In 1990 Jon Gibson released one of my favorite albums, Jesus Loves Ya. One of my favorite songs on the album is called Preacher Man. This song reminds me of my Dad, Bruce Ingle. When this album was released Dad had recently gotten his ministers license. Whenever I hear the song, I think of dad.
My dad was born in 1950. He says he came to know Jesus when he was the rottenest, most vile sinner at the age of 4 (Yes, he has that type of humor). He met my mom at Pentecostal Bible College in 1971 and was married in January of 1972. He got the best gift of his life, me (Sorry, Nate) in 1973. Then my brother came along in 1974. We grew up in Southern California. He was ornery, like my Poppy, and had a habit of hiding and scaring the life out of us. He was very patient about it too. One time he hid under Nate’s bed for over 2 hours to scare him. He has also done other things, that people in the church couldn’t quite believe until he started practical joking them!
Dad worked at a Rental yard for a long time, 18 years I think. He never wanted to become a pastor. His dad was a pastor, as was his Father-in-law, and he and mom agreed they were content just working in churches.
As we grew up, Dad passed along his love of music to Nate and me. The first time I ever sang with him was in Perris, Ca. I was very, very young, and we sang “I Get A Little Closer” by the Imperials. Dad played his guitar, and I held the mic, hidden behind the pulpit with my back to the congregation, and sang my little heart out. I’ve always loved singing with my dad.
When we became teenagers, Dad would always take Nate to baseball games, and me to concerts. He endured many Kim Boyce, Jon Gibson, Bryan Duncan, The Allies, etc. concerts. Dad likes a wide variety of music. The first concert he ever took us to was to see Jake Hess, JD Sumner, Rovie Lister, James Blackwood, and Rosie Rozell. I didn’t realize the history of Christian music that was in that room until I was older, but it was a great time.
My favorite place Dad and Mom would take us was Christian Nights at Knott’s Berry Farm. About 3 times a year, Knott’s held from 8 pm to 2 am a huge Christian concert. Dad, Nate, and I would go from concert to concert. One time while waiting for the Allies to play we couldn’t find dad; all of a sudden we looked on stage because people were starting to clap and there was dad walking the stage with Randy Thomas, who played the guitar. Pretty soon our friends were yelling, “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce.” Then the whole crowd was yelling his name. It was pretty funny.
Later the same night, we went to see DC Talk. Dad disappeared again. He climbed up a rock wall and lay on his side next to speaker be bopping to the music. Pretty soon Toby Mac strolled over and shook hands with him. My dad was pretty stinking cool.
Dad began in my teen years to feel a call to pastor. In 1993, he was elected to a church in Northern California in a town called Susanville. He and Mom have been pastors up here in Northeast California for 18 ½ years. I am happy to serve as Music Director under his leadership.
While growing up, Dad and Mom taught us how to have faith in God. Whether it was good times, or bad they always remained faithful. Thank you, Dad, for your unwavering faith and raising me to know God. I love you. Oh yeah, Happy birthday!!
I take such pride in being able to make the statement that is the title of this blog post. Especially in a time where parents are taken for granted. Let me explain:
The way my Dad became my Dad is not the same story as most, but similar to many. I’ve known him my entire life, but he did not become my “Step Dad” (I HATE that phrase.) until I was 14 when after many prayers on my part he married my Mom. I’ve been estranged from my biological father since I was about 3, and while I had an amazing Grandpa who helped my Mom raise me until he passed away when I was 11… I never had someone to call “Dad”.
Naturally, having a new authority figure during my teen years was quite a challenge. Dean, my Dad, had only had sons and was not used to the emotions that come out of teenage girls. I had been without a father figure for a few years, and didn’t know how to react to him some times. We did, however, eventually find our niche and have realized the blessing we are to each other. Through the years we have had our ups and downs. But, I never realized just how much I loved him until this year.
Dean has scoliosis and many other problems with his back. In the past year and a half, he has had 3 back surgeries and will soon have another. With this last surgery we nearly lost him though.
Early one morning in April of this year, he was put under anesthesia. The neurosurgeon told my Mom it would be about 3 hours. The surgery, however, lasted 18 hours. Yes, you read that right. 18 hours. Everything went wrong, they were not equipped, things were worse than expected, and they had to cut deeper and further than planned. He was laying on his stomach the entire time. When we finally saw him, he didn’t look at all like the man who WALKED into the hospital. He was extremely swollen, had a breathing tube down his throat, and wires/tubes going in and out of him over most of his body. We had planned that we’d be taking him home, but now he was in the ICU in critical condition.
The next day they informed us that he was experiencing renal failure. They took out the breathing tube, but still had to stay on oxygen. Gradually over the next few days he made less and less sense. His kidneys were getting worse. We became very concerned and began to prepare for the worst. I was almost 30 weeks pregnant when he went in the hospital. I would sit next to his bed and cry. Would he know his new granddaughter that he was so excited for? Would he ever be able to hold his other grandchildren again? I cried at the thought of never taking him home. My best friend had lost her Dad just a few weeks before, and as much as I hated seeing her pain and anguish, I did not want to experience that. I was determined a miracle had to happen, but at times my faith would slack. How could anyone recover from this?
That Tuesday, Diania and I set up a prayer vigil. We all gathered outside his window and prayed. All over we had people praying at exactly the same time as we had made it a Facebook event and got the news out by word of mouth also. Right then, he woke up, was lucid, and from there he very slowly recovered.God had answered our prayers!
After more than a month in the hospital, he finally came home. He is still unable to walk without a walker and has other issues, but he is on the road to what I have faith will be a FULL recovery. Tonight he is “on tour” with his country gospel band, The Tomes Brothers, as they minister in Illinois. God gave us a miracle!
I knew I loved my Dad, I just never knew how much. He has taught me so much over time about God, life, cars, and many other things. Every day I praise God, my Heavenly Father, that He did not take my Dad here on earth from me, and that Dean is still able to minister through song and teaching to so many others. Hallelujah!
To begin, a couple of months ago, Angie told me about the “blog” thing that she was wanting to get going, and told me to pray about joining her. Well, I’ve always kept a journal of sorts, and I constantly have thoughts running thru my head so I’d jot a note here or write something down there. I never thought about my writing being a part of a ministry.
So, the more I thought about it, I really started getting excited! Finally, an outlet for my creative thinking! I knew God had to give it to me for a reason. It is actually in my blood. My dad has been a writer for years. He has actually written thousands of stories and poems, and he is most definitely where I get my art of dry humor. (Not to mention the countless songs he has written.)
My mother also has a humor that my sister and I definitely get. So having a ‘funny bone’ from both sides of the family, is a double whammy!
It is important to teach our children to laugh. To find humor in the little things and of course, that there is a time and a place for it. For instance, I know that if a child ‘poots’ or ‘belches’, it makes a funny sound. Children want to laugh at this by instinct. I would be mortified if my children made a huge deal of it in public or in front of guest in my home. On the other hand, if we are home alone, they can laugh over it to their hearts content. Now, I know that others do not share this view, but that’s O.K., we are all different. AND, everybody does it. =)
Finally, I consented to Angie and said, “I guess I’ll do it”, in my best Eeyore voice, or type… Though the inside of me was like, Wow, I can’t believe that I’m gonna be a part of something. A plan was coming together.
I know that I will make several mistakes in my typing and grammar, and that I’m going to mix up my Bible stories at some point, (LOL thank u to my brother-in-law for pointing that out!), and that some blogs will be more humorous, while others will be on the serious side, But bare with me! We all make mistakes and I’m not going to pretend that I don’t. I make tons of them. I am excited that this thing is launched and that we are able to minister to mothers and mothers at heart, and whom ever else reads this. (We definitely know that life can be hard at times and we want to be a bright spot in your day.)