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A Father’s Faith Shaken

A daughter’s coming out, a father’s faith shakenThis reference might be one of the most controversial EYE2EYE articles you read.  Fathers face some pretty tough moments in raising children.  How you interact with the community, concerns, and consistency defines you as a father and communicates compassion to your children. Sometimes there just don’t appear to be any right answers.

As a community, how do we support fathers?  How do we address issues that stymie our understanding?

In this blog from the AC360 site, I challenge you to not judge, but listen.  As a father, you might face something as challenging one day and could benefit from hearing from another dad and daughter.    I don’t make any judgement or comment one way or the other.  Just listen.  Consider how you would respond.

I remember 30 years ago my wife and I were raising an African American baby in foster care.  I remember hard stares in the shopping malls.  I remember family members saying, “You’re not going to keep him, are you?”  I remember our church family rallying around us with joy and receptivity.  I remember some family patting us on the back and offering help.  I remember it all.

Here’s the intro and link to the story.  After you read it, come back and share your thoughts.

Programming note: Learn more about Kelby’s story and see how she and her dad have overcome prejudice and bullying in the AC360° documentary “The Bully Effect” on Thursday, February 28 at 10 p.m. ET.

Bobby Johnson’s daughter Kelby came out of the closet at age 14. The reaction from their church, he says, was immediate. “The pastor’s response was, ‘you can come here but you can no longer teach, you can no longer hold any position of authority or power within the church because that’s a part of our bylaws,” says Johnson, adding, “since that day … we have not been back.”

It was a defining moment for a man raised in a deeply religious household, and was the beginning of a journey of introspection of his faith.

“As I began to see the hate, the anger, the intolerance that came out in the community with Kelby, that really made me reflect on what I was taught,” he said.

The story..A daughter’s coming out, a father’s faith shaken – Anderson Cooper 360 – CNN.com Blogs http://ow.ly/i57lY 

Shepherd Center Update

Shepherd Center Update  (download and read offline).

Shepherd Center Update:  Fathers in the Home.  Fathers in the Congregations.  Fathers in the State Houses.

Encourage…Enable..Empower

God has been most gracious, the world has been most demanding, and the enemy of our progress has been most interruptive.  Well, is that not a description of normal life of a purposeful Christian?  There is nothing good or bad or wonderful or horrid about that.  The battle is engaged.   God always wins.  But, the battles must be engaged.

God’s Progress Just These Last Weeks

. A gentlemen graciously funded six weeks of an administrative assistant.  Given in full.  That is exactly how many weeks until the first “FEARLESS” weekend hosted at Eagles’ Crest.

. Tammy Matthews has graciously agreed to be a “missionary” with PrayerMetro as that administrative assistant along with continuing as our Prayer Chaplain.

. The National Center for Fathering committed to sending a “networking” agreement in consideration of our brainstorm.  This can enable nationwide engagement in collective thrust with OKC being the first such networked city.

. SALLT and pastors across the city are coming together in support of fathering the fatherless in foster care and possibly other areas.  Would it not be wonderful if the heart of The Father would infect the Church to walk alongside Him in fathering the fatherless in foster care, in fatherless homes (34%), and in fathered homes where the fathers are abusive, apathetic, disengaged, or just unfathered themselves?

.The OCADVSA has asked me to serve as a co-chair.  Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

. We are in initial conversations to build a WatchDog program for a 65% fatherless zone school using churches to seed the initiation.  The principal is ready.  Now I need faith churches with compassionate men.

. Contacts from She’s Somebody’s Daughter stirred my soul and we will provide prayer covering for their October emphasis in OKC.  OKC will be the national starting point of this thrust.

. Planning for “FEARLESS” weekend number one on the west side of Oklahoma City is moving forward.

. Techies are working on installing a server to consolidate all these activities away from my laptop.

The World’s Demands

. One of the contracts on which I am working is increasing in demand for time and attention.  It is a normal progression and most certainly ordained of God for this season in my life.  Yet, the tangle is tough and troubling and time consuming.  50+ hours working alongside 30+ with the Shepherd Center is getting old.

. Normal items around the home are going untended while the battle rages from early morning to late at night.  They need my attention.

. Good contract situations are developing for writing and marketing that can support me while the Center is building support for fathers in the home (dads), fathers in the congregations (pastors), and fathers in the state houses (legislators).

The enemy’s push.

. Handling the juggling of 50lb basketballs, tugs on my peace of mind and smile.  He comes to steal the joy, kill the progress, and destroy the transformation.  Some days are accomplished through moving one foot in front of the other with absolute trust that God will bring support to enable the Shepherd Center to flourish.

 

How to Pray:

The blessing of the Lord is rich.  He is good to all.  His tender mercies cover all His works.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

No weapon formed against me shall prosper.

In Him I live and move and have my being.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

The King of all Kings is my employer.  There is more than enough to supply all my needs in Christ Jesus.

All my needs include finances, home life, enjoyment, property, health, progress, and family.

 

 

Father’s and daughter’s lives shattered

Father’s and daughter’s lives shattered by separate murders | Toronto Star http://ow.ly/i0evb

DADS DEMAND RESPECT! Listen or Lose Them….

“THE hapless, bumbling father is a stock character in product marketing. He makes breakfast for dinner and is incapable of handling, or sometimes even noticing, a soggy diaper. He tries desperately to hide the crumb-strewn, dirt-streaked evidence of his poor parenting before the mother gets home.

This is an image that many fathers who attended the Dad 2.0 Summit — a meeting of so-called daddy bloggers and the marketers who want to reach them — have come to revile. They are proud to be involved in domestic life and do not want to serve as the comic foil to the supercompetent mother”  read more…..

Fathers Seek Advertising That Does Not Ridicule – NYTimes.com http://ow.ly/i0d4v 

Father occupies crane to publicise custody battle

Father occupies crane to publicise custody battleTwo years after losing custody of his son, a father in France’s western city of Nantes has scaled and occupied a towering shipyard crane in protest. He was joined on Saturday by a friend locked in a similar legal battle.

Father occupies crane to publicise custody battle – FRANCE – FRANCE 24 http://ow.ly/hN81G

Simple pleasures strengthen fathers and families

Gannett“Have you noticed lately how you might have become consumed by all that is around you?

Whether that might be meeting deadlines on work-related projects or seemingly running ragged from one event to another with your children, one must question sometimes: “Why does life always have to be so complex and full of hustle and bustle?””

Simple pleasures strengthen fathers and families | Coshocton Tribune | coshoctontribune.com http://ow.ly/hN7v9

Consistent Fathering

Latest Lessons At D.A.D.S. University.

Fire In My Bones for the Fatherless

What happens when fathers get involved.

What happens when fathers get involved.

Fathers, who are struggling, thank you.  Sons and daughters, who are looking for a different future, thank you.  Neighborhoods thank you.  Single moms, hoping for better examples, thank you.  Legislators thank you.  Pastors thank you.  I thank you.  Jesus thanks you.

This generation in our hands. Esta generación en nuestras manos.

An update on the Shepherd Center and the work among fathers, pastors, and legislators.

The blessings of the Lord make us rich, fat, contented, and full.  He never adds sorrow with it.

When sorrow strikes, each of us must ask, “From where?”

If we are attached to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and His Spirit quickens not only our mortal body but our heart and mind and will and emotion, then sorrow is either errant arrows from the enemy or meant to lead us to change.

There is a Godly sorrow that will bring us repentance.  And it leads to great gain when we repent. To repent means to change our mind and change our direction and change our action.

This morning, I opened my mail to find a brief note from Carey Casey at the National Center for Fathering.  The timing could not have been more planned of God for the exact moment.  As I stood in front of the mailbox, I prayed, “God, I hope you have sent me an encouragement today.   The battle is so intense.  My strength is waning.”  There was the note reminding me of great friends in the battle for the hearts and minds of fathers.  Fathers in the homes.  Fathers in the congregations.  Fathers in legislative leadership.  Those that should coach and love and model this generation in our hands, esta generación en nuestras manos.  Carey and I spent a day in Kansas City recently brainstorming for fathers.

In the mail the other day is a note from Senator John Proos of Lansing, Michigan.  It reads, “Phil, thank you so very much for taking the time to forward a prayer of strength and perseverance to me.  Thank you and God’s blessings on you and your family too.”  Every so often my phone rings and a senator or legislator thanks me with great emotion and sometimes tears and lets me know what we are doing is the right thing.  These serve as fathers in our states providing coaching and love and modeling like we need in the homes.  Several senators and representatives spent a day with me in Topeka as I listen to to their hearts and pray.

The Saturday after our conversation, Raul, mi amigo fiel, my faithful friend, looked at me and said, “Lumbre en Huesos.”  It literally means ‘ Light of the Fire in Bones’.  Like Ezekiel there is a fire shut up in my bones that must get out.  I need you in the battle. Raul and I had just come from working with Pastor Velio Estrada concerning men and fathers.

Your vote of confidence is important.  Each vote of confidence is important.  From my spot on the hill looking over the landscape, it is the National Center that holds the research, resources, programs, policy, and network that can effectively reverse this horrid curse on our nation and hold ground once gained.  Coupled with the congregations to provide a sustainable force of change and a current of continuing influence, we can do this.  We can see real impact in our life time and bigger impact in the generations that follow.  The blessing of the father flows into four generations.  The curses only go three.  The blessings overcome the curses and can even stop their flow at a point in time and cause only blessing to move forward.  We know that.  We believe that.  We experience that.

I pray and weep over the large fatherless zones in my city and cry for action.   I go to the pastors that have congregations in them and challenge them to take on the heart of The Father and father the fatherless and be husband to the single moms through teaching and training and compassionate engagement.   To fix a root cause, you must strike at the root and then plant new plants with healthy systems.  We have been called.  It is not an option.  If we believe the gospel, we do not have an option to continue to do as we have done.  We must change. We must.  Debemos.  Debemos.

I am committed.  Thank you for being you and being committed.

Thank you Carey Casey and Steve Wilson for being committed and taking time to work together.

Thank you Pastor Jeff Mitchell for being committed and taking time to work together.

Thank you, Dr. Major Jemison, for being committed and taking time to work together.

Thank you. Senator Peggy Mast,  and many others in the Kansas legislature for taking time to work together.

Thank you, Pastor David Oxley and Pastor Bill Sillings and Pastor Dwight Cunkle and Pastor Johnny Youell for taking time to work together.

Gracias, Pastor Velio Estrada, para llevar tiempo para trabajar juntos.

Thank you, Wes Lane, for taking time to work together.

Thank you, Board of PrayerMetro, for taking time to work together.

Thank you, Pastor Melvin Bunn and Raul Machado, for taking time to work together.

Thank you Tammy and Don and Rocky and Rick and Kevin and Robin and Lavoe so many others for taking time to work together.

Gracias, Doctor Jose Carillo, para llevar tiempo para trabajar juntos.

Thank you Dr. Frank, Robert, David, Tammy, David, Pat, and others that are faithful to give a little each month or a little in a chunk.. Thank you.

Thank you members of the Oklahoma Coalition for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention for taking the time to work together.

Thank you, Dr. Steve Nedbalek, for taking the time to work together.

In the last ten days every one of these met in person or on the phone or sent a gift for this generation.  In Kansas City, Topeka, and across Oklahoma City.  Days have been long as I work full time on contract and full time in ministry and parttime on other contracts.  There is fire in my bones.  I look for the day to give fully to this effort and the others not be necessary.  Those 100 hour weeks are long.  For a season, God sustains.

Fathers, who are struggling, thank you.  Sons and daughters, who are looking for a different future, thank you.  Neighborhoods thank you.  Single moms, hoping for better examples, thank you.  Legislators thank you.  Pastors thank you.  I thank you.  Jesus thanks you.

Give. Help. Pray.  Work while the sun is up.  Night comes.

Image

Family life: Dad’s gift, a Vervacious grandmother and Boston beans

Snapshot … Vera BreareyThese conversations went on throughout my childhood and teenage years. They got more realistic as I got older, but what never wavered was the message that I should do whatever I wanted to do and he would support it

Family life | My 1950s father’s gift, at Grandmother’s bedside and Boston beans | Life and style | The Guardian http://ow.ly/hB1G8

Lumbre En Huesos Para El Huérfano De Padre

ImageLumbre En Huesos Para El Huérfano De Padre

Debemos tomar acción.
Debemos orar fervientemente.
Debemos. Debemos.