On Father’s Day

For the first 14 years of my life, I seldom felt the joy of being loved. I never knew the difference encouragement made in a young life; and never understood how being part of a family was something to cherish. By the time I was 12, I had all but given up on the dream of being truly loved, with one exception. When I prayed at night for a family that cared about and wanted me, I felt sheltered from the reality I had grown all too accustomed to.

My prayers were answered when a Massachusetts family moved to my small central Florida town and adopted me into their family. When my Dad brought me into his family, my world began to blossom. I was immersed in a family where my brothers and sister loved and accepted me. I was in a world where Mom and Dad taught me true Christianity by their actions; a world where I learned by their example what it meant to be a member of a family. In this environment, the foundation for my life was laid.

I’m blessed that my dad, now in his 90s and much more frail than the strong man I first met all those years ago, is still with me. He still has wisdom to share. When I stop and think about my dad, I’m often overwhelmed at all the blessings he brought into my life through his example of godly living. I will always remember him as being a patient teacher, sharing both life and trade skills. He has remained a strong believer in Christ, and a dad I want to emulate in my life.

Even though I’m adopted, it amazes me and others at how much we are alike. I sure hope folks can say that about ourselves and our relationship with ourr heavenly Father.

What is your favorite gift from your dad? Mine is a love for God. Share on X

Years later, I tried to repay this gift with a few simple words of a poem I wrote for Father’s Day. I’ve realized in the years since, my words were not directed only to my earthly Dad, they are repayment for the gift of family from my Heavenly Father.

My Father’s Arms

When I’m tired, sad, or lonely,
When few others seem to care,
There’s a place I go to get away,
For there are no troubles there.

I can laugh or cry, or fall asleep,
Or all my problems bare.
It’s the one place where I can just be me,
For there are no troubles there.

I love that place, its peaceful warmth,
A place with many charms.
My favorite place in all the world,
Is in my Father’s arms.

-JDW 6/78

I pray you take time to let your dad, whether still with you on this earth or awaiting you in heaven’s glory (I pray), how very much he means/meant in your life.

God’s blessings,


Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.


42 thoughts on “On Father’s Day”

  1. Sir, Thank you for this beautiful insight to your life. I never had a biological father who loved me and cared for me but I have a heavenly father who loves me. May God continue to bless you and use your blog to bless others as it has blessed me today.

    1. Thank you for commenting Ms. Cherrilynn. I learned many years ago that there’s a huge difference between being a “father” and being a “dad.” I’ve been blessed to be a part of three adoptions into three amazing families, with three amazing dads. The family who adopted me in my teens. My wife’s family, and the man who truly epitomizes what it means to be a “dad” in the form of my father-in-love. And the family of God, where our Abba Father is the good good Father for whom every man should claim kinship.

  2. Sadly my dad passed away 5 years ago but I was blessed to have him until he was 89. The more I remember about him especially now as a parent and grandparent, the more I realize how wonderful he really was. I pray I was able to communicate that to him while he was still here.

  3. Such a precious encouragement to me as I pray for my three grandsons who are all adopted from China. I hope they too will bloom in our family and discover the love of their heavenly Father.

    1. I pray your grandsons grow up to cherish they love their parents and grandparents have given them; and the impact that love has made on their lives in the years to come ma’am.

    1. I sure pray I have Ms. Tammy. As a child growing up in a pretty abusive environment, the fact that my adopted dad never once raised his hand to me was something I didn’t quite no how to deal with. Instead, he taught me that his disappointment in me was a much more effective disciplinary technique. When you disappoint the one who gives you so very much love and blessings; it’s the worst feeling in the world. I thank our Father for His willingness to accept our repentant cries. God’s blessings ma’am.

  4. Melinda Cooper

    Awe 🙂

    This is beautiful J.D. Thanks so much for sharing it and you’re right, definitely lines up with my post about my beautiful cousin.

    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Thank you Ms. Melinda. When I read your post about you sweet cousin and Uncle last evening, I knew immediately why God had placed on my heart the need to share this old poem with folks ma’am. He knew its audience even though I didn’t. “Trust and Obey” my friend. Condolences on your family’s loss; albeit for just a short time.

  5. My husband is also adopted. I have grown to appreciate and cherish the mystery about that and the direct parallel with scripture as it defines our relationship to the Lord. How very grateful I am for those adopted parents who sacrificed to take you in and show you the way. Many are blessed because of it, JD!!

    1. Thank you Ms. Mary. I imagine your hubby will say the same, but there’s something special about knowing that your mom and dad didn’t HAVE to love you, they CHOSE to. 🙂

    1. Sometimes I cry for my dad too. Partly because I miss seeing him every day. When he lived here in TX with Ms. Diane and me, he would make his way into my office every morning just as I was finishing my “God time”; and he would have his hot tea or hot cocoa with me while I sipped coffee and we chatted. I miss that a great deal.

  6. Thank you for sharing this part of your story. Your Heavenly Father was looking out for you all the time, especially putting you with your adopted family. This was a wonderful post. My Daddy has been gone for 35 years, but it doesn’t seem that long. I wish I’d had more time as an adult to get to know him, but look forward to our reunion in glory, when we’ll have all the time in the world.

  7. Such a beautiful story of redemption for your life. I rejoice with you that you were given the gift of this wonderful dad and it is also a picture of what our heavenly Father does for us. Your poem is a beautiful tribute.

  8. This is such a powerful testimony, J.D. Your poem is very touching, and I can feel your heart through it. Wasn’t God so so good to remove you from harm and place you with a loving, Godly family? Your story of adoption is a story of a true miracle–just like the miracle story we Christians all have–that God has adopted us out of this sinful world and into His holy family. Blessings, dear friend.

    1. Me too Ms. Candyce; and thank you ma’am. I’ve often said, “Whatever good is in me, it’s because of my adopted mom and dad; and God who is helping all three of us.”

  9. Edwina Cowgill

    My father meant and means so much to me. Although he and my mom are with our Heavenly Father, his values and character live on in me and my sister. He was a godly man, full of wisdom and led us to live Christian lives. I miss him every day!

    1. Amen Ms. Edwina. My mom awaits both my dad and the rest of my immediate family in heaven; we can’t wait to see her again there with God. I think the best legacy there is is when a parent’s morality, values, and character shines through in their children; as I’m sure it is in you ma’am. Thank you, and God’s blessings.

  10. Such a powerful piece and poem, J.D. Your story amazes me. And your prayers were answered when the Lord did more than you could have ever imagined or hoped for.

    1. Thank you Ms. Karen. “This is grace” ma’am; being blessed far more than I deserve and receiving far more than I could have ever imagined was possible. But God!

  11. What a beautiful post, J.D. about your adoptive earthly Dad and your Heavenly Dad, too. How wonderful that they both came into your young life and loved and rescued you!

    1. Yes ma’am. That’s exactly how I feel; rescued. While my earthly dad rescued me from a very pain-filled and sad life, he led me to His Father who rescued me eternally from that same cycle of sin and destruction. What a great way of putting it ma’am. Thank you!

  12. A beautiful and loving message, sir. Made me cry as you shared the tenderness of a father’s love. What a touching example of our heavenly Father’s love for us. So thankful you’ve had your Dad all these years–what wonderful memories you have.


    J.D., I want to think that some of the love you missed out on during those early years have been doubled up in your latter years. So many people love you. Me included. I only know you from your writing but this surety I detect, God has shown you true love in so many ways and you readily pour it out on others. I am happy to be one of those recipients. Thank you.

    1. I’m humbled ma’am. I have very much been blessed since my early years. My family, my wife, my writing career, and, most importantly, God’s patient teaching and transformation. As much as all the love others have poured into me, I’ve come to realize they are but God’s conduits. God’s blessings my sweet friend; and ask Mr. Parky to give you an extra hug for me please.

    1. Thank you Ms. LuAnn. I am blessed beyond belief ma’am. A wonderful dad and family, a “getting healthy” and beautiful wife, the best place to live and commune with God in the world (for me), and wonderful friends like you and Mr. Kenn. Praying all y’all are getting settled in. Looking forward to seeing some photos in your upcoming posts ma’am.

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