• South Lyon Church

A Father’s Day Perspective

Our Father. . .

Our Father, such an enduring term. It’s a term that evokes love, kindness, and security. Characteristics that are so important to a child. As we have fathers on this earth, we also have the Heavenly Father who cares for us so much that Jesus was sent to redeem us back to Him. The love of a father is only matched by the love of our Heavenly Father.


. . .Who are in Heaven, hallowed be your name.

A child looks up to and honors his father, sometimes referring to him as a “hero.” This respect may take on different roles as we go through life; from thinking Dad is the best, smartest person in the world to just appreciating Dad as someone who is there by your side as you go through life. Then someone who you honor by taking care of him as he ages, committing to be there for him as he were there for you. As we honor our fathers, we honor our Heavenly Father for always being there, taking care of us, and being right there beside us.


Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Our earthly fathers are not always perfect. As a kid, especially as a teen, we may really think their thinking and their way of doing things is outdated, boring, and really confining. As we age, we may still feel some of those things, but begin to realize the reasoning behind them. And without even realizing it, one day we see that dear ol’ dad really did possess wisdom after all. And his will, well it was better for us than we may want to admit. . .as is the will of our Heavenly Father who is always out for our best interest, for our holiness.


Give us this day our daily bread.

From working to help support the family to being there to lend that helping hand, our fathers are always taking care of our needs. As we grow older and maybe even become parents ourselves, we realize how much our father did to take care of us. Then stop to think of all our Heavenly Father does for us. He gives us so much more than our daily bread. He gives us “a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over,” and poured into our laps. (Luke 6:38)


Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors. . .

Yeah, this is one that is tough on an earthly and spiritual level. We are thankful for all the times our fathers overlooked our shortcomings, forgave, or maybe a better way of saying it is “paid for the mistakes we made.” Possibly as big as replacing a window we broke or as small as replacing new clothing that we ripped, destroyed, or stained because we sidestepped the rule of not playing outside in our good clothes. And it goes without saying that our Heavenly Father has forgiven every sin we’ve ever lived out if we have committed our lives to Him.





And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

We thank dads for leading us, for setting the example for us to follow. They show us how to navigate as we journey through this world. And if we are fortunate, how to navigate into the next world. A man who follows God lights the way.


Happy Father’s (and Heavenly Father’s) Day,

Randy

  • South Lyon Church



When Moses came down from the mountain to the chaos in the camp, he called out for help. The Levites stepped up and answered the call. A young shepherd boy stepped up and answered the call when a very large Philistine was taunting God’s people. Then there is the one we quote the most-when God asks Isaiah "Who will I send to speak to my people?" And the answer: Here am I send me! The need for God’s people to stand up, to step out, and do what needs to be done is nothing new.


I remember the campus minister, Charles, calling me up in front of the auditorium of over 1000 people on the Sunday morning following my baptism. He wanted to introduce me to the congregation and share the decision I had made three days earlier. But I also remember being put on the spot. After I got up there he asked me to share with the congregation what I had shared with him when I was baptized. Well, I remembered sharing a few things so with him, so I leaned over to his ear and whispered what I thought he was thinking. I mean I didn’t want to get this wrong in front of all those people! Yeah, he replied to which I then shared that I realized I was a disciple and it was MY responsibility to also share the gospel and serve others.


You see I had grown up under the idea of the minister was to do everything and everyone else just showed up at times. So, as I opened the scriptures and realized that I also was a disciple and the passages about disciples applied to me as well, it was a sudden realization: Wow, being a disciple is what following Jesus is all about! I know most of those listening probably already knew this, but he wanted me to share, so I did. In retrospect, he wanted me to share it not as a way of informing them but as a way of reminding them of who we are all called to be. Unlike the priesthood of the old law, we are now all priests and partners in the work for our Heavenly Father.


Now, I don’t know of anyone out there worshipping a golden calf or of any giants that need to be slain, and I don’t know if I would call it a direct call from God in the way Isaiah got one. But the need is still there and it falls on each one of us. Who do you know that needs your prayers? Who do you know that is struggling in their walk with God? Who do you know that keeps coming up with reasons to not be here with the body? Who do you know that needs to have that saving grace that our Savior brought to this earth?


There may not be a booming voice from Heaven. There probably won’t be a thud as the giant who is defying our Heavenly Father hits the ground. And I really don’t think we are going to take physical swords throughout our neighborhoods slaying those who worship the idols of today. But there needs to be the same passion, the same commitment, the same desire to step up and step out for God. It may not be easy; in fact, it probably won’t be easy at all. But it needs to be done. And it needs to be done. . . by you.


Here am I send me,

Randy

  • South Lyon Church

It was a little after midnight on a Saturday night as over a hundred of us left the building and the activity that had just been completed. Outside we went off toward what seemed like a barren area. We walked through the dusty terrain, along small paths, and around the brush. I sorta knew what was going on, but wasn’t all that sure of the details or why we were heading out of this perfectly good building that I know had water. But I was new so why not tag along and see why this journey took place. We finally reached a clearing with a small stream of water flowing through it, if you could call it water. Now it was at night so I couldn’t see all that well, but it looked more like muddy soup than any water that I would want to go into. But there they were; two of them wading into the waist-deep dirty water. Everyone seemed so excited and upbeat on the walk out and now they were even more so as they sang and rejoiced. Then it happened, the campus minister assisted the girl in going under the water. Now she was muddy from head to toe, with all that in her hair. But they all rejoiced all the more and again broke out in song. Me? I broke out in logical thinking-- now she has to go back to the building we had just left and use some of the good water that was there to clean up. As we walked back avoiding rocks and brush in a path that was at best not so good, I kept pondering the thought, Why? I knew not to ask, because when a few weeks earlier I had asked a question about why the minister wasn’t wearing a robe, the response was “Why does he have to?" So rather than getting a similar response, I decided to keep this thought to myself.



For a number of weeks the thought kept going through my mind, Why go out into the muddy little stream and get all dirty, when there was ample water inside to sprinkle or pour over her head? I knew that she wanted to be right with God. I knew that at the midnight meeting on that retreat she decided to commit her life to God and be baptized, but why the muddy little stream? As I kept pondering and wondering, studying the Bible and learning, the answer eventually came to me. It was a simple answer, one that was almost too simple: because God said to. He calls us not to have water sprinkled over our heads or poured, but for us to be baptized, immersed, fully engulfed in the water, even if it is a little dirty. Then my thinking of the foolishness of that girl from that night shifted to admiration. It wasn’t convenient for her. But, it was what God said to do. As we go through life sometimes the world, others, or even those who call themselves followers of God will encourage us to take a path, a stance, or an action that is not in keeping with God’s ways. Make sure you know God’s word, His ways, and don’t be afraid of a little muddy water!


Part of my journey,

Randy