Sow & Gather

Father's

When I Knew My Husband Would Make A Great Dad

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
He's A Good Good Father #sowandgather #fathers #daddys

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying "Abba! Father! Galatians 4:6 NASB 

There he stood; with my four-month-old niece's spittle rolling down his shoulder and a grand plop falling on his shoe. That's when I knew he would be a wonderful father, but in the course of long days with two kids, I often forgot. 

If I was to go back in time and talk to my younger self, I would tell her to remember to "purposely see good father traits in your husband." I often just see what needs to be fixed and forget to let him know what an amazing dad he is. Sure, he let my son chew mushrooms from the yard and climb a ladder to the roof at the age of two. He let my daughter play in a fire ant mound and fall on top of a wheelbarrow he had just overturned.

But, he spent countless hours reading Bible stories to them at bedtime, he prayed with them every night, he gave up personal time to coach teams and also play basketball, volleyball, and soccer. He never missed a game because he was working, and he dressed up in boas with lots of feathers and let his little girl put lipstick on him. Why? Because his heart loves his children. 

He is a "find" for certain and I am blessed to call him my best friend. God knew what I needed and He gave me the perfect match. He has used my husband to teach my kids in ways that powerfully influence their character. 

My husband is a reflection of "Abba Father"because he chases after Jesus, his Father God and mine. Christ is the only God who allowed Himself to be dressed in a robe, beaten, and mocked. He hung on a tree not for Himself but because He desired to adopt me. Me, with all my mistakes and failures. He allows me to call Him "Abba Father." Why would an all-powerful God do that? Because, like my husband, His heart loves His children. 

Dig Deeper |

1 Thessalonians 5:11-12;  Matthew 7:9-11 

Action Item |

Find your husband being a good dad and let him know what you see. 

Prayer |

Father, help me to encourage my husband as a father. Give me eyes to see the positives and not just the mistakes. Help him to live for You and guide him with Your wisdom. Remind me of who You are as my daddy and what You did for me. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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How Do We Overcome The Storms of Life

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
When The Storms Come Run To Jesus #sowandgather

And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the watersMatthew 8:24

Maybe you are in a storm right now that is overwhelming you. The winds are howling and the water is rising and you don’t see how you can make it~ 

In Matthew when the storm came, Jesus was sleeping and the disciples ran to Him and woke Him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Matthew 8:25. That is good advice. When the storms come, run to Jesus! 

In every storm God is teaching us something, but not every storm has the same purpose.  When we find ourselves in a storm, do we seek God in it or relief from it? Some storms are meant to perfect us; to grow us in our faith and endurance. These storms are meant to deepen our faith. There are also storms that are meant to get us back to Jesus; when we have wandered from Him. This is usually when we have been rebellious and want to go our own way. Another type of storm is one meant for our protection. Many times we may never know just what we were protected from. Then, there is the storm that changes the direction of our lives; we may lose our job, have to move away…something that we were not expecting, and yet when we look back, we see God’s hand and blessing.   

Storms have the unique ability to show us where we are and where we need to grow in our faith. The way we react to storms will show us where we are spiritually. When you think of Job and the storm that he went through, in the end he said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.” Job 42:5. It was after the storm that Job realized just how mighty and awesome God was, that he now knew Him in a much deeper and more intimate way. That is what all storms are meant to do, to draw us to a closer and deeper relationship with God. 

The next time you find yourself in a storm, remember to cry out, “Lord, help me!”  The only way to survive the storms that come into our lives is with Jesus. He is the only anchor that will keep us safe. 

Digging Deeper |

Psalm 46:1, Psalm 91:2, Psalm 18:2 

Action Item |

When we are in a storm, whose voice are we listening to? 

Prayer |

Lord, help me to seek You when storms threaten me. Show me Your purpose and work in me Your perfect will. Amen. 

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How Great Thou Art – Overcoming Loss

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
How Great Thou Art. What is Man That You take though of him. #sowandgather

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 NKJV

I assured myself I was over it. My insides would not well-up and overflow the next time we sang "How Great Thou Art" at church. So much for that promise.   

It was a surprise punch in the gut. We were singing a completely different song and then plopped right in the middle of a chorus. Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art. I stopped singing to choke back the sobs. My sister next to me keeps singing and I can hear our Daddy's strong voice along with hers. She stops, hugs me tight, and in a hoarse whisper I say, "This time I thought it would be alright." 

God has spoken clearly to me about giving Him my grief. Seven years after our father's death I am still raw with grief. If I learned anything from a grief recovery class, it's that we all grieve differently and for different amounts of times. Was there anything earth shattering about seven years? I've thought perhaps it was the biblical number 7 as a sign of perfection.  

I really think for me the length of time has been my lack of obedience to God. Letting go of my grief means I let go of one more piece of my father. Like sea billows roll . . . It's time. I know that grief can jump up at me like a big wave in the ocean and surprise me. That was today. I also know that God is big enough. He's big enough to wash the grief away. If I allow God to be in control, those waves will no longer crash into and over me, making me toss and tumble.   

Today, I feel the gentle lapping of the waves refreshing my spirit and whispering My God, how great Thou art. 

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
— How Great Thou Art

             

Dig Deeper |

Psalm 145; Psalm 8:3-4; Psalm 68:5 

Action Item |

Write down and share a praise today on how God has demonstratedHis greatness to you. 

Prayer: |

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being a Father to those without a father on this earth. Amen.

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Yes, God Laughs!

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
time to weep and a time to laugh #sowandgather

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV 

One of my absolute favorite traits about my husband is his sense of humor. His humor and ability to laugh, even during dire circumstances, drew me to him when we first met and as we began to date. His laughter throughout our married life and as we have become parents has lightened our life together. 

When our children were small, he started to teach them to laugh. He would drop down on the floor, make eye contact with them, and just laugh out of pure fun. In turn, they would start to giggle and eventually laughter filled the house. Even now he watches funny videos and movies with them, acts silly with all his antics, and at times makes light-hearted jokes during those tough discussions just to ease the tension. Because of my husband, my family spends time laughing. 

As I have learned more about God, I believe he laughs, too. When he created the earth and everything in it, God saw all that he made and it was good. And, I am sure at that moment he smiled and laughed with joy. Just as he attended the wedding at Cana, ate supper with his friends, Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and enjoyed a meal with 5,000 people, I am sure he didn’t just sit there stoically but enjoyed and relished the special moment. 

Even Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” God wrote this proverb for us. He knew we needed to laugh and experience joy. And if you are like me, I periodically allow myself to get bogged down with life. But laughter helps me emotionally and physically. It relieves some of that stress I experience. 

So, add laughter to your day. Listen to a good joke, watch something funny or just sit down and enjoy a good belly laugh at the wonders of life. It is good medicine. 

Digging Deeper |

Psalm 126:2-3; Job 8:21 

Action Item |

Laugh!!!! 

Prayer |

Jesus, Thank you for laughter. You created it and want us to be joyful. When life is a struggle, remind me to “lighten” up and help me to be filled with your laughter. Amen. 

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A Father’s Love

Father'sMarci AnthonyComment
A Father's Love #sowandgather #fathersday

Because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father punishes the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12 NIV 

There have been many lessons in my life that my rebellious spirit has caused me to learn over and over. As the saying goes, “how many times are you going to lap that mountain?” For me, too many! 

Growing up my Dad was the disciplinarian in our home. If my sister or I got into trouble, my Mom would say, “Wait till your Dad gets home!” The waiting was always the worst part because my Dad would often arrive home late. I could hear his pick-up truck coming about half a mile down the country road, then around the hill that led to our gravel driveway. Our nerves were gone by the time he finally got to us! 

Dad was swift and fair with his discipline. At least he put us out of our misery! He could have ignored our behavior or dealt with force as his father had done to him, but he didn’t. I had a healthy fear of him, and knew he meant what he said. 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7) This fear is full of reverence to a holy God who knows what is best for me. It is a fear that draws me to God to know Him and His ways. The Bible tells us many times that God loves us as a Father loves his son, even more so. To those He loves, He also reproves as an earthly father would do. 

However, there is difference. My dad disciplined me as he deemed right, but my Holy Father disciplines me for my good so that I may share in His holiness. It is never easy to be disciplined, and sometimes it is very difficult. However, once you know that it is God training you, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrew 12:10

I’m thankful for a dad who cared enough to protect, guide and correct me when needed. I’m even more thankful for a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for me, paying the penalty for my sin. Because of Jesus, I can stand before a holy God and know that He loves me, even when He disciplines me! 

My “lapping the mountain” has thankfully lessened over the years. As I yield myself to my heavenly Father daily, I am grateful for the training that has changed my life. 

Dig Deeper |

Hebrew 12 

Action Item |

Do you see God’s discipline as punishment or training in righteousness? 

Prayer |

Dear Father, I am so grateful that you love me enough to train me in Your ways. Often the lessons are hard, but You are a merciful God who loves me and wants to produce the peaceful fruit of righteousness in me. Amen

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