Summary: The fourth of a four part series on family life.

Today marks five years since we first met. I am still glad to be your pastor and I look forward to more years together.

Last year I shared three top ten father’s lists from Does anyone remember what they were? One list was “Top Ten Dinner Dishes When Mom’s Away and Dad’s “Cooking,” the second one was “The Top Ten Things You Won’t Hear a Father Say” and the final one was “The Top Ten Father’s New Year’s Resolution.”

Well, here is another Top Ten list for dads on this Father’s Day 2005. It is entitled “Top Ten Things a Teenage Daughter Doesn’t Want To Hear from Her Dad.”

10. “Let me explain what ’deductible’ means on car insurance.”

9. “Your mom’s almost ready. Where are we going on our double date?”

8. “Seems to me last year’s prom dress still has some life in it.”

7. “I signed us up for the pairs karaoke contest this Friday night.”

6. “We ate possum toes like popcorn when I was a kid.”

5. “Let’s get ice cream, my treat! Just let me grab my jar of coins.”

4. “I am proud that you decided to keep the family unibrow.”

3. “You don’t need to go shopping after all. I picked out a purse for you on my way home.”

2. “I ran into Bobby at the grocery store. I told him that you’re really hoping he’ll ask you to the dance.”

1. “By the way, I had to borrow your deodorant yesterday.”

We conclude our series, “God is in the Small Stuff for Families” with the thought that “God is in the fathering of families.” In July, I will begin a series through the New Testament book of James that will take us through the rest of the summer.

There are many dimensions to fathering and they are all important but the following story illustrates the one that I focus on this morning. It is entitled “The Coolest Dad in The Universe” written by Angie K. Kucer-Ward.

“He was 50 years old when I was born, and a "Mr. Mom" long before anyone had a name for it. I didn’t know why he was home instead of Mom, but I was young and the only one of my friends who had their dad around. I considered myself very lucky.

Dad did so many things for me during my grade-school years. He convinced the school bus driver to pick me up at my house instead of the usual bus stop that was six blocks away. He always had my lunch ready for me when I came home - usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that was shaped for the season. My favorite was at Christmas. The sandwiches would be sprinkled with green sugar and cut in the shape of a tree.

As I got a little older and tried to gain my independence, I wanted to move away from those "childish" signs of his love. But he wasn’t going to give up. In high school and no longer able to go home for lunch, I began taking my own. Dad would get up a little early and make it for me. I never knew what to expect. The outside of the sack might be covered with his rendering of a mountain scene (it became his trademark) or a heart inscribed with "Dad-n-Angie K.K." in its center. Inside there would be a napkin with that same heart or an "I love you." Many times, he would write a joke or a riddle, such as "Why don’t they ever call it a momsicle instead of a popsicle?" He always had some silly saying to make me smile and let me know that he loved me.

I used to hide my lunch so no one would see the bag or read the napkin, but that didn’t last long. One of my friends saw the napkin one day, grabbed it, and passed it around the lunchroom. My face burned with embarrassment. To my astonishment, the next day all my friends were waiting to see the napkin. From the way they acted, I think they all wished they had someone who showed them that kind of love. I was so proud to have him as my father. Throughout the rest of my high school years, I received those napkins, and still have a majority of them.

And still it didn’t end. When I left home for college (the last one to leave), I thought the messages would stop. But my friends and I were glad that his gestures continued.

I missed seeing my dad every day after school and so I called him a lot. My phone bills got to be pretty high. It didn’t matter what we said; I just wanted to hear his voice. We started a ritual during that first year that stayed with us. After I said goodbye he always said, "Angie?" "Yes, Dad?" I’d reply. “I love you."

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