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Today is my father’s birthday. And as I think about that, I find myself reflecting on his life, ministry, and influence on me and so many others. So dad, here’s what I give thanks for when I give thanks for you.

Thanks for being my first and favorite baseball coach.

I’ve always loved baseball…and today so does my son. Part of that love is due to you being my first and favorite baseball coach. I really loved those days and often think back on them with fondness.

Thanks for taking me to work with you.

You often took me to work with you. From packing egg sandwiches in the morning to stopping for chocolate milk. I remember those days and thank God for them.

Thanks for loving Gospel Music

I love Gospel music today in large part because you almost always listened to it. Whether we were riding together to take your orders back to work and listening to Bob Mundis on WGCB or listening to it on Sunday morning to get ready for church, you instilled a love for the truth of Gospel music.

Thanks for teaching Sunday School.

I don’t know exactly when you started teaching but I do remember hearing people at church say that they really loved to hear you teach. Today my kids are in your class and they almost always tell me how much they enjoy hearing you teach. What a legacy!

Thanks for welcoming my wife as part of our family.

When I got married 20 years ago, you welcomed Joanie as a daughter. She feels at home when she’s around you…and that has made our marriage even stronger.

Thanks for loving my mom.

You made a vow to my mom over 40 years ago. You’ve loved her and cared for her.

Thanks for making family vacations a priority.

Having a family vacation with you is a huge treat for me and all of us. You always foot the bill. I can’t tell you how glad I am that my family can join in the fun whether it’s in Gettysburg or the Outer Banks. I hope to keep our family as close as it is today for many years to come.

Thanks for loving, teaching, and caring for my kids.

My kids love you. You’ve taught them and cared for them. They love coming to your house and never doubt that you’ll be there for them. Whether that means buying dinner or picking them up from work, they have a papaw they love.

Thanks for being a trusted elder at church.

I love the fact that I get to serve the church that I love together with you. You are loved and respected at CBC.

Thanks for taking time to think before you speak.

You don’t talk much. I am so thankful for the example that you set. I don’t often think before I speak, but I’m learning from you.

Thanks for paying for school.

Over 20 years ago you did something for me that I am appreciating more every day…something I’ll never forget. And now having my own daughter going through school, I really appreciate it.

Thanks for praying for me.

I could list many other things, like hunting trips, being an EMT, supporting my mission ventures, working hard, being super generous, welcoming my friends into our home, or a multitude of other things. The one thing that stands out to me above everything else is the fact that you prayed for me. I will never forget seeing that prayer list in your bathroom back when I was 17 or 18. At that time I was openly pursuing sin. Seeing my name at the top of your list changed my life.

So, thanks dad…thanks for being the picture of what I think about when I think of “dad”. I love you…happy birthday!