This morning I have been reflecting on how our fathers mold us for better or for worse. In my case for the better. None of us are perfect fathers or had perfect fathers but we were all molded by our fathers. Here are some of the lessons that my father left me.

It is all about Jesus. My dad knew that life was about God, not him. I remember his 4:00 am devotions and prayer before starting a long day at the hospital, and our family devotions (which I did not want to get up for). 

Character is everything. Dad was a man of utter honesty and integrity and did not cut any ethical corners. Nor did he allow us to either.

Go where Jesus wants you to go. Feeling called to missions and being told that the mission needed a doctor he went to medical school and then to Hong Kong where he co-founded a hospital (Evangel Hospital) with Bob Chapman. Needing a surgeon, he came home, did a surgical residency and went back. This on top of his engineering and theological degrees. In the mid seventies my folks had two sets of parents who needed care so they did not return to Hong Kong in order to care for their elderly parents. Dad was willing to do what was needed to follow Jesus where he felt Jesus was calling them. 

Share the gospel. My parents both had a compelling desire to share the gospel with others. People were always in our home, they had home Bible studies where I believe hundreds came to know Jesus and in his later years my dad wrote a book called Discovering the Bible for those who desired to read through the Word. Translated into Russian and Chinese it may turn out to be his greatest legacy in terms of sharing the Gospel. In the hospital in Hong Kong the staff shared the gospel with every patient.

Keep getting better. As my brother Tom said at my dad's funeral. "Dad was not a perfect man but he kept getting better." That is one of the greatest takeaways from my dad's life. He was not content and he did not settle. He kept seeking to become more like Jesus and he was a kinder, gentler and more grace filled man as the years went by. 

Like any son, I had my struggles with my father. At times - epic. But his imprint on my life in important areas will be his legacy to me and I hope to my children and grandchildren. It is why I dedicated my last book Deep Influence to him. Dad's have a deep influence on their kids, at least mine did on me.

In my dedication of Deep Influence to my father I wrote this:

To my father.
Engineer, theologian, church planter, evangelist
physician, surgeon, author, teacher and mentor to many.
Most importantly a man of deep Influence
Who met His Lord on November, 19, 2012.

Posted from San Diego

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.
  • Jun 21, 2015
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