Monday, September 19, 2011

Can you imagine how proud I am? Hannah's Dad is my son!

Our son Tim turned 50 last Sunday. As a son he has been a joy to our hearts. His Mom and I are so proud of him. Tears spilled down my cheeks when I read what his daughter Hannah wrote about her Dad in her blog. I had to share it so here it is. May it inspire some reader to pay the price of becoming the kind of Dad his children can love and admire. 

                                         My Dad


                                By Hannah Albritton

There are so many things I could write about my dad, I don’t even know where to start! My dad and I have always had a very special relationship. Growing up, my dad and I did many things together. But dad made sure it wasn’t just things he wanted to do. He has always made an effort to show interest in and support the things I love. I have tried to do the same with the things he loves, one of those things being hunting. I remember the first time my dad took me hunting. My mom, being the “worry wart” that she is, did not want me to freeze out in the cold and, in turn, piled on the clothes. I had on more layers than Aunt Sherri’s 7 layer salad! It was all I could do to breathe, much less walk. I couldn’t even talk because of the scarves and hats. Dad walked in the room, ready to go, and I just stood there with tears streaming down my face. Then, mom decided to peel a few layers off so I didn’t look so much like the Michelin man. So, hunting isn’t exactly my thing, but I had, and still have, a great time just being with my dad. The most recent hunting trip my dad and I took last season was also a memorable one. Not because we got a big buck, but rather, a big laugh. It was just dad and me on this occasion. I tried to convince my sister, Sarah, to go but she had already gotten a deer and insisted that it was my turn. So off we went into the woods. Dad and I had been sitting in the shooting house for about an hour. Just sitting, waiting and watching. The sun was setting and it was starting to get a little darker. Everything was quiet when, all of a sudden, this bird flew into the shooting house through the small opening right behind my head. Well, of course, I screamed and commenced to flailing and flapping my arms all around until the bird flew back out. Dad looked over at me like I’d lost my mind, and with an alarmed expression, I replied, “A bird just flew in here!” Well, I didn’t really know if he was going to be mad or not, but when he burst out in laughter, we both just sat there and laughed. Needless to say, after all the commotion, we didn’t see very much wildlife, but Dad didn’t seem to mind. 
One example of Dad making an effort to do things that I enjoy would be our annual trip to the Holiday Market. I can remember Dad checking me out of kindergarten early to take me to the Holiday Market in Montgomery. I thought it was the coolest thing to get out of nap time to go shopping with Dad. My dad is NOT a shopper and isn’t the type to go shopping with mom for clothes or groceries or anything! But when dad took me to the Holiday Market, just us two, it made me feel more special than I’m sure he ever imaged. We have gone to the Holiday Market every year since, and I feel so proud and special walking around a civic center full of ladies with my dad.
Another example is when I started to bake and sell “Hannah Banana Bread.” I was about eleven or twelve years old when I began baking banana bread. My dad helped me print labels to put on them that said, “Hannah Banana Bread” and helped me by selling them to the secretaries at his office. He encouraged my hard work and one time asked me to bake banana bread at church for one of the meetings he was chairing. I brought all my ingredients to the church, mixed everything up and put it in the oven to bake during the first half of the meeting. When I took the bread out, it looked perfect, but I cut into it and it was runny mush. The ovens at the church were much different than mine and it cooked the bread too fast. I was so upset and began crying when dad came into the kitchen to see if the bread was ready (I really don’t cry that often!). He was nothing but compassionate and understanding. I was afraid he would be frustrated that he didn’t have anything to serve at the meeting, but he assured me that it was no big deal. After the meeting, he took me to the mall to a music store and we each bought a CD. I remember buying an Alan Jackson CD. Dad and I deemed “Living on Love” by Alan Jackson our song a long time ago. I’m not sure exactly why or when we decided it would be our song, but every time I hear it, I think of my Dad.
I could go on and on with stories about my dad and me, but there simply isn’t enough room to do so.  It’s so cliché, but it really is the little things that mean the most. The little things that my dad has done, and continues to do, make him a great father and role model. When he shows up at my work to bring me lunch or just to say “hey,” or the little notes he leaves for me, or when he sends me a postcard, even though I live with him, or when he takes the time to talk to me or listen when I need to talk, or when he comes to a midget ballgame to see me coach a bunch of little cheerleaders for twenty minutes, or when he calls me sugar and tells me he loves me every night and I know that he really means it with all of his heart.
Two of my dad’s favorite heroes, I guess you would say, are John Wayne and Robert E. Lee. My dad reminds me of both of these men. Like Robert E. Lee, my dad is wise, courageous, loyal and a true gentleman. Like John Wayne, he is strong, blunt, stern, and he definitely has grit! But the most important trait found in my dad will outlast all the good times, memories and other honorable attributes. He is the godliest man I know. I don’t know many people who can say that about their father, but my dad lives the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ. When someone talks about seeing Jesus lived out in someone’s life, that’s my dad. Of course he has flaws, as does everyone, but in everything he does, he genuinely seeks to follow the Lord. He aims to honor the Lord in everything he says and does. Every morning, when I see his pen, journal and Bible on the table where he had his devotions a few hours before, I am reminded of the great man that I am so privileged to be able to call my dad. - @

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God wants us to live like Christ

My good friend Ed Williams, longtime professor of journalism at Auburn University, shared this excellent thought with me:  
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. (Ephesians 2:10 NCV)
There are three things you can do with your life: You can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. The best use of your life is to invest it in something that will last longer than your time on earth.
The worst thing you can do is to live simply for today and to live for yourself. God did not put you on earth to live for yourself. He created you to be like Christ.

Yes, Ed, I believe you are right! Today I resolve again to invest my life in the work of Christ so that I may not live for myself, but for Him! Lord, give me the grace so to live!!
                                                                -- Walter Albritton, sjc