Three Great Lessons from Three Great Fathers

Live! Love! Laugh! Three Great Lessons from Three Great Fathers!

Three Great Lessons from Three Great Fathers: Loyalty! Excellence! Grace!

In a time when more fathers are choosing to be absent than at any other time in our history, I want to honor every faithful father out there! Thank you for all you’ve done and for all you’ve taught us.  

I’ve been blessed to have three faithful fathers in my life.

They’ve taught me countless lessons that have helped me in life. In addition to teaching me how to Live! Love! &  Laugh! every dayeach is characterized with one trait that shines above all their other excellent traits.

Here are what I consider three great lessons from three great fathers:

Loyalty is priceless.

Loyalty is priceless.

My Dad,
Bob Sessions — Loyalty

Of the numerous great lessons Dad taught me, one that has always stood out is his loyalty.

We could rarely walk into a store or restaurant without hearing someone shout, “Welcome Dr. Sessions!”

Dad would then chat and laugh with just about every member of the staff as old friends.

Dad tried out new restaurants and stores, but when he found a place he liked, he was infinitely loyal. They appreciated him for it.

I think his loyalty is one of the things that drew Dad to antiques.  He valued anything that had stood the test of time. They became dearer in his eyes.

Dad spent thirty years restoring a 1929 Rolls Royce to its original condition. The photo above was taken at the very moment he finished. There was now nothing left to do but sit and wait in the searing heat for the judges to arrive.

Dad never gave up on his car or his goal, and his loyalty paid off. He won the top award for Best Personally-Restored Rolls Royce.

My favorite story of Dad’s loyalty, however, came from Mom.

A friend of mom’s once asked her, “Aren’t you nervous about Bob being at the hospital all the time around those cute, young nurses?” Mom laughed and said, “No, Bob loves antiques. The older I get, the more he loves me.”

What a gift Dad gave mom of making her feel secure — come what may, dad would stay. He was ever loyal.

The world needs more loyal fathers. Thanks, Dad!

 

Always pursue excellence!

Always pursue excellence!

Larry’s Dad,
Bob Wilund — Excellence.

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” This has got to be his motto.

When Larry brought me home to meet his parents the first time, it was instantly clear, as I toured the home Larry’s dad designed, that he valued excellence. He’d considered every detail and created a wonderful home.

Beba (as we call him) never shies away from hard work. Even in his leisure, he seeks excellence.

That first tour revealed shelves packed with books on Bridge (he mastered the game) and hundreds of videos better organized and catalogued than most libraries.

His notes on the NFL draft could have benefitted any NFL team. I actually thought he worked as a sports agent on the side. Seriously.

Beba doesn’t look for the easiest path. He’s looks for the right path, the excellent path. 

The world needs more fathers who are willing to do what’s necessary to pursue excellence. Thanks, Beba!

 

Let grace abound.

Let grace abound.

My kids’ Dad & my husband, Larry — Grace

Besides his blue eyes and magnetic smile, what first attracted me to Larry was his demeanor.

Nothing rattled him. Nothing made him angry.

Larry extended grace to everyone.

If anyone ever needed a husband who loved to extend grace, it’s me. Sold!

In the almost thirty years we’ve been married, I’ve  always felt forgiven — even before I needed it. I’ve always been surrounded by grace.

You know how wives will say, “My husband will kill me if…”? I’ve said it often, too, but then I’ve laughed and said, “Actually, he won’t. He won’t even act mad.”

Larry hasn’t loved everything I’ve said or done by any means, but he’s committed to grace.

He takes his anger to the Lord and leaves me with grace.

He refuses to hold onto anger or be offended easily. If you’ve pushed Larry to the point that he actually shows his anger, trust me, you’ve crossed  way too far over a line you shouldn’t have even tapped your toe over.

Don’t think that Larry extends grace because he’s a push-over and can’t stand up for himself. It takes much more strength to extend grace than it does to extend anger.

Anyone can react out of anger. Anyone can stomp his foot and demand his rights. Only the strongest men — men of true character — can love the unlovely, forgive at all times, and offer grace when it’s not deserved.

There is tremendous strength in humility, and it takes a humble person to extend grace.

The world needs more fathers who create an atmosphere of grace in their home. Thanks, Larry!

Finally, I cheerfully and gratefully thank each of them them that they also taught me to always LIVE, LOVE & LAUGH.

The world needs more fathers who live their lives filling their homes with love and laughter! Thanks!

PS — I love you all!

 




Want More Control In Your Life? Try the Moses & Morton Salt Method

When It Rains It Pours - Morton Salt

When It Rains It Pours – Morton Salt

When It Rains It Pours.

In 1911, Morton Salt made this phrase famous when they added magnesium carbonate to their salt to make it flow smoothly — even in rain.

We want our lives to flow smoothly, too — especially in rain.

The Israelites in the days of Moses were no different.

God had brought them to the border of the land He’d promised to give them. It was now time for the Israelites to take that land. 

Charge!

Instead, however, they told God, “We’ll take it from here.” 

Israel’s courage had melted away by reports of gloom, doom and giants in The Promised Land.  They didn’t want to fight giants or fortified cities. 

Without Faith

Without Faith

What chance could they have against a walled city, say like Jericho? 

They resented God not making their lives flow easily or smoothly, and thus refused to enter the land and declared mutiny on Moses and Aaron.

Imagine a million or so people turning against you, talking of stoning you.

When it rains, it pours.

Out of the hearts of the Israelites poured fear, anger, despair, unbelief, and trouble.

Moses and Aaron did the smart thing when they lost control:

“Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces . . .”
(Numbers 14:5)

They fell on their faces before the Lord, showing God and everyone, not only that they wanted no part in the rebellion against Him, but particularly that they were completely at God’s mercy. They looked to Him alone.

Had they remained standing, staring out at the sea of people set on stoning them, they may have been tempted to try control the crowd. From their face-down position, however, they could clearly see all they could truly control:

Nothing! 

Outside of their personal choices, they couldn’t control a thing. They couldn’t stop the murderous crowd or convince them to trust God.

If God didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done — which is exactly how you get things done.

This trip to the Promised Land was God’s responsibility to accomplish. Their job wasn’t to worry, whine, or rebel. It was to leave it all in His hands — the giants, the stoning, and the walled cities.

What about you? Has chaos rained down in your life without so much as a polite warning?

Have you had a Morton Salt week, month or year? 

Often the chaos gets us a little wet, but the worst we experience is a bad hair day.

Other times, the deluge comes fast and hard, leaving us clinging to the side of a lifeboat clambering to get in.

And sometimes, we’re just plain drowning with no lifeboat in sight.   

I lost control last Thursday.

I couldn’t get into my website all day. I became convinced a diabolical hacker had taken over my site for the purpose of destroying its content and forcing me to start over from scratch. It was nothing more than a bad hair day, but still I complained to God. 

Didn’t You tell me to start this blog, God?  I just told everyone on Jon Acuff’s “30 Days of Hustle” that one of my 30 days goals was to post consistently, and now I can’t even get into my blog? I HAVE to post. I’m working so hard, God.

I’m working. I’m working. I’m working.

In God’s great mercy, He reminded me of Moses and the Israelites. Ugh!  

I looked like the Israelites, not Moses. That’s not good!

So I fell on my face before the Lord. 

(I did it in my heart. I guess I could have done it for real, but my children might have called 911 if I suddenly collapsed onto the floor.)

In my face-down faith position, I could see what I control.

Nothing.

Especially since I’m far-sighted. Everything just looks blurry when I’m face-down; just like my life when I try to take control back from God.

This is what I control.

This is what I control.

In all my fretting about my blog, I’d lost sight of the fact that this blog — and all my writing — is His work. It’s His doing. It’s my fingers typing, but it’s His responsibility for its success. 

If God wanted me to post last Friday, no hacker could have stopped Him. 

If He didn’t want me to post, no computer guru could have made it happen. 

It kind of makes me feel powerful, except He’s the one with the power. I just stick close to Him, sort of like a side kick.

I’m not saying God blocked my website. (It was actually down for updating in order to make my site more secure against those evil hackers. Whew!)

God just took that time to remind me that my plans amount to nothing — even my best intentioned plans. My desire to control my life amounts to nothing. 

When I want more control in my life, I need to fall face-down before the Lord and give Him full control to do as He pleases, and then follow Him as He leads. (And He leads to places we would never have dreamed of going!)

It wasn’t Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt. He never had control over that group. It was always God.

God controls all — even when it rains and how hard it rains. We never need to fear even in the fiercest storm, if we remain face-down. 

With Faith

With Faith

When Morton Salt added magnesium carbonate to their salt, it remained free-flowing, even in the rain. 

When we add face-down faith before God to our lives, spiritual blessings flow freely, such that even when it rains, it pours . . .

Peace, Joy, Contentment, Belief, and Courage!

That’s what I call the Moses and Morton Salt Method.

Works for me.

______________________

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my When Life Explodes series. (Scroll to the bottom of the series for Part One and then scroll up for Part Two and Three.) 

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When it rains, it pours. What will your faith pour out in the storms of life?

When it rains, it pours. What will your faith pour out in the storms of life?




If God Weren’t in Control

Click to read post: If God Weren't In Control

If God Weren’t In Control

“What shall I do with this Man called Jesus?” Pilate asked the restless crowd.

“Crucify Him!” they shouted.

 “No,” Pilate countered. “I won’t crucify Jesus. I’m going to crucify that murderer Barabbas instead and set Jesus free.”

The crowd grew angry. “If you set Jesus free, our law demands we take Him and stone Him.”

And they did.

The End.

 

If you’ve read any of the four Gospels, you know this is not how it happened. But it could have, if God weren’t in control. Have you ever thought about that?

The Law of Moses demanded death by stoning for anyone who committed blasphemy against God. Stoning—not crucifixion[1]

If God weren’t in control, Jesus would’ve been stoned to death before the germ of the idea of Calvary and the cross ever grew in the Jewish leaders’ minds. Eager to pick up stones and silence Christ, their desire became ravenous.

“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied,
“but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
~ John 10:33

Fortunately, God’s not hindered by man’s desires.

God had pre-determined Christ would be crucified.[2] Despite multiple attempts to stone Jesus, they failed. God intervened.

Pilate failed too.

So Pilate said to Him, “You do not speak to me?
Do You not know that I have authority to release You,
and I have authority to crucify You?”

Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me,
unless it had been given you from above . . .”
As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him . . .
~ John 19:10-12a

I love it.

One statement from Jesus transformed Pilate from bold and arrogant to quaking in his sandals.

Pilate thought he’d make Jesus beg for his life, until Jesus set him straight. Suddenly Pilate seems ready to give Jesus an all-expense paid trip to anywhere.

If God weren’t in control, Pilate would have set Jesus free.

But, He couldn’t go free.

Christ had an appointment with the cross that had been set by God before the foundations of the earth.  God wouldn’t allow Pilate to set him free.

(There’s more to the story about Pilate that I’m going to tell in my next post, God Still Pardons Murderers, that beautifully demonstrates that God is in control. If you think you know what it is, please leave comment in the comment section—where else, right?)

If God weren’t in control over man’s desires and determinations, Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified that day, and we’d be lost. We’d be without a Savior or a God who’s able to take care of our every need. Thankfully, God is in control. Nothing can stop Him.

What God desires and determines, He does.
(Click to Tweet)

God desired to make a way for man to be free from sin and restored back into a relationship with Him. He did. Neither the Jewish leaders, Pilate, nor Satan could stop Him[3].  

God determined to give man free will to choose if he would acknowledge Jesus as Lord. He did. But one day, every knee will bow, and no one can stop it.[4]  

God is in control of everything that touches our lives. Over the good and the bad. Over those who belong to Him, and those who deny Him.

This would be a scary thought if God weren’t also the God of perfect love—but He is—and out of the abundance His love, He pours out blessings. On the good and the bad. On those who belong to Him, and on those who deny Him.

But His greatest blessings are reserved for those who belong to Him.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:19 Photo by Jean Wilund in Costa Rica

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:19
Photo by Jean Wilund in Costa Rica

And no one can stop Him.

Never forget God’s promises to you.

Never doubt His love for you.

Trust in Him, and rest.

God is in control.

red thread

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy my posts:  The End from the Beginning and What God Begins, He Finishes


[1] “anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them…” Leviticus 24:16a

[2] Matthew 20:17-19; Zechariah 12:10

[3] Acts 4:27,28

[4] Philippians 2:9-11