“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world…” John 17:6

You can’t be selfish and be a great dad. Jon Gordon

Marilyn-Pic-1For many of us in the South, June means summer vacation, fresh vegetables, flip flops, and a little reprieve from the jump-out-of-bed-and-hurry-up pace of the school year. Even though it has been a very long time since I experienced that harried life of getting children up and out the door for school nine months out of the year, I don’t think I will ever stop feeling that June ushers in a short season when we have permission to slow down and to absorb in a personal and tender way the sights, sounds, and textures that are uniquely “summer” in nature. And that’s a kind of God Thing—that we can live a very long time and never lose our sense of wonder over things like a sunset on the water, the sand between our toes, the taste of a real Mississippi tomato, or the vibrant almost Technicolor of a living landscape. There is joy in paying attention!

Kitchen Tune-Up

Our June magazine is always a tribute to our fathers, and I am forever challenged to write this particular letter. Despite my lack of experience as a father, I can attest that I did have a dad who was very much a hero in my eyes and whose influence is as deep and wide and high at this decade of my life as it was many decades ago. I am reminded every single day that we all leave a legacy in the lives of others, and the amazing truth is that as long as we are breathing, we have an opportunity to make that legacy a positive and significant one—to do as Jesus did—to reveal our heavenly Father to those entrusted to us. What a privilege and something the world can never take away.

You are in for a treat this month. We introduce you to a diverse group of outstanding and very successful men—successful in everything that matters most. In our present environment where a very shallow Pop Culture seems to reign supreme on every level, it is more than refreshing to find those kindred spirits who still believe in eternal truth, God’s sovereignty, and who purpose to allow Him to direct their paths.

By all means, meet Mark Smith who now heads the First Baptist Church of Jackson. Sherye Green gives us a candid and up close look at this pastor and his wife, Toni, who are very much a ministry team.

Rockey and Susan Felker are two of my favorite-ever interviews. As far as a man’s mentor, there could be nobody on earth who could be a better example of husband, father, and regular guy than Rockey. From living his dream as the head football coach at Mississippi State University at the age of 33 to losing it all and starting over more than once, he definitely learned the hard way the art of what the apostle Paul called “contentment in every situation.” As the father of three outstanding sons, he counts himself rich in everything that makes for meaning in life. Nothing really happened according to his “druthers,” but he means it when he looks back, sees God’s hand, and says, “It’s all been good.”

Don’t miss our Lagniappe this month. Four contributors, from very different places in life, share poignant reflections on their special dads.

“Living My Call” features a much loved and respected Jim Poole, retired partner in local CPA firm Grantham and Poole. This Q&A is a personal glimpse into the life of one who operates within his husband, father, and professional roles as Christ-follower above all. Warm, insightful, and inspiring.

Be sure, too, not to miss “This is My Story.” My friend, John Overby, has shared his miraculous recovery from a debilitating stroke. His is a tale of encouragement and faithfulness and those second chances that sometimes come to us despite the prognosis. He is determined not to waste God’s grace.

Lydia’s recipes are as yummy and easy to prepare as ever. You are sure to want to try them. Bless her for coming up with recipes even a challenged cook like myself can put together!

There’s a lot here to take in. Happy Father’s Day! Enjoy!

Pro-Life Mississippi