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6 posts from November 2008

November 28, 2008

How to Initiate a Young Man - A Father's Desperate Attempt

My oldest biological son, Hayden, turned 12 yesterday. Throughout this past year, I've been reading many books on male initiation - how to begin training a boy into the ways of manhood. The best book on this subject by far is, Richard Rohr's - Adam's Return. This will be a year long process I will guide Hayden through culminating on his 13th birthday. So many of my friends who have sons this age want to know how to initiate their sons. Hopefully, I can provide a bit of a road map. If you have ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Here's the letter I wrote him and presented to him Thanksgiving morning, the day the process began:


Congratulations on being 12! Wow, your 11’s are over and after this year you will officially be a teenager. Happy Birthday pal! I’m so excited for you.

I wanted you to know that I am so proud of you Hayden. I cannot believe the young man you have become. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a son is wrapped up in who you have become. As I look back over the last 12 years of your life I marvel at how God has shaped you into a person of character, integrity, and Godliness.

Last night at the dinner table I told you about how clearly I remember the day before you were born. I sat in front of that fireplace in our very first house in Rowlett, Texas, in 1996 and cried my eyes out before God. I cried because potentially, something could have been wrong with you, but even more than that, I believe I cried out to Him because of the gift he was giving me. You are incredibly special Hayden Davis. You will make your mark on the world in amazing ways. I’ve always known that. I’m glad to be your father, and I’m glad I get to witness how God will use you.

The next few years it is my privilege and honor to shepherd this defining time in your life. More than this just being a letter of “Happy Birthday” and an expression of my pride for who you’ve become, it is an invitation into a year of initiation - an initiation into manhood.

Over this year we will do many things together. The gifts you receive today will give hints of our first big trip that will take place in January. Every quarter there will be a special, secret trip you and I will embark on. Many times you won’t know what’s to come, I want you to trust me. Trust that I’m doing what’s right for you and planning events that will be memories for years to come.

Every month I will sit down with you and talk to you about what it takes to be a Christ-follower and leader in this world and how to navigate life in a way that honors the God who loves you so dearly. The men who are the closest to you will speak into your life during these months, teaching you the most valuable lessons they’ve learned in life. They are my closest friends and they will also become your friends and confidants.

We’ll openly discuss issues that are important to God and vital to you becoming a man of God. Issues such as; character, leadership, integrity, friendship, covenant, Godliness, eternity, destiny, and the out-there realities of things like sex, alcohol, and rock and roll!

I can’t wait for this year Hayden. You will change so much from 12 to 13. As your dad, I commit to stand by your side and mentor you through this process. This will just be one year, but one that will define our relationship for the next 60. My prayer is that as you grow up, you and I will always be as tight as a father and son can be.

I will always believe in you and I’ll always be right by your side cheering you on through each and every stage of your life

On this Thanksgiving Day, I couldn’t be more thankful to have you in my life. Happy Birthday son.

I love you,


November 26, 2008

Please Pray

Some very good friends of ours, Craig and Teddi Domann who are NFL agents, just let us know that two of their nephews were just in a very serious car accident. Jacob is in critical condition and one of the witnesses at the scene told the mother he looked like he was already dead. Please pray for Jacob. Thanks.


November 25, 2008

Video of Kebebtsehay

Kebebtsehay orphanage in Ethiopia is now fully sponsored with over 100 committed sponsorships. We know have three other orphanages in the process of being sponsored by online communities who are passionate about doing something significant to help the life of an orphan. They just put together a video about their orphanage I though you would enjoy. If you are interested in getting your blogging community to sponsor an orphanage in Russia, Swaziland, Uganda, or Ethiopia please let me know!

November 15, 2008

CHC Ethiopia Video World Premiere!

We went all the way to Ethiopia to get this footage of just a few of Ethiopia's 4.8 million orphaned children. As you can see, each is precious...each in need of a loving sponsor family.

Tonight at our annual dinner, over 70 more children were sponsored. Thank you, to all of you who came out on this 15-degree night in Colorado to celebrate God's promise to orphans!

We premiered this video, and shared many of the stories of how sponsors are changing the lives of children around the Russia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, and Uganda.

I'm proud to share this video with you. 

Tonight, we focused on the connection that you can make with an orphaned child and the difference your love, letters, and prayers can make in the life of a child. At least 70 more children now have loving sponsors who have committed to pray for their child, write letters, and send $34/month in financial support. To join our growing family of sponsors, please shoot me an e-mail and someone from HopeChest will give you a call!

November 12, 2008

I Need Your Help - Plus Win a Free Trip to Africa!

Friends and Bloggers: This is very IMPORTANT! My friend Patton Dodd of and I have linked our respective organizations for the month of November to raise money for orphans, generate conversation about poverty, and give away a trip to Africa.

All month, Beliefnet and CHC are encouraging people to donate through a charity badge. We’d like to raise $500/day. People can also enter a contest (whether they donate or not) to win a free trip to Africa.

Sometime in 2009, the winner will accompany me on a HopeChest Vision Trip in Africa. Full details can be found by clicking here. We need your help. Please get the word out via your blogs, load the charity badge onto your site (the code is below), email your friends, and sound the horn however you can. If you don’t have a blog, you can post something on your website or you can guest blog on mine or Daniel’s blogs.

And when you write a post (or posts) about orphans and poverty, email the link to Patton ( and Daniel ( and we will connect it all on Beliefnet. The contest is running now, so get the word out today!

The code should look like this on your blog:
Thanks so much for helping us with this initiative as we respond to God’s heart for the poor.

November 11, 2008

Want to Sponsor Kebebetsehay Orphanage in Ethiopia?

After the conference call I just hung up from, nothing is impossible. My friends, Josh and Amy Bottomly, have sponsored an entire orphanage through their online blogging community. You can do it too!

Kebebetsehay, was one of my favorite orphanages in Ethiopia. It is the home to 120 children including 20 of the cutest babies you've ever seen in your life! Any infant that is abandoned in Addis is supposed to come here first to prevent orphanages from paying people to receive children. 85 of these kids fall between the ages of 3 and 14. Sopia, the director, is on the most honest and well respected leaders in Addis Ababa. The needs here are food, clothing, diapers, milk, formula, and funding to pay school fees. I love, love, this place and it will a tremendous blessing to the community that sponsors it. Email me if you're interested!