When living in Europe, I was on a business trip kilometers away from Karyn, my wife. Several of us went to a restaurant to have a meal. Over time, the group dwindled down to me, a female colleague and two other men. One of the men was dropping hints on the female saying that he wanted to see if her hotel room was bigger than his, to see her dog that she had back in her room, and other "seemingly" innocuous things.
I excused myself for a moment and as I stepped out of the bathroom to head back to the table, the woman was standing there at the door. She told me, "I don't know if you've noticed but "George" is hitting on me. I am really uncomfortable with him doing that. Could you make sure that I am not alone with him?"
She and I had become fairly good friends, we both had similar supervisory positions in the same company and I was kind of mentoring her since she was new to the position. I said to her, "what would you like me to do?" She responded, "when we back to the hotel (we were all staying at the same hotel), could you walk me to my room? That will discourage George and he will get the message I don't want him in my room."
I had no reason to believe that she had designs for me, but being a male with a big ego, I was taken aback for a moment. I had to make a decision. Which is more important at this moment? To respect and honor my female friend's request and risk people thinking I went to her room or choose to not be alone with her and avoid even the appearance of evil?
Do I choose to walk her to her hotel room and risk rumor or do I not so as to avoid any gossip? Do I choose to honor her or protect my reputation? It should be noted that she apparently did not have designs for me, she was wanting me to help send a message to a man who was engaging in sexual innuendo.
So, why the tire? Let me use this tire to illustrate the decision-making model.* Imagine at the center is my desire to please God in all that I do. That is the axle of this model. Now, imagine this tire divided into three parts. Each part representing the three goals of Ironstrikes. All of these goals are admirable and God-honoring. However, I was now faced with my personal integrity or honoring a woman , a choice between two good, yet seemingly conflicting goals.
This tire, separated into three parts, the three goals, is constantly on the move. For the tire to sit still and lay flat on one goal results in an out of balance tire. It will become flat if it doesn't rotate. At times, one goal is hitting the ground, at other times, another goal is in play. So, in following this illustration, no goal has precedence over the other. In making this decision, I had to keep those three goals in mind with full consideration of the axle, pleasing God, as the central basis. Pleasing God is what these goals revolve around.
I told my female friend that I would be glad to walk her back to her hotel room. As we went back to the table to conclude the conversation, I was praying about my decision and asking God for His wisdom. "Lord, did I make the right decision? Is honoring my friend's request more important at this moment than protecting my reputation?" The answer came pretty clearly.
Now, lest you think I'm crazy, no, I didn't hear God's audible voice. I felt a calm, a real peace at this decision and then in my head, God spoke thru my thoughts, in my own voice I heard, "You do what is right and I will protect your reputation."
We dismissed ourselves and I walked her back to her room. It was about a 15-minute walk. We got to the hallway that led to her room and she thanked me and went to her room. I then went to my room and called Karyn letting her know what happened so if she heard any rumors, she would know the truth.
So what do you think? Did I make the right decision? You may be thinking, "Dale sure made a big deal out of nothing." Maybe I did, maybe not. However, I learned how little things can become big things. I'm hoping that my example encourages you to be sensitive to God's leading in your life.
* I am indebted to my parents who devised this decision-making model. I have altered it here to fit this illustration.
BE A MAN.
We were visiting Amsterdam, exploring shops and the canals. At one shop on the canal there were the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen. It was a wonderful day. Everything was perfect. We were walking hand-in-hand enjoying Amsterdam. Kinda like two kids at a zoo. Excitement. Fun. Happiness.
The next thing I know, Karyn says, "don't look right." So, I put my right hand up to block my view. Then she said, "don't look left." So, I put up my left hand to block my view. So, now, I am walking down this street on this beautiful day looking like a horse with blinders. I said, "what's going on?" Karyn said, "we've stumbled into the Red Light District." I dropped my hands and looked around and yep, she was right. There were some windows with scantily clad women beckoning us to come in. We promptly turned around and left that street.
You ask, "how in the world didn't you know that you were entering the most famous Red Light District in the world?" Well, it was still bright out, even though we didn't realize the sun was starting to descend. If it had been dark, we would have seen the red lights warning us that we had wandered into "adult" territory.
So, what does this story tell us about temptation?
Well, I was certainly glad that I had my wife with me. She saw things up ahead that I hadn't noticed. She loves me and wants to protect our marriage. So, if you are doing something new, something you have never done before, it would be good to not be alone. Because you never know what is on that street.
The person you take with you needs to be committed to holiness and purity. S/he needs to be able to stop you when you start to go somewhere you shouldn't be going. Because you never know what is on that street.
Temptation sneaks up on you when you least suspect. We were having a great time. Exploring Amsterdam, enjoying the sunshine and building memories. Then, boom! There it is. Right in front of you. Sometimes, we are lulled into complacency or feeling really good and then we are blindsided. Temptation can come from anywhere. You know why?
Because you never know what is on that street.
BE A MAN.
A Florida Atlantic University student said he was punished after he refused a professor’s directive to stomp on a piece of paper with the word “Jesus” written on it. The university, meanwhile, is defending the assignment as a lesson in debate.
“I’m not going to be sitting in a class having my religious rights desecrated,” student Ryan Rotela told television station WPEC. “I truly see this as I’m being punished.”
Rotela, who is a devout Mormon, said the instructor in his Intercultural Communications class told the students to write the name “Jesus” on a sheet of paper. Then, they were told to put the paper on the floor.
“He had us all stand up and he said ‘Stomp on it,’” Rotela said. “I picked up the paper from the floor and put it right back on the table.
The young college student told the instructor, Deandre Poole, that the assignment was insulting and offensive.
“I said to the professor, ‘With all due respect to your authority as a professor, I do not believe what you told us to do was appropriate,’” Rotela said. ‘I believe it was unprofessional and I was deeply offended by what you told me to do.’”
Rotela took his concerns to Poole’s supervisor – where he was promptly suspended from the class.
Poole did not return calls seeking comment.
According to his university profile, he has a PhD from Howard University and is authoring a book titled, “Obamamania: The Rise of a Mythical Hero.”
A university spokesperson told they could not comment about Rotela’s case due to student privacy laws.
However, the university is defending the instructor’s assignment to stomp on the name of Jesus.
“As with any academic lesson, the exercise was meant to encourage students to view issues from many perspectives, in direct relation with the course objectives,” said Noemi Marin, the university’s director of the school of communication and multimedia studies.
“While at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate,” Marin added.
The lesson on bashing the name of Christ is included in a textbook titled, “Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.”
Fox News obtained a synopsis of the lesson that got Rotela in trouble.
“Have the students write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper,” the lesson reads. “Ask the students to stand up and put the paper on the floor in front of them with the name facing up. Ask the students to think about it for a moment. After a brief period of silence instruct them to step on the paper. Most will hesitate. Ask why they can’t step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture.”
Paul Kengor, the executive director of the Center for Vision and Values at Grove City College, told Fox News he’s not surprised by the classroom lesson.
“These are the new secular disciples of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ – empty buzzwords that make liberals and progressives feel good while they often refuse to tolerate and sometimes even assault traditional Christian and conservative beliefs,” Kengor said.
Kengor said classes like the one at Florida Atlantic University demonstrate the contempt many public institutions hold for people of faith.
“It also reflects the rising confidence and aggression of the new secularists and atheists, especially at our sick and surreal modern universities,” he said.
The university did not explain why students were only instructed to write the name of Jesus – and not the name of Mohammed or another religious figure.
“Gee, I wonder if the instructor would dare do this with the name of Mohammed,” Kengor wondered.
Rotela said the idea of stomping on the name of Jesus was beyond his comprehension.
“Any time you stomp on something it shows you believe that it has no value,” he told the television station. “If you were to stomp on the word Jesus – it says the word has no value.”This post was written by Todd Starnes. For the original article, go to: http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/professor-makes-students-stomp-on-jesus.htmlIt appears that the school has since issued an apology. For the apology, go to: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/27/17485007-florida-school-apologizes-after-students-stomp-on-jesus?lite
The story continues: http://www.classicalarminian.com/2013/04/stomping-on-jesus-and-hasty-conclusions.html
A common problem that men have is how to handle it when a coworker has pornography at work. This is a very touchy issue.
What do you do when men are gathered around on the work site looking at pictures of naked women?
If a guy doesn't participate, he is "hen-pecked" or "gay" or.... The name calling starts and the accusations fly if a guy isn't "one of the guys." He's not a "team player." What's a man to do in these situations? After all, he has a reputation to protect.
Reputation is the key word in this story. Reputation is the answer. Jesus took His reputation and laid it all on the line for us so that we could have strength in times like this. Jesus could have been satisfied to leave things the way they were and stayed in heaven. However, He put aside His reputation, His Deity, to become like us. He risked, knowing that His Father would take care of His reputation.
Like yesterday's post, honesty is needed. Asking God for strength to be vulnerable and transparent is how you handle porn at work. Have the gumption to step up and tell your coworkers why looking at porn is not healthy. Let them know that there is much more to a woman than just what she does to make a man feel sexual.
You know what will happen if you take this step? Like Jesus, you may be crucified. I don't mean that these guys will string you up and kill you but they will belittle you. They will tell you that you are not a real man. They will tease you because they want you to participate in their sinfulness.
You know what else will happen? There will always be at least one guy who agrees with you. He may not publicly, but he will at least come to you privately or at least not join in when the teasing starts.
If you stick to your integrity and respect women, you will make a statement. You will only have to say it once. Your statement will have an impact. If you never participate with them in objectifying women from that point on, God's Holy Spirit will work on these men. They will watch you. So, if you have integrity in everything you do at work, they will see it and they will change.
Your reputation? Don't worry about it. God will protect your reputation if you are doing what He wants. A real man respects and honors women. A real man stands up for what is right, even if it means standing alone.
BE A MAN.
What do you do when you are placed in a situation where you feel trapped?
I knew a guy who, like many men, had a desire to look at scantily clad, attractive women. He used to be an avid fan of Playboy magazine but as he grew in his personal relationship with Christ, he came to respect women more and was able to not spend his time obsessing about women as sex objects.
He had a good childhood friend that lived cross-country and his friend invited him to spend a week with him. His friend had a small one-bedroom apartment with a very small spare room where his friend kept his book collection. This man was to sleep in this small spare room during his visit. As he was laying there, on the couch in this small room, he started to observe the books and magazines that were in this collection. Some books were classics, some contemporary spy thrillers, and some books about military history.
Next, his eyes glanced at the magazine collection. What he didn't know about his friend is that his friend collected Playboy magazines. He had almost every issue over the previous 10 years. They were catalogued and displayed quite prominently. As he lay there trying to sleep, his mind kept wandering back to the Playboy collection that was within his reach. His mind thought back to the images that were in his mind from his previous experience with Playboy. His heart was pounding in his ears and his mind said, "it's OK to look at them. You won't be here but just a few nights. It's not like they belong to you."
What would you do? Your character determines how you will handle this situation. Your true character shows when no one is looking.
How do you handle this? God promises a way of escape. What is the answer?
Honesty. God's strength to be vulnerable and transparent.
Fortunately, this man did the right thing. He woke his friend up and they had a conversation about Playboy. Even though his friend didn't think it was a big deal to look at Playboy, his friend took the magazines out of the room and put them in his own bedroom.
This man kept his integrity. He stayed away from sinful behavior.
Is his friend still collecting Playboy magazines? I dunno.
But his friend now knows that not all men think that looking at porn is acceptable. Maybe nobody ever told him that before...
BE A MAN.
This is a landmark day. This is the day that the first pope to resign in over 600 years occurs. He officially resigns tonite (Vatican time). By my standards, the Pope is a young man. He is only 85-years-old. The Pope has decided he wants to live the rest of his life only reading and praying. He is quoted as saying, "...I can continue to serve it (the church) with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and to my strength." I'm glad that the Pope has defined what is suitable for someone his age. However, my dad must not have heard that idea of what is "suitable" for his age.
Today, my Father turns the young age of 89. Actually, he turns 89 tomorrow. No, it's today. Truth be told, my Dad doesn't have a birthday this year as he was born in a leap year. He has only had 22 birthdays. And he acts like it. If you look at the picture above, you will see a screen shot from a conversation that I was having with him during "face time" on his iPad. That's right. You read that correctly. He's 89 and he's using "face time." In fact, he and my mom taught me how to use "face time." I was a little computer phobic when it came to this form of communication. However, I have found that our conversations go better (even though the internet can be wonky at times) because he can read my lips. I just wish "face time" had a typed chat feature so that I could type in some words that are unclear because I have a tendency to speak quickly.
Why is he a young 89-year-young? He regularly does puzzles, reads the newspaper daily, keeps up on his investments, tracks how well his invention is doing, follows his sports teams, checks out information on the internet, as well as praying and reading God's Word. In fact, he told me, "I've always enjoyed working but now that I'm retired, I work harder than I ever have and I'm enjoying it more because I'm doing more of what I want to do." He plants and tends his garden, harvests pecans, goes fishing when he wants and finally bought mom a wedding ring after 65+ years of marriage (he is so romantic...).
He's also written a memoir of his life as a pastor. Here's the first entry:
As a student pastor in a country church we had a number of young couples as a part of the congregation, many of them had no church relationship in the past. The young men requested from the church board the privilege of repainting the church sanctuary. So in the evenings and on Saturday, we had painting times. I was working with one of the young men painting in the platform area. He mentioned that he would paint in the area around the bull pit. When I asked him what he was talking about, he pointed to the pulpit and said, "that is what you call it, isn't it?" In thinking about it afterwards, I thought perhaps he wasn't too far off, at least in his own mind. Though he made the statement in ignorance, it is a reminder that the pastor needs to take his responsibility seriously when he is proclaiming the Word from the pulpit. He needs to make sure that it is the Word of God and not just bull from the pit.
What I like about my Dad's lessons is that he can make common, ordinary circumstances into an insight about God, The Bible and/or Holiness. So, at 89-years-young, he's still going strong and not acting suitably. I hope he never does act his age.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
I love you.
BE A MAN.
There is an important principle in handling temptation. Did you know that many times, you can resist temptation? God tells us to submit to Him and then when we resist temptation, it will flee.
Resistance can be a matter of remembering this acronym:
H - are you HUNGRY? If your stomach is rumbling, if you feel weak from not having eaten for a while and you find yourself entertaining ungodly thoughts, go get something to eat. The renewed energy will give you strength to think clearer. If it's healthy food, you will feel even better than devouring a whole pizza.
A - are you ANGRY? Harboring anger makes you susceptible to temptation. I'm not saying anger is always bad. But dwelling on angry feelings and not letting go of things puts you in a precarious position where its easier to say yes to temptation.
L - are you LONELY? Being lonely causes a man to do stupid things. If you find yourself doing things you need not do because you're chasing away loneliness, then find a good male friend and spend some time together praying for each other. In this modern society, you will have a number of friends immediately available by Facebook, cell phone, texting, and/or email .
T - are you TIRED? When you're tired, your resistance to temptation is greatly weakened. If you find yourself tempted to do something sinful, just go to bed. Get some sleep.
S - are you SICK? Take some medication to improve your symptoms. It will increase your resistance to the bug of temptation.
S - are you SAD? Find a good male friend and spend some time praying for each other. Remember that the joy of the LORD is your strength.
This is the principle to handling temptation: submit to God and remember HALTSS
You can't use the excuse, "I just couldn't help myself, after all I'm only human." God gave you a brain, you're not stupid. You're not an animal that just reacts. You can HALTSS temptation...
BE A MAN.
This posted was adapted from an article in the Grapevine in 1971
There is an important principle in handling temptation. Did you know that many times, you can anticipate temptation?
Look at the picture of this mountain path and I will try and describe this principle to you. Imagine yourself at the bottom of this mountain and you want to reach the top. The path circles around the mountain, rather circuitously and over time, you get to where you know this mountain fairly well. You know that when you get to the east side of the mountain, the drop is shear and the side is craggy and the path is treacherous. Fortunately, for you, the path has rails (like in the picture) that help you stay steady. On the north face of the mountain, the wind is very brisk, you almost feel like you will be blown off the path. On the west side, the path is lush and covered with trees that shield you from the rain and sun. On the south side, it is stark and barren and the sun or the rain beats down upon you miserably.
You know pretty much what's coming ahead because you have been there before. So you continue on your journey in anticipation. You know that you need support when you come to the slippery east side. You know that you need to grab trees and use your walking cane on the windy north side. You know that you can take it easy and enjoy yourself on the west side. You know that you need to apply protection to prevent sunburn on the south side.
Usually, as you traverse up a mountain, it takes less time to go around it because it is usually smaller the further up you go. Just like temptation, the more you prepare for it and the more times you say no to temptation, the easier the path.
Do you have the picture? Do you get what I am saying?
Think of this path as your life. You can pretty much predict what will happen if you go certain places. If you have to go someplace treacherous, get some support. Take someone with you, be accountable when you go there. If you find yourself in a place that can blow you off your feet, look for trees and walking canes that you can grab onto. If you are in the heat and need to apply SONSCREEN, ask God for His protection.
This is the principle to handling temptation: Anticipate, think, plan, pray. Use your brain. Trust the Holy Spirit's guidance.
You can't use the excuse, "I just couldn't help myself, after all I'm only human."
God gave you a brain, you're not stupid.
You're not an animal that just reacts. You can think and plan ahead...
BE A MAN.
My thanks to Tom Eisenman for this concept.
I’m pro-marriage. I always have been, always will be and I’ll make no apologies for it. As a matter of fact, most of you should be apologizing to me. Yeah, I said it. Whether you're one with a successful marriage who's remained silent on its myriad virtues, or merely a single, lonely critic... America, you've got some 'splaining to do.
Sadly, marriage has become a punchline in today’s society. From referring to the wife as “the old ball and chain” to nearly every poorly written sitcom that we watch, the message we’re sending to today’s generation is clear… Marriage = no fun.
Men on TV constantly joke about how wives are incredibly expensive, demanding and overall vacuums of all things fun. By that same token, the women complain about their fat, lazy, insensitive husbands as they swoon over their trimmed, manicured and chest-waxed Hollywood counterparts.
Ever see a commercial with a wife and husband shopping together? Yeah, we always play the idiot.
I know plenty of people my age that will never get married because they genuinely believe the false cultural meme that marriage has sadly become. There’s only one problem. It’s completely untrue.
Even more of a problem, those who know it to be untrue often do nothing to correct the lie.
As someone who comes from a family of lifers (along with my wife), I just want to say, flat out…
… Marriage is a really good deal.
Let’s assume for a second that you don’t think of humans as inherently spiritual beings. So let’s remove the fact that married people claim to be happier, more fulfilled, complete and purposeful. Some of you are even thinking,
“Love? Who needs love!”
Okay. Here are a few purely statistical reasons as to why marriage (when done correctly) is conducive to an undeniably better life. Hold onto your butts.
1. You’ll be richer – Yes. Not only do married couples make more, save more, have a higher net worth and qualify for more benefits/financial incentives than lonely, single folk… but your kids will be richer too. Which brings me to my next point
2. Would somebody please think of the children!! – The single biggest indicator of child poverty is whether both original parents are still together. Not only that, but children in married households get better grades, are less disruptive in class and less likely to develop behavioral disorders than children from non-married households. So be married long and prosper. Your kids will too.
3. You’ll have more sex… A LOT MORE SEX – Okay so you may not want kids. You may despise them. I get it. Sticky hands. Let’s say you’re just another selfish, narcissistic bachelor (or bachelorette) who quite frankly, isn’t deserving of the unconditional love you may oh-so-luckily find. You just want the sex. Statistically, not only do married people have more sex, they have better, more satisfying sex. If the two of you should hold off on sex until marriage, those statistics become even more promising. Here’s a perfect example of where Hollywood gets it wrong. In the real world, while Alfie fruitlessly toiled away at picking up harlots from the bar, suffering a mean case of whiskey-wiener, Mr. Cleaver was getting busy on the regular. Them’s the real breaks.
4. You won’t be such a pathetic sloth – Married people are more productive. Married men in particular, have higher employment rates, work longer hours and receive better wages. It’s time to stop wading through puddles of your own filth as you reach for the hotpockets and have a dame whip you into shape. You’re welcome.
5. Don’t die sick, miserable and alone. This would seem to be self-explanatory. Sadly, it’s not. Young people think that being young and single is the “fun and free” time of your life, while marriage is something that can wait for the days when you’re ready to grow fat, boring and settle down. Married people not only live longer lives, they live healthier lives. There are too many factors at play here to even list. From married people statistically maintaining healthier weights, being more active and having lower mortality rates, to married women incurring less severe illnesses, enjoying better cancer survival rates and of course… lower rates of domestic abuse (as opposed to those merely cohabitating). Yes ladies, it’s true, living with an uncommitted, self-absorbed jackass can be hazardous to your health.
All of this to basically say that people need to start being more honest and vocal about the virtues of marriage. Americans need to stop feeding and buying into the lie that we’ve all been fed. Whether you’re young old, male, female, marriage (when done correctly) will make your life, and this country better off. The facts are undeniable. If the facts aren’t enough, maybe this’ll help…
Picture coming home every night to your best friend, your greatest fan, and your number one supporter. She (or he) makes each good day better, and each bad day good again. Every day, you get to live what is essentially a 24/7 sleepover party with the greatest friend you’ve ever had.
… Now add sex and sandwiches.
Get married, like, now.
This post was written by Steve Crowder. For the original post, go to: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/26/man-top-5-reasons-to-grow-up-and-get-married/
BE A MAN.
When I saw this photo of the It'll Do Motel, it reminded me of porn. This may be a fine hotel but it looks like those seedy hotels where porn ends up taking a man.
There was a man who was a Sunday School teacher and on his church board who struggled with porn. He would drive out of town, buy porn and then take it back to his garage where he would fantasize and masturbate. Then, in a fit of guilt, he would burn the porn in a "holy ritual" to get rid of porn's effects. He felt that he had his "addiction" under control because God revealed to him about how to perform this "holy ritual" so that he could still be a "man of God."
One nite, however, his "holy ritual" did not seem to remove his guilt. So, in his fervor, he drove around and ended up at a seedy establishment that promised sexual release. He went into this one room, by himself, where he was to stick a certain part of his anatomy into a hole in the curtain by the wall to be fellated. He imagined a young, beautiful woman on the other side and felt quite satisfied. However, as he was getting dressed, he saw a young man slipping out the side. He was struck with the thought, "what if that was the person and it really wasn't a young, beautiful woman?" The man felt totally devastated and decided that he needed to get professional help. He didn't realize that porn is insidious.
I would say that this man, once deciding to get professional help, did much better for quite a time.
Where did this man learn about porn? His story is consistent with most men's stories. Most men are introduced to porn by finding someone's stash.
He found his father's stash in the garage when he was young boy. It was "just car magazines" but he found himself attracted to the women who posed with these cars and was turned on by their provocative poses. As a young man, these magazines started a lifestyle of wasted time, energy and money, not to mention the toll on his spiritual life.
So, as a man, where are you? Are you looking at porn? Do you have a stash somewhere? Porn will win. It always does. It is stronger than a man's resolve.
I encourage you to get rid of that stash, find another man to be accountable to, talk to your pastor about your decision to get rid of porn. Then get into a men's group that talks about the tough things we men go thru and be open, transparent and accountable. Find a licensed Christian counselor and uncover your motivations so that you can, with God's help, kick porn to the curb.
Stop going to the It'll Do Motel and be a man of God. Go beyond It'll Do and be victorious. Don't squeak by, barely making it.
BE A MAN.