My Father was Unfair to Himself

My father was unfair to himself by Chad Gramling

LaMar Gramling was the oldest boy of a rural Indiana family that included four siblings. He passed away while I was in my mid-twenties, at the one time in our lives when I was half his age.

If you were to ask most people who knew him, they would probably first tell you about LaMar’s beard, which rivaled those of ZZ Top and would embarrass today’s most “fashionable” chins. Next, they’d likely convey his

A Hard Lesson for Dad!

This is the true story of a dad who learned a hard lesson about how important his relationship to his children was. This father was a bright, innovative young EXECUTIVE who quickly climbed the corporate ladder of SUCCESS. He, along with his wife and two boys, lived in a nice suburban neighborhood just across from a beautiful park.

His children, one Saturday morning came bursting into his BEDROOM, “Dad let’s build a FORT in the park.” The father said, “I’m sorry sons. I can’t today, I’ve got some things I have to do at the OFFICE.” Both of the boys had a very disappointing look on their faces. “Next Saturday,” the father promised, “we’ll BUILD a FORT.”

The next Saturday they burst into his BEDROOM again. This time they’re not taking any chances—they come bringing boards, nails, and hammers. “Dad! Dad, wake up! You promised that you would help us build a FORT today in the park.” The young father said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot all about it!” Seeing the DISAPPOINTMENT on their faces again he says, “I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get on the PHONE and in your hearing, I’m going to take next Saturday off. I just can’t get away today.” “Okay, Dad,” the boys said understandably. (KIDS ARE SO FORGIVING, AREN’T THEY?)

Next Saturday comes, and the father and two boys are sitting around the table eating breakfast. The boys are EXCITED, bouncing back and forth singing, “We’re going to built a FORT. Dad’s going to help us BUILD a FORT.” As they start out the DOOR, the phone rings. SILENCE! You can hear a pin drop. WHAT IS DAD GOING TO DO? Dad goes over and answers the phone. He doesn’t have to say anything to the boys. They can tell by his expression that it’s the BOSS.

“John, I need you to come in this morning. You are the only one who can close this DEAL.” He looks at his sons carrying their boards and hammers and thinks to himself, “Well, I guess it’s either a CHOICE between my JOB and my KIDS.” Reluctantly he says, “Listen boys, I’ve got to go into work. I’ve got something I need . . .”

“No, Dad! No! You promised.”

“I’ve got to go in just a little while. You start the FORT without me, and I’ll be back very soon to help you FINISH it.” The father got into his car and DROVE away.

The youngest son started across the street carrying his boards, hammer, and nails crying because his Dad BROKE his promise again. Blinded by the tears, he doesn’t see the oncoming CAR, walks out in front of it and is struck KILLING him instantly.

Three days later the young father is at the FUNERAL of his little boy. He looks out over the audience and sees his BOSS and all of his male COLLEAGUES. And he realizes the IRONY of it all; what the CHOICE he made COST him. He begins to CRY. He then stands and speaking through the TEARS he says for all to hear, “Men, if I can leave you one piece of ADVICE this morning, it will be this: BUILD THE FORT TODAY, FATHERS. PLEASE, BUILD THE FORT TODAY!”

I want to leave you with this… Our children need us, they thirst for us, they require that we be fathers. At the end of the day, can you say you did EVERYTHING you had to do to be the dad that your kids deserve and need? Can you honestly say you lived a sacrificial life that overflowed onto your children? Take a few minutes today to do something completely opposite of what is expected of you. Hug your children and tell them “Dad loves you”. Then help them BUILD THAT FORT!


Who Is A Godly Father? Are You?

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I am going to start this series by proclaiming a fact. That fact is that Real Men are in very short supply. I am talking about Real men who will say,  “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”. Not everyone who is a male is a man. I mean a real man, a godly man. You can be born a male, but it takes maturity to be a man. You’re young only once, but you can be immature forever. What I am talking about is more than being born male, I am talking about being a real, masculine, virile, Godly, Biblical man so you can become a godly father. And this is why Manly Training exists.

So, what is real manliness? What is God’s plan for the man? If you purchase a dishwasher, a refrigerator, a stereo, a CD player, or anything else, you get a book of instructions. If you get a new car, you get a book, an owner’s manual. God has given us a book. It is the Word of God and from the Word of God we’re going to find God’s plan for the man. We’re not going to get it from Tom Brokaw or Donald Trump. And we’re not even going to get it from Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood or any other popular Hollywood actor. We’re going to have to find out from God’s Word what God’s plan for the man is. There is a basic fundamental difference between men and women and the devil is doing all that he can do to blur that distinction.

The Bible says in Genesis 1:27 that God made them in the beginning, male and female. Today, there are those who are trying to tell us that there is no fundamental difference between a man and a woman and they’re saying this in the name of “equality”. Men and women are equal, but they are not the same.

The first thing we need to do is to understand that God made man, and God made woman.

Psalm 128

Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
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    for the man who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion;
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May you live to see your children’s children—
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God made them different. And God made them different for a purpose. If you want to become the man that God created you to be, you will need to study Psalm 128. You will need to search for God’s wisdom in this Psalm like someone who is searching for a hidden treasure! I will take parts of this Psalm every week and pull it apart in a way that makes sense to the modern man!  It is in this Psalm that we are going to find out what a real man is. We are going to find out what God’s plan is for the man. And in doing so, I pray we will find out who we are!

Are you ready? Will you follow me on this journey? Can you handle it? I dare you to read through this series. It may just change your life. Don’t miss it!

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