Banjo Ben

Please read...

A note from Banjo Ben...

Please read...

Postby Banjo Ben » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:53 pm

Hey y'all,

First of all, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has extended prayers and thoughts toward my family over these last couple months. For those who don't know, my father, who lives back in Texas on the farm, was diagnosed with fairly advanced multiple myeloma and another rare disease called amyloidosis. He started chemo at Baylor Hospital in Dallas about 4 weeks ago, and I've been running back and forth to help make decisions and care for my parents and the farm.

Last week, he suffered a major heart attack and is still in the hospital near our home in east Texas. I'm working on getting him transferred to Baylor soon so that his oncologist and other specialists can all see him at once.

Please continue to pray for him and my family, especially my mom and sisters. Penny and Katy have moved home from Nashville to be with my parents during this time, which I'm so thankful for. Also, pray for my travel as I'm going back and forth from Tennessee to Texas most every week.

I want to also thank you all for your patience as I'm juggling the site, my family here in Tennessee, and the affairs back in Texas. I have a dear, dear friend named Andy Lara that has stepped up to handle most of the day-to-day operations of the site. If you have any needs, you can contact him through the contact form or directly to his email, Andy@BanjoBenClark.com. I pledge to do my best to continue to upload a new video/tab each and every week, and I haven't skipped one yet, Lord willing.

I feel like you are all part of my family, and I have so many close friends and loved ones on the site that I've never even met face to face. I can't thank you enough for your support, prayer, and helping to spread the word about the site. Because of you, I'm able to be there for my family as they need me, and that is absolutely priceless.

I'll try to keep you updated as I receive more news. Above all, I know that our Father in Heaven is sovereign in all things, and His ways are always good, even when we can't understand them. Here are 2 verses that have been my family's anchor through this time, and perhaps they will speak to you as well:

Romans 8:28- And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

1 Peter 1:6-9- In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Finally, I have to say that without Jesus as my savior and comforter, situations like this would seem impossible. Even in the midst of sadness and tragedy, my heart is filled with the joy of His promises on which I stand. If you're going through a tough time right now and do not know Jesus as your savior and friend, I beg you to please email me and let me tell you how you can know Him. He loves you, in spite of anything you've done or can do, and He is ready to take your burden upon His shoulders and carry you through!

God bless each and every one of you...I love you all.

Ben
- G LICK!!!
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Banjo Ben
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Re: Please read...

Postby Banjo Ben » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:51 pm

My father, Mack Clark, left this world for his heavenly home last Friday afternoon with the family by his side. I want to thank ALL of you for your patience throughout this last year of his sickness. I had the special opportunity of preaching his funeral last Tuesday, and it was quite a celebration! Penny, Katy, and I sang "Just a Closer Walk with Thee," and The Quebe Sisters (look 'em up) sang and played triple fiddles on "Whispering Hope."

Thanks to your support and patience, I was able to spend much more time than normal with my dad who lived in Texas. Last Father's Day, I knew that his time was drawing near. I wasn't able to drive home to see him, but I wrote a letter to him and I'd like to share it with you.

Folks, the biggest gift we can give our kiddos is to raise them in the admonition of the Lord. My father did that, and he did it abundantly. I will miss him! But, we'll be together soon :D

Dear Daddy,

I’m not able to come home on Father’s Day, and I’m sorry about that. I know you don’t care, in that you know that I love you regardless, but I still wish that I could spend some time with you talking and telling stories. I was going to buy you some kind of gift, but I couldn’t think of anything that you really need–-except an iPhone--and I’m working on that.
This is just my 2nd Father’s Day as a daddy, and it doesn’t yet seem quite “real.” But still, even though Charlie Belle doesn’t fully have a grasp on me being her “daddy,” the question comes to my mind: What kind of dad am I? The only way I can really answer that question is if I have perspective. In other words, I have to have something to compare it to. As I think about that, I begin to realize that the only daddy I know set (and is setting) quite an example, and truthfully it’s a bit intimidating to begin measuring myself up to what I know the role of a father to be.
I realize that there are lots of kiddos out there that never had the daddy I have--actually, I’d say only a minority could relate. The role of an earthly father is to give a shadow of our heavenly Father. So, I wanted to share a few things with you that I’m most thankful for in you and your fatherhood–things that pointed me to Christ, serving as direction toward the incredible love our heavenly Father has for us.

Love- 1 John 4:19- We love because he first loved us.
Love is a big word, and can mean so many things to many different people. Actually, I think most times when people say the word love, they mean something radically different that fatherly love. True, agape love is a special kind of love that is quite rare. It is love only possible if itself flows from true, agape love from the Father. It works itself out in a myriad of ways, often in ways the world would even claim as unloving. But in all the following things I mention, they ultimately find their source in real love–a love I’m so thankful for.

Discipline- Hebrews 12:7- It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
No child naturally wants discipline. There were times that I thought you were too hard on me–every kid does. Now looking back, I’m most thankful for the times when you told me, “No.” There’s an illustration I often use when talking to people or in my teaching, and it’s a perspective only learned on a farm. I remember when you’d scold me for letting a horse run down the dam toward the barn at the end of a ride. At the time, I didn’t know why...besides, running was fun! Now, I realize that though it may have been fun for me–and fun for the horse–it was actually abusive to the horse. If I let that horse run to the barn and create a habit in doing so, the horse would come to expect that behavior and liberty every time it was pointed toward the barn. But when the horse was suddenly commanded to turn at the gate before the barn to continue the ride, the horse would not understand the different command, and a much greater discipline and pain would be needed to correct the behavior.
As I think about the way you taught me to train horses, I realize it was an overflow in how you trained and disciplined me. If boundaries were not set and a continual level of discipline applied, I would have gone out into the world to only be flattened by it. I would not have been prepared. I would have been broken. And though it would have been easier for you (and me!) at times to not discipline and let me run free to whatever barn I chose, it quite frankly would have been abusive, because it would have set me up for a future fall producing much more damage than any discipline received.

Protection- Luke 12:6-7- Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
In all of my childhood, I never felt in danger. Let that sink in. I never felt in danger. If anything or anyone threatened me, my immediate comfort was found in Daddy. What could touch me? Nothing! I know my overall childhood was rare, but the protection experienced in having you as a daddy has to be even more so. Physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually–I feared nothing in any of those realms. It still amazes me, for how many people can truly say that? What’s even more amazing is that those dangers did exist. But, I never knew them. Even if I did, they were powerless against me because of the safety I had in you.

Provision- 1 Timothy 5:8- But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We have never gone without. I’m undoubtedly your son, and I see myself becoming more like you all the time. But if there was only one thing I could choose to inherit more from you, it would be your work ethic. Our culture is becoming lazier by the day. Many well-meaning fathers, who even work hard, work for the wrong reasons. Their families are often put in the backseat while their own desires are satiated. Looking back, I realize that I didn’t notice the sacrifices you made because you didn’t portray them as sacrifices–it was just what you did. I can honestly say that my daddy is the hardest working man I’ve ever known. My house was a house that was provided for, and abundantly so.

Wisdom- James 1:5- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without approach, and it will be given to him.
This is one of those things that, like love, continues long after I’ve left the house. The world says wisdom comes from experience or books, and no doubt that plays a role, but there is no wisdom like godly wisdom. I want you to know that even now as I face situations, I often ask myself, “What would daddy do?” If I don’t know, I just ask you! You may perhaps wonder when you’ve communicated all this wisdom to me, so let me explain. Wisdom is not always communicated verbally, but rather observed in actions–a wise man builds his house on the rock. Wisdom is not always commanded, but relayed in humility–for humility comes before honor. A wise man knows when to say, “I don’t know”, and never assumes that which is prospective–without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed. You’ve said many wise things to me, but much was gained from things you didn’t say. I watched you build your house on a rock, but just as importantly saw that you didn’t build your house on the sand.

I’ve had the privilege of having you as my daddy for almost 34 years now. I don’t know how much longer either of us will be here, but that doesn’t matter. The Lord will call both you and me home when he decrees; to the purpose of his sovereign will. As I said at the top of this letter, the primary role of earthly fathers is to point their children to the heavenly Father; in countless ways, that you have done. As a result, my ultimate goal as a father is not to merely mimic what you’ve done as a father. My ultimate goal is to mimic how you’ve been a father. For that is to be like Christ, and in doing so I pray my example and influence will be used by God to foster within my children a desire to be disciples of Christ as well. There is no greater gift given, and no greater love shown.

I love you, Daddy. Your son,

Boo
- G LICK!!!
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Banjo Ben
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