Sunday, June 21, 2015


This blog was first published six years ago but bears repeating.  May I leave behind the blessed legacy of my heritage.  Today at church we'll show the video you'll see at the end of this post.

(Don't miss the video after you read the blog.)
Dear Daddy,

Since I can no longer send you a Father's Day card, I hope heaven lets you read my letter to you.  

No daughter ever had a daddy who was more godly than you. It was so important because it made the road to our relationship with our heavenly Father an easy path.  Bert, Ricky and I had a clear image of Him, reflected in you.  Your character, love, faithfulness, wisdom, guidance, encouragement and selflessness pointed us to Him.  You forged our trail well.

I remember many times as we asked for your advice, you ended with, "Just do what the Lord would have you do."  You spoke that.  You lived that.
Recently I found a yellowed newspaper clipping of an essay I wrote about you 19 years ago.  It won a writing contest.  However, the true winner was my subject! (I copied it below the clipping for my eavesdropping readers here.  You have perfect eyesight now, Daddy.  Some of us don't.)

"If you start a job, finish it. . .if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right."  New advice?  No, but as a five year old, I thought Daddy made it up.  Now at 44, with three kids of my own, I realize it's programmed into all parents.  What makes my dad, my hero, different?  He lived his advice.

He started a job with Uncle Sam, enlisting in the Navy.  When his two years were up, he returned home but knew the job wasn't done so he re-enlisted becoming a 32-year veteran.  He started a marriage and has been faithful for 55 years.

"Mama, why don't you ever worry about him straying like other sailors do overseas?"

"Because he's true to himself, Kathy, not just to me.  Any man who won't even bring home a government issued ink pen won't cheat in big things."
The only wartime shot he ever fired as a Naval officer was a fluke.  As Officer-of-the-Day he checked his gun's chamber and accidentally fired it. . .onto the ship docked next to his! Captains and admirals scurried around until Dad sheepishly confessed!

No, it's not his medals, though he has some, that make him my hero.  It's his daily, constantly doing the job and doing it right, honestly, completely.  Other sprinters may outrun him in the 50-yard dash but Daddy is a plodder, pacing himself for the marathon.  As he looks back over 55 years of marriage, he's a long-haul winner.  He's a tall man but as far back as memory carries me I see him bent low, humbly, quietly praying for us--true to God too.

How has his advice affected me?  It's kept me true to a marriage for 23 years while friends of ours bailed out.  It kept me mothering, wiping tears and bottoms, tripping over cars, hamsters and rabbits.  Sure a nunnery looked appealing at times but Dad's voice echoed, "If you start a job. . ."   In fact, my two brothers and I have grown into a fourth generation of 17 plodders--no divorce, drugs, rebels or quitters in our ancestry.  Why?  Because my eye was a more ready pupil than my ear.  Good advice is often confusing but example is always clear.  Dad didn't just point the way, he walked with us, giving us life then showing us how to live it!

He's my hero!"
~ ~ ~
It's a small vignette into who you are as Daddy.  It bears repeating to others today who may not have had such a father.  You still point a world to Christ.  Your legacy lives on, not only in print, but in us, your children and grandchildren.
                                            Daddy with our baby, Katy.

I miss you today.

All My Love,
Kathy                                  ~ ~ ~ 

Now to you, my dear reader, I leave another Father's Day message.  If you were not blessed with a dad like mine, you still have One.  He has something to tell you from the throne of heaven today too.  Listen to your Abba Papa.

Monday, June 15, 2015

MARRIAGE, MISSIONARIES AND MURDER (My tribute to Elizabeth Elliot--RIP)

(This blog was first posted in May 2010.  Missionary Elisabeth Elliot just died and her influence was broad.  This blog spotlights her effect on me personally.  Heaven is celebrating her homegoing now!)

Every little girl dreams about her wedding day. I was no exception.

"I do," I repeated softly. Then Doug slipped the wedding band on my finger and we began our life together.
Part of my wedding day plans began when I was about ten years old. One Sunday night our family visited a small church somewhere in New England. I don't remember the town nor the date.

I do remember the lovely, blond missionary lady who spoke. . .softly but poignantly. "My husband and I chose a life verse, Psalm 34:7 'O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together.' That was our plan. Together."

But now she returned to the mission field they loved. Alone. Without him. A young widow. Nate Saint was dead, killed by the Auca Indians. In 1956, Life magazine broke the shocking story of five peaceful missionaries, slaughtered by natives in Ecuador.

Many of those murdering savages eventually came to Christ. Years later the very one who killed Nate baptized his beautiful, blond daughter. Probably in the same muddy river where her daddy bled and died.

Through Gates of Splendor, written by Elisabeth Elliot, and the movie, End of the Spear, produced by Nate's son, tell the story.

Nate's son with his father's murderer--now his brother in Christ.

That night after service I vowed to have that verse on my wedding band day, when I grew up.

I grew up, married Doug and we ministered together in several churches. Then during the 80's Elisabeth Elliot, one of the widows, came to speak at our church in Newport News, VA. After service many stayed to meet her. I lingered until everyone left.

"I was about ten years old and heard either you or Marjorie Saint speak." I relayed what I remembered from that tiny church in New England.

She smiled, "We both had blond daughters, who were later baptized there, but...
Elizabeth Elliot
Elizabeth with daughter

...that verse was Marge and Nate's. You must have heard her speak back then."
Nate and family

               Nate Saint

Doug and I celebrate our 41st anniversary next Tuesday, May 18. The verse is still engraved in our rings and etched in our hearts. But we've never made the ultimate sacrifice.
We complain if the audio equipment fails or the church temperature is too cold. We say we serve but we have no idea the cost, the sacrifice of magnifying Christ by life or death. Many believers worldwide do understand that depth of suffering.

"I must decrease and He must increase." What does that magnification mean? To make God big, bigger, biggest in our lives. No matter how we exalt Him, it won't come close to what He deserves.


Happy anniversary, Doug! I love you more each year.

The wife of your youth,