VIDEO A Father’s Day Message

It takes a man to to be a real father, in ways so much more important than biological contributions. Once upon a time, most men learned and valued the responsibilities they would assume with the birth of a child, and they planned and prepared for it. Real men were usually not only providers, protectors, but also the primary source of power and strength in a secure family. They were often the first to nudge the chicks out of the nest, to push them to be perfect, and to make sure they were prepared for life, and for a harsh world.

How times have changed.

Here at the Treehouse we talk a lot about politics and how to regain what we’ve lost, not so much politically, but the kind of people we are, the kind of nation we have become. I see a lot of good ideas come across these pages, from involvement in local politics and voting precincts to driving people to the polls, to active involvement in party politics.

I don’t see a lot of talk about the long term prospects, and real change. How about back to the basics fatherhood? How about helping children be secure in a safe and loving family? How about teaching little boys to mow grass and change tires and paint their room, as well as keep that room clean and iron a shirt? Yes, iron a shirt, because presentation and neatness still matter whether you like it or not.

How about teaching them that it really is okay to be a man, and they don’t need any woman to tell them the boundaries on their masculinity, as long as it is a healthy, protective, giving, legitimately strong, real masculinity? How about teaching your daughters what exactly they should expect, no, demand, in a man they contemplate a serious relationship with?

How about making sure you teach your children Christian values and principles and make church services as big a priority as that ballgame?

From last year’s post, I’d like to copy some of my thoughts, because I just can never find finer examples of fatherhood than my husband and father in law. Some things bear repeating.

I have been privileged to know some of the best fathers of our time, and especially would like to mention my appreciation and pride for those in my own life who have made the most difference to me and our family.

I was blessed to marry a man who became a wonderful father to our three boys. My sons are three of the best dads out there, under really challenging circumstances. Two of them have step children they love and cherish, nurture and guide.

My father in law was an epic man among men. He had great faults but his virtues eclipsed them. He was a man of immense strength, strength of mind, character, body, and above all else, faith. His heart was even bigger than his booming laugh.

If I had a fortune I would confidently place a wager that no one could ever say he backed down from his principles or failed to do what he saw as right in the face of any test. Not one time, not ever. Good or bad, hard or easy, he stood in the face of any challenge to right as he believed it to be.

Of course he passed those traits on to his children, all eight of them, and he influenced every one who entered his orbit with the sheer force of his beliefs and his do or die attitude. He was one of only a few people I’ve personally known who really would give you the shirt off of his back.

He had many roles in life, many skills, a man who could do many things, fix almost anything that needed fixing, a voracious reader, self taught on many things with a questing mind and staggering intellect. He knew the Bible cover to cover and could always offer compelling proofs for his beliefs.

Of all those  roles, the one most who knew him saw him most at home in, and the one I believe he most identified as, was Daddy.

Here’s to you Jr. Of all the people I look forward to spending eternity with, laughing with, loving with, you are up there. I so look forward to one of your big enthusiastic hugs again.

Aaron Tippin – You’ve Got To Stand For Something (Official Video)

By Sundance

Fatherless No More

[God is] a father to the fatherless. Psalm 68:5

Guy Bryant, single and with no children of his own, worked in New York City’s child welfare department. Daily, he encountered the intense need for foster parents and decided to do something about it. For more than a decade, Bryant fostered more than fifty children, once caring for nine at the same time. “Every time I turned around there was a kid who needed a place to stay,” Bryant explained. “If you have the space in your home and heart, you just do it. You don’t really think about it.” The foster children who’ve grown and established their own lives still have keys to Bryant’s apartment and often return on Sundays for lunch with “Pops.” Bryant has shown the love of a father to many.

The Scriptures tell us that God pursues all who are forgotten or cast aside. Although some believers will find themselves destitute and vulnerable in this life, He promises to be with them. God is “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). If, through neglect or tragedy, we’re alone, God is still there—reaching out to us, drawing us near, and giving us hope. Indeed, “God sets the lonely in families” (v. 6). In Jesus, other believers comprise our spiritual family.

Whatever our challenging family stories, our isolation, our abandonment, or our relational dysfunction may be, we can know that we’re loved. With God, we’re fatherless no more.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean for you to have a heavenly Father who loves you and will never leave you? How does He meet your deepest needs?

Father God, I need a good father, a true father, one who will not leave me. I’m grateful You’re this Father for me.

Sunday Reflection: The Promise of Giving

Just like the God in whose image we’re made, we are to be generous givers

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.

In Acts 20:1-38, Paul met with the Ephesian church elders one last time. They all believed their next reunion would be in eternity, so the gathering closed with heartfelt prayer, tears, embraces, and Paul’s final encouragement: “You must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).

You may have heard this promise before, but have you ever put it to the test? Offering others our time, money, resources, and energy may feel risky, but Jesus Himself assured us it is not. In fact, He connected the idea of giving with blessing. What’s more, one reason we are blessed with ample supply is so that we can bless others (2 Corinthians 9:8-11).

Giving was always part of God’s divine purpose for us—which means we already have what we need in order to begin sharing with others. By doing so, we’re actually following Jesus’ example: We receive His generosity and His life and then let it flow through us like a river.

Think about it

• What can you share with someone today—good works (1 Timothy 6:18), comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), resources (Ephesians 4:28), or maybe patience (James 1:19)?

The Prodigal Father

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry.” (Luke 15:22-23)

As a number of commentators have noted, the familiar parable of the “prodigal son” is really about the “prodigal father,” for the word “prodigal” does not mean wayward or rebellious, as many think, but rather lavishly generous. The central theme of the story is not that of the return of a lost son but rather the undying love of a forgiving father.

The human father was intended by the Lord Jesus to be a picture of our heavenly Father, whose righteousness requires judgment on sin but who is always ready to forgive and receive back into joyous fellowship any who return to Him in repentant faith. Even to rebellious Israel He could say, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jeremiah 31:3). It was the memory of his father’s lovingkindness as much as anything else that finally gave the lost son courage to return home in repentance.

And when he returned, there were no recriminations from his father but only love and then a prodigal outpouring of blessing, with the robe and ring and shoes all symbolizing his full restoration as the son of his father.

So it is with us. Though utterly undeserving of such honor, we are made “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities….Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Psalm 103:10,13). “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate,…And [I] will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). HMM

Anything you Need

Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.Ephesians 4:24

God holds no mental reservations about any of us when we become His children by faith. When He forgives us, He trusts us as though we had never sinned. When Satan comes around to taunt me about my past sins, I remind him that everything that had been charged against me came from him, and now everything I have—forgiveness and peace and freedom—I have freely received from my Lord Jesus Christ!

As long as you remain on this earth, God has not completed His work in you. The Spirit of God will help you discern when the chastening hand of God is upon you. But if it is the devil trying to tamper with your Christian life and testimony, dare to resist him in the victorious power of the living Christ….

He has said to us, “Whatever your need, just come to the throne of grace. Anything you need, you may have!” Why not believe Him and exercise the dominion He has given you? JIV049-050

[W]e are compared with what we could be, not just what we should be….[A]ything we ought to be we can be. Anything that God has declared that we should be we can be. RRR019-020

Is There an Answer?

Yet I am always with You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel.—Psalm 73:23-24

A devoted Christian man I knew married a widow who had a teenage son. The son was deeply rebellious, and the man, now his stepfather, grew very resentful toward him. One night, while the mother was away, they shared the same bedroom, and the man woke up in the middle of the night, finding himself trying to push the young man out of the bedroom window. Another push, and he would have fallen and been seriously injured. What had happened? The man told me that he had gone to sleep that night with a great bitterness in his heart toward his stepson. The subconscious mind is very receptive at the moment one drops into sleep, and the resentment his subconscious mind received precipitated an act which would have horrified him when conscious.

A little girl said, “I want to be good, but I don’t want to be obedient.” Her conscious mind wanted her to be known as good, but her subconscious mind, where self-centeredness was the driving urge, did not want to obey anything except itself. The minister who preaches full surrender to God yet yearns to be praised and complimented is suffering from a division between the conscious and the subconscious mind. The person who works hard at helping others but does it to meet some inner need rather than truly giving himself to the needs of others is inwardly divided. The question is: can the subconscious be reached by the Holy Spirit? With all my heart, I say it can. In the Holy Spirit, we are provided with a divine presence that redeems and unifies the whole personality.

Prayer

Father, I am tired of inward division that threatens to tear me apart. Tame these wild horses within me that I might know Your perfect peace in every part of my being. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

Jms 1; Rm 7:22-23, 8:6; Isa 26:3; Php 4:8

What makes a man unstable?

What brings stability and peace?

Praying but Not Believing

She recognized Peter’s voice, and because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gateway.

“You’re crazy!” they told her. But she kept insisting that it was true. Then they said, “It’s his angel!”—Acts 12:14–15

You can say prayers in your mind but doubt in your heart. At times God will answer such prayers as He did when Peter was in prison, scheduled for execution. The believers in Jerusalem were powerless to free him, so they prayed. When God released Peter, their reaction revealed the doubt in their hearts. They argued that Peter could not possibly be free, even as he stood outside knocking on the door!

Is it possible to be a “person of prayer” and yet not have faith? Is it possible to fool yourself into believing that because you ask God for help, you have faith in His ability to meet your needs? Is your faith so weak that you are surprised when God answers your prayer? As a child of God, you ought to expect God to answer your prayers. Do you ask God to do something without adjusting your life to what you are praying? If you are praying for revival, how are you preparing for its coming? If you are praying for forgiveness, are you still living with guilt? If you have asked God to provide for your needs, do you remain worried and anxious?

Ask God to increase your faith and then begin living a life that reflects absolute trust in Him. Out of His grace, God may choose to respond to your requests despite your lack of faith, but you will miss the joy of praying in faith