Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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This Month's Message

Honoring Father
By Fran Caffey Sandin

My teen-aged mother, crying uncontrollably, threw herself across the bed. She tells me that I came close, patted her shoulder and said, “Mama, don’t cry. Daddy will come home.” He did. An only child at the age of four, I recall the day I welcomed my dad home from WWII. He was a handsome man with dark hair, hazel eyes, medium height and weight. I remember how strong his arms felt when he picked me up—not a small feat as I had become a chubby little girl after eating Ma’s generous farmhouse meals. During Dad’s absence, living with my maternal grandparents, Ma and Pa, became part of my treasured heritage. Mother thrived with their support.

Through the years I felt protected by the strength of my father’s character. He placed great emphasis upon being honest, pleasing God, and working hard. As I write this I can almost smell the gasoline fumes emanating from his sturdy, twill work clothes. Coming home every day from his auto mechanic shop, he reeked of exhaust smells and petroleum. At our evening family meal, he prayed fervently, and his authoritative voice reminded me that I was safe under his care. At the dinner table, I always noticed his rough hands and oil-stained nails. Yet the softness, the gentleness of his eyes, seemed more indicative of his heart. By example, he showed my brother, sister, and me how to place the needs of others above our own. Many times he stayed late and labored long into the night, often without pay, to help a stranded motorist on his way, especially if children were passengers in the vehicle. His gifts of service and humility are etched in my memory.

As I got older, I realized that he did not feel comfortable talking about the war, but he had managed to strike up a friendship with a nice Japanese man, Mario Yashida. As a young girl, I was delighted to meet Mario when he came to the United States and visited in our rural East Texas home. Daddy had told him about me, and he brought a colorful Japanese doll that I have kept as a reminder of the grace my Daddy extended to Mario at the close of WWII.

When I was in college, Daddy sent a letter advising me not to continue a relationship with my high-school boyfriend. He penned a word-picture that was so effective: “You wouldn’t buy the first dress you saw when going shopping, would you?” He wisely suggested I wait and “shop around” before making a life-long commitment. He was right! About two years later, the Lord sent the love of my life and we are now celebrating many happy years of marriage.

When Daddy died suddenly I reflected on the good things he had taught and demonstrated for me. I regretted that I had not honored him more, thanked him more, and demonstrated my love for him more. Now I look forward to seeing him in Heaven where I will thank him, not just on Father’s Day, but every day.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that my dad gave me a glimpse of your goodness. Many people do not have such an example, but if they know YOU in a personal way, they have the perfect picture of all that fatherhood entails. Thank you that as our Heavenly Father, you are always with us and will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you that your mercy endures forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.