In light of this team work according to godly standards, the lessons dad always felt important to teach us throughout our lives and through his personal example and investment of time is that,
- "Real growth is often experienced through great personal trial and sacrifice."
- "Nothing in life that is worth having will come easy, so don't expect it to."
- "Ultimately, if you commit to a task work as hard as you can to complete it as unto the Lord for He will judge the results of your effort and the motivation of your heart in the end regardless of how things turned out."
- "God will always be with us, if we are actively abiding in Him."
- “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Ultimately though God's glory was what dad sought for most in everything he put his hand to do. When talking with dad many times his life simply mirrored 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says,
- "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
While in the hospital and shortly before he had the tube inserted into his throat he said to mom and I one day that he believed God had brought him there because this was now his mission field. He was just as clear on his purpose then as he was until he was promoted home. We often witnessed how during his hospital stay in the first 33 days dad spoke to every doctor, nurse, counselor, case worker and housekeeper who came by or into his room and he always asked them of their spiritual condition. Then he would share what God had done for him during his life. As a result we estimate that he had spoken to at least 100 people during his month stay and 10 of those days he couldn't talk at all.
So clear was his focus and love for the Lord and His call that he couldn't keep quiet. What a joy and privilege it is to call Frank Patterson my father and my hero!
(August 3, 2015 at Salem Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC, read by Nat Thompson)