7 Reasons to send your kids to camp this summer

Summer is a time to make memories. It’s the perfect time to go camping with your family, hike, try new cultures, and go kayaking. But there’s one part of summer that kids and parents alike look forward to – and that’s camp!

I remember the first time we sent our kids to camp. They were 7 and 8 and I was nervous. I knew that there were adults overseeing things, but teenaged cabin leaders made me wonder how secure and safe my kids would feel. I was the kind of kid that was always unsure about new environments, and my first camp experience was at a much older age. This camp was only 2-3 days, but I still wondered if they would be homesick, and even wondered if I’d be homesick for them.

In the end, all of my concerns were unnecessary; they had an amazing time and couldn’t wait to go back. I also enjoyed the time it gave us to focus on ourselves, which is something that we haven’t done for a very long time. It is definitely something we want to keep up, even when the kids aren’t at camp.

I’ve been speaking at camps for over 7 years now, and I’ve seen some incredible things happen in the lives of the kids there.
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Balancing Your Emotions With Truth

Have you ever heard a statement like: “The devil wants you to pay attention to your feelings, Jesus wants you to pay attention to the truth”? Or maybe you’ve noticed that our culture can focus so much on making sure everyone feels good, that it limits our ability to speak truth, causing some to wonder if emotions are something to be dismissed or belittled. 

As a counsellor I hear comments like “I got that instability from my mom” or “I’m working on controlling how I feel.” In fact some seem to be so disconnected from their emotions that they can’t identify what they are feeling in a given moment, which is immensely hard on their relationships because they can’t connect effectively in intimate relationships like marriage or even parenting. 

Perhaps this is a major factor in why we are straying so far from God’s truth in our culture! We’re trying so hard to shut down a part of us that God has gifted us with, which eventually rises up and takes over if we don’t give it the acknowledgement it needs. 

You see, we aren’t supposed to control our emotions, but instead we are to feel them. Yes, we may need to filter our actions and sometimes if we respond to our emotions the wrong way then our actions can become sinful, but usually those actions are sourced in our inability to process the emotion in the first place. 

As adults we aren’t the only ones that need to learn to accept our emotions, our children need to learn this too. Even better that they learn now before it becomes a problem later as adults or teens, when they are trying to process their compassion for others simultaneously to their understanding of God’s truth.

My favourite illustration to use when processing and accepting emotions is found in the wave pool; emotions are like the big surges of water, or “swells” that come at you in a wave pool. 

When you first see them, you might be afraid or nervous either because of the size or unknown nature of what’s coming.  When I first stepped into a wave pool I would see the swell/wave coming and get nervous and try to stand my ground, keeping my feet firmly planted. The result was not good. Slammed by the wall of water and gasping for breath I would have barely enough time to prepare for the next rush of water. 

I needed to stop trying to fight the swell. Taking a breath and letting my feet leave the ground, allowing my body to rise with the water and eventually come down the other side. There may be moments of discomfort, wondering how long the wave will last, or how long we might have to tread water, but in the end we find safety and security in riding it out. Choosing to feel our emotions is quite similar. Our emotions are part of our whole being and they tell us something. Have you ever noticed that Ephesians four starts by telling us to “Be angry”? It’s our response to anger that is warned against, but so often we have vilified anger as evil. 

Both we and our children need to learn to FEEL our emotions. We need to acknowledge them, face them and ride them out. As we do this we can learn to understand what is motivating the emotion that we are feeling. Anger, for example, tells us that we need something, possibly justice for ourselves or others; it’s a catalyst for change. Responding to that need requires acknowledgement of the emotion and its source, making a decision about how we respond to it happens AFTER we allow the wave of initial emotion to pass, when we are “grounded” with our feet are on solid ground again.

This is a hard lesson to learn, for ourselves, but also for our children. Allowing our children to feel things like helplessness, desperation, grief, sadness, fear, and anger are uncomfortable for us and so often we swoop in to distract them or save them from the waves that they need to learn to process and ride out – it’s our job to show them what it means to see emotions as a gift from God instead of a curse to be worked through, and to show them how to let their emotions inform them but not control them. 

So, a more accurate statement could be something like, “Jesus wants us to pay attention to both our emotions and the truth, allowing the truth to inform and guide our actions.”

May you have courage as you ride the waves that come your way, and teach your children to do the same. It’s important to be that emotional safe place for your children so you aren’t  triggered yourself (You don’t want to get sucked into the undertow of their wave). If processing your own emotions is new for you, bear the discomfort with God at your side, and if you need help, counselling is always a good option.


David McVety

Counsellor and Shepherd


Original article published HERE

A New Stage … A Big Shift for the McVety Family

Hiking with Small Compass Device. Compass in a Hand.

Following God’s Lead

God has been amazing to us over our last 6 years with Doing Family Right. We moved all the way from Manitoba to be a part of a ministry where Melissa and I could speak, teach and share in ministry together. One where we could encourage marriages and build families highlighting and teaching people what it means to have God at the center of everything that matters most.


Six years of pouring our lives into Doing Family Right has had incredible ups and even a few downs. God has provided in every way, including with peace in hard moments, and incredible and surprising financial gifts at exactly the right moments. God has grown me personally in ways I couldn’t have dreamt, especially ways that I never anticipated when coming on board. I have developed as an itinerant speaker, writing articles and blog posts, podcasts, seminar speaking, and curriculum development. Most recently God allowed me the chance to start “tent making” by charging for counselling. With Melissa by my side I have learned incredible things and have been deeply encouraged by the clients God has allowed me to walk with. The counselling has been going so well that God even opened a door for me to become recognized as a “Master Therapeutic Counsellor” through the ACCT of Canada.


You may have already guessed but God has made it clear to us that our time at DFR has come to an end. I’ve wondered what God might be doing with and through me specifically with all of the things that I have been stretched and pushed to do. For a long time I believed that I would be back in a church again at some point, but through prayer and surprising insights including dreams, affirmation from those closest to me, and promptings on Melissa’s part, God has allowed me an opportunity to combine all of my gifts and developed skills into one place.


I (Dave) have accepted a position as School Counsellor at Langley Christian Middle and High School. It is a 4-day per week role and one where I will have opportunities to teach parenting seminars, counsel students, support teachers and even develop curriculum. As you might imagine my role as counsellor will be deeply rooted with my pastor’s heart as well.


This is a surprise for me, but a good kind of surprise. Finding a fit that was unexpected and a perfect collaboration of all God has done and grown me to be.


Confirmation of this has even been seen in the way that God brought the job into reality.


I applied on a Thursday night, was interviewed the following Monday morning and offered the position 24 hours later. Less than two days later, before I’d even had a chance to tell Dave Currie about the progression, he announced that the he had been lead to close a door at DFR, that door happened to be a major part of the role that Melissa and I had been brought on to help accomplish. And so we found ourselves with 1 opened door and 1 closed one. God’s timing is incredible, even Leigha noted how God took care of us!


An added part of the blessing is that I don’t have to stop doing the private practice work that I have begun and have really found a deep sense of value in. It will allow Melissa and I to continue working with some couples together, and for me to work with both the individuals and couples that God has brought my way.


We don’t have to move away from Merci and her family. We don’t have to wonder and sit in a state of nervousness about where God wants us to go next – all of our potential fears have been accounted for in advance!


Thank you SO much for your support these last 6 years, it is ONLY through you that we have been able to trust and allow God to work in and through us. WE could NOT be here today without you.


A note from Dr. Dave

“To the faithful donors of Dave and Melissa,

These two have served the Lord and DFR so faithfully over these years that I would LOVE to see them blessed with a transitional month of support. The truth is that they served in spite of not getting a full cheque many months. Would you join us in giving through to the end of September as a thank you for their faithfulness (we are personally on their support team too)? Their account would remain open for this purpose until September 30, 2018.

Thanks for Considering This,

Dave Currie”


Also, although we will no longer need your funds for our personal support, Melissa and I are considering developing a charity that would allow us to provide personal counselling at reduced rates for those in need. We will keep you informed as we progress with this and would love for you to begin praying about your potentially partnering with us in providing this form of care.


May the Lord bless you with Peacebeyond measure, in both times of clear leading and times of waiting.


Sincerely yours,

David and Melissa McVety and family


P.S. If you would like to hear more of our story we would LOVE to meet or talk with you in person, thank you again for your continued love, interest, prayers and support.


Please be assured that we will make sure that all of your automatic donations are automatically stopped after September 15.


If you would prefer to stop your automatic donations yourself you can do so by contacting TGCF here:

Phone: 604-960-2595

Toll Free: 1-866-427-2413

Email: info@gcfcanada.com




Parenting: Laying a Foundation for Relationship and Self-Acceptance


Laying the foundation your children need to develop and grow as God designed them to, isn’t something we always consider. In fact, often times I find myself sitting back and just being glad that my kids are doing what they “should” be doing or what they have been told to do. After all, why mess with something that isn’t broken, right? Well, unfortunately it isn’t that simple. Our children grow and develop, their brains change and shift, and their behaviour changes as they stretch grow in their independence. To weather these changes, they need a foundation of both security and acceptance. This foundation creates confidence to explore, assurance of salvation and an innate willingness to learn and not be afraid of hard question or difficult answers. My four children are drastically different from each other, and it’s easier for me to relate to some than with others. It takes more time and effort to be in relationship with those I don’t understand, and I need to make sure all of my kids know that I love them deeply,


In order to prevent misconceptions or feelings of preference from our kids, my wife and I have been intentionally asking each other a few key questions:



  1. Have we been criticizing our children’s shortcomings more than we have been noticing their unique gifts?
  • Melissa and I watch our children together. It’s quite natural to look at a child and notice their shortcomings but doing this doesn’t build confidence. They need to know they are perfectly and wonderfully made, just a they are; without this foundation, they will not be able to grow and explore who God has created them to be. So, instead of noticing the bad, we acknowledge and consciously highlight the positive traits in each of our children.
  1. Are we affirming what they do or who they are?
  • The overt things that they do are important to acknowledge and affirm BUT affirming actions alone creates a sense of value found in performance. The possible result is a belief system that says, unless they perform, they are not valuable; their identity becomes tied to their performance. We MUST be looking past the actions and noticing the character traits of our children, the things that are motivating them to do the things they are doing, even if those motivations aren’t always right. It’s an opportunity for us to affirm WHO our children are, and correct and guide their character through moments where their motivation may be wrong. Doing this is a key ingredient to building resilience in our kids, they need to know that it’s okay when things don’t go as planned, this isn’t failure because even their attempts build and express their character.
  1. Are we listening to the heart of our children?
  • The other day, my daughter asked if she could skip going to youth group that evening. Our tendency as parents is to give a quick answer based on our value set, we value community and spiritual development and have had a standard in our home that says our kids will commit to going to youth as an expression of that value. In this case however, I stopped myself from the quick “no” and instead tried to listen to her and hear the reason that she didn’t want to go to youth. It gave us an opportunity to talk about why we prioritize going to youth group and discuss whether or not those goals were being met. At 13 it is very helpful for her to begin to process and problem solve how to commit and meet those needs so that she isn’t just going out of obedience but is participating. Listening actually gave me a chance to equip and grow her toward self-motivated spiritual growth and discernment.



I have found these questions to be extremely important for both my relationship with my children as well as their acceptance of themselves.


God wants us to embrace the gifts and purposes He has for each of us, and our job as parents is to build our children’s foundation so they can live fully fulfilled in who they have been created to be. When I think of the body of Christ, I can’t be a hand if God has made me to be a foot, (1 Cor. 12:15-26) and as a foot if I see that my child is a hand, I may need to work harder to understand the value of the hand, I may have to learn new things so I can teach them about who they are more effectively. My prayer is that these questions might help guide you as you guide and affirm your children in who they are and who God has created them to be.


Originally written for and published for http://www.fellowshipforward.org

Next Steps to Recovery from Pornography

Mountaneer climbs a snowy ridge in Mont Blanc, France. Enterprise, diligence, team work: mountaneering concepts. Mountaneer climbs a snowy ridge in Mont Blanc, France. Enterprise, diligence, team work: mountaneering concepts.

I can’t count the number of times men have come to me and asked, “Why won’t God give me the freedom I’m desperately seeking?” Even those men who have been in accountability relationships for years and who have attended groups designed to help them get free from addictions and issues, like Celebrate Recovery and Freedom Sessions, still struggle with sexual temptation. These are men who love God desperately, but who are deeply shackled by their sin. It’s not that they haven’t tried to find freedom, in fact quite the opposite, they have done all they know to do, but something still isn’t right. They are often ashamed and afraid to ask for help because they believe they should be fixed, but they aren’t. Others wonder if they don’t have enough faith or it’s just about a lack of self-control – I’m here to tell you that it’s so much more than that.


I have recently heard some incredible sermons on the power of a life that is free from sin. By free from sin, I don’t mean sinless; I mean a life where we aren’t tied so tightly to sin that we don’t even have a choice whether or not we give in to it. As believers we are made new and freed from the chains that enslaved us.


As much as this is true, it isn’t a fully holistic point of view, even when we are speaking of Scripture. Yes, we aren’t bound on a spiritual level any more. We don’t need to listen to the slave master of our past when he calls us to do his bidding, but our human bodies and even our biological chemistry has been programmed to respond for a long time, and our habits need to be changed. Yes, sincere men and women who love God with a desperate passion can still struggle with habitual sin, specifically pornography.


Paul seems to speak of this when he says;


“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:19,20).


Our behaviours or addictions have literally created pathways in our brains that function as worn-away shortcuts in a forest, they are always easier to use than going the long way. It’s this “sin living in” us that we need to defeat.


The good news is that God has created our brains with an ability to reprogram and repair these pathways. We can actually take hold of the “sin living in us” and starve it, allowing new pathways and shrivelling up the old ones.



So what are the next steps to getting free from pornography? Before we look at those, it would be good to review the four dimensions of healing.

  1. Past baggage: Usually our past is riddled with things we ran from, haven’t dealt with, or which have caused us some hurt. Eventually reminders of those things cause us to “self-medicate” or to find a way to feel better and not feel the pain that we are feeling related to our past issues.
  2. Spiritual freedom: We need to both accept and choose to live in the freedom that Christ provides. Choosing to live in the freedom that we have in Christ is immense.
  3. Physiological residue – these are the elements described above, the “pathways” in our brains. You know you have these when, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to let go or stop doing what you’re doing, just as Paul describes in Romans. See my sermon on YouTube® for more on this https://youtu.be/H6c-DDgAv50
  4. Belief system shifts: I’m not referring to changing your understanding of Jesus and salvation, although that’s possibly needed, too. I’m talking about beginning the process of accepting that some of the things you believe aren’t true, things like the innate belief you likely have that you need sex to survive like water or food. Processing that there may be things in our past that aren’t dealt with and we are running from, recognizing parts of our weak moments might actually be other things, etc.


In order to tackle all of these things, a few principles of healing and freedom need to occur; these are things you must do to find healing.

  1. Education: part of the physiological freedom involves changing the brain and becoming aware of what is going on both in the body and the brain. Even learning the truth about the porn industry helps loosen the strongholds of belief and chemical responses.
  2. Aggressive accountability: I suggest four “pillars” of accountability: discussing work life, family life, spiritual life and our issues with sin. Aggressive refers to the need to go after personal refinement in all of these areas and be challenged by another person in your life. Book a time to either meet or call, at the very least weekly, and sometimes more often. Be as aggressive as you need to be, and don’t let each other get away with anything. Carrying each other’s burdens in love requires loving and hard truth sometimes (Galatians 6 and Proverbs 27).
  3. Personal healing and spiritual freedom – the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 Steps form an incredible tried and true resource that will help you sincerely and intentionally dig into your life and find freedom in Christ as you accept your limitations as you fight for your freedom, I use a version of the 12 steps converted for use with sexual addiction. We weren’t designed or created to be able to beat this without God, and the 12 Steps walk us through inviting God into every crack and hurt in our lives.
  4. Group support: There is incredible power in hearing the stories of success – and even failure – from others. I run support groups for men who are struggling with porn or other sex addiction issues. I love working with this group as it’s an opportunity to teach things specific to the issue, answer questions that wouldn’t be asked in other environments and more. Knowing you aren’t alone is immeasurably healing. If you are interested in starting a group at your church or in your community, I would love to help walk you through and equip you to do that.
  5. Brain change: Starting the process of starving the sin in us and investing in making new, healthy brain pathways is more important that you can imagine. Dr. Doug Weiss, the president of the American Association of Sex Addiction Therapy suggests the implementation of what he calls the Five Commandments (or Five C’s). They are:

#1 – Daily Morning Prayer

#2 – Daily Phone Calls/Accountability

#3 – Daily Bible and Recovery Material Reading

#4 – Daily (or possibly weekly, if no other options) Attend Meetings (these are specific sex addiction recovery groups)

#5 – Daily Evening Prayer


These must be implemented aggressively and without compromise for the first 90 days in order to start the process of brain change needed. It takes three days for the chemical pressure to slow, then three weeks to create new habit, but it takes three months to kill off old habits.


Your next steps to finding freedom need to include these elements. The easiest way to make these things a reality is to start or join a porn/sex addiction group in your area that teaches as well as supports you along the way. There is no compromising on these things. There will be the occasional individual who will not be able to get to a group. That person must find a counselor that he can see weekly and who can fill the role of a group, but there is no other proven route to freedom.


Please know first, that you aren’t alone; second, that you can have freedom, and third, that God loves you desperately and has something greater in store for you. He will bring all things into completion, including refining you in this area of your life, so that it can be redeemed and you can be a light to others around you.


Doing Family Right uses the resources below to walk men through finding freedom from the secret monster of lust and pornography in their lives. The first four have become our foundational tools.


The Conquer Series (video study) – an incredible resource developed by pastor Ted Roberts that intertwines education and spiritual truth to help men on their journey (conquerseries.com).




I was struck recently by something that maybe should be a given, but I don’t think it really is in our culture.

The issue that spoke to me was that of obedience, obedience specifically as it relates to God and my relationship with Him.


Is not about “Do this or else” but an offer to “please stay close and safe”


I was struck recently by something that maybe should be a given, but I don’t think it really is in our culture.


The issue that spoke to me was that of obedience, obedience specifically as it relates to God and my relationship with Him.


I think that most of us see obedience as something that involves punishment. Thoughts and phrases like “If you obey me then I will love you” or “if you love me, you will obey me” or “if you obey, you will be blessed” which leads to other thoughts like “if I disobey I will lose out or be punished.” These concepts aren’t totally wrong, in fact they tend to line up pretty clearly with the Old Testament, considering the numerous times Israel was “judged” for their disobedience.


Even as parents we may take this posture with our kids. “Do this or else” is a common response from many of us, especially in moments of frustration on our part or disrespect and disregard from our kids.


This is a problem when it comes to our understanding of God though, with this mentality, the only reason we have to obey is to avoid punishment, which really puts us at odds with the concept of love, doesn’t it?


We fight our sin in a desperate attempt to avoid losing something, or gaining punishment. Doing this makes us look at verses like this one as threats:

John 15:9-10 (NIV)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

It can come across like, “IF you do what I’ve asked then I will love you” but that isn’t what it says.


In reality though, it actually says something entirely different from a threat.


Allow me to illustrate; if my son wants to run across a busy street I tell him no because I know that he is likely to get hurt if he does. So I tell him not to, and depending on his age I might tell him why. I ask him to stay on the sidewalk with me, and to hold my hand. If he stays WITH me and listens to what I’ve asked, he is: in my presence, close to me, safe and accepting the love I am offering through my instructions – essentially “remaining in my love.”


You see, he has the opportunity to realize that my instructions, boundaries and even commands are expressions of love, and opportunities for him to trust me and stay in my presence and admit and accept that I love him. This makes the act of obeying shift drastically because it isn’t me telling him something in an attempt to take away his fun, but for the purpose of protecting and loving him.


What brought this to mind was the fact that I was finding moments in my day and life where I felt specifically led to do something by God, things that were uncomfortable and I wouldn’t have normally done. When I did them I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy. This is NOT what someone who is having good things withheld from them would feel, but instead is something that someone feels when they know they have heard and listened to and chosen to walk closely with someone that loves them and wants only the best for them.


To simply know this and preaching that God’s word is a loving instruction manual for the best life He has created me for doesn’t do justice to actually living life with an all powerful and loving God.


My son finds joy in being close to me, holding my hand and knowing that he has NOTHING to worry about and that nothing can hurt him if he is with me. He lets go of his desires to run across the street, not because it doesn’t look fun or tempting anymore but because being close to me is so much better!


There is joy beyond words when we are close to God and trusting His direction and protection, and something beautiful to the idea that, in obedience, we are close enough to hear God’s gentle whisper of comfort and love. (1 Kings 12:11-13)


This is what remaining in God’s love is – and it changes EVERYTHING!


We don’t obey because of consequences/punishment or even because there is a carrot hanging in front of us that we hope to get if we listen well enough, we obey because it’s an opportunity to trust and let God make the decisions we don’t need to make, it’s a chance to be close and to find something SO much better than the plastic and temporary pleasures of the world.


Obedience isn’t about “do this or else” it’s about “please stay with me – it’s better here” and to let go of the worries of this world and experience joy beyond our wildest dreams.


May your understanding of obedience be changed forever and may you find and embrace the AWESOME joy that comes with being close to your Father and trusting that He knows best.