Saturday, February 25, 2012

What One Thing Are You Entitled To?

We live in an entitlement culture, and our marriages and kids are dying from it. The entitlement attitude of "I deserve something for free" is pulling us down as a people and as men leading our families.

Tim Challies is spot on:


As a Christian, I believe in one entitlement.

I’m entitled to Hell. That’s the only entitlement I have. That’s all I deserve, because of my sin. Anything else is grace, an unmerited bonus from the God of all grace. I don’t deserve a breath of life, a crumb of food, a drop of water, a stitch of clothing, a cent in my wallet, or an hour of education. I’m not entitled to one friend, one vacation, one verse of Scripture, or even one sermon. I’m certainly not entitled to salvation and heaven. I’m entitled to damnation and Hell.

That sense of entitlement makes me seek mercy, receive mercy, enjoy mercy, and be merciful to others. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, “What have I that I did not receive as a free gift of divine grace? How therefore can I ever boast as if I had actually been entitled to it or earned it?”

So, there are basically only two ways to live: with a proud and angry sense of entitlement or with a humble and thankful sense of responsibility.

Read the whole article.  This is great conversation fodder for your family.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Han Solo Shot First!

Men, I encourage you to consider this commentary from Bill Whittle, and think about how we're training our sons.  Remember that TV, movies, and videogames have a tremendous influence on worldview.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Do You Fall Into This Gap Trap?

Let's face it, men, we're confronted with gaps all the time between what is and what we'd prefer:

Physical attributes
Gifts and Talents
Respect and Praise we receive

As you scanned down that list I'm sure examples came to mind.

These gaps between what is and what we'd prefer (even if our preferences would be bad for us or our loved ones!) create tension.  Emotions, especially anger, flood into these gaps.  These gaps fuel both pride and discouragement.

Here's my challenge to you: consider whether it is God who points out the gaps as a means of drawing you further to Himself and living to glorify Him by serving others, or your own selfishness and self-centeredness that makes the gaps feel so big.  [This may be an excellent issue to discuss with your mentors and men who know you well.]

Both sources of "gap" identification happen to men all the time.  But selfishness and self-promotion steer us into gap-trap, which makes us ineffective childish fools.  Godly gaps are bridged and traversed in the power of the Holy Spirit, and we become more manly.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Prepping for Easter

Easter is April 8 this year, men.   That's about nine weeks away.

What are you doing in February and March to prepare your family for this holy celebration?

Need some ideas?  Check out this 2011 guide for ideas: Suggested resource

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are You Being "With" ?

This was the devotion I led at our recent church business meeting. -- Glenn

This ministry is always about people, and always about Jesus, and is larger than any one of us.

‘With’ is an important word, a powerful concept. I’d like you to listen for ‘with’ in these Bible passages:

"Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons." (Mark 3:13-15)

So Jesus chose men to be with him and be his disciples. That “being with Jesus” time had a powerful influence on them:

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

The elders have spent some time in the recent months thinking and praying about developing leaders in our congregation – not just for our own boards and teams, but leaders who can influence the world.

We can do leadership development and training the cheap way or the expensive way. The cheap way is to spend about $60,000 and send a bunch of people off to cool-sounding week-long training classes and have 'em come back with certificates. The expensive way is to man up (and lady up) and pour your life into someone by being with them.

Let’s consider some opportunities:

Enormous challenges for teenagers -- they need men and women who will be withthem. They need good families. That's why we invest in youth staff and want to be there for parents.

We need to be with our spouse. We need to be with one another as
believers-- this is why we stress small groups!

Thousands of people who live in the neighborhood we live in are desperately lonely. These people need someone to be withthem.

There are over a billion souls in unreached people groups who have not yet heard about the God who wants to be with them. That's why we're emphasizing cross-cultural missions and sending people from our fellowship.

And when we grow weary, we will remember that we will be with the
Lord. He is faithful on his part: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

We are told that we will be with Jesus at the end of earth as we know it:

"They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17:14)

[You can tell the whole arc of the Bible story around the word ‘with’: God created Adam and Eve and was with them. Sin broke that fellowship. God worked out His plan to restore relationship so that through Jesus Christ we can be with Him again.]

Sounds great, doesn't it? Let's be real with one another as brothers and sisters in Christ: it's harder to be with specific, real, imperfect individuals than to talk about it. Much harder. Many times, it is beyond our capacity and our capability. The little committee members in our heads say, “Ok, but let’s go be with somebody besides this guy.”

The open secret is that the power to be with people is our abiding

connection with Jesus: "4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch

cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can

you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches.

Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for

apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he

is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are

gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and

my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for

you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so

prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I

loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will

abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and

abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy

may be in you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:4-11)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

3D Printing

Something our children will take for granted: 3D printing to create objects.  Remarkable.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mentoring a Younger Christian

Outstanding article: "How to Influence a Younger Christian" 

Print this off, pray over it.  Who is in your sphere of influence?  Encourage them to watch you!