He brought him home

I love the story that appeared on ESPN’s website yesterday about UNC basketball player, Dexter Strickland. It illustrates Malachi 4:6, “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” Here is an excerpt from the article:

Seven years ago, a probationary judge was ready to throw the book at Dexter Strickland. And juvenile hall was a possible destination. Strickland had been living with his mother, Sherrone, in Rahway (NJ) after his parents divorced. But it wasn’t working out — young boys can be tough to handle for single mothers — and the sixth-grader was heading down the wrong path. “He was very troubled at school,” (his father) Dexter L. Strickland said. “He was continually being disruptive in class and being suspended. I’m pretty sure he got suspended at least once every year he was in school.” Dexter Strickland had even gone so far as to hit his teachers. But what landed him in the most trouble was when he was caught pulling out a knife in front of one his female classmates. “I got the call about that at work,” said Dexter L. Strickland, who works as an electrician. “That incident, that’s when I realized, we got a problem.” Although Sherrone had majority custody of Dexter, she and her ex-husband realized it would be best if he began living with his father in Linden (Dexter L. Strickland and his new wife later moved to Hillside), as well as change schools. “I took him in,” Dexter L. Strickland said. “And I began to read the Bible to him every day. It was like clockwork. He was a kid that needed structure. Sherrone did the best she could. There’s no question about that. But she was a single mother and it was tough. “But it was that one Bible verse — ‘Life and death, blessings and curses, you choose’ — that stood out and had the biggest impact on him.” Ever since, as his father said, Dexter Strickland has been choosing life and blessings. “Absolutely [moving in with him saved my life],” Dexter Strickland said. “I think my father shaped me to be the person I am today. I don’t now know where I would be without him.”

The Bible verse that became a foundation for Mr. Strickland’s relationship with his son is Deuteronomy 30:19-20: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you, that today I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey Him and to cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”

What a wonderful picture of one father who got it right and is making all the difference in his son’s life.

Source for article: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/news/story?id=6256165

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