6.16.2013

Spiritual Fathers

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yEPvXBlDBs4/UVZuShl3syI/AAAAAAAAOxY/S7UlxAIRDns/s1600/Praying+Together.jpgMy dad is not a believer, and at any rate I'm preparing a post just for him later this summer.  Today's words are about spiritual fathers who've had a positive influence on me,  that is to say older men who have taken the time to show me the way and given me a standard to follow in my own attempt to be a physical and spiritual father.

My very first such spiritual father was my very first pastor, Samuel Lo from Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church.  I first started going to church as a teenager, at the invitation of a close friend of mine.  I liked being with my friend and making new friends - especially the cute girls!  God, of course, was doing deeper things, and he used Pastor Lo to do those things.  As someone who didn't grow up in the church, practically every teaching was new to me.  It was Pastor Lo who would sit me down and explain everything.  It was Pastor Lo who sat down with my parents and me when I had decided I wanted to be baptized.  And it was Pastor Lo who baptized me and encouraged me to speak from my heart when I asked to say a few words at the ceremony.  It's been a long time since, but I'm still grateful for Pastor Lo's quiet and strong presence in my earliest days as a believer.

My other three spiritual fathers aren't much older than me, but they are much wiser and better:

Dave Lamb was a staff worker for Penn InterVarsity Christian Fellowship when I was a student at Penn; he took me under his wing, challenged me, taught me, and most of all served as an example of someone who loves and lives God's words. 

George Haugen has been my pastor twice, first in my twenties and second more recently, and both times he has counseled me through hard stuff and been a prayerful and gentle presence in my life. 

David Brown has become a go-to guy for me, because he is wise on both spiritual (he's a pastor) and professional matters (he's a business owner), and because he is always so insightful and encouraging in his advice to me.

I am thankful for the presence of these men in my life and want to honor them in this way on Father's Day.  I am enriched and encouraged by the example of their lives and hope to have a similar influence on others.
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