So what does God’s family look like?

Our family has begun our adoption process, we have been through courses, read books, spent time in prayer, looking inside and out to make certain that this is God’s plan for us.

Through all this we have seen God’s heart and it is for children becoming united with solid loving families, within which they can grow and achieve God’s purposes in their lives, in an environment of love, support, security and grace.

So the question is, if this is such a massive desire of God and if it would only take approximately 7% of christians to ensure that every orphan has a family, if this is His heart, then why are there still orphans.

If we can extend this we can see that God’s heart is also for the poor, it is for marriages, it is for community. Why then do we have poverty, why is there such a great rate of divorce and why do we live lives that promote isolation and loneliness?

“A Father to the fatherless, defender of widows,this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families”

Psalm 68:5-6

So if we were to paint a picture of God’s family, not the church, but what we say best describes a family that shares His heart, what would that look like?

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Freely I received…Now what?

When I look at my son I am taken back a couple of years and reminded of how I longed to be a father so that I could better understand God as Father. I believed that I would have a better understanding of His love for me if I was able to look at my own child and experience the love of a father, as the father.

It has nearly been 3 years, and God has allowed me glimpses into His love for me through my love for my son in ways that I could never have imagined. Just today my son fell into the pool and as I reached into the water,  looking at his little body gasping and grasping for anything that could save him, I was again staggered by the thought that the urgency and determination that I expressed in pulling my son out of the water didn’t even compare to the desire that He has to reach down and save us.

Befitting of this realisation is that it happened on the Easter weekend, the single most important yearly event in the lives of all Christians.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

I cannot understand the love of a God who would allow his Son to die, but I can understand the love of a father who would do anything so that his son would be saved.

So this is where we are a family at the moment. We have received so much, but we find ourselves challenged to express the love that was given freely to us, to others. Daily I find my heart is breaking for the things that break His and that mostly involves how his little children, the most innocent and helpless, find themselves hurt, abandoned and oppressed on a daily basis. I cannot stand by!

According to UNICEF 25% of children, or 3.9 million, are living in South Africa are orphans, imagine the challenges these children will face in the future when we find ourselves in a situation where 25% of adults have come from a position of abandonment. Only 500000 of this 3.9 million are seen as wards of the state, leaving 3.4 million still wondering, where is the hope of the world? If we were to take the number of adoptable children and then estimate how long it would take to have these children placed into loving families, based on the current rate of adoptions in South Africa, we’re looking at 200 years and that’s if we ignore the fact that more children are being born daily and that some of these children will never be adopted because after age 7 their chances drop hugely.

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Regretless

We’ve all heard how no one sits on their death-bed wishing they’d spent more time at the office, landed a bigger deal, spent more time on their own, watching sports, being upset, being angry, just being. Everyone will agree regardless of their faith, that they would expect someone to wish they had spent more time with the ones they loved and loved them.

What a year, some epic down points but also some magnificent highlights. We lost a baby, but we have been blessed with watching our son grow and grow. From new words, to personality developments, to potty training and big boy beds. My beautiful wife is still my best friend and importantly my favourite person. Jesus is still my Lord and Saviour and continues to blow us away with His grace and favour. What a God!

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As for me

Two years ago we were blessed with a beautifully healthy baby boy, two years ago my wife became a Mom and I became a Dad, two years ago God changed my life and heart and left me staggering in awe. Two years ago God solidified in my heart His desire as a Father. He knitted my dreams with his plans and my hopes with His desires,God declared in my life that my purpose was to Father.

I sat there at the birth of my son a changed man, my heart melted for this little life that He entrusted me with. Never again would I be able to live for myself, never again would I be able pretend that what I do has no eternal consequence, never again would I be able to say that I have nothing to leave the world.

Good or bad, positive or negative, as a father you can be sure of one thing. You will leave a legacy.

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It’s about time!

I’m sitting here looking over the Maluti Mountains, around 15 km’s from Clarens, in the Northern Drakensberg. It is totally amazing how God works, these mountains just seem to explode from the ground and give the sense that such power has created them.

My wife and I have taken our first weekend away on our own in around 6 years, but on our own now requires that we leave our son at home with his Grandparents. I think it phases us more than him!

It’s amazing, that while we are here surrounded by such beauty, enjoying the scenery, revelling in the lack of schedule and things to do, one thing is so apparent to us. We are incomplete!

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Men behaving Daddly!

I’ve had the privilege recently of sitting with some amazing young people and hearing their hearts, hearing where they are at, where they’d like to be at and just generally being allowed to listen to them sharing.

So much of what I hear seems to connect with their confusion of who God is, what He wants and how we should connect the two. I must say that for most of my life I struggled with this, to be honest, I still have days now, where I struggle with understanding Him and what He wants for my life. But for certain, one thing that God has solidified in my heart, chiselled into my very soul, is that He wants me to be a father, a husband and a man, and those are things He holds close to His heart. After all, He is a Father, he lives as a husband to his bride and he was a man!

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The Purpose of a Father! Part 2

 Well, here we go with part 2 of the purpose of a Father. Everyday it seems I fall in my pursuit of perfection as a Dad, but do you know what? That’s fine, I know whose I am and I know I am a new creation, righteous, cleansed and with these truths at my side I will press on forgetting all the mistakes that lie behind me. I will keep pursuing my Fathers heart in this area, and I believe the last eight purposes are well connected with Gods heart for Fathering.

Again, this is not a fully comprehensive list, but it’s a good start, a good measuring tool with which to gauge where you are as a father, and where you feel God wants you to be.

Here we go, the Purpose of a Father is:

  1. To create a place of safety.
  2. To set the atmosphere.
  3. To love his children’s Mom.
  4. To pray for his wife, children and marriage.
  5. To set the example that you must live what you speak.
  6. To raise warrior princes and beautiful princesses.
  7. To set the example of what God intended relations to be.
  8. To create focus.

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Unbelievable Mercy!

Wow, its been nearly two weeks since we last connected, I’ve been meaning to make time but to no avail. Today was going to be the same but I thought if I don’t get out and write, it will be another week before I know it.

These last 2 weeks have been trying to say the least. The weekend before last we were on our way church when my wife started have extreme stomach cramps, she said this was not normal and we needed to go to the hospital. We raced to our local casualty ward and they rushed her into the examination room, she was in such pain but I had to fill out forms.

After what seemed like a novel and a half I was able to go through and see her. Our son was with his Grandparents by this time so we could focus on each other. After a few opinions it was decided to give her a CT scan. We eventually made our way through to radiology and had the scan done.

As a side point, I know the doctors are more concerned with our physical well-being than our emotional state at this point, but it sure would have made things easier had they been a little lighter handed with me, but hey, I suppose I understand.

We were then taken into the trauma casualty after watching my wife faint and look as close to death without dying as I’d ever seen a person. The doctor sat us down and said in a calm but surgical way that she was sorry it was not good news. Yup, I haven’t said what was wrong as I at this point still did not know. Eventually they began to explain that my wife was pregnant but that they thought it was an Ectoptic pregnancy, which basically means she is pregnant but the little guy/girl hadn’t made the full journey to the womb. Whats more the fetus had attached in one of her fallopian tubes and as growth occurred it ruptured her tube, this meant there was around a litre of blood in her abdomen. So there we were, pregnant, unbeknownst to us and my wife was suffering from internal bleeding. Later that evening only, they operated and removed the ruptured tube, and my beautiful wife was left to recover and we now had to start processing what had just happened.

WE HAD BEEN PREGNANT!

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LOVE

What must it have been like, to exist as God no less, and watch as your son was being beaten, mocked, abused, jeered at, hated, spat on, thrown away, tortured and then murdered? Yes murdered.

The definition: The unlawful, intentional killing of another human being with the intent to kill.

Unlawful, because, He broke no laws, he was and is sinless, he had to be, otherwise He would not have measured up to being a perfect sacrifice.

Intentional, obviously.

Killing, obviously.

Human being? Well he had to be, you can’t kill God, and He needed to die to be offered as a sacrifice and regain the authority for us as a man that Adam lost as a man when he disobeyed in the Garden.

I look at my son, when he sleeps, when he’s playing, crying, laughing, sitting, standing and every moment in between, and I am filled with love, it overpowers me, it permeates my being and drips from my pores. How did God watch as His Son was put to death, for a group of people that for the most part, would never truly appreciate the sacrifice? I shudder when my son bumps his head, what was God’s expression when Jesus was whipped, spat on and brutally tortured?

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The Purpose of a Father! Part 1

I’ve been formulating my own little list of the tasks or missions that are attached with the mantle “Father”. I’ve been tweeting them for the past week and so I thought I’d elaborate on my weeks’ tweets and then add them to a page on the site which I will call The purpose of a Father, so here we go.

Fathering is hard, for us anyway, and the job description exhaustive. I only need to look at my week and I come up with the following job titles that I held:

  • Comforter
  • Protector
  • Educator
  • Cleaner
  • Financer
  • Guidance counsellor
  • Pastor
  • Chef
  • Personal trainer etc

The list seems to never end, but then again neither does the joy I feel when my son looks at me and asks for a hug, a few minutes of my time to read him a book or to play cars with him. This past week I looked at 7 purposes which for me are real necessities in my life as a Dad. The 7 purposes from this week were:

  1. To validate masculinity and manhood.
  2. To instill a sense of value.
  3. To build up.
  4. To create boundaries within which his children have enough freedom to explore, but also enough safety so that the     consequences are learning experiences and not death sentences.
  5. To provide emotionally, educationally and financially.
  6. To be the first to praise and the last to criticise.
  7. To be a gate-keeper.

Lets look at some of these that I find need more focus today.

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