Thank You For My Father

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” – Lucille Ball
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is MacGuffin, which means, “an object, event, or character in a film or story that serves to set and keep the plot in motion despite usually lacking intrinsic importance.”

Today is Fudge Day. This should be a national holiday! You know, so we can all go to Buc-ee’s and get some fudge!

There’s seriously nothing going on, right now. Life is humming along, pretty normally. We are planning to go see my mother Saturday, and then R & J will be coming over on Sunday for Father’s Day.

The Southlake Community Band has a concert appearance coming up on July 3, Sunday evening. We will be playing at the annual Stars & Stripes event According to the schedule, the Swing Band will play at 6, and the concert band will play at 8:15, followed by the fireworks at 9:30.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.

They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name!
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:8-19

The people of God are not delicate flowers, “withered in a day by a merciless sun,” or trampled by a “careless boot.” We are the branches of a vine, “tough, tenacious, planted by God,” in spite of any persecution and/or judgment brought on by the world. And we are “brought to final fruition in Jesus,” when he said, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5).

“Enter my present trouble, God of strength and compassion. Protect me from despair and from faintheartedness. Encourage me with hope. Make me strong in Christ, ‘the one at your right hand’ (Psalm 80:17). Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Psalm 103:1

Carol Knapp writes of taking her mother and a neighbor (called Bubbles) to share a meal with their friend Marybeth. Marybeth lived in an assisted living community. Bubbles was ninety, and suffered from macular degeneration. Marybeth was one hundred, and shared the same affliction. During the meal, Marybeth asked Bubbles, “Do you ever get surprises when you eat?” You see, they often couldn’t quite tell what was on their plate.

During the conversation, however, Marybeth said something that profoundly struck Carol. Marybeth, having mostly lost her sight, and being widowed twice, said, “You can never be grateful enough until it’s gone.”

We always try to be deliberate in our thanksgiving, remembering our blessings and thanking God for them, “to appreciate and savor them.” But Marybeth opened Carol’s eyes that day to a piece of gratitude that she had not considered . . . grief. “Far from distancing me from God or showing a lack of faith, grief is a deep expression of thanksgiving for something or someone I am missing.”

When we grieve, we acknowledge the good that God has given us.

A year later, both Marybeth and Bubbles are gone. Carol and her mother miss them both. But they express their gratitude through their grief.

With Father’s Day coming up, this reading strikes a chord in me. While the grief is not quite as heavy as it was, there are still moments of profound sadness, as well as moments where reality doesn’t quite set in. I’m still grieving, though, having lost my father 14 months ago. And in my grief, I thank my God for the years that I had with him, and all that I learned from him.

Daddy and Me--Autumn 1961 back porch

Heavenly Father, I thank you for my earthly father. I miss him, as do my mother, wife, and kids. Not to mention all the friends that he had in his life. In that missing, in that grief, we thank you profoundly and deeply. Help us to be more thankful for things and people that we still have in our lives.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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