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A Tribute to My Dad

My Dad, Raymond, was born in San Antonio, Texas. He loved God, cars, and enchiladas. But most of all, my Dad loved my mother, Paula. In fact, he adored her. That one fact taught me that real men love their wives and live to make them happy. That’s what my Dad did.

As a boy, Dad would cut my hair in the hot garage with old non-electric hand clippers. It was worse than Medieval torture. But we had some good father-son talks about baseball, fixing cars, and life. One day I found a collection of about thirty military medals my Dad had earned in World War II. He let me play “war” with them and of course, I lost many of them. But he never complained and enjoyed watching me have fun.

For twenty five years after completing enlistment in the Air Force, my Dad excelled in the automotive parts industry. Starting in San Antonio and concluding his secular work in Dallas, Dad modeled the role of a father that worked hard to provide for his family. But for the last half of those years, Dad also pioneered a growing church. He would work his job Monday through Saturday noon, and then preach twice on Sundays. Wednesday evenings, he would come home from work, load the family in the car, and drive downtown to the church for services.

Somehow, in this chaotic schedule, he found time for family vacations and caring for his two young sons. Dad always gave priority to his family. As an illustration, let me tell you about my brief baseball career. When I was in early middle school, I tried out for the summer YMCA baseball team. The day they issued uniforms, we were given the schedule. I was so excited to be selected for the team until they announced that our team played on Wednesday evenings. I knew that going to church would take priority in the Rose home, so I would have to give up my uniform.

The next Sunday during announcements, my Dad told the congregation that the leadership of the church had decided to move our Wednesday night services to Thursday evenings for the summer. Baseball lived! I could not believe that he would do that for me. What a wonderful father.

While both Mom and Dad took their lives in their hands to teach me how to drive, Dad did it without the hysteria that my Mom brought to the lessons. Often using Scripture as an analogy, Dad told me that “there abideth in the car the clutch, the accelerator, and the brake. And the greatest of these is the brake!” (! Corinthians 13:13)

When my Mom died at a young age, Dad had to adjust to the new normal. But he never forgot my Mom, and he kept her memory alive in his thoughts, comments and sermons. Their love survived the grave, and their love story modeled for me what a Godly marriage should look like.

On this Father’s Day, I remember my Dad. He was an incredible preacher, teacher, and pastor. He was above reproach, and a faithful steward of the Word (Titus 1; 1 Timothy 3). He hid his hurts, never complained, and let me rant about any silly thing without condemning or judging. Dad taught me accountability, responsibility, and to pick up the dog excrement before I mowed the grass. In his later years, we were able to serve several churches as ministry partners. What you saw in church is exactly the way he was at home.

When I was a child, I will always remember waking up early in the morning to hear my Dad praying in the other room. God was no stranger to Raymond Rose. They walked together through joy and sorrow, pain and grief. Now, my Dad walks the golden streets of Glory, hand in hand with Paula, the love of his life. But, I miss hearing Dad say, “Calm down Dave, it will be alright.” And it was, and is, and will be.

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” (Proverbs 20:7 NKJV)

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