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.

Obedience, Not Achievement

My father taught me this simple lesson of the motivation of obedience through an unusual preaching experience.  After we moved to Misouri, he discovered there was a large mental hospital run by the state with no Sunday service for the patients.  Dad made himself available and structured a worship service early Sunday morning for these people with mental disorders.

The church service at the state mental institution was enjoyable for my brother Jay and me, but not so much for spiritual reasons.  We saw it more as an experience in entertainment, for these folks displayed true spontaneity.  At a normal church things may be predictable—but at the mental hospital you never knew what might happen.

Our song leader was always full of surprises.  He was a large man over six feet tall, and you would have expected him to have a booming voice. He would compose himself, instruct the piano player and congregation of the page number and begin singing.  But out came a high-pitched shriek like a pig getting poked with a prodder.  He led the singing in an unabashed falsetto voice and had a terrific time doing it.  His conducting was entertaining and effective, for we all sang loudly to lessen the pain of hearing his voice.

Another person who added a lively touch to the service would sit in the back of the room and chime in to affirm whatever Dad was saying.  But instead of saying, “Amen,” he would say, “wha-oh” as if something was going wrong. If ever a turn would take place in a story Dad was telling, or if something unplanned would happen, you would hear him come through with a “wha-oh!”  Or if Dad would ever mention a woman, he would come through without fail. “Wha-oh! Wha-oh!”  My brother and I always counted how many “wha-ohs” he contributed during the service, and would keep track seeing if he could break his record from the previous week.

Another lady always sat in the same seat on the front row and contributed to the service regularly.  Her form of participation was to use filthy language throughout the meeting.  She could cuss for thirty seconds straight and not use the same word twice.  We were amazed—nothing like this ever happened at regular church!  Just as Jay and I kept track of how many times the man would say “wha-oh,” we also kept track of her utterances. We figured we must have been the only kids who could go to church on Sunday and learn new words for the week.

One Sunday morning Dad was telling a story.  He described a man who was lovingly trying to help out a needy person.  A line from the story went like this: “And the man reached out his hand to touch her shoulder.”  I guess Dad thought the swearing sailor lady needed the personal touch, and as he spoke he reached out his own hand as if to touch her on the shoulder.  At that moment, she stood up and said with a profane expletive, “don’t ya touch me, preacher!”

For a moment there was silence, and then “wha-oh! wha-oh!”  Soon everyone roared with laughter!  Jay and I just about laughed ourselves out of our chairs, because we had never heard anyone say that to Dad—much less while he was preaching.  I remember Dad laughing right along with everyone else.  It didn’t seem to interrupt his line of thinking and his message, and he simply continued with what he was saying.

As we were driving away from the hospital, my dad asked me a question.  “David, don’t you have to give a short message in Sunday School next week?”  I replied, “Yes, sir.”  Dad continued: “Why don’t you be the preacher next week here at the hospital.  It will give you a chance to practice, and these folks would enjoy hearing you.”

“Sure, that will be fun!” I said.  But then my thoughts turned to the sailor woman.  Wha-oh.    I felt I should go ahead and do it, but was concerned about how I could handle her interjections during my talk.   So I decided to take the spiritual approach.  I told Dad I would do it, and would pray for her all week.  I did pray for her: that she would get real sick or die.  When Sunday came and we walked into the meeting room at the hospital, she was the first one I saw. She was sitting there waiting for me, guns loaded and ready to fire.

When the time came for me to speak, she had not uttered a sound.  I began talking, went through firstly, then secondly.  I thought my prayers had been answered. Maybe she had lost her voice? But when I began “thirdly,” she chimed in with a reference to Hades and said, “Somebody shut the little preacher up!” No one laughed at that point. I did hear a faint, “wha-oh.”  I turned red, forgot about thirdly, and called on Dad to end it with the benediction.

While riding home I asked Dad, “When she blasted you, everyone laughed and so did you.  It didn’t bother you one bit.  How come?”

“You don’t have to worry about how you’re being treated, or even whether or not they’re responding.  Just think about the Lord, how much they need Him, and that you are busy doing His work.  Then what they say or do won’t bother you that much.”

Dad had been led by God to minister to these people, and he was being obedient.  In his normal ministry, Dad received much affirmation from many responsive people, leading hundreds to Christ in seventy years as a pastor.  In addition to work in his own church, Dad spoke to many large gatherings as a revival preacher with thousands of conversions over the years.  But what about his ministry at the state hospital?  We could not see a lot of response from those folks.  For Dad, simply being obedient to God’s leading was reward enough.

 

–David Maddox

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

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.

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.

7 Tips for Raising Children and Growing Your Marriage

For many obvious reasons, the first years of marriage can be quite challenging. In the best of circumstances, each spouse must make adjustments. No amount of premarital counseling can fully prepare a couple for all the changes each spouse will have to make. This is especially true when children come along. The best-made plans are often replaced by frequent surprises. Children and marriage certainly go together, but having children requires a great deal of hard work and maturity from both parents in order to meet the needs of each child while ensuring a healthy marriage.

Here are 7 tips to help couples learn how to balance children and marriage and maintain the foundation of a strong partnership:

  1. Vocalize and listen to each other’s concerns. First-time parenting is a frightening prospect, but remember that you have each other to depend upon.
  2. Lean on the expertise of family and friends to coach you on the “secrets” from their own parenting experiences. All married couples face similar stresses and issues when having children and many have learned from their mistakes. You will do well to seek their counsel. Just choose the sources of your counsel wisely.
  3. Be open and honest with each other if you should harbor doubts. Get your feelings out into the open or you’ll find the stresses of parenting and those locked-up emotions playing seesaw with your relationship.
  4. Discuss and compare views on structure and discipline with the goal of finding a compromise position on how to raise your child.
  5. Don’t let parenting consume your relationship to the point that you have no intimate time for each other.
  6. Never forget that you were a couple before you were parents … a lesson worth carrying throughout the ups and downs of raising children.
  7. Consider parenting and career objectives. While both parents working might provide more financial stability, consider how it could affect your child’s development? Be certain to count all the costs, both tangible and intangible, before making the decision for both of you to work.

It is important to understand that relationship challenges are a normal part of balancing children and marriage. Though you and your spouse may carefully and prayerfully plan for children and talk at length about how to handle situations that may arise, be prepared for surprises. And no matter what, never forget that the love and support needed to nurture your marriage is just as important as winning the parent-of-the-year award. Strongly consider sitting down with a counselor and discussing being parents, or consider taking a class to continue growing in your marriage with the idea that you may gain insightful and objective advice on how to successfully tackle marriage and parenting.

– Family Dynamics Institute

 

Family Dynamics Institute collaborates with Churches, Companies, and Community Organizations to help them provide a Comprehensive Marriage Ministry to help married and engaged couples grow stronger at all ages and stages of marriage.

To Learn More

Contact Us At:         800-650-9995

Email Us:       info@FamilyDynamics.net

Websites:      www.FamilyDynamics.net

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