Leadership, Life, Ministry, & Family


Dear Dad,

It’s hard to believe you are 90 years old. Your love of life and your love for people have kept you young at heart and a joy to be around!

Each of us was asked to write down a fond memory for your birthday, but there are a hundred memories that come to my mind when I think of you:

  • You chose to view life from the sunny side…it kept you steady as a farmer and made an impression on me as your son.
  • Your knack for making each of your children feel as though you remembered exactly how it felt to be our age and to experience the challenges we faced.
  • Your hard work…even into your 80’s you were carrying irrigation tubes, shoveling dirt, and driving tractors. Looking back, I know you did it to provide for your family. You made it possible for us to have more than we needed and most everything we wanted. When people tell me I have a good work ethic, I smile knowing it’s nothing compared to yours.
  • Your compassion for those in need and your willingness to help them, even when you knew the odds of being repaid were slim, still challenge me today.
  • Your common sense and wisdom made you a good judge of character. I learned so much from listening to your assessment of people and situations.
  • Your love of country and your service in WWII has always inspired me. Seeing you represent the military veterans in leading the Pledge of Allegiance at The James River I Love America celebration is a moment forever etched in my mind.
  • Fishing in a mountain stream (I fell in!), hiking in the mountains, duck hunting, shooting trap, buying my first motorcycle, and going to Denver Bronco games are times with you I will never forget.
  • Your bravery in facing cancer, your grit in dealing with a ruptured appendix, and your stamina in the double knee replacement surgery all make me say, “I hope I can be that tough some day!”
  • You gave me the best advice I have ever received when you told me, “You need to take Debbie out tonight and ask her to marry you.”
  • Your love for family–Mom, your children, and your parents–has left an example I want to emulate.
  • Your affirmation of my calling to ministry and your enthusiasm for what God has accomplished through us has encouraged me beyond what I can express.
  • The day you came to Christ on that Easter Sunday morning in 1998 and your being the first person to be baptized at the new JRA worship center will always rank as two of the most memorable days of my ministry.

Dad, I love you, admire you, respect you, and owe you for so much of what I am and have experienced in life. One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever had is to have someone say, “You’re a lot like your dad.” My prayer is that this 90th year and the years that follow will be the best years of your life.

Much love,


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