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“I met Doug Jones, a SPM Ministry Team member, just once. He was in Wales last May helping teach a conference on the Father’s love. Afterwards, I remember writing in my diary, ‘Five minute contact, lifelong impact!’ Through the teaching, I had systematically been taken apart to the point where I really didn't know if I was coming or going, whether to laugh, cry, or run! Quite out of the blue, at the end of the meeting, Doug came over and hugged me and prayed. Then he kissed me on the side of the head and said, ‘That's a Daddy's kiss for His little girl!’ It was just Father God through and through; so gentle and uncomplicated, full of love and so precious.

I will never ever forget it. Even so when I heard that Doug recently died of a disease he contracted while ministering in Uganda, it almost seemed ridiculous for me to feel so much love, to shed so many tears for someone I barely knew. I guess that's the nature of it – five minute contact, lifelong impact. Doug was the heart of God for me on legs!” (Chris from Scotland)

When Trisha and I first met Doug and Jean Jones in 1991, Doug, at 50 years of age, was far from being one who represented the Father’s love to another person. Being raised by a harsh, authoritarian father, Doug followed suit with his own wife and children. For 30 years, he had a sincere desire to follow the Lord and be used to minister to hurting people, but his love deficit and unresolved pain resulted in many continual relational conflicts with his family and most people in authority. Business failure, a hurricane destroying everything they owned, and relational problems with authority left Doug angry at God and the church.

It was at this time, when it seemed the whole world had set itself against Doug, that he and Jean, along with two other couples (the Funks and Nobles), joined a support group that Trisha and I facilitated the first year we founded Shiloh Place Ministries. Each Friday night, seven of us sat together in a circle in the living room, while Doug sat separately at the kitchen bar, his spirit closed to what was being shared in the group. Later, he told us that he kept coming back because Trisha and I continued to honor and value him in spite of his stern, controlled, angry exterior. The unconditional love and acceptance of the group gradually began to get to him. It is unconditional love and grace that mature us toward change, not rules, judgment, or negative motivation (criticism). Love is a much greater motivator than fear and intimidation.

Doug’s business soon floundered and he found himself out of work. So he asked if he could travel with me and serve on ministry trips. I was hesitant because of the many unhealed areas in his soul, but took a risk and let him come along. As we drove out of town on that first trip, his whole spirit began to lighten up. He began to open his heart, tell jokes, and laugh. He loved being with people in the churches and they loved him, especially those who didn’t really know him well. As we returned home and met in our Friday night group again, he moved from sitting at the bar to sitting with us in the living room, and began to freely enter into the discussions that were centered around rejection and its fruit in our adult lives and marriages.

For over a year, he traveled with me and served faithfully as he lived off of his meager savings and sold anything of value he owned to survive. But I dared not let him pray over anyone at the altars for fear of him imparting his own pain to others. Then one Sunday, so many people were at the altars weeping that I said to Doug, “Just grab someone and hug him.” Unknown to Doug, he put a bear hug on a fallen young ex-pastor who had just lost his marriage and ministry. The man fell apart in Doug’s fatherly arms, sobbing uncontrollably as his pain, shame, and self-condemnation were being comforted by a man who too had struggled with similar feelings for many years. I think Doug cried harder than the young man in his arms as he was reminded of the pain he had caused in many people’s lives.

That Sunday morning in Gainesville, Georgia, I watched the beginning of a transformation - from a man who for many years had hidden his pain and fears behind a macho and gruff exterior, to a man who began to find his identity in experiencing the Father’s love and giving it to the next person he met. Holding the down-trodden young man in his arms, Doug tasted of the Father’s unconditional love for him as he humbled himself and sought to impart it to someone who was hurting more than he. On the following ministry trips with me, Doug ceased striving to hide his pain and began more and more to open his heart to the Father’s love, and to share his story with others. Unconsciously, almost naturally, he began being the message of the Father’s love to hurting people in need of acceptance and hope.

Being the message is not something we do or a message we teach. It is what happens to and through us when we cease hiding and striving for position, affirmation, and identity. As the Father’s love begins breaking forth into areas of our hidden core pain, we find the unconditional love and acceptance for which we have been searching and striving all of our lives. The more we humbly open our hearts to love, the more of God’s love we experience, the more we are transformed, and the natural progression of reflecting the image of God to others takes place! Fears and insecurities are displaced and we begin finding gentleness, humility, and rest for our souls. It produces a meekness of a contented life, free from the fear of man and from striving for approval and acceptance.

As years followed, Doug began to enter more deeply into the security of knowing how much the Father loved him, in spite of his weaknesses and shortcomings. Because of the forgiveness and compassion he had received, he began to see the need to make restitution to those whom he had hurt and before whom he had misrepresented the Father’s love in his life. He knew God had forgiven him for the pain his controlling ways had brought to others, but that was not enough to be cleansed and healed from his sin. He knew he had to go to his family, his pastor, and others and ask their forgiveness. This was one of the greatest joys in our lives - to watch Doug go from a proud and independent man who always had to be right, to a man who chose a lifestyle of humility, repentance, and restoration.

By 1997, Doug and Jean began assisting SPM by participating in the teaching at our restoration retreats and seminars. They still had not perfected their walk in love. Have any of us? But they were walking as overcomers (51% or more) in God’s grace and love. They soon began to lead the retreats and to travel to the nations conducting conferences on our teachings on Exposing Bitter Root Strongholds, Healing the Wounded Heart, and Restoring the Father’s Love. What affected people the most through Doug and Jean’s ministry was not their teaching; it was the Father’s love that was demonstrated and imparted through their unconditional and affectionate love. Doug was known best for his hugs and kisses. He was the great big teddy bear, who took you into his huge arms, spoke fatherly words of affirmation and love to you, prayed a fatherly blessing over you, and then kissed you on the forehead or cheek and told you that it was “a kiss from your heavenly Father.” By 60 years of age, after a lifetime of causing pain in others, Doug became the message of the Father’s love in the nations of the earth.

In the last four years, Doug (most often with Jean) has traveled to many places ministering the Father’s healing love to hurting missionaries, pastors, and people: China, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Scotland, Wales, England, Canada, the United States, and his final trip, Uganda. In Uganda, 93 pastors from seven nations came to hear the message of the Father’s love for the first time. Doug said it was the most powerful experience he had ever known, as so many fatherless, orphaned hearts experienced the Father’s healing love through Doug’s fatherly embrace, spoken blessing, and kiss on the forehead from the heavenly Father.

But it was also in Uganda that Doug contracted malaria and a mysterious infection that left him in a Miami hospital on a respirator for three weeks with a fever raging up to 105 degrees. After a three-week struggle, Doug was promoted to glory on April 28, 2002. He died a martyr’s death, willing to travel to some of the most difficult places on earth to give to others what God had so freely given to him – unconditional love and acceptance. In only a few short years, the unconditional love of God took a man from a life of devastation to a life of impartation. So many lives were changed because Doug chose to submit his life to humility and love! Five minute contact, lifelong impact!

Being the message (spiritual fathering and mothering) simply means manifesting the Father’s love to another person who is in need of love, acceptance, affirmation, and comfort. Hurting people usually are not drawn to someone whose life is perfect and has rarely been in need. They are more likely drawn to someone who has experienced the devastation they themselves have known, but have found hope and peace in the midst of the storm. Being the message means comforting others with the comfort you received in your time of crisis. The one hurting then begins to experience the Father’s love, acceptance, and grace through you and start seeking to find the source in Him. When the goodness and compassion of the Father’s love begin to penetrate your character, His character in you is then seen by the world and begins drawing many to the Father- spiritual fathering and mothering!

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BEING THE MESSAGE

It is difficult being a father until you’ve been a son. Being the message must be an overflow of your own experience in the Father’s love, or else you can easily enter into aggressive striving as you try earning greater levels of love and acceptance.

Ask God how you can join Him in expressing His love to those in need instead of asking Him to bless what you are doing.

Accept people the way they are and do not try to change them. Unconditional love and acceptance are the best motivators for change.

Look for people who are in need of love, honor, value, and affirmation; then look for small ways to meet those needs.

Give every person you meet the gift of honor by showing interest in their life, listening to them, asking questions, remembering and speaking their name, and treating them as one of God’s special creations.

Look for small opportunities to go out of the way to serve others, looking out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Build a bridge of trust by openly sharing your feelings and being transparent in your witness of how God’s grace has brought change to the areas in which you have struggled on your journey.

Show genuine care, compassion, and empathy when others are hurting by listening to their pain and then sharing how God comforted you during similar situations.

Look for the good and potential in every person. See them for what they can become by God’s grace, not how they seem today.

Never criticize or speak down of other people, groups, denominations, or churches. If you are not a nice person to the waiter but you are to the person you are with, you are not a nice person. People will easily lose respect and trust for you, and any godly influence you may have had over them is lost.

Freely admit your faults and weaknesses and seek forgiveness from others each time you misrepresent the Father’s love to them.

Do not strive to be right or be argumentative in proving your point. People who must be right do not provide a secure atmosphere of grace and unconditional love.

Walk in truth and integrity in all you do and say. Trust is lost when you exaggerate or don’t follow through with what you say.

Look for many opportunities to rejoice, be merry, laugh, and have fun.

Daily pray for God’s grace to begin practicing these principles at home and with family. They will then begin to flow naturally in the streets. These were the principles modeled to Doug during his hour of the dark night of his soul in the early 1990’s. As he experienced love, acceptance, honor, and value, he was motivated to repentance and began to enter into deeper measures of the Father’s healing love. The principles then became foundational values in his life and ministry. Five minute contacts, lifelong impacts!

Doug’s transformed life will not only be missed by his family, friends, and the SPM team, but his fatherly hugs and influence will also be missed in the nations. His death will not be in vain if only a few of us are motivated by Doug’s life and take up his mission to make the Father’s healing love known to the next person we meet! I wonder how many of us are willing to sincerely pray: “Father, may I pick up where Doug’s life left off. May I humble myself daily to receive Your love and then speak words of blessing and affirmation to those who are downcast. May I embrace the spiritual orphans to my heart with affectionate hugs and be an instrument of comfort to those who have no sense of love, honor, or value. May my presence manifest the Father’s love to the next person I meet.”

Even this week, while at a conference overflowing with a multitude of hurting people from many nations, I (Jack) often thought to myself, “What would Doug do?” I simply responded by moving out of my comfort zone during worship, took a shame-ridden man in my arms, and held him until his hidden core pain turned to tears. Then I spoke a fatherly blessing to him, kissed him on the forehead, and told him, “This is a kiss from your heavenly Father who is not ashamed of you. He loves you the way you are, not the way others imply you should be! He is proud to be your Daddy!” As I moved from man to man, many orphaned hearts experienced the Father’s healing love...and Doug’s fatherly hugging ministry continued to go forth to the nations!

In the Father’s love,

Jack & Trisha Frost
Shiloh Place Ministries

(Doug and Jean invested all of their worldly possessions and savings in order to take the Father’s love to the nations. Their monthly income was based upon their traveling and teaching ministry. After a season of rest, Jean will continue in ministry with SPM; however, at this time it would be wonderful for the body to fulfill the Word by “taking care of the widows in their time of need.” Would those of you who were blessed by Doug and Jean prayerfully consider giving a memorial missions offering in Doug’s name to SPM? Everything given will go to Jean’s future ministry needs as she continues to go to the nations.)

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