#FatherFactor

#FatherFactor

Last year, I was contacted by a guy named Andy from the Pacific Northwest and asked if I’d be interested in contributing to a book that he was working on.  The book he described was focused on the two topics that I write/think most frequently about, faith and fatherhood.  After a quick google search, I realized that Andy was not a hacker or a serial killer, that he had an epic beard, and that this was a real book project.  Of course I had to be a part of it!

I’m happy to announce that the project is done and that on October 14, 2014, Father Factor: American Christian Men on Faith and Fatherhood is set to be released!!!

father_factor_cover

 

The Father Factor project is part of the I SPEAK FOR MYSELF book series, published in partnership with White Cloud Press.  The book explores the intersection between faith and fatherhood, which is core to who I am. The book contains forty essays by forty men all under the age of forty. We represent a wide variety of Christian faith perspectives: Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Baptist, Church of God, United Church of Christ—and a whole host of different ethnicities: Korean, Mexican, Pacific Islander, Egyptian, Chinese, African American, and Caucasian. We represent all sorts of professions – ministers, professors, a real estate agent, an actor, nonprofit leaders, stay-at-home dads, and a call center representative. We can be found in cities as far apart as Honolulu, Hawaii and Paris, France, and many all points in between. Each of us shares a compelling story about faith and fatherhood…The finished work is amazing!!!

I’d highly recommend the book for your personal library and for small group discussions.  The website is here…Take a look around and take advantage of a great discounted price between now and October 13th!

Thanks to everyone who helped bring this project into being, and I look forward to all of you engaging on some level with the book!

Grace & Peace!!!

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2014. Elevate.

2014. Elevate.

As  2014 wakes up and stretches its limbs, I’m excited to share my vision for the year.  Unlike past years, it is not elaborate.  In fact, it’s a single word, ELEVATE, accompanied by a single image shown here:

Michael Jordan Playground…Pic Courtesy of TheShoeGame.Com

Michael Jordan Playground…Pic Courtesy of TheShoeGame.Com

For years, I’ve been a shrinker.  I’ve been overly concerned with the opinions of others.  In many cases, I would shrink to avoid the possibility of standing out or making someone else feel uncomfortable.  It ‘s exhausting.  So, I’ve decided that I won’t do it anymore.  In 2014, I plan to be more fully me.  I plan to give myself the same consideration that I give others.  I plan to pursue things that I’ve postponed due to fear or worse.
A few years ago, I stumbled across a piece that set me on this journey towards this new place.  I would often end my time with a group of young men in our youth group by having us read this aloud.  I thought it was impacting them.  In fact, it was impacting me, as well.

Here’s to 2014, friends!

Our Deepest Fear — Marianne Williamson

 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

 

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Our Prayers for Taylor

Our Prayers for Taylor

Today is a big one in my family. Our daughter, Taylor, turns 3 years old!  Where has the time gone?

It seems like just last week that Shanequa and I walked cautiously to our car, bringing home our firstborn child from the hospital.  We live about 10 minutes from the hospital, but it took us about 20 minutes to get home because I was driving so slow! She still makes fun of me for getting upset at the other drivers who were traveling at the speed limit.  Didn’t they know that we had precious cargo in that car?
Somehow, that was three years ago. I honestly have no idea where the time went.
As we move into year three of this parenting life, Shanequa and I sat down to think about the road ahead for us and for our firstborn.  Somehow, that turned into a short list of prayers.  I thought that I’d share a few of those prayers with you, our friends.
 
  1. That Taylor would know God, personally.  We don’t take it for granted that Taylor will know and love God simply because of our faith in Christ or because of my vocation. Our constant prayer is that God would pursue her and that she would say, “Yes,” over and over again!
  2. That Taylor would know her self-worth…”you is smart, you is kind, you is important.” The Help brilliantly reminded us of the responsibility that we carry as parents to help shape our daughter’s self-image and self-worth. Every day, we see reminders in society of young women who never realized their value. We pray and work daily that Taylor will have no confusion about such things.
  3. That Taylor would find wonder everywhere and grow daily through discovery.There is a big, beautiful world out there.  As we teach Taylor to know and love God, we will be sure to have her experience the beauty of his handiwork.  A bird singing in a tree. An ocean that seems to never end.  Vast mountains and massive valleys. We pray that she would have countless WOW moments as she grows.  May she forever be fascinated!
  4. That Taylor would pursue her passions. I can already see the seedlings of this prayer coming to be. Like her mother, Taylor is a very strong-willed young lady. (Smiley Face) Like her father, Taylor has an opinion about everything! (Wink) Our prayer is that God will use these strengths for his glory and that Taylor will work passionately toward the causes of her day. Big or small, we pray that she would give her all to something beyond her.
  5. That Taylor would care deeply for others. Whatever her passions may be, we pray that a part of it would bring her to a place of caring deeply for others, especially the poor and hurting people of our world.  We pray that she would not be able to ignore the needs of others, even if she tried.  May she have a greater sense of the collective than either of her parents did.
Honestly, our prayers could be summarized into one simple prayer: Dear God, please help our daughter to love you, to love others, and to live a life that pleases you.  Little else matters.  Little else will last.
——
Are you a parent? What are your prayers for your kids?
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