Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Father’s Day Message To Women And Clergy

Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, is a day set aside for the nation to honor fatherhood and the influence of fatherhood upon society. As Mother’s Day honors and celebrates motherhood and its influence upon society, these particular days are to honor parents on their respective days.

However, there is a grave breach that has developed over the years with regard to the celebration of these two holidays. The currents of these vicious winds continue to grow as a poison in our society, of which I must address.

While we happily and most passionately celebrate and honor our mothers of society, regardless of those who have faltered in their maternal responsibilities, we have allowed an undercurrent of disrespect of fathers to arise in our community dialogue. While both genders have those who have not lived up to their parental responsibilities, and who have caused damages and breaches within family structures, the vast majority of fathers and mothers fulfill their role honorably.

However, too often the hurt women of our communities, use this holiday to speak rebukes and launch sarcasm of all kinds to fathers they consider to be not living up to what they try to mentally construct as “true fatherhood.”
Every Father’s day, diatribes and sketches arise trying to preach and teach what individuals think what fatherhood should be. The current continues to grow into a dangerous wind that has engulfed clergy and other men who pander to the favor of women and join in during this day to poke at fatherhood.

Yet, on mother’s day, year after year, all clergy go way out to honor and shower overwhelming love to mothers on their day. There can be no voice found on Mother’s day, trying to preach, rebuke, or even teach and mildly correct mothers. It is because it is appropriately known, that this is a day of honor and celebration too and for mothers….not workshop day for mothers. This is not a day for mothers to be sat down in a classroom to be corrected and taught what motherhood is all about. There is all year for that. This day, it is time to celebrate all mothers; regardless of any shortcomings, one may perceive they may have in their maternal performance.

Why is it then, that fathers have been under the whip every father ’s day? Why is it that we are easily taken over by this undercurrent of disrespect of fathers on the day meant to honor us?

On behalf of all the fathers in the earth who hear enough societal lambasting, correction, and rebuke throughout the year;
And on behalf of scores of children who attempt to appropriately honor their fathers on this special day, but are thronged on this day by those mixed societal messages calling for “real fathers” and feel this is the time to try to define what they think fatherhood is all about;
I implore you to stop the disrespect of fathers and their holiday. From the depths of my prophetic voice, I issue a cease and desist order to you.
I humbly petition all clergy who write their father’s day sermons under the influence of this poisonous current to come to a screeching halt and go to God the heavenly father for instructions on how to honor earthly fathers on father’s day.
I ask all women to please take the example of Sonora Sweet Dodd, a woman, founder of Father’s day which originated in Spokane Washington, 1910. This great woman knew the influence of fatherhood, as her father, a civil war veteran, was a single parent who raised 6 kids. She used her womanhood to go around and promote the celebration of fathers when she saw that there was a day honoring mothers.

I also ask you to take the example from Grace Golden Clayton who pushed her church to have the first Father’s Day Service at the William Methodist Episcopal Church South in West Virginia on July 5, 1908.

Ms. Clayton used her pain to bring about a positive outcome. You see, it was after a mining accident the winter before, that killed over five hundred men and instantaneously created almost one thousand fatherless children, that she pushed and helped her Pastor organize a Father’s Day service. Her father, a minister also, died in that accident.

I continue to plead with the women of our communities to follow the example of Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith who, in 1957, pressured Congress to back a national holiday honoring fathers and who wrote a rebuke to Congress for ignoring fathers.
President Nixon finally signed into law, Father’s Day as a national holiday in 1972.

These women were the forerunners who made this holiday happen. They used their womanhood to help repair societal breaches by promoting the honoring of men, not promoting their individual pain in the denigration of the men of our society. They realized that the foundation of any strong society begins with men and their fathering and that their womanhood is essential in girding up and supporting the male foundation. Actually, its success depends on the support of the women.

Today, great women continue to support the foundation of manhood and its impact on society as a woman such as Diane Sears, United States Coordinator of International Men’s Day, promotes nationally, activities celebrating men’s role in society, as well as promoting good gender relations. Great women such as Cathleen Williams who started and is Coordinator of International Men’s Day in New York continues to influence and impact our family structure in celebrating men’s achievements and promoting men’s health, well-being and good gender relations in the great and influential state of New York.

Women and clergy are in a strategic position and must realize their dialogue must be part of the solution and not the problem. Using the holiday that is designed to honor fathers to denigrate them is not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

On what is now the 46th anniversary of Father’s Day as a national holiday, it is time to be part of the solution.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

We Can Still Do This

...A just man falleth seven times, and riseth again.-Proverbs 24:16

Have you ever felt that it is too late to accomplish something that you once dreamed?
Have you ever experienced a failed project or two, or three, and resolved within yourself that maybe the project wasn’t meant to be?
Have you ever made an all-out attempt at something and experienced an embarrassing defeat at your attempt?

If any of you have encountered one or more of these questions; well then, this article is for you.

What if I were to tell you that you weren’t supposed to be able to succeed at your first attempt?
Or, that failures, setbacks, and embarrassing mistakes are incidents that are indispensable to our success?
You might be inclined to immediately stop reading, render me a bumbling idiot and move on to something else more interesting to read. Instead of following that impulse, hang out with me for a moment.
Let's just take a trip through life a bit and analyze a few truths.
It could be really cool to be able to accomplish everything I ever tried to do at my first attempt…I think. Well, What if my first attempt as an infant to stand on my feet was successful. What if the pacifier never fell out of my mouth, and if I were able to hold my own bottle the first time. Yes, I could be a prodigy, but if we look more closely at such a phenomenon, I would be a freak of nature and would be handicapped to life’s opposing forces. I would be a cripple, not knowing how to confront the opposite winds normal to everyday life.
The principles of life teach us that opposition brings growth and completion. Opposition brings growth first, then completion.
The same way the toddler will fall several times before fully developing his/her ability to walk, every ability experiences some level of trials before its maturity. A baby has the natural ability to walk. It is in their destiny. It is in their instinct to make the attempts. However, if the child, due to its first or second fall, began refusing to try again because of those falls, we would eventually declare that the child is delayed. It is unnatural to not walk at all when you have the natural ability to do so.
Nature teaches us that every talent we have, whether natural or not, must achieve growth and development through trial and error.  Errors and mistakes are natural. Nothing is achieved without them.
If there wasn’t a universal opposing force to help us grow, then our muscles would never grow or develop through exercising. Our body’s muscles must experience the activity of opposing force in order to grow.
The law of nature teaches us that opposition is necessary for growth.

Life gives us failures as the prerequisites to our successes.
So, it wouldn’t be too cool after all to be denied the power of failure as the tool of our development.
Let us happily and wisely engage our natural tools, confronting them boldly and wielding them, as they were meant, to our advantage. Failures are our friends, not our foes. Henry Ford went broke five times before succeeding. Winston Churchill failed sixth grade and was subsequently defeated in every election thereafter until being elected Prime Minister at age 62. Michael Jordan once said,” I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That’s why I succeed.” Many examples, including these mentioned, teach us that very often, the greater the failures, the greater our ability to eventually succeed.

Remember that the winds don’t always flow with us, in the direction we are heading, to propel us, to assist us in reaching our destination, but we still reach it. I’ve gotten my hat blown off too many times to not realize that truth. Keep in mind that all of the seeds that we plant in the earth do not bud and every act of coitus does not result in conception, even during ovulation.
The frequent stumbles, errors, and annoying mistakes prepare us for our steepest climbs.
Always tell yourself, I can still do this!

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly-Robert F. Kennedy