Archives For Dr. Don Worcester

Rooted

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.

images-12

 

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.

495659991c4fa0810859e93e90bd92f7

 

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.

IMG_3362

 

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.

IMG_3363

 

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.

IMG_3364

 

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.

 

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?

Unknown-4

 

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.

images-10

 

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

 

Book Banner

 

Store 2 button

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.

images

 

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.

images-1

 

Shine On!

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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.

Book Banner

Store 2 button

Thirsty

Dr. Don Worcester —  June 26, 2015 — 7 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.

images-9

 

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

Book Banner

Store 2 button