Episode #73 

Becky Davidson is the co-founder and president of Rising Above Ministries. Rising Above is a multi-dimensional outreach to families impacted by special needs. After the unexpected death of her husband Jeff in 2017, Becky assumed leadership of their shared ministry and honored his memory by shepherding the completion of his last book, Common Man Extraordinary Call. Becky and her adult son with special needs, Jon Alex, live and thrive in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Twenty-year special-needs parenting veteran Jeff Davidson co-founded Rising Above Ministries in 2005 with his wife, Becky, and wrote a field manual to give fathers the skills required for the day-to-day demands of parenting. That manual, Common Man, Extraordinary Call: Thriving as the Dad of a Child with Special Needs, releases Jan. 22 from Kregel Publications and can be pre-ordered now from Christianbooks.com, Amazon.com and Get It Local Today.

In the book, Jeff helps men discover God’s new mission for their lives, giving specific details and practical instruction on how a man can: protect and defend, provide for, strengthen and equip his family. He offers rich, real-life examples from dads in the field, and warns of seven common landmines that pose a threat for most fathers. He also helps readers prepare for “civilian assault,” attacks special needs families often encounter from people who do not understand their struggle.

“Finally, a book written specifically for fathers of kids with special needs and disabilities,” says Jolene Philo, author of the Different Dream Parenting Series and Does My Child Have PTSD, as Stephen Grcevich, MD, president and founder of Key Ministry and author of Mental Health and the Church, agrees, “Common Man, Extraordinary Call tangibly demonstrates God’s love for special-needs dads through Jeff’s words of wisdom and encouragement to men.” Dr. Lee Peoples, pastor of Heights Baptist Church, Alvin, TX, and Sandra Peoples, author of Unexpected Blessings, add, “Jeff has a pastor’s heart for coming alongside dads in the toughest season of their lives.”

In Common Man, Extraordinary Call, Jeff talks about his early years as a special needs dad and the difficulty he had accepting a life he did not anticipate. He speaks with honesty about his mistakes and how hard it was for him to connect with his son with special needs, Jon Alex, and shares the pitfalls men can expect and the warning signs that a dad is going AWOL, abandoning his post as leader. He is an authentic voice for men who are struggling to get their arms around the assignment of being a father to a disabled child.

“Jeff would often say about being the father of a child with profound special needs, ‘I am not the dad I thought I would be, but I am becoming the dad God wants me to be’,” shares Becky. “It is my hope and prayer, just as it was his, that this book will be life changing for you and your family. May it help you thrive as the dad God has called you to be, and may you bravely lead your family to greatness.”

The 208-page, paperback Common Man, Extraordinary Call can be found in the Christian Living and Devotionals category with the ISBN: 9780825445453 and suggested retail price of $16.99. An excerpt of the book can be read now at Kregel.com.

Jeff Davidson- (1967-2017) was the co-Founder and President of Rising Above Ministries, a national ministry serving special needs families. He was also a pastor, speaker and author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches and the blog Goodnight Superman.

Becky Davidson is the co-Founder and President of Rising Above Ministries. After the unexpected death of her husband Jeff, she assumed the leadership of their shared ministry and honored his memory by shepherding his last book through publication. Becky and her son, Jon Alex, live in Cookeville, TN.

About Rising Above Ministries: Rising Above Ministries is a Tennessee-based non-profit organization serving special-needs families nationwide. Rising Above operates three divisions within its ministry, conducting events, conferences, retreats and other faith-based activities for families of individuals with special needs. In addition, the organization hosts worldwide virtual events online, bringing hope to special needs families in the comfort of their own homes or with local small groups. It also works with churches to develop, train, resource and equip them for special needs ministry. For more information, go to www.risingaboveministries.org.

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