Thursday, July 28, 2005


Movie Review: Regarding Henry

I've watched Regarding Henry and I thought it was a good movie: man becomes cold blooded lawyer because of his father and those around him, doing what everyone else goes through: great career, expensive home, lovely wife, "bright" daughter who goes off to jr high boarding school (envy of those around them).

And then he gets shot in the head during a mugging.

The rest of the movie is about how he goes through rehab not only of himself physically but all aspect of his life (except the most important one which is the spiritual aspect).

If it was written by a Christian then it was subtle: one cruises in his life and then something drastic happens (getting shot at) and go through rebirth (rehab) and a new life starts, where everything in his life can be re-examined and he re-takes ownship of his life and his family's life -- becoming a real man. Reminds me of Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos of the suicide thought experiment.

What's neat about Christianity and what Jesus Christ offers is that one can experience a new life and start with a clean slate -- and you don't have to get shot at nor commit (unsuccessful) suicide!

NOTE: Rated PG-13 for strong language, sexual situations, one instance of potentially unsettling violence.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Mothers need to let go

A friend pointed out that one needed element in a rite of passage is for the mothers to let go of their son, to publically release their son from childhood to manhood with the men taking over the leading roles of turning the son into real man.

As commented in another blog:
A son is a son, until he takes a wife,
but, a daughter is a daughter, for all of her life.
And the Bible points out the original intent of how a married man should live:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Gen 2:24
So a man needs to "cut off" from his parents especially his mother when he gets married. By having the mother release her son in the manhood ceremonies, they allow her to prepare for the complete cutoff needed when he becomes married. The last thing a marriage needs is a Mama's boy.

For me, my mother doesn't want to let go completely, but because of my strongly held beliefs about Christianity (where we disagree in some areas) and home education (which we disagree completely), I am able to stand up to her -- yet honor them in all other areas we can agree on. If I wasn't the one insisting on home education, then I myself might have been a passive mama's boy....

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Manly Music

I've been discussing with other men the problem of bored men at church. One thing I've noticed that the music is too blah. The words are too emotional and mushy. The music itself is too sedate. All these things combine to make numblingy boring music. No wonder most boys and men can't get excited over praise and worship music (whatever that really means).

Since I'm challenged by intellectual stimulation, I like music, as with any other man's creation, that are intellectual. Fugues are classic musical form where more than one instance of a melody are played together to make one beautiful music. J.S. Bach is known for taking this art to the heights with his composition "The Art of Fugue." Hence my interest in Bach's music and his conspirators (fellow musicians) especially during the period best know as Baroque. I also enjoy modern instrumentals, especially those labeled New Age [Jazz], since no words can get in the way of the music (unlike many pop music which tries to cover their weak music with words or beats or sound volume or their combos).

But most men are challenged differently: physically and skills other than intellectual. Why is sports such a favorite pastime during the church hours (Sunday morning or evening)? Or computer gaming so hot among the males?

How to tie all this to music at church? Or are such males hopelessly "lost?" I would hope not.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Man's Place

Over at Vox Day's blog I've commented on how man fits into the big picture that God has in mind (as far as I can tell from the Bible). If Eph 5 is to be any guide, then man's place is:

First and foremost, the man must submit to Christ and His teachings in the Bible (and then be under the authority of an elder/bishop). If the husband isn't submissive to Christ and not being a servant leader in the home, then the marriage is most likely to fail (since most marriages fail, I believe this is an accurate statement).

Next, the man must be able to love his wife unconditionally, warts and all.

Finally, he is now ready to get married and can start finding his bride. (Who may or may not be submissive -- but that doesn't matter since love is to be unconditional and even sacrificial.)

Such a man would be, presumably, Christ-like....

Friday, July 08, 2005


Wheat discipleship

In our devotional tonight, my eldest son read the parable of the sower and then I watched TBN's Praise the Lord and they clicked:

All too often, we confuse conversion with discipleship so that when a new convert is fired up we push them to just do the same rather than grow first as a discipleship process. Even a wheat takes few weeks to grow and bear fruit. And it has a lot of obstacles to overcome: birds, lack of water source, thorn bushes.

Also this excitement of the conversion dies down when we encounter oppositions and stumble in our efforts and then we just give up (seed on the rock phenomenon). Rather than being discipled so that this excitement can be channeled into growth along with mentored sharing of the gospel (rather than a pat on the back and say "just go do it").


Affirming Men: part 2 of reaching men

The other part of the story with Jim and Bill in "Raising a Modern Knight" is the ending:

Bill asked two questions: "Jim, did your dad ever tell you that he loved you?"
Jim: No
Bill: "Did your dad ever tell you that he was proud of you?"
Jim: No
Bill (sensing the need to affirm Jim): "Jim, I know how committed you are to your wife and stepson; I know how hard you worked in school and how hard you labor at your job."
Then Bill did something remarkable. He reached out his hand and said, "Jim, I'm proud of you!"

Jim: he looked out the window -- and brushed a tear from his eye.

After landing, Jim lingered and at the end he handed his business card and said: "Bill, I'd like to know more about this King of yours. I may want to work for Him, too."

I know that many men (myself included) would be very much influenced if someone like Bill would have reached out to men in unsaved state. What a witness and we need more men like Bill. And I and my sons need to be more like Bill. Hmm, I guess this is what Jesus had in mind when He said "Go and make disciples..."

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Reaching to Men

I was having a discussion with a missionary on how to reach men from Asia, and so we went all over the map on various subjects, especially on my interests like discipleship and men's ministry.

One new idea that I learned was that discipleship can start before one is saved. Discipleship -- learning to live Christ-like -- doesn't have to start after a conversion. Thinking about Apostle Paul or even Cornelious of Caesarea, they studied the O.T. long before they faced Christ. And afterwards, Paul got plenty of time for discipleship -- although I'm not sure about Cornelious.

Going back to Asian men, inviting them to churchy meetings won't attract them but activities like boating would. The problem is how to attract men with limited budgets both money and time. As another friend pointed out, activities which interest men take time (shooting or even golf requires time: to practice, to train and then to actually play).

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