So not every guy proposes with lip syncing, rolling cameras, and a choreographed entourage.
Yeah — so what if your Dad didn’t?
He just pulled that beat-up Volkswagon Rabbit of his over in front of Murray Reesor’s hundred acre farm right there where Grey Township meets Elma Township, pulled out a little red velvet box, and whispered it in the snowy dark: “Marry me?”“He didn’t even get down on one knee or anything?”
You boys ask it incredulous, like there’s some kind of manual for this kind of holy.
And I’ve got no qualms in telling you no. No, he didn’t even get down on one knee – it was just a box, a glint of gold in the dark, two hallowed words and a question mark.
I know. When you’ve watched a few dozen mastermind proposals on youtube, shared them with their rolling credits on Facebook, marvelling at how real romance has an imagination like that.
Can I tell you something, sons?
Romance isn’t measured by how viral your proposal goes. The internet age may try to sell you something different, but don’t ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness – so don’t ever make being viral your goal.
Your goal is always to make your Christ-focus contagious – to just one person.
It’s more than just imagining some romantic proposal.
It’s a man who imagines washing puked-on sheets at 2:30 am, plunging out a full and plugged toilet for the third time this week, and then scraping out the crud in the bottom screen of the dishwasher — every single night for the next 37 years without any cameras rolling or soundtrack playing -- that’s imagining true romance.
The man who imagines slipping his arm around his wife’s soft, thickening middle age waistline and whispering that he couldn’t love her more…. who imagines the manliness of standing bold and unashamed in the express checkout line with only maxi pads and tampons because someone he loves is having an unexpected Saturday morning emergency.
The man who imagines the coming decades of a fluid life – her leaking milky circles through a dress at Aunt Ruth’s birthday party, her wearing thick diaper-like Depends for soggy weeks after pushing a whole human being out through her inch-wide cervix, her bleeding through sheets and gushing amniotic oceans across the bathroom floor and the unexpected beauty of her crossing her legs everytime she jumps on the trampoline with the kids.
The real romantics imagine greying and sagging and wrinkling as the deepening of something sacred.
Because get this, kids — How a man proposes isn’t what makes him romantic. It’s how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic.
And a man begins being romantic years before any ring – romance begins with only having eyes for one woman now – so you don’t go giving your eyes away to cheap porn. Your dad will say it sometimes to me, a leaning over – “I am glad that there’s always only been you.” Not some bare, plastic-surgeon-scalpel-enhanced pixels ballooning on a screen, not some tempting flesh clicked on in the dark, not some photo-shopped figment of cultural beauty that’s basically a lie.
The real romantics know that stretchmarks are beauty marks and that different shaped women fit into the different shapes of men souls and that real romance is really sacrifice.
I know – you’re thinking, “Boring.”
Can you see it again – how your grandfather stood over your grandmother’s grave and brushed away his heart leaking without a sound down his cheeks?
50 boring years. 50 unfilmed years of milking 70 cows, raising 6 boys and 3 girls, getting ready for sermon every Sunday morning, him helping her with her zipper. 50 boring years of arguing in Dutch and making up in touching in the dark, 50 boring years of planting potatoes and weeding rows on humid July afternoons, 50 boring years of washing the white Corel dishes and turning out the light on the mess – till he finally carried her in and out of the tub and helped her pull up her Depends.
Don’t ever forget it:
The real romantics are the boring ones — they let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs.
Be one of the boring ones. Pray to be one who get 50 boring years of marriage – 50 years to let her heart bore a hole deep into yours.
Let everyone do their talking about 50 shades of grey, but don’t let anyone talk you out of it: committment is pretty much black and white. Because the truth is, real love will always make you suffer. Simply commit: Who am I willing to suffer for?
Who am I willing to take the reeking garbage out for and clean out the gross muck ponding at the bottom of the fridge? Who am I willing to listen to instead of talk at? Who am I willing to hold as they grow older and realer? Who am I willing to die a bit more for every day? Who am I willing to make heart-boring years with? Who am I willing to let bore a hole into my heart?
Get it: Life – and marriage proposals — isn’t not about one up-manship — it’s about one down-manship. It’s about the heart-boring years of sacrifice and going lower and serving. It’s not about how well you perform your proposal. It’s about how well you let Christ perform your life.
Sure, go ahead, have fun, make a ridiculously good memory and we’ll cheer loud: propose creatively — but never forget that what wows a woman and woos her is you how you purpose to live your life.
I’m praying, boys — be Men. Be one of the ‘boring” men – and let your heart be bore into. And know there are women who love that kind of man.
The kind of man whose romance isn’t flashy – because love is gritty.
The kind of man whose romance isn’t about cameras — because it’s about Christ.
The kind of man whose romance doesn’t have to go viral — because it’s going eternal.
No, your dad did not get down on one knee when he proposed – because the romantic men know it’s about living your whole life on your knees.
There are Fridays. And the quiet romantics who will take out the garbage without fanfare. There will be the unimaginative calendar by the fridge, with all it’s scribbled squares of two lives being made one. The toilet seat will be left predictably up. The sink will be resigned to its load of last night’s dishes.
And there is now and the beautiful boring, the way two lives touch and go deeper into time with each other.
The clock ticking passionately into decades.This post was written by A. Voskamp. You can find the original post here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/11/the-real-truth-about-boring-men-and-the-women-who-live-with-them-redefining-boring/BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
A seventh-grade student in Virginia Beach, Va., has been suspended from school for playing with an airsoft gun with a friend in his front yard while waiting for the school bus.
WAVY-TV reports that 13-year-old Khalid Caraballo will find out soon if he will be expelled for "possession, handling and use of a firearm" because the guns were fired at two others playing in Caraballo's yard.
A neighbor saw Khalid shooting the airsoft gun in his yard and called 911, telling the dispatcher, "He is pointing the gun, and it looks like there's a target in a tree in his front yard," the station reported.
Khalid claims he never took the toy gun to the designated bus stop or Larkspur Middle School, according to the report. Two other students who fired guns were also suspended.
In a letter obtained by WAVY.com, school principal Matthew Delaney found that the "children were firing pellet guns at each other, and at people near the bus stop." Delaney states in the letter that one child "was only 10 feet from the bus stop, and ran from the shots being fired, but was still hit."
The school's so-called "zero-tolerance" policy on guns extends to private property, according to the report.
Khalid's mother, Solangel Caraballo, said it's ridiculous that her son and his friends were suspended because they were firing the airsoft gun on private property.
"My son is my private property. He does not become the school's property until he goes to the bus stop, gets on the bus, and goes to school," Caraballo told the station.
Khalid told WAVY-TV he thinks the punishment is unfair and may hurt his chances of getting into a good college after graduating from high school.
"It's on your school record. The school said I had possession of a firearm. They aren't going to ask me any questions. They are going to think it was a real gun, and I was trying to hurt someone," he said.This post comes from FOX News. For the original post, go to: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/24/7th-grader-suspended-for-playing-with-airsoft-gun-in-own-yard/
BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
When Jesus came onto the scene he turned misogyny (hatred of women) on its head. A rabbi at that time wouldn’t speak to a woman in public, not even his own wife (this is still true for orthodox rabbis). Even today, an orthodox Jewish man is forbidden to touch or be touched by any woman who is not his wife or a close family relation. Jesus didn’t abide by those rules. During his ministry Jesus engaged with women many times. He spoke to them. He touched them. He taught them. He esteemed them. He had women minister to him physically, touching him, washing his feet, anointing him with oil and with their tears. He had women disciples traveling with him, supporting him, learning from him, and “sitting at his feet.” If we, the church, the body of Christ, had followed the example that Jesus had set instead of the traditions of men held captive to sin and the fall, we would have a much higher history here.This post is an excerpt from the book, BECOMING MYSELF by Stasi Eldredge
I wanted to tell you one story I encountered at Shepherd Community Center. It’s about Curtis Adkins, who when growing up looked like a tragedy waiting to happen.
His father left the family. They moved every three to four months in the city. Adkins would switch schools and fall behind, so school officials put him in classes for learning disabilities.
By middle school Adkins thought of himself as a troublemaker, and so did school authorities. He was expelled from one school and sent to another one. He landed in juvenile court on minor charges. He tried drugs, abused alcohol, and got kicked out of his mother’s house.
As a homeless teen, Adkins stayed on friends’ couches. Often that profile adds up to a life of crime and prison—but this young man also bumped into people who wanted to help him. A family took him in for a year, on the condition that he join the Shepherd Community Center. There he heard about the small Indianapolis Christian School, where he benefited from small class sizes and tutoring.
Adkins worked at Shepherd and the school to pay tuition. He learned to work at small goals instead of big dreams. He’d earn just enough money for the next semester’s tuition. He would master a basic English or math skill he had missed in earlier years.
Yet it wasn’t always a smooth ride, for Adkins or the people assisting him. Shepherd director Jay Height came to see why Adkins had been booted out of school. “He was obnoxious,” Height recalled. “I kicked him out when he was first here.”
Another family recommended that he join them on a short mission trip to serve in Bolivia. “I thought I was poor, staying with people here and there,” Adkins said. “Then I went to a Third World country and saw kids without shoes and moms raising their kids in the street.”
He also saw a new side of Christian faith. Adkins had tried to improve himself to please God: “Before that trip I felt to accept Christ that I would have to change so much in my life. My life would have to be perfect.”
He discovered a different perspective in Bolivia. “I realized that Christ loved me in spite of my sins,” Adkins said. “It wasn’t about ourselves or what we were doing, but it was about what God was doing.”
Adkins does not recall a dramatic conversion. Rather, he had seen many believers show him the love of Christ. Their perseverance in that love was a big factor in his journey.
Some teachers had advised Adkins to forget about college and consider a trade school. He was scared to think about college. But friends at Shepherd thought he could make it, especially after he discovered his audio learning style and made more progress in school. He also fell in love with soccer and wound up playing at Ohio Valley University in West Virginia.
Small goals helped him not get discouraged. He kept his GPA above 2.0 to stay on the soccer team, eventually graduating cum laude.
Adkins is now 31, married, with two children and a stable job. These days he serves at Shepherd Community Center, attempting to steer other at-risk children and teens to the straight-and-narrow path. Jay Height sees Adkins as an important part of a team aiming to break multi-generational poverty on the East Side of urban Indianapolis. “He’s helping us shape our programs because he’s been there,” Height said. “He’s improving our diversity of voice to include those who are the first generation out of poverty.”
When tempted to give up, friends who had helped him encouraged Adkins to change course: “I started moving in the right direction because I didn’t want to let these people down.” Now he wants to do something similar for those in the same part of Indianapolis: “People invested in my life at Shepherd. I felt like it was part of my job to come back and invest in the lives of others.”
Adkins doesn’t see himself as a self-made man. He’s grateful to the Lord and friends who came alongside him in times of need.
This post was written by Russ Pulliam for World Magazine. You can find the original post at: http://www.worldmag.com/2013/08/how_christ_changed_a_life
BE A MAN.
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.
Let me tell you a tale of three pastors. All successes in their own right. I would be pleased to be a member of their congregations. They are good men, godly men, holy men. They have the same Holy Spirit working in their lives.... yet, they are different. And sometimes, they rub me wrong. At least two of them do...
One pastor was talking about how the Military creates dependency. "In the military, you don't have to make any decisions, all decisions are made for you, you just obey orders. They feed you, house you, raise you into a fighting machine. They tell you where to live and who to make friends with." (Just in case you're wondering, no, this pastor has never served in the military, although he has had numerous military folks in his congregation.) Yet, when I think about this pastor, he went straight from high school, to college, to seminary, to his first church. He serves in a denomination where the pastor is a professional. The churches in which he has served have always providing housing, paid his expenses, and given him a nice salary. (He is well within the top 1% of financial earners in his church. To his credit he does tithe his salary.) His denomination tells him when to move to another church. Does that sound independent to you?
Another pastor was talking about how the new generation of churches will be smaller and transient with bi-vocational pastors. This pastor is a good scholar. He has researched trends in the church and realizes that is what he needs to be training the next generation of pastors to do. Yet, when I think about this pastor, he went straight from high school, to college, to seminary, to his church. He serves in a denomination where the pastor is a professional. The churches in which he has served have always providing housing, paid his expenses, and given him a nice salary. His church isn't a mega-church by any standards but it is a good sized, medium church. He remarked the other day, "I haven't mowed a yard in years. People from the church come over and mow my yard (actually the yard of the parsonage where he lives that the church provides for him as part of his salary package)." Does that sound bi-vocational to you?
Another pastor, now at the end of his ministry due to his age, reflected with me regarding his life as a minister. He never had a church of over 250. He accepted meager salaries in spite of having seven children. He told me stories about God's provision: coats for his children that suddenly appeared on the doorstep one frigid winter morning, receiving "blue milk" and cheese from the local dairy, having an abundance of fresh farms eggs from an unnamed person in the community, working side-by-side with parishioners in painting and refurbishing the church (and telling of the wonderful theological truths and friendships that occurred during these times), caring for the church building by cleaning toilets, mowing the yard, taking out the trash, etc. Also, he never had a parsonage. Every home he lived in he either rented or owned (ironically, now at a ripe old age, on his meager salary, he owns several homes and they are rented by pastors or parishioners of his former churches). Each of these homes, he cared for in painting, refurbishing, caring for the lawn and shoveling snow. (Oh, that reminds me, he shoveled the snow at his churches. He wanted his church to be welcoming even during bad weather.) He stated he would never cancel church. "What if someone found their way to the church during bad weather only to find the doors locked? What if that was the time that they decided they needed Jesus? If even only one person showed up, I still had church." He NEVER wanted to count on the church to take care of him. He told me that he knew that he was called to be a pastor and in doing a pastor's work, he KNEW that God would take care of him. His salary was just to pay what expenses that he had as he never went into debt, owing no man anything.
Like I said in the first paragraph, three pastors: All successes in their own right. I would be pleased to be a member of their congregations. They are good men, godly men, holy men. They have the same Holy Spirit working in their lives.... yet, they are different. And sometimes, they rub me wrong. At least two of them do...
BE A MAN.
What if ? What if those deep desires in our hearts are telling us the truth, revealing to us the life we were meant to live? God gave us eyes so that we might see; he gave us ears that we might hear; he gave us wills that we might choose; and he gave us hearts that we might live. The way we handle the heart is everything. A man must know he is powerful; he must know he has what it takes. A woman must know she is beautiful; she must know she is worth fighting for. “But you don’t understand,” said one woman to me. “I’m living with a hollow man.” No, it’s in there. His heart is there. It may have evaded you, like a wounded animal, always out of reach, one step beyond your catching. But it’s there. “I don’t know when I died,” said another man. “But I feel like I’m just using up oxygen.” I understand. Your heart may feel dead and gone, but it’s there. Something wild and strong and valiant, just waiting to be released.
If you are going to know who you truly are as a man, if you are going to find a life worth living, if you are going to love a woman deeply and not pass on your confusion to your children, you simply must get your heart back. You must head up into the high country of the soul, into wild and uncharted regions and track down that elusive prey.This is an excerpt from the book, Wild at Heart by John Eldredge, page 18.BE HOLY.BE A MAN.
On business trips, I am often in consternation how to treat women, especially on the airplane. I have offered to help women put their luggage in the overhead bin only to be rebuffed. I have seen men jump over each other to help a frail young woman put her luggage in the overhead bin and I wonder "why can't she take care of herself?" Then I ask myself, "Am I honoring and respecting that young lady by letting her struggle on her own?" So, I thought that maybe I could enlist a woman's perspective.
I asked my older sister who spends the majority of her job on the road, flying in airplanes and staying in hotels. Here is her reply to my query (edited slightly with her permission):
"As a woman who travels on business a lot, I pack so that I can handle my own luggage --- always. I do not want to be dependent on anyone else. I don't know the intentions of those around me. And I must be careful giving out personal information to those I sit with. (like where I'm staying when out of town). I almost NEVER give out my business card. Unless I have made a really good connection that seems appropriate (usually with a woman, however -- and usually a connection about spiritual things.)
Regarding helping women with luggage on a plane, I would not assume the woman can't heft it into the overhead. However, if you see her looking around for help, I think that's an invitation to offer assistance. Just simply ask if you can help (with a smile) and accept her response either way. It shouldn't be a personal affront if she declines. But if you've waited until she appears to want help, then do so. Men sometimes help me pull luggage down from the overhead -- probably to keep me from bonking them on the head! I just say thank you and let it go. In an airplane, you're in a "community" that disbands as soon as you get off the plane.
Common courtesy and being polite is the order of the day, in my opinion -- without expectation and without taking a rebuff personally.
Be VERY careful with women traveling alone at hotels, in hotel restaurants, etc. I do not welcome any attempts at conversation in these instances. I am perfectly content to eat alone, and usually take my iPad so as to have something to occupy my time as I wait for the meal. I am not rude; just not welcoming at all. So, I would advise against any contact. (unless she falls on the floor and you help her up, etc....but that's different.)"
From my sister's response, I have gleaned a few things that are appropriate for men who want to respect and honor women:
1. A woman who is traveling is careful about the people around her. Hence, to inquire into a woman's personal information is not wise. It may give the wrong impression. If a woman freely gives that information, she is either not too savvy about the dangers of doing so or is wanting to have a relationship that extends beyond the airplane trip.
2. It's OK to ask if a woman wants help with her luggage, especially if she is telegraphing that she wants assistance. If she says she doesn't want help, there is no need to take it personally and that she thinks I am a dirty old man.
3. Flying together in a plane is a temporary "community." It operates long enough to get to the destination. Outside of the plane, there should rarely be continued contact.
4. There is no need to be overly friendly to women that are traveling alone. But there is also no need to be rude. Just be observant and if she is in obvious distress, then offer assistance (again if she declines help, don't take it personally).
I hope that this advice helps to spur you into thinking what it means to be a gentleman. A gentleman thinks of others and is mannerly.
What are your thoughts? Is there anything you would add about how to treat women in a business setting?
BE A MAN.
I was fortunate to spend three years serving our military in Germany. My time there taught me two important lessons about being a gentleman. One from a German and one from a U.S. Army Colonel.
I was on a German train traveling to a conference. It was a bullet train and I reserved my seat (you have to pay extra to get a reservation). When I got to my seat, a German man, a bit older than me, was sitting in my seat. It didn't matter that there were other seats available, he was in MY seat and I had PAID for that seat. I showed him my ticket and he got up and moved to an empty seat. What I didn't know was that he was sitting with his friends. He moved across the aisle and continued his conversation. I wasn't very friendly, I was upset that this guy could just sit in my seat. But I put in my earphones, listened to my iPod and tried to not act angry. As I sat there, listening to my CHRISTIAN music, God talked to me and said I was wrong. I was full of myself and was not acting like Christ. Finally, after several stops, I got up and went over to the man and apologized to him (in very broken German) and asked him to trade seats with me. In perfect English, he said, "no, it was my fault. It was my pleasure to let you sit there." Now, I felt even more foolish. This man said it was his "pleasure."
On another occasion, I was at a US Military hotel in Seoul, Korea and I was standing at the deli, ordering a sandwich. I noticed someone had taken the previous number and had thrown it on the ground. I thought about picking it up, then I thought, "I didn't put it down there, I'm not picking it up." I ordered my sandwich and sat down. Shortly after that, a Colonel came thru the line. He saw the number that was on the ground and he bent over, picked it up and threw it away and then got back in line. God spoke to me, He said, "so you thought you were too good to pick that up, huh? Look at that Colonel. Even though he is in charge and could have ordered a number of men to pick up that number, he did it himself." Then I was reminded of the story of the Centurion in Matthew 8. This Centurion was commended for his humility and faith.
So these two simple stories, I hope, help to spur you into thinking what it means to be a gentleman. A gentleman thinks of others. He doesn't get to thinking he is better than anyone else. A gentleman doesn't think that he is above doing tasks that don't seem worthy.
Yesterday at Target, when a woman ran over my toe with her shopping cart, I didn't erupt. I told her not to worry about it. When a man asked to sit next to me while I was waiting at the pharmacy for my prescription, I simply stated, "yes, it would be my pleasure."
Are you willing to allow God to make you into a gentleman?
BE A MAN.
We've spent the last two days discussing how affairs happen and the fallout to having an affair. Today, we will make a few pointers about fighting the temptation to stray from our marriages and families:
1. Build the marriage relationship - Communication is the key here. Staying in touch with each other's feelings, pressures and tensions will keep you focused on where your relationship needs work. Caring enough to meet these mutual needs in your marriage will help make your relationship a meaningful one in which to be involved. This kind of communication takes time. Make time for each other.
2. The affair process. Read thru again the 12-step affair process. Then read it with your spouse. Come to mutual agreements about how to relate to the opposite sex. The most important idea to remember is that all sin starts in the mind. If we control it there, it cannot grow. Turn your sexual fantasies toward your marriage. Control your thoughts. Pray for good dreams. God will help you manage this sexual dimension in your life.
3. Walk with God together. Be regular in fellowship with Christians. Be regular in worship. Be regular in your devotional life. Pray together as a couple. Go to meetings for men at your church. Men need to have a place where they can discuss openly and honestly with other men about the tensions and problems they encounter in life. Find a place of ministry in your church. Talk to your pastor, let him know your weaknesses and have him pray for you.
4. Count the cost. It helps us to keep our heads in the real world if we think about the consequences of infidelity. Think about how quickly your credibility and Christian witness would be compromised. Don't think temptation will never happen to you. No one is immune. Think about the fact that sin grieves our Lord. Think about how much it would hurt your wife, kids, parents, and in-laws. Even though thinking of the consequences of our sin can help us resist temptation, we are only truly moral in a biblical sense when we refuse to sin primarily out of our love for God.
Our goal in developing moral character is to get to the place where we act faithfully and consistently simply because to do otherwise would bring harm to the person and cause of the God we love.
Only a real and lasting love for God will guard and buttress our fight against the enemy.
This information is taken from TEMPTATIONS MEN FACE
BE A MAN.