Being a middle-aged, white guy, I wonder what young mothers think when I try to interact with them and their children in public. So, I asked my niece what kind of things go through her mind in regard to this topic. Here is her response: "There isn't a whole lot that I expect men to help with when I'm out in public alone with the kids. One of those reasons is because I have played the scenario a few times in my head of what I would do to try to take after someone who takes one of my kids...while I run after him while carrying my other two.
I like it when men hold the door open for the kids and I to all get inside wherever we are going...especially if I have the stroller in tote.
If a man is a real "kid" person and I've never met you, it's okay to say hi and have a very short small talk conversation with my kids, but keep it short and simple and move on. It's different if you're an employee somewhere and I can leave the store with my kids and not worry about him following..again the fear of a kid getting taken.
As for me, I already try not to make eye contact with other men. Small talk is okay if we're sitting watching our kids play at the play area or park. Make sure to tell which kids are yours, and some interaction between them proving it helps, so I know you're not there just scoping out the scene.
If my kids are throwing a fit, it's okay to say something like, "uh oh" or "that doesn't sound like a nice voice" towards the kid with a bad attitude. My kids usually straighten up when they notice a stranger watching their bad attitude. And I appreciate the attitude leaving at that point. Again, be short and simple.
If my kid is walking/running away, look for me, the mom, and go by my gestures. If I'm calm, not saying anything, and have an eye on my kid, I feel in control and I'm testing them to see how far they'll go. If I'm calling for them and looking stressed, get their attention and try to coax them back to me without touching them...i.e. holding a hand/picking them up. I had a lady pick my son up when he was heading a different direction and it totally freaked him out... she was an employee at the mall so I assumed she wouldn't take off with him, but had it been anyone else, I would have been on high alert with adrenaline pumping.
Pretty much, if you want to interact, keep things short and simple. Holding doors open are great...and elevator doors especially so the kids don't get trapped on the elevator and me not on there yet, or vice versa. I don't take the kids on an outting alone unless I know I can handle the time of day and amount of walking, etc. that we'll be doing."I'm grateful for my niece's advice. In short, here are some things she taught me:- Be chivalrous. Open the door and hold the door (elevator door, too) for young mothers and their children.- Don't be alarmed when a child is not standing next to his/her mother. Watch the mother for cues and watch from a distance so that you can help if someone snatches the child.- Say mild comments (at the most) if the child is throwing a fit. Words from someone they don't know may help him/her control him/herself.- Keep things short and simple if you do interact. Don't try to monopolize the mother and/or her children.If you want to follow my niece, here is her youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/godrox
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I’m not going to use this phrase anymore: Love the sinner and hate the sin. In our current mission context, it has lost whatever insight and help it might once have offered. In fact, to use the phrase and try to guide ministry with it in mind may actually subvert the mission.
I don’t quarrel with either loving sinners or hating sin. God does both and so should all who love God. But trying to love the sinner, while keeping in mind a concern to make sure “we hate the sin,” whatever we understand that to mean, leads to failure in my judgment. There are reasons why I say this. Most of us find it hard to focus on more than one thing primarily. Actually, by definition it is not even possible. Whatever you focus on primarily requires you to focus less on everything else. Thus in this case we feel obliged to choose—either we focus on loving (the sinner) or hating (the sin). When you put it that way it seems fairly obvious that we ought to choose loving over hating. That is, we want to be like Jesus, which means that people would know us primarily because they catch us and feel us loving, not hating. This doesn’t mean we never hate anything; it just means we’re not primarily found hating.
But often we do or try to do exactly that which by definition is not really possible—to focus primarily on both loving (the sinner) and hating (the sin). And because it cannot be done, we do not succeed. We end up doing only one thing primarily. Sadly, for most of us and the people Jesus wants us to reach, we end up hating (the sin) primarily. We wouldn’t want anyone to think that we are soft on sin, or that in loving others we’re simply indulging them or their sin. So, as it seems, in the interest of assuring that we’re really getting love right and correct—often we call it “tough love”—it appears right to focus more or primarily or first on hating (the sin).
Yet, in fact, this is not right, or not as right as we think when we do this. And, it could be that in focusing primarily on hating (the sin) we not only fail actually to love (the sinner) but also miss the mark in properly hating (the sin). Let me say more.
I am convinced that we should simply follow Jesus and focus on loving period, loving all that Jesus loves in the way that Jesus loves. To illustrate, recall the famous case-study of the “woman taken/caught in adultery” (John 7:53-8:11). It serves as perhaps one of the most celebrated examples of the pure and radical love of Jesus for the sinner. Ironically (or maybe not), it is also cited by those who want to make sure that in loving the sinner we do not inadvertently go soft on sin, because Jesus commands the woman: “Go and sin no more!”
In this episode, Jesus is teaching in the Temple when he is interrupted by a squad of Scribes and Pharisees who thrust a woman into the midst of Teacher and students. They explain by saying that the woman had been caught in the very act of adultery. Now, will Jesus prove soft on sin and disobey the “clear teaching” of the scriptures? They fake an interest in knowing, though in fact they already know all they need to know. They know that Jesus is“soft” on sin. It is because they know this that they stage the dramatic “test” of Jesus’ holiness. In effect, “This is what God says Jesus—stone her! Now, what do you say?”
We like to jump to the end of the story quickly to note that Jesus tells the woman to go and sin no more, as evidence that Jesus did love (the sinner) and hate (the sin). Thus, we conclude: Jesus did both and so should we.
I am not disputing that Jesus did both. But I am insisting that still Jesus primarily loved (the sinners). His focus was first and foremost on love. Jesus was not soft on sin. He knew all about the sin in the crowd that day. Jesus knew about the set-up involved in apparently catching only the woman in the very act and not the man. Jesus knew about the hypocrisy and deceit in the crowd since no one among them that day “obeyed” this Mosaic command. Jesus knew about their motives in calling attention to this sin in order to justify other sins and eventually the ultimate sin of murdering God’s son. Jesus knew about all the wrong in all the lives of all the people there. Jesus always came “armed” with such intel on everyone around him, for he knew what was in the human heart (and what was not). And, in this episode, Jesus was utterly confident that there was no one there among the accusers without sin. He knew that if he consented to obey the Mosaic command on condition that the first stone came from the sinless one the woman would not end her life condemned but loved all the way to a new life. Jesus knew that by loving her—and also every Scribe and Pharisee friend there—new life could come. Jesus loved the sinners and that, in turn, turned them away from their sin, if anything could, at least for a season.
Most of us who have endeavored to love (sinners) while hating (their sins) have cited Jesus’ admonition to the woman to go and stop sinning. But we fail to observe when Jesus says this, a failure with potentially devastating consequences. Jesus does not begin the conversation with such a statement, not with this woman and not with anyone else we know about. No, Jesus primarily loves her and does what love does in relation to her. As love will do, he refuses to condemn her, certainly at first and even later. He refuses to participate in public humiliation and shame. He protects her from abuse and the manipulation of others. He defends her against the crowd that only wants to destroy her for the sake of their cause. Jesus loves her in all these ways before he says anything about her sins. In fact, it is only after the woman has been spared from condemnation—only after she has been “saved”—that Jesus says, “Go and sin no more.”
Jesus primarily loved the sinners and, by pursuing love, sin came into the light and more than met its match. We would be wise to follow Jesus. That’s what I want to do more than ever.
Afterward: some of us will not be persuaded by what I am suggesting. Some will insist that it is important to take a stand against sin and will insist there must be a way to do so while genuinely loving sinners. I will not say they or you are wrong.
But here is the counsel I would give. Let’s start by hating our own sin first. If the sinners we would love are murderers, let’s start by hating the anger and rage that may lurk in our hearts. If the sinners are wonton pleasure seekers, let’s start by hating any self-preoccupations that may drive our lives. If the sinners are sexual transgressors, let’s start by hating the lust in our own hearts and any little lapses of integrity there may be in relation to others. If the sinners are enslaved to drugs or sex, let’s start by hating all of the compulsions and unhealthy pressures pushing us away from the best God shows us in the way of Jesus. In other words, let’s love other sinners and ourselves enough to invite any who are drawn to us to join us in “going and sinning no more.” I think that is really what Jesus did, except unlike us he had no sin to stop.This post was written by David Kendall, Bishop of The Free Methodist Church of North America. For the original post go to:http://fmcusa.org/davidkendall/2013/06/18/love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I am a Nazarene because of what the church teaches. It teaches a doctrine of compassion, love, and kindness.
In October 1895, Phineas F. Bresee and Joseph Widney organized a Church of the Nazarene in Los Angeles. The church was formed around the doctrine of entire sanctification and the belief that sanctified Christians should follow Christ’s example and preach the gospel to the poor.
Bresee took issue with the church placing missions in poor areas, but not giving the poor their own church. He formed the church with the goal of ministering to the poor. It was said of him that he often took money with him when he went out on his pastoral rounds, but that he never returned with any, having given it away to anyone he met who was in need.
On Sundays (and the members would come to the church for the entire day, having services in the morning, eating dinner together, fellowshipping in the afternoon and then having an evening service), he would stand in the foyer greeting people before the service. If he saw people arrive who looked embarrassed about the way they were dressed, he would rush to greet them enthusiastically, put his arm around them, and escort them to the best seat in the sanctuary.
Even in 1895, the church allowed for the consecration of women and ordained both women and men as ministers. Before the Holiness Church of Christ in Tennessee merged with the Nazarene Church in 1908, they had ordained three women as ministers. Our founder was fond of saying, “Some of our best men are women.” Women played major roles in the holiness movement and when we start naming the names of our church parents, the lists are filled with women who were ministers, deaconesses, evangelists, and missionaries.
The founding members of our church strongly believed that you shouldn’t adorn either churches or your body—not because it was sinful, but because it was a poor use of resources. That money, they felt, should be going into ministries for the poor.
That church later merged with two other regional denominations, each having a Wesleyan context. The Association of Pentecostal Churches of America, the Church of the Nazarene, and the Holiness Church of Christ were brought together and merged officially on October 8, 1908 in Pilot Point, Texas. The merged organization was called The Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.
In 1919, we changed our name to drop the “Pentecostal” because of the new associations that had become attached to the word Pentecostal. We are part of the Pentecostal movement; however, we do not encourage (nor forbid) speaking in tongues. It is a gift of the Spirit, but not one on which we place a lot of emphasis nor one we believe is essential.
We trace our roots through various movements which we recognize as paving the way for our existence. Our antecedents include the Holiness Church of Christ of 1894, the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America (1887), the holiness movement of the 19th Century, and the Wesleyan movement of the 18th Century, including the Anglican Church.
We claim heritage from the other Christian churches (including the Catholic Church) throughout the ages. The Church of the Nazarene calls itself a branch of the “one, holy, universal, and apostolic” church. We seek to be faithful to that universal history and—like nearly every other Christian religion—claim the history of the people of God as presented in the Old and New Testament as our history and heritage.
We believe that all people of God through the ages who have been redeemed through Jesus Christ are our brothers and sisters—no matter what church they do or do not attend. We acknowledge and accept as expressions of our faith the ecumenical creeds of the first five Christian centuries.
We believe that our branch of the church has a special calling and that is why we exist separately. Our calling is to proclaim the doctrine of sanctification
and to live a Christ-like life of service to others. We have 16 Biblical Articles of Faith.
As Nazarenes, we believe that God calls Christians to a life of holiness. God cleanses our heart from original sin (the act of justification, achieved only through God’s grace and accepted by us only through faith) and fills us with love for God and others.
When we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, we then devote our lives to serving God by serving others.
Compassionate ministries are extremely important to Nazarenes. It is commanded that we love others and we display that love through service. In that love and service, we believe, all else is fulfilled. Our concept of service and God is based on the belief that we are to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
This post was adapted from an epinions website entry. For the original post, go to: http://www.epinions.com/content_2721620100?sb=1BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
1. Sex was created for marriage.
We shouldn’t paint a picture of sex as naughty, dirty, nasty, and shameful to our kids. What we should
be teaching our kids (in age appropriate ways, of course) is that God
created sex, and that sex is amazing, beautiful, intimate, passionate, and of course fun…and best experienced in the context of marriage. (See Genesis 2:23–25.)
2. We have a deep, passionate love for Jesus.
“The Sex Talk” can quickly turn into a list of don’ts!
But what we need to be teaching our kids is the whys
. If we do our job properly, our kids should want
to abstain, based out of their deep, abiding, passionate love for Jesus. The Bible is full of don’t
verses (Acts 15:29, Romans 1:29, 1 Corinthians 6:13–18). While certainly it’s critical that we teach our kids the truth of God’s Word, we also need to convince them to obey His Word out of love, devotion, and passion for Him.
3. Sex before marriage is robbery.
When we choose to follow Christ, the reality is that we are God’s sons and daughters. And when we have sex outside of marriage, we’re stealing the virginity and purity of others who belong to God.
Those things are His, a precious treasure that He has reserved only for the future spouse of that person. I know this is a bold statement, but we must
honor God’s kids! We must value them, treating them with gentleness, love, kindness, and care. We need to treat them as precious and holy! Because that’s what they are in His eyes.
This post was taken from the booklet Sex, Lust and XXX: Fighting for your kids' purity in a sex saturated world. BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.
God delights in kindness, justice and righteousness. None of this is easy for us to believe.
Kindness is difficult for some of us to imagine because we do not have extensive personal experience with kindness. We can imagine God as a weak, codependent, ineffective being whose specialty is being relentlessly nice to people. But what of the God who exercises kindness? What would that look like?
Justice is difficult for some of us to imagine because we have not had extensive personal experience with justice. In dysfunctional families justice is either chaotic or completely absent. But what of the God who exercises justice? What would that look like?
Righteousness is difficult for some of us to imagine because we have not had extensive personal experience with righteousness. We do not have instincts for doing what is right, we do not delight in doing righteousness, we expect it to be boring, dreary and out-of-date. We may delight in caretaking and codependent niceness, but is that the same as delighting in righteousness? Probably not. So, what of the God who exercises righteousness. What would that look like?
God is capable of delight. God is not the Unmoved One. God is the Most Moved of us all. God's compassion and kindness are free and full. God's commitment to justice is beyond all our imaginations. God pursues righteousness.
Learning to share in God's struggle for kindness, justice and righteousness will require significant changes for us. It cannot be done in a one time event. It will be a life-time quest. We will forget and remember again. We will run away and come back again. But each day in the struggle we will grow in our capacity for delight. Until, in the end, when God's purposes are complete, we will be filled with delight at the triumph of God's kindness, justice and righteousness
God of kindness, I want to understand you better.
God of justice, I want to live in solidarity with you.
God of righteousness, help me to delight in what pleases you.
Increase my capacity for delight, Lord.
Let me discover you afresh today.
Copyright Dale and Juanita RyanNational Association for Christian RecoveryBE HOLY.BE A MAN.
There is a difference between being masculine and being macho. Masculinity is our healthy expression of the uniqueness of being created a man in God's design.
The behaviors of a macho man are instead unhealthy expression of the stereotypes of masculinity lived out in their most extreme forms. The macho man perverts true masculinity.
He pretends to be strong by acting aggressively and creating about himself an image of power, both of which mask the deeper reality of the insecurity within. The truly masculine man knows who he is in God and enjoys a healthy integration of this emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual nature. This wholeness comes from knowing and responding to the truth that he is fully loved and accepted in Christ. The masculine man in Christ is truly set free to become all that he is meant to be.
The macho man lives out an image of manhood that emphasizes only one small part of what it means to be male. He pretends that it is possible to live life with a constant erection. But, our physical genital reality reminds us that we are only sometimes hard. Most of the time, we are are soft.
The majority of our lives is lived out as penis, not erected phallus, and this is normal and proper for men. Think of what it would be like in actuality if we had to live the whole of our lives with an erection. This is a grotesque image. Yet it is the kind of masculine image many macho men attempt to convey thru their personalities as they relate to those around them.
It is far healthier and more productive to recognize and celebrate the broader dimensions of our masculinity modeled for us most completely by the man Jesus, our loving LORD. As He demonstrated, a man's strength is not rooted in violent aggression or in an obsession with worldly power, but in the Godlike power of sacrificial love.A man is not weak, but strong, when he wisely chooses to live the predominant portion of this life with his sword in his sheath.
This is not a man feminized. This is a masculine man who has given up the false god of proud machismo and has delivered his complex and diverse masculine personality into the hands of God to be shaped by the demands of love.
This post is taken from Temptations Men Face
.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Yesterday, we discussed four things that represent a real man,
a Christian man. Today, we conclude our discussion:5. The Christian man is free to be tender.
He no longer has to analyze everything objectively and express himself without feeling. He is now strong enough to be gentle.
He will touch and hold and kiss his children & grandchildren as Jesus held the children of his day and loved them. He will affirm others with words of truth and love and be generous with hugs and other physical expressions of encouragement. He will let others affirm and love him. He can laugh and cry with others like Jesus did. 6. The Christian man is free to forgive.
He will forgive others quickly and with a generous spirit as he has been forgiven by God. A redeemed sinner, and in process himself, he can sympathize and empathize with the struggles of others.7. The Christian man is free to stand for righteousness.
He will influence the world by courageous speaking the truth and acting on the truth he knows. Once he was too insecure to stand up for what he believed, but now he is secure in Christ's love.
He has the courage to expose the fruitless behaviors of darkness and to model the fruitful lifestyle of light, love and truth.8. The Christian man is free to be concerned for the world around him.
No longer driven by a need to build external evidences of his worth, he can give himself and his money away. He can work less to build his personal empire
, and more to alleviate suffering, hunger and the conditions that lead to distress, disease and death.
The Christian man is free to live in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The information from this post is taken from Temptations Men Face.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
What are the common behaviors of a man who claims Christ as his savior? What does the power of God's Word do to a man? What does a man look like who has been transformed by God's Holy Spirit?1. The Christian man is free to be a servant-leader.
He no longer depends upon his own strength, but on the guidance, wisdom and strength of the Lord. His identity is not dependent on successful achievement, so he is set free to fail without being devastated by failure.
This freedom to fail gives the Christian man courage and faith to step out and take measured risks in the Lord's work. He includes others in the decision-making process because he is no longer afraid to admit that he needs the help of others and of God in order to have success. He can affirm and build up those with whom he works because he feels affirmed and accepted in love by God in Christ.2. The Christian man is free to be lighthearted.
He no longer has to take himself so seriously. God is his refuge. He is set free from having to protect himself, to fear and shield himself from others. He is secure in himself and his faith. He will not list out his accomplishments like a peacock strutting around, fanning his tail. His personality will take on a peaceful playfulness that will draw others to him. He can laugh at himself.
He has no need to put others down. 3. The Christian man is free to interact with others.
He is relational. He is a thoughtful boss and a congenial host. He is free to share himself openly. He will talk with his wife. He will talk with his children. He will not talk at them but will talk with them, listening to those he loves. He will not have to have all the right answers. He will enjoy entering into the deeper-meaning dimensions of the lives of those around him. He is no longer interested in telling others how important he is.
He is now more interested in hearing about their joys, their needs, their hopes, their dreams. 4. The Christian man is able to be open with others about his needs and to ask for help.
He knows that it is his willingness to open his life to others that creates possibilities for himself and others to grow, receive healing and move on toward maturity in Christ. The man will give and receive friendship.(continued tomorrow)
The information from this post is taken from Temptations Men Face.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Though he looked the part, Daniel Walker
was not a typical Western visitor to brothels in Asia. Playing the part of a lonely tourist, Walker was actually an undercover agent investigating the sex trade industry in various locations around the globe. Knowing his life would be in danger if he were exposed, Walker was moved by more than a paycheck. In his book God in a Brothel,
it becomes clear that Walker's overriding motivation to rescue girls and women trapped in this brutal form of slavery was God's great love for each and every one of them.
Human trafficking is a present-day reality about which many of us would prefer not to think. No modern invention, it was the situation in which God's people suffered under the rule of the Egyptians, enslaved to construct Egypt's buildings as forced laborers. In the midst of their suffering -- just as in the midst of our own experiences of suffering -- it would have been tempting to give up hope in the God who had called them His own. And yet, instead of relinquishing trust, the Hebrew people continued to cry out to God for deliverance for four hundred years. The One who loved them heard their cries, saw their misery, and was concerned for their suffering.
In the midst of suffering, it's tempting to believe that God does not care or that God has abandoned us. The truth is that bodies which are used and abused, broken and beaten, matter deeply to God. God does not turn away from the suffering of a young woman being trafficked for profit.
God does not ignore the cries of the needy. Rather, the One who used Moses to deliver His people out of captivity is the One to whom you can turn in the midst of your suffering. God sees your suffering and hears your cries.
This post is taken from Today in the Word,
June 3, 2012.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"...I shall be anointed with fresh oil"
The word used for "anoint" in the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament comes from the Greek word chrio.
This word originally denoted the smearing or rubbing of oil or perfume upon an individual.
For example, if a patient came to see a physician because of sore muscles, the physician would pour oil upon his own hands; then he would begin to deeply rub that oil into
the sore muscles of that patient. That penetrating application of oil would be denoted by the Greek work chrio.
So technically speaking, the word "anoint" has to do with the rubbing or smearing of oil upon someone else.
When you read the word "anoint" in the Bible, think not only of the oil, but of the hands of the Anointer. Oil was very expensive in Bible times; therefore, rather than tip the bottle of oil downward and freely pour it upon the recipient, a person would first pour the oil onto his hands and then apply it to the other person.
Let's consider this concept in the context of God anointing our lives. God Himself -- the Great Anointer -- filled His hands with the essence of His Spirit and then laid His mighty hands upon our lives, pressing the Spirit's power and anointing ever deeper into us. So when we speak of a person who is anointed, we are actually acknowledging the the hand of God is on that person.
If you would like a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life, you come before the Great Anointer! He alone can give you what you need. Open your heart to God, and allow Him to lay His hands upon your life in a new way.
This post is taken from SPARKLING GEMS FROM THE GREEK
(p. 363).BE HOLY.BE A MAN.