Change is a Messy Thing

Change is such a messy thing. In life, it causes the very strong to question their position in life. It will make the very weak confirm what they have feared. It will make the most ornery to become complacent. Well, that last part may have been a stretch. But the fact of the matter is that change is a messy thing. I have to be honest with you; I had to really pray before I approached the change that I wanted to make to Godly Daddy. I know that our mission from day one has been to engage our fathers into conversation and let them know that they are not alone. That mission is still a fact and will never change. However, I found myself looking at what was being written and wondered, are we meeting the core mission of what Godly Daddy was founded on? Am I reflecting what my day to day life with my children is? Frankly, I had to make a decision. Step down and close this site because I couldn’t meet that obligation or continue to write and change the format.

Well, quitting is not an option. As a Howell, I have instilled in my kids that Howells are not quitters. Yes, life is hard and things don’t go the way we plan. But we are not quitters. I can remember a time where Olivia was trying to learn how to get dressed. She struggled getting that shirt on. “It’s hard!” she would scream in resignation. Sara and I worked with her to make sure she knew that she had to learn how to put her clothes on. You ought to have seen the responses from family members. “Oh, she’s just a baby. “ or “You are too hard on her.” Seriously? Putting on clothes is being too hard on a child? Honestly, when you have three munchkins running on your feet, you need all the help you can get especially from them. I remember one of the times where she finally got it. “I did it!” she screamed with excitement. Yes, it is hard. Life is hard. But it doesn’t give you or me the right to give up.

Change is such a messy thing. It’s bound to happen even with the best of us. That change, the change that I know that we need to make as a blog is that we need to be adaptable to that change. The content that we, as bloggers, provide to you will be relevant to your everyday life. The books that we review will be relevant to your parenting, relationships, leadership, and so much more. The stories we share will be ones that will make you laugh at us, cry with us, or make you mad at us. Get ready. Change is messy…but change is good.



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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


Where Were You?

It baffles me that it has been 13 years since the towers fell on September 11, 2001. Many will use this time to reflect on that day of sorrow and disaster; rightfully so. I want to challenge you today to take it a step further. Instead of the sorrow and disaster; where were you on that date? Were you in the middle of a crisis or in the middle of a divorce? Were you in pain or were you just coming out of addiction? Did you accept the free salvation of Jesus Christ or were you a heathen? The list could go on, but I want to challenge you; where were you on that date and how far have you come since then? Where will you be in 13 years?

Zig Ziglar put it best in this quote; “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Set some goals today as you remember those who lost their lives on September 11th. Don’t let that day go in vain. Instead, use it as an opportunity to set yourself up for success. Use it as an opportunity to honor those lives that were lost.

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Posted by on September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


A Short Note to Our Readers

Dear Godly Daddy Readers,

It is hard to believe that The Godly Daddy blog has been here for over two years and a vast majority of you have been with us. From the very beginning, the heart of The Godly Daddy blog is to create a community of fathers that can come together and be a sounding board to one another. The vision has never changed and the heart has never been swayed…until now.

Over the next few months, there will be a few changes and I am looking forward to having them revealed to you. As it gets closer to time, there will be postings on Facebook and on our site to let you know about those changes. Get ready! It’s going to be a ride!



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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


The Unlikley

Filmed at Grace Church Ministries Chester IL.

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Posted by on August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


#1 What is a Man Exactly?

In a society where men are chalked up to nothing less than a donor to make children, this is an important article and it ranked #1 overall in our poll (not just in the quarter).

I know you’ve heard of this saying before. “He is a Man’s Man”, generally referring to a more than macho version of any of us. But what really makes up a “Man’s Man”? Do they have to be as tough as the Brawny Man? His main task in life is geared around housework, so he’s out. What about these WWF wrestlers? They’re full of testosterone and steroids, but they also wear tights and shiny red boots, so they’re out. Oh I know, bikers. Harley riding, leather wearing, hardcore bikers. But even as tough as they are is this what a Man’s man is measured by?

I bring this up because these days there are all sorts of men out there. I can just look within my own circle of friends and find vast differences in each individual person. For instance, I have friends that are as strong as an ox, and then there’s me. I have friends who are daredevil firefighters, and then I have some who analyze reports all day. I have friends who work on massive electric generators that can power a small city, and then I have friends who can move millions of dollars with the stroke of their pen. We are all different but at the end of the day we are all still men. So this begs to ask the question, is there a Man’s man in existence today?

One of my friends owns a successful landscape company. He works all hours of the day in the Memphis 100 degree heat. He is toiling the ground, uprooting trees, and doing everything by the sweat of his brow. Look at me. I am in an air conditioned office surrounded by bottled water, an LED TV, and am wearing a suit and tie. Am I less of a man than my friend because my line of work is not as rugged as his, or his line of work is not as comfortable as mine? Absolutely not!

According to the Childress Dictionary a “Man” is defined as one who lives to serve God, accepts his responsibilities, takes care of his family even if it means sacrificing his own needs before theirs, being a spiritual leader for their family, loving their wives unconditionally, setting an example to his children on how a husband and wife should treat each other, never giving up, and probably the most important next to being a spiritual leader, spending quality time with your children and spouse. These are essential qualifications for being a man and it has nothing to do with your job or whether if your hands have calluses or paper cuts, it’s how you live your life that defines you.
So I ask the question again, What makes up a Man’s Man? You do.

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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


#2 Delayed Obedience is Still Disobedience

The first time I heard this saying was from my pastor of 30 years Bro. Ray Newcomb. This particular remark couldn’t have come at a better time because God was convicting me to start changing my tithe from 10% of our net to 10% of our gross income. I struggled for quite a while with this conviction because there is a far cry difference from net and gross. That difference includes items like taxes taken out, 401K taken out, mandatory corporate charities like United Way taken out, and other nickel and dime deductions. Once one adds it up the difference was a huge additional sacrifice when you tack on 10% of that figure. So like most, I negotiated my actions. “God I’m being obedient in giving my 10% of my net, that’s better than what others are giving right?” Or my favorite, God let’s get through the holidays and we’ll start fresh in the upcoming year…I promise”! I actually thought I could negotiate with God.

I opened the bible and searched for every scripture about tithe from the Old Testament to the New Testament looking for an out. One would’ve thought I was a lawyer trying to prove my case in front of a judge and jury. The Old Testament did mention several references about giving of the 10% of your BEST fruits and offerings, and strangely enough the New Testament really did not cover much ground on tithing except for stories Jesus told like the mite and the widow. Then there are the passages surrounding the opposing camp of “Give on to Caesar’s what is Caesars and give unto God what is God’s”. I read through that multiple times trying to justify if this would fit into my particular case. However every time I turned a corner and thought that I had proven my point the conviction was still there. So I finally took the matter to my pastor. His remarks were simple and straight forward as most of his remarks have always been. “Would you rather God bless you on 10% of your net or 10% of your gross”?

The answer is obvious. Any person would rather be blessed on their gross opposed to their net but that in itself begged two questions. The first question regards the additional sacrifice that one would have to make to give of their gross. The second that struck me was should I feel right in giving to God to expect an equal and greater return? To me that seemed in a way very selfish on my part to expect a blessing from my giving. God had reminded me of several verses in the bible about sacrificial giving and will we have enough at the end of each month to live on. There was Matthew 6:26 Where Jesus said “Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in their barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they”? If my family and I are sacrificially giving with a grateful heart then Yes My God will provide for my every need. Malachi 3:10 answered the question on receiving blessings in exchange for obedient tithing. Malachi said “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food for my house. Test me in this, “says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it”. God openly blesses us and provides for us.

After much research, questioning, running, and avoiding my pastor’s words came back to me “Delayed Obedience is still Disobedience”. Scriptures will back my conclusions but it was GOD who convicted me to give. It wasn’t by pastor, or friends but the conviction from the Holy Spirit that said “Steve, test Me with your tithe. Trust me with your finances and your family’s needs; I am God I will provide”.

By postponing God’s demand I was still being disobedient because I was too busy looking for an out. God can convict anyone one of us to go be a missionary in Zimbabwe wearing a monkey on our head, and if we delay this conviction because the world will think we’re nuts, then you are still being disobedient. God taught me that very day that when He calls or convicts, to seriously consider it. Walk blindly with Faith and obey His commands. That very moment I bowed my head, asked for forgiveness for putting this off for so long, and my wife and I immediately started giving 10% of our gross. Does this make me a better person than the one who throws a $20 in the plate when passed? No. Am I much richer today than when we started obeying three years ago? Not significantly, but I have seen His hand pull me out of some pretty impossible situations. Have I missed a meal, or has my family gone without clothing since I followed Him in obedience? No. If God is convicting you today to do something that makes absolutely no sense at all in your eyes or the worlds eyes, consider trusting Him. Otherwise we’re just going thru the motions living our mundane lives, and missing out on all of the blessings God could be giving us if we had only chosen to Obey.


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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


#3 A Family to Mirror – The Chapman’s

This article was written during a series of “How to Stand When Your World is Turned Upside Down” and given as homage to the Chapman family who lost their daughter in a tragic accident.

As I continue on with the series “How to Stand when your World is Turned Upside Down” I would like to talk about a family whose story is centered around tragedy with a message of Hope. As a musician, we have many mentors and people we admire. There is one who stands out in my mind that I have always put on a pedestal above all other musicians. When I was 15 my mom and dad gave me my first CD player accompanied by the latest Amy Grant CD and some long haired guy named Steven Curtis Chapman. Amy Grant wasn’t really my taste of music so I tried the other guy. This wonderful orchestral music filled the room in CD Quality sound and followed immediately by “The Great Adventure” and I was hooked.

It was Steven Curtis Chapman who inspired me to learn to play the guitar even though I’d never met the guy. Funny how that is, huh? I knew then that his style of Christian Music was identical to my style so like every dreamy eyed teenager with a guitar I would mimic his every song. Once I learned to somewhat fake, I mean play the guitar I started leading praise and worship for my youth group and many other venues. My then church leader (later I would call my father-n-law) always joked and called me Steven Curtis Childress, which might offend some people to be called someone they are not, but I took with immense pride. That $13.99 CD I received that Christmas was one of the greatest physical gifts I had ever received, because it started me down a path I still pursue today.

Steven is married to wife Marybeth Chapman and they have three children of their own, Emily, Caleb, and Will Franklin. Steven and his wife visited China in early 2000, 01′ where they fell in love with a little girl, and after much prayer, adopted Shoahannah. This experience touched the Chapman’s so much that they felt the need to start Shoahannah’s Hope, an adoption foundation to alleviate the financial burden for adopting families. Shoahannah’s Hope has helped hundreds of families since with their adoptions. Over the years the Chapman’s added two more adoptions to their family, Stevie Joy, and Maria Sue.

May 21st, 2008 was a busy day in the Chapman household. Daughter Emily had just announced her engagement and was preparing for an October wedding, son Caleb was preparing for graduation in a few days, and the family had much to be thankful for. That afternoon son Will Franklin was returning home in Franklin TN. , and had pulled around in the drive. Youngest daughter Maria ran towards Will as he pulled in. Not knowing she was running towards him Maria was struck. Maria Sue Chapman went to be with her heavenly Father that very afternoon.

In moments such as this a family can be divided, loose their faith in an instant, or grow stronger than ever. My heart was crushed as if the Chapman’s were some of our very best friends, and still I’d have never met a one of them.

The Chapman’s were approached by several people in the media to tell their story. The last thing they wanted was to use Maria’s death as publicity. They agreed to a few interviews with the determination to use Maria’s death as a testimony of Hope. After watching these interviews my respect for Steven and his family became one to benchmark. Now that I am a dad and have a family of my own I can’t help but think if Shannon and I were in that situation. The way the Chapman’s have surrounded each other in support and love is how I would like to say the Childeress’ would do. What a great example of a Godly family. A family that through tragedy comes questions, pain, healing, but ultimate Hope. The Hope that God is God and we are not, and that ALL things work towards His Glory and Plan. The Chapman’s realize this and know that one day they will see their daughter Maria Sue again.

The piece of this story that I think touched me the most was the question “see”. I don’t “see” how God can do this, I can’t “see” Will Franklin ever being the same again, “All I could “see” was Maria’s broken body on the ground. The day after her death the Chapman’s came home to gather a few things for the memorial service. On the kitchen table was a single drawing of a flower with six peddles, one colored in whole, and the word “see”. Maria had drawn this picture the morning of her death. The Chapman’s had said that they had never seen her write the word “see”, but there it was in plain English. The flower had six peddles, the Chapman’s had six children, one peddle was colored in whole. The Chapman’s took this drawing and showed it at the memorial service. Steven, through his tears, said “See” I am made whole and I will “see” you all soon once your peddles are colored in and you will be whole just like me.

Take a moment and check out the interview:

Steven Curtis Chapman abc interview

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Posted by on July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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