Today is his 22nd birthday.
That doesn't mean that he is 22 years old. He is older than that but I would say that he has the inner attitude of someone who is 22 but with many more years of experience. You can see his youthful attitude in this picture.
Why do I admire my father more than any other man?
He lives as a consistent Christian witness. He makes being a Christian admirable and respectable. He makes Jesus attractive by living a consistent Christian life. There is no phoniness about him. He doesn't say one thing and do another.
He has been a pastor all of his adult life. He was my first pastor, my best pastor, and I was taught under his pastorate more than any other pastor in my life. He taught me proper theology, filled my life with a love for the things of God and a love for people. He taught me God's Word. He taught me that everyone is one heartbeat from eternity and needs to know about the salvation that God offers to every person thru Jesus.
He is a stark contrast to many pastors that I have met and the measure to whom I compare other pastors. He doesn't preach one thing and then live another.
For example, some pastors I have met seem to have the attitude "if you don't want to come to my church anymore, good luck to you." I recall, when someone would leave my father's church (which was very rare), how he would visit the person, asking them to return, he would pray with them about their decision and would privately agonize in prayer about the person's decision.
In other words, he recognizes that being a pastor is a serious calling. People's souls are on the line. A good pastor cannot be cavalier about people's relationship with Christ and His church. Being a pastor is serious business.
Before you think that my Dad is austere and overly serious, a real kill-joy, you also need to understand that he also gave me the ability to laugh. I have incorporated most of his jokes into my repertoire (and my sons have as well).
He helped me to see that a real Christian is a fun person.
A real Christian doesn't repel, but, rather, attracts people.
A real Christian is positive, even when things look bleak.
A real Christian is consistent.
A real Christian is a real man.
Thanks, Dad. You do well.