Happy Father’s Day!

This is the day we set aside to honor the Fathers in our lives. In a Godly world, we would honor the people in our lives who love us and care for us on a daily basis and I believe this is what God calls us to do.  But, as it would be, today is that one day a year that we make a special effort to bless fathers. [I recommend that you read the origin of Father’s Day at this website: http://www.ideafinder.com/guest/calendar/fathersday.htm

Today, I want to pay homage to special men in my life:

To ‘Daddy,’ my uncle Robert Gray West, who allowed me to stay in his home after my birth mother died and my Grandmother decided that she would raise me. Daddy allowed his home to be an open door for Mama and me as we moved in and out from the time as far back as I can remember to when we moved to Richmond before my 8th grade year.

ToUncle Sandy Daddy-Uncle Sandy, the hero of my young life. In my eyes he was bigger than the stars and could do no wrong. He is still my hero because he stayed! My brothers, Danny, Sam & Christopher, grew up with Dad in the home because he stayed when so many others walked away from their responsibilities! He modeled a life of service to the kingdom!

DSC02105To Dad Cox, my father of nearly 28 years. Dad is a model example of a Father that prays daily for his children. Every father would do good to emulate him. Dad has the gift of encouragement and uses it without reservation! He has never been a Father-in-law to me and for that I am grateful.

To mysibs brothers Danny, Sam, Deione, Derrick, Phillip, and Walter, Jr., brothers who love their children and are not afraid to show it. These are Godly men who understand that loving their families start with loving God. Things have not been easy for all of them and some have struggled more than others. Yet they continue to stay the course, to seek the best for their families. Their children will know what a Godly man looks like!IMG_2704

and of course,

To Gerald, my husband of nearly 28 years. I have a storehouse of memories of him with our children, pouring into them: reading with them, bathing them, taking them to the park, wresting on the living room floor, tossing them high in the air and catching them with a flourish, correcting them when they fell and skinned their knees while doing something goofy (Mom did the kissing). I see him kneeling beside our daughter’s bed, praying, while she lay in pain waiting for our grandson to be born. I see him standing in the driveway crying as we watched Jonathan drive the car to Hampton for the first time. I see him holding little hands as we walked down the street, holding someone steady while they learned to ride a bike, dressing as Santa and holding excited children on his lap. These and so many memories from the past 25+ years are treasured memories. Even today, with adult children I see Gerald praying for them, worrying about them, and encouraging them to be all that God created them to be. He does the same for our grandson. Our children know what a real Dad looks like. They know what it means to have a full-time, Godly father.  You’re a prince of a Dad, Gerald and I wish I had had a Dad just like you! 106_1737

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3.    The third thing you learn is that weeds can be very difficult to distinguish from flowers.  When I was in the yard trying to ferret out the weeds, I kept pulling up flowers instead. Weeds often look like the real thing. They often have pretty buds on them and you might be tempted to let them grow. However, if you do, they will soon take over the whole yard and the things that you intended to grow are smothered out by the fake. I know too many people who have been fooled by weeds. The weed looks like the real thing.  And they let them grow because they have pretty flowers or leaves. I’ve seen people throw their marriages away over weeds – a man or woman who made them think that God was “finally” answering their prayers. God never gives us weeds but God does expect us to tend our own gardens. I’ve seen children toss away a college education because fraternities and sororities took precedence over their studies.

Part 2

2. The second thing you’ll learn is related to the first: weeds will grow in any crack. It amazes me that weeds will grow and thrive if there is even a tiny opening. Take a look at your concrete drive or walk the next time you get a chance. If there is a tiny crack, you can be certain a weed is going to make its home there. I often wonder how the heck a weed can make its way up through a layer of sand, gravel and five inches of concrete. I don’t understand it but I know that it happens. I see this happen in marriages all the time. People get married (I hope) intending to stay married forever – at least that’s what they vow to do. Yet, they don’t close the gap. They leave the tiny opening that if things don’t work out the way they’d like, if the other person gets on their nerves too much, if their spouse doesn’t make them happy they can always divorce. As soon as you admit that divorce is an option, the crack opens and weeds begin to grow. And since over 50% of the folk who enter into the covenant of marriage are divorcing, there must be a lot of cracks.

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