June 2009 Newsletter

Posted By on September 4, 2009

Happy Father’s Day

 We asked several people to write how their fathers influenced their lives. We hope you enjoy reading the following, and reflect on how your father influenced your life and wish him a good day.

 A father has many varying roles in the life of a family. Aside from being the spiritual head of the household, the provider, protector of bad dreams, and homework helper, my father also was the master mechanical engineer both at home and in his profession. When I was growing up my father traveled extensively overseas to visit customers. He made many friendships with people from Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. He gave our family the opportunity to meet some of these people of diverse cultures – some of whom he still is in contact today. I always admired my dad’s business savvy and relationships all over the world. It showed me the importance of how to treat people with respect and integrity, no matter their background. Each person is made in God’s image.  Beth Payne Igney

My dad has always been there for me. He influenced me to do well in school, try to do my best in all I do, continue in my music education and build up my faith. He stressed highly the importance of education and the wonderful opportunities I have. When I was younger, I wanted to discontinue my piano education and concentrate on basketball and baseball skills, but due to my mom and dad’s encouragement, I continued with my lessons, and like good parents, they told me these skills will come in handy. Now I love piano and organ and in fact I get jobs playing for church services. We have numerous discussions about the Bible and our faith. My dad has tried his best to lead a life pleasing to God. I hope that he will continue to influence my faith and the way I live as time goes on.  Jacob Igney

 I feel so blessed to have a wonderful, Christian father who has been my encourager, my supporter and my friend. Growing up he was my hero, and I admired who he was. I remember the tickle wars, the rides on his shoulders and “giggling” until it hurt. He never missed cheering me on in my sporting or musical events. One of my passions was basketball.  After a hard day at work, we would go out and “shoot some hoops”.  As an adult, I now cherish all the times he told me and continues to tell me that he prays for me (and now for my family) each day on his way to work.  What a blessing to know he is praying for me!  I am now able to pass on this gift of prayer to my children.  One of my dad’s favorite sayings as I was growing up was, “We are rich, we just don’t have a lot of money” so true.  Our family was rich with love and care for one another, and that was SO MUCH better than any amount of money.  Jennifer Hille Ackmann

Being a Girl Scout family, my dad was the one who drove the loads of glass, newspapers, and aluminum cans to the recycle facility to make a few dollars for the troop, (we were “green” before it was popular!) My dad loaded up the suitcases, sleeping bags and gear, drove to the campsite. (and unloaded it!) My dad drove across the country to Washington D.C. with a van full of middle school aged girls so that we could earn our citizenship badges. The contribution to the importance of my dad in my life was this: when he could have been doing his own thing, he spent time with us, he was interested in what we were doing, and he was there for me. The result? I worked hard to get good grades, I choose Purdue because Purdue was where my dad went. I studied a major my dad had skills in (design and drafting). I have lived all over the west because I knew my dad would if he had the chance. I learned to water ski because he skied. I had to learn to run fast because he ran fast. And see that hill over there? I always want to know what is on the other side of it because my dad always wondered what was on the other side of the hill. To see the importance of my dad in my life is to know me. I am his daughter. I represent the gifts he gave me of his time, his opinions, his example, his values, his joy in the beauty of this world, his perfectionism, and his stubbornness. And I could not be more proud to represent him. Cara Ratay daughter of Don Beitz

 I have so many fond memories of my father. A few of the special ones were that very rarely did he raise his voice in anger, that we always knew he loved us, and that we always were assured that he was proud of us. His most enduring quality was that he was such a fun loving dad. As I said in the poem I wrote shortly after his death: To me he meant so very much, it cannot be expressed, but that he taught us how to laugh is what I remember best.  Harriett Stennfeld

When I remember my father and think of the influence he had on my life, several things come to mind. First and foremost is my father’s relationship with the Lord. Regular church attendance and involvement in the ministries of the church were important to him and were impressed upon us, his children. We had “our pew” and seldom missed a Sunday service. Statistics show that families where the father is present and takes the lead in bringing the family to Christ, the children are three times more likely to become involved in the church and continue to stay close to the Lord throughout their lives. I thank God for my father and the example he was to our family.  Rev. Arnie Piering

 As I get older, I become more aware of my father’s sense of values: his commitment to Lutheran education and attending church; his persistence in seeing hard jobs through to the end; his quiet leadership and willingness to let his kids make mistakes; his respect for our mother and grandparents; his support of our many endeavors from sports, to band, to Cub Scouts, to building cars, working paper routes, skiing, fishing, – the list is endless. I love how he could find such enjoyment out of just a quiet evening playing cards with family and friends. He didn’t need anything else. I judge myself as a father and husband through the prism of his example, and often I feel I come up sorely lacking. I wish I could ask him about a few more things, but God had different plans. When I’m in a tough spot, I’ve found it helpful to just ask myself what I think he would have done; it has always served me well.  Dave Fortmeyer

 I thank God for my father, Wilbert Stelzer, the son of a Texas pastor, whose abiding faith in Christ grounded him for a life of service in Lutheran higher education. His steady and uncomplaining support for my mother and six children brought security to our family. Dad’s attention to our spiritual health through regular family devotions and my education at St. Paul and Concordia High School provided a foundation for my 26+ years as an elementary teacher at Unity in Fort Wayne. My appreciation for his calm, anchoring strength deepens, and the godly heritage he left behind at his death five years ago continues to enrich my life. Thank you, Father, for an earthly picture of Your patient, enduring love and forgiveness.  Ken Stelzer

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