Archives For Men

A Fighter’s Fuel

By Kenny Luck

I’m not talking about a carb load. I’m talking about the “bread of life” and the “living water” that deliver first food to a man of God both for short-term power and long-term rewards.

Breakfast of FightersI think many of us fall into a morning routine that starts with jolt of caffeine, reviewing Facebook posts and scanning the news. We can easily overlook the battle being waged while we bury our nose in the sports pages. Is that feeding your mind and spirit with proper preparation and spiritual nutrition to face an antagonistic culture, a deceptive flesh, and seasoned enemy?

In Colossians 3 we get a glimpse of how to live and what to focus on, to “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (The rest of the chapter offers practical advice as well.)

Men need to re-calibrate how we think, and establish the correct vision for the day. And it starts in the morning. That’s how Jesus did it. That’s how David did it. That’s how we should do it.

If focusing on Jesus,…

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Don’t tell me you haven’t looked … You know what I’m talking about — women wearing skin-tight yoga pants. It’s even big news. Clothing maker Lululemon Athletica lost millions of dollars from investors a couple of years back when reports came out that they had to recall their yoga pants for being too sheer. Imagine being in the store and seeing a woman having to prove the knit is too thin!  Well, apparently the company fixed the sheer problem, but leads me to think there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

Many times, temptation starts with the eyes, and where you look. In James 1:14-16, God reveals how sin starts with a look, and ends with destruction. “But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.”

Kenny Luck, Every Man MinistriesAn example of this, is Potiphar’s wife. In the story about Joseph in Genesis 39:7 she would “cast her eyes upon Joseph…” Every day, her longing gaze at the handsome…

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Men: Avoid the With more than 1.11 billion users, Facebook has become a staple in today’s modern culture, a revolutionary social and marketing tool, massive industry with its own vernacular. Let me add a new phrase, the “Facebook Fumble”. This is one with devastating repercussions.

By nature, Facebook was designed to connect with old and new “Friends.” It’s like having a high school reunion online, anytime. You can “Like” people, photos, comments and corporate brands and receive regular “Posts” on your “Wall.” You can create “Groups” of individuals with similar interests. You can also “stalk” others from a virtual distance by viewing photographs, comments of others.

Facebook is so ingrained into our society it’s even one of the fastest ways to spread news, outrunning the television and media outlets to breaking events. These days, people wake up to the morning cup of jo and read their Facebook before other news sources.

Unfortunately, all this social enabling, while entertaining and immensely useful to re-connect with people, is causing a threat to the family and marriage.

I call it the “Facebook Fumble” because more than a third of divorce filings last…

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Mercer beating Duke. Frasier over Ali. Yang out-stroking Tiger. Valvano’s Wolfpack taking down The Dream’s Houston Cougars in ’83. Namath’s Jets shocking the Colts. Buster Douglas knocking out Tyson. And, perhaps the greatest sports upset of all time … the 1980 “miracle on ice” US Olympic Hockey Team beating the high-powered Soviet Union.

But there’s another upset that tops ‘em all. Imagine facing a perennial No. 1 warrior, 9-foot tall monster of a man with a menacing reputation and master of psychological and physical warfare, covered head to toe in armor and carrying weapons with physical power never before seen by a man on earth?

We all love the Cinderella story. But when you’re facing a giant like this, courage alone can only get you to the battlefield. To win, you’ve got to have something extra.

Giant KillerAsk David. He was a shepherd boy, taking care of sheep and serving his brothers snacks while they were on the front lines of battle. Hardly the makings of a warrior. He wore loose and light clothes, sandals, maybe had a shepherd’s staff, and a sling-shot. Although David was underestimated, his greatest assets were not external,…

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Every young sports fan dreams of being a professional athlete — the physique, fame and fortune. Unfortunately, when we pick up the Sports page or log on to the net, we see on a regular basis that not all athletes are as strong at home as they are on the field. That’s because there’s one more thing that often accompanies professional athletic success: Adoring women.

Sex scandals have taken down some of the most amazing athletes and their marriages. Sitting atop of their game, many athletes don’t know how to deal with the adoration of women, and fall to a lack of self-control and/or short-term memory loss. Then POOF — their marriage is in shambles, reputation tainted, costly divorce proceedings, and the media hyenas eat up the infidelity stories until there is nothing left on the bone.

Kenny Luck, Every Man MinistriesYou might be surprised to know, however, I don’t think the No. 1 threat to marriage is infidelity. Of course, cheating can certainly cause divorce and make it extremely difficult to recover a healthy marriage. And, yes, I agree women can be highly tempting, but they…

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New Year's ResolutionsIt’s inevitable and universal, as soon as Christmas winds down and December 31 appears on our phones, we all face a new year with new opportunities. Many are resolving to lose weight or gain greater income or set some other goal, typically requiring will power and time management skills — both of which often fade within a few weeks.

If God were writing our resolutions, what do you think He would come up with?

I think God wants us to make “time for a change.”

Throughout the Bible, we see that God is a God of change. He’s the ultimate game-changer, a change-agent that changes things, people, hearts and minds.

But it requires a slight, but powerful, paradigm shift of the rudders steering our energies and expressions. We’re all given the same amount of time, and as hard as we try, our calendars often have more control over our schedules and lives than we realize. We get caught trying to do more within our allotted days, leading us to fatigue and frustration when we can’t check off the items on our list.

God doesn’t have the same time management problem we…

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These days, I think the song “Jingle Bells” might start like this:

“Dashing through the snow with a high-def touchscreen display, all the fields we go, tweeting and texting all the way. Bells on smartphones ring, making bandwidth bright, what fun it is to stare and cling to a virtual world tonight…”

Silver bells, tinsel and mistletoe are being replaced with smartphones, tablets, computers and social media. Our youth are catching on to the technology-driven era at younger and younger ages. They pay more attention to screens than people. In fact, one toy maker is even rolling out a bouncy seat for infants with a built-in iPad holder. My co-worker told me his 2-year-old daughter toddled up to the TV to try and swipe it like an iPad. Another father in my office said his 18-month daughter knows how to unlock and navigate his smartphone.

A new study, conducted by the Common Sense Media group, reported 72% of children ages 8 and younger have used a mobile device with 17% using the device daily.

When Jesus said to “Let the children come to me,” I doubt he intended to give a slideshow from a mobile device with wi-fi.

Technology…

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10 New Holiday Traditions

By Kenny Luck

Holiday Treasures: 10 New Tradition IdeasWhile holidays provide times to thank God, and celebrate Christ’s birth, so often we get caught up in the familiar patterns we’ve always followed. Turkeys, trees, trimmings. Cookies, cakes and gaining weight. That’s all ok. But I think many men just show up, instead of getting involved and taking the lead.

We all have holiday family traditions. Some are handed down, others are created by accident. Some traditions we’d rather never happened. But I think God’s man can play a greater role. What if we intentionally created a new tradition(s) that honored God and others — and was fun to boot?

Here are a couple of traditions in the Luck family:

  • We “Ding-Dong-Ditch” a single mom.  That’s right, we ring the doorbell and run but not after leaving presents on her porch for her and each child that are age and gender specific.  This combines dangerousness with goodness.  My favorite Holiday giving moment.  We save change all year, count it, go to the bank, get dollars, and my kids go shopping for others.  Me and my son Ryan are NAVY SEALS on delivery, insertion,…

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GiftsI broke the rules.

I asked overly self-conscious Orange County men and women to stand in the middle of a church service if they had never heard the words “I love you” or “I am proud of you” from their father.  A good ten seconds passed before one brave man stood and then several more women and men joined him.  The keyboard player began to play some comforting chords which infused this moment of freedom and healing with a gentle and safe spirit.  Like a breaker rolling onto the Laguna Beach shoreline it came from the back to the front.  A wave of people began to rise up out of their seats.  Some were weeping, some were holding their spouse’s hand, and others stood alone. The pure shock and awe of people letting their defenses down and making themselves vulnerable, in a public way, was powerful.

This burning bush moment began forty minutes earlier with a few well placed matches that I knew would kindle a great fire in the hearts and souls of many when I said: “I think all of us can agree that, for better or for worse, fathers…

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Future

Worrying about the future is big business and a big burden. We ask our kids what they want to be when they grow up. Tiger moms and dads pressure their kids to perform at a high level at very tender ages in order to get little Johnny and Jenny out in front of the future. In the process, we are creating kids who are paralyzed by the prospect of not meeting expectations. Case in point, I asked a high-school senior the other day what her college plans were and she walked away from the whole group. In her mind it was easier to excuse and embarrass herself than to take on her future.  This obsession with controlling the future is getting out of hand and adults are no better.  We are constantly peering into the crystal ball, planning ahead, forecasting, imagining what may be, dreaming of new realities, and how to avoid potential pitfalls.  But what happens when my future fails to meet my own, someone else’s, or culture’s expectations?

ANSWER: It becomes a burden.

Not meeting forecasts, getting behind on “the plan”, missing goals, dates and deadlines can be consuming….

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AssassinSin is most powerful in the darkness. Sin’s power to operate in secret has destroyed many followers of Jesus. Open sin can be confronted, rebuked, challenged and repented. Secret sin eats away like acid on skin. Jesus warned us the most dangerous things to us come from inside ourselves (Matthew 15:16-20).

Sin is most powerful when secret

Sin is most powerful when unknown, and few sins among Christians are more destructive in secret than pornography. In Bible Studies for Life, Chip Ingram writes, “13 percent of all web searches are related to erotic content almost 9 out of 10 young men (85 percent) and almost half of young women (48 percent) report viewing pornography.”

More troubling than the overall data is that related to followers of Jesus: 50 percent of men and 20 percent of Christian women regularly view pornography. Too many from the body of Christ are being eaten up from the inside by this secret sin. Marriages are suffering. Husbands do not love their wives as they should. Wives are looking for pleasure apart from their husbands. Single adults are allowing pornography to substitute for actual relationships rather than remaining…

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Man YellingAfter spending a decade on the phones counseling depressed, down, and suicidal people I have come to the conclusion that suicide (in some form) is a thought all men have pondered. From “I wish I wasn’t here” to “everybody would be better off without me” to “I want the pain to end”, all men have wanted dramatic relief at some time in their lives. Unfortunately, while more women attempt suicide, it’s men who are more successful taking their own lives. It’s the final step in the plan for destruction, set in motion by our enemy. All too often, the thoughts, circumstances, sadness or brain trauma that lead up to suicide, get suppressed momentarily, only to be resurfaced more effectively.

Hope gets lost. The decision of self-demolition ensues. Yet…There is hope, and there is life. It’s just one call away. And, it comes with a promise. The key word to remember is “yet…”

The Bible, and the entire book of Lamentations, includes many true stories about being in distress. One Lament, in chapter 3 verses 19-20, provides context we can relate to: Feelings of affliction, aimless wandering, bitterness, and a downcast soul….

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