Monday, August 2, 2010

The BEST DIY Project EVER! - Introduction to "Devotions From Dad"

“Devotions From Dad”


It is August 2nd, 2010, 12:30 AM, got up to go to the bathroom, and now I can’t get back to sleep. I have tossed and turned until I think my dear hubby was ready to shove me out of the bed. At 1:00 I finally got up and moved into our spare bedroom to sleep. 1:30 comes and goes, and still sleep eludes me. I have a lot on my mind tonight; projects I would like to do, painting that is going to be started on Tuesday, the difficult week I have ahead at work, and finally – thoughts of my Dad who passed away one year ago this month on the 19th. He was exactly 91 ½ years old to the day. It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a year already. The last 4 years of his life he slowly slipped away from us as we had “That Long Goodbye” - with the final 6 months being the most difficult. As we celebrated his 91st birthday he made a comment that it would probably be the last birthday he ever celebrated. That night he fell, and thus began his final – DIFFICULT days here on earth.  Up until that night Mom had cared for Dad, but at that point it was no longer possible.  Within several days he was moved into a nursing facility where he would spend those final months.

So why in heaven’s name am I telling you all this? Well, you see, tonight Dad “talked” to me. Well, not in a “verbal” sense, but kind of in a “written” sense. When 2:00 AM came – with sleep still far in the distance, I decided to get up and put something with my purse to take to work in the morning. While downstairs I sat down in my living room (which is totally torn up with all the remodeling), and my eyes fell on “Dad’s Book”. What is that? Well, Dad (Rev. Kenneth G. Farnsworth) was a Baptist minister. He either served as a Pastor, teacher, or Chaplin for over 65 years of his life. Dad was a down-to-earth preacher, who was easy to understand and a true “Teacher” of the Word!! His messages often hit you where you needed it (like it or not), or provided comfort in your times of need. Dad spent more hours on his knees in prayer in one year’s time than most of us will spend in a lifetime. How I miss being able to go to Dad. Just to talk with him, ask his opinion, advice, or (most of all) asking him to pray. When Dad prayed, it was TRULY as if you were standing in the presence of God. Dad never thought he would pass away in this life; he was awaiting the Lord’s return to take us all to glory at the same time.

I guess I still haven’t told you about “Dad’s Book”. It’s one of his sermon books. Dad was one of the most organized men you would EVER want to meet. Dad kept records on EVERYTHING. Not in a “hording” kind of way, but in a very neat, concise kind of way. If you wanted to know about Dad’s first car, he could tell you when he bought it, how much he paid for it, what kind of mileage it got, how much he paid for a gallon of gas, when he sold it, and how much he sold it for. If you wanted to take a trip that had previously been taken by Dad, he could tell you exactly how many miles away it was, how long it would take to get there, and even where to find the rest stops along the way (no… I’m NOT kidding). Dad was the same way with his record keeping of messages. When Dad started preaching in 1941, he purchased a small black 3-ring binder (the kind that holds a half sheet size paper), and placed his preaching notes/outlines into that binder. He dated each message as to where and when it was delivered. Thus began the “Black Binder Collection” – each message typed up by Dad. Those black binders grew into a collection until Dad began using other means to catalog his messages. In the end, there were 21 black binders. There were enough to give his 4 daughters and every grandchild one of "Dad’s Binders, with a couple left over to give to some dear friends. Each binder was numbered and was in date order. At Dad’s funeral each of us girls, and all the grandchildren, were given a binder – the number of the book corresponding with the order you fell into within the family. Two of my sisters had taken the books and had neatly tied up each one with a black ribbon... just a little “memento” from Dad or Grandpa to hold on to.

Now I have to be honest here, the book is something I have treasured, and have proudly displayed it on a table in the living room, but that’s pretty much it. I didn’t want to “disturb” the pretty ribbon, so I kept it tied up – without really looking into it or seeing what treasures might lay within. Until tonight that is. Tonight, as I sat in the living room my eyes fell upon that book, and it really made me miss Dad. I honestly held the book to my heart and thought about how I missed talking to Dad and learning from him. That is when I decided to slip off that little black ribbon and look inside. That is when my eyes fell upon the Table of Contents for MY book. And what was it about? Prayer! As I turned to the first message in my book, this was the title: Teach Us To Pray.  (This gives you an idea of what all Dad's notes look like.)

I just stopped in amazement… this is JUST WHAT I NEEDED!!!! God was talking to me through Dad’s own words. Words that so long ago had taught others were now being revealed to me. Even though Dad is gone, his wonderful lessons are still available to help and guide me. This is when I had my thought. Dad LOVED to preach… LOVED to teach people... and LOVED to share the gospel. Why should his words, which were already in written form, be lost forever? Why keep them bound up in that little black book? Why not share them with others? So this is what I have decided to do... share his messages.

As I have been visiting other “bloggers”, I have noticed that MANY of girls talk about their love for the Lord… and talk about their Christian faith. I thought, “What better way of sharing Dad’s words of wisdom than to put his messages on my Blog?” Now I understand that not everyone will be interested in this, and to tell you the truth, I have never been so bold as to share my faith in this way, but I truly feel led by the Lord to do this. So, I am going to entitle each posting that is related to this topic as “Devotions From Dad”. If you’re not interested, then please feel free to skip over this post – it certainly is not going to hurt my feelings, but I DO hope you will return to check out my other blog entries. If it IS of interest to you, then I encourage you to return whenever a new post appears. I am going to type up each post exactly as Dad has it in the book. It is in outline form, so obviously he expounded on each point, but I can already tell you, that the little tidbits he has for each point will touch you and help you to grow in your faith… especially in your prayer life as the first series reveals.

Depending on how things go, I might borrow some of the other books to post as well.  I'll see how it goes because I know it will take a lot of time and effort to do this, so I'm also not sure how often I will post. Perhaps there is not anyone out there who cares to even read these postings. All I know, is that it is now 3:45 AM – I still haven’t slept, I have a long day ahead of me, but yet I felt led by the Lord to get this down on paper while it was fresh in my mind. I did not feel that it could wait until the morning when it would be so easy to just “forget about the whole thing” and never get this idea into fruition. I started out this posting saying “The BEST DIY project EVER” because what could possibly be more important than getting our own LIVES in order?

So, I encourage you to put down that paint can, wait on the sewing project, and let those “thrifty finds” wait just a few minutes longer, and take a journey along with me, and see if “Devotions From Dad” might be able to help you in your walk with the Lord. I look forward to the days ahead when I can share some of Dad’s insights with you. I’m tired now, and think I can finally lay my head down and sleep. I hope to see you all often.  I would love it if you would leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

If you find any of the sermon outlines of interest to you and would like to share it with others, that is fine. All we ask is that you honor Dad by giving credit where credit is due. Please make sure to include his name, Rev. Kenneth G Farnsworth somewhere within the notes. Better yet, please pass on my link to these postings!


  1. Well Debbie, I'd like to say that I would definitely like to read "Devotions from Dad." What a wonderful gift to have left behind for his loved ones!! It's funny how God knows just what we need at the exact moment in time when we need you were missing your Dad so, when right in your own home all this time was that wonderful treasure...tied in a ribbon......from the one you so desperately longed for.....and in his words...was advice to soothe your soul. God is so wonderfully perfect and His timing is nothing short of amazing.

    I can't wait to read more....Shonda

  2. Debbie, I look forward to your father's messages. He sounds like such a unique person. I'm sorry for your loss. I was so moved by your mention of his sermons hitting home, like it or not. Those are always the best messages. I need so much help in my own prayer life, I can't wait to see your Father's take on it. God Bless!

  3. I absolutely love the idea of sharing these. What a way to honor the Lord and your Dad. I started my biz and blog as a way to honor my fabulous mom who went to be with Jesus just before this past Christmas. I should probably go look in her Bible, I bet I could find some great notes to post. THANK YOU! Jules


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