I Will Lift My Eyes

By Bob Pittenger

What a beautiful song by Bebo Norman!

I absolutely love the lyrics in the chorus,  “I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb. I will lift my eyes to the Calmer of the oceans raging wild. I will lift my eyes to the Healer of the hurt I hold inside. I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You.

I hope this uplifting song leads you in worshipping our God, Savior, and Lord!

 

 

I’m Going to be a Dad?

In my office, on the wall above my computer monitor, is a present my wife gave me for Father’s Day 2005. It is a picture frame with thirteen pictures of me and William. It starts with a picture of me holding him the day he was born and is followed by another picture taken on the same day each month. The final picture is, of course, me holding him on his first birthday. On my book shelves I have several other pictures of him—graduating preschool, his school photos from kindergarten, first, and second grade.  In just a few seconds, I can see all seven years of his life.

Sometimes I just can’t think or study anymore, so I take a break to rest my weary mind. It is during those breaks that I recall all the wonderful memories I have had with William over the last seven years. I think about how much he has grown physically, all that he has learned educationally, and how he is maturing spiritually. Without a doubt, I am a proud father. I love my son with every ounce of my being, and I make sure he is confident of that love. I want him to know my love for him doesn’t change when I am frustrated at his disobedience, when I am disciplining him for his actions, and most especially when we are separated from one another. I want him to understand that my love is unconditional, and nothing—I mean nothing—will ever separate him from my love, ever.

Most of us have seen too many children literally fighting for the affections of their parents. When they do not get it, they go elsewhere in search of love and acceptance, and it is guaranteed they will find it somewhere. It was this thought which woke me up from a deep sleep shortly before William was born. I sat straight up in the bed with one thought racing through my mind, “What if I’m not a good dad?” I found myself gripped with fear and anxiety. What did I know about being a parent? I was thirty-nine years old and should be getting ready to be a grandpa not a dad! Needless to say, I wasn’t able to clear my mind or go back to sleep, so I quietly knelt down beside the bed so as to not wake my wife, and I began to pray.

That night, I prayed for everything. I prayed for my son’s health, protection, salvation, his spiritual calling, and even his future wife. I remember asking God to give him a heart that burns with a passion to live a godly life, tell others about Jesus, and meet the needs of the hurting. And then I prayed something I had never said before, “Father, I guess I’m asking you to give me a son like Jesus. A son who loves you, obeys you, seeks to glorify you in all he does.” To be honest, the words came out before I thought them through, so I stopped praying to contemplate what I had just asked for.

Up to that point, praying had eased my fear and anxiety; however, that last line had rekindled the fire of anxiety and put one thought in my fearful mind, “If he is to grow up like Jesus, he needs a father like Jesus’ Father, and I’m not GOD!” With that dark storm cloud of fear hovering over me I cried out, “God, please help me be a good dad!” Immediately a thought rushed into my mind, “Give him Jesus!” Give him the unconditional love of Christ, teach the commands of Christ, show him the love, grace, mercy, compassion, forgiveness of Christ, and most of all, live the life of Christ as an example for him.

That dark night of the soul has become a bright beacon on days when I just don’t feel like I’m getting the job done. It is a bright lighthouse shining in the darkness—lighting the way for me to avoid the dangerous rocks of doubt and depression. It is a memory that reminds me that my son doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does his father! Why? Because Jesus is perfect and He is in control of our lives!

Following A Legend

My grandfather died in 1952 when my father was just nine years old. He only had a dad for nine years! I have been blessed with my father for over fifty-one years. For a  man who only had a fatherly example for nine years, he has been the best dad for which I could ever have asked.

He taught me the importance of keeping my word, working hard, taking care of my family, and most importantly about loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. He has tried to live his life in such a way that in him I can see what my Father in heaven is really like. No I don’t think my dad is perfect; however, he has always pointed me to the one Father who is.

Now as a father I am trying to set the same example for my son. I want him to see in me a mere reflection of his Father in heaven. I want my life to demonstrate God’s love, mercy, grace, compassion, righteousness, and justice. I want to be to him what my father was to me, and what his father was to him, and ultimately what God the Father was to His Son.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, but especially to those who reflect the image of our Father in heaven.

To Any Daddy

There are little eyes upon you, and they’re watching night and day,

There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say;

There are little hands all eager to do everything you do,

And a little boy who’s dreaming of the day he’ll be like you.

You’re the little fellow’s idol, you’re the wisest of the wise;

In his little mind about you no suspicions ever rise;

He believes in you devoutly, holds that all you say and do

He will say and do in your way when he’s grown up like you.

There’s a wide-eyed little fellow who believes you’re always right,

And his ears are always open and he watches day and night,

You are setting an example every day in all you do,

For the little boy who’s waiting to grow up to be like you.

Source: Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes, pg 203

A Father’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, can you forgive me for hurting my children?

I came from a poor background so I thought that a big house would make my children feel important. I didn’t realize that all it takes is my love.

I thought money would bring them happiness, but all it did was make them think that things were more important than people.

I thought spanking them would make them tough so that they could defend themselves. All it did was stop me from seeking wisdom so that I could discipline and teach them.

I thought that leaving them alone would make them independent. All it did was force my one son to be the father to my second son.

I thought that by smoothing over all of the family problems I was keeping peace. All I was teaching them was to run rather than lead.

I thought that by pretending to be the perfect family in public that I was bringing them respectability. All I was teaching them was to live a lie and keep the secret.

I thought that all I had to do to be a father was make money, stay at home and supply all their material needs. All I taught them was that there is more to being a dad. The problem is they will have to guess what being a dad really is.

And Dear God,

I hope you can read this prayer. My tears have smudged a lot of words.

From “Stories for the Heart” by Alice Gray (Multnomah, 169).