Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 29, 2014

Friend or acquaintance?

John 15:15-17

No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.

Encouraging Words...

What a blessing it is to know that we are not just some followers of a set of rules and requirements, but that we are considered as friends to our Lord. We will never be His equal, however He chooses to treat us as His peers. This makes me ask the questions, "Am I living my life as a friend of my Lord? Or am I living it as an acquaintance or a servant?" Truly some profound questions to ask because of the difference in how the behavior plays out. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

May 28, 2014

Growing in Christ...

Luke 2:52

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Encouraging Words...

Once again we see where Jesus sets the example for us in human growth and development. Even though He is God, He was also human and had to go through the normal growth process as all of us do. And in so doing He shows us the way to grow in Him and be a witness to those around us.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014

Sharing the truth is not always easy.

1 Thessalonians 2:3-4

For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

Personal Challenge...

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not ours to change or manipulate in order to be popular in this world, in this culture. It is God's gospel that He has entrusted to us to take into the world and make disciples in all the nations. It cannot be watered down or made more attractive so as to not offend. It is through this gospel, as it is, that mankind will find God. If His gospel is unpopular with those whom I share it to, then so will I. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

May 24, 2014

We have petitions happening on our behalf.

Ephesians 3:14-19

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Encouraging Words...

As I read through this prayer that Paul lifted up on our behalf centuries ago I can close my eyes and see him pleading our case, on our behalf, before God constantly even now. As a saint asleep in our Lord he is in the presence of God petitioning on the behalf of those still on this earth. I can also see my father who constantly prayed for his children and their families continuing to petition the Lord or our behalf. Glory be to God!

Friday, May 23, 2014

May 23, 2014

Unrelenting love...

Hosea 2:20-22

I will betroth you to Myself in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
“It shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord,
“That I will listen to heaven,
And it shall listen to the earth.
The earth shall listen to the corn,
And the wine, and the oil;
And they shall listen to Jezreel.

Encouraging Words...

The book of Hosea has so much imagery of God's love for His creation. Even though we pursue the life of the harlot and abandon God for the things of the earth, He remains faithful. And in that faithfulness He betroths Himself to us, His Bride, and brings us into His home so that we may know Him. Glory be to God!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 22, 2014

Living a responsive life...

Psalm 9:1-2 (2-3 LXX)

I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your wondrous things;
I will be glad and rejoice in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

Personal Challenge...

What should our response be to the immeasurable love and grace that God has poured out upon us? We should respond with thanks...a thanks that consumes our entire being. We should respond by telling everyone that we come into contact with about how wondrous our God is...whether we do this in word or by our actions. We should live our lives full of gladness, rejoicing, and singing praises to Him. Sounds like a constant celebration of Him to me. Glory be to God!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

Our true goal in life...

Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Personal Challenge...

Our lives in Christ are never to be static. We have the need, the expectation, to always be in forward motion toward that goal of eternal life that God has laid out before us. This goal is not some tangible or physical object, but the likeness of Christ. Our pressing on is that struggle we have every moment, every breath, to break away from our temporal desires and passions and to pursue our God. It is not about gaining stuff, or wisdom, or recognition. To the contrary it is about putting off all of that and putting on Christ. Glory be to God!

May 20, 2014

Pursuing God...

Deuteronomy 29:28

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Personal Challenge...

God has revealed to us all that we need to know about Him in His scriptures, His Son, and the teachings and traditions of the Church. We must be very careful to not go down the path of attempting to learn His secret things. He has chosen not to reveal these things to us and pursuing them leads to heresy and error. He wants us to pursue Him and to live out what He has revealed to us and commanded us to do so that He will be glorified and His kingdom expanded.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 19, 2014

Am I building up or tearing down?

1 Peter 3:8-12

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For

"He who would love lifeAnd see good days,Let him refrain his tongue from evil,And his lips from speaking deceit.Let him turn away from evil and do good;Let him seek peace and pursue it.For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,And His ears are open to their prayers;But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
Personal Challenge...

Oh, how easy it is for me to slip into the mode of thinking badly about someone in my life and then following that up with talking about them to someone else. And with today's advent of "social media" I am provided more fuel for the fire that my tongue ignites. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. My challenge is the state of my heart and knowing were that fine line is of stepping into a situation and challenging someone when they are harming others or twisting God's truth to the detriment of others or leaving the situation alone. Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy! Lord, have mercy!

May 18, 2014

The road has been paved for us.

John 15:9-11

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Encouraging Words..
We practice a faith that is not based on rules and commandments that no one, even the founder, has been able to keep. We practice a faith where our founder, the Lord Jesus Christ, not only established the rules and commandments before the beginning of time, but also became one of us and lived His life keeping them. He has shown us the way to live for God and also made it possible for us to do the same. And what are these commandments? To love God and to love our neighbor. All else falls withing these two.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 17, 2014

We have a choice.

Esther 4:13-16

And Mordecai said to Hathach, "Go and say to Esther, 'Do not say to yourself that you alone will be saved in the kingdom apart from all the other Jews. For if you choose not to heed this request at this time, help and deliverance for the Jews will arise elsewhere, but you and your father's house will perish. Besides, who knows whether it is for this occasion you reign as queen? '" Then Esther dispatched the one who came to her to Mordecai, saying, "Go and assemble together the Jews in Susa. Fast for me; do not eat or drink for three full days and three full nights. I and my maids will also fast. Then I will go to the king, contrary to the law, even if I am to perish."

Encouraging Words...

This passage is such a clear challenge to the concept of predestination. Mordecai makes it clear that God has a plan for His people, and that Esther may have a critical role in that plan. However, he also makes it clear that Esther has a choice and if she chooses not to be a part of this plan then God will find someone else who is willing. God did create us with free will, the ability to choose for ourselves what we want to do. He does not force us to do His will. It is a mystery. However, when we choose to do His will we are blessed. This passage also speaks against individualism in the body of Christ. We need each other. We need to do things throughout life with each other in our Christian community. We are not Lone Rangers. Fellowship and companionship is exhibited in the trinity and should be in our lives as well.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

May 16, 2014

What is the condition of the heart?

Proverbs 14:30 (14:31 LXX)

A man with a gentle spirit is a healer of the heart,
But a sensual heart is the moth of the bones.

Personal Challenge...
Isn't it our sensual heart, our heart that is driven by our passions, that causes us to turn from God and to sin. These passions: greed, lust, gluttony, anger, sadness vanity, pride, and acedia are what turn our hearts and our minds toward the enemy. They are then followed by sin and separation from God. Better yet to treat them quickly with a gentle hear and pursue generosity, chaste love, moderation, gentleness, gladness, magnanimity, humility and spiritual awareness so that our heart can be healed.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 15, 2014

He dwells within us...

Psalm 5:11-12 (5:12-13 LXX)

But let all who hope in You be glad;
They will greatly rejoice forever,
For You will dwell in them;
And all who love Your name will boast in You.
For You will bless the righteous;
O Lord, You crowned us with the shield of Your goodwill

Encouraging Words...

Our God is so gracious to us, His children. Not only does He bless us throughout eternity and guide and protect us throughout this life, but He also made it possible for everyone to become one of His children through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ. How many religions require works with no true open door to the kingdom of God? Jesus not only opened and became the door, but He knocks on the door of our hearts to bring us to Him.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 14, 2014

The One we cry out to hears our voice.

Psalm 3:3-4 (3:4-7 LXX)

But You, O Lord, are my protector,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord will help me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who set themselves against me all around.

Encouraging Words...

"I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me..." What a blessing it is to be in a relationship with our living God. He hears our voices when we call out to Him. He is our protector, our glory, and the One who lifts us up. Not only will He help us, but He will guard us from those who attack us in our love for Him. This is not just one sided though. We must also cry out to Him and trust in Him as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 13, 2014

Who do I really work for?

Colossians 3:23-24

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Personal Challenge...

Sometimes it appears like this commandment has been totally ignored by our modern church membership. Whether it be in the workplace, our homes, our places of worship, or wherever, we are to do everything in a way that glorifies our God. This is especially important in our work within the body of Christ. We are His servants, His workers, and if the body is to thrive we must do all with great diligence and commitment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 12, 2014

Who me...a servant?

Mark 9:32-35

But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

Personal Challenge...

Servanthood! That occupation, that way of being that all of us in Christ are called to. By being a servant we put others first and begin the process of fulfilling the great commandment to love God and others.

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 11, 2014

Walking in His light...

1 John 1:5-7

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Personal Challenge...

Whenever we find ourselves in that space in life where everything seems out of whack, out of sorts, or confused, then we need to assess where we are with spending quality time with our Lord, basking and walking in His light. He is our source of order, peace, and completion. The further we have wandered from Him the less of this we experience.

May 10, 2014

His anointing is full of grace...

Hebrews 4:14-16

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Encouraging Words...

Glory be to God for through our High Priest, Jesus Christ, we have grace poured out upon us as an anointing balm, a cleansing oil, a healing ointment. Through Him I will have the grace to make it through anything.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 9, 2014

Hypocritical love...

Romans 12:9

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Personal Challenge...

How do I love without hypocrisy? Hypocrisy is living a lie, saying one thing and doing something else. If I say that I love someone and yet not exhibit true love to that person...even when I am tired, or weary, or overwhelmed, then I am being hypocritical in my love. If I am to be like Christ I am to love even as the world is pressing in on me. Besides, I must always remember that the person that I am loving may also be tired, weary, and overwhelmed. Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 8, 2014

Faith in practice...

Zechariah 7:9-10

Thus says the Lord Almighty: 'Render a just judgment; show mercy and compassion each to his brother. Do not oppress the widow, or the orphan, or the foreigner, or the poor. And let not one remember in his heart any wrong of his brother.'

Personal Challenge...

Once again we are reminded to be other focused, to put the needs of others before our own...especially the widow, the orphans, the foreigner, and the poor. Isn't this the ultimate expression of faith in our God? Faith that He will meet our own needs as we strive to meet the needs of others. Faith that we will never run out of resources as we cease to hoard them and give them to others. Faith in our God.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May 7, 2014

Living a contrary life...

Proverbs 21:21 (21:20 LXX)

The way of righteousness and mercy shall find life and glory

Encouraging Words...

The way of our Lord is contrary to the way of the world. If we live the way of the world and seek good only for ourselves we may find it temporarily in this present age, but what good is that in the age to come. Living a life of righteousness and mercy forces us to be other-focused. It forces us to be humble and submissive to our Lord and to one another. However, the rewards of finding life, eternal life, and God's glory far outweigh anything that we might be giving up here on earth. Glory be to God.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

I am my father's son!

Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Encouraging Words...

God is so good! The verse that I choose each day is chosen fairly randomly. And today this is the one that God chose. On Saturday, May 3rd, we laid my father down for his final rest here on this earth. He is now with His Father in heaven and realizing all of the dreams of his life as a child of God. This passage reminds me so much of my father...truly a man of God. Rather than share my thoughts and commentary on this verse this time I want to share some about my father. This will be long so I will understand if you choose not to read through it all, but if you do you will get a glimpse of a significant part of what, or better yet who, played a big part in the making of me into who I father's son.

a poem by Nick Rogers

When I met him, huff, puff and blow
He couldn't read, don't you know
He drank, he swore, he yelled and more
Miserable man thought I

One day like a flash or a wink he changed
"What happened to you," I inquired
"I met Jesus," said he, "now I'm new"

Wow this is amazing what He can do
"I noticed you stopped smoking"
"Jesus stopped me, I'm not joking"
"How can this be, you stopped drinking too"
"I'm telling you, Jesus made me new"

"I'm greatly surprised and amazed
You've learned to read in just a few days
I've noticed you read the Bible too"
"I'm telling you Jesus made me new"

"I'm in great consternation, how is it so
You were feeling quite low
Now you're so friendly and kind, full of cheer"
"It is Jesus," he said, "He drew me near"

Whatever happened I'm not sure I understand
One thing I know, Bill's a new man

My Eulogy for my Father


I would like to start by thanking you for joining our family here today as we celebrate the life of Billy Gene Short.

Who was Billy Gene Short?

Billy Gene Short, my father was a very special man. He grew up in hard times and lived a hard life. However, through all of this he was able to establish a legacy that many people never accomplish in their lives. Dad was a simple man, but a very complex person. Today I would like to share my observations of him from the perspective of being one of his children.

Dad was first and foremost a man of God. In all that he did he did it from his relationship with his Lord and Creator. Dad was also a phenomenal husband to my mother Estelle. He took this role seriously and passionately and revered it second only to his relationship with God. The third area of focus in his life was his responsibility as a father and later in life as a grandfather and great grandfather. These three areas were always foremost in his life and always covered by prayer.

In all that he did, whether for his God, his family, or his employer, he was always a hard worker. And he made sure that he passed this character trait on to all of us. Dad was also what I would label as a man of the earth. I am sure that his gardening or his woodworking has touched every one of you in this room in one-way or another. I believe he found a sense of peace and accomplishment in working the elements much as Adam did in the beginning of time.

Dad and Mom Caveat

I would like to review each of these areas of his life in more detail. However, I must start with a caveat about dad and mom. Dad and mom lived their lives so tightly coupled together for over 66 years that it is impossible to separate out his accomplishments, his traits, from my mother’s. As I share my thoughts on these areas about my father it can equally be said that these are characteristics of my mother as well. They truly lived their lives as one flesh.

Man of the earth

Worked with his hands

If you ever had the opportunity to shake hands with my father you would know immediately that he was a man that worked with his hands. Not only were they rough and scarred from the many years of hard labor, but they were also strong and embracing. He always told me when I was younger that you could tell the character of a man by the way he shook your hand. Dad always gripped your hand like a vice and made sure that you knew he was sizing you up. Dad’s hands told a myriad of stories. Stories about his work on the farm, his work in his garden and orchard, his passionate work with wood making clocks, tables, and bowls. He always had a project that he was working on…with his hands.

His hands also provided the “rod of correction” for us while we were growing up. I can remember more than once him telling me that my discipline was hurting him more than it was hurting me. It never felt like it, but I understood what he meant when I followed in his footsteps and applied that same “rod of correction” to my children. And heaven knows that us four kids deserved a little correction now and then…right Linda, Rod, and Dot? As I have grown into my role as a father, and now a grandfather, I now understand just how much dad loved us and was willing to guide us in our lives.

Worked with the fundamental elements of nature

Dad always chose to work with the fundamental elements of nature. He worked with the soil. He has grown almost everything that can take root. He was able to develop the skill of grafting trees that has not been accomplished by anyone that I know of in the northern part of California. It would not surprise me that most of the orchards that you drive past here in the Red Bluff area have trees that he grafted. And he never did it for the recognition. He just loved making these fruit trees grow and flourish.

He also chose to work with wood. And in so many different mediums he was able to create objects of art and functionality that people today would typically pay hundreds of dollars for. I was always amazed to hear his latest story of how he traded one of his clocks for some stamps, which he loved to collect, or for a tool that he needed, or for any other number of items that he bartered for. Even the grafting of the trees was usually for something in trade.

Through all of this work with his hands dad lived a very grounded life. He never had an email account. He never spent time on the Internet. He didn’t even learn to read until late in his life and then it was mom who worked with him and taught him how to be a prolific reader. But because he was so grounded in the fundamental elements of life, those things that are so important to creation, he was full of wisdom and knowledge.

Taught his children to appreciate the basics of life

The beautiful thing about dad’s grounding in the fundamental elements of life is that he did not keep this to himself. He made sure that all of us, his children, did the same. All of us live out our lives in ways that are grounded like him. He made sure that we understood the value of living life in a way that glorifies God and stays grounded in His creation.

Hard worker

Another characteristic of dad that I am sure most of you here can attest to is that he was a hard worker. I can remember one of the first jobs that I had was working in the orchard that dad was the foreman of here in Red Bluff. One of the first things that he told me was that all he wanted to see from me was “my ass and elbow!” Sorry for the French, but the message was clear. Get out there and work like my life depended on it. Do you remember those days Rod and Linda? The second thing that dad told me was that if my employer was paying me $1.00 for my labors then I was to give him $1.50 worth of effort. Today this is what we call “work ethic”.

Dad taught us all to work hard and to appreciate the fact that we had a job and that we were able to work. He also taught us to get an education and not end up doing the kind of work that he had to do all of his life. And if you talk to any of us kids you will see that we followed his advice. Dad made sure that we were hard workers and improved over his life. And looking at my nieces and nephews, and my own children, I can see that this legacy is continuing on.

I am sure that dad’s drive in this area came from his background. He grew up in very hard times and spent most of his childhood living in an itinerant farming family. Because of this his education was short-lived because of traveling from crop to crop and being a critical part of supporting his family. Later in life, when we broke away from the rest of the family in Arizona and moved to Red Bluff he continued to work in agriculture as a foreman in walnut and peach orchards here in the area. This was hard work that went from sun up to sun down, year round, and in all types of temperatures and climates. And as I look back I cannot recall ever hearing him complain.

Dad continued his hard work when he left the orchards and started working as a custodian for the Antelope School District. Dad was in his element. He was able to work the grounds, work with the tools there, and was around the children all day long. I can remember so many of the stories he used to tell about turning the sprinklers on some of the kids who were getting out of line, or the tricks that he would play on some of the staff. And he would always have that mischievous glint in his eyes as he told the stories.


Loved his 4 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren deeply

As I have looked back on my childhood I have seen my father in a much different light. Having one’s own children has a way doing this. Dad’s hard work and willingness to do whatever it took to keep food on the table was his way of showing us how much he loved us. As a matter of fact it was his language of love for us. As a child I often felt bad about all of the things that I thought I was going without, however, what dad and mom were doing was preparing for the future…theirs and ours. This was their way of loving us.

Dad’s love did not stop there. As Linda, Rod, Dot, and I started getting married and having children of our own his love continued to grow for his grandchildren and then on to his great grandchildren. It was always fun to watch him play games, which was one of his favorite pastimes, as well as tease the young ones.

Prayed for his family persistently

I think the best way that dad showed his love for us was in his prayer life. This was always a very private part of his life, however, whenever we had the opportunity to eat a meal with him he would pray passionately for all of his offspring. He desired so deeply that we would all love his Lord, his God, with all of our hearts and give our lives to Him. I am sure that I will be able to spend the rest of my life closing my eyes and hearing him pray for all of us, softly, humbly, and with tears in his eyes.

Taught us all to love God, love others, and work hard

I don’t think dad ever really knew how good of a teacher he was. I don’t remember him ever saying, “Let me teach you…”. He just taught us by example. He lived his life in such a way that we had no choice but to follow in his footsteps and to love God, love and respect others, and work hard. Thank you dad!


The most obvious characteristic of dad, other than his love for his God, was his love for his cherished bride. There was no doubt that dad and mom had weathered many storms and stuck to it every time. Their love for each other was so deep and so contagious. Dad gave of his life completely for mom and always desired to put her first. Just as mom did the same for him. I thank my dad, and you mom, for teaching us to love our spouses with all of our hearts and to give our lives up for them.

There is so much more that I could say about this area of my father’s life, but only my mother can truly share how much love they had for each other. Thank you for teaching us to love our spouses. Thank you for demonstrating for us the commitment of standing by your partner through thick and thin. Thank you for forcing each of us to leave our home and to cleave to our spouse.

Man of God

Thank you all for bearing with me as I have shared my thoughts about my dad. But the final characteristic is the most important one that defined my dad. Dad was a man of God. This one characteristic guided everything that I have shared so far. He loved his Lord deeply and passionately. Dad was not any kind of theologian. He never debated doctrine or dogma. He had a practical, “live it out” kind of faith. He was the epitome of “practice what you preach”, or better yet, “practice what you believe”. Once again, I am sure that many of you only knew dad for the godly, Christ-centered man that he was.

He was a living miracle (conversion story)

I want to share with you the most important part of my relationship with my dad. As I shared earlier dad grew up in hard times. He had a hard life and had many painful experiences throughout his life. And during my teen years all of this came to fruition and dad was overcome with an addiction to alcohol. I share this because what God did in his life made my dad a living miracle.

When I was a sophomore or junior in high school, those years are becoming more and more of a blur as I grow older, mom, Dot and I were going to a church here in Red Bluff. Linda was married to Nick and Rod had already left home. Dad had experienced some severe hardships in the orchard where he was working and dealt with it by drinking… heavily. The church that we were going to was having a missionary conference and I was able to convince mom to have one of the missionaries stay with us. Can you remember mom how dad was able to avoid him for the entire week? I was also able to persuade dad to give in and go to the “father-son” dinner on Saturday night. I can remember as if it was yesterday knowing that he would somehow work his way out of going.

However, dad willingly came with me. I was ecstatic and fearful all at the same time. The missionaries took turns sharing about their work and as with all missionary conferences ended with a plea for support. I remember watching dad looking around the room and having that wondering look on his face as to why very few men were doing anything to support these missionaries. Then the miracle happened. Dad stood up and walked to the front of the room and offered to start supporting the missionary that was staying with us. And as he walked out of the room I saw before my eyes a transformed man, a new man. It was that day that dad walked away from drinking and never touched alcohol again. He even went back to the bar that he frequented every day on his way home from work and sat down with all of his old, fellow drinkers, and started sharing God’s love with them. Nick even shares that his decision to give his life to Christ was due to this transformation.

I share this story to help those of you who have only known him as a man of God to know that he was that man of God, because the God that he loved so dearly reached down and touched him in a very personal and loving way. That is why dad exhibited such a deep and passionate love for his Father, because he knew that he was his Father’s child.

“Our Heavenly Father…”
My father, our father, the husband of my mother, the grandfather to our children and the great grandfather to our grandchildren was a humble man before God and his fellow mankind. He was the epitome of the commandment of living our lives praying without ceasing. I will never cease to hear him as he would always open his prayers with, “Our Heavenly Father!”. Even in his last days, as I would talk to him on the phone, or when I visited him at the rest home, he would spontaneously break into a prayer starting with, “Our Heavenly Father”. Dad, your faith has passed on to generations. Because of you there are multiple generations that love the Lord your God with all of their heart, soul and spirit. Because of you this world is a better place to live in.


I want to thank all of you for allowing me to ramble on here, for being here to celebrate the life of our father, and to support our mother and each one of us, his family in this transition. I started this off by asking the question, “Who was Billy Gene Short?” However, I would like to conclude by asking a different set of questions…

First, “Who IS Billy Gene Short?” He is a saint who is now standing in the presence of His Lord. As we say in the Orthodox tradition, dad has fallen asleep and is with His Lord waiting for that day when we will be reunited together.

Second, “What is he doing?” I am sure that just like he did every morning when he lifted up his prayers at breakfast praying for his family and asking that his Jesus be present in their lives and that we all be drawn close to Him, dad is now in the presence of his Jesus petitioning on behalf of all of us.

We love you dad and rejoice with you as you spend time with your Jesus. We look forward to that day when we can join you there in paradise.

Dad...I love you and can't wait to join you there with our Father in heaven.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

Judge not, that you be not judged...

James 2:1-4

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Personal Challenge...

How often do we size someone up based on what they are wearing, or how they take care of themselves, or how they speak, or whatever, and make judgments that impact our relationships with them and everyone else around us? How about in the Internet world that we live in nowadays, where we read something that someone writes or shares and immediately judge them to be lesser than ourselves? Yes, we still need to be diligent and challenge those who present falsehoods and/or demean others. In many cases we need to give grace to the other person, whether in the physical world or the virtual world until we truly understand them and their motives. We are not judges or even juries. We can, however, be advocates for the truth and defenders of those who need defense. If we are to be truly humble in our walk then maybe we should stop trying to come across with all of the knowledge and as experts on everything, which is another way of judging our brother.