Posts Tagged ‘Fatherhood’

DadPad: Orphaned-Abandoned-Hopeful

April 22, 2010

You will not usually see those three words in the same sentence or phrase.  Yet, for Rob Mitchell, it’s his story.  My wife and I had the privilege of meeting Rob for dinner where he shared his personal testimony from being abandoned at the age of 3 to finding and living in hope today.

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I picked him up from the airport as an incoming guest to be interviewed for a future FamilyLife Today broadcast.  I love picking up various guests to spend 15 minutes with them on the ride from the airport to their hotel or from the hotel to FamilyLife’s headquarters.  It’s always a joy to meet someone new and hear about their life, their journey.  Everyone has a story.  And, Rob’s is very unique–powerful, sad but hopeful.  Yet, it’s a part of nearly all of our stories at some level.  Pain inflicted on us in childhood through nothing we did.  Divorced homes, abandoned, abused and forgotten children.  It’s an ugly part of our culture.  But, it’s unfortunately the reality for way too many children.

At the age of three he was abandoned by his mother to an orphanage.  He was there until he was 17 when we was left for homeless.  The fact that he’s now a loving father of two grown children and a husband to a wonderful wife (his words 🙂 is a testament to a life change between then and now.  I won’t give away any of the story but you can pick it up at your local bookstore.  You can download the first chapter (which will get the tears flowing) by going to his books’ website: Castaway Kid (http://www.castawaykid.com).

As we shared, ate, laughed and even shed some tears, I was reminded that hope is eternal.  Even in a life as seemingly hopeless as his was, the story didn’t end there.  Unlike most children who are given over to orphanages in that type of situation and are either dead or in prison by the time they are 21 (according to Rob), his story turned out different.  He speaks to a lot of kids in similar situations, trying to spread the hope that he found in Jesus Christ.  He shares with them that they don’t have to be a victim of their circumstances and that their situation was not due to anything they did or didn’t do.  And, there is a God of hope that is there for them and does care.

His story is also one of forgiveness.  Though it was one of the toughest, if not the toughest, thing he ever had to do, he didn’t experience freedom from his past until he was able to forgive his mother.  He learned that bitterness and anger only enslave the one who holds them.  There is no freedom until one can forgive.  He left us a great picture of what God has done on a grand scale in forgiving us.  And, if Rob can forgive his mother for what she did to him, what keeps us from forgiving those who’ve done much less to us?  He shared the truth that forgiveness is not justifying the other party’s behavior but it is the “get out of jail card” that so many never turn in.  And, most of them, die in their bitterness when they could have lived in freedom.  It’s not easy…just necessary to live and have hope.

He referred to himself as the “voice of a father to the fatherless” when he goes to share his testimony.  He knows and can personally related to what each of those young men and women are going through and the anger, bitterness and despair that they feel.  And, because he has come out of their situation, they relate to him and he relates to them.

Maybe you’re one of those adults who was abandoned by your mom and dad, either physically, emotionally or both.  I invite you to read Rob Mitchell’s book, Castaway Kid.  There is hope for all.  Not just to get out of your circumstances or to put them behind you but to live in the promise of a God who loves and cares for you!

Oh, did I mention that he’s also now one of the leading financial advisors in the country.  But, as satisfying as it is for him to have that kind of career success, he indicated that the thing that he feels is the most important accomplishment in his life next to his becoming a Believer (in the Congo jungle at the age of 19 –you’ll have to read the book :), is the fact that his children know he loves them.  The love of a father is powerful.  Now, that’s generational change of a family legacy.  From abandonment to hope and a future–that’s how families are changed one home at a time.

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Sherwood’s next movie – Courageous – coming in 2011

March 11, 2010

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Saw this article in OneNewsNow.  Looking forward with great anticipation to the Kendrick brothers (Alex and Steven, Pastors from Sherwood Baptist Church and producers/actors/writers for three previous films, Flywheel, Facing the Giants and, most recently, Fireproof) next movie called Courageous.  Here’s a brief excerpt from that article.

The script for the latest movie from Sherwood Baptist Church, the Georgia-based church that produced Fireproof, has been written and is being revised.

The new film Courageous focuses on four police officers who excel at their jobs but find fatherhood a daunting challenge. “Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers,” says the movie website. “Raising their children? That will take courage.”

Click here to read the entire article

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Olympics 2010: Brian Burke-A Father’s Story

February 18, 2010

The Olympic Games are always great fodder for moving stories.  This one is especially touching about the recent death of the son of the US Hockey Teams coach, Brian Burke.  Here’s an excerpt of the story from Olympics Fanhouse website:

It was comforting to watch Burke on the dais alongside head coach Ron Wilson and four Team USA players as they held their first press conference of the Games. For close to an hour Sunday in a room off the glorious waterfront, Burke talked shop with fellow hockey lovers, and it made him smile, especially when he got to tweak the Canadians, and maybe for a nano-second it made him forget.

Five days ago, Burke buried his 21-year-old son Brendan, who was killed in an automobile accident on a snowy Indiana road Feb. 5. If Burke had any qualms about fulfilling his Olympic duties, they were shushed when he looked around at his son’s funeral and saw thousands of mourners, many of them from the tight-knit hockey brotherhood, guys he had played with in college and scouts and broadcasters and general managers from nearly every NHL team — they had come from all corners of the world to say goodbye to an extraordinary young man.

“My family needs me to be strong and my team needs to be strong. I think part of leadership is dealing with personal adversity or personal difficulty,” Burke said. “So no, there was never a thought of not coming (here) or doing anything different. I couldn’t bring myself to march in the Opening Ceremony even though I’d planned to because my heart wasn’t in it. I would have been an impostor. But my son would have wanted me to be here.”

Read the full story at Olympics Fanhouse by clicking here

Heroic Fatherhood and Merry Christmas

December 25, 2009

I love a great hero. Most of my favorite movies have a valient hero as it’s central character. I think it’s part of being a man. And, as a dad, I have visions of being my childrens hero. So, when I see or hear of a heroic father I pay attention- to join the brotherhood of fathers and rise up to say “way to go” and to take a note for personal use.

Today the Christian world celebrates Christmas. Amidst the flurry of exchanging gifts, token church visits and uniting with family, we are celebrating one of the most amazing acts of Fatherhood heroism in all of history. The Creator of the universes and of all breathing and living things sent His Son to be with us as one of us (yet still maintaining the attributes of God).

Whenever I think of this story I look at my son ( who is NOT God 😉 ) and wonder if I could do that to him? Could I send him into a place to take on a different form to eventually be murdered so I could then raise him from the dead to save mankind. I guess if I was God, I could. But I’m not. This is an act only THE most Heroic Father could perform. I’m left to applaud His great sacrifice on behalf of mankind as a believer in Him, as part of the fraternity of fathers and look to see how it can make me a better dad.

If you haven’t studied this God as a model for great fathering, maybe you’ll spend some time today thinking about Christmas in a new and life changing way: From one Heroic Father to a wannabe hero.

On behalf of my author-partners here at the Dadpad, we pray that you and your family have a blessed and meaningful Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!