Belated Father's Day Thoughts - Superheros!

The Armor of God

Finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17

Dear friends,

(pictured left, Bernie and me with our youngest grandchild, Aimee Joy - photo credit: Lauren Ortega)

Although we had a fun Father's Day with our adult children, spouses and grandchildren, Father's Day came and went without me jotting down my thoughts on these incredible men. Not to make excuses, but, I think it was partly because I was just finally mostly mended after a back injury and was happy to be with my family but had so much else to catch up on that I am just now getting to writing a bit about these three fathers in my life; my husband and two oldest sons. The timing is ok actually though, because although I had a few ideas, the great sermon last week based on the scriptures above from the end of Ephesians 6 kind of sealed it all together and now I am ready to share!

As I was looking for Father's Day cards for these men at Walmart, and some small gifts, the Superhero gift bags caught my eye. I saw Superman (re-runs) and Batman in a TV series as a child in the late 60's, but the only 'newer'  superhero movie I have seen was the one years ago, (1978 - wow) with Christopher Reeve, so my understanding of these fictional characters is based on that, rather than the more modern movies that I have not seen.

But somehow, looking at the Batman bag, I thought, 'Josh', and looking at the Superman bag I thought 'Aaron.'  There was also a bag with suit ties on it which I thought fit perfect for my Superhero Capitol Hill Tour Guide and Christian History Missionary husband. So I gathered up some nerf guns for these 'protectors,' and peanut M&Ms for sustenance for these 'preppers' and put them in their bags. When I saw Sarah and asked her to guess which was for who she got them right away and thought it a great idea!  And not one who is content with gender distinctions and roles, and not to be left out, she soon picked up for herself a Batman tank top! :) Yep that's my daughter.

So here is roughly what I said to each:  (below-photo credit: Susan Schmidt)

Dearest Superhero Josh,

What a great father you are! Strong leader, faithful and wise counselor, loving, protective, hard working and disciplined provider, ever learning and growing and humble teacher; I am proud to be your Mom!

After seeing these superhero gift bags, your siblings knew right away, that Batman was your persona; intellectual, strong, savvy problem solver who seeks to save your family, saves the city, and saves the day from evil intrusions!

As a believer in Christ in our present day, how much more-so that is true! As a husband and father, may you use those strengths in our land to raise up your sons and daughters as wise, strong men and women who are equipped to overcome evil for the sake of and in the power of our Savior's name and of His gospel of repentance, life, and humility!

Love always, Mom

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left-photo credit: Brianna Estrada

Dearest Superhero Aaron,

What an amazing father you are!  Kind, loving, protective, persistant, wise, correcting when needed, but also giving much grace and getting into your children's lives and enjoying things with them.

When your siblings saw these superhero gift bags, they knew right away you were Superman! Xray vision, super senses, kind and caring for the underdog, humble and mild mannered Clark Kent to some but we know your true identity!!

May you live life as a father and believer in Jesus Christ using these superpowers to raise up the next generation to stand in the latter day on the earth! I am always blessed to this day by your kind, caring and wise manner when you and Christina are interacting with and even counseling me at times, how much more-so your children must be!

Love always, Mom

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from Bernie to both Josh and Aaron:

Dear Josh and Aaron,

I loved this superhero theme. In increasingly troubled times, and 'it may be' that's just what the world is headed for, requires true superheros: Godly men to lead lovingly in their own homes first, then wherever the Lord gives them opportunity and influence.

I was struck by this verse read at church today: "hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph." Amos 5:15

In many ways, you both and your families are our legacy. I am so proud of your walk of faith for the long haul!

Praying for you and your clans as you press on together this Father's Day 2016! God's greatest blessings, Dad

This past Sunday at our church, as I listened to the inspiring sermon, this Superhero theme fit perfectly with it, as I thought about how Jesus is the ultimate Superhero! The verses in Ephesians 6 tell us of His equipping for us to do battle against the true enemy of our souls. This enemy is not really people or ideologies, but the enemy is the great tempter, accusor and ensnarer who wants us on the sidelines rather than in the battle to stand strong for ourselves and in the love of Christ, for others.

The lyrics to the closing Hymn fit perfectly the theme, a modern Hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. Please listen, worship, and enjoy!

And I would be much remiss if I failed to appreciate my beloved husband who has, as a wonderful father himself, lovingly and strongly led these boys into manhood! He is such a picture of the true Christ warrior to me!  In his family, neighborhood, city and the world, he lives his life standing strong against our enemy for things right and true!! Thank you immeasurably beloved husband of mine!

To all, sorry this is soooo belated!, but none the less I still wanted to write about these incredible men and my incredible Savior!

Linda for the Bealls