Joseph & Stacie's Blog notes from the journey & pictures of Peter & Eric

Just Like My Father

by Joseph Graber

I did not always want to be just like my father.  But for more than twenty years now there have been a few things that made me want to be like my father.  From earliest childhood memories, my Dad was always working on something: a chainsaw, a typewriter, a sawmill, it was always mechanical in some way. Just Like My FatherWhen I was six he told me that he would let me use his chainsaw once I could start it.  For several years I would periodically go out and tug at that starter.  All I got was sore arms.  When I was eight Dad taught me how to start the small Briggs & Stratton engine that ran Mom’s washing machine.  That became the highlight of my week.

By the time I was nine I had learned how to start the bigger engine on his air compressor.  That thing would sometimes backfire and almost pull my arm from its socket, but the sense of manliness was worth the pain. The summer I was twelve I got a job cutting posts to length with Dad’s chainsaw.  By that time I knew how to sharpen the chain and clean the air filter and generally take good care of that old Sachs Dolmar.  I spent a lot of Saturdays and summer days working with my Dad on his sawmill or in his shop.  I learned a lot about taking care of tools and repairing mechanical things from my Dad. But in the end the thing that made me want to be just like my father was something else.

When I was thirteen my Dad, who was also an Amish preacher, began facing a lot of opposition from the Amish church.  I watched him stand for Jesus Christ and the Bible in the face of Amish tradition.  I saw the smile on his face even as we were facing rejection and shunning from our extended family and the church.  And I wanted the confidence and joy he had.  I wanted to follow Jesus just like my father.

One day in our living room Dad and Mom explained the Gospel to my sister and I and we knelt there and experienced the joy of the new birth in Christ.

The summer I was fifteen Gospel Express Ministries came to our community church and performed there one evening.  Nelson Coblentz preached about repentance and family relationships and revival hit our little church.  After the service, Dad came to me and for the first time in my life he told me that he loved me.  I was so moved that I went and knelt at the altar and surrendered my life to serve God in any way He deemed fit, because I wanted to follow Christ and serve Him with a lifestyle of ministry.

Now with several sons of my own I hope to be just like my father and introduce my sons to their Heavenly Father.

The short film below features three generations of Grabers: my Dad, myself, and Peter Marshall Graber. It is accompanied by a song performed by Gospel Express Ministries and was made for the Fatherhood Commission’s film contest.

4 Responses to Just Like My Father

  1. Jack Paslay says:

    It’s a winner…or should be.

  2. Martha Artyomenko says:

    Great job, Joseph!

  3. Joe Graber says:

    The Graber Legacy. I Love it!

  4. Amy Cahill says:

    I enjoyed how you describe feeling manly just pulling on that cord, aspiring to do something bigger than yourself. A wise Dad to give you a vision and let you grow into it rather than arrange all of life to be instantly accomplished.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,674 other subscribers