Archives For Men

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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Upset CouplesMarried men have gargantuan responsibility to provide, protect, lead, love, be available for the kids, shepherd the family faith and most importantly wear the pressure that accompanies these responsibilities and burdens. In the midst of the battle, we also have the daunting assignment of cultivating and protecting that most mysterious marital commodity called – I-N-T-I-M-A-C-Y. You know – that unspoken, life-giving connection with your wife that feels like Christmas morning.

When it comes to the issue of connection between husbands and wives I am reminded of the cell phone commercial that asked: How many bars do you have?” Everyone gets it. The more bars you see displayed on your screen the better your connection. Now ask the same question measuring your connection level with your wife. Full bars? Two bars? No service?

The No. 1 complaint wives have about their men is, “he doesn’t listen to me,”because he’d rather “fix”the situation. “Listening” must not be confused with “hearing”, that biological miracle that helps us interact with our environment. Listening is an acquired skill, a conscious effort to take in what is being said by another person. Keyword? Conscious – which…

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FameWatch out for the world. It’s after you. It wants you in its cult following, wooing you with pleasures and power, fame and fortune, the nexus of excess. The cult of our culture provides the perfect distraction from what’s really important, and lures us with empty lusts, beliefs and religions.

It may not seem like an organized cult, but behind the apparent chaos and disorder is an enemy pulling the strings to entangle our mind, body and soul. It’s easy to overlook that we are targeted and marketed with endless desires to capture your time, energy and money. The world wants your worship, so you don’t worship the one who deserves it.

This cult of culture uses tangible ploys to steal our hearts. To get out of this world,God’s men have to acknowledge we are in a battle of unseen forces. It’s a war made of daily, even minute by minute, spiritual battles.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.Ephesians 6:12

Which side are you on? Are…

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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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