I have avoided this blog post series since it will require me to put into words the emotions that I feel concerning my father.  Those who follow my blog know that my dad was the greatest man in my life.  His love for my mother, his love for his kids (me and my sister) and his love for everyone.

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My father went on to be with the Lord in June and there has not been a day that I don’t hear something that I can attribute to the character that my dad poured into me and others, or the legacy that he has left behind.

These next posts are going to be more of a tribute to my dad if that is ok?

Tribute 1: Listen up! Shut up!

My dad was never a loud person, in fact the only thing I ever remember him doing that was loud was when he would whistle with a blade of grass between his thumbs.  So, when I am reading Proverbs 13 in my study time this morning I came across a wealth of wisdom that really signifies what my dad taught.

  • If you are a parent – you need this.
  • If you are a son/daughter – you need this.
  • If you are a leader – you need this.
  • If you need a job… you need this.

Proverbs 13 shares with us

1 – (vs1) A wise son heeds his father’s instruction –

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Dad was the kind of dad who would actually walk me through why he did what he did.  There were times that I would witness his conversation with a co-worker or a person on the worship team and he would talk to me afterwards to tell me “why” he did it.  Not only that, but dad taught me that honoring my father would go well with me 🙂

Prayer – Lord, please help me to walk in the shoes that my father made for me.  Help me to be honest with myself in the mirror and learn what I need to work on.  Bring back to my memory the ways that dad showed me how to respond, and YOUR word on how I am to be a good son to my father’s direction and wisdom that still speak to me.

2 – (vs3) he who guards his mouth preserves his life –

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I was 14 years old and we had just moved to Fort Pol, LA… and I remember ONE time when I had dishonored my mom with my mouth (for the first time 🙂 and mom shared with me

“Ben, I will let your dad handles this when he gets home”.

Never want to hear that from mom!

So, dad comes home in his military uniform and asks for me to come with him to the garage. I could see the hurt/anger in his eyes as was he processing how rude I had been to my mother.He took his hat off, and said to me “Ben, if you ever…”

simultaneously hit the pile of wood he had stacked (he was always building something)
A piece of wood pallet literally snapped in half

Dad’s shoulders dropped…

Then he looked at me with love in his eyes and said,

“Ben, I need you go up to your room and we will talk about this when I can do it respectfully”.

To be honest, I don’t remember any punishment or consequence that happened next. However –   I do remember going upstairs in my room and feeling the conviction of what I had done to my mom, but also the love that my dad had for me.  See – Instead of allowing himself to just keep responding in anger, he wanted to father me through it.

He came back upstairs and we sat on the bed and talked… who knows if I got anything in consequences, but my heart and life had been changed because Dad persevered his life and mine by guarding his mouth (and his actions).

Truth is that many of us make excuses for why we may respond to something, or for the words that come out of mouth

We like to have “reasons” why we act the way we do – when we have all the wisdom, understanding and truth to be FREE from those responses. It just takes looking in the mirror and NOT forgetting what manor of person we are.

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I heard it said once,

Seeing yourself in the mirror doesn’t change your appearance, it just reflects the reality of your looks. Having wisdom will not change our actions, but it will shine a light on where we lack!

What we do with it?
Well, that’s where I am encouraged –  I’ll head the instruction, and I will guard my mouth!
Thanks for reading and keeping the legacy of Gary Stewart alive!

B