Archives For Dr. Don Worcester

Confession time. I love a good Pie Chart. I find them visually appealing and I love how they capture and reflect important information in a concise way. Pie Charts are great for assessing proportions but limited in reflecting priorities. A Pie Chart will tell you how much of something you have, it will not tell you how important that “something” is.

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As parents we need to recognize both the appeal and the limitation of viewing our lives through a Pie Chart mentality. Slicing our lives up into proportions may cause us to fixate on “balance.” Balance has become the Holy Grail of personal health and a major expectation in our role and responsibility as parents. I am not bashing the goal of leading a well-ordered life, but the quest and fixation on “achieving balance” can itself become overwhelming and counterproductive.

Pie Charts promise a better life if we could only get the proportions right.

What if our real life is not a Pie Chart?

What if our real life is a Solar System?

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A Solar System does not work because it is “balanced”; it works because it is Centered.

On any given week or month there may be dozens of good opportunities, experiences or activities available to our daughters. How do we as dads and parents navigate through all the programs and possibilities? Here are a few things to consider:

 

  • More is not always better. Plenty of kids today are suffering from an overload of activities. They are very busy doing very good things. We all need some margin in our life, some relaxation, some recreation, some down time with no screens and no activities.
  • Schedule the most important things first. Decide what you will make time for, and then put it in your schedule. Once the real priorities are in, let everything else fill in around them.
  • A Centered life will find the right balance. Without a clear center, there can be no clear priorities. A dad without real priorities is just managing activities and spinning plates.

 

What is in the Center of your Solar System? Who or what do you organize and prioritize your whole life around? At the end of the day we all have some Center, some #1 Thing that ultimately defines the orbit of everything else in our world. We need to be honest as dads about what occupies that Center position. Our daughters are watching and waiting to discover what really matters, lets show them.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester    

 

 

 

Good Love

Dr. Don Worcester —  December 25, 2015 — Leave a comment

 

God is Good And We are loved

We are not loved Because We are Good

We are loved Because God is Good

 

Being loved For Being Good

Is Bad Medicine,Bad Religion and a Bad Idea.

 

Wages are something you earn

Love is something you receive.

 

Wages are something you work for

Love is something you work from.

 

Our efforts to Earn love can only take us to a place of Pride or Shame.

Pride comes from believing that we are somehow better and more lovable than those around us.

 

Shame comes from believing that we have come up short and that we have been disqualified from the promise of Love.

Pride and Shame separate us from our true selves and from one another.

 

When love is recognized and received, it does not separate us, it integrates us.

It puts us back together inside and out. Real love pushes out fear and leaves us stunned and grateful.

 

Brennan Manning was fond of saying,

” A saint is not someone who is good,

A saint is someone who has tasted the goodness of God.”

Have you tasted His Goodness lately?

 

Today is Christmas and people all over the world are gathering

with family and friends, to celebrate, to feast and to enter a joy

that comes from beyond this world.

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But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

 

This Angelic declaration pushed out all fear and that is

Good Love.

This declaration was Good News and it caused Great Joy

and it was for All People and that is

Good Love.

The child in that manager lived, loved, and died……and then

He emerged from a tomb that could not hold Him

because there is a kind of love that is greater than death

and that is Good Love.

You and I are the expression of that Good Love to our daughters

and to our families and to this world.

Hope you get and give some Good Love this Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas,

Dr. Don Worcester

My wife really likes Nativity Scenes. Over the years she has been given

or collected eight or nine different sets.  These sets are each unique

representing different cultures and styles but they all depict the familiar characters gathered around baby Jesus on that Holy Night.

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When our kids where younger they

loved getting out these Manger Scenes and setting them up around our

house. A few of the sets where more delicate and not quite as kid

friendly. These were typically placed in more secure areas, above the

reach of curious little hands. We always made sure to put one of the

sturdier sets down on the lower shelf of our bookcase, this was the

“Kid’s Nativity Scene.” I walked by this bookcase every morning as I

headed out for work.

 

I began noticing that the kid’s Nativity Scene was always messed up. We had

instructed our young children to look at the scene, but to be careful

when they touched it. They were so fascinated by what they saw, they

had trouble not picking up the characters and holding them. They

wanted to touch them, stare at them and play with them.

 

They were most fascinated by Baby Jesus and he was always missing from

the manager. Almost every day during the Christmas season I found

myself stopping at the bookshelf while trying to get out the door to

work. The question became a morning ritual, “Where is baby Jesus?”

 

The hunt for Baby Jesus became part of my morning routine. Once I

found him in Emma’s dollhouse having Tea with Whinny the Pooh. Another

time I found him in Jacob’s Firetruck strategically placed between

Spiderman and Yoda. Once he was between the seat cushions on the

couch, where someone had probably fallen asleep still holding him. My kids were

not just messing up the Nativity Scene, they were messing up my morning

routine and schedule.

 

My children were in fact helping me ask a very important question,

particularly at Christmas, ” where is baby Jesus?”  The Wise Men were

asking this question on their long and faithful journey to the Manger. The young shepherds

in Luke’s Gospel account were also looking for baby Jesus. They were

as fascinated as my young children, starring into the manger, unable

to look away from the scene before them.

 

I on the other hand was BUSY. I had with work to do, plans to make,

parties to attend. Christmas is often the busiest time of the year.

It’s easy to lose track of Baby Jesus with so much going on. If you want to find baby Jesus, be a Wise Man, not a Busy Man.

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Be amazed with wonder like the Shepherds who ran to see and marvel at this Good News.

Not everyone finds Baby Jesus at Christmas. He often shows up in unexpected places, tucked away in the ordinary,

disguised as someone small weak or vulnerable, keep asking and looking until you find him.

Make sure your daughter knows and remembers the real Joy and the real Hope we Celebrate at Christmas.

 

Merry Christmas

 

Dr. Don Worcester

 

O Holy Night

Dr. Don Worcester —  December 11, 2015 — Leave a comment

“For no Word from God will ever fail.” –Gabriel

 

“I am the Lord’s servant, may your Word to me be fulfilled.”- Mary

 

“And the Word became Flesh and made his dwelling among us”- John

 

Mary was a teenage girl from a very small town with a short résumé and a simple life. It’s a little hard even now to believe that God’s Master Plan to bring Salvation to all of Human kind hinged on a conversation and an encounter with an inexperienced 14-year-old girl named Mary. There were many things that Mary did not know and did not bring to a role of this magnitude. She did however bring the essential qualities,

the quality that matter most to God.

Mary was able to Believe, to Receive and to Deliver.

She said yes to God’s invitation and a miracle called Christmas unfolded.

A Teenage Virgin gives birth to the Author of Life in the back of a barn

and the fate of a lost and dying world is changed forever.

Oh Holy Night!

How are you doing with Believing?

Jesus described believing as the essential work for all Believers.

All the other work we do is secondary to believing in the one whom God has sent.

We should expect to battle doubt as we do the work of believing.

Expect doubt to stock you and block you and sometimes even rock you.

We are going in the right direction as long as we don’t make peace with unbelief.

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How are you doing at Receiving? A gift of any size has to be both given and received. Mary received the fullness of the gift that God offered. Are you as ready to receive what God is bringing to your life? Are you able to pray as simply and boldly and clearly as Mary? “May your word to me be fulfilled.”?

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How has your delivery been? What kind of attitude have you been delivering during this Holiday Season? What values and priorities are you modeling and presenting on the Home Front. There is usually some measure of labor before a successful delivery. Keep breathing, keep focused and keep going.

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Let’s bring the essential qualities to our homes and to our Christmas Celebrations. There will be plenty of distractions, don’t be distracted by the distractions.

 

 

Mary was a good model.

She believed the Word that cannot, will not and does not fail.

She received and carried the very Good News of God’s gift to all people

And she delivered that gift on Christmas Day; His name is Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus.

 

We have received the same invitation as Mary.

We live in the same deeply loved and deeply broken world

and it is still looking for the Peace and the Joy announced by the angels on that first Holy Night.

 

Make it a Mary Christmas,

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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Emotional Jet Lag

Dr. Don Worcester —  December 4, 2015 — Leave a comment

We are all prone to take trips in our head while we walk through and

work through the day we are actually living in. Many of us are

“Frequent Flyers” on these little jaunts into our past and our

imaginary future. The journey out of today is often a fast and easy

ticket. It is not however a free ticket. Take a quick trip into your

past and you’ll likely return with more baggage than you left with.

Things you “Could” have done, “Should” have done and ” Would” have

done if you had only known, only realized the fallout from your action

or inaction. On your return trip you will find some extra luggage with your name on it.

These are heavy bags, things like regret, shame and bitterness.

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Tired of trips into the past, excursions into your imaginary future are

always available. The only limit here is your imagination. You can

visit some future day and picture yourself in some dire, lonely and

unbearable circumstance. You can imagine the hopelessness and despair

you will feel. These trips should be easy to avoid, strangely they are

not. We are drawn to them the same way we are to an auto accident on

the side of the road or a bad carnival ride. Trips into tomorrow and

beyond often leave us feeling anxious, unsettled and internally

distressed.

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Today is the only day you can actually live in. Living well in the day

your living in is simple; it’s just not easy.

Start by canceling your trips into Yesterday or Tomorrow. You and I

will never have a better or different past, so relax and do your best

to show up today. Take a breath, lean in and try to keep the cheese on your cracker.

Tomorrow will show up right on time. It may or may not look like anything you’re expecting.

You do not know for sure because you are not supposed to know for sure.

Humans are not task with this kind of knowing; they are task to show up, so do that.

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Dads need to be present. Your daughter is growing up one day at a time.

She cannot and will not go on these trips into yesterday or tomorrow.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect, to serve, to laugh, to listen, to pray, to bless, today! Stay in today.

None of us need the Emotional Jet Lag of these very expensive and habit forming trips. Let’s work harder to

find the Good Stuff in front of us and around us. Somewhere in this day there is a treasure waiting to be found, don’t miss it.

 

Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

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Stop,Drop & Role

Dr. Don Worcester —  November 20, 2015 — 1 Comment

Ask any of your kids, what they should do if their clothes catch on fire. Chances are they will quote the Fire Department slogan, “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Most grade school age kids have this important safety tip pre-loaded in their young brains. It is important to know what you will do in a crisis, before the crisis. Problem solving, reflection, rational and measured responses are tough to pull up when your hair is on fire. If you catch fire without a plan, you’re likely to take off running and screaming, igniting everything around you. So for little people, and big people, it is important to have a plan before you catch fire.

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It is not just clothes that can burn. Our emotions can catch fire and burn down everything around us. We often talk about anger and frustration with terms like “Hot tempered”, “ Burning mad”, “ Lost my cool”. We sometimes “Boil over”, get “Heated up” and “Red line” in the midst of a conflict or Hot topic. We all get mad at some things, sometimes. Anger is a God given emotion. It is no sin to be angry. There is however an energy in anger that can be highly productive or highly destructive. Scripture warns us to neither “Blow up” nor “Clam up” when it comes to this emotion (Ephesians 4:26). We are instead called to “Grow up” by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).

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Parenting is a high stakes venture. Good dad’s care deeply about what happens with and to their daughters. The opportunity and the responsibility of raising a daughter is both a privilege and a challenge. Along the way we will get mad and frustrated. The anger may be directed at ourselves, our daughters, their friends, some guy, a coach or any other list of characters that behave poorly around our child. So lets have a plan, before we Catch Fire.

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Stop. Do not charge in when you are jacked up on Anger. You are likely to do more damage than good. Get yourself clear so you can do some good. Do you have a place to safely Vent? Do you have a person who can and will reel you in? Are you willing to get in front of God with your Anger? He is a good person to be with, when you’re really ticked.

Drop. Anger makes us big, bullet proof and aggressive. This is great if you fighting a Mountain Lion. It is less effective if you are trying to connect and resolve a curfew violation with a 15 year old. Drop to your knees before you run into battle. An angry confrontation will almost always produce defensiveness. Once your daughter becomes defensive nothing constructive or productive will happen.You are just spraying water on a grease fire.

Role. What is your role in this battle, and what message are you suppose to carry? Getting hot is easy, getting holy is critical.  Joshua found the right posture before his battle, which set him up for a huge victory (Joshua 5:13-15). In a big battle there is only One side we should be fighting for, God’s Side. Let’s do whatever it takes to get on His Side and fight the Good fight for our daughters.

 

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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