June 7, 2012

An Early Father’s Day Present

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Yesterday was one of the “best days ever” for a father. Spending time with your son. Grady and I took my boat to Beaverfork Lake in Conway, AR, and we volunteered in the IN HIS WAKES event. IN HIS WAKES is a 10-year old ministry that gives kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity a day on the lake. A day of water skiing, kneeboarding, and tubing. A day where they will learn many life lessons from water sports. A day where they will hear the Gospel and be given a chance to respond to it.


Grady and I were one of three boat crews, and our assignment was kneeboarding. There were 22 kids participating. In addition, the MC Boats gang (the Mastercraft dealer in Conway) had James, Nick, JD, and Caleb, and a boat; the national IHW team, who travels the country to put on 55-60 such events each summer, had Nate, Ivy, Jake, Lucie, and Kayla, and a boat; and the kids were accompanied by three adults.

We had an absolutely gorgeous, blue sky-filled day, with a perfect temperature for being out on the water. And we had wind. Boy, did we have wind! The lake turned to white-caps several times during the day and the direction of the wind was forcing our boat toward the shore. All day long. But it didn’t stop or really even hinder the day’s activities. I looked at that wind as a constant reminder that Jesus was there with us. I thought about Jesus being awakened on the boat during a bad storm, and how he calmed the water (see Luke 8:24-25). On that evening, He was glorified through calming the waters. On this day at Beaverfork, He was glorified through making waves on the water.

IHW has several water sports themes that are so transferable to life:

        “Get off the dock”

        “Hit it”

        “You need a power source to water ski – the boat. You need a power source in life – Jesus.”

        “You have to reach for the ski handle to get to the power source. You have to make a choice for Jesus to get to His power source.”

These themes and others come mostly from Kristi Overton Johnson, the world champion water skier, who has used her fame and resources to build several water sports related ministries under the umbrella of the Champion’s Heart. I’ve been a supporter of IHW, read the newsletter and Victorious Living magazine, and viewed her video devotionals to the point where I feel comfortable calling her “Kristi.” I haven’t ever met her or talked with her, but I do believe I know a little about her heart.

In our boat, this is our third year of having IN HIS WAKES playlists. They are a selection of upbeat, inspiring songs. I loved having Christian praise and worship music blaring from the boat speakers all day. I’m sure no one on the shore or in the boat missed it!

22 kids got five hours of playtime on the lake. They got lunch. And they got Jesus. It was such a blessing to spend the day with the kids, the MC Boats gang, and the IHW national team. Loved watching God at work all day.  I’m not sure which group had more fun!  And I got to spend the day with my son! He’s a busy husband, father, grandson, hardware store manager, baseball coach, and softball league director, with a loving heart. It’s a big deal to devote your time to volunteer work and I’m so thankful that Jesus touched Grady’s heart for this particular volunteer work with me. I’m praying it becomes an annual Father’s Day present!




        Loving the Journey,


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