June 16th, 2013
Written by Jay Stocker – Founder, writer, and producer of Scripture Lullabies
This summer, my mom and dad celebrate 50 years of marriage. Two years ago, they retired from nearly 50 years of full time ministry including 32 years pastoring a church in Loveland, Colorado. From the humble beginnings of a 46 member congregation, Resurrection Fellowship had grown to over 3,000 members under their leadership.
I’m proud of all the things my dad has accomplished, but what I most admire are the things people rarely have the opportunity to see. The responsibility and dedication required to pastor such a large church never kept him from putting his family first. He was home most every night for dinner and never missed a chance to pour wisdom and love into the lives of his three children. We spent many weekends and vacations together as a family. He loves my mom and has been absolutely faithful to her, often bragging about how he loves her more with each passing day. His integrity is unmatched as is his pursuit of excellence. His favorite saying to me growing up was (and still is), “If you’re gonna do it, do it right!” I’ll never forget getting disqualified from the pinewood derby competition each year because the judges could tell an 8 year old boy didn’t carve those cars. I was, of course, sad to get disqualified, but this level of perfectionism is something I learned from him that has served me very well in my life and career. Last, but most definitely not least, my dad loves the Lord and strives to be pleasing to him in everything he does. He has been misunderstood at times because he really doesn’t care what people think of him, only what his Father in Heaven thinks of him.
Since his retirement, I’ve been able to observe, learn and draw from my dad’s wisdom even more. I continually ask myself, “What would my dad be thinking or doing in this situation?” Often I feel like I’ll never measure up, but what I’m most thankful for is having an example to measure up to, character to aspire to, a marriage from which I can model my own. My dad is a man of God, and I’m grateful for his love and influence in my life.