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Vir vaders

Wat Maak    ___________

'n Pa 'n Goeie Pa?  ______

Deur L.W. Olwagen

IN 'n klein dorpie het eenmaal die volgende brief in die plaaslike koerant verskyn:

"Geagte Lesers,
In hierdie uitgawe sal julle lees van 'n winkelroof wat plaasgevind het. Julle sal ook die name lees van die rowers wat i.v.m. die roof in hegtenis geneem is. Een van die name sal die naam wees van my seun. Ek wil een ding net baie duidelik maak. Hierdie seun van my is nie 'n slegte kind nie. Dit is nie sy skuld dat hy in hierdie gemors beland het nie. Dit is my skuld. Ek is 'n slegte pa!
Jim Jones."

Hierdie brief het my laat wonder. Ek is 'n pa en ek beskou myself nie as 'n goeie pa nie. Ek dink trouens dat daar min mense is wat hulself hierdie titel sal aanmatig. Dit het my verder laat wonder. Wat is 'n goeie pa? Of anders gestel - wat maak 'n pa 'n goeie pa?

My pa was 'n goeie pa.

'n Predikant het eenmaal tydens 'n preek oor vriendskap gepreek en gevra dat ons 'n lys moet maak van ons vyf beste vriende. NŠ die diens het my vrou my gevra wie my beste vriend is. My antwoord was - my pa.

My pa het altyd gehelp en probeer help. Selfs wanneer hy geweet het dit sou vir hom tekort doen. Hy was ook, tot hy siek geword het voor sy dood, die een wat aangedring het om te help met my rystoel.

My pa het altyd verstaan. Ek onthou toe ek elf jaar gelede alleen 'n sielestryd gevoer het op my knieŽ in my studeerkamer, nadat ek gediagnoseer is met meervoudige sklerose, het my telefoon kort voor middernag gelui. Dit was my pa. "Sukkel jy ook?" het hy gevra en bygevoeg: "Ek het nogal antwoorde gekry in die eerste hoofstuk van 'n boekie met die naam Begrip." Die betrokke hoofstuk was Begrip vir God se Wil deur L.W. Olwagen. Dit was tipies van my pa om my te verwys na 'n stuk wat deur myself geskryf is. Hy het jou altyd gehelp sodat dit voel of jy jouself help.

My pa het selfs verstaan as ons foute gemaak het. Hy is selfs daarvan beskuldig dat hy blind is vir sy kinders se foute. Maar dit is nie waar nie. Ek dink hy het maar net geweet hoe om te vergewe. Ek dink hy was maar net in staat om lief te hÍ op God se manier.

Dit bring my by die antwoord op die vraag, wat is 'n goeie pa? 'n Student het eenmaal vir sy professor van sy nuwe meisie vertel. "Sy is baie mooi," het hy gespog. Die professor het 'n groot 0 op die papier voor hom gemaak. Verbouereerd het die student bygevoeg: "Sy is baie slim." Die professor het nog 'n 0 gemaak. "Sy is ook 'n Christen," het die student vinnig gesÍ. Die professor het 'n 1 voor die twee 0'e gemaak en geglimlag: "Sy is 100 persent!"

Dit help 'n pa om 'n goeie pa te wees. Want as 'n Christen ontvang jy die Heilige Gees (Romeine 8:9) en "Almal wat hulle deur die Gees van God laat lei, is kinders van God" (Romeine 8:14).

'n Goeie pa kan "Onse Vader" bid, saam met al die ander kinders van God. Soos my pa!

From: Ron Hutchcraft Ministries

My Father is Misssing

By Ron Hutchcraft

THE spotlight in society has fallen on women who choose to have a child, but not a husband. On one hand, the media has been telling the conservative voices to not bother single mothers. On the other hand, you see more and more articles about what happens when there is no father. One of the leading health officers in the United States has said, "The greatest issue facing us is fatherlessness." Isn't that surprising? Time magazine commented on women who choose the fatherless family: "They are bringing a child into the world with a hole at the center of his life where a father should be." I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I'd like to have A Word With You about my father is missing.

Our word from the Word of God comes from Luke 15. This is the familiar story of the prodigal son, who got his inheritance early from his father, went to a far country and spent it all, and ended up feeding pigs, and trying to eat with them. Verse 17 says, "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father, and say to him, Father I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father."

This is the story of a searching man whose real problem was that he was away from his father. Maybe that's a picture of you right now. In the story, God is the father, and God has told us He wants us to know Him as Heavenly Father. You say, "Well, if he is like the father I had, I'm not too interested." Well, remember this. God is not like the father you had on earth. He is like the father we all wish we had, and what you are feeling down deep in your soul is father lonely. We have a hole that we are waiting for a father to occupy. How do we lose Him, and how do we find Him? Look at the verbs in Luke 15. It says that the young man "set off for a distant country." The Bible says we have all done that. It says, "We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glorious ideal," and wandered away like sheep.

We are away from God by our own choosing. The next verb says, "He squandered his wealth." All your years away from God are squandered years. They are wasted years until you know the relationship with a father that you were made for. The next verb says, "He spent everything." You can do that so easily. We spend, in search of the missing part of us. We spend our self-respect, our relationships, our virginity, our reputation, and our future. We can not find ourselves in achievements, relationships, or pleasure. We spend everything, and then it says, "he longed to fill his stomach." Maybe you feel an awful emptiness inside that nothing has been able to fill.

Then we read, "He came to his senses." Maybe that is where God is bringing you right now. It is hard to live without God. It is hell to die without Him. It says that the son went up to his father. There is only one way you can get to the father you were made by and were made for. In John 14:6, Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the except through me." What would happen if you came to Him today? It says that "while the boy was a long way off, his father saw him, was filled with compassion for him, and ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." That is the welcome you could get from God today. He runs to you with His arms open wide. Why don't you run to Him and be born into His family today? No longer will you have that hole in the center of your life where a father should be. No earth father could ever fill that hole anyway. It was made for your heavenly Father. Come to Him and you will never be father lonely again.

You can belong to God today on if you will tell Him with all your heart:

Lord, Iíve been running my own life, but I resign as of today. I was made by You... I was made for you, but Iíve been living for me. Iím sorry for that self-rule You call sin. But I believe Your Son Jesus Christ paid my death penalty when He died on the cross. And right now I am turning from a life of "my way" and I am putting all my trust in Jesus Christ to erase my sin from Your book, to give me a relationship with You, and to get me to heaven. Lord, from today on, Iím Yours.

If you're not sure you belong to Jesus, and you would like to make sure today, Ron would like to send to you a free copy of the booklet, "Yours for Life: How to Have Life's Most Important Relationship." To view the online version, click here. OR, to request your free copy of "Yours for Life," order it online.

From: Jim Watkins on Family Life


June 1998

By James N. Watkins

MY fifteen-year old son frightens me! It's not that Paul has discovered hormones, has a driver's permit or that he and I now see eyeball-to-eyeball. It's that we see eyeball-to-eyeball!

Recently we were riding along in the car with the stereo blasting the "oldies station," singing "Stop in the Name of Love" at the top of our lungs and "head dancing" (you know, jutting your chin in and out to the beat). Then a frightening revelation!

We were enjoying the same radio station, the same music, doing the same head dancing thing, wearing the same outfit (jeans, T-shirt, and over-priced sneakers) and -- here's where it gets really scary -- wearing the same hairstyle (Marine-issued buzz cut)!

I'm afraid to admit this. Even now, a covert government agency in charge of paranormal behavior is probably surrounding our home to take us by force to analyze this anthropological apparition!

Since the dawn of time adults ("The Establishment") and teens (the rebels without a cause) have argued over length of hair, fashion statements, and style of music. I had long hair; my dad had the buzz cut. My dad hated rock and roll; I hated Lawrence Welk. My dad thought paisley shirts looked like something the dog coughed up; I thought white socks were for nerds.

That's the way an orderly universe is supposed to operate. Anything adults hold near and dear is to be rejected by the next generation. It's been that way since God told his first two kids, "Whatever you two do, don't eat from that tree!" and immediately Adam and Eve ran off squealing, "Hey, check out that tree!"

And yet, in some kind of cultural convergence, my son and I are in sociological sync.

The same seems to be occurring with my college-age daughter. When Faith is home from Indiana Wesleyan, she actually enjoys hanging out with me and talking about her dating life. We own many of the same CD's and she has most of my sweaters in her closet. (I should point out, I don't wear any of her clothes!) More important than sharing clothes, we share the same faith and the same moral values.

So, how does one explain these "Unsolved Mysteries"? Was it Lois and I trying to live out our faith and values in front of our kids? Was it taking time to listen to Faith and Paul's ideas (sometimes pretty wild) and music (even wilder)? Was it fervent prayer that they would stay off TV talk shows and post office bulletin boards? Was it the grace of God, who learned about the pitfalls of parenting from His first two kids? Or was it simply that I've always been an overgrown kid? I think I'll check "all of the above."

It's still a mystery! And, while I can't explain it, I'm certainly planning to celebrate it this Father's Day.

"Turn up that music!"

(c) 1998 James N. Watkins

Webmeester: Ludwig Olwagen [email protected]   

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