The Fatherless Church

The Fatherless Church

It’s Father’s Day. For many, this day settles like an elephant—an immovable weight that steals the air from our lungs. The sorrow of having lost a father, whether by his absence or by his death, is the greatest sorrow I’ve known in my own life. And yet, I keep thinking about Christian children in other parts of the world who have lost their fathers to the sword of Islam. Do they share my sorrow? Time and again, I read stories of Christians whose communities and lives have been targeted and attacked by radical Islamic groups. While I think it is normal to be shocked or to grieve in the wake of such circumstances, what we learn is that the Christians left behind mourn, but are not paralyzed by grief. In February 2015, twenty-one Coptic Christian men were beheaded by ISIS-affiliated extremists in Libya. I’m sure you remember the image of those men. Clad in orange jumpsuits, they had been marched along the beach near Tripoli by men in black, forced to their knees, and beheaded. It’s appropriate, I think, for Americans—and Christians, in particular—to think about the families of these men today. They left behind wives, parents, siblings, children, and friends. Their deaths were no small detriment to their communities. Related: the-two-headed-snake-of-islam Last week, I read an excellent piece from Christian Post about where those families are today and how they are faring. I was surprised and encouraged to read the report—that the children of those twenty-one men are proud today of their fathers for choosing their faith in Jesus over their very lives, and the families reportedly, “…have...
To the World’s Greatest Dad!

To the World’s Greatest Dad!

On Father’s Day, 2017, I hereby proclaim my dad, Warner Joseph Workman Sr., as the “World’s Greatest Dad.” I have firmly staked my claim to the elementary school yard proclamation of having the “World’s Greatest Dad.”  I give not one inch to any other dad, past, present, or future.  The boyhood playground proclamation has been around since dads were first invented. Preteen boys weave a tapestry of dad abilities making even Superman envious. My dad is stronger, faster, smarter, more successful, more handsome, more athletic, invented fire, and has been into outer space. The list of achievements, both factual and fictional, knows no bounds to young men who view their dad as the single most important historical figure of mankind. My Dad will be 77 years old this December.  Twice retired, he still works a 40-hour week. I am proud to carry his name and even prouder to have given it to my first born son, born on his 50th birthday.  Bottom line– I love my Dad.  Insane, isn’t it? I pondered about what it takes to be the “World’s Greatest Dad.”  Beyond the superficial schoolyard boasts, what visible traits are required to win the coveted title of “WGD?” Man, at our core, expresses only conditional love, we love only when, and if certain conditions are met.  Agape love, or unconditional love, is not a natural human condition. For man, agape love is a learned trait, one that must be practiced to make perfect. There was never a time that I felt unloved by my Dad. Regardless of my actions or condition, the love of my Dad was consistent, persistent, and unwavering. He expressed this not...
Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

It is June 18th…Father’s Day. Millions of fathers will be celebrated for being “Dad.”  There will be picnics with ice-cream, foaming beer, and memories—  of those whose children are grown and are adults now themselves. These grown men, such as myself, will reflect on our lives. The first Fathers Day’s I remember, I went to the Five and Dime to get my father monogrammed handkerchiefs. As I got older, I graduated to wallets, handmade moccasins, ( a kit for a few bucks), and the last real handmade gift I made was a pipe holder. I’ll always have the memory of not knowing how to build something and asking my father to help. He wound up making it while I watched. As an adult, the handmade projects stopped. Then, I took him out to lunch and spent time with him. The last Father’s Day I had with him was June 2016. He was busy in the family room on the computer. We talked for a bit, and after a while, I left to go home. I gave my mom a kiss on the forehead as usual and went to my car. I sat there. Something came over me, and I decided to go back in and see him. I walked in the room, and he was still on the computer. I said…”Daddy” and he turned and asked me what I wanted. I asked him for a hug. It was the only hug I could ever remember during my entire life with him. Related: to-the-worlds-greatest-dad He got up and gave me a hug. I cried in his arms like a baby..a 58-year-old baby....

The Power of A Shower

I think that a nice hot shower is one thing I will never, ever take for granted. This morning, as the hot water covered me, I thought about the month and a half, when I washed and rinsed my hair, along with my one white summer linen sleeveless dress, my underclothes, and one of two pairs of socks every night, with only two bottles water, potable or not. I had a system. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast on August 29th, 2005, I had no earthly idea of what was going to happen in any of the next few moments of my life for the next month and a half. For quite a few of them, I thought that the last of them were about to be just that. This led me to being “in the moment,’’ a lot! That is a strange but welcome gift from Katrina. Another was my gratitude list. When surrounded by loss and trauma on every level, I first did a status check over and over again. It is a survival technique for me. What grew out of it was a gratitude list. This became something I actively worked on. It became part of my standard operating system, and hot showers were in the top five at all times. It still is. Sometimes during the day, while I was working during that month and a half after Katrina, if I needed to rinse off the extreme funk from life or death, I would just walk into the front bay of Gulfport, Mississippi. I learned to keep soap and a small towel in my backpack...
Steve Scalise and the Bullet that May Have Saved America?

Steve Scalise and the Bullet that May Have Saved America?

History offers an important insight with the contrast of black and white of the “what could have been.” There are flash moments of the past for us to reflect on, where a single gunshot could be heard around the world which effectively changed its landscape. On September 6, 1901, anarchist Czolgosz shot Progressive President, William McKinley, who later died 8 days later. On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a member of the Serbian Black Hand nationalist group, shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife. On November 22, 1963, President John F Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald. Louisiana Congressional Representative Steve Scalise can be seen as the man that prevented the shots that critically injured him from fundamentally changing the world. Steve Scalise, along with 19 other Republicans and staffers were on the field when 66-year-old, unemployed James T. Hodgkinson opened fire with the intent to kill as many people as possible. Hodgkinson, who had been living in his van, was angry with Republicans and Donald Trump for allegedly implementing an agenda that he believed favored the rich and punished the poor. Hodgkinson was a loyal Bernie Sanders supporter and volunteered for Sanders on his 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. It is apparent that Sanders had appealed to Hodgkinson with a virulent message of growing income equality due to the greedy, rich, one percent. Related: unintended-the-consequences-of-liberalism-part-one Related: for-the-first-time-in-over-half-a-century-i-have-hope-that-cuba-will-be-free Scalise, Matt Mika, a lobbyist for Tyson Foods, Zach Barth, a legislative correspondent for Roger Williams (R-Tex.), Special Agents, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, were all injured in the shootout. Both Scalise and Mika were critically injured. While horror and panic unfolded, a...