be as the center pillar in His human family.
For those from my generation and that of my father's generation, the word "father" has a special meaning that perhaps is not retained in today's society. The erosion of the modern family has accelerated at such a rate that the break up of homes and marriages has risen to one out of every two. If that is the case, then one half of our children in this age have an image of "Dad" different from what God had intended. Out of those that have stayed together, as a result of the perversion of sin, many fathers have abused their families with cruel and inhuman actions, once again leaving in its wake the devastated lives of the children that grow up and pass on their hurts and wounds to the next generation.
Sin then becomes a cycle, and the cycle of sin produces death. Death of a pure relationship of a father to his son or daughter. Death of the family which will bring on the death of a nation.
One of the principles of procreation that God gave us is that we pass on our nature, habits and characteristics to our children--both the good and the bad. How often have you heard someone say, "I'll never do that like my Dad did!" Yet the older we get the more we recognize his traits coming through. The reason it seems that way is we didn't know our fathers when they were young. We first knew them as older more mature men; someone who has been through the things that we are now struggling with. As younger people, we saw his caution and slowness as being old and worn out; but in reality he'd been down that road a couple of times and knew exactly what to expect.
The great and marvelous miracle of our new birth is that we are not only forgive, but we are also healed and made whole from our broken past. The scriptures tell us that God becomes a father to the fatherless and a husband to the husbandless. What a marvelous thing to know, that no matter what our past or experiences that have broken us, the Father heart of God will make us totally whole, a new creature and a redeemed personality.
My father is one of a kind. He was the second to the last of 10 children from a hard working farm family that originally settled in "the Cherokee strip" in the Oklahoma territory. A short time before Dad was born, the family moved to southern California where Dad was raised.
The stories he tells of his early childhood would remind you of the "Our Gang" comedy movies. Dad was "born again" at 16 years of age in the fire of a Pentecostal revival in a Foursquare Church in Long Beach, California; under a tough but loving German by the name of O. C. Harms. He was a pastor and a discipler of men. In his lifetime he put into the ministry over 500 fire brands for the Lord.
Dad knew his calling right away and started in training immediately. Before he was out of high school he was traveling as an evangelist. Pastor, evangelist, soul winner, church planter--the passion of his heart has never died out. If there was no money, he got a job. If there was no building, he found one. If there were no people, he went soul-winning door to door or wherever he could find a listening ear. He would preach to one or 100 with the same fire and passion.
Prayer was essential with the "Word" the iron rule of all action. This is the father that brought life to me; that shaped my passions and formed my ideals and visions. A man born and bred in that glorious fire of the Pentecostal revival. With the Spirit he knew no bounds. An empty building was "God's invitation" to start a church. Salaries, retirement plans and health insurance were not only unheard of, but a sure sign of a "cold soul". "Nothing is Impossible" was the motto of our home. Dad told me to take the first step--the one you could see, and God would always provide the second step--the one you couldn't see.
So when he sent me off to preach at 17 years of age, all I needed was an invitation. No guarantees, no planned schedules--nothing but the desire and the "inbred" knowledge that the God of my father would never fail me. I preached his sermons and prayed his prayers and the God that my father introduced me to; the God he made real to me by his faithful lifestyle; the God he taught me how to fear--answered by fire. The same Holy Ghost fire He had answered my Dad with when he was 17. Brother Harms told my Dad and my Dad told me, "If you know how to pray there is no answer God won't give you--for to a praying man--nothing is impossible."
The shock of it all is that I'm now "the Dad" and the question I ask myself is--will my children rise up and call me blessed? Am I living my righteousness out in front of them? Am I showing them the God my father showed me?
According to scripture they will, for God says my righteous life will be reproduced in the life of my children's children.
In Jesus I wish you a "Happy Father's Day". Happy because Jesus can make us into the Godly fathers He has called us to be.