It was a beautiful evening and I was relaxing, getting ready to turn off the lights and head to bed, when my phone rang at 11:30pm. It was my daughter. She was excited and full of joy, at church camp with Christ’s Church of the Valley at CCV Jr. High Church Camp up in Prescott, Arizona at CYCY. My daughter began to explain how she was enjoying all of the church activities and the experience she was having with the girls of her group. Then, she began to share with me the profound experience of the worship session at the college campus near their campground. She explained to me that during worship, she became emotional as their group was near the front of the stage. Each girl had been given a ribbon, and if they wanted to follow God, they could place their ribbon on the front edge of the stage where they were standing. As she began to make her decision, she was overcome with joy, as she felt moved to place her ribbon on stage. She became emotional with tears of joy and as her group all placed their ribbons on stage, she knew she wanted to follow God and she wanted to get baptized with her small group of Junior High Girls, and wanted me to support her. I said absolutely yes, and that it would be my honor! In this moment with my daughter, I felt the connection in feeling and seeing my daughter walk towards God.
As a father, nothing gives me more joy, than seeing my daughter make this big decision in her life in wanting to follow God. I can remember in 2005, when I first began attending Christ’s Church of the Valley, and listening to our senior pastor. Dr. Don Wilson explained the joy of watching our kids turn to God and being baptized. I can attest to that! My heart was overflowing when I joined my daughter’s Jr. High girls group’s leader, Jill Jenson in the pool at Christ’s Church of the Valley and helped to baptize my daughter.
As a father, nothing gives me more joy, than seeing my daughter make this big decision in her life in wanting to follow God.
Years earlier my own parents had been so moved when I told them that I had made the decision to follow God. I can remember the phone call like it was yesterday, when I called my mother to inform her of my decision. I could hear the beautiful joy in my late mother’s heart when I told her and my father was so proud. He knew I had finally grown up into the man he raised me to be — a man of courage and a man of honor. Those leadership values, I instilled in myself to help parent my kids. My daughter has made me so proud, not just because of this incredible beautiful decision she had made for her life. It’s also because this decision strengthens our family, and inspires me and my son to follow her example. I desire to give my kids my example of following God and see the ripple effect of God’s love being the center of our family.
Moms and dads, what are you doing to give your kids a positive example to follow their faith in God? This an extremely important part of parenting that sometimes gets lost within the family home. When your kids wake up in the morning, give them something about God they can take to school to help them through their challenging day.
My daughter is the best gift God has ever given me. Tatiyana is certainly DADDY’s GIRL! I love you so much Tatiyana. Thank you for inspiring me to be the best Dad I can be for you and DeVante. You are setting the standards of what it is like to have a relationship with God. THANK YOU!