Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Dad’s 85th Birthday

I did not intend to write my Thankful Thursday Post about my Dad.  But on Monday it was his Birthday and it has taken me all week to get my thoughts written down for his Birthday.  In doing so, I know I have been very blessed by my Godly heritage.  It has been one of my greatest gifts.   So why not combine the two? 

Monday my Dad turned 85 years old.  That is a lot of years.  A life time of experiences!  My Dad’s lifetime.  He was born on February 7, 1926.  The “horse and buggy days” he likes to say!  But my Mom is quick to ask, “your Dad had a car, didn’t he?”  My Dad is a twin.  He had a twin sister who has passed away. They were brought home to three older brothers.  Later another brother, three sisters and another set of twins, this time boys, were added to the family!  Whew!  My Dad grew up on a farm and during the depression years.  He said that on one farm where they lived it was near the rail road tracks and almost daily a hobo would knock at their door, looking for something to eat.  My Dad played baseball and basketball in school.  (I never knew that.)  “I think he was pretty good, too” my Mom added. 

During the Korean War my Dad was drafted into the Army.  He came home on leave and married my Mom on New Year’s Eve in 1951.  Then he returned to Maryland.  But before my Dad was shipped overseas, the conflict was settled.  He returned to Iowa and the farm.  Before they were married my Mom said she “drug Dad to a tent meeting in Iowa.”  She still remembers the man’s name who was holding the tent meetings,  Guy Libby.   My Dad looks back on that experience as the first time he felt any conviction about his sin.  While he was away in the service my Mom would add a scripture verse at the end of her letters.  My Mom had trusted the Lord as her Savior at a Youth for Christ Crusade in high school.  Check out her story here.  Now my Mom was wanting to get baptized and when she went to talk with her Pastor about it, my Dad went along.  On July 16, 1953 My Dad accepted Jesus as his own Savior.

After a farm depression in Iowa, Mom and Dad moved their family from the farm to Thornton, CO.  I asked my Mom if that was hard.  And she said, “Sort of.  We had lost everything on the farm.  But we were looking forward to a new life and the mountains!”   My Dad had taken the train to Colorado earlier.  His Dad and brother were living here already.  He rented a house and returned to Iowa to pack up.   After a year or so, my parents bought their house in Englewood.  That is where I remember growing up.  They are in the same home today. 

Here’s what I remember about my Dad while growing up.  His farming experience produced the best garden.  To this day, his corn is still Iowa tall!  I can remember him coming home in the summertime after working a long hard day in road construction, and going straight to the garden to hoe, weed, or water! 

My Dad has a glass eye.  As kids we would beg Dad to take out his eye for our friends.  OK, we do it as adults too.  And it is a little more entertaining to try that trick on adult friends! 

My Dad does indeed “slaughter the King’s English!”  It has caused us all to laugh many times, including Dad.  But it does not stop him from talking.  He talks to anyone…at the grocery store, ball game even at a traffic light if you have the window down!   My Mom says it is the “small town” in him.  Growing up we had neighbors that were deaf and mute. but the man could read lips and make some sounds.  My Dad often talked over the fence with him.  And in every conversation the subject would always turn to the Lord! 

My Dad faithfully served the Lord while raising his family. He drove a bus route, picking up kids for Sunday School.  He taught fifth grade boys Sunday School.  (For about forty years.) He served many years as a Deacon.  My dad is a prayer warrior.  I love to hear him pray.  And I love knowing that he prays for his children, grand-children and great-grand-children faithfully!

Dad has always been studying God’s Word.  He once enrolled in a class to study the Book of Daniel.   He told me the other day that  this is his 24th year in Bible Study Fellowship.   At his end of the table he has a pile on the floor of books, commentaries, articles and several versions of the Bible.  He has his radio on and  “walks through the Bible” with J. Vernon McGee every day.   One of my greatest memories is seeing my Dad in a chair, bent over the Bible studying.

Did you know that there is a reward for Believers who look for the Lord’s coming?  II Timothy 4:8 says,”Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  I know my Dad will receive that reward someday.  He never tires of looking for it or talking about it!

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Don’t tell Mom I used this picture.  She doesn’t like it because Dad is smoking a pipe! Smile

Mom and Dad on outing at her Aunt & Uncle

Dad and Mom

1964-1965

All us kids in the back yard

Nathan & Dad Gardening

Dad and Nathan …the only picture I have of the garden

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Mom and Dad at my High School Graduation.  Dad was on crutches with a broken ankle from a motorcycle accident. He had been out of work for quite some time.  This is his Fidel Castro look!

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Dad and Mom with my kids at the zoo.

Grandma & Grandpa & Elaine

Dad with Elaine!  She has a Godly heritage as well!

Dad and Mom Sunday at his Birthday Breakfast Sunday

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;and His greatness is unsearchable.  One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.”

Psalm 145:3-4

 

4 comments:

Becky said...

This is really sweet! I love hearing "Family Stories."

Andrea said...

Awwww...I didn't know a lot of that stuff. Thanks for getting it recorded, and for the thoughts. Made me want to cry!

wally said...

Well, Grandpa will be glad to talk your ear off! And his stories are interesting! This is your family now! :)

CTLS3 said...

I read with interest your reference to Evangelist Guy Libby. I found your blog while doing a Google search on him. In the late 1950's he came with his wife and daughter to Scottsbluff, NE for a crusade sponsored by several churches. I was about 10 years of age. Little did I know then that I would eventually be an evangelist myself. In fact I too have held numerous tent meetings. We now live in Jacksonville, FL, but were based in Denver for many years. Just yesterday, I booked a week long tent meeting which will be held next August near Payson, UT. - C.T.L. Spear (I used to host Focus on Western Radio program on KWBI when Adrian House was president of Western Bible College.) Do you have any further information about Guy Libby or his ministry?

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