Bold and Courageous: What the Resolution Means to Me

For the past couple years, I have dreamt of holding a Resolution Ceremony in my city, like the one in the movie Courageous. This year it became a reality. Traditionally, my Father’s Day events have been specific to single fathers and their children, but I decided to broaden our scope this time around. Even more so, to partner with other churches to maximize our outreach. The event was a success: 18 men (myself included) from several churches took the Resolution before God and our families. It could not have been a more special evening.

Even though this was only a few days ago, I feel different. Not like I’ve become some super man or anything—but grateful that this means something to me. Perhaps even instilling a fear of the Lord. I keep thinking of the line in the movie where the ceremony facilitator reminds the men that they are now “doubly accountable.” The Bible tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (Prov. 15:33) and that “If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin.” (Heb. 10:26). God has pulled on my heart for a couple years to do the Resolution, I feel now He is giving me the strength to live it out.

Along with the personal convictions and expectations I have from this past weekend, here are some other areas that really stick out to me and what I hope all men who rise to this challenge realize too:

The Resolution is about living biblical principles out in our daily lives. This may sound cliché, but when push comes to shove in life, anyone that is less than sold-out for Christ tends to gravitate to the easier road. Taking these vows with an undivided heart really helps raise the bar.

It is a daily reminder of putting ourselves third. God is first, our families and others are second, we are third. The glow of the night may fade over time, but having the Resolution hanging in your living room is a constant reminder of why we do what we do.

Locking arms with other brothers to take the vows with. Some of those men I met for the first time that evening, others I have known for over a decade. Men are strong when in community, standing shoulder to shoulder with each other. An event like this has the potential to both create new friendships and strengthen old ones—building a foundation that is so desperately needed among guys.

Silos can be broken. It was amazing to partner with three churches on the planning committee—to have leaders from other church homes work together for a greater purpose. Oh, imagine the possibilities if this became the norm in our country!

This is only the beginning. Anyone who has been in men’s ministry for any length of time knows how challenging it can be to get men engaged—especially in the deep subjects. Our plan is to have an end-of-summer cookout at the lake, and begin the book study The Resolution for Men in the fall. Each church can work at their own pace and schedule. What if over the years the number of men and churches who participate in the Resolution ceremony continues to grow—followed by small groups and other forms of ministry? A revival of manhood could be born!

 

The Challenge

Are you willing to lead the charge in helping men rise to their God-given calling as husbands, fathers, and leaders? Can you partner with other churches and organizations to bring change to your community? Will you act on this prompt sooner than later?

 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. –Josh. 1:9

 

Matt Haviland is the founder and director of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry, the coauthor of The Daddy Gap, and the cofounder of the Midwest Single Parenting Summit. He is an ordinary guy who chases after an extraordinary God. Matt lives with his wife and daughter in Grand Rapids, MI. For more information, please visit www.afatherswalk.org.

A Father Is…

 

Dr. Joaquin G. Molina, the author of the book, “What is a Man?” and Senior Pastor of Spring of Life Fellowship in Miami, Florida. As a keynote speaker Pastor Molina is sought out through in many Men’s Ministry Conferences and Churches, serving with a special anointing for restoring godly character in men and perfecting leadership in the Body of Christ.

For More Information: E-mail- Jmolina@whatisaman.com or visit http://whatisaman.com/

Faithful Fathering: Honor Your Father

The command is to: Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12.

This is the commandment with a promise. It bridges the first commandments to the last; it bridges the spiritual relationship with God to the physical relationships with others; and it bridges faith from one generation to the next.

I encourage you to accept a 3-point challenge to Honor Your Father:

  • First, make time to meet with your dad. Do something he enjoys but make sure the time incorporates discussion around what life experiences shaped him as a father and the challenges he faced “being Dad” when you were a kid. (If your dad has passed or is not accessible, meet with another man in the church close to the age of your father or a younger dad that could be a son and have the same generational discussion.)

 

  • Secondly, write a letter of thanks to your dad citing a specific experience or two growing up. It can be as simple as a “Thanks for bringing me into this world” or as comprehensive as a tribute to your dad that acknowledges time committed through your childhood years and the support provided. If you are convicted of taking him for granted or of passing judgment on him due to perceived shortfalls acknowledge that, confess and ask for forgiveness. Keep the focus on honoring your father with full respect for the life journey that shaped his perspective on fathering. Present the letter to your dad and read it to him. (If your dad has passed or is not accessible, read the letter to your kids and include a story about your dad.)

 

 

  • Finally, commit to grow as a father – Seek out resources and training opportunities that will encourage & equip you as a father. One easy and accessible option is the Dads Becoming Heroes study that can be completed on your own or in a small group. This study can be downloaded as a .pdf file from http://www.faithfulfathering.org/educate.

 

 

Accept the challenge to Honor Your Father today and commit to becoming the father God calls you to be, the father the next generation needs.

A faithful father honors his father and his mother.

 

 

BHG, Rick Wertz

281.491.DADS(3237)

faithfulfathering.org

Prioritize physical presence

   Be engaged emotionally, and

      Lead spiritually by example.

Thank You, Dad

If you knew you’d only see your mom or dad, grandparent or mentor one last time, what would you want to thank them for? Gratitude is a central life principle throughout the Bible and in current psychology research. Expressing gratitude is beneficial both for you and the person you thank. –Jeff Kemp

Read the full blog post here: http://www.facingtheblitz.com/thank-you-dad/

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

Honoring All Dads: 365 Days a Year

A Simple “Thank You Dad for________….” Is a Powerful Way to Honor Your Father!

Honoring Dads, Spiritual Dads, Single Dads, Step Dads & Grandads, 365 Days a Year

My husband and I are part of the National Fatherhood CoMission on Fatherhood and every year the goal is to link arms and hearts with organizations around the country to “Honor Your Father!” What does that look like? How can you help be a voice for fatherhood in our community, our country and in your own family?

When a child, young or old, reaches out to their dad to simply say thank you (a form of honor), that alone can open doors for healing, new conversations, reconnections, or even reconciliation. That is our main hope and prayer through this campaign. Our goal is to reach over 50 million Dads, children and families so they will be strengthened through the simple act of honor – “Thanks Dad for __________…”

We want to say, “Thank you” to the traditional dads who have stayed the course day in and out, who have loved their wives and stayed faithful for decades! Thank you for showing your children what a lifetime commitment looks like and how important it is to keep your promises.

We want to say, “Thank you” to the spiritual dads who have prayed for others, listened to hurting hearts, spoken life and peace to troubled situations and been an example of Jesus in the midst of our brokenness. By taking time to “see” and “hear” the younger generation you are impacting their entire destiny! Your words of life and peace will break the patterns of pain and help give them stability and strength for every situation. Your words and moments matter. Your investment will yield generations of return!

We want to say, “Thank you” to the single dads who are relentless in love and commitment to their children, either as the solo parent or as a co-parent. Your children need you in their lives as much as humanly possible and what you do matters. Thank you for not giving up when things get hard. Thank you for respecting your children’s’ mother; thank you for showing your children what a Godly man looks like even if is outside the traditional family situation. Your children need to know you love them and there is never a day in their lives that they won’t need you. No matter what happened, your children love and respect you. Stay the course and no matter what obstacles you face along the way, keep pursuing your children and letting them know you see them and hear them and that they are beyond important to you.

We want to say, “Thank you” to the stepdads who sometimes are faced with a really hard job of balancing love, discipline and dealing with confusing emotional dynamics that often come up in stepfamilies. We appreciate how you stay engaged and love your step children as well as how you respect and communicate with the kids’ bio dad. You matter. Thank you for getting involved and speaking life and love to your step children. Sometimes it takes a while to know how the stepfamily fits together but keep showing up and loving the kids, even when they don’t seem to respond, love them anyway. They need you and it might be a decade later, but one day they will say thank you!

We want to say, “Thank you” to the granddads who have been responsible for starting family legacies, traditions and who continue to love and enjoy their kids and grandkids. Your wisdom is so important to all of the family. Keep sharing and telling your stories! From generation to generation the Truth will be shared as well as your personal legacy – your stories will live on for decades to come. You may not understand today’s crazy technology but keep telling your stories and keep taking us fishing. We need you and we need to have strong and meaningful memories of you. Forgive us if we seem “too busy” sometimes—keep taking us back in time and help us see who you are and what mattered most to you.

Let us all remember to HONOR our fathers and not just one day a year, but expressing our “Thank you Dad for ______” is important 365 days a year!

 

Tammy Daughtry, MMFT, is an author, speaker and holds a Masters in marriage and family therapy. She is based in Nashville. For free resources and to explore and on-going conversation see www.CoParentingInternational.com and www.ModernFamilyDynamics.com.

Stay Relative

The world is saying that truth is relative. Dad’s primary role is to keep Truth relative.

In his book, Case for Christ Lee Strobel’s investigation into the facts surrounding Christ provides answers to key questions around the validity of the Bible as he shares information gleaned from scholars. One thing that resonates with me in his research is the popular thought that Jesus was just another prophet that happened to fulfill some prophecies by accident. In an interview with Louis S. Lapides, the statistical probability of just eight Old Testament prophesies being fulfilled by one man is explained like this – If you filled up the state of Texas two feet deep in silver dollars and marked one with an X, then allowed a blind folded man to wander the state and bend down at any point to pick up a coin, the statistical probability of him picking up the marked coin is the same as the odds of eight OT prophecies being fulfilled by one man. Jesus fulfilled 48 OT prophecies!

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. … On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is hard teaching. Who can accept it?” … “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. – John 6:56, 60 & 67.

Hard teaching indeed! It seems the motivation of many following Jesus at this time was grounded in what He could do for them and for some, in how they could help Him. The message was to be with Him, to walk with Him. The “many” were used to doing the Law and the numerous sub-laws the religious practices of the day mandated. The concept of Oneness, having the Christ in them was too much to grasp. Many fell away as followers not necessarily into sin but back to their more comfortable religious practices.

Today, Christ’s body and blood in a Christian are celebrated in Holy Communion – eating of the bread and drinking of the wine. As we celebrate by ingesting the elements we are challenged to live by ingesting the Word of God – The Word became flesh and walked among us, John 1:14. This is hard teaching – living under the Word of God. Many are turning away. Men, women, families, whole churches, even denominations are turning away. Dave Peterson, retired senior pastor, eloquently said that the question comes down to whether we “view the world through the lens of Scripture or view Scripture through the lens of the world.”

The challenge is on! Relative truth has gained traction on our watch! It is up to dads to keep Truth relative first in our lives and families, to lead spiritually by example. We are to conform to the image of Christ, (Rom.8:29), not to the pattern of this world, (Rom.12:2).

Tips to Stay Relative:

  • Practice spiritual disciplines – time in prayer, scripture, worship, study, fast, journal
  • Initiate spiritual discussion in the home between Sundays
  • Pray daily individually and together as a family
  • Stay alert to the devil’s schemes and rebuke them immediately.

 

Prayer guide: Lord, I confess my conformance to the world. It has been easy physically and emotionally to go along with relative truths that have permeated the culture. It is intoxicating. Thank You for walking this earth and providing clarity in the Way. By Your grace I chose to ingest Your Word and keep Truth relative in marriage, family and in the circles of influence where You have me. Grant me the boldness to walk with You. Amen.

A faithful father keeps Truth relative in marriage, family and other circles of influence.

www.faithfulfathering.org

Ph:281.491.DADS/Fx:281.565.5365

‘Dad Talk’©FFIT-2015

Dad, Help Your Daughter Find Her Voice

I’ve heard it said that communication is 7%percent words, 38% tone of voice, and 55% body language.

If you do the math, you’ll see that this means that 93% of communication is nonverbal.

How’s that for significant? This little statistic serves as a reminder that as a reflective listener, we often say more by what never comes out of our mouth.

Think back to a time when your daughter tried to tell you something when you weren’t fully dialed in. Then (in your estimation) she reacted in a way that seemed entirely inappropriate to the situation. And there you were, completely dumbfounded because you had no idea how she leapt from a zero to ten in intensity over something seemingly insignificant. At least to you.

Two words: nonverbal communication.

In his book Dads and Daughters, Joe Kelly talks about the importance of a dad tuning in to his daughter’s voice:

Girls tend to be a riddle to fathers. Like any mystery, the relationship with our daughter can be frightening, exciting, entertaining, baffling, enlightening, or leave us completely in the dark; sometimes all at once. If we want to unravel this mystery, we have to pay attention and listen, even in the most ordinary moments.

Why? Because a girl’s voice may be the most valuable and most threatened resource she has.

Her voice is the conduit for her heart, brains, and spirit. When she speaks bold and clearly—literally and metaphorically—she is much safer and surer.

Dads, I can’t underscore enough how intensely vital it is that you help nurture these qualities in your daughter.

I share below some responses from girls between the ages of thirteen and thirty to the question, What is something your dad doesn’t understand or know about you? What would it be like if he knew? As you read, listen to these girls’ heart cries to be heard, known, and embraced by their dads.

 

  • “I don’t think he understands that I can handle things by myself sometimes and that I’m not a little girl anymore. I also don’t think he understands that I don’t like the way that he asks to know things, and doesn’t really even listen to me when I talk.”

  • “I care what he thinks and I am not as stoic as I seem. I don’t know what it would be like if he knew about it, but it scares me to think about him knowing that I am vulnerable.”

  • “I don’t think he understands how I could have sex at such a young age, but also I know that he doesn’t know that I have had an STD before. It would be weird if he knew about the STD because that isn’t something a father wants for his little girl.”

  • “My dad doesn’t know that for about six years I truly believed that he didn’t like me. I felt like everything I did annoyed him and irritated him. I thought I didn’t live up to his expectations. I would tell my mom this all the time and ask, ‘Does Dad hate me?’ I wasn’t doing it for attention. I internally, 100% believed that he didn’t like me and didn’t want a relationship with me. It hurt so much feeling like my own father didn’t like me.”

  • “Something he doesn’t know is the pain that I will always have about some things in our family. I’ve told my mom about it, but I’ve never told my dad. I know he’d just blow me off and say, ‘There’s nothing I can do about the past.’ He always says that.”

  • “There are a lot of things he doesn’t know about me—just because we don’t talk that much and aren’t that close. I don’t share many details of my life with him. But on a bigger scale, I am not sure if he realizes how much his parenting affected me and how much he hurt me.”

Dad, do you hear the heart longings in every one of these daughters to be special to her dad?

This is a need, not a want.

My friend Emily is a wife and mother of two boys. While choosing to parent differently than she was raised, she tells of the pain she felt growing up because her dad “was always too busy for her.” She talks about him being around physically but not emotionally or mentally. He was a pastor and was doing “God’s work,” and she knew she couldn’t compete with that.

Emily recalls sheepishly knocking on the door of his office at the age of seven and being afraid that she was a bother to him. His responses usually confirmed her worst fears. Not only has she carried around debilitating fears like an invisible knapsack ever since, but her childhood insecurities have continued to intersect with every relationship throughout her life. She and her dad have come far in repairing their relationship. Emily is working on healing and letting go. She’s finding her voice. It’s beautiful.

Be a dad today who helps your daughter to find and use her voice.

 

Dr. Michelle Watson has a clinical counseling practice in Portland, Oregon and has served in that role for the past 18 years. She is founder of The Abba Project, a 9-month group forum that is designed to equip dads with daughters ages 13 to 30 to dial in with more intention and consistency, and has recently released her first book entitled, Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart. She invites you to visit www.drmichellewatson.com for more information and to sign up for her weekly Dad-Daughter Friday blogs where she provides practical tools so that every dad in America can become the action hero they want to be and their daughters need them to be. You can also follow or send feedback on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drmichellewatson and Twitter @mwatsonphd.

A Prayer for Our Nation and Families

 

Heavenly Father,

There has never been a time that we need to pray for families like we do now. Lord we see the devastation of the family structure in our world today, and how our children are paying the price. We come before You and ask that You would show Yourself strong on behalf of all families. We boldly and courageously stand in the gap for marriages and parents, asking that You would bring us back to Your perfect design for our homes.

God, we lift up marriages to You. The enemy has set his sights on tearing apart what You said man should never separate. We pray, O Lord, that husbands and wives would stand firm in the storms, that they would build an unshakable foundation on Your truths. For the marriages that have split or are on the verge of divorce, we pray, O God, that You would bring reconciliation to those homes. Help them to live according to Your Word when it comes to the role that a husband and wife should each fulfill in marriage, for this is Your perfect plan.

Father we lift single parent families up to You. We pray You would fill every need they have: physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual. Give these single moms and single dads the strength to go on and to raise their children in You. Help them not to lose heart, but to find unwavering hope in Jesus.

Lord we pray for blended families and all the dynamics that come with that. We pray for the parents to co-parent together and to love those children unconditionally, whether they are their biological children or not. We pray for peace between these homes and the homes of the other parents, that the children would not grow in strife, but in love, wherever they are at.

And Father, we ask that You forgive our nation for the grave sin of creating our own versions of what we say marriage and family should look like. God, we ask that You forgive our land and that the Church would rise in not only proclaiming Your truths for all, but that it would be a safe place for our families to attend and grow in those truths. Help us, O Lord, to see these families as You see them: as priceless investments in Your Kingdom.

We ask all these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

 

If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray
and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NASB)

The National Day of Prayer is Thursday May 4—how will you pray for families today? 

 

Written by Matt Haviland of A Father’s Walk single dad ministry. Originally posted at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com.

5 Keys to Successfully Raising Porn-Free Teens

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No father wants to imagine his child is looking at pornography, but it is happening every day. Researchers have stated that the average age of exposure to pornography is as young as eight to eleven years old.

Love on Your Kids

Stay engaged in your teen’s life. Keep listening and talking. Tim Block, a youth pastor, said, “Communication is critical in helping teens realize that this is a winnable war as we depend on God’s indwelling Holy Spirit to enable and strengthen us.”

It is a good idea to spend time with each of your children individually. It will give you both an opportunity to get to know each other, and it makes children feel very special. Think hard before accepting opportunities such a promotion that takes you out of town a lot. I learned this from hearing the stories of many men with father wounds. Their fathers were just not there during these critical years.

Teach Them to Love God

Encourage Bible memorization. Make it a fun game. There is great power in memorizing verses. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 (ESV) Have Bible studies in your home and encourage the teens to be involved in the teen church group. Go to church as a family on Sunday. Show the teens that your faith is very important to you. Memorize these verses with your teens: Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:7-8.

Why is reading the Bible so important for your teens? It’s important because no matter how young in the faith they are, the Holy Spirit is at work when they read. The Holy Spirit will cause conviction—conviction leads to obedience to the Word. When a teen commits to obey the conviction, they are moving towards surrender. Surrender is the willingness to do anything for God. Surrender is giving up our rights and following what God has laid on our hearts. Talk to your teens about their faith. Ask your teens about their personal testimony; not how they became saved but their lifestyles. What areas need changing to make them better witnesses?

Have them come up with their own “I” statements about what areas need changing. This gives something you can discuss as an accountability item. When you review these together you are reviewing directions that they gave to themselves.

 I recommend reading this book to help you: Protecting Your Teen From Disturbing Behavior by Lee Vuckich and Steve Vandegriff 2007 Living Ink Books.

Be Open and Honest About Your Failings

There is a transition that needs to happen from raising little children to raising teens. It is sad that we have to make this transition at such an early age, even as young as eight; but since these young people are facing such harsh realities, we need to be real with them. As the parent you can be a stumbling block to a young person’s development into a young adulthood. We need to admit when we are wrong. We have to be vulnerable. That way, when your teens have issues, they will know they can talk to you because you are not perfect either. You’ve made it safe to talk. They need to know you have had to work through your own struggles with cigarettes, alcohol, and sexual matters.

Expect the Best from Your Teens

You should expect the best from your teens. In order to help them do their best, you need to have boundaries. Boundaries make children feel secure. Tim Block emphasized that “establishing boundaries that are consistent with God’s Word are paramount.” Create an environment in which they can succeed.

Monitor Your Teens

You will only know if your teens are staying within the boundaries by monitoring their behavior. Accountability is important. Travis Armstrong, Pastor of Junior High School Students at Grace Church, reports that teens are embracing the seriousness of the battle going on for their souls. “Teens are having accountability with each and using texting as the means of helping each other.” You have many options for monitoring your teen’s behavior.

 

Dave Howe co-founded a men’s purity group at Grace Church in Eden Prairie MN in 2006. His 90 day devotional book for men healing from sexual addiction will be released by Tristan Publishing this fall. Follow his blog at: Davehowe.org and on Twitter: @DaveJ_Howe

He is All I Want!

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The story is told about a young girl who was attempting to quote David’s 23 Psalm for the first time in front of her classmates. She took a deep breath and nervously begins the Psalm with, “The Lord is my Shepherd. He is all I want.” Many might think that she misquoted it. I think she got it just right. Is Christ all that we want, or do we possess divided loyalties?

American Christians have become more of a subculture rather than counterculture — a called-out one. Many are stuck in the same paradigm as the world. The subculture reflects the value system or worldview of the culture. which keeps them from becoming agents of change. A subculture is defined by the culture itself. It seems over the centuries that the only time the Church is willing to rise up is when the culture threatens its very existence.

I guess the only way for the church to be revived, to rise up, is that our very existence be threatened. We are awakened by a good dose of persecution. The Church has become a well-trained institution and the reality is that we have become very provident functioning without the manifest presence of God.

Christ is calling us to become a reflection of Him and to become aliens and strangers in this world. We are to be in the world but not of it. We are called to be revolutionaries, change agents. We were created in Christ to stand out, reflect him; not blend in and mirror the world. I think most convinced Christians would take a bullet for Christ but live for him in secret. He did the dying; he is asking us to do the denying, take up our cross, our revolutionary cause and completely follow him. (Matt. 16:24-26)

In Mark 10:17-22, Christ was asked by a convinced young man what he must to do to inherit eternal life. Christ simply asked him if he was attempting to keep all the commandments. He answered with the affirmative. He was very religious. In our day we might answer, “I go to church most Sundays; I read my Bible on occasion; I pray when I need to; I give if I have enough; I serve on work days.” How would you answer?

Scripture goes on to read, “Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. ‘There is still one thing you haven’t done,’ he told him. ‘Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” His riches, his possessions, were his competing loyalties! The little girl got it right; let Christ be all we want because He is all we need.

Reflect

What is God asking of you that is keeping you from completely following Christ?

 

Dr. Dan Erickson

Chief Servant Leader  |  People Matter Ministries

www.peoplematterministries.com