Happy Father’s Day!!!!
If you are a father, mentor, or intentional role model for anyone then this day is for you, men!
It is a day to celebrate biblical manhood and the strength of character that is the calling card of a real man.
However, since my mid twenties, Father’s day has been a day that is marked by forgiveness or at least a need for it.
I have had a rocky up and down relationship with my father ever since my parent’s divorced when I was 8. Once they split, our time together slowly dwindled and now I have a Christmas present from 2 Christmases past that awaits our next meeting. I will not put the blame solely on him, but I used to try and try and to no avail. At some point I gave up on fighting as one man in a two man struggle.
One fight that I turned my attention to was the fight for Forgiveness. First, for myself. Jesus won that struggle on my behalf. Then forgiveness for my father. Forgiving him for his role in what is now a relationship on life support.  In my journey towards reconciliation I find Jesus over and again.
This year, I am compelled to get open and honest.
We are not okay. Things are broken. There is no nice way to say it.
It has always proven for me to first express my heart in writing and as I grow comfortable with the words themselves, I will be more comfortable sharing them in person. Here is the poem that was my first attempt at expression. I apologize for the rawness of the words, but it was written by me ata  time before I had a personal relationship with the Lord and need an out let. I hope that it speaks to someone who has had difficulty with their relationships with someone close.
A Memory For Father’s Day
One message that I recenty came across that stirred up my thoughts on the subject came from a message series entitled, How to Hug a Vampire.
It was a series focusing on loving the unlovables in your life. Loving those that suck the life out of you. A big part of that is FORGIVENESS.
As part of this series at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC, Pastor Steven Furtick had guest Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill in to preach on the topic.
In my eyes it was the best message I’d ever heard on Forgiveness. Watch it Here.
Here are my biggest takeaways from that message:

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. (Ephesians 4:30, 31 NLT)

  • We are all on a continuum from forgiveness to bitterness
  • If you have not chosen forgiveness, you have chosen bitterness.
  • Generally: Women grieve; Men get Angry

Things About Bitterness
1. People with bitterness tend to have a good reason
2. Bitterness can include God
3. Bitterness has less to do with the magnitude of the offense than the proximity of the offender.
|The level of bitterness is directly related to the level of closeness that person has to you.|
Bitter people are like archeologists, they are always digging up old dirt.
Dig up the root of bitterness.
Use the shovel of forgiveness.
If you don’t deal with bitterness then it escalates.
People get really creative in how top punish one another, even if it is going to hurt them |Lose/Lose|
7 things forgiveness is….
1. Canceling a debt
2. Removing that person’s control of you
3. a gift for them and you
4. forsaking revenge
5. leaving ultimate justice to God
6. Both a decision and a process
7. Genuinely want good for them
7 things forgiveness isn’t…
1. Denying or diminishing the sin
2. Enabling
3. a Response to an apology
4. Covering up sin
5. Forgetting
6. Trust
7. Reconciliation
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32 NLT)
If you appreciate Jesus saying to you, “Forgiven,”
Then who are you not to forgive others.

[slideshow]Today when we consider our fatherhood, let’s look at our relationships. As fathers we should lead the way not only in love but in forgiveness. Let us be the soldiers battling the war against bitterness! Not because we want to but because we are instructed to.
Daddy in heaven says, “Feel what you want. Do what I say.”
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
(Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)
Forgiveness is not as much a state of mind as it is a state of obedience.
Give a great gift to your self today—the gift of forgiveness!
Happy Father’s Day!!!
Be blessed and be a blessing!!