“You look just like Emil!” the elderly lady exclaimed. I saw her at a family gathering this spring. She was a friend of my parents. I had not seen her in forty  years. Later she came to me and repeated her comment several more times. I took it as a complement. While my father Emil and I had different hair and skin color as well as different sun exposures (Pastor vs. Wheat Farmer), yet the resemblance was clear nearly a half century later. My old friend clearly made the connection. Apples don't fall far from the tree.

                                 Three generations: Myself (Mark) and my son Joshua along with my father Emil on the ranch in the 1970's.

                                 Three generations: Myself (Mark) and my son Joshua along with my father Emil on the ranch in the 1970's.

Today studies of DNA have made it possible to determine lineage in ways we never imagined. I recently found out I was 31% Irish. That explains a lot of things.  

What is really interesting is that in the 90’s a team of geneticists began studying a tiny marker on the Y chromosome (That's DNA stuff). Eventual they found this marker in 16 different populations across Asia to the Caspian Sea.  A full 8% carried the marker. In fact it originated from Mongolia 800 years ago.  Eventually they traced it to Genghis Khan himself. Don’t ask me how. The amazing thing is that the Great Khan has 16,000,000 living relatives (That's not a misprint).  And I thought I had a big family!

Now Genghis Khan is not the nicest father in history. He is known for establishing the Mongol Empire by raping and pillaging across Eurasia and slaughtering entire populations.

It is amazing how we resemble our fathers. Fathers Day is a good time to remember that even the best of our earthly fathers were affected by sin. Some of our fathers were notorious abusive.  Some actually were relatively good fathers, by God’s grace.  But, DNA reminds us that we inherited the sin nature from our father Adam.  Apples do not fall far from the tree.

On the other hand we must be thankful for God's sovereign placement of each of us in a human family for His purposes. Even if you belong to Genghis Khan there is hope.  So honor your earthly father.

The Gospels tell us God gave the right to become children of God to all who in faith trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior (Jn. 1:12). From there we move forward.

Our heavenly Father is the ultimate example of fatherhood. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! …” (1 John 3:1a). We’ll find out more about God the Father as our ultimate example this Sunday for Fathers Day.

Join us for Dad's Day breakfast at 9:15 and then worship at 10:30. Or watch online in our LIvestream at  See our church calendar for all events.