It’s pretty easy to get discouraged, distracted or defeated when you are managing the responsibilities of loving, leading and providing for a family.

 

We should pay attention to the things that hurt us and to the things that comfort us.

Things that comfort us generally have much more potential for ruining our lives than the things that hurt us.

Things that hurt us are quickly recognized and noted as dangerous. We are likely to take measures and avoid any future contact that would put us back in harms way.

Things that comfort can draw us back again and again. We may slip into a costly habit and lose track of the real price we are paying to feel better.

 

There is a very subtle and seductive kind of comfort that helps us feel better without actually getting better. The pain relief is real but any sense of real health, progress or healing is a mirage.

This kind of mirage reappears every time we cycle through this kind of comfort.

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It is hard to deny or resist a comfort that you know works well and works quickly. We may gradually develop a relationship and habit with our agent of comfort.

When we step into the comfort we also step into a current that pulls us along.

The current is generally soothing not threatening. It requires little from us. The scenery is pleasant and the drifting is relaxing.

The progression from wanting to needing often goes unnoticed.

A person who is hurting may care more about the relief they are getting, then what they are getting into.

Hurting makes us desperate and desperate people often make bad deals that create more desperate circumstances.

This cycle can become a spiral that takes us further away from any real peace or restoration.

 

As Dads we need to keep track of our hurts and our hearts.

We need to find legitimate comforts for the stresses and pressures we

carry and manage. We need to be willing to ask one another and ourselves

honest and real questions about the health of our habits.

We are intended to find comfort in our relationship with God,

we are invited to come and receive freely from Him.

We are invited to come as we are. There is no hook in this kind of comfort.

Jesus comes as a Messiah not as a Mirage. The river we are invited into is River of Life, not a river of dependency and destruction.

We are delivered not destroyed as we become dependent on

the one true source of Comfort.

Some comfort is Bad Medicine. It only deadens our symptoms and does nothing to heal our soul.

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A good physician does not administer Bad Medicine.

Let’s get to the Good Physician

Let’s seek his Good Medicine.

Let’s get better.

Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

 

I recently had a high school girl tell me how much she missed the dates that she and her dad used to go on when she was little.   Life had gotten busy and hectic and dad probably thought she wasn’t interested anymore now that she was 18 and had her own boyfriend.     Not true!

Dads – I challenge you to take time in the next month to go on a purposeful date with your daughter.  Plan something fun for the 2 of you and while you are waiting for your order have fun with some questions for each other.   You can use the lists below or come up with your own.

 

10 ?’s for dad to ask daughter:

1) If you could do anything in one day – what would your day look like?

2) What is one thing I should know about you that maybe I don’t?

3) What has been the best day of your life so far and why?

4) What is one thing you wish I did with you more often and why?

5) How do you think we are similar?

6) How do you think we are different?

7) What is one thing you wish I didn’t do?

8) What do you want to be when you grow up and why?

9) How can I be a better dad to you?

10)  What is your favorite movie and why?

 

10 Questions for daughter to ask dad:

1) When you were young what did you want to be when you grew up?

2) What was the hardest thing for you when you were my age?

3) What is your favorite movie of all time and why?

4) What is your favorite memory of growing up?

5) How were things different when you grew up?

6) What do you think is the most important thing a parent can teach a child?

7) How do you think we’re similar?

8) How do you think we’re different?

9) What made you fall in love with mom?

10)  What do you like about your job?

 

Have fun with these and hopefully this can be a springboard for many conversations to come :)

 

Kristy

 

PS – we have a book of fun challenges like this one in a handbook called “30 Day Challenge” you can find in the store.

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Letter to David Klinkhamer from Dr. Don Worcester
David, congratulations and welcome to Man Club. I am disappointed to miss the gathering of men this weekend but I do look forward to hearing some of the war stories and highlights that happen during this time. You have a great group of men around you. You can thank your dad for that. He has been a great example of courage, grace, humility and truth to many of us! You come from good Man Stock. You have a great cloud of Man Witnesses surrounding you and cheering for you as you begin your race as a Young Man. This will be “Your” race. Sometimes you will be the student on this journey, sometimes you will be the teacher, stay the course. We are all depending and believing that you will take your place and run your race with great heart and great courage.

Let me suggest a few things to consider and keep track of along the way.

*Find and build great guy friends. The men around you are there because they voted themselves into a community of other good men. Decide now that you will do the same. Decide now that you will invest in developing great relationships with great guys. You will never regret doing this, you will always regret not doing this.

* Live in the Light. Be very careful what you hide. Things become powerful in the dark. You will make plenty of mistakes as a man. There is an endless supply of grace, mercy and fresh starts for our stumbling, fumbling and sin. Our mistakes will not kill us, hiding them will! Do not ever believe that your mistakes disqualify you from beginning again.

* A Great Wife should be a Great Friend. Girls are amazing, distracting, confusing and wonderful. Get in the habit now of building great friendships with young women. It is much better to add romance to a friendship than to try and add friendship to a romance. Learn how to do fun things with fun people and it will be much easier to meet and develop great relationships. God said at the very beginning of Genesis, ” It is not good for Man to be alone”, that is still true.

*Develop and use your Gifts. God gave you something to develop and contribute to the community. The natural gifts and abilities that God put in you, are intended to be developed and released into others. You were blessed to be a blessing. Your Vocation or calling is the , ” thing you cannot not do” Talk with other who know you well, ask them about the gifts and abilities they see in you. Invest the time, energy and resources to get better at what you love. Then get busy doing it.

* Be Patient with yourself and others. I expected to have more figured out and worked out by this point in my life as a Man. I have made plenty of little and big mistakes on my own journey. The one consistent truth in my life has never come from me, or my performance, it has only come from God. He has been faithful to love me, to come for me and to restore me when I have blown it. I hope you know and experience the stubborn and gracious love of God that has gripped my life so personally and mercifully the last 40 years. God is still at work in my life as a Man. The work is ongoing but we always get to and have to decide to cooperate and participate in the next good things Christ is leading us into.

” The two most important days in a mans life are the day he is born and the day he finds out why”
-Mark Twain-

Welcome aboard the Man Train David, your life just got bigger.

Don Worcester

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A Good Father

kristyfox —  May 13, 2015 — Leave a comment

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I have a high school friend Sydney who shared a beautiful story this Monday night about her father, his love for her, and his faith that has helped shaped her life.   Sydney’s dad had a long, hard battle with cancer and he went to be with the Lord just 2 weeks ago.   In the midst of it all Sydney and her family have been beautiful examples of trust, hope and faith in the midst of the pain in life.   This 18 year old young woman got up in front of a group of her peers this past Monday and I was so impressed by what she shared that I asked if I could share her story with others.   She agreed :)

I have heard Sydney talk of her love for her father before and she has shared with me about their special times spent together, the goofy things her father did around her and her friends, dates with her dad, her knowledge that her daddy adores her, and the love that her dad has for Jesus.   Sydney has looked to her father Clif over the years with admiration, respect, fondness, joy, and great love.

This past Monday night Sydney shared much of this and more with her peers.   While she was sharing I thought “wow – it would be every dad’s dream to hear their daughter talk like this of them– Sydney’s dad Clif has made an indelible imprint on her life, heart, and faith.”

Clif showed his daughter how to laugh, how to fight hard for something, how to be silly, how to pursue dreams, how to be herself, how to love others, and how to have hope and believe that God is Good even when life is not.   Sydney talked of her dad’s role in all of these things in her life.   It reminds me that others, especially our kids, watch us closely to know what these things look like. She told a couple of stories that powerfully told of her father’s pursuit of and trust in the Lord up until his last breath. She spoke with pride about the way that hospital staff saw her father’s faith in God and staff ­­whose lives are different because of him.   She shared of the power of watching her father claim the Goodness of God and the hope, trust and strength that he was able to pass along to others because of his faithfulness.

Thank you to Sydney who shared about her life and her love for God, her knowledge that God is trustworthy and can be our strength, and for her daddy and the imprint that he will forever have on her life.

A good dad can leave a big mark!   A good dad can change the trajectory of the life of their kids!   A good dad can show their kids and others what God the Father looks like!   A good dad can help reflect the Good God we have!

A good father can show us what the Perfect Father is like.

Thank you Clif for being a good father! Thank you for modeling to your daughter what a good man looks like, what a good husband looks like, what following God in good times and in hard times looks like, what faith in action looks like, and what real hope and trust look like.

I will close with Sydney’s own closing remarks to her friends when talking of the God her father showed her “If you don’t know God, you need to get to know Him – get to know Him – He’s for real!”

 

 

Kristy Fox

A foundational feature in all great relationships is Grace.

 

There is a strength and beauty in a gracious welcome. Grace is always waiting on the porch, scanning the horizon for our approach.

Grace rushes out to meet us and welcome us in whatever state we arrive.

Grace smiles at us reminding us that we have lost our way, not our worth.

Grace is free and unstoppable.

It is not naive or unaware like some kind elderly caregiver.

Grace sees all and does not turn away, it does not flinch, and it does not retreat.

It approaches us and embraces us when we are not yet embraceable.

It gives us courage to return to ourselves and return to others.

When you are broke and broken you can still afford Grace.

When you afraid to ask and afraid to receive you can still be welcomed by Grace.

When you don’t know you need it and your are not sure you want it, Grace will still run to you with open arms and a warm smile.

Grace is simply Amazing!

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After Grace welcomes us, Truth invites us in. We enter the truth because the Truth sets us Free.

It is the only thing that sets us free, and it sets us completely free.

Great relationships operate in truth and being nice is a poor substitute for being Truthful.

Avoiding the truth about ourselves, each other or the relationship will keep us circling and cycling in the shallow end of the pool.

The truth takes us forward, if you are going around and around with the same issues and the same outcomes

you might be doing some version of a bad dance, probably some kind of “Avoid-Dance.”

The Truth will take us into new territory and these new places are often beyond our comfort zone.

Are you willing to speak the truth with your daughter? Are you willing to hear the truth from your daughter?

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Grace welcomes us, truth invites us in and love covers us head to foot as we sort it all out.

Grace gives us courage to hear and tell the truth. Love protects us once we have.

Love is the antidote for fear, and fear is always looking to shut us down and keep us apart.

When the truth brings pain and uncertainty, love delivers hope and peace.

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Let’s build great relationships with our daughters. Jesus came brimming with Grace and Truth.

He was completely approachable, completely welcoming, and completely gracious.

How are you and I doing in this department?

Truth is intended to reveal and restore not to condemn and reject. Are we speaking True words to our daughters?

Are we praying and looking for health and growth in all areas of their lives?

Your daughter’s Love Language is Love. It is her native tongue.

She can do without lots of things, but not without this.

Find a way to look in her eyes and say the words that will give you both life.

I love You and that will never change!

 

Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

Tips for Sons Too

kristyfox —  May 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

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We focus a lot on girls and the father-daughter relationship in this blog. It’s not because we don’t think boys are going through some tough things themselves, it’s just that we have focused and zoned in on the girls growing up today and what girls look for in their dads.

My son started high school this year and a mom and I were talking about the chaos around teenage boys today. There is an article in the Dec 2 issue of Time magazine titled, “What Boys Want”, that did a great job talking about the effects of today’s culture on our boys. Boys too­­­ are torn in this crazy world they are growing up in and many do not have the ability to communicate their confusion, pain, and emotions to their friends or family.

There were 3 specific pieces of advice for parents in the article that I thought helpful for the parent of any teenager – boy or girl.

1) “If you’re a parent with real worries about your son’s emotional state, but he says he’s fine, tell him the reasons you’re asking….the key thing is to let him know that there’s no shame in feeling bad.” Time, p. 49

2) From a teenager ….“Be straight up, and don’t assume that we’re going through the same things you did. And if you want to know how it is now, ask.” Time, p. 49

3) “If you can get them to talk, what do you say? First, it is very important to let them know that you don’t assume anything about them or their friends. Whether you’re talking about alcohol, drugs, girls or bullying, you can begin by saying, “I don’t know if you are ever going to have this experience, but if you do, I want you to be prepared.” Time, p. 49

The key is communication. Communication tends to come when time and space is created for it. The article even pointed out that it typically comes in time alone in the car, when there are gaps in conversation, or in quiet moments. It may not always come after a barrage of questions. I am guilty of often thinking I am going to get good answers to “how was school?”, “how was your day?”, “how was practice?”, and on and on.

Please do not be discouraged if you aren’t always getting answers to your questioning. Keep being available. Take some time to just allow for some space for kids to talk, and be eager to listen when they do. And – let’s take the advice of a teenager boy “if you want to know how it is now, ask”. Hear from them what their struggles are, what’s really happening at their school, and what they see. They are our best teachers about the world they live in and we can help them navigate through it all if we know what may be coming.

Thanks for entering in!

 

Kristy Fox

 

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