Can I tell you a story?

Can I tell you a story?

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore- While I nodded, nearly napping , suddenly there came a tapping, as if some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “Tis some visitor”, I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-only this and nothing more.”

Edgar Allen Poe

My friends and I sat captivated as my dad recited these words from memory. He is a great story-teller.


My family took simple vacations around the state, often visiting civil war battlefields. Most kids would have been bored, but my dad made the battlefields come alive. His words created vivid scenes of soldiers lying in bunkers exchanging fire. Where most saw an empty field with historical significance, I envisioned the action of the fight. I suppose he concocted some of the details. Nonetheless it was entertaining, if not educational.

My dad is a typical hunter, known for telling stories. I’ve heard countless descriptions of deer and alligator sightings. Of course, they were all monster-size. He has no shortage of fish stories either. My mother humors him for a while, then gives him a deadline, otherwise he would recount the same stories over and over all year long. But I don’t mind. I have tried to get him to write some of them down.

Psalm 102:18, “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.” NIV


Years ago, we celebrated my son’s fourth birthday with a cowboy/Indian party. My dad rented an Indian costume with a full headdress and was dubbed Chief Ten Toes. He sat cross-legged in the floor and shared an animated story of “The Great White Buffalo.” Then children took turns sitting in his lap in front of a teepee to have their picture taken. With eyes wide, one of the kids asked him, “Do you really have ten toes?”


A lady in my adult Sunday school class approached me after the lesson one week. With her nine-year old daughter at her side, she asked me how I knew so many Bible stories. I looked at her daughter and said, “The same way she will. My parents took me to Sunday school.” As much as I enjoy my dad’s stories, I am even more thankful he took me to Sunday school.

Hebrews 10:25, “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on” MSG


I grew up going to church every Sunday and I’m glad. It gave me a foundation from which to draw when life didn’t always go my way. When my life turned upside down, I was equipped. I learned the stories the easy way and those stories saved my life. They saved my soul too.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” NKJV

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If a father does not attend church, the chances his children will attend as adults are slim. How slim? 1 in 50.  Staggering isn’t it?  We moms can take them every Sunday, but if dad stays home the impact is far different.

So dads give your children a gift this Father’s day, take them to church. Make sure they hear the important stories. Then make it a habit so when life turns upside down your children will know which way is up.

Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” HCSB

Thanks Dad. I like telling stories too.

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4 thoughts on “Can I tell you a story?

  1. Enjoyed this post, as I do with most family stories. I know of a church who calls Sunday School the Equipping Hour, but you are correct in that the equipping begins at home. By the way, I’m the one in 50.

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