It’s easy for a man (or a boy) to become a father. At the very minimum it takes a dose of lust—plus cooperation (or not), from a woman or girl.
Back in the day, the first kiss was almost sacred. Not today.
To be a dad, a man needs to have had a good model in his natural father. Without that, and in order to be a dad, he must experience the Heavenly Father’s love, so as to pass this ‘dad-ship’ on to his children.
To be a dad, love and time spent with your kids are essential—unselfish love and quantity time—simply because children learn much more by observation than by words and behavior. And love requires careful and consistent and firm discipline.
Fathers, don’t talk to me about quality time—that can be a cop-out. Setting aside five minutes here, or ten minutes there, is not enough. Every moment you spend with your kids is important time; they are observing and learning from you all the time. (Are you afraid of that?)
To all fathers I would say this, “A peck on the cheek and out the door to work is not enough. Getting down on the floor with your kids, playing with them, listening to them and reading to them, will cement your relationships for life. Physical and emotional closeness is what it’s all about.
If I sound like I’ve been an expert and a good model of fathering, I wasn’t. I rue my early, casual relationships with my children. I was blessed and thrilled when they came, but I was pretty laid-back about my role in the whole thing, not fully appreciating the enormous privilege and responsibility that was mine.
I’ve learned more from my kids than I ever taught them; and now as I watch them with their own children—doing a much better job of parenting—I’m wishing I’d done more of what I’m preaching now.
Fathering starts with husbanding—truly loving your wife unselfishly. Children, when they come along, will pick up very quickly on the quality of their parents’ relationship, and fathers have at least equal responsibility in this.
I’ve had the blessing of officiating at a few weddings. As part of my exhortation to the couple, I always look the groom straight in the eyeballs and say, “In Ephesians 5, Paul emphasizes that you are to love your wife (even to the point of death), just as Christ gave himself up for you. This means that in all areas of life you are to meet her needs before your own are met.”
Looking back, I realize that I’ve been speaking those wedding words self-righteously and hypocritically. I was not the husband—nor dad—that I needed to be. But nevertheless Paul’s words are the truth.
If only I could live the early days of fathering all over again . . .
Wisdom From Somewhere
The difference between knowing what to do—and when—is wisdom.
Evil is good spoiled. C.S. Lewis
The kindest word is an unkind word unsaid.
Real love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.
“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.” Matt 25:37
I have just been appointed to the Board of ‘Gleanings For the Hungry’, a YWAM ministry in Dinuba, CA. When asked, I wondered, “Why Lord, would they want me at my age?” (almost 80). One reason I believe. is so that I can communicate briefly to you what is happening there, and how you and others can be involved. It is a great privilege and honor to serve on this Board.
This is one of the greatest hidden ministries in YWAM. I have spoken at their DTSes for many years. They follow all the YWAM values as a DTS and as a ministry. Simply put, they feed the spiritually and physically hungry.
Back in the 70s and 80s, Peter and I served with the founders, Wally and Norma Wenge, when God gave them this vision to feed the hungry. The Wenges are now with the Lord. Their successors have kept the vision and values and have expanded their borders.
Take a look at their website www.gleanings.org and see how anyone can be involved. You, for example, could go as if on an outreach; alone, or bring a youth group, with your family, or a group of friends who would work and worship together for a week or so. Ages 10-100!
Gleanings for the Hungry is located right in the middle of the abundance of fruit and vegetables grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley. There are mountains of leftover produce that in the past would have been thrown out; but now it is donated to Gleanings, processed and sent to needy nations. By the trailer-load. This is the substance of the work.
The wages are out of this world . . . but work is worship to the Lord, if done with the right heart motive.
Gleanings now has a fully paid-for solar system. January to September is ‘Soup Season,’ when thousands of tons of vegetables and spices are dehydrated, bagged and sent to many needy nations. In 2017, 107 containers of food were dispatched worldwide.
During the last four months 2 million soup servings were prepared per week, 35 million this spring—59 million altogether! Volunteer workers who come can live in the Gleanings facilities, or bring their motor home, there are many pads. Older men who are gifted, can work in construction, or in the dehydrating plant, while the ladies can be quilting. In 2017, 1536 quilts were made, prayed over and sent to those who need warmth. All have fun and fellowship as they work, worship and eat together. The food is amazing! There are wonderful daily devotions and a love feast each week to give thanks to the volunteers, and most of all to God.
Nectarine and peach season starts early in June until the first week of September. They welcome youth groups, junior and high school age with their leaders, plus there are great youth leaders who work with the young people in the dehydrating plant. There is a swimming pool for after-hours and a place for sports. Young people will learn about missions as they work and fellowship at Gleanings.
Backpackers are welcome and will be housed and will also enjoy great meals. Many come to know Jesus there, and the value of ‘family.’
Staff and Mission Builders make annual trips to Haiti to minister to Haitians and to bless Kim O’Dwyer, a YWAM alumni from our 2008 DTS in Kona; she runs an orphanage and a home for the elderly. These visiting volunteers help in construction, and when a container arrives, they assist in feeding the hungry.
OK my friends, please check out the website—here it is again: www.gleanings.org There is a place for you, to serve the needy, and to sense the family atmosphere; and more importantly, the presence of God.
Love and Blessings,
Camps in Europe this Summer
July 8-14 – YWAM Restenäs, Sweden
Speaker Carolyn Ros “Becoming deeply rooted in God”
Click here for more information
July 15-21 – Sighisoara, Romania
Speakers Kim & Cindy Hunt “Running your Race with Endurance”
Click here for more information
July 29-Aug 4 – YWAM Champagne, France
Speaker Richard Jones “The Way to the Father”
Click here for more information
Click here for updates on all Camps!
Just a little word, but oh! what a punch it can pack! Rudyard Kipling, the famous English poet and author (Jungle Book, etc.), penned a poem entitled ‘If’, which catalogued some of the many uses of the word. But that’s not where we’re going today.
When I say or do something wrong, right away there is the necessity of asking genuinely for forgiveness, whether I immediately realize it or not. Sadly the act of ‘forgiveness asked’ has become quite commonplace—especially in the media. It almost seems as though it’s ‘the thing to do,’ even though it often seems like a show.
What really gets me is when the word ‘if’ precedes the asking for forgiveness . . . when someone says something to another that offends them, and then asks forgiveness by saying, “If I’ve hurt you, would you forgive me?” Of course you’ve hurt them! You’ve offended them, whether what you said or did was in love, or in anger . . . whether what you said, needed to be said, or not.
True forgiveness should be asked (and hopefully received), as if through tears. Genuine. From the heart. Truly sorrowful.
Till next time,
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