Posts Tagged ‘God’

h1

Father’s Day 2011

June 19, 2011

As each year goes by I find I have more and more in common with my Father. This past October my Father turned 70 and in January I turned 35. For whatever reason I never really thought about the time span in our ages. It was not until Friday early morning that this popped in my head. Roughly 8 hours after witnessing the birth of my fifth child Jillian. My dad was just about 35 years of age when he welcomed me into the world.

What I have come to find out is that in very interesting way our lives parallel each other. We both grew up with very strong father figures who equipped us with scriptures and a zest for education. We both married “very” strong willed, God fearing women. We both held church leadership offices shortly before heading to seminary. We both enrolled at Concordia Seminary after other employment.

As I look back over the past 35 years, I see more traits of my father and grandfather in me. Two men with whom God has worked through to spread His ministry. Mannerisms, sayings, and demeanor’s are present in both of us. When I look in the mirror these days, I see an updated version of my father. I would guess that is the wish of most sons… To see his father’s life and hope to emulate him. It is my hope that I can continue to be the father to my children that my father was to my sister and I.

I grew up in what most would call “one of the ghettos of Cleveland.” I am a 35 year old, God fearing, husband of one wife, father of five children, never dabbled in drugs, and not only finished high school, but college and half way through grad school. My grandfathers and more importantly my father set the example for the way to live life.

So, today I stare at the statistics with a triumphant smirk. Acknowledging my role model and my blessing from God; My Father. Happy Father’s Day Rev. Hosea J. Ekong

I believe my sister said it best: Some say that your relationship with your earthly father helps to formulate your first image of God… I am thankful to both of my Fathers for always Protecting, Providing and Supporting me.

It is my desire to pass these lessons on to my children…

Advertisements
h1

Father’s Day

June 19, 2009

Normally, this would be section where someone would rave about them being a wonderful father.  Well, if that is what you’re looking for might as well close this browser now.

It isn’t everyday I get to share the admiration I have for my fathers.  Notice the plural there.  Father’s Day is so focused on the human aspect of giving thanks for the fathers that do what they’re supposed to do.  Very rarely, do we reflect on God, Our Father and say a special thanks for his infinite love he has for us.  So, this blog will be split into two to recognize my father and God, Our Father.

God, Our Father

He who loved me first before I was ever a twinkle in my parents eyes. He loved us so much to do send his only begotten Son to die for forgiveness of our sins.  The same Father who has been there since the beginning of time and patiently stayed by our sides during all of our mistypes.  The Father whom when I need encouragement, I turn to His Word for guidance. The Father that has blessed me with wonderful family, friends, fellow Christians, unbelievers, enemies, co-workers, etc to stimulate my growth as a man.  The same Father of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, John the Baptist, and Paul.  The same Father who protected his people wandering for 40 years regardless of their missteps.

A Father’s whose credits can’t be put on paper because they still continue at this very moment.  The Father who was, is, and is to come.  As I know the Father isn’t depended on my existence, but I am dependent entirely on his existence. Hear my prayer, Father, that we not forget all you’ve done for us without so much of a petition.  We thank you Father for all you did, do, and continue to do until the end times. If you’re reading this you only know of some of the blessings you have reaped. I assure you, those don’t even scratch the surface of what he has done for us.

My attempt is not to dummy down God’s work, but to provide yet another view of how he has affected our lives.

My Dad

Many call him Pastor or Mister Ekong, but I will always know him as daddy.  Our relationship early can best be described as misunderstood, but always mutually respected. The son of a Chief who later became a founding father of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria.  He always had large shoes to follow in and as such he worried if his life would be his own and not that of what others assumed and directed. The shadow of his father still follows him today.  The example his father set was improved on by him and passed down to me.  I always was taught about respect and carrying myself the correct way.  Learning that as his son I was a direct reflection on his leadership and abilities of a father. My father is a quiet man who leads by example.  Husband to one wife and father to two children. 

Teachings as a child that have stuck with me throughout my life.  Keep your eyes opening and listen before speaking.  Be observant of your surroundings and the people you associate.  Lessons he taught me without specific instruction was caring about others feelings and positions in life.  Never to forsake anyone and to always put my best foot forward are examples of timeless lessons. We had a rough time during my teenage years for obvious reasons.  Boy trying to grow into a man long before it was his time.  Even when I disappointed him, he stayed firmly by my side guiding me with the Words of God.

He has always been a man of God, but for a time there we knew he was meant to be a pastor. It was true lesson watching his transformation into what God has always meant for him.  Boy, did God give him some serious clues that this was his path.  See, this is important because as I got older I saw the same signs and direction from God and I was able to recognize it when it was my time to take the steps to follow suit.

Our relationship since I left college has only grown and reached a level neither of us would have ever thought.  We turn to each other to discuss church issues, The Great Commission, life, family, the ministry, etc…

My father called me the week before graduation upset about the scheduling of after graduation activities. I had been so selfish, that I had missed just how proud he was of me for that accomplishment and the steps I would be taking later this summer.  His words literally brought me to tears.  We aren’t men of many words… okay that’s a lie. We often say a lot, but what we say means a great deal.

It is only now at 33 years that I realize at my core I am my father’s son.  I’m proud to say I’m his son and I strive to improve on the example he has set for me and pass that example on to my children.

QUOTE:

“Father only means that you are taking care of your children.  That’s what it means to be a father. It doesn’t mean having babies. Anybody can make a baby, but a father helps to raise his children. There is another word for fatherhood. It’s called RESPONSIBILITY!”  -Malcolm X

When people ask who is your hero?  I don’t say a superstar, artist, actor, etc… It is my God Our Father and my parents. 

h1

Contending for the Faith

April 2, 2009

h1

How Great is Our God? Do we really know?

March 4, 2009

Every morning I transport a few Christians of the churches future (aka my children) to school.  Along the ride the kids and I listen to contemporary music so they can sing songs about God.  Well, it just so happens on Monday I switched and put all Chris Tomlin in the cd changer.  He has an album “Live from the Austin Music Hall” that stood out.  I’m always a fan of anyone’s live performances.  Well, track 7 is called “How Great is Our God”.  Towards the end of the song he incorporates “How Great  Thou Art” from the LW 519.  Well, this morning I just felt the need to hit repeat a few times and listen to the words.  Why do you ask?

I have the privileged to be surrounded by very strong Christian folks in my life as well as those that are working on realizing God is calling them to be closer to him.  All that really means is I’m blessed to see the various ways God works through each and everyone of us. I don’t know if God has just opened my eyes to the things happening around me more so than ever before or what, but let me tell you God is one busy bee.  Ask any Christian if their God is Great and without a doubt, the answer will be YES.  Now ask them just how great is their God.  We all can testify and say how much HE has blessed us with family, work, friends, etc.  Or we should be able to….

That leads me to the question do we really know how Great God is?  I could tell you stories of healing, comfort, shelter, guidance, forgiveness, and strength just in my life in the past 4 months.  Do I really know how Great God is?  Do any of us know how Great God is?  I have to be honest I must be underestimating God’s power or there is some sort of disconnect someplace.  I’ll be the first person to say put it in God’s hands and that he is always with us through our trials, tribulations, and transgressions.  And mean it with my whole heart and soul.

I now wonder how it is we short change God’s power.  To deliver a fleeting congregation looking for a pastor, to warm the heart of his lost sheep, to comfort a nation/world in this economic climate, and to raise up those in HIS flock working through them to witness and evangelize the Word to the nations.  We know from stories/teachings in the bible that God can do away with world, prosper a people, and raise up HIS followers to do great things in HIS NAME.  I think the one that stands out to me more so than anything is pointed out in John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV

God is so Great that HE chose to save you/me long before we were blessed to be on this world.  HE loved us so much that he sacrificed HIS own for our sins.  All the blessings I have seen or experienced still pale in comparison to HIS Greatness to save us from eternal damnation. 

How Great is our God? I don’t know if I will ever really know completely.  I do know each second, I experience something new and realize that God has yet again surpassed my understanding of just how great HE is.  For my fellow Christians realize the just How Great God is on a daily basis and don’t hesitate to share HIS greatness with all you come in contact.  God works through us via the Holy Spirit to plant the seeds for HIS lost sheep (those who have strayed and those who don’t yet know of HIM).  Don’t be afraid share God’s love.  There is work to be done. 

My God is Great.