A fathers heart

So much of what we read, hear & watch brings us down.

Life can “feel’ dark and dire, empty of hope. But every once in a while you run across something fresh and new and full of life. Last weekend’s Abba’s Way (Father’s Heart Weekend) for Dads and Son’s was a spark of renewal for me, and for about sixty other fathers and their boys.

I came as a pastor-author-speaker, they as dads with their 6-12 year old sons.

Abbasway.com

Abbasway.com

It was a beautiful time to be a part of, an honor and a privilege to watch as grown men took the time to focus 100% on their boys, from fishing and archery to capture the flag, boat rides, ropes courses, climbing, ice cream and everything in between, the ministry of Abba’s Way is making an impact that can be felt.

How many of us wish our fathers had taken the time to really explain and affirm us as young men and women ? How many 40 something adults are still walking around each day with only a part of their heart intact, waiting for dad to tell them how special they are, how cherished, how valuable and rare? 

Millions of us are still wondering if we’ve got what it takes to be a “good” father. Lacking the example in our own homes as kids, we’ve slowly bounced through life, fearful of hurting the kids we love. Frozen from our own ignorance and inability to articulate what we feel, we’re a bit unsure of what we should ‘say. So for many dads, we simply choose to be quiet.

We know how to ‘do things, so we opt to work harder at work in an effort to provide for more things for them, something that  “demonstrates” our feelings, but we don’t’ understand how important affirming words and private time spent alone with our kids is. Dads… you need to know, taking the time out of your hectic schedule to speak a blessing over your kids, of risking the attempt to communicate your heart  with theirs… has a far greater impact than laboring to earn an upper-middle class lifestyle.

Father's Heart Weekend - Aug '14 - Camp Widjiwagan

Father’s Heart Weekend – Aug ’14 – Camp Widjiwagan

The guys behind Abba’s Way are making the heroic effort to reverse this imbalance and in doing so are providing Churches with a valuable new vehicle to use. A weekend retreat just for fathers to express their hearts to their sons and daughters.

A ministry that genuinely affirms the men in our world to lead and champions the pivotal  role dads  play in forming a tweens character, identity and spiritual beliefs.

I’m always blogging about the growing cultural dis-connect between fathers and their kids, about the ever diminishing impact of Christians in culture and the moral decline of America,…  it’s important to offer solutions and share promising new ways Christians are responding to the negatives in our world.

The truth is… our Father in heaven has done everything possible to reach his lost sons and daughter’s, but we as parents can get so swept up in the current of life despair that we forget how much we are loved. How profoundly precious we are.

If we don’t step back just a little to “remember” that truth we can get pretty empty, and even become lost in the how or when we should be sharing with our own children. Abba’s Way provides an answer for any dad who feels inadequate or unprepared for fatherhood.

Not an issue just for dads and sons, the need for daughters and fathers to connect is huge as well, and Abba’s Way is responding with their “Father’s Delight” programs for girls.fh-featuredarea-2014c

SO BE ENCOURAGED, and remember our Father’s Heart is for you, and for your children.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-for-encouragement-20-great-scripture-quotes/#ixzz3A5hxVdQv

Peace out, Pastor B.

 

Coming of Age… are we celebrating tweens like we should ?

It’s weird really.

Of all the culture morphing changes we see in the Christian world currently, one of the most enduring and essential traditions of our forefathers has almost completely been lost in the modern era. Rites of Passage for our kids.

Coming of Age

Coming of Age

Coming of Age.

For generations, families have been celebrating and marking the transition from childhood to adult. These rites of passage are geographically unique, beautiful and often dangerous. Coming of Age as a specific event in one’s life, is an established and respected milestone for most societies and have served nations for millennia as THE foundational cornerstone of passing one’s heritage to the next generation.

These traditions are powerful, inspirational and reverently experienced by the initiates and the parents, often elaborate and carefully planned ceremonies designed to confirm and release each child into maturity.

For many, these rites of passage serve as a legitimate way to protect and preserve their cultural traditions & values. Effective in raising up each generation of adults regardless of the often dramatic changes of government, education and pop culture around them. These coming of age milestones have powerful historical connections between generations that have been maintained for thousands of years.. except for the modern Christian Evangelical world.

Why is that ?

I think in part its a side effect of our RUSHED lives and the shifting societal perspective on all things “ancient” and or “traditional”.

In our rush to move forward we may have left behind some rather critical traditions for the effective raising up and releasing of our kids into adulthood. I think it’s also in part due to the epidemic of single parent families out there. The celebration of adulthood and the conferring of a life blessing to our children has been replaced by a rushed meet and greet party with some money and a nice set off luggage… But can’t we do something more meaningful than that ?

I recently connected with a important and growing ministry based out of the Nashville TN area that is working to help change that pattern in our modern evangelical circles. ABBA’S WAY is working with fathers and their sons / daughters to change this trend. They run summer weekend events, day camps and celebrations year around to help dads connect with and celebrate their kids “Coming of Age” years.

They have programs for sons (Fathers Heart)  and daughters (Fathers Delight) and are now offering RTP /iShine subscribers a significant discount for both of their 2014 programs for this summer.

Father's Delight

Father’s Delight

I would urge any parent of a pre-teen son or daughter to seriously consider starting some NEW traditions in your families.

Rites of passage for coming of age are a lost treasure for many Americans and I would love to see that “forgotten” celebration return as a beautiful and life-long affirmation of our kids during their most influential ages.

I believe that God is always working to help families of faith and particularly us parents! He is raising up new and insightful family ministries with powerful and effective help for us to learn new ways to share our faith and our hearts with each of our kids… gifts that we can give them that will shape their self-esteem, values and core identity for a lifetime.

Check out Abba’s Way online to find out more and discover for yourself the value of blessing your kids on their journey from adolescent to adult.

Peace out, Pastor B.