He Is A Man!

Sounds like a phrase you would say to a guy who turned his pickup into a monster truck. Maybe a guy who took down a big buck hunting with only a spoon. Maybe some dude who just looks like he is chiseled out of granite and makes all the ladies melt when he walks by.

That’s not the man I’m talking about.

I’m talking about my oldest son Taylor.

Riley, Daniel, Jonah, Taylor, Jadon. 10 years in the making!

Riley, Daniel, Jonah, Taylor, Jadon. Ten years in the making!

Ten years ago myself and some other dads starting to talk about a book we had read called the Raising of a Modern Day Knight and about what it means to be a godly man. More discussions turned into moment of either talk about it or do something.

Praise God for my brothers in Christ because they are men who say “Let’s do something!”

We started to develop and implement what we would call Knights Weekend. We would gather as fathers and sons at a cabin or retreat area to play like guys (capture the flag, paintball, air soft, football, gaga ball, shooting, karate or go tubing or fishing); eat like guys (burgers, steaks, hot dogs, s’mores); and learn what it means to grow and be a godly man.

10 yeras ago they looked different

Ten years ago they looked different

We used principles from Raising of a Modern Day Knight and another book called Teknon the Champion Warrior.

The boys would be given training, be prayed for, be encouraged, be held accountable, be affirmed, and be challenged by the dads. They would do service projects, lead worship, Bible studies, and share their journeys with the younger brothers coming behind them.

At age 8, each boy was started with ceremonial dubbing as a paige—being called into the journey to pursue God and what being a man of God would be for him.

This sword was our symbol of Knighthood

This sword was our symbol of Knighthood

In the midst they would reach a goal and be affirmed a squire—a new responsibility to go deeper, be held to higher accountability, and be challenged in the heart even more.

Then in a final ceremony, when the boy is deemed ready by the other knights (dads), he’s is invited to manhood, signs a resolution in the witness of dads, and declared so by his dad to be a man, and then giving a blessing.

The following verse is the key:

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
1 Corinthians 13:11

On July 7th, Taylor took this step and made this commitment. Ten years in the making and now a new process has started. It is a road that will not be perfect but it’s a road that he is now called to AND on!

Why did we do this? Why the investment? Why these defining ceremonies?

Coming of age ceremonies are part of the history of most cultures. Some are over the top painful, death defying, or physically demanding.

We prayed and studied about this process and came to realize there is very little in our culture that points to what a man is supposed to be.

Still it’s crucial for a boy to know when he has crossed over.

The Bible is very clear about what that character is supposed to look like. Like the scripture says, “When I became a man.”

Taylor signs his resolution

Taylor signs his resolution

It’s not at a certain age like a driver license or being able to vote. It’s about who you are and becoming not matter what the age.

We each wanted our sons to understand what the standards, principles, values, actions, and most of all heart look like in manhood.

I didn’t want Taylor or my sons who follow behind him to be poorly equipped in this world.

Taylor commits to Godly Manhood

Taylor commits to Godly Manhood

He chose it. He is still going to need to choose it.

I’m proud of him. He is a young man. A Knight.

God is good all the time,
Peder

P.S. If you have questions about what we did over the 10 years, email me at peder[at]pedereide.com.

My Dad-A Father’s Day Thought

I was a momma’s boy growing up. I was pretty spoiled by my mom and everyone knew it. There were many reasons why, too many to go into here but the point is… I was spoiled by my mom and I was just fine with it.

I loved my dad. I respected him and was a bit in awe of him as a kid. He was a tremendous worker and man of accomplishment and community service. My dad served 35 years in the military including WW II and all of this was done with only a high school education. He attained the rank of full Colonel in the Air National Guard and worked for the Governor of Minnesota all while still farming on the evenings and weekends. He did all this to provide for his wife and four children on a farm just outside of Fargo, ND.

Father’s Day is so much about remembering for me. My memories of my dad are many and quite a variety. I remember things like:

– him leaving each morning at around 6:00 am with a coffee and an egg sandwich for his 40-mile drive to the Air Base in Fargo to go to work.

– getting to ride on the side of the tractor next to him as he worked a field and begging him to let me drive while we plowed the ground. He let me drive with a correcting hand ready to grab the wheel when I got off track.

– having me sit on his shoulders as I watched the Blue Angels at the Air Show at the base because I was too short see over every one else.

– playing chess in the dining room with him at night after baths and always wondering if I really did win or if he let me win while he smoked his pipe.

– his shopping with me for earrings for my mom at Christmas, and how he constantly guided me away from the real diamonds to some earring shaped like a fish.

– letting me help him hook up the camper to the car to go fishing in Canada every summer and the patience he showed as I always thought I got a bite from a fish every other second.

– standing in the cold and rain to watch me play football in high school and never complained about being there in the worst weather.

– waiting up for me if I was out late with friends to make sure I was ok (a well-deserved lecture also came if I was later than agreed upon)

– sitting with a program in the audience for every choir and band concert, musical, etc. I was ever in.

– taking me duck hunting before morning light and reminding me that shouting “here comes one!” doesn’t help the duck get closer.

– walking behind him as he walked behind the casket of his wife taken too soon in their life together, so broken and vulnerable and scared. I had never seen him like that.

– standing next to him dressed in tuxedos for a picture on the day I would marry the woman he would call a girl who is “strong” and “carries herself well.” He was right :)

There is a lot more that I would selfishly like to tell you but I want to show a favorite picture I have in my house. It’s a picture that was taken after my dad had returned from leading an Air Guard Competition Team winning a trophy called the William Tell Trophy. Mom had made the outfit I’m wearing because Mom thought we should look good when our father, who is an officer, returns home from a successful military trip. For me, the focus of this picture is what he is doing and what I am doing…

WT_1972_Boy-300dp

I’m looking up at him, and he is smiling at me.

Isn’t that how God looks at us?

That’s what I want to remember more than anything.

That’s what I want my kids to remember about me.

I need to do so much better than I have been. I have made some good memories but I need to grasp the truth that it’s not too late make more. I’m still here. I’m still a dad. I’m not done yet. I can still make some pretty cool memories not just for my kids but my wife, my friends, and my neighbors.

My dad died on August 3rd, 1994. He was not perfect but I don’t care. That’s not what counts. What counts is……

I know I had his blessing.

I know I had his love even if rarely said.

I know he was pleased with me even though I almost burned the house down… (another story for another time :))

I pray my children know the same from me. I can still show them. I can do better. Maybe even capture it in a picture.

God is good all the time

Peder

The Yard Light

I love light!

I mean, if we had no light, we couldn’t see things.

We couldn’t see each other. We couldn’t see where we are going and would step on really sharp toys that weren’t put away! We would not know how to stay on the highway at night. We would struggle to get a tan. We would be colder. We wouldn’t wear matching clothes.

To walk around in the dark all the time? Awful.

We would miss so much beauty. There is actually a form of depression some people suffer from when they are living long periods of life without sunlight. The list is infinite about how hard life would be without light.

You get the picture. Light is pretty important.

As we enter into this Advent season before Christmas 2013, I want to spend time looking at the message, power of, need, and reason for light. Specifically the Light of World that comes to us in Jesus Christ.

I remember on the farm we had a single yard light that was right in the center of our homestead. It was probably a 75 watt light bulb at the top of a telephone pole that was turned on and off in the house. It was there for the purpose of helping you see where you were going from building to building at night.

Walking from the steel shed or the barn or chicken coop on a dark Minnesota night back to the house could be nerve-racking for a seven-year-old who thought Scooby Doo haunted mysteries could be real.

The yard light, though, was a lifesaver. If I needed to flee from any monsters lurking in the near by woods I could run freely with worrying about tripping over a bike, running into clothes line, or falling in a trap set by enemy trying to take over the world starting at my farm!

(Yes, I had an imagination…go figure).

As long as that yard light was on, no worries.

But I’d lose confidence when I was closing up the barn door for the night and my older brother (let’s call him Tom) was watching out the window to turn off the yard light. He’d force me to walk in the night without a light.

It changed how I walked, hoping I wouldn’t bang my shin on something. The wind, the creaking of branches, gates swinging, and squirrels running were all way more evil than ever before.

My breathing would speed up, my senses on alert, and I’d move towards the house in total fear but with one single goal: don’t die before giving paybacks to the brother we’re calling Tom.

We need light. Not just physically but spiritually. God the Father knew it. It was why He sent His Son to a darkening world. We are meant to live this life in the light not in the dark.

Do you feel any of those emotions in your day-to-day life I was feeling when my brother turned off the yard light? If anything at all, then that’s why this Advent is important for you.

Wouldn’t it be great if this Christmas you discovered the light of Jesus in a new way so you don’t ever have to fear the dark?

The best part about the light of Jesus? There is no one who can ever turn it off with a switch. It is always on.

Let’s get ready to run in the light this Christmas, my friends, because darkness cannot overcome the Light!

God is good all the time!

Peder

Independence Day

photo credit: sunsurfr via photo pin cc

I can’t believe it’s July already. I love summer in Minnesota, and July marks the middle of the warm weather to me. It’s baseball, fishing, swimming, camps, MLB All Star break, really green golf courses, fireworks, and, of course, Independence Day.

July 4th carries so many memories for me. Growing up on the farm near Hitterdal, MN, we would spend the day mowing the lawn, hand washing all the vehicles, blowing things up with fireworks, and then we would travel to Detroit Lakes, MN, for a picnic, swimming, watching fireworks with the family on the beach, and then falling asleep in the back of station wagon as Dad drove us back to the farm.

I loved those times. My dad and mom did so much to make it fun and yet didn’t say yes to everything we wanted. They would try to be economical and pack as much food and drink so we wouldn’t buy anything we didn’t need. They provided all the blankets, sunscreen, sand castle making equipment, water, coffee thermos (for Dad), mosquito spray, and sweatshirts for the evening show. We were free to enjoy the day with no needs to be worried about. Freedom feels good.

That’s what Independence Day is about right?  It’s about the Founding Father’s declaring they no longer subject themselves to the tyranny of the King and England itself. Even after the declaring independence, the cost to achieve that freedom would not be measurable until it was attained. The cost of human lives sacrificed on the battlefield was not projectable. The attitude was “whatever it takes to get it done.”

It got done, and this freedom has been challenged, defended, protected, and preserved with many more lives “no matter what it takes.”  Freedom is just that important and worth it.

It’s a freedom that doesn’t allow us to do whatever we want but a freedom that says we can pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

Look, my friends, I want to point you in a direction to remember the most important freedom you have. That’s the freedom from the bondage of sin that God gave us through the death AND resurrection of His Son Jesus. That Independence Day is eternal. It’s not just heaven and eternal life but it’s also freedom to pursue the Father God’s love, presence, will, grace, and not have to be afraid. No worries. It’s all been provided for you to approach your Abba Father God.

In John 14:6 Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Jesus took care of all your needs so you can have the freedom and independence to come into the presence of God and have no fear. The cost and sacrifice was great. In Jesus, your freedom from death has been challenged, defended, protected, and preserved. He did whatever it would take because you are worth it to Him.

No more tyranny of sin and condemnation.

Thank Jesus even as you read this for your freedom and celebrate Him. Sing. Dance. Fireworks.

God is good all the time!

Peder