A Father’s Day Tribute to James William Byrnes: My Honest Abe

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Proverbs 20:7 The righteous who walks in his integrity — blessed are his children after him! — ESV
When I was just a youngster, my family and I visited the zoo. Dad read every plaque and explained about every animal. But it wasn’t until we gathered around the picnic table to have lunch did I learn the real lesson of that day.

The picnic area had a concession stand and next to the stand was a vending machine. It was loaded with candy, chocolate bars and chips. As a nibbled on my peanut butter sandwich mom had made, I watched two boys pulling the knobs on the venting machine. Candy poured from the machine without a coin being dropped in the slot. They ran away with arms full of items. I walked over to the vending machine and pulled the knob. A Three Musketeers bar plopped in the tray below. I pulled another knob and a bag of chips crinkled as it too fell in the tray. My dad walked over and asked me what I was doing. “Look, Dad. Free candy,” I squealed showing him my stash. “Those aren’t free,” he said taking them from my hand. He then walked up to the concession stand and pulled out his wallet.
I stared at him bewildered. “Why would he pay for that? No one would ever have to know,” I thought. He paid for the items, then handed me the candy bar without saying a word.

How often we want to take the easy way out and yet our Heavenly Father shows us in His word the benefit of doing things His way. God promises in Proverbs 10:9a, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.” — ESV My father knew that.
Although my father is no longer with us, his integrity that day gave me a lifetime memory that shapes the decisions I now make as an adult. I have passed on that principle to my son who in turn is passing it on to his child. What a miracle to be able to watch the blessing God has promised continue on; shaping generation after generation.
I celebrate the memory of my father, James William Byrnes, this Father’s Day by praising the God who gave me 23 years of knowing him.
Cindy O’Halloran — Freelance writer, Book Reviewer, Speaker, and Playwright. Cindy is also the Homeschool Curriculum Coordinator for HYPERLINK “http://www.writershelper.org” http://www.writershelper.org . Be sure to visit Cindy’s website at: http://www.cohalloran.com

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