To say I miss him would be a gross understatement. The times we shared, regardless of what we were doing, were a source of great joy for me. I know he felt the same.
Beyond allowing me the privilege of marrying his beautiful daughter, the Godly heritage and wisdom he invested in me was only surpassed by the unconditional love that served as the basis of our relationship. He was the first man to ever involve himself in my life not wanting anything from me or not wanting me to perform. He invested without any expectation of return. He expended all he had to develop Christ in me and advance me in my calling and function. Time spent with Pop was a rich blessing!
In his absence, I have found a great joy in coming to actually realize some of the things he taught me over the years and see them come/coming to pass. The things I am now experiencing in life and ministry, I know they are a result of a son tapping into the inheritance of a spiritual father. This type of progressive, relational transfer from generation to generation is something that has been absent in Christendom and its realization is essential to the fulfillment of Father’s purposes in the earth.
First, allow me to address a pertinent issue. I am aware that Jesus said, “Call no man on the earth your father because you have one Father who is in heaven,”. The term “Father” there is referring to the progenitor or originating Source from Whom you have been born again. No person holds the position which enables them to demand your love and loyalty above and beyond our Heavenly Father’s place. Father is the Source of our Life and He will for all eternity hold that place.
As defined by Jesus, eternal life is knowing God and the Christ He has sent. (John 17:3) An effective way this is to be done is by a human father who takes on the character and heart of God the Father and causes the representation of God the Father to be visible to those who are in relationship with him. This is the Spirit that Jesus received and operated in while present on this earth. It is the Spirit which was prophesied through Malachi regarding the last days when he said, “turning the hearts of the fathers to the sons and the hearts of the sons to the fathers.”
So, the value of a spiritual father is not in serving as the Source of Life but, rather, serves as a tangible expression that leads you to know The Source in a powerful and real way. A spiritual father is able to offer wisdom and instruction based on real-life experiences. If wise, a son can learn from a spiritual father’s failures and mistakes and not have to delay advancement by repeating them. He can be physically present to offer encouragement and correction in godliness. He readily offers up resources when necessary, both natural and spiritual, to establish a strong foundation.
All the while, a spiritual father acknowledges the progressive nature of the Kingdom and has no design on drawing the son back into traditions that have defined the father’s era. An authentic spiritual father has no thought of using a son’s grace, anointing or calling to build the father’s “ego” kingdom. The wisdom of a spiritual father doesn’t permit him to rein the son in by control or diminishing the son’s intensity but, rather, the father’s wisdom serves as a security to the son to move forward in the things of God. A spiritual father realizes that the next generation is wired differently and that is by design of the Father’s intent. The father fully expects the son to take the baton and go farther and faster into the advancement of the Kingdom. The expectation is for the son to accomplish and achieve in the Kingdom things beyond the father’s imagination.
So, in tribute to my spiritual father, I’d like to say that this is what Bert did for me. I respected him because he respected me. I loved him because his heart turned to me in an accurate fashion and I quite naturally responded. He invested his resources in me and I honored him in every way I could. Through it all, I came to know my God who longs to be revealed as my Father. It now continues in me and is being transitioned to those whom the Father has entrusted to me. It is the way of the Father’s Household!
Below is a link to the tribute I offered to Bert on the day of his home-going celebration! I thought I would share it with those of you who would be interested in hearing it. Keep your peace!