Everything’s Alright In My Father’s House

Everything's Alright In My Father's House

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”

– Charles Wadsworth

I used to compile lyrics for the midweek and Sunday service worship list. One of the things I used to do was finding out how the worship leader was doing as they prepared to lead worship. I also spent time praying for them over the phone and researching the story behind certain songs on their individual worship list.

I still find out how the worship leader is doing and pray for them. However, I don’t do it regularly and I also don’t research the story behind certain songs anymore. I was supposed to have been out there, running with Elisha, one of the fine young men I am mentoring. Yet here I am, sitting at my computer and listening to Everything’s Alright In My Father’s House sung by the Teays Valley Baptist Church.

Everything’s alright in My Father’s house,
In My Father’s house,
In My Father’s house,
Everything’s alright in My Father’s house,
There’s joy, joy, joy

It’s so good to be in My Father’s house,
In My Father’s house,
In My Father’s house,
It’s so good to be in My Father’s house,
There’s joy, joy, joy

Everything’s Alright In My Father’s House

Everything’s Alright In My Father’s House is such a simple song you wouldn’t hesitate wanting to respond to such a simple request. Yet despite it’s intended simplicity there is much more to walking into someone else father’s house. As I am still pondering about the meaning of what being invited to a father’s house another song swiftly comes to mind: Good Good Father written by Pat Barrett and Tony Brown.

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
‘Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

The personal ownership of God as a Father

Having lost my father at an early age and having grown up without a father-figure, there are things I am yet to fully come to terms with. One of the things I used to struggle with was seeing and referring to God as a Father. I think it would have been easier if Jesus had referred to God as a mother in Matthew 6:9-13 because my mother and the many mothers in our village and the ones I know, are a vivid representation of God. They are more loving, more accommodating, more forgiving and what’s more, they always provide bread to feed hungry mouths.

I used to have a thousand questions concerning fathers and fatherhood. Calling God a Father never used to be an issue because I never referred to Him as a Father. He was simply a God, and that was all. However, on May 20th 2012 I finally started looking at God as a Father. Two months later, I became a father to 100 boys in juvenile prison. I remember hearing one of the boys call me ‘Dad’ for the first time. I was so scared because I didn’t know how to play the role of a dad.

As I kept working with boys, I got into walking with other men. One day, a man I am walking with also started calling me his dad. And because he is in his 30’s, it messed me up. There is nothing I have wanted to have more than have an elderly man to look up to as a dad. I only came to terms with not having a father-figure a few years ago after a lady in church reminded me that God is a Good Father Who is ready to bring me up and mold me in ways that no earthly father will ever do.

Trust me, what this woman said to me, has brought healing and meaning into my life as a man who has been searching for answers. As a full-time mentor working with juvenile offenders and the growing number of young men I am walking with, I am finding myself playing a role that is way bigger than what I can humanly achieve without God’s divine intervention, presence and Holy Spirit.

It rained last Saturday night and Pistar is finally going to Bible School

There are two things that happened this past weekend. It rained last Saturday night and Pistar is finally going to Bible School. I find parallels and similarities to these two happenings because they both involve men who easily stand out like a pair of sore thumbs, of course, in a good way! One man is going to Bible College while another man is replacing him, as my spiritual son.

After remaining behind after worship rehearsal on Saturday evening, I thought I was doing so simply to get a hair cut at Jamhuri Shopping Centre. It turns out there was more to it. It was already 8 pm by the time my hair cut was done. I went to the stage to wait for a No. 2 matatu that was to drop me at the Junction where I was to take a Ngong bound matatu. However, all the matatus passing through Jamhuri were packed to full capacity and 30 minutes later I decided to walk.

“What are you doing here James?” a voice asked.

“I am walking to Nakumatt Junction so I can take a matatu from there,” I replied.

“Okay, then we can walk together,” he said. “I really appreciate your phone calls and prayers,” he continued after a long spell of silence.

“Glory to God my brother,” I replied.

I started asking him questions about what he does on a daily basis. And by the time we arrived at the Junction, I had learned that he is a foreigner struggling as a university student. The two of got so caught up in our conversation – talking about God’s goodness, mercy and salvation – I could not hop into the numerous Ngong bound matatus that kept stopping and picking passengers at the Junction’s bus stage.

All of a sudden, it begun raining. I knew the young man still had along way to go since he was walking on foot to Lavington. “I think you should go,” I said, part of me wanting to pay for a boda boda.

“No,” he said. “I am waiting for you to get a matatu first. I need to know you will be okay before I can leave,” he added.

And so, we stood at the bus stage, talking about God and fatherhood as the rain kept hitting us for the next 30 minutes. I was drenched to my bones. Water filled my shoes, while my clothes clung to my flesh as my body fought to create heat. Even though I was wearing a jumper, he only had a thin t-shirt. We eventually parted ways after I boarded a matatu and saw him cross the road and walk towards Mungara Road and into the rainy night.  The next afternoon – yesterday that is – Pistar announced to the group that he is finally on his way to Bible School in Machakos after years of trusting and waiting on God to provide college fees.

Many of us – in the group – were excited and happy to hear the good news. We first heard about Pistar’s desire to go to Bible School years ago when he joined our group. I believe his dream to go to Bible School would have become a reality sooner that it happened had we done much more than wish him well and ‘pray’ for him. I wonder what would have happened had we went out of our Sunday-afternoon-comfortable-ways and done the little we could do to make his dream come true.

Having closely walked with Pistar, I can tell you the many times the two of us discussed about God eventually coming through. There was a period in our lives we used to receive relief from church. I remember one particular Christmas when we each received sugar, rice, flour and cooking oil. As we sat in my house, we wondered where we were going to get kerosene for our stove. We had food, yet we lacked kerosene and could not put a meal together to satisfy our hunger! Thankfully, those days are long gone and a new dawn beckons for both of us.

The singing of songs and the raising of holy hands

As a father, I am learning that calling someone on their birthday, accompanying someone during a burial and walking to a bus stop on a rainy night ministers to someone in more practical ways that I will never fathom. I am learning that walking and listening to someone eases and lessens their burden. I am learning that these random acts of kindness enable another person to see God as a Good Good Father.

You know how easily it is to get lost into the words of a song and forget that other people exist and they have needs that needs to be physically met? When was the last time you factored someone into your busy afternoon schedule after church service? Have you ever put in a good word on behalf of that sister or brother who is good at fixing things and cleaning the floor? Do you take time to find out the particular needs of a person in order to offer specific prayers on their behalf or do you simply offer general prayers? Have you ever called someone on their birthday and found out if they need bread or do you find it more appropriate to send a virtual cake on Whatsapp?

I am discovering that our relationship with other members of the Body of Christ puts the House of God in order. It also enables the rescued lost sheep to truly believe – deep in their hearts that when they join the Body of Christ – that  Everything’s Alright In My Father’s House. I urge you now, to pick up your phone, call someone and find out how their Sunday afternoon was. Ask how you can specifically pray for their specific needs. Reach out instead of waiting for them to do so.

May God bless you!









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