Fathers

Dad and Me, 1980

I am so very, very blessed. I have been loved by a father who has been a wonderful example and testimony of God’s grace and mercy and faithfulness for my entire life. He is a man who has sought to walk with the Lord in every decision,  every choice, every act. He has lived a life of humility and service, unwavering in his love for his Savior and Lord.

He has loved his wife, my sweet mom, through every storm. Tenderly. Patiently. Earnestly. He has never left her side–whether it was a battle with cancer or heart disease or any other ailment. His faithfulness to her as a husband truly loving his wife through it all has been a testimony to all of us. He has been that wonderful example of sacrificial love for his bride.

My father has never retired. He merely transitioned his life from paid employment and unpaid service to full-time unpaid service. He served a local ministry for many years teaching high school students the pitfalls of premarital sex and sexual promiscuity. Most recently, he has spent the majority of his days ministering to the inmates at local jails and prisons, faithfully teaching God’s Word, and purchasing Bibles and concordances to share with the men in his Bible studies, and even some of the correctional officers. At times, those Bibles have been sent to family members of the inmates, that ultimately led to the salvation of children, grandchildren, wives…

My father learned to serve the Lord at an early age, accompanying his dad to jail meetings, street meetings, Bible studies…He met my mother at New Tribes Mission, where they were both preparing for overseas missionary service. The Lord closed that door several times, keeping them in the United States. Although they both had the opportunities to travel to Ecuador to visit us and I had the honor of translating my dad’s messages into Spanish as he continued to labor for the Lord. His visit to Eastern Europe before the fall of the Iron Curtain was a special opportunity and led us to pray more fervently for the believers who were so oppressed for their faith.

Being a research biochemist, my father had no difficulty bridging science and the Bible. God, the lover and Creator of science, the divine Source of life was not unfathomable for one who had (and continues to have) a proper reverence and awe of our Almighty God. We humans seek to bring God into our finite perspectives rather than allowing God to bring us into HIS perspective of infinite knowledge, that omniscience.

Baptizing the son of a close friend

I have so appreciated the absolute confidence my father has placed in the infallible Word of God. He has studied it thoroughly, yet continues to find new things after all these years. The reality is that we can merely scratch the surface of WHO our God is while still in this earthly realm. I love that my father is so excited about each new nugget that he has mined out of the scriptures.

My father uses his time here to prepare for that full knowledge that will be his, and ours, when we finally see our Lord face to face, in all His glory. I love the heritage that he and my mother have given me…to love the Lord Jesus, to love His Word, to be a woman after God’s heart, to love my husband and family.

On this Father’s Day, I am reminded of those who have not had the blessing that I have had. I am painfully reminded every single day that there are men, unlike my father and unlike my husband, who have abandoned their responsibilities to their children. I see three little children every day who do not have what I had. Who grieve this unknown joy of having a father who loves and cares so much for them that he will sacrifice so much in order to provide stability and unconditional love for them.

Unconditional love–first great grandchild

For these children, I cry out to my Heavenly Father, to be for them the Father they do not have. I pray that they will see God the Father as their true Father. That they will be able to cry out to Him in their sorrow and heartbreak, to that Abba Father, our Daddy, who loves them more than any human man ever will.

Today we celebrate Father’s Day and I have such a thankful heart for the blessing I have in my father–I am so honored to call a man named Paul MY father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

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5 thoughts on “Fathers

  1. Amen to that. What a wonderfull example your dad has been to me as well. As I get ready in a few minutes to preach here in Califoniai I am mindful of all the time and sacrificial love he gave me. God Bless your Dad. I am honored to say he was my father in the faith.
    The Apostle said We may many teacher’s but only one father (in the faith).
    God’s blessings continue to flow upon your dad, mom, sisters, and your self and all your family and generations.

    Terry Ranciglio

  2. Beautiful tribute to our dad, thanks for writing it so eloquently, Paula! Happy Father’s Day to the best dad!

  3. Paula, this writing is a beautiful tribute to your dad! You are so blessed to have such a godly and loving example of what a father is in relationship to his wife and children. I am so very thankful for your dad and as Terry said, a father in the faith to so many of us!!! We love him very much!!

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