"The chief reason I was interested in putting together this web site is to make the articles that follow available to any father.  I believe there is encouragement and challenge found in many of these files. 
       I would invite you to read over some of these titles and descriptions, download an article that interests you, print it off, and read it over a cup of coffee.  These personal letters and reprints reveal my heart. 
       The words speak to the spirit of a man. All fathers need courage.  Especially every day as we work to carry out our God-given responsibilities as husbands, fathers and bread winners." 

Word Files ...

[To download the file to your computer: Right-click on the file link/URL and "Save Target as..."  To open the file using your browser: Left-click on the file link/URL.] 

   File Name


150 Raising up Pastors, within our Local Church

    "Just because we’ve been pastors for many years, that doesn’t mean we were any more “Called” back then, than any young man today. In our local church, have we recognized, trained and appointed men who are young? Do we have pastors under 35 years of age in our own church?"

    The following are my remarks from our 2015 GCC Pastors Conference.

149 A Young Woman and Tom Gordon

    But one thing I knew. I was done. I couldn’t stand it any longer. I literally felt like I was at the end of my rope. I couldn’t stop the tears. I hated where I was living. I felt like I was drowning. And I was done trying to fight. The last night I laid awake all night, preparing myself to leave for home in the morning, even though I was supposed to go back to school.

148 Blessed to Live Forever in God's New World

    This is the transcript of my message from Faithwalkers/Omaha 2011:

    "Tonight my prayer is that you will relax and smile as we think about our evening’s topic. My prayer is that these verses and thoughts would wash right over your heart. Your response and my response, is simply to believe. “This is the work of God, that you believe . . .” I want to give you 5 Reasons on why you should take time and think about Heaven on a regular basis."

147 A Heart to See Lives Change

    Here is my outline from this year's Faithwalkers '09 in Omaha.

    We talked about developing a compassionate heart for the lost.

    And we spent some time talking about 5 things that can deaden or weaken our compassion for the lost.

146 This Legacy of Leaders

    If you desire to be used by God as a servant/leader in His church, then you need some side-boards on just what will be expected of you. One way you can gain these side-boards, is to understand what your leaders are looking for in future leaders.

    82 pastors have written and shared their heart on, "What makes for a good leader?" These pastors vary greatly in age. They live in 17 states. Some have been pastors for almost 40 years. Others have just finished their first 4 months on the wall. Most are bi-vocational.

    These are my brothers. This is their heart. This is how we define leadership. If their heart challenges you, so be it. If their heart troubles you, so be it. If their heart corrects you, great! I trust that their words strongly encourage you.

    Just know that our heart is to enlist you in this great Cause.

145 An impact player knows that humility is the path to greatness!

    "Some of you are still not sure this morning. You have heard a lot, but you are still debating. You're thinking, "I wonder if I can still love this world and still be an okay Christian?" You can't! This last teaching will force you to choose.

    It's not how right you feel, how devout, or how good. It's not about the weaknesses in your life, the sin, the ways you disappoint yourself and God. It's really not about you Christian. It's about God and what He wants to do through your life. God wants to help you choose His way, again, here at the end of this conference. This last session is on Humility."

    This is how we opened up our last message at the December 2007, Faithwalkers conference. This article is the transcript of what we shared. God bless you, dear Christian.

144 The Heart Challenges of Training a Great Commission Family

    This is the talk I gave on the last night of our pastor's conference. Our conference theme this year was The Joys and Trials of a Great Commission Family - Lessons Along the Way.

     Because of the nature of some of the issues we were addressing - we decided not to record this year's conference. But here is the transcript of what I tried to communicate. If you read it, you will notice that I had all seven of my children contribute, but their messages are not here.

    Instead article # 142 captures a lot of what they tried to share that night.

    God bless you as you train your children, men.

143 We Are Losing Our Children!

    "We are losing our children. Research indicates that 70% of teens who are involved in a church youth group will stop attending church within two years of their high school graduation. Think about that statement. It addresses only teenagers who attend church and participate in the youth group. What does that suggest about those teens who may attend church but do not take part in the youth group, or who do not go to church at all?

    In a talk at Southwestern Seminary Josh McDowell noted that less than 1/3 of today's youth attend church. If he is right and 67% do not go to church and then we lose 70% of those who do, that means that within two years of finishing high school only 10% of young Americans will attend church.

    We are losing our youth."

142 Preparing Your Teen in High School for the Day They Graduate!

    “Good parents give their children two things: one is roots, the other is wings.”

    Hodding Carter, a journalist, said this. But what about those roots and what about giving them their wings?

    I asked each of my seven children to write a paragraph or two on what we could have done better and what we might have gotten right, in releasing them out of high school.

    Here are their thoughts.


When You Wonder If They Will Make It On Their Own?

    I am still not sure why you let me move away from home. I am convinced that I was the most un-aware child that you ever raised. I still look back on how I thought things out, failed to look ahead, planned ahead, or did not. And I wonder how I made it as far as I have. But God worked out housing, school, and a job - and in those aspects I was thankful.

    But nothing could have prepared me for the loneliness that I felt...

140 Our Plans for 3 HSLT's in the Summer of 2008

     In all my travels, and whenever I thought of next summer's HSLT 2008, I have had one concern.  One thing that I have prayed about, over and over. 

     That God would encourage many fathers to believe that they could lead their own edition of a summer HSLT - right in their own backyards. That we could multiply our locations.

     I wrote a few times to some men and got on the phone a few times and I am tickled now to share that  Next summer we will be doing 3 HSLT's!   This is our plan . . . 


The War Against Your Soul -   Worldliness:  What is it?  How do you fight it?

     How do you write a paper on worldliness?  I have procrastinated for a long time in writing this one.  Why?  Because no one wakes up in the morning wanting to read about worldliness.  Or think about how worldly they might be.  Or how worldly they might have become, without recognizing it.

     It is an unpleasant subject to dwell on.

     The topic convicts us.  And conviction stops us and causes us to reflect and search our heart and look at our life.  When a Christian is asked to think about whether he has become worldly, often he resists and is defensive.  We do not appreciate the question, nor the questioner.

     As I said, worldliness is an unpleasant topic. 

138 Doing What it Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God

     Thanks to statistical research produced by LifeWay, Southern Baptists are waking up to the reality that we are not passing down the Christian faith to our children and grandchildren. Almost 90% of teens who profess Christ in an evangelical church will walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college.

     Do we need a complete overhaul on how we do youth work in our churches?  The author of this brief article argues for it.  And when I say “argue”, what I mean is that he persuades, pleads, and preaches this message with the passion of a prophet. You will either love or despise his message, but you will not walk away apathetic to his concerns and solutions.

137 Final Wrap-Up HSLT Colorado 2007

     "Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."      - Mark 10:43-45

     Thank you all, once again, for taking time out of your busy summer schedules to lead your youth to last week's HSLT Colorado 2007. 

     My prayer leading up to this conference was that there would be "Much searching of heart"  - among all of us.  I believe He answered.  I believe God helped. 

     I did teach quite a bit for a couple reasons.  In years past, I have usually only taught one session.  But this year I wanted to lay out what I think needs to be addressed, in one way or another, at every HSLT we ever do.   

136 Don't Suffer the Little Children

     Tony Woodlief, an author and columnist, offers humor and insight on the inherent nature of all children - and all adults, for that matter.  This is from his opening:

     "While some mothers and fathers stubbornly cling to the utopian beliefs of their childless years, the vision of humans as inherently sinful and selfish resonates with many of us who are parents. Nobody who's stood between a toddler and the last cookie should still harbor a belief in the inherent virtue of mankind. An afternoon at the playground is apt to make one toss out the idealist Rousseau ("man is a compassionate and sensible being") in favor of the more realistic Hobbes ("all mankind [is in] a perpetual and restless desire for power").

135 Research Shows that our Parenting Approach is Crucial

     George Barna has released a new book on a familiar topic, based on an unusual research study that indicates that there are six critical dimensions involved in raising children to become spiritual champions.  

     After this article by George Barna, I have included a little, back and forth, email correspondence between Mark Darling and Steve Nelson.  The topic is intentional parenting. 

     Sounds like Barna’s book is a good one, but I thought it amusing.  Barna says it, and so the Christian world takes note.  We have been doing it, and few notice. But thank God there is One who does.

134 HSLT Colorado 2006 Final Wrap-up

     If you could use a shot in the arm.  If you would appreciate some encouragement.  Do you want a faith lift?  Read some of the feedback we got from the youth and parents right on the heels of this year's High Scholl Leadership Training [HSLT] Colorado.  It will bless your spiritual socks off!

133 Courageous Unity

    "He first found us. We then found our true purpose for living.  His purpose.  We would drop all of our individual dreams and embrace His.   And we would make life choices that reflected this.  And we chose to stay together in this purpose that God had given us.

    I need to repeat.  We chose to do all this together, as a company of men and women organized within His Church.

    “Your life is like a coin, you can spend it any way you wish, but you can spend it only once.”  We decided to spend our lives for the advancement of our Lord’s kingdom on this earth and the spread of His gospel.

    And we knew that His method to get out this message was through His local church.  So that’s where we decided to invest."

132 Are You Ready to Get Married?

     For most, marriage is in the cards.  I want to talk to all you singles on the topic of “Preparing for your future family.”

     Someday, raising a godly family will prove to be an incredible challenge for each of you.  It will demand your very best effort.

     It’s also incredibly rewarding.  Thirty years ago, the leadership of this movement had no idea what a boon and what a blessing our marriages and our families would some day become. 

     It all worked out.  It all came true.  Beyond our wildest dreams." 

131 God's Plan For Your Life

     All of us need personal roadmaps, guideposts when we first start to follow our Savior.  New believers need a starting point for their spiritual journey. 

     What follows is the roadmap God gave us thirty years ago, when we were first getting going.  We were desperate to have a plan, a method.  And we were looking for a plan - from God Himself. 

     If He showed us a way to understand the New Testament, we promised each other and our Savior that we would follow it and do it together - for the rest of our lives. 

     We wanted to follow God and make disciples.  We were searching for direction that would be true for all of us and each of us.  And the answers we were looking for welded us together as a movement of men and women and churches. 

130 How committed should I be to my local church? What does Jesus Christ expect of me?

    I have said this many, many times, and I firmly believe, that one of the keys to raising a strong family is to be committed - lock, stock and barrel - to a local church.  To find a place where you, your wife and your children can "plant your flag and die". 

    Serving and building, year after year, in the community of a local church teaches your sons and daughters what this Christian life is really all about.  Do not think you can raise quality offspring apart from your local church.

129 Getting Ready to Hear

     Encouraging our sons and daughters to attend strategic, Christian conferences, while they are still in High School, can accomplish amazing things!  Hearts will be deeply shaken.  Spirits can be corrected and energized.  Lives are often redirected - for the good.

     Their own choices can become incredibly focused and noble, as a result of attending a teen, youth conference.

     But maybe the most important element  - is what goes on before they even go to the conference. 

     How well have they prepared their hearts? 

     The following are excerpts, taken from ten weeks worth of letters, leading up to our annual HSLT Colorado

128 How Teen Conferences Can Help Build True Character

     For 10 years we have done a week-long, High School, teen conference in Colorado, in July.  HSLT Colorado ! 

    It has grown every year and this year may have been our best. 

    When teenagers are away from their routines and locked into teaching, service and witnessing for almost a week - amazing things can be accomplished. 

    This article is a "wrap-up"  that I sent to all the leaders and parents after this year's edition.  I think you will easily understand what we are trying to do with these HSLT's, as you read the letter.

127 2nd Timothy and Loyalty

     We don't "do loyalty" very well in this country.  We sure aren't that loyal to our work.  We often don't care about our neighbors or our neighborhood.  We switch allegiance on sports teams all the time.  We are not that loyal in our marriages.  Not as a country.

    And we definitely are not that loyal to one another in our churches.  But Christian husbands and fathers need to display loyalty to our families. Our kids need to learn it from us.     

    This is my message to the pastors of our churches, at our annual conference.  My overhead slides are noted in red.  If you would like to hear an audio of this message, just email me.

126 Beginning in the Home

    Barb McCotter, wife of Jim McCotter, and mother of seven children, wrote the following article. These two dear Christians were both very involved in the Great Commission movement of churches, in the early days.

     We owe them a debt of gratitude – not only for their lives and example, but for their great service, words and instruction.   I think you will enjoy this article by Barb, lifted from an old issue of “the Cause,” a magazine that we used to publish for our people in the 1980’s.

    In it Barb talks about training her children.

125 Just How Worldly Are We?

     The following was put together by the pastors of Covenant Life, a church out of Gaithersburg, Maryland.  We knew some of these guys when we were there in Maryland and we appreciated their example.  I believe J. Harris, C. J. and Bob Kauflin are a couple of their current pastors.  This church practices plurality and what these elders have put together in this doc is very sobering and challenging.

     May we all be very careful and very diligent to not drift and wind up loving this world and the things in it.  And if we need to change some things in our lives – let’s get after it!


Biblical Verses
and Principles  Concerning Relationships between Men and Women For Those Who are Disciples
of Christ.

    This is an indepth article on men and women.  John Meyer has done an excellent job and he begins his paper with the following words.

    "In 1977, as a freshman in college, I became a Christian through members of what is now the Great Commission Association.  My salvation and discipleship through that body of believers stamped my life with several convictions that were truly life-changing. One that had great impact on my years of singlehood came from seeing a Biblical pattern of relationship for men and women working together for God’s purpose.  Though not often specifically taught, it was lived as a natural outflow of a life committed to the Great Commission. . . . I believe I experienced a fellowship of the saints that many young Christians never discover.  That experience has become one of the treasures of my life."

123 The Dating Game

     A good friend and fellow dad, put together this excellent article on recreational dating.  Perry Paulding has worked for 25 years with college campus ministry and knows that finding a mate remains the dominant concern of young adults.  But we go about it all wrong here in America.  Perry has ten good points to chew on and I think his paper
will be used in many, many circles. 

122 Bridging the Generation Gap

     Here are some "cliff notes" from an excellent book I have been reading by Mark DeVries. 

     C.S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain, “I take a very low view of climates of opinion.  In his own subject every man knows that all discoveries are made and all errors corrected by those who ignore the climate of opinion.” 

     DeVries ignores our current climate of opinion where we have segmented our youth away from parents - and instead looks at how we
can bring them back together.  

     Here is an example of what he writes: "We can find the primary cause of the current crisis in youth ministry in the ways that our culture and our churches have systematically isolated young people from the very relation- ships that are most likely to lead them to maturity."

     We must bridge the gap between our generations!

121 It's a Victory for People Like Us

     "Dear Lord," Cary Leslie is saying for the sixth time since waking up at 3:45 a.m. to go to work. He has prayed for strength not to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock. He has prayed for a safe day for his wife and three children. He has prayed for patience with the foul-tempered customers he deals with at the car-rental counter. He has prayed for a job that will pay enough for a struggling family of five to keep up with the bills. And now, with the election decided, he is thanking God for listening to his prayers.

120 A Game Plan for Starting a Dad's Led Teen Ministry

     Here are eighteen straight-forward articles from our website. They are all focused on dads leading out with our youth, in the local church. They are all aimed at the heart. And we try to cover a number of practical questions and answers. These articles talk about dads envisioning, challenging, training - and then confidently releasing, our teens. What we are writing about in these articles has worked! And this kind of ministry is increasing, all across our GCC movement.

119 Biblical Values for Teen Ministry

     As a movement, we desire churches that are having a powerful effect
for the gospel.  And we desire that the teens in our churches and our communities be passionate for Jesus Christ.  To accomplish this, we need strong elders, strong parents (and strong fathers in particular) and strong young workers, serving Christ together in a way where each respects and supports the other.  As this is done, God will continue to raise up Great Commission churches and families that are truly exhibiting “New Testatment Christianity in Action Today.”  

118 Home Beautiful

    At times do we think of the home as just a good place for babies, but that real action occurs outside its walls?  This brief anthem, written by Charlie Meyer, will correct our thinking. 

    As you read it, think of the "voice-over" of a major motion picture, such as the narrator from The Lord of the Rings

    Our homes are where - "a shining knight valiantly gives his life for his lady.  Not in one solitary romantic urge, but battling inch by inch, in a dazzling display of life-long self sacrifice." 

    Is this how we think of our families, men? 

117 Domestic Publicity

    He is remembered as one of the most influential men of his day—a man celebrated for his wit, humor, and great political achievements. But it was his approach to his family that got the attention of the British public.

     William Wilberforce is remembered as the Christian leader and parliamentarian most responsible for ending the British slave trade and for reforming the morals of British society.

     But to the people of his own generation, he was the man who changed the way the British viewed their role as parents. He’s an example of the priorities every father—even busy political fathers—ought to have.

116 That Hideous Doctrine

     This reprint of a Moody magazine article by John Thomas from over twenty years ago is not just sobering.  It frightens.  And will cause everyone of us men to pause, and think quite carefully about the people that we love.

115 Just Not in Charge

     In tens of thousands of evangelical churches it is the accepted norm, when a young man says that he would like to help out with the local youth, to buy him a subscription to Youthworker magazine, and wish him well.

     For almost 40 years youth work in many Bible churches has been handled, by and large, by the eager 23 year old.  And parents sat back
and hoped for the best. 

     But now, those same thousands of youth workers and Youthworker magazine itself are questioning this whole approach. They are recognizing that we need the intentional involvement of fathers and dads. 

114 The Hound of Heaven

    This is one of my favorite pieces of poetry.  If you do not yet know the Lord as your personal Savior, these verses will unnerve you.  If you are angry, sullen or vexed with God, these words will humble you.  If you are tempted to resist, this poem will cause you to pause.  And if you have a son or daughter who is a prodigal, this classic piece will deeply encourage you.

113 Why Dad's Led Teen Ministry Succeeds

    "I don't care how young a father might be in the Lord.  Remember my story of the dad who shared his desire to baptize his twelve-year-old, twin sons?  And how he recognized that he first needed to get saved and baptized himself !  His follow-up question was heart-felt.  After first telling him, "Of course you can get saved.  And you may be baptized."  And "Of course, you can baptize your sons."    

    He then looked me in the eye and started crying and he said, "Am I too late, Rick? Have I waited too long to save these boys?  And look at me. I am just getting started myself."  He whispered, "Can I make this work?"

     I looked him right back in the eye and said, "Yes, you can, partner!  Don't you ever doubt it! You are now on the right track.  You can win with those boys.  You believe me!"

     And he did."

112 New Testament Families / New Testament Men

     In June of 2004 I spoke to the pastors of our movement at our annual conference on what God expects of us as fathers.  How we cannot afford
to lose with this next generation.  How we need to remain strong and engaged with our families and our youth.  I was so concerned about being clear as to what God laid on my heart - that I wrote out every word. 

    I hope this message encourages you.  If you would like to hear the message, it is available as a CD.  Just get a hold of me.  I believe God helped with this one.

111 John Wesley and Christian Behavior

     In 1987 we were involved in traveling throughout the southeast part of the United States working to encourage believers in about a dozen cities from Mississippi on east through North Carolina.  I was reading a lot from John Wesley's life at that time and inspired by his heart, we wrote a short summary of what Wesley taught about good behavior. Proper Christian behavior for believers, for small group leaders, and for pastors. 

    His words will encourage. 

110 Memory Verse Materials

     Memorizing passages of the Bible can equip you to be well prepared
for any situation.  Memorization is useful in fighting temptation, guarding doctrine, encouraging others and counseling.  Although it is a challenging discipline, it bears eternal fruit. 

    Steve Nelson has put together this twenty page handout that includes a number of excellent memorization tips as well as all kinds of verses for memorizing, beginning with a set of PGT verses. 


Tough Talk about Teen Ministry

    While many of us are not directly involved in teen ministry, we are all heavily involved in parent ministry. It is our responsibility as fathers and mothers to train our youth.  Therefore, it is crucial that we be significantly involved in providing ongoing, hands-on direction to our teens’ youth ministries.

     Josh McDowell, who has probably spoken to more college students about Christ than any other man alive, is simply adamant about this.  “I would fire all of the church youth pastors in this country,” he said.  “Form a dads committee.  Then rehire those same youth pastors to work for the dads.  And help train and equip our youth, under the fathers’ guidance and supervision.”

    I would encourage you men to prayerfully read through this six-page article and ask yourself just what God would have you do.

108 The Beginnings of American Methodism

This is an older book.  Only eighty pages long.  But it is an amazing description of young men attempting to do great things for God.  This book is filled with great stuff.  Incredible testimonies of heroic men. It is worth your time to print it off and read through the whole thing. (~300 kb)

107 A little faith, a little money, but God . . .

"So we gave and gave and lived on a shoestring and yet never lacked. It was really a slam-dunk and a fairly easy thing to do and an easy way to live.

But a few years later something changed. We had a baby!

And now I had to begin to think about my responsibilities of being a good provider and planning ahead and maybe being a little more prudent, etc.
At this time, with a brand new, four-month-old son, God taught me a lesson concerning money that I have never forgotten."

106 Misbehaving Kids

"Do you know why children misbehave?   We have to recognize that sometimes our children misbehave because their characters are flawed just like ours, and it's our job as parents to help them to recognize, and guard against, the flaws." 

    "The "experts" may not want to talk about anything as unfashionable
as the idea of a child having a flawed heart." 

     Betsy Hart, in this excellent column lays out what Kansas State University, the University of Minnesota, and other experts feel are the causes. 

     Then she shares the truth

105 Dear Son,

Once in awhile, not too often, but once in awhile, we might be called upon to write our children and coach them - from a distance.  I usually don't
write a kid a letter this long, but my college freshman had expressed some concerns that he didn't have enough to offer some of the guys he has been working with.  The topic is discipling others.   

104 Stardom Awaits a Prodigy, and Assist Goes to Her Father

A father and his daughter is a very interesting relationship.  It might seem so much clearer with a boy.  Oftentimes we wonder how strong we should be with our girls.  They are, "Sugar and spice and all things nice," so when and how can you strongly challenge them?  Here is an excellent story
from the New York Times, on how one dad did it. 

103 Are We Still Dreaming, Dads?

At the recent Faithwalkers conference Tom Short exhorted us all to dream.  He asked us, “Just what are you dreaming?  Are we dreaming big dreams? Dreams that will honor God?”     

     Dads need to dream.  Dads need to have big dreams.  Dreams that make our wives and kids just a little afraid, and just a little excited.  Our kids need to feel, deep down in their soul, that they are part of a family that is involved in great things.  Great dreams start with us – dads! 

     Let me tell you about a father who had a dream.  I heard his story awhile back and recently asked him to write it down, to encourage every one of us to keep on dreaming.  And to not be swayed from our dreams.  

102 How We Have Rebuilt Iraq in 2003

The following describes what has been accomplished in Iraq, since we liberated the country from that despot.  As men we are all involved in building.  As Christian men, we hate grumbling and long to see progress.

     What the United States has built into that country, the progress we have seen happen there, in Iraq, is very encouraging.  This article was written by Lt. Col. Scot S. Seitz, on Monday, December 1, 2003

101 Take your family to a movie for Him

Sometimes dads just have to "grab the reins" and carve out time for our families to take action in the Gospel.  Here is a great opportunity for every dad to lead their wife and kids in a simple step that might reap eternal rewards.  And it involves one of my favorite actors  - Mel Gibson !  

100 Which of the Two?

A while back a fellow dad came up to me and asked, “Rick, how do I
know if I have my boy’s heart?
”  He was probably thinking about the Proverb.  The one where we might tell our offspring, “Give me your heart, my son.” 

            And whether we actually tell our children this or not, we are
always wondering - Do we have their heart?  It is an honest, anxious kind of question.  Often we might be a little haunted to think about this proverb.  Because we wonder. .

99 C.S. Lewis on Roles in Marriage

In chapter six of his classic book Mere Christianity, Lewis wrote: "Something else, even more unpopular remains to be dealt with. Christian wives promise to obey their husbands. And in Christian marriage the man is said to be the "head." Two questions obviously arise here.
     1. Why should there be a head at all - why not equality?
     2. Why should it be the man?"

     Here is what C.S. Lewis wrote and his words are still very much apropos today.

98 What We all Want George Barna is a Christian researcher and statistician.  He and his office staff have been involved for over ten years in studying the health of American Christianity.  Recently I read some interesting conclusions they have published on exactly what Christian parents want in terms of the character development of our kids.  These summaries are based on interviewing hundreds of evangelical churches and thousands of parents.  I was encouraged that these parents want the same things that you and I want.
97 I'm Going, Buddy!

My sixteen year old nephew, Jacob, wrote the following poignant story of seeing his cousin killed, right before his eyes.  It is a story of faith.  It is faith-building and  Jacob has shown amazing courage.  His story is an excellent presentation of the gospel.  

96 Preparing for a Parenting Seminar

Anxiety and fears for our kids remains a great issue in our communities and non Christians still tend to look to the church for answers.  Here are several action points to help you prepare for your upcoming seminar.  Some are simple, practical things to consider and some deal with the
spirit of these seminars.  We have had the privilege of speaking in over sixty churches and delivering these talks and believe that they have been used by God to encourage hearts and to encourage willpower in parents, across this country.  Here they are:

95 An Excellent Teen Resource List for Fathers

If we are hoping to "light some fires and kick some tires"  in the hearts of our dads to be more involved in the spiritual instruction of our youth, then we had better equip them.  If we are going to encourage dads to teach, then we ought to provide these kinds of good, practical helps and youth curriculums for them to use.  Here are some of the best that I have seen used in a number of churches here in the Northwest. 

94 Why Dads need to Teach

All fathers can be intimidated when they think of speaking to our youth.  I am not talking about a certain kind of gift mixed that we might fear is required for youth ministry.  All fathers can teach their children.  And must!  Usually fathers are the first to notice those great, big, character weaknesses that represent over 90% of what a teen needs to be paying attention to, if they are ever going to grow up in Christ.  This article is a kick in the butt, to get involved !

93 For Jordan 

Probably the most difficult thing a father could imagine is the loss of one
of his children.  To bury a child - this has to be the most incredibly difficult challenge that God would ever place before a dad.  My own brother faced this challenge and God has helped him.  If you would like to know how a Christian father can bury a son, I would invite you to look at this article.  Rodd and Melissa have taught us all.

92 Pre-Marital Sex

Every time I have heard Zig Ziglar speak, he has blessed me.  So when this article came across my desk, we immediately wanted to make it available.
       Here is an excerpt from this short letter to his son - "As you know, I do not believe in the "double standard" and am appalled at the thought
that some parents are of the opinion that it's permissible for their sons to get involved in premarital sex but not right for their daughters. Of course, the Bible says that marriage is the only condition where sex is permitted.
      As you might recall, I pointed out that it was definitely best for you
and for her to be very careful in your relationship. I specifically shared with you the belief that premarital sex was not in the best interests of either of you.
       There are many reasons for this besides the fact that God says "no."
There are practical reasons, Son, and I would like to cover a few. . . " 

91 Ryane's Story

Ryane is a member of The Rock in Fort Collins.  This is her story.
       "When I was five years old my parents divorced. Divorce is such a common word in our society today that I feel like people have forgotten how tragic it can be for both parents and children. I carried the pain and memories from my childhood all the way into my teenage years and spiraled into a life of self-destruction. When my father's military career led us to Ankara, Turkey, on an assignment that would last through my high school years, trouble was soon in coming. I was an angry teen who carried her emotions on her sleeve. I was blunt, tactless, and down right rude at times. What did I owe anyone? The world had given me nothing but pain."


Helen Keller's Teacher

"Queen Victoria of England, while pinning England's highest award on a foreigner, asked Helen Keller, "How do you account for your remarkable accomplishments in life?  How do you explain the fact that even though you were both blind and deaf, you were able to accomplish so much?"  In this article, read her answer, and never lose heart.


The Bible is Truly an Amazing, Unique Book

An excellent article by Dr. Edward Burgess.  Here is a portion -  "Johann von Goethe, poet and dramatist observed, "I read all kinds of books, but the Bible stands alone because it reads me."  The renowned Mark Twain admitted, "Most people are bothered by the passages of Scripture which they cannot understand, but for me, I am troubled by the passages that I do understand."


Do you know where you're going?

This brief paper was written by Billy Graham, one of the greatest evangelists in the history of God's church.  Here is a portion of his text. "We are each on a road, a highway.  It's a journey of life.  And we're seeking guidance.  Everywhere you look in newspapers, in magazines
and on television you see people searching for guidance--guidance in relationships, guidance in social problems, home problems, financial problems.  We are looking for a map." 


Breathing in Mercy

A mother went to the Emperor Napoleon to ask for mercy for her son. 
He had committed some breach of the French law.  The emperor replied, "Madam, this is the second time the boy has offended. "Justice requires that he should die."


The Dash

A very good preacher named Crawford Loritts was once invited to a week-long, middle of the summer, revival tent meeting held in a field near a little town in western Iowa - many years ago.  God used him to touch my family.  I think he was the only black man in that whole county that week. Here is a short piece by him about "the dash" in every one of our lives.


Choose to Believe the Best

"In the tent, the doctor mixed the potion and handed the cup to Alexander to drink.  At that very moment a soldier burst into the tent with a letter
from Alexander's top military captain who was out serving with the soldiers at the front line. The note said that Alexander's doctor was involved in a plot to assassinate him by poison! The doctor didn't know what the note said. . . "


Just Changing Pastures

The oil painting was of a wide river lined on both sides by cottonwoods. There was a violent summer thunderstorm going on. The wind was
viciously whipping the trees back and forth. Black clouds were boiling
down over the river, with jagged lightning forking the sky. And in the center of the river, buffeted by the howling wind and waves, was a cattle barge of all things. . .


Moving Out of the Doldrums

I am told that real pearls must be often worn, to remain lustrous.  If they are stored away for long periods of time their glow begins to fade.  Pearls must have regular contact with human skin to remain attractive.  Unused pearls grow dull. 
What a perfect illustration for the proper use of our faith.  Faith needs to
be used, not left on the mantle like some dusty, old trophy.


Joshua's Greatest Trait

Oftentimes we think that something is amiss if we aren't in charge, if we aren't calling the shots.  We think that we aren't growing in leadership if
we aren't always the leader. Look more closely at your own situation and you might find as Joshua found out, that you are growing in leadership as you learn to follow the men that God has put over you.


Seeing God While at Work

Howard Hendricks has said that, "The three greatest days in a man's life are the day he is born, the day he is born-again, and the day he comes to grips with why he was born and born-again."
And fundamental to understanding why we were born and born-again, is to know how our work fits into His eternal purpose for our lives.


Still A Learner?  Brother?

"Therefore take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him shall more
be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has, shall
be taken away from him."
  - Luke 8:18
       In John Wesley's churches, the early Methodists had an unusual
habit when they met together.  What they did seems ordinary today, but
in those days it was very shocking to the clergy of England. . .  


Do They Hear Us Gladly?

"When I was younger, my Mom once asked me why I sounded so angry
all the time. She said that I sounded like I had a chip on my shoulder, even when I was talking about  my faith.  She wondered why I was so annoyed, about life.  I was humbled and a little ashamed by her observation.  Sometimes as dads, we think that our primary mission in
life is to always point out what's wrong with this world." 


Remember, God is in Charge of the Harvest

Who are we praying for and asking our Lord to save? Have we given up on someone? God is not intimidated by men or women that are even 70
years of age. They can be 90 or 100. God has been around a lot longer
and He knows how to get thru and speak to a tough, old heart and make it new again.  Don't give up, Christian! Even if you need to pray for fifty years!


Walt's Own Heart

"Every parent desires that their children go on in the faith.  We are happy when we know that they have embraced Christianity with their whole heart.  The only way this can be accomplished is through the careful cultivation of our own hearts - as fathers.  Kids can read our hearts.  We can not guide them, where we have not gone.  We can not give them, what we do not have." 


I Remember Grandma

For fifty years Grandpa and Grandma not only lived together as man and wife, but she worked closely beside him all day in their "mom and pop" grocery store.  It was a warren of activity for the neighborhood.
                     "All that troubles us, is but for a moment.
                       All that pleases us, is but for a moment.
                      That only is important, which is eternal."


Blessing or Burden?

Remember that old, Doonesbury cartoon where the boy has just graduated from college and is not especially eager to get a job?  His dad meets him with a three-foot-long, detailed bill of the total, running cost to raise him for the previous 21 years.  The father looks older and a little tired and just a little exasperated.  The bill is for almost $400,000.00!
The young man looks down the long list of carefully recorded expenses, then raises his eyes and asks, "Pop, will you take a check?"


Parenting Fit For A King

There may be more verses in the Bible on parenting than we might think.  Ruling a country and parenting may not be that different.  They have very similar challenges.  Written by Jay Yousling, this paper looks at seven parenting principles taken from Proverbs 29 that will help rule countries
and run homes.  An excellent resource for raising up future princes and princesses.  (2 Meg in size)


How Another Dad Stood By Me

"If it is stolen, Rick, you would be once again, on foot."  I thought about what he said, but never changed my ways and sure enough, one afternoon I propped that old bike right outside the campus bookstore, without locking it up, to quick run inside for a purchase.  It was surrounded by shining, new, ten-speeds, as it always was, and I was sure it would be overlooked by any larcenous eyes that might be hanging around.  
       It wasn't. I ran back out and it was gone!


Smile, Dad! We're Watching

I cannot remember the person who said, "God's greatest Christians have always been the merriest-hearted," - but I believe it!  You can't communicate what you don't have.  Our message as fathers to our families must be faith-filled, joyful, and chock-full of light.  Sometimes I think we imagine that our message as dads should be one of doom and sacrifice.  And we then wonder why so few of them respond to it?  Or even want to
be with us?


Don't Miss the Spirit

At a commencement exercise a few years ago, a student who was graduating with honors, leaned over the microphone as he was awarded
his diploma and said, "I came here to find some purpose in life.  I have learned nothing to this end."  Then he tore up his diploma and walked away.  A mental health survey done on several Midwestern college campuses came up with the following statistic:  78 percent of the more than 8,000 students surveyed said that the most important problem they face is "Finding purpose and meaning to life."


Morning Breath and a Fresh Marriage

And last but not least, if you still feel that you are missing out on the ultimate in a great marriage, and you feel that marriage has to be more than fresh breath and dry underarms, you may be a good candidate for my Sure-Fire, Never-Fail, Often-Overlooked, Top-Secret Ingredient for a Truly, Happy Marriage. 


Counsel for a Newly Commissioned Officer

When you asked me if I would write down one of the main lessons I have learned over the years, as a pastor, I did not hesitate. You asked that if I had to do it all over again - would I change anything?  Yes.  Here is my
one thought.


Fence Posts and Young Men

"I slapped the fence post. Maybe it was my chance to get even for all of the sweat and aching muscles that corner post had caused. And maybe a little left over resentment towards dad.  But still it bit me back.  The vibration from my slap seemed to run from my hand, up my arm, and all the way down to my toes. That old post was still as solidly set as the day
it was first tamped down."

66 Two and Four-Legged Sheep

In the Bible there are over 280 direct references to sheep and many
related passages and almost three-quarters of these passages are figurative. The Lord has used this topic of sheep hundreds of times to
teach us.
       So whether you care much about the creatures or not, there is a lot we can learn.  Remember, David was taken from the sheepfolds to shepherd Israel after he had learned these same kind of principles. (Ps. 78:70-72)

65 Unity between Leaders / between Fathers

"To your face I talk to you with utter frankness; behind your back I talk about you with deepest pride."  - 2 Cor. 7:4  Is there always honesty? 
Men can handle the honest truth.  Christian men filled with the Spirit, that is. 
       Jack Nicholson in that famous movie scene snarled,  "You can't handle the truth!"  But I think his statement has no place between two Christian brothers.  We can handle the truth.  And it is the only right way to speak to one another. 

64 Seven Good Questions from Parents

Here are three: 1. My kids frequently push and hit each other.  How much should I get involved or just let them 'work it out themselves' ?  2. Our two-year-old gets a lot of attention from the whole family. Seldom does it seem to be enough.  He often does destructive things when he doesn't get enough attention. What should we do?  3. There are times I discipline my kids when I am angry.  I yell at them and scold and nag them.  My parents did this all the time and I hate it.  What should I do?
As an added bonus, we have some great cartoons included !


How to Raise Confident, Beautiful Daughters

The other day my senior in college told me that I ought to write an article on how to raise courageous, beautiful daughters.  We were driving to some place, and I suggested that she write out what exactly she meant.  So she did! 
Here are her thoughts and basically - here's the article.  Thanks, princess.

62 How John Wayne Found Christ

I think the following will encourage you.  It talks about John Wayne's story, his testimony, his decision for Christ.  I read it the other day in one of my Ag magazines.  I was so blessed and encouraged by it that I wanted to give his story a wider audience.  The author was a Hollywood stunt man who worked alongside "the Duke."  "But as many as received Him, to
them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."
- John 1:12

61 The Way that you Choose

Making choices is a big part of the thrill of living.  I don't hold much to a wishy-washy attitude towards whatever life throws at you.  Because life doesn't really throw anything at us.  It is God who is doing the pitching, and what He likes to throw are 'choices'.  I have heard Christians say, "Well, whatever will be, will be. God is in charge."  They say this in an almost fatalistic tone.  What will really be is what we choose. 

60 Known for their Courage

Does a deep-seated, free and easy, God-motivated confidence, shape
your entire outlook on life?  Are we fierce in courage?  It sounds almost hard to relate to.  Let's put it another way.  Does fear or concern or anxiety daily enter into our decision-making processes, our thoughts, our dreams of the future? This world needs men of courage.  Men who know what they believe and are willing to stand up for it. 

59 Cows and Calves and God's Ear

"Behold, the Lord's hand it not so short that it cannot save, neither is His ear so dull, that it cannot hear."- Isaiah 59:1   It was the middle of July, very hot and very dry, and it was time to vaccinate and brand all the calves.  So one morning, with some of us in pickups and most of us riding horses, we drove all 600 cows, with their 600 calves trailing at their sides, down towards the working corrals near the watering tanks at the bottom of the section of pasture land...

58 Lamentations of the Father

A humorous piece, originally printed in The Atlantic Monthly.  The two-page article concerns a father, his young children, mealtimes and his many and sore vexations.  Biblical, King James in style.  I laughed out loud, as I think you will.

57 Susanna, Mother of the Wesleys 

I think I have been blessed by God in that I found a "hard-headed", woman - thirty years ago.  And she agreed to marry me!  She is my own, sweet, ' battle axe,' and I say that affectionately.  Here is another hard-headed woman and here is how she kept her home. In a letter to her son, John, she writes,"No one can, without renouncing the world, in the most literal sense, observe my methods.  There are few, if any, that would entirely devote over twenty years out of the prime of their life, in hopes to save the souls of their children, which they think may be saved without so much
ado . . . "

56 Marriage to a Difficult Man

A smart man, daily recognizes the incredible qualities found in the woman he has chosen to live with.  This article details the rich, fruitful life of the woman who stood beside Jonathan Edwards.  "Though he was an absent-minded father, he gave his children another important thing: complete confidence that their parents loved each other.  Sarah sat next to her husband at the table, and he treated her with great courtesy.  She, in turn, leaned on him." 

55 The Measure of a Boy/Girl

This two-sided paper is the second of two handouts that we use in our weekend, parenting workshops.  God has blessed these times to strengthen parent's hearts.  Here we list eight character qualities we seek to build into our younger children and another seventeen qualities, that we have established in our teens by the time they leave home.  
       A key phrase - "The greatest need for successful parents is to have strong ___________ and strong ___________."   You are invited to join us at a workshop for the answers and my reasons why. 

54 Parenting Workshop/ First Handout

This five-page, handout is one of the two major handouts that we use in
our six-hour, parenting workshops.  We work through an overview and then jump into a whole host of specifics during our time.  If you would ever like to fill-in-the-blanks, we would warmly invite you to join us at one of our
next seminars. 

53 Parenting Frustration Index

Parenting is hard!  It takes incredible courage.  An incredible, every day, kind of strength.  And every parent can use encouragement in the work. 
In fact, I have yet to meet a single Christian who just couldn't handle any more encouragement in their role as a parent. 
       The following ten questions touch on the kind of issues we deal with in our Parenting Seminar.  They form a
Frustration Index. 


Why Men Need to Meet with other Men

"We need to lift up our eyes from our own work and remember that we are all on the wall together.  Even if our individual place is so far apart, that we can't quite see each other, we will still put down our trowels, travel and sometimes travel a long ways - just to pray.  We come together because we need too.  We are together in this business of advancing God's Kingdom.  We are not alone.  We are together in this business of raising the next generation.  We are not alone.  And we need to remember this.  So we sacrifice to travel and pray together."

51 Getting The Most Out of the Weekend

"It is 8:00 a.m., Saturday morning. Your extra hour of snooze is disturbed by the neighbor's lawn mower, growling away. Downstairs the TV is blaring out Saturday morning cartoons.  An hour or so later you stagger down to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and the paper. By 11 a.m., you are finally dressed and ready for - who knows what?  Since you haven't planned much of anything, you go back to the paper. . . If you want to make your weekends count - when you are home with your family - here are a few simple tips. These principles have helped me wake up my weekends, for my wife, myself, and my kids."

50 Giving "Grace" to Each Other - as Fathers

"At the very first, while lost, He gave us what we did not deserve.  And now as Christians, He keeps giving us what we don't deserve.  If we are going to imitate this kind of grace, in our speech with other dads, other fathers, we have a tall order to try to fill.  But I am convinced that God wants us to copy Him and increase in grace, in both our conversation and action towards our fellow leaders."

49 The Cost of Leadership

"We all want to be more effective in our leadership with our families -
within our marriages and towards our offspring.  But not all of us have seriously sat down and counted the cost of attaining this kind of leadership." 
Becoming a more effective leader in our home will cost us more than any boss or company will ever ask of us. Believe it!

48 How Must Men Pray?

"Lombardi knew that winning came only through conditioning; and for Christian men I believe the same thing is true.  Fathers are conditioned by God and strengthened in their soul through prayer; for without prayer we're not in shape to take the victory God wants for us."  In this article we spend some time talking about the role of intensity in our private prayer. 

47 Something She Had To Do

An incredible story of a young girl who took a stand in school and showed tremendous courage.  Courage is not just for the big and strong.  At the very moment when she needed the most strength, she said, "Today I am going to find out who my real friends are."   - by Bill Sanders.  

46 Building Courage and a Spirit of Sacrifice into our Wives

"Many years ago my wife and I boarded a school bus at 10 p.m. on a Friday night to go to a Christian conference in Alabama.  Neva and I were in one seat and right ahead of us sat another couple.  At that time we did not have any children, but this other couple was expecting a baby.  As the long night of bumping down the road continued, the four of us talked.  There was a lot about his lifestyle and discipline that spoke to me during that trip.  And his wife not only followed, but followed him cheerfully.  She was not simply a spectator to his ministry, but ably took a vital part in it."

45 Sometimes Wildness is Called For

Paul wrote, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  We are all wrestlers, in one way or another.  Here are several stories from the last two years as we have cheered our wrestler.  If you have a son or daughter who
competes in any way, (and they all do), this article might encourage you.   

44 The Strength of a Man's Will - Theodore Roosevelt

"At a campaign stop in Milwaukee on the evening of October 14, 1912,a deranged, out-of-work bartender emerged from the crowd and shot Theodore Roosevelt in the chest at point-blank range.  Staggered by the impact of the bullet and the shock of the injury, the great man nevertheless righted himself."  An excerpt from the book, Carry a Big
An amazing story of the power of a man's determination, a man's heart.   

43 Modern Moms Have Lost Authority

"I often poll my audiences . . .One such poll involves asking, "How many of you grew up with a mother, who, without raising her voice or threatening you in any overt manner, could strike terror into your heart?"  Always a clear majority raise their hands."  Dads, it is our duty to guide our children to carefully respect their moms.  And on the second page of this article by John Rosemond, I include a humorous, but true paragraph by Ruth Bell Graham's on child-raising.

42 No Pain, No Gain

Discipline of children is clearly taught in the Scriptures.  But sometimes we can get a little confused on the subject.  Here is a quote from the article by Douglas Wilson.  "Spanking cannot be done 'pro forma'.  Going through the motions will do nothing except to convince both you and your kid that obedience to the Scriptures accomplishes nothing. After all is
said and done, you will say that "we tried that and it didn't work."

41 Positioning Our Teens

At times, a father will ask me, "Just tell me straight, Rick.  What exactly do you insist on, when it comes to your own teens?  What are some practical habits that you always go back to, while training your sons and daughters?" 
     Well, here goes.  There are only three things that I insist upon,
when it comes to both my daughter's and my son's - growth and progress in the faith. 
     And all three of these habits help to "position" my teens. 

40 Guiding Them through the Traps

"The scene caused a chill to trickle down my back.  On an outdoor stage in Denver, Colorado, with fifty thousand Promise Keepers watching intensely, a fifteen-year-old boy-blindfolded and barefoot-began stepping cautiously toward a dangerous obstacle course filled with a dozen steel animal traps."  If you haven't read this one-page story, you need to do so, right now!

39 Lessons from the Fire

"As leaders in each of our families, we can all identify with Paul when he spoke of the burden of people.  Nothing brings us more happiness than to see the people that God has entrusted to our care - happy and growing in the Lord.  Nothing concerns us more than when we see people tired in spirit.  But how do we light up their hearts?  How do we then lead them?  Our families may seem at times, to be kind of soggy and listless.  What can we do to see them fired up?  What can we do to fire ourselves up? "

38 Husbands, Wives, Ministry

Elizabeth Elliot wrote, "The best thing a woman can do for a man is to be a woman."  Another woman wrote, "Women once had a great power for good. . . then they decided that they wanted to be like men." Martin Luther wrote, "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."  I did not want to write this letter for only my wife.  I think that we each need to shield our wives from unspoken expectations placed on them in the church. 

37 The Importance of Pastors Modeling a Strong Family

"Obviously our families are on display.  For good or ill.  We all recognize the pressure this brings;  but my prayer is that we will see the opportunity we have to display a pattern, a model for our people to follow.  They will not go further than the example we set with our families.  So what should our example look like?  And how do we get there?  Here are a few thoughts from some of my correspondence over the last few years."

36 Dating? Romance?
God's Will?

Does a string of "involvement's" and "break-ups" help or harm our youth in their ability to commit?  Is a romantic investment in a person who is not your spouse or going to be your spouse a worthwhile endeavor?  Is romantic involvement an acceptable expression of agape love for the Christian young man or woman?  Does dating promote or hinder purity, godliness, and selflessness?  These are the questions that a fellow dad, Pat Sokoll answers in this excellent two-page article. 

35 The Measure of a Boy

The following is a list of the character traits that we have built into our children.  The Measure of a Boy are traits that we want planted by the time they are twelve.  The character traits listed for a Young Man need to be established before they leave the home.  This is what we are working on.

34 Seven Days of Prayer for Our Family

Enclosed are a week's worth of character traits that we have prayed for our children.  It says that Job would get up early and pray for his children and that it was his regular practice.  We also have included seven practical goals which we have sought to establish in each of their hearts.  And I believe, by God's grace, He has accomplished this.

33 The Way of a Friendship

Even "Papa Bears" need friends.  Fathers need friends.  Every male needs other men - for the journey.  In this article I talk about the importance of shared vision, much time spent, and pledged covenant love in developing friendships between men. Jonathan and David's friendship is examined.   

32 Mature Leadership in the Home

"A man is directed by God to take responsibility for the leadership, provision and protection of his wife and children. Although his wife works alongside him in managing a home and raising a family - the burden does not fall on her.  It rests on him."   Sometimes it just helps a man to have
a simple job description. 
       I have used these all over the country.  As well as the article that follows - for our wives. They were written by a good friend. 

31 Mature Submission in the Home

"A mature woman has the desire to yield to her husband and an inclination to follow his leadership. . . A mature woman makes it easy for her
husband to care for her." 
These two sentences are the first and last, taken from this one-page examination of a woman's role in the home.

30 A Word Aptly Spoken

The following is an excellent  illustration on the power of words in encouraging our loved ones, our wives, our children. The encourager here
is a Catholic nun.  The story concerns a 3rd grade class she taught many years ago - in the mid 1950's. 

29 Her Brain or Her Heart?

"In the realm of Christian education, the dilemma constantly presented is between "character" and "academics."  In the education of your children, take your pick - which will it be?  Do you want godly kids or do you want smart kids?"  But as the article clearly points out, our Lord wants us to gain both, with every one of our children. 

28 Self-control - the New Mantra

"If you can make yourself better in just one way, self-control will do you more good than just about anything else - it helps you in work, in your relationships and it'll help you stay out of trouble."  This short reprint from the Minneapolis Star Tribune reminds us why self-control and discipline
are so important, in training our children. 

27 The Classic Poem for Young Men

"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue. . . "  This poem by Rudyard Kipling needs to be on a site like this.  It speaks to virture.  It speaks to self-discipline.  It speaks to sometimes, "going it alone."  Mandatory memory work for young men.  

26 Dear Dads, Part 6

 Great Dads have huge expectations for their kids. 
 Some Dads have no expectations for their kids.
 Many Dads, sadly, just don't want to be bothered.
       Fathers, I would strongly encourage you to "hunker down" and stay the course. So much hangs in the balance.

25 Dear Dads, Part 5

"What do I mean by discipline?  "No!" is what I mean.  There is power in "No."  There is wisdom and strength in believing in the "No's."  The Bible is filled with "No's."  They are general, simple and easily understood.  And God gives them to us in big doses, page after page.  Eight out of the ten commandments are "No."" 

24 Dear Dads, Part 4

"I smiled at my friend's joke, 'When they were little,  I dreamed that they would be champions for Christ.  Now that they are sixteen, I will settle if they are just law-abiding citizens.'  But he doesn't settle for this.  I won't settle for this. And none of us can afford to settle for this."

23 Dear Dads, Part 3

"In the movie the daughter was fighting her mom and the mom was hesitant to impose her will.  Should she pursue or back off?  In an important scene, our cowboy hero turns to the mother and instructs her.  Even though the daughter was fighting her mom, he tells the mom,
"Don't let her turn you away."

22 Dear Dads, Part 2

"Twenty years later I am not as concerned about the world or the devil, when it comes to preparing my kids for adulthood.  I'm not naive, I know that we live in a hostile society, but - I am convinced that the first opponent to my child becoming an able adult is their flesh.  Laziness and a lack of sustained effort will trip up more of our youth in their education, than any other foe."

21 Dear Dads, Part 1

 I wrote six letters scattered out over several years, to a group of pastors that I am honored to be associated with.  They are also fathers and my friends.  This is the first letter we wrote to them on "winning" with each
and every one of our children. 

20 Perseverance

The story by Dr. John Corts, past president of the Billy Graham Organization. It is a story from his teen age years, helping out at his grandfather's farm.  He talks about the importance of finishing.  Of 'staying the course.'  Completing the task.

19 Jesus Help Me! The Todd Beamer Story

"I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm going to go out on faith."  It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger -- a Wheaton College graduate -- who said, "Let's roll!" as he led the charge against
the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93 on 9/11.

18 Pray for President Bush!

This letter was written by Lindsey Yeskoo, the wife of Paul Yeskoo, a Christian Foreign Service Officer serving in Shanghai.  She details her experience of meeting the President when he was in China while back. 
It under lines why we need to be faithful in praying for the President in particular - and all our national leaders.

17 A Dad's All Important Role

A quote, "Mom, you were always the one giving me the law and giving out the standards. . . Dad never seemed to have those standards."  Then the dad spoke up and said to his daughter, "I did have those same standards, it was just that your mom . . .  spoke them."    Dad had the standards, but didn't speak them. I wonder why? 

16 A Model of Teen Ministry in the Local Church

There are five parts to our plan that cover with "all the bases."  These five parts are simple and effective.  The plan is carried out by our upper classmen.  And the leadership of these upper classmen is shared by our Dads.  Just as I believe in Moms being the primary teachers of five year olds, so I believe that Dads should be teaching the fifteen year olds.

15 Lowering The Price Father's Pay

A good editorial by the columnist Mark Patinkin.  He talks about the hard choices we make, every day, between our careers and our kids.  A quote, "It's the crux of the 40ish-male dilemma:  Wanting more from career, but worrying about the price you pay as a father."

14 Honoring Your Parents

If we hope our kids will honor us, then we must "example" it, first towards our own parents.  In this article I share a few stories from my own teen age years, "Halfway through the race, I knew I could beat him.  It was actually kind of scary, so I slowed down. (I had never beaten my father at anything.)  But he wouldn't hear of it.  We raced again. . . "

13 Stress of a Boy's Life

Dobson recently wrote a book on bringing up boys.  He was interviewed
by our Rocky Mountain News on why he wrote it and the Q & A, is very encouraging.  A quote, "Boys are under a great deal of stress today. They are not doing well."

12 Welcome Back, Duke

 An editorial from the Wall Street Journal written after 9/11.  One quote from the article, "We are experiencing a new respect for old fashioned masculinity, a new respect for physical courage, for strength and for the willingness to use both for the good of others."

11 Is God Active Today?

 Four short stories about our dad, Clay Whitney, and his impact on his five boys.  He taught us much.  How to live and how to die.  And I think these stories will bless you.

10 For Father's Day

 A couple of jokes, "Father's Day always worries me.  I'm afraid I'll get something I can't afford."  - Bill Cosby.  And a couple of excellent, heart-warming illustrations from Billy Crystal and others.

9 A Teen's Focus

 Christ gave each of us an all-encompassing mission for life.  How do we go about giving this vision to our teenage sons and daughters?   A transcript from a message I shared at a parenting conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

8 Raising Godly Families

 In this paper, which was taught at our National Pastor's Conference,  we reviewed the five standards that we have sought to follow as a movement - within our families.  Specifically those practices which are critical to building healthy, outreach-minded, truly Christian families. 

7 Even More Encouraging Words

 The rest of my personal cache of quotations.  They will inspire, encourage and challenge you - guaranteed!  These men will speak to your heart.  One man to another. 

6 More Encouraging Words

 The second section of my gathered quotations, collected for fathers, husbands, men, and Christian leaders across the church.

5 A Few Encouraging Words

 The first part of my collection of quotations, gathered up over the last thirty years.  Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. Everyone will make you think.

4 Raising Your Kids Right

 Raising our children can at times be the most alarming thing we do.  It can unsettle us.  How do we go about building a trust relationship within their hearts and at the same time establishing rules?

3 The Quotable Dad

 From the short book of the same title. Here are a few of the better quotes.   Such as, "I can run the country or control Alice (his daughter), I can't do both."     - Teddy Roosevelt

2 Trusting God In All Things

 Years ago my life changed when we had our first baby.  I started thinking about being a better provider and planning ahead.  And at that very time God taught me a lesson about money that I have never forgotten.  He did something kind of unusual and very challenging to my soul.

1 Your Life Is Like a Coin

 In this article, I hoped to, in a small way, capture some of the spirit and thinking that guided us in our very first years as a movement.  "Many of us lived in the same town, went to the same college, and in a very similar way we all experienced a brand spanking new, spiritual awakening.  This is what He imprinted us with."