How much power does the president actually possess?
That is a question at the heart of most debates about the federal government and the presidency. Declaring war, writing executive orders, legislating laws, allocating taxpayers’ monies and even influencing what your children learn and eat are just a very small sample of subjects hotly under dispute right now.
Well, I know a position more powerful than the presidency.
While I wholeheartedly believe in the Spanish proverb that says, “An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy,” I also believe that men and fathers hold a unique role and power to restore our homes and country.
I believe as families go, so goes the nation. And men possess three specific keys (powers) that can draw them, their spouses and their children nearer to one another, and God as well, to make them all better citizens.
Before I reveal those three keys, I need to tell you where I learned them: from a dearly departed saint who greatly influenced me, Dr. Edwin Louis Cole. What I know, I owe to him.
Dr. Ed Cole is called “The Father of the Christian Men’s Movement,” because he influenced millions of men worldwide, including many leaders who lead the movement today. His mission statement was simple and powerful: “I have been called to speak with a prophetic voice to the men of this generation and commissioned with a ministry majoring in men to declare a standard for manhood …”
Dr. Cole’s story is amazing. As detailed on his website, he was born in Dallas, Texas, but moved with his mother, Florence, to Los Angeles at just four years, when a doctor told her that he would not survive without the sea air and sun to heal a severe case of scarlet fever. As a result, Ed grew up in the famous church, Angelus Temple, founded by the infamous Aimee Semple McPherson. He and his mother played a part of the ministry.
Ed fell away from the church and later served in World War II, where he met and married a fellow member of the Coast Guard, Nancy Corbett from Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Florence continued to pray for Ed and his new wife, until he and Nancy spiritually returned home.
Within two years, Ed became a pastor of a church in the mountains of Northern California. About 10 years later, Ed became the men’s minister for a major denomination. From there he spent the following decades particularly touching men’s lives all around the world.
Ed influenced some of the biggest names in Christendom today around the world: Coach Bill McCartney (starter of Promise Keepers), Pat Robertson (president of the 700 Club), John Maxwell (president of Injoy Ministries), Sunday Adelaja (Ukraine), Kong Hee (Singapore), Eddy Leo (Indonesia), Robert Barriger (Peru), Alex Mitala (Uganda), Alexey Ledyaev (Latvia), Suliasi Kurulo (Fiji), Leon Fontaine (Canada), Kenneth Copeland, Oliver North and me.
My wife, Gena, and I first met Ed and Nancy in 1998 at a banquet honoring “Walker, Texas Ranger.” Over the next four years there would be many choice moments between Ed and me.
One night in that period, Dr. Cole drove across Dallas through a thunderstorm simply to deliver a message that God had laid on his heart to encourage us to get grounded in the Bible in order to discern between the genuine and the counterfeit in life. What a great lesson. What a great man!
As I shared in my autobiography, “Against All Odds,” in 2002, Ed called our home and asked us to pray for him, because he was very ill. After we prayed with him over the phone, we decided to fly to Dallas to see and pray with him personally. It was one of the most moving moments of our life. It wasn’t long after that he passed to his heavenly home.
God loved me through Ed Cole, and I thank God for him. And I look forward to thanking Ed again when I see him one day in heaven.
I will never forget or take for granted Ed’s influence in my life. He influenced me to increase my trust in God, to be a faithful husband and father and, even though I was a “TV tough guy,” Ed challenged me to be a real man. He challenged me with the three keys I allude to earlier: to be a better role model, mentor and motivator to my family.
What I wrote and detailed to men and fathers about manhood and fatherhood via those three keys in my New York Times bestseller, “Black Belt Patriotism,” I learned from Ed. Another great book for men is by our friend Randy Alcorn, “Courageous,” based upon the movie but expanded with 80 percent more content.
I am not a perfect father or husband. Truth be known, I’ve learned far more from my failures than from my successes. However, I won’t allow them to stop me from pressing on. And I don’t believe that you should allow failures to hinder your fatherhood as well. As Ed used to say, “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”
Do you have a few role models, mentors and motivators in your life? I hope so. If not, Ed can still be a part of your life today through his resources found at the Ed Cole Library online. In commemoration of Ed’s ten-year homecoming to heaven, his children and our friends, Joanne Webster and Paul Cole, have curated a special edition of “The Collection, which is a compendium of Ed’s life’s work in one digital location.
Ed’s legacy message is this: If we, men, continue to fight to be the best husbands, fathers and men we can be, I believe we will not only give our family members what they need but also get in return what we need and simultaneously help to restore our country, one home at a time.
That is what I mean by a man who is more powerful than the president: not just Ed Cole, but you! The president can’t make or mold your family without your permission. He might try, but that is your jurisdiction and power endowed by God. Protect it!
Again, as Ed used to say, “Do not let others create your world for you, for they will always create it too small.” He also said, “The power of choice is our only true freedom in life.”
Only you have the ability to order your private world. You also have the ability to create, hinder or improve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in your heart and home.
In fact, I don’t believe one can truly experience life, liberty and happiness as the Declaration of Independence states without a proper lineup of priorities for God, family and country. These are the priorities our founders lived by.
As Thomas Jefferson clearly revealed when he wrote his daughter, Mary, the year before his presidency: “My attachments to the world, and whatever it can offer, are daily wearing off; but you are one of the links which hold to my existence, and can only break off with that.”
He espoused the same sentiment eight years later at the end of his presidency to the renowned explorer William Clarke (of Lewis & Clarke), “By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.”
Now there’s worthy reflection of power and a way to improve your life, home and our country this Father’s Day.