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Summary: A Father’s Day sermon exploring the faithfulness of Joshua.

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(Opened with a "Shaggy Dog" Movie Clip taken from ScreenVue.com)

Being a dad is one very rewarding job, but it is also the toughest gig in my life. Balancing work, life as a husband, ministry to a congregation and investing in the lives of more than 100 students at Indiana Wesleyan’s Lexington campus, all while making a nine year old and a 12 year old feel like the most important thing in my life. Being a father, a good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and unappreciated heroes in all humanity.

One woman noticed that back in 1909. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon when she came up with the idea of having a Father’s Day. You see, after Sonora’s mother died, it was her father who raised her. So she wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man.

Her father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. Then, in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.

One time a little boy was asked to define Father’s Day and he said, “It’s just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”

Did you know that the greatest number of long distance phone calls are made on Mother’s Day, and the largest number of collect calls are made on Father’s Day!

A survey was conducted to determine what children thought were their dad’s favorite sayings. They came up with this top 5:

- Go ask your mother!

- Just wait ‘till I get home!

- When I was your age…

- I used to walk to school in the snow!

- I’m busy right now.

Dads can get a pretty bad wrap. There was a little boy who was caught swearing by his teacher. "Jeffrey, you shouldn’t use that kind of language," she said. "Where did you hear it?"

"My daddy said it," he responded.

"Well," explained the teacher, "you don’t even know what it means."

"I do so!" Jeffrey corrected. "It means the car won’t start."

Another young boy was looking through the family album and asked his mother, "Who’s this guy on the beach with you, with all the muscles and curly hair?"

"That’s your father," said the mother.

The boy seemed astonished as he said to his mom, "Then who’s the old baldheaded fat man who lives with us now?"

One more? A teacher asked her class, "If you had one dollar and you asked your father for another, how many dollars would you have?"

Bobby raised his hand and answered, "One dollar."

The teacher shook her head. "You don’t know your math."

Bobby replied, "You don’t know my father."

Being a dad can be a tough gig. In fact, Father’s Day preaching is even a tough gig. On Mother’s Day, people expect the moms to be recognized, flowers, and a nice pretty sermon reflecting an appreciation of women and moms. I have never heard anyone suggest that the topic of motherhood should be avoided in the church on Mother’s Day.

But I have read many articles, and heard many people comment on how difficult Father’s Day is, and how we maybe should not even preach “Father’s Day” sermons because for many people the memories or treatment of their father is too difficult to have to deal with.

And we wonder where the men have gone in the church of today, or why men fail to step up to the role of Godly leadership in the home.

Just think about how men are portrayed on TV anymore. Ray Romano. Ray’s dad. Remember Tim the Tool Man Taylor. Insensitive oaf always blowing something up. Even back in the good ol’ days, Pa Ingles and Pa Walton were hard nosed, gruff men, who didn’t always join the family for church or model warmth and affection.

And the truth be told. If you really read the Bible, it can be mighty difficult to come up with a strong model of a Godly father to emulate. In the New Testament you have wisdom and direction on parenting from Jesus, Peter, and Paul. But not any autobiographical examples of what it was like for them to live and breath and balance life as a dad.

And in the Old Testament? Forgive me, but David was far from a candidate for Father of the Year. Goodness. One of his sons rapes one of his daughters, and he does nothing. Another one of his own sons battles him for the throne.

Adam had to deal with murder within his own family after giving into the temptation of a snake and his wife. Abraham launched a lineage of men who had a hard time being honest and avoiding deception in their dealings with others.

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