Category Archives: Children

Why My Kids Make It Worthwhile to be a #DadsOnMission

I love the United States of America. I am heartbroken at what we have become. The American nation, and the American church for that matter, need a spiritual revival and renewal. But I am extremely thankful to live my convictions and share those with my kids.

We have begun Bible quizzing with my oldest son. He is 8 years old. He took highest-scoring quizzer in his first tournament, and he won 2nd place team in the tournament along with a buddy.

It has been an emotional roller coaster getting him to study. He simply has not wanted to do it. Tonight, even after winning this past Saturday, he cried as soon as we mentioned studying his Proverbs. Thirty minutes later we were able to start, and after an hour he had settled in and learned 5 new proverbs.

Once we finished studying, out of nowhere, he wanted to have church in his room. He ran to get his bath over with, then set up a chair for a pulpit and pillows on the floor for his brother, mother, and me to sit on. We prayed and sang songs. He asked me to lead the opening prayer and his mother to lead the closing prayer. We all shook hands, hugged, and greeted one another.

He even named the church- Spring Creek Pentecostal Church, after the community we live in. I truly believe that it is a foretelling of things to come. Spring Creek needs an Apostolic church. I think one just started.

imageLittle brother is joyful and does everything his brother does. We spent all of 2014 working as a family on a pro-life initiative called Yes On 1, to pass a state constitutional amendment to strengthen protections for the unborn. A few weeks ago, as his brother and I were working on quizzing, he set up a chair as a display table, with pamphlets and a “Yes On 1” sign, like we did dozens of times at churches and events. Then he said to me, “I need somebody to walk by so I can tell them vote yes on 1!” It was a heart-wrencher, seeing him do what he had seen us do, and having that be important to him at this stage in life, just because it is important to us as his parents.

I don’t write this to convey that my wife and I are super parents, because I, at least, am not. Julie instills so much in the boys that I never could because she is a work-at-home mom, constantly there for them. I need more help as a parent than my sinful pride will allow me to admit. But I am encouraged, and I grow daily, and I ask God for help and cover them with prayer.

And because of the way I see my sons growing, I will continue to be a Dad On Mission, reaching and teaching, to make sure I hand them a baton worth carrying to the finish line.

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The Meaning in the Mess

I know you’re tired. I am too.

It seems like it never ends. There is always too much to do, and not enough time to do it all. The daily care of, well, everything, pulls, and drags, and threatens to take you down.

And then when you look at all that is going on around you in the world- immoral things, evil things, threatening things, things that were once far away but now seem ever so much closer to home- you know you should care and be involved, but how can you?

You know there are people in need, but how can you help? How can you start to right the wrongs that are in the world? What can you do, with so little time, energy, and resources?

I feel this way. A lot of the time, I feel this way. But I’m in good company- I’m with you and with the Apostle Paul when it comes to feeling this way:

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭11‬:‭27-29‬)

In the middle of weariness and pain, hunger and thirst, in addition to all the “daily cares,” it is easy to adopt the attitude of “I can’t, I don’t have time, it’s not my problem.”

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And, focusing on the battle all the time, with all of the obstacles and struggles, will wear you out. Compassion fatigue sets in. Vicarious trauma sets in. We are overwhelmed with the death and destruction that goes on around us, in the world and in our own cities, and our brain has to dissociate from it all for our own good.

The problem is, in a world that needs your connectedness, you can’t afford to be shut down and out of the fight.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭9‬)

There is no joy in this world, but there is glory in the fight. Why? Because when we are in the fight, we receive God’s grace to make it through. In this cycle of pain upon pain, hurt upon hurt, grace is supernaturally injected into our lives, and we find meaning in the mess.

My family and I have been working on a pro-life initiative called Yes On 1 for over a year. We had a meeting tonight and came to a conclusion along with some of our other stalwart volunteers- we feel like we are in a state of limbo. We have 33 days left until Election Day, when we will know if all of our prayer and labor has paid off. All of our hours and sacrifice, conviction and passion- will it make a difference? And besides all of this, the daily cares- bills and work and dangers and trials.

I don’t want to be numb! I don’t want to say its somebody else’s problem! For my sake and your sake and my children’s’ sake, I can’t give up. Neither can you.

My children are watching. And I know it is all worth while on nights like tonight. We ended our meeting in prayer. My boys had been playing in another room. My wife called for them to come in with us during the prayer. They entered, and folded their hands in prayer, with their heads down, as the adults took turns leading in prayer. I asked my oldest son if he wanted to lead prayer. He said no. But after I led for a few moments, he said, “Dad, I’m ready to lead prayer now.” And he said,

Dear Jesus, thank you for this beautiful day you have given us, and for allowing us to come here to be together to talk about Yes On 1, so we can protect women and babies, and so we can fight the abortion army, and Lord, help people to vote yes on Amendment 1, in Jesus name, Amen.

And it’s all worth it. For him to get it, and to have joy in the work we are doing, that he sees his mother and father doing, and that he can pray about with such sincerity- it is all worthwhile. And there I find it- the meaning in the mess, the reason to fight on, the strength to continue to stand.

If I can help you step into the fight with conviction and confidence, I want to know! It’s a combination of planning and deciding and acting. Email me at glengaugh@gmail.com and I’ll connect with you. For the sake of the call- Glen

The Case for Children

I have written very little this week because I am preparing to speak twice this coming weekend, a youth service on Friday night which I am preaching, and a Sunday night service in which I am speaking on Life and the pro-life Yes On 1 campaign. So with nothing new to contribute, I pulled out this sermon called The Case for Children. I appreciate you reading it. Forgive any errors, as these were speaking notes and I did not proof them for publishing.

A sermon on the occassion of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, January 19, 2014.

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:13, 14 KJV)

20120606-001648.jpgAs far as we know, Adam and Eve were each created as physically mature adults. But that does not mean that conception and birth were not a part of the creation. God created man in His own image. Hebrews 1:2-3 tells us he is that Jesus is the “express image” of God. We surly remember that Mary was told she would “conceive” and “bring forth a son” (Luke 1:31). So though Adam and Eve were not conceived in the womb, they were made in the image of the only begotten son of God, with the plan that He would be conceived of woman at an appointed time. From the time man was created, there was to be an unbroken chain of life: the life still in the womb not to be excluded from personhood, but to be respected as integral to God’s plan.

If I am honest with you and if I’m honest with myself, i would have to say i have been led before the throne of God by my children as often if not more so than I have done so for them. The first time one of my children led me to God was before my oldest was ever born. At their births I was again taken before The Lord in the wonder of that special event. The first time time they realized what those voices, hands, fingers, feet and toes could do, and how they refused to stop using them once realizing how wonderful it was to scream, laugh, crawl, walk, and meddle in a continuous state of curiosity and experimentation. 

20120630-112635.jpgIf judged by the way the world judges utility and productivity, children have absolutely nothing to offer. But we know better than that. Nothing can melt a heart, incite a rage, induce a chuckle, or provoke conviction like a child. Children provide a peek into the brief period of innocence that mankind experienced before we fundamentally and dramatically ruined our relationship with God and altered our destiny forever. WE NEED CHILDREN, FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Regardless of the circumstances in which a child may be conceived, the child himself or herself still meets God’s standard, brings God’s blessings, and is for God’s pleasure. 
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 KJV)

“Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” (Isaiah 44:24 KJV)

In spite of the biblical case for life, we live in a society today that makes it easy to disregard the life of a child purely for the sake of choice. For the sake of self. The biggest reason for abortions is cited as “not ready to have a child.” Gender selection and risk of genetic defect are not unheard of as reasons for abortion. The case is made in the public arena that poverty, risk of abuse or neglect, and the prospect of life-long illness make abortion a humane choice for children at risk of facing such obstacles. 

20121016-002811.jpgThere is no doctrine of “better off dead” in the bible. There is no list of conditions that are too much for God to handle, no situation in which we mortals have to intervene on God’s behalf for the sake of a child. How absurd! But this is not a statement of imagination or exaggeration- we only have to look at the reality of the choices people are making and listen to the volume of the voices rabidly rushing to justify taking human life. Theses voices erode the value of unborn life for the sake of self, but in doing so they devalue the life of every living person.

Jesus entered the world into a climate that brought forth institutionalized murder of children. Herod declared, in his jealousy, for himself and for the sake of his crown, that all children of 2 years old and younger, were to be killed. There is a spirit of Herod in our world today that says taking the life of the innocent for personal preference, in order to protect and preserve one’s way of life, is ok. As a society we are wearing the crown of kingship over our own lives and are willing to sacrifice others, and paint it as justifiable, in order to keep that crown. 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

The WAY- those who try to say there are many ways to know God use the illustration of an elephant and blind men who are feeling the elephant trying to decipher what it is. All the others are definitely feeling of an elephant. The elephant in the room is this- unless you are following Jesus Christ, you are charting your own course and being your own god. When we decide is situation is impossible and act on our own fears and insecurities, we take Christ’s authority on ourselves and we hopelessly make a mess of it. We reject God’s perfect provision and try to handle things we cannot possibly handle on our own. Jesus is the way out of hopelessness- the way out of no way!

The TRUTH- Truth today is a la carte in the eyes of the world. Pick and choose. Here a little, there a little. The concept of absolute truth is rejected, because in order to claim that there is only one truth is to say that you are right and others are wrong, which is simply not permissible these days. As believers we are discouraged from speaking out because we might offend someone. The issue is that we do not speak the truth in love to people who need to hear it.

The LIFE- the voices that reject absolute truth and a single path to God also reject the absolute value of life. 

The world is making the case for preference. The case for privacy. The case for live and let live. The case for convenience. The case for the mother. The case for “Why should a teenager be saddled with a baby because of one mistake?” The case for choice.

So why am I standing before you today making the case for Children? Because no one is created to die. We are all created to live.

Never before has the taking of human life been presented as so positive, so innocuous, and so liberating, such that masses are deceived into supporting it or lulled into allowing it. I may not be speaking to people who support abortion, but I am speaking to people who are in danger of being lulled into allowing it to happen.

The cause of protecting life is a concern of the living. You and me. 

Life is the Issue, Evil is the Enemy

(The featured image via Twitter @HuffPostMedia is murdered journalist James Foley, beheaded by ISIS in an act of terror that should be cause a declaration of war. Thoughts and prayers for the Foley family. Steven Sotloff, the 2nd American journalist murdered by ISIS, was depicted being beheaded by an ISIS militant in a video released Sept. 2nd. Prayers for his family as well. May we do what is necessary for justice.)

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭23‬ AMP)

Racism (here, here, here, and any number of articles on Ferguson), religion, misogyny, political incorrectness, and many, many more are blamed for ills in our country and around the world. The loss of life attributed to these ethereal concepts is staggering.

I submit that the true culprit is people acting on the spirit of this age, an evil, humanistic spirit that plays right into Satan’s hand (notice I’m not blaming Satan, who critics of my analysis would find as or more ethereal than the -isms and -ogynies that they are throwing around. I’m simply acknowledging his existence and the pleasure he gets from seeing people act with all their might against the will of God.)

The one thing this spirit cannot stand is LIFE. Life is a temporal expression of Christ’s eternal reality for us, and evil can’t stand it. Kill a reporters, kill babies, kill innocent masses. Treat children as commodities, throw them away like trash, ignore the fact they are human. Classify certain people as infidels and behead, crucify, and shoot them execution style. The human spirit can’t get enough of it. We want to think we (humans) are better than this, but on the whole we aren’t. Anything about us that reflects on us better than these atrocities is the lingering result of God’s image in us, or the abundance of His Spirit in us, for those who choose to believe and receive Jesus as the scripture says:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭38‬ KJV)

I have written on many of these issues lately. Here is a listing. I will keep writing, but at this point just wanted to point out the common thread in these horrible acts, or inactions, of humanity:

Why We Need God Back In Government
Responding to Child Exploitation on our Border and By Our Government
Iraqi Genocide: 3 Reasons
No Solidarity for Life- Why is That?
Reducing Suicide Deaths in Our Communities
Closing Ranks in Rotherham Won’t Protect More Children
Lincoln, Mob Rule, and Steady Leadership
I Stand With Israel

Closing Ranks in Rotherham Won’t Protect More Children

Update: This is a link to a story that highlights the tension between upholding professional ethics and standards and the competing interests of agencies. I still can’t fathom why the only thing the social work union has come out against the local authority with is bullying, when so much worse occurred to those vulnerable girls.

This is not thought policing. This is fraud, failure to protect, and failure to uphold any professional or legal standard.

Worse, it is a complete abdication of responsibility.

The Rotherham government’s police and social service authorities’ reaction to the report of 1,400 intentionally groomed, savagely raped, and profitably trafficked girls by Pakistani Muslims has been awful. The girls are reported to be British, white, and vulnerable due to current abuse in their homes or past abuse resulting in foster placement. As is frequent for trafficked girls, these victims are unable or unwilling to identify the perpetrators, a result of fear and trauma. The trafficker have been identified as “Asian,” in reference to their being Pakistani, and the report indicates blatant refusal to act on allegations of abuse and trafficking was due to racial tension, or “not wanting to rock the boat”.

To respond to this by ordering a social researcher to sensitivity training is outrageous. It is scapegoating to the worst degree. The only party deserving of sensitivity in a scenario like this is the group of victimized young girls. The perpetrators’ demographic profile should be the least of anyone’s worries.

Workplace bullying, coercion, and intimidation (which may have occurred; something in the culture permitted the rape and trafficking of these children in spite of a few sounding the alarm) is a reality in public and private sector work. So what is a social worker to do, who brings concerns to superiors but is either unheeded or actively shut down in his or her efforts?

The function of a profession (like social work) is to set standards and monitor the integrity of those who have the training and qualifications to practice within a given profession. What professional board has jurisdiction over these employees who allowed this abuse to go unaddressed? The British Association of Social Workers is the primary (perhaps the only) professional association of social workers that would have jurisdiction. The BASW statement on Rotherham glosses over the professional negligence as “ethical dimensions” that need to be addressed, following a list of apparently more immediate concerns, including inadequate training and lack of funding for children’s services. It seems condemnation and disciplinary action for social workers and social care staff who did not adequately protect these children would be in order.

Is there a climate that prevents members of the social work profession in Great Britain from reporting unethical and dangerous behavior of others in the profession? Even if not, there appears to be a climate that allows many who had been directly involved at the time of this widespread abuse to remain in positions of importance to children, as indicated in this article. It is apparent that closing ranks and blaming whistleblowers will contribute to unsafe conditions for many more children under care in the UK.

In the Uncertainty of the Education System, God’s Word is Sure

Common Core hasn’t gone away. I hoped it would have over the summer, but no such luck.

Second grade has begun for my oldest, and a lot of things are going right. His teacher was highly recommended by the school administration (we were sure to ask this year. Leaving the teacher up to chance was a mistake in first grade). My son seems to be adjusting to being back in the classroom after a not-long-enough summer break. But the Common Core math is kicking in and so I know we are in for a long year.
image

I wrote at the end of last school year that I am determined to have my son’s education well in hand this year in order to defeat the messages I fear our government hopes to spread through this confusing and relativistic education system. I have begun having my son read the Bible to me (almost) nightly. Learning about creation from Genesis teaches something schools cannot impart, not only because creationism doesn’t support the narrative that is out there these days, but also because science can explain origins. Faith can.

Reading the Proverbs has begun imparting lessons that, unfortunately, elementary school-aged children need to learn at a younger and younger age. Morality, following the rule of law and the guidance of a father, abandoning the low road of depravity, and holding on to faithful relationships- these cannot be put off until teen years or young adulthood.

My son has the greatest role models of all time, because the giants of the faith put flesh and bones on the timeless truths he needs to guide him through his lifetime.

“Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” (Proverbs 30:5 NLT)

Aside from the valuable lessons held in the scriptures, nothing is more beautiful and challenging to read than the word of God. We have truly lost something of value when our children do not learn to read great works that present valuable truth. Education once established a mooring of God’s truth, but now, acknowledging any truth other than whatever the individual believes is truth (relativism) is branded as intolerant. Such “intolerance” seems to be the only sin society recognizes, and it is punished with severity through systems like our education system.

Is Common Core subtly teaching that any way is right? Maybe. When the route to the solution matters more than the solution, I’d say the system is beginning to mirror the ethics and values of society. I definitely have seen the shift in my lifetime from educating based on sound truth and principle, to educating for knowledge and proficiency, to educating now for the sake of creating openness and tolerance. But “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.” (Proverbs 30:5 NLT)

Responding to Child Exploitation on our Border and By Our Government

“Refugees are not illegal immigrants. There is a difference, particularly when they are children.” A sentiment I found expressed on Facebook…

It is true that children are not illegal. I have two of my own. It is also true that unaccompanied children are not immigrants. As I see it, they did not make the choice to bring themselves here, and they are not going through a process of naturalization to become citizens of the US. I cannot say that these children coming into our borders are refugees either. According to the US State Department, the unaccompanied children do not meet the criteria for consideration as refugees and have not gone through vital screenings designed to protect public health and safety before the refugee applicant even enters the US.

All of these points are important, but none of them solve the issues we are facing at the border with unaccompanied children coming into the US by the thousands.

“But the children…” has become the excuse to ignore a lot of things, laws and safety chief among them. And not just the safety of US citizens and communities, but the safety of these children as well.

Children are vulnerable by nature. They require someone to care for them and protect them. Children are subjected to unspeakable horrors in our society just because they are easy prey who cannot take care of themselves. This vulnerability grows tremendously when children are entrusted to strangers whose motivation is money and have no vested interest in caring for them. Regardless of the way a child enters the possession of a coyote, he or she becomes a trafficked person by definition. The trauma associated with being in constant danger and deprivation over the course of days and miles, in the company of an unconcerned and unconnected adult, is horrifying and life-altering. Consider the vulnerability unaccompanied children present to sex traffickers, and a whole new door of opportunity opens up for exploitative parties who have a ready commodity at their fingertips in the form of a human life.

It is not only evil people with direct access to these vulnerable children that are guilty of exploiting them. Children can be, and are being, exploited by a corrupt system.

Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee members of the Congress and Senate are asking- who are the sponsors that have received the 760 unaccompanied children that the federal government has placed in Tennessee? The representative cited in the linked article, speaking for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, seems to think the number of children coming into Tennessee at this time is par for the course, and guarantees that these children “have a home to stay in in Tennessee” with family members. I have not been able to verify that this coalition is affiliated with the State Department’s Reception and Placement Program, but it sounds like they have direct knowledge of sponsorship placement for the children coming into Tennessee. Based on the State Department’s description of reception and placement, and to the point I made at the beginning of this post, it seems that the protocol has been breeched by allowing the children and adults crossing over during this border surge, without the required health screenings and without approval to be considered a refugee.

Is the border surge an intentional effort to amalgamate the US with Mexico and Central America? If so, there are some really good reasons to prevent this from happening.

“…because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams to the Officers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the Massachusetts Militia.

Our country establishes no religion, and indeed promotes the free exercise of religion. Our founding was on the principles of the Christian religion however, and while the ideal religion was not a focus of our founding fathers or documents, the ideal citizen was. Adams makes it clear that our form of government depends on the quality of the citizens that submit themselves to it.

The United States’ sovereignty must be preserved because we have a nation that is built on a solid foundation of biblical morality that benefits all citizens, even non-Christians. Our compassion has always been rooted in our Christianity. The cry of “but the children” that I described earlier is one example of how our current government and outside interests are divorcing compassion from Christianity, and exploiting innocents to do so.

The current administration and outside interests that have its ear would assist people to the detriment of our strong societal foundation by allowing people into our country without conditions, some of whom directly intend to do harm. In every case, these would be people who have no idea of how to function in a country that is founded on principles of morality. That statement does not mean that people crossing our border in the current surge are immoral people. They are people, however, that bring with them a frame of reference formed by living in a society governed by despots and despotic governments.

Absent a strong and enforced naturalization policy, and under the current mentality that anyone should be welcomed into this country without conditions, we have seen and will continue to see thousands of people in our nation who are ill-equipped to function in a democratic republic, and our national life, society, and government will suffer as a result. The worst possible scenario is that what I have described is happening by design. The immediate motivation would be to have thousands here that can fraudulently vote in line with the current party in power (as evidenced by strong opposition to common-sense voter ID requirements). The most naive thought process is that we have it good here, why wouldn’t we want to let as many in as possible?

The worst case scenario would be that the intent of the powers that want open borders is to undermine US sovereignty and create a North American Union, destroying the greatest experiment in democracy the world has ever seen while completing the job that communism never had a chance to in our nation- downgrade us to a secular humanistic ethic and an atheistic worldview that touts every way as right while protecting the rule of an elite, deciding class. Appeasement to the lowest common denominator of morality was achieved in creating the European Union, simply because nations saw no reason to maintain their sovereignty. This is not what America is.

Our government is not like other governments. Our values are not the values of other nations. We have been set apart by our Christian morality and the caliber of citizen this morality has produced. It is the morality that has led us to the aid of nations across the globe and driven us to accept people in need from every corner of the world into our borders.

Richard Wurmbrand, founder of Voice of the Martyrs and a political prisoner of the Communists in Romania due to his faith, said in 1967, “Every freedom-loving man has two fatherlands; his own, and America. Today, America is the hope of every enslaved man, because it is the last bastion of freedom in the world… I have seen fellow-prisoners in communist prisons beaten, tortured, with 50 pounds of chains on their legs- praying for America… that the dike will not crumple; that it will remain free.”

The abuse and exploitation of these children, for apparent political reasons that I have discussed here, is appalling. The solution involves caring for their immediate needs, material, medical, and emotional. But it also involves returning to the rule of law, protecting our borders, and securing our sovereignty so we can continue to be a beacon of freedom while maintaining our standing as a nation of the highest moral integrity. These are two branches of the same tree and we need to nurture both of them in order to maintain America’s distinction as fatherland of the free.