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Newsletter Articles. September 2007

Does Your Family Have Destiny?

Where Are All The Men?

Raising ‘Kids’ or ‘Statesmen’ or Doctors’ ... or What?

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 Does Your Family Have Destiny?
by Chris Field

The testimony of Jonathan Edward’s descendents reveals the wonder of God’s blessing on a family. Back in 1874 Richard L. Dugdale studied the descendents of two men, "Max Juke" of New York and Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts. Juke was a reprobate, while Edwards was a man of devout faith. The contrast in their descendents is staggering. The Juke lineage produced an abundance of alcoholics, prostitutes, convicts and murderers. The Edwards lineage produced an abundance of ministers, authors, college professors and leaders.

Both of these families display a “destiny”. So the short answer to the question, “Does Your Family Have Destiny?” is a resounding “YES!” For better or worse your family carries a destiny that impacts you and your children. That’s why the book, ‘FAMILY HORIZONS – Creating Families of Destiny’, explores the territory of inherited blessings and curses. It would be vain for a member of the Juke family to pretend they were descended from Jonathan Edwards. The grace and blessing on the Edwards family was not inherent in the name, but in the family lineage itself.

Edwards and Juke had vastly different values. Max Juke was described as jolly and companionable, but also as a hard drinker and averse to steady toil.  Dugdale noted that he had some children which were “almost certainly illegitimate”. Jonathan Edwards, on the other hand, was a god-fearing man who believed in self-discipline. The outcome of their family histories is telling.

The Juke family line produced many descendents who engaged in immoral activity, such as prostitution, theft and murder. Dugdale noted that of 540 blood descendents of the family more than half of the females were “harlots”, meaning they were sexually promiscuous. The “successful” members of the family were farmers and tradesmen.

The Edwards family, on the other hand, produced a lineage of men and women who excelled both morally and in human endeavour. The list includes college presidents and professors, physicians, army and navy officers, authors, clergy, missionaries and theological professors, mayors, congressmen and even a vice president of the United States.

Can we put this distinction down to DNA? Is the difference made from biological limitations? The answer has to be a resounding “No!” The inclination to come short of God’s standards is not a biological issue. If it was, then God would have no right to judge us for fulfilling our biological design. It is a moral issue, and so it is anchored in human responses from the human heart.

Can we put the distinction down to environment? Is the difference made from social pressures? The answer again has to be a resounding “No!” If society alone was responsible for man’s lesser actions then again man would be exempt from God’s judgement. The influence of those around us can be profound and we need to be alert to its power. Solomon warns against keeping company with an angry person, because we can learn to be angry too (Proverbs 22:24,25). Many people have resisted the evil influences around them and pressed in for better things, or maintained their character, such as Lot did in Sodom. This does not seem to be the case in the Juke lineage.

The Bible indicates that there is a SPIRITUAL DIMENSION to family destiny. Despite physical limitations and social influences divine blessing or curse will prevail. The book of Psalms assures us that the offspring of the righteous will be blessed:
Psalm 112:1,2 “Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man that fears the LORD, that delights greatly in his commandments. His seed will be mighty on earth: the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
Psalm 25:12,13 “What man is he that fears the LORD? Him will he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul will dwell at ease; and his seed will inherit the earth.”

The descendents of evil people will face negative spiritual consequences:
Psalm 37:28 “For the LORD loves judgment, and forsakes not his saints; they are preserved for ever. But the seed of the wicked will be cut off.”
Psalm 109:10 “Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg. Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.”

A problem we face in churches today is that the word “curse” has become almost a bogey in itself. I have been told by my Chinese friends that the Chinese avoid saying the word “curse” for fear that it will attract negative results. God is not superstitious about curses and His children need not be either. God plainly declares that there are curses on people who do the wrong thing and blessings on those who do right:
Jeremiah 17:5 “Thus says the LORD; Cursed is the man that trusts in man, and makes flesh his arm, and whose heart departs from the LORD. “
Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”
Deuteronomy 11:26 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse”

The examples given us in the Edwards and Juke family lines suggest that one family was living under curses and the other under God’s blessing. The “Destiny” of each family was directly impacted by that spiritual dimension. There are significant Biblical examples, notably Eli’s family line and the lineage of Gehazi.
In the book, ‘FAMILY HORIZONS’, the examples of blessing and curse are explored in detail. But more than that, the keys to turning curses into blessings are investigated. There is no reason to run away from our curses, but every good reason to understand them and deal with them, so we pass to our children a much better “Destiny”.

To find out more about the book ‘FAMILY HORIZONS’ click here.

For SPECIAL OFFERS on the ‘HORIZONS’ series of books. click here.

Where are the Men?
by Chris Field.

It's tough being a MAN in our feminized culture. That's for sure. But what I find more a threat to manhood is not the rise of women, but the DECLINE OF MEN! It seems that men are running for cover, handing the world over to others who want to take it. I wonder if our problem is not what women are doing but that men are abandoning manhood. My own experience was that of “abdicating” from my manhood. It wasn’t until I realized what I was doing that I could even begin my own journey into Godly manhood.

I have recently completed, ‘MANHOOD HORIZONS – Calling Men To Change History, and it is currently in the editing process. That book brings together 20 years of my own thoughts and experiences in the journey to Manhood. Using the “Horizons” formula, exploring the Natural Horizons, then Spiritual Horizons and Faith Horizons, I aim to particularly distil the essential qualities of Manhood, as a divine calling from which no man can escape.

Using the analogy of the Theatre, I point out that God is the one who has cast each of us into our roles. We are each asked to embrace our part, not by our own choosing but as assigned to us by God Himself. God is the one who created the very earth on which we play out our lives.

Shakespeare used the analogy of a stage to describe man’s existence. His melancholy character, Jaques, from ‘As You Like It’, presents a soliloquy on the course of a man’s life. The speech begins by describing life as a performance on a stage.

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts”

While those who are melancholy might lament man’s futile parade across the boards, those with wisdom look beyond the footlights to discover the very one who created the whole theatre. Mankind’s challenge is not to look busy and appear important, while on the stage, but to find out what the stage is there for and what part has been assigned them to play.

Men, as in the males of the human species, have been assigned a decidedly different role to play than that given to women. Men cannot trade in their part or exchange it with someone else. The stage was not built by men, nor set up for men’s purposes. Our world was created by God and everything in it was created for “His pleasure”.

Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”

Where are the men? What costume are they wearing now? Which of the props are they hiding behind? Do they have stage-fright? Why have they abandoned their God-given roles? Do they not realise the wonder and significance of living for God’s pleasure? Do they not realise the power of fulfilling their destiny as “Men”?

Manhood is such an important issue that I have long taught on the subject and am pleased to have recently completed ‘MANHOOD HORIZONS – Calling Men to Change History’. While the book is going through the editing process I am happy to release a “First Draft” version, as an e-book, for the Special Introductory Price of $10.00 (Australian).

Any changes from here will mostly be cosmetic, covering typos, grammatical corrections or the like. The powerful content will be the same. So, there’s no need to wait for the final version. You can take advantage of this Special Introductory Offer right now.

To order the e-book “First Draft” Version of ‘MANHOOD HORIZONS – Calling Men to Change History’, for the Special Introductory Price of only $10.00 send an email to manhood@familyhorizons.net  In ‘SUBJECT’ put ‘Order Manhood draft version special’. In the body of the email state whether you wish to pay by Visa Card, Master Card, Direct Deposit or Bank Draft. We will usually reply to your email within 24 hours.

Raising Kids or Statesmen or Doctors .... or What?
by Chris Field

The term “kids” gained much popularity in the 1960’s and 70’s. Many Christians resisted this cultural shift from calling youngsters “children” to calling them “kids”. When one church announced it was starting a “Kids Club” there were protests that the children were not “Kids”! Some people were keen to point out that animals had ‘kids’ while humans had ‘children’. The very term was seen as dehumanizing.

Now ‘kids’ is ubiquitous and seems perfectly innocuous inside or outside the church. So, are we raising “kids” or “children”? Are you raising a statesman, a doctor or what? The question is not a trivial one, because you will most likely succeed in leading your children toward what you want them to be.

I spoke at a Christian Business Men’s meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a few years ago, on the subject of “Manhood”. A highly educated Indian Doctor spoke to me afterward and lamented that he had actively raised his children with the wrong vision in mind. He had wanted each of them to be successful, well educated and professional. He sent them overseas for their studies and was thrilled with their personal and business success. Several of his children were leaders in their field. One was a Harley Street Specialist in London. Despite that enormous achievement he now lamented that none of his children maintained their Christian faith. He was busy raising well educated citizens, but failed to raise “Godly” people.

I ask you again, What are you raising? If you are more concerned about academics or business success you may achieve your objective but lament it in the end. If you are determined to raise “free-thinkers”, self-determining people or those who know what they want and have the confidence to go and get it, you may succeed in your objective, but lament it later.

We need Godly Statesmen. We need more Christian business leaders. We need more professionals who will perform their functions with compassion and the fear of God. But if you are more concerned about the financial and personal issues, over the spiritual ones, you may simply raise statesmen, businessmen and professionals who go along with the worldly flow.

The more clearly you perceive your objective as a parent, the more delighted you will be with the outcome in the end. So don’t be too hasty to assume that what you are doing and where you are going is fine as it is. It is appropriate that you take time to think through your parenting objectives.

To help you give some deeper thought to the issues involved in good parenting we have set up a Parenting Evaluation Questionnaire as part of the Family Horizons website. To access the Evaluation click here.

There are three broad levels of thought about Parenting which will influence the way you proceed with your parental role.
  • There are the Natural Horizons, which are the worldly values and natural thoughts that many people follow.
  • To ushere are also the Spiritual Horizons, which are the Biblical and godly values which God has revealed to.
  • Then there are the Faith Horizons, which are the possibilities available to those who will engage faith into the process of their parenting.
‘PARENTING HORIZONS - Empowering Parents to Build Generations’, is part of my Horizons series and it surveys all three of the horizons – natural, spiritual and faith horizons. I commend it to you as a great way to prompt your thinking about where you are going in your parenting and what the various processes are.

To find out more about ‘PARENTING HORIZONS’ click here.

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