Dear New Life,

As I am reflecting on Father's Day, I'm chuckling to myself about the challenge my poor wife and children must go through every year as they struggle to find a gift I'll like. It's not that I'm picky. Rather, whenever someone asks me for gift suggestions, I have literally nothing come to mind.

But as a Father, I can tell you that what I appreciate most about Father's Day is the opportunity to look around me at the people God has given me: my family. They are the true gift. Every one of them is precious.

That's coming from the heart of a man who is far from perfect. But I believe this same feeling exists in the heart of God. You are His precious daughter or son. You are known to Him. You are loved. Your very existence brings Him joy.

Chances are excellent that none of us believe this truth enough. We are so conditioned to think that our value is tied up in our personal holiness or what we can achieve or perform for God. But this "day after Father's Day", I want to encourage you to put more weight on the idea that you have a Father in heaven who adores you, who is cheering you on, and who wants the very best for you.

Joel VanderSchel
On Behalf of the Elder & Minister Team