Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood I am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are: Boyhood Manhood Fatherhood The Age of the Patriarch Today, we will look at fatherhood. We […]

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.

mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God

bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Four Stages of Manhood – Part 3 – Fatherhood

The Four Stages of Manhood – Fatherhood

fatherhood boysI am producing a series of short, Biblical articles on manhood, and the four stages that I see from the Word of God, we grow through, both naturally and spiritually. These four stages are:

Boyhood

Manhood

Fatherhood

The Age of the Patriarch

Today, we will look at fatherhood.

We talked about the passage of rights from boyhood into manhood, and how men have a warrior inside of them, needing to for fight for the right things…

Yet, boys become men, fall in love, and get married. In the fullness of time, the fruit of that love becomes a family, and children are born. Now, the mighty warrior, with the wild and crazy side has to grow up and face the ‘R’ word – Responsibility. He is still a warrior, but now he picks his battles and fights not for himself, but only to protect his family, community and nation. Freedom has never been free, and free men have always stood up in tough times, and fought for liberty and justice for all. It is always our prayer that there be peace, and that these battles be won in prayer…for God is the ultimate Father, and anyone who has held a helpless newborn in his arms gets a fresh revelation of:

Isaiah 40:11

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Suddenly we find we need the peace and gentleness of God, that we might say, like king David, the ultimate warrior did, so many years ago:

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great

fatherhood egg in vice

Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control…

 

As I have meditated upon this article, and thought of my journey as a father and dad, I decided to review some Scriptures on parenting, that I list here for your edification:

Fatherhood Scriptures

Malachi 4:6

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord

Luke 11:7

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

 Luke 18:15-17

And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

 Acts 2:39

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call

 Romans 8:16

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Romans 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:21

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God

 1 Corinthians 4:15

For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

 1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

 Colossians 3:21

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

 1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 John 2:13

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

1 John 2:14

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

I recall a series I taught several times over the years on getting to know God as Father, entitled ‘The Father Heart of God’. I taught seven lessons on Pappa God, describing Him as:

Lesson 1: Protector,

Lesson 2: Provider

Lesson 3: Disciplinarian

Lesson 4: Mentor

Lesson 5: A Warrior who fights for His church

Lesson 6: Nurturer

Lesson 7: The preparer of the Bride for His Son.

Knowing God as OUR Father is critical to becoming whole as men. No matter how great our earthly fathers were, they only brought so much to the table, and God has designed his universe that He have no grandchildren, only children, born-again through Jesus, and adopted into the royal family of heaven.

While these truths of the character of Father God are eternal and of critical consequence to those of us who have huge unmet spiritual needs in our homes, the question is how do we incorporate these attributes of Father God into our own hearts and homes, to fulfill:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

That God would know us, trust us, become so intimate with us, that He might trust us to raise children and our household up after Him!

So , if there is interest, I will post these messages on the Father Heart of God, but for now methinks I will see what an earthly father might look like, who was trying to emulate these seven traits of Father God.

fatherhood God

Protector: Like I said last teaching, being a man means being a warrior. Now we have a wife to love and children to protect, whether from the school yard bully, the dead beat teacher, or the academic bully in the schools of learning. Children need to know that they are safe in pappa’s arms, and that no matter what happens, daddy will fight for them, stand up for them, that even if they are wrong. Daddy loves them, and has only their best interests at heart.

I remember the story of the boy that was shopping with his family for groceries and met a couple of school buddies. They were in a different isle from their family, laughing and telling jokes, when a store clerk grabbed them by the neck and started marching them to the door, when they had really done nothing to justify it, when in the isle appeared the boys father. With words of steel came the command: ‘Take your hands off my son!” The clerk sputtered, ‘He was messing with customers!” without missing a breath, the dad quietly said: ‘I’ll deal with the boy, now you deal with me!’

Suddenly the clerk realized he was about get seriously hurt, if he did not let the boys go. The boy, deeply relieved went home with his dad, who listened carefully to his son, realizing the boy had done nothing to justify the clerks meaness, so no further action was required at home.

Fathers protect their familes.

Provide

Fatherhood provision

Luke 11:13

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Fathers give good gifts to their children….

2 Corinthians 12:14

Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children

– God placed it in the heart of man a fire to provide for his family. No matter what particular vocation he chooses to do battle in, he is created to work. Not out of compulsion, but because God works, and God loves to roll up His sleeves alongside one of His children, and work with Him to see a job through to completion. God loves Monday mornings, because He is a creator, and He loves to create still, and gets joy as His children create wonderful projects, businesses, systems, programs, ministries, administrations reflective of His love, grace, glory and goodness towards humanity. The whole universe revolves around His provision, now we are to be good providers for our families and our households.

Gotta be honest here, I have been wealthy and presently we are financially very poor., yet there is always food on the table, and we always have what we need, although we have our faith in God to supply our wants!

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

I have had poverty, and seasons of prosperity, and I have learned this: with prosperity comes responsibility. If we can handle the responsibility, prosperity is a great blessing!

If we are going to be like God, we need to provide for our families, carefully supplying their needs, never their greeds. Teaching them to use their faith in God to provide for them, and their own work…Part of training up a child…

When one of my children asks me for something, I never tell them we cannot afford it, for this is foolishness in light of the infinite God who created the universe that our family serves. I simply say, “Pray about it, ask Jesus, and I will agree with you in prayer..” Bikes, Ipads, computers and various blessings have come to our home exactly this way, when we clearly did not have the money for them. God, through many, many miraculous circumstances as God made it clear that He is large and in charge of our lives…

Yet, by the grace of God, Jesus has given me the heart of my children. They love me, hug me, and want to be with me, a gift I am forever grateful for…

Disciplinarian –

fatherhood obedience

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

1 Timothy 3:4

one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

Ephesians 6:4

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ah, the forgottan role of parents, discipline. Jesus did say to go and make disciples of all nations, and before we go, we need to discipline our own homes.

  1. dis·ci·pline

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

“a lack of proper parental and school discipline”

synonyms: control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

In a great course we took at Sunday school entitled ‘Growing Kids Gods Way’ where we were taught many great principals of parenting but I wish to amplify only two of them here:

  1. First time obedience –Children are instructed by God to obey their parents in the Lord. When we directly command them to do something, they must obey, or there must be immediate consequences for disobedience.
  2. The moral reason why – As soon as a child grows to the point of understanding, they should be instructed as to the moral reason why they must obey a given command.

When a child is able to understand why they are to instantly obey what they are commanded, with immediate consequences given for disobedience. No threatening, screaming, emotional escalation, simple truth or consequences. Consequences may range from a tap on the back of the hand for a toddler, a time-out, revoking priviliges, toys or treats, or the board of education being applied to the seat of higher learning. (spanking)

fatherhood consequences

This is not an in-depth course on parenting but I will make a couple of points:

  1. Discipline should not be delegated solely to the mother. Making daddy into Mr. sugar daddy, full of hugs, kisses and treats, with mom having to be the ‘bad guy’ when children act up. Men, we are head of our house, and our children must obey us. We need to take time to teach, instruct, nurture, love and spend quality time with them, so that we disciple them in the things of God in love.
    1. A child should never be disciplined in anger! If a child is directly defiant, and pitching a fit, give them then a time-out, and then carefully explain the moral reason why they are being spanked, then spank them.
    2. “Spankings are a rare event in our home, because I spend daily time with my children teaching them the Bible, and listening to their opinions about any movie, book, or information they have heard from their friends. We love each other, and trust each other, so they are not afraid to tell me things that are troubling them.

One day at the office, I had to work late, so the family met me at the local Reesor’s over in Jenks at the Deli for supper, so that we could at least see each other that day. It was the night before pay-day, and I only had enough to buy everyone’s dinner, but we had to order water’s to go with it, because we didn’t have enough. At that time, my son was around 4, and he wanted a Dr. Pepper. I had told him no, and we sat down at the little café tables and quickly ate together, so I could get back to the office to complete the bid submission due the following morning, for a large project, our company really needed.

Over the next couple of days, I heard a couple of interesting comments from my children, but I hadn’t put the pieces together yet. My son had asked if children went to jail sometimes, and my daughter had asked me why people have to go jail (Deep thoughts for a six year old). I had explained to her that when we went to the OKC zoo, and she thought she was playing with a lioness that carefully stalked her through the glass, that the reason that cat was in a cage, is because it wanted to eat her! That unfortunately, there are people like that cat, that are predators, that are only safe to be around when they are behind bars, unless Jesus changed their heart, and made them safe to live free with the rest of us. Yet, my son kept asking if kids could go to jail for being bad, to the point where my wife felt I needed to have a talk with him, as he was really troubled.

So I asked him, “Son, why do you keep asking if children can go to jail, have you done something you shouldn’t have?” Immediately he began to cry, and blurted out: “Dad, I stole a Dr. Pepper over at Reesors! Do I have to go to jail?”

Although it was pretty comical seeing his distress, in a moment of inspiration, I stopped what I was doing, and said, ‘Come on son, get in the truck, we need to go for a ride.” He was still crying, and didn’t know where we were going, but he knew I loved him, and wouldn’t hurt him.

So, as we drove I explained to him my world, how I fought to keep my word, my commitments, to honor my employees, my clients, my supplies, and of course our company and all the families involved.  I explained to him, how Jeff Reesor had created his company, bigger than ours, and how hard he had worked to build it, and that stealing was wrong, even if other people were doing it (He had his water cup, and filled it with Dr. Pepper), and that we had to pay for the drink he stole. That we were going back to Reesors, to ask forgiveness for what he stole, and to pay for his drink.

He was terrified, but we went into the store, explained to the cashier what had happened (like me, she had a hard time not laughing), then I called for the manager, and asked if I could pay for my son’s drink. He said, that because we were honest, it was on the house, but I insisted on paying anyway, explaining it was for the good of my son. (If I remember right, I bought him a treat too), and then we headed home.

I told him that God was that way. God loves us, and while He will never agree with doing wrong, if we fess up when we mess up, He will always help us get out of whatever mess we made by our bad choice.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The story didn’t end there. When we got home, before he ran off to play I called him over to the fireplace, and reached in my pocket for the receipt for his drink. I told him, that this receipt was how much his drink cost, and proof that I had paid the price for it. I then reached up on the mantle, grabbed the lighter, and burned that paper, forever gone. I then explained to him, that is what Jesus does with our sin, that He removes it as far as the east is from the west, forever gone out of our lives… Though I am sharing this story with you, I have never ever bullied nor brought it up with him again.. we forgive, and FORGET.

This is my take on redemptive discipline….

Mentor- Fathers grow as children grow. It is my hope and prayer that I have created enough love and respect  in the hearts of my children that they would always respect my wisdom, counsel, advice and potential direction for their lives, yet never be limited by it.
mentor will smith

As I have moved in leadership over the years, there have been some long, lonely nights of prayer, as I make decisions before God that at times, have eternal consequence, anquished times where I have honestly not known what to do in damage control where things on a project or in a relationship have gone wrong.I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

I call this being mentored by God…Where He gives me wisdom, after years of instruction, and then leaves me to make my own decision…

“Remember that mentor leadership is all about serving. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).” ― Tony Dungy, The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently

God instructs us, and mentors us, very gently as men…

Psalm 18:35

Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

So He expects us to be gentle with our children.

Philippians 4:5   He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young

 

I love the way Jesus deals with me as my Lord, and now, my best friend:

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

 

Satan drives his followers, Jesus, gently leads His…Be gentle dads, gentlemen!

Warrior who fights for his family! –

honor1

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2 Timothy 2:1

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

There is no room for limp-wristed faith here! I spoke on men being men in the last article, that warrior hood is one of the signs of healthy manhood. There is one difference in fatherhood – we are no longer looking for a fight, in fact we are fighting for peace!

manhood castrated

We champion our wives and children, and the cause of Christ, and there will be battles enough, simply holding down a job, keeping children on track academically, protecting them from bullies and evil people wherever they are found, yet fathers only fight to protect their families.

I have said it this way to some ‘tough guy’ looking to pick a fight.

“Look buddy, I am here to work, not fight. If you insist, you can slap me, and I will turn the other cheek, for Jesus loves you and so do I. Yet, if you try slapping my wife or children, I will kill you if necessary. It is not personal, I have a God given responsibility to protect them…”

So, far, every bully has backed down over the years, and I have never had to shoot anyone by the grace of God (although there have been two very close calls with would be household intruders that decided to stop trying to break down my front door when I told them to go home, because if they came through my door, I would kill them. I will protect my family, whatever it takes…

Enough said. My primary passions are fighting the fight of faith in prayer, Fighting for excellence in my children, staying in passionate pursuit of Jesus. When I do, He protects, provides, instructs my children, brings me and my house into divine order and peace….

Nurturer – In my series, the Father Heart of God, I showed how God is a great nurturer, giving hugs, tons of affirmation, always ready to love, listen, and get involved with what I am doing. He loves us!

fatherhood nurter

So, it has been with our family. We are all snuggle buddies, often curled up on the sofa watching movies, or lying down with the kids as we tuck them into bed listening as they pour out their hearts to us about everything from their music, their friends, their video games, or their moral decisions. Though I will say little about this important topic, it is critical in the life of a child!

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ― Marvin J. Ashton

“the seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski

Though I understand the wounds caused by abuse, trauma, neglect run deep, the love of our heavenly Father goes deeper still!

The world could be a little less cruel, if we nurture each other while we grow; learn understanding while we transform and maintain a humble attitude whilst we succeed.” ― Nikki Rowe

Fathers need to love and nurture their children, as much as mothers do.

Romantic, passionate pursuer of God
bride1

Real dads love their wives, and fight to keep the romance alive. The Scriptures tell us that we, the church, are the bride of Christ, and there is a passionate, romantic side of Jesus, where we are pursued with a furious, passionate love.

Somehow as fathers, we need to emulate that. Passionately in pursuit of God staying radically in love with our wives. Constantly surprising them with gifts, kisses, love notes, and keeping the banner of love alive in our homes. All of this is a celebration of our marriage covenant. (By the way men, if you are not married, either buy a ring, and get married today, or if you are involved with someone sexually that is not your wife, end it, today – Friends with benefits – are not part of the kingdom of God)

Somehow, as fathers we are to receive passion, fire, zeal and strength from heaven as a celebration of our covenant with God, and we are to carry the commandments of God to our children in a loving life-givng way, that they would honestly want to serve Jesus, because He is awesome, not out of logistic legalistic religious duty.

I end where I began:

Genesis 18:19

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him

I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…

Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Despite my human frailities, and countless mistakes over the years, it is my hope and prayer, that I serve Jesus well enough, that when the time comes for my children to leave the nest, and make their own mark on this world, that they will choose Jesus as Lord and Shepherd of their lives too…

We train up our children in the way they should go, and then we deliberately trust Jesus with their lives, that as they age, they will serve God and live happy productive lives!

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Four Stages of MANHOOD – Man Up!

Manhood – Part Two 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things   As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four […]

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.

Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

donate

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

 

Did Jesus Give the 2nd Amendment?

 

Should a Christian own a gun for self defense?

arms children

Answer: What does the Word of God say?

Luke 22: 35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

Lu 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

arms Jesus

Here we see Jesus at the last supper, giving some final instructions to His disciples in his last teaching before He left the earth..I picture what that might have looked like. You know that a cloak to keep warm was pretty important during that season, because when Peter betrayed Jesus, people were huddled around a fire for warmth, yet Jesus said that procuring a sword was more important than even wearing a winter coat!

He sees the future, and sees that disciples are about to be sent into all the world, to preach the gospel. They had been sent originally to the Jews, who had hospitality laws, and had been provided for, in safety, wherever they went, but now, the great commission was to be given, and people without the Word of God as a basic premise of life, are dangerous. As He prepared to send them, he said you were going to need a weapon for self defense, in fact, He expected that everyone should know this and should own a sword. Yet his command is more urgent than mere passive fancy. If you do not have a weapon to defend yourself, get one, even if you need to sell your coat to buy it. Well, one of the disciples took this literally, and went out and procured a couple of swords.

Let’s continue reading in Luke 22:verse38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

These swords were not needed yet, for Jesus knew He was to be crucified, and it was not time to fight, yet.

Peter, as usual, was the impetuous one. He had a sword, and a weapon in ones hand, just like a young man with a gun, makes a man feel powerful. Peter had some radical life changes in his years walking with Jesus, and with a sword in hand, he was ready to go to war on behalf of his king. Remember, the Jews were expecting a conquering king like David to lead them into battle to overthrow the Romans.

Yet, Jesus kingdom is a kingdom not of this world, a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Jesus needed no mere human disciple to defend Him: He is Lord of Heaven and Earth, He could have simply called 12 legions of angels to defend him, but He was determined to die on our behalf, willingly, for the sin of all humanity. There was no other way.

John 10:17-18
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Lets continue reading the account here in Luke 22:47 ¶ And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

So, we see here the two swords brought into the last supper meeting. Peter had one, and in passion and zeal, when Jesus was betrayed, and the soldiers came to arrest him, he acted impetuously, and cut off Malacus ear. Jesus, loving and understanding Peter, and the servant, healed the guys ear. In the natural order of things, He destroyed evidence, because Peter would have been charged with the equivalent of assaulting an officer, and been imprisoned or executed. Kind of hard to charge a guy, when there is no evidence. Can you see this case before a judge “This guy attacked me with a sword, and cut off my ear, your honour!” Well, where is the wound, says the judge. Well, this guy named Jesus, healed me, and miraculously recreated my ear back on my head. Yeah, riiiiiight! We don’t do this miracle thing you speak of, case dismissed.

Yet, there was another sword there that day, and Jesus is Lord, with obedient disciples, ultimate commander in chief of all the armies of the earth, Lord of heaven and earth.

arms Jesus is Lord

Who held the other sword? I’m not sure, but I think it had to be John, the apostle of love, because look at the interaction in the heat of battle:

Lu 22:49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

This should be the heart of every soldier and police officer on the planet. Shall I smite with the sword?

Lord, should I shoot? A man under firstly divine authority, and secondly natural authority. A man under command, under orders. This brother recognized Jesus as more than Saviour, but as commander in chief of all the armies that have ever marched.

You need to understand the mindset of this brother when he asked Jesus the question, ‘Shall we smite with the sword.’. His mind was instructed with the Torah, the mighty exploits of David who slew Goliath, and then there were David’s mighty men, men of courage, valor, warriors.

Here is a sample of a couple of them:

1 Sam 23:

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, chief of the Three [heroes], known also as Adino the Eznite; he wielded his spear and went against 800 men, who were slain at one time.

Next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines assembled there for battle, and the men of Israel had departed.

10 [Eleazar] arose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword. The Lord wrought a great deliverance and victory that day; the men returned after him only to take the spoil.

11 Next to [Eleazar] was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines were gathered at Lehi on a piece of ground full of lentils; and the [Israelites] fled from the Philistines.

12 But he stood in the midst of the ground and defended it and slew the Philistines; and the Lord wrought a great victory.

This brother, with one sword, now stood before an armed trained military unit, and he as the Lord for orders to open fire. He was convinced that if that order was given, he would not only attack, but wipe them all out: single-handedly if necessary!

Makes Rambo, and all those hero movies kind of pale in comparison, because this isn’t Hollywood, this is a true story.

If you are a soldier or police officer, or any type of law enforcement, you need to recognize that there is a greater authority, than even the government you serve. Jesus Christ is Lord, and He will speak to you what to do, even in battle:

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Even with bullets flying, and men screaming and dying around you, He will speak to you, personally, in your heart, what to do, when and where to fire, who to kill, who to let live

.arms sheepSoldiers in combat, led of the Holy Spirit will be divinely empowered to stop evil attacks both from within or without.

Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
The Lord is a warrior, make no mistake about it.
Yet, in this new covenant: He would have us win our battles like He did, in prayer, in faith, with His Word:

Remember the account of Elisha hearing the directions of God, to thwart every evil attack against Israel. The Spirit of God, literally revealed the battle strategies of the enemy army, to the king. So detailed was this knowledge, that the king was convinced there had to be a spy in their midst.

2Ki 6:12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

Consider the following testimony from one of our US soldiers, serving in Afganistan, who had a mother who is a pastor, and who prayed for him daily, for protection and guidance. The man was trained as a sniper, and the story goes that they were on a routine patrol, when they came to a Taliban check point. There was a father and 12 year old son there, dressed in traditional garb, with flowing robes. The soldier claims that he heard a voice supernaturally speak to his heart, “Shoot the boy!” He immediately drew his weapon, and shot and killed the boy. When the father reached inside his tunic, he again fired, and shot and killed the father. There was immediate chaos, shouting, screaming, he was thrown to the ground and disarmed by his buddies, and there was an armed stand-off while his commanding officer order a cease-fire and investigated the bodies. Both of them were strapped as suicide bombers, waiting to enter the center of the platoon before detonating themselves. Clearly, many lives were spared that day, through the prayers of a woman of God, and the radical obedience of her highly trained son.

This kind of hearing and obedience, can prevent a soldier from responding to erroneous orders from even his own commanding officer, should his leader miss it. Each of us have to live with our own conscience before God, and killing a man is not a light thing to have to live with. I have had to minister to veterans that were given orders to open fire upon innocent civilians, the nightmares of children ripped apart by a 50 calibre still haunt them. Yet, Jesus heals PSTD – https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/11/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-jesus-heals/

Much needs to be said here, about the heart of self defense, but Proverbs 16: 32 Better a patient person than a warrior,

one with self-control than one who takes a city.

God’s kingdom is within us, and the fruit of the Spirit within us are the strength and honor of this country. Self-control, meekness (strength under pressure), longsuffering, gentleness, patience. This is the heart of honor, the heart of the gospel, and the heart of America, that Jesus is developing in each of us. This is the love of God, and freedom worth defending.

This is the spirit of the 2nd Amendment, in right to bear arms. Should free citizens be allowed to own firearms to protect themselves, their families, and this country from enemies within or without. Emphatically, YES!

arms Norris

The question is, what is our intimacy with God like? Are we governed by the Word and Spirit of God, seeking to love our fellow man, as our primary motive?

What makes weapons dangerous, are the people that wield them. A trained, honorable police man or soldier, upholding that which is decent, honorable, and lawful, is entitled and responsible to carry a gun, responsibly. In fact, the Bible says that soldiers and police officers serving Jesus, are ministers of God, set in place by God to execute God’s justice upon the evil doer.

Romans 13:1-8 Authorized (King James)

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. (government) For there is no power (authority) but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Notice here, that police officers are sent of God to do good for those of us doing right, yet for criminals, the police or military becomes the avenger to execute wrath on him that does evil.

arms call

It is when fatherless men, walking in pride, arrogance, and often a drug and alcohol induced lifestyle, own guns that we have problems.

Children should be taught to pray for God’s protection and given training in gun safety at a young age, that the best fight is the one that never starts. Any honest parent wants peace…

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

One last thought from Romans 13, where the Word of God speaks about the role of police officers and soldiers acting as the agents of God, to keep order and peace in a country.

Rom 13:1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Basically, this verse states that we need to obey the laws of the land, and submit to the authority of righteous government, (and pray for them daily 1 Tim 2:1-4). Yet, see how this works: Policemen and soldiers are actually called of God as his ministers to prevent the spread of evil in the earth. (and our taxes should legitimately support them)

As a husband and father, I am responsible to act like Jesus, and to love, serve, and lead my family into the call and plan of God for our particular household. Yet, I am also called to defend my wife and children, if necessary. Primarily, this is done solely through the Word of God. I believe the 91st Psalm, and that no weapon (knife, gun, or bomb) fashioned against me shall prosper. This is our primary defense, and best defense for we are in a spiritual battle, where we wrestle not against flesh and blood.

We know that Satan is a mind blinding spirit, that works through the thoughts and deeds of people who are not walking with Jesus. The nature of Satan, is to kill, steal and destroy whoever, and whatever he can. He puts thoughts of ‘Go rob that house, that person, etc”, but for a tithing believer, walking in faith, God becomes our rock of defense, impenetrable.

arms strong

When we deal with the spirit behind the wicked man, the man is no problem.

If more Christians, actually did what Jesus said to do in Matt 6:33, and sought first the kingdom of God daily, and served Jesus every day, there would be far less violence in the world, and our primary warfare would be spiritual, and our focus would be on preaching the gospel to all the nations, not ruling over them with a gun.

1 Tim 2: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

I actually believe these verses, and I pray for our President (even when I do not agree with him), our government, military, police officers, and judicial system, daily. Why?

1. The man that wrote this, Paul, heard God,  loved us, and had our best interests at heart.

2. He said to do this first.

3. When we pray for the government, I believe God will honor this very word in our lives, and supernaturally grant us the reward of our obedience, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Yet, I had an experience some time ago, where we found our front door wide open in the wee hours of the morning. Guess we woke up, and the perpetrator ran off in the night. I now have a gun in the closet, that I honestly pray I will never have to use.

arms regan

Shooting and killing someone is a rather permanent, and if you believe the Word of God, an eternal solution to a temporary problem, yet there are lines that cannot be crossed.

Someone breaking into a families house, has crossed that line, and just met the government of God, the right to bear arms in defense of our homes and families.

If called upon, I would shoot and kill an intruder, for I will protect my home, wife and children.

This is the heart of taking up the sword. We do not go out to conquer with it, but when enemies arise to destroy our homes and families, we will defend our freedom, come what may, here in the land of the free, home of the brave, where there is freedom, liberty, and justice for al

As Christians, we look for, pray for, and long for peace, for Jesus is the Prince of Peace. First in our hearts, then in our homes, communities and nation.

Our nature is love, and we long to forgive and turn the other cheek, but we meekness is not weakness. When evil people march, and begin slaughtering innocent civilians, women and children, then we are forced to rise up and defend our families and communities, our country.

arms vengeance

This is our heart, to trust God for true vengeance, but when evil empires march, they quickly discover that God goes to war:arms subcontract

Each day I pray:

Psalm 91 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
and see the reward of the wicked.
Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;
10 there shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

In whatever station of life we find ourselves, we must be trusting in Jesus personally, intimately for our protection. Yet, sometimes, Jesus calls free men to pick up the sword.

freedom

.

Let’s Pray:

‘Father God, I come to you now, seeking you for wisdom, peace, and protection. I choose to believe that You have indeed given your angels charge over me, and in Jesus I receive peace. Father, I desire to forgive and love all people, yet embrace my God given responsibility to protect my family and this nation from those who would do evil. By faith, I declare and decree Your Kingdom, in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost over this country, trusting You to bring true freedom, liberty and justice for all. I ask this, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

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Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Mens Ministry

Here is a series of articles I wrote for men’s ministry:

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-four-stages-of-manhood-the-age-of-the-patriarch/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/four-stages-of-manhood-fatherhood/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/four-stages-of-manhood-manhood-part-two/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/the-four-stages-of-biblical-manhood-part-one-boyhood/

 

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/manhood-a-bit-of-redneck-righteousness/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/no-bull/

https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/the-warrior-heart-of-god/

Feel free to use these as you see fit!

Stay Blessed!

Keep Smiling!

Jesus is Lord!

C

Four Stages of Manhood – MANHOOD – Part Two

Manhood – Part Two

manhood man up

1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things

 

manhood temper

As you recall, we are talking about the development of men of God, generally in four stages that were: boyhood, manhood, fatherhood, and the age of the patriarch.

 

No matter how great our earthly family may have been, we are now part of the royal family of God, training for reigning with Jesus!

 

As always, we begin and end with the Word of God!

 

Training and discipline can develop our soul, forge our will, but the Word of God has the power to change our very heart motives….

 manhood overcome desires

Ephesians 4:14

that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

 

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Hebrews 12:5

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

 manhood Tozer

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you

 

Fathers in the faith, pray, for us to grow up spiritually, to embrace our manhood, to rise up to honor and responsibility in this fight of faith in this generation.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:15

and that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus

 

We teach our children the Scriptures, but it is our life of honor that they watch!

manhood responsibility

 

Back in the days when I used to pastor, we used to do a ‘passage of rites’ ceremony with young men and women between the ages of 13-18. I took the idea from a book I read by an author named Craig Hill, where he teaches on the development of boys into men: http://www.promisekeepers.org.nz/bar_mitzvah.html

manhood do what you got to

 

I agree with Craig, as I have endeavoured to learn protocol, the traditions and cultures of the host peoples of North America, North American Indians. In many tribes, a boy becomes a brave or warrior, only after their initiation ceremony, where acts of bravery needed to be exhibited. In some tribes, a young man had to ‘count coup’ riding up to an enemy with his ‘coup stick’ and touching him without being killed, and riding away in victory, having ‘counted coup.’ In other tribes, there were ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies that included running through tunnels of pain, where seasoned warriors beat them with sticks, or culturally required acts of bravery, where they had to complete a vision quest, or spend a night blindfolded in the forest over night.

manhood patton

From what I understand in the Jewish Bar Mitzva ceremony, boys were expected to go to work with their fathers after school, to learn responsibility, earn money and learn how to manage it, and become men.

 

What we used to do, is plan ahead, and get either the fathers, uncles, grandparents or older men in a young man’s life to write a declaration of honor, love and respect to be read over the young man. We would tape a line on the carpet, and all the men in the church would come forward to the front side of the line. The young teens would stand on the outer side of the tape. I would read a proclamation declaring that this day, they were forever leaving boyhood, to become strong men of honor, embracing the risks and responsibilities of manhood in their community, standing strong for their families, against evil in society, as men. I would present them with some token of manhood (usually a pocket knife, although some dads gave firearms etc), and then had the prepared proclamations of blessing read over each one by their elders. I would then have them leave childhood forever, by stepping across the line. All of us men would then lay hands upon them and pray and proclaim blessing over each participant.

 

Saw dramatic change in young peoples lives! Young gangsters would suddenly leave criminal lifestyles, and often join cadets, or get job to help at home. Shoulders would square up, and chests would swell with pride, as they embraced the call to be men!

manhood tyrants

 

This is so needed today! With a 50-60% divorce rate in America, boys are not taught to be men, and we, the church must rise to the challenge, and become fathers to the fatherless, accepting, affirming, challenging, exhorting, and discipling and calling forth warriors of righteousness for this generation!

 

 

Whether it was the Jewish Bar Mitzvah ceremony, or getting ‘jumped into’ a street gang, it is clearly part of the process for boys to become men, warriors, through initiation ceremony by the men of the community or tribe.

 

Seems this has been forgotten in many sectors of North American society, but the hunger in the heart of every man will be fulfilled in battle, or the essential part of him dies…

Manhood look like

So much can be said here, but I will say this, after years in Promise Keepers, my childhood growing up on military bases as the son of a military officer, or in the various men’s ministries in which I have participated over the years, that boys must become men! Sure warriors get wounded in battle, but the church is the army of God! We have an infirmary, and there should be no man left behind, but make no mistake about it, we are an army, the army of God, called and commissioned to fight!

manhood battle with honor

Luke 19:13

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

 

manhood make myself

 

Recognizing the huge hole in this culture by fatherless families, I built and co-owned a construction company for many years simply, primarily, to take boys, and make men out of them.
Read a quote by another author I respect:

From a sermon entitled: ‘Fathered by God, by John Eldredge’

“In the lesson, John touched on some topics that he covered in his bestselling book Wild At Heart, such as answering the question that plagues all men: “Do I have what it takes?” But he also introduced six new stages of initiation that he has taken his boys through that have proved to be great steps for Christian discipleship.

 

According to Eldredge, all men have to go through these steps to become whole and holy men. It begins with “Boyhood,” where a boy learns that he is the “Beloved Son” and entirely delighted in by his father. Then, it moves into “Cowboy,” where the young man must experience adventure and danger (think: David’s teenage years of battling lions and bears as a shepherd). Following that, the boy becomes a “Warrior,” often leaving home to pursue a cause or a mission.

manhood chivarly

At roughly the same time (but hopefully not before) the man is learning that life is a battle, the Warrior must learn to fight for his beloved and become a “Lover,” but still remaining a warrior for the rest of his life. Many years later, with the right humility and direction, the Warrior-Lover becomes a “King.” That is, the man steps into true leadership and responsibility, guiding and directing the lives of others. And lastly, he finishes his latter years as a “Sage,” sharing his wisdom with other men and women, guiding them in their journey.”

If you haven’t read John’s book: Wild at Heart, I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Heart-Discovering-Secret-Mans-ebook/dp/B00527N04O/ref=dp_kinw_strp_exp_1_1

In short, John calls his stages of manhood by different names, but the principals are the same.

 

Let’s talk about the transition from boyhood to manhood for a minute.

I’ve noticed that boys all go through what John calls the ‘cowboy’ stage,  warriorhood.

I watch young men race cars, ride bulls, become soldiers, martial arts experts, hunters, adventurers, because I believe God created all men with this natural ‘wild side’.

Becoming a man is becoming a warrior, developing courage under control.  I watch young men all making their mark in the world, joining the military, oil industry, rodeo, construction, or any other rough and ready world. Testosterone going somewhere to happen, working long brutal hours in the face of real danger to life and limb, to make their mark on this generation.

Like David before confronting Goliath: 1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

 

Yes, there is a cause! Freedom has never been free, just pick your battlefield, enlist in God’s army, and fight!

Whether in prayer, preaching, missions, business, education, military, cival services, finance, or media, truth is a sword, and there are battles to be fought.

No matter what stage you are at in your life, there are injustices to be confronted, but like the wise mentor of Willam Wallace in the movie ‘Braveheart’,  ‘First the mind, then the sword!’

Get educated, skilled, and choose your battles wisely, so that as you fight, you fight to win!

manhood educated

Seemed when I had my construction company, I would have to throw a rope on those often unbroken wild men, and teach them respect, responsibility, faithfulness, dependability, keeping your word, craftsmanship, and directed work ethic, without breaking their spirit, and still keeping the fire in them!

I am raising up men of honor, respectful, full of honesty, integrity, excellence, but when they look you in the eye, they look right through you, because there is still fire and steel there!

I’ve noticed this about myself: if I go too long simply keeping the schedule, making the deadlines, and punching the clock, I get to feeling like a hamster on a treadmill: running hard, but going no where.

There must be some mountain to climb, race to run, adrenaline pumping fast machine to drive, water-skiing, or some other impossible task or death defying deed in my schedule, or I quietly die inside. Gone through months of numbness, physically showing up, but not really alive!

manhood castrated

Do something radical! Go on a mission trip to a different country, language, culture – confront the oppression, the poverty, the ignorance and fight for the oppressed!

Maybe you are called as a soldier or law enforcement agent, to literally take on crime and the ‘bad guys’ on the front lines. Everyone hates a bully – don’t be one, but be strong enough to dethrone any merchandizing the weak – the drug lords, the child sex traffickers, the pimps and religious bullies who beat women and children. Dad served 32 years in the navy and his counsel is still valid:

Real Men don’t hit women, they stand strong in defense of women and children.

manhood no hit

Ok, enough sharing for a bit, if I go longer, you won’t take time to read it.

I’m pretty big on action so here’s some things you can do:

  1. If you have never been affirmed as a man, take this article to your pastor men’s group, and have them first of all affirm you, and pray that God complete you as a man, a warrior, and eventually as a husband, father, and responsible member of society.
  2. If you had a dad (what a concept!), and you have been through a ‘passage of rites’ type of ceremony, create one in your community. Deliberately reach out to teens and young men, and call them to excellence, warriorhood, responsibility, and honor. If your pastor is not interested, organize some sort of men’s advance (the army of God never retreats), and get in touch with me, and I will come preach and lead it.
  3. Not sure what the next men’s movement in America is going to look like. Promise Keepers in its day was a powerful force for good, full gospel businessman had a day in the sun too. Whatever it’s called, get involved, and get your business, family, and church on board too. Manhood means excellence, honor, holiness – Man up!Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

manhood courage

Let’s Pray:

Father, I come before you today with my brother. I ask You Father to do for me, what no man can do: put into me all the things a perfect father would have if he could have. Pour into me the courage, boldness, affirmation, strength, passion and fire I need to radically impact my world, and restore to me all the things I never got growing up. Cause me to walk in honor, free from profanity, bullying, cowardice, perversion, pornography, lying, and develop in me an excellent spirit, strong in You and the power of Your might. I ask Father, knowing I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen!”

If forever reason, you have not come to God on His terms yet, here’s what He expects:https://chrisaomministries.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/the-gospel-the-power-of-god/

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

donate

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!