In this heartfelt account of shared conversations and experiences from his father’s “wisdom, character, and common sense,” Rolland E. Daniels hopes to “plant truth in others,” as his father did in him by examining 18 important life principles.
Each chapter title and subtitle introduces the topics, which include: kindness, what matters, connections, perseverance, constructive conflict, and making tough choices, among others. Daniels provides a mix of Scripture and personal anecdotes to address each subject.
For example, in a chapter on integrity, he recounts the time his father, serving on the local school board, was involved in firing a teacher. The decision angered many, but Daniels’ father remained resolute, telling his son: “Sometimes responsibility is not easy and difficult decisions have to be made. But…you do the right thing, even when it costs you.” Daniels uses the biblical story of Joseph to further illustrate the point.
In a chapter on marriage, the author remembers his father’s words the night before his wedding: “Many people say that marriage is a fifty-fifty proposition. It isn’t. The real difference in a marriage happens when both parties are willing to give 100 percent.” The author adds that “Jesus spoke of selfless love when he said, ‘No one can have greater love than to give his life for his spouse’ (John 15:13 NLT).”
Daniels writes in a straightforward, easy-to-read manner, and his father’s wisdom is irrefutable. But sometimes anecdotes and biblical references meant to address the same topic seem only loosely connected, as when he cites the story of Kim Phuc—the Vietnamese woman made famous in a 1972 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of her running naked as a napalm bomb explodes behind her—in juxtaposition to a story about how his father refused to let him quit the football team. A stronger edit would improve the work.
Nonetheless, the transparency and genuineness of the author’s heart will resonate with readers, who will find some insights here.