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My Dad: MVP

January 27, 2009

n856304674_3257You almost never hear the Biblical command “Honor your father and mother” spoken to someone over the age of 12.  I’m taking a chance to reverse that trend by honoring Dad for a recent impressive achievement.

My Dad, Rick Howerton, was named Serendipity House’s MVP a couple of weeks ago at Lifeway (the Publishing company he works for).  This isn’t a small deal, it’s a big one.  Serendipity House is a burgeoning branch of Lifeway with many highly talented employees that focuses on Small Groups training and resources for churches around the world and is making huge waves in that circle.  A couple things about Dad that leave me unsurprised that he was this year’s MVP:

– They say it takes 10,000 hrs of work to become great in a field of work.  Dad has put in 20,000.  Guaranteed.

– Integrity.  Dad is the same at church when he’s preaching and on the road when he’s leading a training session as he is when he’s on the couch in his short, green nylon shorts and black socks watching a football game.

– He’s an eternal optimist and it springs from his faith.  It is nearly impossible to offend, anger, or discourage my Dad. 

– Dad is a voracious learner.  Dad is always getting better because he never thinks he has it all figured out.

– Great communicator.  Written or spoken, things that come out of Dad touch your heart and instruct your mind.  He published his first book this year.

– His best quality: Dad is God-addicted.  Everything relates back to God and His gospel in Dad’s mind.  A beautiful sunset, his lovely wife (my mom!), every movie he sees (which is a lot), and every person he meets – they all seem to cause meditation on God and His greatness in Dad.


Dad, love you and couldn’t be more proud to be your son.  Sorry I’m an arrogant jerk sometimes and that you have to live with me again!


Your Turn: What’s your father’s greatest quality?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex Frost permalink
    January 28, 2009 12:57 am

    I love my dad’s wisdom on such things and helping to keep my thoughts realistic when I make things look more romantic then they are.

    Love ya Daddy-O

  2. January 28, 2009 7:24 am

    First let me comment on my brother, whom I have always been so very proud of. Rick has been my example in so many things in my life and this was another one of those days. Rick has a heart as big as all outdoors and loves people. He works incredibly hard and is a dreamer a motivator, and siply a great thinker. There are over 35 people in Ricks area and because of his inovation and ability to get things done he was recognized above all others. A huge honor to say the least. However, when Bruce Raley, his boss finished talking about all of Ricks business qualities, which was a long and strong list, he commented on Ricks love an concern for those he works with. A legacy he has left with his family. YOU GO BRO! I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!!

    Now bear with me as I tell you about Pop’s, whom as you know we lost this past year. It is hard for me to think of just one thing for “Pop’s”. However, if I had to boil it down to just one it would have been his love to play, laugh, and man what a smile. One of my fondest memories is a tradition that stared when Rick and I were in college and lasted for some years past. My college roomate always came home with me for Thanksgiving and Dad, Rick, Dave, and myself would play cards all night and then eat turkey before getting some sleep. Don’t know how Dad did it but he loved it and we simply laughed and played all night. When we had families Dad would spend hours playing with the grandkids. I have such vivid memories of him laying in Rick and Julies floor letting Josh and Lee jump on him, and the hours he spent playing games he did not like with Jordan. In has last years he continued to play cards with Jordan, Trent and I. So many great things about my dad. We need to write a book. Miss you so much dad!

  3. Greg permalink
    January 28, 2009 7:54 am

    For my own father it would have to be two-part: his extraordinary work ethic and his commitment to family. It’s taken me a while to appreciate and learn from this example, but throughout my childhood and to this day 80+ hour weeks were/are commonplace often going in at 3 in the morning; yet he was at every baseball game and band competition that my sister and I ever had. As I’ve grown up and have now put in weeks exceeding 100hrs I have the utmost respect and awe for the years he exemplified an all too uncommon value.

    On a side note, I didn’t know Pops Howerton well – I only met him a couple of times – but what Lance spoke of reminded me of an always amusing memory to me: at Josh and Jana’s wedding as music played, or a reading was taking place Pops (who was officiating the ceremony from a chair placed in the sand) fell backwards in the chair. Lee and I were the first two to get to him as Lance and Rick and others rushed toward the makeshift alter. I remember having great concern as to the state of Pops, yet when we all reached him, there he lay laughing his head off. So even in that slight exposure I was able to see his joy and playfulness.

  4. January 28, 2009 8:15 am

    I’m so very honored and humbled, Josh. I would imagine most everyone at The Bridge could speak highly of their father, if given the platform to do so and you’ve offered that platform through this blog. I hope all of you GO FOR IT! Then do what Josh did and make sure your dad knows what you wrote about him. I love ya’, son and am so very proud of you and your brother.

    About my dad… I will always remember his willingness to sacrifice himself for a greater cause and to stick to his calling no matter what. I know of no one who struggled more to lead churches to greatness and then was blindsided by a few people’s inability to see God at work. They would then attack him in the gossip mill thus breaking his heart and killing the work God had been doing. But he never gave up and left the ministry for only a short period of time. His perserverence is the stuff legend is made of.

    On a personal note… He had the most prominent personality I’ve ever seen. His demeanor didn’t fill a room, it overflowed the room. On many occasion I’d be moving toward a given room at the church, in the house, at a family event and hear dad’s laughter before ever arriving there. When he entered a room he owned it, and he loved every minute of it. I sure do miss him.

  5. Susan Howerton permalink
    January 28, 2009 12:39 pm

    The words that come to mind when I think of my daddy are – “hard-working”, “generous”, “integrity”, and “Christ-like”. But, I don’t think I have any idea of the depth of who my Daddy is… how hard he has worked to make his business a success from scratch with a wife and 4 small kids to support, the gads of money he has generously shelled out to help his kids at difficult times, the NUMEROUS people he has helped in hard times- giving them jobs, helping them get a home, furniture, medical care, food, whatever they needed. He has financially and otherwise supported so many ministries, missionaries, colleges, organizations, churches… always being a great example of stewardship. He has faithfully served his church in ever capacity possible for 45 years. He loves God so much and you see it in his actions. He gives himself 150% to everything he does. He has been an INCREDIBLY successful businessman and so well-respected in that community as a man of integrity, never compromising on his beliefs and what he knows is right in each area of his life. I know he’s not perfect, and we don’t always agree on things, but I know he has always been there for me believing in me and cheering me on. Most people, including myself, have no idea all he has given and done for so many, because he would never be the one to share that. He doesn’t do it for others to see but out of love and compassion for others and his love for God. My dad can sometimes come across as stoic and a man of few words (kindof a “no nonsense” man) but underneath is a very tender heart of gold fully devoted to God. He has been such an incredible father and example for me. I love you so much, Daddy, and I still love my “bear hugs”!

  6. Jordan permalink
    January 28, 2009 6:01 pm

    My father’s greatest quality? Crap, that’s a tough one. I could talk about his limitless supply of jokes that, even though it’s rare that he hits a really good one, make people smile. But in an effort to avoid fart jokes, I’ll have to say that his greatest quality is his work ethic. In whatever he does, he gives 200% (and that’s not even possible!) He outworks anyone in whatever he does. This means that most mornings he’s headed to work at 5 or 5:30 and not getting back until 5 or 6 that night. He’s the hardest worker I know and I’ve been blessed to have him as an example.

  7. Jim permalink
    January 29, 2009 7:19 am

    My father’s greatest quality is that he can fix anything. Even better, he is willing to use that ability to help others in need.

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