Happy Father’s Day, Pop!

Today is Father’s Day. And since my dad is going to be out most the day, flying in with my mom from (another) trip, I’ll honor him here on my blog so he’ll get to see it.

Ever since I was very young I heard comparisons and connections to my dad – sounding like him, looking like him, thinking like him, acting like him, etc. I even fall for it myself. I once saw my a picture of my dad as a toddler and thought it was me. I sometimes joke about this ever-present comparison.

But to be honest, I’ve never resented it. For one reason, I know we’re different people so it’s not like the comparison “robs me of my identity” or any other psychobabble like that. But more importantly, he is such an honorable man, that I’m happy to be compared to him. So thanks Pop…

  • Thanks for being fun-loving. It was great growing up in a home where we could have sudden trips to McDo at 11 PM, water balloon fights, or imaginary secret agent adventures.
  • Thanks for disciplining us and following what God told you and mom, even when we didn’t like it or other people would comment. Thanks for being firm and even “overly strict.” It works.
  • Thanks for working hard and teaching us its value.
  • Thanks for always holding us responsible for our actions and never allowing us to pass the buck. I still remember when you called me out on my college grades after sophomore year. I made an excuse about how difficult college was and instead of consoling me, you said that I was making excuses. You were right. Thanks for not tolerating that kind of thing from me.
  • Thanks for encouraging us not to be ashamed of scars. I know I kinda overdid it in that department, but at least it breeds fearlessness.
  • Thanks for being a teachable person and modeling that for us. Thanks for being willing to use your life experiences – successes and failures – as lessons for us to learn from.
  • Thanks for your practical, down-to-earth, cut-through-the-crap, biblically-sound wisdom. You can’t get that kind of thing from books or classes alone. Looking at you, I’d think it’s a combination of your life experiences, your time with God, and this gift He’s given you of being able to see things from a totally different perspective that gives insight to all of us.
  • Thanks for teaching me to have faith in a big God who can deliver big things. Until now, I’m challenged when you dream. I always think I’ve already got big dreams until I talk to you, then I leave asking God for more faith so I can dream bigger.
  • Thanks for your faith in God during the tough times of our family – whether they’re financial, relational, with our health, with our future, etc. Whenever things get tight for me and Carla now, one of the examples I draw strength from is how you and Mom were so full of faith during the post-Barclay, pre-Issho days.
  • Thanks for being an eager learner and teaching us to be the same. One thing that’s keeping you from growing old  is your ability to start from scratch in a totally new discipline without any fear. I’ll never forget how you picked up rollerblading at 44 just because you wanted to rollerblade in London one day.
  • Thanks for taking us on trips and letting us experience new things with you. I really appreciated going with you to Palawan when I was 4, visiting Bacolod and Iloilo, and Jakarta and Singapore too.
  • Thanks for connecting us to quality men and women who we could get advice from. Thanks for encouraging those times we’d meet with them and listening eagerly to our findings. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how much this spoke of your security and your love for us. Thanks for that.
  • Thanks for the nightly bedtime stories that turned into sales reports, theology lessons, strategic plannings, or preaching preparations. It didn’t matter that you kept us up late. We learned more from that than from school anyway.
  • Thanks for being completely blameless and above reproach with money. I know we might be richer now if you took a few shortcuts, but your legacy is an irreplaceable inheritance. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • Thanks for never forcing any of us into any particular career or discipline. You allowed us to hear from God, with your advice and counsel of course.
  • Thanks for encouraging my growth in ministry when I did decide this was God’s call in my life. Thanks for not letting me do things the easy way. Thanks for being my number one encourager, but also the number one critic of my preachings or leadership decisions. I appreciate and highly value any time we get to debrief and study the past or plan for the future.
  • Thanks for always believing in the three of us. You didn’t force us to follow in your footsteps, instead you always said we would be better than you.
  • Thank you for teaching me about grace. That story of how you taught it to me has made the rounds in so many of my messages now. It’s always a hit.
  • Thanks for loving Mom and showing us how real men raise their families. Thanks for accepting Carla and really making her feel like a daughter.
  • Thanks for loving God and being a great example of a live that’s been saved.

I could go keep going too. Thanks for being so easy to honor, Pop. Happy Father’s Day!

The many faces of my dad at our wedding day.
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1 comment
  • Joseph, pls. introduce me to this guy!!! I think I wanna marry him!!
    Love, love, LOVE, SUPER LOVE your blog! So happy you wrote it : > !!

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