Particularly in America, men are expected to be self-made and self-reliant. It is seen as weakness to ask for help. I struggle with this probably just as much as most other men, often to my detriment. Consider a couple of portions of Scripture with me. Ex. 18:13-27 “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, … Keep reading!
Title: Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life. Author: Steven Furtick Publisher: Multnomah Books; Original edition 9/4/12 Pages: 224 Language: English Summary: Are you ready to open your imagination to the possibility that God has a vision for your life that is greater? We all have honest moments when we’re gripped by a desire to feel that what we’re doing matters more. That who we are matters more. And according to one of the most shocking verses in the Bible, Jesus wants the very same thing for every one of us: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” -John 14:12 That single promise—“even greater things than these”—should be enough to shatter our acceptance of spiritual mediocrity. Unfortunately, most believers have only tried and given up on vague notions of greatness…then settled into a life … Keep reading!
I enjoy the comedy of Tim Hawkins. In one of his bits, he talks about preachers, sermons, sermon titles, and sermon series. One of the titles or series he brings up (whether he made it up or this was actually preached somewhere and he heard about it, I don’t know) is called “Content or Discontent: Which Tent Do You Live In?” As I type this, I can think of a few pastors who might be tempted to use that title themselves. It’s a funny way to phrase the topic, and of course Tim got a laugh out of it. I was reading in Ecclesiastes recently and came across this verse (all quotes in this post from the King James Version): “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit” (Eccl. 4:6). A little cross-referencing brought up some more verses. “A little that … Keep reading!
One of my favorite TV shows is the series “Monk” starring Tony Shalhoub. If you haven’t seen the show, here are the basics. Adrian Monk is a genius detective. Unfortunately, he is plagued by a variety of psychological disorders such as OCD and germophobia that make his ability to function in the real world difficult to impossible at times. Monk has struggled his entire life, but he became especially helpless with the murder of his wife. In order to get around, he has a full-time assistant (first a nurse, Sharona; later on it’s a widow, Natalie, that he solved a case for at one point). I think one of the more memorable episodes, one that Abi and I both really enjoyed, is titled “Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus.” Sharona has a fear of elephants, and Monk, with all of his quirks, tells her to “Suck it up.” Talk about … Keep reading!
Have you ever said you would do something and then didn’t do it? Or have you had someone do so to you? If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this type of behavior, you know it’s quite frustrating. There are times when such activity merely creates inconvenience, but sometimes there can be devastating consequences. Matthew 5:37 and James 5:12 repeat the idea that we should speak plainly and let our word be our bond. In the context of both verses, the topic is about not taking oaths (the Jews were notorious for taking oaths that didn’t really mean anything), but I think we can make a general principle of saying what we mean and meaning what we say. We are constantly put into situations where we make commitments to do something or other. Maybe you work in a gas station or grocery store and you’ve agreed to set … Keep reading!
If you’ve been looking at the sidebar, you should have noticed posts coming through from my blog about my journey to increase my level of fitness. It’s been an exciting endeavor despite my setbacks and old fashioned laziness. I mentioned in one of my posts over there that it’s taken me over 31 years to get to the level of fitness (or unfitness) that I’m at now, so I shouldn’t expect my situation to be reversed overnight. Losing weight, eliminating body fat, increasing muscle, exercising, and eating right all take time and discipline. The same can be said of our spiritual life. We are told to build our faith “precept upon precept, line upon line” (Is 28:10). Think back to when you first became a Christian and compare your knowledge of and love for God to now. Did you just blush a little at how naive you seemed in comparison? I look … Keep reading!
Title: Average Joe: God’s Extraordinary Calling to Ordinary Men Author: Troy Meeder Publisher: Multnomah Books; Original edition 4/5/11 Pages: 192 Language: English Summary: As a man, have you ever looked at your life and wondered, “What is happening to my life?” Have your dreams and aspirations been unatainable? Are you disappointed by the reality that your life is, well, average? You’re not alone in thinking this way. But have you ever considered that pretty much everyone else around you is average, too? And that’s not such a bad thing. Average guys are the ones who make the world go round, and if your life is “simply average,” you’re in good company. Review: I read this book in basically two sittings, and one of the key points I took away from it is that there’s nothing wrong with being the average guy. Like other men, I dreamed of doing things like … Keep reading!
I’ve had a book on my shelf for several years that I haven’t looked into that much, but it’s a resource I will be perusing as I work on my posts regarding manhood (Biblical manhood, that is). It is called Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes. I was reading some of the introduction Monday evening and Hughes gave several examples of men we would likely consider to be geniuses, men like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Hemmingway, Mike Singletary, and Winston Churchill. While these and others were born with natural gifts in certain areas, what makes them stand out is the discipline they forced on themselves which allowed them to become great. One of the Fruits of the Spirit is self-control. I’m pointing the finger at myself just as much as at anyone else when I say it is sad to see Christians struggling with things like obesity, lying, cheating, pornography, … Keep reading!