“The Father Heart of God” by Doctor Suess

I get the most interesting texts from my boys sometimes. They all live on their own now; some close by, some pretty far away. But whether near or far, we all try keep in touch.

They know I have my phone on all the time – in fact, they know I have my phone on just so that if they ever need to get hold of me, they know I will be available. I always want to be there for them; I want them to know I’m available, too. There are times they’ve needed to talk and I am so glad I’ve done this over the years. Even when it’s been 2:00 in the morning. So it’s not unusual to get text messages from them. Sometimes saying hello, sometimes asking for advice. But I’m always glad I’ve left the phone on.

But occasionally, I get a text like this:


You have to know our family history with Dr. Suess.

You see, when my boys were little, I used to love to read them Dr Suess books like “The Lorax,” or “Green Eggs And Ham.” And they used to love the way daddy would read them. I loved it too. We made those books fun and something to look forward to.

I read those books to those kids so often that I had them pretty much memorized; especially, “The Cat In The Hat.” And over the years, it’s become a bit of a conversation piece in our family – especially when we gather at Christmas or when I meet any of the boys’ friends or girlfriends for the first time. The boys will often comment that I have it memorized – ALL OF IT – memorized.

And then I’m called on to perform. And I do.

But this one son of mine will sometimes call me out of the blue to ask me to recite “The Cat In The Hat” over the phone. He’s 25 years old now, mind you. But he still asks.

It’s ok. You see, I know when he does this, it’s because he’s got another friend there – sometimes even a few – and he’s been telling this story that his dad has the book memorized. And he’s bragging because you know their old man never memorized that book!

Now you have to know that if he calls (even at 11:00 at night my time, when I’m already in bed) and asks me to do that, then if I’m alert enough to remember how it starts (while being half asleep) I just do it.

It’s just our thing. It’s become a thing now.

The curious part for me is that I realize how much I like that he feels comfortable enough to call me in the middle of the night for something so inconsequential. I like that we have a level of familiarity and deep love for each other that this imposition on my sleep is the kind of thing that amuses me more than annoys me. I like that he enjoys talking about his dad in a way that lets people know how he feels about me. He thinks it’s so cool that I still remember that book.

That text from last night? Here’s the rest of it….


He let me off the hook. It’s all part of the give and take of being human I guess.

But then, I think I lied awake for about twenty minutes trying to recall the words in the book.

I guess, in that moment, I didn’t want to be merely human, even half-asleep. I wanted to be able to do it. It was part of the fun. I laid there, wondering whether I could recite the whole thing or get stumped part way through. In fact, it almost bothered me a little that I wasn’t able to do it in “grog mode,” just because I know what a kick he gets out of it when I recite it off the cuff.

I sent this to him the following morning….


Trust me, it’s wasn’t a show-stopper or anything. But sometimes, when you’re half-asleep, things have a whole different perspective to them. I was fascinated by what a big deal that was to me at the time.

And as I was thinking about it, God Snuck Up On Me.

As I was going through this exercise in my head, I remembered a scene from the movie, “As Good As It Gets,” where Jack Nickolson says to Helen Hunt, “you’re the kind of woman who makes me want to be a better man.”

I guess this kid likes to have me recite this book in a way that makes me want to be able to do it better – even in my sleep.

And then, God brought a fresh revelation to me of what His heart is for us as his children.

It reminded me of the father heart of God.

I recalled an article from long ago by John Dawson about this reality of the father heart of God.

Part of God’s relation to us as a father is that He wants us to look to Him to show Himself strong in our lives, in our circumstances, in our relationships and in our walk with Him. He desires to be with us in such an intimate relationship that when we can call on Him, we do so fully expecting Him to do what we ask in faith, because we know that’s just who He is.

He is “the God who comes through for us.”

God wants to walk with us, to spend time with us so much that when we ask for things, it’s out of a relationship that looks like a kid and his daddy who love each other. And the kid just knows His dad is a hero. And the dad just does “hero” because this kid is his kid, and dad’s “hero-reputation” is at stake.

But the kicker is….

God wants us to be so much in love with Him that the stuff we ask for is always secondary to just enjoying Him for who He is.

I love that my son feels comfortable enough with me and that we are close enough that if he wants to brag about how his dad has “The Cat In The Hat” memorized, then I’m willing to take his call and spew it out. We BOTH get a kick out of it.

If you’re not seeing that God enjoys you approaching Him with expectation to show Himself strong, then you don’t know Him well enough yet. He is good, and He is crazy about you.

God reminded me of the passage in Luke 11:

Then Jesus said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

“The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

“But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

The idea here is not mere persistence; it is shameless persistence.

It’s persistence with expectation.

Now if you are shamelessly persistent, it might be because you are not perceptive enough to know that you should feel shame for what you’re asking of someone.

On the other hand, it just might be that you feel no shame because of the nature of the relationship. In this same conversation, Jesus pushed the point that it’s GOOD to be shamelessly persistent with God:

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give [good gifts] when you ask him?

Jesus’ point was that we SHOULD get a little “pushy” sometimes. God can handle it.

In fact, it seems Jesus’ point was that your heavenly Father even kind of likes it when you’re pushy rather than wishy-washy.

Remember that bit about Jesus preferring we were rather hot or cold than luke-warm?

I am convinced that one day in heaven, there will be rooms of remembrance.

And in those rooms there will be tapestries on the walls, woven from the threads of our moments of intimacy with our heavenly Father while we were here on Earth. There will be some threads in there that will be for all to see; there might even be those occasional ones woven into those tapestries that forever, only you and your heavenly Father will know and understand.

But whether they are public or uniquely between you and Him, they will be an eternal declaration of sacred moments between you and your heavenly Father while you were yet on earth, and you loved each other – remembrances created in time, but celebrated for eternity.

Some of those remembrances will be about How you bragged on your Father and expected Him to show off; and so He did.

I believe there will be remembrances of all the times we asked God to show Himself strong; where God looked down on us, looked beyond our faults and saw our faith in Him and was pleased that we reminded Him of His word and put a demand on the relationship we have with Him. These forever memories will be trophies of grace, on eternal display, of all those times we had interactions with our papa, where we asked Him to show off and He did, just because we asked.

I don’t believe that kind of faith is bothering God. I think it is honouring to Him. And I think He enjoys it.

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Impeach Trump? Seriously? An Open Letter To Christianity Today And Editor Mark Galli.

Dear Mark;

I was disappointed this morning when I saw the whole “Christianity Today Trump Impeachment” episode unfold on my web browser and how you support using these articles of impeachment as a “reason” to get him out of office.

You had the disadvantage of going first. I get to follow your opinion with mine. And unless you care to debate it with me, which I doubt, since, at this point, you don’t even know me, I will have to try to speak to your points as best I can. Hopefully, someone will get through to you with the points I’m trying to make.

After all, I’m not the only one who feels this way

Having read your article, I have to say you’re wrong. I think you’re wrong enough that I have to make a statement as to why, in hopes that somehow you’ll see the error of your ways and turn your ship around. You’re a brother in Christ, no doubt. But I think you’re as misguided as you probably think I am.

You started out well enough:

In the opening of your article, you tell us about Christianity Today’s mandate:

In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.

That the impeachment fiasco requires comment is an understatement. In times like these, it gets to a point where to say nothing begs more questions than it answers.

I do wonder at the timing of your taking a position on this, though.  But since I don’t know you, I will reserve judgement for the moment about what your motives are here, now, under these circumstances.

In fact, I will take you at your word (for the moment, anyway) that you believe he should be removed because of an abuse of power. I think you make a case for that based on principle, based on your belief that he did exactly that.

But you muddy the waters so.

You blur several issues together and cause me to question where you are coming from because of the way you mix your feelings about the man with the issues with potential abuse of power.

I understand your frustrations with the man. I really do. You said,

He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

I will give you mixed marks on this one. Maybe you know better than I do about how proud he still is about his immoral actions in the past. I’m not sure I see it.

And since I hear so much from others who have encountered the man firsthand (and I’m not sure you have) I will exercise more caution than this in pronouncing judgement on the current condition of his heart.

Look. I get it. Trump’s a jerk.

Sometimes he’s a jerk, anyway. Maybe I could be more kind than that. But facts are facts.

Sometimes, I’m a jerk too, just to be fair. But there are times Trump does seem to go over the top with his comments.

The day of the impeachment vote in the house, Trump had a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan. And during his speech, he said something to the effect that John Dingle is probably “looking down” (as in, from heaven) saying, “that’s right. That’s good.”

And then he said, “or maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know…”

I don’t know about you, but that was just horrible. It was a really horrible, horrible line to deliver like that. John’s wife took the moral high ground in response. But that was a jerky thing to say. I was appalled. It would be a horrible thing for a president to say about anyone.

But that’s not really the basis for deciding whether to remove him from office, now, is it?

The problem is that when you throw the man’s personality into the discussion, it seems you’ve now hitched yourself to the very train you say we should not ride.

The impeachment is about (supposed to be about) trying him on the specific charges of obstruction of congress. The trial is not about him being a jerk, or saying disgusting things, or about his past instances of immorality or his lack of an apparent level of shame about those things to convince you he’s a Christian or anything.

I also get that you’re not gunning for him just because he’s a jerk.

Or are you?

I’m most curious about how you’ve mixed your personal disdain for him as an individual with your disregard for the problem with the process of removing him from office as the democrats are trying to make it happen – with assumptions about his motive when no CLEAR motive has ever been established as to WHY he was asking for an investigation of Biden.

This isn’t about 2020. This is about 2016.

You say it was about harassing Biden. You’re wrong. It is about putting him in jail. Nobody would have seen any harassment in the first place if it weren’t for the anonymous whistle blower bringing a charge against the man – even though, when you review the call and any testimony of the witnesses, there is NO clear evidence that his motive was to dig up dirt on Biden for the 2020 elections.

It was about investigating what looks to be a very high likelihood of crimes committed by Biden in 2016. This IS in the national interest, sir. If justice is not served for crimes committed, then your selective moral outrage over the trampling of the rule of law comes up a wee bit hypocritical.

By your standard, the safest thing for a criminal to do is to run for office.

If you are right, and Trump’s motive in that phone call was to dig up dirt to thow Biden off in the 2020 election, then the best thing Joe Biden can do right now is to stay in the race for the 2020 election as long as possible.

I think he would make a terrible president. And I’m glad he won’t win in 2020, even if he gets as far as winning the democratic name on the ticket.

But if Biden wasn’t running for office in 2020, there wouldn’t have been any story to co-opt as an excuse to impeach Trump.

The democratic party has been gunning for him since 2016, as you yourself state plainly in your hit piece.

The problem is you have no PROOF of motive.

Human nature is such that we fall victim to seeing specific things about others through the lenses shaped by how we otherwise feel about them as an overall package. It’s why Trump supporters tend minimize a lot of what Trump says.

It’s not that they choose not to hear it; it is that they filter it through their understanding of how he talks – the way democrats do with Joe Biden. “Oh, it’s just Joe making his gaffes. But he’s a really nice guy.”

Even Jim Comey agrees with me – you can’t do this.

You would do well to think long and hard about the need for evenness in the rule of law. You could also take a lesson from James Comey, who, when speaking about the issue of Hillary Clinton and that little problem of about 23,000 deleted emails and cell phones smashed with hammers and stuff, said something to the effect that

“no reasonable prosecutor would ever bring charges about this type of thing.”

Comey felt he couldn’t establish sufficient motive for Hillary and her actions. Regarding Trump, there is much thinner evidence that he had any personal motive in mind when he asked for help from a foreign government to investigate high crimes and misdemeanors. In fact, when he was asked directly what he wanted from Ukraine in exchange for aid, the witness testified that Trump said, “I don’t want anything. I just want them to do the right thing.”

And if I dare say, it’s why I struggle with not questioning your motives now in saying we need to jump into this impeachment parade.

If you have (as you say you) do a respect for the rule of law, then you (should) also have respect for the fact that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

And if James Comey looked at and gave a pass for motive with a lifelong politician like Hillary Clinton, even more so should we give a pass to an outsider like Trump when it comes to assuming motive for why he was asking for an investigation – especially when Trump said he didn’t want anything from Ukraine in exchange for the U.S. aid.

Don’t fall into bed with the democrats in using political expediency to deal with a problem.

Have some respect for the process and the rule of law. If you want Trump removed because you think he’s a philandering pig, get your congressman to bring charges for that. There are a few of them just chomping at the bit to do that anyway.

But if you want him removed by impeachment and you respect the rule of law as you say you do, don’t forget that the rule of law requires proof of intent and not just speculation about it.

Pontius Pilate did what he did out of expediency. Don’t be that guy.

If you advocate for using these articles of impeachment to remove the president without sufficient evidence of intent, I’m forced to conclude you might see the desire to remove him from office so badly that you’re not recognizing the breach of the rule of law in doing so.

You saw off the very limb on which you sit, and end up falling on your face on your rapid climb to the moral high ground.

I hope it’s not a disdain for the guy that causes you to have such a blind spot.

Even Jim Comey agrees with me.

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