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Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Underpinings of Your Soul Make Your Decisions

Decisions reveal directions and determinations.  How intense are your passions?  Do you like life or thirst for life? Don’t be fooled .Your inner desires are making your decisions.

There is a word in Spanish that struggles expression in English.  Anehlo.  To passionately thirst with intense desire that overwhelms all else.  There is such a desire in you whether you acknowledge or not.

This morning I attended a service at a congregation in support of our DOGS program. Every picture, video, word, greeting, display and person shouted one message.  We want you to meet Jesus, receive forgiveness, and enjoy an energized life in Him.

Another church with which I work has a different message.  We are here to enjoy our Christian heritage and you can join if you fit, but remember you are not priority.

Yet another shouts a love for a specifc culture and community and tradition with Christ’s eventual connection through social engagement.

So what about your family focus fathers?  This conversation is really not about Churchianity, but home front.

The press of living is relentless.  Decisions mark time.  My back is a little sore from playing on the floor with my granddaughter.  At three, she is full of energy and loves to jump and fall and fly.  It was a good workout and fun.  There was a lot more that needed my time.  She got it.

I have books to finish and funds to raise and events to plan and she got all my time.  Loving her in family is paramount to me.  Unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace in close family, friend, and faith community drives my preferences.  I prefer what leads that direction and defer what does not.  All three areas are important but the core is unity of the Spirit. 

If there is fracture, heal.
If there is separation, unify.
If there is conflict, face.
If there is distance, close
Ignorance – educate.
Hurt – forgive
Confusion – clarify

What drives you?  What do your prefer?  What do you defer?

Have you taken time to transform the inner man to conform to an image of Christ?

Inborn desires meld over life into something else.  Chose your mold.  Change the inside to change the outside.

Quit fooling yourself about your desires.  Examine and change them to a better thought level.  Then life will begin to straighten out.  You will prefer your life in a better direction if the better direction tranforms the inner man.

Fatherless Fathers Discuss Breaking The Cycle: New Dad Says ‘I Forgave My Dad’ (VIDEO)

One of our greatest impacts at Community Transformation tends to be helping men break this cycle. Love this story.

Fatherless Fathers Discuss Breaking The Cycle: New Dad Says 'I Forgave My Dad' (VIDEO).

Seeking Approval… Rick Nielson

blueprintforlifelogoAmong the private thoughts of men, the topic of fathers is likely to be raised with great frequency. It’s hard to think of one person who is more apt to fill the thinking horizon than a man’s father. Not always is it the case, but frequently enough to make this claim.

Some think privately about their fathers with sweeps of admiration and appreciation as did Matthew Arnold, who wrote of his father in one of my favorite poems, “Rugby Chapel”:

If, in the paths of this world,
Stones might have wounded thy feet,
Toil or dejected have tried
Thy spirit, of that we saw
Nothing-to us thou was still
Cheerful, and helpful, and firm!

Some will think their private thoughts in much bitterness. Such as Frank Kafka, who wrote in his Letter to My Father: “I was a mere nothing to you…in front of you I lost my self-confidence and exchanged it for an infinite sense of guilt.”

I have a friend who always seems to be telling Dad-stories. “My dad once said…,” he will recall, or “I remember the time my dad asked me to…,” or “You know, my dad always had a way of…” I love my friend’s Dad-stories. They always convey some nugget of wisdom. But even more, they remind me of the connection that is supposed to exist between the generations, a connection marked with affection, understanding, stability, and direction. I guess there is hardly a man who wouldn’t crave a bevy of positive Dad-stories as part of his heritage.

It’s my observation that the men with positive Dad-stories tend to be in the minority. Frankly, the majority of Dad-stories I hear are mostly stories of regret and anger: “I never really knew my dad,” or “My dad never seemed to be there at the right moment,” or “My dad wasn’t able to give me the slightest impression that he was glad to be my father, that he approved of anything I did.”

I sit at lunch with a man I like who is battling depression. His state of melancholy mystifies me because everything in his life seems to be marked with so much success. In fact, I cannot find one event in his present life that might offer a key to his feelings. To the contrary, he has just completed a major project for his company that is going to make them and him more profitable than ever. I know something about his marriage; it’s in great shape. I know his children: they’re fine. And health is not a problem. So what’s behind this despondency?

Somewhere in the conversation, I ask some questions about the past, and one of them is, “What was your father like?”

There is a grim smile, followed by a long pause in the conversation while he stirs his coffee.

And then: “There’s not much to talk about. He was unpleasable; that’s it. No matter what you did, he wanted it done better the next time. Grades could have always been better. The way you swept the basement floor could be done better. The way you played in a ball game could be done better.”

I can tell he isn’t finished with this recollection.

“Have you ever watched the high jumper at a track meet?” he asks.

Being an ex-track and field man, I nod yes.

“Ever notice what they put the poor guy through? He leaps over the bar, and what’s the first thing they do? The very first thing?”

“They raise it,” I say.

“Exactly. And they keep on raising it until he knocks it off. Until he fails! The poor sucker can’t go into the locker room and call it quits until he fails.” When my friend uses this phrase, he slaps his hand with anger on the table in time with each word: until (slap) he (slap) fails (slap). “That’s what I remember most about my father. He was always raising the bar.”

I see a connection. “Is that what’s going through your head today?” I ask. “You’ve made a successful ‘jump’ in your work, and you have this inner feeling that someone, your boss maybe, is going to raise the bar again? So your mind relives the sadness of other days when your father kept pushing you?”

My friend replies, “Let me think on that one for a while.”

SEEKING APPROVAL

These fathers of ours. Strange men sometimes. Strange and mystifying, too, are our relationships with them.

I walk through a crowd of men, and each of them seems faceless to me. I care little about who they are or what they think. Should they disapprove of me, it would have relatively little impact. But if one of the men were my father, his admiration or disapproval would have a profound effect on me. It would be the cause of joy or heartache in my private thoughts. If one of them were my father, I would give almost anything to hear that he was proud of me.

Winston Churchill’s father, Randolph, is a study in Dad-stories. Among Sir Winston’s biographers is William Manchester, who devotes many pages of The last Lion to the relationship between him and his father. “Randolph actually disliked his son,” Manchester comments at one point as he describes the many ways the father hurt the boy. Yet, strangely enough, the boy maintained a steady devotion toward his father, always wanting to believe there would come a day when the two would find a connection. Looking back at his boyhood and his troubled relationship to his father, Churchill said,

I would far rather have been apprenticed as a bricklayer’s mate, or run errands as a messenger boy, or helped my father to dress the front windows of a grocer’s shop. It would have been real; it would have been natural; it would have taught me more; and I should have gotten to know my father, which would have been a joy for me.

Later, looking back, Sir Winston’s view of his father would change as he finally faced the fact that the two had never connected. Manchester notes a conversation with Frank Harris in which Churchill said “that whenever he tried to open serious conversations with his father, he was snubbed pitilessly.” He recalled

My father wouldn’t listen to me or consider anything I said. There was no companionship with him possible and I tried so hard so often. He was so self-centered no one else existed for him…He treated me as if I had been a fool; barked at me whenever I questioned him. I owe everything to my mother; to my father, nothing.

In a strange twist of interpretation, Churchill would later write (Manchester records) that,

Famous men are usually the product of an unhappy childhood. The stern compression of circumstances, the twinges of adversity, the spur of slights and taunts in early years, are needed to evoke the ruthless fixity of purpose and tenacious mother wit without which great actions are seldom accomplished.

What then is this mysterious bond, for good or for ill, that we seek with our fathers and, through them, the men of our worlds?

From “When Men Think Private Thoughts” by Gordon MacDonald

“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

( 2 Thessalonians 2: 16-17 )

Rick Nielsen

July 18, 2013

Rick Nielsen
Blueprint For Life, Inc.
411 North Perry Lane
Harrisburg, SD 57032

Cell-(515) 299-0852
http://www.blueprintforlife.org

The Time To Get This Done Is Right Now!

This update takes 2 minutes to read and understand.

philsittingmapThe time to get this done is right now.  Build a father. Build a child. Build a generation.  Put healthy, dedicated men in front of our kids.

This map of high fatherless census tracts in OKC disturbs me.  Epidemic fatherless homes plague our community, our state, and
our nation.

Change is possible and probable with your support.  We aren’t talking, we are acting in neighborhoods, schools, and homes.

training

On Sept 16th,  National community leaders such as Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering, and Hon. James Lankford, U.S. House of Representatives, mixed with local legislators, pastors, business leaders, education leaders, non-profit leaders, media leaders, and international church leaders in a powerful dynamic.  The energy and interchange overflowed for hours and continues as leaders connect heart to heart with other leaders on a national malaise.  Our fatherless culture needs revision.  We have the capacity to make it happen when all comes together.

The powerful presence of men of faith and action convened was evident to all.  There were many comments concerning the spirit and excitement in the room.

Support made it happen.

I cannot thank those that participated enough. Your leadership in support  enables families to be restored.

At the event, the men’s leadership of 52 churches committed to work together with us in the highest fatherless schools.  At the event, a high school 9th grade football team requested our help in recovering from a coach sex scandal.  At the event, a father wept as he told how his daughter has reopened relationship with him after 21 years.  He has been applying principles taught in our outreaches and it is healing his family. She brought to him for the first time four grandchildren, some in their teens, to meet grandpa.

All of this takes harvesting.  The hard work of reaching fatherless fathers and fatherless kids presents itself every morning.

These Champions for Fathers joined and continue to join (see bios and pics below)

  • Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering
  • Hon. James Lankford, Champion for Fathers in D.C.,
  • Chuck Bowman, FCA Champion,
  • Larry Campbell, Champion PGA Pro.programs
  • Phil Larson, Director of TCTI
  • Imagenet Consulting
  • R.K. Black
  • KeyEvado
  • Shepherd Consulting
  • Kimray
  • B C Clark
  • PFS Systems
  • keyevado
  • Lee Roland, Principal at Tulakes Elementary
  • Kevin Hill, Principal at Epperly Heights Elementary
  • Dr. Major Jemison
  • Bishop Frank Tunstall
  • Bishop D. Chris Thompson
  • Pastor Calvin Miller
  • Pastor David Oxley
  • Rep. John Bennett
  • Rep. Larry Boggs
  • and on and on and on

You have the opportunity to give!  <==Click It!  Or go to The Giving Page.

Meet The Champions of Fathering 2013

careySpecial luncheon guest,Carey Casey, is Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City-based National Center for Fathering and the author of Championship Fathering (2009) and is the General Editor of the book, The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge (2011). He and his wife, Melanie, have four children and seven grandchildren.

Casey has earned a reputation as a dynamic communicator and as a compassionate ambassador, especially among men, fathers, and those in the sports community. Carey served as chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs and his career has included serving as chaplain for other NFL Teams, including the Dallas Cowboys under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Landry, as well as for the US Olympic team at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea. Carey was also co-pastor of a church in inner-city Chicago and spent 18 years in various roles with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2010, Carey served on the White House Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families with the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships . He also serves as a member of the National Fatherhood Leaders Group, which promotes responsible fatherhood policy, research, advocacy and practice.

lankfordCongressman James Lankford serves as another Chair in our event. James Lankford was first elected to the United States Congress on November 2, 2010. Before his election James served s director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp from 1996 to 2009. Falls Creek is the largest youth camp in the United States, supported by 150 staff members with more than 51,000 students and adults attending each summer. He coordinated mission trips and community service trips in Belize, Malawi, England, Wales, and Germany, as well as many areas of Oklahoma. James serves on the House Committees on Budget and Oversight & Government Reform, where he is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements. James was also elected Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee for the 113th Congress.

While serving in Congress, James continues to work diligently studying each issue facing Congress and its impact on families in Oklahoma. He has earned the respect of his colleagues on budget issues. James also emerged as a leader in fighting government regulations that are suffocating business today. From EPA regulations on the energy industry to the negative impact of regulations on banks and financial institutions, Congressman Lankford is fighting for prosperity in Oklahoma and our nation. He is dedicated to freeing up business to grow and add jobs to our sagging economy.

James has been married to his wife Cindy for over 20 years. Together, they have two daughters: Hannah and Jordan. He enjoys spending time with his family, sport shooting, and reading.

bowmanAnother chair and a man dear to my heart is Chuck Bowman. Barry Trammel calls Chuck Bowman, “Mister Oklahoma Sports”.

He played football for Bud Wilkinson. Coached at Tulsa Central in the 1960s with Eddie Sutton. Ran chapel services for Barry Switzer in the 1980s. Attended the very first Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp in 1956 and the next year at Estes Park, Colo., met a young Nebraska lad named Tom Osborne.

And in 1973, Bowman became the first director of the Oklahoma FCA.

Bowman retired after 31 years with the organization.

“The key to the whole 31 years was high school coaches,” Bowman said. “Without that coach … in little towns across America … we would never have access to that kid.”

Bowman knows how FCA can impact a young person. Almost 50 years ago, it changed his life.

Bowman grew up a football star in Ponca City, where for 60 years his mother taught a Bible class at the First Baptist Church.

Then Bowman went to OU and played on some of the greatest teams in college football history. But he wasn’t a star like his best friends, Clendon Thomas and Bill Krisher.

“From a Friday night hero, I went to a Saturday sideline grass killer at OU, and it was tough,” Bowman said.

But in spring 1956, Wilkinson introduced FCA to the Sooner campus. He brought in three huge names in sport Otto Graham, Doak Walker and Pepper Martin to talk up FCA, and Bowman found a passion.

He and nine teammates attended that first FCA camp, then he, Krisher and Thomas began driving around Oklahoma, touting the new ministry and sharing testimonies.

campbellLarry Campbell will be providing personal coaching before the tournament begins.  He started playing golf at the young age of 14 yrs old and is a member of the South Central Section.  He was head golf professional at the Hardscabble Country Club in Ft. Smith, Ark. for 20 years.  He has played and won many golf tournaments during his life time of golf, holds several golf course records over the U.S., and has had 9 Hole in Ones in his golf career. Campbell, P.G.A. Golf Professional

He is married to Gayla, (Realtor) and they have lived in Edmond for 20+ years.   Larry enjoys playing golf and fishing with his grandsons, Hunter and Wyatt.

They attend the Crossings Community Church, avid fans of OU Football and the OKC Thunder and enjoy their vacation home in S. Padre Island.

philPhil Larson is the Director of the Community Transformation Initiative.  Alongside serving as a professional business manager for such great companies as TG&Y, Baptist Medical Center, C.R. Anthony’s, and American Fidelity, Phil has always stayed connected and passionate for families in the community.  His leadership in OKC over the last 15 years working in partnership the National Center for Fathering, CBMC, the Oklahoma Family Policy Council, Character First, the State Dept of Health and over 200 congregations representing denominational and cultural diversity has resulted in thousands of families impacted in our metro.

His passion to develop fatherless fathers into dedicated dads and provide healthy, dedicated fathers for our children has resulted in a strategic attack plan for OKC the includes catalyst weekends, mentor development, Dad’s University, and putting healthy, dedicated men on the ground in schools where father disconnect rates exceed 80% through WatchD.O.G.S.  This luncheon and tournament is all about helping our city understand and connect to change the statistics through building men, who build a new generation based on moral strength, responsible behavior, and relational health.

Inductees Into the Fathering Hall of Fame

Two key members of the Oklahoma City Community that are affecting kids in positive demonstration of dedicated and healthy fathering were honored.

leerolandLee Roland

Lee is the 6th son of Dewitt and Eula Roland. He has one younger sister. He married Wanda Roland on December 22, 1979. They have two children, Irving 32 years old and Chanel 27 years old. Lee is a minister at Saint Luke Baptist Church, where his father pastored for 30 years before passing away. In his free time, he loves to play golf and spend time with his family.
Mr. Lee Roland has been an educator and administrator for over 20 years. Lee has always labored exhaustively yet ardently in the field to both serve and meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers – it’s his “calling.”  His dedication and determination is clearly evident as he unceasingly endeavors to inspire and propel others who serve, to touch lives and make a difference, particularly for children.
In addition to enjoying great success in his roles of building principals and central office administration, Lee has spoken and presented at numerous conferences, venues and workshops across the state and country, particularly on the subjects of character education and teacher efficacy.  Mr. Roland has and continues to serve on numerous city and community boards, all involving the welfare of children.  In short, Lee Roland believes that it is the responsibility of educators and adults to improve our society via public education, which he passionately strives to do each and every single day – yes, “leave no child behind”!
Finally, Mr. Roland is an associate minister at St. Luke Baptist Church in Spencer.  Among his most cherished roles is children’s church minister and Sunday school teacher. Lee has conducted revivals, family retreats, and preached across the city, state, and country.  He has also been involved with many other initiatives in ministry, civic, and professionally. However, he is simply most grateful to be one of God’s soldiers on the battlefield with a goal of one day hearing the Father say: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

kevinhillKevin C. Hill
Married for 28 years to Richinda Hill.

He and his wife has 2 children from this blessed union. Kacy 26 and Kayla 23.. 1 Granddaughter Milena 15 months.
Kevin has immersed himself in the area of elementary education for over 28 years as a Teacher, Coach, Headmaster, Assistant Principal and Principal. He has been blessed with numerous accommodations for his commitment and passion for the betterment of children, to include being named site teacher of the year, Mid-Del Teacher of the Year, and State Finalist for Teacher of the Year. He currently serves as the Principal of Epperly Heights Elementary in Del City.

Kevin has honorably served his country by being part of the Oklahoma Air National Guard for over 15 years.  He has achieved the rank of Master Sergeant and currently serves as the 137 ARW First Sergeant of the Logistic Readiness Squadron. MSgt. Hill has been decorated with numerous service ribbons to include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Air Force Longevity Medal to name a few.

Kevin is active in his community as well. He is a member and Assistant Pastor at Praise Assembly Ministries in Del City. He is the President Elect for the Del City Rotary Club. He has been a member of the Midwest City Kiwanis, Midwest City Citizen Police Academy, Tinker AFB Community Star Program, Del City Chamber Member, Epperly Heights Neighborhood Watch Association and others.

Behold The Superpower of the Father-Daughter Bond

Love the freshness of this perspective.

The Laughing Mom

dad_daughterAfter years of being the top nurturer, playmate, errand co-pilot and snuggler to our little person of Earth, Supermom has been overtaken.

The weapon is more powerful than kryptonite or a magic lasso.

Few would ever suspect that an unassuming dad who is regularly dressed in a business suit and loafers or a t-shirt and shorts, could be powerful enough to overcome the words, “I want mommy!”

Behold!

It’s the unbreakable superpower of the Father-Daughter bond possessed only by Superdad.

Even though Supermom has ruled on the planet “Cling-on” for years, Superdad would predict, “It’s only a matter of time until I’m the favorite.  There’s nothing more powerful than the Father-Daughter bond.”

That time has come.

I don’t know why I ever denied this superpower since I have the same bond with my own Superdad.

We enjoy one another’s company without bickering and offering unsolicited advice.

We actually LISTEN…

View original post 173 more words

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married | RELEVANT Magazine

3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married | RELEVANT Magazine.

Quote -enter John Medina, the Christian biologist. After years of biological research and several books on parenting conclusions, what is his answer to the question, “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father”?

“Go home and love your wife.”

Forgotten Father’s Day

reposted from

http://www.theledger.com/article/20130712/EDIT02/130719826

Forgotten Father’s Day

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 11:58 p.m.

I’m writing in reference to fathers and Father’s Day.

Mother’s Day comes, you can’t walk into a Publix store without balloons flying, cakes, cupcakes, get your Mother’s Day gifts everywhere. Thank God for mothers and fathers.

But I went to Publix on Father’s Day, and they didn’t have a single balloon. So, I went to a little store on Wabash to get my husband a balloon. A boy 13 years old agreed with me that you can’t find much for dads like you can for moms on their day.

Thank God for single dads, who sure don’t get credit for raising their children. How do I know about single dads? Because I have a son who was raised by his dad, who did a very good job. I know a lot of single dads who have raised and still are raising their children.

My heart and prayers go out to all single dads and moms.

Genesis 2:7, “God did make man first.”

It’s my prayer we all get into God’s word by faith. Pray. Believe. Receive. And also know it was God who ordained families. Genesis 2:24. It has always been God’s plan for families. Father and mother. Genesis 4:1.

I’m one like stories in the Bible. My life and families are not perfect. But thank God for his grace and mercy. Most of all for love and forgiveness.

VIVIAN MEANS

Lakeland