Category Archives: Men

Graves Into Gardens

New record for 7 years between posts…

The craziness of this time has me thinking about my friends and family, those in my community, and those around the world who are living in the midst of fear.  Any time something tragic happens, I often wonder how people cope with it without the hope that comes from a belief in the King of Glory.  I know that people all around me are waking up each day in fear, with each and every news headline and tweet feeding more fear into their hearts and minds.  We seek comfort and control, but nothing feels similar or common.  We’re working from home, teaching our kids, communicating via video chat, and unable to offer even a simple handshake or high five, and especially not a hug.

We need to fight the desire to seclude ourselves during this uncertain time.  Yes, we need to keep our physical distance from others, but we must find ways to let others know we care about them when we are all feeling a bit alone and scared.  I also pray that we have people that we love and trust enough to tell them when we’re struggling or feeling fearful.  Our pastor made the comment that “it’s okay to have fear, but it’s not okay to act fearful.”  We need others to come alongside us in those moments and remind us of the power of the Lord.  He moves mountains, parts seas, brings the dead to life, and lives inside every believer.

My Friday morning men’s group has been reading through Ephesians, and there is some big language from Paul that comes up.  He talks about things like “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and being “chosen in him before the foundation of the world” and “making known to us the mystery of his will.”  Those are things that I can’t even wrap my head around, but then I read things like this…

“…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and the know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

– Ephesians 3:17-21

None of this is a surprise to Him.  He’s still on His throne, and we still won’t understand what’s happening.  But, we can know that He loves us more than we can ever know, and He desires to use us to bring Him glory in this time.  Friends, let us remember that He has done great things and will do greater things than what we are facing.  Let us be His hands and feet and love well in this time, knowing that He is good and He will be glorified!

Lord…be our Hope, our Confidence, and our Redeemer! Amen!

Pain of Discipline

I know it’s been like 6 months since I have posted anything, and for that I am sorry.  For the past couple of days my heart has been heavy and I felt like I needed to spell some of this stuff out this morning, so here it goes!  Fair warning, this is gonna be a little weird to some folks…

I have a good friend who is not acting like the man of God that I know him to be.  To put things directly, he is simply not well right now and is not acting like himself in any sense at all.  I feel very privileged to have a big brother who is an amazing man of God, so I talked to him yesterday about what was going on with my buddy.  The only reason I reached out to my brother is because I know he has experience with spiritual warfare, and I simply wanted him to start praying for my friend.  Well last night I got a call from my brother who said that as soon as he began praying, the Holy Spirit opened him up and told him that we need to go get my friend.  Needless to say, that scared the crap out of me, which is a pretty good sign that God’s pushing me that way!

Recently, I have had Hebrews 11 and 12 on my heart a lot after listening to a sermon from Matt Chandler.  There are so many parts of this passage that that are applicable to this story.

33who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises,(A) stopped the mouths of lions, 34(B) quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness,(C) became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35(D) Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even(E) chains and imprisonment. 37(F) They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a](G) they were killed with the sword.(H) They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38of whom the world was not worthy—(I) wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39And all these,(J) though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us,(K) that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and(L) sin which clings so closely, and(M) let us run(N) with endurance the race that is(O) set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,(P) who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising(Q) the shame, and(R) is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

3(S) Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or(T) fainthearted. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

(U) “My son,(V) do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6For(W) the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7It is for discipline that you have to endure.(X) God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8If you are left without discipline,(Y) in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to(Z) the Father of spirits(AA) and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good,(AB) that we may share his holiness. 11(AC) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields(AD) the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12Therefore(AE) lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and(AF) make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint(AG) but rather be healed.

  • 11:33-40 – God allowed men and women by faith to receive amazing gifts, but others received death.  But both were true to God throughout their entire lives.
  • 12:1 – When we do not throw aside our sin, it entangles us and allows Satan to gain a stronghold over us.  Also, when we feel that weight or that hindrance, it is God pulling us toward Him.  Therefore, when we fight that hindrance, we are fighting God.
  • 12:2-4 – Jesus is perfection!  He fought sin to the point of death on the cross for the joy that we would be saved.  We do not fight sin to the point of bloodshed, we fight until it gets too hard, then we give in.
  • 12:5-7 – God disciplines us as a loving father would discipline his children.
  • 12:8-10 – Without discipline, we are separating ourselves from God.  There is no life with God that is without discipline.  This also implies that we will always be tempted by sin, and it will always require discipline to turn from it.
  • 12:11 – Discipline is never painless, in fact it is often full of pain.  But out of discipline comes growth, which can also feed others.
  • 12:12-13 – Discipline leads to healing!  To be disciplined by the Lord is to be healed by the Lord, and nothing is out of his reach!

What a Dirty Man

pitinoFor those of you who don’t pay too much attention to sports, Rick Pitino is the head coach of the University of Louisville Cardinals, and is a pretty darn good coach.  Last week, a news story broke that Pitino, who is married and has five kids, got another woman pregnant and paid for her to have an abortion.  Now adultery is a disgusting sin, and abortion is murder, but this story gets worse.  Pitino and the woman had sex at a restaurant, and by the way, this woman is now married to the Louisville Equipment Manager.

I’ve always thought that Pitino had a little bit of a dirty feel to him and wouldn’t be surprised if he had connections to the mob.  After all, he is a true Italian-American, born and raised in New York.  And on top of that, who wears a white suit?…I mean really!  And for the final straw, when he held a news conference to discuss this whole mess, he actually commented that “I will remain as head coach at Louisville.”  Really dude?…cause that is the most important thing in your life right now.

As much as that bothers and disgusts me, maybe I shouldn’t be quite so judgmental.  In my summer courses, I’ve been taking Old Testament Theology and I recently read through Hosea.   Hosea had a rough go, but this guy knew his stuff.  In the first chapter, the Lord tells Hosea to go take an “adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness.”  So Hosea goes and marries Gomer, who the bible actually calls a whore.  This woman is named Gomer (not so hot) and she is a prostitute who continues to commit adultery but Hosea loves her anyway.

I could only imagine how hard it would be to love someone that continually betrayed and dishonored you and your covenant of marriage.  The Lord tells Hosea, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress” (Hosea 3:1a).  In the word “though,” The Lord acknowledges that it would be hard for us to love someone like that.  He then goes on, “Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” (Hosea 3:1b).

Don’t be too quick to justify that you are not an “Israelite,” cause we are!  We are God’s chosen people today and He just compared us to an adulterer!  When we sacrifice time, money, energy with God for other things, we are committing adultery against Him.  He desires to the be the center of our lives, but we allow other things to take over.  So, next time you see some sleezy looking politician, actor, or athlete admit to adultery, remember that to God, we are all adulterers…

BUT….He still loves us and grants us grace from our sins!  For me, that is beyond my understanding!

Where are The Men?

There is an obvious lacking of men in church today.  When I say men, I mean men that are truly leaders that are seeking after God.  There are plenty of guys, but very few MEN who actually love the Lord and desire to lead according to His desires.

Too often, men come to church because they are tagging along.  They either come to find a girl or come to impress a girl.  Rarely do men make the decision to come to church on their own, and when they do, they get turned off by the lack of men with passion in the church.  The majority of activities and groups in a church are lead by women.  Just take a look at the women’s ministries in churches compared to the men’s ministries.

The church needs men with passion to serve the Lord!

Why do you think men appear weak in the church?

Men Choose Death

As men we are called to love our wives and be servant leaders. We get hung up on authority and have a desire to serve ourselves over others.

For more examples of our roles as leaders, and specifically husbands, check out Men & Marriage.