Father’s Day {2015}

I am so thankful to have such a godly man to be the father of my children. He is a friend, counselor, driving coach, leader, listener, pancake master II (my dad was the first), grilling guru, bicycle mechanic, trail guide, financial provider, soccer coach, and MORE! I can’t begin to list all the ways in which my husband cares for his five children. He loves them deeply, and it shows.

Happy Father’s Day, the greatest man alive. We love you!

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The annual Father’s Day photo.

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Our gift to him was a coffee cup with a recent photo of the kids on it. They each made him a card, too.

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I would like to honor my dad’s memory, too. I’m sorry to keep re-posting the same photos of him over and over, but, due to lack of digital technology when I was young, I just don’t have that many to share. Thank you so much for your patience.

I live every day hoping to be the girl – I mean lady – that my dad would want me to be. He etched himself upon my heart, and for that I am truly grateful.

With love,

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It Is Well

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I thought I had posted this on my blog somewhere before, but I can’t seem to find it. I wrote it shortly after my dad’s sudden death and it was published in the Baptist Bread on December 28, 2009. I recently uncovered a photocopy of the article, which I’d placed in a zipper bag. I’m sure I intended to place it at his grave as a personal memorial, but I never did it. I think my mother was worried it would become mere litter as it endured the days, nights, rain and wind in the cemetery. I realized that it didn’t have to be at his tombstone to be a memorial. Perhaps the fact that it was published at all is memorial enough? Perhaps – and  I hope this is true – that my life, my testimony is an even greater memorial to my amazing dad.

I still own the rights to this short piece about my dad, so I’d like to share it now for Father’s Day. Thank you so much for reading.

2 Kings 4:26 Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:

My dad was not a pastor or a preacher. He was, however, the greatest Christian I have ever known. I was an eye witness to his daily walk with the Lord. Since I had no younger siblings,  my dad was my best friend. We did almost everything together. I saw his strengths and his weaknesses. I watched him face the daily grind in the secular workforce and never once lower the banner of “Christian” from above his life.

I was not worried when my mother called me on July 28, 2004, to say he was in the hospital. I had peace. I headed to our Wednesday night church services with my family as usual. On the way to church, my heavenly Father impressed upon my heart that my dad, my “partner” in youth, was going to the place for which he had lived; he was going home to Heaven. The sermon that night was from the above passage entitled “It is Well.” The hymn, “It Is Well with my Soul” was Dad’s favorite! On that night, the Lord gently wrapped his loving arms of comfort around me and said, “He’s coming home tonight, but it is well.”

I served my Savior as a child because of my parents’ faithful walk with the Lord. I serve Him today because of my own. I know from experience that though the burdens press heavily upon me, with Christ’s presence, it is well!

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For Dad

Me and my partner, 1983.

We are getting ready to head out to Fort Sill today to witness to our wonderful military men and women stationed there. It is Father’s Day tomorrow, as well as what would have been my parents’ wedding anniversary. My dad went to heaven on July 29, 2004, and on that day, more than ever, I wanted to go, too. My life has been so different without him – there isn’t time to share it all on one blog post. I miss him everyday. I miss him for me, and for my mother. I miss him for his grandchildren who never had the joy of knowing him.

On his last day on Earth, he was out knocking on doors, telling others about Christ and inviting them to a great church in Benton, Arkansas. He was a great conversationalist and put everyone at ease when he spoke. He would visit with someone at their door for a minute and then say, “Sir, I would be remiss not to ask you if you knew where you were going when you died?” He would then tell them from the Bible how they could be eternally saved from Hell.

He wasn’t rich, but he was a great provider. He valued people more than things, especially his wife and children. He was loyal. He liked to laugh. He played the trumpet and could whistle higher and louder than anyone I’ve ever heard! He could fix anything. He read the Bible aloud to my mom every morning. I watched him grow in the Lord as I grew physically. The best way to see his personality, is to read his life’s verse, which is on his tombstone:

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. ~ Psalm 34:6

Yes! God heard!

Today, I’m going out to talk to folks about the Lord, and I’m doing it today for my dad, as a Father’s Day gift. Some people run marathons for loved ones who are gone, why can’t I dedicate a day of service for the Lord to my dad? I think he would like that.

My dad was my first friend, and was always my best friend. We were “partners”, and I miss my partner terribly. I’m so thankful that I will see him again.

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Father’s Day 2012

Father’s Day should be a difficult day for me, and in some ways, it is. After that first Father’s Day without my dad, however, it did get easier. I was, and am, comforted by the fact I will see him again. He was faithful to the Lord, his wife and his children until the very end of his days. I am blessed to have been able not only to have Ron Courtney for a dad, but for a friend, too. I miss him. I live the remainder of my life to bring honor to my heavenly Father, and my earthly one. I never want anyone to have to shake their head in disappointment at Ron Courtney’s youngest daughter. I am thankful that he left this Earth knowing that I loved him, and that he was my hero.

Me & Dad on my Senior trip to D.C. Summer, 1996.

I am doubly blessed by my husband. He is is a wonderful Father. He loves his children very much. He has given up his own pleasures so that they can have the things they need. He sacrifices and never complains. He is hard working and fun loving. He is, in a word, the best.

I’m never very good at planning ahead for seasonal crafts. This is an area in which I’m trying to improve. Because of this, I don’t have any one cute thing that we did for Terry. We bought him a couple of movies that he likes and then I got out the craft box (or maybe Lauren got it out?) and they dug in and made whatever they wanted for their dad. Here’s what they came up with: {click to enlarge}

Leslie found these wooden letters. She needed an “E” and a “Y”. She used an “F” and drew in the line to make an “E”. She used “l” to make a “Y”! 🙂 This is a picture of her with her dad.

I traced Matthew’s hand, and he wanted to do the other one, too! So, I tried to color them to show up, but it didn’t turn out very well. *sigh* Inside, I wrote, “You hold my hand for only a moment, but you hold my heart for ever. I love you!” 

Mitchell made his dad out of a paper doily! 🙂 He also used the wooden letters, and needed an “A”, so he drew a line across a “U”! 🙂 He cut a feather to make his hair and the pen (on right, like it’s in a pocket), which Dad always carries! 
Lauren drew this dress shirt for her dad. This is so precious to me. It epitomizes her dad completely. One look at this and we see that he is a soul winner (see tract in pocket on your left), that he is studious (see pen on right), and that he wears a tie, which in our case, means he is a preacher. The tie is made from a piece of felt, with a ribbon cut up and glued on for the pattern. 
The night before Father’s Day, Lauren had drawn and cut from paper a little “medal” for her dad. It said, simply: “Bravery”. He is brave. He has faced opposition after opposition, and then goes back for more! He serves God when it’s not easy. I happen to know that at the moment he saw his “medal” for bravery, he wasn’t feeling very brave. The Lord used our precious daughter to “…lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;” (Heb.12:12) What a blessing!
We didn’t spend a lot of money for Father’s Day this year, nor are we able to any year. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show someone that you love them. And we love the man of our house very much.

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Father’s Day 2011

We had a very good day at church for Father’s Day this past week. Of course, anytime I get to hear my husband preach is a good day. 😉 Terry preached some powerful messages, and by that I mean extremely convicting! The Holy Spirit was at work in my heart, that’s for sure. I like that, though. I like it when the Holy Spirit nudges me and says, “Ahem, that’s for YOU!” It’s a nice reminder that I’m saved and cared about by my Heavenly Father.  Of course, it’s uncomfortable for minute or two, but I think that a person who wants to live the Bible cannot be uncomfortable for long (unless they are not a child of God, then they just need to come to Christ for salvation.) A Bible-lover will repent and go forward. The Lord is rich in forgiveness and mercy, and that’s a wonderful feeling.

Here are a few pictures from our day.

 We were blessed to have the Silvey family with us this past Sunday to provide special music. Their oldest son, Will, plays the piano for us when they are there. Bro. Silvey is working on some curriculum to help encourage Fathers to complete their biblical role of leading the home and family.He is a pastor and is hoping to start a church soon, but has been visiting with us in the meantime.  I’ll be honest, we’d love for them to join us and help us in that endeavor! Oh how the hearts of men need to be less focused on working, fishing, hunting, golfing, etc., and more on their precious families! We are enjoying them as long as God lets them stay. 🙂 Terry had him share his burden for fathers with us. Very appropriate, considering it was Dad’s Day! 🙂
 Of course, this man needs no introduction. I know you recognized the world’s greatest husband, father and Pastor! 🙂
Here’s a group shot of the Father’s present this past week. 
Please pray for our ministry here, if you think of us. We are about to lose a wonderful family due to a job relocation. We will all miss them, but especially my own children. This family has five kids and my children have so enjoyed having them here to play with. I know God knows best and he will comfort their hearts and strengthen our faith during this time. But it will still be painful. Also, more specifically, we are needing workers for our Master Club ministry next year. This is a burden to my heart because I’m very involved in this work and would hate to see this ministry end.
Thanks so much for taking time to visit me! I have recently learned that the embedded comment form has been giving some commentators trouble when they’ve tried to write me. I’ve now changed it to the pop-up form, so I hope it makes it easier. Just wanted to let you know. Special thanks to Linda for letting me know that this might solve the problem.
Oh! And on a very happy note, my brother, Kevin Courtney, is the new pastor of Wild Peach Baptist Church in Brazoria, Texas. If you are down that way or if you live around there, please stop by for a visit! Tell him his little sis sent you. 🙂
Hope you all have a great week!
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He Called Me His Partner

Ex. 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
When the springtime breezes rustle the leaves, gently blowing my hair, carrying the sweet scent of honeysuckle, I am immediately transported to a beautiful place. I reach for it, only to see it vanish before my eyes. But, I know it exists. In this place, I am very young. My blond hair is cropped short. My skin is beginning to show freckles. I look up to see a very tall man, with thick, dark hair. We go for walks around the block, each of us with our own walking stick. In this place, the summers are long and lazy. The late, late breakfasts on Saturday mornings are such a delight. We climb into the car and head for McDonald’s, where we each order a stack of hotcakes with plenty of syrup. Some strangers, who are visiting our town from out of state, pause to comment on how this man resembles Ronald Regan. We laugh, I talk, he listens.


The visions are of my Father. But that name is too formal, it doesn’t fit at all. He’s Dad.  He graduated to Heaven seven years ago. It was one of the darkest nights of my life. If a daughter’s love could pull a man’s soul back to Earth, my Dad would still be here. As I lie in bed that night, crying into my pillow and fearing the worst from 500 miles away, I was just a little girl, who desperately needed her Dad.

We were “partners” – that’s what he called me. We worked on the car together. We made many a trip to the hardware store together, browsing the power tools. We rode to the orthodontist’s office together, as well as to school each day. His laugh is forever etched in my memory bank. So is his smile, and his tender heart. The smell of his cologne is also burned in my memory, as is the sight of his greeting my Mother with a kiss after a long day of work in Little Rock. Ahh…his work. I remember that, too. I remember how everyone in his office liked him. He didn’t think they did, but I could tell. Even at age nine, I could tell.

I remember his way of rousing me from the covers each morning for school. He sang “It’s time to get up” to the tune of “Reveille.” He would bend over and whisper “It’s time to wake up, sleepy head”, breathing his coffee breath in my face. He’d been awake for quite a while already. I remember how he was always in his pew in church, every time the doors were open. I remember his reading the Bible each morning at the breakfast table. I remember the furry throw blanket he and Mom bought me at Sam’s Club when I was twelve. I still have it! It has a teddy bear on it. Each time I curl up in it, I’m reminded of my parents’ love for me.

I remember the sad look on his face as he watched me grow into a woman; when I stopped working on cars and making trips to the hardware store with him. He was sad to see those days fade.

I remember the electric blanket he gave me after I was married. As Terry and I were loading up to go home from visiting them one evening, he brought it out to me.

“But Dad, this is yours, you all just bought it.”

“You don’t have one, do you?” He asked me.  
                                                                      
“No sir, but we can get one.” I said.

“Well, we aren’t using this one, so you take it. The Bible says we shouldn’t withhold good from someone when it’s in our power to do it.”

“Thank you, Dad.” I said. As I placed that blanket in the car, I thought about the verse he referenced. I knew that Mom and Dad lived every part of the Bible that they possibly could, perhaps all of it! He and Mom had not just been Bible believers, but Bible doers. I’ve since had to part with that blanket…it just got too worn out to use. I snapped a photo of the kids with it though and I told them the story. I told them about one example, out of many, that their Papa lived God’s Word. 

His Home-going was most unexpected. No one in my family saw it coming. In that moment, the entire world came crashing down around me. It was then that I truly realized the weight that he had been carrying all of those years. My Grandfather had died when Dad was only 21 years old. He told me more than once how he grew up overnight when Granddad died. He told me how he once heard Granddad whistling as he walked up the sidewalk to come home. Dad ran to the front porch, excitedly pushed open the screen door, only to find no one there. He realized anew that his Dad was gone. He would never again come whistling up the sidewalk. I didn’t understand Dad’s sorrow as I sat in his lap, listening to him tell me this story and watching his blue eyes grow misty. I just knew that my Dad was there, holding me, talking to me, making memories with me. I knew he would come home every night from work. He would kiss Mom, sit in his recliner, and then join us for supper. He would laugh and tell stories at the table, all the while fiddling with his napkin, turning it into all sorts of shapes. My childish mind could not comprehend death.

Then, on July 29, 2004, I grew up. I was 26 years old and had been married for seven years. I had two children, but I wasn’t grown. I now understand what my Dad was trying to explain to me so many years ago.

I remember those first days home after his death. His walking shoes were just where he’d left them. His glasses were on his dresser. My Grandfather’s crystal ash tray sat in its rightful place, filled with pennies, as usual. His Bible, worn and used, was right where he had left it. He had been reading the book The Prayer of Jabez, and it too, was just where he’d left it, with the bookmark neatly in place. Mom said he had begun praying that prayer a few weeks before his death. He was constantly growing closer to the Lord. I thought of Enoch as I observed my Dad’s things for the last time. Everything in my parents’ home pointed to the Lord. No, Dad did not get translated to Heaven like Enoch, but he did walk with God like Enoch. In my mind, they walked and talked so often that Jesus said “Ron, let’s continue this up here,” and then took him home. Perhaps that’s ridiculous to you, but it seems so logical to me.  
I must now end this walk down memory lane. I hate to leave, really. It seems I’m happiest when I am there. But I know that too much time spent in the past causes me to waste the precious time God has given me in the present. I now realize what a valuable commodity time is.  I don’t ever want to forget the sweet, wonderful, sincere Dad that I had. I want to keep his memory alive not only for my children, but for myself. I want to remember that a person can walk with God all the way to the end.

With a heart full of love,

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Happy Father’s Day! {2010}

I would like to wish the world’s best husband and Dad, Terry Basham, II, a happy Father’s Day!! We love you with all our hearts. I thank God for a man who leads our family according to God’s Word and does his best to live it out every day.
I took the photo below this morning before church. Each of our children love their Dad very much! 🙂

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A grateful wife and mother,
Valerie