Preface to the Fatherhood Essays

This is the preface to the Fatherhood essays that I am writing.

I have been a grandson, son, father, grandfather and recent great-grandfather, yet the memories of becoming a new father remain fresh in my mind. Severe chronic challenges were encountered,  yet, with God's help I was able to prevail. This collection of essays is about what was learned on that journey from a young man to a great-grand-father. Many things were learned, challenges overcome, mistakes and memories were made; a lot of growing was done by the entire family.

These essays contain the observations, experiences and challenges that were faced by up to 4 generations of fathers. The manner of writing used here may seem a bit severe, perhaps even negative at times. The motive of heart is to communicate the unvarnished truth so that, with God's help, you too can prevail as a father. These writings can serve as kind of a template of several fathers' approach to managing the challenges and issues of fatherhood. I don't think the challenges are unique, but the response to these challenges will be unique. The issues raised in these essays may help you prepare for the unexpected.

In my journey through life, there was almost no training available on how to handle or manage the challenges of life. I had to learn how to manage and how to grow while struggling to keep the family together. These essays do not contain problem solving "recipes". You, your situations, and circumstances are all unique and demand unique responses which ultimately are determined by you.

Sudden, surprising challenges can scramble your life, goals, ambitions, relationships, self-image, and feelings. You can be plunged into an unfamiliar, unpleasant, painful, and confusing world. What is disclosed here are the tools and skills that have been important to be able to navigate such a world and to endure the challenges that were encountered.

You may find these essays a bit "preachy" and be overwhelmed by all the advice that is presented. Be assured that what is presented here is not theory; I lived what is shared here. My initial experience as a father was to make mistake after mistake and almost become a complete failure. It required time to become skillful. These essays expose the reader to decades of learning in a very short amount of time. Give yourself time to absorb what is shared. It is expected that the reader may experience some very strong emotions about this information, just as I did. I was driven to find the truth, so regardless of my emotions, I worked to learn until there was a resolution and I was at peace. This requires time and patience.

Fatherhood is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. As you endure and prevail, your children can learn to endure and prevail as well.

To the Father and Mother

It requires and father and mother to produce a child. A child needs both a father and a mother to raise him or her. This is a biological, genetic requirement, not an artificial social construct based on artificial gender roles. As such, it is a godly human right for each child to have a male father and a female mother to raise that child. It is best that the father and mother fulfill their responsibilities together with unity of purpose. I raised my children with their mother but I am not qualified to write about motherhood.

To society in general

In these essays, I unapologetically use gender specific pronouns which accurately reflect reality. If the reader finds this to be offensive, then my advice is to stop reading. 

 

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE

The paperback is available at
https://www.createspace.com/4552448
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

The Quest for Deliverance

Knowledge, even self-knowledge is power. The knowledge presented here is to help you begin to develop skills to stand against the challenges of life that can confront your family. The quest for deliverance can be harmful, unless you understand the risks.

One of the worst, heart-rending challenges is a father's inability to protect his precious children from every merciless attack. Accidents, sickness and disease all expose this human weakness. When these challenges happen to a child, various emotions can be overwhelming to the father and the despair of helplessness can dominate. These emotions can debilitate even the strongest father. Our ignorance about how to proceed can be costly and even dangerous.

It is completely natural and understandable to be driven to find a solution, a cure, just as quickly as possible, regardless of the cost. There is the desire for healing so that life can get back to normal. The attack on the child is also an attack on our plans, schedules, finances, almost everything of critical importance that holds our life together. These could all crumble into a magnificent ruin. A cure MUST be found RIGHT NOW! It is certainly not obvious, but I have found that this is an ineffective mind-set. Panic is never advised. The desperate, singular focus on obtaining (and expecting) an immediate cure can produce additional long term anguish, pain, and suffering for the family.

All 4 generations of my family (starting with my grandfathers) have experienced chronic health related challenges. I spent years focused on and expecting a cure for the challenges in my immediate family. I observed other branches of the family in the same quest. We all ended up without the expected complete deliverance. Religion and the self-help industry provided lots of advice, but few godly results. I have seen people at this point become consumed with anger and bitterness directed at their heavenly father. My response was to return to the scriptures and research each record of healing that I could find, looking for a "healing recipe". There had to be something that all the accounts had in common, something I was missing. What was found was not what I expected.

I did not find a "healing recipe". Every single act of godly deliverance was different, tailored to the individual and their unique circumstances. There was one attribute which was common to a majority of the accounts. This one attribute is "endurance". Those in need endured, sometimes for years. My response to this discovery was to end my singular focus on deliverance. Instead, I focused on "enduring until deliverance". I had a great conflict about this change because it contradicted so much of what I (and others) had been taught. The bottom line is that what "prosperity" religion and the self-help industry adherents believe is that to change their focus on deliverance is a capitulation to the challenge. They believe it is wrong, is sinful, and is dishonoring God. There is much fear associated with this destructive, erroneous, singular focus on deliverance.  However, what I had been taught was shown to be in error, so I continued with my new focus on "enduring until deliverance". This change in focus made a dramatic difference in my life and family. Now it was OK to make incremental improvements without the attending feelings of condemnation, disappointment and failure. The stress and pressure to produce complete deliverance NOW was gone. Virtually every aspect of my family life improved. It wasn't that things got easier or the circumstances changed. I changed, and was able to become skillful in this aspect of life.

All these improvements did not happen overnight; I did not get skillful the next day. No, this required years of patient persistence. The first thing that happened was the release from the emotional stress, condemnation and disappointment produced by the singular focus on deliverance. This release provided more energy to apply to endurance; I became stronger. Notice that I had to learn to become skillful while under attack. It is another example of "on the job training" which we experience. My children who lived through these challenging times learned how to endure. They made these skills their own as they endured their own challenges as adults.

No, you won't find the deliverance you are seeking for every challenge that faces you. We all die of something. We will all be working to improve some aspect of our life when we do pass away. Growth and improvement is a never ending process in this life. I have spoken to other beloved children of God who are enduring chronic health issues. They have not allowed these challenges to stop them from serving and walking with God.

My maternal grandfather had learned to live in this practical way. When his son-in-law, my uncle, became totally blind, grandpa used his contacts to obtain a scholarship at a premier school for the blind. My uncle eventually obtained a PHD in psychology. In his career, he began pioneering research with emotionally disturbed handicapped children. By standing against these formidable challenges and enduring, he became a man, husband and father of great godly value. His family continued with the singular focus on deliverance which (I believe) took an emotional toll on them. The difficulty with their quest certainly touched my heart. In the end, none of this prevented the godly impact of his family in this life.

Things that rob your endurance and peace

When you and your family are faced with the challenges of life such as accidents and illness, there are common reactions which are not beneficial. These reactions, although understandable, actually weaken us. The challenges of life are actually processes of destruction. This process of destruction is designed to influence the victim, close family and caretakers to abandon their self-directed life. You then are bound to a life which is directed by uncontrollable circumstances and overwhelming emotion. It is accomplished through a process of stimulus and response to keep you emotionally upset, hopeless, helpless and weak. Understanding the nature of the attack and its purpose can help you resist the processes that are at work.

For years I asked the questions, "why me?", "why do I have to go through this?" "what did I do wrong?", "when will this end?". You may have asked these or other similar questions. Eventually I learned that having the answers to these questions would not help me endure. In some cases the answers could prove burdensome. It is better not to dwell on these questions. I have provided foundational answer to the question "what did I do wrong?" in my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". This book will also help with the obsessive religious habits of self-accusation and self-condemnation.

It is very detrimental to hide and suppress any anger you may have with God. This anger may be suppressed out of guilt. God is much bigger than our emotions and our limited view. It is better to honestly open your heart to him and share yourself with him. You are his child and he will treat you with all the love he has. Yes, I have been angry with him. It may sound silly, but for my own health I even forgave him because of my emotional perception of having been harmed. Some emotions can't be prevented!

There is nothing godly to gain by playing the "blame game". If blame is affixed to something or someone, the next step is to "make sure it never happens again", which is nothing but revenge. All this is actually part of the destructive process which challenges you. It is designed to rob your strength and peace. It does this by keeping you angry, upset, bitter and focused on how unfairly hurt you are. Ultimately you become a chronic victim, consumed and imprisoned by anger and bitterness. There is no deliverance to be had on this path of destruction.

Although it may require some time, when disaster strikes, discard the panic as quickly as possible. Manage the immediate needs but be prepared for the long-haul. Don't give yourself over to anger, bitterness or despair. Share your anger and grief with God. Keep your focus on your family and their needs. For yourself, keep your focus on enduring until deliverance is achieved!

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE

The paperback is available at
https://www.createspace.com/4552448
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

Question of Legitimacy

For centuries, societies have all been very concerned with the question of legitimacy. "Who has and who has not been born into a socially, religiously, and legally recognized marriage?" Ultimately, this question concerns who is and who is not spiritually acceptable. This question was applied to Jesus; some conclude that he is illegitimate. This conclusion can influence some ill advised spiritual decisions.

The question of legitimacy cannot really be settled by "facts", opinions and information that come to us from society and institutions in the physical realm. Spiritual questions require information from the spiritual realm. When dealing with such questions it is important to remember:

"What God respects and esteems is an abomination to the world. What the world respects and esteems is an abomination to God."

Many have been rejected, treated cruelly and shamefully by family and society at large because of this question of legitimacy. Even today, the consequences of being branded as "illegitimate" can lead to needless pain and suffering.

When dealing with this question, its' spiritual aspect is usually neglected. I have known several people who could be considered "illegitimate"; yet each one of these individuals have "Christ in them" and walk with God. This truth wreaks the very notion of "legitimacy". Consider that God knew each one of these people and called them before the beginning of the world! Consider also, that

"…what God has called 'clean', let no one call 'unclean'…"

When it comes to the question of legitimacy, begin with the spiritual aspects; seek what God has to say about the matter. His answer will often contradict what everyone else has to say. There may be social consequences for respecting what God respects, so be strong, be ready.

Finally, the world will use any excuse to inflict abuse. Legitimacy is just one of the many excuses. Social acceptance is not something to value or seek. The one thing we can depend upon is the acceptance of God; respect His acceptance above everything else, even above your own feelings about yourself.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at Amazon
The paperback is available at Createspace
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2016 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Preparing For an Uncertain Future

Preparing for an uncertain future has its advantages, it is one way in which we begin to adjust to a changing world. The question is, how well will we and our families endure these changes?
 
I don't write this to cause discouragement and grief but I write for the sake of endurance and thoughtful planning. Thinking through and preparing for "the worst that can happen" can negate or reduce the tendency to be consumed with fear and worry. If one is to prevail (not just survive), one must be strong enough to endure.
 
Today, much of what is published in the media and on the Internet has the purpose of provoking a strong emotional reaction. There is hope of a magical "awakening" of the American masses that will somehow stop the destruction of our country and the elimination of our freedoms. I submit to you that this hope is a mirage, a pipe dream; if it were to actually happen, it would do little to restore our country and freedoms. One reason I state this is the national debt; our country and untold generations of our children have been sold into slavery.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
(Proverbs 22:7 ESV)

 

 

This truth has not been experienced by the electorate in the manner which would be expected. Individually, our lives seem to continue as they always have. However, there is much discontent and anguish because we cannot gain control of our government. On critical issues the government is unresponsive to the will of the people; instead it is marching in unison towards tyranny. I submit that it is our government which is experiencing this enslavement; regardless of the desire of any individual politician, they have no choice but to ignore the will of the people and to ignore the constitution. They must obey the will of our lenders and those who continue to prop up our economy.
 
The truth of the matter is this; what used to be America is gone, only a shell remains. The constitution has become irrelevant; it is only a script for the theater and drama that is staged in Washington. The freedoms we continue to enjoy are imperiled. A tyrant is not required to control everyone all the time; a tyrant is only required to have access to any individual and control of any individual at any time. This type of tactic is what we seem to be subjected to, more and more.
 
So, if this is true, what can any individual do, how should an individual respond? I offer the following suggestions. If nothing else, don't react, but think through your own response.
 
Mourn and grieve the loss of our country. Have a funeral, put flowers on the grave if needed. Right now there is enough time to do this. Try to release the past and begin to face the future.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV)

 

 

Don't make any effort to attempt to reclaim or restore the "glory days" of the past. The world has changed and those days are gone. These efforts will weaken the ability to endure the challenges of the future.
 
Do some research regarding people of faith in tyrannical countries; here are a couple of books to start with:
 
 
 
If you are worried about your ability to worship and serve God in the manner in which you are accustomed to, please consider the following:
 
The time span to consider for your planning is multi-generational. Plan for the prevailing endurance of your great-grandchildren. There is an example of this kind of planning in the bible, in Jeremiah 29. We are in similar circumstances. One of the things recorded, which is good guidance for the current challenges is:
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
(Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)

 

 

Note the lack of guidance for an armed resistance or violence of any kind.
  • Think through the best long-term location for your family to live; Brazil? Argentina? Chile? Where? In the country or in the city?
  • What kind of spouse should your children look for; Chinese? Arab? Latino?
  • What kind of skills and training should your children have?
Today we are free to make some choices that may not be available tomorrow. Today there is time to prepare ourselves, mentally, emotionally and practically for the challenges, fears and shocks that are sure to occur in the near future. 
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
(Proverbs 22:3 ESV)

 

 

"Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Quit Trying to be Good

The following is from my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity"

Mark 10:18
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

A man speaking with Jesus called him "good teacher", but Jesus rejected this title. If Jesus himself did not regard himself or any other person as "good", then why is so much effort being spent on attempting to reforming people to make them "good"?

The question is asked over and over, "…why do bad things happen to good people?". The assumption of this question is that if a person is "good" then bad things should not happen to them. Hidden away are other, related questions; "…how good do I have to be before I obtain deliverance or prosperity?", "…what did I do that was so "bad" that I deserved this challenge or crisis?"

Again, the theories of the self-help industry and the corporate religious institutions place the emphasis on the individual as the cause of bad things happening. Briefly, the theory is that you must recognize your badness, correct it, and become good. It is the individual that must be corrected so as to bring about the blessings of deliverance and prosperity. These theories and teachings are very ancient, as will be seen.

The book of Job is a record of a man that many would regard as "very good". Yet very evil things happened to him. Not only that, but he was subjected to the kind of abuses that many in the religious realm will recognize. The book of Job is unique in that it plainly describes the actual causes of Job's calamities, the actual nature (godly or ungodly) of the self-help theories, and what a Godly believer should do in such circumstances.

Job's victories were such a stunning triumph that he remains a subject of derision in the religious realm, even to this day. This account of his life provides a complete and absolute refutation of the doctrines and beliefs promoted by the corporate religious institutions and the self-help industry.

There is much that can be learned by studying Job. The care-giver, friend, acquaintance, and employee of those who are challenged all have something to learn.

Are you a mother, father, husband, wife, employer? Does anyone look up to you, or do you influence anyone? Then you are a leader. Those who are, or who would be leaders should pay special attention to Job. He illustrates and personifies God's view of leadership. It is a warning to leaders of the kind of spiritual pressures that this world reserves for those who function effectively as leaders. It is encouragement to leaders, communicating the care and the love that God has for those who function effectively as leaders.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

Deliverance and Self Condemnation

Throughout the years, I have known of and accompanied many on a search for personal deliverance. We were searching for such things as healing, strength, fame, fortune and love. After great effort, sometimes for years, the only result was self condemnation, poverty and in some cases, death. Most have continued with unresolved needs, but the search for deliverance has left them scarred with the additional specter of nagging self doubt, self condemnation and sin consciousness. In some others, the search has cultivated an enduring bitterness against God.
 
"So much of the self-help industry and corporate religion is dedicated to the individual in crisis. Libraries of books have been written and centuries of sermons have been delivered describing what the individual has done wrong to bring calamity to themselves. Following the criticism is a prescription of actions to take and principles to apply which will appropriate deliverance. A majority of these teachings from the religious realm use the Bible as the source of their theories and prescriptions. The Bible is used to legitimize their theories.
 
From the corporate religious institutions we are taught how to be 'good' or 'righteous' so as to curry divine favor and to avoid divine 'wrath'.
Is this really a proper use of the Bible? Is it a book which defines the correct conduct of the individual which will bring about an abundance of prosperity? Is it a book which shows us the way to avoid the wrath of an angry god? Is it a book which imparts legitimacy to a religious institution, its officers, its policies and procedures?"
 
Self condemnation is one of the most miserable, damaging and hurtful devices which is cultivated in us. The chapter "No Condemnation" addresses this device, showing how it is NOT a godly practice; God does NOT want us to condemn ourselves at all. The chapter also shows how the Bible is misused to promote self condemnation.
 
The great man of God, Job, was subject to the same pressures and devices used in religion today, such as self condemnation. The two chapters on Job illustrate how Job was abused in the same manner as many of us have experienced. It also shows the wonderful results of his endurance which occurred, even before he was delivered.
 
A similar post was written specifically regarding the Quest for Healing:
 
If you have unresolved issues between you and God, if you have experienced abuse in your search for deliverance, or if you just want to help others, then the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity" was written for you.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

Godly Abundance and Prosperity

The end of 2013 is rapidly approaching. With the start of the new year, many have a desire for a transformed life and circumstances. In order to effect such a transformation, there exists a plethora of religious organizations which teach a variety of "prosperity" doctrines, practices and recipes for the needy and greedy. This religious "industry" uses the Bible to legitimize their doctrines, practices, and the appeals to transfer cash from your pockets to their bank accounts. 
 
I am one who has journeyed through this industry and have seen first-hand the lack of results, the lack of transformed lives. Year after year, people and families remain impoverished without obtaining the promised "abundance and prosperity". So often God is blamed for the lack, or the individual Christian is left wondering what they did wrong.
 
This raises some questions:
What does the Bible really teach about prosperity?
How does the Bible define prosperity?
Those being devoured by poverty question what they have done wrong, why bad things are still happening to them
If these beliefs and expectations are accurate then why are so many failing to obtain prosperity for themselves and their families?
If these beliefs and expectations are not accurate, why are they being promoted? Why are so many being deceived?
 
Additionally, the doctrines and prescriptions of this religious industry ignore other spiritual factors which influence life and the challenges we all face

After spending several years researching these issues, I composed a series of teachings which answered these questions. This series formed the basis of the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". For those who heard these teachings, it was a life changing experience. Among other things,
They stopped sending their hard earned money to the religious institutions, using it for the needs of their family instead
Expectations were changed since they learned how "prosperity" is defined Biblically
The basis for self condemnation was eradicated
One of the participants reported that "…no one will ever control me again…"
 
It is the goal of this book to expose religious error by exploring the Biblical and spiritual aspects of prosperity. Thus, Christians can stop being exploited by those who would decieve them.
 
This research is now available in the book, "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". The Kindle edition is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Front Cover
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2013, 2014 Keith S. Radcliffe