My dad was a truly amazing man. He never strived for “normal” but rather he would leave no stone unturned when it came to pursuing adventures in life. He would often tell me about the time when he asked my mother to marry him. He told her, “I cannot promise you that life will be easy, but I can certainly promise you our lives will be full of adventure.” My mom and dad had a deep and life-lasting love for one another. They traveled the world together, lived in many different places, from the beach to the mountains, from the United States of America to New Zealand; and just as my father promised my mother on the day he asked her to marry him, they certainly did experience many adventures throughout their lives together.
My father was a man blessed by God with many talents and virtues. As I reflect on his life and everything he accomplished, I can clearly see how his talents and Gods anointing have had their impact on my life, as well as on the lives many others. One virtuous characteristic was his ability to handle any crisis or catastrophic adversity. My dad would get on his knees and pray and ask God for His help. It was when our family was facing the biggest challenges, that my father was the most wonderful and comforting. He would immediately say, “As long as you are o.k. and not hurt, we can handle the rest, we will be alright”. I remember him saying things for example, “if financial problems are your worst problems, then you’re doing pretty good.” The deeper meaning here is life can dole out problems that money cannot solve. For me, his perspective on life’s biggest issues was priceless.
My father was not afraid of change. He would press on into any new venture with such enthusiasm. Throughout my life, I remember my dad introducing me to the thrill of trying something new, to bravely embrace an extreme sport or an unfamiliar experience, and to study or observe intriguing new concepts or ideas. I have so many memories to pull from — things like snow skiing in the mountains of Canada, boating on the Pacific Ocean, flying in airplanes above the clouds, or studying the stars in the night’s sky. My father’s interests and hobbies were wide and varied. He taught us to embrace all the good things in life. His zest and zeal for life and having been exposed to so many different things and sharing these experiences with him have blessed my life. They will forever be kept close to my heart and in my loving memory of him.
Now it is easy to get swept away in the excitement of pursuing all of the good things this life has to offer; and to revel in the vigor and the exuberant spirit that was such an innate part of my father and who he was; but he would be the first to tell you that there is nothing in this world that he was more excited about than the discoveries that he would find daily reading his Bible.
The Bible is God’s word. It is a book we are so blessed and fortunate to keep in our homes and have the freedom to read and draw knowledge and spiritual nourishment from daily. If we read and study every day for the rest of our lives, we can feel confident knowing that we will always find some new treasure. Whether it be expanding on our own comprehension of the wisdom found in the Bible or experiencing a personal touch or word in our relationship with our Creator. God always wants to reveal Himself to us and I feel so blessed having had an earthly father who loved and studied the scriptures as he did.
I can remember how my dad’s excitement would pour out of him during family dinners whenever he would find a new discovery in the Bible. As many of you know, my dad can be heard on the radio where many of his studies and teachings are broadcasted for those seeking to learn more about the word of God. I can remember hearing my father while on the radio or at a speaking engagement, and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself because of how fast or how quickly he was talking. I realized he was talking so hurriedly because he couldn’t wait to get his words out and share his new discoveries with all of you.
I hope that my dad continues to inspire all of us. I hope that he continues to touch our lives by igniting that fire in knowing and learning how truly amazing God is; and no matter how much we read the Bible there are always going to be new lessons and new discoveries for those of us seeking God’s word and his instruction for our lives. I hope for anyone who is reading this now that you yourself have a deep and personal knowledge (knowing fully in your own heart) how amazing God is. We as Christians serve the God of this universe and He truly cares about every single detail of each of our lives.
I am honored by the opportunity to write these words to you. I am so very proud of my dad for all the lives he has touched and all the lives that will continue to be touched by all his studies, teachings and materials that he has worked so hard on throughout his lifetime. For my dad, studying the Scriptures or preparing his weekly updates was never a laborious work for him. He would have said it was his hobby — a hobby that he absolutely loved to do. He would have said his pursuit of the scriptures was indeed his greatest, most exciting Grand Adventure.
To those of you who are wounded by the cares of this life, or who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one — please let me encourage you. I am deeply, deeply saddened to have lost my father. I understand what it is like to have the ground shake beneath you. My family has been blessed, but we are also well acquainted with heartbreak of all kinds. Life can be hard. It can break you into pieces and bring you to your knees. I look around sometimes and there is no one to rely on. God is calling us to rely on Him, find our strength in Him, find our counsel in Him.
… Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
— Matthew 28:20
When we get depleted, discouraged and heartbroken, we must remember He is there — even when it might not feel like it. When there is no vivid answer to our petitions and prayers, nothing to see or grasp — this is when we need to fight. Push aside the discouragement and fan the flame of our faith to ignite that fire inside us. There is the Holy Spirit who lives inside us, ready and willing to help us, and He is more powerful than anything we are going through. When you recognize you are distressed, this is when you will understand what it means to be part of God’s army and become a fighting prayer warrior. Find strength in your heavenly father.
We need to have confidence when life is nothing but chaos and calamity. God has strategies and a way to put you back on your feet, to redeem a life broken beyond repair and He sends his Holy Spirt to mend the fractured pieces within our hearts. I would encourage you to put your worship music on. It is amazing how worship can stir the spirit inside and give new hope for the future. Find your breath in the Scriptures. Forgive all the broken people who have betrayed or bruised you. There is so much freedom in forgiveness. You will find hope and new life by asking God to help; for He is the ultimate physician and healer. God can move any mountain and is worthy of our trust and worship; he desires us to live in the land of the living with joy and hope for the Grand Adventure of this life.
I will miss my dad, but I know that my dad is not dead. He is more alive now than ever before. He is alive in Christ. He is with Jesus now in Heaven. As he would say, he is now in another dimension of time. He is with God Almighty. I know that God is always with me. He is the great Comforter for all of us who have invited him into our hearts and lives. HE IS ALL we need.
I would like to share seven scriptures that have touched my heart and highlight the comfort we can find in times of trouble or times of loss:
I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
— Psalm 27:13
Listen to this message from the Lord, you nations of the world; proclaim it in the distant coastlands. The Lord, who scattered his people, will gather them together and watch over them as a shepherd does his flock. For the Lord has redeemed Israel from those too strong for them. They will come home and sing songs of joy on the heights of Jerusalem. They will be radiant because of the many gifts the Lord has given them… their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone…. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing…. Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you. Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future…
— Jeremiah 31:10
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has appointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the broken hearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come… to all who mourn in Israel, he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory…. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy.
— Isaiah 61
He comforts us, in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
— 2 Corinthians 1:4
Let us go right into the presence of God with true hearts fully trusting him… for God can be trusted to keep His promise.
— Hebrews 10:22
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.
— Ephesians 3:14
Be still and know that I am God.
— Psalms 46:10