What Does Fatherhood Look Like? I’ve Never Seen It
Most weeks, I teach a class on thinking. Tonight we are back in session. By altering our attitudes and beliefs and premises and promises, we alter our behaviour. A subtle change at the core of being effects feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
Yesterday was a big modifier. Prayer interrupted some lives and set them on a different course. Music and worship shifted others. A movie modified a few more. Teaching worked. Small group discussion engaged. Covered dish conversation caused growth. Many means influence our thoughts.
Tonight it is all those again in class with the sons and daughters of Gainesville. Many are sent to us by the courts. They look for a new hope and a a new life. The Spirit of God is able.
A young woman recently released from drug rehab came into the lot yesterday. Unlike most, she did not ask for $. She wanted hope and healing. She wept as we prayed. God intervened. As long as I kept my head stuck through Mississippi’s truck window, we kept audience. Some thoughts got to her. Some hope intersected.
On Facebook we grew 10 new families and hundreds engaged with devotions. Secular radio touches thousands a day.
Via text, the word went out to some 200 in OKC and this Texoma I35 corridor.
In a classroom in Marietta, an auditorium in Gainesville, over FB, secular radio, in the parking lot, at Starbucks and McDonalds, in a meeting room, and windshield time in my car, people had thoughts strengthened and straightened with God’s word.
Oh well, another day dawns. The are 4000 waiting for an email devotion. Thoughts drive action. Words drive thought. Jesus should drive words for the righteous.
Kids need lifelong Dads with Great Attitudes. Great Attitudes work hard for the possible and trust God for the impossible. Every day presents an impossibility when raising children. Be an impossible Dad.
And he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” Luke 18:27
Kids need lifelong Dads with Great Attitudes. Great Attitudes enjoy what they have. The people, the friendships, the projects, and the possessions are enough. Be happy with your family. Talk to yourself in the mirror about it. Think yourself happy.
For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be content with it. I Tim 6:7-8
Who is CTI? CTI is a skill building, problem solving assistance for individuals and families and communities. We use research and evidence based approaches alongside personal intervention strategies focused on fathering, parenting, and relationship. Life Skills, Dad’s University, and Family Builders course approaches put feet on the ground in the community. Joint events open new eyes with information and influence.
What are we chasing? Community change to moral integrity, personal responsibility, and community accountability from the household to influencers in government, education, business, religion, and community. We want responsible and healthy fathering and families and friendships to be fashionable and desired.
What differentiates? No fear. From curbside to board room. Community networking and integration of efforts.
A Short Story
A few twenty-somethings working on life skills wrote these notes back. It is a next step in a good direction for each of them.
I believe I have learned to know now what my true feeling are, and how to act when I feel angry.
I’ve learned : Understanding how I got here. Negotiating problems. Responding to anger.
I am better at talking to people. I also know how to control my anger better.
I’d like to help others the way I wanted to get helped
To step back and think about the issue, problem, or analyze the scenario fully before you attempt to deal with it to get the best possible outcome.
I know what I have wanted to change but laying it all (out) has really helped me put my plans into action.
That is real stuff. Real curbside change. It is a start. It is a good start for them, their children, their families, and their friends.
Support with your time, talent, and treasure.
Help me. Help Phil, David, Norm, Michelle. Help families get stronger.
A hard question comes to me often. What do you do when the foundations are destroyed?
Respond to fractured families, uncommitted fathers, divorce as a lifestyle, addiction and co-dependency as a normative, violence as a status quo, and me-ism as the accepted point of decision. Hmmm. Move that cultural malaise to moral integrity, personal responsibility, and community accountability. Stabilize and repair and launch into positive success one person, one family, one neighborhood, one community, one state, and one nation at a time.
The answer is simple but not easy. If it was easy, it would be over. The battle rages. It must be fought.
Community Transformation Initiative
Educating – Empowering – Engaging
In the next few days, decisions across the nation are made. Posters proclaim new, fresh, change, sweeping, reform, and justice. The punditry will not change our nation. The voting will not change our nation. Action with wisdom will change our nation.
The same is true of a business, family, congregation, communty agency, school, or local, state, or national government group. Action with wisdom produces change.
The voting will put some fresh faces and some wizened faces into the decision grids of committees, legislatures, executive offices, and judgeships. Friend, life will continue.
Habakkuk faced days when it seemed nothing good was coming. Pain stared at the people. Loss destroyed their hopes. Habakkuk stared into the face of those days and declared that even though nothing looked like it was going to work the way he wanted, he would rejoice in God. He would be joyful in the face of wanton lack and focus on a better day.
Surely, friend, the Lord is in His temple. We will make our votes and decide our decisions. Before we came, as we live, and after we leave, the Lord is in His temple. He watches all and moves over and above our decisions and actions and will bring to fruition what is necessary. We come and go. He is and stays.
I pray you find strength in knowing that regardless of outcome of any specific election, the Lord is in His temple. He is not overconcerned. He is not fretting. He is on duty, watching over us, intervening when needed, instilling vision in men and women to craft a better day, and committed to our good. He does not sleep. He does not rest. The Lord is in His temple.
Father, enliven hope of better days and right decisions and positive action in my friend. Let us remember You are in Your temple. We will decide what we decide. We will do what we do. In some manners, we will fail miserably. In other manners, we will find justice and mercy and truth. In all, You watch over and stand poised to accomplish Your kingdom on earth through the machinations of our actions. You, Lord, are in Your temple.