Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Father's Message

There are times when silence is golden.  Other times when silence is just plain yellow.

When it comes to children silence is not golden.  Silence can be deadly.  It is cowardly to remain silent and not boldly declare our love.

Children don’t need “the strong silent type.”

Children need a father who speaks to them when they are in their mother’s womb.  A father sows faith in his child by reading scripture to his child.  Wise fathers know that nicknames like “champ” and “my super star” affirm a child’s self-esteem.

Silence communicates confusion to a child.

It is not enough for a father to think he “shows” his love with material things.  Human nature requires a spoken message that expresses “the Blessing.”  They need to hear the blessing; Children need to hear that we love them and why we love them.

To see the blessing bloom and grow in our children we need to verbalize our message.  Good intentions aside, good words are necessary to provide genuine acceptance.

Strategic fathers understand the power of words.

Our words have the power of life and death.  So speak life!  We are made in God’s image and his words are synonymous with life, light, liberty and love.  To withhold our words is just as bad or worse than a father who speaks death to his children.

Often fathers start out with a positive spoken message but we can become distracted by work, bills, etc.  But also I think we fail to balance discipline with affirmation.  If most of our words are correcting, training and scolding then we can create emotional distance.  

Bridge the gap with a spoken message of unconditional love and acceptance.

Words not only have the power to create something special in our children, words have the power to draw out potential.  We bring out the best in those we bless.

Remember that “The Blessing” provides children with the foundation for identity, validation, affirmation and sense of purpose.

You don’t wait for a ceremony to be a blessing to your child.  To quote Trent & Smalley, “you never know what small act of love will be the one that your children, spouse, or friends remember as the most significant time you blessed them.”

It is a father’s intentional, consistent, positive, everyday actions and attitude that communicate the blessing.

Remember, it is never too late.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Calling All Heroes

Hollywood has finally caught up to what most little boys have always known.

Superheroes are awesome!

And this summer we are FULL of superheroes.
  • The Mighty Thor
  • The X-Men
  • The Green Lantern
  • And Captain America
I’m amazed as I watch men talk about the lessons in Thor.  I can’t wait to start hearing men discuss the other films.

WOW!  Is our culture trying to tell us something?  Is Hollywood just making a buck and taping into the inner child in many men?

Or is God using Hollywood to send us a message?

Our world still needs heroes.

Are you answering the call?

Wives want to be held by their hero husbands who lead with vision and love sacrificially. 

Children need a father who will speak magical words like “I love you” and “you are special.”

As the summer heats up, organizations need men to help a summer outreach, a basketball camp or be a big brother.

And no matter how hot it gets, and how much some sisters are showing, godly women want a single man committed to sexual purity.  They want to be loved not lusted. 

The world needs a real Thor who honors his Heavenly Father.  Will you be the hero to do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with your God?

The world needs a team of men united by a common purpose.  Men who aren’t trying to fit into the world around them but to be the change the world needs.

God has called us to be a light that brings life to others.  To be a light that dispels fear and darkness. 

And this nation needs men who will declare that we are not made great by hedonism, materialism, or humanism.  But what makes us great is a willingness to lay down our lives for others.
  • What do you think of all the “superhero” movies?
  • Who was your favorite hero growing up?
  • Are you taking your children to any of these movies?

Answer the call.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Key to Freedom

What is a major key to spiritual and moral freedom?

It is found in one word.  Oh it’s an ugly word for many men.

That one word is submission.

If you fail to submit to God then you have no power over the flesh, the world or the devil.

Men look for everything else but submission.  We love the illusion of independence and autonomy.  We run to the altar thinking some preacher will just “lay hands” and we will be “delivered.”  Now that does happen.  But you still have to submit in order to maintain the new territory given to you.
  • Submission is trusting God enough to do things his way.
  • Submission involves the humility to let God dictate how you live.
  • Submission and freedom in Christ are synonymous.
In other words submission to God involves a process of accountability and lifestyle change.

What does submission to God look like?
  • It looks like a man paying for Covenant Eyes so that trusted brothers monitor his Internet use.
  • It looks like a single man choosing to live with other godly men instead of boasting in a bachelor pad.
  • It looks like a married man who doesn’t keep secrets from his wife.
  • It looks like the brother who will check into rehabilitation and cooperate with counselors.
  • It looks like a man changing his diet and going to the gym instead of praying the fat away.
Oh yes, I know what I am saying isn’t “sensual” or “sexy” or easy.  But it’s the truth.  The truth sets you free.

God delivered me from drug addiction.  But I needed to submit to a process and to godly counsel for my negativity, purity and pride.

You see pride is the strength of sin.  And God will give you a process to submit to in order to break that pride.

We couldn't save ourselves from hell.  Jesus Christ did that.  And we still have no wisdom or power without God.

How is God calling you to submit?

Remember, God goes against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.

If you are humble then you are adaptable.  If you are adaptable then you are submitted.  If you are submitted then you receive wisdom and power from God.

Please post your questions and thoughts below.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Father's Touch

A hug.  A kiss.  Holding hands.  It is never enough to simply say, “I love you.”  We have to show it.

God has called fathers to connect with our children through meaningful touch.  This is the first element of “The Blessing.”

It should start when your child is in the womb laying hands on the belly with tenderness and prayer.

Trent & Smalley define meaningful touch as, “a gentle touch, stroke, kiss, or hug given by significant people in our lives (a husband or wife, parent, close friend and so on).”

Some fathers start off affectionate but then get distracted by work.  Sometimes we stop giving meaningful touch because our child “feels” different.  Our sons begin to “feel” muscular and strong and so we back away.  Our daughter’s bodies begin to mature, no longer like little girls, and we back away.

No.  Don’t do that.  They need the father’s touch.

Meaningful touch is a symbolic transference of power, authority, validation and acceptance.
This is one of the reasons why Dr. James Dobson advises parents not to use their hands to discipline children.  Our hands should always signal acceptance and love.

And God forbid that you would withhold meaningful touch as punishment!  Learn my brothers to discipline in love and never to withhold love!

Never withhold your touch.  That is cruel.  And you will reap the whirlwind.

No matter how old your child, repent and engage by faith in a consistent demonstration of meaningful touch.

You have to read the book but here is an example of the power of meaningful touch:

“Repeatedly Dr. Krieger has found that hemoglobin levels in both people’s bloodstreams go up during the act of the laying on of hands. As hemoglobin levels are invigorated, body tissues receive more oxygen. This increase of oxygen energizes a person and can even aid in the regenerative process if he or she is ill. A number of physical changes take place when we reach out and touch. Studies show that touching can actually lower a person’s blood pressure. Low blood pressure is an important part of staying healthy. In a recent study UCLA found that just to maintain emotional and physical health, men and women need eight to ten meaningful touches each day. At times, the smallest act of touch can be a vehicle to communicating love and personal acceptance.”

Reach out.

There is power in the father’s touch.

Please share your thoughts and questions.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Remember to H.A.L.T

How do you respond to physical discomfort?

For instance, if you feel pain in your hand don’t you check to see what is wrong?

Our feelings or moods function the same way.  They let us know to stop and check the condition of our heart and mind.

If you fail to check your heart and mind you become vulnerable to spiritual distraction or deception.

Remember that most temptations to sin against God are based on unmet desires or needs.

Too many Christian men fail to be honest about what they are thinking and feeling. 

Instead of being honest they live in denial.  They think they can handle temptations in their own strength.

And so they end up sinning against God and their families.

Charles Stanley used the acronym H.A.L.T. as way for us to recognize when we are vulnerable and need to check in with the Lord.

H for Hungry: There are all kinds of hunger like the emotional and spiritual hunger for success, validation or control (to name a few).  Sometimes God has you wait on his provision.  Sometimes we just have to hunger more for God. 

A for Angry: Anger is a secondary emotion.  This means that anger is often based on some kind of hurt.  I will also add that many brothers manifest anger because they are depressed and don’t know how else to express it.  How do you respond when you are hurt?

L for Lonely: Loneliness can hit a man hard.  Why?  What many men value most is autonomy and independence.  We grow up thinking that we don’t need anything or anybody.  But we are designed for relationship and intimacy.

T for Tired: I have a confession.  When I am tired or disturbed from sleep I am the most ornery, irritable and bad tempered brother.  Maybe I am not alone?  But being tired is not simply about the physical.  We can become emotionally and spiritually weary and faint.

Ah!  There is so much more to say, not just about H.A.L.T, but fear, sadness, frustration, anxiety, guilt and more!

My point: What you feel is not the sin.  What you feel is a warning.  A warning to HALT!  Stop!  Turn to God and not your own strength.

Through His grace God will keep you from falling.

But build your walls of protection by:
  1. Living life on purpose
  2. Designing protection and accountability into your life
  3. Having brothers you can call
  4. Renew your thinking by reading, studying and memorizing Scripture
Please tell me what you think and post your thoughts below.

Your brother,

Minister Onorio

Blog Archive