10 QUESTIONS I WISH I HAD ASKED MY DAD

   My dad, a textile mill worker in rural North Carolina, loved Jesus passionately. Forced to drop out of school in the seventh grade to go to work, after coming to Christ as a young man, he studied the Bible voraciously. Dad taught an adult Bible study class, wrote poems about faith, and often wept when he heard a gospel song on the radio. At 59, he died of kidney failure. At the time I was 29, with two boys.  As I reminisce about him, I realize there’s a lot I never learned about my father, and even more I could have learned from him, but didn’t. I wish I could go back and ask him these questions. How did you come to faith in Christ? I’d probe for who was responsible for leading him to faith, or what circumstances created an openness to the gospel.  As a teen, he was known for hard drinking and fist fights—even gashing others with his knife at times.  What is your favorite Bible book? Chapter?  Verse?  Why? What were your mom and dad like? I never met my paternal grandmother, and my paternal grandfather only once. All I recall is that he was an alcoholic.  I’d …

As Long As Forever

My son and daughter-in-law were wed on the beach in South Carolina in 2004. I wrote this poem for them and read it during the ceremony. May their marriage and the marriage of your children last “as long as forever.” Terry 3/31/16How long should you love this beautiful bride? How long should you stand by Jennifer’s side? How long is her favor too precious to lose? How long should you hold her when she has the blues? How long should the Lord reside in your heart, keeping you two from growing apart? How long should you take time for a walk? Listen whenever she wants to talk? How long should she smell the flowers you’ve sent, and thank God for you when filled with their scent? How long should you keep from raising your voice? Should putting her needs first be your choice? How long should you greet her with hugs and a kiss? How long should she stay number one on your list? How long should her joy be your endeavor? The answer is simple: as long as forever. As long as the waves lick the sand on the shore, retreat, then repeat the cycle once more. As long …