The Role of a Father…The Power of Positive Influence

A Father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way

Father’s have an influence whether present or not. I have seen that influence. I have seen the influence of father’s who chose not to be present in their children’s lives. I have seen the insecurity that was a result of those absent fathers. I have seen some of those same children, in an attempt to cover and disguise their hurt, become very angry individuals. I have also seen the positive influence of loving, supportive father’s.

I believe that each of us inherently needs the guidance of a father. In fact, I believe that we each need to have two fathers in our lives – our eternal father and our mortal father. I also believe that our mortal fathers frame our ability, at least initially, to conceptualize our eternal father. Where fathers are caring and supportive, we can more easily envision God as caring and supportive. Where fathers are absent or harsh, we are more easily inclined to believe that God is harsh, absent, or intent on punishing us.

I am grateful for the fathers of the world who have embraced the importance of their role in the lives of their children. I am also grateful for the many men who have “fathered” children in some positive way that they have no genetic link to – whether they have fathered those children as a coach, teacher, ecclesiastical leader or some other way.

I hope your life has been blessed by a wonderful father and many amazing father figures. However, if that has not been the case, it is my prayer that you will be willing to search your heart and come to know (if you don’t already) the father of your soul. I know He loves you and I know of His concern for your welfare and well-being.

Today, I hope you will be as inspired by today’s story as I was. I am so grateful for loving fathers!

An Inspiring Story of Fatherhood

Two years before Castro took over Cuba, Faustino was twelve and returning on a flight to Havana from Miami where his dad took him on a shopping trip. Over the straights of Florida one of the airliner’s four engines caught fire. After efforts to extinguish the flames remotely failed a steward announced the pilot decided to ditch the plane.

Recently Faustino told me, “I’ll never forget the panic in his face. Some passengers began to scream as he told us to buckle our seatbelts, put on life vests, remove our shoes, and brace for the impact.”

Despite the steward’s attempt to stop him Faustino’s dad disobeyed. He unbuckled his seatbelt and knelt in front of the boy where his body could act as a modern-day airbag. He told the child, “Once the plane stops, get out. Don’t wait for me.”

Fortunately when the airplane nearly reached sea level the flames went out. The plane was diverted to a Cuban military airbase instead of Havana’s municipal airport. But at least the touchdown was with wheels on dry land.

The scariest episode of Faustino’s life taught him that he was his dad’s number one priority. Consequently, the boy resolved that he would never intentionally do anything to disgrace the family name. Thereafter Faustino took all of his dad’s advice seriously because he knew – beyond a shadow of doubt – that his father always had Faustino’s best interests at heart.

The boy’s family escaped Castro’s Cuba for Florida in the early 1960s. Like most refugees they had no money. Within weeks of arriving Faustino’s dad held down three jobs. But nothing ranked higher in the dad’s priority than the boy’s education.

Earlier this year Faustino told me, “Even though I was only sixteen dad announced that I was to start electrical engineering college courses. I never questioned the decision. When I brought the University of Florida diploma home after four years, dad hung it on the wall of his home office where it remained until he died 35 years later.”

As an adult Faustino left Florida and became prosperous in Silicon Valley where he worked with some of the era’s legendary figures. Recently I asked how he could be comfortable taking risk on volatile start-up businesses.

Faustino said, “Although dad never explicitly told me that I could recover from failures, I felt instinctively that I could because of his example. Upon arriving in Florida dad possessed almost nothing, yet he made a good life for our family. Additionally, the unconditional family love left me feeling that even if I did fail, there was a parachute.”

During most of his career Faustino lived 3,000 miles distant from his dad. Nonetheless, they talked on the phone almost every day. Typically his dad asked, “Are you okay? Do you need any money?”

Story shared from the following website:

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Happy Father’s Day!!!

Anyone can be a father  shutterstock_327052319Happy Father’s Day! A Big, Robust THANK YOU to all of you Father’s who take the time and devote your energies to being a DAD! The world is a much better place because of you!

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Prayer   sorrow-699608I could go on and on about prayer. It has become such a vital force in my life. There was once a time when my prayers were like a Christmas want list – all about me. I can’t say exactly when my prayers changed but I know that they are substantially different now. My prayers are now a conversation with my very very best friend. My husband is also my best friend but I have learned an important secret. Once I placed God ahead of my friendship/relationship with my husband, my already amazing marriage improved exponentially! I think that I would have to admit that my prayers became a different animal after my near death experience. As I pray now, I understand that I am praying to my amazing, incredible, perfect Eternal Father. His is the face that I was allowed to look into and see His complete intelligence and utterly perfect Being. In this world where perfect is relative, it is hard to communicate what complete and total perfection is. Yet, I witnessed exactly that – complete and total perfection. That includes His ability to love, to understand and to comprehend. There is no positive, loving characteristic that is not His in perfection. There is absolutely no gap in His intelligence. In my meeting with the Father of us all – I learned that aligning my will with His will is never an act that is meant to make me less or change who I truly am. Instead, His desire for me and for all of His children is to assist us in those efforts and growth that will enable us to be our most amazing and glorious self. Because of that knowledge, I now have a much easier time placing my confidence in Him and his timing. I’m far from perfect but I am incredibly grateful to have a “Father/Daughter” relationship that has brought such amazing joy, beauty and happiness into my life. Prayer is a gift and an opportunity to check in with the One who loves and knows us best.

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A Tribute to my Father…

Service   forest-78239I recently received an email from my cousin. His email was in regards to my father who passed to the other side in 2014.When I received his email sharing his admiration for the kind of person my dad was, I knew I needed to write this post in tribute to my dad. My father was not a perfect person. He had significant flaws just like most of us. My father was not incredibly wealthy nor did he ever earn a college diploma. However, my father was a true and wonderful friend and he epitomized the guy who would give a stranger the shirt off of his back. I remember at my dad’s funeral talking to one of his friends. It occurred to me that I didn’t know how he and my dad had become friends. He explained that my dad had come to his house one day because he was interested in leasing some land from him. At the moment my dad arrived, this man was in the middle of trying to replace a broken toilet without much knowledge of what he needed to do. With my mom waiting outside in the car (and not aware of what was going on inside), my dad offered to help. Two hours later, my dad had replaced his new friend’s toilet and had made arrangements to lease his land. My dad never felt worthy to enter a church and so he rarely did. However, shortly after his second wife died, he kindly accepted the invitation to let two missionaries live with him. The arrangement was to last for one year but was extended to two. During my dad’s final months, he made sure he went to see a few of those missionaries that had lived with him and whom he loved like sons. When the church congregation that he was a part of decided to build a small home for a man who was living in a cave, my dad  consistently showed up to help – more consistently than other members of his congregation. When they cut wood for widows and struggling families, my dad was there. When the small community of Roundup, where he lived, flooded a few years ago, my dad was out helping ranchers get their cattle to higher ground at the risk of not being able to get home to his own “high ground”. Often were the times that he called family members to make arrangements to meet everyone for ice cream. He was always more interested in playing with my grandchildren – his great grandchildren than eating the ice cream! What I wouldn’t give to have a video of all of the moments he gleefully played with them. Less than a year before he died of cancer, he happened to be at my house when my annual chocolate order of approximately 2000 lbs. arrived earlier than anticipated. My dad called me to let me know. The truck left my order in front of my garage and the temperature was below freezing. Explaining to my dad that I would rush home as quickly as possible because I needed to get that chocolate to a warmer place before the freezing temperatures impaired it – I quickly headed for home. When I arrived, my dad had single handedly moved all 2000# of my chocolate from outside of my garage up a flight of 8 stairs to my living room. Just days before his passing, his branch president (church leader) came to see my dad at the hospital. None of us realized his time was so short. His branch president told him what a wonderful man he was. He explained that although they rarely saw him within the walls of their chapel, he knew that if ever the congregation had a need, he knew he could rely on my dad. He said, “If I asked you right now to get out of that bed to come and help me I know you would do it, wouldn’t you?” My dad, embarrassed by the remarks, admitted that he would. “That, my friend, is the reason I consider you to be one of the finest men I know.” were the words his church leader exclaimed. Thinking back on those words, I am reminded that our religion, our faith is not demonstrated within the walls of a church – they are demonstrated by the way we treat and serve our fellow man. If ever there was a true Christian; it was my dad – a man who never felt worthy to step inside a church building but who willingly served his friends, family and neighbors until the day of his final breath. I love you dad! Thank you for your wonderful example!

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