Happy Father's Day!

There's a hard fact of life, that most folks just don't know. They are sadly deceived. Many people will look at you and say that their dad is the best dad in the world. And I hate to burst their bubble, but they're wrong. You see, my dad is the best dad in the ENTIRE WORLD! No question, no contest, it's just the truth. Argue all you want, I'm right...he's the best!

Dad was born in Colorado (a real long time ago) and moved to Florida when he was two. At age CIMG4016 (2)16 he had planned to hang out with a friend. His friend never showed up. He found his friend at school the next day and asked where he'd been. His friend had been at a Methodist church's youth group and had gotten saved. Dad very arrogantly mocked his friend for becoming a Christian. But, thanks be to God, his friend didn't give in to peer pressure. He persistently invited dad to try his youth group out. So, one night dad went. Arms crossed, on the back row, skeptically watching these weird kids worship. After the meeting one of the couples came up to my dad. As the husband began to share the gospel, his wife was a few feet away, muttering to herself (or so my dad thought). She was interceding for my dad, praying that God would save his soul. That night dad put his faith in the Savior, repented of his sins and became a Christian. Within a year, he met my mom and they started dating. A couple years later, he married my mom (they celebrate their 30th anniversary this September). Dad had various jobs for the next several years. He worked as a painter, on air conditioners, college pastor at their church, and at Martin Marrietta (now called Lockeed). Two years after they were married, he started his 2nd best job (being a husband is his first!), he became a Daddy. When he was in his early twenties, my mom gave birth to me. Eight years later (health problems prevented them from having any children sooner), mom had my sister Katie. Soon after that he began working at Metro Life Church as a PIT (pastor in training). Three years later Jimmy came along and then we moved to St. Petersburg to start a new SGM church plant! Little did any of us know that, that move would be one of many (we've moved 6 times, it's been pretty cool!). Dad has been a pastor for over 15 years. There's been so many lessons I've learned from him. So many fun things we've done together. I could sit here and write for days and not say everything my dad was and is. But, there's a couple things that stand out the most. So, dad, I want to say Thank You for the following things:

  • For teaching me that nothing is more important than the gospel! For showing me daily how to live a cross-centered life.
  • For teaching me that my life is not my own. I'm not here for my own comfort. I'm here to glorify and serve my Savior. Thank you for being such an incredible example of what a God-glorifying servant of the King looks like.
  • For teaching me that besides the cross, nothing is more important than my local church. That it truly is the dearest place on earth and that I should throw my life and all into passionately loving and serving it. Once again, you've not only taught me this verbally, but through your tireless love and care for the numerous churches you have so passionately served.
  • For showing me how to love and care for other people. You've spent countless hours walking at night or early in the morning. That time is spent with your Savior, but it's also spent praying for and seeking wisdom for the folks you love and shepherd. You've stayed up so late, talking to others. Putting your own rest aside, so that you can love other people. Hospital visits, hundreds of hours on sermon prep, leading care groups, phone calls, lunches, meetings, etc. You don't just do this 'cause it's your job. You do it because you love the Savior and you love your church.
  • For pushing me to step out in faith and do things I'm not comfortable with. This list could be rather long. ;-) But, you have so faithfully listened to the Lord and led me so well! I wouldn't be the woman I am today, if it wasn't for God working in me through you!!!
  • For having such a great sense of humor, making me laugh at myself, and letting me laugh at you! Our home is filled with much laughter and that's a direct result of you and your leadership.

I could go on and on. Thanks dad for serving me, loving me, caring for me, disciplining me, laughing at and with me, talking with me, teaching me,  for sharing the gospel with me, and leading me to the Savior . I love you!!!


Vanessa Marie Fernandez said...

Awww, that is a very sweet post. you have a wonderful Father. (he's probably the best for you, but God couldn't have picked a better father for me than my own wonderful father... :o)

Anonymous said...

That's ok...you're allowed to be wrong. ;-)