My first Fathers day was one to remember not because of the gifts or BBQ’s. But I will remember it for two reasons. The first is because it was the first with my little girl who has just turned 8 months. Secondly, it was a time to reflect on different times in my life and the men that have influenced me for good and for bad and the “danger of an unstable Dad”. I could remember as a young boy not having a dad around because my parents were separated and for the first few years I was raised by her and family. As time moved on, I think I was 5 when my mother got married. With their union I inherited a step father. This relationship became very unstable. He did not like me very much and was very verbally abusive. He basically told my mom “it was either him or me”. In which I got the short end of the stick and was shipped off to my biological father in which I had only meant once, I believe I was 6. Nonetheless, I was put on a plane from Florida to Hawaii not knowing what was in store. Come to find out this was not the most healthiest of moves either. My father was not the best role model. He was physically abusive, verbally abusive, sold drugs, did drugs..etc The model set forth was to “do as I say, not as I do” while still claiming to be a Christian. All of this came to a screeching halt when I was 12, when my father died in a tragic accident in the south pacific in which he was lost at sea and never found (I can expound at a later time). But with this tragedy, It prompted my step mother to pack us up and move to a little town in the Sierras, Truckee Ca. This was probably the best move of my life. I got plugged into the sports program meant my best friends in which were the kids of a man in whom I call my “Spiritual Dad”. He was and is far from being perfect just as all of us. But he and his wife were the one’s that showed me love, gave advice and most importantly shared the “Gospel” with me in a real and tangible way. I had been to church, read the Bible and knew of the Lord but did not know him. It took awhile for God to change my heart. In fact it took 20 years for God to prepare my heart for what he had in store. But Rick and Deb were a huge part in bringing me to salvation. But even to this day they are in my life and have given me a example of Christian parents and I am thankful for them. Also, I am thankful for the dad’s that blew it and the mishaps of negativity in my younger years. I have learned from them what a Dad is not and learned from their mistakes. There are traits from anyone that can be redeemed and I know that God will continually use them for good. I tell you this not to get sympathy but to remind you as God has reminded me. “God works all things together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 No matter what the situation you may find yourself in. Know that God has a plan and that he will take the circumstances you are in and can work them for good just as he did with mine. I have been so excited this year and had tears welling up as I look into my little girls eye and see her grow. It makes me want to be the best Dad I can be and not make the same mistakes that my earthly father had done, but look to my Heavenly Father who is the author and finisher of my faith and the Father that will never let me down. For he is my rock and stable to the very end.
Happy Fathers Day
Pastor Brad Noel