For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. [O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!]
I thank God for my father, Samuel William Crabtree, aware that one father is more influential than a score of schoolmasters. The son of a preacher (also Samuel William Crabtree—my grandfather), Dad was one of five siblings and is now deceased.
As an ordinary instrument in the hands of an extraordinary God, my dad ...
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.—Matthew 6:21
Matthew 6:21 is a reality that governs all of life—and is certainly true in fathering.
At home, as I live out my “fatherhood” 24x7, my wife and children know where my treasure is. My desire is that they would know through experience that Dad treasures the Lord, he treasures Mom, and he treasures us. I fall short in many ways, and my family knows it well. My counsel, then, is really more of a strategy for my heart, and that is to pray Psalm 37:4 ...
I received fatherly advice one time as I was struggling a bit with our daughter. The advice went something like this: “Daughters are not problems to solve but adventures to discover. Take the time to tend to their hearts, for this is what God does.”
Bud Burk, father of 2
I think I heard it from Howard Hendricks first … When talking about how to be the best dad your kids can have, he said, “Love their mother.” The idea of the priority of the marriage relationship in parenting has been repeated in various forms over the years, but that is the phrase I like and remember best.
The next best advice is, “Imitate Sam Crabtree.” Okay, I made that up, but I think many could benefit from it, including me.
Dick Dahl, father of 3
Father’s Day is coming up, so I invited several Bethlehem dads to share the best counsel they have received on fathering. This week we are posting some of their responses.
The softness of his heart could be gauged by the hardness of his calluses. His hands turned many a wrench. He did not waste his life or his “retirement,” but served as a church volunteer with countless hours of automotive mechanical work. For how many people at Bethlehem did he replace brakes, change oil, or listen to “that strange noise” offering a free-of-charge diagnosis? Hundreds. He located and purchased all the church vans, and maintained them for the last couple of decades. Over the years, he drove vanloads—young and old—thousands of miles to events near and far.
A good shepherd leads.
Jesus is the great shepherd not only because he protects as we saw yesterday but because he tends to our practical needs.
A good shepherd satisfies the sheep.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.—Psalm 23:1
A good shepherd attends to cleanliness.
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.—Hebrews 13:20-21
If we think of pastors and elders as shepherds, how can Hebrews call Jesus “that great shepherd of the sheep” when he did not pastor a church?
Here is a list of the 10 weekends with highest attendance in Bethlehem’s history.