Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dad's Birthday

Dad was born September 4, 1931 in Matthews, Mo.  He would have been 80 years old today.  He had 2 older brothers.  Four sisters and two more brothers would follow.  Although they never had money, they had a lot of love for each other and for the Lord.  Times were rough and rougher times were ahead with Dad's mother dying when Dad was just 11 years old.  Grampa just kept pushing on, loving the Lord, being obedient to Him, and doing what he felt was best for his young family.

Grampa was an orphan and never went to school.  At all.  His young wife taught him to read and write.  He instilled in his children a love of learning with most of them gaining bachelors degrees, some went on to earn master's degrees and still others gained doctorate degrees.  Amazing!

Dad was one of those with a doctorate degree and, while it was an honorary degree, he earned it the hard way.  He worked in the mission field and pushed for the education of local pastors as the best way to grow the church in other countries.  As the first full-time executive director of the General Baptist Foreign Mission Board he helped form the Matisalog Bible Institute in the Philippines.  He encouraged pastors in India to gain educations and helped mentor other pastors.  There is another Bible College named after him in Honduras.  Because of Dad's leadership many thousands have come to know the love of Christ through native pastors that speak their language and understand their culture.

Later on God led Dad to move to Florida and plant churches.  It was not an easy task but he knew that with God nothing was impossible.  He was always quick to remind anyone praising him that he did not accomplish anything but rather it was God working through him.  Oh, that I could be obedient and let God use me like that!

Of course, Mom was Dad's biggest supporter and encourager.  Packing up and going where ever God led them.  Dad was quick to accredit my faithful mother for her role in their ministry.  Their love was an incredible thing to witness as it drew them closer together through the years.  They were truly partners in ministry.  It's how God designed marriage to work!

Together, they served the Lord with their very lives right up to the end.  It was the purpose for their lives..

Acts 20:24-27 (The Message)
What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.  And so this is good-bye. You're not going to see me again, nor I you, you whom I have gone among for so long proclaiming the news of God's inaugurated kingdom. I've done my best for you, given you my all, held back nothing of God's will for you.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  Thank you for giving your all.

I love you and miss you.

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