Tuesday, December 30, 2008
In 2007, we lost my grandmother. Well, on September 21 of 2008, her husband, my grandfather, also went home to be with the Lord.
In April I took Brittney and Brianna to the Father Daughter Conference with Vision Forum. In was in Pine Mountain, Georgia. We heard a lot of good messages, saw lots of pretty flowers, and had a great time together. Then in August, I took Michael and Justin to the Father Son Conference. That was located in Winter Park, Colorado. It was likewise filled with good messages, lots of trees, and a great time with my boys.
Probably the highlight of the year remains the Rite of Passage ceremony we held for Michael. I haven’t blogged much about it this year because it remained a surprise for him up until the night we did it. Be sure and read the update under “Rite of Passage” on this blog. I prepared for this since at least 2004. My brother, Jason, seems to think that the planning started much earlier than that. In any case, it was a huge success.
2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year ahead. With a natural eye there is reason for great concern. President Hussein will take his oath of office on January 20. I can’t help but feel that America has elected Osama’s cousin. May God protect us. He has always built His church in times of persecution. It may be just around the corner. Stand strong and quit you like men. God is still on the throne.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Last Saturday, the work of about four years of preparation culminated in the "Rite of Passage" ceremony for my oldest son, Michael A Southerland III. He turned 13 on December 27, 2008. At the ceremony he received advice from his great-grandfather (via recorded video since "Pepaw" passed away in September), both of his grandfathers, his mother, his uncle, our provisional church elders, and of course, yours truly, his father.
I charged Michael with the responsibility of preparing to undertake the three roles that a man should fill while leading his family. Mirroring directly from the example of our Lord toward His Church, these roles are those of a prophet, priest, and king. Michael received a gift corresponding to each of the roles for which he was charged.
For the role of Prophet, I charged Michael with the following responsibilities:
- Speak Vision Into Your Family
- Hold Yourself to the Highest Standard of Ethics
- Bridle Your Tongue
- Never Stop Learning
- Know "What You Want to Be When You Grow Up"
- Use Civil Disobedience Appropriately
- Seek a Godly Wife
- Encourage Your Wife and Children
- Be Consistent With Discipline
- Direct Your Family's Ministry
- Realize the Blessing of Children
After charging him with these responsibilities and getting an affirmative answer from him, I presented him with a copy of Charges for a Southerland Son. This leatherbound book represents many, many hours of labor in writing down my charges and thoughts to him. I intend for him to keep it updated in subsequent editions in order to pass down the message to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
For the role of Priest, I charged Michael with the following responsibilities:
- Intercede on Behalf of Your Family
- Be Cautious of Charismatic Gifts
- Teach the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
- Teach the Five Points of Calvinism
- Teach the Five Solas of the Reformation
- Catechize Your Children
After charging him with these responsibilities and receiving an affirmative answer, I presented him with a leatherbound copy of the Geneva Bible in a family Bible edition. This is the Bible used by the Reformers and the Pilgrims. This particular Bible has room to record his family tree information.
For the role of King I charged Michael with the following responsibilities:
- Defend Your Family
- Be a Good Steward of Resources Entrusted to You
- Walk With Honor
- Be Sober Minded
- Be a Leader
- Make or Influence Public Policy
- Guard Your Time
- Guard Your Family's Purity
After charging him with these responsibilities and receiving an affirmative answer, I presented him with a Scottish Highland Claymore sword encased in a custom made leather scabbard adorned with our family crest and inlaid with our Southerland (Sutherland) tartan.
I have so many people to thank that helped bring this project to fruition. Some I have personal relationships with. Some I have met. Some I haven't. Some only through e-mail. First and foremost, I thank the Lord Jesus Christ. Without Him, this is all meaningless. Next, my bride and Michael's mother, Sheri. She has supported me throughout all this. The other list of credits include my brother Jason who originally planted this thought in my head; my parents for laying a Christian foundation for me on which to build; Doug Phillips and Geoff Botkin for their visionary messages on fathers leading their families; Phil Lancaster for his book, Family Man, Family Leader from which I pulled the whole concept of a man serving as Prophet, Priest, and King like our Lord; Scott Brown for his counsel on what traits should be found in a young man from the perspective of a father evaluating a suitor for his daughter; Russ Ellis, of Tritonworks, the artisan that gave me advice on where to order the sword and did an excellent job of crafting a custom made scabbard for it.
My goal is that this will not die in my generation. I plan to do these ceremonies for each of my sons (and similar, though not exact, celebrations for my daughters). They are to charge their sons as well. This should be kept up ad infinitum throughout the generations. Yet, I will be satisfied if it at least propagates through 200 years. That is the vision, sons. Now let's make it happen with God's help.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
SermonAudio has proven itself to be an excellent resource for solid Christian teaching. The link to this particular message is as follows:
Monday, December 22, 2008
The Bible calls children a blessing. A family with many children is truly wealthy. Though in our society that wealth is often seen in heritage and non-monetary ways, I believe that God intends for children to bring financial wealth to a family as well. I know several families who work together on their farms or family businesses. Many hands make light work.
So, if God provendentially removes your job, don't cut off His blessings. Rather, find a way to work beside the children He has given you and rejoice that He is sending another helping hand into your fold. Those are my long term plans that could be shortened anytime God wills it. Remember that He is in control and, if you belong to Him, He works all things in your life for good.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Yet, this arrogant little kitchen decides that it knows better than me what to teach my daughter. (Or more accurately, the big whigs at Little Tikes think they know better than parents what to teach children.) I went into the room and had my son show me how to make it say the offending language. The kitchen has this thing about rhyming. The "berserk" rhymed with work. So this phrase went something like, "I swear, it's a pear!" At that point, the batteries came out and haven't been back in. Now, some people think I'm extreme or overreacting on this, but I am determined not to have my little girl running around the house repeating "I swear!" to her brothers and sisters.
So here's the plan...we spent $79.99 on this "tutor." I think I'll take the silly thing apart, package it back in the box and take it back. Then I'll fork over another $40 to buy the wooden kitchen that doesn't "say" anything. Better yet, maybe I can get those boys with the new tools to make her one! :-)