I wanted to take a moment to thank God in a public way for one particular blessing. My father's 65th birthday is today. I cannot sing the praises of my father enough. So, Father God, I give you special praise, honor and thanksgiving for my father -- Howard E. Hiler.
First, my father is strong man of God. I cannot remember a time when my father was not involved in church leadership. For over 30 years, he has been an Elder in his home church -- the Church of Christ at Harrison, OH. And there were times when I thought he was being too parochial, too conservative, too restrictive, and too legalistic. But now I realize that my father was being just like God. He was ensuring that I (and my sisters) had a strong grounding in the basics of God's word and his will for my life. My father modeled Jesus Christ for me. He showed me grace and forgiveness so many times that I know it was the work of the Holy Spirit. There are so many people these days who don't want to force their beliefs on their children. And, as a result, those children go farther and farther away from God as they get older. But, even after two college degrees, I still maintain the strong faith I was given by my father. I also hope to attain to positions in church leadership, just like my father. When the clouds part and the trumpets blare and Jesus the Christ returns for His own, I hope that God says to me, "You're just like your father. Welcome home."
My father also brought me up to value good character. I was taught the values of honesty and hard work. My father has worked for Ford Motor Company for at least 30 years. Throughout a large part of that time, my father also operated his own heating and air conditioning business. I remember times when I used to help my father to install an air conditioning system in someone's house, or run electric for our new (at the time) church building, or hand him tools as he repaired someone's furnace. My father currently is working a great deal of overtime in order to help support one of my sisters as she pursues a medical certification program. I know that my father does these things not only to provide for his children, but also to show them, by example, that hard work pays off.
Words are not really enough, nor do they convey what I truly feel. So I am choking up a little as I'm trying to write this post. I love my father. And I thank God for blessing me through my dad.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
My Father and Mother