Core Mission

One of my core missions in life is to encourage men and help them see the Father as I have come to know Him. This mission is a passion of mine and I love sharing the message of sonship wherever I can, conferences, men's groups, social media and even better, one-on-one over some really great coffee. To be used by the Father this way is powerfully rewarding and equally as humbling.

Sometimes you get instant feedback, men sharing what God has done by revealing who He is to them, those are precious moments and ones I'm grateful for. However, most of the time you give/share/reveal and pray that men see the Father and the love He has for them...and you wonder...did your words have any impact.

For a guy who loves feedback and visible indicators that something I shared from Father's heart made a difference in your life, not hearing feedback can discourage my heart. I have learned (almost) that you never know the how far the reach, the influence and the sway you have when you yield your life to Him.

But...every once and a while, Father gives you a peek.

A year ago I commented on an excellent post by Morgan Snyder called Stranded with Flip Flops – A Case for a Generalist (you can read it here)

Below is my comment in case you don't have time to click and read Morgan's post (although I think you'll be blessed and will put my musing in context)

Such a powerful post and I loved it, the images of this mountain man coming to the rescue is inspiring. I do have some other thoughts and I believe they fit.
I consider myself a "generalist" a "jack of all trades" type of guy. Yet, I don't hunt, my home repair skills are suspect and if I judge myself against a list of "manly things" I may not qualify for a mancard anymore. At least that's what my dad thought...and for years I suffered from that failure to live up to his version of manhood. 
Thankfully Father God changed all that. He alone defines my masculinity and it is OK not to be good at any of those really is. I don't feel castrated because I can't fix something or track down a wild animal in the deep woods. No, I a man because the Father says so...because He made me a son.
My older brother is one of the toughest men I know. An ex-Marine, can build anything, can hunt down (and has) anything, knows every construction tool and its use...but has two failed marriages and left a minefield of busted relationships along the way. 
Men are not defined but what they can and cannot do...they are defined by their Father and what He says about them. I am reminded about something my wife wrote about a few years ago. I was clearing out some old paperwork and came across a letter that my she wrote to honor me on one of my birthdays. I won’t bore you with the whole letter but there was this one section that grabbed me by the throat. (BTW…it still does) 
“Some men build massive skyscrapers, awesome bridges, complex computers, things which can be destroyed. My man builds lives.” 
His life, His power, His Spirit…through us…brings life. This is the rescue mission I am sent on everyday. Anyways, just a few thoughts from a 57 year-old father of seven, who has been married for 31 years and following Christ for 50...and who is still in process of becoming more like a son every day! God Bless ya!
Yesterday sitting in my church office I received an instant message from someone I didn't know inquiring about something I wrote. After some investigation and a few more text messages I found the above comment and forwarded to this brother, asking if this was what he was talking is his reply:

"Men are not defined but what they can and cannot do...they are defined by their Father and what He says about them." THIS is what changed my life!! 

My heart was overwhelmed with thankfulness to my Father, that He spoke so clearly to this man's heart and impacted him so deeply. I share this to encourage you that your story matters, how the Father rescued you matters, spread this message whenever you can and wherever you never know how Father will use what He has done in you!


Martha Orlando said…
Amen, Jay! May our Father continue working in and through you to bless others as you already have. And isn't it such a relief to know our God loves us just as we are? Blessings!
floyd said…
I suspect you've touched more lives than you'd ever begin to grasp this side of heaven, my friend. You have many gifts, one is encouragement and I've been the recipient of your ministry. Thanks for your obedience and heart, brother.

Oh, and for what it's worth, you're one of the most clever individuals I've come across in my life's journey.

Blessings to you and yours and your wife is amazing too, but you already know that!
Jay Cookingham said…
Such a joy and relief our Father loves us so much....thanks Sista!
Jay Cookingham said…
My long lost brutha from another mutha! Hope you are doing well bro'...I've been a busy guy so I haven't gotten around the blogsphere much! Thanks for the kind words my man, appreciate the friendship!
Bill (cycleguy) said…
My sermon today is on the flesh vs. spirit in conflict. I end with saying, "You are not defined what you were or what you did. You are defined by your relationship with Christ." I love what you wrote Jay. You have blessed me innumerably over the years and I thank you and I thank the Father for that.
Jay Cookingham said…
Sound like a good one bro'...I might need to listen to that one. Thanks for the kind words, please know that I feel like your posts and online example have been a wonderful blessing to me. Thanks Bro'!
Betty Draper said…
Thanks for the encouragement Jay. I feel exactly the same way toward our ministry with New Tribes. And now that I get to teach a women bible study and nothing thrills my heart more then to have one of them say they learned something that helped their walk with Him. I don't come by much but everytime I do am always glad...
Jay Cookingham said…
You're too kind Betty, thanks for the words of encouragement. God bless you for the work you do for the Father...I'm sure He's pleased! God Bless!
jasonS said…
Beautiful and so important, Jay. I'm so glad He defines me and not a set of preferred characteristics. Thank you, friend!

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