I just don’t understand! This is often a thought that leads to Passive behavior.

“Not understanding” is an almost airtight excuse for “Not acting.”

Who can blame someone for doing nothing, when they ” don’t understand?”

Ignorance after all does have some perks, it often functions as a

“get out of jail free card” in the game of Life. All of this is tied

to our belief that we cannot act on that which we do not fully

understand. It seems reasonable and rational to order things this

way. But, what if we don’t have to fully understand to take action?

What if there are some things we will only understand after we take action?

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Jana Reiss, in her book Flunking Sainthood discusses a passage of Old Testament scripture taken from Exodus chapter 24.

Moses is getting ready to read the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel.

There is a curious line in verse 7 where the people respond by saying

“ All that God has spoken we will do and we will hear.”

It seems a little backwards. The doing (to act on something) comes before

the hearing  (to understand something). This backward sounding statement suggest an important truth,

sometimes, Action precedes Understanding.

 

Only by Acting on the words God has spoken,

can we come to truly hear and understand the truth of those words in our lives.

We must Practice the truth before we fully Understand it.

We will never understand forgiveness by reading books on forgiveness,

but if you ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness you will come to understand

the cost, the depth, the power, and the beauty that is all part of forgiving.

The most important and foundational things in our lives (grace, love, marriage, faith and parenting)

all require a Leap of Action to fully understand and appreciate.

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So are you lounging or are you leaping as a dad?

If your teenage daughter tells you that, ”you just don’t understand!”

You should probably agree with her, most likely she is right.

But please know that your presence is more important than your understanding.

Do your very best to understand, but do not go away, shutdown, or go passive

because you cannot figure out or sort out all that is going on in her

head and her heart. Tell you that you don’t understand,

tell her that you are not sure how to help,

and then tell her that nothing she ever says or does will drive you out of her life.

Tell her that she is stuck with your awkward, fumbling and stumbling,

not really understanding efforts to know her and love you.

Good dads do not always understand, good dads just refuse to quit when they don’t.

Real love is stubborn it never gives up. Let’s bring the real stuff to our families and to our daughters this week.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Lay My Life Down

Alan Smyth —  July 27, 2015 — Leave a comment

I had a very unexpected and touching conversation in the bank the other day. I was there opening a new account and chit chatting with the New Accounts Teller. He mentioned that his wife was pregnant with his first, a daughter. We exchanged a few moments of parenting conversation. Me, from a 25 year vet and he from an excited, yet nervous new-bee.

chase bank

A few minutes in, this blog somehow came into the conversation. When he learned about the “Father/Daughter” nature of this blog, he said, “You need to talk to Norm.” Norm was the guy who worked in the next cubicle over. Just then, Norm popped his head over the wall and asked what we were talking about. I learned that Norm had three daughters and one of them was adopted.

Norm went on to describe the brutal situation that they adopted his teenage daughter out of. She had been in an abusive situation and had been scarred because of it. She was naturally jaded and skeptical of Norm’s love and desire to create a family. She said to Norm, “How can I trust you? How can I trust this? How do I know this is going to last? Maybe I should leave!”

Norm said, “You’re right, I can’t guarantee much. Maybe you should leave. I can’t promise that your mom isn’t going to come in and mess things up. I can’t promise that the court isn’t going to screw this up either. But here is what I can promise. I can promise that while you are here you will always have enough food to eat, a roof over your head and that I will lay my life down for you if needed.”

lay your life down

I gulped…. My eyes moistened. Wow. What a statement. Norm rescued this girl out of a terrible situation with an abusive mom. Everything was uncertain. Her future was up in the air. And he is promising to lay his life down on behalf of this troubled girl. I can only imagine what that did in the heart, mind and soul of this little girl. Never before had she someone who would fight for her and protect her. Never before did she have that kind of security. Since that conversation, things have been different in that home. She is happier and more content. She did not leave and she is thriving.

I thought I was going in for some routine banking. An unexpected conversation with Norm rocked my world. I was reminded that there is some good left in this crazy world. And it prompted some questions in me.

Does your daughter know that you would lay your life down for her? And for that matter, do you know if you would? I suspect that you would, however, I wonder if your daughter knows that. I wonder if your actions suggest that she is the most important thing in your world? Not your words, but your actions! I wonder if she knows how important she is to you?

You probably won’t ever have to actually lay your life down, but how about you start this week by making some time for her in your busy schedule.

 

Do it!

Alan

For some fun gifts for Dad, take a look at our store.

 

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There are few things in this life that are as exciting, terrifying, humbling and joyful as being a dad with a daughter. We are on a journey far above our pay grade. Our baby girls will grow into big girls. Our big girls will grow into young ladies. Our young ladies will grow into young adults. How will they navigate all the disappointments, opportunities, dangers and delights in this process of discovering and becoming themselves? How will they navigate the uncertain and unfamiliar terrain on this journey?

 

All navigation relies on the availability of some fixed, visible and reliable reference point. Before there was Google Maps, G.P.S. Technology or Route 66, there was the North Star. The North Star is a Pole Star. Other stars appear to move over time and seasons. The North Star is stubborn and steady in the night sky. Travelers have historically found their way by simply looking up into the sky and finding the North Star.

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So here is the wild part for us fathers. God has called us to be the visible, reliable, stubborn and steady true North Stars in our daughters’ lives. So like it or not, ready or not, believe it or not, we need to get our shine on. If you do not feel like “ Star Material,” get over it; if you do not feel ready for “Prime Time Parenting,” sorry but it is ShowTime. If you think that there are people more qualified than you, you’re probably right and it does not matter. What matters is that you and I show up to be with our daughters and for our daughters on this journey. If you don’t feel bright enough to be your daughter’s North Star, take heart – we are all a little short on Candle Power. You don’t need to be a Superstar to be a North Star.

 

Here’s a quote from the Universe Today website.

“Firstly, you might expect one of the most famous stars in the night sky to be one of the brightest, but it isn’t; not by a long shot. The North Star shines with a humble brightness that belies its navigational importance.”

http://www.universetoday.com/24193/what-is-the-north-star/#ixzz2ZFBqowD

 

The lyrics below were first published in 1806. Jane Taylor wrote them in a poem called “ The Star.”  The melody was published in 1761 and was later arranged by Mozart. The English lyrics have five stanzas although only the first is widely known. Listen to these simple and true words.

 

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

 

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

 

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
‘Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark.

Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

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Shine On!

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

My Achy Breaky Heart

Alan Smyth —  July 13, 2015 — 9 Comments

Last year, just about everyone saw or at least heard about the VMA’s. There was a particular performance by a certain young Disney Star that has caused quite a stir. You could call it a backlash and outrage by many. Miley Cyrus gave a disturbing performance at the Video Music Awards in Prime Time TV. This 20 year old child star danced in an extremely suggestive and sexual manner in front of the world. It was borderline pornographic at times.

I have seen a few responses. Many of which are pointed to Miley herself. How could she do this? Why would she do this? Wasn’t she a “Disney” star a short time ago? I read something ripping on the 36 year old male counterpart who simulated sexual encounters with Miley on stage. Why and how could he do that? These are all good questions. Both parties have a lot of explaining to do.

VMA

When I saw the performance, my heart sank. I don’t sit in judgment against Miley. I sit in sadness. I see a 20 year old child carrying on like someone completely lost and confused as to what her true value and real worth is. She is disrespecting herself and treating herself like the Hip Hop/Rap singers would portray her to be.  I am not excusing her from her actions. I just know that growing up a child star in an oversexualized culture brings with it pressures and issues that I can’t imagine. So I am not piling on Miley. I see her as just a scared lonely little girl who has more resources than most scared, lonely little girls.

However, I do have some honest questions for Billy Ray, her Dad. I am extremely curious as to her father’s response. I wonder if he is as horrified as the rest of us? I wonder if he is saddened by his daughter’s choices and the apparent bad advice she has been getting. I wonder if he has tried to pull her off the dangerous trajectory she is on? OR…. I wonder if he is complicit in his daughter’s actions of late. I wonder if he is applauding and encouraging over what he sees. My heart sinks at what I have seen.

My natural instinct is to protect my daughter. My default setting is to step in and rescue her if possible and reasonable. I’m sorry, but if a 36 year old married man came up behind my 20 year old daughter simulating sex acts…… Let’s just say the next picture you would see is my mug shot on the 6:00 pm news. I would certainly respond in a way that would land me in jail. Where are you Billy Ray? I would have expected you to leap from your seat and tackle that pig on stage to get him off your daughter. You don’t owe me any kind of response or explanation.  You owe it to your sweet daughter whom you have a responsibility to guide, direct and protect.

Hannah

Billy Ray, I hope you get some quiet time soon with your little girl before its way too late. I hope you can let her know that she is a precious daughter of the King. That she is a princess and should be treated as such. I hope you can tell her that she is more valuable that silver and more costly than gold. While you’re at it Billy Ray, let her know that she should not give anyone the time of day who does not also believe that and treat her that way.

Come on guys, let’s do better.

Does your daughter know what she is truly worth?

Alan

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Venting

Dr. Don Worcester —  July 3, 2015 — Leave a comment

Things that get hot, need to vent. When little things get hot ( think Microprocessors in your Laptop) they need to vent.

When big things get hot ( think Planet Earth ) they also need to vent.

venting earth

Some venting is barely noticeable,
while other venting makes for great Disaster movies.
There is probably lots of venting going on in your home, Clothes dryers, fireplaces, microwaves and automobiles all come designed with venting systems to safely remove the heat, the smoke and the fumes that are part of daily living.

Dads also heat up. Being a parent, a provider and a leader puts lots of stress and strain on mortal men who are leaning in to find the insight and the energy to stay loving and faithful as husbands and fathers.
Heat is a natural by product of movement and energy. The goal is not to stop the heat but to vent it appropriately. So let me ask you a question, what does your Dad Venting System look like?

Do you build up and then blow up?
Do you withhold and withdraw?
Do you get silent and pouty?
Do you get critical and sarcastic?
Do you have a Combination System that does different things on different days?

We need to keep track of our Venting. I have recently become aware of my own bad Venting Habit. I grumble. It’s embarrassing, but it’s true. It’s a sideways form of complaining and moaning. The general public would barely notice it, but my daughters do. Grumbling is a lousy way to vent, it is a habit I want to lose!
How about you?
Paul encouraged the believers in Philippi to guard their hearts and their minds by thinking about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Paul did lots more rejoicing and lots less grumbling than I seem to do. Just maybe, he was onto something!
The people around you probably see your Venting Habits more clearly than you do. Have you asked them lately what they see? Lets keep learning, growing and loving. Let’s work to keep the Disasters in the movie theaters and the good stuff in our homes.

Grace & Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester

We have had some great feedback on our book aimed at Dad’s with Daughters. Available in hard, soft and e-book. click below to get your copy.

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Thirsty

Dr. Don Worcester —  June 26, 2015 — 5 Comments

” I am thirsty daddy”, this request was a predictable part of the bed

time routine with my oldest daughter. On some nights it was probably a

bit of a “stall tactic” but not one that I really minded.

What Father does not want his thirsty daughter to drink and be

satisfied? Little thirsty girls become older girls and then young

women. Their thirst will grow with them. They are designed and

intended to navigate these developing thirsts over the course of their

lives. Thirst is not the enemy; it’s the mechanism that draws them

into deeper truth and genuine satisfaction.

Young girls are designed to thirst for a real identity, a real source

of comfort, a real source of contribution that reflects their unique

hearts, gifts and calling. They are designed to thirst for a True Love

and for a relationship that is animated and defined by that love.

These are good thirst. They will pulled, prodded and drawn by these

thirst toward that which truly satisfies.

This will be uncomfortable for them and for us as their fathers. It is

also necessary, important and good that they make this journey.

In his classic work, the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis describes

this tension in a scene from The Silver Chair. Jill has been

unexpectedly  swept into this  new Landscape and is left to navigate

her deep thirst, the cool clear stream and the Mighty Lion, Aslan.

Lion

 

“Are you not thirsty?” said the lion.

“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I, could I, would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at it’s motionless bulk,

she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“ Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promises” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat little girls?” she said.

“ I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the lion.

It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

“I dare not come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming a step nearer. “ I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.

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Our daughters will outgrow their Sippy Cups and Night Lights. They

will come to a place in their journey where they must get to the Real

Source of Life. They will need Living Water to satisfy their deep

thirst. They will need to find their courage, they will need to risk

and trust the one who invites them to “Come and to drink”. There is no

other stream for them or for us.

Grace & Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

 

Our book, Prized Possession can help

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