On this Father’s Day, I am thinking of my two Dads. My Dad was Raymond Rose. Sue’s Dad was Gerald Carter. But both Raymond and Gerald had a huge impact in my life.
Sue’s Dad reminded me of my Grandpa Rose. Gerald was an independent thinker and very smart. Over the years, following his military service, he attended Bible College, and operated several successful businesses. When Sue and I started dating, Dad Carter had a trucking business in Kansas. After Sue and I were married, we often visited her Mom and Dad, and had a marvelous time. Dad Carter was a Deacon at the local church, and had a sincere love for the ministry. He treated me like a son, even though he already had a great one. He was a good man that loved God and his family.
Like my Grandpa Rose, Dad Carter enjoyed interesting people, strong coffee, and good conversation. He seemed to know everybody in the small towns of central Kansas that we visited. He also knew where the best pie and hamburgers were sold, and the location of the nearest Dairy Queen! Dad Carter was an expert when buying and selling antiques. To find the best deals, he took me through barns, tents, sheds, basements, and auction houses from Pretty Prairie and Haven, to Hudson and Lyons. Sometimes Salina. I miss him.
My Dad was the best Dad ever. He loved Mom, and cared for the family in some difficult times. After his South Pacific military service in the Air Force, he settled into the automobile parts business. He served as a deacon and Sunday school superintendent, until the Call to ministry led him to pioneer a church in San Antonio. Now, we call it bi-vocational. Back then, it meant working a full-time job six days per week, and leading a church with two services on Sunday, one on Wednesday evenings, plus weddings, funerals, and home visitation. How did he do it?
After completing 25 years in secular business, Dad went into full time ministry. Wherever he was pastor, the church prospered, souls were saved, and other ministers were lined up to take his pulpit. In his later years, he and I served together on staff in churches in Texas and Wisconsin. I cannot tell you how often I asked Dad for his wisdom, counsel, and insight. He was my father, buddy, friend, and mentor. Every Father’s Day, I still take my Dad’s Bible into the pulpit. Sometimes I even preach from the notes he wrote in the margins. I miss him.
This Father’s Day, take a moment to remember dear ‘ole Dad. If he is still living, go bother him for a while. If your Dad has passed on, turn off your electronic devices, and take some time to remember his laugh, his smile, and the name he called you when you were eight. Proverbs 103:13 NIV - “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”