Act Like Men

act-like-men

One of the greatest joys I have found as a Christian is learning how to be a man—a real man. One who is honest with his wife, who plays with his kids, who takes care of the needs of the family and strives to give wherever there’s a need. And I see a few men around me who, by God’s grace, are in pursuit of the same things. Two of my best friends are very much good, strong Christian husbands and I look forward to the day when they’re good, strong Christian daddies. It’s going to be a joyous day.

These guys bring great joy to my life and I’m incredibly grateful for them, especially the older men who are willing to speak into my life and the lives of others.

But there are some guys… Guys who are grown men, but act like little boys wearing man-pants. [Read more...]

A Marriage Worth Working On

marriage

Sunday has been a day all about marriage.

At Harvest, the sermon was on the first sin (from Genesis 3:7-13), and it’s destructive effect on relationships with each other (including marriage) and with God. It was a very challenging look at how we sinfully fight and try to control and manipulate each other, rather than submit to God and one another in humility and repentance.

Later, we, along with more than 50 others, spent the afternoon celebrating the 25th wedding anniversary of Chris & Kimberly, a wonderful couple who invest so much of themselves in other people. They have a passion for discipling others and seeing them grow in holiness.

I could go on about them ad nauseum, but I think the best thing I could say is that they’re awesome people and we want to be like them when we grow up.

When I wasn’t toddler-wrangling at the party, I found it really interesting listening to the way people spoke of them in little speeches and toasts, particularly what their children said. Listening to them share how much they love and respect their parents and how their faith has been affected by them is really encouraging. I see these things, and I hear these things, and I can’t help but think, “I really hope my kids will be able to say things like that when Emily and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary.” Not due to any sort of need to be lauded, but really, because I want my children to be positively impacted by my faith. That Emily and I both can say to Abigail and our future kids, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).

Emily and I love to read a book together. It’s part of how we encourage each other to grow, spiritually (aside from my regularly asking, “So what’d you read in your Bible today?”). [Read more...]

Book Review: What’s He Really Thinking?

Title: What’s He Really Thinking: How to Be a Relational Genius with the Man in Your Life
Author: Paula Rinehart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Recommended: Ladies, embrace the man in your life for what he is: A man.

Sometimes it’s fun to read a book for which you’re definitely not the target audience. What’s even better is when you actually find it helpful.

Paula Rinehart’s book, What’s He Really Thinking? wants women to understand one thing: Men are not women with beards and big feet. We are a truly distinct gender, despite our culture’s general thrust to try and feminize us. We think, react and feel completely differently. And relationships are so much better when women stop trying to “train” us and embrace us for who we are instead.

As a man reading this book, I came into it expecting to be thrown under a bus. After all, that’s been the general theme of any book written about men (for women) for the last twenty-odd years. The portrayal of men today tends to be that of the doofy husband. But What’s He Really Thinking? is particularly interesting because, rather than affirming this attitude, Rinehart seeks to provide women a view of maleness that’s built on research, practical experience and biblical wisdom. And as an added bonus, because it’s written to women, there were more than a few “Aha!” moments where it helped make sense of some of my wife’s reactions to the things I do.

What’s He Really Thinking? is a very helpful book, one that I would, with little hesitation, recommend to any woman who wants to better understand how to approach her relationship with the man (or men) in her life—because God made us men, and that actually is a very good thing indeed.

Don't Waste Your Life

Jim was raised by a hardworking mom who worked two jobs to support her son and herself that lived in subsidized housing. She’d come home from her first job, as a cashier, and have dinner with him before going to her second job as a bartender. Every night, she’d tell him, “You can be so much more than I ever could; don’t waste your life.”

Jim was spurred on by his mother’s words. He studied hard in school, pushing for better and higher grades with every project, report and exam. He earned a full scholarship to a prestigious university, and graduated at the top of his class.

After school, Jim continued to find great success. He met a beautiful woman, got married, moved into a gorgeous house in the suburbs and eventually had a couple of kids, two girls.

He quickly rose through the ranks of his organization and was head-hunted by several others. He was a man driven to succeed, to provide for his family what his mother never could. He worked hard, taking on the most difficult assignments, and exceeding everyone’s expectations. He also volunteered his time in the community & at the homeless shelter and supported numerous charitable organizations.

All in all, it looked like he had the perfect life – he had done more than anyone could ever have imagined.

Jim came home one night and found the house was quiet. He looked all through the house for his wife and his daughters (as usual, it was well past their bedtime). He found an envelope in the kitchen; inside was a letter from his wife: She was leaving him and taking the children with her.

Jim fell to the floor, his hands trembling has he held the letter, tears streaming down his face… and at that moment, all he could hear were the words his mother had spoken so many times:

Don’t waste your life.

[Read more...]

A Day Off: Celebrating 3 Years of Marriage

wedding

Today is a very special day; Emily and I are celebrating our third anniversary. God has grown us greatly over the last three years, and in this last one in particular. From becoming parents, my change in career, Emily becoming a successful homemaker and illustrator, and so many other amazing changes in our lives… it’s been a great three years, and I’m looking forward to the next 60, by God’s grace.

In honor of this, we are taking the day off and going to the happiest place in Burlington: Ikea! We’re looking forward to a fun morning/early afternoon of shopping and eating Swedish meatballs.

Maybe we’ll find a good deal on a coffee table and a dresser.

Happy Wednesday!

A Question for Wednesday

This is more directed towards the men who might be reading, so ladies out there, I hope you’ll forgive me.

Gentlemen, how are some ways that you show your wife you love her? What are some of the things you do that fail to show that?

Last week, I wrote about why I love my wife, but there’s something I do that frustrates her to no end: When I forget to write things on the calendar, it drives her nuts. It may seem like a small thing, but go with me for a second. When I don’t write something down on the calendar, a meeting, a social event, an appointment, it creates a false expectation for a day or evening. If Emily doesn’t know I’m meeting with a friend, or have a business engagement, she expects me (rightly) to be at home with her and Abigail. She makes plans accordingly.

Last night is a perfect example. I forgot to write down that I was meeting with someone; we talked about it, but because of bus schedules, it caused me to have to leave very early—before I had the opportunity to eat the meal she was lovingly preparing for me and spend some quality time with her.

This was not very loving of me, to say the least.

[Read more...]

Why I love my wife

This week has been a good one for us. Emily is recovering well and generally in good spirits (thanks go out to all who have been praying for her). But it’s also been rough for me, simply because I was hit a little more profoundly with the reality of the last two weeks’ events when my good friend Adam (correctly) mentioned, “your wife almost died.”

That really shook me, because while I knew, it hadn’t really sunk in. He was right. She had almost died nearly two weeks ago.

Tuesday night, Emily and I had a hard talk about her not taking the time she needed to take to heal. And I almost lost it emotionally; I just felt like a wreck. I explained to her how I was feeling, that I needed her to slow down as much as she needed to. I begged her to please just let me take care of her. And she did.

The rest of the week was pretty well. I didn’t think about this too much more until Saturday, when I stumbled into a debate on gender roles. It’s strange how the mind connects things sometimes, but… [Read more...]

Sunday Shorts (04/05)

James MacDonald: The Public Rebuke of False Teachers

I love James MacDonald. He is a smart, godly man and a gifted teacher of the Scriptures. This is one more reason why I respect him:

What was amazing about some of the comments I received was that they were not put off by the critique, but by the naming of the specific person who promulgates these deceptions.  Several comments stated in the strongest of terms that it is unbiblical and unwise, even unloving, to name the names of false teachers and opponents of the biblical gospel.  Is that true?  Is it wrong to publicly call out those who attack the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?  Even when their denials are much more public?  Let’s see what Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John have to say about how to deal with false teachers.  Do they confront it?  Do they, in many instances, actually name the people involved?

Read the entire post, and, for context, his post on Brian McLaren.

HT: Justin Taylor

Marriage and Men

A couple weeks back, Mark Driscoll delivered a very hard, very convicting sermon on the necessity of being a godly man in marriage.

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more about “Mars Hill Church | Trial | Marriage a…“, posted with vodpod

Iron Man, Spurgeon, and the Gospel: Thoughts on a Purpose Driven Life

My friends at Evangelical Village posted a very intriguing article connecting Iron Man to the gospel. Well worth the read:

One key transition scene showing Tony’s inward change has continued to stick out in my mind. In this scene, Tony and his assistant Pepper Potts have a somewhat heated dialogue in which Tony describes the determination of his life’s purpose.  Tony firmly states his new-found purpose: “There is nothing except this. There is no art opening; there is no benefit; there is nothing to sign. There is the next mission. And nothing else.”

This scene has been on replay in my mind the past few days until this morning when in I encountered a quote by Charles Spurgeon…

Read the rest here.

Easter

Today begins the most important week in the Christian calendar: The week celebrating Jesus’ triumphal entry, betrayal at the hands of one of His closest friends, false trial, brutal execution and glorious resurrection. I would encourage all of us to take some time this week and re-read the story of the crucifixion and thank Jesus for the wondrous gift of salvation He has given in His death on the cross.