Archives For Men

VolcanoThe sound of the explosion was heard up to 3,000 miles away in Perth Australia.

That is on the ground reports following the Krakatoa volcano eruption in Indonesia in 1883. Its “blast zone” was felt worldwide because of a strange event within the volcano which occurred as it was undergoing a “normal” explosion. So what happened you say?

The bottom line is this: something got inside it.  Tuck that thought away for now as  I give you a twenty second lesson in volcanology.  Don’t worry.  You can steal the illustration later at no charge!

As Krakatoa’s walls began to rupture after its first two explosions, ocean water entered the magamatic chambers of the volcano creating the conditions for a “phreatomagmatic” (pronounced free-atto-mag-matic) event. This was the secret power behind Krakatoa’s unusual force and displacement powers. In simpler terms: the mother of all pressure cookers was created, contained, and then carried outward at the moment when the power below overcame the pressure above holding it down.

The result: a super-explosion that, quite literally, rocked the world.

Sitting on a spiritual pressure cooker?

So what do “phreatomagmatic” volcanic events, Krakatoa, the Holy Spirit, and rocking the world have to do with God’s men…

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Boys

I have often thought that if the Devil can’t make a man bad he’ll make him busy. When I am busy or in a hurry it is impossible for me to have quality relationships with God or people. The Devil knows this and is able to hide behind any man’s “busy” schedule to accomplish his goal: the destruction of his relationships. He is very aware of the fact that to reallyknow someone a man must learn to slow his pace down to be present and connect. There are the simple mechanics of healthy relationships that can be easily destroyed through external over-commitment and its partner – hurry.

Satan’s scheme gets men playing the “busy” card as a justification for lack of quality in their connections with God and people. A full and robust work life should be an expectation of men not a rationalization for why our relationships are weak – especially when it comes to your relationship with God. Get that.

It is a healthy expectation of men to earn a living, provide for a family and secure their future. Take that seriously. But when our “to-do” list overshadows our “to-be” list as a believer, husband, or Father, then something could be…

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Shift

Don’t worry.

There’s an “F” after the “SHI” and before the “T” and, yes, I did it on purpose.  I am exchanging the secular phrase for a sacred principle, the silly for the serious, and if I pressed your buttons then mission accomplished.  What remains are the two words every believer must consider if they claim to be a follower of Jesus – holy and shift.  See for yourself.

“If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 NCV

That’s some major shift going down.  Oops did it again.  Key word here? Everything.   God says he wants all of you versus parts of you.  Get that.  Life with God requires change in God if the relationship is working the way he designed.   God himself is telling me in strong, simple terms that when he is at the center of my life I don’t get to pick and choose my changes of life and lifestyle.  It’s positional.

“Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?”  Luke 6:46 NIV

By contrast, if we do call him “Lord, Lord”…

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Footprint

You’ve done it. Stepped over the line and accepted God’s free gift of love and salvation, deciding to become a follower of Jesus Christ. You may feel different, forgiven and ready to start a new life. Or you may feel pretty much the same, but with a whole lot of new questions that come with a decision to do life God’s way.
Either way, the next question is…

Now what?

For new Christians, walking from their “decision” on wobbly spiritual legs, the next few moments, hours, and days can seem bewildering. There’s new vocabulary confusion, or “Christian-ese” that’s easier for theologians to understand than those who have just begun their journey spiritually. And it may seem like every Christian veteran has unsolicited advice for you.

So Every Man Ministries wants to provide some “crawl” steps on your way to what we pray will be a strong walk with God.

S – Start developing your relationship with God.

The entire “Christian” conversation, and the most distinctive part of our faith, is focused on God’s desire to have a relationship with us. He wants to be your friend and heavenly father. He wants you to know him,…

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Dating Couple

The guy sitting across from me is a professing and practicing Christian. He drops by my office unannounced today to talk to me about his new online dating life. Specifically, he wants to talk about the over-willingness of Christian women he has encountered on several of his dates who want to jump right from a very public conversation and vanilla latte at Starbucks to very private whispers and physical exchanges between the sheets back at his place.

Usually this gender scenario is reversed, but the sex, love and dating landscape continues to move in a progressively liberal direction among Christians without any solid indicators that it will change anytime soon. Both sexes today, across all ages and Christian demographics, are prone to compartmentalize their faith away from their sexual life.

While Christian singles report praying and church attendance are highly desirable qualities in the dating matrix, a troubling and confusing dichotomy arises when the issue of sex beforemarriage presents itself. Specifically, single Christians enter a sexual fog. That fog clouds and hides the reality that an identity rooted in Christ should manifest itself in intelligent and hope-filled sexual restraint based on God’s promises and instead replaces it with fear…

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Man on Couch

Much has been written over the past few years about the lack of male involvement and discipleship in the local church. Books on how to create engaging worship services that are gritty and rock n’ roll-ish, or how-tos on organizing “man” events of weight lifting, eating grilled beef, and drinking beer (sorry to my Baptist friends) are in abundance. But where are the men?

One would think that with the rise of church planting and prolific pastors and authors advocating for a type of “strong man” Christianity, we would see a difference in the membership of young fast-growing churches. But from mine and many others’ experiences, this trend of a manless Christianity has not only continued, but gotten worse.

We have done everything we can to open the doors for their acceptance and involvement, but when push comes to shove, the idea of staying at home watching ESPN, designing a logo for a new company, finishing a work project, or merely sleeping in, becomes top priority.

With this sad reality in mind, I want to share what I believe to be the 7 foundational actions we need to take as leaders to…

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Men for Battle

A Warrior Is Born

His dad slept with a prostitute and he is the product of the infidelity.  From birth he is labeled and treated as illegitimate by his family and his faith community. No one seems to know what to do with him and, over the years, it’s clear to him he is unwanted.  No one will claim him and he wonders if he belongs anywhere.  It takes a while but eventually limited family resources, his mixed blood, and greed conspire to physically and materially divest this young man out of the only community of faith, family, and future he knows.    He is orphaned by his own and a ranger is born.

Meet Jepthah.

Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. His father was Gilead; his mother was a prostitute. Gilead’s wife also bore him sons, and when they were grown up, they drove Jephthah away. “You are not going to get any inheritance in our family,” they said, “because you are the son of another woman.”  So Jephthah fled from his brothers and settled in the land of Tob, where a group of adventurers gathered around him and followed him….

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Steps

“You can’t do that!”

Ever heard those words?  I am sure Josiah did when the whole topic of idols in the land came up.  What made him think he could rid the land of idols when so many Kings, even good ones like Hezekiah and Asa, could not do it.    But in the tradition and spirit of David, Josiah decides the Word comes first over the world and that his leaders will be the ones to heed the Words of God and honor the heart of God.  He resolves that idolatry will end under his watch and that this spiritual disease infecting his lands, polluting their worship, and introducing sin will be no more.   His steps are noticeably familiar and worth noting because this a major move of God among his people to create spiritual health in the community of faith.  Time to watch some game film and highlight what went right in order for God’s leader to overcome all the odds.

Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.  He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the…

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Wires

Connectivity.

It is a precious commodity in the leadership world.  With it you can move your organization through changes and challenges much easier and with greater facility than those who lack it.  Those leaders who lack connectivity among their people move slowly and painfully without a system of reliable relationships to mobilize the larger community.  And while a lot of leaders claim to have a great team and structure in their organizations, they really don’t know the strength of their “network” until it’s tested and the depth of its traction produces real movement forward. 

Key words?  Traction and forward.

All pastors want it.  Most don’t have it.  Either we are over-asking which ultimately desensitizes our people to the point of learned apathy or we under-ask and rely on fancy commercials or bulletin graphics to get it done for us.  Not only are both methods highly ineffective in raising up the necessary muscles for our Kingdom missions but they are also weak substitutes for having a real relational network that doesn’t have to be “sold.”  People don’t like being sold but they do like and respond well to people they know, trust, and like…

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It’s late at night and my phone rings. An old friend is on the line, and the first thing I hear is, “I think I’ve ruined everything . . . I’ve had an affair.”

In a culture gone crazy for sex, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I always am.

You would be hard pressed to find a television sitcom without sex. Primetime is bombarded with casual sex and illicit affairs. From dramas like Desperate Housewives to Scandal, it seems the new normal is to cheat on your spouse who then cheats on you for revenge.

Estimates of American men involved in extramarital affairs at least once in their lives range from 22% to 75%; estimates for women range from 14% to 60%. Add to that the statistic that 74% of men and 68% of women say they would have an affair if they knew they would never be caught, and it’s obvious this is a big problem in our society!

So let’s take a brief look at the anatomy of an affair and how to have one (if you want to ruin everything).

First, ignore all…

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