Pittsburgh Steelers: 2014 Kick-Off Weekend
"...You are my Son; today I have become your Father..." Psalms 2:7
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1
This how my Dad introduces me. To everyone. No hesitation, no reservations, no quams about it. He will meet you (and if you know Tony, you know he will) and then quickly introduce me, "This is My Son."
This past weekend, my Dad and I went to Pittsburgh for the home opener. We are huge Steelers fan! My Dad has instilled the love of the Steelers since I can remember. And this past weekend, a dream has been fullfilled...I got to watch a game with my Dad at Heinz Field. My Dad has been before, but this was my first visit to Heinz. Let me tell ya...this entire weekend was amazing. The city, the stadium, the fans, the food, the beer...all of it was truly an experience I will remember forever. But the best memory of the weekend is just being able to spend time with my dad.
So back to introductions...It's not the fact he introduces me EVERYTIME he meets a new person that gets to me...No. This is no surprise since he is a genuinely courteous guy and wants everyone to feel welcomed,...it's HOW he introduces me EVERTIME that amazes me. You see, my dad just doesn't introduce me to be courteous, or to be inclusive, or whatever it is people feel when they introduce others. For my dad, you can see it means much more. Over and over again, my dad would go over and introduce himself, and then with beaming pride...introduce me, "This is MY son!"
And it didn't let up. The introduction never wavers or seems to lessen over time. My dad enthusiastically, proudly, and excitedly wants the stranger to meet ME! Again...
"THIS IS MY SON."
My dad wants to let you know who I am, and because of who I am...there's an implication that is unmistakeable. When my dad calls me "Son", with his reverent tone and kind blue eyes, it shouts to the world exactly what's on his heart: I LOVE MY SON! This past weekend, I realized that my dad wasn't simply introducing me...in his heart, he was doing much more. My dad exercised his authority as a father and claimed me...and in doing so, he proudly presented me...honored me...exalted me. Trust me, I don't deserve the type of introduction my father gives me...but it doesn't matter to him. Regardless of myself, my dad unconditionally loves me, honors me, serves me, and much much more.
At one point in the weekend, I sent Sarah a text saying, "being called My SON is the best term of endearment." Because in my case, it means I always belong...I always have a place to go...I am always looked out for...I am always taken care of...and most importantly, I am always loved! No matter what...I am always loved. Simply because I am a son or daughter, and nothing more, I am a source of pride to my father.
So this leads me to my Heavenly Father. How much more is this the case with our Father in Heaven? Now, I know there are many that have strained, difficult, or non-existent dads. So it is difficult to see God as a father. It is difficult to see God as a loving father who is proud to call you Son or Daughter. There is no way He made you...or claims you...is proud of you...loves you...or maybe even think that He doesn't even know you. Maybe...because of what you think of Him...you don't care to know Him. I get it. I see it everyday. I can understand your thoughts on Him.
But please know this is not true. This past weekend, I was shown a glimpse of our Father's love through my dad. And though I'm sure there are many that cannot relate, I want to share with you that God the Father sees us as His children. Despite what we think, or feel about Him...it doesn't matter, He still sees us as His own. He created us, breathed life into us, sees us, knows us, desires and pursues after us. God the Father is deeply, deeply in love with you.
God says, "I will be a Father to you...and you will be my sons and daughter." You know the implications of this promise? Do you know how big of a hug and kiss this is to us? Do you know what He wants for you by shouting this out into the vast corners of all the galaxies?
God is screaming...telling us: "YOU ARE MY SON! YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER! YOU ARE MINE!" And it's not just a simple introduction of who we are. No! It's the ultimate invitation. It's the ultimate declaration. It's the ultimate term of endearment from the Ultimate Being...It's God, without hesitation, reservation, or quams about it...proclaiming that we all belong! We all have a place...we are always looked out for...we are all taken care of...and most of all, that He personally, deeply, passionately loves us. God is proud to be our Father. Imagine that...us, the source of his pride.
"YOU ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS!"
What: Pittsburgh Steelers Home Opener...Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Who: Tony, Milena, Me Pasquel
Want to thank my woderful momma (Milena/Nena) for making this weekend happen. She surprised us earlier in the year with Father's Day presents to the game. She took care of everything for us. Everything was easy for my dad and I...Mom, thank you from the bottom of my heart! You are the best!
Not much of a trip report for this one...other than the Steelers beat the Browns 30-27...and it was way to close for comfort. We had a great time dining at a few places...including the famous Primanti Bros...