Father's Day

Today has been designated as “Father’s Day” in this country. It was originally suggested by Sonora Dodd in 1910 after hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day and her desire to honor her father who fought in the Civil War. A wonderful and very appropriate idea. When we observe the emphasis in the media it usually turns into mostly a time for commercialization and “giving stuff”. Have we possibly lost the emphasis on giving honor to whom honor is due in the person of our dad and what he represents and what he has done for us? Do we give appropriate respect to the person, sometimes because of what they do and sometimes in spite of what they do? I recognize that some dads are not present by choice, some have passed on, but  use this day in particular and every day to show genuine love and appreciation to our earthly dad and their influence in our life. Dads, let us show our children an earthly model of what genuine love looks like (1 Cor. 13:4-8) and how that is a characteristic of the heavenly Father.

While we reflect on this, our minds should obviously go to the honor and love and respect due our Heavenly Father! Here is a case of ALWAYS being present, ALWAYS being loving and compassionate, ALWAYS providing what is needed, ALWAYS being kind and merciful while also being ready to discipline out of genuine love. We are promised in Heb. 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” What a beautiful promise that He will ALWAYS be here for us! Any yet, how often do we take the time to give the honor and thanksgiving due Him? How often do we get bogged down in the cares of each day and keep asking for relief, for providing, for comfort, and for healing but let it pass without giving true thanks for all He does for us. Phil 4:6-7 reminds us “6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Look what accompanies the prayers: thanksgiving. Look what is the icing on that cake: peace! In talking with so many who are troubled the most common thing I hear a desire for is “peace”.

We come together to collectively worship and offer our praise to God, our Father. We do this 3 times each week. Good! But does that praise and worship continue in “prayer and petition, with thanksgiving” on a daily basis? Can’t we designate EVERY day Father’s Day, the opportunity to show our sincere appreciation to God, THE Father, Who not only created us but will bring us home to be with Him one day?

A Fresh Start

In springtime we typically are amazed by how things “come back to life”. Actually they were still alive but God designed the cycle of seasons and growth to cause them to grow again into the beautiful plants we appreciate. Even after a harsh winter like we have had we see the roses burst open with color and continue to grow to proclaim His glory. Our lives are like that as well. Stuff happens to all of us. Whether the loss of a loved one, major sickness, divorce, addiction, rejection, financial upset, or any of the other major emotional traumas of life. We ALL have the storms of life and harsh “winters” to endure. We cannot undo them; we cannot pretend they are not present and go along in ignorant bliss; and we cannot seek to avoid every “bad” thing in life.

 

We CAN, however, learn how to cope with the impact and grow again! That is a promise of God. It is not always easy, or fast, or without other upsets. When we look back we CAN see how God has taken care of us and lifted us back up and caused us to grow again. We still have a purpose – HIS purpose. We still have the Spirit to guide and empower. We still have Christian family to support and
comfort. We can have a Fresh Start! Just as when we are baptized: (2 Cor. 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

 

The very essence of the Fresh Start class is to learn how to insure this happens in our lives, in spite of anything that has happened! Just as the Israelites were guided into a promised land, as Naaman was guided into a new life leprosyfree, so we can be guided into people moving forward again to fulfill God’s purpose for us and give Him the glory along the way! Think how many folks around us need to see the hope for a better future. We may be the only guidepost they see to point them to God’s healing and the support of a loving church.

 

The class is designed as heavily Bible-based (obviously), discussion oriented, and is not driven by a calendar to accomplish certain chapters per week. Topics include “How can I really turn it all over to God?”; “How can I have a good support system to keep me on track?”; “How can I deal with the overpowering emotions and fears that hold me back?” and “How can I find my purpose?” The class meets every Wednesday during regular class period and is open to anyone – members here as well as from the community. Too often this had been labeled as the “divorce recovery class” but we have moved way beyond that to deal with “everything recovery”. If you might be interested or if you know someone that might benefit from this we encourage you to try it out.