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Tag: Fathers

Dad Never Divorced Us

DAD NEVER DIVORCED US

I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, especially my father William Lee Thomas, Sr.! My dad has been there for my brother BJ and me since DAY ONE! Although our parents divorced when we were young, Dad NEVER divorced us. He was committed wholeheartedly to being in our lives.

Unfortunately, at one point in my life, I took his love for granted. I had friends and relatives who didn’t know what it was like to have a strong male presence in their lives. However, here I was with a loving father who attended parent/teacher conferences, came to my track meets, helped me with my homework, and made sure my brother and I had everything we needed….and I took him for granted!

The Bible tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, but I wasn’t always doing that. In my young, immature, ignorant mind, I didn’t think I had to give my father the same level of respect as my mother because he wasn’t a regular church-goer or professed Christian. Wow! Just knowing I used to THINK that way makes me CRINGE!!!

Now, don’t get me wrong! My dad didn’t allow me to just say ANYTHING to him! Nevertheless, there were occasions when I would display behavior I KNEW my mother wouldn’t tolerate. And I thought it was perfectly okay. But man, was I wrong!

I remember the day the Holy Spirit checked me about my behavior. I was in high school and attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio. One night at Bible study, the teacher quoted Ephesians 6:1-2, which say:

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise…”

As she was teaching, I felt like she was talking DIRECTLY to me. I knew I was guilty! As I sat in that church pew, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had no excuse for not fully honoring my father. The scripture doesn’t say, “Honor thy father and mother if they are saved……if they are devout church goers……if they are perfect.” It SAYS honor thy father and mother…..PERIOD!

In that moment, I felt terrible, but I needed to feel terrible. I needed to be convicted so I could change. Here I was professing to be a Christian, but I wasn’t always displaying Christ-like behavior. Just because I was disappointed that my parents’ marriage had ended, didn’t give me the right to be disrespectful. My dad didn’t deserve my funky attitude!

DADDY STILL LOVED ME

What I learned that day is that, “No, my father isn’t perfect! But he’s perfect for ME!” Dad once told me that he sometimes allowed me to get away with certain behaviors because he knew I was coming from a place of hurt and disappointment. Although I sometimes rolled my eyes, talked back, or huffed and puffed, Daddy STILL loved me!

For Father’s Day last year, I decided to dedicate one of my blog posts entitled “Dear Daddy” to my Dad. This is what it says:

“Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day! Instead of the average Hallmark Greeting Card from the ‘Mahogany Collection,’ this letter is written to show you MY appreciation.

From the moment I came into the world, you have always been there for me. You once told me that before I was born you were hoping for a boy —– which is probably what most fathers wish for —– someone to teach how to catch a ball, to shave, to fix cars, to date girls……….to be a man . However, you said that once you laid eyes on me, none of that even mattered. I was your first born, your baby girl, your Daughter-Child (your special name for me). I can even recall Mommy stating that you were sooo crazy about me!

How is LOVE defined? Is it an emotion or a simple word? Well, I’m inclined to agree with the saying that ‘LOVE is an ACTION word’! In the Bible, Psalms 103:13 states:

‘Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.’

A TRUE father has compassion or love for his children, and Daddy, you are the epitome of fatherly love! You have worked so hard all your adult life to insure that BJ and I had everything we needed. Because of your diligence and determination, we were both able to attend college and receive our degrees. You weren’t going to allow a lack of money to stop us from reaching our goals. In fact, I wanted to go to college because you instilled that desire in me at an early age. ‘I’m saving for your college education,’ is what you used to always tell me, even when I was only in the first grade.

Daddy, you were the first man to tell me that you love me. You loved me before I knew how to love myself. You were the first man to hug and kiss me with pure affection. You believed in me before I believed in myself. You called me beautiful when I thought I was ugly. You bought me my first gold necklace and my first pair of diamond earrings. You have always taking excellent care of me! Although I am now an adult, I know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me because your love is just that vast! You have shown me how a man should love and take care of me. Last, but not least, you gave me my good looks!!! After all, I am YOUR TWIN!!!!

I LOVE YOU DADDY! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Sincerely,

Daughter-Child”

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Special Father’s Day Tribute to My Dad)

YOU ARE APPRECIATED
Again, I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day to ALL fathers. You are appreciated! Even if you feel like your own children don’t appreciate you, I’m telling you that you are appreciated. GOD appreciates you! GOD sees you! He sees your heart. He sees the love and commitment you have for your family. God sees how you care for even those children who are not biologically yours.

God sees your sweat. He sees how hard you work to make sure they are well taken care of.

God sees your tears. He sees those tears you do your best to hide from those around you.

God SEES you!

God APPRECIATES you!

God LOVES you!

So, I encourage you fathers to keep doing what you’re doing! Your work is not in vain! Just like me, in time, your children’s eyes will be opened, and they will gain a newfound appreciation, respect and love for you!

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A Man of Honor: Apostle Ron Banks

A MAN OF HONOR: APOSTLE RON BANKS

In honor of Father’s Day (June 18), I am pleased to recognize Apostle Ron Banks. Apostle Banks has not only been my pastor for the past twenty years, but he became my second father the day he married my mother on June 25, 1994. Initially when he became a member of our family, I wasn’t very receptive, and not because of anything he did wrong.

Let me explain……

For several years, it had just been the three of us: Mom, my brother BJ and me. Prior to that, our dad was married to our mother. So, seeing Mom get remarried and share her life with a different man was not an easy adjustment for me.

Nevertheless, Apostle (as I like to call him) demonstrated nothing but patience and understanding. When I was cold and distant, he remained the same—-kind and loving. He didn’t stoop to my young, immature level. Instead, he took the high road and allowed me time to come around. I now love and appreciate him for that. Apostle is a good example for anyone who plans to marry someone with children. Demonstrating love and patience is vital.

TRAIN UP A CHILD IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO
Apostle was born the third of seven children, to Lorin and Bertha Banks in Avonmore, Pennsylvania, where he also grew up. If you’re not familiar with Avonmore, it’s a small town outside of Pittsburgh. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the army.

Although Apostle was raised in church, he acknowledges that he ran from Christianity and the call of God on his life for over twenty years. During that period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the streets and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. Fortunately, he had a praying mother who NEVER gave up on him.

Proverbs 22:6 says:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

In the early 1990s, Apostle surrendered his life to the Lord when he began attending Power of Deliverance Church in Middletown, Ohio, where several of our family members also attended. Once Apostle gave His life back to Jesus, he began growing by leaps and bounds. I know this to be true because I saw it with my own eyes. He said GOODBYE to the streets, the alcohol and the drugs! He was now driven to learn all he could about God and to be used for His glory. He was in every Sunday school class, every church service, and every Bible study. He became an armor bearer for the pastor, a minister, and a member of the deliverance team. He was a willing worker, even if it meant cleaning the toilets, laying down carpet or driving the church van. It was evident that he had a passion for God and people. Apostle’s heart had truly been changed, and he was now dedicated to doing the work of the Lord.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Apostle Ron Banks)

POWER AND FAITH MINISTRIES
With unwavering faith and passion, Apostle and my mother established Power and Faith Ministries in 1997. Apostle had then, and still has now, a burning desire to follow the example of Jesus, including healing the sick and casting out demons. Through Power and Faith Ministries, many individuals have been saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered, and healed from cancer and other diseases. Apostle has openly declared that Power and Faith Ministries is a “cancer-free zone”. As a matter of fact, an individual doesn’t have to be in a church service or even in the city, to receive healing. God has anointed and assigned Apostle to bless those who are in need of healing and deliverance with prayer cloths that he personally anoints with oil and prays over.

I have personally mailed and delivered in person some of these prayer cloths. The testimonies are astounding! For example, two of my former high school students were healed after they each received a prayer cloth. One was healed from cancer, while the other was healed from near-blindness. Today, I follow both of them on Facebook and am happy to say that they are STILL doing well!

As a team, Apostle and my mother “address concerns, tackle problems, build character, bring management back to those who have been mismanaged and, through God’s guidance, perform whatever tasks necessary to positively affect people, as they touch and change the world, one family at a time.”

A GREAT FATHER
God has and continues to do so much through Apostle, not because he’s superman or perfect, but because he’s a willing vessel who has a heart for people. It’s that same heart that makes him a great father. A great father prays for and with His children, leads them, provides for them, protects them, teaches them, gives them sound advice, listens to them, and, most importantly, loves them. Apostle encompasses all those attributes, which is what also makes him a great pastor.

If and when any of his spiritual children walk away from the ministry or from God, like the father in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Apostle welcomes them back with open arms. I have witnessed Apostle offer unconditional love, even when the love wasn’t always returned.

Apostle often testifies about how God never gave up on Him, even when he was out in the streets doing anything and everything he felt he was big and bad enough to do. Despite all that, God honored his mother’s prayers and kept His hands on him. Parents, it’s important that you continue to pray for your children, no matter the circumstances!

STOP RUNNING AND SURRENDER TO GOD
When Apostle finally made the decision to stop running and surrender to God, without hesitation God welcomed him home. And God is ready to do the same for you! Aren’t you tired of running? Aren’t you tired of fighting? Then I encourage you to stop and surrender to God.

Once Apostle accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was the beginning of a brand new and better life for him. You, too, can experience the same! Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

If you’re ready to experience a brand new life like Apostle Ron Banks, all you have to do is pray the following prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!”

I NOW WELCOME YOU TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!

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Dear Daddy

Dear Daddy,

Happy Father’s Day!  Instead of the average Hallmark Greeting Card from the “Mahogany Collection”, this letter is written to show you MY appreciation.

Dear Daddy Pic2

From the moment I came into the world, you have always been there for me. You once told me that before I was born you were hoping for a boy —– which is probably what most fathers wish for —– someone to teach how to catch a ball, to shave, to fix cars, to date girls……….to be a man .  However, you said that once you laid eyes on me, none of that even mattered.  I was your first born, your baby girl, your Daughter-Child (your special name for me).   I can even recall Mommy stating that you were sooo crazy about me!

Dear Daddy Pic3

How is LOVE defined?  Is it an emotion or a simple word?  Well, I’m inclined to agree with the saying that “LOVE is an ACTION word”!  In the Bible, Psalms 103:13 states, “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”  A TRUE father has compassion or love for his children, and Daddy, you are the epitome of fatherly love!  You have worked so hard all your adult life to insure that BJ and I had everything we needed.  Because of your diligence and determination, we were both able to attend college and receive our degrees.  You weren’t going to allow a lack of money to stop us from reaching our goals.  In fact, I wanted to go to college because you instilled that desire in me at an early age.  “I’m saving for your college education,”  is what you used to always tell me, even when I was only in the first grade.

Daddy, you were the first man to tell me that you love me.  You loved me before I knew how to love myself.  You were the first man to hug and kiss me with pure affection.  You believed in me before I believed in myself.  You called me beautiful when I thought I was ugly.  You bought me my first gold necklace and my first pair of diamond earrings.  You have always taking excellent care of me!  Although I am now an adult, I know that there is nothing you wouldn’t do for me because your love is just that vast!  You have shown me how a man should love and take care of me.  Last, but not least, you gave me my good looks!!!  After all, I am YOUR TWIN!!!!

Dear Daddy Pic1

I LOVE YOU DADDY!  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!!!

Sincerely,

 

Daughter-Child

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