A Father to the Fatherless

The place a father holds in the life of his children is priceless. No other relationship is like that of a dad and his little ones. Indeed, I truly wonder if any relationship can compare to that of a man and his daughter. And the loss of that relationship is especially painful.

Celebrating Father’s Day has never been the same for me since 2001, the year I lost my dad to suicide. For many years after, I browsed the card section, searching for a card for another girl’s dad who became my step-dad.

But my eyes only fell on those that spoke of growing up with your first love – first crush, first hero – and knowing this man would always hold your hand and your heart. Tears would flow and my heart would ache – or become angry. Angry over my loss, angry over his decision, angry that I could never again be Daddy’s little girl.

Another cruel form of loss is when someone comes in the aftermath of tragedy to promise love and relationship for a lifetime, but instead leaves to fulfill selfish lust and a naïve notion of “finding oneself”. And now I am, again, left without a dad on this earth.

 

But I am not Fatherless.

 

Father to the Fatherless

 

I have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby I cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15)! The word cry in this scripture denotes an intense and powerful internal affection, and a fierce and forcible outward confidence in the freedom and liberty granted to us as children of God.

Intimate yet respectful, the name Abba is our warrant for boldly claiming a filial relationship with the Most High God. What an astounding, incomprehensible thought: We hold the same standing with the Father as Jesus our Messiah, His only begotten Son!

My first love, my Abba, Father loves me and will never leave me, and He holds my hand and my heart – forever.

If you have been left without an earthly father, accept the love of the Everlasting Father as your very own today. His love endures forever, and He is waiting to hold your hand and your heart.

 

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photo credit

photo credit

Thanksgiving Thursday: Your Identification, Please

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Merriam-Webster defines identity as “sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; sameness in all that constitutes the object reality of a thing.”

 

I often hear Christians describe themselves as nothing more than saved sinners, people whose souls are now saved from hell, but whose identity still rests in sin. They claim to be covered by a grace that saves them from the condemnation of sin, yet they cannot see themselves as being transformed and empowered by a grace that keeps them from sin itself. But as a believing Christ-follower, is that how we are to see ourselves? Is that how God sees us? Who you think you are defines how you act.

 

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Mark Driscoll puts it this way: “A Christian’s identity is primarily saint, not sinner. You will sin some of the time, but you are a saint all of the time in Christ. A saint is remorseful over sin, receiving conviction from God; there is no condemnation for the saint. A saint is faithful and powerful over sin through the empowering grace of God…If your primary identity is as sinner, and then you are tempted to sin, your identity will determine your activity: ‘I’m a sinner, I guess I’m going to sin.’ No! I’m a saint, I don’t have to!”

 

There is a distinct and important difference between our inability to reach sinless perfection in this life and living in sin. As much as the reality of the saint-identity for the believer is a rich and glorious promise, it is also a severe warning to those who profess Christianity yet use the sinner-identity to excuse their delight in or dependence on sin. In Romans 6:1 & 2, Paul asks and answers a pivotal question: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

 

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Friends, if you are in Christ, your identity is not sinner, it’s saint! “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires…those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit of God who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it…For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God!” (Romans 8:5-12, emphasis mine.) Claim the name of saint, friends, it is who you are!

 

 

My Thanksgiving List 2/7/13

 

 

738. Warm, comfy clothes after a steaming hot bath

 

744. Praying with Peanut before her meals, and hearing her exclaim, “Mamen!” at the end

 

721. The face of an angel

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750. Soft, cushy diapers for my baby’s adorable fanny

 

767. Homemade mozzarella sticks

 

777. A noisy dinner at Tucanos

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755. Lying tummy down, working, laughing, and creating with my mama

 

772. Being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves

 

769. Park dates with my loves

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Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?