Summary: We have fathers because God made it so “in the beginning.”
I intended last week to launch our summer sermon series, “God, I have a question,” but the Holy Spirit so moved us through Pat’s moving testimony and singing that there was nothing more that could have been said after those moments of heart felt honesty and thankfulness to God for both His faithfulness and Betty’s faithfulness as well. I shared with some of us following the service that I remember a service over 20 years ago in which someone stood to briefly testify as the pastor came to give the morning sermon. He never got to deliver the sermon as others quickly followed to share. At the end of the hour, he said something to the effect of, “I had trouble getting my sermon together for the week and now I know why!”
As I processed last week’s service, I can’t help but feel that we turned some kind of a corner as a church. I am not sure what that means, but I just felt like we grew as a congregation last week. And I thank God for that!
Our summer sermon series is entitled, “God, I have a question” and those questions come as a result of asking us here on Sunday morning and through some e-mails I sent to others, “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” The responses were varied and deep and, as I reviewed them, I categorized them into the following categories and sermons as follows: (overhead 1)
June 27th – Questions about Children and Family Life
July 11th – Questions about Loving Your Enemy
July 25th – Questions about Beginnings and Endings
August 1st – Questions about Evil and Suffering
August 8th – Questions about Salvation and Christian Maturity
August 22nd – Questions about Purpose
Speaking of purpose, last week I re-read chapter 10, “The Heart of Worship” in Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, and this paragraph stood out to me:
“Another aspect of a fully surrendered life is trust. Abraham followed God’s leading without knowing where it would take him. Hannah waited for God’s perfect timing without knowing when. Mary expected a miracle without knowing how. Joseph trusted God’s purpose without knowing why circumstances happened the way they did.”
Where, when, how, and why are all italicized by Warren in the paragraph and what stuck me was that they are words that we use when we ask questions. These words are in many of the questions that I have received which I will be sharing over the course of this summer.
Another thing that struck me was that Warren makes a connection between trust and questions. My text for last week was 2 Corinthians 5:7, “That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.” In older translations, this reads, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”
Faith requires and uses trust. Questions have the ability to block trust and therefore hinder faith. Questions also have the ability to grow and develop both trust and faith. The difference is in the attitudes and mindset that are behind the questions.
But on this Sunday morning, we are going to set our series aside and look at dads and fathers and why fatherhood is important and necessary.
Now, parenting (motherhood and fatherhood) as a whole has it’s serious as well as it humorous moments. We will look at both this morning but first we need to remember that fatherhood from time to time has a humorous side to it.
This week I found some great reminders of the humorous side of fathering from the National Center for Fathering’s website, fathers.com. With a tip of the hat to David Letterman, they have an archive of Top 10 Lists of things related to fathering and parenting. Here are a three of them. (Overhead 2)
The Top Ten Dinner Dishes
When Mom’s Away and Dad’s "Cooking"
10. Hot dogs with just a hint of Tabasco.
9. "Kids eat free" night at the steak house.
7. Broiled bologna benedict on rye.
6. Back-of-the-fridge goulash (with lots of pepper).
5. Chips & salsa.
4. Cocoa Puff surprise.
3. Something old, something blue, something frozen, call it stew.
2. Cold pizza.
1. Whatever’s cooking at Grandma’s.
(Overheads 3 and 4)
The Top Ten Things You Won’t Hear a Father Say
10. "Can you turn up that music? It really calms my nerves."
9. "You can’t finish your peas? Go ahead and throw ’em away."
8. "Here, you take the remote."
7. "Oh no, kids, this sled is TOO FAST!"
6. "No, honey, sit this one out. I really can’t wait to change that diaper."
5. "As a matter of fact, let’s both go get nose rings!"
4. "Hey, kids! Sit down at the table and try my vichyssoise."
3. "Go ahead, take my car-and here’s fifty bucks for gas."