A Single Dad Who Stayed Connected

Long distance dad

What do you face that is a lot harder than you expected?  Watch Tim’s story and remember what is crucial in life.  

Game Plan: 

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT)

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” (1 Peter 3:8-9, NLT)

Time Out:

Jesus’ love for us is infinitely more than sentiment. His love is action, pursuit and sacrifice. How creative and energetic are you in your love for your spouse? How about for your children?  What are you letting stop you from loving your family all the way? Consider how you can better love your children, stepchildren or spouse.

Go Deep: 

Love is action. Decide not to let anything deter the fullness of your love. Set a goal. Get creative. Date your spouse and your children. Start writing, recording and speaking your love.  Study their love languages and deliver love in their language. Overcome the obstacles and be in their lives…whether you live with them or not

Love, Lead, Lift

Jeff

Jeff Kemp is a Vice President at Family Life, the author of the weekly devotional Facing the Blitz, and a Board member of the Fatherhood CoMission. For more on Jeff, the book, and his blog, please visit www.facingtheblitz.com.

Where’s Joseph?

Josephjpg

Luke 2:22-35       

Where’s Joseph?

You think Jesus ever asked the question, “Where’s my dad?”

Ever think about that?

It’s one of those mysteries that confounds me because it’s discussed so little. After Jesus turned twelve, the gospels read like a “Where’s Joseph?” book, except, unlike Waldo, there’s no payoff. Even if you strain your eyes, you can’t find a red-striped stocking capped Joseph lurking anywhere after Luke 2. When I bring this up, friends often retort, “Just because he’s not mentioned doesn’t mean he wasn’t there.”

Possibly. But you have to wonder.

  • Did Joseph see his son turn water into wine at the wedding feast? (John 2:1-12)
  • Was Joseph part of “his family” that called Jesus crazy? (Mark 3:20-21)
  • Why wasn’t Joseph holding Mary’s hand at the foot of the cross? (John 19:26)

To be fair, Joseph may have died when Jesus was a teenager. Regardless, he’s noticeably absent from the life of Jesus. Much like many of us today. Whether dads are physically or emotionally absent, many kids today are growing up without the presence of their biological dad. Some stats say it’s close to 40%.

That’s what happened to me as a kid. Maybe it happened to you. And you remember how difficult it was to grow up without dad. But just because you grew up with an absent dad doesn’t mean you grew up with an absent Heavenly Father.

At times, Jesus may have wondered, “Where’s Joseph?” but he countered it with, “Father, hear my cry.”

It’s common to blame, hate, or get angry about an MIA dad. It’s UNCOMMEN to trust our Father for all we need in the midst of their absence. I challenge you to read through the book of Luke and see how God uniquely met Jesus’ need for a dad and how we can step in and help guys who grew up asking the same question Jesus might have asked:

“Where’s dad?”

 

Dee Lanier
Head Coach, UNCOMMEN

For more on being an UNCOMMEN role model, check out www.uncommen.org.

How Could Samson Be So Silly? The Power of Men Praying

Man-praying-with-Bible

If you have been anywhere near Kids Ministry, then you know the story of Samson. Truth is, most guys would LOVE to have him in their Men’s Ministry. First there’s the whole wild and crazy hair thing. Dedicated as a Nazirite at birth, he was never to have his hair cut. Think of him as the Iron Age’s answer to ZZ Top.  And that’s just the eye popping cover on this amazing “Man’s man”.

From there, consider his mischievous mind and brute strength.

He rips city gates off their hinges and carries them miles away. He kills hundreds of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. He even catches foxes, ties their tails, lights them on fire, and lets them run free through the fields of his enemies.

I know what you are thinking…I want THAT guy in my Men’s Ministry! He would take the “cool” factor to a whole new stratosphere!

There were several problems with this Samson guy though. Several of which we can excuse as “moral oversights”. At least, God could. But what was the deal with his hair?

You know how it went. He fell for Delilah, this daughter of the enemy. She asked him the secret to his supernatural strength. Not once…but FOUR times!  The first three times, he made up different answers, plausible but not true.  “If you bind me with new bowstrings”, or “bind me with new ropes”. Then “if you weave my hair into 7 braids and fasten it tight with a pin, my strength will disappear”.

He lets her closer and closer. As readers/listeners of the story, we are so relieved each time that he doesn’t divulge and give it up that as a Nazirite, his hair is the secret that makes him strong. Surely he will see that she is just playing him and he will walk away to fight another day. We all know how that goes…

And we have to wonder—how could such a strong and cunning man be so silly…to give up the secret of his power. And for what? This power wasn’t just for his personal edification! It was given him to be a deliverer for his people from a fierce and ungodly enemy.

Sure we would never make that same mistake, would we?

Permission to speak to you as MEN? In many ways, the American church is currently losing the culture, and in the process, losing the nation. And it’s not for lack of trying. In fact, if you are reading this post, it’s super likely that you have sacrificed a whole lot for the Kingdom of God.

Samson traded away his hair. But sadly many of us have also traded away our secret strength:  stoking the flames of our relationship with God in the Prayer Closet. How do I know? Because the average American spends an average of 20 minutes per week in prayer, and that includes time praying before meals. And an estimated 3% of American Christian men pray for their wives on a consistent basis. And things are not much better with the nation’s ministers.  Almost 50% of all pastors of solid Evangelical churches admit that they don’t share facetime with God every day.

It doesn’t take 1,100 pieces of silver as blood money to figure this one out. If our enemy can keep us out of the Prayer Closet, then the destruction of our nation is as simple as cutting off Samson’s hair. The battles may continue for a little while in the Courtrooms and classrooms, the television screens and the movie theaters, the newspapers and Wall Street—but our enemy knows this: the war is won on our knees. The rest is just mop up.

Samson was very clear that the source of his strength was his hair. How could he be so silly to give it up? God has been equally clear through the Word—and through history—that the source of any strength we have is not found in our best human skills and talents, but is only found in the supernatural connection with Him. And that comes in the quiet solitude of the Prayer Closet.

“No man is greater than his prayer life…Failing here, we fail everywhere.” ― Leonard Ravenhill

 

Tim Truesdale is a 4th Generation Prayer Warrior. He is an ordained minister and pastors the Raytown Vineyard Church. Despite a lifelong calling to pursue a Lifestyle of Prayer, he only recently was taken through Prayer Boot Camp. His passion is to de-mystify prayer and invite you to consider a calling to become a Prayer Warrior.

tim.truesdale@gmail.com