10 Questions to Ask Your Dad Before He’s Gone

by | Jun 17, 2016 | Parenting

“Larry, I’m sorry … your dad has died.”

With these words, my bond with my father changed forever in an instant of time. They remain indelibly etched in my memory.

Hours earlier, Stanley Tomczak returned from a church service, sat in his chair to read the devotional classic, Streams in the Desert and suddenly slumped forward, entering eternity. There was no warning. There was no preparation.

I was out of state in Akron, Ohio, minutes away from launching a new church plant. I also slumped my head forward, aware Dad and I would never have the chance to converse with one another again on this side of eternity.

Hours later that same Sunday night, I stood bedside with my wife and little son staring silently at his corpse on the gurney. Flashbacks flooded my mind from our three decades together.

“He’s gone.” I kept repeating under my breath. “He’s gone.”

A Library Burns Down

Someone once said, “When an older person dies, it’s like a library has burned down.” Gone are all the experiences, lessons and memories stored within.

My dad came from Poland as a child. He never finished high school and never owned a car. I led him to Christ in his 60s and baptized him in a California swimming pool when he accompanied me on a ministry trip. And yes, he had his flaws like every imperfect person does.

What sustained me in my grief during the next months was the certainty of his salvation and the storehouse of memories treasured from our times together.

As Father’s Day approaches, I share the above not to be morbid or put a damper on hopefully your upcoming time honoring your dad, but rather to provide you with an opportunity to enhance your day and deposit something in your and your family’s hearts.

Recently my 30-something daughter skillfully asked me some thought-provoking questions about my formative years. Nostalgia aside, it deepened our bond as father and daughter. Also, it was a lot of fun, so much so she wanted to resume the next day!

My wife did something similar with her parents a number of years ago. She actually recorded her aging parents’ responses to her questions about their lives’ journeys. The timing was very good, as her father passed away last year, but the memories and insights remain.

This Father’s Day, how about you do like Jesus did as he sat in the temple courts amidst the spiritual fathers of His day, “listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46).

Turn off the TV. Close the computer. Brush aside distractions and venture into the adventure land of memories and distilled wisdom. “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning” (Prov. 9:9).

“There’s gold in them thar’ hills,” so dig in to discover God’s nuggets for you this Sunday.

10 Questions for Your Father

  • What was one of the happiest, proudest moments of your life?
  • How did you get your first jobs and what memories do you have of your early job experiences?
  • Who are three people, dead or alive, who’ve had the greatest impact on your life and how?
  • What are your favorite song, movie and book?
  • What do you think was the dumbest thing you did as a child?
  • Looking back on your life as a teenager or adult, are there some things you’d do differently? Why?
  • When I was a child, do you remember specific memories with me or hopes you had for my life?
  • If you could go back and change one significant experience in your life, what would it be and why?
  • When were you the most discouraged and how did you overcome it?
  • Was there a turning point/defining moment that helped you grow into the man you are today?

 Redeeming the Time

Scripture instructs us to pray, “Teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). God equates wisdom with how we use our time.

On the special holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, we have golden opportunities to seize precious moments with loved ones, while they’re still with us. It’s important we don’t squander these moments remembering the brevity of life and finality of death.

“If a man dies, can he live again? He shall never be roused from his sleep” (Job 14:12).

A few weeks ago while filling my gas tank at Costco, an attendant told me of his fellow co-worker who just passed away.

Sudden cardiac arrest took his life while on his job. He was in the peak of health as a former Marine, had two children and recently lost his wife to cancer. He was 43.

Whether your father has 50 years to live or 50 days, pay tribute to him in a special way this Father’s Day. It’s a simple fact that, without him, you wouldn’t be here!

Happy Father’s Day 2016.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

My longtime friend Mario Murillo is providing a critical role in the body of Christ in speaking up against the wolves in sheep clothing. Matthew Henry said, "A traitor inside the camp is more dangerous than 1,000 persecutors outside the camp." Christians want to be...

Do You Need A Miracle? It’s In Your Mouth!

Do You Need A Miracle? It’s In Your Mouth!

So many people are in need of a miracle these days. So many people are experiencing lack, illness and despair. So many of these people are Christian people that are bewildered as to why they are experiencing such hardship. The Christian life is not an easy one, but it...

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Sodom and Gomorrah were real cities and real people lived there. These were notoriously sinful cities that God warned but eventually destroyed because of their wickedness (Gen. 19:24). These cities, infamous for their debauchery and homosexuality, are mentioned 23...

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

Are you bugged by a guilty conscience … carrying around baggage from a certain mistake or decision that produces feelings of regret or even self-loathing? We’ve all said or done things that we wish we could take back. And while it’s completely natural to grieve over a...

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

Christian married couples, like everyone else in the world, can have their ups and downs. The pressures at work, home and family can mount a pile so high you barely see your spouse on the other side. God created marriage and He longs for you to have a healthy,...


Prophecy: The Isaiah 60 Church Will Arise

I saw a movie several years ago about an Amish community. In the movie, when someone needed help (whether it was a crisis, a barn raising or help in harvesting their fields) they would ring a large...
Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

While he may not have realized it at the time, Fred Rogers, otherwise known as "Mr. Rogers" on the children's television program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," may have been anti-trans and also prophetic about the culture in America more than 40 years ago. A devoted...

Evangelist John Ramirez Exposing Satanism Infecting America

Evangelist John Ramirez Exposing Satanism Infecting America

Spiritual warfare is raging across America, yet few are talking about it or the ramifications that come with it. The Bible warns Christians of the enemy's plans, but the deception of the devil has relegated many to the sidelines instead of the frontlines where they...

14 Fervent Prayers for Gen Z

14 Fervent Prayers for Gen Z

Generation Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—is rising. They are entering the workforce, entering politics and entering the ministry. But spiritually speaking, this generation is in crisis. Forty-six percent of Gen Z say they’ve committed their lives to Jesus, which...

The Fresh and Mighty Wind of God’s Spirit Is Now Blowing

The Fresh and Mighty Wind of God’s Spirit Is Now Blowing

There is a fresh wind blowing. It is the fresh wind of His Spirit. It is not only a wind that will bring refreshment, healing, empowerment and strength, but it is a wind that will bring deep rest, deep clarity and a deep stirring of what He is breathing upon! I had a...

Yes, Jesus Did Address Sexual Sin

Yes, Jesus Did Address Sexual Sin

Yes, Chris Bryant, Jesus really did address the subject of homosexuality, no matter how much you might want to twist the issue. After the Church of England recently set down an edict that forbid same-sex couples to marry but that each individual would receive "God's...

Pin It on Pinterest