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What Is a Father?
by Oreeda Burnette
09/06/06
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What Is a Father?

According to the dictionary it's the male who contributed DNA to the formation of the child. This definition may be technically correct but is nowhere near the whole story.
My father didn’t let me call him “father,” he always said we should call “no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). So, I called him “Daddy.”
The first memory I have of Daddy is sitting on the arm of his chair listening to him read aloud—to me—the Chattanooga News Free Press. We didn’t live in Chattanooga, but he always said our local paper wasn’t worth the 10¢ you had to pay for it. I heard stories about Eisenhower, Congress, our state (Georgia), and the world in general.
The newspaper wasn’t all my Daddy read to me. Every night my Daddy would let me look through his Bible. It had about 10 pictures in it. And like any kid, I was only interested in looking at the pictures. The Holy Bible looked a little imposing to me, especially since I was too young to know how to read. But, you see, I didn’t have to read the Bible, my Daddy already had.
Each night as I went through his Bible, he would tell me the stories I loved. Stories about David and Goliath, about Jesus in the Temple, Elijah, Moses. I really liked the picture and story about Jesus and the children. The last picture in my Daddy’s Bible was pretty dark. Jesus was sitting beside the water cooking fish over a fire. In the distance you could see a boat with fishing nets. It was almost time to turn in for the night, but I always cried, “Daddy, tell me the story about ‘They fished all night and caught no fishes!’”
And every night my Daddy told me that story. He didn’t tell me the story like it was a fairy tale or a story ending with a well thought out moral, he was telling what really happened and relating to me the fact that those miracles could still happen in my life today.
My Dad taught me how to make a bow and arrows, he taught me how to tie my shoestrings, he taught me how to pop my knuckles, he taught me how to sharpen a knife, he taught me that my congressmen works for me and he shared his outlook on life with me.
But the best thing my Dad did for me was: He was there. He was there to answer my questions. He was there to tell me about Jesus. He was there to mold my beliefs, my actions and reactions . . . I guess you could say that my Daddy trained me up—what a concept. And to train me, he used the manual—his Bible.


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