The Wounded Healer by Henri J. M. Nouwen

I am whom I am considered to be by one of my many fathers.

We could have predicted that the coming generation would reject this, since we have already accepted that a man’s worth is not dependent on what is given to him by fathers, but by what he makes of himself. We could have expected this, since we have said that faith is not the acceptance of centuries-old traditions but an attitude which grows from within. We could have anticipated this ever since we started saying that man is free to choose his own future, his own work, his own wife.

I would add to this, “that we could have expected discipleship to become a foreign concept to men, when we began rejecting others having authority over us, and instead set ourselves up as the authority in our life.”  For the last few days all I have been hearing about is the subject of authority (like Seth’s blog for example). So last night our mens group started doing the Under Cover series by John Bevere, and I think this quote really sums it up.

There is freedom in submission and bondage in rebellion.
– Lisa Bevere

To be a true disciple we need to be submitted to authority, spiritual fathers or mothers, a Godly someone (or more than one) who will train you up in the ways of God.

How Physics Relates to Marriage

Mr. Dahlberg was my high school physics teacher. One day he drew a line straight down the board. One side of the board was the known universe and the other side was the unknown universe. In the middle he drew a square peg that stuck out from the known universe into the unknown. Mr. Dalhberg went on to say that it was our responsibilty as the next generation to grow our understanding of the unknown world by learning all we can from those who have come before us and then take the next step (the square peg). At this point I’m probably butchering his illustration, but I’ll keep going :). Looking at that board, the small little square peg seemed almost insignificant, but in reality it could easily represent someones life’s work, as each little step is important.

So how does all this relate to marriage?

Let’s go back to the board. Let’s imagine that one side of the board  is what you know about your spouse and the other side is what you don’t know about him/her. It’s your daily responsibility to step by step (or little peg by little peg) or read intentionally seek out those unknown spots about your spouse. Some days it may seem like small pegs, but each step is important. Each little peg, the memories, the battles, the make-ups, the children, etc. all become a small part of the bigger picture, the beautiful mosaic of a single life.

A weird corralation, I know. But an interesting thought.

“The best thing a man can do for his children is love their mother.” – John Wooden

Dreams: Orange/Yellowish Guys

This dream started off in a dark bathroom. With me were two kids, a boy and a girl. The boy seemed a little bit older and definitely had the tough guy act down. While we were there this guy (really an animated character completely orange/yellowish) jumps us. I’m able to fend him off a bit and we escape unharmed to the front of the place. I can’t remember everything that happened, but there was a lot of fighting and running which resulted at some point in me getting separated from the little girl. What was interesting about this whole ordeal up to this point was that I was never really afraid of these guys. I knew I was safe, and I knew as long as the kids were with me they were safe too, but separated from me they were definitely not safe.

I met back up with the boy and he lead me to where his sister was in an upstairs room. This room was laid out like a church with pews to the right and left with a small aisle going down the center. What stood out the most was how crazy well lit this room was. The light was almost pure white coming from the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. At the opposite end of the room was a small stage and on the stage was something almost like an altar. On top of the altar was the little girl. Everyone here had come to see her be sacrificed to an even bigger orange guy who was on his way. I ran down the aisle and picked up the girl; nobody tried to stop me. But when I got down there I knew I didn’t have enough time to escape. I looked up and noticed that lights above me were some new type of halogen, so I unscrewed three or four of them and started throwing the bulbs down on the ground. (Oddly, the light didn’t diminish in the room as I did this.) As I did this, smoke filled the room. Just then the big orange guy came into the room. Because of the smoke that had filled the room I was able to get by him unnoticed. The dream ended as I ran out the door.

Dream: Journey

In this dream I was on my way somewhere, but we stopped off at this place that looked like a house kind of on stilts or something. We parked the car underneath and went upstairs to eat and hang out. After a while I realized that we shouldn’t be there, so I headed down to the car, but as I was about to open the door I saw a snake sitting on the glass. I looked up and above me were the people from inside the building throwing snakes down on top of my car. At first I was scared, but I quickly figured out that the snakes weren’t going to hurt me. I gave the people upstairs my standard “Seriously?” look and then got in the car and drove off.

I ended up at a bus station meeting Pastor Joe and a group of people. When I got there I was so excited to share with everyone my new software program. But the strangest thing was that the software wasn’t for the computer, it was inside of me. The program was designed to hold someone’s secrets and then release them at the right time to the right person. I was able to see like a front view of myself; my chest was like a vault and over my mouth was like the combination lock. In the dream all this made sense, I swear. Everybody was kind of looking at me weird at this point, but I wasn’t worried about them. I was focused on some dude a couple of seats down. I just knew he was going to be my first client/tester and I made a pretty big fuss telling everyone exactly that.

Either after we boarded the bus or just before, Pastor Joe asked me to lead, and at first I wasn’t sure what to do, but I just stood up and did it.

Avoid the Pitfalls of your Masculinity

From Pastor Michelle’s Sermon on Father’s Day “Men Behaving Godly”:

Here are the six pitfalls of our masculinity to avoid:

1. Arogant husbands and fathers. Men are 90% ego wrapped
in skin. Unique blend of pride B/C we are warriors. But we have to get Godly pride.
2. Autocratic husband (tyrant) misinterprets the verse that says men is the head of the house but forgets the part that says we are to love our wives.
3. Absentee husband. Men walk around making babies but don’t want to take care of them or their mothers. Forget baby mommy and baby daddy mentality and realize the baby has a mother and a father. Rebellion and misbehavior can be cries for attention.
4. Abusive husbands and fathers. Men taking out anger and fustrations on wives. You don’t have to inflict abuse physically but you can do it emotionally too. Phys can be more painful but emotional can be more destructive.
5. Aloofness (loners) means to be emotionally distant, cold or distant. When we get mad we clam up. Does not line up with psalms 112 women and children interpret silence as rejection.
6. Angry husbands and fathers. Most of us don’t even know what we are angry about.

Interested in Traveling the World?

From Jeff Goins – @jeff_goins:

As you probably know, I work with an organization called Adventures In Missions (AIM), and we offer an 11-month missions program called The World Race, where participants travel the world, grow in their identity in Christ, and learn how to become missional, global citizens.

I just sent this note to our facebook group, but I thought that I’d share the same opportunities to see the world here. Below are a few trips we’re offering this Fall:

September 2010 – Starting in the Philippines, then going through SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia), moving into Eastern Europe where you’ll get to gypsies in Romania, and then finishing in Africa, this is going to be an amazing journey. (For more click here)

October 2010 – This trip begins in Latin America, then takes you to East Asia (including a stop in China, yes, China), and then ends in Africa with opportunities to participate in some amazing ministry experiences. (For more click here)

November 2010 (Haiti Relief) – This is a special one-month trip to Haiti to help continue the work that World Racer alumni began as soon as the earthquake hit earlier this year. Not only will you get a chance to serve the people of Haiti for 30 days, but you’ll also get a snapshot of what life on the World Race is all about. (For more click here)

As always, for more recent updates, stories, and news from the World Race, visit us at http://theworldrace.org/. (Check out our Updates Blog, too, for some of the best stories and news.)

If you wouldn’t mind helping us get the word out about these trips, I would greatly appreciate it. If you repost this whole post to your blog or Facebook notes, you’ll get a chance at a free book from my library (your choice, if you win).

Just leave a comment here with the link, and I’ll get in touch with you. I’ll pick five winners, and the first person to post will automatically win!

Ready, set, go.

Men Behaving Godly

The key scripture behind Pastor Michelle’s Father’s day sermon:

Psalm 112
1 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!

Her exhortation to the men present and those not present was to be a Psalms 112 man, be a man behaving Godly, not a man as the world would be portray us as men behaving badly.

My Heart

I was thinking about a post my friend Marc put up on his blog about defining your dream, and then pursuing it. And it hit me that I really haven’t sat down and written about what God has put on my heart. Hopefully writing about it will help me work with a clear mind and not be as easily swayed by the things going on around me.

This mishmash desires and feelings are what currently compromise my heart:

  • Continue building my relationship with my Lord/Savior/Helper/Friend always seeking to go deeper, to more clearly hear his voice. While remaining humble and real (in the world but not of it, in other words losing the holier-than-thou act).
  • Continue building my relationship with my Wife/BFF/Lover/Sweetheart. Remembering to put Her and her needs before me and mine.
  • Living in a God centered Family and Community. Continually working to be a better husband and father, and knowing that I’ll never be perfect… Being the spiritual leader of my home. Honoring my Pastors and Spiritual Fathers/Mothers through word, deed, and sowing back into their life. Be an anchor in my community that God has called me to be.
  • Missions, bringing living water to the thirsty around us and making disciples as I myself am being discipled. Specifically I feel that God has called me to support missions financially. I need to write more on this later to flush out these thoughts and better explain why and how.
  • Strong desire to see Godly men built up desiring discipleship and be the King, Priest, and Prophet that God has called them to be. I really feel like it’s important to be involved in mentoring the next generation of guys especially those who’s fathers are not around.
  • Love for Israel and the Jewish people and to see them on fire for God in crazy and radical ways.
  • Change, begin to see my faith in action less of a in my head thing and more of outward flow (implementation of the above). Be a blessing to others in my own quiet way. Change from the old way that we used to do church, pew warming, to a way that pleases God and carries his light to every aspect of my life and the lives of those around me.