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The Father Is Good

It was one of those magical days. Dad had taken me fishing. I was surprised because fishing was his ‘alone time’ activity when he would ponder Dad things. But today he told me to grab my rod because he needed me to help him “catch a mess of fish.” For me, this would always be a special day.

At Dad’s favorite fishing hole, he showed me my spot and reminded me to cast away from him so our lines did not get tangled. He placed a cooler full of ice next to me and told me to put my catch in it. He then went upstream and prepared his spot.

Then he did something I didn’t expect. Before he made his first cast, he took off his hat and bowed his head. I was amazed – he seemed to be praying. Without a word, he opened his eyes and smiled. Hat back in place, he got to the business of the day – fishing.

And fishing doesn’t begin to describe the day. We caught more fish that day than I had ever imagined. Before long, Dad came over and started to string our catch together. Dumping some of the ice, he put the fish in the cooler and told me to start packing everything back in his truck.

As we traveled down the road, he turned down a road I didn’t recognize. I gave Dad a puzzled look only to hear, “You’ll see in a minute.”

The truck started to slow down and Dad gently pulled off on the side of the road. There was a beat-up old truck in front of a house that had seen better days. Without a word, Dad got out and took the fish from the cooler. He walked up to the truck and hung the fish on the gas cap. He returned to the truck, put it in gear, eased it back on the road, and drove a short distance up the road. He did a u-turn and started back toward the house. Then, he told me to watch for someone to come out of the house as he laid on the horn. Sure enough, a man ran out followed by a little boy and girl. I knew them – they went to our church. He-man held up the fish and looked as our truck went out of sight.

“Last Sunday, I heard they were having trouble making ends meet. I just had to do something to help. That’s why I prayed at the lake – I needed help from the Big Guy.”

I was so proud at that moment to be his son and to be blessed that he included me in this act of kindness. He smiled as I looked at him and said the first thing that came into my mind.

“The Father is good.”

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Len Bernat
Len Bernat
LEN is a leader groomed by 20 years of molding and shaping by some of the finest leaders in the United States Marine Corps. Their guidance helped Len realize his full potential as he moved from an enlisted Marine to becoming an Officer of Marines. Len became known for being the leader who could turn any lackluster organization into a strong, functional unit. Upon his retirement, Len worked in several positions before finally starting a second career in governmental procurement. His experience and leadership skills enabled him to be recognized as the 2011 Governmental Procurement Officer of the Year for the Governmental Procurement Association of Georgia and opened doors for him to teach at many of the association’s conferences. Len was also called to the ministry and was ordained at Ashford Memorial Methodist Church in November of 1999. Today, Len is the Pastor of Maxeys Christian Church in Maxeys, Georgia. Len has been married to his wife, Hazel, for 36 years and they have three daughters, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Grab your copy of Len's new Book – Leadership Matters | Advice From A Career USMC Officer. Using his life experiences as examples, Len takes the eleven principles of leadership and the fourteen traits every leader should possess—which he learned during twenty years in the Marine Corps—and teaches the reader how he was molded and shaped by some of the best leaders the Corps had to offer.

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6 CONVERSATIONS

    • Larry – Thanks – but I have to be honest. Dad gave up fishing when I was about 4 so he could work more to support his family. However, this is something he would have done because I is the kind of kindness I learned growing up from Mom and Dad.

    • I understand. My daddy passed when I was 18 and there was just a way of being in him and I always reach for it in my life. Truly I love your stories. My wife and I can’t wait each Tuesday to see what you will write.

    • Thanks, again. I hope all who take the time to read our works are enlightened and moved to reach for the good in life.

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