Father Knows Best

Dear Reader:

There are probably a good handful of us ‘baby boomers’ out there who still remember growing up with the popular series “Father Knows Best.” It aired from 1954 to 1960 and immediately went into syndication with the closing of the last episode.

The story plot was simple…There was Jim Anderson, the wise father, his common-sense wife Margaret, and their three children, Betty, Bud, and Kathy…they all lived in a small town in the middle of the country. Every time a problem arose…from big or small, silly or serious…each member of the family knew who to go to for help….FATHER…because, after all, ‘Father Knows Best.’


As a long-time history teacher the discussion of the importance of studying the past would come up for debate quite a lot with my eighth graders. I would put several different quotes up by famous people on the importance of studying history and have the students react to them.

After all these years of debating the purpose behind studying the past …. (one popular position being so our mistakes won’t be repeated- which sadly still occurs)… it has come to me that studying the time-line of mankind and his influences on earth over thousands of years helps us see a pattern that definitely repeats itself.

Yet…every once in awhile…something monumental happens…a catalyst comes along that changes everything we thought we knew prior to that event. Life is not the same again. Such is the birth of Jesus. As grandmother used to say “Timing is everything.”

David Jeremiah in the following excerpts from his article “God’s Timing: He Knows the Future” re-examines God’s role in history and also, in our own lives.

“God often does the most extraordinary things in the most ordinary ways. Sometimes His acts are clearly extraordinary — like the burning bush where Moses encountered Him (Exodus 3:1-6). But other times, they are so ordinary their significance is only gradually realized — like the birth of a Child in a stable in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).

There is no exact reason given in Scripture for the timing of Jesus’ birth. The apostle Paul said it happened “when the fullness of the time had come.”

As for location, it seems a comparison was at work: King David had been born in Bethlehem, and Jesus would be the “Son of David.” And a contrast: Bethlehem’s small stature in Judah would be contrasted with Jesus becoming the “Ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2).

In hindsight, we might have picked a different time and place for the Son of God to enter the world — just as we often question the times and ways God works in our life.”

One of the many messages of Christmas is God’s timing.

“Just as God sent His Son into the world in a seemingly “ordinary” way, so He works in our lives with the same purposefulness. As you celebrate Christ’s birth, remember that every work of God is extraordinary — including the times and ways He acts in your life.”

So until tomorrow…Isn’t it comforting to know that like the fictional Andersons in ‘Father Knows Best’ we all have a Father, too, who knows best and part of that “best” is timing. Only God has seen history from its creation until now…so only He has the vast expanse of knowledge about the importance of timing… that eludes our mortal capabilities. We must trust that God is helping us exactly at the right time in our lives.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Luke and Chelsey went through the potting shed and found an old orange planter in the back to re-plant “Little Big Red” so he could have more room…he was out-growing the original planter. Now he looks so happy in his rightful place on the bench at Christmas. Thank you Luke and Chelsey! A wonderful Christmas present!

The grandchildren have all been busy with Christmas activities…but Walsh took some time out with Rutledge and Lachlan just to go fishing!

Jackson and her boys are giving themselves a wonderful Christmas adventure road trip gift to to each other… they just landed in New Orleans…all dressed up for Christmas!

  That’s a good thing because I had three sets of visitors yesterday all bringing me sweets…I told them I felt like King Henry VIII sitting on his throne getting fatter and fatter…but really who can turn down Christmas sweets? Thank you K.C. Gin-g and Luke and Chelsey!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Father Knows Best

  1. bcparkison says:

    Isn’t it funny how we always think ‘sweets’ and Christmas .I recently thre out a lot of cliped recipes and most of them were sweet. And we wonder why the numbers climb.


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