Ten Things I Learned from Dad


1.     Move the ball.  Always.

We lived in Quatipuru from 1964 to 1969.  It was a small farming/fishing town of less than 2,000 people, 20 miles up the eponymous river from the Atlantic coast.  There was a dirt road connecting it to the metropolis of Belem, six hours away.

Dad was working on a church plant in Quatipuru, as well as one 20 miles up the river, another 20 miles down the river and one about 15 miles inland, in a nearby farming community, Agua Boa.

Life was pretty generic for me.  Bible studies.  Home schooling.  Tag.  Sibling rivalry.  Piano lessons.  Building bird cages.  Heavy rains bringing flying termites.  Bamboo that grew a quarter inch an hour at times.  My dog, Alexander the Blacksmith.

Then things got weird.  Unbeknownst to us, Castro recalled Che Guevara from Africa and sent him underground to a small community near us before launching his fatal foray into Bolivia.  His mother moved to Belem to be a liaison for him.

Suddenly there were rumors in the town that Dad’s boat was faster than a speeding bullet and he was going out to the ocean to get radioactive sand to ship back to the US to make atomic bombs.

We smiled in amusement.

Then Interpol came and it wasn’t quite so amusing.

Our home was kept under surveillance.  Dad’s boat was stopped and searched.  Dad’s Jeep was stopped and searched.  Our mail courier was stopped and our mail was taken and never returned (including my eighth grade finals which I had to redo a few weeks later.  Grrr.)  I was even followed when I went to the city square to fly a kite with my buddies. We all thought that was hilarious.

The fishermen reported to Dad that there was a submarine off the coast for a few weeks.  They had never seen one before.  A helicopter landed in the middle of town once for some hand off of info that was apparently time sensitive.  People were terrified and fascinated.  There were reports of miscarriages.

In the end, there was no radioactive sand.  There were no atomic bombs.  Dad was not in cahoots with Che or Castro or anyone else.  And today there is a big, fat file taking up space, gathering dust at Interpol’s headquarters, somewhere.

Through it all, Dad remained on task.  He did all his regular trips to the outlying communities.  In spite of rampant rumors that Interpol was going to kidnap him and do whatever, he never changed his schedule, never adopted any evasive techniques and never embraced a defensive posture.

He did not punch pause in the game of life just because there was a very real threat in his face.

He was there to plant churches, so he kept on doing what he had been sent to do.  Move the ball in bad times as well as good times.

This was a highly dramatic story, but I saw the same consistency throughout his life.  Regardless of the political changes, the economic vagaries, mission politics, seasonal epidemics, food shortages, equipment failure, seasons of fame or infamy, turmoil in the family, or any other event, he always knew where the first down marker was, and he tried to move the ball.

Nothing was an excuse for not executing the simple disciplines of his strategy, day in and day out, with a full heart or a bleeding one.

He moved the ball.  And scored the runs.  And won the games.  And the championships.

Because of his formidable focus on the main thing.  Moving the ball.

2.     Let history be your judge.

The Interpol incident was fairly typical of the false accusations that came his way.  Whether it was the local witch doctor stirring up suspicion or the other missionaries fussing about his theology, there seemed to be a fairly constant, low grade assault on his reputation for the first 50 years of his ministry.

To be fair, Dad was neither a diplomat nor a wall flower, so he probably contributed something to the polarizing nature of his lifestyle and his views.  My point is not whether he was right or wrong.  It is simply that when it came to personal attacks, he did not have the time of day to defend himself.

While he did not enjoy being a pariah, he decided to let things sort themselves out.  He would move the ball now and see where the dust settles over the long run.

In the end, he has been highly vindicated in many areas and proven wrong a few, with a hung jury in others — none of which is the point.

The point is that he showed great wisdom in not taking time from moving the ball to defend his reputation.  He felt that if he was wrong, the time spent in defending his reputation was a waste of time.  And if he was right, the time spent in defending his reputation was doubly a waste of time.

He let history be his judge, because he had churches to build and could not be bothered with trivia like assaults on his reputation.

3.     Problems aren’t solved in meetings.

Dad worked in the context of a 300 year old stream of the faith that was quite ideologically driven, and quite schismatic.  On the average, this denomination splits every 40 years, just to keep in practice.

So at any given time there were war drums being beaten by some impassioned champion of theological purity or methodological orthodoxy.  I have watched endless issues come and go, with people choosing sides and pouring forth verbiage as only a Teacher organization can.

After the champions had stated their cause and proclaimed the extreme importance of their issue, and the lines were drawn in the sand, the next phase was meetings.  And more meetings.  And bigger meetings.  Sometimes for years.

I watched Dad repeatedly take a stand, announce it to his family at the dinner table, then walk away from the topic and go back to moving the ball.  On one occasion the powers that be demanded that Dad show up at a meeting in the U.S., but for the most part, he avoided debating meetings like the plague.

And what he taught me is that right is determined on the playing field.  If it is true, it should work, and the truth of an idea can be seen in the fruit that it bears.

So while the wise men of the day were writing profound papers, citing the implications of the aorist tense of Greek verbs in rightly dividing one specific Word of Truth, Dad was putting his ideology to the test as seed in the ground.

In the end, I saw that large harvests or catastrophic crop failures (he had both) were more convincing than parsing Greek verbs to a room full of angry people who have already made up their minds.

4.     Don’t count your losses.

Dad ran a numbers game.  During year one in a new neighborhood, he would visit about 50% of the homes and introduce himself and the gospel of Mark.  He came back to those who were interested.  He usually had at least 500 people willing to accept a second visit.

Year two, he was working with around 50 people.

By year three, enough truth was on the table that people were being forced to make choices.  His following dropped sometimes as low as a dozen people.

By year four, the dozen were multiplying and the multiplication never stopped.

Nor did the subtraction.

It never ceased to amaze him who would suddenly walk away from the church after a year or a decade of radical commitment.  It hurt.  We would hear about it at dinner time.

Once.

He never let the number of people who rejected him at the beginning — or at any point in his life — become a factor in his strategy.  He did not dwell on them because on any given day, there were more people who were open to what he had to share than he had hours to minister to.

His eyes were clearly focused on the ten at hand who were hungry and engaged, not the ten dozen who had left.

Always.

5.     Make room for beauty.

Missions in the jungles of a third world country is not for aesthetes.  Functionality trumped elegance.  Primitive was more common than refined.

I particularly remember the house at Quatipuru.  Dad bought an existing small mud and wattle house.  Then he added a three room wood and corrugated iron addition to the back of it that was architecturally utterly alien to the whole county.

Add to that two barn-type buildings attached at right angles to each other at the back of the house for storage, the well, the bathroom, the carpenter shop for building Dad’s next boat and laundry facilities, and you don’t have elegance incarnated.

However, Dad had a deep appreciation for beauty, so in the midst of a world of pragmatic choices, he had to have some beauty.

I remember when he bought a piano.  It came without a piano bench.  So Dad, the son and grandson of carpenters, built one.  And oh, what a piano bench!

It was elegant.  Nicer than the piano.  Nicer than anything else I had seen Dad build.  I marveled at the amount of time and effort he invested in something as peripheral to our lifestyle as a piano bench.

Did I mention it was elegant?

Years later I understood the bigger picture.  He could sacrifice having beauty as a hallmark of his life, but he refused to deny his love of beauty.  So over the years, his home and office and boat showed the imprint of a rugged realist who accepted the cultural limitations, the economic limitations and the demands on his time.

But nestled within a sometimes pragmatic and sometimes downright ugly environment there was almost always a small corner of beauty, because his soul needed it, and he was quite OK with needing a bit of beauty along the way.

6.     Love your hobbies carefully.

Dad comes from a long line of conscientious objectors.  He turned 18 when WW II was in full swing and so was the draft.  Grandma crafted a plan to keep him out of the war.  He would learn to be a radio operator and sign up for the merchant marines and thereby qualify for an exemption.

He did.

During his last year of high school, he missed much of the fun, because she kept his nose to the grindstone until he got his third class, second class and finally the invaluable first class FCC radio telephone and radio telegraph licenses.

He applied for a job though he had no experience, was snapped up instantly due to the acute shortage of workers, and left to sea on a merchant ship, as a third class radio operator as soon as he turned 18.

He learned to love the sea and to love electronics.

After the war, he turned to ham radio as well.  He taught Mom to use Morse code so she could get a ham radio license and the two did some of their courtship over the air waves.

When I was born, Dad was working as the chief engineer (during the late night shift) of a radio station in the small town where he attended graduate school.

When he went to Brazil, he could not transmit any longer, because he was a foreigner, but he kept up with all manner of electronic gear for about 15 years until it became evident that having techie stuff visible was raising questions in the minds of the wrong people.

He quietly divested himself of much of the equipment he had accumulated over the years and laid aside that hobby, with no fuss or fanfare.

From the beginning of his time in Brazil, he ran a launch ministry.  God had called him to the subsistence farmers and fishermen along the banks of the Amazon.  He loved building his boats and being on the water in all kinds of weather.

Eventually, because of his extraordinary success, the mission deemed him too important to invest his life in the low density river work, so they had him move to the city of Vila dos Cabanos to work with an expanding population of more educated people.

He obeyed, finding new homes for his boats, the motors and the inventory of spare parts.  The sailor was now an involuntary landlubber.

I watched Dad love those two aspects of his life deeply, draw great life from them while he had them and lay them down when he had to, without becoming destabilized.  He did not allow two huge pleasure generators in his life to become central to the core of who he was.

Profound.

7.     Sausage factories don’t work.

Dad was a church planter.  It is a field with very simple metrics that are precisely measurable.  The quarterly reports to the field superintendent had to list activities — number of Bible studies, number of people in them — and the end goal was a number of self-sustaining and self-propagating churches.

Measurable.  Verifiable.  Sustained change in the neighborhood.

And measurable things tend to attract the efficiency experts who have systems and processes to do more, faster, in a simpler way, with less expenditure of effort, and a higher output per unit of time.

Sausage factories.

And Dad refused to buy in.

Stubbornly.

I remember one particular field conference where efficient methodology was taught by an expert.  Dad went through all of the exercises, aced his project, and came home unscathed, unchanged and utterly unrepentant of his inefficient ways.

People are individuals.  Their journeys are unique.  Their pathway to maturity must therefore be unique.

Therefore he defiantly stayed with the massively labor intensive process of teaching individuals and very small groups, so that everything he taught could be customized to their lives.  Oh, he wrote commentaries for his guys and used a few other scalable tools, but mostly it was face time, phone time and (lately) e-mails.

I know of no Christian leader who invests as high a percentage of his ministry time in face time with individuals and small groups as Dad did.

None.

He knew it was labor intensive.  He knew there were schools and programs and sausage factories galore.  He also knew he got really good results from 1,000 hours invested in one person over the course of five years.

It produced a leader who knew the stuff, and knew how to live the stuff in the gritty, real- time environment from which he came.

Relentless successes made Dad pretty stubborn about being highly “inefficient” with his one on one face and heart time with his men.

8.     Success is dangerous.

By the time I was old enough to think in terms of life beyond the moment, Dad told me repeatedly that most people stop doing what made them successful when they became successful.

And he illustrated it with people we knew.  Dad was pretty careful about protecting people’s reputation and he kept a hundred thousand secrets, at least.  But he had no grace for people who succeeded and allowed it to devour them.

So dinner times were punctuated from time to time with stories of political leaders, religious leaders and businessmen who lost focus when they became successful and began to either protect their success, or milk it, instead of continuing to do the things that made them successful.

I walked very closely to Dad from ’64 to ’73 as he began to groom me for missions.  We talked theology and methodology.  He coached me in the nuances of growing leaders slowly and thoroughly.

I was not on the field for about 35 years, but when I started going back regularly to check on them six years ago, I watched and listened and knew that the Über successful missionary was utterly unchanged by the plaque on the wall calling him the “Pastor of the Year” for the entire denomination, worldwide.

Success has devoured many.  It didn’t put the slightest scratch on Dad.  He was prepared for it when it came, and triumphed over it!

9.     Measure the skin in the game.

Last time I was there, I sat in on a visit from a young man who had known Dad for years.  He drove up ebullient, came in, visited for a while, sharing about his life and celebrating all Dad had done in the community.

It was obvious that Dad was not reciprocating emotionally to the fervor the other guy brought.  When he left, Dad commented with disdain on the gap between the guy’s words and his work ethic.  He was not doing the stuff.  His daily disciplines were nonexistent.

Cheerleaders made zero impact on Dad.  Promises were not even heard.  Plans and strategies were broadly dismissed.  But he never failed to notice the people who had skin in the game.

He knew who got up at 3:00 in the morning to go to work, and still came to the 7:00 p.m. Bible study.  He noticed whose Bible got dirty and worn because of use.  He valued the individuals who bucked the system of corruption and coercion even though it cost them their jobs.

And given a choice between a well educated, intelligent individual with high enthusiasm, and a barely literate farmer who would show up for personal discipleship on schedule in the middle of spring planting and of harvest time, Dad always went with the guys who had skin in the game.

Always.

10.   Never take a knee.

In the NFL, it is common for obscenely paid quarterbacks to not finish the game.  If the team with the ball has a winning score, they will commonly run out the clock by taking 25 seconds in the huddle, then hiking the ball to the quarterback who drops a knee to the ground to stop the play.

After all, why play hard at the end of the game, when it is already won and you might get hurt on a meaningless play?

Well, Dad did not go to the school of taking a knee.

The mission had mandatory retirement at 70.  He appealed and they changed company policy to allow him to stay on for a little while longer.  They failed to define “a little while.”  He retired at almost 86.

When he had his first heart attack (and did not know it was such) he was preaching on a Sunday night.  It had been a full, long day as he had preached multiple times at two congregations.  He felt himself getting lightheaded and slid to the floor to keep from falling on the concrete and hurting himself.

When he was clear headed again, he called for a chair and finished his sermon from the chair, before humoring the worried congregation by going to the hospital.

He came back from Brazil on May 31st.  He quickly came down with a cold which hung on.  On Sunday the 23rd he was better, though very weak, but wanted to preach, so he went to his son-in-law’s church plant in Everett and spoke at the morning service about his time on the field.

He made it all the way through the sermon, although it was hard for him to breathe.

Here is a link to that sermon.

And here is the previous week’s sermon.

He went directly from the church to a walk-in clinic, then to the hospital where they admitted him with pneumonia.

The doctors were horrified that he had less than 25% heart function due to the previous several heart attacks plus another one sometime that previous week.  Mom smiled and assured them it had been this way for years.

The whistle blew and the game was over at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, with Mom by his side.

He didn’t need to play that last down.

The score was already ridiculously lopsided in his favor.

You can get hurt preaching when you are sick.

He did it because that is who he is.  He was true to himself to the end.

He played the whole game.

Just because.

You simply don’t move the ball when you take a knee.

Will that last sermon change anyone, anywhere?  Who knows?  The only thing for absolute certain is that not preaching it would guarantee that no one was changed.

So, he played the last down.

Unhesitatingly.

* * *

And Dad, as I sit here in a hotel room, wrecking yet another box of Kleenex, I want you to know that around the world there are thousands of people who you never met, who know you rather well.

There are even some people with skin in the game who are beginning to resemble you a lot, even though they never sat at your feet.

Because they have.

Someday I will probably listen to that last sermon.  I just can’t go there yet.

Tonight I think I will just savor the piano bench and the atomic bomb that never was.

That’s as far as I can go today.

Thanks Dad, for not caving to the culture.

And for being you.

All the way to the end of the game.

Copyright June 2013 by Arthur Burk

From room 428, in Washington State

This entry was posted in Beauty, Family News, Leadership, The Kingdom of God. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Ten Things I Learned from Dad

  1. Mary Barnard says:

    Arthur, thank you for sharing your beautiful memories of your dad’s life. I listened to the messages., which are deeply touching. I never had a real father. When I read beautiful life stories like this – it fills in places in my heart where ‘dad’ stories should be and I’m enriched. Your ability to articulate and share has added love and goodness to my heart that I didn’t even know I needed. How interesting that I received a call about my Mother, now in hospice right before I read this. Only God knows the depth of my mom’s life and how I have been blessed with seeing God complete a good work He began in her 34 yrs ago. She is filled with love flowing out to anyone near her. God can make a perfect heart. She wasn’t a leader and worker like your dad, but one in the flock being fed and healed by God through leaders like your dad. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen Bontrager says:

    Arthur,
    I join the celebration of your father and his life so thoroughly lived. I count it a privilege to drink today from the deep well you have so warmly distilled in these ten axioms. And my delight expands as my awareness is awakened to the rich heritage that has infused your life and your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julian F. says:

    Wow, talk about a redemptive work, all your shared here! I had nearly none of this in my life — Until now. Precious, precious, priceless. Your testimony of your dad are going on my wall facing my desk so I can see them everyday. Wow, the legacy. Deepest thanks for all you’ve shared of your dear faithful Dad!!!! Bless you to rise to even higher fields than you’ve yet imagined..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arthur, what a wonderful way to honor your father! How overwhelmed I am at your choice of words and description of great depth and scope, even between the lines! What a wonderful dad, and we can see how so much of your life was advanced by the wisdom you observed in his daily life. I really appreciate your writing and his words. I appreciate your many works in the church body also. I am so grateful for the many CD’s I have listened to and shared. God Bless you and your family in special ways! Virginia Gorney

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Irina Rivera says:

    I listened to much of the sermon. Hearing his voice illustrated what you wrote about – it had a deliberateness, a simplicity, and a unique humor. I can understand you needing to take your time in grieving your loss. Thank you for posting the sermon. So much can be caught in the sound of a voice. Bless you and your family as you all walk through saying good-bye here on earth. I pray that you find even more closeness with our loving Father who is so kind and gentle with us in our grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Grant says:

    Thank you Arthur – I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor your Dad’s life. Even more so in that life is full of ambiguity, variance and inconsistency, and yet what you have captured is the essence of a life lived wholeheartedly for God comprised of hundreds of thousands of tiny choices that over the course of decades have produced an enduring and exemplary character that is a thing of beauty and a challenge to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ev and Jim Cowan says:

    Dear Arthur
    What a wonderful tribute to your father and a reminder of so many Godly principles that he incarnated and passed on, all to the glory of his heavenly Father. I was truly blessed by listening to his last sermon – he unstintingly gave his all for the One who gave His all for him.
    May you and your whole family know the everlasting arms of comfort and peace underneath and all around you. You are on our hearts and in our prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim Cowan says:

    I have listened to and read a lot you have written, Arthur, but nothing has impacted me more than what I’ve just read – probably because I see the truth of each lesson so clearly.
    Thanks so much for sharing that, Arthur,
    Jim Cowan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Betsy West says:

    Dear Arthur,
    As I listened to your father’s message on the link provided so many thoughts began to stir in my heart. Although the message was just 47 minutes long I felt at the end a sadness that we could not have heard more.

    During our morning worship at Church I began to see single words and principles as I thought of your father so I felt the need to jot them down.

    Generational Blessing, Tenacity, Steadfastness, Patience, Nurturing, Celebrating when God shows up, Willing to go..Vamos…to place where few feel is worth it, Perseverance, Sowing and Reaping, Obedience, Coming in the Opposite Spirit, Empowering vs. Enabling, Raising up Leaders, Accountability, Embracing the Pain…and finally, Closing the Loop. In 47 minutes your father touched on each principle that you taught. You were a good student and had an awesome instructor.

    His ceiling, your floor. You have taught your father’s life principles and changed lives forever. I am thankful for his life and the deposit he has left in your life. I celebrate his passing into eternity and so look forward to meeting Bill Burk. Until then I continue to reach for the goal of my birthright and pray that God pours out a gushing generational flood upon you.

    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Melissa C. says:

    As always, I am in awe in appreciation of the Father’s expression of love for His children through you, and now I understand more fully, through your family through you. Because neither you nor your father became who you are alone. Generational blessings tangible and beautiful and fierce and inspiring.
    It amazes me how my father’s death affected me, intense raw grief. So I imagine the depth and immensity of yours. As I am being rebuilt and reparented by my Father God, your father’s legacy, his uncompromised example of a life well-lived, rushes to the front of my personal classroom and I am propelled into deeper lessons. Lessons designed brilliantly by the Master – irreplaceable. Thank you for your expression of your father’s life, Arthur. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Although we do not mourn and grieve as others, it is still painful to loose a loved one let alone a parent. Thank you for sharing your story. You are truly blessed to have had an earthly father such as your dad. I rejoice that he is now rejoicing in a new Light. The world has forever been changed because one man said “yes”. May we all continue to move the ball forward with this testimony as inspiration. Blessings to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ruthiespage says:

    The more I read of your father, the more i realize how blessed you are to have had this man as your father. What an imprint! the earth was blessed and impacted by his presence, because he honored his Father, the King, through his life and dedication! Generational blessings from his past and sent into the present and future. Reading about the unsung heroes of the faith encourages us all, and I appreciate your giving us a glimpse of one of these heroes. Thank you for these posts.
    Loosing your father is also a life shifting event. Not only do you feel such loss, but now you become the patriarch. We are praying for you during this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Barry Leisegang says:

    Arthur
    A man wants to leave a legacy, your father spent many years grooming you to reject the wrong success. He obviously only wanted words from his King and that is all he wanted you to care about. Quality, excellence and nobility ( raising others higher). That is a great inheritance….Where you don’t just show the way but you lead the way too because that is who you are and you can do nothing else.
    Blessings and condolences. Celebrate him well.
    Barry

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Narola Grady says:

    I need to add one more comment. It especially touches the servant portion of my spirit that he worked so hard on a piano bench. I’ve been a pianist my whole life. My siblings gave me a used piano for a wedding gift. It had no bench, so I used a rickety stool for several years. Then I ran across a used bench in a music store, refinishing it a few years later. It is huge with lots of storage room. It is always full with whatever 30 hymn arrangement books are my present favorites in worshipping the King.

    How beautiful that he not only developed his own gift, but also sacrificed to bring forth the gifts in you and your siblings as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Narola Grady says:

    What a wonderful tribute, Arthur. I look forward to meeting him in heaven someday and saying thank you for his faithfulness to his God, to his wife and family, and to the people God placed in front of him. I will copy this tribute and study it……as a plumbline to help me in the places where I get sidetracked. Like the Steve Green song says, “May the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe, and the lives we live inspire them to obey. Oh may all that come behind us find us faithful.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rwilli53 says:

    Thank you Arthur, for your transparency and for your beautifully crafted tribute to your dad, I think we would have all loved to have known him personally, but feel we do anyway, through you. I especially loved the piano stool and his need for that corner of beauty in his life – relating completely to that. Blessings, Rosemary

    Liked by 1 person

  17. LaVonne says:

    May you know and feel the Lord’s gracious arms holding you during this time of reflection and celebration of your Fathers life and all that he accomplished for his King his family and for others. Thank You Arthur for sharing.

    Like

  18. Rebecca Eshelman says:

    I too am grieving with you. What an amazing man, husband, father, missionary, teacher, – and always in God’s word with a visable plum line to remind him and his family and followers to stay the course and be faithful to our LORD. WOW.

    PRAISE THE LORD FOR THIS MAN AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN YOUR
    FATHERS LIFE. I NOW KNOW WHY YOU ARE SO GOOD AT LISTENING TO OUR FATHER AND HIS SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. YOU HAD A WONDERFUL EARTHLY FATHER…I AM SO THANKFUL.

    Most sincerely,

    Rebecca Eshelman

    Like

  19. Deborah Rivera says:

    His eye is on the sparrow and nothing could be more clear, to hear this final message about your Dad’s ministry and his life as a father and husband on God’s mission. To know that his trip home was totally God’s timing and your father had been completely faithful, even to his final message.
    We are all witnesses to his character, by the generational blessing that you have chosen to walk in, moving the ball on the field that God has given to you. I am so greatful to be a partaker of this blessing. Deborah Rivera

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Ellie says:

    May The Lord comfort you on the way that only Him can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. linzi roberts says:

    Dear Arthur, Thank you very much for sharing from the depth of your heart about your father. What an inspiration for you and all of us. I have been moved to tears. What a an incredible Proverbs 31 woman your Mother must be! Thank you, thank you! Linzi Roberts.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Rob C. says:

    Thank you for sharing your father’s legacy, and your tender heart. The ethic is transferable. There will be no closer, you’ll throw the last pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Pat says:

    Arthur, I’m sorry for your loss. Especially the loss of such a man who made such a difference in his little corner of the world. Thank you for sharing him with us, both I the tribute and in your life, which is an even great tribute to him. I see shades of him in all you are and do. You learned well and have carried the ball even farther. I’m impressed that you were able to think clearly enough to write this. At times like this, I always seem to falter. So may God comfort you in your loss and coach you to move even further along the even wider playing field He’s given you, equipped with the tools your dad gave you.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Denisha Sauls says:

    When I read your first posting I asked myself why I felt like I knew this man that I had never met. After reading your second posting, I realized that I had met him. He is the one who has been
    pouring many hours of face time into me and my life. You are your father’s son. The ten things you listed I’ve heard you say in some form or fashion and sometimes even verbatim. Same convictions, same passion just with a different flavor and taste. The same ingredients but put together in a different way therefore creating a new delicacy, different from your fathers but definitely the same ingredients. I was listening to your father’s last sermon. There was one thing he said that hit me to my core…”I didn’t wait that first year while I was still learning the language….I put the boat in the water”. The simple truth of the Gospel and still so profound. Because of you Arthur….and now I realize also because of your father….I am in the beginning stages of learning to put my boat in the water. Not waiting until I get it all or know the whys and whats and ins and outs or wait for the next meeting, or classroom discussion. Don’t wait till “I’ve learned the language”. Just simply start putting my boat in the water….a way of life you are demonstrating before me. Your father’s legacy through you has now touched me and because my boat is now in the water, I too will pass it on.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jehovah77 says:

    Dear Arthur, What a beautiful tribute to your dad. I could hear and feel the love and passion you have for him through the way you honoured his life. I admire and love his passion and integrity, and the way he kept his eyes on Jesus while moving the ball to the finish line. Slow but steady wins the race and he was a wonderful example as he walked with dignity through thick and thin, to receive his reward. What a legacy he has left in Brazil! I am certain that the seeds he has sown will continue to multiply and bear fruit for eternity. Thank God for your dad.

    My heart and prayers are with you and your family as you mourn your dad’s transition but celebrate your his amazing life. I am sorry for your loss.

    Sending love your way
    Trish

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  26. Each of us owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to your Dad, which I gladly give. When my Grandpa died, one of the things that came quickly to the surface was his ability to solve problems. He taught that to his kids, especially his son, who is my father. My father taught that to me. And so I carry a piece of my Grandpa’s legacy, and would not be what I am if it wasn’t for him. And so I see more clearly than ever before how many tools your Dad gave you to build a legacy of your own. I will savor and celebrate and worship the King for creating your Dad and for the privilege of knowing his son.

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  27. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    As I savoured this post, because as someone who’s dad was their hero, savouring is the only way to read these words evoking memories and emotions, I was struck by two thing when I read “I know of no Christian leader who invests as high a percentage of his ministry time in face time with individuals and small groups as Dad did.” I was prompted to think about a man who loves, in deed needs beauty, whether it comes in the form of a beautifully constructed sentence, or something crafted with great talent, or pristine beauty wrought by the King with no influence of man.

    He is a leader and builder of men an women in this vicarious age of technology that he leverages to it’s greatest effect. He is a reasearcher who’s passion is to draw humankind and the very earth on which we live to a place where they become the them they are destined to be, he invests time in people when it is not economically viable, popular or sensible.

    He is his Father’s son, a Subject and son of the King, and a likeness of the man who raised him. He is Arthur. He is a credit to his fathers and in his being he carries the heretage and image of his father as surely as my brother who is regularly stopped by people he doesn’t know to ask him if he is the son of our late father, the resemblance is startling.

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