Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A tribute to Dad Green on his 75th birthday...

Today my Dad turns 75 and I had this plan to head down to Virginia to hang out with him and take him to lunch for his birthday; but the pending blizzard squelched that. So I thought I’d share 75 things about my dad that may be known or may not be common knowledge in honor of his birthday…

1.     First & foremost, Dad is a Godly man who loves Jesus. Dad has spent his life for the Savior and has taught his kids and granddads to do the same by his amazing example to us.
2.     Dad led me to the Lord at the age of 5 in the front seat of his car. Thanks for making sure I’ll be with you in Heaven Dad.
3.     Dad lost his mom when he was 6 and his dad passed when he was 8. Dad was an orphan and was raised at Boys Home in Covington, VA. This helps explain why family has always been & continues to be so important to Dad.
4.     Dad has been married to my mom for 53 years. He has never loved her more than he does today from my observations.
5.     Dad played football in high school with a leather helmet & he and mom love football to this day. Well they love just about any sport that has a ball involved J.
6.     I can’t recall my dad missing any of my ball games growing up. I know that he must have because he traveled so much across the State of Va. for WOL Clubs; but I don’t remember any. What I do remember was every time I looked off the field at some point in the game, Dad was there cheering me on.
7.     I’ll never forget the day I turned 16 and we got home from the Richmond DMV and I had my new license, we got out of the car to head into the house; dad tossed me the keys to the car and told me to feel free to take her out for a spin! Thanks dad for trusting me that day. That small gesture from my father spoke volumes to me and probably did more for my confidence than anything else my Dad did for me.
8.     My dad is a brave man and I learned that an early age. When I was about 5, dad chased off some burglars who were attempting break into the church he pastored in Ohio. That was a scary night and mom was worried sick. My dad became a hero to me that night and still is.
9.     My dad likes to have fun. His sense of humor is legendary. I've been listening to his jokes for almost 50 years and he still makes me laugh.
10.  Dad taught us how to have fun. I remember as a 5 or 6 year old boy in Ohio, dad pulled me in a snow sled saucer under a full moon for what seemed like a mile or more. I remember he and I slid down that hill under that brilliant moon until we were numb from cold. I will never forget that night.
11.  Dad has an incredible whistle just by pursing his lip and his tongue. I could go anywhere in my neighborhood or the woods behind our house as long as I could still hear dad’s whistle. When I heard that whistle, it was time to beat a path home!
12.  I learned from my dad how to be a Mr. Fixit. I have helped my dad tackle just about any project you can think of. My dad taught me even if you don’t exactly know how to fix something, you shouldn’t be afraid to tackle a project. Pay attention to how it comes apart, figure it out, and ask lots of questions of the guy at the hardware store…prayer always helps when trying to put it back together if it’s not working. I’ve heard dad breathe many a prayer and then watched God come to his aid in fixing stuff.
13.  Speaking of projects, my dad repaired the gap on the roof of my VW bug convertible by taking a piece of pressure treated wood that was bowed just right. I watched dad whittle and chisel that wood to a perfect fit, stretch that canvas back into place and my car was better than new!
14.  I’ve watched dad drop the engine out of a VW bug with one of his buddies and rebuild it, put it back and drive that car till the wheels fell off.
15.  Dad taught me how to drive back when cars had bench seats, he’d let me scoot over close to him and steer the car – of course his hands where there on the wheel to keep control but I used to love driving with dad.
16.  Dad bought my first gun for me because I loved hunting. It was a double barrel shotgun; a real beauty. I killed my first deer with that gun and I still own it today. It will belong to my boys someday.
17.  Dad taught me how to be tough and tender all rolled into one. I learned how to get hurt (working on a project) and not say something I shouldn't – I never heard Dad swear once when he hit his thumb…or when I hit his thumb with a hammer. I’ve also learned its okay for men to cry and share emotions.
18.  I learned how to top a tree and take it down in sections – to this day, I can see Dad with “his gear” and “safety harness” taking off limbs with a chain saw. And yes I can hear him telling me “whatever you do, don’t let go of that rope and pull this away from the house…”. I’m not sure I’ll ever top a tree like dad and I did, but I know howJ.
19.  I learned once you cut down a tree, you better properly cut, split, stack and cover that wood so you’ll have plenty to burn in your wood stove or fireplace on a cold winter night.
20.  I learned with Dad how to build storage sheds…we built lots of storage sheds…
21.  I learned from Dad to measure twice, or three or four times and try to only cut once…
22.  I learned how to talk to people because my dad has never met a stranger. It is flat embarrassing sometimes to go to Walmart or the hardware store with Dad. He will have 3 or 4 employees following him around to find the part he’s looking for. By the time the scavenger hunt is over, he’ll know all of them by at least first name, and most likely will have told them about Jesus.
23.  I’ve learned from Dad that by talking to people, you end up with lots with friends and acquaintances and you can make a huge difference in people’s lives just because you cared enough to speak to them.
24.  I’ve learned from Dad how to witness for Jesus. Always have a gospel tract handy and be ready to share Jesus with everyone you meet. I can’t wait to see all the people in Heaven someday because my Dad told them about Christ and invited them to meet the Savior.
25.  I learned that my when my Dad is with any of my mom’s brothers or brothers in law, there will be all sorts of fun and laughter.
26.  I have learned that Dad is capable of some pretty hysterical practical jokes and that a simple bucket or Saran Wrap have the potential to create gut busting laughter.
27.  I’ve learned that my Dad, my Uncle Jim and the bench front seat of a car are the perfect recipe for scaring my Uncle Jim to death. All you need is for Uncle Jim to be snoozing in the passenger seat, Dad driving up to a stop sign, slamming on the brake while holding the adjustment lever for the seat so it slides forward…Poor Uncle Jim thought he was being launched through the windshield…
28.  I’ve learned that Uncle Jim will make sure to pay Dad back in a hysterically funny wayJ.
29.  I’ve learned that my accidentally hurting Dad by splashing gasoline in his eyes while pouring it into the lawn mower will be fodder for a lifetime. “What have you done to me son?” is a question I hope I never hear again…
30.  I’ve learned a rubber hose for a gas can nozzle is a terrible idea and should have never been invented…It should also never be in the hands of an 8 year old near his father.
31.  I’ve learned that when Dad is standing on a plank over a log and wants you to jump onto the other end to break it in half, Newton’s 3rd law: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” is sure to mean one of us is going to get hurt. Part of my lip 41 years later is proof of that lesson learnedJ.
32.  I learned from my Dad that a power nap either in the morning or the afternoon as needed is a wonderful blessing. 20 minutes of “resting my eyelids” as Dad calls it will help you have energy that has everyone in awe of your stamina.
33.  I learned from Dad the value of hard work and a strong work ethic. Every Saturday Dad and I worked on something together.
34.  I learned at an early age how to be the man of the house. I remember when Dad travelled; he made sure I knew it was my job to protect Mom and Rhonda.
35.  I learned to love my country and work to make a difference in our society. I learned that Dad is a Patriot and I must be too.
36.  I learned how to memorize Scripture because my Dad helped me memorize it. I learned it is important to help keep you from sin.
37.  I learned to love the Word of God from my Dad.
38.  I learned to love the Church and the importance of Church membership because of my Dad.
39.  I learned to be an involved and a committed, serving member of my church from my Dad.
40.  I learned how to sit still and behave in church. I learned there was severe discipline waiting for me if I miss behaved.
41.  I learned how to respect authority and to honor my father and mother by the way my Dad disciplined me.
42.  I learned that when Dad spanked me, he loved me because he would tell me he loved me. He would always make me pray to God and ask for forgiveness of God for doing something wrong. Dad made sure I knew what it meant to be forgiven and that God never quit loving me no matter what I did. Dad made sure I knew he would never quit loving me too.
43.  I learned to never back talk my mother or father, but especially my mother; and that if I chose to do so, Dad would ensure I would regret it for a long time.
44.  I’ve learned from Dad there are consequences for what you do wrong.
45.  I learned from Dad to take personal responsibility for what you do wrong and there is no one else to blame.
46.  I learned from Dad that the life of faith in God is an exciting adventure and to trust God no matter what He asks of you.
47.  I’ve learned that my Dad is proud of me and takes an interest in my careers and pursuits.
48.  I’ve learned that taking my Dad to work with me is a huge blessing. I remember taking him to the PD when I was police officer and every cop in my department wished their dads would take an interest in them the way my Dad did in me.
49.  I learned to love ice cream with my Dad and that keeping a freezer stocked full of it is a necessity of life. A little dab after dinner as a “chaser” is always special.
50.  I learned to never start a road trip without lots of snacks. Okay I might of gotten that one from my mother, but Dad taught me how to have a hand full of peanuts in one hand and drive with the other and how to consume the snacks in the car helps pass the time keep you awake.
51.  I learned from Dad that when sleepy while driving, rolling the window down and driving with your head out the window in the winter will help keep you awake the last 30 miles.
52.  I learned from Dad to always put stuff back where you found it so you never have to hunt for it when you need it.
53.  I learned from Dad to keep an assorted nut, bolt, screw and nail bin in the shop so you can fix stuff or finish a kit project because they didn’t include all the correct hardware needed.
54.  I learned from Dad the importance of prayer and how to talk to God about anything and everything on your heart.
55.  I learned from Dad that God is a God who answers prayer.
56.  I learned from Dad that gathering with other believers to pray about needs in church is a blessing and that it is important.
57.  I learned from Dad the importance of supporting, encouraging and loving on your pastor. I learned from Dad that Pastors need your support, encouragement, love and prayer.
58.  I learned from Dad that whatever I do with my life and career, I should do my very best to bring glory, honor and praise to God.
59.  I learned from Dad that chivalry is still important and that gentlemen should always open a door for a woman, particularly your wife. This is something Dad does for my mom every time they are getting into or out of a car.
60.  I’ve learned from Dad faithfulness and diligent work will be used greatly by God.
61.  I learned from Dad that good stewardship of the resources God has given you includes giving your tithes and offerings to your church.
62.  I learned from Dad you are never too old to love on, encourage and minister to teenagers.
63.  I learned from Dad that loving on teenagers, encouraging and ministering to teenagers will help keep you young yourself.
64.  I learned from Dad that when you are diagnosed with cancer, to keep trusting the Lord just like you have done all your life.
65.  I learned from Dad that your cancer or whatever life trauma comes your way, God will use you to be a witness for Him if you make yourself available to Him.
66.  I learned from Dad that it is important for us to talk every day on the phone no matter where you live and sometimes multiple times a day just because we can.
67.  I learned from Dad that you are never too old to join a “young marrieds” Sunday School class. It will help keep you young and you have lots of wisdom after 53 years of marriage to share with them.
68.  I’ve learned that when you are diagnosed with cancer, your young marrieds Sunday School class and your many church friends will feed you for a long time.
69.  I’ve learned from Dad that a life-time of investing in others and serving others is a life well spent for Jesus.
70.  I’ve learned that only Dad can get away with patting a stranger on his stomach and asking if he got enough turkey to eat on Thanksgiving Day while walking into Walmart.
71.  I’ve learned from Dad that when you get up in the wee hours of the morning, you can have incredible quality time with God but also this necessitates the need for a power nap (see #32 above).
72.  I’ve learned from Dad that if your kids and grandkids live in Texas or Korea and you live in Virginia, you are as close as a phone call and investing in plane tickets is always a good idea.
73.  I’ve learned when Dad is coming for a visit, have lots of coffee on hand and never throw out old coffee because Dad will microwave it and enjoy it.
74.  I’ve learned to have a list of several projects in mind for Dad when he comes for a visit. If you do not, he will dream up one.

75.  I’ve learned that my Dad is the most wonderful, awesome and amazing man I know. I’ve learned that I have been blessed far more than I deserve to have my father as my Dad. A man named Ralph Wilfred Green II. Happy Birthday Dad!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great post about your Dad! Your Dad is a great guy!

    Bill Armstrong