Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church
Sermon Series: Supernatural Ways Of Royalty – 02 – Like My Dad; Date: 28 August 2011
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Like My Dad
A few weeks ago, we had a church meeting where one of our members shared with us a common experience. He said: “Growing up – I purposed never to become like my dad but – in my early forties – I looked at myself and realized that I had become my dad.” He had taken on character traits which he had never liked in the person of his dad – even though he loved him. Is this your experience? You resolve to be different from your parents – or your boss – or your worst enemy – and you have strong feelings about taking a different direction but then discover that the unthinkable has happened to you. You have become just like them.
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche – (and he was not at all a Christian) – was certain that he recognized this dynamic in people – (we would say: this design feature of creation) – and – therefore – advised his readers: “Be careful in choosing your enemies because you will become like them.” In other words: “Be careful in choosing whom you dislike and who will occupy the thoughts of your sleepless nights. Be careful about being consumed with rage about certain people and plotting against them because – otherwise – you will turn our exactly like them.”
At first hearing, this seems crazy. This doesn’t seem to make sense. Irrespective of the odd son who seems to take on the shortcomings of his dad, why would this be a common experience that the very character and behaviour, which we dislike in a person and hate with a passion, become ours? [It may not be related but it is like driving on a motor-bike and focusing on the ditch that needs to be avoided. The more the driver’s focus remains on the ditch, the more certain it becomes that this is precisely the inevitable target of his driving.]
This morning – I may not be able to give you a satisfying answer – (penetrate the mystery to everyone’s satisfaction) – except to say that this is a law of nature – a design feature of our world – like gravity (or the invariance of the speed of light in a vacuum). You can observe the law – the principle of nature – and you can marvel at your discovery but then you need to accept the law rather than argue with the design. For instance, try arguing with the law of gravity and improve your hang time through will power. It won’t work. God made the world as it is. We are not in charge.
Therefore, we become what we resolve – with intensity and churned up feelings – not to become. Consider this Bible story [abbreviate and retell in your own words]:
2 Samuel 13:1-3: “In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her ... And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her ... and since he was stronger than she, he raped her ... And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman. When King David heard all this, he was furious. And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar ... Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there ... Absalom ordered his men, ‘Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, Strike Amnon down, then kill him ... ’ So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered ... the report came to David ... The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn ... Meanwhile, Absalom had fled ... Absalom fled ... But King David mourned many days for his son. After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years ... ”
2 Samuel 14:28-33: “Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face ... Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.”
2 Samuel 15:10-12: “Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, ‘As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, Absalom is king in Hebron.’ ... And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.”
2 Samuel 16:20-22: “Absalom said to Ahithophel, ‘Give us your advice. What should we do?’ Ahithophel answered, ‘Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.’ So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.”
Absalom, the son of King David, took offense at his brother Amnon’s crime of raping their sister Tamar, nursed a grudge when their father did nothing, finally took revenge and killed Amnon, but then ended up committing the same crime – in a far worse manner. In the sight of the whole nation – on the roof of the palace – not as an act of misguided passion like his brother but for political gain – he raped and violated his father’s three concubines. At long last, he had become the person that he despised when the other person was his brother (and father).
This is the lesson: It is absolutely crucial to focus the mind and heart on better prospects than past offences – or disappointments – and it is absolutely dangerous to get it wrong. Absalom was right in identifying the crime and he was right about the lack of justice – (their father and king did nothing) – but he could not afford to stew over the matter – keep the rape an open wound and hate his brother – and then take justice in his own hands because you become what you see and turn over in your mind – what you judge and despise with a passion.
One Bible story illustrates this law of nature in a most startling way [abbreviate and retell in your own words]:
Genesis 30:31-43: “‘What shall I give you?’ he asked. ‘Don’t give me anything,’ Jacob replied. ‘But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-coloured lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-coloured, will be considered stolen.’ ‘Agreed,’ said Laban. ‘Let it be as you have said.’
That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-coloured lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-coloured animals that belonged to Laban.
Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals. Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.”
Genesis 31:4-9: “So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah ... He said to them, ‘ ... You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, The speckled ones will be your wages, then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, The streaked ones will be your wages, then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.’”
I don’t know whether you can replicate the same breeding success of speckled or streaked animals today. However, the Bible story does illustrate the important principle of reproducing what you see. You somehow give birth to what you see and turn over in your mind. When what you see is speckled, you give birth to what is speckled. And more importantly – in the case of Absalom – when you keep looking at a crime and meditate on the rape of your sister – without resolving anything – then you give birth to similar crimes – or at least similar thought patterns – in your own life.
Do you agree with this observation? Kris Vallotton – the main author of “The Supernatural Ways Of Royalty” – writes:
“As I pondered this unusual passage, it dawned on me that this was not a lesson in agriculture! God was demonstrating how we, His sheep, reproduce. The watering hole is a place of reflection, which means both gazing at something and meditating on it. Meditation involves our imagination. If we feed our imagination with thoughts of what we don't want to become and drink from the well of regret, we reproduce that very thing in ourselves. It doesn't matter what we want to reproduce. It's only important what we imagine while we are thinking and drinking at the watering hole of our imagination” (Kris Vallotton – Bill Johnson: The Supernatural Ways Of Royalty, Shippensburg: Destiny Image 2006, p41).
He also shared the following observation:
“I have counseled a lot people over the years and have observed a common pattern among many of them: People typically become like the person they most despise. Alcoholics for instance, are commonly raised by alcoholic parents. I personally have never met a child molester who wasn’t a victim of molestation. At some point in the counseling session, there’s nearly always a statement like, ‘I swore I would never be like the person who abused me, but I have become just like them.’ I know this struggle well myself. In spite of struggling not to be like my step-fathers through most of my early life, I started becoming an angry man just like them” (p39).
What we imagine, we reproduce. (I know that) this is still a big statement but – two weeks ago – we have identified a number of other principles which all feed into this same basic principle and they may sound more familiar to you: What we imagine, we reproduce. Let me remind you of them. [Keep this very short.]
1) As God has worked creation by the words of his mouth, so we – who are made in his image – have the same mandate of creating the future with our words.
[Therefore, whatever reality we ponder and spell out in our imagination has a creative force.]
Genesis 1:1-25: “ … And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light … ” 2 Peter 3:5: “ … by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed … ” Hebrews 1:3: “ … sustaining all things by his powerful word …” John 6:63: “ … The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
Genesis 2:19-20: “Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals ... ”
Matthew 16:19: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” John 20:22-23: “And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’”
2) We receive according to our faith expectation.
Matthew 9:29: “According to your faith let it be done to you.”
Mark 9:23: “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
3) We reap what we sow.
Deuteronomy 29:18: “Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.”
Hebrews 12:15: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
Galatians 6:7: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
4) Wherever we judge and not honour, we receive according to our judgement.
Ephesians 6:2-3: “‘Honour your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’”
1 Samuel 2:30: “ ... Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.”
Matthew 13:57-58: “And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home.’ And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
Matthew 7:1-2: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” See also Mark 11:25-26.
5) We become what we judge.
Romans 2:1: “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”
6) Negative judgements and resolutions work ever increasing devastation.
Hosea 8:7: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind ... ”
Whatever we imagine, we become and reproduce. If this was true – and it is – how then are we to live? We exercise the utmost discipline in what we allow ourselves to look at and ponder. This includes TV – the life that is imagined in our entertainment – but – more importantly – we check our heart for emotions which keep us glued to negative images. I am talking here about unforgiveness, envy and regret. You cannot keep looking at the poison of what has been done to you or where you seem to have missed out and expect anything but the reproduction of that very poison in the present. Unless you let the poison go, it will stay with you. Forgive – (let God be the judge – trust him with justice) – and look at something else in your life. Be content and rejoice in what you have.
Up to now – we have considered the basic principle of reproducing what we imagine from a rather negative angle. We may have become the person that we were determined not to become. However, the same principle also works in our favour. If we only turned our focus away from flawed people and pain and unto God, we would make a most joyful discovery: We reproduce something wonderful in us when we set our imagination on God. Whatever we imagine, we become and reproduce which means that we become like God when we worship him – look at him, meditate on him, imagine his glory. Then we will say – in the best sense possible: “I have become exactly like my father – my Father in heaven – and I love it.”
This – then – is exactly living according to God’s plan and design because – from the beginning – he has made us in his image – Genesis 1:28: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Thus, the more we keep gazing at God in worship, the more we are realizing our own design as bearing the imprint of God from birth because we are becoming – also in our daily actions – more and more like him – a reflection of his nature and glory.
We may sense right now that we are not a pure image of God and it is true. Since the first humans rebelled against God, the original image of God in people became corrupted by sin (cf. Romans 1:21-32; 8:18-21). However, genuine worship of God is reversing the damage because true worship – by default – makes us turn away from sin – the worship of our own self – (maybe our wounded pride) – and wrong priorities such as lust and greed. Thus, whoever worships God exchanges an ungodly preoccupation with an intense focus on God and this is called repentance and it brings life.
In one Bible account, the worship of God became so intense that even the person’s body took on the very qualities of God – his glory:
Exodus 33:17-20: “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’ Then Moses said, ‘Now show me your glory.’ And the LORD said, ‘I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,’ he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’”
Exodus 34:29-35: “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him ...
When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD.” [Cf. Matthew 17:2; Acts 6:15.]
Moses – who had been made in the image of God – in worship – realized and stepped into God’s original design. The corruption of sin was falling off him and he was glowing with the glory of God. The other people had just been worshipping an idol – danced around a golden calf – took on some of its quality – and therefore could not tolerate the measure of God’s glory that was being reflected from Moses’ face.
However – all of us here – we can be like Moses. Another Bible reference picks up on his experience and explains that becoming like God in worship – recapturing and living out our original design – is the destiny of every Christian. I read – 2 Corinthians 3:7-18:
“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face ... we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
These are stupendous words. We become what we worship and our common Christian experience is to surpass – by far – what happened to Moses. This is what the Bible reading argued: “If the past ministry of Moses came with glory – (and that was in the time before all of God’s people were being baptized in the Spirit of God through Jesus) – will not the present ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?” Therefore, as we contemplate the Lord’s glory, we are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory and it will be outperforming anything that manifested on Moses’ face and scared the rest of the people. We reproduce what we imagine. We become what we worship.
There are more Bible references that back this up:
Psalm 115:4-8: “But their idols are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but cannot smell. They have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but cannot walk, nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”
Jeremiah 2:5: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.”
Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1 John 3:2: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
[Owners and their dogs seem to grow alike with age???]
However, how can we worship God? What is he like? We are not the first one to ask the question. One of Jesus’ disciples asked him – John 14:8: “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered – John 14:9-21:
“Don’t you know me . even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father ... The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work ... And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth ... you [will] know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you ... ”
Jesus has been revealing God – the Father – to us. The Father is exactly like Jesus which means that we also learn about him from the climax of Jesus’ life – his death on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life as a sacrifice for the atonement of our sin and his love was also the Father’s love. The Father – in Jesus – proved that he would do anything for us – Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Jesus revealed the Father to us and therefore it is Jesus and his entire life on earth which informs our worship.
Like in any worship, we begin to imitate the person that has captured our affection and love. We worship God with our whole life and become like him in practical circumstances. Numerous times, the apostle Paul told his congregation in the Bible:
Ephesians 5:1: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.”
Philippians 2:5-8: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
Yet, Paul also knew that new Christians often need more practical instructions and illustrations of a life of worship. Therefore, he made sure that his own life could serve as a model for others. He said:
1 Corinthians 11:1: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” [1 Thessalonians 1:6: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”]
1 Corinthians 4:16: “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”
We need this. Imitate Jesus, who is like the Father, and you will become a father yourself – a spiritual father – among us. This church needs people who imitate Jesus and become like the Father whom they worship.
One outcome will be that this will be releasing everyone into their destiny as the sons and daughters of the Father in heaven. Some people feel this enormous pressure to become like their human fathers (or mothers) and perform to the same level of their specific success in sport or career path. This is not how it is with our Father in heaven. He has already made us in his image – [there’s nothing lacking] – and then only wants us to share more of the same foundation – his character and glory. Otherwise – we are free to be ourselves – unique in our talents and calling – and the spiritual fathers among us (in their diversity) will help us and release us into our destiny:
Ephesians 4:7-13: “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it ... So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, [diverse spiritual fathers] to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
Make this your aim: Become a spiritual father (or mother). How can you do this? This has been the point of the entire message: Worship God and you will become what we need. You will become like him – “transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory”.
We also learn from our spiritual fathers how the Bible promises come true in a person’s life. As we not only gaze upon the Father but also his promises, we learn still another application of the basic law of nature which began this message and finds its highest expression in worship. We learned that whatever we imagine, we become or reproduce. However, there is more: Whatever we imagine – whatever we are seeing with the eyes of faith – whatever we are dreaming about – has a tendency to manifest.
This belongs to us who are made in the image of God. We are co-labouring with God. He said in the Bible:
Psalm 37:4: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
This principle of creating by our desires and faith – creating by imagining the outcome – also seems to work – to some extent – in non-Christians – (as a law of nature) – but comes to its proper fulfilment in the life of worshipping Christians. As we delight in him and imitate him in absolute obedience, he looks at our other dreams and works with them.
A few years back, we had a church member who was struggling with depression, struggling with finances and other issues. For years, she wanted to own her own car and become more independent but she never had the necessary money. So she cut out the picture of a small car from a newspaper, pasted it on a wall at home, kept looking at the picture every day and prayed to God for a car. A good while later – the picture of the car was no longer on the wall – she received the surprising news that she was inheriting some money and she immediately thought about buying a car. However, it was not enough but then some more money came and she received a discount which meant that her available money matched the purchasing price to the dollar and she was now the proud owner of a car. At home – out of curiosity – she dug up the picture of the car from the newspaper and could not believe her eyes. She had bought the same make (and maybe the same colour): a Holden Barina. The newspaper picture and her brand-new car in the driveway also matched each other. She knew nothing about car models and just knew that there had been a small car in the picture. However, what she imagined in faith, manifested to her as a worshipping Christian.
God taught the same lesson to Abraham when he made him look and see a representation of what he promised him:
Genesis 15:2-6: “But Abram said, ‘Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.’ Then the word of the LORD came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
At the present time, our church is under financial pressure and, some months ago, our Evangelist David Challenor had the impression in prayer that God was going to give us a $1,000,000 cheque. This was a positive thought – Rangeville Community Church seemed to be getting cheques like that – but I did not pay too much attention. Then – three weeks ago – he said it again at our board meeting and – a few days later – when we prayed about our finances at our Prayer Watch, Joe took out a bank-note from his pocket and gave it to me, saying: “I’ll give this towards it.” I looked at the note and carefully looked at the number. It was $1,000,000. Only, the bank-note was a fake and made up one side of a Christian tract. Nevertheless, I took it as a sign from God because Joe had not heard anything about hoping for a $1,000,000 donation. It seemed to be more than a coincidence that he was carrying this strange tract in his pocket, attended the Prayer Watch and “contributed” this fake bank-note to our finances so soon after David confirmed his sense of such a cheque coming. I want to remain open in my prayer life to other solutions but I have taken the tract home, pasted it on a frame in my office and keep looking at it – in prayer – every day because “take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”. What are you dreaming about? Get in touch with what God is stirring up in your heart.
I come to a close. Learn the basic principle of this message and be careful in its application. What we imagine, we reproduce even to the extent that we become like the people whom we dislike – (or whose behaviour we judge and dislike). Therefore, watch when you say: “I will never be like my Dad (or like any other person),” – because you are setting yourself up to turn out just like him. Any nursing of a grudge or feelings of regret may keep your focus on the wrong person when the best person is God. Turn your life around. Worship him and you will experience the ultimate outcome of the law which says that we reproduce what we imagine. Worship God – the Father – and become like him. Experience the day when you will say with joy: “I have turned out just like my Dad.” We need people like you. And – then – also have another look at the Father’s promises. As you delight yourself in him, he will give you the desires of your heart. On many levels – whatever we imagine, we become and reproduce. Amen.