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Monthly Archives: August 2011

New Daddy Feeling

I remember very well the day my eldest son was born.  I was one proud parent!  He was just perfect.  No, he couldn’t walk yet, and no, he couldn’t talk yet.  He could barely make out my facial features, even.  But he knew my voice.  I remember walking over to the ‘warming table’, where he was screaming his lungs out.  For months, I had been talking to him, inside his mommy’s belly, and so I leaned over to his ear, and said, “Hey, buddy.”  The crying stopped, and he turned his head toward me, looking my direction.  It was an incredible moment, one that I will never forget.

Though it pales in comparison, by a mile, there is a similarity between that event and the announcement of the first official Trailhead Outfitters adventure. In a sense, I feel like the newborn baby boy.  It’s not walking yet, it’s can’t really articulate everything the way I’d like.  Heck, I can’t even make out where I’m going.  BUT…I can hear the Voice.  And, in the midst of this unknown place, unknown circumstances, unknown destination, the Voice is a comforting reminder that my Father is here, even if I know nothing else.  And it’ll all be okay.

But I also feel like the new Daddy.  This is my baby, in a manner of speaking.  I’ve anticipated this day for awhile now.  I’ve watched it grow, getting ready for the big day.  And now, here I stand, looking at this tiny, helpless wonder in front of me.  No, it can’t stand on its own yet.  It isn’t close to what it will one day be yet, and I have no idea what shape that will take.  But it hardly matters.  It’s here.  And I’m proud.

September 16-17, 2011 is the date of our first Trailhead Outfitters Adventure, and it will be at Davy Crockett State Park in Tennessee.  More details will be listed at the facebook site, which you can link to from the blog on the icon to the right.  Check the ‘event’ tab, and sign up!  Look forward to a great time together camping, hiking, exploring, and just having a ton of fun with our boys!

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Good gifts

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”-Yeshua, in Matthew 7:9-11

One thing we can say for certain about Christ, he was certain of the goodness, love, and intentionality of his Father.  He knew, without a doubt, that He was prized and adored by his Father, and that assurance gave him the strength and courage to stand tall, set his face like a flint, and endure what He had to endure for us, because of ‘the joy set before him’.  That joy was in knowing he was a beloved son, the apple of his Daddy’s eye.  Further, the joy also lay in knowing that the same Father that loves Him so, loves US in the same manner, which is why Christ was sent to do what He did.  Father wanted his children back.  Now we have the best Father in the world.

And we have the opportunity to model OUR Fatherhood by that standard.  We don’t always do the best job, though, do we?

BUT, it’s encouraging to know that, even though we are less than perfect, we are still capable of giving good things to our sons.  That’s the essence of what Christ said about us.  The best part is that, while we sometimes get it right, albeit imperfectly, our Father does it for us perfectly, all the time.  So whatever we do for our sons, the Father does it for us even moreso.  Giving gifts to our sons, simply because they are our sons, and because we love them, is following in the footsteps of our True Father.

Just yesterday, I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods, trying to figure out how to spend a fifty dollar gift card.  I had been in there two or three times already, and though I love their camping section, nothing was appealing to me.

I think God was thwarting my self-seeking, in order that I might live out what Christ said there in Matthew, because out of nowhere, I thought of how much fun my boys have been having recently with their newfound love:  Airsoft.  I was drawn to the airsoft section, where I paused on the cool, ninja-like facemask/goggles that were made for airsoft.  It was as if God said to me, ‘give good gifts to them’.  So I bought one for each of them.  Before taxes?  They were 49.98.  Perfect.

And oh, the look on their faces when I brought them out.  Priceless.

Yes.  Give gifts to your sons.  For no particular reason at all.  Remind them that they are prized by their father.  And remember how much more our True Father prizes us.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Trailhead Outfitters-what is it?

Trailhead Outfitters is designed with the idea that we who are dads must rediscover the lost art of masculine initiation.  Look around.  Fathers are unavailable, to an alarming degree, in this day and age, and our sons are suffering because of it.  Our daughters, too.  Gender confusion, senseless violence, stunted men…all have a direct tie-in to fatherlessness.  We have lost our intentionality.  Fathers have been told for years that their contribution to the family is nothing more than putting on the yoke, hooking up to the plow, and producing.  Bringing home the bacon.  So dads become workaholics, so much so that their ‘leisure’ time tends to be AWAY time from the very people we should be deeply invested in and engaged with.  We hit the golf course, or the gym, or the lake to fish…or the bar to drink the monotony away.  Meanwhile, there are young boys, growing into young men, who are having to figure life out on their own, who are asking the all important question “Do I have what it takes, Dad?” and who are getting answers that emasculate them, strip them of pride and dignity.  “No, you don’t have what it takes”.  “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”  “Sorry, I have better things to do”.

Enough.

Trailhead Outfitters is about equipping (outfitting) dads with the time, the opportunities, and the focus needed to begin to repair the frayed bonds between father and son.  Here, at the start, it simply consists of this:  I am in the process of scheduling weekends of adventures with my boys, so that I, personally, can learn to be more intentional, and I’m inviting everyone who wants this for themselves and their sons to come along.  Camping trips.  Day hikes.  Whitewater rafting trips.  Renting a cabin in the woods for the weekend and learning to build something together.  Water gun wars.  Whatever it is that gets fathers and sons into close proximity to one another, without distractions from the outside world.

There are phases, two, in fact, that are primary to some of the things we will do.  For a more comprehensive idea of what these are, I highly recommend John Eldredge’s book, ‘Fathered by God’.  For the younger sons, the adventures are all about time with dad.  Dad, your job will be to be completely, totally, and unreservedly available to your boy.  They need to feel like the apple of your eye.  Prized.  Of course, a son of any age longs for this, and, if he hasn’t received it, I don’t care if he’s 4 or 44.  He needs it from you in order to better pass it on to his sons.

For sons in the realm of 12, 13, 14, there will be adventures designed to challenge them, hard work-related challenges that father and son enter into together, so that the question “Do I have what it takes?” can be better answered in the affirmative.

There is a double benefit to these things:  Yes, the sons get to feel prized, and feel manly, but you dads will receive the same kind of initiation, and embrace, because we all have a Father who loves us, who prizes us, and who wants to initiate us.  And He will do for you, what you decide to do for your sons.  It’s an amazing thing.

So, that’s what Trailhead Outfitters is about.  As it grows, so will we.  But the growth is God’s area.  Mine is simply to do what I can now, with what I’ve been given.  And it’s an incredible thing.  I encourage you to join in whenever you see us planning an adventure.  If you can’t be with us because of distance, then do it for your sons right where you are.

Let’s reclaim our mantle as fathers, and together we can rediscover the path to intentional fatherhood.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Intentional Fatherhood

“YOU DID THAT ON PURPOSE!”  my 7 year old bellows at his 11 year old brother.  It’s a familiar refrain, one that many a parent has heard echoing down the hallway many a time.  Almost always, the ‘thing’ that was done ‘on purpose’ is something decidedly less than benevolent, usually teetering on the brink of just plain mean.  Brothers do that, of course.  It’s all part of sibling rivalry.  It doesn’t *usually* do any real lasting damage.

It makes me wonder, though: Dads, are we raising our sons ‘on purpose’?

Too many statistics tell a sad commentary on the state of fatherhood today.   It requires very little effort to find an article, or a statistic, that bemoans the absence, either physical or psychological, of fathers, and the devastating effect such absence has upon sons who need very much to know what it means to be a man; these sons unfortunately tend to find their definition of manhood from a variety of ill-suited sources.  It requires much greater effort to find stories of inspiration, whereby a father is the hero to his son, trains his son well, and initiates him well into the world of men.  Such a son grows into the various stages of boy/manhood with a kind, strong, and engaged father, and has no question in his mind who he is.

But, again, such a father is hard to find.  Because such a father must be a practitioner of Intentional Fatherhood.

To be an intentional father, we must be ready, willing, and able to fully and completely engage in the lives of our sons.  It simply is not enough just to ‘stay married'(though that certainly helps), or attend the occasional ballgame.  No, intentional fathers are present, aware, and always ready to engage.  We need to be intentional.

Speaking of that, my 11 year old son just asked me to help him fight an air-soft battle in the front yard.  Gotta go!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Who’s Your Daddy?

Welcome to the inauguration of the Trailhead Outfitters blog.  I hope you find what you read here inspiring, enlightening, and encouraging.  Being a dad in this day and age is tough, even tougher to be an Intentional Father.  Don’t know what that is?  Read about it in the Intentional Father blog.  My hope is that we can recapture the true masculine spirit, and in so doing, reclaim our sons through authentic masculine initiation and invitation.  If you like what you read, tell a friend, link to it on your website, and help us at Trailhead Outfitters ‘turn the hearts of the fathers toward their sons, and the hearts of the sons toward their fathers’!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Uncategorized