Monday, January 31, 2011

From the hill tops III - fathers

Fathers! I have had the privilege of having 4 'fathers'. Men of the highest standing, gifted, capable, flawed. At a later occasion I will write more intimately about these men. Let it be said for now, Pat, my biological dad is a strong man of enormous courage and guts who taught me to run at danger and never give up. Ken, Meryl's dad, a gentleman of true dignity, taught me to view all men with respect and gave me the lense of trust that profoundly impacted my parenting and pastoring. Carl was the man who laid theological foundations deeply into me. A man of massive gifting and empowered me with a thinking man's faith. Fourthly Dudley, a leader of significant focus and leadership, gifted me with a passion to see the nations changed - a bold audacious 'hill to die on' baton.

Fathers! "So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill" Ex 17:10 I have loved being a father for some 24 years now. There was a pivotal moment in my parenting, that changed my life. I took my 2 little girls before the Father and honestly confessed my inability to raise girls. In a moment of deep prayer the Father spoke to me and said these simple words: "Raise them for another". I knew then that my parenting was not to reflect me nor was it for me. I had to raise them to give them away - to Jesus the lover of their souls and their 'man' who would love them in a journey of faith.

Fathers! Moses went to the top of the hill to empower Joshua - from a distance. A father who had a son but was preparing him to become a father. I cannot adequately describe my passion to see sons become fathers - and fathers delight in that. Here in the USA the way all 'problems' are solved in the church is to throw money at it and to hire a staff member. This is further worsened by the fact that many churches founded some 25 years ago are now scrambling to get a pastor. A top down leadership model has abandoned sons to orphanages and salaring hirelings. In the world of apostolic movements, the sons are not empowered to become fathers. They are called to serve the system rather than to have their transition to fatherhood celebrated.

Fathers! Moses built an altar. This celebration of the Lord's victory declared "The Lord is my Banner". Some sons live under the frustrations that 'they are never ready'. Over protective fathers never qualify them for their journey of faith. Jesus left 11 20 something's with his message of redemption. When I was at NASA recently, I was told that the average age of those who were on the 'floor' coaching the Apollo craft and crew to land, was a mere 26. I was astounded. All those lives, all that equipment and all the space proess was in the hand of a few 20 somethings.

Fathers - I know it is not easy, but it is imperative that we empower our Joshua's to their journey of faith... even if it means we risk with them... even if it means we have to move into the shadows... even if we do not think they are ready... nor may it be convenient for us... but they have to go and fight their Amalekites.

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