Zephaniah 3:9“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder.”
There is a dearth of rain in the area in which I live. Communities are beginning to talk about rationing all through the year instead of just the heat of summer. That is such a bizarre thought. How can such a thing be? Of course, history brings to memory the dust bowl. It could be an hundred and fifty year pattern and we would not know because we have never been here before. We’ve never been in a situation in the last 200 years where the world was so concreted and burning energy at these rates.
Some produce models of what is happening and still don’t have fully accurate prior data. It is a hard nut. History does tell us that through all the trials and issues, the people of the planet continue to find ways to move ahead.
Maybe through emergence of conflict and resolution an answer pops.
Legislation plus war stopped U.S. slavery. It did not stop flawed heart attitudes. Our cultures agonize over disparities and rights and entitlements and angers and bigotry.
Maybe through scientific inventiveness an answer pops.
Cancer’s impact is reduced and for some life continues after an assault. It defies resolution. There is progress, yet, not a resolution.
Maybe through cultural shift an answer pops.
The Americas struggle with an imbalance of prosperity in the North and South and poverty in Central America. Cartel wars and immigrant movement push against the pricks as people seek answers. The situation continues unresolved. Laws are passed and amnesty is declared every 20 years or so in the United States. The Canadians open work seasons. The violence continues and illegality is becoming a cultural norm that may hurt all as it seeps into other mindsets.
Many situations seem to be worsening like the lack of rain. Our families are imbalanced. Fatherlessness rushes to higher and higher percentages and impact. Children are left in a lurch with an imbalanced home life. Single moms work incredibly hard to make up the shortages left from abandonment of the male influence. Yet, a lack of the right touch and voice and love of a father leaves the child always wanting more.
Ready for rain? Ready for some peace that passes all understanding? In a conversation with a young man we prayed for that peace. His road has been covered with mental anguish and some days living on the streets and frustration of a father who died too early in his life. I made a promise to his mother to get involved in his life. Oh, he’s 30. Everyone needs a dad.
Ready for rain? T talked about the impact of God’s intervention in his life. T is in his 40’s. It is early for him in his turnaround. I bet there is a gap of fathering in him. He’s been living in a recovery center and looking to move forward.
Ready for rain? M struggles. His wife and children are rejecting him. The control orientation of his nature has been over emphasized as right by the congregation he attends. A shame happens when a congregation falls prey to what might be called abuse and encourages it through absolution and aberrant teaching. It happens. It happens too often. Yet, M is working with other men to learn to be the right kind of a man. It happens by osmosis, not a book.
Ready for rain? P went through amazing flailing in his 30’s. The influence of years involved in drugs and witchcraft left mental and emotional scars on his psyche. The process of removal and healing was not pretty. But, he’s okay today. He’s on to being a good man. Good men raise good children and are faithful to good wives. Good plus good plus good equals great.
Ready for rain? Rain comes one drop at a time. A downpour is nice, but a steady drop opens the soil gently and enters. That drop leaves room for another and another and another. That is how it is when working on cultural modifications and generational change. Go after the task one drop at a time.
There is undisputed evidence that a more focused strategy used in recent years by the United Way of Greater Rochester to help poor families, in particular, is helping change lives.
United Way can further improve its laudable record of helping local non-profit agencies deliver vital services to these families by finding innovative ways to get absent fathers involved in the lives of their children.
United Way should target absent dads, too | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com http://ow.ly/h76GR
What do you think?
Bells Toll for Abortion Victims: Babies, Women, Fathers, Grandparents | LifeNews.com http://ow.ly/h2xCo
This is good food for thought for any father…
By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Published: 01/18/2013 06:33 PM EST on LiveScience
NEW ORLEANS — Dads who have egalitarian ideas about gender — and who walk the talk by doing household chores themselves — have daughters with higher workplace ambitions than less egalitarian fathers do, new research finds.
The research is correlational, so it doesn’t prove that fathers’ attitudes are the cause their young daughters’ work aspirations. But the research may………
Fathers’ Sexism May Curb Daughters’ Work Ambitions, Research Suggests http://ow.ly/h2xQs
‘As one daughter who was raised by a very attentive, loving and supportive father, I remember as a child feeling reassured about my worthiness and capabilities. My father’s affirming gaze provided me with the confidence to tackle the hurdles and challenges I faced knowing that I was loved and appreciated regardless of the outcome of my efforts.’
This insightful and researched article on the power of father/daughter relationships is a good read.
Offra Gerstein, Relationship Matters: Fathers are their daughters’ guiding lights – Santa Cruz Sentinel http://ow.ly/gYpxY
Genesis 15:7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
When we follow the guidance of God, He may take us out of one place in order to put us into another place. The next place takes possessive action. That next level of growth does not simply come through being there. No prophet will speak us into the next place. No goal will achieve itself. The words of promise and the outline of goals are good and necessary. They do not accomplish themselves. There is an intentional and possessive action required for us to absorb the blessing and the goals of God for our lives.
Now, God makes it clear where He wants us to go and how He wants us to act. Yet, we must do the acting and accomplish the goals with His grace enabling us. What He brings us into is much bigger than we will see in the beginning. Success at increasingly higher levels is ours for the possessing. How far we move into that blessing depends on our adaptability and tenacity to receive all He has for us.
Struggles ensue. Hardship pummels. Resistance presents itself. Doubt stands as a wrangler against our fortitude. Others question our motives. Such is the tempest while possessing the promise. Persistence wins.
Maybe you are struggling with coming to full realization and activation of a promise into which you have been thrust. The old land is looking pretty good. Retreat sounds a welcome call. It might not be so bad just to go back, huh? Except the place from which you were taken is no longer available. It has changed and so have you. The two of you just won’t fit together the same way if you go back. Go forward. Pursue. Persist. Change.
Prayer: Father, sometimes the battle seems so long for just getting along. Work inside us to do good and love mercy and live justice. Mold us to be the new man or woman that is needed for the next level into which You have thrust us. Eliminate the spirit of complacency while establishing a spirit of contentedness. Let us not be anxious. Neither let us be apathetic or static in our growth. Cause our hands to know how to do the task and our minds and hearts to fully grasp the measure necessary to not just accomplish but maintain new levels of living. Thanks, Father. Thank You that You do not let us atrophy. You provide a plan of growth for every day that we might become more like You in every way.
Notes on PrayerMetro:
This year we made a move to increase our impact in the nation and in men and families.
. Moved from 1800 legislators in 13 states to 4427 legislators in 32 states.
. Moved from working in the Latino churches and Matamoros back into working across the entire metro.
. Moved from a stationary position in men and families to launching the Shepherd Center with a weekly DADS University, concentrated congregational neighborhood thrusts, multiple family and fathering weekends, an increased online intensity of research and information.
. Moved from part-time involvement of about 10% of Phil to much increase involvement of 80% of Phil.
All of this puts an increased taxing on finances. Your help is needed in financial support, prayer, and personal action and assistance. We need DADS University in all sectors of the city and in other cities. We need 50 congregations influencing their neighborhoods in OKC an many thousands beyond. We need you in order to enter the land into which God has thrust us.
DADS University starts up in January. Join us on any Monday in January to get started. That way you will be ready for Feb and March.
Who needs to come to DADS University? Every son and every father over 16 should come. Of course if you are a father, you are first a son. Every man is the son of someone. So come.
How long does DADS University take? That depends on you. This is not self study. You will not learn from yourself. Get it? The first level is reached in approximately 12 weeks if you stick with the program. The second level takes an additional 12 weeks if you stick with the program faithfully. The Third Level – is reached after an additional 12 weeks and completing your internship as a son/father. The Fourth Level is only reached with personal coaching/mentoring by someone that has reached that level.
DADS University: Hosted on the West Side of Oklahoma City from inception, the University designed for men will have four levels of certification. Classes start Jan 7th.
BAM! – Be A Man – Complete Connectedness and Seven Secrets curriculum
DADS = Dynamic Active Determined Supporters. Will complete both the Seven Secrets and Father Thirst curriculums.
Man= Most Active Nuturer – Complete Seven Secrets and Destiny coursework and have taken two other men through the Seven Secrets.
Champion – Accomplishes MAN status and completes Tower of Fathering discipline with personal coaching/mentoring.
What is a DADS? A DADS is a Dynamic Active Determined Supporter. A DADS is someone committed to living fully as a faithful and disciplined man and giving time to others who need a father or father figure. We all need someone to look up to. The younger the child, the more they need it. That might be your own children or other fathers if you are older or kids in school through a Watch DOGS program or some other community coaching or involvement activity.
How long has DADS been around? I started my first group of DADS around 1992. That was 21 years ago. We weren’t as structured back then, but men would commit to help with kids doing basketball camps and campouts and working with them on Wednesday evenings. In 2000, we had 100 Men of Valor, who focused more on prayer and service, but a strong component was leading other men and helping them grow. Today, I require more out of the men that work with me. We are looking for those few good men that will invest in thousands of other men.
This weekend, we sent this note and prayer to over 4000 state legislators across the United States. My phone has been ringing and responding emails are numerous. One legislator wrote, “Thank you. You have “hit the nail on the head” as to our real problems. I am going to keep this near to read when I get “frustrated”. Thank you my friend!”
From Oregon to Rhode Island and Texas to Michigan affirmations that we need this have come back to me. So I am encouraging you to put your state legislator’s name in the blanks and pray. God is interested in helping our nation grow in grace and stature.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 NIV1984
Inclusiveness is rarely enjoyed in our world these days. Folks fight for entitlements based on differences instead of likeness. “Me first” abounds in decision making. Rights can be defended at the cost of a balance of justice and fairness. Equality can mean I get more than you because inequality reigned yesterday. This situation stings and sticks like a bothersome nettle. ______________, can we settle the nettle?
Leaders have a fearsome job. There just does not seem to be a way to win. Que problema es…. The problem is… we are humans. Humans have competing needs, wants, and desires. Decision makers have a job in front of them where there is toughly a full win for everyone. Getting everyone on the same page is just not something that happens often.
You have my sympathy and empathy______________ Stay strong. Stay in the game. It is a worthy endeavor to lead and wrangle with troublesome decisions.
Prayer: Father, I lift_______________ in front of You. You seek to settle the nettle. You work to bring us together as family and friend in spite of our differences. Yet, we struggle. Help ______________ find solutions and decisions that bring us closer to the same and more balanced in our expressions. Let freedom and unity ring.
“Emotionally: Dr. William Pollock, a Harvard psychologist and author of “Real Boys,” found that “boys require the presence of a father to teach them what it means to be a man and how to manage their emotions. As we have seen, without the guidance and direction of a father, a boy’s frustration often leads to varieties of violence and other antisocial behavior.”
Offra Gerstein, Relationship Matters: Fathers have a crucial role in raising their sons – Santa Cruz Sentinel http://ow.ly/gLrHk
Following in his father’s footsteps | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News
“You get the sense Brent would have been chuffed to show his old man around his glitzy George St store; to show him how well he had done, that he could do it too”
Understanding the Father/Son dynamic of some families.