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Happy Father’s Day!

Komm, Herr Jesu; sei du unser Gast; und segne, was du uns bescheret hast.  How many times did I join my brothers at the supper table and I would hear this prayer from my Dad before we ate?  I remember waiting for the besheret, knowing when Dad prayed, In Jesus’ Name, Amen, we could eat. 
         With technology, I learned the translation: Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest; And bless what you have bestowed.
         In Rogers, Arkansas, I painted Dad’s Supper prayer on the cabinet door in the kitchen, and his presence in the prayer would continue in our lives.  After he died in 1979, I missed my Dad fiercely.  I wrote these words…
         Who is my Father?
Who holds my hand?
Who helps me walk?
         Who steadies my stand?
         We children grew up knowing our Dad was outstanding.  He loved us and he disciplined us. He never stopped teaching us, even as his father taught him. My Dad taught school, and he taught adolescent boys in Sunday School. He ‘practiced’ the lessons for us on Saturday evenings. We listened spell-bound to stories of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and always wanted more. He learned well from his Dad, Jacob Siemens V, who learned to preach holding his Bible, striding behind the barn on the farm in Oklahoma.
         During the war, I saw pictures of children hiding from planes flying over. One night I went to bed and the four windows frightened me, I saw visions of enemy soldiers peering in. When I cried, it was my Dad who came. He held my hand, and we walked into the backyard and found nothing. Holding his hand gave me courage. It is God’s Word that teaches and I know God holds my heart and my hand.  My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8.
         When I was a child
Daddy faced my fears with me,
No matter how dark the hour
With Daddy, the next step, I could see.
         God knew I didn’t truly understand the role of a father, and He sent my husband, the father of our children.  God blessed us with sixty-six years of marriage and seeing our children become parents and teaching His Way to their little ones.             
         When I was growing, Daddy placed my heart in God’s care.
Daddy’s example each day
For the future, he helped me to prepare.
         The year, 1992, marks the year when our daughter-in-love, Karen, bought a book I treasure, My Dad, Is Brilliant! She sent it to each of our four children to add to each page. What a remembrance to read and re-read.
Dan wrote, Of course, Dad is brilliant. He’s the one who bought the Knight Kit radio and showed us how to use it. He tolerated all the questions, kept the car running, and all the while using every opportunity to teach us things, even when we didn’t know we were learning.
         Paul wrote, And he can run like a cheetah.  We played soccer behind the house on Market Street, Dad, Dan, and me. I remember the joy of running with my Dad and my brother, playing a game together.  I thought to myself then, I’ll do this with my kids, too.
         Tim wrote, And he’s a marvelous cook.  One time I was sick and stayed home from school.  You came in with a butterscotch malt from town.  We had minute steaks.  It was the first time I remember you cooking. I was lonesome and really enjoyed just the two of us being together.
         Anna wrote, And he tells the funniest jokes in the world. There were always jokes running around our dinner table.  I t was between Mom and me, who got it last. I learned God and Daddy aren’t afraid of laughter during prayer. Tim and I worried about what Dad would do.  He rolled up a paper napkin and popped both of us on the head and said, “Behave!”  Paper napkins don’t pop, they are soft like a feather, just like Dad’s love.
         The day I saw my Daddy cry touched me deeply.  It is the day I showed him the low grade on my report card in Math. Never, through all the years, had I seen my Daddy cry.  I knew then I had hurt him deeply. I did not measure up to what he desired for me. My Dad continues to teach me as I remember that time and wonder if God weeps when we allow less than holy living to enter our lives.  My Dad continues to teach me about our Father in Heaven. The last gift he gave me is a smile as he closed his eyes in death.
         The Lord’s Prayer begins, Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name.  Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…. As our Father, He has a purpose for us – You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:48. He desires for us to be on a mission of serving others, living for others. When we pray, Our Father, we declare our citizenship is in Heaven.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:28-29.
            Our Father in Heaven is a God of Love, and on this foundation, we live freely. There is hope, trust abounds, and we have an eternal inheritance through Jesus Christ. God, the Father, calls us home. Because of His love, and through His Love, we can ‘love one another.’  And now God, my Father, Stands with me day by day.  Daddy died many years ago, He’s home with my Heavenly Father, to stay.

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