Today my mom and I talked about the church I first remembered attending as a little girl—Calvary Baptist Church in Brunswick, GA. She took me to their FB page and flipped through pictures they had listed as Memories. And there it was. What she wanted me to see.
My Daddy! A picture of my daddy with some boys he taught in what was known as RA’s or Royal Ambassadors. They looked to be on a camping trip or a day trip with several groups of boys. Wow!
The picture above is the only photograph I know of with my Daddy involved in ministry. I have many images in my mind and heart, but this photo reminds me of his heart and who he was. He hadn’t been saved long, but he was doing what he could for Jesus. He would grow in his walk with the Lord, surrender his life to the ministry, plant missions on the Indian Reservations on the islands in the Puget Sound of Washington State, and then later pastor two churches – one in Burlington, WA and one in Wise, NC.
This picture reminds me of a man I loved with my whole heart and grieved over for decades. If you know me, you know a lot about my daddy. Here are some things that come to mind.
-My love of the Word and studying the Bible came from sitting in his office and watching him study; from reading his handwritten notes in writing only a few of us could read.
-My love of serving came first because every time we had a visitor at the pastorium, he allowed me to make and bring them coffee. At the time, I thought coffee smelled so bad, but I loved being able to help, and often they would let me stay and visit (but I have to be quiet unless spoken to).
-My love for the elderly came because he took me into nursing homes every Sunday to visit as he preached there.
-My love for prayer came because he had us on our knees praying every morning and every night. No excuses!
-My reverence for the House of God came because we cleaned a large church while Dad attended college for his ministry degree. He had a schedule of chores for each of us every day. We did them faithfully and to his standard and with great reverence. No playing around in the church or cutting corners. Did it matter that we were young teenagers? No, it didn’t. If you have no reverence for the House of God, take some time and clean it. God will bless you mightily as He did me.
-My love for missions, missionaries, and church planters came because we went on to those Reservations with my Dad and helped him plant the missions. I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School when honestly, I was a child myself.
-My love for hurting people came because my daddy brought people home for breakfast that he found in ditches and sleeping on benches. He went to the highways and byways.
Oh, this doesn’t even touch the surface. I could go on and on…
When my dad died, there was a part of me that the enemy tried to put to death with him—my legacy. I have looked at ministry families and seen their legacies, and wondered what about mine. Dad died, and my brother grabbed the legacy and carried on. Mike is a mighty man of God. I have asked God why the enemy was allowed to steal mine. Well…today I saw my Dad’s picture. Tangible evidence of his beginnings, and I know how far God took my dad and honestly took all of us with him because our family was a team. My dad never did much ministry that we weren’t all very much a part of.
In this picture, I see my Dad, and I see my legacy. And do you know what I learned about myself from it? I realized I am already living it and have been. What’s more I am working toward leaving one myself. Thanks, Dad, for all you gave me and all you left me with. Thank You, Jesus, and mom for blessing me so much today.