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Fire In My Bones for the Fatherless

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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.

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