I wish I could've been there to watch the captain of the home team lead his teammates on the old gridiron.
That year, 1949, he stood six feet tall and weighed better than 200 pounds. His limbs were powerful, and his hands were large and strong. He was quick and agile. He was young... so very young.
Yet this was not his heyday. He turns 89 this month and everyday is heyday for Pops!
For seven decades he has remained a devoted husband and loving father. He is a champion at life.
He taught me, by his example, everything I needed to know in order to live life the way God intends for His children t live. He taught:
1. You have nothing to fear in life if you have faith in God and live to please him.
2. Treat all people the way you would want to be treated.
3. Whatever you do, give it your all. If it's worth doing, do it right.
4. Be faithful and make your word good.
5. Don't take yourself too seriously and be willing to laugh at yourself.
6. Love the church with a zeal that consumes.
7. Love unconditionally and be there for others. He has always been there for me — shooting hoops, playing catch, making Ovaltine milkshakes for me and my friends, coaching my Little League team, taking my Sunday School class to a Lakers' game, and letting the cat out of the bag about my Christmas gift every year.
I didn't get to see him play football, but I've seen him in his heyday. I could not have hand-picked a better father if I had searched the world over and over! I can't imagine life without him. I love you, Pops!
Ken Haskins is pastor at First Christian Church.