Archives For Dr. Don Worcester

The Long Walk

Dr. Don Worcester —  February 6, 2015 — 1 Comment

If you are a dad raising a daughter, you are signed up to take some long walks. The walk from your living room to the front door to welcome and greet some nervous knucklehead boy who is taking your daughter out for her first “ date”.  The walk back to your car after dropping off your daughter in her freshman dorm or her first apartment. The longest walk of all, from the back of the church to the front of the altar where a young man is waiting for you to place her hand in his. These are Long Walks. These are walks we are meant to take and need to take. These walks take all of the grace, courage and wisdom we can muster. To be present before, during and after these walks is a gift we should not take for granted. If you are uncertain about this, ask any woman who has navigated these transitions without her dad present. We are blessed beyond our knowing to be on this journey with them.

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There is a tension we need to hold and walk out in our roles as dads. We are called to both Protect and Equip our daughters for these transitions. Protecting comes pretty naturally for most dads. This is particularly true for our daughters. The impulse to dig a shallow grave in the backyard for the first person to hurt our daughters is fairly common. We can and should protect and defend our daughters from all legitimate harm. If you are a dad, and you are not doing this, get to work. If you are protecting your daughters then keep going and consider how you are equipping them. The world is a broken place, full of broken people doing broken things. The world is not likely to get unbroken any time soon. Are we preparing our daughters to live fully and completely in a broken world?

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Those who follow Christ have a Living Hope that shines in broken places. We have not been abandoned in this world, left to circle the wagons and hold on until dawn. We are called to live in glory and joy and fullness. In the Gospel of John, Chapter 16, Jesus speaks of a peace that exists in the presence of worldly trouble. We are invited to “take heart” because He has overcome the world. Are we modeling this kind of Gospel living to our daughters? Are we asking them to find their courage and voice when they are afraid and uncertain? Are we asking them to do the hard and good work of resolving conflicts with truth and love? Do we believe in their capacity to live big lives that really matter?  These are questions we should be asking our daughters and ourselves.

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Lets keep pouring love, truth, courage and grace into our daughters’ hearts. Lets also call out their courage, their capacity, their hope and their joy. There is a Long Walk coming. Lets take the right steps now and trust Christ for our future and theirs.

 

Peace and Grace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Well Built

Dr. Don Worcester —  January 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

When praise and practice disconnect, we set ourselves up for great loss.

Jesus asked his followers a hard and honest question about the depths of their call and their convictions. Let’s listen in.

 

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.

They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Luke 7:46-49

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When we depend on our good words, good intentions or good theology to weather the storms of life we are building on the sand. Sandy Foundations seem fine on Sunny days, but when the when the clouds roll in and the sky turns black and the rains begin to pour, our Foundations will be tested.

 

Sunny days and good weather make it easy for us to enjoy our above ground accomplishments. The visible parts of our life and family can be counted and captured like a Family Christmas Card. What we do not see from the curb is the Foundation our lives are built on.

 

Our lives may have lots of Curb Appeal, but when a Storm rolls in, the things above ground make little difference in what stands or falls. We should not expect our good choices to stop the bad weather. Both the wise and the foolish are subject to the strong winds and punishing rains. In a big storm, one kind of Foundation is validated and another kind is devastated.

 

So what makes the difference?

 

Listen closely.

Everyone who;

 

“Comes to me”

 

“Hear my words”

 

“And puts them into practice”

 

Is building on a Rock.

A large unmovable, unshakable, unbreakable, Rock.

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The blueprint is pretty clear.  Strong Foundations are developed in our life by saying Yes to Christ.

 

Is your practice, to Go to Christ? Yes……No?

 

Is your practice, to hear his words? Yes……No?

 

Is your practice, to put those words into practice?

Yes….No?

 

Let’s keeping saying YES.

Let’s keep smiling.

A Big Rock never has to be afraid of a little rain!

 

Grace and Peace

Dr. Don Worcester

 

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Victory Smile

Dr. Don Worcester —  January 9, 2015 — 1 Comment

“Love is when you’re missing some of your teeth but you’re not afraid to smile because you know your friends will still love you even though some of you is missing.“  Emma, Age 6

Girl Missing Two Front Teeth

Love is a safe place. Little girls and big girls will do their best smiling and their best laughing when they are greeted by love. The voice of love always recognizes us by name and assures us that we are known and that we are safe. This often results in a Victory Smile; teeth are optional.

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  Billy, Age 4

We spend much of our adult lives gathering, competing and performing. In the process of trying to parent, provide and protect our daughters we may rush past some simple places to bless and connect with our girls. Are we helping them smile, before they have it all together? How do they hear us say their name?

 

Abigail is my youngest daughter, and today she turns twelve. She started her athletic adventures 4 years ago. She joined a girl’s softball team aptly named the Hot Tamales. This group of 2nd grade girls had never played softball before. They looked super cute in their team uniforms, complete with matching socks. They chanted and sang softball cheers with great passion and conviction. They had amazing team spirit and confidence. The only thing they were not particularly good at was playing softball.

Turns out that after all the pictures, cheers, chants and high fives, they had to play girls each week that seemed to do the playing part much better than the Hot Tamales.

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Late in the season the girls had yet to put up a win. I arrived after work one day during the last inning of their game.  The Hot Tamales were down 18 to 0.  I approached Abigail to offer some encouragement.

“Sounds like it’s been another tough game out there” I offered. Abigail nodded.

“Are you sad about the score?” I asked.

“Not really,” she said, “we’re in second place.”

 

The Hot Tamales finished strong that day, snatching a solid second place.  The game finished with softball cheers, pictures, a “Celebration Tunnel” through all the parents and spectators, and Juice Boxes all around. The girls pulled off a perfect record that season – all second place finishes. The Hot Tamales were not an “all together” team. There were things missing, but  there was no shortage of joy, smiles or laughter.

 

Let’s help our daughters celebrate, even when things are missing, messed up and imperfect. Let’s remember to cheer and enjoy all those second place victories. In God’s Kingdom, no matter the scoreboard, we are destined for a great season. There is nothing quite like a Celebration Tunnel and a Juice Box to bring on a Victory Smile. Have one soon with your daughter.

 

Great dads are great fans, let’s keep praying and cheering for the Home Team.

 

Grace & Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

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2015

Dr. Don Worcester —  January 2, 2015 — Leave a comment

2014 is now in the History books. Most years have surprises, things we did not see coming both good and bad. Some amount of blessing and burden seems to find its way into every calendar year. A New Year brings a new invitation. The new invitation is to look forward and to move forward. Too much time looking back can distract us from taking our next good step.

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The Apostle Paul did not have much of a rear view mirror in his own life.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14

 

We are dads with daughters; let’s remind ourselves again what we want to be about in the coming year:

 

Demonstrate Love

Don’t demand it

 

Be good at Listening

Not lecturing

 

Encourage Big Fun

Not Big Fear

 

Guard her heart

Not your ego

 

Celebrate more than

Criticize

 

Believing her is more important than understanding her

 

A Fresh Start will help her release her mistakes

Not recycle them

 

Confess your mistakes

before confronting her mistakes

 

Share what’s in your heart

Not just what’s in your head

 

Win the relationship

Not the argument

 

Protect her from the things that harm

Equip her for the things that hurt

 

And believe that the Good News is

Still Good, even when the News is bad

 

 

We don’t really know what is coming in 2015. But we can show up and swing away at loving and leading our daughters.

Happy New Year

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Make it a great one!

 

Grace and Peace

Dr, Don Worcester

A Good Dad

Dr. Don Worcester —  December 5, 2014 — Leave a comment

I was blessed to marry a woman raised by great parents. Her dad has now retired from a few things in his life, but never from being a loving father to his little girl. The words that follow are from Renee about her life and her dad.

 

God is a loving father. 

I think this is a truth that the enemy tries to attack in our little girl’s heart.  We are born into families that have brokenness and sin.  We are given fathers and mothers that are giving it their best shot, at least most of them.  But even on our best day, we fall short, we get it wrong, we miss it. 

And the Lord is still a loving Father. 

I know that having a dad who loved me and saw the best version of me, gave me a confidence that I could walk into a room and make a contribution.  He also told me that  “it would be better in the morning” and most the time it was. He looked hard at the young men who pursued me, he eventually learned their names if they showed a little courage and staying power. He told me that I was capable and gifted.  He told me the truth when I was making poor decisions. He reminded me not to sweat the small stuff. Then he reminded me that it was “all small stuff “. On my wedding day he told me that I was beautiful, before I put the dress on.

 I had a father that kept showing up at every stage. He nudged me, reminded me, cheered me, consoled me, and pointed me to a bigger and better life not yet fully visible to me. He gave me an amazing picture of God the Father.  He is a good man not a perfect man and he has continued to show up as a dad in my adult life. There was a significant event that came years after I left my parents home. It was an unexpected and unscripted exchange that neither of us planned but both of us needed.

See, I had secrets that my dad didn’t know.  In my adult life, I came to realize that I needed and wanted to confess this hidden brokenness and sin to my father.  And in a fragile moment I sat across the table in a restaurant and asked if there was any way he could forgive me? I had believed a lie that there was no way I could be forgiven.  As our eyes were filled to the brim with tears, time stood still for just a moment.  Then he said he forgave me.  And then he did the unexpected, he asked for forgiveness  from me, for not protecting me.  And I forgave him. 

Because he had been forgiven by Christ, he took on the posture of serving me.  Because he was still my father, he took on the posture of loving me.   I received a tremendous gift that day.  I was reconciled to the truth that God is a loving father.  I am thankful for my earthly father. He continues to paint a picture that points beyond himself to the true source of love, grace, mercy and truth. My dad is a good guy; I want him around for a long time to come. Great relationships don’t expire or wear out. They grow, change and develop. Keep loving your “little girl” it will always matter.

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No matter the stage or the age of our daughters, lets keep showing up!

 

Dr. Don Worcester

Grace and Peace

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Most Wanted List

Dr. Don Worcester —  November 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

It is Good to want good things.

Most people want to be physically healthy.

Most of us want to be financially stable.

Lots of people want to have a great marriage and a healthy family.

There is no real shortage of good things to want in life.

A Most Wanted List does not have to feature criminals.

So let me ask you a question, what is on your Most Wanted List?

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If we are going to be honest with ourselves and we might as well be, wanting good things is pretty easy.

Wanting a good thing can help us feel slightly noble without requiring much of us. We can add to this effect by emphasizing to ourselves and others how much we “Really Want” this particular thing. It’s quite convincing if you practice it enough.

Wanting a good thing can also helps us feel as though we are making actual progress towards achieving it. I can sometimes defend my “sincere wanting” with statements like, “I told you this is really important to me, and I am working on it.” Working in this context often means I intend to do something about as soon as I have more time and energy.

It is good to want good things

but wanting a good thing to happen, does not make it happen.

What makes good things happen in the real world is not our wanting but our willing.

 

Unless our Most Wanted List

grows into our Most Willing List

It is just a Wish List.

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A man with a Wish List may be sweet and well intentioned

but a man with a Willing List can fight and battle for the people and things he loves.

 

Let’s be dads who offer our daughters more than Wishful Words. Let’s find the grace and courage to live out our intentions and convictions in real acts of service and love. Let’s burn the most Wanted List; let’s start The Most Willing List today.

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Grace and Peace,

Dr. Don Worcester

 
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