How to Leave a Godly Legacy

How to Leave a Godly Legacy

Happy Father’s Day! We all have something in common, all of us will leave a legacy to our children. Will it be a godly legacy or a legacy of disaster? That’s up to you. Listen to today’s message if you want to learn how you can leave a legacy that will bless your families for generations to come.

10 Must Have Qualities for Dads; According to kids.

Tomorrow is father’s day. It seem a shame that Father’s Day is not as big a deal as Mother’s day, but then again, Father’s seem to have gone missing here in the USA. Fatherlessness is growing at an alarming rate! Today, one in three children will go to bed in a home without a dad. This entire series, all 45 days of intense discussions on a father’s Legacy is really a call to action for all of us. Every American man and every man that this Ministry has reached across the globe needs to step up to the plate and hit a home-run! With every decision we make and every decision we don’t, we must ask ourselves;

What kind of Legacy will I leave my Children?

What kind of Legacy will I leave this world?


I found this on the web:

I don’t have a daughter, but if I had one, I’d do a few of these suggestions. This is god stuff.

The Top Ten Ways to Intimidate Your Daughter’s Date When He Comes to Pick Her Up:

10. Sprinkle some dust on your daughter before she leaves. Explain, “It makes fingerprinting easier.”

9. Challenge him at arm wrestling.

8. Introduce him to your good friend Tony Soprano.

7. Answer the door wearing a police swat team uniform.

6. Casually show him your collection of five shrunken heads, then yell up to your daughter, “Number six is here!”

5. Come to the door bare-chested. Do a lot of flexing.

4. Introduce him to the family by calling each family member to the living room using a whistle, then making them stand at attention and salute.

3. Have the funeral home director over to measure the young man.

2. Answer the door in a straight-jacket.

1. As they leave, speak into a walkie-talkie: “Subject is wearing khakis and a blue polo shirt, driving a green Ford.”

Here’s a more serious Top Ten list. A survey of elementary children was conducted a few years ago which indicated the ten most appreciated qualities for Dads:

1. He takes time for me.
2. He listens to me.
3. He plays with me.
4. He invites me to go places with him.
5. He lets me help him.
6. He treats my mother well.
7. He lets me say what I think.
8. He’s nice to my friends.
9. He only punishes me when I deserve it.
10. He isn’t afraid to admit when he’s wrong.

In a New Yorker magazine cartoon, a young child interrupts his dad’s reading of the evening paper with a question: “Dad, am I experiencing a normal childhood?” We dads might ask ourselves, “Am I a normal parent?”

In the survey of schoolchildren I read, the top five qualities involve time. For a child, “love” is spelled: T-I-M-E. According to family psychologist Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family), the average father spends less than a minute of face-to-face communication with his children per day!

Children need time. We devote time and energy to the people and things we value the most. Children conclude that, “If you don’t have time for me, then you must not care about me.”

Dr. Dobson made a video for the Army many years ago, at the request of the Army Chief of Staff, General Wickam. The title was “Where’s Dad?” and it dealt with the failure of dads to spend enough time with their kids. Look it up and you will be amazed! I know that One Hundred Years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.

I read of a dad who promised his two sons to take them to the circus. But early that morning the phone rang; an urgent business call required the dad’s presence downtown. The two boys braced themselves for the disappointment. Then they heard their father say, “No, I won’t be down; it’ll have to wait.” When he came back to the breakfast table, his wife smiled. “The circus keeps coming back, you know,” she said. “Yes, I know”, replied the father, “but childhood doesn’t”. Dads are entrusted with the task of making memories.

No amount of success can compensate for failure in the home. What priority do we give our children and grandchildren? A group of children were asked, “What is a dad for?” Some talked about how their dads made money or fixed things around the house. One of the best answers was: “A dad is for spending time with.”

I have three sons, when my oldest was very young, he asked me one evening to read him a book which was too long to read in one setting. After reading two chapters, I put it down and said, “Well, maybe later we can find out what happens.” Then I was told, “Oh, Mom’s already read me that book twice.” What did my son really want? To hear a story, or to spend time with me? Kids crave—and deserve our time and attention.

We dads also need to listen more. If we spoke less and listened more, maybe we would exasperate our kids less. We need to be approachable. Sometimes we don’t make it safe for our kids to say what’s really on their minds. We need to hear the things that are important to our kids: their likes and dislikes, their opinions, and even the seemingly trivial things—without impatience or interruption. It’s been said that “a child is an island of curiosity surrounded by a sea of question marks.” The average child will ask 500,000 questions from the time they’re talking to age 15. Answering questions is only part of what we convey. Much of what our kids learn is caught rather than taught—they learn from what they observe. This means we can’t afford to cheat on our taxes, lie to our boss, or be rude to a salesperson. Our lifestyle is the lesson.

Paul tells us dads to “bring up” our children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” One father is worth more than a dozen schoolteachers. We need to ask ourselves: “Is my spiritual life worth imitating? Do I have a natural enthusiasm for things such as prayer, Bible study, church activities, and caring for the needs of others?” Spiritual guidance cannot be delegated to others. Our kids’ Sunday School teachers aren’t the ones entrusted with the responsibility of making our children followers of Jesus. Our kids’ relationship with God begins in the home. If our faith in Christ is genuine, it will be seen at work in our homes. The book of Proverbs tells us, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it” (22:6).

The prayer I offer the most is that God will bless my children in spite of me, and my blundering efforts. Fathers are always on center stage, and we never know when the next test will present itself. We need the encouragement and the prayers of others to face this most difficult of all tasks. I read of a stepfather who confessed to a group of men, “I’m struggling with my stepson, who I’m trying to love, but he just will not respond. It’s brought tension to the whole family. I’ve done everything I can think of. Will someone pray for me?” The men did, and this discouraged stepdad gained strength to keep trying. A week later, he reported he had a major breakthrough with his stepson. He was a growing father. Sometimes the task at hand is to try to repair and restore a damaged relationship. Love means we reach out, even when the one we’re reaching to isn’t reaching back. Faith means we latch onto the promise of God in Malachi chapter 4, “And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children” (vs 6a).

None of us come from perfect homes. Some of us may need to reach out to our fathers, seeking reconciliation. We may need to offer forgiveness to release ourselves from the bitterness we’ve been carrying.

I’d like to close with a quote from General Douglas MacArthur: “By profession, I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build. The father only builds, never destroys…It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home.”

How will we be remembered by our children? What traits, behaviors, characteristics will they take from us? Years from now will our children recall our affection and acceptance? Will their lives be aimless and futile, or will they embrace the faith of their fathers? May we by example and instruction lead our children towards developing stability, character, and spiritual maturity, based on a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ. May we leave them an eternal and spiritual Legacy! Let our children say one day that the Legacy we left them is that we lived a life that showed them the heart of The Father.

Tomorrow is father’s day! Tomorrow brings and end to the Tribute that we have been giving Father’s, but it does not bring an end to our jobs as Father’s. May you take with you all the wisdom and encouragement that every man and woman poured out in their articles. May Father’s Day 2017 bring unexpected blessings to you and to your family as you draw near to God and learn to be the father that God created you to be. Happy father’s Day 2017!

[A special thanks to all the people that contributed to this Father’s Day Tribute: Rick Amitin, Sandra Cerda, Leon Barnes, Anna Bradford, Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, David Porter, Al Cerda, Tyler Jacobson, David Moore, Farn Golden, Ted Thevaos, Dr. Bill Hennessy, Paul Bronback, Marsh Bull]

Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.

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Rick Amitin

Branded: A Father’s Legacy

Innocence can be gone before you know it was ever there.

I would be years discovering the likeness I shared with my father. He wasn’t there the day I parted the atmosphere of this world but, his DNA was. He showed up when I was five, after I had already noticed the life other kids were having with their dads. And, feeling the absence and emptiness of something I couldn’t understand.

Where would I get the vocabulary to define the jubilation of his embrace, warm smile, and sense of belonging his presence invoked? The promises he made of our future together sent new flesh competing to cover my barren bones. Gone was the hole inside I had fallen into many times. Those choking and gurgling sounds, emanating from the empty chair at the table of my broken heart, vanished.

I had arms to run to, a man to play ball with, and a father who would teach me to fish. I would snuggle up close as he read me a bedtime story and tucked me safely in for the night. My imagination freshly supplied with thoughts and feelings of completeness. The two hours of ecstasy shattered into so many pieces I doubted ever being able to collect them all when he walked out the door, never to be seen or heard from again.

The search became a life sentence of exploring the bitter taste of unanswered questions. My virtue, significance, and contribution remained locked in the haze of not knowing who I am. The lack of affirmation, clarity, and sense of worthiness had stolen my identity. Titles and achievements introduced a synthetic and manufactured life. Hyper masculinity chased authenticity away. Intimacy resided in Neverland.

Nameless drivers dictated shallow comprehension of deep maladies. Brokenness was my brand! I didn’t even know what was wrong. I only knew something was askew. The innate whisper clamoring for satisfaction. I feared the feelings of abandonment, rejection, and not being enough. These are the marks of the fatherless. A man will battle to be praised and a woman will struggle to be valued.

Fatherlessness is pandemic. Where’s the healing? The remedy? The anecdote? I believe there’s a great restoration ahead among the sons and daughters rejected, abandoned, and violated by their fathers. Those which have recreated the pain in their own lives by the stories they wrote about their life events. Maybe even passing the devastation on to their children.

When my daughter announced that I would have a grandson, with the plight of the fatherless threatening his well-being, pure desperation set in. For months, I contemplated his arrival. Aware that his father’s decision to not be in his life would brand him in many ways. While I had gained much ground in resolving my own inner conflicts I still had work to do. I determined to change the legacy brand of our family.

Hopeless to rearrange the past; helpless to alter my failures; working with perceptions that had consistently left me short, I stepped into the unknown –  the safest place I had ever been. I had been in ministry for some thirty years. I Pastored churches, travelled as an Evangelist, both here and abroad. And, I was broken. Holding the fragments of a life undone, I wanted what I knew was there.

When I held my grandson in the delivery room for the first time, I heard the unthinkable. As I showered him with affection pouring out my love, and reaching for his soul, I knew exactly how my Heavenly Father felt about me. I was not without a father. Nor, had I ever been. My mind wanted to argue for my tradition. I was too messy for the purity of divine intention. But, I was wrong. I had been wearing an illegitimate brand.

The repetitive phrases that pounded against my soul were only lies, borrowed from human defect, and plagiarized as my own. How I thought about myself is not the way God thinks of me at all. I rewrote the stories of my life events to reflect a more accurate accounting of the things that had happened. Living out of hurt and despair had not allowed love to reset the perimeters of my life.

A missing father easily translates into a missing God. My father was out there, somewhere. I met him. He was real. He was there. Just not there for me. Likewise, I knew God is real. I experienced Him. And yet my inability to believe He was there for me, at the deepest levels, always left me wanting. I discovered unlimited grace, unconditional love, and it changed my brand. I became the father I never had and the father I never was.

I’m living the legacy I want to leave.

Rick Amitin
Rick Amitin

Rick Amitin is the author of “IF ONLY I HAD A DAD: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness and the Companion Workbook of the same title.

Available on Amazon, http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

Rick is the founder of rickamitin.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RickAmitin

Twitter: @RickAmitin

LinkedIn: Rick Amitin


Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.

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For My Father’s Legacy 2017 entire line-up of great articles and podcasts, CLICK HERE.

I was a Tough Cookie

Dad Pic_ Youngiungmn (1)My Dad was probably a typical World War II veteran; he didn’t talk much about the war, his feelings or about love. I knew he loved me by his personal actions in life, not by his words or physical affection. But, I still knew he cared deeply about me and loved me in the best way he could.

I was two years old when I first met my Dad coming home after the war. My Mom was pregnant when my Dad left for England, so the Dad I knew was a “photograph” on the piano. Later my Mom told me when he walked in the front door, I ran to the photograph on the piano when she asked where Dad was.

My Dad and I weren’t necessarily close. I don’t know if this was because we couldn’t bond when I was young and/or we didn’t connect closer because of his experiences in the war.

Our family went to Church but I wouldn’t say we were especially, a religious family. I don’t think my Dad had a personal relationship with Jesus. Whereas my Dad didn’t teach me about Faith, he “did teach me” about hard work, honesty and integrity.

The value of hard work, honesty and integrity is a powerful legacy and it helped me through many challenges, trials and troubles in my life’s journey. I wish he had not died so young. Had he lived longer, I believe his intelligence, counsel and guidance would have saved me from running into many brick walls and avoiding much pain and misery.

My Dad’s name was Charles Marsh Bull. Since I was a “Jr.,” people called him “Charles” and called me “Marsh”. My Dad died just before my 34th birthday at 58 years old. I had to find my way in life without his counsel and support. I may have found my way, but it was not pretty and rather unpleasant.

My Dad did the best he could. Looking back, I wish he had led me in having more Faith in Jesus. With faith, I would have known eventually there will be light, no matter the “darkness of what you are going through”. Not knowing this, I experienced periods of loss hope, discouragement and depression. I endured lost marriages, job changes, physical issues and a feeling of never having peace in my life. The majority of the problems were caused by my own actions or lack of action.

I was working for IBM in Chicago going through another divorce and a new job working more than 12 hours a day. My lack of hope and sense of desperation caused me to reach out for help. My cry of hope was simply, “Help”. Immediately, I felt a “warm blanket of Love” cover my entire body, and I was instantly transformed by God’s Love for me.

I was a tough cookie, or thought I was, believing I could handle anything that came my way. By then, I had survived almost 20 years without my Father on earth and more than 30 years without my Father in Heaven. I didn’t understand God had been watching me the entire time and had never given up on me. He had been waiting patiently and answered my simple Prayer instantly.

My personal transformation happened 21 years ago last September. I was so powerfully converted into God’s Kingdom; I still get tears remembering that moment. I marvel that God cared about me even when I didn’t care myself. He loved me when I didn’t love myself. He knows the number of hairs on my head and He is awesome, revered and holy. He is my Savior. My life changed forever when He heard and answered my prayer of Help.

I was transformed through God’s Love and my acceptance of Jesus as my Savior. I was a changed man working to become a Godly Man. I continued to work in the corporate world but dreamed of someday mentoring other men through a men’s, “internet ministry”. For more than 10 years, I wrote about my personal life’s journey, developed Small Group Discussion Topics, created Men’s Bible Study Guides and founded a Men’s Group Foundation non-profit.

In January 2012, the web site for guys, www.mensgroup.org was launched. I am humbled by what God has achieved through this ministry and I have learned to trust Him fully. Currently more than 7,000 people visit our web site monthly and download an average of 500 free Bible Study Guides.

Writing this article, I realized my earthly Father “did guide me” through his actions and Mens Bible Study_011615personal character. Thank you, Dad. I am blessed my Heavenly Father waited for me, loved me, transformed me and saved me. Thank you, Jesus.

Marsh Bull                                                                                                                                          

Founder/President

Men’s Group Foundation, Inc.

Find Studies such as, “Men & Their Jobs”, “Facing Pain & Troubles” and “Christian Character’ on: http://www.mensgroup.org/

To help us reach MORE MEN please “Like” and “Share” our Facebook Page; https://www.facebook.com/mensgroupfoundation/


 

Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.

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For My Father’s Legacy 2017 entire line-up of great articles and podcasts, CLICK HERE.

The Warrior in Me

How could I have ever known this man who would teach me his love for me was as big and boundless as the sky, would forever have shown me also, how to fight.

How to stand, when others sit.  How to exceed what is expected, needed or requested.  His own example was right before me, for so many years, and yet I let them nearly slip away.  It’s funny how the mind is, though, storing bits and pieces of memories; shards, it seems, that cut their way through to the surface of our recall, as if to allow us a way through otherwise ‘stuck’ situations.

Strategic, tactical preparing, attention to detail, cleanliness to the level of pristine, even how to iron, fold, and “make a bed like they do in the military,” he’d say; my dad took the time to show me, teach me, pour in-to me.  Perception, endurance, persistent determination, he took the time to show me how and why; how to defend others.  How to work with what is in my hands; how to make something out of nothing.  I learned the art of the wait; stealth and patience are power twins, and without them one cannot learn endurance or the strength and joy that come from their reward.

My veteran father, a warrior whose purple heart was received for his wounds in action, and near death in the war in Viet Nam, continues to march for fallen soldiers and prisoners of war, today.  With shrapnel and bullet fragments lodged in his head causing numbness on his face, and an ear and an eye that won’t work right anymore, he marches on through Texas, for those who cannot march anymore.  His strength through the horrors of losing a child, a son 9 days old, to the poison of Agent Orange, is what kept our family together those first years back.  It was as if he never took off his uniform.  It was as if he didn’t know how.  Times where a simple road trip, meant near ‘military-like’ planning and implementing, right down to the packing of the toilet paper… everything was thought out; planned with careful precision and no room for mistakes.

When my sister and I thought to sneak out, one hot summer night, little did we realize the back yard was booby trapped with empty bucket pails, and he was sprawled out in his cammies in the dark part of the back yard.  Not until half my body was over the fence, did he stealthily come up from behind and secure us in one flip of the wrist… that’s my daddy!  Yep, and without a sound!  Could he know, here decades later, I would use the very same tactics to catch my own?

I watched and listened, pressed in to hear his heart; every sound and syllable as those war stories spilled from his lips.  One could hear the sounds of war; the cries of the injured and dying when he shared how his own wounds came to be, near Long Binh.  “Take Cover,” one screamed, as the explosion changed everything, forever.  The feelings of helpless shock and righteous indignation sweep over me even now, when I take myself to that place, in him.  A wounded place, yet still not whole.  A place where not many are allowed near… but my daddy knows there is healing in my hands.  The healing touch of a daughter who knows how to touch heaven and the hem of His garment; and so, he lets me in.

His story of how his preacher-father, my grandfather, was interceding for him as he lay in a hospital in Japan; near dead, and dying more than once.  He saw how the battle of good and not-so-good petitioned for him, to yield to an early, premature death.  I learned how to fight death through prayer, because of my daddy!  I learned how to win.

Years later, when standing at doors of death for myself and others, I would remember his stand.  I would recall his words and the look on his face; I would remember what swept over me, as I listened to his words on defeating Defeat; it fully supplied me, loaded me and positioned me to not take ‘no’ for an answer, when God had already said ‘yes’.  It was the thrust I needed, when all hope was gone; his words.  The words of my father, who not knowing was fully equipping me for life as a minister of Prophetic Spiritual Warfare in the battle for souls.

My father, a warrior, could not have realized the foundation he was laying in my life, would cause me to succeed in realms beyond the physical senses.  Whose own father, could not have fully foreseen the power of invisible prayer to change the visible world; seeds.  How far down the roots go, when the soil is just right;

“death? It’s just a shadow in a valley… you’ll come through!” he said…

I am my father’s child!

In honor of my father, Antonio L. Santos
U.S. Army, Retired

Sandra Cerda
Sandra Cerda

Sandra Cerda is an Ordained Minister, through the laying on of hands by the late John Osteen, Lakewood Church, in Houston, Tx.  She has overcome multiple Sexual Assaults as a child, teen and young adult, severe Drug and Alcohol Addiction, murderous Domestic Violence, black magic Witchcraft, Major Depression, Suicide and more, surviving a medical death sentence which gave her only months to live… 28 years ago!

Sandra Cerda is an Ordained Minister, through the laying on of hands by the late John Osteen, Lakewood Church, in Houston, Tx.  She has overcome multiple Sexual Assaults as a child, teen and young adult, severe Drug and Alcohol Addiction, murderous Domestic Violence, black magic Witchcraft, Major Depression, Suicide and more, surviving a medical death sentence which gave her only months to live… 28 years ago!

With infection covering nearly 100% of her body, she often found herself stuck to sheets and pillowcases. After 30 months and 10 doctors, she found herself sitting
at the back of a church that believed in Miracles! She was a practicing black-magic witch and suicidal-drug addict, when God heard her prayer! She is completely healed and whole today, moving in the Five-Fold Ministry Gifts with a very strong Prophetic Gift, gifted in Deliverance. The miracle, healing power of God, through Prophetic Spiritual Warfare, works through her life, touching and liberating people everywhere she ministers.  Former Spokes/Fashion and Commercial Print Model, Published Author, Sandra Cerda’s story has been broadcast over the years, through Daystar, TBN, 700 Club and Heart to Heart interviewers Joni Lamb, Spiritual Mother Dodie Osteen and Sheila Walsh with special reference highlighted in Mrs. Walsh’s book, Life is Tough but God is Faithful (available at amazon.com).

For more on Sandra Cerda, read her Story at www.cerdaministries.org   Contact Sandra Cerda for ministry
and experience this Prophetic/Warfare, Yoke-Destroying Anointing.
CONTACT Sandra Cerda TOLL FREE: 1-866-939-2309

 © 2017 Sandra Cerda.  All Rights Reserved.


Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.

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How to Discipline your Children: Fatherhood 101

In this podcast, I will take a hard look at the the different aspects of a father’s life that help dad discipline the kids with much better results. This is what Daddy Discipline should really look like!


 

Please HELP make Manly Training available to everyone. A revival is on the horizon and it will start with the men! Will you please make a tax free donation to the ministry in order to help keep this vital organization alive and blessing families? Just click on the button below to give a donation.

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Memories of a Magnificent Man

My father was born in 1911. His older brother, his only sibling, had already died. His father died two years later.

In that era no government programs existed to provide for them, so his mother, an Irish immigrant, moved in with his paternal grandparents. His grandfather was a blacksmith, and his grandmother operated a boardinghouse in their home. That phenomenon, a relic of the past, entailed taking in single men or those away from home, who slept and ate at the house. This arrangement at times provided a less than wholesome environment. The family on his father’s side tended toward alcoholism, which gave them a bad reputation in town. These cumulative circumstances resulted in my father beginning life with two strikes against him.

The defining point in his life occurred one evening when he and a group of friends noticed that something was going on at the church a half block up the street from his home and decided to drop in. As my father told it, at the end of the sermon as the congregation was singing an invitation hymn, “Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way, Thou art the potter, I am the clay,” the boys decided to move up further to get a better look at what was happening, and he ended up kneeling at the altar, where He received Christ.

His mother, though not a practicing Catholic, nonetheless maintained Catholic disciplines, and told him that if that was the church of his choice he had to be there every time the church lights were on, and she could see them from the house. She was so committed to this program that the pastor had to pay her a visit to let her know that it was not necessary for him to attend the women’s missionary society meetings.

My father’s relationship with the Lord profoundly influenced virtually every aspect of his life, resulting in his maturing into a man of godly character who sought to apply biblical principles in all he did. This, in turn, shaped his work ethic, which, along with a quick mind and dynamic personality paved the path to promotion.

With only a high school education, he began working at a company that made universal joints as a forklift operator but rapidly received several promotions resulting in his soon becoming the company chief financial officer, with about 30 employees working under him. Throughout his business career he would begin each day by putting his Bible on his desk and claiming the wisdom of James 1:5, and then using that perspective as his guide in dealing with the challenges of the day.

When he was 42, he transferred to the banking business where he began as a teller. There also he found rapid promotion, soon rising to the position of vice president. The bank went through two mergers, both times being bought by larger banks. Against all odds, in both mergers the larger bank retained him in the comparable position. Ultimately he became senior vice president and corporate secretary of a large Philadelphia bank, the position from which he retired.

My father’s commitment to Christ also led to a significant speaking ministry. He was a gifted orator and received many invitations to speak. Churches in the denomination to which he belonged held annual rally days each fall, which comprised the major event of the year. My father was asked to speak for rally day in almost every church in the denomination. He also frequently spoke at churches on other occasions, at baccalaureate services, at service clubs, and in other venues. I recall one month in which he spoke 26 times, some of them at large and even televised events, while maintaining his demanding job.

His speaking capacities were demonstrated when the leadership of his denomination was seeking to establish a seminary. At a general conference meeting they put the matter to a vote only to have it voted down. The bishop then asked my father to address the conference on the issue. After he spoke for about 15 minutes on the need of the denomination to have its own seminary, the conference voted unanimously in its favor. That seminary is thriving today.

Despite his own limited education, he served on five school boards and as I recall ultimately was selected as president of all five. These included boards of public schools and also of the seminary already mentioned. He was also on the board of the church retirement community. At one point when this institution was on the verge of going under financially, he used his influence to restructure the debt and reorganize the community management, transforming it into a thriving retirement center.

With all of the demands on his time, my father nonetheless did not neglect his family. He was home for supper virtually every night and provided a loving but firm influence. He and my mother maintained a warm and loving relationship. Throughout my growing up years I never heard them exchange an unkind word.

I have an older and younger brother. He kept a steady hand on us without being oppressive. He possessed piercing blue eyes that contributed significantly to his success in business and also his effectiveness as a father. The prospect of that cryogenic stare prevented the thought of disrespect or challenging his authority from ever crossed my mind. That said, however, he was a kind and affirming father to me. Often the whole family would accompany him on his speaking engagements, but when they did not, I would ask if I could join him, and he always allowed me to go along. Those were wonderful occasions for me. I still recall some of the sermons he preached. My father continued to show me support and encouragement and provide me with wise counsel throughout his life until the Lord took him home at the age of 86.

My father left a legacy of a phenomenal example of character, wisdom, morality, godliness, and service to the Lord and the community. From humble and difficult beginnings, his relationship with the Lord instilled in him qualities that both honored God, blessed those whose life he touched, and enable him to enjoy success in every dimension of his life. As I reflect on his life, the sentiments expressed by the Apostle Paul come to mind: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” (Philippians 1:3 NKJV)


Paul Brownback grew up in a small town near Philadelphia, he graduated from West Point, and then served in the Army in Germany and Vietnam. Paul received a Masters of Divinity degree from Talbot Theological Seminary, a Masters in Human Relation from University of Oklahoma, and a PhD from New York University. He has served as Dean of Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY, president of Citadel Bible College, as a pastor, a counselor, and hospice chaplain. Paul is married to Connie, and they have two grown children.

If you want to find out more about Paul, click on the following website:  www.hopethatsreal.com


 

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