19/06/2016 Songs of Praise


19/06/2016

David Grant explores what makes a great dad, from the mountaineer raising money to help children like his son, to blogger EuGene and his family sharing top tips on fatherhood.


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Transcript


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It's Father's Day and many dads will have received one of these

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if they're lucky because there are still only

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half as many of these sold as there are Mother's Day cards.

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So, on today's Songs Of Praise

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we raise a cheer for fathers everywhere.

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I meet the Jordan family to share their thoughts

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on food, faith and fatherhood.

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My dad is good because he gets my clothes ready.

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He likes to make jokes a lot.

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He fixes light bulbs when he doesn't even know when they're on.

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He is still alive. He's OK.

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We hear how one father is helping his young son reach new heights.

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I think he's the best daddy who's ever walked this earth.

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And 40 years after the death of Agatha Christie,

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Richard Taylor visits her home on the trail of a church mystery.

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For our music today,

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we have a great performance from gospel singer Lorraine Cato

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and our hymns reflect the love, guidance and strength

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we receive from the greatest father of them all, God the Father.

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I grew up without one and now I am one

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and I consider it the most important job I've got.

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But being a dad is not always easy, especially if, like me,

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you don't have a role model.

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These days, more and more people are turning to the internet for advice.

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Like EuGene Jordan.

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He's gone a step further and set up his own video blog

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following his traumatic experience of becoming a father.

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It was a bit of a difficult experience for us

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because a few hours after my daughter was born,

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we noticed that she was having a seizure

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and down one side of her body was just shaking.

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It was really traumatic to witness because,

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being a first-time parent, we didn't know what was going on.

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The seizures were caused because of two blood clots in her brain

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and, you know, we were prepared for the worst.

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We were told that this might have a negative impact on her,

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be it a learning disability or perhaps even walking.

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And, being a family of faith, we spoke to our parents,

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we spoke to our friends and our churches all prayed

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and within a matter of days,

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the report came back from the doctor and she said,

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"Well, we don't know where they've gone, but the blood clots are no longer there."

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So, for me,

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it was an incredible time where I witnessed my first-ever miracle.

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We hear about miracles in the Bible, but I've never seen one myself.

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And that kind of gave me a new desire and a new...

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More faith in God.

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I think, if that never happened,

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I would have been just a parent who just kind of winged it.

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My daughter and I, we do loads of things together.

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We go to church as a family, she sits next to me

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whilst I'm playing the drums and she has her own little pad.

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# Holy spirit... #

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Although I come from a big family,

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and I've got my dad and my four brothers,

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nobody close to me had been through the experience I'd been through.

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I kind of closed myself off a bit

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because I didn't have anybody to talk to about it.

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But then I really wanted to make sure that fathers who have

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gone through a similar experience that I have,

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that they know that they're not alone.

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So I decided to share my story and my journey online

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and I posted a YouTube video.

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What Father's Day message should I say?

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Hi, I'm EuGene Jordan and we're here to talk about...

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With technical assistance from his wife, Keisha,

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and their daughter, EuGene has created a Men and Marriage site.

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-Hi, I'm EuGene and this is...

-Geneva.

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And you're watching the fatherhood series.

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What's been the response to the blog?

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Um, it's been bigger than I actually would have imagined.

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I never thought I would get guys sharing their story back with me.

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Usually, guys talk about facts and statistics

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and here I am sharing my feelings.

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He's now enlisted the help of his dad and four brothers.

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If you provide everything in the quantity and quality

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and the love that you're supposed to, you cannot help

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but be seen as a Superman, you cannot.

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Any time I flick on the TV, I genuinely see some bozo

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not really paying attention to his child.

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I know, those fathers I've connected with,

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who actually play a significant part in their children's life...

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We need to shine some light on those kind of guys

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because that's really going to help other new dads or other fathers

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who thought, actually, this job is really difficult.

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So, what does a blog about fathering do on Father's Day?

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I guess what any son should do, go and see their dad.

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At EuGene's parents' home, known as Jordan HQ,

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the whole family regularly descend for Sunday dinner, all 24 of them.

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-This is my family. This is my mum.

-Hi, Mum.

-Hello.

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-Hi, David.

-Hiya.

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-Where's your dad?

-Well, he's in the kitchen.

-I need to meet him.

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-Mr Jordan!

-Ah!

-Father of the family.

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Good to see a man in the kitchen. I love cooking, myself.

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Listen, can I help you while we have our next hymn?

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-Give that a stir.

-Great. It's Good, Good Father.

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CHILDREN'S LAUGHTER

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For many dads, a kick-about in the garden with the kids

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is what the weekend's all about.

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That's certainly the case for one father and son,

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even if the ball does need a little adapting.

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Football with Jackson is a little trickier

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than football with anyone else.

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The special balls I've got has bells inside it, so when I jingle it,

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it goes ding-a-ling.

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Jackson was diagnosed with LCA,

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which is Leber's congenital amaurosis, at three months old.

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From what we've been told,

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it's like the equivalent of looking through five net curtains.

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So, that's only about a metre of vision.

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I think he's the best daddy who has ever walked this earth.

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As a father... Well, to begin with, I was completely devastated.

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Sadly, most people will turn to faith when tragedy strikes

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and, for us, at that time, it was tragic.

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You know, we'd just introduced this beautiful baby boy

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into the world, and then to find out that, actually,

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there was something that wasn't quite right.

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And our faith is what got us through the early stages.

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I think if there's something that I'd deeply, most deeply desire,

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it's to just be the same as everybody else.

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They have said that within his lifetime there should be a cure.

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Kevin's got a mountain to climb to raise money to make this possible.

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So, the next task is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

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It's a little bit nerve-racking.

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There's a lot of training to be done beforehand,

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so over the next few months I will be training on Snowdon

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to make sure that I'm trained as much as I can be.

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Climbing Snowdon, Britain's second-highest mountain,

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will be a challenge in itself, so in preparation,

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Kevin and Jackson are leaving Mum behind

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and going for a boy's day out, taking the train part of the way up.

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You know, it will be an amazing experience for him

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and I can't wait to get him up to the top of that mountain.

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I'm really, really excited

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because it's my first time ever on a mountain.

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TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS

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So, this is the train. How cool is it?

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-# Just the two of us...

-A big step up.

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-# We can make it if we try...

-Well done. Good work!

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# Just the two of us... #

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It's an hour-long journey to the top.

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Off we go!

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WHISTLE BLOWS

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So, Jacks, I can now see all the way up the track

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-for about 200 or 300 yards.

-Yeah.

-And it's all going uphill,

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-really, really steep.

-Wow!

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You're going to start hearing the engine roaring in a minute.

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And you'll feel yourself tipping back into your seat.

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-Are you ready for it?

-Yeah.

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-OK, Jackson, there's a really big drop to our left-hand side.

-Wow!

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Come on, train! You can do it!

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The train has taken them as far as it can.

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It's down to Jackson now to get to the summit at 3,560 feet.

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-Can you feel that wind?

-Yeah, I can.

-It's because we're so high up.

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-This way.

-Hey! That was a huge rock.

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Right, a really uneven surface now.

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-There we go.

-There we are. We're at the top.

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-How does it feel?

-We're on the summit!

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-Well done, mate.

-We're on the peak!

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Good work. Well done!

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-A Snowdon cheer!

-Well done, buddy boy!

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-A summit cheer!

-Well done.

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-We are at the top.

-Yay!

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Yay, we're at the top!

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-You're the highest boy in Wales right now.

-Am I?

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-Yep.

-Wow!

-It's official!

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# As the Father has loved me

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# So have I loved you

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# Remain in my love

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# Remain in my love

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# This is my commandment

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# That you love one another

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# As I have loved you

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# God is love and those who live in love...

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# Live in God and God lives in them

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-# God is love

-God is love

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-# God is love

-God is love

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# If you keep my commandment

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# You will remain in my love

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-# Love one another

-As I have loved you

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-# Then your joy is complete

-Then your joy is complete

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# If you keep my commandment

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# And you love one another

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# Your joy will be complete #

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Time now for a little family mystery.

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Our church detective, Richard Taylor,

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has been investigating a personal secret

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of one of our best-loved crime writers who died 40 years ago.

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Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime,

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the best-selling author of the 20th century,

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the creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple,

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The Queen Of Crime...

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was also a devout churchgoer

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and it turns out that this intensely private lady

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had a few church secrets of her own.

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I've come to her home, Greenways, in South Devon, to find out more.

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The house is now owned by the National Trust

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and it's been preserved exactly as it was in Christie's day.

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It's full of her things, some of them are little spine tingling.

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And this is her drawing room,

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the place where the writer of classics

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like Death On The Nile, Murder On The Orient Express

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and The Mousetrap would come to escape.

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She wrote at this desk, but, above all,

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this place was about home and it was about family.

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Christie would attend services at St Mary's Church

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in the nearby village of Churston Ferrers.

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I'm going to St Mary's to meet with Agatha Christie's grandson,

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Matthew Prichard.

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She was always very happy in this church

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and I think she felt closer to God here than in most places.

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And she was obviously a very devout person.

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Even when I was younger I worked that out.

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She was a very private person.

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She has a great reputation of being shy, which she was,

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and she was quite shy about her spirituality as well.

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Sad to say, I think we probably learned more about her spirituality

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after she died than we knew when she was alive.

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Earlier in her life,

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when she got married in the middle of the First World War

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to, obviously my grandfather, Archie,

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we found a picture of Archie

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who was quite a handsome young man.

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He was, wasn't he?

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But, interestingly, on the back there is some handwritten script

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which comes, I believe, from Psalm 91, and this was in the form

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of a prayer that she would get him back safe and sound after the war.

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"Thou art my hope and my stronghold, my God. In him will I trust."

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That is lovely.

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As a member of the family, strangely enough I still miss her.

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She was a terrific person and I learnt a lot from her

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and I think, even in the 21st century, we still gain

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-a huge amount of enjoyment from the work that she did.

-Mm.

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Christie gave the church a secret gift which is still there.

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It was only after her death that people discovered

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that Agatha Christie had donated this window to the church.

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The story was that, as she sat here in services

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when the glass was plain, she just felt that something was missing.

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So she commissioned an artist, telling him

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that she wanted something that would appeal to children,

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like her grandson, Matthew.

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The window is coloured with the most beautiful pinks and purples.

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In the centre, you have Christ, the Good Shepherd.

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On the left is the Nativity

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with the shepherds visiting baby Jesus in the stable.

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And on the right, you have Jesus walking on water

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and fishermen at their nets.

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When she was at home in Devon, either growing up or later

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at Greenways, Agatha Christie spent time overlooking water

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and fields and that's exactly what you see here.

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This is local, this is Devonshire.

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Fishermen and fish, sheep and shepherds

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and Christ the Good Shepherd in the centre watching over everything.

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I love it that this window is so personal to Agatha Christie,

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one of the world's great writers

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expressing her quiet devotion and West Country pride.

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# I will lift up mine eyes to the hills... #

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I'm joining the Jordan family for Sunday dinner.

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They love to sing, and if you are a fan of gospel music too,

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there's a great opportunity to come and join us in London

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at the Hackney Empire for our Gospel Weekend.

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Tickets are free, so to book yours, go to the website...

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Last year, singer Lurine Cato wowed the Hackney audience.

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Here she is for us singing the gospel classic Going Up Yonder.

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# If you want to know

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# Where I'm going

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# Where I am going soon

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# If anybody asks you

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# Where I'm going

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# Where I am going soon

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# I'm going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# To be with my Lord

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# Oh-oh-oh-oh

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# I'm going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# To be with my Lord

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# Oh-oh-oh

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# I can't stand the pain

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# The heartache it brings

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# The comfort in knowing

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# I'll soon be gone

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# Oh-oh-oh-oh

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# And God gives me grace

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# To run this race

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# I know I'll see my Saviour face to face

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# Yeah...

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# I'm going up yonder

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# Going up yonder

0:25:130:25:15

# I'm going up yonder

0:25:150:25:18

# Going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# To be with my Lord

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# Yes, I am! Yes, I am!

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# Yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah

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# I'm going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder

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# Going up yonder

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# I'm going up yonder, yeah

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# Hah!

0:25:420:25:44

# To be...

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-# Be with my...

-..with her...

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-# ..Lord...

-..Lord... #

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The Jordans are a talented family.

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Back in the '90s, they toured the UK.

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Now the eight siblings are grown up, but they still regularly gather

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at their parents' home, along with their own children.

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I'm here with all the men of the Jordan family,

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and they are all fathers.

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Clint, what do you think is the role of a father?

0:26:250:26:28

I think the three P's would probably sum it up -

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provide, protect and persevere.

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Your child is not always going to do what you want them to do,

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but you should always be the voice whispering in their ear.

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It's no secret amongst the entire family

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that I would be considered a handful.

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And I am reminded of the prodigal son,

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and being the one who ventured out of the faith and, you know,

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seeing what the world had to offer, and my father,

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he still opened the door and he still said,

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"Here's where you belong."

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He has always been there.

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He may have been disappointed, he may have been angry,

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but he has always shown us this window of forgiveness,

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and we can always look in.

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-ALL:

-# Thank you, Lord. #

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How much of your fathering has been influenced by God as a father?

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A very interesting question.

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God, throughout the Bible, he's just like an ordinary bloke,

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saying, "Listen to me and you'll do all right," but they don't.

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And he keeps forgiving them and saying,

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"Come back, come back, come back."

0:27:380:27:40

If God forgives me for so many things that I've done,

0:27:400:27:43

then how can I not forgive my own flesh and blood?

0:27:430:27:46

I wasn't brought up by my father,

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and when my wife was pregnant, I felt terrified.

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Do you feel the way that your father has brought you up

0:27:510:27:54

has equipped you for fatherhood?

0:27:540:27:56

100%. I think it really hit home when I did have my child,

0:27:560:27:59

and I can hear it in my head now. My dad used to say,

0:27:590:28:02

"Yeah, you're going to understand when you get your own child."

0:28:020:28:06

I've learnt how valuable we are to him.

0:28:060:28:09

My dad told a story. I was young, I wanted to keep going out

0:28:090:28:12

of the house, and I would say, "Why can't you let me go?"

0:28:120:28:15

He said, "Imagine you're a jeweller

0:28:150:28:17

"and you have a diamond, and your diamond had feet.

0:28:170:28:19

"Would you like that diamond go out on the street

0:28:190:28:22

"where everybody can take it and steal it?" "No."

0:28:220:28:24

"So why would I let you go out on the street

0:28:240:28:27

"where someone can take you away from me?"

0:28:270:28:30

Can I have that drink, please?

0:28:300:28:32

Love.

0:28:320:28:34

You really know that a father's love is just such a great thing.

0:28:340:28:39

I always tell my dad that I love him and, even to this day,

0:28:390:28:42

I just kiss him and say, "Daddy, I love you.

0:28:420:28:44

"How are you doing?" and stuff like that.

0:28:440:28:47

-Thank you, Chef. The food is fantastic.

-You're welcome.

0:31:150:31:18

That's almost it for this week.

0:31:180:31:20

Next week, Sally visits the Somme to commemorate the 100th anniversary

0:31:200:31:23

of the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army,

0:31:230:31:27

and retraces the experiences of devout Christian young men

0:31:270:31:31

who heard the call of duty.

0:31:310:31:33

We end with a hymn that acknowledges

0:31:330:31:36

that we don't always get things right,

0:31:360:31:38

but that when we go wrong,

0:31:380:31:40

there's a Heavenly Father there for all of us.

0:31:400:31:42

For Father's Day, David Grant explores what makes a great dad, from the mountaineer raising money to help children like his son, to blogger EuGene and his family sharing top tips on fatherhood.

Music: God Who Is Everywhere Present from St Aidan's Church, Leeds Good Good Father from Green Pastures, Ballymena The Father's Love from Liverpool Anglican Cathedral The Lord's My Shepherd from Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon Going Up Yonder from the Hackney Empire, London Beautiful One from Ruach City Church Dear Lord and Father of Mankind from St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow.


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