The Father Heart of God
Many of you have heard me refer to the book “Fatherless Generation” by John Sowers. This book grabbed my heart when I first read it a few years ago and it is one that I continue to go back to and recommend to others when I speak of mentoring and the need for positive role models in the lives of children.
I was reminded again this week of both fatherlessness and the Father Heart of God as I spent time with kids at one of our elementary schools and heard them talking about their upcoming Easter break.
“My Mom and I are going to……….” “ I am going to Grandma’s with my Mom and sister.”
“I am going to visit my Dad in B.C.” I heard many different angles on the same theme.
Through scripture we learn that there is a special place in the heart of God for the fatherless and that He is faithful. The Bible tells us that God hears and acts on behalf of those who have been abandoned, He is a Father who longs to father those whom have been rejected.
As we are in the Easter season I reflect on the fact that Jesus willingly chose to experience a divine fatherlessness for me – the pain of rejection on the cross, rejection for my sin, that I might belong to the Father.
As John writes in his book, “To belong to God means I am no longer defined by what I do, no longer defined by my performance. I am defined by his love for me. To belong to God means I am free to approach God with the simplicity of a child. He’s just happy to have me around.
To belong to God means I am no longer ashamed, God heals the shame of my fatherlessness through the dignity of adoption. The core experience of my life is no longer rejection. I am accepted. There is no longer something missing inside. I do not have to strive or compete to earn my worth. My shame has been replaced by sonship. I belong to God. Now it’s enough to simply be. My Fatherlessness no longer defines who I am.” *
Becoming involved in the life of a child or family through one of the avenues below gives you opportunity to be a reflection of the father love of God. If the God we serve is a Father, Defender, Protector and Provider how can we who are called to be imitators of him, be any less?
The following opportunities listed are just that – Opportunities to speak into, spend time with and do sacrificial things to bring about change. Not just with youth but with Mothers who shoulder both roles of parenting in providing for and nurturing their families.
In school help with reading and writing. Spending time with a child who is having challenges with reading or cursive writing can make a big difference in their overall academic achievement level. Plus you get to spend time with a young person on a regular basis encouraging and speaking affirmation into their lives.
After school cooking and baking club. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen then this is an opportunity to pass on some basic safety skills and elementary levels of baking and cooking to some eager children. This club will be starting up shortly at the Dawe School and we plan on using the rest of this school year to figure out all the angles so that we are up and running fully for September.
In school Mentoring Do you have an hour a week during school hours to give to a child? With the school counsellor’s discretion you will be matched with a young person who will greatly benefit from your time and input into their life. Mentoring is NOT about showing charity and sympathy to troubled kids. Mentoring calls people to live like Jesus. Mentors can be used to do extraordinary things in the life of a child through consistent presence and modeling.
5Km Run Are you a runner? Or would you like to be? There is a need for older youth and adults to coach and encourage kids who are training for a 5 Km run in June. This run is being organized by Hope Mission who are actively involved in 4 of our elementary schools in Red Deer. They have 170 kids who have been running, sweating and getting faster all year! There is a need for lots of runners and other helpers at the big race on June 11th. Visit their race info website at www.hopemission.com/5krace to sign up to run or be a field marshal etc. If you would like to help with food prep or barbequing or clean up at this event please contact Laurie at the church.
Love in the Laces It is not too early to start thinking about supporting our partner Womens Outreach and kids in our community through the giving of new back to school shoes . If you would like to be a part of the planning and implementation of this much needed and appreciated initiative please contact Laurie. We will also need you to help fit children with the right size shoes at the Centre late July through to mid August.
Single Moms Among Us The leadership and planning committee of this mid size community group is seeking another woman or two to join them. If you have a heart for women who are parenting alone please prayerfully consider this opportunity. Please contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org An even greater need is for families within CrossRoads to connect with and include these Moms and kids into your circle. These Moms are seeking relationship with other families for themselves and their children.
Please contact Laurie for more details on any of the above or if you would like a copy of Fatherless Generation. LaurieW@CrossRoadsChurch.ca
*Fatherless Generation Redeeming the Story John Sowers