Wade Burleson’s Touching Message to His Daughter on Her Birthday


Charis Burleson

To My Daughter Charis on Her 25th Birthday! Love, Dad

Charis, it was a quarter of a century ago, on Sunday, April 12, 1987 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, that you entered this world. Your name means "Grace" and your mother and I felt from the very beginning that we were immeasurably graced by God to be your parents, but in time we felt even more favored to be your friends. We have written you a private birthday note which you should receive in the mail tomorrow, but I felt impressed to write this public post to express my deep love and respect for you as a person and to encourage you with a specific word about your personhood.

There are so many things I admire in your character including your faith, your perseverance, your kindness, your selflessness, your loyalty, your generosity, your wisdom, and countless other excellent qualities. There are so many additional attributes you possess, including your bulldog determination (a chip off the old block!), that cause us incredible joy! I could write a veritable book summarizing what your mother and I think and believe about you. We know you are not perfect, nor are we, but it is His grace and mercy in our lives that have taught our family to be quite comfortable in the skin, personality, and temperament He has given each of us. Your fiance Travis is a truly blessed man. He, like I, has been given by God a remarkably strong and gifted woman. Soon, you and he will marry, and your surname will change. As you know, Shakespeare once wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  That is so true of you! Though your name may change, you will not. You will always be the special person of charis that God has made you to be.

I have tried during your life to help you capture the truth that who you are as a person has never been defined by your pastor-father, nor will it ever be tied to the identity of any man. Contrary to what some of our Christian friends believe (and teach), you have no need of any alleged 'covering' provided for you by a male. You didn't need any covering from me, nor will you need one from your future husband. The only covering you need you have; and it is given you freely by your Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only Person from whom you can find real and eternal personal identity. Your mother and I have sought to model for you what a biblical, godly marriage is all about. Your mother is my equal. She is my friend. She stands alone in her personhood. You've been taught that you are the equal of any man, and we believe you know that to be true!

We are excited that you have the privilege of marrying your best friend, and we do not believe there is a better man you could have chosen to marry in the entire world! We are confident Travis will remain your best friend throughout your life. But you have a Friend who is even closer to you than your future husband, your father, or your grandfathers. No male in your life was ever designed by God to be the source of your life, or the basis of your happiness, or the stability of your future. Christ is all that to you and more. He is your Source. He is your Sufficiency. He is your Stability. For this reason, no matter what you hear in the future from well-meaning pastors, I would encourage you to remember what your mom and dad have taught you over the years. You are the equal of any man in worth, value, significance, purpose and abilities. You can both lead and follow, serve and be served, encourage and be encouraged in every area of life, including the emotional and spiritual level.

When we get to heaven you will be given "a new name" (Revelation 2:17), you will not be married (Luke 20:34), and you will no longer give birth to any children (Luke 20:34). Of course, those you love who are "in Christ" and those who love you who have also come to faith in Christ will be your BFF's, and we are delighted to be included in that group! But your identity for eternity, your significance forever, and your personhood in glory will be defined by Christ–no man. It is for the women in my family, particularly you, that I have sought to remind Christian women what the Bible says about God, women, and female personhood. Contrary to what many others would want Christian women to believe, the Bible reveals God has chosen to liken Himself to a female, and we are the fruit of His womb. In short, you have as much of the image of God in you as any male. You were created in HIS IMAGE, and your identity is in Him.  This birthday greeting is public because many of my friends are at a conference this week called Together for the Gospel. They read my blog, and some of them don't yet understand the importance of this issue in the Kingdom of God. I want them to know that when I write on the subject of women, I am primarily concerned with being biblical, but my motivation is practical, not philosopical or theological.

I write for you. I want you to know I see the Image of God in you. I rejoice that the Life of my God is in the soul of my daughter. You, Charis, are a beautiful human being, and it is because God's love for you and Christ's life in you. Happy Birthday! I look forward to being your friend for all of eternity.

In Our God's Grace and Love,



Four months ago we flew to Oklahoma to meet your mom and dad, and we are so blessed that they are now our dear friends!  Your mom shared with us the exciting news that you had met a very special someone, and we are overjoyed that you will soon be getting married.  May God bless you both in your new life together!  While in Enid, we also became acquainted with your two younger brothers, and they are such a delight.  You belong to a wonderful family. 

We hold your father and grandfather (whom we have gotten to know through the internet) in very high esteem because of their refreshing views on gender equality.  It is obvious that they are both filled with the Holy Spirit because of how they treat all of God's creation through both their words and deeds.  

We each have two daughters who have matured into young ladies who love their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they have grown up in families much like yours.  We pray that as all of you continue to grow in Christ that you will demonstrate His deep and abiding love to those you encounter.  May God richly bless your generation as you carry forth the Good News to those who desperately need to hear it.

Here is our song dedication in recognition of your birthday.  We believe it perfectly expresses your parents' sentiments. 

Happy Birthday to a beautiful young lady both inside and out! 

Lydia's Corner:   Ezekiel 10:1-11:25   Hebrews 6:1-20   Psalm 105:16-36   Proverbs 27:1-2


Wade Burleson’s Touching Message to His Daughter on Her Birthday — 29 Comments

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    Martina McBride is performing at the DPAC tomorrow! Wish I could go. She has a beautiful voice!

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    You’re funny! DPAC stands for Durham Performing Arts Center.

    They have about 150 events a year. It’s in downtown Durham near the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

    And, of course, you know what else is located in Durham. 🙂

    I enjoyed seeing Wicked with my family when it came to the DPAC the first time. We do try to have a little culture on Tobacco Road.

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    DPAC – Deb or Dee Poking At Calvinistas.

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    Good one! I’m surprised Eagle didn’t come up with it in his guessing.

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    I wrote earlier
    DPAC=Deb and Dee poking at Calvinistas.

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    Or better yet
    DPAC+ Deb and Dee pi….. off All Calvinistas.

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    Dee and Deb PooPooing All Calvinistas.

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    How ’bout pitying… They are really pitiful!

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    How “bout Proselytizing

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    Yes, Dee! That’s it!

    As we have put together our two EChurch Easter services, I have realized how utterly GLOOMY the Calvinista theology is.

    Why gloomy? Well, we need look no further than the spiels by two of the Calvinista kingpins.

    C.J. Mahaney started off the dog and pony show with his broken record swan song “When A Pastor Loses Heart”.

    Hey CEEJAY, it’s called the law of sowing and reaping. You planted a CROP OF CR$P, and now you are reaping the harvest. You should have prayed for crop failure!

    Then Mark Dever follows up with his nauseating talk False Conversions: The Suicide of the Church.

    These guys are so depressing!

    Give me the GOOD NEWS!!!

    Jesus Christ is God incarnate. He came to earth to redeem us, suffered on a cross to ransom us, died, and rose again!

    My Redeemer Lives, and I am overjoyed that I will spend eternity with Him!


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    Deb –


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    Wade’s letter to his daughter was beautiful. Made me tearful. She is blessed with a wise and godly father. The song you posted was a perfect tribute to Charis on her birthday. Also made me tearful. I was crying, then I read through these comments and starting laughing. You guys crack me up!!!

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    I’m heading to DPAC to see Wicked! 🙂

    We North Carolinians are actually VERY cultured. Right?

    I loved this letter to his daughter. How precious, indeed. Lucky girl.

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    True Words
    We, too, are going! Since Deb and I are referred to (in certain circles) as the Wartburg Witches, I felt i should go and get some training.

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    Wait until you see the parody that Professor John Stackhouse wrote on CBMW. He has given me permission to repost it, and I will do so next Friday. I almost spit my coffee out, I was laughing so hard. A reader known as Dana sent us a link.

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    You are right. They see only ugliness and do not see the beauty. And, until I started understanding these guys, I would not have realized what is going on. Once a couple of my friends were called “unregenerate” then I knew I was in a different ballgame-the umpires foul everything except their own plays.

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    True Words,

    That’s next month, right? I know you’ll enjoy it!

    Did you know that Burt’s Bees is headquartered in Durhan near the RTP. Here is a little about their history.

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    I already got my training. 🙂

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    How much do you wanna bet that Wade’s wife is valued, happy, and in love with her husband? I wonder what the story would be for the wives of some of the other pastors……….you know, the ones who have to always submit, be kept in the back seat of the marriage, not equal…..

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    While no one can know what goes on behind closed doors, Wade’s wife looked very much in love with him when we visited. They are such a lovely couple, and she is absolutely stunning! She is even more beautiful in person that in the pictures Wade has on his website. After raising four children, she now works as an R.N. and is enjoying her own career. They are great role models for those in their church and community.

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    Happy B-day! 

    ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•`  ¤ Charis*´¨)

    …dis here is da good stuff: (un-wrap-wit-care)

    • I am loved with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)
    • I am the apple of His eye. (Proverbs 7:2)
    • My name is engraved in the palm of His hands. (Isaiah 49:16)
    • I am carried through every storm. (Mark 4:35-41)
    • I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
    • I am watched over day and night. (Psalm 121:1-8)
    • I am forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
    • I am rejoiced over with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

    Big Bless’inz!

    Sopy ㋡
    Pink Panther #1 -“Pink Phink”

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    Wade’s letter reminds me of my dad. Although he came from an extremely patriarchal culture and family, he cherished my sister and me. I remember him telling me (with tears brimming) that I could grow up to be Prime Minister if I wanted to. I’m just about the last person who should be in politics, so that didn’t take :). His message of love and respect sure did, though.

    I can’t wait to see him in heaven.

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    Happy birthday, Charis. May God bless you.

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    Howesomever….you are a great communicator. So he wasn’t far off the mark!

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    Hey, ===>Thanx fo being there, René! ◕ ‿ ◕ 

    Thank u for da pray’rs… tóó!

    Theyz a’ workin’. (grin)

    Hmmm…In many parts and in different ways God in former times having spoken to the folks in da past by means of the da Lord’s prophets, in the last of these days He spoke to us in One who by nature is His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He constituted the ages; who, being the out-raying effulgence of His glory and the exact reproduction of His essence, and sustaining, guiding, and propelling all things by the word of His power, -having made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become by so much superior to the angels as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

    Hmmmm…Therz a’ bøøk up dar wit youze name ‘in’ it!


    Boston Creams recipe:

    1/2 cup butter
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
    2 eggs 
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 cup dairy sour cream

    Cream butter and sugar to the consistency of mayonnaise, adding sugar gradually. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 to 12 minutes.

    …Go easy on dem Boston Creams, now…K? (grin)

    thayz yummy!

    Lotz a’ Bless’inz! (…and ma prayz 2)

    Sopy ㋡
    Charlotte Church – “The Lord’s Prayer”

    Bonus: Jackie Evancho – “Our Father…”

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    Sopy, Ha ha! How did you know I needed a good Boston Creams recipe? 😉

    Thank you, Sopy and Dee, for your kind words. You and all the good people here at TWW are truly becoming my church. If only we could figure out how to do potlucks online, I’d try that recipe out on all of you!

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    Thanks for that recipe!!! I’m gonna try it soon.

    I plan to put it in my recipe book and call it Sopy’s Boston Cream Pie!

    I’ll always think of you when I make it.

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    “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God alone!”


    Ahhhh…dat was Sweeeeeet…

    Hey, did youze forget? Itz your un-birthday today…


    Deb in TWWland –  “The Unbirthday Song”

    Hmmm…For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves youze servants for da sake of dear Jesus. For God, who ‘commandeth’ the light to shine out of darkness, has most assuredly, shined dat arć lamp of Hiz into our heartz, to give dat wonderful light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of our sweet Lord Jesus!

    i tellz ya it feelz like Sunday …go’in ta meet’in…here!


    …God done stuck dis here treasure in earthen potz (us), soz dat da quintessential par-excellence & wonder workin’ dynamos power be’z of God n’ not of us!


    One of dem thingz  I am de-sir’in of da Lord, that Ize a  seek’in after… -that I may dwell in Hiz nice house all da days of ma life; to behold da beauty of the Lord, and ta be inquire’n in His house O’ pray’r…

    soz dat …‘Though an host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.’ 

    Ya’ Hooooooooo!

    An endless pint O’ bles’in for ya Lazzie… (darz a bit o’ chill in de air, do ya feel it, now?)

     “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  – 1Sam 3:10
    Sopy ㋡
    Heaven Song by Phil Wickham

    Comic relief: Muppet Show. Swedish Chef -” Ping Pong Eggs”