Passage – Dan’s Ceremony


In my last post The Power of Ceremony – Dan’s Turn I described how we celebrate a rite of passage” ceremony and how it was now my son’s Daniel’s turn. Dan is actually turning 13 in September but we had the ceremony early because his older brother, Josh, is leaving for college in two weeks. We couldn’t (and Dan wouldn’t) have the ceremony without him.

Last Saturday night (Aug. 14th) 14 men gathered in support of my son and what an awesome God thing it was. In the days ahead I will be posting audio and video clips from the ceremony but I wanted to start with something that blew me away. Dan’s older brothers Josh (21), Matt (18) and Mike (15) totally owned the moment and shared words that Dan will remember all his life. Here is what they shared, starting with Josh.


Tonight is a night that is unlike any other in your life. It is the night that you become a man. Where you take your first steps into a new journey of life.

This journey is very difficult. Having “officially” been a man for 8 years now, I can safely say that it is a journey that is filled with mistakes, failures and setbacks. But it is also a journey filled with adventure, hope and blessing. As a son of the Most High, you are under the sovereign will of God. No matter the challenge, God WILL help you rise to meet it. No matter the failure, God will give you the strength to come back to Him.

I was trying to think of what to say to you, this special night. At first I thought I would take a verse from the book of Daniel and make it applicable to your life. But no verse seemed appropriate. At first I wondered about this, not having a word from the Bible to speak to you. Then I felt God lay something on my heart. The words of a children's song:

Dare to be like Daniel,
Dare to Stand Alone.
Dare to Have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known.

Daniel, it may seem silly, but I think that song describes you perfectly. There have been so many times where you have shown your willingness to stand for what you believe in, no matter how ridiculous it may have seemed at the time. Even if the entire family was against you, and even if you were wrong, you were unafraid to stand alone.

As I've seen you mature over the years, I've grown more confident that you have this trait for a reason. I've seen the way you stand firm for what is right, and I'm proud of the fact that you are committed to the Lord's will in your life.

I pray that you never lose that. Never lose the part of you that dares to stand against the world. I'm proud of you, and I'm honored to be your brother.
                                                                                       - Joshua

Now from Matthew

Dan, the words of one of my favorite songs come to mind…

Be strong in the Lord, never give up hope. You are going to do great things in God. God has got his hand on you so never live you life in fear. Forgive and forget but don’t forget why you’re here, to serve Him. Take your time to pray, thank God for each day. His love will find DSC04156a way in everything you do.
- The Words I Would Say - Sidewalk Prophets

Dan you have matured as a young man so much over the past year. You take care of your younger siblings and your mom. I am proud of you and I love you bro.

Psalms 46: 1-3   God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

…and from Mike

DSC04720 Dan

I can’t believe that you’re thirteen all ready, well you’re not really thirteen yet little brother. Over the years I’ve seen you mature greatly spiritually and physically. One of the ways you’ve matured is you help so much around the house. When mom tells you what to do you do it and most of the time you do it with a great attitude. One of the ways you can tell that you’ve matured is how well you get along with Becky and Isaac you encourage them and play with them. You’re a great big and little brother and friend. I’m proud and glad that you’re my brother. I’ll be praying for you and your future wife. I hope you never forget this night and always follow God with all your heart. I love you Dan.

Ecclesiastes 12.13
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

I think I received the biggest blessings watching my sons honor their brother in such a manner. Dan stood a little taller when his brothers were speaking into him, it was huge! That, is the power of ceremony…that is the power of Holy Spirit powered brotherhood.



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jasonS said…
Wow. Just wow. Powerful words from powerful men of God to encourage the man of God coming up. I can't even tell you how much this blesses me. Thank you for sharing it with us Jay. I appreciate it.
S. Etole said…
Your heart must be near to overflowing with the blessing of these sons ...
Marilyn said…
Way awesome, how precious !!!
Jay Cookingham said…
It was a great moment and one I will never forget. My God is good...
Jay Cookingham said…
Almost all the other men that came mentioned that this was their favorite part, seeing bro's honor bro'...I was really awestruck on God goodness to me.
Jay Cookingham said…
It was a huge moment for sure!
Praise the Lord!!! Praise the Lord!!! Praise the Lord!!! :D :D :D Blessings to you, Jay, and your wonderful family! Thanks for sharing!
MichaelDPerkins said…
That is way cool! I love the picture of him at the bottom. His eyes say it all.
Jay Cookingham said…
I love his eyes too but that's his brother Mike...probably should have mentioned that. I put pics of each brother by their charge to Dan...Thanks Michael!
Jay Cookingham said…
Mari-Anna...thanks for dropping by!
Darren Lewis said…
Well lead Jay! What a legacy! Good job... I'm proud of you!
Jay Cookingham said…
Darren, I appreciate that bro'. Five down and two to go! It never gets old!

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