Sunday, February 27, 2011

Football Trick Shots

Change of pace -- I'm not a football fanatic or anything, but these trick shots are fun!

Friday, February 25, 2011

“By the grace of God I am what I am”

From John Newton:

I am not what I ought to be.
Ah! how imperfect and deficient.

Not what I might be,
considering my privileges and opportunities.

Not what I wish to be.
God, who knows my heart, knows I wish to be like him.

I am not what I hope to be;
ere long to drop this clay tabernacle, to be like him and see him as He is.

Not what I once was,
a child of sin, and slave of the devil.

Thought not all these,

not what I ought to be,
not what I might be,
not what I wish or hope to be, and
not what once was,

I think I can truly say with the apostle,

“By the grace of God I am what I am.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fortitude With Our Faith

Two powerful phrases in Daniel have stuck out to me recently:

“But Daniel resolved…” (Daniel 1:8)
“But even if He does not [deliver us]…” (Daniel 3:18)

We learn from Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to exhibit fortitude with our faith in God. We’re to speak of this even to not-yet believers!

As leaders we’re called-upon to model this fortitude and faith to others, and foster it amongst those in our sphere of influence. (“Example isn’t the main way to influence others, it’s the only way.”) This is particularly true for our boys and young men. “The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.” (Prov. 20:29)

We need to model this as Jesus did – toughness and tenderness, boldness and gentleness. Strength, assurance, confidence – all under self-control.

The best avenue to living with this kind of fortitude and faith is to enlarge our view of what God is doing, both now and in the future. Small men choose to focus on goofy, little stuff – we’re not called to be small men, but great and godly men. As the hymn says,

“Rise up, O Men of God! Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and hands and voice to serve the King of Kings!”

Worth memorizing:

“But Daniel resolved…” (Daniel 1:8)
“But even if He does not [deliver us]…” (Daniel 3:18)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why Don't They Watch TV on TV?

Typical American families have televisions turned on many hours each day (there are various numbers). Here's a question to ponder:

Why do you seldom see the people in television programs sitting around watching TV?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Teach Your Boys to Shovel the Driveway

Tim Challies had a good dad that we need to emulate:

"I remember being a rebellious, listless teenager. I remember how little I wanted to do much of anything for anyone else. I remember our elderly next-door neighbor had a heart attack and was unable to do any strenuous labor. We had a good snowfall one day and I was enjoying the day in the refuge of my basement bedroom, lying across my bed reading a book and listening to some music. My father came down and told me in no uncertain terms that I was to go upstairs, get my winter gear on and get outside to shovel the neighbor’s driveway. He gave me a figurative (and perhaps literal—my memory is a little hazy) kick in the rear-end and sent me on my way. I went outside and there was my neighbor’s wife, shoveling the drive. I pitched in and soon had it cleared. The lesson has stuck.

"Dad had high expectations of me, but reasonable, biblical ones. He wanted me to be active and proactive in service to others; he wanted me to be looking for opportunities to serve and for opportunities to serve as a man serves; he wanted me to use my growing (and now diminishing) strength to serve other people.

"I have a boy of my own now and I can see that some of what was in me is in him. He is a good kid, a kind soul. Yet he is sometimes as reluctant to serve as I was when I was young. I am seeking to teach him that he is to use his strength, his ability to serve others and especially to serve those who are weaker or less able than he is. It will not be long before my son is stronger than my wife. Already when they goof around together I can see that she does not have a whole lot on him. What becomes of a mom when she has children who are bigger than she is, stronger than she is, and yet with so little maturity, so little restraint? What happens when there is no one to mentor the boy, to teach him that his strength must be used to serve others?

"This is a lesson a father needs to pass to his son. It’s a lesson that no one has taught to so many of the boys who live around me. A little while ago I saw a mother struggling with a load of groceries while her boys pushed past one another and past her to get into the house. I stopped them and told them to get back to the car to help their mother. They looked at me blankly and walked into their house, mumbling an excuse. Mom struggled down the walkway she had shoveled with the groceries she was forced to carry. Dad is long gone. There is no one to give these boys the good, swift kick to the posterior that would get them acting like men."

What are you doing to teach your boys (and helping to teach all boys in your sphere of influence) to shovel the driveway, mow the yard, carry groceries, do the heavy lifting, etc?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Needs, Her Needs

This one is for you married guys...or guys who want to be married someday.

Lot of wisdom in this article: "Mine are Needs! Yours are Nice-to-haves!"

Print it off, read it twice, mark it up.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Intentional Parenting

I highly recommend this book from Cruciform Press: Intentional Parenting. Terrific for dads. Inexpensive, and you can get it in multiple formats.

From the description:

"There are literally thousands of books available on how to live various aspects of the Christian life. Of these, at least a couple of dozen pertaining to family life and child training are well worth reading.

This is not one of those books.

This book is designed to help you take those other books, as well as all the sermons, teachings, and exhortations you have received on child training and leadership in the home, and make sense of it all.

Pastor Tad Thompson has assembled a biblical approach to effective family discipleship. Let him share it with you in this clear, encouraging, accessible book.

This is not another book of tactics and techniques. It is a book of strategy for parents who want to be intentional about discipleship in the home."

Interested? Get the Table of Contents and an excerpt free here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Learning from a Dog Named Life

Even non-dog lovers will appreciate this story of Zoe, "A Dog Named Life."

Dads, there are good reminders for us in this story of redemption.

For Math and Biology Wonks

Let us celebrate and praise the sheer elegance of God's creation, right down to the mathematics of DNA!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Privacy in Plain Sight

The people who have the most to fear by sharing information online are not disciples of Jesus. Christians can live exactly the kind of life that can tolerate public scrutiny better than any other. Let's look at why:
  • Your yes is yes, and your no is no. (Matthew 5:37)
  • You speak the truth, and speak it in love. (Ephesians 4:15)
  • You build others up, not tear them down. (Ephesians 4:29)
  • You guard that which is precious about people, because they are made in the image of God.
  • You don't give in to temptations.
  • Your motives are pure, and rooted in love, even if you are sometimes misunderstood.
  • Your words and actions glorify God.
  • Your suffering (and we all do/will suffer) is under the loving hands of our Sovereign God.
  • You are as shrewd as a snake and as innocent as a dove (Matthew 10:16)
Yes, I know you don't live up to these standards -- and neither do I. But this is what Christ-in-us looks like.

Live, speak, and write for the King -- and you need not fear public scrutiny.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Three Step Mentoring

We desperately need to mentor those coming along beside and behind us! I'm saying that selfishly, guys -- you and I need to mentor others, because it's the key to our own continued growth and learning. And it's God's design for training and developing others.

As I encourage men to mentor others, I find that often people get hung because they make it complicated and formal. To get you past this, I recommend this approach from Mac Lake:

Three Easy Steps for Mentoring

EXPLORE – The first thing you want to do is get your mentee to THINK about a specific leadership skill or principle. You can do this by giving them something to read, watch, research or listen to. Give them some time to explore and think about the material you’ve given them.
EXPERIENCE – Next you want the mentee to TRY it. Just reading about a leadership principle doesn’t mean you really get it. We learn best by putting something into practice. So take one of the leadership principles they learned from their reading or listening (Explore) and give them a challenging assignment that will give them the opportunity to put that prnciple into practice.
EVALUATE – Finally you want the mentee to TALK about their experience. Once they have tried the new skill they need the opportunity to discuss how it felt, how it went, what they learned. Ask them questions like: What did you do well? What would you do differently? What kind of response did you get from others? What did you learn from the experience?

This process is so powerful because it’s more than dispensing information, it actually produces transformation.



Try it!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Butchering English

Words do have meaning, and are important. I often feel great empathy for my friends from other countries who struggle to understand our English. This guy points out that we really need to laugh at our inconsistencies!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ending Self-Inflicted Castration

Long ago a man told me that my mission would be to "speak into the chests of other men and stir their hearts."

That's what Orrin Woodward does in this talk. An excerpt:

"So many men, checked out of their marriages, checked out on their children, complete the dismal triple crown by checking out of leadership. You cannot be a bum in one area of your life, while being a star in another. Either, leadership will grow all areas, or lack of leadership, will stunt them. Men must lead their homes, learning the principles of leadership necessary to serve within society. Because of our warped understanding of leadership, many assume leadership means dictatorship, but nothing could be further from the truth. Leadership is based upon servanthood, a willingness to serve others, while holding the bar high on themselves and the community. When a man gets the leadership right in his home, he can then step forward to lead in his community, having the confidence engendered by a stable home. In order to have men to lead in the homes and society, we must raise up a group of leaders, who accept responsibility. Males must stop hiding from Goliath, instead, stepping forward to conquer Goliath, moving on to their God given destiny. We have plenty of males, but not enough true men. As C. S. Lewis wrote in his classic chapter in Abolition of Man, called Men Without Chest, “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

A vital part in the resurgence of North America, is the restoration of American manhood, ending the self-inflicted castration of the male. True servant leadership, based upon character, courage, and convictions, are still alive in a remnant of men. This remnant has hibernated long enough. The year 2011, is a call to arms for that remnant. We can no longer remain inactive. We can no longer allow our wives and children to be damaged by our lack of leadership. We can no longer pass the buck. It’s time to step to the plate. This is the year, the year that millions of males became men."

Read the whole thing. Let is stir your heart!