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/

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.

My Schedule is Insane!

 

 

When a dad pleads “my crazy schedule” for why he’s ghosting his kid’s event, or family time in general, if he’ll hear me, I have a pretty practical response.

Ninety-nine percent of the men we work with are textbook type A’s, shrink-wrapped into their calendars with no margin in the day. Zero. Most of them are cell-phone dependent, doing life by the quarter hour. When we tell them, almost first thing, to open their calendars and clear out hours—plural—it’s like waving scissors at a patient’s morphine drip.

Turns out, speed through the day is its own narcotic, and getting back to our souls, our families, our friendships, can be a cold downshift. A man serious about restoring his relationships, though, does well to start with the chart: a spreadsheet anyone can knock out in five minutes because it amounts to six columns with six headings: Activity, Heart, Impact, Growth, Obligation, and Total.

In the far-left column, under Activity, he lists everything he does, morning to night, week to week, month by month and through the year. It’s a list, not a judgment. Include shower, breakfast/donut shop, drive to work, meetings, sports section…everything. To the right of each activity, under each column heading—HeartImpactGrowth and Obligation—he ranks that activity 1 to 5, low priority to high.

Brutal honesty is optimum. Under Obligation, for example, Krispy Krème probably gets a 1. Wedding anniversary? Five. A professional course may get a 3 for Growth and a 1 for Obligation.

When list and rankings are complete, at the far right, tally the totals, survey the results, and ask two questions:

  1. What low-value activities can I eliminate?
  2. Of the remaining high-value activities, where can I double up?

 

The first time I worked the chart, my small Beech Bonanza V-Tail airplane scored low. My kids were growing inches by the day, and flying swallowed family time whole. My golf dates, by the time I dressed, played 18 holes, and debriefed at the clubhouse, likewise devoured prime hours. Since I was serious about opening my time, those two questions threw on a spotlight. My plane went on the market. Golf could wait until the kids were in college. On my daily train downtown, I began to work the Bible study I’d previously done at home.

Years in finance had taught me that a given activity should either generate revenue or build profit. In those decades, if I wasn’t recruiting for new brokers to raise income, I was looking for ways to cut expenses. Now, unless a phone call, even a cup of coffee, advances my priorities, it gets a polite no. It has to—because the difference between proactive and reactive is the difference between my agenda and someone else’s.

Each person determines what activities to cut or where to double up. I can only testify to that moment when you look up and yesterday’s toddler wanting to teeth on your keys is asking now to take the car. It’s that fast. This is the short version of a caffeinated exercise that woke me to my own priority slippage. It brought home that when I fail to master my schedule, my schedule masters me.

If your schedule is crazy, the person able to restore sanity is you. Start with the chart. On the other side of blurring speed is real life.

—————

 

Dean Niewolny is CEO of The Halftime Institute, an organization that teaches, coaches, and connects marketplace leaders to discover God’s calling on their lives and engage in the issues Jesus cares about. Dean is the author of the new book Trade Up. For more information, please visit https://halftimeinstitute.org.

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

Absolute Trust Through Uncertain Times

It’s a familiar story to most of us—the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry.

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (John 2:1-10).

Jesus and His mother Mary were among the guests at a wedding in Cana. In the midst of the celebration, Mary came to Jesus and simply told Him: “They have no more wine” (v. 3). As a mother myself, I wonder what she really expected Him to do. Whatever response she was looking for, obviously she knew Jesus would take care of it.

Now don’t miss Mary’s remarkable words in verse 5: “Do whatever He tells you.” Oh, to have that kind of faith and trust in Him. To know that, no matter the situation, no matter the circumstance or the problem, you can trust Him.

Do what He says. Follow His instructions. Let Him handle it. As you ponder the details of your life, family and work, just do what He says. Trust Him. Walk in step with Him. Let Him take care of whatever it is you need.

 

Brenda Harris is a student of God’s Word…and a wife, mother, and grandmother! She loves uncovering truths and promises in Scripture. Brenda serves as prayer coordinator for Kendrick Brothers Productions.

Pokémon? Go, Go, Go!

Pokemon Go

Hiya.

This is not an endorsement for Pokemon Go.  I think it’s probably harmless.  I know it has gotten literally millions of young people to go outside and walk around. (That’s a good thing.)  And I know some parents and kids are hunting for Pikachu, Squirtle, and other Pokemon characters together. (That’s a great thing.) Apparently, the app already has more active users than Twitter. (And it’s only been available for a week!) For now, the downside of Pokemon Go seems to be that kids are tripping on curbs, walking into each other, trespassing, and venturing into unfamiliar neighborhoods. Like so many fads, a dark side will soon be revealed.  Mom and Dad, I recommend you use it to enter the lives of your kids. Even older kids. Even young adult kids. Just go ahead and say, “What is going on with this Pokemon Go thing?” Then, let your kids be your teacher. That’s a great parenting strategy. In the meantime, I clearly used the Pokemon Go phenomenon to get your attention. And now that you’re thinking about kids and summer, you’ll want to click on this little video I made a few years ago. It’s called, “There’s Nothing to Do.” Now go hang out with your kids!

/jay

What’s up with Jay?   I have 20 copies of Lifeology, my hopefully-amusing new book from Broadstreet Publishing. If you promise to zip through it — and within a week — give the book an honest review on Amazon, I’ll send you a copy. Just let me know.

http://www.jaypayleitner.com

Dad Talk- Manly

Rick Wertz- Manly

It was October 4th, 1997, on The Mall in Washington D.C. – I was one of over a million men attending Promise Keepers’ Stand in the Gap event. We listened to some of the nation’s top preachers & teachers challenge us on the many fronts of manhood; we heard of Jesus’ example of loving selflessly and sacrificially and were challenged to love our wives in the same way; we sang in force, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”, “As for Me and My House” and other hymns; we were on our knees with billfolds open to pictures of our family, praying for them; and we were encouraged and equipped in the word of God to Stand in the Gap for marriage and family, and for the Church. That was the first time I had heard with such clarity what it meant to be a man.

To put an exclamation point on the experience, the Lord worked through a stewardess on the flight returning a plane load of men to Houston early on October 5th, almost all of whom had been on The Mall the day before. After the safety briefing, the stewardess said, “Men, I know y’all received a lot of negative press for the gathering on The Mall yesterday. But I want you to know that we women love you, we love what you are doing and pray that you will keep on doing it!” Applause and Amens erupted. Then she made a request, “Would you please sing, ‘As for Me and My House, We will Serve the Lord’?” We sang, the plane took off, the pilot prayed over breakfast and I thought the flight might just keep going up to Heaven.

“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” – Ezekiel 22:30. Today there are many men standing in the gap thanks to the Lord working through organizations such as Promise Keepers, Robert Lewis’ Men’s Fraternity, spinoffs such as Men’s Life, That Man Is You and other men’s ministry initiatives in and beside the Church. Yet, the status quo still reflects much confusion around manhood. The challenge before us is to be manly, to stand in the gap and lead by example. Below are tips built around Robert Lewis’ definition of Biblical manhood as conveyed in his book, Raising a Modern Day Knight.

Tips to Be Manly:

  1. Reject passivity – do not tolerate the serpents in your life. Turn from temptations and turn to Christ;
  2. Accept responsibility – complete the education needed, get a job, get married and have children – in that order;
  3. Lead courageously – live life with the right priorities. Keep eyes focused on a growing, personal and passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ, live that relationship in marriage and reflect it in family, the Church and beyond.
  4. Invest eternally – Be engaged in raising a godly generation and keep an eternal perspective in this temporal world.A faithful father is a manly man that rejects passivity, accepts responsibility, leads courageously and invests eternally.

Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for men you have lifted up on the battlefront for manhood that have impacted my journey – Bill McCartney, Ken Canfield, Robert Lewis, Dave Peterson to name a few. These are men of You that have always pointed to You and Your word, not to themselves. Keep me under Your word and Your love on this journey of becoming the man, husband and father You expect me to be. Amen.

 

BHG, Rick Wertz

281.491.DADS(3237)

faithfulfathering.org

Prioritize physical presence

   Be engaged emotionally, and

      Lead spiritually by example.

Facing Your Blitz: Drop Desire for Dignity

DignityYou probably have some lingering pain or bitterness over being snubbed or disrespected. This story and message is about how to break free from the pain and chains of having to please, impress or get the credit in life. Check out this great inspirational video from Jeff Kemp:

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.

Show Him Honor

HYF

What does it mean to give honor? It’s a question that puzzled me for years, because the command to honor my father felt in conflict with the feeling that my father didn’t deserve my honor. He simply couldn’t, he wasn’t present. So when I occasionally saw him or spoke to him on the phone and he made comments like, “I’m proud of you, son” those words felt so empty. Again, because he wasn’t really there. I ran track from when I was 9 years old, and was pretty good in my youth. Multiple national championships and even a couple of trips to Junior Olympics, but guess whose dad wasn’t in the stands cheering me on? Reality is, most of my teammates didn’t have fathers that were present either, so it’s not like I knew that I was missing something. But I did know I was missing him at home. People commented all of the time that I looked like my dad, or I laughed like my dad, and told stories about how funny my dad was back in the day. To me, he was both a figure that I admired and a phantom that I wished was around to make me laugh and to show me how to be a man. But due to a terrible addiction to alcohol, he simply wasn’t. So as I grew older, I just lived in the conflict. Wishing I knew more about him and that we were closer, but also wanting to keep my distance from the man who disappointed me so often. As I grew in the Lord, the command to honor my father loomed as an inescapable tension. How was I supposed to do that?

Honoring my Grandfather came easy it seemed. Talking about a man who was present, who took care of me, who asked me the hard questions, who modeled integrity, who exemplified the faith and patience and service to others that would leave an indelible mark on my life. Honoring that man was easy. I loved him deeply, because he first loved me. He showed me what love looked like. To this day I can unexpectedly break into tears of joy and tears of the pain of the loss of the most significant man in my life. When Father’s Day came around annually, I didn’t have to conjure up the nerves to give him a call, or browse the greeting card aisle forever trying to find the card that said just enough, but not too much. Not with my grandfather. I could buy a blank card and fill it with words of expression of my gratitude and loving kindness towards this man that was easy to honor, because he showed me consistent compassionate unqualified love.

As I wrestled with this question well into my adulthood, I stared at my Bible and read the words to honor my father, the easy thing to do is to give honor to my father-figure, but to discard the command as it related to my actual dad. But then I learned more. I began to dig deep into the definition of honor, and realized that it was more than to show gratitude, or to follow his advice, but to hold him in high regard. Then I began to think about how I could honor my father even though he wasn’t the example that I thought he should be. I had to look past my grandfather and the great shadow he cast over my dad. I had to look towards my Heavenly Father, the only one who could show me perfectly how to love and care for those around me. Then I had to realize that to bring honor to my earthly father, and even to my grandfather, was to live in such a way that would bring them honor by living Christ-like. Beyond the barbershop talk of, “I heard about your kid doing great things,” or the gigantic smile resulting from reading an excellent progress report from school. Beyond doing things in front of him that would naturally elicit his commendation. To bring honor to my father is to live in such a way that Our Father in Heaven would be well pleased, and to do my best show my father that allegiance to Him and His perfect love. To bring honor to my father is to live aligned with the gospel, whether or not he understands it or respects it. To treat him with respect, and to show him love and forgiveness, and to communicate His love, is the primary way in which I can bring him honor.

For some of you, I imagine the struggle to show your father honor may be very real, as it was for me. For others, to show and to share that you truly love him and are thankful for his influence in your life is easy, I can relate to that as well. But to all of us, no matter where your dad fits on the gradient scale of “honorability” in your mind, I only encourage you all to look beyond him, and to live as the man and the father that Our Heavenly Father calls you to be. To walk humbly before Him should result in having compassion and care and humility before your earthly dad. No matter if you find it hard, or if you find it no chore, give him a call or drop him a line if he is still alive.  In my case, both my father and grandfather have passed, but my pursuit to show them honor continues. Every day is a celebration, and a conscious decision to live in forgiveness. I pray that it can be the same for you as well.

 

Written by UNCOMMEN coach, Dee Lanier.  Watch Dee explain his reconciliation story with his dad and his relationship established with his other grandfather here. Check out the Honor Your Father campaign for more inspirational stories and ideas on how to honor your dad at honoryourfathertoday.com.  Be sure to check out practical ways to be an honorable father by downloading the UNCOMMEN app at download.uncommen.org.

Verses to reflect on: