What makes a great dad? How ‘bout honesty, integrity, and a robust prayer life! Tune in for a touching tribute to a godly dad as shared by his adult son.
who thinks Superman dies, You never think Superman, it’s gonna die. But that’s something that many of you in this room maybe have already faced. And if you haven’t faced it, it’s a turning point. Welcome to the focus on the family broadcast, helping families thrive. Well, there’s nothing like the influence of a godly dad, especially one that models how to pray for his Children. And today our guest is Brent reaves and he’s going to pay tribute to his father, the founder of Smokey john’s barbecue in Dallas. The family run restaurant has a reputation for serving up brisket with a side of holy spirit. And Brent is sharing what he learned about life and faith from his dad. Here’s Brent Reeves speaking to a group of men at an event hosted by Wingman ministries on focus on the family. That was intense. That was intense since I was two. What you saw here, we saw every single day, Tuesday, saturday, sunday, it didn’t make a difference. Dad was always on 10. Never had. You know, you know, some people have like a calm no, dad didn’t do that 5:30 AM. Hey, what’s going on? Y’all doing? Okay? Hey, look here, I’m gonna pray with you seven days and you could hear that from downstairs and we would all be asleep, but dad didn’t care because he’s on the phone. Mhm. And he pays all the bills. So you just learn how to how to sleep over his conversations. He was an amazing father and I’ll tell you what, you know, I miss him like crazy. The man that made a difference in my life passed away and probably the most difficult day of my life who thinks superman dies, you never think Superman, it’s gonna die. But that’s something that many of you in this room maybe have already faced. And if you haven’t faced it, it’s a turning point. It’s a turning point. Some men struggle with the idea or the concept of God and you know why? Because most of them don’t have a real relationship with their father, their natural father. So when you tell me there’s this God, this heavenly father who is leading me God and in directing me and the only guy that I knew there was a father sat around the house all day work during the week, had some beers on the weekend. Hmm, that’s difficult for me to hear this whole sovereign faithful God. I didn’t have that. I totally understood God because of the man that was my father. He showed who God was every single day, well not every day because you know, he had some imperfections to he, he wasn’t jesus like what do you mean, jeremy? But he tried his best to live according to how the bible wants us to live and he always tried to make a difference and make an impact on our lives every single day. He was very intentional, in that I wanted to share some things with you guys that I learned from the man, the father of my house that impacted my life. one of the things about my dad, this brother could pray, I mean if you knew that dad could pray, you would not get off the phone with him without him praying for you. And what I learned was, you know what as men, we’ve got to pray and not just when something is wrong, we’ve got to pray daily and continue to lift up our issues. Our families, our concerns, We’ve gotta pray. We’ve got to get the weights off because a lot of times guys, we walk around with a lot of burdens, we walk around with a lot of weight and a lot of times guys don’t want to talk about anything. We kind of just go along because you know what? Usually nobody cares am I wrong? Nobody cares things go in our lives every day and we take on more and more burden, but we don’t share anything. And the thing that we have to do is begin to share with God at least someone that can take all your burdens and then do something about it. But we don’t take the time sometimes to pray for our brothers and brothers. Brothers. We need, we need each other. We’ve got to pray chad just a few minutes ago before he said, can I can I pray with you before before you speak chad, you don’t know. My dad used to do that any time before I would speak and this is the first time I’ve ever spoken and he didn’t pray with before. So when you stepped up and you said that you don’t understand that was him because he would not let anything happen in anyone’s life without the power of prayer with him. The one thing I thought was amazing about my dad was how he prayed, he learned how to pray for my grandfather. My grandfather was a sharecropper. He endangered endangered field in east texas. My grandfather would get 80 acres together, he would get everything ready and dad would watch him do the same thing every year papa would get on his knees. So this is my great grandfather, papa would get on his knees and this is how he would pray. He said God it’s but here tell the ground, got it all plowed up, I put the seeds out, I got everything ready. The rest is yours. All of what I did means nothing if you don’t bring the rain, I need rain. God I appreciate you. I thank you for sending the rain and I thank you for the harvest that we’re gonna get. Amen. That’s how he learned how to pray changed my life because I always had seen people pray is dear. Auspicious heavenly I think you know man I don’t hey yeah I don’t even have that many vote where’s my vocabulary but what I can do is say God this is Brent stuff’s not working the way I needed to work, my wife is getting on my nerves today, can you help her well help me help me deal with her, you know, but I could talk to him and I learned how to communicate because that’s how my dad would do it. I remember getting up it four or 5:00 AM and I see the light on downstairs and I was going man what in the world who’s down there? I was probably about five years old, it’s my really first saw dad pray, he had a chair that he had sitting right in the middle of the room and he would sit on his and he’d be on his knees and he’d lay in the chair like this and he’d just pray out loud. See I didn’t know that. The reason why we were eating so many chopped beef sandwiches every day was because dad was broke, he had decided to close the bars and the clubs and went completely bankrupt. So what we had was what we were serving at the restaurant, I was about sick of chopped beef sandwiches but I didn’t know that that’s what we had but he would be, he would be down in that chair going God I don’t know how we’re gonna do christmas this year, I don’t have anything. Is there any way that you can make away from me and my family a few weeks later all of a sudden someone, I didn’t know this, but they were kind of, he was preparing us for this solemn christmas and then all of a sudden christmas morning I wake up and there were more gifts around the tree than I had ever seen in my life. I’ve never seen this minute, this is the most memorable Christmas stealing my mind, I’m 42 years old and I still remember the four wheel Tonka truck right by the tree because that’s what I wanted, but I knew there was no way I was gonna get it because we were struggling somehow. Years later I found out That someone had given him $5,000 and said buy everything you can for your kids out of the blue, but you know how that happened prayer prayer, he taught me how to pray. Another thing he taught me how to do was build relationships relationships are everything. Sometimes you may not have a certain connection or there’s something you specifically need and you can’t get it anywhere else. But maybe if you know somebody, maybe something can happen for you, dad knew that he knew the power of building relationships and he built relationships not necessarily for something, but because because he knew he had something to offer and he knew that someone else had something to offer him. Why because the power of God is in every one of us and the thing today that you may be lacking tim may have, but if you never talk to each other and if you never have that connection and if you never reach out and see Bill, how’s everything going? Bill? How are you doing today? Bill? If I don’t do that, I don’t reach out to you and I don’t build a relationship, then I don’t find out what’s going on in your life. And then I’m walking around aimlessly like I don’t care and what I’m doing is I’m missing opportunities to make an impact in somebody else’s life. one of the other things that dad taught me, This is a rough one. He told me how to be truthfully like raw tell the raw truth. That’s a hard one. That’s a hard one for me because I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. But dad did not have that in him. He didn’t care. I remember people used to get him to do marriage counseling for him And I think to myself, why did you ask him to give you marriage counseling? Is it because he wasn’t, you know, skilled and have the wisdom he was married 43 years. Yeah. He gave you all the advice in the world. But why did you want to talk to him? He’s going to be brutally honest. I remember hearing a time or two where he have a little bit of a session going with someone back in that meeting room at the restaurant. And I was talking to the brother and the brother was talking about all the stuff that was going on in his life and what’s happening in his relationship? And so dad just sat there and you listen to him. Okay, that’s good. Okay, Okay. He looked at the guy and said mm hmm son, you know what your problem is, don’t you? And the guy goes well, Smokey, I don’t I don’t know Smokey I don’t know. Dad looks at me says, well you’re stupid, you stupid. You say stupid stuff, you do stupid stuff, you say stupid stuff to your wife, your stupid. And the guy was like that’s unorthodox. He’s like I’m stupid, oh smoking, I’m stupid smoking, I’m stupid. He said listen man, go home, wash the dishes, cook for your wife, give us some flowers and stop being stupid. Alright, smoking. I got it, no problem. But dad can do that, he could do that. A friend of mine had a restaurant and he goes into this restaurant just grand opening great place comes in. Their dad tastes the food. Dad sits down and come and then he comes back to another the next day and the guy says mr Smokey, how’d you like the food? He said man wasn’t that good brother wasn’t that good. You need to put more pepper in your caesar salad because it’s nasty. It’s like okay So Dad dies on August 24. That guy comes to the restaurant to see me and he’s like crying and I’m going man, what’s going on? You okay? He is crying. He said, brother, what’s happened? He said, man, your dad just he was the only one that told me the truth man. And I was like, man, he’s like, he said, my caesar salad was nasty. I was like, he taught me the value of telling the truth. We’ve got to be able to be honest with each other. We’ve got to be able to tell each other the truth. Sometimes it’s hard and people ask you for advice. They really don’t want it. But if they ask you, guess what, tell them the truth. What’s the worst thing that’s gonna happen? They don’t come back to you with anything they want to ask no no more questions. Because one thing I know if I asked Mark, Mark’s gonna tell me the truth, right? But iron sharpens iron, Iron sharpens iron. And the truth is sharpening for you when people go around and we we well everything is okay and this is not, you know, nobody, it’s not. There’s no integrity in that. The one thing that you’ll know about Smokey about myself, I’m gonna tell you the truth. So if you really want to know, ask me a couple of other things that he taught me. Dad was great about this. He didn’t judge you, He didn’t judge you. And you know why he didn’t judge you. He needed too much Grace himself. And as men, we need Grace. But you know what we also need to do. We need to give grace. We need to give Grace. We’re so hard on each other at times. We’re hard on each other. We don’t give guys space. We’ll find out a guy messed up. A guy made a mistake. God went Fell off the wagon. It was sober for 10 years and and messed up man. How did you do that? No brother. It’s all right. It’s all right. Start over again. Start over if you messed up just that one time in 10 years How good is that compared to how you were before the 10. Figure out a way to give grace. One of the things that dad would tell me was he say son, I’m not going to be the holy spirit in your life. That changed that. That hit me. And it showed me how I needed to talk to others and how I need to share with others. I cannot be the holy spirit in somebody else’s life. I can encourage you. I can correct but I’m not gonna judge you. We’ve got to give people space. We have to give people room for God to do his thing in their lives. The best thing we can do is continue to be the example that we saw christ be and we we continue to be that same example and hopefully we can impact others not judging but be an example. Give each other grace. I think the most powerful thing about that that I we went through this week, that that his lessons and his example hit me so much was this year that trusted God, you can’t pray like that and expect something if you don’t trust him. You gotta trust him though. Sometimes there are things that happen in our lives that are so tragic or destructive or damaging that there is no way in our minds that we can see how we’re gonna get out of that any of you guys have been through any of those situations. Yeah. Has God brought you out? Has he brought you out in a way that like there’s no way that this could have ever happened, There’s no way I could have even gotten out of this this year. We had our 2000 and 17, we were in a record breaking year for Smokey john’s BBQ And I get a phone call in the middle of about 5:00, it tells me where that the restaurant is on fire. Mhm. And it’s not good if they block a main street off and you can’t get there and it’s your place, that’s a bad sign. So I finally talked one of the firefighters into letting me in there and the guys get there and said, how bad is it? He says, well um they lost everything, whoever man, it’s terrible, it’s horrible. And I’m thinking golly, yeah, you leave me any hope brother. Like there’s a little bit like man, so I get there 33 alarm fire fire trucks. I mean they’re everywhere. Get through that whole situation of being devastated and three days later the insurance company shows up and they look and go, oh man, this is a total loss here, They lost everything. I was like does anybody have any compassion at all? There is this just how you do it nowadays, you know? So I get through it and we’ve We finish up and the guy says, well looks like you got about $56,000 on your policy. It’s like $56,000. This is a total loss. It’s like, yeah well looks like half your policy was negated by a clause in your lease. So we R $300,000 policy was cut down to $56,000. Dad said, oh wow, who that’s rough son. Fight. I think he was like, I’m glad I gave you the business at that point. You know you get to trust God son, you get to trust him right now and you know what? He sat back and he said I want you to I want you to handle this, I want you to deal with it. And I was there were days where I couldn’t eat Where my stomach was in knots because we have 20 different employees that are not working as the weeks took kept going. I started to find out that there were other things that we had where the insurance companies started to change their minds. By the end of the time I’m praying I’m believing God, my brother and I are praying Dad’s praying we come back and at the end of last year the insurance company sends the check for the full amount plus some that was God. There’s no way in the world that we could have gotten out of that without trusting God. But we couldn’t have done it had we not, had we not seen that, had I not seen that example of trusting God with him And one of the things that dad would do is he would just stand firm and what he was believing for with God because what he how he did was he would pray the word back to God. He’s he would pray, he would say you said in your word, look, if we, if we seek then we will find, if you knock the door will be open if you ask, you will receive and he will speak the word back to God and I’ll tell you what God performs his own word all the time. But we have to be put in a position sometimes where we have to trust him. Those five things. As I look at those things, I realized that through my father, God showed me himself and as a mere man, if I saw those qualities, how much more is our heavenly father? So those who don’t have a father never had a father. There is one that’s greater than any earthly man is here and that heavenly father is wanting to do for you everything that you need. He wants to take you from one level to the next and he wants to change your life because he wants other people’s lives to change by watching you. I appreciate you guys and thank you for the opportunity to be able to speak to you today. Our thanks to Wingman ministries for providing us with this message from Brent reaves of smokey john’s barbecue in Dallas and what a great reminder of the influence that fathers have in the lives of their Children. And let me just add for the single moms out there. We know that you would love to have a Godly man Provide that kind of mentoring to your kids, especially if the dad is not in the picture or isn’t a believer and my heart goes out to you. Let me encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to provide that very person for your Children. And if you need more help, please give us a call and let us be there for you. Our number is 800 the letter a and the word family. And as we reach out to hurting families, we also need your support. We’re a non profit ministry and we depend on your donations to keep going. So please consider giving to focus on the family today. And when you make a donation of any amount, we’ll send you the cd of this message from Brent Reaves with extra content. That will be our way of saying, thank you for joining us in ministry, Donate as you can. And request your CB of today’s broadcast. Maybe for someone you know, who needs to hear this. When you call 800, the letter a in the word family or just click on the link on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us Today. I’m john fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in christ.