24 01 2015

Today is my daughter Leah’s Birthday. She turns 27 years old right around 2:30 this afternoon. She was born while Terri and I were living and I was pastoring in Dayton, Ohio. It was kind of funny because after waiting so long for our son Rudy to be born in August of 1986, I was not in any hurry to get my wife to the hospital. I remember not even feeling the least bit of panic or worry as I allowed Terri to walk down several flights of stairs from the parking garage to the Admission Office. We got there around 2pm and Leah arrived just as fast! To this day, Terri is still rather ticked at me because she was not there early enough to be given any anesthesia. Leah was born in a natural childbirth that I know Terri would have never signed off on. My lovely wife called me some harsh names during her labor that I still can’t repeat! She even wanted me to put my fingers in her mouth so she could bite down on them! I chose to pass on that request! I did forgive her though, because I know she was under quite a bit of stress and duress. In what seemed as no time at all, we were greeted with our second child and our first daughter. This darling baby had the biggest brown eyes that I had ever seen! As a matter of fact, my first words were, “She looks like a turtle with those huge eyes!” I have to admit that through the years, I have melted more than once when Leah has batted those big brown eyes at me! She knows that she has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger!

Today, Leah is presently serving the Lord by teaching at a Christian School in Santiago of the Dominican Republic. I couldn’t be more proud of her even though I miss her bunches. Of all my children, Leah is wired the most like me. She is passionate about what she believes in and is driven towards excellence- not settling for the status quo. She always goes far above and beyond the norm and at times her perfectionism and propensity to be way too hard on herself keeps her from the true joy that I know God created for her to experience. I wish she knew how beautiful and amazing she is! I pray the same prayer for the many other young ladies out there who constantly compare themselves to the photo shopped cover girls and imaginary models whose images bombard us all the time. This is why I believe it is up to us godly men who just happen to also be husbands and fathers to speak constant words of life and encouragement and truth to our wives and our daughters. If we don’t delight in them and cherish and treasure them as they deserve to be, then what’s going without saying will be left unsaid and that can lead to dangerous results!

I have become quite the fan of young woman named Lauren DeMoss whose Blog is entitled, “thefulltimegirl” and can be found online at thefulltimegirl.com. She writes to gals and guys alike about the importance of committing our hearts to not allowing society and the crowds to define or degrade the image of God within each and every one of us! She recently wrote with a fire in her pen this challenge to men about the role they play in shaping the self-images of women.
“And men, what are you doing? Girls are watching you. They watch what you look at on TV. How are you telling them what path they should choose? Men do not understand the affect they can have on women simply in them standing up for purity, not just in their words but in their actions. They can talk all day about how they want a godly girl, but if they are following and chasing the opposite- what message are they really sending to women? They are really telling them that they will only get attention if they dress disrespectfully to themselves, God, and the world around them. They are telling them they have to be loose and flirty and flaunt themselves to get even the men who claim to be Christians. That is so sad. We desperately need men who will stand up for purity! Where are the men who will have the integrity to fight for purity?”

Both of my adult daughters are still single women because I have told them time and time again that they don’t need to ever settle just so they can be married to just anybody. They don’t need boys who have never been willing to grow up. You won’t secure my “blessing” to betroth my daughters if you are a guy who still looks to his “Mommy” to take care of him so he can play video games and fool around with his buddies. Leah and Abigail need men who will be trustworthy enough to guard their hearts before they can ever just hold on to their hands! I am praying for men who will treat them with high regard and lavish upon them not just jingle and jewelry but compassion, understanding and unconditional acceptance. My daughters are not just prizes to be won like you would win a trophy on the Wildwood Boardwalk. You don’t just make an effort so you can bag them for your booty. They need to be fought for, protected, valued and know that you will never leave them or forsake them. I only have one Leah and one Abbie so they are priceless in my soul and unless you are willing to give your absolute all- don’t even bother applying for the role!

So Happy Birthday Leah! You are sugar and spice and everything nice and you are and always be Daddy’s little girl for always and ever! I am thanking my Heavenly Father for blessing me with a girl like you. I love your fighting spirit and your drive to never just do enough to get by. You are so creative when it comes to your classroom and even more feisty when it comes to your coaching. Kids love you and parents feel safe knowing that you are in charge! I know this is why you have never allowed me to be your Assistant Coach at the Dennis Rec! You might just hurt me if I stood too close to you on the sidelines! I know the miles may separate us today but you will forever be in my heart and in my thoughts and prayers! I wish you lots of opportunities to smile today and hope your basket is overflowing with all of your favorite goodies. I love you and want you to know that my gift to you today are these words on this paper that you can read over and over again if ever you forget how awesome you are! Go for it Leah! Don’t you dare allow fear to keep you from the adventures that God has your name upon! I will be your number one fan cheering the loudest and letting the world know, “That’s My Girl!”



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