Thanksgiving 1998: We're all wearing caps commemorating the recent reunion of Daddy's WWII regiment, the 398th Engineers. (missing - Michael, Patsy & Palmer's son)
L to R: Daddy; Alison; Travis; Patsy; Stephanie's husband, Jim Markgraf; Joanna; Stephanie; and yours truly
Jim is holding the cap belonging to Palmer McCown, Patsy's husband, who is taking the picture.
(I originally posted this on the TBMaston Foundation blog, Weighty Matters, on June 21, 2011. Last Friday, September 2, would have been Daddy's 98th birthday.)
Over the years, Dr. and Mrs. Maston and Tom Mc, their elder son, were visitors in our home on several occasions. Daddy always considered Dr. Maston his primary mentor and influence in his own ministry, but they were also close friends and stayed in touch regularly by mail and by phone.
A vision eventually began to form in Daddy's heart and mind - a vision of an entity that would keep Dr. Maston's life and teaching alive, long after Dr. Maston and his students were gone, as a legacy for generations yet unborn. When Daddy retired from the Home Mission Board at the beginning of 1979, he was able to focus more directly on this vision. He had already begun talking about the idea to some of his friends - fellow Maston students like Bill Pinson, Jimmy Allen, James Dunn, and Foy Valentine. In 1979, he flew to San Francisco and met with Bill Pinson - then president of Golden Gate Seminary - to discuss funding.
The T. B. Maston Scholarship Fund was born, ultimately becoming the TBMaston Foundation. In 1987, the Foundation held its first biennial Awards Dinner and honored Foy Valentine with the inaugural T. B. Maston Christian Ethics Award. Dr. and Mrs. Maston were in attendance. Dr. Maston died the following spring.
Daddy chaired the Foundation's Board of Trustees from its inception until 1992, after which he continued to support the work of the Foundation throughout his life. At the Foundation's 1993 Awards Dinner, the Board honored A. Jase Jones with the T. B. Maston Christian Ethics Award. I doubt that any recognition or award ever meant more to him than this one, because T. B. Maston had been the major influence in his life and ministry. In the years following, as Mother's failing health and then his own required him to step back from active involvement, Daddy remained pleased to see the vitality and work of the Maston Foundation.
I've tried to share just a little bit about Daddy's ministry - barely a nutshell view. But that doesn't even begin to tell the story of A. Jase Jones.
Father's Day reminds me of the caring Daddy who was patient and understanding when I lost my faith during my college years. He was the major influence in helping me to find my way back to Christ. Father's Day reminds me of the caring Granddaddy who doted over his grandkids - first Stephanie and Michael (Patsy's children) and then Alison and Travis (our kids), and then his great-grandchildren Jon Michael and Christopher (Stephanie's boys).
Father's Day reminds me of the loving husband who insisted on keeping Mother at home where he could personally take care of her day and night after she had become unable to care for herself. For him, the blessed marriage that lasted 59 years and ended only with her death in 1997 seemed much too short.
And last night, as I sat rocking our second grandchild, Anderson James Clements (born yesterday afternoon), in Alison's hospital room, I couldn't help but think how much Mother and Daddy would have loved Anderson and his sister, Avery Lin, if only they had lived to see them.
Above all else, they were loving parents, and Patsy and I - and our families - know how very blessed we've been. Thanks be to God.
Read part 1: Surrendered to God's Call
Read part 2: Seminary Student; Pastor; Home Missionary; and Chaplain