My father, Harold Kreider, was an amazing man. He went to be with the Lord last evening after fighting a courageous battle with cancer during the past few months. LaVerne and I were with him when he passed from this life to the next. Here are just a few of the reasons why my father was so amazing.

He loved my mother as they worked together side by side for more than 63 years farming and raising chrysanthemums. He loved my sister and me, and he loved our spouses, our children and grandchildren. He loved our Lord Jesus Christ and he loved his church. He loved to have fun, whether by playing his fiddle or telling jokes or playing checkers. My father just loved life.

He encouraged me again and again to follow my dreams, and he never criticized me when my new ideas did not work out as expected. I was encouraged to try again.

More than 20 years ago my father encouraged me to write my first book, before I had ever even thought of this possibility. He told me he wanted to finance this new venture for me. The money was never needed.

Dad would have loved if I could have taken over the family farm many years ago. I was the only son. But he never pressured me or made me feel guilty when I took another path. He encouraged me as I followed the call from God to minister the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in the nations. He taught me sound financial principles and modeled what it meant to be a true entrepreneur. I am eternally grateful.

I really miss my dad already. But now I know it is my turn to carry the mantle. My desire that is my father’s legacy of faith and encouragement will live on through me with a double portion; that I will have the grace to encourage others in their God-given dreams and visions as he has encouraged me again and again. Much of what the Lord has given me today is due to the sacrifice and obedience of my father. I am a blessed man.