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Fathers' Day - 1-Reflections and Quotes

More Materials posted under "Fathers' Day" category - TK
Dads are different than Moms. They parent differently. They protect differently. They teach differently. Moms buy bumper pads. Dads buy Band-Aids. Moms schedule “play days.” Dads encourage “throw-downs.” Some of you are not going to be happy about this, and of course there are lots of exceptions, but overall there just do seem to be different styles inherent between Moms and Dads. 
Moms like to invest in lots of protective gear. Bike helmets, knee pads, water wings. Dads tend to be both hands on and hands off. Swimming lessons, but then a white water raft trip. Bike-pushing, followed by a mondo mountain bike trail. Bigger knee pads, then diving into the deepest drop at the skate park. Moms say, “You worried me so much!” Dads tend to say, “Don’t worry too much!” 

Kids need both kinds of parenting. That is the most difficult challenge for single parents, a challenge that can be met and is being met my many single parents in this church. But it’s a challenge nonetheless: to find a way, or a person, to bring in all the possibilities and probabilities that are part of the richness of having both a Mom and a Dad to engage the lives of children. 

I thank God Dads are optimists. Dads take chances based upon skills and knowledge they know they possess and they trust they have taught to the next generation. I thank God for all Dads who offer this gift of confidence. A gift of conviction. A gift of risk and courage based on trust. It is a gift every child needs from someone. 
Today we honor our fathers. And that's good. Dads don't get much respect nowadays.  A doting father used to sing his little children to sleep. He even learned a few lullabies to lend some variety to the task. This was something he could do at night to help his wife out. And he kept up this task until one night he overheard his four-year-old give her younger sibling this advice, "If you pretend you're asleep," she said, "he stops." That was the end of the lullabies. 

Garrison Keillor, on his "Writer's Almanac" on National Public Radio said that Father's Day goes back "to a Sunday morning in May of 1909, when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church in Spokane, Washington, listening to a Mother's Day sermon. She thought of her father who had raised her and her siblings after her mother died in childbirth, and she thought that fathers should get recognition, too. So she asked the minister of the church if he would deliver a sermon honoring fathers on her father's birthday, which was coming up in June, and the minister did. And the tradition of Father's Day caught on, though rather slowly. Mother's Day became an official holiday in 1914; Father's Day, not until 1972. Mother's Day is still the busiest day of the year for florists, restaurants and long distance phone companies. Father's Day is the day on which the most collect phone calls are made. 

"It was Strindberg who said, 'That is the thankless position of the father in the family the provider for all and the enemy of all.' Oscar Wilde said, 'Fathers should neither be seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.'" (1) 

In our lesson from Mark, Jesus is describing the kingdom of God: "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how . . ." 

Now Jesus is not talking about fatherhood in this passage, but isn't this the very first area in which we participate in the coming of God's kingdom to earth? It is in the raising of our children. Raising good children is like scattering seed upon the ground....
I heard a minister say one time that in his younger days, when his children were small, he would have family meetings. These meetings were to discuss chores, and family matters, trips, etc. Yet, he admitted, when he would call these meetings, the expression on his children's faces would usually be: "what have we done wrong, now." Finally, he said, my wife pointed out to me that the tone in my voice when I called these meetings was very serious, the same tone that he used when he disciplined his children. Thus, they responded with apprehension.

I have thought about that, and I wonder if that is not similar to the response that many people have when they have a meeting with God. They come to him with the feeling: Well, we must really be in trouble now. Despite all of the talk that we do in the church about how God loves us, I get the distinct impression that many feel that God just puts up with them. I have even talked with some people over the years who drew a distinction between Christ's love and God's attitude. They see Christ as the one who holds back the wrath of an angry God. The impression is that, if it were not for Christ, God would love to get his hands on us.

Some would not go that far. They would say: Oh, I know that God loves me, but I must candidly confess that he probably doesn't like me too much. Maybe for some people their feelings go back to the use of the word father. I have had many people comment to me over the years in a casual, but often revealing way, how stern their father was with them. Thus, it is difficult for them to envision a heavenly father that would be anything but strict.

Well, this problem is certainly nothing new. The Jews dealt with it many centuries ago. They believed that God would not tolerate sin. They developed a system where people were judged by the degree of their sin, the worse the sin the worse off you were with God. This, of course, left the sinner with the feeling that God totally despised them. In addition, there were people whose jobs were so ceremonially unclean that they too were considered unacceptable. The tax collector, the butcher, and even the shepherds were told they were too unclean to approach God.

And so, in Jesus' day, there was, spiritually speaking, the haves and the have-nots. The haves perceived themselves as having God's love, and the have-nots believed that they were quite beyond it. To change this view, Jesus told the story of the prodigal son.

I have preached many sermons on this parable but rarely during my ministry, or at least as far as I recall, I have never preached this story from the vantage point of the father...

Priceless Scribbles 

Rev. Richard Fairchild tells about a story that appeared years ago in the Christian Reader. It was called "Priceless Scribbles." It concerns a father who touched his child's life in an unexpected way. A young boy watched as his father walked into the living room. The boy noticed that his younger brother, John, began to cower slightly as his father entered. The older boy sensed that John had done something wrong. Then he saw from a distance what his brother had done. The younger boy had opened his father's brand new hymnal and scribbled all over the first page with a pen. 

Staring at their father fearfully, both brothers waited for John's punishment. Their father picked up his prized hymnal, looked at it carefully and then sat down, without saying a word. Books were precious to him; he was a minister with several academic degrees. For him, books were knowledge. What he did next was remarkable, says the author of this story. Instead of punishing his brother, instead of scolding, or yelling, his father took the pen from the little boy's hand, and then wrote in the book himself, alongside the scribbles that John had made. Here is what that father wrote: "John's work, 1959, age 2. How many times have I looked into your beautiful face and into your warm, alert eyes looking up at me and thanked God for the one who has now scribbled in my new hymnal. You have made the book sacred, as have your brother and sister to so much of my life."

"Wow," thought the older brother, "This is punishment?" The author of the story, now an adult, goes on to say how that hymnal became a treasured family possession, how it was tangible proof that their parents loved them, how it taught the lesson that what really matters is people, not objects; patience, not judgment; love, not anger.

Richard Fairchild, adapted by King Duncan

The Patience of a Father 

I remember reading about a guy who stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. He wandered around aimlessly for a while searching out the needed groceries. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart.

The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn't hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, "Now, Billy, this won't take long." As they passed in the nest aisle, the 3-year-old's pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, "Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute."
When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, "Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here." The Dad and his son reached the check out counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of losing control. The boy was screaming and kicking. Dad was very calmly saying over and over, "Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK."

The bystander was impressed beyond words. After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, "Billy, we're done. It's going to be OK." He tapped the patient father on the shoulder and said, "Sir, I couldn't help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were amazing."

Dad replied, "His name is Wesley. I'm Billy!"

Roger W. Thomas, A Father's Faith

Mark Twain's Father

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mark Twain


What Are You Passing On? 

At the first church that I pastored, I had the job of mixing feed to supplement my income. For a period of about two weeks, each day that I came home from work, my two boys, ages 2 and 3 would look at me, smile, and would say, "Boy, dad, you sure are dusty!" I would reply, "Yes, I sure am dusty." Then I would get cleaned up.

I didn't think too much of this until I was washing my car and saw my oldest son doing something very strange. He was picking up the gravel and stones that were in our drive and rubbing them into his pants. I asked him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I want to be dusty like you dad!"
I realized that if a child would look up to his father for being dusty and want to copy his father, a child could look up to his father and follow him for anything. What are you passing on to your son?

Jerry L. Steen


Baseball Will Be Fine

In 1985 Tim Burke saw his boyhood dream come true the day he was signed to pitch for the Montreal Expos. After four years in the minors, he was finally given a chance to play in the big leagues. And he quickly proved to be worth his salt setting a record for the most relief appearances by a rookie player.

Along the way, however, Tim and his wife, Christine, adopted four children with very special needs two daughters from South Korea, a handicapped son from Guatemala, and another son from Vietnam. All of the children were born with very serious illnesses or defects. Neither Tim nor Christine was prepared for the tremendous demands such a family would bring. And with the grueling schedule of major-league baseball, Tim was seldom around to help. So in 1993, only three months after signing a $600,000 contract with the Cincinnati Reds, Tim Burke decided to retire from baseball.

When pressed by reporters to explain this decision, he simply said, "Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I'm the only father my children have."

King Duncan, Collected Sermons, 

Paco's Father

There's a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father. On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, p. 13.

Dad as Nurturer

I think that we can affirm that fathers are called upon to be nurturers. We see so much that is negative about society today that sometimes we forget that there are some very positive things that are happening. One of those positive things, it seems to me, is that society is completely rethinking what the role of the father should be. Society, and the church to a lesser degree, is saying: it is not enough dad, just to be the breadwinner. You need to help with the nurturing as well.

This is not always easy because men historically have not been expected to fill this role, or at least not as much as the mother. There was an interesting story that appeared on the NBC Today show that told about a YMCA program in California. Fathers are placed in a playroom with their children. The mothers watch from a one-way window outside in the hallway. The one rule is that if the child starts crying, the father cannot take him or her to the mother. He must resolve the problem himself. If the child is given to the mother when it is crying, so the theory goes, that sends the signal that the one who gives the comfort and love is the mother.

A Great Dad

One of the greatest preachers and pastors who ever lived was Dwight L. Moody. He was a man of uncompromising principle, but he was also a great dad. His son Willie reported that it was not unusual for Dwight L. Moody to come to one of his children lying in bed late at night and say something like this, "Are you awake? I can't go to sleep till I talk to you. I'm sorry I lost my temper." As a teenager Willie wrote this tribute to his famous father:

"Other kids tell me they cannot go to their dads and just talk and hope to be understood; they say they can't because their dads are 'always right' and they are 'always wrong'. They can't talk to their dads the way I can talk t you. I could always talk to you. You always understood. There was nothing I could not tell you."

Of course Willie is describing here a father who has more than mere time. He also has tenderness and a willingness to admit it when he has made a mistake: but simply taking time is the first step along the journey to successful parenting.

King Duncan, Collected Sermons,

The Flip Side of Love 

A lot of damage can occur in a family. Parents can be hurt. Children can be hurt. But there is always hope in a home where forgiveness is present. John R. Aurelio, in his book Colors!, gives us a beautiful portrayal of this side of God.

On the sixth day, God created Father Adam and Mother Eve.
On the seventh day, as God was resting, they asked Him if He would give them something special to commemorate their birthday. So God reached into His treasure chest and took out a sacred coin. Written on it was the word "LOVE."

On the eighth day, Father Adam and Mother Eve sinned. As they left the Garden of Eden, they asked God for an assurance that He would not abandon them.

"You have the coin," He told them.

"But, the coin says LOVE," they answered. "We have lost love. However will we find it again?"....
A father and a dad are not the same:
One can be a dad and not a father,
Or one can be a father and not bother
To earn through love the more endearing name.
Some find fatherhood a bit too tame,
Leaving all the details to the mother,

Or dumping the sweet burden on another
Man with just a passing twinge of shame.
You have been our dad so many years
That you've become the landscape that is home,
The mountain that we look to from
No matter where we go we're not alone,
For you remain within to still our fears
And be the word that tells us who we are.

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad
~~Author Unknown.~~

Daughter to father poems . A Little Girl Needs Daddy poem

A little girl needs Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings!
Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night.

Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart.

Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She'll always find him there.

Father and son poems :  Perhaps we'll never understand each other.....

Perhaps we'll never understand each other.
Loving doesn't mean that we agree.
If that were so, then I would say, why bother?
But there are things I know I'll never see.
I'm sure your heart knows what I don't yet know:
The pain of loving a reluctant son;
The anger, coming fast and building slow,
Of being helpless to control someone.
You want only that I grow up right,
But you know what right is, and I still don't.
I have to learn to wield my inner light,
And if I follow yours, well, then I won't.
I'm sorry for the anger in the air;
Though we fight, my love is always there.



Happy Father's Day

A Dad is a person
who is loving and kind,
And often he knows
what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,
suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one
of your very best friends!
He's proud of your triumphs,
but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient
and helpful and strong
In all that you do,
a dad's love plays a part.
There's always a place for him
deep in your heart.
And each year that passes,
you're even more glad,
More grateful and proud
just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...
for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing,
but, especially, for just being you!
Happy Father's Day


Good for father's birthday poems : OUR FATHERS

Our fathers toil with hands and heart
To make our lives complete.
They quietly brave the winter cold,
Endure the summer heat.

Our fathers' lives are busy, but
There's always time for us.
They boldly face the ups and downs
And seldom ever fuss.

Our fathers are the greatest dads.
We know you know this, too.
But thank you for the chance to share
Our love for them with you.

 (c) by David A. Olds.


Inspirational Poem for father : A FATHER MEANS...

A Father means so many things...
A understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things
When he's a man like you...

~Author Unknown~

More father's poems coming soon !


"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."
~~Author Unknown

"To her the name of father was another name for love."
~~By Fanny Fern.~~

"They didn't believe their father had ever been young;
surely even in the cradle he had been a very,
very small man in a gray suit,
with a little dark mustache and flat, incurious eyes."
~~By Richard Shattuck.~~

"Fathers, like mothers, are not born.
Men grow into fathers-
and fathering is
a very important stage in their development."
~~By David M. Gottesman.~~

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
~~By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)~~

"It doesn't matter who my father was;
it matters who I remember he was."
~~By Anne Sexton (1928-1974) U.S. poet.~~

"I cannot think of any need in childhood
as strong as the need for a father's protection."
~~By Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)~~

"A Man's children and his garden both reflect the
amount of weeding done during the growing season."
~~Author Unknown.~~

"The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God, and I call him Dad!"
~~Author Unknown.
By Sachi Khatri

A Father's Day Reflection

 Written by Bob Stone  

Luke 18:10-17

10] "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11] The Pharisee stood up and prayed about [ Or to ] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'  

13] "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14] "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

15] People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

16] But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17] I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

This parable is a contrast of appropriate and inappropriate attitudes and actions. I want you to notice in Luke 18:14 two words: "...went home..."

I want to use this phrase to take us into a hypothetical situation.

If we can be careful not to do damage to the text, I would like us to try to imagine what these men might have been like away from their act of prayer. What were they like away from the temple? What were these men like when they got home? Do you think their actions in this parable give us any clues as to how they might be in their own homes with their families?

I think so! How we respond in religious gatherings—and especially how we pray—reveals more about ourselves than we realize. For example, I think we can easily deduce from this parable which of these two might have been the best father by looking at a few clues in their prayers. Before we get to these clues, let me state a guiding principle that will govern our application of this parable.

I would like to advance this principle: our religious and Christian attitudes will reflect themselves not only when the church gathers, but also in how we treat our children at home. 

The first clue is found in v. 11a.

"The Pharisee stood up and prayed about [or to] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.'"

This phrase reveals his religion is self-centered. He is not addressing God; he is praying to others so that people will be impressed, and so he can reinforce his own prideful view of himself. As a result, his religion will be self-serving. He won't serve others; he will expect to be served. He will see his family, friends, and children in light of how they can affect (sustain or improve) his self-centered, religious world.

This self-centered attitude will play itself out in a number of ways: 

  • He will see his children's behavior only in the light of how others will view him (e.g., if his children have good manners, he must be an exceptional father).
  • He will expect his children to serve him continually. He won't serve his children.
  • He will be looking for his children to create praise for him.
Tragically, his children may grow up hating religion/Christianity. They will not be affirmed, but struggle with their worth and value. The children will also incorrectly define Christianity as a set of legalistic rules. Finally, a sad result is that he will be humbled by his arrogance, and in some cases may not recover.

A second clue is found in vv. 11b-12.

v. 11—"'I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' "

 It is obvious from these verses that he sees others in relationship to his own goodness and actions. He won't see his sinfulness in relationship to God's holiness, but will measure himself against others (you can always find someone worse that you). The impact is that he will probably be a perfectionist with his children, i.e., demand a flawless performance. No grace will be extended for failures, slip-ups, or the inappropriate actions of his kids. 

Because he judges himself on the basis of his merit and not grace, his children will receive overly harsh punishment. In other words, because he won't see himself as forgiven much, he won't love much. 

A third clue from this parable is short, but poignant.

v.13—"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

What a contrast to the Pharisee! The tax collector sees himself in the light of God's holiness and recognizes how far he has fallen short. He does not compare himself with others, as the Pharisee did. As a result, he sees himself in need of God's grace and God's forgiveness. 

What is the Lord's view of his heart and confession? Jesus says in v. 14—"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

What impact do you think this justification and forgiveness would have on this father's (this tax collector's) children? There would certainly be a sense of awe and holiness in this household, but if children were to fail, think of how easily grace would be offered and how much love would be expressed. He who is forgiven much, loves much.

Rules and legalism would be replaced with principles, wisdom, and ready counsel. God's character and attributes would be understood and appreciated—e.g., His mercy, His grace, His longsuffering, His love, and yes, His judgment and righteousness.

I think it's easy to see which of these two fathers would be appreciated most by their children. What will sustain and expand the character of the repentant tax collector?

The incident following this parable wonderfully sustains our focus on fathers.

15] People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.

16] But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

17] I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." 

The disciples apparently thought Jesus was too busy for the children; how wrong they were. This is a wonderful picture of the value Jesus places on children, and a picture to us of how we should respond to them. When I sing at a baby dedication, I sense God's presence and favor in a special way. When you touch a child, think like Jesus and maybe, even without a word, bless or pray for that child. (Caution: Be careful not to inappropriately invade their space. Don't scare them!)

Beyond this, I'd like to draw your attention to a guiding principle that affects fathers and parents.

How we relate to children portrays our understanding of the kingdom of God.

Do you know what a child needs from a father? A father who is a child in the kingdom of God. Parents, as you raise your children, mimic them. 

  • Their simple faith
  • Their purity of heart
  • Their sense of wonder and discovery
  • Their openness to God
If you as a father/parent are going to be great in the kingdom of God, you will have to lead and mimic at the same time. You will need to be like a child to enter the kingdom; to be humble like a child in your prayers; to follow and mimic their attitudes and faith if you intend to sustain godly parenting.

A wonderful example happened to Nancy and to me the week before our grandson was to be born. We had been having our son, daughter-in-law, and then 18-month-old granddaughter over for dinner every night to help out, so we had our granddaughter around us quite a bit. That experience reminded us once again of the importance of leading and mimicking a child.

One day in the kitchen, I was rejoicing with my daughter over the graduation of her husband and of her brother receiving his Master's degree. We clicked our glasses together and said, "a toast." I looked over at my granddaughter, standing 5 feet away, and she had her little spill-free cup raised in the same way and was saying, "toast." It was obvious she was mimicking us.

It was also interesting to watch how the whole family responded when she tried out her new vocabulary. No matter what word she said at the table, we all repeated it with the same inflections and enthusiasm. If she said, "blah," we would say, "blah." It was obvious we were mimicking her. 

The most telling example of the need to mimic and lead came when we asked her where her baby brother was. She quickly ran to her mom, patted her tummy, and kissed it. When we asked her again, she ran over and patted my tummy and said his name, then patted her own tummy and said his name. Right now we believe she thinks her baby brother is in everyone's stomach. Obviously she's a little young to understand.

 What will make the difference in our children's lives?

  • They will need humble fathers and mothers who see themselves as forgiven much and thus will love much. 
  • They will need fathers and mothers who will mimic the childlike faith of their children.
Fathers for Good:

"Man to Man; Dad to Dad":