First of all, we want to say 'Mahalo nui loa' (Thanks so much) for the response to last week's article. One lady wrote that she was grateful that we had allowed others to 'take a peek' into our family's life and background'.
We just want to continue 'ministering' to people, so hopefully this week's article.....
(in Travis' own words) will do that.
I've tried ...and trust that I have... lived a life that is pleasing to God...
and is a good example for our children and gr'children.
My Dad did that for his 4 sons and though Dad wasn't perfect...
he gave us a good example of our Heavenly Father.
La Moyne feels the same way about her Dad.
Our parents believed that a life lived for Christ was the best inheritance they could leave their children. That they did and are all in Heaven now.
I have a plaque hanging in my study that La Moyne wood-burned for me years ago:
"You got it from your father...it was all he had to give.
So it's your's to cherish for as long as you may live.
If you lose the watch he gave you, it can always be replaced.
But a black mark on your name my child, will be hard to be erased.
It was clean the day you got it and a worthy name to bear.
When Dad got it from his father, there was no dishonor there.
So make sure you guard it wisely, after all is said and done.
You'll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your daughter or your son."
My Dad was on a nominating committee at our Friendship Baptist Church one time.
They were discussing what was needed in a Sunday School teacher as well as other workers.
Dad replied, "I guess the best thing to ask them is, 'How much do you love Jesus?"
When the song leader in our little church would ask for favorite hymns, Dad would always say,
"No. 106 in the Broadman Hymnal" (which was Dad' most favorite, 'Face to Face')
In March before Dad died in August, 1968 @ 62 yrs. of age, he and I were listening to the evening worship service over the radio in Altus. Though Dad was quite ill and having some mental difficulty....
he sang along with the choir as they sang 'Just When I Need Him Most' that night.
Dad DID need the Lord to help him through those difficult days and not long after that, he was 'Face to Face' with his Savior and Lord.
'Face to Face'
Words: Mrs. Frank A. Breck (1898)
Music: Grant Colfax Tullar (1898)
"Face to face with Christ my Savior, Face to face, what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ, Who died for me?
Face to face shall I behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory I shall see Him by and by!
Only faintly now I see Him, with the darkening veil between,
But a blessed day is coming, when His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened, and the dark things shall be plain!
Face to face! oh, blissful moment! Face to face to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Who loves me so.
How I loved to hear my Dad's deep bass voice! Dad, Mom, La Moyne and I sang together several times as a quartette, so we have precious memories of those times!
Dad also played the guitar that his parents gave him when he was a teenager.
We have it hanging above our piano and last week, our gr'daughter Hailey asked if she could have that someday.
We told her that her Dad (Kyle) had also asked for it many yrs. ago.
Dad was one of the best farmers in Jackson County, near Altus, Oklahoma.
He could plow a straight row, but he also plowed straight with our local bank...
as well as the Federal Land Bank.
Dad was given 80 acres by his Dad, so he mortgaged that and bought the adjoining 80 acres.
As far as I know, Dad never missed a payment to the Federal Land Bank for over 20 yrs.
All 6 of our family worked hard on the farm. We had a dairy so we milked 20 cows each morning before we left for school, then again in the evening. We raised cotton, alfalfa, feed for the cows (and Mom had a garden) on our 160 acre farm.
The first time I plowed a field with a team of horses ('Dick' and 'Shorty') my rows were NOT straight. Dad thanked me for a hard day's work and said,
"Those rows will just hold the rain better for the cotton later on."
La Moyne and I have been blessed with loving sons, daughters and gr'children.
The following was written by our daughter, Kristin for Fathers' Day 1996:
I just got through watching the movie, 'A River Runs Through It' and I wanted to write some thoughts to you for this Fathers' Day.....really for ANY day!
The man in that movie reminded me so much of you....his quiet strength, compassion, faith and unwavering love for all, but especially his children.
I am so fortunate and grateful that I never had to question your love for me!
In one of his last sermons at the end of the movie, the father spoke of having....
'complete love' for others without 'completely understanding'.
That is you (and Mom for that matter).
The past year has served up some real tests of faith for you and Mom.
You have to know that your commitment to 'stay the course' has not gone unnoticed...
especially by your daughter!
I struggle with wanting better for you and Mom and not understanding why the road has been so difficult.
I know intellectually that those with the greatest faith receive the greatest tests....
but I wish that they would stop for just a while. I know you do, too!
Dad, you are a wonderful man!
There is so much about you that deserves recognition.
But so much of it is immeasurable by society's standards.
No, you didn't write a lot of books, make a lot of money, nor pastor the largest churches.
You always kept your eyes on what mattered...and that was...
what God wanted for your life!
And...you put love at the top of your list.
I have a full album of memories and photographs in my mind of you.
Many children have to search their minds for memories shared with their fathers....
and many come up empty.
My mind is flooded constantly with thoughts of you:
~ playing barbershop
~ stopping by Sonic after school
~ teaching me the hook shot (that I could never do as well as you!)
~ playing golf in Hawaii
~ playing Scrabble
~ teaching me about Jesus
~ Baptizing me
~ loving Mom
~ your calming voice!
You set a wonderful example of what/whom I believe God wants us to be here on earth!
Whenever we kids would leave the house, you always said, "Remember whose you are".
I do, Dad!
I know (even though I don't like to think about it) that you and Mom will not be around forever for me to go to for answers.
I admit that I've used you as a 'crutch' sometimes, rather than going the step further.
I believe that God has blessed me with life experiences beyond my years...
and that He is using (and will continue to) me to help others who are going through similar situations.
But I know that I must go to the fountain to be replenished, lest I dry up!
Thank you for the Gift of Life, but most of all, thank you for the Gift of Love!
I love you, Dad!
"WALK A LITTLE PLAINER, DADDY
SAID A LITTLE CHILD, SO FRAIL.
I'M FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS...
AND DON'T WANT TO FAIL
SOMETIMES YOUR STEPS ARE VERY PLAIN...
SOMETIMES HARD TO SEE.
SO WALK A LITTLE PLAINER, DADDY
FOR YOU ARE LEADING ME.
I KNOW THAT ONCE YOU WALKED
THIS WAY, MANY YEARS AGO,
AND WHAT YOU DID ALONG THE WAY
I'D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW.
FOR SOMETIMES I AM TEMPTED
AND DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
SO WALK A LITTLE PLAINER, DADDY,
FOR I MUST FOLLOW YOU.
SOMEDAY WHEN I 'VE GROWN UP
YOU ARE WHAT I WANT TO BE.
THEN I WILL KNOW A LITTLE CHILD
WHO WILL WANT TO FOLLOW ME.
SO WALK A LITTLE PLAINER, DADDY
FOR WE ARE FOLLOWING YOU"
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD"
Written by Forrest Flowers
JANUARY 13, 1969
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