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Good Dad; Bad Dad
Joseph announced to his family that God had announced to him that he was called to leadership.
His father slapped him down. His brothers sold him into slavery.
In Potiphar’s house, starting at the bottom, this rich man’s kid had tons of pain. Betrayal. Racism. Broken dreams. And learning how to work. HARD.
God knew all about the pain but there was a plan that was larger than the pain: unpacking Joseph’s leadership capacities, especially in the area of big picture logistics.
Joseph learned well and moved from peeling potatoes to running the whole show ─ vital preparation for running the empire of Egypt with the clock ticking ahead of a devastating famine.
And THAT is called fathering. God the Father knew that Jacob was never going to put enough pressure on Joseph to unpack his design, so the good Dad took Joseph away from the bad Dad, and got the job done.
Now the modern culture.
Kiddo has aspirations of being great. So he joins the military. If he has a really big vision of himself, he joins THE MARINES.
And going in, he knows that he will have to go through boot camp, and it will be hard and ugly and painful and humiliating. BUT he or she willingly signs up for it, embracing the pain as an essential part of becoming the high achiever they want to be.
What is the difference between the two stories?
Only one thing.
Joseph did not choose to be unpacked through pain.
The kids going in the military are voluntarily embracing productive pain to become better than they could be without it.
Now consider the church over the last half century.
50 years ago in the evangelical stream, all pain in life was deemed to be from the hand of God and was designed to develop our character (as gracious victimization was called). There was no concept of “unpacking design.”
Then James Dobson and John Sandford introduced us to the principle of Design and began to define fathering as an active process of discovery and nurturing, not restriction and discipline.
Simultaneously the church discovered father wounds and demons and plunged into a frenetic season of pain reduction. We are currently at a point where pain is loosely deemed to be a sign of something that needs to be fixed – kick out the demon, heal the wound, etc.
Those skills are not bad but are not a complete package.
Imagine kiddo joining the Marines and spending 12 weeks in psychological assessment and treatment to heal all the wounds accrued in life thus far. That simply would NOT equip a youngster to shoulder a 40 pound rucksack on a long hike or to do 80 pushups.
For that, you HAVE to eat some pain.
Now let’s bring that home to my journey and the situation with Ann’s deteriorating health. Simply put, it didn’t need to be this way. We could have lived into our mid 90s in good health, together, and died in our sleep half an hour apart, with no drama.
It is not happening that way. Through a Father-filtered plan, Ann is suffering a lot of junk and it is having significant implications to my life.
So how should the Tribe respond?
How the Tribe HAS responded is with a blend of compassion, sympathy and pity.
This is a straightforward request for you to change up your strategy.
- This is Father-filtered.
- He is trying to grow me.
- There is something He placed in my design that can ONLY be unpacked through this pain.
- Seeking to mitigate the pain will result in my being too small to achieve God’s ultimate calling in my life.
- Seeking to lean into the growth process will cause me to become a larger person.
And I hold those beliefs SOLIDLY, not just theoretically.
So how would I like you to position yourselves?
- Celebrate by faith the perfect alignment of God’s design for me.
- Bless the purity of God’s purposes and call His fathering strategies good.
- Ask God to vigorously do His work of growing me into the person He wants me to be.
- Call to the front the generational treasures that are needed for this season.
- Call into play all the things God has previously put in my life for such a time as this.
- Call into play those specific people who God has designed to walk with me, kindly or harshly, through this season, to unpack me.
- Pray for time to be in alignment, in spirit, soul, body and outside world.
- Pray that the land where He has brought me would yield its strength to me, as God intended.
- Pray that the distractions of the enemy would be held at bay and that I would walk through all of the new open doors that are right, but counter intuitive in this season.
And if all that is too complicated, then just pray that God’s will would be done in the process of growing me during this season.
Oh, and please refrain from writing me emails, telling me what God is trying to unpack in me. The Tribe has been remarkably ineffective at reading God’s mind and announcing His will for me in this season. He has all my contact information. Let Him make His own announcements.
Y’all just hammer down on the poverty spirit and be sure I have all the resources and all the pain and all the practice needed to grow.
Because my life’s motto – Die Climbing – hasn’t changed one iota.
Copyright by Arthur Burk
Leave a comment
Productive painBy : Heidi Mull On March 3rd 2022
I learned this from you and pray this for my children-only what is needed to help them prepare for and develop them into their destinies. My painful times were often excruciating and, yet, some of the most treasured times/experiences. Praying for productive pain, strength, & alignment. For the divine & incredible closeness of the Father, who does all things well.
Good DadBy : Beth Ahlers On March 23rd 2021
Yes, Arthur, "Die Climbing" is a courageous LIFE moto. We are praying for you along your suggested strategy. I shared the phrase "productive pain" with a friend yesterday. She said she likes that phrase better than "God works it all out for good" because it acknowledges the hardship even if the pain is past. Thank you for sharing your journey with us as we learn to pray for you and watch the Good Dad at work. Sending love to you and Ann along with the prayers!
Walking by faithBy : Salome Fick On March 23rd 2021
I salute you Mr. Burk.
May you be strong and courageous. May doubt not come near you. May you stay hidden under His shadow. May you become all He has written in your scroll. May you fly into the storm and go into higher dimensions than ever before. May you be about your Father's business. May you be unoffendable.
God Bless you for speaking truth.
Truth.By : Danielle Bowman On March 21st 2021
Thank you for this.
And praying. :)
Good dad; Bad dadBy : Deborah Foster On March 18th 2021
Arthur, thank you so very much for ALWAYS going for the gold...the treasures in the darkness or the pain. Thank you for leading and teaching this Tribe in and from the most challenging of places. I pray that The Lord will give you the treasures in the darkness and the riches stored in secret places and that you will KNOW HIM in ever deepening ways! Blessings!❤️
intercessionBy : Sandra On March 18th 2021
There is a strategic article on C. R. Oliver's Zadok website titled "Carrying in the Spirit" which I feel is my directive for Arthur for this season for - It's not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. Shalom and Blessings
Good dad, bad dadBy : Nancy Tucker On March 18th 2021
I have walked through this journey with both my parents, first go round got lost in lala land for 15 years (-100 on exhorter scale), several years before the second journey I let Father Father me and it was a different journey, I landed in your teachings and learned and still learning to walk through the pain and Father is faithful to unpack us when we align with Him, and you sir know how to sync and align! Continued courage and strength in abundance to you! Praying as you have outlined and asked! Die climbing is worth it all !!!
Sending loveBy : Cody Gevers On March 18th 2021
I couldn't imagine watching my husband being in constant pain. You're a much bigger person than I, Arthur. Praying for God's will to be done in all this. Hugs
Thanks!By : Lucy Shaw On March 17th 2021
Thanks for this lovely and digestible response to pain! Worth every minute of the read! Waiting to be wowed, astonished and delighted by reports on your transformation as it helps to inform and encourage my own!
Love and Blessings
Thanks for Modeling good sonshipBy : Daisy On March 17th 2021
I appreciate you modeling good sonship in this hour.
PainBy : Teri A Usiak On March 17th 2021
Arthur, thankyou for the clarity you bring to us about your situation. Embracing and unpacking our design through pain and heartbreak is a concept most of us don't recognize as needing to be done. Die climbing, what a great image. The Lord is your rope, your netting and your sure foot hold. I love the picture. Thank you for the specifics on how to pray for you, Anne and your family. I bless you Arthur and Anne with strength, courage and God's expectations for you both as your designs are unpacked and your destinies are fulfilled. With much love, Teri
Solid Teaching FruitsBy : Cynthia Harris On March 17th 2021
Well, it is a tribute to you as a teacher and a relentless proponent of the values you've listed here, that I haven't been tempted one single time to pray for healing & an easy outcome. It literally didn't occur to me . In the old days, I would always have prayed for the removal of pain, the quick fix of the problem, and the least trauma possible. However, having been steeped in your stuff for some years, as you've been sharing about Ann with us over these last months, the only clear thing to pray was for basically what you've listed here. For the fullness of what the Lord has planted as treasure in the midst of this, and for triumphant process through all of it, in dominion and grace. So kudos to you as a teacher, and I will pray with these specific directions that you've listed here, as well.
Good Dad bad dadBy : Susan Hinchey On March 16th 2021
Hey Arthur, my thoughts and prayers are with you. All that comes to mind is that nothing is wasted. About a decade ago I emailed you regarding ‘ mercy in the marketplace’.. listening to your teaching, trying to get a hold on my design, etc...Didn’t do a real good job.. had a physical and emotional breakdown, followed by husband passing a couple of years ago at an age too young to be acceptable.
There’s been a bucket-load of pain, prayers and pleading,sadly, mostly to no avail at the time, or even now. Through my eyes.
Mostly the thing I hold close now is that He is a good good Father. The person I am today I hardly recognise . Don’t know if I’m happier, or better at doing life. Only that I wouldn’t be who I am now without all that ‘Joseph’ sh**t happening. And deep deep down inside there has been massive transformation .
Hang in there Arthur and may God bless you in ways you never even dreamed of.
TryingBy : Serna Fourie On March 16th 2021
Our family is also currently on this journey. That it is Father filtered rings constantly in my heart. I purchased your teaching on the adrenals and kidneys.
I have just one question regarding “He is trying to grow me.” Trying implies a possibility of failure. The dictionary says - difficult or annoying; hard to endure. Is there a possibility of failure?
So much opposite is being taught than thisBy : Randi Corkey On March 16th 2021
I’ll have to ponder this now as I had to work at believing otherwise from several sources... although, this is what my “insides” said was true. It’s helpful b-c it does not get us kicking AGAINST God’s plan. I appreciate this. Thank you.
You continue to produce treasure tBy : David Brown On March 17th 2021
Arthur, you continue to produce treasure faster than I can read, listen or watch. Nevertheless, you have inspired me to produce treasure too. With appreciation, David
Amen to that!By : Jenny Roux On March 17th 2021
Kudos to you, Arthur! Love the direct approach too.
Standing with youBy : Kay Harris On March 16th 2021
You're a treasure to the body of Christ. Our Father must be delighted to have a warrior like you to shape and mold in His image, and to bring forth as gold. I am standing with you and Anne - and always learning so much from your journey.
Thank you!By : Robin Lawrimore Lewis On March 16th 2021
Thank you, Arthur! This helps me hold the perspective of being Fathered. Thank you, God! I am currently listening to the Poverty Spirit CD set and can see God's hand all over everything from the blissful to the painful. Yes, Lord.
Good Dad, Bad Dad - walking through a difficult patchBy : Lily Li Chun Woo On March 16th 2021
I recognise that everything is God-filtered. Events that happened are ways of training me and unpacking His design for me to see. I can accept that. I even communicate some of these teachings to my 95 yr old mum who, otherwise seemingly alert when awake, has for the past coming 3 years been bed-ridden, cannot eat, talk or move, effects from 2 brain haemorrhages. She is a Child of God too. What bothers me is how to 'assess' her spiritual life/ keep her spiritually growing and why hasn't God taken her home yet seeing how frustrating life can be for her? Comments?
Love thisBy : Kerrie Gibbons On March 16th 2021
Love this Arthur!!! Grow big or go home !!!!
My Similar JourneyBy : Sharon On March 16th 2021
God kept telling me to chill out and go with the flow. My husband accepted his new role better than anyone else around him. His pleasures were much simpler things, holding hands and enjoying the moment. It was a small world. No longer an outstanding Professor of Statistics, but the very best hand holder around. God bless you to find your special moments to share together.
A FrameBy : Jocelyn Hibberd On March 16th 2021
To be chosen, is to be already equipped;
To be further equipped, is to be chosen.
With such an upgrade comes both commendation and encouragement from the Lord Jesus, who walked this road to the uttermost.
As goes the leader, so may the followers.
Thank you and bless you Arthur.
Go ArthurBy : Pamela On March 16th 2021
With you in prayer!! Blessing you and Ann.
The purpose of painBy : Gilda On March 16th 2021
Thank you for acknowledging the purpose of pain is a part of the fathering process to grow us in our design. I sometimes wonder what He has in store - am I designed for something greater than what I’m doing now? There has to be a purpose for all the pain.
Jesus is still our heroBy : Dave Brooks On March 16th 2021
I shared this with someone the other day and I'll share it with you as well: I'm privileged to be your friend in this season of your life.
And I'll do the best I can to inspire you to more love and good works if I can see a way to do so. While believing in you.
Your recent postBy : Jim Banks On March 16th 2021
Sir, You are a better man than I. May His great grace be upon you in this season of life. Blessings on your journey.
Jim from Little River, SC
Die ClimbingBy : E. Warigi On March 16th 2021
“Die Climbing” - YES
My motto as of late has been “Do Hard Things”, I like yours better.
Thank you, again, for saying what I needed to hear. I have received encouragement, correction, insight, and even have some homework.
The table was set gloriously, the meal was fabulous, and I will be savoring the leftovers for weeks. Thank you.
Praying for youBy : Erna Raath On March 16th 2021
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Cheering you on!By : Renée On March 16th 2021
Praying, yes. Cheering you on, definitely.