As the birthday of our King approaches swiftly, my mind is turned to another very special birthday. The birthday of my earthly father, Donald Eugene Spencer, which just so happens to be today, December 19. I would like to make today a tribute to him and his amazing life in hope that it will bring you as much encouragement as he did for me. I think of my Daddy every day, wishing Grace, and soon Anthony, could experience the joy of laughing and playing with Papa Spencer. They are so blessed to have Mu (my mom), Mimi and Papa (Adam's mom and step-dad) and Noni and Papi (Adam's dad and step-mom) in their lives to love on them and cherish them, but I must admit it is hard sometimes to think that on this earth they won't ever meet my dad. However, it excites me to think of Him waiting for us in heaven and looking on our little family with that cheerful twinkle in his eye.
|Daddy with my dog Prissy|
My dad had a wonderful child-like faith and joy that flowed out of his spirit, infecting all around him. He wasn't afraid to give big bear hugs to anyone in his path, but he also wouldn't mince words when it came to what God has called us to here on earth, sharing the gospel and making His name known.
He had an absolutely amazing singing voice, with a three octave range. I am so thankful that we have some reconstructed recordings of him singing in programs at church. To give you an idea of how I remember his voice, I went scouring through YouTube to find a version of one of my favorite songs he used to sing, "No More Night". I was looking for someone with the same richness that his voice contained and had a little trouble finding one that evoked the majesty of the song I remember when it escaped from the mouth of my father, but you will get the idea. It is a beautiful song with a timely and appropriate message for today. I like to picture him singing now in heaven with the angels.
Another one of my favorite memories was when he played Psalty the Singing Song Book in a school musical to my Harmony, the daughter who could only think of herself initially until finally coming around to the understanding that you must put others before yourself. Anyone remember the song "Pig Out"? I had the privilege of singing that solo. :) If you ask really nicely, you might entice me to sing a few bars.
My dad and I shared the same love of old movies and musicals, and many a Friday night, we would stay up "late" watching movies on PBS. He also loved "Les Miserables" almost as much as I do which is probably why it has and always will be my favorite musical (as you can imagine, I can hardly wait to see the movie!).
Daddy was thoughtful, kind, and loving, but commanded instant respect. A simple glance from him was all it took for me to straighten out. :) He was in a word, AMAZING.
Then, one cold November night in New Mexico in 1995, God saw fit to bring him home, but not before, giving my father one last moment of God breathed strength. After a one car accident in severe snow storm, my dad had the opportunity to share his faith with the doctor working on him in the ER. The doctor called to tell us about the encounter, expressing his amazement that my dad was not in more pain and able to coherently talk with him about his Savior. Praise God for His amazing plan to work through my dad in his last moments and touch one more heart for Him.
While I miss my Daddy daily, I praise God that He gave us glimpse of the complete beautiful tapestry that was Dad's life, rather than just seeing mess of threads that is the backside. I long for the day when I will again be in the presence of my earthly father and look into the eyes of my Heavenly Father, who is always there for me, every second of every day. Even in those moments when it feels like He isn't there, remember His promise. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts! HE IS THE TRUE MEANING OF THE WORD AWESOME! And He works all things together for good to love Him and to those who are called according to His purpose.
“And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’” (Revelation 5:9-13)
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”