Today would have been our dad's 97th birthday. He was the best of men, honest, wise, caring, a man of integrity. I never heard him tell even a little white lie. He believed in telling the truth and he believed in the one who is Truth. Dad could fix almost anything so whenever anything was broken we went straight to the one we knew could make it right. When there were gifts to open, he drove everyone crazy because he took his time and very meticulously opened his gift. He would take his knife--always in his pocket--cut the ribbon, slit the tape, remove the paper and fold it and then look to see what was inside. In the early fifties, during the polio outbreak, many restrictions were put on children and young people. Dad brought the neighborhood young ones together and had Sunday School for them in their back yard. He was the king of games and Mom and I tried our best to beat him, but rarely succeeded. I thought of him yesterday afternoon when Jacob was here repotting mums for the front porch. Almost all of what I know about flowers, the yard, pruning, etc. I learned from Dad. If he couldn't identify a plant I was sure no one else could either. I wished Jacob could have learned from him. There is much, much more I could say about Dad, but I'll tell you the best things he did for us--and for me especially. He was a godly man. His love and devotion to Mom continues to be an example in our lives and he looked on me as his daughter, not just his son's wife. It seems appropriate on his birthday that I share something we found in his personal papers when he died five years ago. It's called:
Seven Short Rules for Christian Living.
Psalm 119:105 - Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
1. Never neglect daily private prayer. Remember that God is present and hears you (Matt. 6:5-6; Philippians 4:6-7).
2. Never neglect daily Bible reading--and remember when you read that God is speaking to you (II Tim. 3:16-17).
3. Never ask God for anything you do not need or ought not to have (I Cor. 10:13).
4. Never, never doubt God. Tell Him all of your cares and trust Him to carry all of your burdens (I Peter 5:7; Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:25-28).
5. Never let a day pass without trying to do something for Jesus (Matt. 5:13-16).
6. Never take your Christianity from someone else. Don't say it's okay for me to do it because so and so does (I Samuel 16:7).
7. Never turn away from God's will. If you do His will you will learn to love, trust, and know Him (Psalm 25:14; Micah 6:8).
Psalm 119:11 - Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.
Psalm 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my rock and my salvation.
Dad lived by these simple rules and by his life encouraged all of us who knew and loved him.