As I had mentioned in my previous post I had attended a Boot Camp for Men a week ago. One of the things I observed in many of the men during the ministry time for the father wound teaching was this despair as they faced the depth of the wound. Many of the men expressed to me afterwards their feelings related to the emotional and physical abandonment of their childhood. It was gut wrenching to see how much pain some of these men were dealing with in the present.

I think about my own abandonment and how for years it fed this inner critic within me that no one would ever love me. It seems as if I was conditioned by my stepfather’s harsh treatment to believe that I was unworthy and unacceptable. Where do you even begin to change that which was wired into you at an early age? Add to that my own inner voice that goaded me with messages that “you must be perfect if you want to be accepted.”

The inadequate physical and emotional care of my childhood birthed within me those deep fears that the significant people in my life would abandon me. Not knowing how to quiet those fears I believe I attempted to win the love and affection that went unmet as a child through my performance of many tasks for others. Surely that would gain me the love I so hungered for and free me from my deep sense of abandonment.

The other gift of my abandonment was low self-esteem. As I look back and try to identify where my self-esteem was developed I realize it was not. My issues of trusting others is connected to this along with my feelings of worth and struggles to be intimate with others.

Does it give you pause as you think about the generational abandonment of father’s to bless, affirm and love their sons and daughters?

Writing this has shown me the lack of shelter I had as a child growing up. I’m aware of it and have even talked about it all over the world but I think when I sit down and write about it I feel a bit gutted.

I’ll hopefully come back later this week with some answers.


Boot Camp

This past weekend I attended a Boot Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A couple of hundred men from all over the state of California registered to find answers for their questions. Men were looking for healing, direction, identity, wisdom, and purpose.

Throughout the weekend we talked about masculinity, the father wound, identity and becoming warriors for God. Lots of great teaching and information in need of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. That was my job and the teams this weekend. To listen, discern and act on what we heard to bring the healing presence of Jesus Christ into the places of pain and brokenness within each wounded man. And oh how he showed up to touch many of the men’s pain and brokenness.

As the men humbly chose to “come to the Cross” the Holy Spirit initiated, directed and empowered the entire process. As the men surrendered their shame, pain, brokenness, sin and fears we saw His infilling, and empowering flow in and through them.

Life experiences have left many of us with deep wounds that have compromised our well-being. Left unattended, these wounds give life to false beliefs about our identity, emotional dysfunction, and behaviors that rob us of the promised life that Jesus offers to us. Bringing these issues into the Light of Christ breaks the power and hold that these things have had over our lives.

This weekend I saw lives changed as the ministry of the Holy Spirit graced us with his presence to heal. Through this “holy exchange” I saw men become not so much warriors but “lovers of God.” Our healing, deliverance, and transformation comes as we avail ourselves of the Holy Spirit’s ministry. Instead of limping through life we learn how to stand and take our rightful place as men.