#txdads2016 Community Change

Family Facts #txdads2016
Community change takes a catalyst of attentive and teachable people. Are you ready?

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As I participated at the Texas Fatherhood Summit, it impressed me, the willingness to learn and the appreciation for the toughness of the task was present.  Leadership was poised and ready.

In another historic moment in world history, the Israeli people had lived under family dysfunction and oppression for decades.

Nehemiah attacked the community angst with many approaches.  One of those was public meetings or town halls as we call them.

Ezra, the appointed teacher under Nehemiah, played a key role in a momentous turnaround for Israel after years of self inflicted slavery and  occupation and family dysfunction.  The leaders had ready been gathered.  Now it’s time to move out another level.

He read sensible instruction and a call to a deep moral center from historical documents.

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Then he read from it in the open .. from morning until midday, …..and the ears of all the people were  attentive to the Book of the Law.
Nehemiah 8:3 NKJV

Are we ready to make this move in Texas?  Maybe.  The nation certainly is not ready.  Maybe Texas can be the catalyst to sensible living, two parent involved families, and rational morality.

#fashionablefathering

The Press

The press of change can destabilize or establish new paths. Our choice can be new and better paths.

Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus called a little child to his side and set him on his feet in the middle of them all. “Believe me,” he said, “unless you change your whole outlook and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. It is the man who can be as humble as this little child who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.

The message is simple. Be simple about change.  It is not complicated. What needs to change to move closer to the target?  What is the target?  Can it be done with simplicity, fairness, equity, and justice?  Then it can be done.
A young man with whom I am working has spent his life in drugs, gangs, cartels, and prisons.  From 9 to 30, that has been his lifestyle.  Now he is pursuing another direction.  His goal is different.  His goal is to enjoy life legally and justly.  It is tough, but it is simple.  We talk a little every day because every day presents new issues along the path.  Eventually, he will walk on his own.  We start change as children.  That’s the key.  Simple and clean.
Prayer:  Father, I pray for my friend and all the changes in the path.  Our nation, our homes, and our lives are challenged with fear and disruption.  Yet, the goal has not changed. Make simple and clear steps easy to see for my friend.  Help my friend sort through the clutter and the noise and target just and appropriate action.
Family Facts: As we enter a new chapter at SOLUM CTI, I thought I’d drop a fact a week in these missives.  It is our families that make this nation strong.  It is our families that are under the greatest strain.
Did you know?  It is reported 48% of all new births are into never married situations.  This is a recent trend.  It is not teenagers.  It is adults.  Most studies I have seen put this around 41-43%.  This study reports higher.
What can you do about it? If you are married, invest in your marriage to keep it healthy. Be an example.  If you are a policy maker, participate in family information initiatives in your community.  Be visible.
Phil Larson, President ;-{)
cell/text 405.388.8037
Community Transformation Initiative
National Offices
224 S. Chestnut, Moore, Ok 73160
Be an agent of change:  Support a probationer working on a new life.  solumcommunity.net/give philheadanimation

 

Decide Don’t Slide

Decisions take correct cultivation. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.  To improve my life, I need to find the right regimens to reinforce regardless of short term results.  Over time, my decisions will conform.

My golf game is atrocious.  My friend tells me, ‘Phil, you need to quit hitting the big ball (planet earth) before you hit the little ball.
But, my golf game is fine.  You see, I don’t play golf to win the game.  I play golf to spend time with a friend. That part of the game is good and it is what I want to practice.

What is important in your life? Friendships? Finances? Faith? Health?  Study to develop right practices.

Most Sundays and Mondays are full of sickness and breakdown reports.  As a businessman, pastor, and teacher, people report to me. As a friend, I watch their Facebook feeds and notice which are their worst days.  People get sick on Sunday and Monday because they make bad decisons on handling stress every day.  It catches up and takes us down with predictable regularity.  We crash and burn and call it being sick.  Really, we are reaping results of bad eating, working, resting, and stress management.  We are sliding.

If I want to greet a great Monday, I start with a rested and worshipful Sunday.  It is a decison.  I close my Friday or Saturday depending on my work demands with planning for the next week.  There is an intentional decision base to my life around which chaos can be controlled.

“A stitch in time saves nine.”  We don’t darn socks anymore. Darn it! But we should darn other items.  Rest, family and community worship, personal prayer and meditation, study of my career profession, communication with friends, planning, saving, relaxing, and family and friend time all feed my future health and happiness.  And the press of life will rob me of them if I don’t decide and make them happen.

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Change Traditions

‘If your traditions have not changed, you have not changed. You are living an illusion.’
Seasonal traditions should be expressions of your inner man.  If you are growing, so should they.

As a father, it is important to know that I am impacting my family.  They need to be able to follow me as I follow stronger and stronger patterns of giving, productivity, service, and compassion. Talk is cheap.  Action is expensive.

Your family needs to see your example through the filter of traditions. At Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl are you the same selfless person or do you change based on the wind of the moment and season?  

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Are you a thankful person or just one who gives thanks when the seasonal tradition demands it?  Are you a gracious giver through all seasons or just ones that call on that aspect?  Do you have a habit of thankfulness and giving and serving or just a traditional moment?

Contemplate. Your traditions should be expressions of who you are daily with special emphasis on a quality. If they are exhausting, it is probably because you are being untrue to your self and putting on a show for the season instead of expressing yourself with special strength and attention.

As you grow as a father, your daily, weekly, and seasonal traditional expressions should exemplify the character you want repeated in your inner man and your family.

Vision Must Be Refreshed

Community Transformation Initiative has a great reputation. How do you improve what you are doing and how you present yourself?  In marketing, we call that “rebranding”. Recast the image.  As our success grows working with struggling families, it is time  to put on a new suit of clothes.

1. SOLUM is Latin for soil or foundation.   What we do is invest in the soil of hurting lives with fresh thought that can repair fractured foundations and launch a new future solid enough for generations.

2. The two leave image can be interpreted two ways. Some look and say, “It means someone comes alongside me and is helping me build a better life forward.”  Others look and say, “It means when I change it affects those around me also.”  Those are quotes from grads of our workshops, when I asked them to help with the new imagery.

3. Solid Life Foundations – Yes, we work at the foundational level of thought, social skills, and problem solving assisting those that come to us with cognitive self restructuring. That means they have to chose.  They have to build themselves up from the inside out. We assist and expose and challenge.

4. Healthy and Safe Relationships – violence is too prevalent and lack of listening is too common.  We teach how to listen, empathize, understand, and communicate.  These are not common skills.

5. Generations of Greatness – When foundations are rebuilt with solid approach and communication is ongoing, more is caught than taught.  Each workshop is three months, once a week, 20 hours, and includes weekly homework.  These are designed to shift thinking.  Life Skills, Family Builders, Anger Management, Couples Communication. They are all researched and evidence based.   They will speak into the lives of the children of the children of those we connect.

Support Phil and SOLUM – Solid Life Foundations:

  1. Need a motivational speaker?  Call me and connect.  405.388.8037
  2. Need a leadership retreat?   Let’s get it done.  phil@shepherdok.com
  3. Feeling philanthropic? GIVE to support solid family life foundation building. solumcommunity.net/give 
  4. Interested in starting a GrandParent Support group in your area?  Get with me.

Capital Chaos Disturbs Us All: A Call To Pray

joyfulgenerationsPsalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (your city): they shall prosper that love you. Peace be within the walls (places we all consider safe), and prosperity within the palaces (places of trade and government). For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Pray for and plan for the peace of your city.  Leaders do that. Leaders look to ensure right infrastructure is in place.  They plan for economic growth.  Education systems are intentionally developed. Healthcare is situated.  Community arts and social activities are set in place.  And then chaos attacks the peace of the city, the safety of hearts and minds, and the stability of home.
Nothing is more frightening than violence in the home, the safe place.  As we pray for the people of Paris and those assaulted in the Russion airliner and the thousands slaughtered in Syria and other countries, we pray for our cities and our homes.  The world is an unsafe place.  It has been greatly disturbed.  Our own schools and streets experience ever increasing violence. Even as we acknowledge these atrocities and attacks on peace of mind and stability, remember that one out of three women report being violently assaulted in their lifetime, one out of four young women will be sexually abused by age 16, 41% of our children are being born into never secure, never married homes.  While murder rages in the streets and skies, our homes are on fire from within.
Pray for both today.  Pray for our homes.  Pray for our safety.  Pray for your home, your city, and pray globally.
Father, we have lost touch with what is most important to You.  You call Yourself, Father, the Protector and Provider of homes and cities and nations.  Our guard is down.  Our lives are strewn to chaos.  Our streets are not safe from without or from within.  We are most heartily sorry for our part, Father.
Father, teach us.  Instruct us in ways that lead to peace and prosperity.  Take us to secure homes and undisturbed cities and schools and theaters and meeting places.  Refugees scatter across our world and find no peace in the next place.  God, grant us peace. 

A solid life foundation

Ok, we need you to share your feelings and we are taking on a new name and logo to match. Which option do you like and why? Pick the one you like and leave a comment.
Our vision and mission has tightened: Building solid life foundations in the soil of lives. Releasing a healthy and safe family and relational environment in our communities. Seeding generations of greatness and wise living. Life long dads. Forever families. We need ’em.
SOLUM engages leadership in the home, congregation, education, business, government, media, arts, community, with education and action.

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