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11/22/2005 Entry: "Thanksgiving and Dad"

Reasons to be Thankful for Bill Batty, Sr.

At church on Sunday, Interim Pastor Chris Johnson spoke about Psalm 100. He spoke about the commands that we're to do as listed there: make a joyful noise, serve, and be thankful.

Some of my family members mentioned that it's very hard to be thankful this year without Dad. I think that's perfectly normal, and certainly I don't fault them for that. But I know that Dad would mention that God, even in these hard months, pours blessings on us continually.

I'm not going to be with that side of the family this year. For years, we've been alternating families when celebrating Thanksgiving; one year we are with the Battys, one year with the Dancers. Last year we flipped. We thought it important to be with my side of the family, inside knowing that it might be the last with Dad. So this year, it's the Dancer side.

Anyway, knowing I'm not going to be with them on Thursday, I wanted to list some things to be thankful for this year, taking a bit of focus off what bad things happened this year.

  • I'm thankful that Bill Batty Sr. was known by all as a "good person."
  • I'm thankful my Dad loved my Mom until the day he died. I'm thankful he taught me the lesson that says "When you're married to someone, you're married to them for life. Make sure you make the right choice the first time; there's not supposed to be a second time."
  • I'm thankful that Dad spent 99% of his career life helping people.
  • I'm thankful he lived long enough to see his twin grandsons born.
  • I'm thankful for the leadership he gave to our church. I'm thankful for the years of faithful service. And serve he did! How many hours did he put in leading Sunday School each week? In leading Sunday School, he also served each one of us who listened to his lessons each week.
  • I'm thankful that Dad showed me what it was to be a man, a father, and a husband. Christians are to pattern their life after Christ (a perfect example). But sometimes you need an example a little "closer to home," if you will. For me, Dad was my pattern. So much of who I am as a person is because of that man. Much of it of course wasn't even a conscious decision. He raised me, he said (through his actions) "This is the way to do things." Praise God he was my example. How many other boys have a great Dad to show them the way? Sadly, not enough. But thankfully, in my instance, I had that. I guess it would be safe to say if you love me, you should be thankful for Dad.
  • James, the Earthly brother of Jesus, said "Show me your faith without works. I'll show you MY faith by what I DO." Be thankful Dad lived his whole life this way.
  • I'm thankful the moment my Dad died that he was in Heaven in the presence of God. I have no doubt. None. Dad believed in the finished work of Christ. He'd tell you. He'd show you. He lived it. Many people will tell you they're saved. I've been to funerals where the preacher will say "He claimed to be a Christian, and we stand on that." And there are some people where you say "Well, I'm glad they professed with their mouth, but did they really mean it?" With Dad, that thought never even enters. He's there. He believed. The fruits of his testimony are plain.

    Please, if you're reading this, don't feel angry/sad/hurt that Dad isn't with us. Instead, let's focus on why we should be thankful for what we did have.

    Replies: 1 person has rocked the mic!

    This was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it with us.AMY

    Posted by Amy @ 11/22/2005 06:50 PM EST

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