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I Plead the Fifth…Commandment, That Is…

 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12

I am pretty excited about a new series of posts I am starting for the Summer.  I do not yet know how long the series will be, so no commitments along those lines, but I have a feeling the well of material for this series runs pretty deep.  I will be writing about things I have learned about the church…from my Dad.

Some of you know my Dad.  He blogs over at  He recently marked the end of his 60th year in vocational ministry (read about that here).  He has pastored and served on various church staffs over the course of that 60 years, but probably made his deepest and widest mark on the kingdom (so far, anyway) as a denominational leader/worker.  Growing up in his shadow, it still seems to me that, no matter how many people know about me and my ministry, I will still be known by most of them as Ken Coffee’s son.  And you know what?  That is OK with me.  🙂

With Father’s Day coming up, I have decided to honor my Father in a special way.  For the last few months, I have been working (off and on) compiling a list of things I have learned from Dad.  This list was originally supposed to be a Christmas present to him, but it wasn’t ready.  So now it is becoming a Father’s Day present…one that will last throughout the Summer, because the list is long.  There are things about family and things about cars and things about vacations and things about finances and things about work and things about sports and things about, well, just about everything.  It is, after all, some 50 years of teaching!  But I’ll only be sharing some of it here.

When I started putting these thoughts down and organizing them, I was quickly drawn to the fun stuff.  Dad has always been about laughter and joking…much of my sense of humor comes from him.  For example, we used to play games in the car on our long family trips (Mom & Dad never had the good sense to live even reasonably close to their parents…something I learned early on would pay for itself in free childcare!).  Dad and I must have logged thousands of hours playing “The Alphabet Game” on those trips.  And it was Dad who taught me all those silly sayings that come up on a long drive:

And there are many, many more “Ken Coffee-isms” from other categories of life.

But I suppose Dad’s largest single impact on me, at least for our purposes here, is the deep influence he has had on my ecclesiology, i.e., my understanding of God and God’s people (the church).  So, that will become the main topic of this series of posts: Things Dad Taught Me About the Church.  StillI cannot promise I won’t sprinkle in some other, not-so-churchy stuff…there is, after all, a ton of great material to draw from.  And I really do think you will be glad to learn a lot of this!  But I do promise to at least try to keep focused on the church.  I think I can do that.  After all, as Ken Coffee always said to me…“Son, you can do anything you set out to do, but you have to believe in yourself.”

I believe!  I only hope you have as much fun reading this as I will in writing it!  See you back here next Thursday!


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