My father will turn 84 on November 10th. He is not flashy, fancy or extravagant. He will never be considered a philosopher, an academic, or a brilliant business mind. He still wears t-shirts, flannel shirts and trousers that he wore when I was a kid.
When he was in his mid-twenties, he declined an offer to be part-owner in a lumber company, opting instead to go to Bible School and then into the pastorate. Had he chosen the lumber company, he would be a millionaire today. But growing up as a pastor’s kid, we were “poorer than church mice.” He has never had or made much money (though Dad and Mom are extraordinary givers!)
But one day, when he passes into the presence of His Savior, his memorial service will be attended by many thousands of people. You see, there are certain things that Dad does every day, and has done every day as long as I have known him. And these have dramatically marked his life…and the lives of many others.
First, he rises early and goes straight to the couch, opens his Bible, and spends time with God. This is priority #1. He feeds his soul and waters his spirit. The picture of dad on the couch, morning after morning, day after day, is emblazoned on my mind.
Second, he goes on a 25-30 minute prayer-walk, up the hill behind their house. Physical and spiritual fitness. Dad is almost 84, but is as fit as an athlete, and still works as hard as men much less than half his age.
And third, he spends his days serving people…everywhere he goes, any chance he gets, every single day. Whether it is through his pastoring, or simply in every-day interactions, dad is always looking for ways to serve people, to love people, to pour into people.
As an example, every year he grows a garden that would rival the Garden of Eden…bountiful far beyond what he and my mom can consume, with loads of tomatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes, corn, lettuce, beans, peppers, carrots and potatoes. So, every year his garden becomes a source of fresh, organic produce for dozens of families in the neighborhood. People are almost giddy when they see my dad (and mom) coming down the street, going door to door, showering them with the most amazing food that money CAN’T buy! That garden, in so many ways, is a symbol…a portrait…of his life.
His has been a FRUITFUL life because it has been a FAITHFUL life. He has been a servant to so many, for so long, in so many ways…and he is dearly beloved by masses.
Someone once said: “When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”
And on some future day, hopefully far in the future, the world will cry (largely tears of joy and gratitude), and Dad will rejoice. That is the ultimate FRUIT of a FAITHFUL life.
Who has modeled FAITHFULNESS in your life? Whose EXAMPLE is your inspiration? Thank you for sharing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Russ was the top sales rep for the 7th largest Home Improvement company in the nation, has been a high school wrestling coach, and was the State Champ Wrestler for the state of Oregon at 191 lbs. Currently he is a Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker with The John Maxwell Team, and in 2018, he founded The Catalyst Coaching to work with salt-of-the-earth, hard-charging working men who want to grow spiritually and personally, but are stuck and need a jump-start. He was also the founding pastor of Oasis Church, in Bend, Oregon, a church plant in 2004 that grew from 17 to over 1,500 people in just under 3 years. Much of his story flows out of this experience. He resides in Seattle, WA with his beautiful wife, Heather.
If you’d like to connect with Russ, you can do so by clicking the link below.