A Father’s Day Tale

Dadof4-
I was born on Father’s Day in 1957, and the 16th falls on it once again.
About 5 weeks ago I entered the name of a friend in my search engine. I haven’t seen him since we were 16. It wasn’t the first time I had searched for him, but it came up with some new information and location this time. I did some further digging and verified it was actually my friend.
A simple phone call would not suffice, in my book. What I really wanted to do was show up in person without prior notice. It didn’t quite work out that way, but it was still a great reunion.
He had become a pastor, and I was not completely surprised at this. He was one of the few friends that had taken me to their church back then. My family was not a church-going family (although my mother taught me life lessons that were straight from the old testament without ever cracking it open – something I did not realize until I started studying the Bible myself. How did I know these stories, the people in them and the morals?  Mom.)
Long story short – I have joined my first church with my friend as pastor.
I asked him if he would do the honor of performing my baptism and he agreed. I’ve  been wanting it a very long time now, but not belonging to a church kind of put a damper on that.
So today, after the 9:30 service, I’ll be dunked for Jesus. My whole family and about 8 other friends and their families will be in attendance.
I am a blessed man. I just wanted to share this special day with everyone.
-Dadof4

40 Comments on A Father’s Day Tale

  1. On this day and that story, got me leaking a little,,,
    Blessed to you and yours and to all today!
    Sincerely

    15
  2. Dadof4, a while back, you made a comment about your mom teaching you Biblical principles without teaching you from the Bible. You also said that you didn’t belong to or attended a church regularly.

    My two brothers do not attend a church even though we had been brought up attending regularly. I have been praying for them for some time, and when you commented, I added you to my prayers.

    My one brother told me last week that he started attending a good Bible believing/teaching church about two months ago. We celebrated and I told him how I’d been praying for him to find a good church.

    I actually cried when I read your account. Now, I’m still praying for my little brother. I know prayer works because my mom prayed for me for the whole 15 years that I had given up church. I now know how much the community of believers is needed for worship, accountability and growth. May God bless you richly.

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  3. -It is well after 0930, so I believe I am speaking to the new man, @Dadof4. Heaven is rejoicing today as a result of your making a decision for Chirst, and we who know the Lord celebrate as well. You are blessed to have made this decision, and your family will be blessed by it as well as you walk ever closer to the Lord.

    This is the only right path, the only one that leads to Heaven, but it will not be an easy one. You’ve made the devil quite angry this morning, and he will not forget. The blood of Christ will keep him at bay, but only so long as you walk in God’s grace. Soon, the father of lies will try to tempt you from the Lord’s side, or attack your unprotected family, and do everything he can to convince you that you made a mistake. Because of that, I pray that your friend/pastor is strong in the Lord, that your Church will support you, and that you steep yourself in His word on a daily basis.

    You have truly started a race, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Stay in the Word, and great will be your reward. Don’t let the world pull you down to their level, and don’t let anything discourage you, not even the news of the day that you may see here, because the Spirit that’s awakend in you will let you know the Lord WILL be victorious as long as you keep your heart open to Him.

    This isn’t a religious blog, but our hosts such as Claudia do make this a welcoming environment for God’s people, for which I am grateful and thank them and the Lord for. Because of this, there are those here who can help you in your walk at need, but also may need you to offer encouragement from time to time as well. Never be afraid to ask, and don’t fear to give either, as the Spirit awakened in you may help you to counsel others in need.

    Stay strong in the faith, my brother, and we will thak God in our prayers for your finding Him.

    Matthew 18:20
    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

    …even if gathered on iOTW.

    …God bless, SNS.

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  4. Shalom Aleichem and yours, Dadof4!

    I pray that you will dig into the Hebraic Scriptures (Tanakh) and see that Yahshuah is everywhere. Use your own judgment, being guided by the Holy Spirit, to see the truth of the Gospel, as preached to those in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:14-4:2), but because of disobedience did their carcasses fall in the wilderness.

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  5. My wife, a born-again Christian since 1978, prayed for me for 32 years.
    When I was saved there was no one more surprised that me.
    It was a whirlwind of emotion unlike any before.
    I was Saved at the cornerstone of Faith and Hope.
    Thank You Jesus for Your calling, patience, guidance, teaching, strength and Love.

    Dadof4 you will be on our Prayer List as you grow and travel the narrow path! May your blessings be powerful, insightful and frequent.

    I recommend: The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen

    https://www.amazon.com/Return-Prodigal-Son-Story-Homecoming/dp/0385473079

    You are never alone and you are Blessed !

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  6. My relationship with God is between Him and me.
    Organized religion resembles organized politics, and politics has polluted organized religion.
    Neither are necessary, in my view.

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  7. @PHenry: I agree with you 100%. I will never join an organized religion ever again. When I did belong to an “organized” church, I felt like a sheep that had been sheared, they took everything until I wised up. I think it was the constant brain washing that I was not good enough in God’s eyes and I was nothing but a sinner. People are free to choose, it was a bad choice for me. Now I’m happy. I believe in a creator, not organized religion – BIG DIFFERENCE.

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  8. …there are issues with just about every church, @PHenry, because they are run by men, and men are fallable. My own pastor warns us to guard against pastor religion, to remember that he is a man and correct him as needed, and starts just about every sermon with “Lord, hide me behind the Cross so they will see You and not me as I bring forth Your word…”. In my opinion, this is what a good pastor should do.

    I have believed as you, though, because “televangelist” were a HUGE stumbling block to me, and raised in the Catholic church, I did see a lot of self-infatuated preists.

    Then I became mindful of the Word, which specifically says,

    “24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
    -Hebrews 10:24-25

    …ultimately, the “church” is a collection of it’s members, and we all need the support of like-minded believers from time to time, to support each other’s faith. It took me a long time and a crisis of my own making to find my church, but I did find one where I do not believe my pastor corrupts the Word to serve his own ends.

    And I pray you may one day be similarly blessed.

    Until then, @PHenry, we here at iOTW can support your faith by sharing testimonies within this admittedly non-standard framework, without priest or pastor, but only by sharing an imperishable faith to the glory of God, and fulfill the charge of Hebrews to the best of our ability, till the Lord comes, and be grateful that our hosts here permit it.

    -God bless,
    SNS

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  9. I appreciate your words, friends. My family livedbin abject poverty growing up, while attending the church school with the sons of the minister who lived in a mansion and wanted for nothing.

    The property they owned was at the corner of Orangw Grove and Colorado Blvds in Pasadena You may have seen it. All the networks broadcast the Rose Parade from there.

    The religious hucksters, the Armstrongs, were fabulously wealthy. My family had to go into debt to buy underwear and not eat beans 7 days a week.

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  10. Thank you everyone.

    I actually accepted Jesus and asked Him into my heart when I was 25. This is a proclaiming and deepening of my relationship with Him. I also wish to bring my family closer to God and this is a part of that.

    I, too, have had a problem with “organized” religion. That’s why I never got past a conversation about joining some structured religion. It seemed so impersonal and just a bunch of rules. This church is as informal as it can get. I am seeking fellowship and with my long time friend as a pastor, I do not feel controlled in any way.

    I do have a link to their facebook live stream of it, but my real name is used along with some of my family and friends showing up in the video. You would see a house out in the country converted into a place of worship.

    It’s about God, not people running a business with rote motions, words, and rites.

    I could give the link to Fur if people like Claudia and Nightshade etc are interested.

    Again, Thank you everyone.

    I truly am a blessed man.

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  11. Nope. Everlasting salvation comes from living an honest and upright life. Providing assistance to the needy. Respecting your elders.

    Maybe.

    That’s all ive got. Bearing witness means providing an examplw of an exemplary life. Not lecturing about an exemplary life.

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  12. God bless you, Dad of 4.
    I am active in an “organized religion” church, and it is not about the organization for me, except that I serve to serve in it – it is about being with other believers as we struggle with the difficult issues of our lives and in our Bible (and trying to honestly live like Jesus taught is harder than some could imagine).

    Anyhow, Congratulations on your new birthday!

    7
  13. Only one way to live with God for eternity is to accept his mediator, Jesus.

    You can’t earn your way into heaven.

    Only by grace. It’s a gift that must be received.

    But I go by the bible as God’s Word and take the KJV as the one as closest to original writings being in English.

    No organization is needed to achieve this.

    All other religions are by works instead of by faith and grace. That is the main difference.

    Being “good” is not enough. No one can be sinless enough to make it on their own.

    Believing Jesus is God’s son is not enough. Satan and the fallen angels KNOW Jesus is the son of God – but they do not receive Him as Lord and Savior.

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  14. PHenry and Goldenfoxx, I once thought as you did. I quit organized religion for almost two decades. Then, a series of events led me to a specific church. I argued with God to not make me go, but I knew in my soul that if I didn’t, I would be saying no to God.

    It turned out to be exactly what I needed. It was a place where they taught from God’s word alone, fellow believers could come along side me and share God’s love, give me comfort when needed, allow me to comfort them, to learn and to share. There weren’t any membership requirements, and I experienced a growing and maturing with my faith in God.

    I only tell you this just so you know that there are churches out there that are not like what you experienced.

    May God bless your lives.

    6
  15. Graceia

    I see you have the spirit of what it’s supposed to be about.

    The thing about “organized” is that so many have become sketchy from the power men perceive and abuse when in positions of influence.

    The exact thing Jesus was upset about with the Pharisees.

    It doesn’t mean organized churches are automatically bad, it’s just a recognition that corruption happens too often. Everyone should see if the spirit is alive in the church. If it’s a burden, then maybe it isn’t.

    7
  16. HI wouldn’t even know where to church shop. Episcopalians forget it. Catholics? No. Baptists? Maybe.
    There are just so many charlatans and malevolent people our there. It’s like that Healthcare company that sells itself as a ministry and has BIBLE as part of thwie phone number. Are you a profiteer trying to bully christians into your scam?

    As you can see. Ive got issues. It’s between God and me. Why I dumped this our here is rather a mystery.

    3
  17. Can I just rewrite that whole thing? iPhone is nor my friend. But you get my point so I won’t bother. Battery low.

    3
  18. God bless you.
    You’re only a few months younger than my own dad was (born in late summer ’57) and he also grew up in a home without God but with kind Christian neighbors.

    The struggle to find a church that feels right and has the real message of God is very difficult, even I have a hard time (currently don’t have one but I’m searching) so I’m really happy that you’ve found one. 😉

    6
  19. Dadof4, Congratulations on your act of faithfullness. Glad and honored to call you a brother in Christ. Spot on gracious and doctrinely sound comments, by the way.

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  20. PHenry, you are fine sticking with the you-and-God thing.

    You’ll feel a tug and inspiration for things when it’s right.

    I just advise to not be so stubborn as to deny a calling when it happens.

    It’s almost always quiet and subtle – but persistent. Pray to Him and ask Him for guidance.

    A personal relationship is what everyone needs. You’re there already. Just focus on Him.

    Other men are only a help at times, not the path itself.

    My new fellowship is to strengthen my relationship with God, not replace it. If this new fellowship gets in the way, it’s time to go. Or ask Him how to straighten them out! Lol

    6
  21. @ 99th Squad Leader JUNE 16, 2019 AT 9:34 PM

    Thank you. Coming from you, I am humbled. Would like to meet you some day.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    Psst, Chuffed – that would make me a few months older. But everyone says I look young for my age. lol

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  22. Dad Of 4 – I have been reading your excellent posts here for years and always enjoyed them

    But this is truly Good News.
    May you rejoice in the Holy Spirit and follow His teachings

    9
  23. Supernightshade JUNE 16, 2019 AT 5:16 PM

    Soon, the father of lies will try to tempt you from the Lord’s side, or attack your unprotected family, and do everything he can to convince you that you made a mistake.

    This is exactly what happened after I asked Jesus into my life back when I was 25.

    Things were bad, but afterwards, it kicked up to a whole new level.

    You’re right about Satan being angry and attacking me and my family. It had me question if what I did was the cause of it. Being attacked so viciously, it became obvious.

    I asked myself if I would reject God if my arms and legs were chopped off and I was thrown in the desert where I couldn’t be rescued. Something way way worse than this higher level of bad that I had arrived at.

    No. I would definitely ask for God at that moment, not reject/rebuke Him.

    As soon as I was firmly confirming my faith and acceptance, things stopped like a whirlwind vanishing into thin air, with the birds chirping and the sun shining.

    I am not promised an absence of problems. Satan will always tempt me. But, keeping my faith and focus on God Himself is my hand rail to hold when things get bad.

    I always think of a black maid that was thanking the Lord for a current problem that had just been laid in her lap.

    It made no sense then, but being thankful for everything was the lesson I carried on from there. His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher. Trust there is a reason He is letting this happen.

    I have always felt God’s hand on me. Even in the low times. Like when I was run over and laying in the middle of the intersection with the most pain I had ever experienced.

    “OK, God. You’ve still got something you want from me. That was an excellent time to take me, but You didn’t and I miraculously passed under a car without being mangled to death.”

    6
  24. Excellent comments @5:16 and 7:14pm, Supernightshade. You’re so right about the importance of assembly of those of us who have the Christian faith in common, Mark 6:34. God wants us in a flock for a reason – lone sheep are quickly deceived and consumed by Satan. Peter almost suffered that fate, Luke 22:31-34.
    It’s too dangerous to be out in the world without fellowship. We must be as a flock guided by the Shepherd and those HE, Christ himself has appointed as shepherds – not false prophets. Paul said, we must trust the Holy Spirit to discern the good shepherds from the bad – Acts 20:28-31.

    6
  25. A good church has got a pastor that would stand by you when the rest of the churches won’t. A pastor who stays at the same church not looking to trade up.
    There are many hirerlings that won’t go after the one sheep.
    Never liked the membership thing, if you got Jesus and a new heart you are part of his Church.

    5
  26. …truly inspirational, @Dadof4, and sharing stories like yours help buoy the faith of others. Believers need a forum to talk about their relationship to God and His good works in them, and this is nice, but an awkward form for most purposes because typing misses most nuances of language, you can’t see another’s face, we aren’t known to each other, and it’s not really the purpose our tolerant hosts intened this space for anyway.

    That is why I encourage others to seek out the like-minded. There are objections to formal church, true. I know a man in his 60s who hasn’t set foot in a church since he was a teenager because the minister always had this year’s Cadillac, the best clothes, and hit on his sister in front of him once. Good ministers are called by God, but unfortunately there are many bad ones that are set to scam instead; and that will only get worse as the end times approach.
    As the Bible says.
    The Lord does teach us discernment, though, and how to judge one who would claim to speak in His name.

    “15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    -Matthew 7:15-20

    …I cannot criticize the man I know from the story above, nor is it my place to do so. By the same token, it is not for me to say to PHenry, Goldenfoxx, or any other, “Get thee to a church”. They have their experiences and encounters with God of their own, and walk in the light as they see the light, and that’s fine as long as it’s the light of the Lord. As you say, if they should be in a church, God will lead them to the right one in His time, in His way. I wasn’t looking for a church when God called me, and would have never found it if I hadn’t done something SO stupid that only God could have fixed it…but He did, and I give Him the glory…but it also lets me know that He will deal as He sees fit, and any attempt at persuasion or coercion on my part would just be of vanity and not of God.

    …still, I am burdened for my brothers because it is difficult to keep to your faith walk in Jesus without another of like mind and background to help steady you, share your faith with, and put you in check when you may need it. Not saying it can’t be done, but it’s MUCH harder that way. This is why I will pray that God leads them to a spirit-filled, Bible-believing, blood-bought church of God to strengthen their faith in these increasingly troubled times.

    Speaking for myself, I’m in a Church of God that is very tiny, with a small congregation. Even if our Pastor were of a mind to fleece the flock, he’d still pretty much starve, so he has a 9-5 job he supports himself and his family with, AND brings us the Word on Wednesday and twice on Sunday besides taking care of our little Church house AND listening to all the ills and woes of God’s people. He MUST be of God, because there’s no reason he’d WANT to put up with it otherwise.

    I personally would stay away from mega chuches, having once belonged to the most mega of them, the Catholic church, but that’s just me. It seems like too many voices raised in supplication can drown out the still, small voice of the reply. Keep it tight, and no one goes home in a Cadillac, but we ALL get to go home to a mansion the Lord Himself prepares for us.

    John 14:2
    “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

    -God bless,
    SNS

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  27. …and thank you, @99th Squad Leader, but you have put it more eloquently than my attempts. You are one that we all can look to for Christian support in just about every comment you make. I sometimes let my anger run away from me, or use language I shouldn’t in jest, but I have never seen you do so, and that is one reason I look forward to your comments.

    God bless, SNS

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  28. Double likes for everyone’s comments. They are all honest.

    SNS – I heard something last night that made enormous sense to me.

    I had just been critical of myself for not being like my friend who had pursued God so hard he became a pastor. He knows his scripture like I probably never will.

    But this preacher on my radio said something so on target, it gave me immediate peace on this subject.

    Those of us not at a pulpit or in a position of rank in a church are the ones who actually touch the lives of those who don’t go to church and need to hear His word “in the wild”. We are out there in the world living our lives as best we can in line with the Word. Hardly different from the unsaved, save for our faith.

    To put it as a paraphrase of PHenry, it’s our actions and examples that are needed to draw people to the Lord. the ones at the pulpit can’t be out there doing the daily work.

    They are more like the charging station replenishing our batteries and filling us with the Word when we need it.

    7
  29. Dadof4, we will meet, brother. Either here or at “Home”. Your testimony has sparked even more inspiring testimonies. Thank you. “They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11. Powerful.

    6
  30. Dadof4 — Your story made me think of my own baptism at the age of about 15. It was the happiest day of my life. I wish I could go back and experience that amazing moment when I was tipped back into the water and basically floated the whole five or so miles home — I decided to walk home with two friends from church and we were over the moon! It never occurred to me at the time, but I lived on Bethel street. “Bethel”, meaning literally “House of God.” Isn’t He just amazing?

    4
  31. I’m happy for you, Dadof4. The world is a better place because you were Baptized. That pisses Satan off and that’s a good thing.

    5
  32. “Isn’t He just amazing?”

    He most certainly is!

    Hambone, I have witnessed what can only be described as demonic possession in someone close to me when I used He when referring to God one time.

    This man went into a rage. “What, does he shave? Does he have balls?” and went on for another minute or so.

    It was really something to witness. I knew he wasn’t a believer, but had no idea that was going to happen.

    This man is one of two I know that were raised in Catholic families and schools and don’t believe in Jesus Christ. He personally knows the local Monsignor and acts respectful when talking about him, so that’s weird to me. The other man’s parents were founding members of Bishop Lynch High school in Dallas. A Catholic school. He considers it all a myth. They were best friends when attending Bishop Lynch.

    I have wondered what the hell they teach there to have this result.

    I invited them to my baptism and they declined. I knew they would but I wanted to be clear about what I was up to. Myth man went on a bit and seemed pretty bothered by it but settled down when I let him say whatever he wanted and all I did was ask deeper why questions, not argue, and accepted his answers for what they were.

    Satan keeps showing his anger and I keep laughing at him.

    When I see it come out of someone, I don’t have fear. I see opportunity.

    5
  33. Dadof4, Satan is devious but he is also arrogant. He wants our souls and is impatient when we refuse.

    God gives us discernment when we are close to him and under his protection. The more we study God’s word and allow him to give us his faith to help us to become more like him, the better equipped we are for his work. Our humility is God’s strength as we face the challenge of growing and maturing as his child.

    You are blessed that God has given you this understanding.

    Philippians 4:8-9
    8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
    9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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