Tag Archives: Christian men

New Beginnings

So, last week I started a new job and an entirely new career.  What I though I was getting into, vs what I actually got into ended up being a little different, but the misunderstanding is actually a positive.

I like an adventure.  Hiking, outdoors, camping, ect.  I love these things, but I have always been into Electronics.  I’m high school I took a computer engineering class, drafting, among other classes in college and even beyond that just more or less a hobby for the bigger part of my life messing around with speakers in cars and in my home.  The challenge to hide every cable has always been fun.  So it doesn’t come to a surprise that running low voltage cables for various things like fire alarms, speakers, data cables, ect.  ends up being fun for me, not to mention the scissor lifts, climbing ladders such things are equally a new challenge.  

This new beginning for me and my wife is….well the newest adventure for me.

Facing the Fire

It’s never been easy for me to grasp facing the fires.  I guess at birth our conditioning starts and we prefer to experience pleasant days, green pastures, blue skies.  Isn’t that what signifies God’s favor? A pleasant life? I would almost argue the contrary. From the first sin until now, this very moment story after story people have found them self in the fire.  Adam to John, Job to Paul.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  The book cover of courageous men, Christians with a spine, finding themselves in the middle of the fire.  It’s easy for us to see the lack of God’s control of a situation, when in fact he’s never left our side.  He may not make the situation change, but what if….he’s walking through the fire and that’s the blessing?  The fact that we are experiencing fires is the blessing?  Remember, God didn’t promise that you’d walk through the rose garden, but he did promise he would walk with us through the fire. Count your blessings, don’t forget the fires.

Detox the World

Have you ever just wanted to quit an addiction, even if for just a short period of time, to detox your body from chemicals that are self induced and abundantly damaging to your general wellbeing?  My wife and I did….

Here lately I’ve been doing the Bible study, “The Resolution for Men”.  A study based around the concept of the movie Courageous, designed specifically for men who want some good advice and a reminder to their calling from God.  Going through it, it’s made me consider how every choice I’ve made, am making, or will make has been from a leadership standpoint (whether or not it was the right choice or not).  Trust me I’ve made some terrible choices while at other times I sought after God’s plan and knew that I had lead me and my wife in the right direction. 

Seeking after what I believe is His will for my life, this coming week we have both decided to take a fast from things that have proven to be a general distraction from not just Him but also each other.  My wife is going to do a blog about it to some extent so I don’t want to steal her thunder, and I won’t go into any detail.  

Sometimes you just have to detox the world out of your life.  I believe that it would do everyone good to turn the world off and turn God and family on louder.  I hope at the end of this period of fasting we achieve 3 main things:

  1. Spiritual Clarity:  we aren’t really seeking clarity on anything specific.  But for me, I want to be closer and have a deeper relationship to/with God.  I want to stop for just a period and say “God, please speak to me, please be with me….please let me be close to you”.  
  2. Marital Clarity:  for me this isn’t an indication that anything is wrong with our relationship, to the contrary it’s still as amazing as the day I met her.  But I fear more than anything complacency.  I think you can get complacent while everything being great, which could be setting you up for a major let down when it isn’t great.  To counteract that I think a couple has to always be sure to work together and serve the other.
  3. Sound Clarity:  For me this is also about bringing simplicity back to my ever hectic life.  I thrive off of 2 totally opposite things.  I like the grind, the pressure to meet deadlines, the need to do efficient quick work.  But….BUT….my wife will be the first to tell you one of my favorite things is to sit on the back deck drink a cup of strong coffee and smoke a quality cigar.  I need both in my life but all to often the former outweighs the latter. So a week of playing cards, listening to country gospel, knitting, talking….is exactly what I need.

So hence forth we travel.

-What doest t profit a sir to gain the w’rld and loseth his soul?

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.

The Lesser of Evil?

DAY 1:

I felt like this was needed.  This, fast from Facebook.  It seems as if all there is anymore, all this month and year have been about is this election.  It’s sad.  It’s sad that it’s came down to abortion as a deciding factor.  Let that sink in.  It’s came down to, not if all abortions are murder, only if some are.  That’s from both sides.  So, it came to my attention that I stir up trouble with in the Christian community because my stance is different.  I choose neither.  for most this is a hard concept.  You have to choose one or its a vote for the other.  I’m not sorry that I’ve stood up for what I believe is right.  I’m also not sorry that I called out some of the brethren on these matters.  I am sorry in the manner in which I did it, but not sorry for what I said.  It is simple…

So why not Hilary?  Well for me it goes deeper than abortion, benghazi, the emails.  It’s about principle.  It’s evident she has no moral compass.  I do not trust her with America.  But I truely believe we should vote for the Christian.  Hands down.  It’s quite obvious by her lies, social stance, and own admission that she’s not a Christian.  So no, I can’t imagine being part of a group of people that help put her into office for my own moral fortitude.

So why not Trump?  Trump is obviously narcissistic.  He believes only he can save America.  Thirty years ago we wouldn’t have voted for him because of his instability, instability people marvel at now.  He is the text book definition of a sociopath, because of his lack of empathy and lack of true emotion or remorse.  It is what it is…

So the question remains when you’re voting, does the bible say vote for the Christian?  I could go into what it says about leaders but the debate will arise that we’re  not electing pastors.  So it’s debatable. For that I agree.  We are electing someone who is put forth to lead this country though.  To help protect this wonderful gift from God.  This country is a gift.  Imagine God handing you something and saying… here this it is your responsibility to put someone in charge of it…. to protect it, to uphold it’s laws, to lead it to better laws.  This is My gift to you….

These two people aren’t it.  These two people by their own admissions have said they will dismantle the US and it’s structure.  Each in their own individual ways.   Each disregards what is right and although I’m in agreement that abortion is worse on a certain level than tax evasion or disrespect to women; both are wrong.  

Is there a right choice? No, and I think most of us can agree that Trump is far from equipped and ready to be the president.  

All of that being said.  Day 1 was about me getting over this election.  Deciding that I have peace about not voting because I never gained peace about who to vote for.

When it is said that a man’s vote isn’t important or is wasted, for whomever that may be, our democratic voting process has already failed. When it is reduced down to 2 people being the only choices, be it literal or figurative, our system has also failed.  The only reason it’s still a democratic voting structure is because there’s 2 and not 1.

Thank you,

Matt

Who Am I?

In today’s times our churches are plagued with men who lack the backbone to be, to their fullest potential, who God calls them to be.  All to often, we doubt our ability to rise to the calling.  What we do not realize is we aren’t just doubting ourselves, we’re doubting the very fiber of Gods ability to transform us into true men of God.  So we ask, “Who Am I?”.  Who we are isn’t as complicated as why we are, and although the bible is laced with examples of how a man should be there is an underlying likeness to most of the greates in the bible.  The Nazarite.

The Nazarite vow to be exact is found in Number 6.  By all of the greates I primarily mean Samson, John the Baptist, Paul, and yes…Jesus.  One truth about the Nazarite vow is that either you were born into it (Samson, Jesus, John the Baptist) or God called you into it (Paul).  I personally feel like it’s VERY important in the question “Who Am I?”.  Why it’s important is very simple you are chosen, that’s who you are…a chosen child and man of God, not to single out the ladies because this applies to you also.  You are chosen to a higher calling in life, we are all called to be preachers, not all are called to be pastors though…not to confuse that.  I believe the Nazarite vow is crucial in describing Who I Am and what I am called to be.  I also believe there are three key factors to being a modern Nazarite and being a modern Christian.

  1. Act Different:  in our churches, homes, and personal lives today this is a point of conflict.  Verse 3 says “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from their kernels even to the husk.”  Different.  It’s fairly debatable about drinking beer or alcohol in general, for the record I think it’s wrong.  And although I think that is part of what we can get from this, I believe it’s a small portion.  Different.  But different how?  I believe these verses are speaking to the very fiber of our daily life.  What are you putting into your soul?  Are you partying, listening to music that doesn’t please God?  Are you drinking, having premarital sex, adultey, lust.  Do you watch tv shows you know are wrong?  What are you bringing into your life?  Think about the positive difference it would make for you to listen to Christian music, watch Godly shows.  Think about the Child’s song “be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear….be careful where you go…because just like casting crowns wrote in their song…it’s a slow fade.  No, you’re not an alcoholic from day one, no you’re not cheating on your spouse at the first smile…everything ungodly that you let into your life is opening a door that leads to a road of destruction.  Different.  You should have a filter in your life, if you watch enough movies with cussing eventually you’re going to cuss, listen to enough sad beer drinking songs you’re going to drink, enough shows with unwed sex you’re going to have sex.  Different.  You are called as a Christian to hold yourself to a higher standard, so what are you waiting for.
  2. Look Different:  this set of verses basically says he shall not let a razor pass over his head for all the days of his seperation.  Although I’d like to have an excuse for growing my beard and hair, I actually do not.  Imagine that you were walking in the spirit to such an extent that someone could look at you and see a difference.  We should look different.  Someone’s perception of a Christian through us should be different than that of the world.  If we look like the world, act like the world, talk like the world…how is that being a Christian.  More so how is that being a church?  There’s a local church here with literally a Starbucks in the church, their services look like a rock concert, the preacher looks like he’s on his way to vacation, and although I’ve never fully heard the preaching I can only imagine what it’s like.  At another church they have known and admitted homosexual “Christians” as members and who believe they’re saved.  Church, people, we are on the road to destruction because we look like the world.  Different.  
  3. Socially Different: The last verse is a hard one.  It basically says all the days of his seperation he will not come in contact with the dead.  We have to separate ourselves from not only the things of the world but also the people.  The bible warns us about yoking ourselves to the unbeliever.  Do I think this means we can’t talk and witness with the unbeliever?  No.  But the key to all three of these is setting yourself apart from the world.  We can not be “a part” of this world but be part of something that tell us to be apart from this world.

For me, I’m tired of just being good enough.  I don’t want to get to heaven and God say “well you did the bare minimum”.