We are a society without fathers. The lifelong cost of this affects both genders: creating boys who never grow up (i.e. extended adolescence)— who want to marry mothers instead of wives, and girls who want securing and affirming daddy-figures, instead of risk-taking partners. Neither gender is ready for the work and adventure of a full life. (Rohr: Adam’s Return). Where are the masters? Where are the fathers? We have never had male initiation rites in the United States. Other societies place a large emphasis on initiating their young men at around the age of 12. Aborigines have their young 12-year old sons go out into the outback of Australia with a small ax and return with a beast that they have killed. The elders drag their kill into the middle of a stone walled circle, (the place of the Stone Ax, Kojunnup), culminating in a party where they hand the new man an even bigger ax! The young boy is welcomed into the tribe as a man, who now sits at the table with the elders and contributes to the decisions for the tribe… The boy becomes a man, is recognized by his people as a man, and is held to the standard of a man. Some tribes in Africa have their young men— around 12 or 13— jump out of trees with a rope tied to their feet...Read More
Author: Gary Black
Boys to Men, Part II (continued from previous blog). When I was sixteen years old, I was kicked off the basketball team for bad grades. The night my dad found out, I walked into the house, totally expecting my head to roll across the kitchen floor! There my dad stood, arms crossed, wearing his famous scowl and anger flashed in his eyes. When my brother, sister and I were screwing around as kids, one look from him brought us right back into order—not out of love, but rather complete fear. Do not get me wrong: I believe a little fear is healthy, but only when motivated from a father’s heart. Before he had the chance to start yelling at me, I spoke up, “You know dad: it really doesn’t matter what I do. I could NEVER live up to your expectations! I am never good enough, I never do anything, right and you will never be happy with me!” For nearly an hour I stood there, not only speaking my own words, but also the Holy Spirit was helping me by telling my dad how I really felt at a deep level. My dad stood, never changing that scowl, but… listening. And then… He uncrossed his arms, his face changed and tears started rolling down his cheeks. He said, “Son, you know if I lined you up with all...Read More
Disclaimer: This blog series is to be read in “whole” or as a “norm”. I am very aware that in every generation we have amazing people that overcame and did amazing things. You may even be one of those people. If you read this series from your “false-self” or ego self, you could possibly be offended. If you read this from your “true-self”, from your eyes for the world, then I can almost guarantee you will be inspired! My heart is to see a generation set free and living fully alive. As the older generations, we must take responsibility for what we imparted as a whole, and serve the young people around the earth with passion, discipline and the Father’s heart. As a young generation, you must come out of the “victim circle” and take responsibility for your own lives and the lives of those around you. Every generation is responsible for itself. For generations now we have compounded a spirit of fatherlessness– more commonly referred to as an “orphan spirit”— that has increased with each new generation. It is a spirit that first manifests itself as a victim and tells us that “it is everybody else’s fault.” As I have immersed myself back into these millennials’ hearts and lives, I can tell you this orphan spirit is more rampant than ever. As a whole, my father’s generation was...Read More
How many times did your parents, a teacher, a coach ask you to change? If you would just “Change” everything would be alright! I believe that is why we are all so afraid of change. It means we have to finally get it right some how, and we know deep down, that we won’t… I guess we have to be okay with that, not being “Right”, before we can accept change. I love the way Richard Rohr explains it, (Watch this 1 minute clip on Oprah), he says we don’t like change “Because it asks us to let go” – we are so good at holding on to bitterness, resentment, hurt, not forgiving, hatred, etc. and yet, we are very bad at holding on to joy, peace, forgiveness and life. Your “Small Self” says, your life is all about you, which isn’t a very big life. We make our whole identity about victimhood and how we were done wrong somehow, instead of allowing those very things to make us great. Freedom only comes when you don’t need to play the victim or create victims. One of the hardest “Changes” for me. Jesus calls our small self, our false self, “A single grain of wheat”, our “Small self” is our ego. This is the part of us that needs to eventually die so that our “True self”, our maturity, our...Read More
Three years ago today—Easter— was the last time I saw my Michael, my son, my reflection alive. We sat in the kitchen and talked about God, school, rugby, and life. He asked me to please keep him home and from going back to college. He told me he just wanted time to reflect and be at home. The decision to send him back to school transformed my life. The pattern of life is: birth, then death, followed by resurrection. As Richard Rohr puts in his book “Immortal Diamond”, if we can die to that which stands in the way...Read More
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