This coming Sunday is Father’s Day here in the United States. Father’s Day is always celebrated the third Sunday of June. It is a day in which we give honor to the dad or dads that raised us. Today I would like to tell you about my dad and invite you to purchase a copy of my new book on our new bookstore website.
Fourteen years ago today something very special and odd happened to me. While I was picking out a Father’s Day card in a card store with my wife Susan, the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me. Standing there in His Presence, He spoke to me. I have heard Him speak to me several times, but I have seldom heard His voice that clear. In fact, His words were so clear, I immediately turned away from the card stand. Hot tears filled my eyes as I turned and walked directly outside.
Dad, Mom and We Boys in Our Sunday Best!
What did the Holy Spirit say that day? He said, “This will be the last year you will buy a Father’s Day card for your dad. Choose wisely.” Over the years I have forgotten the name of the store and its address. I will never forget that day. I first hoped I was imagining things. That is why I walked out of the store. I wanted to make sure I had heard correctly. A minute later my wife Susan, who had followed me out, asked me what I was doing walking out of the store without giving her even as much as an explanation. When I shared what I had heard with her, she asked, “are you sure?” Yes, I said. I wish I wasn’t. But, I was sure.
Fifty-one weeks to that day later I conducted dad’s funeral. And, like I shared at his funeral, I want you to know that my dad was a good man and a godly man. He was married to my mother for forty-eight years. With mom, he raised three boys and spent most of his life working in a bakery. For most of his life dad’s skin smelled of flour, of the shortening that he fried his donuts in and of fresh baked bread. He was up between one and three a.m. most mornings and asleep in his chair by eight most nights.
Wayne Stone was born during the Great Depression to tenant farmer parents who lived about forty-five miles south of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The youngest of six children, my dad’s early life was extremely difficult–to say the least. These were the days of the famed Dust Bowl. Dad’s father then had a stroke when dad was only five. Because of his father’s paralysis, the family had to leave the farm and move to another state where they could be near his mother’s family. Little work, food being in short supply, worn out hand-me-down clothes and the beginning of World War II created more stress than the little family could almost take. But these circumstances were used by the Holy Spirit to bring dad’s mom to the Lord Jesus Christ. And, when my grandmother, Mae Stone, was gloriously saved, she immediately led my dad and her other children to the same saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dad and Mom in Later Years
Dad served the Lord Jesus every day of his life. To dad, Jesus was more than his Savior. Jesus was Lord. Dad loved his wife and family with all of his heart. An avid church goer, dad served as a deacon, softball coach for the church’s women’s softball team and substitute Sunday School teacher. One of dad’s finest moments came when he was voted “Father of the Year” at our home church in Nampa, Idaho. He loved being outdoors. He loved hunting, fishing and riding his motorcycle. But most of all, dad loved the Lord Jesus.
It has been thirteen years since dad went home to be with the Lord. I still miss him. I miss the funny way he looked when he wore his Bermuda shorts and cowboy boots (at the same time, no less). I miss his pudgy build and “bird legs.” I miss his whistling. I miss his kind words. I miss fishing with him on the middle fork of the Salmon River in late August and hearing about a new kind of bread he had learned to make. But more than anything, I miss listening to dad pray.
In the introduction of my new book, The Altar of His Presence, I write about dad and what it was about his praying that touched my life. As I said earlier, dad loved meeting with the Lord. In the church I grew up in my dad could be seen sometimes before, always after, and from time to time during a church service kneeling with his handkerchief out, tears flowing down his cheeks with his heart open to God. I heard Dad pray thousands of times at church, at home, before a meal in a restaurant and even before he died. His altar time was always filled first with thanksgiving and praise for the Lord and Savior he loved, honored, and adored. Within a minute or two from the start, Dad’s voice would break and tears would fill his eyes and begin spilling down his cheeks. Dad’s tears were seldom a result of sadness. Sadness held no place with Dad. His brokenness was a result of his having a contrite spirit.
Dad and His Boys a Few Weeks Before His Death
Dad’s prayer time wasn’t filled with fear or remorse over some terrible secret sin that had infected his life. No, his brokenness came from spending time every day in the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit. To begin, Dad would recall how his Savior’s love had changed his life, his mother’s healing of milk fever, and his gratefulness to the Lord for giving him his wife and sons. Decades after his salvation, Dad would consistently thank his Lord for bringing about the circumstances that brought his family to God. His thirst for more of the glory of God was born out of his desire to be filled to overflowing with the righteousness, peace, and joy that only the Spirit of the living God could bring.
It is no wonder that I identified the altar with being in God’s Presence. During our nightly prayer meetings I came to understand the need to be filled full of God’s grace and glory. It was with dad in the secret place of the Most High that I was first given experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit.
So today I honor my dad, Wayne Stone. I honor him for the example he set before me. I ask you to honor him too. How? You can honor him by reading more of his story in my new book, The Altar of His Presence. You can also purchase your copy of my book at our new website: http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.
If you choose to purchase eight books we will not only pay the shipping and handing, but we will include our new revised version of my book, Gifts from the Ascended Christ.
Take time to honor your dad this week. If he is still with us, take time to tell him how much you love him and thank God for him. If he has passed away, honor him by telling others admit him. Again, don’t forget to visit our website by clicking on the book cover below or by going to: www.thealtarofhispresence.com today!