And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:17)
THIS SUNDAY IS "FATHER'S DAY" in the United States. It is a day to pay tribute to our fathers, living and dead, who occupy such an important place in our lives. I always think of the old Jewish priest, Zacharias, who became a father in his old age and how important he was to the nation of Israel.
ZACHARIAH, THE PRIEST, AND ELIZABETH were now too old to have a child, so they thought, but God had other plans. He and Elizabeth were going to have a special child, a preacher with the power of the prophet Elijah. His powerful preaching would prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of the promised Jewish Messiah.
ONE SPECIAL FEATURE OF HIS PREACHING was that it would turn the hearts of the fathers toward their children. That seems to be a need in every generation. Any nation that has weak fathers is going to be afflicted with moral weakness. The moral decline of America is largely the result of weak fathers who have not modeled the Word of God for their children.
FACEBOOK IS ALWAYS FILLED WITH PICTURES OF FATHERS and words of affection and appreciation and we scan through the pictures and comments and enjoy it very much!
I thought it would be good if I join in the recall of fathers and share some memories of my father in Morning Minute.
THE PICTURE IS OF MY FATHER and me in 1942 at my dad’s Dogwood mill in Mountain City, TN. I know my mother didn’t take this picture because my collar is too messed up. My dad was forty-four, I was eight and our nation was entering World War II at full speed. One of the highlights of our private life was my going with him on trips. I sat in his lap and steered the car. Mile after mile. He always trusted me to do stuff.
Dad professed to be a Christian at that time but was more of a token church attender. He got that settled a few years later. My brother was ten years older and I was “the baby” so I got a lot of attention and more coddling than my brother. My dad was a go-getter in his sawmilling. His products had to be “right.” He bought his first Dogwood mill when he was sixteen and hired his sister, Stella, to fire the boiler that powered the mill. He later had lumber mills, too. But the Great Depression stopped all building and he went bankrupt with a yard full of lumber on hand.
That was the last lumber he cut and switched over to Dogwood and Hickory products for the weaving industry, tool handles, skis. The U.S. military was desperate to produce uniforms, tents, parachutes, etc. and the weaving industry depended on dogwood sawmills to produce weaving shuttles and hickory mills to make the batting (picker) sticks for the shuttles.
My dad never laid his hand on me in discipline. His sternest words were: “Well, I’d be ashamed!” My mother was a little more emphatic with a peach tree switch. Dad (and Mother) finished the eighth grade back when the eighth grade was full of useful stuff. He was good with a pencil.
He realized that in addition to a good sawmill, he needed a good typewriter for correspondence with the mills that finished his Dogwood products. My earliest memories are his new 1935 Royal typewriter and Dad typing with his two fingers. Not bad! He had a pen and a bottle of ink for signing his letters. He sold many truckloads of products with that typewriter; New Hampshire, New York, Greensboro, NC. After the war, he sold products to London and other European countries…with that Royal Typewriter.
He saw my interest in the typewriter and when I was five, he turned a chair around and let me stand on my knees and type with two fingers. I was learning my letters off the baking powder and lard cans in the kitchen and learned to spell my name. So, I began typing my name at five. I still have the typewriter and sometimes type Scripture memory cards on it. There’s a company that makes new typewriters and ribbons for the typewriters of the 30’s. I taped the address on the side of the typewriter. When the original cover came apart, he had a heavy leather cover made for it and it’s still in good shape.
Dad loved to walk around on the little farm at Crossville, TN, at the Homesteads. But he never put his hands in the dirt or use a hoe or milk a cow or goat or feed a pig or gather eggs. That was my mother’s domain, and mine after I reached twelve.
We had a smoke house that dad had repaired, poured a concrete floor, and made it into his office. He loved the Chuck Wagon Gang and had a collection of their records he played in his office. When I was grown and would visit, we always went to his office and he played the Chuck Wagon Gang and the Carter Family.
He visited us one time but didn’t spend the night. He was big on luring us to his house and he always wanted to give me some gas money because he didn’t visit us. So, that’s the way we did it.
I didn’t get it all together until Dad was gone and I slowly reassembled it into one big picture. He had a drive and determination that few men had. He didn’t know it couldn’t be done. He loved his family. I watched him grow closer to the Lord in his last years. I wouldn’t trade him for any other dad. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
June 14, 2019 – FRIDAY
A.M. Ezra 6-8 P.M. John 21
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Great Memory Verses:
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. (Psalm 33:12-13)
Song for Today:
Precious Memories (5:56) (Jim Hill - Gaither Group)
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