Keith van Leerdam

Hi!  Thanks for reading my REAP articles.
I’m currently on holidays at the moment so thought I would do something slightly different.
There have been numerous people who have had a big impact on me this past year.  I once read a blog that said we should name the people who have influenced us as a way of saying 'thank you'.  I can't remember who that was, so I can't thank them specifically!  However, I would like to honour just five people who I do remember that have had a positive impact on me this year. 

Keith van Leerdam

Every year I grow older I find myself appreciating my father more and more.  While I no longer hold the same surname as him, I certainly hold the same genetics.  His brown wavy hair and brown eyes, his mother's wide hands and big feet.  And one day I hope to hold the same type of faith that he has in God.
The past year Dad has struggled with a terminal blood disorder.  As a result of this illness he has sported a red itchy rash that has covered most of his body.  While I know I would have whinged and moaned every single day, Dad has rarely been anything but calm and patient. Even under all this physical strength Dad was able to speak words of wisdom to me and pull me out of a troublesome time.
Seven months after uprooting my family in the endeavour to plant a new congregation I started to question whether I had done the right thing.  I was crying out to God, asking Him to give me answers but wherever I turned I only experienced more confusion.  One night, when I was about to throw it all in, I called my parents.  Usually my poor mother cops all my whinging.  She is an indescribable strength to so many people… but that's a whole other article!  On this night, Mum was on-call and had been called back to the hospital.  And so Dad bore the brunt of my tears, wailing and confusion.  I revealed to him my greatest concern was that I was not able to discern what God wanted me to do.  My Lord's silence was tearing me apart.
I will never forget the words of Godly wisdom that came from my father on that night.  He said that often we see God in retrospect.  If we look back on our life we can see where God has been leading us and blessing us.  Dad then highlighted a number of positive things that had happened throughout my past seven months.  "It looks like, to me, that God has been blessing you already in this new area," Dad said.  "And if God is blessing your actions then that seems like you are in the right place."  I felt it was one of those conversations that went so much deeper than the words spoken.  The Spirit was stirring something in both of us to help us see a clearer picture of God.
It was from that moment that I set my mind on pressing forward.  For that, and a million other things, 'Thanks Dad'.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.