Inspired by my Dad

The Man I Grew Up With
I had a recent conversation with my dad--that is my step dad.  As a child, he was a man that I feared.  I loved him, but it was love with a distance.  And he had his issues.  He was an alcoholic and although his love for me we obvious, I just sometimes really disliked him.    My brother had it worse. My dad was particularly hard on him and it took years for my brother to begin to heal from the wounds my dad had created.  Even I remember asking my mom once for us to leave him but she refused.

A Different Man
Today, he is not the same man.  His mannerisms are the same.  He still has that look when he is upset.  I think he was even annoyed at me recently when he was helping me install a counter top because I was being OCD about the whole thing.  He is definitely not perfect, but the work that he does to help people inspires me.

You see, about 10 years ago my dad left alcohol and became a pastor.  He is not a traditional pastor in a traditional church.  He and my mom left their comfortable life in Palatine, IL and started a church in Laredo, TX.  Even I, who was a Christian 8 years beforemy parents were, thought they were a bit crazy.  Now I realize that they were following God's plan.  They have both dedicated their lives to helping people and at some point I will write a blog about the great things my mom does, but this one is about my dad.

His Work for God
One of my dad's role within his church, other than the sermons he does weekly, is to council individuals one on one.  But my dad has been more than just someone that provides great advice to troubled individuals.  No, he has been instrumental in helping people heal their hearts.   For example, he has stopped alcoholics from drinking, drug users from using drugs, men and women that were sexually abused as children to finally heal their pain.  Ultimately it is God that works through my dad to heal the brokenhearted, but my dad has answered the call in a way I have seen few pastors been able to do. I say this because he has helped individuals overcome the bonds that years of counseling would be unable to do.

And these individuals are not just the members of his congregation.  I think most of them are people that he meets throughout the course of his day.  The delivery guy or the manager of a business he frequents.  These are individuals that were not seeking help.  They were just going around their every day routine never suspecting that today they would meet someone  that would show them how God would finally heal their wounds .

My dad's faith is unwavering.  He isn't perfect, but he loves God and is bold enough to approach perfect strangers in an attempt to not just give them hope, but tangibly make something special happen to them that day.  And for that, I am proud of him.

My dad is the Pastor at New Vision Community Church in Laredo, TX.

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