Heart Check

Dr. Don Worcester —  August 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23


So how is your heart?


Has it gotten hard through disappointment or discouragement?


Has it gotten numb through some pain or loss?


Has it gotten broken through some rejection or betrayal?


Has it worn out through some long battle or grief?


Has it surrendered to some false comfort in the hope of feeling peace or pleasure again?


Have you lost track of it through the busyness and distraction of daily life?


How is your heart?



You gotta know because too many important things happen in and through and because of your heart.


Most guys are pretty good at checking their oil, checking their financial statements,

checking the weather and checking the sports scores.

They are usually not so good at checking their hearts.


Wisdom reminds us that we should guard, watch over, stay close to and keep up with our hearts.

Everything in our life flows from this one source.


This is not optional work if you are a dad. You cannot share your heart with your daughter if you don’t know it.

She will have a hard time trusting you with her heart

If she does not know yours.


So on your list of things to check today, add one more.

Maybe pray a simple pray,

“God show me my heart…”

There is at least one little girl waiting and hoping

that you don’t lose track of your heart

or hers!

In the kingdom of God there are little doors

that lead to big places.

this is one of them,

don’t miss it.


Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester


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I got really excited, proud, and hopeful for so many girls last night as I watched some dads being terrific fathers! .

The night began by getting an email from a friend, Jay, who is a great dad, and he keeps getting even better. I love that he takes his role as a father seriously with his two teenage daughters.   He has come to two seminars we have done for dads with daughters in the Southern California area and brought friends with him, he has ­read the book Prized Possession and has the workbook, and most importantly he has taken the challenge and is implementing all that he is reading and hearing about in his everyday relationships with his daughters. He was already a great dad and it is so fun to watch him firsthand as he dives in even more with his two teenage daughters and to hear them brag about their dad. So – I am sitting at dinner and he sends me pictures of he and his daughter swimming with dolphins at SeaWorld as a daddy daughter date.

I texted his 13 year old daughter JoJo and asked her to share with me a bit about that trip and her dad and she said, ” my dad came in my room a couple months ago and asked me if there was one thing I could do with him, what would it be. After thinking about all the things I could’ve done, I realized that swimming with dolphins would be a good opportunity to bond with him and make unforgettable memories.” “He tells me I’m his prized possession every day and I’ll never forget that.”

That text is worth every penny Jay spent on dolphins. To add to the fun, while he was there he wanted to capture the moment and asked another dad standing nearby (happened to be visiting from France) if he would take some pictures.   He proceeded to tell this dad about their father daughter date as well as the blog and book. This dad later emailed Jay the pictures from France and wrote “Good, am happy to have seen you SO proud of this instant with your daughter. IT Was a pleasure”

 jojo2 jojo3 jojo

From dinner, we walked down to Staples Center in LA. In a crowd of 15,000 people, one thing in particular kept grabbing my attention…. In the swarm of thousands of teenage girls were a bunch of men about my age, not there for a basketball game – but for a Taylor Swift concert.   You could tell right away these men were not “Swifties” but these men were with their daughters, doing something their daughters loved and making their dreams come true. I was blown away by the number of dads there with their daughters – smiling, clapping along, standing as their daughters screamed and danced the night away, and even helping their daughters hold up their lighted posters (which very possibly they had helped them make).

twsift2 tswift

Dolphins and Taylor Swift concert memories- made possible by great dads wanting to love their daughters well.  

Thank you dads for making an impression on me last night.

Thank you dads who make dolphins and Taylor Swift a part of your life for the sake of your daughters.

You made me incredibly hopeful last night!


Keep pressing on,


Kristy Fox

The early history of aviation included lots of trials and errors in

designing and building a functional flying machine. Most of these

early designs failed, sometimes at great cost. These early designers

did not fully understand the Physics of flight. Their designs were

often based on their imagination, their inspiration and their

aspiration. All of these designs were subject to the

same criteria and conditions. In aviation, success and failure are

immediate and obvious, it either flies or it crashes.



There is one kind of Physics that governs airplanes, there is another type

that governs relationships. These Relational Physics determine what flies and what crashes in our most important relationships with one another. Some people design their relationships with great imagination, with great inspiration and with very good aspiration. Sadly many of these relationships still crash. There are Physics at work in how we love, care and connect with one another. Some things set our relationships up to fly, other things set them up to crash. Here are three Rules that govern Relational Physics with your daughter.



Number One:

Love Comes Before Change. Love in very large and consistent doses has

the power and potential to create Heart felt change. The promise of

love if and when change happens is a form of behavior management. This

kind of “Change” always crashes when you run out of carrots or sticks.


Number Two:

There is no Intimacy without Vulnerability. Extending trust, sharing

your feelings and offering forgiveness will make you vulnerable to hurt,

disappointment and violation. It will also open you and the relationship to a deeper sense of genuine connection.

We can always stay Safe, we can always stay in Control, but these instincts will ground us not launch us.

Vulnerability lets us connect with one another and that let’s us Fly.


Number Three:

Relationships Require Attention and Maintenance. Great relationships

require a level of consistent attention, this is not a matter of

defect but one of design. Relationship and airplanes both defy gravity

which means pilots and parents are facing High Risk/ High Reward

scenarios every day. It is wise and it is good to be attentive in

maintaining something or someone that matters this much.

The Wright Brothers stayed at it until they got airborne. They earned

a place in His-story. You and I can win a place in Her-story. Let’s

stay it!



Peace and Grace,

Dr. Don Worcester.


To continue the conversation, pick up our book “Prized Possession”


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Dr. Don Worcester —  August 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

In First grade I did my first Science experiment. Our teacher provided each of us with a box, some garden soil and a Bean Seed. We were each instructed to plant our seed on either the right or the left side of the box. All of our boxes were taken to a shelf by the window and covered with cardboard lids. I had planted my seed to the right but my lid only allowed sunlight into the left side of the box. Each day we went to the window to record our observations.


A small sprout appeared after several days. Each day it grew higher, but it was not just growing out of the soil it was growing towards the light. My seed was planted in the dark but it could feel the light. It was stretching towards the light.  It turned out that all the seeds in all the boxes were growing towards the light. Here is what I began to learn that day peering into the boxes with the bean sprouts. Living things are hungry for light. They lean and reach and stretch for it even when they are in the dark, especially when they are in the dark.



Human hearts have a strong pull towards the light as well. Our hearts reach and yearn towards the fullness and warmth of a bright future,

a good forecast, a happy ending. We are hungry for light, particularly when we are in the dark.

In the dark, we cannot not hope for better things. Our fears and our desires pour out from deep places. Places that we did not know were in us and did not want to know. Hope emerges from these dark places with an upward trajectory. It offers us the possibility of something better. This is the visible, tangible, above ground dimension of hope. This is a kind of Hoping For…… some good, important, critical thing.


There is another kind of Hope that is invisible. It is below ground. It is birthed from the same seed that launched the sprout into the light. This is the Root of Hope. These roots of hope press down into the dark soil. They ground the sprout in its upward climb. They feed and sustain the developing plant. This part of Hope remains unseen and essential.

This Root of Hope is not anchored in an outcome but in a person. It is not centered on what we hope for but whom we hope in.

Hoping In, does not pull us up, it draws us down to deeper places. This is the kind of Hope that can live in the dark, it is a Gospel Hope.

A Gospel Hope does not a claim to know answers or outcomes.

It does not require us to self-generated happy talk in the face of hard circumstance.

It does not ask us to cover up or look away from the hard or the horrible bearing down on us.

It is not a passive theory of well-being.

It is not a Zen Garden of tranquility and incense.

It is not a sanitized version of our past or an inspirational projection of our future.

It is clear eyed and laser focused on both the past and current reality. Hope never sees less than what is really there, but it often sees more.



Our hope is not in hope.

A hope that is grounded in itself will ultimately collapsed on itself.

Our hope is in the source that makes hope possible.

This Hope is not generated by a Perspective but by a Person.

Only a Living Hope can keep Hope Alive in the dark.

And in Christ we have been given a Living Hope.

Stay Reaching for the Light, Stay Rooted in the Dark.


This is a Hope that the world does not generate and cannot take away.

When we lose our grip on this Living Hope,

when we loose our strength to hold onto it,

This Hope will hold onto us.


If you missed the Post from Wednesday please give it a quick read.

Facebook, Pray for Justus #TeamJustus


Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester


Jason is a big Man. He is a Samoan who played College and Professional Football. If he was in your Security Detail, you would feel very safe. He knows how to do Hard things. He knows how to do painful things. He knows how to stay at his post, go the distance and protect the people he loves.


Jason is as tender as he is tough. He gives, serves and leads with a gentleness that makes the most vulnerable feel safe in his presence. He is generous in spirit, humble in heart and warm and welcoming in his demeanor. He is a good man, a good friend, a good husband and a good father.



Jason’s four-year-old son, Justus is currently in the ICU at a Children’s Hospital in Portland. He has been diagnosed with viral encephalitis that has caused a swelling of his brain along with seizure activities. In spite of the excellent care Justus is receiving from his Medical Team, the battle for his life and recovery continue.

Jason has been on On Duty and at his Post every day since this battle began. If you were on site at the Children’s Hospital you would see a mountain of a man who begins and ends his day at the foot of his son’s bed, neither one able to speak, both fighting a battle that they cannot lose but they have not yet won.

You would see a strong and courageous man on his knees, with a bowed head and a desperate heart pleading as an Earthly Father to his Heavenly Father. Some struggles are so personal, so deep and so important that they call us into dark places where we wrestle alone with God.



Justus is small and young and he is facing a powerful foe,

but he comes from a long line of mighty Samoan’s and like his father he is a warrior.


When Justus learned the Alphabet he memorized a Bible verse for each letter.

Twenty-Six Verses of Truth, Grace, Hope and Love are layered into his mind, his heart and his spirit.

This little boy is fighting a big battle, but he is not fighting alone.



You are invited to prayer and to ask others to pray.

More information is available on

Facebook at “praying for Justus”, #Team Justus,

caringbridge.org/ Justus Nikolao.


Grace and Peace,

Dr. don worcester.


Last Monday, I wrote about an encounter I had with a young man who was showing interest in my daughter. As promised, today I will share with you the second half of the story and what happened after my Dark Parking Lot conversation. In case you missed last week click HERE to get caught up.

dark lot

After I dropped the young man off at his house, he promptly got on the phone to Brittany and retold our conversation. Only, he told her that I said he could not spend time with her anymore. WRONG! That is not what I said. I simply gave him the conditions upon which he could do so. He then said his version of my expectations on their potential physical relationship. He told Brittany, “Your dad said that if I touched you, he’d kill me!”

Brittany responded, “Well, I’m sure he didn’t mean that…”

But the boy interrupted her. “No, he did! And he could, too.”

When Brittany relayed his words to me, I said, “Perfect! Then it looks like we have an understanding. Mission accomplished!”

I have never seen Brittany as mad as she was at that moment, and in the days to come.  She was furious that I would step in and put an end to this relationship.

After a few days, when she had cooled off a bit, Brittany came into my bedroom one night as Sharon and I watched TV. During our conversation, I reiterated that this guy was bad news, and that spending time with him was a mistake. She asked me why I couldn’t just let her make her own mistakes.

Niagara Falls

“Think about what you are asking me to do,” I said. “You are asking me to sit on the bank of a river, and wave at you as you float by on a raft, when all the while I know that just around the river bend is Niagara Falls! You are asking me to smile at you and watch you go over the falls for the sake of letting you make your own mistakes.” I told her that was something I was simply not willing to do, and that it was my job as her dad to defend and protect her whenever possible. In the end, I said, I was willing to have her mad at me now and then if it meant keeping her safe.

My primary goal was not to have her happy with me. My primary goal was her safety. I also reminded her that I did not tell this guy he couldn’t see her again. I simply said that he needed to begin treating her like a princess. “Doesn’t that sound pretty good?” I asked. “Don’t you think you deserve to be treated like a princess?” If my suspicions were correct, we might never see him again, and we would know for sure what his real intentions were.

I’ll let you guess what happened.


Press On

Alan Smyth


PS: This story is told in greater detail in our book “Prized Possession”


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