Father’s Day 2017

A father gives life…

perhaps biologically, through forgiveness, by welcome acceptance, with love beyond reason

A father tunes in to a person…

similar, different, unique, valuable

A father recognises…

passions, fears, dreams, realities, potential, capacity

A father teaches…

The 3 R’s, repentance, responsibility, shoe laces, no training wheels, boundaries, honesty

A father models…

excellence, reliability, growth, consistency, faithfulness, sacrifice, generosity, trust, respect, integrity

A father needs…

his children, his grandchildren – those from himself, and those who came (or were brought) to himself

A father loves…

 


 

My father has been all of these things. Some done well; others falteringly; still others because of the nature of his relationship with my mother; there were those that stemmed from his design or own experience; and some of the most precious were those he learned, both deliberately and incidentally.

One of the greatest gifts in my life has been my father. But I’m luckier than most as my dad was also father and grandfather to others beside myself, and those I call mine.

Dad taught me to install a new gearbox and mix concrete by hand (though these were so long ago, I’m up for re-learning). I know how to use a shovel, spade and crow bar (including standing it in the ground so it doesn’t get too hot to hold in the Australian sun). With my dad, I have raised sheds (many a family bonding/dividing occurred during shed-raising), erected swimming pools and dug sewer trenches.

Dad taught me to fill in forms correctly, complete my own tax return, save money, and give it generously. I learned to drive with my dad beside me (and not to wreck his tires on rough edges!). I learned how to check my oil and water (even though I blew up an engine twice), and change a tyre – on EVERY car. I built airplanes, and drank beer from shot glasses in my dad’s shed.

I learned to search out information, truth and lies for myself – and what to do if I needed to find outside assistance. I learned I can surrender to and challenge authority when necessary, and that I will be recognised (and even heeded) when I do so.

I learned that even the unhealthiest of my choices will be respected, and I will always be welcome – even when I have rejected, betrayed and taken my dad’s love for granted. I learned that love has boundaries to protect it, and those that love has brought together.

I’ve watched my dad father those who were not of his own, but were his own just the same.

He has held their children, showed them how to grow to be men, walked them to their waiting life partner, comforted them while they waited for hospital care, helped them uncover some value in life when they could see none, showed them what a loving family looks like, given them a home, presented their funeral farewell, challenged their darkness, led them to light.

I don’t know who will read this, but for many of you he shared his food, gave up his sleep, shared his food, gave his time, shared his food, laughed with you, shared his food, provided his home, shared his food. Did I mention that he shared his food?

My father’s not perfect, but he has been perfectly wonderful for me. And I am exceptionally grateful.

 

I love you Dad!

Bride of Christ, Family of God

If our debate about the way we relate to each other as the body/family of Christ does not first stem from our understanding of our need, and the nature of our relationship with our God through His Son, by His Spirit, then the debate will go on. And our relationships will be dysfunctional.

For example:

If those who are the children of God through a right relationship with His Son, Jesus, confirmed by the presence of His Spirit within their own spirit, are called the bride of Christ then would not all have to relate to Christ as husband…including men, singles, divorcees, widows/widowers, children, teens, and wives? If each understood, believed, valued and lived in light of Christ as husband, comforter, provider, leader, lover, ‘head’, forgiver, restorer, friend, saviour, would we not better understand ourselves and our own roles in that light?

Just wondering.

My Mum

Janette Marie

Precious, gentle mother

Prayerful, kind of heart

Welcomer of persons

Young, or old, from near or far

 

Garden always blooming

Flowers all arranged

Cleanliness within

For tasty treats you’re famed

 

Kitchen is abuzz

Confiding, cuppas, fun

Eating, talking, cooking

You, or yours, or everyone

 

Children, children, children

One or two, or twenty-four

Painting paper, bricks or pavement

Lego, Barbie, cars and more

 

Drive you to the hospital

To church or Boy’s Brigade

Deliver pamphlets, meals and love

In birth or death or just g’day

 

Singing nursery rhymes or hymns

Any tune or note or pitch

Burn the veges or the sausages

Roasts go off without a hitch

 

Boil the kettle, hang the washing

Iron and vacuum, mop the floor

Change the sheets before the next lot

Comes a-knocking on the door

 

One moves out, and one moves in

Army, neighbourhood and youth

Follow moving van to homes

Old ones gone, new friends en-group

 

Laughing, crying, sorry

Cuddle, comfort, pray

Petticoat and lipstick

Barefoot, loving God all day

 

6/11/2014

Merilyn

Been away. Saying farewell from this world to my step-mum. Loved. Missed. Always remembered.

 

In gentleness you spoke and thought

In quietness you moved

In otherness of focus

Was the path you oft did choose

 

In jest, your laughter hearty

In grief your focus set

In cheeky shifts of humour

Work with diligence was met

 

In children, love rejoicing

In grandies, care and pride

In family, time well-spent

Love with husband from on high

 

You saw beauty all around you

Brilliant colour from the rose

Form of mankind in all seasons

Adorning cakes and walls along your road

 

Determined, gentle battler

Crown of persistence on your brow

Hopeful, enduring constancy

Now complete and wholly sound

I love you

 

28/10/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Time To Reap

A long, hot season

stretches out; another year’s reason

Approaching year’s end

single mother-hood looms; days extend

School days are closing

awards, presentations, plays; imposing

Husband’s are working

long days and nights; exerting

Gaps that need filling

collecting, driving, cooking, feeding

Pausing for breakdowns

parts, fuel, tools, kids; town

Night falls the same

what is sleep, just a name

Maybe sun, showers or frost

hoping all is not lost

Christmas, New Year and all

at season’s end, let rest fall

4/6/2014

Church

Can’t we all be united

Isn’t that just what You want?

Don’t let me be divisive

Make me patient, and patient a lot

 

Remould my heart with compassion

Cause persistence and patience and truth

To be my dominant features

Submissive and gracious as Ruth

 

Bring together all of our families

As with Ruth, You brought three to one

May we lead, submit, love and serve

As in You, when surrendered, we have done

 

We know there is change in our future

This can plainly and clearly be seen

But as for how and when and who it will be

You’ll reveal as each step becomes need

 

Cause our hearts to seek You as one people

By Your Spirit as one move ahead

In Your power and grace and provision

By one vision and purpose be lead

 

22/11/2009

Shared and Sharing Experience

I have just listened to Wes Moore speak at TED on how to talk to veterans about their wars. 

His comments directed my thoughts to other individuals and groups whose communities and families may or may not approach them, or may unintentionally offend or wound through ignorance.

Social media and other communication mediums are replete with those who have endured war, abuse, rape, disability, pain, physical and mental illness, job-loss, moral and financial bankruptcy, child-loss, widow-hood (I could go on), all looking for others who have shared in a similar experience and/or a place to be heard and valued.

My simple hope is that we each would take an interest and the time to discover what another’s experience has been like, and share our own experiences so that someone else may not feel alone in theirs. Talking about our lives is healthy for the speaker, the listener and our social connections. Not talking, asking or listening only breeds our sense of isolation, negative identity assumptions (of ourselves and others), and disconnection from each other when we all have a desire to belong – somewhere.