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11 posts categorized "Family"

March 11, 2009

A Child's Dream

Our youngest child's name is Hudson. He's three years old and a bundle of fire! Last night he had a dream I wanted to share with you. As you know, when young kids have spiritual dreams they're as pure as can be. There's absolutely no filtering system! I thought this would encourage you today and make you laugh!

Hudson's dream - in his words:
-Jesus was crying cause of the world
-He gave me 5 pieces of candy...a carmel, lollipop, candy cane, hot bubblegum...didn't remember the fifth
-A fox and a deer ran by
-Jesus was wearing a jersey like soccer or football
-He hugged me and I was crying too
-Jesus was awesome and big



January 19, 2009

The Other Side of Traveling and Helping the Poor

As you're reading this, I'm flying somewhere over the Atlantic ocean between Washington DC and Johannesburg, South Africa. I'm leading a group into Swaziland, a nation that has the highest rate of HIV infection in the world. I'm privileged to serve orphans and widows in that country. I love the people there and am committed to partnering and believing in the hope for a better future for them and their children. This is my life, and I'm thankful God has given me the opportunity to serve the poor. 

But there's another side I wanted you to know about. It's the side that reveals my personal pain every time I leave my home for the airport. When I close the door to my home, I know I've just left six people inside. My wonderful wife and five children, twelve and under, who need my time and attention. For the next ten days, they won't get it, for twenty days in the month of January. Emily and I have talked many times about the sacrifice that takes place when I go overseas, or leave for the weekend to speak at a church or conference. Normally those days are filled with basketball and soccer games for my kids, concerts at school, and a host of other events where I want to be present.

I do my best, taking one of my kids when I can. Last year our whole family went to Africa together for a month. But that's expensive to do on a regular basis. Then there's the complications of school schedules, and events that constitute a life at home that need consistency. 

Sometimes I feel this pain acutely, like now. Not wanting to go on any more trips until my children are grown and my wife can travel with me. I'm particularly sensitive at this point, because my oldest son is now twelve and needs every moment I can give him. Of course, I try to balance this as much as possible. If I'm out for a period any period of time, I don't go into the office trying to 'make up' lost time. But you don't ever completely make it up. I have to trust God to 'redeem' the time I am at home and make sure I'm fully engaged in the lives of my family when I am home. 

Please pray for me this week. I will be throughout Swaziland with a team and come home on the 28th. I'll be home for a day and then I'll be off to Canada where I'm speaking ten times (ugh!) at the largest conference in that country called BreakForth. 

I'd love any advice, thoughts or words of encouragement on this issue. I'm also grateful for those of you who support me and Children's HopeChest through all the little things you do. Your Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, emails, phone calls, hand-written letters and the silent words you lift to God on my behalf. It's the realization of all of this that reveals to me that this ministry is a partnership, I do what I do well, and you do what you do best by loving the people we serve, writing letters to orphans, giving of your time, talent and treasure, being ambassadors for CHC, and encouraging me and the staff. Thanks for your partnership and friendship. You are loved and appreciated more than you know. 

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,


July 11, 2008

Responsibility and Reflection

Summer has been a great time for our family. This weekend, we have four soccer tournaments four of our children will be participating in. Gideon, my eight year old, and I, were able to go to England together for a month and had a fabulous time. The boys are at a professional football camp meeting NFL players from around the league. The picture below is Hudson, our two year old, with Eric Green, starting cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals. We are truly blessed beyond measure and thankful to God.

After reflecting on this, I couldn't help but think of the kids I've met this year in Africa and all the orphans I love so much in Russia. Their lives don't look at all like the lives of my children. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling guilty for what my children have. Half of what drives me to provide for them comes from what I didn't have as a child. I just ache for those children because they aren't able to be children.

At eight, many of them are hauling dirty water from five miles away at 6:00 am in the morning or longing to go to school but don't have the ten dollars it takes for tuition. It's a much different life for them. In that regard, I do have responsibility to help orphans in need who come from such dire circumstances. This is what the Bible means when it refers to justice and our responsibility to be advocates to the cause of the poor.

"The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern." - Proverbs 29:7
"Hate evil and love good and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph." - Amos 5:15

I hope today this is a simple gentle reminder: Be thankful for your blessings, say an extra prayer, and pursue justice with your whole heart.


June 02, 2008

Summer is Here

Well, the kids are out of school, it's almost 80 degrees in Colorado, and we've already had our fist family 'accident.' Hayden and Gideon spent the night at some friend's house this weekend and Hayden wrecked a dirt bike, slashing a gash in his leg to the right of his knee. As gross as it looked, the Dr. was able to stitch him up nicely 11 times, and he's fine. But basketball camp and the next few soccer games are a no-go.

I'm maintaining a relatively quiet summer traveling schedule, though I am headed to England with Gideon in June for a week. I'll be speaking at the RUN Conference with Brian McLaren, and a few other diverse places including my the headquarters of my publisher, Kingsway, regarding the new release of Fields of the Fatherless. Friends in the UK, here I come!

My novel is turned in and has been approved by the publisher - glad to get that finished. Looks like release will be May 2009. A very rewarding process, but one of the most difficult things I've ever done. This week, I'll start story-boarding the second in the series entitled, Sacred, which takes place in Eastern Europe/Russia. The plot is centered around the child sex-slave industry.

FYI - I'm just finishing a video series on Fields of the Fatherless which will be a great resource for small groups, Sunday school programs, and book clubs. We're making it available for free to those who sign up as 'publicists' to promote the cause of the widow, stranger, and orphan. More to come when it's complete.

Lisa and Will Samson are coming for a visit with their son Jake this weekend. I'm so looking forward to hanging out with them, they are amazing people.

I'll keep the updates coming. Hope you all have a great summer!

November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 20, 2007

A Quick Update

Yesterday i finally finished the first draft of Scared, a novel that will release in the summer of '08. Without question, that was the most difficult thing I've ever done. Rewarding, but hard! The next step is the completion of the 2nd draft which is due in December. I'll post some excerpts from time to time.

Emily's sister, Hannah comes back today fro the World Race. She's been gone since January and to quote her, "Has had the best year of her life." We're super excited to see her.

It's also Hudson's birthday today, he's a whopping 2! Pictures coming later.

Hope you all have an incredible, relaxing, and memorable Thanksgiving. Wish we were spending it all together.

November 01, 2007

Living in Colorado

To me, November 1st marks the beginning of the holiday season. Our Christmas tree will be up in no time! It' brings cool temperatures, gorgeous foliage and animals into our neighborhood. One of the things I love about Colorado is coming home to this in your yard! The other picture is our kids with Mom and Dad Black along with Great Grandma and Valerie. Gideon is in the Spidey outfit. We also had a bride, a cheerleader, and Captain Jack Sparrow. That's Carson Irwin ducking in on the right. Happy November!

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September 27, 2007

Farewell to a Great Vacation

A few more photos for you to see on our vacation are posted in The Family Vacation Album here. I'll post more on my reflections about life and orphans in subsequent posts. Saturday, back to work and I'll be speaking at Capo Beach Calvary evening services and Sunday morning services.

September 26, 2007

More Pictures

I uploaded a few more photos in a new photo album you can view on the right or just Click Here. Hope your having an incredible week!Familyvac07_058 Today, we're off on a family horseback ride. Should be interesting...