Fathers' Day 2020

Today we honor our fathers. And that's good. Dads don't get much respect nowadays.  A doting father used to sing his little children to sleep. He even learned a few lullabies to lend some variety to the task. This was something he could do at night to help his wife out. And he kept up this task until one night he overheard his four-year-old give her younger sibling this advice, "If you pretend you're asleep," she said, "he stops." That was the end of the lullabies.
Garrison Keillor, on his "Writer's Almanac" on National Public Radio said that Father's Day goes back "to a Sunday morning in May of 1909, when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church in Spokane, Washington, listening to a Mother's Day sermon. She thought of her father who had raised her and her siblings after her mother died in childbirth, and she thought that fathers should get recognition, too. So she asked the minister of the church if he would deliver a sermon honoring fathers on her father's birthday, which was coming up in June, and the minister did. And the tradition of Father's Day caught on, though rather slowly. Mother's Day became an official holiday in 1914; Father's Day, not until 1972. Mother's Day is still the busiest day of the year for florists, restaurants and long distance phone companies. Father's Day is the day on which the most collect phone calls are made. 

"It was Strindberg who said, 'That is the thankless position of the father in the family the provider for all nd
a the enemy of all.' Oscar Wilde said, 'Fathers should neither be seen nor heard. That is the only proper basis for family life.'" (1) 

In our lesson from Mark, Jesus is describing the kingdom of God: "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how . . ." 

Now Jesus is not talking about fatherhood in this passage, but isn't this the very first area in which we participate in the coming of God's kingdom to earth? It is in the raising of our children. Raising good children is like scattering seed upon the ground....
I heard a minister say one time that in his younger days, when his children were small, he would have family meetings. These meetings were to discuss chores, and family matters, trips, etc. Yet, he admitted, when he would call these meetings, the expression on his children's faces would usually be:  "what have we done wrong, now." Finally, he said, my wife pointed out to me that the tone in my voice when I called these meetings was very serious, the same tone that he used when he disciplined his children. Thus, they responded with apprehension.

I have thought about that, and I wonder if that is not similar to the response that many people have when they have a meeting with God. They come to him with the feeling: Well, we must really be in trouble now. Despite all of the talk that we do in the church about how God loves us, I get the distinct impression that many feel that God just puts up with them. I have even talked with some people over the years who drew a distinction between Christ's love and God's attitude. They see Christ as the one who holds back the wrath of an angry God. The impression is that, if it were not for Christ, God would love to get his hands on us.

Some would not go that far. They would say: Oh, I know that God loves me, but I must candidly confess that he probably doesn't like me too much. Maybe for some people their feelings go back to the use of the word father. I have had many people comment to me over the years in a casual, but often revealing way, how stern their father was with them. Thus, it is difficult for them to envision a heavenly father that would be anything but strict.

Well, this problem is certainly nothing new. The Jews dealt with it many centuries ago. They believed that God would not tolerate sin. They developed a system where people were judged by the degree of their sin, the worse the sin the worse off you were with God. This, of course, left the sinner with the feeling that God totally despised them. In addition, there were people whose jobs were so ceremonially unclean that they too were considered unacceptable. The tax collector, the butcher, and even the shepherds were told they were too unclean to approach God.

And so, in Jesus' day, there was, spiritually speaking, the haves and the have-nots. The haves perceived themselves as having God's love, and the have-nots believed that they were quite beyond it. To change this view, Jesus told the story of the prodigal son.

I have preached many sermons on this parable but rarely during my ministry, or at least as far as I recall, I have never preached this story from the vantage point of the father... 
Priceless Scribbles 
Rev. Richard Fairchild tells about a story that appeared years ago in the Christian Reader. It was called "Priceless Scribbles." It concerns a father who touched his child's life in an unexpected way. A young boy watched as his father walked into the living room. The boy noticed that his younger brother, John, began to cower slightly as his father entered. The older boy sensed that John had done something wrong. Then he saw from a distance what his brother had done. The younger boy had opened his father's brand new hymnal and scribbled all over the first page with a pen. 

Staring at their father fearfully, both brothers waited for John's punishment. Their father picked up his prized hymnal, looked at it carefully and then sat down, without saying a word. Books were precious to him; he was a minister with several academic degrees. For him, books were knowledge. What he did next was remarkable, says the author of this story. Instead of punishing his brother, instead of scolding, or yelling, his father took the pen from the little boy's hand, and then wrote in the book himself, alongside the scribbles that John had made. Here is what that father wrote: "John's work, 1959, age 2. How many times have I looked into your beautiful face and into your warm, alert eyes looking up at me and thanked God for the one who has now scribbled in my new hymnal. You have made the book sacred, as have your brother and sister to so much of my life."

"Wow," thought the older brother, "This is punishment?" The author of the story, now an adult, goes on to say how that hymnal became a treasured family possession, how it was tangible proof that their parents loved them, how it taught the lesson that what really matters is people, not objects; patience, not judgment; love, not anger.

Richard Fairchild, adapted by King Duncan
The Patience of a Father 

I remember reading about a guy who stopped in the grocery store on the way home from work to pick up a couple of items for his wife. He wandered around aimlessly for a while searching out the needed groceries. As is often the case in the grocery store, he kept passing this same shopper in almost every aisle. It was another father trying to shop with a totally uncooperative three year old boy in the cart.

The first time they passed, the three year old was asking over and over for a candy bar. Our observer couldn't hear the entire conversation. He just heard Dad say, "Now, Billy, this won't take long." As they passed in the nest aisle, the 3-year-old's pleas had increased several octaves. Now Dad was quietly saying, "Billy, just calm down. We will be done in a minute."
When they passed near the dairy case, the kid was screaming uncontrollably. Dad was still keeping his cool. In a very low voice he was saying, "Billy, settle down. We are almost out of here." The Dad and his son reached the check out counter just ahead of our observer. He still gave no evidence of losing control. The boy was screaming and kicking. Dad was very calmly saying over and over, "Billy, we will be in the car in just a minute and then everything will be OK."

The bystander was impressed beyond words. After paying for his groceries, he hurried to catch up with this amazing example of patience and self-control just in time to hear him say again, "Billy, we're done. It's going to be OK." He tapped the patient father on the shoulder and said, "Sir, I couldn't help but watch how you handled little Billy. You were amazing."

Dad replied, "His name is Wesley. I'm Billy!"

Roger W. Thomas, A Father's Faith

Mark Twain's Father

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Mark Twain

What Are You Passing On? 

At the first church that I pastored, I had the job of mixing feed to supplement my income. For a period of about two weeks, each day that I came home from work, my two boys, ages 2 and 3 would look at me, smile, and would say, "Boy, dad, you sure are dusty!" I would reply, "Yes, I sure am dusty." Then I would get cleaned up.

I didn't think too much of this until I was washing my car and saw my oldest son doing something very strange. He was picking up the gravel and stones that were in our drive and rubbing them into his pants. I asked him, "What are you doing?" He replied, "I want to be dusty like you dad!"
I realized that if a child would look up to his father for being dusty and want to copy his father, a child could look up to his father and follow him for anything. What are you passing on to your son?

Jerry L. Steen

Baseball Will Be Fine

In 1985 Tim Burke saw his boyhood dream come true the day he was signed to pitch for the Montreal Expos. After four years in the minors, he was finally given a chance to play in the big leagues. And he quickly proved to be worth his salt setting a record for the most relief appearances by a rookie player.

Along the way, however, Tim and his wife, Christine, adopted four children with very special needs two daughters from South Korea, a handicapped son from Guatemala, and another son from Vietnam. All of the children were born with very serious illnesses or defects. Neither Tim nor Christine was prepared for the tremendous demands such a family would bring. And with the grueling schedule of major-league baseball, Tim was seldom around to help. So in 1993, only three months after signing a $600,000 contract with the Cincinnati Reds, Tim Burke decided to retire from baseball.

When pressed by reporters to explain this decision, he simply said, "Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I'm the only father my children have."

King Duncan, Collected Sermons,  

Paco's Father

There's a Spanish story of a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father. On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.

Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, p. 13. 
Dad as Nurturer

I think that we can affirm that fathers are called upon to be nurturers. We see so much that is negative about society today that sometimes we forget that there are some very positive things that are happening. One of those positive things, it seems to me, is that society is completely rethinking what the role of the father should be. Society, and the church to a lesser degree, is saying: it is not enough dad, just to be the breadwinner. You need to help with the nurturing as well.

This is not always easy because men historically have not been expected to fill this role, or at least not as much as the mother. There was an interesting story that appeared on the NBC Today show that told about a YMCA program in California. Fathers are placed in a playroom with their children. The mothers watch from a one-way window outside in the hallway. The one rule is that if the child starts crying, the father cannot take him or her to the mother. He must resolve the problem himself. If the child is given to the mother when it is crying, so the theory goes, that sends the signal that the one who gives the comfort and love is the mother.


A Great Dad

One of the greatest preachers and pastors who ever lived was Dwight L. Moody. He was a man of uncompromising principle, but he was also a great dad. His son Willie reported that it was not unusual for Dwight L. Moody to come to one of his children lying in bed late at night and say something like this, "Are you awake? I can't go to sleep till I talk to you. I'm sorry I lost my temper." As a teenager Willie wrote this tribute to his famous father:

"Other kids tell me they cannot go to their dads and just talk and hope to be understood; they say they can't because their dads are 'always right' and they are 'always wrong'. They can't talk to their dads the way I can talk t you. I could always talk to you. You always understood. There was nothing I could not tell you."

Of course Willie is describing here a father who has more than mere time. He also has tenderness and a willingness to admit it when he has made a mistake: but simply taking time is the first step along the journey to successful parenting.

King Duncan, Collected Sermons, 

The Flip Side of Love 

A lot of damage can occur in a family. Parents can be hurt. Children can be hurt. But there is always hope in a home where forgiveness is present. John R. Aurelio, in his book Colors!, gives us a beautiful portrayal of this side of God.

On the sixth day, God created Father Adam and Mother Eve.
On the seventh day, as God was resting, they asked Him if He would give them something special to commemorate their birthday. So God reached into His treasure chest and took out a sacred coin. Written on it was the word "LOVE."

On the eighth day, Father Adam and Mother Eve sinned. As they left the Garden of Eden, they asked God for an assurance that He would not abandon them.

"You have the coin," He told them.

"But, the coin says LOVE," they answered. "We have lost love. However will we find it again?".... 

A father and a dad are not the same:
One can be a dad and not a father,
Or one can be a father and not bother
To earn through love the more endearing name.
Some find fatherhood a bit too tame,
Leaving all the details to the mother,
Or dumping the sweet burden on another
Man with just a passing twinge of shame.
You have been our dad so many years
That you've become the landscape that is home,
The mountain that we look to from
No matter where we go we're not alone,
For you remain within to still our fears
And be the word that tells us who we are.

What Makes a Dad

od took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad
~~Author Unknown.~~

Daughter to father poems . A Little Girl Needs Daddy poem

A little girl needs Daddy
For many, many things:
Like holding her high off the ground
Where the sunlight sings!
Like being the deep music
That tells her all is right
When she awakens frantic with
The terrors of the night.

Like being the great mountain
That rises in her heart
And shows her how she might get home
When all else falls apart.

Like giving her the love
That is her sea and air,
So diving deep or soaring high
She'll always find him there.

Father and son poems :  Perhaps we'll never understand each other.....

Perhaps we'll never understand each other.
Loving doesn't mean that we agree.
If that were so, then I would say, why bother?
But there are things I know I'll never see.
I'm sure your heart knows what I don't yet know:
The pain of loving a reluctant son;
The anger, coming fast and building slow,
Of being helpless to control someone.
You want only that I grow up right,
But you know what right is, and I still don't.
I have to learn to wield my inner light,
And if I follow yours, well, then I won't.
I'm sorry for the anger in the air;
Though we fight, my love is always there.

 Happy Father's Day

A Dad is a person
who is loving and kind,
And often he knows
what you have on your mind.
He's someone who listens,
suggests, and defends.
A dad can be one
of your very best friends!
He's proud of your triumphs,
but when things go wrong,
A dad can be patient
and helpful and strong
In all that you do,
a dad's love plays a part.
There's always a place for him
deep in your heart.
And each year that passes,
you're even more glad,
More grateful and proud
just to call him your dad!
Thank you, Dad...
for listening and caring,
for giving and sharing,
but, especially, for just being you!
Happy Father's Day

Good for father's birthday poems : OUR FATHERS

Our fathers toil with hands and heart
To make our lives complete.
They quietly brave the winter cold,
Endure the summer heat.

Our fathers' lives are busy, but
There's always time for us.
They boldly face the ups and downs
And seldom ever fuss.

Our fathers are the greatest dads.
We know you know this, too.
But thank you for the chance to share
Our love for them with you.
 (c) by David A. Olds.

Inspirational Poem for father : A FATHER MEANS...

A Father means so many things...
A understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things
When he's a man like you...

~Author Unknown~
More father's poems coming soon !


"The most important thing a father can do
for his children is to love their mother."
~~Author Unknown

"To her the name of father was another name for love."
~~By Fanny Fern.~~

"They didn't believe their father had ever been young;
surely even in the cradle he had been a very,
very small man in a gray suit,
with a little dark mustache and flat, incurious eyes."
~~By Richard Shattuck.~~

"Fathers, like mothers, are not born.
Men grow into fathers-
and fathering is
a very important stage in their development."
~~By David M. Gottesman.~~

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
~~By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)~~

"It doesn't matter who my father was;
it matters who I remember he was."
~~By Anne Sexton (1928-1974) U.S. poet.~~

"I cannot think of any need in childhood
as strong as the need for a father's protection."
~~By Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)~~

"A Man's children and his garden both reflect the
amount of weeding done during the growing season."
~~Author Unknown.~~

"The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God, and I call him Dad!"
~~Author Unknown.
By Sachi Khatri
Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection

1: “Have you ever seen a saint praying?” St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila have their own stories about the influence their fathers had on their lives as role models. The Little Flower used to ask an innocent question to her first grader classmates: “Have you ever seen a saint praying?” She would add: “If you haven’t, come to my house in the evening. You will see my dad on his knees in his room with outstretched arms, praying for us, his children, every day.” She states in one of her letters from the convent: “I have never seen or heard or experienced anything displeasing to Jesus in my family.” In the final year of her high school studies, St. Teresa of Avila was sent by her father (against her will), to a boarding house conducted by nuns. Her father took action at the moment he discovered bad books and yellow magazines hidden in her box. These had been supplied to Teresa by her spoiled friend and classmate, Beatrice. St. Teresa later wrote as the Mother Superior: “But for that daring and timely action of my father, I would have ended up in the streets, as a notorious woman.” Father’s Day challenges Christian Fathers to be role models to their children.

2: “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday. All is forgiven.” In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Capital of the World,” a Spanish newspaper, El Liberal, carried a poignant story about a father and his son. It went like this. A teen-aged boy, Paco, and his very wealthy father had a falling out, and the young man ran away from home. The father was crushed. After a few days, he realized that the boy was serious, so the father set out to find him. He searched high and low for five months to no avail. Finally, in a last, desperate attempt to find his son, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read, “Dear Paco, Meet me at the Hotel Montana noon Tuesday. All is forgiven. I love you. Signed, Your Father. On Tuesday, in the office of Hotel Montana, over 800 Pacos showed up, looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers. What a magnet that ad was! Over 800 Pacos!! We all hunger for pardon. We are all “Pacos” yearning to run and find a father who will declare, “All is forgiven.” Father’s Day reminds us that we need more loving, forgiving fathers.

3 “I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.” A friend tells about how when he was a small boy his father’s birthday rolled around, and he did not realize it until it was too late to get his father a birthday present. So, he went through all his resources and came up with 17 cents. He put the dime, the nickel, and the two pennies in an envelope and gave it to his father with a note: “I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday. Thanks for being the best dad in the whole world. Sorry I did not get you a gift. This is all I’ve got.” Years later, at his father’s death, when he was going through his father’s possessions, he discovered within a special compartment of his father’s wallet, the envelope, the note, the dime, the nickel, and the two pennies that his father had carried all those years. (Donald Shelby, “Love is Gratitude”). Why? Why of all the things the father and son had experienced together was this token kept as the most precious reminder of their relationship? Why? It was pure love, and pure gratitude. And that’s what we have in our second Scripture lesson today.

4: “I never hugged my dad”! In his book My Father, My Son, Dr Lee Salk describes a moving interview with Mark Chapman, the convicted murderer of Beatle John Lennon. At one point in the interview, Chapman says: “I don’t think I ever hugged my father. (David Curtis Chapman was a staff sergeant in the U. S. Air Force). He never told me he loved me…I needed emotional love and support. I never got that.” Chapman’s description of how he would treat a son if he had one is especially tragic, because he will probably never get out of prison and have a family of his own. He says: “I would hug my son and kiss him…and just let him know…he could trust me and come to me…and (I would) tell him that I loved him.” Dr Salk ends his book with this advice to fathers and sons. It applies equally well to mothers and daughters. “Don’t be afraid of your emotions, of telling your father or your son that you love him and that you care. Don’t be afraid to hug and kiss him. Don’t wait until the deathbed to realize what you’ve missed.” (Mark Link in Sunday Homilies).

5. What a Card! Father’s Day was near when I brought my three-year-old son, Tyler, to the card store. Inside, I showed him the cards for dads and told him to pick one. When I looked back, Tyler was picking up one card after another, opening them up and quickly shoving them back into slots, every which way. “Tyler, what are you doing?” I asked. “Haven’t you found a nice card for Daddy yet?” “No,” he replied. “I’m looking for one with money in it.” (Submitted to Readers Digest by Terri Cook).

6. Brag about parents: An Army brat was boasting about his father to a Navy brat.
“My dad is an engineer. He can do everything. Do you know the Alps?”
“Yes,” said the Navy brat.
“My dad built them.”
Then the naval kid spoke: “And do you know the Dead Sea?”
“It’s my dad who’s killed it!”

7. New family driver: Martin had just received his brand-new driver’s license. The family trooped out to the driveway, and climbed in the car, for he was going to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately headed for the back seat, directly behind the newly minted driver. “I’ll bet you’re back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive,” says the beaming boy to his father. “Nope,” comes dad’s reply, “I’m gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you’ve been doing to me all these years.”

8. Transformation: One cynic, speaking from his own experience, noted that children go through four fascinating stages. First, they call you DaDa. Then they call you Daddy. As they mature, they call you Dad. Finally, they call you collect– to ask for money.

9. A Father’s Day Card read: “Being a father can be expensive, time-consuming, frustrating, confusing, and emotionally draining. Actually, it’s a lot like golf.”

10. Pap and pup: While flying from Denver to Kansas City, Kansas, my mother was sitting across the aisle from a woman and her eight-year-old son. Mom couldn’t help laughing as they neared their destination and she heard the mother say to the boy, “Now remember — run to Dad first, then the dog.”
(Submitted to Readers Digest by Karla J. Kasper)

11. Dad’s car: a young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He said to his father: “Dad could we discuss the use of your car? his father said to him: “sure, I’ll make a deal with you. you bring your grades up, read the bible every day, and get your hair cut; then we’ll talk about it.” a month later the boy came back and again asked his father if he could use the car. his father said, “son, I’m really proud of you. you brought your grades up. You’re pretty faithful to your bible reading. but son, you didn’t get your hair cut!” the young man waited a moment and then said to his father: You know dad, I’ve been thinking about that. in reading the bible i noticed that samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair.” his father tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Yes son, and did you notice that they walked everywhere they went? (Msgr Yennoc).

13 Additional anecdotes

1) “And if you don’t pass the test you have to be the Daddy?” A mother was out walking with her 4–year-old daughter. The child picked up something off the ground and started to put it into her mouth. The mother took it away and said, “Don’t do that!” “Why not?” asked the child. “Because it’s on the ground,” said her mother. “You don’t know where it’s been. It’s dirty, and it’s probably loaded with germs that could make you sick.” The child looked at her mother with total admiration and said, “Mommy, how do you know all this stuff? You’re so smart.” The mother said, “All Moms know this stuff. It’s on the Mom’s Test. You have to know it or they don’t let you be a Mom.” There was silence for a minute or so as the child thought this through. “Oh, I get it,” she said at last. “And if you don’t pass the test you have to be the Daddy?” (The Jokesmith). Welcome on this Father’s Day. As someone has said, “Father’s Day is like Mother’s Day, except the gift is cheaper.” And that’s true. But there are some fine Dads in our congregation, and we want to honor them. After all, it’s not easy being a Dad.

2) “Wait until you see sister!” A bald man and his wife one night decided to go out to dinner and hired a babysitter to take care of their kids. While they were gone, the babysitter got interested in TV and wasn’t watching the kids very carefully. The couple’s little boy got his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head. When Dad, got home, he was furious. He said, “Son! I told you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking that you will never forget!” He was just about to give the spanking when the boy looked up at him and said, “Wait until you see sister!” The Mom and Dad were both horrified. They went into the next room and there was their little four-year-old daughter with the hair shaved off of her head. She looked like a skinned rabbit. By this time Dad was furious. He grabbed his son and said, “Now you’re really going to get it.” Just as Dad was about to begin administering discipline, his son looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said, “But Daddy! WE WERE JUST TRYING TO LOOK LIKE YOU!” [Parables, Etc. (Saratoga Press, P.O. Box 8, Platteville, CO, 80651; 970-785-2990), October 2001.] And that’s key to whole parenting thing, isn’t it? Many of our kids just want to look like us. (Added on Dec 18, 2012)

3) Once upon a time: A few of you remember the days of black-and-white television when television networks carried shows like Father Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. The norm for these programs was a family with a working husband and a wife who stayed at home, lovingly devoted to her husband and her children. At least that was the image the media portrayed. Most families even then were not as idyllic as the sitcoms portrayed them.

4) “If Daddy Will Hold Me”: A little girl had somehow received a bad cut in the soft flesh of her eyelid. The doctor knew that some stitches were needed, but he also knew that because of the location of the cut, he should not use an anesthetic. He talked with the little girl and he told her what he must do… and asked her if she thought she could stand the touch of the needle without jumping. She thought for a moment, and then said simply, “I think I can if Daddy will hold me while you do it.” So, the father took his little girl in his lap, steadied her head against his shoulder, and held her tightly in his arms. The surgeon then quickly did his work… and sewed up the cut in her eyelid… and the little girl did not flinch. She just held on tight to her Father.
That’s a parable for us in our spiritual lives and a graphic reminder that whatever we have to face, we can hold on tight to our Father… and He will see us through. There’s a word for that… it’s called TRUST or FAITH. It’s surely what Jesus had in mind when he said, “Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (James W. Moore, When Our Children Teach Us)

5) ”I learned it from you, Daddy.” The Talmud tells us, ”A child tells in the street what its father says at home.” Much to the embarrassment of many parents, this adage is true. One father tells of taking his three-year-old son with him to see Grandma and Papa. During the visit, Grandma and her grandson baked cookies, while dad and Papa watched a football game. Upon tasting a sample from the first batch, the three-year-old held the cookie out saying, ”Damn, this is good!” Grandma gasped. The father jumped from his chair and corrected his son saying, ”That’s not a nice word! Where did you learn that word?” The boy instantly replied, ”I learned it from you, Daddy. You say it every time Momma fixes supper.”

6) Notorious outlaws: Regardless of what you may have heard or read, Frank and Jesse James, two of the most famous outlaws of all time, were cold-blooded murderers. Their father, though, was a Baptist pastor and the founder of William Jewel College in Liberty, Kentucky. Their mother was raised in a Catholic convent. Both parents espoused values very different from those that their sons held. Yet, Robert James, their father, deserted his wife and sons while they were still very small so that he could search for gold in California. [Castel, Albert. “Men Behind the Masks: The James Brothers,” American History Illustrated (June 1982), pp. 1018.] Another of the men who terrorized the West was named John Wesley Hardin. Guess where he got his name! Hardin was the son of a Methodist circuit rider who also taught school and practiced law. Hardin’s father, a fervent Texan, raised his son to hate the North. When Hardin, at age 14, shot and killed a black man in honest self-defense, his father sent him away, not trusting the justice of the Northern Reconstruction government in Texas. Hardin subsequently killed Federal soldiers on a number of occasions, though the Civil War had ended years earlier. He also spent 17 years in prison for shooting a deputy. Perhaps John Wesley Hardin would have taken a different path if his father had not hated the government so much, and if his father had not shielded him from facing justice when he shot his first victim. [McGinty, Brian. “John Wesley Hardin,” American History Illustrated (June 1982) pp. 3236.] Regardless, it is clear that though the fathers of Frank and Jesse James and of John Wesley Hardin were men of the cloth, they were not great role models.

7) “My son is ‘under 12,’” Tell me, what will the child in this little scenario remember?  The family goes to Mass every Sunday and on all the Holy Days of Obligation.  They say the Rosary and talk about Christian values at dinnertime.  Then, on Saturday night, when they go out to the movies, the father tells the cashier that his son is ‘under 12’ when, in fact, he’s already 13. Now, tell me, what will make the biggest impression on this young man? What he’s heard all week or what he sees on Saturday night?”

8) Four Fathers from The Bible: Enoch, a father who walked with God as a great man of Faith. Noah, who was concerned about saving his children; he taught them about righteousness. He also walked with God, leaving a great example to follow.
Abraham, who was given the title “Father of all of them that believe”. He trained them as mentioned in Genesis 18:19. Joshua, who trusted God when others would not. Joshua didn’t care what other fathers were doing; he and his family were going to serve the Lord! (Fr. Antony Kayala).

9) “You promised that, Dad. ‘No matter what,’ you said, ‘I’ll always be there for you!'” There’s a fascinating story that comes from the 1989 earthquake which almost flattened Armenia. That earthquake killed over 30,000 people in less than four minutes. In the midst of all the confusion of the earthquake, a father rushed to his son’s school. When he arrived, he discovered the building was flat as a pancake. Standing there looking at what was left of the school, the father remembered a promise he’d made to his son, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!” Tears began to fill his eyes. It looked like a hopeless situation, but he couldn’t take his mind off his promise. He remembered that his son’s classroom was in the back, right corner of the building He rushed over there and started digging through the rubble. As he was digging other grieving parents arrived, clutching their hearts, saying: “My son! My daughter!” They tried to pull him off of what was left of the school saying: “It’s too late!” “They’re dead!” “You can’t help!” “Go home!” Even a police officer and a fire fighter told him he should go home. To everyone who tried to stop him he said, “Are you going to help me now?” They didn’t answer him, but he continued digging for his son stone by stone. He needed to know for himself: “Is my son alive or is he dead?” This man continued to dig for eight hours and then twelve and then twenty-four and then thirty-six. Finally, during the thirty-eighth hour, as he pulled back a boulder, he heard his son’s voice. He screamed his son’s name, “ARMAND!” and a voice answered him, “Dad? It’s me, Dad!” And then the boy added these priceless words, “I told the other kids not to worry. I told ’em that if you were alive, you’d save me and when you saved me, they’d be saved. You promised that, Dad. ‘No matter what,’ you said, ‘I’ll always be there for you!’ And here you are Dad. You kept your promise!” (Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul; added in Jan 2014).

10) “Just the cutest thing!” A woman wrote to a magazine to tell about an event that had occurred in her family when she was about eighteen months old. Her mother was out, and her dad was in charge of her and her brother who was four years older. Someone had given her a little ‘tea set’ as a get-well gift and it was one of her favorite toys. Her Dad was in the living room one evening engrossed in the evening news and her brother was playing nearby in the living room when the little girl brought her Dad a little cup of make-believe ‘tea,’ which was just plain water. After several cups of this tea and lots of praise from Dad for making such a yummy concoction, the little girl’s Mom came home. Her Dad made Mom wait in the living room to watch this eighteen-month-old bring him a cup of tea, because it was “just the cutest thing!” Her Mom waited, and sure enough, here the girl came down the hall with a cup of tea for her Daddy. Mom watched Dad drink this special tea, then asked, “Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?” (MONDAY FODDER, To subscribe

11) “I wasn’t a good father.” Baseball superstar Mickey Mantle was interviewed shortly before his death. He had been a hero on the ball field, but not such a superstar outside baseball. After his playing days ended, he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic to deal with the consequences of a lifetime of alcohol abuse. Part of his struggle involved the loss of his son, Billy, who had died of a heart attack while suffering from Hodgkin’s disease, a genetic disease which had killed Mantle’s father and grandfather at an early age. In the interview, Mickey Mantle said, “One of the things I learned at the Betty Ford Clinic was why I was depressed. I wasn’t a good father. I always felt like I wasn’t there for my kids like my father was for me.”
(Dr. Stanley C Sneeringer,‑11‑99.htm.)

12) Andy did not get a spanking; instead he got a hug: Brandon has two little kids: Andy, who is five years old, and Charlie, who is four. Brandon tries to be a good father to his little boys. Brandon goes and shaves himself and goes on to dress up. He comes out a few minutes later and what does he see? Little Andy has gotten hold of his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big expressway right down the middle of his head. Brandon is furious. He says, “Andy! Didn’t I tell you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking you will never forget!” He was just about to administer the spanking when Andy looks up at him and says, “Wait till you see Charlie!” Brandon and his wife are simply horrified when they go into the washroom and see their little four-year-old boy with all of the hair gone, looking like a little skinned rabbit. By this time, Brandon is really furious. He grabs up Andy and says, “Now you are really going to get it.” Just as he lifts his hand and starts to bring it down, Andy looks up at him with tears in his eyes and said, “But Daddy! We were just trying to be like you!” Well, Andy did not get a spanking; instead he got a hug. Isn’t that true? In so many ways we want to be like our fathers. It shows that they were and are heroes for us and that we are heroes for our children. (Fr. Mateuz)

13) President William Jefferson Clinton’s Father’s Day Proclamation in 1998: “Fathers play a unique and important role in the lives of their children. As mentor, protector, and provider, a father fundamentally influences the shape and direction of his child’s character by giving love, care, discipline, and guidance. As we observe Father’s Day, our nation honors fatherhood and urges fathers to commit themselves selflessly to the success and well-being of their children. And we reaffirm the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Raising a child requires significant time, effort, and sacrifice; and it is one of the most hopeful and fulfilling experiences a man can ever know. A father can derive great joy from seeing his child grow from infancy to adulthood. As a child matures into independence and self-reliance, the value of a parent’s hard work, love, and commitment comes to fruition. Responsible fatherhood is important to a healthy and civil society. Numerous studies confirm that children whose fathers are present and involved in their lives are more likely to develop into prosperous and healthy adults. Children learn by example; and they need their father’s presence as examples of virtue in their daily lives. A child’s sense of security can be greatly enhanced by seeing his parents in a loving and faithful marriage.”