Faithful to the End – A Father’s Sacrifice

Today is a difficult day for many of our brethren in the South. Please join me in praying for our suffering siblings in God’s family.

One of those families is the Lee family. May I be found as faithful in my fatherhood as Mr. Tom Lee.

Developing Story: Faithful Father of Thirteen Gives His Life for His Children In Alabama Tornado Destruction

By Doug Phillips

Tom Lee was a man who always had a sparkle in his eyes and a Gospel message on his tongue. His family is one of those that people describe as “energy givers.” When Tom, his bride and his family of thirteen children would arrive in town, it always meant encouragement.

Last night as tornado storm winds approached the Lee home in Alabama, Tom gathered his wife and thirteen children in the den. They huddled and they prayed. Two minutes later the tornado descended upon them. The house was instantly destroyed as beams and cinder blocks reigned down upon them.

But in his last great act of fatherhood, Tom Lee had the presence of mind to throw himself on top of his children, including his first born son Jordan. Looking up at his father Jordan saw the blood in his father’s mouth and witnessed as the breath began to leave his father, but was able to hear the last words of his fathers crying out to God for the safety of his family. Then the spirit left the body of Tom Lee.

Read the rest of the story here…

Father,

Please comfort the Lee family. Provide for their needs. Please give Jordan the manly courage he needs as he depends on you. Give him wisdom as he assumes the mantle of manhood passed to him by his father. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus who is the Christ, Amen.

P.S. – The home of Kelly Crawford at Generationcedar.com was also destroyed. Please pray for them. (You can read her story here.)

Quote of the Day

Dr. Russell Moore has written a great piece on adoption in response to a reader question concerning permanent physical mutilation to prevent children (also known as permanent “birth control”) in order to facilitate the adoption of the maximum number of orphans. You really should read the whole piece, it is spot on. My favorite phrase comes at the very end where he says:

“Adopting for life doesn’t demand accepting the knife.”

Read the rest here.

Theology Thursday: What is your faith worth to you?

Many of us are comfortable thinking and even speaking about our convictions but what would we really give up for them? For a young man named Joel Northrup his convictions were worth more than the treasures of Egypt  (Heb 11:24-26). Well done Mr. Northrup! You have acquitted yourself as a man should.

From the Associated Press via Yahoo:

DES MOINES, Iowa – An Iowa high school wrestler who was one of the favorites to win his weight class defaulted on his first-round state tournament match rather than face one of the first girls to ever qualify for the event.

Joel Northup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High this season, said in a statement that he doesn’t feel it would be right for him to wrestle Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman. Herkelman, who was 20-13 entering the tournament, and fellow 112-pounder Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, who was 25-13, made history by being the first girls to qualify for the state tournament. Black was pinned quickly in her opening round match.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times,” wrote Northup. “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”

Read the rest here.

I am ruined

Well it is official, all of this Bible study and Jesus stuff has ruined me. Tonight I did something I have not done in a very long time but something that holds fond memories for me – I watched a John Wayne movie. You see I loved watching John Wayne movies with my Dad growing up and so tonight I thought I would watch one I had recorded. So after the Dear Wife had gone to bed and the Little Pauper was asleep I settled on the couch for a bit of fun and nostalgia with The Duke in “The Wings of Eagles”.

As the opening credits began to roll for this John Ford film, I was really looking forward to seeing this film about Frank “Spig” Wead for the first time. The opening scenes set up a typical Wayne military movie with side splitting hijinks  and the usual fisticuffs. Oh, what memories and the fun. The only problem is that as the film portrayed this very real man and his trials and successes, all I could see was the sub-plot of his failings as a family man. You see while “Spig” was making a career in the Navy it was at the expense of his family. Then when he realizes what a dolt he has been and is trying to put his family back together he has an accident and is rendered a quadriplegic. After a surgery to save his life and hopefully help him walk again, when he would most need his family, “Spig” does the “heroic” and I guess “expected” (for the era) thing and tells his wife to go make a life without him since he will “never” be any good to her now. She foolishly listens to him and leaves. The story then goes on to show how “Spig” eventually walks with 2 canes and leg braces, goes on to be a successful screen and playwright. All the while his DAUGHTERS grow up without him and while he saves his money for them, it is not until he is old and they are in college that he attempts to re-connect with them. Then just when he and his wife are about to once again try to put their marriage back together again WWII breaks out and his mistress the Navy calls him like a Siren away from his family and into active duty once again. The only thing that stops his march into the Naval War in the Pacific is a heart attack. The movie ends with all of his Navy buddies saluting him as he rides a ship to ship transfer seat headed home.

Now John Ford meant this movie to be a tribute to his friend who no doubt made a lasting and significant contribution to the Navy and the War effort. The problem for me is I can’t get lost in the fantasy painted by those without Christ anymore. The father’s heart that beats in my chest watched this movie and broke for a man and a family I have never met. I am not sure how much of the movie is “real” and how much is “dramatic license” but for me it did not matter. You see as one who YHWH has begun to teach about the importance of fathers and who has turned my heart to the hearts of my children (Mal. 4:6) all I could see was the mess left by an absent, albeit ambitious, father.  I could not see the achievements, all I saw was the sad story of a man who had gained the adulation of the world (even played a part in saving it from the Axis Powers) but had traded the souls of his wife and daughters to get it.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25, ESV)

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4, ESV)

“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25, ESV)

See I told you am ruined. As one for whom Jesus is turning on the lights of his wisdom through his Word, my flesh might want to return to bliss of the dark where movies are just harmless entertainments but I can’t. Even if the lights went back out, the brightness of His truth would be so burned in my retinas that the illusion of the dark would still reveal its horrible ugliness.     ………. Sure makes you want to come and watch a movie at my house doesn’t it?

What Legacy will You Leave Today?

Today you have the chance to impact your children’s future for many years to come with a mere 15 minutes of your time. The question is will you invest the time to take your children with you to exercise your right and responsibility to vote or not?

Today you have the opportunity to disciple you family as they walk along the road with you (Deut 6:1-9). What better opportunity to implant your values into their heart will you have?

So take your family, get out there and vote!