Core scripture: “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)
Message: Alright men, shoot straight with me … What would your ultimate Father’s Day look like? I chuckled to myself, thinking about that. Mine might include getting together with some friends for golf. Grilling out some steaks. A family trip to the pool. No chores. No dishes to scrape clean. Maybe a guy movie to relax somewhere in the day. I am thinking Braveheart or Saving Private Ryan. Maybe Die Hard. Or if I was in the mood for golf, snoozing on the couch while watching the final round of the US Open. I’d actually be able to have cable for a day just to reminisce what life was like when I used to watch Sportscenter. And to cap off the night, let’s just say my wife and I would have to lock the door after hours.
What will my Father’s Day be like instead? Well, I can tell you it will not include any of the above. Not Sunday at least. Our family will be attending church, immediately following we will grab a quick bite to eat before my wife and kids drive me to drop me off at church again. Why? The middle school bus leaves for Camp CYOKAMO at 2:30 pm. While others are tossing another brat on the grill, I’ll be watching middle school boys play “The Floor is Lava” in the bunkhouse. I guess this guy has to get his teaching fix in somehow. An added bonus is that this time I will not be restricted by Separation of Church and State. This time I can preach the gospel with reckless abandon, citing scripture and having meaningful conversations.
I suppose my fleshy instincts on how to spend Father’s Day get trumped by God’s plan. After all, God is my Heavenly Father; and as the core scripture above alludes to, all we do is through Jesus Christ. So how would Jesus advise me to spend my Father’s Day? Watching World Cup highlights on Sportscenter or watching 7th graders have a belching contest? Toasting marshmallows at a CYOKAMO pool party or frustrating myself on the golf course? There is no doubt Jesus wants me to make the trip! Plus who cares? My Father’s Day was celebrated a day early on Saturday with two hours at the pool and Casey’s Pizza for supper, watching a highly underrated movie you have probably never seen called The World’s Greatest Athlete.
(Sorry, but I need a slight interlude here to promote this gem. Filmed three years before I was even born in 1973, I first watched this when I was in grade school back when Blockbuster was still around. My Dad found it at a vintage online store and gave it to me as an early birthday gift. Needless to say, my sons were greatly impressed with the sheer goofiness of the flick. And yes, you know me … I have to attach the trailer so you will be inspired yourselves to seek it out and find it:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDITa8DzO-c)
Hilarious movies aside, I hope you all find a productive way to spend your Father’s Day. Whether God calls you to relax by the pool, grill out, golf, go to church, or make a two-hour bus ride to Alba, Missouri to visit Camp CYOKAMO, we all have something in common. Whether our earthly father got the job done right or not (mine may be the best in my biased opinion), we all have the same Heavenly Father. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure (Ephesians 1:5). You are all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Be sure to make time to praise your Father today, thanking Him for all His blessings.
Challenge: Make time to thank both your Heavenly Father and your earthly father this Father’s Day weekend. When you are through, forward this blog to a father that needs to hear it. Teachers or non-teachers, I think any Christian dad would benefit from hearing the thoughts.
Song application: “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin
I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone
You’re a good good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
Cinema application: The movie Courageous chronicles the lives of four police officers, all from different backgrounds and all with different fathering issues. It is an inspiring Christian movie that challenges all men to father their children the right way.
Journal/Accountability: Journal or talk with a trusted Christian friend about how you can be a better father (or a better mother … or if you are unmarried, how to be a better teacher. I think that hits most all of us!).
Quote: “My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” (Clarence Budington Kelland)
Bible story: Do you need a man’s Bible verse? Look no further than the Armor of God! Most guys out there appreciate a good action-packed war movie. Throw in all the battle gear mentioned here and the men will be high-fiving each other, stuffing their faces with popcorn. Read through Ephesians 6:11-18. How does each part of the armor protect different aspects of the body? How do they defend spiritual characteristics? What is the ONLY offensive weapon mentioned, and how can it be used to take out our enemy, Satan?
Other scripture: “You received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15)
Prayer: Lord, You are the ultimate model of fatherhood. May we all aspire to show that same unconditional love to our children and students. Amen.