On being a good father
I’ll forever be grateful for the love and support I received from my father. My dad never let a day pass without assuring his two sons of his love and acceptance. Albert Parsons always imaged to his sons the importance of living an honest life, and being kind to everyone. Generous almost to a fault, my dad put himself out for others, forgave those who wronged him, looked for the good in everyone, and always demonstrated the importance of being true to oneself.
Although my brother Dwayne and I were raised Lutheran by a devout mother, my dad didn’t become a regular church goer until he was in his sixties. For our golf pro dad, God’s presence was enjoyed on the golf course, but he thought his boys needed to attend church just as he’d been required to do when he was a boy (he’d been raised in the Episcopal Church). He always supported my mother’s commitment to our Lutheran parish, where she served as the choir director and organist. Both my parents converted to the Orthodox Church, while in their seventies.
Our dad was proud of us, and supported whatever direction we chose for our lives. Since dad believed everyone should be free to go with their heart, he refused to press either of us into careers that would somehow make him proud. He didn’t believe any parent should live vicariously through their children, but only encourage them to live a life that is grounded in honesty, and respect for others.
It is always a joy when I meet fathers who visibly encourage their children, speak proudly of their kids accomplishments, and encourage them to be true to themselves. Dads who lovingly support their children, even when they make choices that don’t conform to their own image of success, demonstrate the best of what it means to be a father. The dad who keeps his eyes focused on Christ, prays for his children, and expresses his unconditional love for his kids, will, in the end, have been a good father, and blessed with adult children who will always be grateful for the dad God gave them.
With love in Christ,
Tuesday July 10, 2018 / June 27, 2018
7th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Food with Oil
Venerable Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople (530).
St. Joanna the Myrrh-bearer (1st c.).
New Hieromartyr Priest Gregory Nikolsky of Kuban (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander and Vladimir priests (1918).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1939).
Uncovering of the holy relics of Optina Elders: Ambrose, Leonid, Macarius, Anatole I, Anatole II, Barsanuphius, Hilarion (1998).
Venerable Serapion of Kozha Lake (1611).
Venerable Severus, presbyter of Interocrea in Italy (6th c.).
Venerable George of Mt. Athos and Georgia (1066) (Georgia).
Venerable Martin of Turov (1146).
Commemoration of the victory of the Russian Army of the Battle of Poltava on June 27, 1709.
Martyr Anectus of Caesarea in Cappadocia (304).
Hieromartyr Pierius, presbyter of Antioch (Greek).
St. Luke the hermit (Greek).
Matryrs Mark and Marcia (Greek).
Hieromartyr Kirion II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia (1918) (Georgia).
Hieromartyrs Crescens, Maximus, and Theonest, bishops of Mainz (Germany) (5th c.).
The Scripture Readings
1 Corinthians 6:20-7:12
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Principles of Marriage
7 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Keep Your Marriage Vows
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. 4 Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.”
9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought itto her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Feeding the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities.