The last time I traveled to Washington, D.C., it was 1991 and I was doing a story for HBO’s “Inside the NFL” on one of the Washington Redskins, Matt Millen. Unfortunately, I had the flu. With a high fever and achy bones, I was lying down in the backseat of the television photographer’s car when he said, “Lisa, we’re driving by the White House.” I mustered enough energy to look out the window then collapsed into my mobile sick bed again.
So when I found out my book, The Only Father I Ever Knew: How a Fatherless Child Finally Found True Love, was a Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist, and the ceremony was in Washington, D.C., I was determined to take advantage of this trip and see the great landmarks that I missed the last time I was in the nation’s capital.
As my husband and I toured famous sites like The Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol Building, I kept thinking about the importance of our founding fathers, men who established this country in their quest for religious freedom, men who still recognized the greatness of God.
In a letter to Benedict Arnold, George Washington said: “While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case are they answerable.”
George Washington recognized God as the ultimate judge.
James Madison, our fourth president once said, “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the governor of the universe.”
James Madison understood that God was all powerful.
In Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration address, Lincoln, our sixteenth president, said, “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.”
Abraham Lincoln knew the importance of relying on God.
Our inspirational founding fathers believed in the Father above all fathers. They probably understood that it is God who gave them favor and put them into positions of authority. ”For there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1).
As I reflect back on the past couple of days, I realize Washington, D.C. is the perfect setting for my book to be honored. It’s a book about the attributes of God that are father-like and it was recognized at the Mayflower Hotel, of all places, and in a city where so many founding fathers established this country on a foundation of religious freedom.
I am reminded of how thankful I am to God that I live in the United States of America. I do not take where I was planted for granted. I am grateful that I can write this blog and not worry about censorship because we still have religious freedom in this country.
I am thankful that a religious book like The Only Father I Ever Knew was recognized by a reputable, secular awards program like The Next Generation Indie Book Awards. However, I know it is my heavenly Father who gave me favor. After being turned down by a couple of traditional publishers, I was worried that the book, containing my heart for the only Father I ever knew, wasn’t a good enough offering to God. I needed to know if I had done an adequate job of describing my heavenly Father. That was the ultimate goal.
As it turned out, it is good—very good—downloaded from God for God. Thanks to Frank Ball for formatting this book and for designing an amazing cover. Thanks to Nonie Jobe for an excellent editing job. I pray The Only Father I Ever Knew will continue to turn hearts to the first Founding Father, upon which this nation and world rest—our Maker and Lord Almighty, God. I love you, Abba.