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.
I have always been fascinated by fantasy movies. When I was young, my favorite movie was “The Neverending Story”. I liked the portrayal of good versus evil in these types of movies and the fact that the storylines are not bound by physics or known history. Sometimes, I feel as if it is easier to convey a larger message, in a metaphorical sense, when one can make up fictional characters and abilities. People watching these movies can also extrapolate personal messages that speak to them from the content of these films.
In the second Lord of the Rings movie, an interesting transition occurs when the heroic main characters are caught in a giant battle against the enemy. They were outnumbered and they lacked the necessary stoutness of weaponry needed to defeat the evil that was on the offensive. Earlier in the movie, the main characters had made friends with a tribe of creatures that resembled large trees. These trees rejected the idea that they could be of any help in this inevitable battle…they were a peaceful tribe and did not want to meddle in things that didn’t concern them.
Toward the end of the movie, the battle raged between good and evil, and it seemed as if the darkness had the upper hand. At that moment, these large tree-like creatures rushed in to add their strength to the battle, and that provided the force needed to overcome.
When I reflect on this general concept, I can’t help but think about the Church (body of Christ) within the last few decades. We have become spiritual pacifists, unwilling to lend our might to the battle raging directly in front of us. We are convinced that the deterioration of this world does not concern us, because we are simply waiting for Christ to return. The battle against evil (and we were reminded this week that evil does indeed exist) seems to be a fight we are losing.
When the churches wakes up (empowered by God) and finally lends her hand to the fight…the force will be so overwhelming that evil will not even have time to draw its sword.
I am looking forward to that day….the day when we will wake up and storm the gates of Hell together.
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. You can find the original post here: http://other-words.net/2012/12/18/storming-hell/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
to serve the King of kings.
Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
and end the night of wrong.
Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
her strength unequal to her task;
rise up, and make her great!
Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where his feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!
Text: William P. Merrill, 1867-1954
Music: William H. Walter, 1825-1893
BE A MAN.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.Peter is very clear here. As husbands we are to:1. Be considerate as we live with our wife
- Do you put up roadblocks to her happiness and to her success? Being considerate is thinking about how to make her life better and easier. Being considerate is acting upon those thoughts. Consideration is asking, "can I do something for you?" and "is there something you need done?" Consideration is trying to anticipate her needs and doing them before she asks. 2. Treat our wife with respect
- Being respectful is treating her like she is the most important person in the world. Having the niceties that a gentleman displays: Saying please, thank you, excuse me, etc. To respect her is to honor her. Do you dishonor her with your actions? Do you take her for granted? Do you tell your children how wonderful she is and that they need to respect her like you do? Are you brave enough to challenge your children to treat her like you do?3. Remember that she is an heir of the gracious gift of life
- Most importantly, she is a child of God. The Maker of the Universe, the Creator, has made her uniquely to serve His purposes. Do you treat her like a Christian sister? Do you encourage her spiritual growth? Do you encourage her to spend time with other godly women? Do you offer to take care of your children so that she can have some alone time with God?"Christian husbands and wives share a common experience of grace and a common destiny of salvation. A husband must honor his wife since she, as much as he, has access to God's grace in Christ. In addition, since husbands and wives are partners together in grace, a husband's relationship with God will be affected for good or ill by his relationship with his wife. When husbands treat their wives with consideration and honor, they are true to the nature of grace. They are acting as God's people, and thus their relationship with God may be deepened through prayer (p. 1193)."Peter is very clear here: If you don't honor your wife, your prayers will be hinderedBE HOLY.
BE A MAN.
Many people cruise through life and just demand the basics of survival from an existence that seems to have nothing to offer. Days are filled with the same routine as the day before, and the only unique part of life comes with the occassional vacation or a day off. This mentality, however, can affect these rare times of relaxation. The reason for this is….often, all we think about during these times is what is waiting for us back at the routine. For instance, I used to get really excited for a day off when I worked at a retail store. The only problem was that it seemed like the very minute that my free day started, I could feel the next day breathing down my neck…..with all of its stresses, complications, questions, etc.
So, we get into this cycle of simply surviving and we find ourselves spiritually heading in circles just like a race at the Motor Speedway. All we do is race, and strain, and exert only to end up where we started…
What if we were to have a mission in life? A mission that involved saving people from the everyday… the routine. The Bible indicates the fact that God gives each life purpose. Initiating a relationship with the God of the universe will bring about adventure, chaos, danger, and intrigue. Our mission will be to become closer to Him, and each day is filled with new possiblities. People will look at you differently. Your work will have new meaning and direction. There will finally be a reason to get up in the morning….
Don’t get me wrong….it is not easy. But then again, living the routine is easy…
This post was written by Rev DeCrastos. For the original post with comments, go to: http://otherwordsdotnet.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/life-on-purpose/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
We were in London at the Tower of London site and went to see the Imperial Crown of India (left) among some of the other crowns that are housed among the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
It is such an impressive and grand display of beautiful and priceless artifacts. Something that I will never forget.
What I will also never forget was a sermon by a youth pastor. He was trying to encourage the youth of the church to do what is right. His title of the sermon was "I want a big crown!"
He went into a lot of description of the crown that he wanted to have in eternity and then also spoke of how every time we do a good deed, another jewel is added to the crown. He said he wanted to be in heaven walking around with a big crown with lots of jewels placed therein.
His biblical support was the "crown of life"
and the "crown of righteousness"
that is given to those who are steadfast in trial and remain faithful to Jesus.
I recall, thinking later, "where in the world did he get this idea of walking around with a crown and earning jewels?" His scriptural support was lacking but the idea was intriguing. I pondered if what he said was actually true. One of the things that's good about sermons, is that they encourage you to study God's Word to see if what the pastor is saying is truly from God or from his own fanciful ideas.
I was reading in the book of Revelation and came upon chapter four. This chapter talks a little bit about crowns. Specifically "24 elders" who had crowns.
I imagine if there were 24 individuals, who are called elders, who had crowns, they would probably have very big crowns with lots of jewels. I would imagine of everybody in heaven, they would probably have the biggest and best. After all, they are the top 24 in heaven. They have their own thrones, are dressed in white and rule with God.
But what I read in verse 10 openly contradicted what this pastor had to say. This verse states that the 24 elders lay their crowns at Jesus' feet.
So, if we do walk around with crowns, we have clear instructions of what we are to do with them. We are to follow the lead of the 24 elders and lay them at the throne.
So that means, what Isaiah (a man who had a vision of God) says, "our righteousness is as filthy rags."
All the things that we do to make everybody notice us, all the good things that we do, all the things that we do for our own righteousness will be laid at God's throne.So, where does that leave you and me?
We need to focus on pleasing God and not on pleasing ourselves.
We need not focus on things that make us look righteous.
We need not focus on our eternal reward.
We need to focus on what the 24 elders focus: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
"In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again."
Chance the Gardener (Chauncey Gardiner) - from the movie Being There. Being There
is one of my favorite movies because of the amazing simplicity that is offered. People are so taken aback by Chauncey's common sense (of which he is oblivious) that he is deemed a genius.
One of the best things that you can do as a dad is quite simple. It is so profound that many men miss the power of this one behavior that impacts their children so deeply.
What is this behavior? Look at the title of this post. BEING THERE.
That is what kids need. Did you know that a dead father is a better father than an absent father? STOP. DON'T QUICKLY READ THAT SENTENCE. READ IT AGAIN.Did you know that a dead father is a better father than an absent father?
When a dad is dead, the kids have a real reason why they don't see their dad.
When a dad is absent, kids take that personally. They ask, "what's wrong with me? Why won't my dad come and see me? Why won't my dad spend time with me?"
As a young father, one of the things I enjoyed most when my sons were old enough to sit up, was sitting on the floor and rolling a ball back and forth. When they were older, we would play catch, we would also play Nintendo together. I loved going on missions trips with them. We saw several countries and experienced several cultures together.
However, there were also times when I put them on the back burner.I regret the time I spent serving on church boards. Did you know that to a young boy, it doesn't matter to him whether you are on a church board or sitting on a bar stool?
What matters to him is that you're not there. When you're not there, a son imagines why his dad is not there and often imagines that something is wrong with him or you would be with him.
So, this post is written to dads and potential dads: BE THERE for your sons.
This post is written for church boards: let the young dads spend time with their families and let the older dads, whose children are no longer home, serve on the church board.
So let me conclude with more simple wisdom from Chauncey: "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. All is well in the garden."BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
I recently heard a story from a man who lives in a communist country. He said at age 6, he had an unusual thought, "What is the purpose of my life?"
He was sitting at his kitchen table doing his homework when this thought came to him. Next, he thought, “I’m going to grow up, go to high school, get a job, get married, have children and then my son is going to be sitting here doing homework and asking himself the same question.”
Being in a communist country, he had never heard of Jesus. Yet, God was talking to him.
Statistics show that most people come to Christ when they are young.
However, many people believe that talking to children about God’s offer of salvation is fruitless. I disagree (click here for a terrific resource to help you talk to your son about God).
I remember when I was about 5-years-old being outside playing with an ant hill. I had a water hose and flooded the ant hill. As I saw ants pouring out, some of them would gather into small pools and just lay there. I started to feel some compassion and put a stick in some of the small pools so that the ants could walk on it to dry land. I remember hearing inside my head, “do you want to try to save yourself or are you going to let Me save you?”
What is interesting is the follow-up to both of these brief stories. These questions were instigated by God.
God was creating an awareness of Himself in these young lives. In the first boy’s life, he didn’t know the answer until someone talked to him about Jesus. His brother told him, "I found God and his name is Jesus. Would you like to become a follower of Jesus?" He knew, in an instant, that Jesus was what/who he had been looking for to give him purpose, he just didn’t know His name.
For me, God became real shortly after, as I thought about that question. I remember playing with my toy cars on the sawdust floor while the evangelist spoke about Jesus. I remember later talking to my parents and accepting Jesus into my life.
What are these times of questioning, wonderings that others have told me about that they experienced as children? It appears that these experiences cross cultural and socioeconomic boundaries.
I know very few Christians who haven’t told me about some type of experience of hearing questions in their head as kids (sometimes as adults) and then later after becoming a Christian, knew it was God speaking to them.
A final thought. Most Christians are acquainted with the story of the five missionaries killed in Ecuador in the 1950’s. In fact, this martyrdom was made into a popular movie, End of the Spear
. A little know part of this story is that when the last missionary was killed, their murderers saw lights
in the jungle, lights that they had never seen before and questioned themselves
about who these missionaries were. God was creating an awareness of Himself by having them see these lights.
After several of these murderers became Christians, it became apparent to them that God allowed them to see the Angels ushering the missionaries into heaven.
So, as you are reading this, let me encourage you to be the kind of man who tells children (and those who have never heard the name of Jesus) about Jesus. Volunteer at children's camp
. I recall fondly those times when I was in a cabin in the woods with 6 or so boys, talking about Jesus and answering their questions and them sharing about their lives. Late at nite, when laying in bunk beds, boys want to talk. Walking down a creek looking for crawdads is a great time to talk about God. God talks to boys and boys want to talk about God.
Volunteer at your Children's Church. Mentor a boy. Be an example of a godly man. These boys need to know that Jesus is the answer for their broken, hurting homes. Jesus can heal their families. A boy can say "yes" to Jesus and become the man that God intended for him to be.So, let boys know about Jesus. You never know, he just might have been playing with an ant hill.
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
The Church in my parts was shocked to learn recently that a brother who has been trained by a prominent evangelism group to the point that he was flying to California to participate in helping train others how to share the gospel with the lost and he was often found in various local churches teaching people how to share their faith, he was arrested for sexual molestation of various women in his practice and was found guilty by the court and sent to prison leaving behind a devastated wife and young children to take care of themselves. At first, we thought the allegations were nothing but the enemy of our souls rising up against a strong brother who was seeking to preach the gospel to the lost. This man would pass out tracts, preach on the streets, and would be found sharing Jesus in almost any place he went. To this man, soul winning was a natural part of his life and he believed that disciples of Jesus should preach the gospel at all times.And yet he fell.
I don’t know his heart today. I personally did not know the man but only through mutual friends did I know about him. I don’t know his heart nor whether today he is seeking the Lord. I pray that he is. This post is not about this man but simply about keeping Jesus as our focus and not anything or anyone else. Jesus, not prayer, not the Church, not soul winning, not Bible reading, not memorizing Scripture, not giving money – Jesus alone is our salvation. We must always keep that in mind. Arminianism does not save. Calvinism does not save. Lutheranism does not save. The Restoration movement does not save. The Baptist church does not save. Nothing saves but Jesus alone (Acts 4:12).
Our heart should be Philippians 3:8-11 where Paul the Apostle wrote,Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Our salvation, our righteousness, our hope – all this comes from Jesus Christ alone.
It doesn’t come from being an evangelist or a preacher or an intercessor. Salvation is in the person of Jesus and not anything or anyone else. We must stay close to Him. We must make Him our ambition, our delight, and our passion.
Perhaps this man above stopped doing this. Perhaps he stopped loving our Lord Jesus. He got busy with “the ministry” and he forgot to love Jesus. He forgot how to sit at the Lord’s feet and learn from Him. So busy with life. So busy with teaching people how to share Jesus yet he didn’t really love Jesus anymore or maybe he was simply too busy to sit and glean from the Lord. I don’t know. Only God knows.
I only want to love Jesus. I know that apart from Him, I have no salvation (John 15:1-11). Jesus is my only cure for this sin that abides in me (Romans 6:23). The Lord Jesus alone bore my sins and died for me (John 5:24). Jesus alone is the one who is able to cleanse me from sin (1 John 1:7). Jesus is my faithful high priest who prays for me (Hebrews 7:25) as I abide in Him through faith.Are you too busy to meet with Jesus and love Him a while?
He is our salvation. He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30). He is the one that we should adore and love. The Father delights in us when we love His Son (1 John 5:1). Don’t be robbed of spending much time with Jesus and learning from Him. Stop and sit at His feet and praise Him for what He has done in saving us. Don’t get too busy that you miss the pleasure of being close to your Savior. This alone will keep you saved from the power of sin (1 John 3:7).This is a guest post written by my friend, Seeking Disciple. To go to the original post complete with comments, go to: http://arminiantoday.com/2012/06/30/even-soul-winning-is-no-safeguard-for-salvation/BE 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.