Fatherhood.

This has been an interesting journey for me, this journey into mentorship. It has me looking at myself and evaluating my mentorship of my most important mentees, my sons.

Fatherhood is an interesting thing. Sometimes it’s amazing and other times it down right sucks. I’m not afraid to say that either. My sons, both of them since they were born have not been good sleepers, as in they woke or wake up multiple times per night. I have had less than 20 full nights of sleep in 5 years. My favorite part is when you tell someone this and they automatically think they’re a better parent because their kids slept through the night since they were 2 weeks old… and THROAT PUNCH.

Right now I have a 5 year old, Prince Henry, and an 8 month old, Prince William. And yes I refer to them as princes because that’s what they are. They have an inheritance coming that is second to none. I am going to introduce them to Jesus who will introduce them to His Father. The best part of fatherhood is watching and shaping who they become. Henry is a dreamer, much like myself, he literally runs laps in the house while he dreams up wild adventures. 

This weekend I am taking Henry on one such adventure. We are going to climb a waterfall. Since he was 2 he loved watching Bear Grylls out in the wild surviving. What’s cool is that these are things that I have always wanted to do but have never done myself. I get to experience risk and reward, danger, the element of the unknown and the wild with my son. There will be blood, sweat and tears for sure but we are going to conquer something together. 

William is going to be the life of the party. He is also going to be the, do it and worry about the consequences later, kid. SO… that should be fun. His personality is HUGE. While Henry would be content in the woods with a backpack and a dog, William feeds off other peoples energy. I see William as a motivator or preacher of some kind. I am excited to try to keep up with him. I started CrossFit a couple weeks ago so I will be in shape enough to only be a step or two behind him.

In Genesis when God created the Heavens and the Earth it says after everything He did, “And He saw that is was GOOD.” That word good is specific, notice later when Jesus was being baptized, God said, “This is My Son, in Whom I am WELL PLEASED.”  Jesus’ manifestation on Earth was God’s greatest creation. It was HIS SON.

As Fathers we have a GREAT responsibility. Our children, from the time they are born are our lifeblood. Nothing is more important. I was talking to my mentor about this and he told me that fatherhood always comes at an interesting time, when we are usually full force into our careers. That hit me big. One of my biggest frustrations is watching fathers dump their kids on their wives until the kids are 9, 10, 11, 12 and then expect to come sweeping in and be the hero in their kids lives. Most fathers who do this are rejected by their kids because they have no relationship. Quality time doesn’t start when your kids are in your pre-teens. It starts when your kids are babies.

Girls want to be swept up in adventure too. The best picture of this is probably the Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Trilogy. Elizabeth Swan starts off by being kidnapped by pirates and her character evolves until she is literally leading the pirates into battle as “The Pirate King.” Even girlie girls want adventure, in every princess movie they watch there is always an adventure conflict the princesses are caught up in. They are always swept away by their prince or knight in shining amor. Dads, that’s supposed to be you. If it’s not, it will be the first boy that comes along and shows her “a little adventure.”

Fathers, Dads, be the hero’s of your kids story until they can be the hero/heroin of their own. Take them on adventures. Live dangerously. Saying that you’ll give everything up for your kids and actually doing it are different thing.

Also, a note for you who are not Fathers, become one to a young boy or girl (if it’s a girl make sure your wife is present at all times) take them on adventures, teach them to be a hero/heroin, tell them they are a prince/princess. Their life will be forever changed and so will theirs.

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Creatives.

Defining a generation is quite possibly the hardest thing to do, but I’m going to do it twice. No apologies.

Today, Creatives. In a few days, Legalists.

Creatives:

Creatives are highly communicative, they take risks, they push boundaries, their goal is to solve problems, they are activists, they use art as their catalyst. THEY BRING VERY LITTLE THAT IS NEW.

WHOA! WHAT?!?!

Let me pose this:

Hippies are highly communicative, they take risks, they push boundaries, their goal is to solve problems, they are activists, they use art as their catalyst.

NO WAY! CREATIVES ARE NOTHING LIKE HIPPIES!

Seriously. The only difference is the lack of hallucinogenic drugs, sometimes.

I’m not saying that what they are doing is wrong, I actually like and agree with a lot of it. I think most of their tactics are incorrect but I still associate more with the Creative Generation than I do the Legalists.

I want to talk about Creative Christianity. The Culture of Grace.

Creatives Christians have tattoos, they drink beer and other stuff, they swear, they basically take a liberal view of the gray areas in the Bible. They also take a liberal view of some pretty black and white areas too. They hang their Christian hat on Grace but isn’t that wrong?

Creatives look at the legalists and tell them not to put God in a box. But isn’t that what they are doing too?

When adulterous woman was brought before Jesus, He said, “You who is without sin cast the first stone.” Creatives love this verse but they leave out the next part when Jesus looks at the adulterous women and says, “Now go and sin NO MORE.”

Creatives don’t like the second part because they like the areas where their gray crosses into the black excused. They like to say, “DON’T JUDGE ME!”

The problem is that the Creatives are guilty of Idolatry.

My good friend, Landon Schott says, “Real Idolatry is making Jesus whoever you want Him to be, whoever is convenient to you.”

Don’t worry, I’ll get to the Legalists in a few days too.

Isn’t that what Creatives do? Don’t they hang on to Grace to justify their sins? Don’t they (not all of them) accept homosexuality and leave out entire sections of scripture that say it is wrong?

BUT THEY WERE BORN THAT WAY!!

Jesus said, “No one may see the Kingdom unless they are BORN AGAIN.”

Creatives have taken a staunch stand against Legalists. Legalists have taken a staunch stand against Creatives.

The ground between them has eroded.

What’s worse, nobody wants to build a bridge.

Except me.

 

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Erosion.

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Fact: The Grand Canyon is a large gap in the earth created by the Colorado River. It is 277 miles long and 18 miles wide at its widest point.

 

As an 8th grade young man I was intimidated by another classman. That’s pretty typical. But I really wasn’t intimidated by many people, just Nate. 

I honestly don’t even remember why, I was just scared to even talk to him. Then he and I were paired up to write the sports column for the school newspaper. That’s a pretty good way to break the ice. He and I became almost instant friends having many things in common. We spent a large portion of the last half of our 8th grade year together. 

Summer came and went and we were back to being great friends. At the last minute a spot for the Northwest District Youth Conference opened up and I asked him if he wanted to go, the only stipulation was he had to sing in the choir. He was excited and wanted to go, but he was a little nervous about singing in the choir so he and I, as I had procrastinated, learned the songs on the bus ride to Seattle, WA. 

By the way, Nate was not a Christian at this point.

We went, we sang, we did the choreography and then we sat down to listen the the speaker. I think I remember the speaker being Jeanne Mayo but I remember anything she said. I just remember Nate giving his heart to Christ. 

Fast forward a couple months to January 4, 2000. Nate’s good friend Adam was behind his house snowboarding with friends and suddenly drops to the ground, dead. According to the autopsy he had a heart attack. A fifteen year-old, healthy, active young man just dropped dead.

Nate was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. Nate was lost in the why’s and I was lost in the how’s. Nate needed help and I didn’t know how to help so I ignored him.

The ground between our friendship started to erode.

I found out a couple weeks later that Nate had recently gotten drunk for the first time. I was pissed! How could he? How dare he? After giving his life to Christ? I was judgmental, I confronted him incorrectly and pretty much ended any possibility at further friendship. 

The ground between us was eroded. He was on one side of the Grand Canyon and I was on the other.

I, within the last year, just apologized to Nate. He lives on the other side of the country than I do so I doubt a friendship will ever really take place again but I still felt like I needed to. I don’t know what Nate’s relationship with Christ looks like at this point but I still pray for him and think about him often. If you read this, I love you buddy.

I think the relationship between the Creatives, the younger generation, and the Legalists, the older generation, is very similar to the relationship Nate and I had. 

The Creatives and the Legalists were developing a great relationship and then the Creatives got a tattoo or drank a couple beers or had a liberal view of homosexuality and the legalists freaked out and got judgmental. Now the Creatives are jaded and don’t want advice from the Legalists and the Legalists think the Creatives just need to grow up and get a dose of the real world.

I fully understand the use of generalities and know that the above is not always true. But regardless there is a huge division not only in society but in the church as well. We have Creative pastors who drink beer while they preach and Legalist denominations that say he’s going to hell. Can you see the erosion? Can you see the 18 miles in between these two groups?

What’s the solution?

Mentorship.

If proper, biblical mentorship were established and accepted on both sides, we could build an 18 mile bridge. The bridge would be both highly functional and creatively designed, like Apple products. 

Mentorship puts the next generation on the previous generations shoulders. It allows the Creatives to drive a new vehicle down the road the legalists built.

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Why Mentorship?

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I took my son fishing over fathers day weekend. As I was teaching him to fish I couldn’t help but reflect on when I was taught how to fish. 

Both of my Grandpas used to take me out on the lake to fish. They would click me into a life vest and crank up the motor and drive their boats over to their secret spots. My Grandpa Tom was a preacher. He never had much but he would always take the time to invest in others. Grandpa Gordon was an ex-fighter pilot and a small business owner. He was more the strong silent type. When he spoke wisdom poured out with every word.

I don’t remember catching any fish, I’m sure we did, I just remember the time. Both of my Grandpas spent time investing in me at a young age so when the time came that I had to make decisions that counted I would make the right ones or I would seek advice before making the decision. 

Remember playing catch with your dad or having a tea party with your mom? I can still smell the leather from my glove and the grass as I would dive for the ball. I still remember asking my dad to throw it high in the air so I “catch the pop fly.” He would seemingly throw it hundreds of feet into the air, it was so much higher when you were a kid, and I would run and hear ssshhhh-pop as it landed in my mitt. 

Mentorship is time. 

Because of the men in my life I have learned to ask older, wiser men when big life questions arise. 

I believe this is something that has been lost. I believe that a lot of young men and women decide just to jump and see what happens. They don’t seek the advice of older, wiser men and women. Many of my peers have either not been taught to seek advice or have been jaded by an over-judgemental and stuffy older generation.

On the flip side of this coin I think that a lot of older, wiser people who would’ve like to mentor others have had their advice thrown back in their face so many times they are fed up with the youth of our time and instead of handing off the baton they slam it on the ground and yell, “There it is! You figure out how to get it! If you won’t listen to me, do it on your own!”

So who’s wrong? Which generation is to blame? They both are. 

Over the next weeks, months or maybe even years, we are going to take a look at this issue and talk about how we can resolve it.

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Focus.

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Before you step up to hit a golf ball you take practice swings. Those swings are to connect what you mentally know you should do to actually physically doing it.

I tend to close my eyes and focus on the feel. Slowly take the club away. Bend the wrists up but don’t hinge them. Straight left arm. Release the hips. Strike. Follow the ball with the club down the line. Pose. 

If I like the first swing’s feel I focus in further. Load. Unload. Load. Unload.

There is it. I found it. My swing. I can feel it in every part of me.

Then I step up to the ball and one of two things happen. I completely focus on the ball and nothing else and I hit a pure shot OR, more often then not, I let all those thoughts I had during my first practice swing back in and I miss-hit the ball. 

Focus.

I’ve noticed lately that my mind seems cluttered. You can see it here first hand in my blog. I write about seemingly random things with no order and no structure.

First, let me apologize. It’s not that any of my posts were bad it’s that they didn’t go together. They were whatever thoughts I currently had cluttering my head. 

Second, know that from now on I am going to write about what God has really put on my heart to write about and only that.

Mentorship

Some of you may know that I am writing a book named unMentored.

I can’t wait to blog and then compile those blogs into my book. It’s actually killing me not to writing a blog on Mentorship right now. But I wanted to explain, apologize and maybe even help you with your mind clutter. 

Just Focus.

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Community vs Communism/Socialism

Yeah… I’m taking a stand here.

I’m sick of the way that the church is moving. There is a mass push towards socialism in the church. I’ve even heard some Christians claim that Jesus was a socialist. 

WOW. We read different bibles… or, and probably more accurately, I read my bible and you (people who think Jesus was a socialist) don’t.

Let’s dive in.

Acts 2:43&45 NLT

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared their money with those in need.

Acts 4:32-35 NLT

All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was on them all. There were no needy among them because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.

Sounds like socialism or communism right?? WRONG.

It actually could not be further from those things. Let me explain:

Socialism is: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Communism is: an extreme socialist movement to create a classless, moneyless and stateless social order structured on common ownership of the means of production as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. 

In other words, Communism is socialism on steroids.

In true Communism, like we saw in the Communist Soviet Union and like the see in China currently, the government is their god. Not only does the government own everything and control the money and distribution thereof but they also control a persons freedoms. Governments that hold that type of tyrannical control can tell you when/how/where/who to worship and in both cases of this type of government’s existence Christians were/are being persecuted and even murdered for their faith.

Socialism is like what we see in Sweden. The government takes all your money and distributes it equally among the people. Which sounds amazing right?? Wrong again. What that means is a brain surgeon makes the same amount as a burger flipper.

Let’s get back to the bible. In the above Bible text we see is an example (not an exact example) of what the modern CHURCH COMMUNITY should look like.

First we must understand that our money and our possessions are not our own but instead we are stewards of those things which God has blessed us with according to our ability. As stewards we are to obey the teachings of the bible by giving tithes and offerings to the local church community so the CHURCH (not the government) can distribute to those in need.

In these passages they understood they had no ownership of their possessions but that they were instead God’s. They each made their own decision to sell and then give those to the edification of the Body or Christ. They also gave them to the leaders of the church and NOT the government to distribute. This is a perfect example of what we a believers should do today. We give to the church so if there is a need the church can distribute funds as necessary. 

The gifts, talents and abilities that God has given us we are to steward to create an increase so the Body of Christ can be exalted not so some government can take your money and give it to whoever they see fit including places that perform abortions or paying for someone to get a sex change (both of which will happen under our new Social Healthcare Reform).

Let’s build the Church so that as believers we can bless and encourage one another. 

One last note: People (Christians) who support socialism/communism are generally not tithers/givers. People (Christians) who are not tithers/givers should have not be able to voice an opinion on money because they have proven to have no stewardship with what God has given them. 

 

 

 

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Destination.

WOW.

I have felt something that creative writers truly hate, uninspired. 

AND THEN John Rich of Big and Rich, tweeted a persons plea for John Rich to follow him on twitter. John responded, “Where are you going?”

SMACK! Inspiration.

People follow people who know where they are going.

I know personally, and if you follow my journey you know this, I am called to be “A Great Leader of Men.” That was prophesied over me when I was 14 in Denver, Colorado on a missions trip. For so long I have personally desired to be that man! I know it’s what God has for me. But for so long I didn’t know where I was going. I was that guy who paddled out with all the other surfers but just bobbed along behind the break never actually catching a wave or that mountaineer who sits at base camp perpetually but never joins an expedition to summit the mountain.

Recently, I have talked and ideated with a great many people on their vision for their church or ministry or business or organization and this same message I sing out to all of them. 

KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING!

Most people try and start something without a destination in mind. They think, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…” And then they try and start moving in that direction but without a destination in mind they get easily side tracked.

BUT if we start with the destination in mind and then WORK BACKWARDS from our goal we can turn our dream or vision into easily attainable steps AND as we move forward people will draw to us because we are focussed on where we are going.

Most people are like that mountaineer who hangs around but never joins an expedition, but that lone man who stares longingly at the summit and forms a plan to get there will draw a team to himself with surprising speed. 

Most people are like the surfer who hangs back never to catch a wave while the lone man who catches the first wave of the day sparks a movement for the rest of the surfers to catch their waves.

Don’t look for people to follow you. Know where you are going and start moving forward.

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