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Stories from the journey of fatherhood & brotherhood
The Power of Confession confession healing Jan 10, 2020

I remember growing up with I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” For me, confession came around our church’s once a month communion service. The pastor would talk about coming to the “table” with a clean slate and I would stumble through an internal prayer of confession, trying to hit the things I could remember from the previous few days. As a result, confession was not an...

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Fathering My Parents dementia fatherhood Jan 08, 2020

I knew it wasn't good when the phone rang at 2 a.m.

I'm in my mid-forties, with a child in college and two others still at home. I'm in the thick of fathering. My parents are in their early seventies, which according to the latest news, is the new 60's. They should be traveling, living large, enjoying the grandchildren, and continuing to change the world. Instead, I'm in the thick of fathering them too.

My mother has early-onset dementia. We've seen signs for the last decade, and the...

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What I Learned At A Preschool Christmas Play attention christmas fatherhood Jan 08, 2020

We were 30 minutes early and already the first 15 rows of seats were taken. The excitement in the air countered the familiar weight of the Christmas season. Parents, grandparents, and friends chatted while antsy kids hung on the backs of church pews like monkey bars. All were gathered to see the critically acclaimed and long anticipated event of the year:

The Open Arms Preschool Christmas Production

For weeks our four year old daughter had practiced songs for tonight. The time had finally...

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Why I Hate Christmas Carols advent carols christmas love Dec 18, 2019

I really and truly despise most Christmas songs. Seriously.   

I know that makes me sound like a grinch, and in many respects I suppose I might be. This year, even before Thanksgiving rolled around, my family started playing Christmas music and I thought I would lose my mind.   

The Christmas season is full of tradition, from family gatherings to Christmas cookies, from decades-old decorations to familiar smells coming from the kitchen. There is something deeply...

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Why We Shouldn't Bury Things brotherhood honesty music story Dec 06, 2019

We shouldn’t bury things. Here’s why...

Over the past year or so, I’ve shared parts of my story of writing and playing music. I wrote a lot of songs in my 20s, but then once “life happened,” playing my guitar and singing my songs got pushed aside. And after being pushed, they were forgotten. After forgotten, eventually hidden. And a part of me that lived passionately, freely and vulnerably was hidden with it. 

A few weekends ago, I found myself surprised by...

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Grill-talk: How To Stay Shallow And Avoid True Brotherhood brotherhood depth friendship Nov 19, 2019
There is no better place to avoid the depths of relationship than standing around the grill with other men. Here are 5 sure-fire ways to keep it shallow.

Grills are the gathering place of men. At almost every cookout, neighborhood gathering, church picnic or “having-friends-over-in-the-summertime,” men can be found lingering around the grill with beer in hand. Lurking in the background, however, is a danger zone called “connectedness” that most grill-masters know how...

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Interview With Dr. Dan Allender – Pornified Masculinity & Hope For Restoration allender men pornography restoration Nov 19, 2019

Dr. Dan Allender, Professor and Founder of The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and The Allender Center, joins Restoration Project in the battle for men’s souls. As a leading expert in the area of sexual shame, harm and recovery, we have asked him about the pervasive epidemic of pornography, its effect on men’s hearts, and what gives him hope for healing.

Dan has also contributed to Restoration Project by writing the foreword to our Man Maker Project:...

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Fathering Daughters: 5 Important Realities Every Dad Needs to Know daughters fatherhood intention Nov 19, 2019

There is no doubt that fathering sons is overwhelmingly challenging. And up till now, much of our focus has been on the making of men out of our sons. But make no mistake. It takes just as much intentionality and purpose to raise daughters into vibrant and alive women. Girls need their fathers just as much as boys. But fathering girls is a whole different animal.

I am in the heat of it, so let me start by asking you to cut me some slack. I have two daughters, one age 12, and the other...

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Backpacking With Grace Nov 07, 2019

We hiked for 10 yards and were already stopping. My daughter’s purple and pink tennis shoes veered off the trail to pick some fiery orange colored Indian Paintbrush. With eyes proud she handed me the tangy smelling flower to hold while we resumed up the trail. Two minutes later we stopped again, this time to pick some undersized Mountain Daisies. Not twenty yards down later bluebells the color of a baby boy’s nursery caught her eye. Her wildflower bouquet was...

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The Making of Men experiences fatherhood rites of passage Oct 17, 2019

I am convinced that boys are born, but men are made. Not all males grow up to be men. Indeed, the biological imperative hurdles boys forward through their years of maturation, growing and hardening their boy bodies and brains with the stature and power of an adult. Society provides some semblance of rhythm to mark the passing of time and the graduation of boys to greater levels of intelligence or responsibility – diplomas, driver’s licenses, voting rights, drinking age...

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The Call on Every Man's Life brotherhood engagement fatherhood passivity Oct 02, 2019

I struggle just as much as any other man. There is something written into the broken places of my heart that compel me to pull back, sit down, check out and just disengage. Back. Down. Out. Disengage. Why do I always have to hard things?

 It’s the new year, and I’ve just gotten my butt kicked by Jesus. In the time of year where we reflect on what has been and look forward to what is to come, I have spent a good number of hours evaluating where I am versus where I...

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