Good, Good Father

My dad has been a wonder seeker of God and His Word ever since I can remember. He prays like a poet with a mighty warrior’s heart. One early morning on a recent visit, he prayed:

Sometimes we can touch just the edges of the wonder of who You are and it leaves us staggered.”

I want to be staggered by the wonder of our Father God!

I have a favorite, old black-and-white photo of me with my dad when I was only three years old. We were at a wedding together where my dad, the minister, was officiating the wedding ceremony and I was the flower girl. All flower girls think the wedding day is all about them, so perhaps that is why I remember the day so vividly over fifty years later.

I remember mama curling my hair, tying my shoes, folding down my lace socks. But what I remember most is the dress. The top portion was soft black velvet and the puffy skirt was scratchy, purple taffeta.

1379256_10151944908764534_1347537967_nI rediscovered this photo just a few years ago in an old box at my parents’ home. What struck me the most is the expression on my father’s face. He is literally gleaming into the camera with eyes sparkling and a big grin. I love how he’s holding me with his strong arm and big hand, almost like I am tucked under his protective care. And I like to imagine he is thinking, “This is my beloved daughter and she is precious to me.”

I always think about the heart of our Father God while looking at this photo, now framed in my office. That’s easy for me to imagine because of how my dad fathered me, and the kind of loving father my husband has been to our girls.

But I know that isn’t every woman’s story. Unfortunately many of my friends have heartbreaking father stories. The homes they grew up in were anything but safe, protective, kind, and good. For some, it’s hard to even imagine God as a good, good Father. And yet, those same friends have some of the most beautiful relationships with God as their Father that I have ever seen. It’s almost as if they never take for granted that He is good and that He loves them unconditionally.

One of my favorite worship songs is called “Good Good Father,” written by singer-songwriters Pat Barrett and Tony Brown. Tony grew up in a home without a father and yet penned the powerful lyrics to this song about our Father God. Whatever your earthly father story is, I pray that the beautiful lyrics of this song encourage your heart today. Here’s a link to the YouTube recording of the song sung by Chris Tomlin with songwriter, Pat Barrett, and some of the lyrics are included below:

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am


What about you? I’d love to hear more about your father story, or how our Father God has shown you His faithfulness and unconditional love in your own life.


©2014 Songs / sixsteps Music / Vamos Publishing / Housefires Sounds (ASCAP) / Capitol CMG Paragon / Common Hymnal Digital / Tony Brown BMI Designee (BMI) (admin. at

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18 Responses

  1. This is one of my FAVORITE songs at the moment! I wasn’t privileged to have had a “good, good father”, yet God did bless me, for a little while, with an incredible father-in-law who showed me what my heavenly father may have been more like:) He has since passed, but I’m grateful for the time that I did have with him. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. I love this- He is so good. My son and his wife picked this song for their wedding ceremony last summer in our back yard. I remember standing there- worshiping God and thinking just how good He has been to me. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t believe a moment like this could be mine. It was so beautiful and I was truly overwhelmed by His love and presence. They had purposed to have a time of worship after their vows(before they even kissed) because they wanted to proclaim their First-love was Christ. They wanted their very first act as a married couple to be one of worship together. This post brought me back to that moment in time. Again, I am overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank You, Lord, for the 5 Godly Bubeck men. They are wonderful husbands, fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers! We have been so blessed to have them as our Dads! Love your blog, cousin. Keep writing!

  4. Judy I love this so much. What a beautiful reminder of what a good good Heavenly Father we have. I have been blessed by an incredible earthly father. So grateful for the miracles God has done in His life, as he is a two time cancer survivor. Today my nephew was baptized and I just could not stop praising God to be worshipping with hands lifted high with my whole family. Loved this beautiful post friend!

  5. Judy your Dad was such a very important part of Gary and my life and our children’s and family life, along with Gary’s dad, Clate Risley. Your dad married us in November 1969, he spiritually guided and taught our family so much. He baptized me when I was in my 20’s along with our two oldest son’s David and Daniel. He and your Mom were so very close to my parents, Bob and Evelyn, and your mom and my mom sat next to each other for years for choir practice. I was the youngest member of the choir and she was a true friend. We will always hold wonderful, beautiful fond memories of the good old days at Judson? Please give your Dad big hugs and kisses as he celebrates another gifted birthday?
    Love Gary and Rosemary Risley

    1. Oh Rosemary, How wonderful to read this beautiful tribute to my parents. We all have such great memories from Judson, and I’ll never forget the time we spent with your parents in their beautiful home. Thank you for taking the time to write! I’ll get your message to my dad!

  6. LOVE this, Judy – your sweet message and this powerful song! Ironically, I stumbled upon a #ThankfulThursday share of mine from last year which had a similar father theme. My post is scheduled for this Thursday on The Joy Movement FB page, and I’d love to share your beautiful post too, if that’s alright with you.

  7. Dear Judy,
    Precious picture of you and your Dad! What a wonderful memory to hold in your heart. As I read your “story” I could relate in so many ways: I have served as Women’s Ministries Director at Parkview Church near Atlanta for 24+ years.
    Longing for more – – -time = with my women, to read and study the Scriptures, to worship, to write my book, to be alone with Jesus, Missing the early morning hours with Him. One of my favorite thoughts on prayer is: “I didn’t come to ask You for anything, I just came to sit with you Lord.”
    God’s blessings be yours,

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