“Question: What is the chief end of man? Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
“To believe means to be so rooted in Christ that He becomes the foundation of one’s existence, the beginning and end of the movement known as a life, it’s measure and source and strength. The extent to which we succeed depends on our loyalty and on our power of sacrifice. Hence the believer does well to say not that he is a Christian, but that he is becoming one.”
“When we try to take shortcuts to costly discipleship, we end up with a domesticated existence that is far from the liberated, untamed life Jesus calls us to.”
“Bitterness and unforgiveness are like a poison that we take trying to hurt the other person.”
On this the eve of your wedding day I find it hard to go to sleep. My mind is racing with memories and thoughts of you. Tomorrow you will walk down the isle, hand in hand with Amy, after you’ve said vows, exchanged rings, and kissed in front of everyone from your former youth pastor to your grandmother. I’m absolutely confident that you will go from being a young man that I’m so very proud of, to being a husband that I’ll admire and respect. I say that because I know you. I know your heart. I don’t believe that any woman is quite as lucky as Amy. She is becoming one with a man who has always had a passion for Jesus, while maintaining an authentic love and compassion for everyone he comes in contact with. Your selfless attitude towards life makes you a man that I often thank the Lord for allowing to be in my life… let alone to be my son. I learn from you, because I have watched you. I have watched how you respond to stress… to frustrations… to heartbreak… to injustice. It amazes me that you consistently do so with integrity and a peaceful sensitivity that is seldom seen in our time and culture. Son, I guess… in a sense… I want to be like you when I grow up.
Your Christ-likeness has opened the door for an incredible blessing to flow into your life. That blessings’ name… is “Amy”. And what is so cool about our God, and how He blesses people, is that the blessing He has given to you… has become a blessing to so many more people than just you. You see, God blessed you with Amy, but now our whole family gets to experience an unimaginable and unspeakable joy… because she has entered our lives too! I don’t say that lightly. Amy…is…a…joy! We love her. We have prayed, specifically, for her since September 13, 1994… the day you were born. She is all we ever dreamed for you… and so much better than we could have ever hoped. The Word teaches us that “He who has found a wife has found a good thing“. Amy is “a good thing” for sure… and you should know that we love her deeply.
Needless to say, I am so very happy for you. You deserve Amy. Amy deserves you. Your purity and godly love for each other is something that I pray your brothers and sisters will be able to experience one day as well. I’m sure they will, as they continue to keep their hearts set on the true Lover of their souls… as you have done.
So… I’m super happy. But I’m also super sad. I’m not sure why. I’ve loved being your dad. I guess I just love it so much… I wish I could go back in time and do it all again. As I said earlier… memories are flooding my mind tonight. Here’s just a few:
- Singing to you in mom’s tummy
- Holding you in the late hours of the night and doing everything to I could to get you to fall asleep
- Throwing you high up in the air and catching you
- Tickle Monster under the blanket
- Telling stories and watching your face as you were so ‘into it’.
- Praying with you as you went into surgery ( I was so scared)
- Swim lessons (“Crazy, Crazy”)
- Basketball at the Community Center
- Swimming and wrestling in the pool
- Mating cows and your not believing me when I told you what they were doing
- Your raspy voice
- Dominoes / Risk / Nertz
- The times we’d camp out in the living room
- Mission trip to Haiti
- Trips to Emergency Room
- Snow Skiing at Steamboat Springs
- Your football career
- 4-wheeler rides
- Your sincere prayers for Mom
- The pool table
- Nesmith concerts
- Going to lunch and just talking…after your ‘broken heart’
- ‘Cigar’ and poker nights
- Each time you said, “I love you, Dad”
Maybe writing some of these memories down will help me fall asleep. I know it’s late… and I am officiating your wedding ceremony tomorrow… so I better figure out how to get myself to sleep pretty soon or I’ll be a mess tomorrow. I guess it is okay to be sad… because the things that are making me sad… are actually all wonderful memories. I truly am so grateful for the time I’ve been able to be your Daddy… and your Dad. You are an incredible son, Kolten Michael Craft. I’m happy for you. I’m excited for your future. I’m ecstatic that I will still be a part of it, and that we live so close. I’m honored to have Amy in our family… she’s awesome! Please know that if you ever need me… I’m always here.
And I will always love you 5.