Show Me the Father (2021) Movie Script

One of the greatest needs God has put
into the heart of every human being
is for a father.
All of us have a fatherhood story.
We either can share
about how much we loved him
and how much he meant to us...
or how deeply he hurt us.
We see father wounds all around us.
The hurt, the bitterness...
the anger...
the unforgiveness.
People who've grown up without a dad
that was present
or loving in their homes...
the word "father"
is not a good word for them.
They're seeing the brokenness
of this world. They're struggling
in their marriages. They're trying
to provide for their families.
And they don't know
that they have a father.
And his heart is tender towards us.
If you've been looking for a father,
if you've been wanting a daddy...
if you want to experience
what it is to be fathered by God...
your perfect Father in heaven
can change the trajectory of your life.
Your daddy wants to restore you.
There is a loving Father
in heaven who has created us.
And He wants a relationship with us.
I got a full scholarship
to go to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted me in 1976.
I played seven years
with the Seattle Seahawks.
After that, that's when I got
into my teaching and coaching career.
I love coaching
because of the relationships
that you develop with the players.
You get close with guys.
Mental part is what makes the difference,
doing the little stuff right,
because everybody's got physical talent.
And so they know
who I am and what I'm all about.
And that they know that I care about them.
They know that... I care about you.
I want you to be successful.
The crowd settles in for Super Bowl XXXIV.
-St. Louis against Tennessee.
-We went to a Super Bowl in Tennessee.
We were the Houston Oilers,
then we moved to Tennessee.
-We became the Tennessee Titans.
-Into the end zone.
I was hired by Pete Carroll.
I got to go back to Seattle
and spend seven years on his staff.
Went to the playoffs
six out of seven years
and two straight Super Bowls.
I would always tell my players,
"If all you get from me is someone
that teaches you
how to run the inside zone,
someone that teaches you
how to run an option route,
if that's all you get from me,
man, you can get that from a video."
I said, "I pray that I give you something
that will take you beyond this,
that will help you become a better man,
a better husband, a better father."
I wanna make a difference
in the lives of young people,
the way my father
made a difference in my life.
And I would look at each guy that way,
like, "You are my son,"
in the way I will relate to him.
As a father would relate to a son,
as my father related to me.
My dad was my hero growing up.
His presence in our life...
how he saw more in us
than what we saw in ourselves.
Speaking to me as a Black young man,
not to hear the noise
that I was hearing from other people...
who was trying to tell us that,
"You are limited in what you could do
and where you can live
and what you can be."
Not only was that lie being sold to me
by those outside of my community,
but there were people within my community
that had bought that lie also.
They was telling me,
"Going to college, you're just dreaming."
And my father wasn't buying it.
My father asked me a question, he said,
"What do you wanna do
when you graduate from high school?"
And I had a plan.
Work in the steel mill,
get a nice car, and live in an apartment.
So he took me on a trip. Got in the car,
he said, "I don't want you to say a word."
So we drove down
to that apartment complex,
which was a public housing unit.
He said, "Don't buy the lie
that this is the only place you can live."
We drove to that steel mill
where my dad worked
for 30-something years.
He said, "Don't buy the lie
that this is the only place you can work.
Son, you're better than that.
Don't buy the lie.
You can do more than that right there.
Hey, don't forget who your daddy is.
Don't forget who you are."
So my father, he was letting me know
my identity
was supposed to impact my behavior.
When I was in college,
I had this desire to wanna know God,
but I'm a visual learner.
I was talking
to people about Christianity,
they were telling me
what Jesus Christ could do for me.
And I was looking at these people, saying:
"Doesn't look like He's making
any difference in your life.
You talk like I talk,
think like I think, go where I go."
Quarterback Sherman Smith takes the ball
through the Marshall defense.
And so one day, it was my senior year,
right before the draft, I said: "God,
I wanna know if you're for real.
I need somebody to show me."
God responded and revealed Himself to me.
You know, training camp started,
this one guy walks in,
big Black guy, big, old barrel chest,
and on the back of his shirt, it said:
"Hutch is going to Seattle
to do God's battle."
And I remember thinking
to myself, "Oh, no, man. Here it is.
I've come some 2000 miles
to run into another one
of these 'Christians.'"
I'm watching Ken Hutcherson.
We're having a relationship
because we talk and stuff.
But I'm watching his life.
I'm checking him out,
gonna see what this guy's all about.
There was something different
about this guy.
In our last preseason game,
he gets hurt, blows his knee out.
Take him off the field,
word comes back down on the field
that his career is over with.
And he has ice packs on his knee
and he's got a smile on his face.
And he just says, "Sherm."
"Man, I'm excited."
And I'm looking at him, "Okay."
"I'm excited
to see what God has planned for my life."
He said, "Sherm, I'm a Christian.
And nothing happens in my life
that's not filtered
through God's hands first."
He said, "I'm excited
to see what God has planned for my life."
And right there,
I said, "This has to be for real.
You can't fake that right there."
And right there in that room, I said,
"Please tell me more about Jesus Christ."
He said, "God loves you.
God loves you so much
that your sins are forgiven,
past, present and future."
He said,
"Not only did God love you so much,
the thing that has happened
is God says He's gonna save you
from the penalty of sin. He's
gonna save you from the presence of sin.
But now, God
is gonna save you from the power of sin."
I said, "Lord Jesus, come into my life."
Identity is the key to spiritual growth.
You have to know who you are.
My dad laid the foundation
for that thinking.
And then when Hutch came to me
and said, "Don't you know who you are?"
He was saying the same thing to me.
"Don't you know your identity
is supposed to impact your behavior?"
What a father is supposed to be...
is a man who has accepted
the role and responsibility
of transferring the character,
person, and purposes of God
through him to his offspring.
A father is the founder.
We talk about Founding Fathers.
The word "father" means source
from which other things come.
It can also mean "chief" or a "leader."
Our Heavenly Father
is a source of blessing
and love and provision
and protection and wisdom.
And a father on earth
should be receiving those things
from his Heavenly Father
and pouring those out on his children.
So he is the mirror,
the model, and the imprint.
He's a mediary between heaven
and earth to the next generation.
The problem
is that earthly fathers crack the mirror.
So the mirror of the Heavenly Father
doesn't come through clearly.
Today on Focus on the Family,
we're gonna look at fatherlessness.
Your host is Focus president
and author, Jim Daly, and I'm John Fuller.
The research about fatherlessness
in America is heartbreaking.
Ninety percent
of all homeless and runaway children
are from fatherless homes.
Eighty-five percent of all children
who show behavior disorders
come from fatherless homes.
It really stacks the deck against us.
I know this firsthand
because most of my childhood
was spent without a father.
Concept of fatherhood, for me, was tough.
A father was somebody who hurt you,
a father was somebody
who disappointed you.
My biological father was an alcoholic.
One day, he'd run his hand
through my hair and say he loves me,
and the next night,
he'd be drunk, threatening me.
One night, I was 5 years old,
my dad was drunk,
sitting in a La-Z-Boy-type rocker,
and he had a hammer in his hand.
And he was banging the hammer
on the ground, saying,
"I'm gonna kill your mother
when she gets home."
I looked at the walls,
and the walls of our house had holes.
He had been hitting the hammer
through the walls.
My siblings put me
in my mom's bedroom and tucked me in.
I remember as a 5-year-old
pulling those blankets up to my neck,
feeling like
this is the only protection I had.
Next thing I knew,
a police officer walked through the door,
right when his partner
was putting my dad in the police car.
And then they drove away.
Next day, we were on the move.
I think we lived
in seven different houses,
kind of running from my dad.
My mom remarried actually
to kind of a real aggressive guy.
Hank was his name.
I called him "Hank the Tank."
He was an ex-military dude.
Used to do a white-glove test
every Saturday morning in our house.
One time, I didn't hang my jacket up,
and he came in and said,
"Hey, hang up that jacket 500 times
and yell out the number.
Follow the rules or be crushed."
I remember one day,
the bedroom door was slightly ajar,
and I heard my mom yell for me, "Jimmy!"
It was weak,
but I went in and I was shocked
because she looked frail. She was thinner.
But I didn't think anything else
other than maybe she just...
You know, she was pretty sick.
My mom was not doing well.
I didn't know what was wrong with her,
but Hank
would lock her inside the bedroom
and I'd go weeks without seeing my mom,
even living in the same house.
And Hank would always threaten me:
"Don't bother your mother.
You're gonna wear her down."
One day,
my brother was back from the Navy.
He was 19, I was 9.
He started calling
each one of us into the bedroom.
And I walked in
and my big brother put me on his knee,
and he said, "I don't know
how to tell you this, but Mom's dead."
I dug my fingers
into his forearm so deeply, his arm bled.
We go to the funeral a few days later.
And we get home and all
of our stuff was sold, all our furniture.
There was a box
of our goods in the living room.
Hank came out
of the master bedroom with his bags packed
and said, "I'm leaving.
I can't take the pressure
of four or five kids."
And he got into a taxi and took off.
And my brother said, "I've got a friend.
Their family's gonna take us in.
We're gonna be foster kids."
We moved to this little town,
a desert town called Morongo Valley.
It was chaos.
I mean, that place was not healthy.
Six months
into being at this foster family,
the social worker came out,
and she said, "We've got a problem."
And I thought, finally, an adult
that understands what I'm going through.
And the foster father accuses me
of trying to murder him as a 9-year-old.
He was struggling
with some mental issues, I think.
I'm thinking, do adults tell the truth?
Do fathers tell the truth?
After being there a year,
my dad showed up.
He tracked us down.
He said, "Hey, I heard Mom died.
I've been trying to find you.
I'm sorry what's happened."
He asked the question,
"Would you like to live with me?"
But it was kind of that feeling
of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you know?
If you come up in an alcoholic home,
you don't know
which father you're gonna get.
The good guy or the bad guy?
But I was desperate. I'll take either one.
I moved in with my dad.
And it was rocky for that year.
My siblings
didn't think I should live with him.
And the master plan
was for me to move in with my brother.
He had just married
his 16-year-old girlfriend.
And the family wanted me to tell my father
that I couldn't live with them.
So we had a family conference
in this living room.
I remember
having to look at my father. I'm now 11.
And I look at him and I say:
"Hey, I don't think
I should live with you anymore."
And he looked at me and said, "Why not?"
And I remember exactly what I said to him.
I said, "You haven't been a good father
and you didn't treat Mom really well."
And to his credit, he stood up
and walked over to me and hugged me.
He said, "You know what?
I haven't been a good father.
And I wasn't a good husband.
But I love you."
And four months later, he was found dead
in an abandoned building, drunk.
He had fallen asleep and froze to death.
Those were the last words
I had for my dad.
"You're not a very good father."
And, you know, I regret that to this day.
I move in with my brother.
I go through junior high
and starting high school.
I like sports.
I play football, basketball, baseball.
I find structure in those things, I think.
Sophomore year, got a new football coach
at our high school, Coach Paul Morrow.
And he just commanded respect
right from the get-go.
So I remember the first two-a-days,
it's like 100 degrees.
And he pulls me out of the line
and grabs me by the facemask and says:
"If you're gonna be a quarterback
for this team,
you gotta win at these wind sprints.
Gotta demonstrate leadership."
And it's the first time
I'd been called out like that.
And I would say
that I went from a boy to a man
under Coach Paul Morrow.
He started inviting me over
to his house for dinner.
"Why don't you come to my house,
have tacos? We got Taco Tuesday."
His wife, Joyce, would make,
you know, like a thousand tacos
for us guys that would show up
and we'd scarf these things down.
Eventually, he asked me
if I'd like to go to a Fellowship
of Christian Athletes Camp.
I said, "Don't got the money for that." He
said, "No. Joyce and I will pay for that."
So I go to this FCA camp.
And there's a guy
from the San Diego Chargers,
and he gave a message.
And we're clowning around,
like, all we wanna do is play football.
At night, we're "Oh, man,
another boring Christian speaker.
I mean, really. Come on."
Anyway, this guy gets up there, and
he goes, "Has your father let you down?
Has your stepfather let you down?"
And it just pulled me in.
"I'm gonna introduce you
to somebody who'll never let you down,
and that's Jesus Christ."
And he just kept talking.
And I just was compelled.
He said, "Come down here
if you want that relationship
with a father that you've never had."
And I was there,
in tears, bawling, "I want that father."
That night, I gave my life to the Lord.
It didn't change everything overnight.
I mean, I still had many valleys.
But, eventually, it lined up.
And I will forever be indebted
to Coach Paul Morrow.
He was that first man that paid attention
to me, that seemed to care about me.
He was treating me like a dad would.
Every child needs a godly father.
But that may not be
your biological father.
It may be someone
who accepts that role in your life,
to bring
the Heavenly Father's perspective to you,
and to take the principles
of what he is like and mirror them,
model them before you.
In the same way
that Jesus became the visual image
of the Heavenly Father,
men should become
the visible image of that Father,
as modeled by Christ,
to those who still need to be fathered.
My dad ended up leaving
when I was around 3 or 4 years old.
My mom, you know,
was continuing to do the best she can.
Odd jobs here and there, and...
I might be, wow, 5 or 6.
My mom just told
the person she was sitting there with,
she told him, she's like,
"When we adopted Deland..."
I remember looking up
saying, "I'm adopted?"
I can't remember what her response was.
She just kind of kept on going.
She was like, "Yeah,"
and she kept doing what she was doing.
My mom started seeing another person.
He had spent time in jail.
We had to go up and visit him.
I never liked it.
It was almost like we were sacrificing
being in that type of situation,
for what I guess we thought
would be a back-end reward
of a guy getting out of jail,
who was gonna do the right things
and do right by my mom
and by me and my brother.
That... That is not what happened.
I think some of the anger
or the resentment that I held
towards the males that I was exposed to,
I had a major problem with those guys.
I was really looking past
those times and those instances
with those guys to just a better life.
I prayed for me and my brother and my mom
to get through this night,
or whatever it is.
I just wanted to get past this,
this period of time in my life
that I could start
doing something on my own.
Campbell Memorial
had quite a shootout tonight,
as they were battling it out
for the Mahoning Valley Conference title.
So going into my senior year,
things really took off.
McCullough will take it the last 11.
Touchdown here! They go up 27-22.
I said, "Well, I'm not staying here.
I'll tell you that right now.
If nothing happens, I'm not staying here."
That's when the switch flipped for me.
I said, "I might be smaller
than them guys," at that time.
"But nobody is gonna work harder than me."
I was in a position
to start getting recruited.
Sherman Smith came to recruit me.
In 1989, I coached at Miami of Ohio.
We had decided we were going
to recruit Deland McCullough.
McCullough, he is gonna break through
a couple tackles.
He ran hard.
He's a straight-line runner.
...into the end zone.
Man, he was just getting it.
You know, this guy
was just trying to get away.
So I was fortunate that I was able
to recruit in my hometown area,
Youngstown, Ohio.
I go to his high school, his senior year,
and he comes downstairs
and, you know, I introduced myself.
And I went down, it was like a movie.
He had his back turned, he turned around,
he said, "I'm Sherman Smith,
running back coach from Miami University."
And he was well spoken, and put together,
and smart, played in the NFL.
I'm blown away
because I'd never seen a person
face to face, you know, from Youngstown
who had accomplished
what he had accomplished.
It was the same day
that I did a home visit
and went to his home,
and I met his mom, Adele.
I told Deland, "This is the type of man
that you need to be around."
Somebody like Coach Smith.
I remember I drove them to campus,
because at that time, they didn't have
the means to get there on their own.
Four and a half hours
in the car there and back, just to talk.
I loved it up there, you know.
And I just was looking
at Coach Smith as somebody...
I'm like,
"This is a guy I can learn a lot from
and just continue
to form a connection with,"
so I end up,
you know, committing to Miami.
After Coach Smith, the other schools
didn't make a difference at that point.
I wanted to make a difference
in Deland's life, no doubt about it.
We just talked.
All I knew of him
was as the running back coach for Miami.
Man, I wanna live to glorify God.
I wanna be a difference maker.
I wanna be a mentor, an example.
Then it's not something that you do,
it's who you are.
His character and everything
came through immediately,
and that's what drew me to him.
When you meet guys, you don't know
if they don't have a father in their life.
You don't know what they have.
Your conversation may not get that deep.
I liked what he stood for
and the way he carried himself.
Like I always say to my players,
"You may not be looking for a father,
but I'm gonna treat you like my son."
I could just imagine him
being, you know, a great father.
In the way he treated us,
the way he treated the running backs.
The type of person he was, he was strong.
Going through that first semester and just
excited and feeling good about everything.
That's when Coach Smith, he ended up...
He got a job
at the University of Illinois.
That was tough.
He was the reason that I went to Miami.
From my life experiences,
you learn how to adapt.
I'm like, "Hey,
I've dealt with a whole lot worse,
with guys leaving my life."
You know what I'm saying?
I mean, some guys went out with a bang.
He didn't go out with...
He was solid for me
all the way up until he left,
and was respectful when he left.
So I was good.
I was good with the next move.
He put his name
in the record book at Miami University.
Matter of fact, Deland McCullough
is the all-time leading rusher
in the Mid-American Conference.
And yet he enters the NFL
feeling he still has a lot to prove.
I was like the sixth-string guy,
coming into training camp.
And by the end, I was the number one guy.
"I'm gonna be a hard-working guy.
I'm gonna try to be the best person
I can be, flaws like everybody.
But I wanna create something more positive
for myself and for my family."
We go into the last preseason game
with two minutes left.
And I get my knee blown out.
Needless to say, a major setback.
And, you know,
the interview after my knee injury,
and have the media and everybody say,
"Hey, you were supposed to be the starter
the following week."
I felt like right then,
everything was validated.
You know, if I never played another play,
I showed I could play on this level.
I had two ACL surgeries on my right knee.
I was done at that point.
I said, "I gotta start working.
Would love to do something in coaching."
And then here I am,
you know, now at Miami,
I'm a 37-year-old intern,
basically, at my Alma mater,
which is weird, like, "Okay, I'm looking
at my picture all over the place,
but I'm the lowest level guy
on the staff."
But it's all good.
I'm there, I'm loving it,
and I get a call
from the head coach at Indiana.
He offered me a job
as a running back coach.
Put a bunch of guys in the NFL,
and, you know, kind of rose up the ranks.
So I'm like, "Wow. You know,
I just got in this and just took off."
As he was coaching at Indiana University,
he would call me up, we'd talk
about coaching techniques and questions.
I wasn't saying,
"I'm gonna do what Coach Smith did."
It just happened.
"I'm gonna call Deland up tonight,
give me some drills for this.
Give me this. Give me that."
So we had that kind of relationship,
a coach-friend relationship.
And we're both from Youngstown.
We both went to Miami.
The time we spent together,
our relationship, talking on the phone.
Both of us going to play pro ball,
both of our careers end
because of knee surgeries.
I tell all my players this,
that they made a difference in my life.
I got something from them.
Our next job both was in the Big 10.
He went to Illinois, I went to Indiana.
This is why I do what I do.
This is why I do it, for guys like that.
Fatherhood on earth actually
comes from the fatherhood of God.
God didn't look down
on something He created,
and says, "Hey, I like that.
I'm gonna call myself Father."
No. From the very beginning,
He, as the perfect father,
created fatherhood on earth
as an introduction to who He is.
So a father should view himself
as a provider of not just physical things
for his family
but spiritual example
and nourishment for his children.
A father has to also be
a strong protector for his family.
We see families falling apart
when fathers don't step in
and protect their wives, protect
their children, protect their families.
Another role a father has
is to be a loving leader.
Not passive on the sidelines, but
stepping up and leading by his example.
Coaching his kids with clear direction
and leading them with love,
winning the hearts of his children.
A father has to also be
a truthful teacher to his children.
If there's something
you want them to learn,
you take responsibility
for teaching it to them.
A father should be
a willing helper to his children.
A father should voluntarily
look for ways to serve his kids.
Getting his hands dirty, helping
to meet their practical day-to-day needs.
A father
is also to be a hopeful encourager.
Cheering his kids on towards success,
walking them through the hard times,
and giving them hope for the future.
As kids get older, a father will shift.
He will take on the role
of being a compassionate friend.
Even as a father
shows compassion on his children,
so God also shows compassion on us.
We should view fatherhood
as an introduction
to the fatherhood of God,
and dads should ask God to help them
to be a good representation
of who He is to their own children.
A big day in New York City
for Ohio State tailback Eddie George.
It is my pleasure to announce the winner.
Eddie George, Ohio State!
To have my father proud,
to have him in the stands cheering.
Feeling good about his life.
That was my sole purpose
of playing a game of football.
I must have been about 9 or 10 years old,
my mother told me
he had a nervous breakdown,
and he just resorted
to ease the pain through substance abuse,
and he was a garbage-can junkie.
The year that he connected with me
was the year I won the Heisman.
And people around me were like:
"He's only coming back because he sees
the potential in you going to the NFL
and he wants something from you."
I didn't care.
I didn't care.
I wanted my father.
I always was looking for my father.
The Houston Oilers select Eddie George,
running back from Ohio State.
1996, I was drafted
by the Houston Oilers, where I...
That's where I first met Coach Sherman,
who was my running back coach.
Eddie took charge from day one.
There was no question
in anyone's mind that he was special.
Out the gate,
Coach Sherman called me Big Cat.
He said, "Big Cat,
glad to have you, glad we drafted you."
And I just got
a good feeling about Sherman
because he was young, approachable.
And he was just someone
that I felt like I could grow under.
Sherman felt more like a father
than he did a coach.
I get a phone call from my girlfriend
at the time that she was pregnant.
And I'm not ready
to be a father at 22 years old.
And I panicked.
And Sherman pulls me aside.
And he says, "Man, listen, calm down.
It is a beautiful thing to have a child.
When all the emotions settle down,
you wanna do what's best for your son."
He says, "Man up,
take on your responsibility.
Be a father to your son.
Be in his life, not just be a paycheck,
but really be there for your son."
And he helped me
get through that emotionally.
At that particular moment,
Sherman Smith was the perfect fit for me.
He was the father figure
that I needed at that point in time.
Sherman was always that second father
figure for me when I was playing sports.
He treated his guys like that.
Sherm was big on responsibility now.
I mean, because as a player,
you had to be responsible for your job,
or you'd mess up the whole team.
And so he's letting us know
that being responsible as a fullback,
being responsible as a running back,
being responsible with the ball
that you're given to carry,
not dropping it.
And he would carry that into life,
"Don't drop the ball now,
because it's not
somebody else's responsibility
to carry what you've been given."
So we talked about
being the type of person you wanna be.
Man, if you're a dependable,
accountable, responsible person,
that goes with you on the football field.
You don't leave
who you are in the locker room.
You take that with you,
that's who you are.
You can't compartmentalize,
"Well, I'm a dependable,
accountable, responsible football player
but I'm an irresponsible father,
husband, man."
It doesn't go together. It doesn't work.
So what he was doing
was feeding our spirit
about what it means to be a godly man.
Being a father is very important.
It's not just talk,
there's gotta be an action.
It has to be authentic, it has to be real.
One of the principles in Scripture
is the principle of adoption.
That we have been adopted into a family
where God is our father.
God doesn't just wanna be
a distant acquaintance to us.
He doesn't just wanna be
a mentor or a provider.
He wants to be a loving father to us.
When we place our faith in Jesus,
the Scripture says:
"The Father adopts us into his family."
We become His beloved children.
We now have access
to His ear and His heart and His throne.
So there is a relational component
to our salvation that's not theoretical,
but is very practical.
One day, my wife and I were on an airplane
flying to New York City.
I'm sitting on the airplane, I'm spending
some time reading the Scriptures.
And I was reading in John, chapter 10.
"I have other sheep
that are not of this fold
that I must bring
to be a part of this fold."
I'm looking at this passage of Scripture
and God speaks to my heart, crystal clear.
It wasn't audible,
but he communicates to me,
"I want you to be open to adoption."
This was totally unexpected.
And I turned to my wife, and I said:
"I think God wants us
to be open to adoption."
Well, she smiles,
and I didn't realize that she had been
praying for me for two years that God
would turn my heart towards adoption.
I felt like
the Lord was confirming something
that he'd been stirring
in my heart for years.
A friend of mine
was in the process of adopting,
and she was sharing
about the kids in orphanages in China
that didn't have a mom and dad,
and I was sold.
So I wrote down in my Bible "adoption"
next to that verse, and I dated it.
Fast forward two years.
We filled out all the paperwork,
and then they begin to send us referrals.
We get this picture
on my phone of this cute little girl
in another country,
she had a cleft palate.
And she was precious.
They said,
"Do you wanna adopt this child?"
We were thinking,
"We got 24 hours to make a decision."
And unexpectedly,
this strong heaviness comes over me.
It was weird. It was almost like
this dark cloud comes over my heart,
like something is not right.
Didn't make sense to me.
It's making me sleepless at night.
I'm praying, talking to Jill.
And I remember calling a friend
and she advises people on adoptions.
She said, "This is too big of a decision.
If it is not a clear yes, then it's a no."
So when Stephen
turned down that first referral, I cried.
A few days later,
they send us another referral.
Same thing happens,
precious girl, beautiful, heaviness,
something's not right, I turn it down.
It happens again about a few weeks later.
They send us another referral, heaviness.
And I eventually turned down
four referrals.
I called the adoption agency, said:
"How does this work?
Because this is not fun anymore."
And I begin to be worried about
what are people gonna think about me?
I know there's no child that's perfect.
What's wrong with me?
I'm struggling here. This is hard.
The next month, the adoption agency
quit sending referrals.
To be honest, I was relieved.
I was like,
"This is harder than I thought."
We're on this emotional roller coaster now
every time they send a referral.
And then a fifth referral
pops in my e-mail inbox.
And I was like,
"Oh, no, here we go again."
And this little girl pops up.
And she has a worse medical condition
than some of the others.
She was born
with a severe heart condition.
Her mother
had wrapped her in a red blanket
and had left her outside of a building
with the hope that somebody would find her
and help her have her heart surgery.
Jill and I looked at her,
and for some reason,
this peace comes over both of us.
And I was like,
"Why am I okay with helping this girl
with her major medical heart condition,
and I was struggling
with the girl that had a cleft palate?"
And I looked at Jill,
and she said, "I like her."
And I was like, "I do too.
Something is right
about this little girl."
I went over to a friend's house
and showed her Mia's picture
and was talking about her.
And she said,
"I can tell that you already love her."
And I did.
We looked on the adoption papers, and
it says that she was born on 2/14/2011.
And I remember saying to Stephen:
"She was born
on Valentine's Day with a broken heart."
And so we contact the adoption agency,
we said,
"We're gonna adopt this little girl."
Jill said, "Hey, when did God
speak to your heart about adoption?"
So I went back to my Bible,
and I opened it up.
And right next to John 10:16
was the word "adoption."
And then it was dated 2/14/2011.
The same day that she was born in China
was the same day God was speaking to me
on that airplane saying:
"I want you to adopt this girl."
I just remember
being so overwhelmed by God,
because it was too precise
to be an accident.
It was like the hair
on the back of my neck was standing up
because there was
this awesome sense of God saying:
"I was in you turning down
those first four referrals.
I am in this situation,
and I'm gonna teach you
something about Me,
and I'm gonna be glorified
through this adoption."
Oh, nice slippers.
We're gonna go get Mia.
We're in the Forbidden City.
It's not really that forbidden.
I mean, there's people everywhere.
We go to the orphanage.
When we rounded the corner,
she was the first child,
standing there waiting on us.
I remember walking in the room in China
and seeing Mia for the first time
and she was scared
and didn't know who we were.
We saw Mia's bed.
We saw her condition.
She didn't have anything that she owned.
God was allowing us
to really rescue her
from a difficult future.
We just finished
filling out all the paperwork,
giving our thumbprints,
and now she's ours.
And now she is ours.
While we were in China with Mia,
she was... She started calling me Mama.
-And she kept calling Stephen something.
And we found out later,
she was calling him Grandpa.
It's okay.
Probably one
of the most difficult airplane flights
I've ever been on in my life
was that 14-hour journey
to fly from China
all the way to New York City
with an orphan who's 2,
and doesn't know who you are,
or why she's on an airplane.
She was upset, and she was surrounded
by new things constantly.
She doesn't know who she is.
She doesn't know
she's Mia Elizabeth Kendrick.
She doesn't know that we are taking her
to a very loving, safe home.
She doesn't know that I'm her daddy now.
So many kids that are in orphanages
have never experienced a mom and a dad
that are attentive to their needs,
and it can be an adjustment.
Sometimes she would wake up
in the middle of the night crying,
just terrified.
Sometimes she would hold on to food
like she didn't have any other provision
after that meal or something.
We saw her whole personality
transform over the next few weeks,
to go from fear to joy.
We have watched Mia bloom in our home.
Say "Hi, Mia."
Hi, Mia.
Didn't have anything to do with her,
even though she was super cute.
We just chose to love her
and make her a part of our family.
And I know that God does that for us too.
He's set His heart on us.
God has given me such a love for her
that is equal to my other children.
I don't want anything bad
to happen to her.
I wanna protect her,
provide for her, take care of her.
She is our sunshine.
I call her "Sunshine."
She smiles very easily and is a joy.
She doesn't meet a stranger.
My name is Mia Kendrick,
and I was born in China.
Mia is our loudest, most extrovert child,
of all of our six children now.
We had another biological daughter
after we adopted Mia.
They are two peas in a pod,
playing together,
laughing together every day.
When I come home from work now,
Mia is the first one to run to the door,
and want to be hugged.
Everything is just twice
as exciting with her.
So while she was in China,
she had an initial life-saving surgery.
But we knew that she was gonna need
another major surgery
when she got back to the States,
or she would not survive long-term.
The right side of her heart
doesn't work properly.
Her mother
likely gave her up to save her life.
In the spring of 2019,
Mia had another major heart surgery
that really saved her life for the future.
I really had a peace
going into the surgery.
I thought she's gonna do great.
Stephen cried.
The doctors pushed her back.
And I stood there in the hospital lobby
and just wept, thinking, "God, I want you
to take care of my little girl."
And she came out with flying colors.
Everything went so well.
She has half a heart
that is functioning now,
but she is positioned
to have long-term health
because of the surgeries that she's had.
We saw her go
from huffing and puffing over a short walk
to being able to beat me in a bike race
on the road after the surgeries.
It really is incredible.
Through this journey with Mia,
my eyes began to open
to our spiritual adoption.
Scripture communicates
that God doesn't just forgive us.
He didn't just send Jesus
to pay for our sins,
but He wants to adopt us into His family.
And this whole parallel of adoption
began to deepen
my understanding of God as our Father.
God has put a hole in our hearts
that's in the shape of a father.
And we are longing for that to be filled.
There are so many people,
I believe, in churches who believe in God,
but they don't know who they are.
They don't know
who their Heavenly Father is.
They don't know
that God's plans for them are good.
They are the functional orphans.
God has a heart
for the orphans. He cares about them.
He has compassion on them.
And that's what He thinks
about you. He cares about you.
He's a good father.
He will take care of you.
He loved you through His Son.
He sent Jesus to come to die for you,
the greatest sacrifice
to meet your greatest need.
God didn't just create fatherhood,
God is a father, and He loves you.
This is one of the greatest expressions
of God's love.
Jesus said He wants us to have
the same relationship
to His father that He has.
So now we've been invited
as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ
into a whole new family experience.
So the characteristics of love
and patience and kindness and goodness
and faithfulness, all these things that
originated with God are in Jesus Christ.
And because Jesus is that link
between a sinful man, of which we all are,
and a Holy God,
He is that bridge, He is that link.
Then when I get to know Jesus,
that's my pathway
to get to know the Father.
Anyone, anywhere,
at any place, can turn to Christ
and experience the love of the Father
by placing their faith in Jesus.
When the light bulb goes on,
and they repent of their sins
and place their faith in Christ,
everything changes for them.
He says, "Your identity now is that
you are unconditionally loved by Me.
That's who you are,
and nothing will ever change that."
When it comes to us
ministering in difficult circumstances,
making movies
that we had never been trained to do...
And action.
...the thought never crossed our minds,
"This is too hard, can't be done."
We'd watched our dad
do things that were extremely hard,
that shouldn't have been able
to be done, and him still do it.
When I was 42 years old,
I started losing my ability to walk.
So, ultimately, I went into the hospital,
and they did more tests and came back
and said that you have multiple sclerosis.
He sent me out with what I saw
was no hope, no cure, nothing to do.
Just cut your legs out from under you
and leave you to bleed to death.
I had the sons at home, and the
mortgage payment and the car payment.
And very little, if any,
in our savings account.
So I spent 16 months
in the pits of depression.
-Alex, this Sunday is Father's Day.
-This Sunday is Father's Day, yeah.
And so I can't think
of anyone better right now to talk about
than our dad, Larry Kendrick.
And how he influenced
every movie we've ever done.
It's amazing to see how much our father
has affected our lives.
We put a representation of our father,
Larry Kendrick, in all of our movies.
There's no way that we could have told
the stories we've told
in the manner we did
without our father's influence.
I don't feel like I started well.
I wanna finish well.
To whatever degree we have been able
to influence people or inspire people
or minister to them...
That's my dad! That's my dad!
...we share that credit with our dad.
You usually need
to feel some sense of love
from your earthly father
before you begin to understand
and believe
that your Heavenly Father loves you.
Our grandfather
had been so wounded by his own father
that when he grew up, he struggled
with verbalizing love to his own children.
When I think about my dad,
a lot of times,
I was really embarrassed by him.
My dad was 7 feet tall.
Nobody gave him any real trouble
because he was just too big.
With Daddy drinking
and losing jobs and in and out,
when he would get home,
he would be intoxicated.
And so, my earliest years,
I didn't have a father
in the sense
that he was loving, nurturing, dependable.
I guess I would say he was insecure.
He had made mistakes.
He'd gotten on the wrong track.
In his later life, he knew the Lord
and was walking with the Lord.
But in his earlier life, my grandfather
was a very different person.
I never felt
I had any real guidance from him
in the sense
of how to find my way through life.
Even as we were growing up,
Dad was dealing with all kinds of issues,
but he was shielding us
from his own internal struggles
and battles and fears
that he was dealing with.
We didn't realize the war
that was going on inside of him.
The Enemy started using
this prognosis of multiple sclerosis
along with his own identity issues
to just spiral that into depression.
And I said, "Lord...
I have been wishing that You
had just taken me out of this world."
I had been wishing that I could just die.
He had it out with God.
He went into my brother's bedroom
and told God, "I'm not doing this.
Either You're gonna heal me,
or You're gonna take me home.
But I'm not gonna live in misery here
and drag my family down with me."
He basically threw himself
at the feet of Jesus.
"Our Father which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven."
Why would God ask you to pray that prayer
if He didn't want you to believe
this could be true on earth?
And I said, "Lord...
for all this time
that I've been so fearful,
not trusting You,
I'm asking You to forgive me."
It's like the light came through.
And I wept...
till I couldn't weep anymore.
The Lord flipped the light back on
and he realized
that God is a loving father,
and He does love me.
And that revelation
of the heart of his Heavenly Father
was really what brought dad
out of depression.
You know, in the Sermon on the Mount,
Jesus uses the word "father"
over and over.
"Our Father who art in heaven."
He says, "The Father
gives good gifts to the children."
He says, "If you forgive others,
your Father will forgive you."
He says, "But your Heavenly Father
knows what you have need of."
All of this is in the Sermon on the Mount.
"Father, father, father."
What we do is we transfer that
to say, "God, God, God."
And so we go back to Elohim,
this Creator that's way out there,
not Father, who is close in here.
I think it's so important for people,
after they've given their life to Jesus,
to begin to go on a journey and say,
"Father, would You reveal yourself,
Your heart, to me?
Would You show me who I am?
Would You show Your love for me
so that I function
in this relationship with You?"
Just because Jesus is your Lord
doesn't mean you're relating well
to God as your Father.
If you're not believing
He's gonna answer your prayers,
if you don't believe He loves you,
if you don't believe
that His heart is for you,
then you need to start
seeking God as Father,
relating to Him as Father,
reading what His Word says
about His perfect role
as your Father in Heaven
and ask God
to reveal to your heart who He is,
and how He wants to relate to you.
Nice. Set, go. Feet, feet, feet.
Step on it.
Set, go. Feet, feet, feet. Get going!
There's a definite parallel
with coaching and fathering.
The beauty of it, for me, is with my sons,
I get to do it on a more consistent basis
and be able to reinforce
that coaching and that fathering.
Their circumstances are gonna be
way better than what mine was,
as far as me in their life.
I want these guys
to have everything I didn't have.
I would get asked about family history,
and I'm like, "Man..."
I didn't have any answers
because I didn't know.
My adoptive mom,
she would say to me, every few years,
"If you're ever interested in finding out
who your biological family is,
I don't have a problem with that."
I told him all the facts I had.
We knew he was born in Pennsylvania.
They said the mother was 16 years old,
that her parents
wanted her to finish school.
Just hearing that, after 30-some years,
that was strong for me at that time.
I said, "I wanna find out."
Now, it's like a mystery.
Like "Wow, you done
gave me a couple crumbs,
I wanna go
and see what's up with this now."
I got all the paperwork.
It was called your original birth record.
It was almost like
an original birth certificate.
So I opened up this one sheet of paper.
And there it was. It said, you know,
"Birth name, Jon Kenneth Briggs."
It had my mom's name on there,
Carol Denise Briggs, and she was 16.
It didn't have a dad's name.
So I ended up finding
a person named Carol Denise Briggs.
And I'm looking on her
Facebook page, so I sent her a message.
I get home from work
at about 5:00, unmute my phone.
First thing I see, "Did you have
a baby in 1972 in Allegheny County?"
I'm stunned. Obviously, I'm stunned.
She sends back, "Yes."
I'm like, "Okay, I'm in. I gotta
see where this is gonna go. I'm in."
"What did you name the baby?"
And she sent back, "Not Deland."
I kind of laughed.
I said, "I understand.
What did you name the baby?"
She said, "Jon."
I was like, "Oh, man, this is her."
While I'm waiting for him to call,
I am all over the Internet
looking this guy up.
It's just page after page after
page of stuff about Deland McCullough.
And I'm like,
"Okay, this might be a real guy.
This isn't a fake.
He's real. He's really out there.
And this is really him.
This is really him."
So by the time he calls me back,
okay, I'm... I'm kind of a mess by then.
It's a great conversation.
It's like, we've known each other forever.
And he says, "I'm Jon, obviously."
And she says she's in Youngstown.
And I said,
"Well, that's where I grew up.
How did you end up in Pennsylvania?"
She explained to me
how things were different.
You know, and her parents
had sent her there to have me.
My mom found out I was pregnant
like on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
And that Saturday,
I was on my way to Pittsburgh.
It's a big deal to have a baby.
And I knew that
I wasn't prepared to be anybody's mom.
And I didn't have
any negative feelings about my decision
to place him for adoption
because I knew
that I was doing the right thing for him.
I thought about Jon all the time.
Every December the 1st,
from the day I joined Facebook,
I put a message out,
"Happy Birthday, Jon Kenneth,
wherever you are."
When he started sending me
all these pictures of his children,
you know, he's got
these four beautiful boys
and my daughter-in-law
is just drop-dead gorgeous.
I'm like, "Man, how lucky
can I be to have this happen to me?"
You know, he's just fabulous.
And he's so handsome.
And I'm thinking, "Well, this is just
more than I could have even imagined."
So when he heard
I was from Youngstown, he says,
"Oh, well, do I have
any brothers and sisters?"
And she said, "I never got married,
never had any more kids."
Then he says, "Well, who's my dad?"
I tell him his father's name
and I can kind of hear him catch...
I hear a catch in his throat.
Because I had a super emotional
moment at that point, you know.
And she was like, "What?"
She's like, "What's wrong?"
I said, "Oh, I know him."
He says, "Well, I've known
Sherman Smith my whole life."
He's been my mentor,
I've been in contact with Coach Smith
for the last 20-something years.
I said, "Well, did he know?"
She said, "Well, he knew nothing."
She said, "He was off
at Miami when you were born.
It's one of those things that happened."
She said, "But I never told him.
He never even knew I was pregnant."
So, my wife had knew
that I talked to my mom.
I said, "I found out who my dad is."
She said, "Who?"
I said, "Sherman Smith." My wife lost it.
I was like, "What?"
I mean, I was so loud.
How in the world could you
have been around your father
for this many years, and not have known?
The next day, he texts me at work.
He says, "Can I tell my dad?"
And I'm like, "Absolutely, you tell him."
So I get on the phone.
"Hey, Deland. What's going on?"
I said, "Yeah, not too much."
So, we just started talking.
You know, he's talking about,
"Well, hey, you know I'm adopted."
"Yeah, man, I know."
And he said, "You know, I started the
process to find my biological parents."
I said, "Man, that's great to hear."
"I got my original birth certificate."
"Man, that is great. I'm excited for you."
He said, "And I found my biological mom."
"Man, God is good."
He's running down Bible verses.
He hitting me...
I said, "I hear you,
but there's a little bit more."
This story's getting better, you know?
And I'm excited for him.
And then he said her name,
and when he said
her name, my heart dropped.
"Oh, man."
And before that sunk in,
he said, "I asked her who my father was,
and she said it's you."
And it was like a bomb went off.
And he was silent for a couple of seconds.
And then he started like mumbling.
Coach Smith, he don't mumble now.
He's a very articulate guy.
I was mumbling.
"What are you talking about?"
I knew I knew Carol.
I knew I knew her in that way.
After a few minutes,
I said, "I need to call you back.
I need to process this."
It shook me. That was a...
I didn't expect that.
It caught me off guard.
The fact that I knew Deland made
it harder, because this is a great guy.
This young man grew up
without a father in his life.
He didn't have what I had because of me,
because of being irresponsible.
I said, "Deland,
I know that Carol is sure,
but I wanna be sure."
So Deland said, "Let's do a DNA test."
I said, "Absolutely, let's do a DNA test."
I woke up one morning and you know,
humility is not thinking less of yourself.
It's thinking of yourself less.
God spoke to my heart and said,
"Stop thinking about yourself."
Then, I just started looking back
to how God connected the dots.
I go back to, you know, if I don't
recruit him, I don't get to know him.
I've been in his life,
not in his life like a father should be.
Deland told me,
he said, "You were in my life."
So the paternity test came back.
My heart started beating.
When I opened it, I was like...
My hands were shaking when I read it.
It says a 99.99 percent chance
that I'm his father, my wife,
Sharon, is jumping up and down screaming.
Like I was at a sporting event
at a football game
because I was just thrilled.
I was absolutely thrilled.
I definitely was all in.
I would have been devastated
had they came back any other way.
I had already began
to bond with Deland and his family.
It just was all a dream come true.
It's a 99.9 percent chance.
You know, my dad
called in, he's like, "Here we go."
You could hear it in his voice.
He was, "Let's do it."
You know, everything was on at that point.
And I go to Tennessee.
My dad knew I was coming, of course.
As I'm coming
around the corner up to his house,
I kind of pulled
right there on the side of the street.
I was kind of sitting in the car,
trying to gather my thoughts.
He was sitting there
for about five minutes,
I was looking for him.
And he was sitting there,
then finally he pulls up in the driveway
and he walks up.
It ain't like I've never seen Coach Smith
before, but this is different now.
I got out and, you know,
walked up to the... to the door.
And I opened the door
and opened up my arms
and I said, "My son," and hugged him.
I'd never heard
that before from a father figure.
I'll never forget that.
I'll never forget the wave of emotion
that went through me when he said that.
I don't have any words for it.
It just was like something
that I wanted for so long.
I never have been
referred to that by any man.
The strength of the way
he said it and the conviction in it,
and the fact that it was true, you know.
That's my son. I'm proud of him.
I found my dad.
You know, I found my dad.
I didn't know what a dad
was supposed to look like.
And then to find out
that my dad was Sherman Smith,
who I've been around enough to know,
I just felt extremely blessed.
When he says, "My dad,"
there's such joy and happiness
that he can call Sherman "Dad."
But now, "That's my dad. That's my dad."
You know?
Every time Deland is around Sherman,
you say Sherman's name, the biggest,
cheesiest grin comes up
on his face that's just amazing to me.
And I remember catching myself,
and thinking to myself,
"Darnell, don't stare."
Because I remember staring
at him and like listening to him talk.
And I remember
he was chewing on a straw or something.
I'm like, "Oh, my goodness. Deland
chews on straws all day, every day."
When I found out you was my dad,
man, it was like I hit the lottery.
You know, I just was so excited
that you were my father.
It was just such an unbelievable blessing.
God can take a mess
and make a miracle out of it.
That's what He did.
I always say
this is a story for God's glory.
I've always respected you and loved you
and so now to say you're my son,
what a blessing to me.
It's only love of God
that got me to this point.
I don't even use the word "luck."
"I'm lucky." No.
I feel like luck can run out.
You know, the love you have from God,
I ain't never felt
like I ran out of God's love.
Man, I'm telling you, I'm blessed, man.
I love to tell men
that it ain't over 'til it's over.
And your kids may be grown
and gone, and you may have already failed.
But God has a way of...
He has a tracking system.
He got a GPS,
so God knows how to turn things around
when men are willing to repent,
that is the decision and determination
to turn from sin and turn to Him.
Then God can kick in
and He can rev up that engine
of restoration, help, and hope.
Every father is gonna be making mistakes
and needs the Lord every day,
and needs God's forgiveness
and needs
the forgiveness of their children.
But there is also
this message in Scripture
that the fatherhood of God is perfect.
All of God's attributes,
his characteristics,
are perfect in every detail.
There is not a speck
of imperfection with God.
So that everything He says,
He's completely right about.
He's completely right about it,
not only informationally, but intuitively,
because it's who He is.
The reason why you can trust Him
is that He cannot make a mistake.
Anybody that good at what they do
is worthy of our trust
even when we do not understand them.
Today on Focus on the Family, we'll
get some insight from a couple of dads
who talk about the power
of a father's words and actions.
John, many of us know the heartache.
At Focus, we had
the real estate collapse of '07 and '08
and we had to lay off... I had to lay off...
600 people over a three-year period.
And I remember one night,
I was down in the basement of my house.
And I was sleeping an hour or two a night
because of the stress of this.
And I remember Dr. Dobson would say to me,
when he didn't know what to do
with Focus on the Family
in the early days, he'd call his dad.
And his dad would always have
the right word of wisdom.
And I'm down in this basement
going, "I don't have a dad.
Lord, why didn't You give me
a dad I could call?
Because I need wisdom right now.
But You didn't give me that dad."
And I'm telling you, it wasn't audible,
but what I heard in my spirit
with a tonal quality was:
"Haven't I been a good father?
What do you need?"
And I went down
on my face and began to weep.
Just saying, "You've been the best father
a boy could have.
You've been everything.
Look at what You've done for me."
If you don't have a dad,
God is standing there,
saying, "I will be this for you.
And I'll be the best father
you could ever have."
And that's what's happened in my life.
The Holy Spirit
is looking for the broken spirit,
the person that's wounded.
Because there's some kind of humility,
I think, that comes from brokenness.
When you don't have the answers,
maybe somebody has wounded you.
And at that point,
there's nowhere else to go
and you're saying, "Lord, if You're there,
will you show Yourself to me?"
He's whispering, "I've always been here.
I've just been waiting
for you to call out to Me."
What I needed was a father,
and I found that person in Christ.
We can restore and turn back
and get back
what the Enemy has taken away.
So the bad news is, it's bad.
The good news is, God can make it better
because He who has begun a good work
in you, if you let Him complete it
as your daddy, as your Father in heaven...
He can take that misery
and turn it into your miracle.
He can turn this nation around
if He can get men to become the kind
of fathers He's created them to be.
It's been amazing to me
that some of the best dads in the world
that I've ever met
had terrible dads themselves.
And it was a great day when they realized,
I don't have to carry on this legacy
of baggage and hurt
and absence on to my own children.
My own father
was not looking at his own dad
as the example to pass on to us.
He was reading the Scriptures.
He was reading books by great men.
He was on his knees
asking God to help him.
And I'm so grateful that he let go
of those tough cards that he'd been dealt.
And he decided to pass on
a new legacy for us as his kids.
I used to wish
that I could be affirmed more.
And when I learned about the Jewish people
and how they speak blessings
over their children,
I chose to pray for each of my sons
when they were getting married.
He had turned a corner
with his own walk with God,
and determined
to tell his sons that they were loved,
to pray over them,
to encourage them, and to bless them.
In the Bible,
the blessing was everything. Everything.
That blessing was the covenantal transfer
of the favor of God
for the future of the child.
They long for that blessing,
that passing of divine favor.
Every father is responsible
for passing on the blessing.
There was the touch of transfer.
I am passing on what God has given me...
to you.
It was at my wedding that he gave me
what I'll call a "formal public blessing."
Well, I don't think people
were expecting what was about to happen.
We were not realizing
what was about to happen.
He tells me
in front of the whole congregation:
"I see you as a man, a grown man.
I bless you, I believe in you."
He told me he loved me
in front of the audience.
He blessed me in front of the audience.
Told me he's proud of me
in front of the audience.
And I just remembered thinking,
"Wow, you're pushing all the buttons
that men wanna hear their dad say."
When Dad began to bless Alex,
it wasn't just this,
you know, "God bless you.
I hope things turn out well."
It went on and on.
It was like this river
that just kept flowing
and speaking success
over the future of his son.
People were just weeping...
because they'd never seen a dad
love his son unconditionally
like that before.
So that's the way
he sends me off to start our family.
I lacked nothing emotionally
or in my heart.
I'm leaving full.
There's no better person
to do that than your dad telling you,
"You are a man."
After my blessing, Dad did the same thing
for our brother Shannon at his wedding.
It took me months of rehearsing
in my own mind and practicing quietly
even in the middle of the night
when I'd wake up and think about it.
But I spoke to Shannon
and his bride from Deuteronomy 28,
where it says, "If you hearken diligently
unto the voice of the Lord thy God,
to do and to keep his commandments,
all these blessings shall come upon you."
So when I got married,
at the end of the ceremony,
Dad says, "I want to bless you."
And Dad just says, "My son,"
and then he told me
what he thought about me.
I declare that you are a beloved son
in whom we are well pleased.
I bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus
that you may proclaim the Gospel
with joy and enthusiasm,
that you may be a man
of integrity, sincere in every good work.
I bless you
to be a spiritual leader to your wife,
to be a channel of blessings to others.
May the Lord shine His face upon you.
May He be gracious unto you.
May He give you peace is our prayer
in the name of the Lord Jesus.
I remember standing there thinking:
"I don't deserve this.
I haven't earned this."
But it wasn't about that.
It was about the heart of a father.
I would tell anyone who has longed
for a blessing
from their father and never gotten it,
that you can get it through Jesus.
That you can look at Ephesians
and say, "Because of my faith in Christ,
this is what my Heavenly Father
thinks about me."
We had a time in our church
where I preached on the blessing
of Jacob and Esau.
And I said, "If you have not been blessed,
come forward."
Hundreds of men,
hundreds of men came forward.
The longing for the blessing.
They cried.
They were living under a cloud.
A sense of being cursed.
Because they're doing the same things
their daddy did. Same sins, same anger.
I prayed a prayer of blessing.
There was weeping and wailing
at that feeling
that the future could be different
because I'm living now
under the blessing of God
and not under the cursing of my dad.
We have a generation of unblessed children
because the fathers
did not transfer the blessing.
The words that a father speaks
over his children are so crucial.
They'll remember what you said.
A positive blessing over your kids...
is incredible.
And it has so much far-reaching impact
in our lives.
From this day forward...
may God's hand
of goodness rest on your life.
May you experience His love...
His forgiveness...
His power...
His provision...
for everything that you touch.
Your wife...
your children...
your work.
May His hand of goodness cover you
because you're underneath His covenant.
And may you walk now
in victory and not in defeat.
In Jesus' name, amen.
It's almost like
we've got this piece of glass.
And we've got a picture
of our earthly father
on that piece of glass.
And then we begin to project upon God
the attributes of our earthly father.
We must erase the things
about our earthly father
that don't look like God.
And we begin to look at God
through the lens of Jesus.
There are so many people
walking around, going:
"Show me God.
I can't see Him. I can't hear Him.
Where is God? Show me the Father."
Jesus says,
"Don't you realize this whole time
I have been representing
the Father to you.
If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.
I'm pouring out the love
of the Father to you."
Through our faith in Him,
we can know the Father.
We can know the heart
of the Father, His love for us."
Jesus said, "I came to introduce
you to the Heavenly Father."