I think a lot about parenting. Not just because I have kids of my own, but because, well, I get paid to think about parenting. I’m always thinking about how to equip moms and dads to pass on faith to their kids, but I often forget to think about my own upbringing. See, I come from a heritage of faith. Both Jenna and I come from generations upon generations of faith. We still love Jesus, so our parents must have done something right.
Today my father hits a major milestone in his life. It’s a big birthday that should be celebrated. And to do that, I want to share with you 60 things I learned from Gordon Scott. He was and is a great father (and now grandfather). I’ve learned a ton from him, and hope that you can too!
And so without further adieu and in no particular order…
1. Spending time with God should be a priority – every morning I could find dad with his Bible open at breakfast
2. He taught me how to play the trumpet
3. He never gave me grief when I gave it up
4. He taught me about sex. Sure it couldn’t have been fun, but he cared enough to be the one to tell me.
5. He threw a baseball around with me.
6. He didn’t push me to love baseball even though it was his sport growing up.
7. More importantly, Dad allowed me to be who God made me.
8. He made efforts to like and do what I liked and even was in a high school play with me!
9. He taught me that patience is a good thing.
10. He is a master storyteller. I’m pretty sure I love the power of story because of him.
11. He showed us where he grew up and made us part of his history.
12. He made sure we knew he loved us even when we messed up.
13. He listened to Top 40 radio with me in the car while he drove me to youth group. He wanted to be in touch with who I was.
14. He never deflected a question but would answer all of them – even if it was that question about circumcision I had while practicing for the Bible quiz team.
15. He taught me about picking the perfect song to go along with a sermon.
16. He made every effort to see my plays, soccer games, and concerts – driving hours upon hours to see the ones in college.
17. He puts family first in everything he does.
18. He has shown me that doing what you love is more important than how much money you make.
19. He taught me how to love my wife. He and mom are still madly in love.
20. He infused faith into real life.
21. He is a master peacemaker. He can calm any storm.
22. He taught me how to be godly under pressure.
23. He taught me how to respect people who we don’t agree with.
24. He taught me that it’s OK for men to cry.
25. He shared his love for music and creativity. Something for which I am forever grateful.
27. He went to a Phish concert with me. Need I say more?
28. He never showed favoritism. Everyone is a friend or at least a neighbor.
29. God wasn’t something that we only talked about on Sundays.
30. He always forgave without baggage.
31. He takes advice as much as he gives it – even from his kids.
32. He is OK with mistakes knowing that we all grow from the experience.
33. He made growing up fun, taking us to Disney on Ice and on great vacations.
34. He trusted me.
35. He had high expectations of us, but showed us grace when we didn’t meet them.
36. He knew the power of a soft-word.
37. He prays. Often and about what matters.
38. He demonstrated selflessness and taught me that serving is part of being a strong man.
39. He taught me it’s OK for guys to vacuum, do laundry, and make lunches.
40. He taught me that giving to the church is a priority even when money is tight.
41. He showed me respond to adversity with grace.
42. If he can help you, he will. Generosity is like breathing with Dad.
43. He is OK with a big hug.
44. He taught me how to make a good pot of coffee. You do realize how important this is, right?
45. He taught me how to parallel park. (Which has something to do with patience too because I was SO not a good driver.)
46. He is my biggest fan. He is still as crazy about my accomplishments today as he was when I was a kid.
47. What you see is what you get with Dad. In a world where lots of people are fake, this has taught me volumes about what matters most in life.
48. He can pick out a decent pair of shoes.
49. He taught me that a marriage is partnership not a dictatorship. He leads like Christ.
50. He taught me that be being good at your craft means taking the time to work at it.
51. He listened and helped me discovery my call for ministry.
52. He taught me that life isn’t all about stuff and things but about experiences and relationships.
53. He helped me study for tests. And worked with me even when I’d get distracted by the littlest thing.
54. He taught me the art of being a night owl.
55. He taught be that being PK can be a good thing and actually fun – especially when we get to play the part of COLBY in the church musicals.
56. He never pushed me to take steps of faith I wasn’t ready to take.
57. He never ever gave up on me. Not that I gave him reason too, but it’s always good to know that Dad has your back.
58. He took the time to read to me, play Nintendo with me, and even make up crazy dances with me.
59. He always treated me like a friend and an adult, but he also knew when he needed to parent.
60. He loves God first and foremost… everything else flows from that love for God.
Happy Birthday, Dad…. Here’s to many more! Love you!