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Summary: If you are part of a blended family and you have a step-father you need to know that your step-fathers capacity to love you is no less that of your biological fathers. Like Jesus you share a special relationship to your father.

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Fathers Day 2007

1 Timothy 1:1,2

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today marks a special day on our Western Calendars Fathers Day.

Duncan Fisher of Fathers Direct in Great Britain said: The traditional Fathers Day is outmoded. It is modeled on Mothers Day. The notion that dads need a day to put their feet up, be waited on and spend time apart from their children is ridiculous. Our chief concern as fathers is LACK of time with our children because of work commitments.

This quote reminds me of one that Dr. James Dobson made children spell love T I M E.

History:

Im very sorry I could not be with you for Mothers Day and I regret I could not bring you a message on that special day so Ill try my best to be inclusive as we talk about Fathers, Fathers Day and parenting in general.

I did some research and discovered that the tradition of Fathers Day is owed to an American woman Sonora Smart who was the daughter of a Civil War veteran named William Jackson Smart. He returned home from the war having fought in the 1862 battle of Pea Ridge during the Civil War.

He was a farmer who lived near Spokane, Washington. He and his wife Ellen Victoria Cheek raised a family of six children. Ellen died in child birth in 1898 giving birth to her last son Marshall. They had five boys and one daughter named Sonora.

She was the first born and was 16 years old when her mother died. She helped her father raise the boys and grew to admire her fathers ability, devotion and love as a parent since he refused to remarry and raise his family himself. Sonora was aware of Mothers Day which was quickly becoming a tradition and thought that Fathers like hers also deserved a day of national recognition.

Im not sure if she was the first daughter to buy her dad a tie for fathers day or not but the tradition of Fathers Day is credited to her. Over the years her campaign became what is now our modern Fathers Day although it was not set on June 5th which was her fathers birthday it was to be fixed to the third Sunday in June. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Fathers Day to be held on the 3rd Sunday of June each year.

The first Fathers Day was celebrated June 19, 1910 in Spokane, WA. Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the Worlds Fair in Spokane, Washington in 1974. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd died on Mar. 22, 1978 at the age of ninety-six. She rests in Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Spokane Washington, USA.

Well there you have it the origins of our modern Fathers Day. What surprised me was that it was a daughter and not a son who pushed to create Fathers Day. Maybe Im being chauvinistic but I thought it was kind of neat that a woman wanted men honored in a special way. Im not sure if that would happen in our society today.

Trying to tackle these big special holidays from scripture is a real challenge since they did not exist back then. But the family certainly existed and thrived. What I would like to do today is look at several fathers from the bible and see what lessons their lives teach us as fathers and parents today.

Joseph who was Jesus step-father played a huge role and we would do well to examine his contributions. Firstly he was a God fearing man who trusted an Angelic messenger about the child his fiance was carrying.

He did not bring public shame on Mary and did not claim an injustice by God. How many of us would be so willing to have our reputations and family name destroyed by the town gossips as Im sure Joseph had to suffer. He put his life at risk when he became hunted by King Herod and had to flee into a foreign land (Egypt) and stay in hiding away from his family and friends.

Even when he finally returns to his homeland he finds his oldest son Jesus is a little different. Jesus has his head in the scriptures and finds the company of the teachers in the synagogue more interesting than playing with friends his own age. On one occasion Jesus even goes missing for three days from the caravan and they find him teaching the old men in the temple.

Joseph showed incredible trust in God and patience to step back and let Jesus become the person he had to be. We do not read of whether Joseph disciplines Jesus but I imagine there was some conversation about next time leave a note for your mother not me.

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