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!

Shepherding

Crisp and clear, morning begins.

As light becomes all encompassing, the fiery glow on increasing cloud…recedes.

The morning will be fresh, if not a little heavy, foretelling of an over-shadow later in the day.

The sheep must be moved on; this temporary shelter – house of sticks – will not suffice as the sun moves across the sky, the cloud and all its company rolling in.

A rousing call, tap a few tails with a crooks end, perhaps a flap of the arms now and then…they’re up and on the move.

They’ll need nourishment early; storms may rumble in sooner rather than later. Well-fed sheep will be better able to ride out storms later on.

A graze in this fresh green gully; water the flock down below; shelter from inclement weather amongst established trees, enclosed within the secure boundary of a holding yard.

Yet holding yards, shelter and nourishment alone are not enough. Keep watch! Alert to risk and danger; ready and willing to act, to rescue, to protect.

Gates and fences blow over, are damaged by falling limbs, rushing waters…the onslaught of varied weather – predictable and temperamental; and the passing of time – worn and weathered, weary of bearing weight and strain.

Wild animals will seek prey; there are those who would take the flock for their own.

The Chief Shepherd, possessor and nurturer of this flock watches and enables the under-shepherds to fulfill the call to care, attend, cultivate, keep and cherish.

These ones know the voice, direction and undertaking of their Shepherd. They respond well when they perceive his influence in and amongst us.

So, a crook to keep within safe boundaries.

An eye out for fields of nourishment.

Safe spaces for rest and refreshment.

Wisdom, strength, compassion and the will to fight off those who would steal and destroy.

And when some are lost, taken, devoured, appeal to and rest in the Great Shepherd…who saw their wanderings, observed our distraction, allowed and curtailed the thief and false shepherd, and will pursue them and us in justice, mercy and all that is good, pure, right and lovely.

Gina Marie 21/7/2015

A World of Difference

A world of difference

Unknown

Clawing against design

Unseen

Cry and fight, rebel

Unsatisfied

Searching, peering, looking

Unfound

 

How to search for the unknown?

How to recognize the unseen?

How to rest and be satisfied?

How to find?

 

Blinkers off!

Accept what is!

Embrace truth!

Release familiarity!

 

Emancipation.

 

14/1/2015

I Can Change My Mind

There was a girl who grew up in a family with two sisters and 4 brothers. At first they lived on a farm with sheep, who had black faces. Then the dad died, so the family moved to live amongst the trees at the bottom of a small mountain.

 

As the family grew, the eldest girl was often told that she didn’t belong. Sometimes a brother would tell her that the mum and dad were not really her mum and dad. This girl became a woman, but still she didn’t know for certain if this truly was her family.

 

Other people who knew them, could see that all the sisters looked alike, they often spoke alike and though there was no proof, it seemed to them that she was indeed from this family’s mum and dad.

 

One day when this eldest girl of the family was quite an old lady, her son found a birth certificate in another town. The certificate said that she was from this family and the mum and dad of the other children were definitely her own mum and dad. Her son had been looking for a long time.

 

It was very nice to know for sure that this was her family. But you could tell before they knew for sure, especially because she looked so much like her sisters.

 


 

When Jesus was a man, before He died, his brothers didn’t believe that He was God’s Son as well as Mary’s son. Even though He said things like God and acted like God, which made Him look like God.

 

But after Jesus had died, so that we don’t have to; and after God had made Him alive again, so we can live with Him forever, some people who didn’t believe He was God’s Son, changed their minds.

 

James, a book in the Bible we believe was written by Jesus’ brother who perhaps changed his mind. So, like James and Paul in the Bible, if we find out that we’re wrong we can change our minds. And that means we’re being honest, we’re telling the truth.

 

We can say to God and to people, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Please forgive me. Now I know the truth, the truth is what I will say.”

 

10/10/2014

James, John 7, Acts