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Posts Tagged ‘Fathers Day’

A Warning Not to Forget God in Prosperity

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8 “This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.” ~ Deuteronomy 8:1-2

The journey of Moses is the same journey that every father lives from the first day our first child is born to the day we breathe our last breath. The journey of Moses is the same journey as Christ when we reflect on the word “Charity”. This reflection I hope will take you on the perfect journey of what we are truly celebrating, that being first “The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Christ” and secondly that of “Father’s Day”.

Let’s begin with Moses, the Father of Isreal. We begin with a warning to not forget the hardship, the daily testing, the formation process, the charity God had provided His people through Moses.  God, the Father is the provider of everything we need, His word alone is all we need, and the daily ritual of living; if done through God’s commandments, will result in great prosperity.  This message of Moses is the same message every good father tells their children when it’s time to let them go experience the world. Most particularly Moses reminds the Hebrews about the gifts of God, i.e. when they were starving in the desert God provided them with manna from Heaven, when they were thirsty God provided them with water from the rocks. Let’s fast fast-forward, in our world today every father works hard to provide for his children, works one, two, and even sometimes three jobs to provide food, clothes, a place to sleep, and education for his children. A good father provides just as God provided for the Israelites through His prophet Moses. In this way through, “Charity”, basic necessities are provided for us as children by both our earthly father and our Heavenly Father. In both instances, the manna from God is the provision and the first partaking of the body and blood of Christ thousands of years before His birth. Moses prayed and God delivered in the times of need what they needed. So too does our earthly fathers work hard and pray and God makes it possible for them to deliver what is needed to his family.

CONNECTIN 1: So we celebrate both the provision of manna, “The Most Holy Body And Blood Of Christ”, within the celebration of what our earthly fathers work hard to provide to their children. 

Aren’t We All Called to Participate in One Body?

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16 “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (NRSVACE) 

If Moses’s journey through the wilderness was an act of Charity, if God sending Moses to confront the Pharaoh in Egypt was an act of Charity, and if earthly fathers providing for their children are  an act of Charity then so too is the greatest of sacrifices we have ever seen in history; that of the perfect lamb, Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His body we take into our body and together we become one, one body and blood with Christ, one body and blood with God, and one in Christ with our many brothers and sisters worldwide! It is an act of Charity that leads all of us to Costly Discipleship which is provided by God’s Costly Grace.

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“Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1995). The Cost of Discipleship, p.45

The case for a man to provide for his children is the same sacred duty that God Himself carries out in our everyday lives. It is the Holy Body and Blood of Christ that makes us all one and it is through this act of Charity have we found Discipleship and Grace with God the Father. Mankind could not be saved with Sacrifice because we are inherently born in sin. To this point, Jesus was born Sinless, and thus the perfect sacrifice to save our souls and to become one with our Father in Heaven. However, this comes at a cost; our salvation came at a cost. So it is proper to say, aren’t we all called to participate in the sacrifice of Christ, to eat from one loaf?

3 “Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Your clothes didn’t wear out and your feet didn’t blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child.” ~ Deuteronomy 8: 3-5 The Message (MSG) 

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So we learn that God disciplines us out of Charity to disciples us, in the same ways Earthly Fathers disciplines their children out of Charity, to make disciples out of them.

CONNECTIN 2: God provided food for the starving Isieliriates out of Charity, which was bringing them into costly discipleship, or costly grace. In the same was earthly fathers bring their children into discipleship through partaking in the one loaf, by educating their children to partake in the eucharist of Christ. All of which could not be a reality with great sacrifice. 

Truest of Intentions

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51 “‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’ 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53 So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.’” ~ John 6:51-58 (NRSVACE) 

Every day we live we are tested by God. That statement is a scary one because it makes us accountable. Each test we pass we grow in our faith, and each test we fail we must repeat. God is true to His words and that is what makes His word life for the sinner. Moses knew this and saw many perish in the desert, many more passed and became a nation. God tests us to prove to our own mind, heart, and soul that we are ready and that our intentions are honorable, that we will obey His commandments. God knows who will and who won’t, but as it rains on the evil doer it also rains on the righteous by this we then are all given the same equal opportunity at His testing, His molding, His teachings, His word.

The Eucharist is the one body, the one loaf we all partake, as each test builds our faith, and we, therefore, become disciplined in the ways of God. This is passed down from Moses to modern man, each Earthly Father has a sacred calling to bring up his children in the admonition of the Lord. Each Earthly Father is rightfully, therefore, called a provider acting out of charity to his children. Each Earthly Father is, therefore, rightfully, tested in his abilities to provide, to partake in daily sacrifices for his children. Each Earthly Father is proven worthy when he obeys the commandments of God and brings his children to the Lord as disciples proving daily that each moment is God-centered, God-inspired, and God tested! We all are made worthy through this process and we are all saved through each word of God, for that is all that we need. Moses is warning us today to not forget what God has done, not to forget what Jesus Christ has done, not to forget the Lord our Heavenly Father when we become prosperous in our earthly lives for each thing given is from God.

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Today we celebrate our Heavenly Father, His son Jesus, and all our Earthly Fathers who partake in the one loaf of eternal life. We celebrate each man who takes up this sacred vow and which moves mountains for his child/ren, and who willing is tested, willing makes sacrifices, willingly takes on the responsibility to discipline his child/ren into disciples of God. It is the greatest act of Charity these things can happen and it is through His Costly Grace we are saved. As an Earthly Father, our sacred duties begin with the first breath of our first born child and ends at our last breath.

“Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son; ye were bought at a price”, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1995). The Cost of Discipleship, p.45

CONNECTIN 3: God tests us daily, He provide us with manna from heaven and His sons Holy Body and Blood so that we may have everlasting life. God proves to our hearts and minds the knowledge of our truest intentions as he is molding us, making us disciplined in His ways so we too can become His disciples. This is a costly process because it cost God much. 

Challenge Question: Can you list the many ways you have shown others Charity? Can you list all the people you have discipled, or how many people you have won over for God? How about listing how many times you have heard God directing you to show Charity through your own discipleship?

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HAPPY FATHER’S DAY 2017!

Video Version of Reflection: Click Here

Amen!!! Alleluiah!

Ways to Communicate

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FATHERS DAY TRIBUTE

24 “The father of one who is right with God will have much joy. He who has a wise son will be glad in him.” ~ Proverbs 23:24.

On this special day I wanted to highlight the, “Why” behind Fathers Day, its history, it’s meaning, the many struggles of fathers, and the hope it gives to all us. For past posts on this topic please view: Past Father’s Day Post : Click Here.

The “Why” Factor

So, why do we celebrate Father’s Day in the first place? To answer this question we must first examine the role fathers play in the lives of their children. If you are a Godly father, or a child who was raised by a Godly father, then you already know the answer to this question. However, the easy answer is that children need both parents, and thus it is only right that both parents are recognized for the roles they play in the lives of their children. But this does not address the core reasoning we celebrates our fathers. For this the deeper answer is rooted in the emotional bonds fathers also have with their offspring. Fathers bring to the table many things that are unique to the role of being a father within the family. One of the many assists fathers provide is serving as the spiritual head of the household. Children receive the “Word of God” more directly from their fathers than from their mothers. Reading the bible and explaining it is a core function of fatherhood that stretches back to Biblical times. Fathers teach their children about faith, courage, strength, fortitude, and even demonstrate bravery in problems they face which the family is keenly aware of.  Good fathers make better disciplinarians as men traditionally make decisions based on logic more often than by emotion. In this fathers also teach and demonstrate love, compassion, mercy, and morality in a way mothers can’t. Fathers serve as provider, protector, nurturer, and even teach life skills of basic survival again in ways that are unique to fathers alone. As a father myself I found great joy in reading and telling bible stories, teaching morality lessons, and even explaining real-world problems I faced and how I planned to solve them in the hopes that my daughter would see and later use these same techniques and teachings in her life when she faces similar problems. Unfortunately, some men fall victim to our Family Courts who all to often make bad decisions which end up exploiting fathers and these sacred duties we are endowed with by God alone. Most often the role of provider has been twisted and undermine with forcing more men than women to pay child support often ending up in arrears that financially devastate most men and often separates men from their biological children. This perversion cuts so deep as it has been said in my hearing, “Fathers are natures bank.”  God gave to all humanity the perfect model of family, and this is demonstrated in every part of nature. So for it to be said of fathers worth being only to “provide” is simply a gross and ignorant description of fatherhood as its underpinnings serves only to destroy the whole worth of men and the role God Himself designed for fathers within their families.  I can only pray this is not the path we continue down as it will destroy our fabric of family’s and nation as it strikes at people’s ability to be trustworthy, moral, and loyal.

Joseph’s Example

1 “I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.  13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;  guard it well, for it is your life.” Proverbs 4: 11-13

Our Lord and savior gave to all men the perfect example of fatherhood. His human role model was that of Joseph who through the grace of God was able to sacrifice much for the protection of his new family and in this example we see yet another sacred dynamic of the role that belongs to fatherhood alone in the precise form God had designed. In the same way did our Godly father instruct us in the ways of wisdom and in this all men who teach the message of God to their  children will there be found much wisdom in their words and actions. So to in this fashion  did Jesus make straight the path of God for all humanity,  again leading by example and showing there is no nobler a mission than to be the good Shepard of your flock… i.e. your family and children. I remember telling my daughter when she was about five years of age and afraid of walking down the stairs at my old apartment that if she held onto my hand she will never fall. To this day when she has clung to me she has never stumbled. This idea and example did not come naturally from me alone, but yet from the Bible and the messages and examples that are taught within its Holy pages.

The Mandate of Fatherhood

13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. ~ Psalm 103:13

History has not been kind to fathers as we are the ones most often asked to sacrifice something for the benefit of all, this just being the main expectation of our society. However, in recent years the idea that fathers matter in the lives of their children is slowly becoming a reality again after many decades of fatherless homes and relentless persecution of any man who has a job and a child and is not paying child support.  Again, the State Doctrine of Child Support and the system it employs is not just broken, but an abomination in the eyes of God as it is nothing more than a tool to destroy homes and punish fathers while degrading the noble roll of fatherhood altogether. There is simply no other way to categorize it than to call it what it is;  that being a tool of Satan. I say this with righteous indignation and contempt for the Family Courts for they are nothing more than a pit of vipers, corrupt and shamefully depraved for their judgments are for sale and can be and often are bought making any of the so-called Family Codes a cheap meaningless money pit of lies for any father today trying to navigate it’s murky waters.  The idea that any State or Government assumes the right to tell its citizens that it the State or Government knows what is in the best interest of your child is simply not true as no bureaucracy or bureaucrat cares about your person conflicts nor are they ever truly invested in the outcome.  The fake authority they assert is not supported by the Laws of God. For God alone knows what is in best for you and your children and He alone grants the right to make these determinations. In having children, God mandated that both parents share equally in the raising of whom He has entrusted into our care. I cried inside when the court refused to hear this stipulation of its own legislative body who the court is sworn to follow: Family Code 3020.b. “The Legislature finds and declares that it is the public policy of this state to assure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship, and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing in order to effect this policy, except where the contact would not be in the best interest of the child, as provided in Section 3011.” Thus the presumption that the mother had the right to move away and that this right was some how greater to my right to be part of our daughter’s life was in all regard ignoring this family code. Because if this code was truly followed no move away order could ever be valid as both parents have equal rights that first must be protected. I write this to show preferential treatment and to illustrate how man’s law is inferior to that of God’s Law and in this way the State and it’s courts have no legal binding on matters dealing with parenting. For this is a sacred obligation given to us by God alone for no man to put asunder or interfere with. The best way to see this in by examining the following scriptures in the Bible:

Titus 2:4 – “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, “

Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Genesis 18:19 – “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” 

History of Father’s Day

According to Sam Price of the internet webpage, Heavy News, who wrote, “June 21, 2015 is Father’s Day in the United States. It was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, whose single father, American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, raised her and her five siblings. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington, two years after the first Mother’s Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia. But while Mother’s Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, Father’s Day didn’t wasn’t recognized until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed it.”   In this we see a child, (female), who was so moved by her father’s abilities of child rearing that she promoted an idea that took over half a century to become a national holiday and in this regard proving true Proverbs 23:24, The father of one who is right with God will have much joy.” But in another regard also proving the bios that exists against men in this country with the example of  Mother’s Day taking far less of a time to become a national holiday in comparison to that of Father’s Day which took over half a century, not to mention the observance had waned in the 1920’s.  Though there can not be found a day in the Bible were fathers specifically where to be celebrated there are references in the bible that make it clear of how God felt about the role fathers play within their families lives.

For example;(Genesis 17:5), God renamed Abram changing it to Abraham, then proclaiming to Abraham, “I have made you a father of many nations”, clearly indicating fatherhood as a place of honor in His eyes.

“Furthermore, we can follow this theme of fatherhood in the very person of God Himself through countless scriptures (Matthew 5:45;6:9,32;Romans 1:7;15:6;1 Corinthians 8:6). There are many instances that speak of Jesus Christ, the Son, honoring His Father and honoring the will of His Father (e.g.,John 17:1andJohn 17:5). The apostle Paul taught that to honor one’s earthly father is not only a commandment but the first commandment that, when obeyed, has a promise of things going well and living long on the earth. “Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (Ephesians 6:2-3).” ~ Got Questions

No matter the struggles we face as fathers the outcome is ultimately proven through scripture of how well we did or did not do with the raising and instruction of our children. But suffice to say that fathers of all walks of life now have a legally recognized day of national celebration that both includes ans honors their role within the family and community of in which they live. Many children live healthier, longer, more full and rich lives by having known and being active in their father’s life. It is easy to say honor your parents, but it is harder to actually openly celebrate one parent, to single them out to thank them for all they do. But do this with an open heart is more Christianly than we might think.

Amen

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Closing Reminder to Pray

Scott Spinks

Please do not stop praying for our brother Scott Spinks who is recovering from a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body while he was visiting his step-daughter who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. He is feeling much better and is now awaiting to be discharged from the hospital. This is the first time I have been able to meet a person whose relative have asked me to publish a Prayer Request on Listening Faithfully Blog. To Art I just wanted to say it was and is my great pleasure to post on your step-fathers behalf. It is my sincere privilege to have been able to visit you and your family as well this opening week of April 2015 – till we meet again.  I urge everyone to remember the power of collective prayer and to remember to pray for our brother in Christ – Scott Spinks. May the Lord be with him and his family throughout his recovery.

  1. To visit the original Prayer Request Click Here
  2. To stay connected and updated with Scott’s Condition Click Here (My Personal Facebook Page)
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THE PILGRIM SHEPARD

A very honored friend and Catholic Priest; Father Thomas Welbers is going on another Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Below is the general announcement that he published on his blog; The Pilgrim Shepard.

To sign up for this journey with Fr. Welbers please click on the link: SIGN ME UP! 

Meet Fr. Tom!

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Fathers As Teachers

7 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews 12:7

All my life I have watched my father raise his children up knowing the Lord. I have had the pleasure to see him at his best and at his complete worst; I have seen him in his victories and in his defeats; I have loved him always in all that he has faced; because I know he did all those things and made all those sacrifices not for himself, but for that of his family. I have watched how gentle he has become with his grandchildren, and now his great grand child. I have seen him be filled with love, heard him speak out against injustice, and I have seen him defend his family to the bitter end. My father taught me many different things about life, about myself, and lessons about himself, and that of his father whom was not so much around when he was a child. My father vowed to make a difference, to be a teacher even though he had no clue that he was in fact teaching us how to be honorable, respectful, honest, and loving. My dad is funny in that he has gone deaf and his responses are not quite what they would have been if he had heard what was being said to him. My father has also gone bald and I used to make fun of his lack of hair and even played with the little bit which adorned the northern most portion of his head. My father despite these two short comings endured, and was able to poke fun at himself and laugh when I made my childish jokes. As a child I loved spending time with him especially on those Saturday mornings when he would wake me up at 6am to have coffee and watch the sun come up over the trees in our backyard, it is to those memories I will always cherish. I loved going fishing with him, loved reading him my stories, loved watching “All Star Wrestling”, and I dearly loved hearing his stories of his childhood, his dreams, his mistakes, and listening faithfully to his hopes and heart breaks. My father is not the easiest man to get to know, he is not the gentlest man, nor is he the most patient man, but I love him and I am honored to be his son. My father is my favorite teacher, my favorite role-model, my favorite supporter because  he taught me how to be a real person and a real man. I know my father has endured hardship, he has made many sacrifices, for he has instilled those lessons deep within me. It is because of this teaching I have endured, I have prospered in adversity, and like him I have been strong in the face of my many hardships and heartbreaks. I know my father would not call himself a teacher, rather he looks at himself as an ordinary man who did the best he could for his family, but he is much more than that to me. It was my father who introduced me to God, who answered many of my questions about the role of God, and it was my father who taught me not to fear such things as death because God is even there with us. My father introduced me to the meaning of family for he gave me a set of grand-parents who I adored immensely. My father introduced me to life, how the  real world works, he did his best to guide me and show me how to be responsible when all I wanted to do was shrink and hide. My father pulled me up by the britches and made me stand-up and taught me that honor is everything a man is and is the only thing a man has. I would not know the things I do about car engines had it not been for my father calling me down to the garage and showing me different car parts. To this point I must say I was not at the time interested at all about engines not like my father was and I missed out on those moments because of my stubbornness and lack of tolerance for those specific lessons he tried in vain to teach. Likewise, my father never stop trying and in those moments when I was an adult I found myself so grateful for having him reteach what I should have learned when I was younger. One of the fondest memories I have is our many trips to the cabin located within the Hills of the Lake of the Ozarks, a cabin his parents build and turned into our favorite getaway. I loved hearing his points of view, and arguing about most of them. But the one moment I am to this day in awe of is how my father without warning showed me his feeling, his hurts, and he felt comfortable enough to open up to me in a way I have never seen before or since. In that experience I learned more about my father which was and had been a complete mystery for most of my life. He alone taught me that I will never stop learning, growing, evolving, and feeling. As a disciplinarian my father was the worst, for in his moments of anger at use kids I feared him, but I never stopped loving him. I always knew how far he would go and I found myself always test those boundaries and again most of the time learning things about him that I could not have ever guest otherwise. I find myself now taking up his mantle of teaching, though I have become a professional and hold two Masters in Education and have surpassed my father in this area, I still feel he is smarter and wiser than I will ever be even with my degrees. I see traits in my character that is oddly simular to his and I find myself saying things to all my children in my classroom that he had said to me when I was a child. In raising my daughter I tried my hardest because my father had tried his hardest first. I told my daughter many stories that I know she loved to hear just as my father had told  first told me. Like my father I introduced God to my daughter and tried to teach her all the many lessons my father had taught me. I hold my father up as the example of what a father should be and though I am now painfully estranged from my only child, (not by my own fault), I will never stopped trying to teach her the lessons she was not willing to take out the time with me to learn, just as my father has never stopped trying to teach me and still teaches me to this very day. In many ways I too look at myself as just a common ordinary person, (father), who is doing the best that he can, just like my dad.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY DAD! I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!

My Dad / My Daughter / My Family

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History of Fathers Day

6 “He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” ~ Malachi 4:6

Fathers day was started by a daughter who loved her father so much she changed how America looked and treated fathers. It was the religious organizations who helped her make this a nation wide celebration, and thus it is very much rooted in the American fabric and in our religious history. With persistence fathers are now celebrated and remembered for their contribution within the American family unit. It is not to be under scored the role fathers play in the raising of their children and when all the facts are summed up, Fathers are every bit as important as Mothers.  Just as the bible proclaims it takes two to raise a child, it takes both a Mother and a Father.

I want to take this moment to wish every father around the world a wonderful Fathers Day, and I hope this day is remembered and celebrated by all families until the end of all time. For we are also celebrating our eternal father in heaven when we we celebrate our own fathers and their contribution.

FATHERS DAY CHALLENGE: I want to hear about your fathers, describe him in a couple of sentences and I will post what you have written below this challenge under the heading Your Fathers. I can’t wait to hear from all of you!

YOUR FATHERS

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Greg Brede “I would like to add many Fathers that I know that have been Parent Child Relationship Challenged by the Family Court and affiliated Officer’s of the Courts: Nicholas Haas, David Johnson, David Vandenberg, Mike Prieto, Bill Lynch, Marty Flynn, Joseph Kenick III, DrJoe Rabinovitz, Gus Breton, Tom McCarthy, Ed Bryans, Andy Scutura and many other great Dads”

Keith Marsolek “4 men have always inspired me in my life.God, Jesus, my Dad and Allan Gantt. Thank you all for who I am today.”

Diane Firestone “I thank God who has given me a father who speaks quietly, teaches me integrity, loves me unconditionally, teaches how to barter, and has rock solid, old fashioned, values. Thank You dad!”

Angie Ochoa: “Happy Fathers Day Mr. Stark”

Joseph Di Lella “My Papa was my BEST friend, my mentor, teacher and guide through the toughest times of my life. He passed only 8 years ago last Thursday, but it seems like yesterday. He is always remembered and loved . . .”

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Amen,

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God Bless,

Brian Keith

P.S. NEVER GIVE UP!

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