stories about my father

His Most Valuable Possession

Whenever I'm asked to speak before a group of people, I'm touched that someone would want me to share with them. And when I'm asked to speak about my father and his impact on my life, well, let's just say, I'm honored to share his life and the legacy he left behind. I always present with the underlying sense that I only stand before these individuals because of the two that stood before me my entire life - that being, my parents. There's nothing I've done to deserve this privilege of speaking. I'm simply grateful that someone would want to hear about the foundation that was laid within my life.

Recently, I was asked to speak at a men's group. Here I was, perhaps one of the youngest in the room, standing before a fantastic group of men. I spoke on how one man could make a difference in the lives of so many. I was just one individual whose life was touched in such a dramatic way, and I was there that particular evening to personally testify who my father was, what he was like in private, and how my life was touched.

In preparation for my speech, I once again was pressed to decipher what should and should not be said. How do you condense the life of one person in a 30 minute time frame? I wanted to be clear and give an accurate picture of my father. Coming from an academic background, I typically spend hours gathering notes, ideas, and stories and then type them up into a linear presentation. This time, I decided to step away, to lift the lid open, and walk away from the box of familiarity. I only wanted to capture the hearts of the men I was privileged to be with that evening. I didn't want them to see me; I wanted them to see my father and hear his story through the eyes of his son. And, just maybe, they would catch a glimpse of his passion for Jesus.

So I did just that. No formal notes, no hand outs. I just spoke from my heart. There was one main object I did bring with me that has so much meaning to my entire family - my dad's very first bible. Worn from overuse, it's something to look at and hold. It was a gift my mom gave to my father right after he began his relationship with Jesus Christ. My mother "introduced" my entire family to the Lord, and my dad was the last one to embrace this idea of walking with Jesus everyday, of yielding your entire life over to Him. But once my father embraced this newfound relationship, my father hungered to know Him more and more.

But I want to share with you the inscription I found within the inside cover of his Bible. It was a note my mother wrote my father. In hindsight, I can see how her words came true within my dad's life and now they impact mine:

January 30, 1978

To my husband Joe,

If I ever would have wanted to give you the most precious gift I could find, it would be this book. For within it stands the truth, wisdom, guidance, the solid foundation, the One and Only "Authority" that we need to know.

How strengthening it is to know that whatever we need to know - that if we go to this Book - we will find the answer..."Seek and you shall find." When Jesus lived on earth, he often went aside to pray and ask his father's guidance ("I only do what my father wants me to do.")

Now our foundation will reside in Jesus, the Final Authority, the most powerful name on earth. Thank you God for the powerful teachings you have left us.

Here are a few quotes that I thought you might like:

"All things work together for good, for those that love God." Romans 8:28

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

"God will provide."

On the next page, I found this inscription which was written by my dad:

If found, please phone collect: (our home phone number and home address was included).

It closed with these few words which were underlined

- This Bible is a Very Valued Personal Possession!

Who would have known (except our Lord) that my mom would impact my father's life as much as she did, and now I'm touched by theirs.