My Best Friend

Beach

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 is the day I lost my oldest and dearest friend. Edwin A. Dorsey, my father passed away and my world has been a little darker ever since. I do take great joy and comfort in the fact that exactly at 12:15 pm, he was instantly reunited with my mother who recently passed, just 73 days earlier.

Edwin, Edd, Dad, Papa were the most common names that he answered too. Anyone who knew him, liked him. He just had that personality, that was warm and inviting. He enjoyed meeting new people but along with my mom, they were always most content just being around the friends and family they loved so dear. Dad was also one of the most non-judgemental people I’ve ever known. You always started with a clean slate as far as dad was concerned. Now what you chose to put on that slate would determine how he felt about you going forward.

There is no way I could cover everything about my dad in a blog post but I at least hope to give you a picture of how great he really was as a husband, father, papa, brother, uncle, coach and friend. Charlotte and Edd Dorsey were married on August 24th, 1963 and obviously, would have celebrated another anniversary next month. Dad loved mom unconditionally, no matter the circumstance or anything else. He just simplied loved her everyday to the best of his abilities. For that alone, I will be forever grateful!

As a dad, his loved carried over to my sister Audra and me. I can recall so many times, where I know he put his own needs and wants to the side to provide everything we needed growing up. I know he and mom did without a lot of times to make sure Audra and me did not. Dad was a dedicated and hard worker. He showed me that there was nothing wrong with doing hard work and that, sometimes, sacrifices would need to be made to get what you want. I am so thankful that he taught me the value of having a strong work ethic.

Dad was never too tired to go out in the front yard and throw the baseball or football around until mom called us in for dinner. He always supported me in anything I wanted to try and I tried as many things as I could. Dad from the time I started playing baseball at 5 years of age until I made the HS team was always either a team dad or coach for whatever team I played on. Dad truly loved coaching, baseball and softball in particular. He loved seeing kids learn the game and improve their skills. He coached Little League for nearly a decade after I left Sewell Park. This love of coaching he passed onto me and I hope to continue coaching until my last days.

I said this with mom and its true for dad as well but no kids anywhere at anytime had a Papa that loved them more than dad loved his grandkids. Although a strict discplinary when I was growing up, he became an ol’ softy with his grandkids. He didn’t necessarily agree with this assessment, but I can tell you from first hand experience, that he definitely lightened up on disciplinary actions with his grandkids versus those he performed on my sister and me. Brandi, Aaron, Felicia, Hailey, Kymberly, Andrea, Kyle and Ben all know how fortunate they were to have Mom and Dad as their Mimi and Papa. The love that Dad gave them will sustain them a lifetime and for that alone, it makes him a great man!

As an uncle, for most of my cousins, he was their favorite. It has been such a blessing over the years to have them tell me just that. And I get it, he was one of those people that you simply felt better as soon as you were around them. Some people even lovingly called him Easy Edd for a time. Dad wanted to do what he could to make people feel better or have a good time. His humor was an incredible gift and he spent his whole life sharing it with all of us but not at the expense of anyone, a rare talent indeed. Again, for teaching me the art of humor and laughter, I thank him!

Dad also taught me that there are times in our lives, where it is OK to cry. It seems to me that we only cry when we are physically hurt or we cry, out of love for another person. Maybe their hurting or their leaving so were sad but we cry sometimes because we love. Yes, dad was man enough to show me that sometimes, to cry is a needed release of love. Another incredible gift.

My dearest friend is gone and he will never be replaced. But the gifts he has left behind are impossible to measure. A husband, a father, a papa, a brother, an uncle, a coach, a friend. In any and all of these, Edd Dorsey leaves a legacy of love! He loved us all and that my friend is the greatest gift of all.

Peace!

A Study of Joseph – Rebuilding Trust

Have you ever been hurt by someone you trusted? That maybe the hardest hurt to overcome for any of us. It was no different for Joseph. Although he had forgiven his brothers, he still needed to know if he could ever, fully trust them again. So he had decided to hold onto Simeon and send the other brothers back to Canaan to face their father once again with one less brother. Oh the irony that they were now faced with! They would be telling Jacob the truth but how in the world could they ever explain what has now happened to Simeon.

And especially, after telling Jacob what had happened, they empty their sacks where it is revealed to all of them that the money they had been given to pay for the grain was still in their possession. So they are now telling Jacob the truth but he will not have any of it. Genesis 42:36 – Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!” Don’t you kind of feel for Jacob here? He has no one to trust and is adamant that Benjamin will not make the trip to Egypt. And this after Reuben offers up his two sons has ransom if he doesn’t return with Benjamin. For now, Jacob is done with all of it.

As time passes though and they use up all of the grain, they are faced once again with the prospect of not having food. This time however, Judah, makes the plea to return to Egypt with Benjamin to get the grain that they will need. Interesting comparison here between Reuben’s initial plea and that made by Judah. Reuben did not put himself on the line with his plea but rather, his two sons. Judah puts himself on the line; Genesis 43:9 – 9 I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. It is now cemented for sure that Judah is the true leader among the brothers.

As they present themselves again to Joseph, we now see that he knows they are at least being honest with him as they have indeed, returned with Benjamin. Notice how he greets them; he first asks about their well being but then gets right to the point and ask them about their father. Is he still alive? Then he turns his attention to Benjamin and blesses him. Joseph then excuses himself and leaves their company to regain his composure. Upon returning they all sit down to take part in a meal that Joseph had prepared for them.

Joseph still had one more test for the brothers. He needed to know if the brothers had truly changed or not by finding out what was truly important to them. At this point, I would challenge you to read the whole chapter of Genesis 44. Joseph had arranged it so that Benjamin would be forced to stay with him while the brothers would have to return back to Jacob, once again, without their brother. And throughout the chapter we see that the heart of these 10 brothers have been truly changed. And especially, where Judah is concerned, as he makes a desperate plea to Joseph to keep him instead and let Benjamin return to his father.

Truly Judah’s main concern is that of protecting both his brother and his father’s well being. Offering up himself in order to save his brother from slavery and therefore avoiding sure heartache for his father. Joseph finally knew that he could trust his brothers!

Trust is something that I think all of us can sometimes take for granted. And we shouldn’t! Our word, integrity is something we should guard and protect at all costs!! If we ever lose it, there is no guarantee that we will ever recover it. Notice, that at no time through all of this, has Joseph pointed out to his brothers their faults, misjudgements, lying and deceitful acts. They realize for themselves all that they have done and our forced to deal with it. The fact that it was Judah who makes the final plea to Joseph is fitting since he was the one who initiated the idea of selling Joseph into slavery some 22 years earlier.

One more segment of our study to go and that is the Reunion between Jacob and Joseph. Additionally, I will have one last look at the parallels between Jesus and Joseph.

Peace and thanks for reading.

A Study of Joseph – Steadfast and Strong

As the scene shifts to Egypt, things look extremely bleak for Joseph. Sold into slavery and now being taken into a foreign land, Joseph’s future isn’t looking to bright. I would encourage you to read Genesis 39 and as you do, notice that in every trial that comes to Joseph, he stays steadfast and strong to the Lord. And more importantly, notice that God IS ALWAYS with Joseph!! This post will focus on Genesis 39:1-6a.

Again I will bring up the fact that all that is unfolding in Joseph’s life is part of God’s master plan. In the beginning of this chapter we see that an Egyptian (and not just any Egyptian) named Potiphar purchases Joseph. Potiphar just happens to be an officer of Pharoah and is his captain of the guard. I dwell on this because I don’t think we truly understand just how much God does for us. Sure we say things like “God is in control” but do we truly believe that or approach life like He is in control. Think about every person you know, all the places you have lived, events that have taken place and experiences, you just can’t explain. Do you think that there are people that you know, places you have lived or events and experience you’ve had that has caught God off guard. NO, He is with us ALWAYS!!

Our lives are a living testimony and how we lead and live our lives is noticed by others and in Joseph’s case, it became apparent to Potiphar that the Lord was with Joseph. The Lord made sure that Joseph was successful in everything he did and this was attractive to Potiphar. So much so, that Potiphar made Joseph his personal attendant and put everything under his household in Joseph’s charge. In doing so, Potiphar’s house and all that he owned was blessed because of Joseph. Potiphar had it so good that the only thing he worried about everyday was the food he would eat.

No doubt Joseph had to grow up in a hurry. Obviously on his own now, he had no one to lean on but God. And obviously he didn’t sulk or just do the minimum that was required of him. The Bible makes a point to say in verse 2 – The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, serving in the household of his Egyptian master. I don’t know of anyone who was successful that achieved it by being sullen, lazy or apathetic. No, Joseph not only did what was asked of him but did it in such way that Potiphar noticed that the LORD was with him”. When was the last time somebody noticed that the Lord was with you?

Now play along with me here a second….tomorrow, you are going to be taken prisoner, bound in chains, shipped off to another country and be enslaved to whomever is willing to buy you. You have nothing and no one to call your own – save one….God. Would God still be your Lord? I get disgruntled when I don’t get to have coffee in the morning or maybe I have to work late. I would like to think that I could be like Joseph and keep my focus on God and continue to have my life be a living testimony of how great and wonderful God is? Better question maybe? Am I like Joseph now in my current state of life? Is my life a living testimony of how great and wonderful God is and do I reflect the light of Jesus, that others may see Him through me? I will end this post there……I have to go and pray now!

A Study of Joseph – Meant for Evil

As we finish up Genesis 37, we get into the events that will set the course for a most remarkable journey for Joseph. And as we do so, I want to draw attention to the fact, that just like today, they also had to deal with evil in Joseph’s day as well.  Looking at this passage we will see different types evil, along with character flaws, shortcomings, and although men conspired to do evil, God used it to fulfill His purpose and protected Joseph.

Genesis 37:12-26. The brothers had taken the flocks to Shechem to graze when Israel (Jacob) decides to send Joseph to find out what’s going on with the brothers. Why he wants to do this, who knows but here we have a reinforcement of favoritism being displayed to the brothers. So, whatever the reason,  he decided to send Joseph to Shechem to find his brothers, And in verse 15 is the following: A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, “What are you looking for?” I make note of this verse because what if the man hadn’t of been there? Joseph possibly would have returned back home not knowing where his brothers were and if so, would have never ended up being sold into slavery.

How often in our lives have we had a “man” or “something show up” out of the blue that we were able to look back on and think wow, how fortunate we were that they were there? So, tragedy was avoided and Joseph was able to continue on with God’s plan and made his way to Dothan after being directed there by the man. Now in verse, 18, evil is in full bloom with the brothers – “They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him.” They didn’t want to just mess with him a little bit, maybe beat him up to teach him a lesson. They wanted to KILL him!

Luckily for Joseph, his big brother was there to rescue him and keep him safe. His proposal to his brothers was to put Joseph in the pit without doing the whole killing thing! At first glance, it seems that Reuben is a hero by standing up to them but really – no, not even close. He proved to be a weak leader by not standing up fully against his brothers wishes. He was more concerned about keeping peace among his brothers than simply doing the right thing! Joseph was sparred and was put into the pit alive. Pretty sure that at this point, I would probably begin questioning my whole faith thing.

In verse 26, a new leader is established among the brothers as we see Judah step forward – v.26 Then Judah said to his brothers, what do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. A couple of points. Although mentioned by Reuben earlier, the question of whether or not to kill Joseph is not really answered until this passage when Judah makes his plea. I love how Judah justifies that it is ok to sell Joseph into slavery over just killing him. So in addition to jealousy and anger, we now are introduced to the evil of greed.

As we end this post, I want to make special note of the fact that Joseph, at this point, has absolutely no control over his situation. He has fallen victim to the evil plans of others, family who have essentially cut ties with him forever (or so they thought) and I can only imagine how dark this day for Joseph truly was. And for us today, we would do well to remember that no matter our circumstance or overwhelming the plight we find ourselves may seem, God is in control and we should remember Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Peace and thanks for reading

A Study of Joseph – History Repeated

Joseph becomes the main character of Genesis beginning in Chapter 37:2This is the account of Jacob’s family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. At this point, we know Joseph is 17 and is the 2nd youngest of 12 brothers. And at the end of the verse listed above we see that he has no problem with letting his father, Jacob, know what is going on with his brothers.

In the next verses we see how the history of favoritism is carried on to yet another generation of Abraham’s family. Genesis 37:3-4 – 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to himObviously we now have some serious conflict going on within this family. Imagine hating someone to the point that you couldn’t even talk to them peaceably and then imagine living in the same house with that person, day after day, year after year.

Thinking back on when I was a young parent I don’t remember anybody talking about or warning Lisa and I to be careful about showing favoritism where our children were concerned. It is something that we talked about and were always careful to guard against. I do however, think this is something we need to talk about, especially with young parents. Nothing can disrupt or cause animosity quicker within a family than favoritism.

My simple advise is this, your kids are individuals, each created with unique gifts, skills, quirks and personalities. Learn your kids and celebrate their individuality while working with them to overcome any obstacles they have in their character. Additionally, I would also say that I think some parents do a disservice to their children when they try and treat all of their kids the same way – equally. Instead, I would say you should treat your kids justly according to who they are.

An example of this would be: one of my daughters absolutely hated the idea of getting a spanking, to the point that she would cry a bucket of tears before the actual punishment was ever administered. My other daughter thought, ha, that’s no big deal, lasts for a minute and it’s over. With the one, we would give spankings and with the other, we found that taking things or privileges away from her would make a much stronger point. Was that fair? Would they say they were treated equally?  With both, we tried to be just and as a result, we didn’t have to spank a lot nor did we take away a lot of things.

Next Chapter will look at the dreamer and start looking at some parallels between lives of Joseph and Jesus.

Peace and Thanks for Reading

A thought on Leadership for Fathers

I love the movie, The American President, exactly why, I honestly can’t tell you but I do. Every time it’s on, no matter what part of the movie is on, I usually end up watching till it’s conclusion. The movie has a lot of great scenes in it along with some very memorable lines. Tonight as I was watching it, I was struck by a scene – (the know the difference) scene. You can watch the clip that inspired this post here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKTqS4bXugg. There are a couple of expletives in this clip.

In this scene, Lewis (played by Michael J. Fox) is taking issue with the President (Michael Douglas) for not speaking up and taking a stand against another candidate who is constantly questioning the President’s values. As the scene begins to hit it’s climax, Lewis tells the President “people want Leadership Mr. President and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it, they’ll crawl through the desert to where a mirage, and when they discover there is no water, they’ll drink the sand”. President replies and his last sentence to Lewis is “people don’t drink the sand because they’re thristy, they drink the sand because they don’t know the difference”.

Is this not the problem that we are facing today? Maybe I’m wrong but we as fathers need to look at the scene again and replace people with “our children”. Our children want and more importantly NEED genuine leadership and in the absence of it, they will most definitely find any number of other influences to fill that void. It is our responsibility to teach, guide and yes, lead, our children on a path that is truly beneficial for them!!

It is our responsibility to be the spiritual leaders of our home. We have a whole generation of kids falling by the wayside. We, fathers, have allowed them to wander aimlessly in the desert in search of water to drink and sadly, for most of them, they won’t ever find it because we, men, have never led them to the water so that they would know the difference.

Peace and thanks for reading!

Here we go Again!!

So a first begins for me this Saturday as I leave on my first ever mission trip. I will be going with 4 other guys on a trip to Haiti. We are going down to build some houses in the Port ‘Au Prince area. This is so far out of my comfort zone but I am excited about the trip and to see what God has in store for our team as well as those we are going to help!!

It’s been awhile since I have written anything as I just felt God was wanting me to take a break and listen to Him. And wow, He has had a lot to say!! There’s no way to cover it all but it has been an incredible month for me! One of the best things about this past month is that I have been able to enjoy life. I was able to visit Kym and Andrea and spend some quality time with both of them at GSU. Knowing those opportunities are dwindling in number, I hope to take advantage of every opportunity I can!

As a father, they will always be my girls but truth is – they have become such incredible women!! To see how they continue to grow in their faith by keeping Christ at the center is simply awesome! And to see how well their managing their lives is great to see as well (even though I know they don’t feel that way sometimes)! Partial? Sure but really just humbled to see how God has blessed them and to see how they have just stepped up!!

I have started dating my wife again and I must say – it is tremendous fun!!!! Just to take time and spend a couple of hours with her has been really great and I feel a deeper connection with her because of it. Guys, if you’re not doing this already – you owe it to yourself and your wife to start – just sayin…It’s been a great reminder for me on the priorities in my life. I am finding if I keep them in the right order – things just seem to go better overall.

God, over the past month has really blessed me by letting me see/notice how much my kids are growing in their faith and personal walk with Him. I mentioned the girls earlier but I am equally proud of the guys as I have seen tremendous growth in them over the last month as well. Ryan and Kyle both have taken up blogging as well which you can check out for yourself and it’s honestly worth the read. Ryan’s is http://benjaminryanchesterdorsey.blogspot.com/ and Kyle’s blog can be found at http://itsallgoodkd.blogspot.com/.

Like I said, it’s been a great month to be able to see God’s blessings in my family’s life and I’m glad that He has slowed me down enough to see that and to experience some really cool stuff in my personal walk with Him as well. I love Tuesday mornings as I get to meet and be with about 15 guys every week as we go through our Bible study together. It’s funny, I am the facilitator of this group but I am getting so much more from them than I feel they are getting from me. I have gotten to reconnect with old friends and to establish brand new relationships with new friends as well.

Anyway, I guess the point to this post is this. Take time to seek and look for God in your life and I will bet, like me, you will see overwhelming evidence of God’s blessings in your life.

Peace and thanks for reading!