Monday, June 19, 2023


“Honor your father…” –Exodus 20:12

This Father’s Day, as I do every Father’s Day, I want to honor the wonderful legacy of my father, Pelham Staples. This year, I’m a day late with this one, but my dad’s legacy is timeless. 


My dad was born April 3, 1919 in Roopville, Georgia on a cotton farm. He was the fourth son of seven kids. After serving in World War II, he married my mom, went to medical school and practiced medicine for his whole career. But his main focus was always his four boys, of which I was the youngest. 


My dad died suddenly in 1988. He was my father, my hero and my security. When he died, my world stopped for a while. Even though it was 30 years ago, it seems like yesterday. I still miss him very much. The sting of grief has definitely turned into something sweeter than before, but I know that a part of me is gone and will never return. I also know that I have a heavenly Father that is more than capable of filling that void in my heart left on that cold December day. And I am so thankful for my wonderful family! 


It’s funny the things we remember about those that we love. When I think of my dad, I  remember things he said. He was a man of few words and language meant a lot to him.


“There are a lot of things worse than dying.” He often spoke of the sadness of lack of love within family, living a life of empty conceit and the importance of living life to fullest. I saw my dad die a lot through his giving spirit and unselfish attitude. He was a giver. 


“Worrying doesn’t stop the rain- besides the farmers need it.” Seldom did he comment on the rain-instead he rejoiced in who was receiving the blessing. My dad’s agrarian background often showed in his appreciation of nature. We’d be driving along, and he’d comment on “the beautiful crops.” 


 “Joey, I’d love to decide for you, but I’ll only decide with you.” I went to him for so much counsel. “Should I go to Baylor? What should be my major? What do I do after college? Should I marry this beautiful girl named Jeanie? Should we move to Branson?” With all the questions came that same response. He knew I needed to own my life, but he was always there for me.


After he died, as we sat at visitation at the funeral home, an old pickup truck pulled up in front and a well-dressed Mexican family filed out of the truck, 4 girls and the mom and dad. It was Gonzalo, my dad’s helper at our ranch, and his family. They had driven all the way from west Texas to honor my dad. They came over to my mom and the brothers and introduced themselves. Then he pulled up the cuff of his pants to show us his lizard skin boots. “Your father gave me these boots. One day he noticed my boots were old and worn out and right there on the spot he took off his boots and gave them to me. I will never forget Dr. Staples and I come to honor him.”


My dad would be the first to say he was far from perfect. But he was a dad that loved. I am so thankful I got to be his son, and that I can live the rest of my life to honor him and my heavenly Father.


Happy Fathers day!


By Eric Joseph Staples ©




Friday, June 16, 2023

Staying In My Yard

“Lord, what shall this man do?…What is that to thee? Follow thou Me” 

- John 21:21,22


Here is another Oswald Chambers classic from his devotional, “My Utmost from His Highest”dated Nov. 15th. It’s titled, “What is That to Thee?”


Oswald Chambers lived 1874-1917. Oswald was a P.K., a pastor, a teacher, principal of a Bible training college, a YMCA Chaplain, an author, a husband, and a dad. He died unexpectedly from complications with appendicitis at forty-three years old. Even in his short life, He made such a difference for Christ and his message still lives on. I’ve been learning from him nearly every morning for more than forty years! 


He was a giver and a server, so we can learn much from his perspective! 


My Utmost from His Highest

November 15    What Is That to Thee?

“One of our severest lessons comes from the stubborn refusal to see that we must not interfere in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s order for others. You see a certain person suffering, and you say — “He shall not suffer, and I will see that he does not.” You put your hand straight in front of God’s permissive will to prevent it, and God says — “What is that to thee?” If there is stagnation spiritually, never allow it to go on, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. Possibly you will find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another; proposing things you had no right to propose; advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit; your part is to be so rightly related to God that His discernment comes through you all the time for the blessing of another soul.

Most of us live on the borders of consciousness — consciously serving, consciously devoted to God. All this is immature, it is not the real life yet. The mature stage is the life of a child which is never conscious; we become so abandoned to God that the consciousness of being used never enters in. When we are consciously being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, there is another stage to be reached, where all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is eliminated. A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God.”

Wow! This is such an important reminder that, as servants and teachers and counselors, being used by God, we are NOT “fixers.”  Our responsibility is not to always fix the problem, but to have unaltered dependence on God. 

“Depend on the Lord.” Most of us have heard that challenge our whole lives, but the dependency hangs on our willingness to let go and let God have control. Most of us grab responsibility for people and things that are not ours to grab and force the situation to work.

Dependence means we trust God with the person or situation or thing. We “give it over” time and time again, if need be. In the “letting go” we release to our awesome God the load we’ve been carrying. 

Yes, there are times when God calls us to go into the other person’s “yard” and help or correct or serve. But there are also times when God says to “stay in your own yard.” Yes, that other yard could use some mowing, weed pulling and watering, but that’s not our job.

We do “interfere” when we just kick into “help-control” mode to fix someone and their circumstance. Let’s all go to our wonderful Lord first and seek His direction. His message might be, “Yes, you’ve discerned correctly, that there is a problem with this person. But no, it’s not your problem to fix, so move on.” 

It’s all a part of the Lord’s marching orders. And those “orders” are discerned through prayer and the counsel of our wonderful God.

May we all be people who are willing to help and serve. And may we all be people who are seeking God’s will as we reach out. If He says “go,” we go. If He says “stay,” we stay. Rest and peace follow when we seek His will and follow it. 

May we rest and flourish in that peace. 

By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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