Sep 10, 2010

An Open Letter to my Dad and Mom

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Dear Dad and Mom

I was thinking of the two of you when I was cutting the grass the other day; my mind was thinking of Joshua and Jen’s upcoming wedding and I became very grateful for all that the two of you have done for me; for our family over the years. In particular, I wanted to write down a couple of things that came to mind as I mowed my yard.

You both sacrificed so much of your time, emotions, sleep, finances; your physical health to provide for all of us children over our lifetimes. But more than the physical provisions; of which I am tremendously grateful, it is the spiritual heritage that I felt led to comment on. I know that I did some things right as a dad and husband, but I know that it was God who chose to hear your prayers and change the course of history.

Mom; you started this. It was you that followed the Lord’s leading as you wondered what had happened to Chris and Sue Steven’s life to make them appear so different. It was you who said “yes” to Angie’s invitation to “come and see”.

It was your prayers and tears and intercessions that prayed all of us boys into the Kingdom of God. All of your sons are at a place where they long to follow and serve the Lord with their whole heart. The results of your prayers are seen in the lives of those who we have touched in ministry; formally, or behind the scenes as so many of Rick’s are. Galatians 6:9 says; “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Proverbs 31:28 says; “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” You are blessed, and your sons are blessed, and the next generations (should Jesus tarry) will be blessed because you chose life in Jesus when you were presented with the option. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

Dad; you too were a part of all of this. More than what you did by becoming a Catholic and all that it cost you, it was the legacy of seeking God that you deposited. I remember you going on retreats when we were kids and going to novenas and taking us to St. Joe’s; trying to seek the Lord as best you knew how. When mom came to the Lord, you too surrendered after you (like a Berean) sought for truth in following Jesus.

When I was cutting the grass, I remember a men’s retreat that we both attended where one of the talks was on how to raise your children in the Lord. You, Tom Langlois, Joe Rowan, and Marv were hit with the frustration and tears as you expressed; “Where was this when we were starting out as young parents?” I remember several of us standing up and requesting; “Help us to raise our children, the next generation”.

As I have spent time with Joshua and Jonathan and watch how they treat their wives (Joshua’s son-to-be-wife), I realize; Dad, WE DID IT! We stopped the erosion of men who didn’t do it right (for a whole lot of reasons). As I look at my sons, I realize that your cries, your prayers that day were heard by a God who too wanted to see a godly heritage; and your sons and my sons are the result of that. Joshua and Jonathan are my hope of a new generation that will do it right; and the world will be a better place!

So, as you think of my ministry and the lives that I am able to touch and make a difference in, and when you look at my children and how they have turned out; please know that you were the ones who made it happen by your choices to follow and seek the only One who could ever make lasting changes in our lives. 

Jesus said; “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

I am so very grateful that each of you has said, and continues to say “yes” to the will and purposes of the Lord Jesus Christ in your lives.

Thank you. I love you both!

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

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