Chapter 1 Why We Need Men of Resolution

If you know me, you know I loathe New Years Resolutions.  It’s essentially setting a goal you know you’ll fail at, but you expect to be fully committed and successful at.  If you were going to do what you’re wanting to start on Jan 1, you would have started it on Dec 31.  That being said.  I am making a resolution public that I’ve already attempted since July 2014.  Being the man of God that he intended for me to be.  At this point in my life, it’s being a Godly husband, the leader to my house, the leader my wife needs me to be, and yes I said needs because…well…it’s biblical.  So the next series of posts will be a personal account of my resolution to God, my wife, and my family.

We don’t have s first chapter is basically talking about why children need their father.  So as I read through it I won’t lie, I thought “this isn’t for me”.   But it occurred to me I missed two very important parts.  First, I hope one day we will be blessed with a flannel wearing, camp loving, fishing, rough baby boy.  Second, I have a nephew who needs a Godly uncle in his life.  So I went back through it, reread it, and came away from it with a different mindset.

All to often, men, we fall asleep at the wheel.  We are the driver, think about how dangerous this really is.  Personally I never looked at this life as being in a car but it is the best analogy that could have been printed.  Men fail in two ways in this aspect:

  1. Asleep:  I am extremely guilty of this.  I forgot that money isn’t the most important thing.  My wife, bless her, has been sick 2 days.  She needed me to stay at home and nurture her this morning.  What did I do? Go off to my second job, which adding in I own the business I went to work at.  I didn’t need to go, we didn’t need the money, it was unnecessary and I was needed at home.  I put work first and it was a wrong decision.  This chapter was about being a dad though so I only half related.  When it comes to my nephew though…I failed him in the most agonizing way.  This last summer when we were planning the wedding I was at my in-laws house and me and my nephew had a moment we went outside to catch crickets for my spider.  Eventually, after catching 1 giant camel cricket he stopped and looked up at all of the stars and said “wow I’ve never noticed how many stars there are”.  Ding ding ding wake up Matt! Wake up!  WAKE UP!!!!!!  Missed it.  Asleep at the wheel.  I said yeah check out the Big Dipper, see that it’s the Milky Way, let’s see if we can see the satalite passing by….blah blah blah blah blah.  Stupid.  I missed an opportunity to connect with him in a deeper way than I’ve ever had before or since.  
  2. Dictatorship:  or some men take this leader thing to a new level.  You can’t lead on a high horse, leading means you get into the mud and get you hands dirty.  I hope I’m not this way ever so my experience is limited, but I will say that me and my wife work together as we can.  I pick up where she lacks as does she when I lack.  Even with that I fail sometimes.  

Opportunities though.  Young men and women, boys and girls, need a father.  How will your son know what love is if you don’t know the love of Our Heavenly Father? They will by default look at you and connect God to the love you show them.  If you are not getting up, taking you son or daughter to church, talking to them about God, praying with them and for them, teaching them to be Godly.  You are handing them over to the world.  You are failing them, and your not fulfilling your role as a Godly rolemodel.  Then when they’re 16 on drugs, pregnant, in prison…..you’ll wonder why.  No I’m not saying if your child is 16 and any of those you didn’t stand and be courageous when the time was nigh, but you did fail them and God…and some of the reason falls on your head.  You have to ask yourself, am I willing to let sin into my home, into my child’s life, and risk their soul?  Are you willing to work to many hours, sacrifice time in front of a tv, reaching for a bottle, to jeopardize your child’s salvation?

“Right now, this generation doesn’t know what true fatherhood looks like.  They rarely see it modeled in the media or at home.  And sadly, the result is another generation deeply struggling to understand what God is really like” (Kendrick & Alcorn, 2011).  This is what it’s came to? Stand up, wake up, take the wheel.  Be the leader.  

“I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.” (Kendrick & Alcorn 2011)

Kendrick, & Alcorn. (2011). The Resolution For Men. Nashville , TN: B&H Books.

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New Years Reso…What?

Here we are, 2016 gone.  This year for me has had many new additions, most notable is I got married to an amazing Godly woman (which is an amazing addition).  So we’ve came to that time of year where people make resolutions, things like going to the gym, quitting an addiction, or going to church more, praying more, reading the Bible daily…so forth and so on.  Without even looking back in time I can tell you my top New Years resolution was to be more like my grandfather.  That probably throws some people off because I should obviously want to be like my dad, but not to worry I want to be more like my dad every day; this year my resolution was to be like my grandfather.  Strikingly, he was humble, quiet, thoughtful, Godly, the picture perfect man in wisdom among many other qualities.  Naturally and humanly, I failed many times.  Not only was that my resolution but my prayer.  As it stands though I failed my resolution as a majority, as do we all, but God did answer that prayer in many other ways though.  This year has been notable for many reasons.

With Christmas just behind us I’m delighted to share that my wonderful wife got me a journaling bible and two bible studies.  First off, I love taking notes and I love drawing.  That being said I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind notes in my bible but I do not want drawings (not that I feel as if this is wrong or right it’s just not me).  But notes! This I need because of my overly active brain. I can keep my focus when I can, then revisit it at a later time. The Bible studies though, I’m excited about…which essentially ends this post to break into the next one.  I’m starting the study “The Resolution for Men”.  I’m hoping for a new year new me resolution, what better place to start than at home…. 

It Only Took A Little Faith

I think if you’ve kept up with my blog you’ve found that I do not go with the general flow very often.  It’s probably arguable that I go against the flow more often than not, it’s probably one of my most noted characteristics.  I am very strong in my convictions and try to stand by them, even in the face of adversity I try to be a rock.  In the past few months I stood against essentially all of my social media friends pertaining to the recent election, and I may write a blog soon about how I think the church turned against the calling of God and commands of God to vote for either option.  The common consensus though was that my vote counted for something.  That sentiment was quite right from any side of that paradigm even the one where you vote for neither, which many forgot that.  That being said there’s been many other situations I’ve stood against the flow and nothing has changed and probably never will.

I named my blog biblicallyinclined because I have a tendency to apply the Bible to everything I can, sometimes following what it says and other times failing to do so.  Recently I started a study on Philippians, so far only 13 verses into the first chapter.  I’ve always had a passion for the teachings of Paul because we both experienced prison, although my conversion to Christianity didn’t come until a few years later.  One of the reasons i am shameful for that time period was that I fooled many people including my own family into thinking I had just backslid away from Christianity, when in fact I personally do not believe I was ever saved.  (Another story for another time).  

The primary point in this episode is to reiterate that standing behind your convictions isn’t wrong.  Also, voicing those convictions is far from judgement.  In the past few months I’ve been accused of judging someone for their actions, when in fact I posed a simple question concerning the validity of their “conversion” because of those actions.  Which essentially brings me to the point that judgement is different than discernment.  

Paul had an opportunity in his life to stay Saul, even though that would have probably kept him blind and he probably would have went half mad in the process.  I don’t think that people realize the impact that Paul had on the future of the world.  Through the sands of time Paul’s faith in God paved the way for Christianity as we know it today.  Had Paul have said “I feel your conviction, I just don’t want to sit in prison the rest of my life” we wouldn’t have the New Testament in the capacity that we have it now.  Paul knew why he was going through the persecution to an extent, but he also knew the impact his faith was having on the Christian community.  Philippians 1:12 “But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.”  Can you imagine the opportunity to be put under persecution to further the gospel? It’s not likely that any of us truest can because we in the US live under this shield of protection called the constitution (although it’s slowly deminishing each day).  Furthermore most of us, me included wouldn’t stand up under the kinds of persecution Paul faced.  I asked my self why Paul did this and was answered in vs 13 “So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in ALL the other places.”  This should be our mind set.  “I’m going to stand for God 110%, even if it costs me my life.  For Paul it did cost him his life, for Jesus he gave his life, for me and you, what do we go through because we’re Christian? A joke in the locker room at work? Backlash on social media for an “Offensive” post?  This cushion we have is killing the church in America and we don’t even see it happening.  Who was effected by Paul’s faithfulness? All of the brethren Vs 14 “And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word with out fear.”  What happened to the Christians with a backbone who would stand up and say “Hey this is wrong” the ones who didn’t settle for lukewarm? What happened to the faith that standing for right 110% would yield a profitable crop? Pleasing to God.  Woe is me that we’ve came to a point that we cherry pick what sounds good and skim over the parts that don’t fit our worldly agenda!  

Have I succeeded in every aspect of my life to stand for what is right? No.  But trying and failing is human, it’s the mortal sin we hold so close while not even meaning to.  Church, if we don’t start standing for right 110% how can we expect God to bless us at all?  If we keep muddying the waters, watering down Christianity, if we keep cooling it down to Luke warm how?  If we can not be the fire this world needs and a shinning light in the face of evil…even if it’s the lesser evil…we will be trodden down and our flame put out.  

Philippians 1:20-21

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in NOTHING I shall be ASHAMED, but that with all boldness, as always, so now Christ shall be magnified in my body whether it be by life, or by death (21) For to me to LIVE is Christ, and to die is gain”
One mans faith set the future of Christianity in stone….