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Psalm 146

It’s been a while since I last posted. This is due to a number of things. For one, I sometimes just don’t have anything to write, but other than that my wife and I recently moved to a new city and it’s been pretty crazy trying to settle in. God has been so ridiculously good to us though! There have been days when we thought there were just no solutions to problems we were facing, but Jesus has hooked us up so amazingly.

We were given a car and have also found a really nice little place to stay that we will move into at the start of next month. It will be really good to be in a little place of our own after having pretty much been gypsies for the last 9 months and living with friends and family (and almost complete strangers) all over the world.

So why has God been looking after us? It’s nothing we’ve done to deserve it – I can attest to that! It’s because He’s good and He’s a father. And because He promised. Check out Psalm 146 from verse 5 until the end and give a little extra attention to verse 9:

5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,6 who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever;7 who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.9 The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!

He promised He’d look after me and that’s what He does! Pretty simple really. God can’t make a promise and not keep it! He is truth. There’s not much more that I can say about it. God is good and His goodness causes us to change.

On another note – I got an email from a reader today that was super encouraging! It feels really good to know that there are people reading and being affected by the blog.

Please feel free to get in touch – I’d love to hear from you!

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Is ‘fatherlessness’ really a problem?

I speak to a lot of people about the fact that their parent’s got divorced or that their dad bailed on them and a lot of those people say that they aren’t affected by it and never have been. I can’t say that they are all lying, but in my experience most of them are guilty of creating the fact that they are okay with it all. I find myself wanting to ask, ‘Are you trying to convince me or convince yourself?’ when they’re explaining.

Most people don’t want to seem weak or be vulnerable so they pretend that it’s all good. Or they don’t want to feel the emotions that go along with the experience so they tuck them away and convince themselves that the feelings never even existed to begin with. I did that for a long time. Now I don’t have any form of psychology degree or training so I’m not claiming to be and expert on this stuff, but I do have experience in the area and I can be pretty perceptive even if that is in my own opinion 🙂

The only reason I came to the place where I dealt with my emotions and insecurities Read more

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Thoughts about the blog

I was thinking about this blog yesterday and just running through a bunch of stuff in my mind. Things like ‘Why am I doing it?’ and ‘What if my dad reads it, or my brothers?’.

With regards to the first question, let me fill you in. I am under no illusions as to how many people currently read these little posts that I write and I figure I probably have somewhere between six and ten regular readers. That really isn’t many considering that one of the main reasons I started the blog was to hopefully help people to face up to the issues they have with their dad’s and to encourage forgiveness and even possibly reconciliation. Am I okay with number of readers? I definitely am. Would I like more readers? Yes, but only if what I write would be of value to them.

I sometimes think about how I can get more readers, and being guy who has worked in web design and development for the last six, or so, years I have know of a bunch of ways that will work. So why haven’t I been doing any of those things? Well, I could have emailed everyone who I have an email address for (and I have a lot!) and asked them to pass it on. I could have posted links on a bunch of forums and done a whole bunch of other things, but when I first started the blog I decided I didn’t want to push it in those ways. I decided I would rather let God grow the blog if it was a valuable resource and encouragement to people and something that He could use. I also figure that if the few people who do read the blog, or find it through the search engines, like what I’m putting out then they will keep coming back or subscribe to the RSS feed and they will tell people they know about it if they think those people need to read what I’m writing.

Another reason for the blog is that it’s good for me. It’s a way for me to consistently evaluate my state of mind, my feelings about my childhood, my attitude towards my dad, my relationship with God and my progress through life as an adult. It’s an outlet for what’s in my heart and mind, so even if nobody reads it, it’s still worth my while.

One thing I do know is that I should be posting more often. The truth is that sometimes I just don’t know what to write. My wife and I are also traveling for the next 3 months so that is going to make posting a little tougher.

I’ve been thinking about starting to write little stories about my childhood as a type of series, but I’m not too sure yet about what is okay to put online and what isn’t. Maybe I’ll just start out with some funny stories about what my friends and used to get up to?

Another thing that might help is if people asked me questions or something like that, so maybe I will add a page for questions – let me know what you think? Guest posts are another thing I have been thinking about so if you have something you’d like to write about on the blog then let me know and we’ll see if it fits. Do you think guest posts are a good idea? I have some friends and family that I have been considering asking to write some guest posts so I might do that soon.

‘What if my dad reads it, or my brothers?’

This is something I’ve thought about on and off since I started the blog, but I really thought about it quite a lot yesterday. I’d be okay with my dad reading what I write. Why is that? Well, I’ve spoken to my dad about my childhood and about how him not being around has affected my life and I’ve told him that I love him and that I’ve forgiven him. He knows that I don’t have any hard feelings towards him, but that doesn’t change the things that have happened to me as a result of his decisions. I have dealt with the majority of my feelings about it all, but there are people who in the situations (or worse ones) that I have already lived through and there are others who have lived them already too, but haven’t confronted the past,or the feelings or their dads and it is for them that I write this stuff. So if my dad does read my blog [which is unlikely since I doubt he even uses email :)] then I hope he understands the reason behind it and doesn’t see it as an attack on him – because it definitely isn’t that!

I have two brother’s (they’re technically half-brother’s since we share only the same dad) who are more likely to find their way to the blog than my dad (probably through Facebook) and I wondered what they would think if they read my blog. I really don’t know, because they have experienced my dad in a very different way than I have. He has been around for them. They grew up in the same house with him and he has taken them fishing and watched them play rugby. So they wouldn’t identify with my feelings or experience at all and might find it confusing, but they are good guys who I get along with very well and I like to believe that they would see the blog for what it is.

I know I could be stepping on toes with this blog, but I passionately believe that in a world where the divorce rate and fatherless homes rates are higher than ever before, we need to unite and deal with the situation. I am sold-out in my belief that where there are no father’s God is the ultimate Father and that His love can fill the void left by any absent earthly father.

Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day! Really? Historically Father’s Day hasn’t been a great day for me and I’m sure it’s the same deal for heaps of others – even you maybe? In fact, this post was inspired by a friend of mine – a really great girl called Kate – I spotted her updated on Facebook about how she hates Father’s Day and it got me thinking…

Starting a good few years back and over a period of a few years Father’s Day gradually became a bearable day for me, then a day that didn’t really affect me at all, and now it is slowly progressing on from there. Let me explain some of the reasons why.

I have been married to my super-awesome wife for just over three years now and she comes from such a cool family and has a great dad.
When Lindsay and I decided to get married I got a pretty hard time from her dad – his mission was to make sure that she was marrying a good guy that would take good care of her and treat her well so he put the pressure on. At the time it was difficult, but I appreciate the experience now and realise how much it helped me grow and how much it has strengthened my relationship with him.

The way Lindsay talks about her dad and the way that he treats his daughters (and the way he looked out for her and protected her when I wanted to marry her) shows me how a man can be a good dad and shows me a little bit more of how God sees me as his son. My relationship with my father-in-law also teaches me more of the same. This has improved my perception of God (which admittedly can still use a lot of improvement), my relationship with Him and my knowledge that I can be a great dad one day despite my lack of education on the subject.

That brings me to the next reason that Father’s Day isn’t all that bad for me anymore – me becoming a dad! No, my wife isn’t pregnant, but we have been speaking pretty seriously about making babies so it’s only a matter of time I guess. Thinking about being a dad makes me so amped! And then Father’s Day will be a whole different story won’t it? I’m super-amped to be a dad, but I’m also super-amped to feel what it feels like to love your child with that hectic fatherly love. I’m amped to get a better understanding of how God feels about us as his children so I can know Him more and trust Him more than I do today!

Oh, by the way – I said happy Father’s Day to my dad today. Maybe you should too if you can? Just throwing it out there…

Happy Father’s Day everyone! It’s a good day!!

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Teach me to shave.

When I was 14 years old and in my first year of High School I remember trying really hard to avoid the teachers. There was a particular reason for my attempts at avoidance.

I remember my friends and classmates being told that their facial hair was getting to a point where they needed to start shaving and I was noticing that there was a little more substance to the hair on my face than there had been in the past. I knew that the day was coming when a teacher would pick me out and tell me what the other guys were being told. I dreaded it.

Fortunately I am blonde so my need to shave was a lot less noticable than a lot of the other guys – that would give me a few extra weeks, maybe months, of being able to lay low.

I knew I’d be told I have to start shaving and then I’d have to go home and tell my mom and she’d go and buy me a razor and some shaving cream and then I’d have nobody to teach me how to shave. It seems really trivial now that I know how to do it and, like most guys I’m sure, it’s pretty much second nature to me, but at the time it was a big deal and really had me worried because I had no clue what I was going to do.

I still remember one of my teachers taking me aside and telling me I needed get the hair off my face. His name was Mr Coetzee and he was a really nice guy. He told me in a mellow way and didn’t get too harsh with me. I think he knew it might be something that could be an issue for me so he went easy on me.

So anyway, I went home and told my mom and she went and bought me what I needed like I knew she would. I had all the stuff and I had a vague idea of what I needed to do, but I really wasn’t sure. Now I don’t even know if guys who’s dads were around got them to show them how to shave or not, but I know that at that moment, in the bathroom, I wished that my dad was there to show me. I stood there clueless and lonely. I figured asking my mom would be futile since she had never shaved her face (or ever needed to- thank goodness!). I have a cousin who is three years older than me, and who I looked up to a lot, who had been shaving for a while so I thought I could talk to him, but I thought it would be really embarrassing so I gave it a skip. I didn’t want to ask the guys at school because I was scared they would ask why I didn’t just ask my dad.

I felt really alone at that time. Like a lot of things in my life I taught myself how to shave by trial and error.

What’s the point of this story? Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only guy who didn’t have dad around to teach him stuff. I know there are girls who didn’t have dads around to teach them that they are beautiful and how to respect themselves.
Maybe one of my memories is teaching myself to shave and yours is something else, or a bunch of other things, but there is a whole generation of us whose dads just weren’t around for us. We have taught ourselves how to do a lot of things. We are the fatherless.

My question is this: ‘What can we learn from our dads?’

What my dad did hasn’t shown me how to be a good dad, but what he didn’t do has shown me what I need to do to be a good dad.
If I have a son (or more than one) I will teach him to shave, how to pass a rugby ball, how to catch a wave, how to treat girls with respect, how to be a good, strong, kind person and how to be a good dad to his children. I will give him a sense of worth and help him find his identity. And If I have a daughter I will teach her that she is beautiful and captivating, that she is loved and that she should expect to be treated well and respected by boys and that her dad will always do what he can to protect her.

We may be the fatherless, but we are also the ones that can make sure that the next generation – our children – are not fatherless! We know what not to do. We know how not to be. We are the fathers!

Let’s not make the same mistakes our parents did.

If you’d like to chat you can leave a comment or send me an email.