My Dad, Pat, and PrayForMe
Easter Sunday was the second anniversary of my dad’s passing. I know many of you have lost loved ones, so you understand the emotions that come, and the grieving process. It seems like this year was easier than last year. Honestly, the grief always surprises me. I will be in bed talking to Chris about his day, or our next fishing trip, and a surge of grief will come. I miss my dad, but what brings the most sadness is knowing Chris and Josiah won’t have an opportunity to make Grandpa Tom memories, him baiting their hooks and taking off bluegills and crappies we catch. Easter Sunday is such a fitting time to remember my dad because I know the faith he has in Jesus. My dad wasn’t perfect, but he loved God and he loved us, his family. This was evident in the life he lived and the legacy he left. Growing up I remember my dad prioritizing church. It was expected, no matter how busy my week with sports, the arts, school and friends, that Sunday morning we would all be worshiping God together at church. My dad taught Sunday school, Awana, and participated in Bible studies. He not only passed on faith to me and my brothers, but to others. For a few years my dad was a co-leader with a young man at our church named Pat. My dad also had the opportunity to be Pat’s banker and share in big moments in his life, like buying an engagement ring and a house. Since my dad has passed my mom has had several conversations with Pat about the impact my dad had on his life. I think this is an example of what Psalms 145:4 means when it says:
“One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.”
And Psalms 71:17-18:
“Since my youth, God, you have taught me,
and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.”
Pat’s life was changed by my dad, passing down his faith as they faithfully served in children’s ministry together. How are you passing down your faith? I think of the empty-nester in Altoona who is a state fair nut! She tries to win as many ribbons as possible, even in things like “husband calling contest?” She took the teen kids from other families in her small group each year to the fair for one day. This is a celebrated highlight of their summer. When these teens had questions or problems they always knew they had a supporter in Deana. Building relationships matters. Investing in youth and young families matters. Recently we had a mishap during youth group that resulted in a hole in the drywall. Some men in our church took this opportunity to build a relationship and invest in a teen. It was slower and messier than if one of them had just done it. However, in the end, the wall was fixed, a new skill was learned and that teen knows she has people on her side here at Cedar Hills. To help build more intergenerational relationships, and opportunities, we are doing this PrayForMe campaign. I hope you will all join me in the PrayForMe campaign. So that every teen and family with kids can have three prayer champions. People who are in their corner. We can all learn from each other, and learn to appreciate one another through building relationships and praying. Our young people need to know they have a whole family of people on their side here at Cedar Hills Community Church. Just like Pat knew my dad was a man of faith whose door was always open for a good fish story or a chat about life and faith.
Director of Youth & Young Adults