Monthly Archives: June 2021

Happy Father’s Day Abba (אבא)

“The Incredible Father & Delusional Sons”

I had the thought this morning that I should tell “Our Father,” Happy Father’s Day! So I did, using the Aramaic term for intimacy that Jesus and Paul often used when addressing our Heavenly Father, Abba, rendered in English as “Daddy.”

I was pondering the parable of the prodigal son early this Father’s Day too. It seems proximity didn’t protend relationship. It was something more that broke through to the sons in the end — seeing their Father’s heart. Experiencing His grace and love.

What caused the deception? I don’t know. We aren’t told. Being human I suppose, in a world of lies, and influenced by satan, the father of lies. But even those circumstances exist by His gracious decision and decree.

Whether you are more like the younger son or the older son, this appears to be a setup of sorts. One that forces you to come to grips with what you know about the Father and what you don’t. What is true and what isn’t true about Him.

This setup is so we may come to really know Our Father, how He is and was all along. That He may know us. That we may know ourselves. That we may know the beauty of His majesty and His grace anew. How amazing it is! And how necessary!

Godspeed on your journey, toward Him, and with Him.

Oh by the way, it’s immensely helpful if He dwells in you and with you. And if you dwell or abide with Him. (John 15:5) It was His plan all along, and His promise.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21

Happy Father’s Day!

A good friend of mine named Art from Atlanta who I had the joy of meeting on a mission trip to Cuba a few years back sent this email out to family and friends this week with the invitation to share it. He makes many valuable, insightful, and instructive points, so I wanted to share it (slightly shortened for space) with fellow fathers, along with a prayer that our Father in Heaven give us grace to know Him and be like Him, with our children. Blessings on this special day!


Atlanta is celebrating the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh, the noted but tragic painter, in a show called Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience. The show is an awe-inspiring journey into the universe of Van Gogh using an array of hi-tech resources.

A friend, senior like me, took his family to the Van Gogh show to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday. He was amazed at the magnitude of Van Gogh’s work in art forms and writings, and the technology that produced such an experience. He shared his experience with our Friday morning group and mentioned one of Van Goph’s quotes that struck him: “What would life be if we hadn’t courage to attempt anything?”

In searching the source of this quote, I discovered a letter – long letter – written to Van Gogh’s brother, Theo. Van Gogh shared with his brother how he and his dad on Christmas day had a violent scene escalating to the point where dad told his son to leave the home, which Van Gogh did, never to return. Van Gogh was 28 at the time.

The argument was – you guessed it – over [ … ] church. How many fathers have lost their kids over religion. (Note: Van Gogh had turned to religion earlier in life, even serving as a missionary in Belgium.)

Referring back to the Van Gogh quote on courage, Van Gogh was himself a courageous person. What if Van Gogh’s dad had not made church such an issue? Van Gogh and his dad [perhaps] could have had an amicable relationship, where Van Gogh could have found himself in relationship with Jesus. The world would be benefiting from the work of a sound man who knew Jesus instead of the product of a deranged madman who at one time cut off an ear and eventually took his own life.

I have frequently written on the most severe condition of our nation that manifests in the craziness of our culture today: fatherlessness.

Here are a few thoughts after considering the father-son impasse in Van Gogh’s life that I hope you can appreciate –

  1. Saint Paul wrote: “And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
  2. After about age 12, trying to get your kid to follow you in your religious track can be like pushing on a wet noodle. Pray (Jesus is your kid’s savior, not you), lead by example, speak the truth in love. “Preach at all times; use words occasionally” (Quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi).
  3. Be there physically and emotionally. Let your kids know how much you delight in them. (Jesus delights in us as Jesus’ Father delights in Jesus.)
  4. Don’t lie to your kids – about anything. This is especially true about trying to cover up your own life. Be honest, quick to ask forgiveness when you have wronged them, quick to forgive them,
  5. Make sure you understand and fight against the craziness of our culture to which our kids are exposed today. Speak the truth in love against it all. It’s crazy and it’s all false: more than two genders, decide your own gender, America is all bad, our founders were evil, whites are bad, our economic system is evil. If you are allowing your kid to be exposed to this cultural trash without you defending the truth, it’s as bad as lying to them, and the end is ruin for your kids and you.

Pray with me: Dads, be there, come home, make amends with your kids, and be the dads our kids deserve and need.

It’s what God expects from every dad. Responsible dads in the home who love and respect their kids make the family run like God designed it to run. And if the home runs like it should, then the country will run like it should, to the glory of God.


Thanks Art, and Blessings to you fathers, and grace from the Father of us all! Ephesians 3 :):)

“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.”

“He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50: 1 & 23