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Talking The Positive: Facing the Endless Challenge

At Dad’s University, we are gearing for a big Fall of changed lives. The power to change a life, a family, a neighborhood, a community, a state, a nation lies in our hands.  Take 3 minutes and watch the video.  Get a 3 min video update here.

 Talking The Positive: Facing the Endless Challenge

Psalm 84:5 -7 adapted – What a joy is waiting for those who draw strength from the LORD and have set their minds on a journey to God’s heart and home.  When their path takes them through a Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of fresh springs.  After the pain and dryness, a season of blessing and rain will cover with favored love, hope, and faith.  Strength will be stronger and you will appear before God’s heart and home a new person.

robbharper.com

robbharper.com

Life presents endless challenge.  Many of those blips cause tears and tears.  A tear drips and a tear scars.  After a while, the scars become calloused and drudge ensues. Even a wet tear won’t soften the stiff heart torn by trauma.  There are dragons in every day.  Handle them.

A wise mentor once looked at me in a troublesome time.  The prior year seemed to give no growth in our joint business endeavors.  With years of experience, he looked at me and said, “Phil, you will find you have grown the most in the hardest times.”  He was concerned more about my growth than $ performance.  The $ performance would come.  And it did come.

Other partners have not been so kind.  Focus on greed and immediate gains leads many to live in the calloused world of paining others.  It becomes more and more the American environment of discompassionate, inconsiderate, legalistic work and life.

As a parent, dad, mom, or leader in community, your positive outlook can be the change agent for another’s lifelong dream.  You have the power of the positive to speak, look, and act into another life.

Dragons of dispair, disappointment, discouragement, and dis-ease come and go.  Your upbeat attitude and encouragement for others should come and stay.

In the coffee shop, my head was drooped over the study of Psalm 90,91, and 92.  Really, personal time was all I wanted.  From across the corner, a most painful look kept staring at me.  The woman was obviously in deep distress.  She was frozen and immovable. 

With a breath of prayer, I relinquished my personal time and said a quick prayer, “Father if there is a word of encouragement I can give, enable me.  I really want to wallow in my own pain for a moment, but I sense You have another on this path this morning and wish me to be available.”

As I lifted my head, she looked directly at me and asked what I was studying.  In conversation, she opened her journey and talked about her divorce, deep depression, hermitage for the last two years, and hope she could find a new life. 

“I would just like to find peace.”

The pain was immense.  In Psalm 90 there is a prayer that a season of blessing would come as tall as a season of pain was deep, that the season of blessing would be as long as the season of loss.  She found some relief in that prayer and after 30 minutes, she left for the next assignment of her day and I finished my study.

A fresh spring of joy welled up in me.  A joy I had not felt for some time bubbled in my soul. The surprising result of drying the tears of a stranger and speaking positive, faith-life was healing waters for me.  God touches us in the valley.

The Father promises that we prosper in strength, faith, hope, love, courage, joy, goodness, and contented living when we focus on making the journey to His heart and home.  Regardless of the “others”, we receive refreshing spring waters from under and rain waters from over of courage and blessing.  We will be overtaken and encased in His touch.

Let’s Pray: Father, it is Your Heart and Home to which I journey.  Keep me on the sure-footed path.  When pain pummels, keep me on the sure-footed path.  When tears stream from my face, keep me on the sure-footed path.  When tears rip away tender flesh, keep me on the sure-footed path.  Cause the fresh spring waters to bubble up from underneath when I can see no way forward.  Cause the refreshing rains to pour over me when I have lived in heat and hurt for a season.  Stir faith in me.  Let me look to You and not to circumstance.  Let me handle my daily dragons and walk high above them.

 

The Giving Page: Share every good thing you have with anyone who teaches you what God has said (CEV) Galatians 6:6

I am not trying to get something from you, but I want you to receive the blessings that come from giving. Philippians 4:17

Engaging – Educating – Empowering – Lifelong Dads. Kids Need ‘Em.

intersectionFlight Check!

Dads’ University / CTI Think About It! class  – 25 probationers registered – Aug 4th for ten weeks – Check

Dad’s University / CTI new mentor/facilitator in training – starts side by side mentoring with me Aug 4th – Check

Dad’s University / CTI Family Builders workshop using On My Shoulders with court mandated individuals and couples for parenting training – Sept 8th for nine weeks – Check

Dad’s University – record DVD for custom Tulakes Elementary handout to dads – in process for back to school – Check

Dad’s University – Corazones De Servicio – Regrese A Clase outreach and family training – Aug 7-11 – Check

Power Funding From Folks Like You!  CHECK HERE!

LIVE

Get Your Groove Back For The Fatherless

batonGet your groove back!

June and July have been a time of working on my groove.  Intense months add up.  They pull at strength and elasticity.

This article from the past speaks to me.  Three Hats

Sometimes I just read my own stuff and get recharged.  It is good to remember our velocity, veracity, and vitality all balance.  Losing vitality can remove you from effectiveness.  Velocity is the ability hit a timely target that has meaning.  Veracity means being you, fully you.

So this Summer, I’ve rested on some items while allowing my creativity and concern a time to stew and gain clarity.

This picture has two images.  One is the baton Dr. Ken Canfield gave to me in 2001 as a challenge to father the fatherless.  The other is the world.  It is my world, my sphere that needs influencing.

What is your world?  Mine is Oklahoma City, Canadian County-Ok, Love County-Ok and Cooke County-Tx specifically and 34 state legislative bodies nationally.  It encompasses schools, government,  courts, congregations, and business.

What is your focus?  Mine is the fatherless and fractured families.

What is your POA? (Plan of Attack)  One of mine is the creation of Dad’s University dvds customized to location to move from reaching hundreds to reaching thousands.  We’ll go for tens of thousands later.  One step at a time here.

You have opportunity to be a part of the next thrust to thousands.  I need mentors, trainers, and givers.  GIVE HERE

If you want to volunteer, shoot me a note. VOLUNTEER HERE

 

Katie’s Gift

parkinglotCommunity outreach for the fatherless takes many forms.  Through partnerships with Tulakes Elementary, Jesus House, CAREVI, Cooke County Probation, and Hope Connection, we are busy.   Read forward to learn about Katie’s Story.  It is powerful and confirms the impact of community engagement.                                                                   GIVE HERE

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (GNT) And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Over the week, God has uniquely appeared on many doorsteps.

Steven and Jackson reached out in the neighborhoods Monday evening.  There were a few memorable moments.  One couple tearfully asked for prayer for their marriage in their driveway and received a strong touch of God.  Another gentleman expectantly received prayer for his family out by his garage.  His grandchildren are not coping well with the suicide of their father three years ago.  He was excited to introduce Steven and Jackson to his 14 year old grandson.  Others looked to God for answers in their doorways.

In the businesses, professionals and owners asked for strength in family, recovery from depression, and anointing of God for customers.  One looked for their father, a former minister, to return to a congregation family.  Wounds of life run deep.  God was busy.

Saturday, while planning for an additional neighborhood in the Matamoros outreach, Raul encountered a friend in the restaurant.  As I was paying for the breakfast in our favorite greasy spoon, Raul’s friend explained in quiet Spanish his ailments.  Turning from the cashier, we prayed for him in the foyer.  It was visibly evident that God was touching him.  Unknown to me, we were being studied.

As we reached our car, a voice called to us. “Excuse me, my name is Katie.”  She went on to explain she had watched as Raul’s friend received prayer.  She and her husband do not attend a church.  Through a series of events, they had benefited from a little extra income and wanted to tithe from it.  Would we accept it for our church?  She reached into her purse and counted out five $20 bills.

Let’s call it “Katie’s Gift”.  God has a special way to encourage us when we reach hard moments.  For me the gift was an immediate return of blessing.  I really did not have the extra dollars to pay for my friend’s breakfast or the time that morning.  Together, Raul and I lean on each other.  Breakfast is a family moment for us.  We talked of struggles and disappointments and joys, while we prepared to give out of our need for others.  By unexpected source, our upcoming trip expenses were almost covered and all the supplies were on order for the kids.  This gift was an unexpected and welcome encouragement.

Over the week, I had witnessed God touch believer and unbeliever in driveways, offices, restaurants, furniture stores, gas stations, chiropractor offices, antique stores, garages, doorways, curbside in the street, parking lots, over the phone, and at the parsonage.  And one of them, watching from the side like the grateful leper chased us down to say, “Thank you, God.”

Luke 17:5 and the apostles said, “Lord, increase our faith.”…..          GIVE HERE

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.

How interesting that in this story, it is one who is not a church goer that gives the thank you?   The Samaritan is not a Jew.  But none of the church goers returned to say thank you.  Only the Samaritan returned.  He did not wait to see the priest, but ran back as soon as he knew God touched him.  Like Katie in the parking lot, respond to God with gratefulness for His grace.  We have so much that it can become common and expected as if we were entitled.  It is easy to take advantage of His touch and blessings and take for granted our health, leaders, facilities, teaching and all He makes available to us and others.   It is easy to get focused on our desires and withhold our gratitude.   When was the last time you were so excited about God blessing someone else that you ran through a parking lot to thank Him with a good and sacrificial gift?

Katie’s Gift challenges me and encourages me.  There is faith in the land.  Lord, increase my faith.  GIVE HERE

Fatherless Fathers

The heart of the father needs to get fixed on the kids.  Lifelong Dads.  Kids Need ‘Em.  They do.

There is a generation of fatherless fathers needing practical ways to engage with their kids.  They really struggle.  CTI is focusing our efforts on Dad’s University.  It is an effective manner to reach men and get them focused on their families.

For Fall of 2014, we are determined to put out regular dvd classes for men.  It is tough to parent in today’s mixed message world.  A quick 5 min lesson on fathering can make a day move faster.

Get Focused

Happy Father’s Day

sarynandpopaFather’s Day comes with mixed emotions. Some have great fathers and some have fathers absent in body or mind or emotion. Some have lost their fathers to divorce or death or disease. Some struggle to know how to be a father. It is certainly a hard task.
Be encouraged today that God, the heavenly Father, is committed to you. He will see you through life as only the best father can. Earthly fathers will fail us, but He is always with us. He is committed to love you, believe in you, forgive you, encourage you, and stand beside you. He will see you through.
Happy Father’s Day to every dad on the job out there.
Happy Father’s Day to the heavenly Father.
He will see you through.

Dad’s University Registration

Dad's University on FaceBookLifelong Dads.  Kids Need ‘Em.

Next Dad’s University:  Gainesville, Texas -fdcomponent1

Host: Hope Connection 3404 N. Grand Ave  940.580.4887

June 14th 10am to 2pm – FREE ….REGISTER BELOW so we can have lunch and workbooks ready.

Real men need real education in fathering.   Unleash your father power to build more personal satisfaction in your life and the lives of those that call you, Dad.

Being a dad can be a tough job at times.   It is worth your effort.  Your kids need you.  Dad’s University will help you gain understanding of key dynamics of consistency, active listening, nuturing, support, protecting and providing, and equipping that are important to you and your child.

fdcomponent2.1You’ll have fun on this day.  You will laugh and cry and find new joy in your job as Dad.

A fathering profile will assist you in focusing your efforts as a Dad on what will make the most difference for your family.

Whether you are in the home with your children or doing the work of a Dad and living outside of the home, your kids need you to be the best Dad you can be with the time you have with them.

It is a wonderful job.  Doing it with increased knowledge and help just makes it better.

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