Monday, October 03, 2005


Rites of Passage Austin

I attended "Rites of Passage Austin" (Sat, Oct 1) and here are my notes and comments:

First thing was that I thought this meeting would be more about importance of having rites of passage but it turns out that the point is how it is important for fathers to be real men.

James Ryle was the speaker and had lot of good points which I note below:

Luke 19:10 Jesus seeks what was lost

They showed clips (preview) from:
- Legend of Bagger Lance
- Saving Private Ryan

And then we saw the scene in Braveheart where Wallace is exhorting the Scotts to fight. Matt 10:39 saids it succinctly the same point: run and live a little "l" life or fight and live a big "L" Life.

Men need to take decisive action. Also, the results ought to be make a difference: we should not be like Jesus' brothers going to Jerusalem:

Jesus replied, "Now is not the right time for me to go. But you can go anytime,
and it will make no difference." John 7:6 (New Living Translation)

He then talked about Daniel 3 where three Jewish men stood up while everyone else bowed down: We need to become stand up men in bow down world.

He also talked about Rip van Winkle's story where Winkle slept through the American Revolution and woke up to a new country (U.S.A.).

Overhaul of American church:

Our country (U.S.A.) doesn't care about what the church has to say since the church is not really different from the world. We're also too pharasitical (legalistic and hypocrites). We need to become men who deliver the goods.

We need the church to turn away from institutional empires (the attitude of "come and be part and to stay and pay money to build and maintain monuments/buildings") and instead, turn towards mission (giving away). To do so, we men need:

  1. vision: anything God starts begins with vision (without vision, no hope). God gives power to do the impossible (beyond my limitation). We need to plant visions into our children, these visions need to be put in our children's heart.
  2. passion: results from vision. Man who is inactive or passive, he has no vision
  3. discipline: vision and passion produce discipline. Nehemiah 6:1-14 [I don't recall the point but the story is about enemies of Israelites try to draw out Nehemiah but he refused to get suckered in to the kill zone. Maybe it was v9.]
  4. risk: the above 3 together allows us to take risks. In John 8: Jesus picked a fight with the pharisees.

Risk without discipline is recklessness. Discipline without passion is legalism. Passion without vision is hype. (Some funny comment about how preachers talk with their own echos.) Vision without Jesus is meaningless

One of the worst thing Jesus can say to you: go away because I don't know you.

What makes one most alive? What dreams make one's life well spent?

We saw a clip of "my name is Jean Valjean" where Jean, the thief, is set free with silver by the bishop.

Jesus movement to is to create His kingdom. A kingdom needs king and dom. We have the King, so we need "dom."

Church as institutional: we treat church like a country club with paid staff and receive paid service as a "paying customer" (offering giving church attenders).

Four perspective on church and man's role:

  1. Every man is a minister
  2. every minister has a ministry: following Jesus should light us up
  3. every ministry has a mission: be cool such that your children want to bring their friends
  4. every mission matters.

Think effective: bring glory to Jesus, joy to others. We ought to live lives that are magnetic: not charismatic but charismagnetic.

We need to listen to others without fixing them. Ask questions like "how is it working for you? If it stops working, come back and maybe I can help you."

We need to open up to God with "my answer is 'yes, Lord' and so, what is Your question?"

What prison do we need to be released from? [For me: Love of self? Where do I pour my energy into? Things to promote my thoughts or my mental abilities? Love is the most important thing you can pour into a child and no one can do this as best as a parent. My mother always tells me that love is the most important ingrediant for cooking.]


  1. water to wine: in John 2, in the process of obeying God, the miracle will take place
  2. stone to steel: Prov 27:17 [Solomon had wisdom: common things with uncommon insight]both heat and hammering are needed to have sharp, cutting edge!
  3. boy to man: 1 King 1 to 3, Solomon turns from Mama's boy into a manly King. All he asked for was wisdom from God and he ended up getting, wealth and power, as well.

Lazarus: without help, Jesus calls out of death (whatever prison we're in) and tells disciples to loosen them and then let them go. The process of transformation:

  1. ability to hear Jesus: we can hear Jesus (or else we aren't born again)
  2. power to do His will with Holy Spirit
  3. support (other men) we need to go the distance, to become who God wants us to be

We need to be a man of decisive action: you have to be the one saying "I'm going on rather than stop and freeze for a second" (He mentioned when returning a kick/punt, the difference between being knocked down vs going through the wave of defenders is "pause and mentally brace for impact" vs. "just keep moving").

Update 10/3: For me, the seminar was very encouraging. I still believe that church needs to get back to its root of training up fathers to lead their home as priest and king, and build up from there. We need to get away from "taking a course" mentality of learning to preach/share the Gospel and becoming discipled. Being discipled take years, not 3 or 6 month courses. And the most important place is to start at home and then "graduate" into bigger responsibilities: group leader who helps handful of other (younger) fathers, and then moving up to overseeing the group leaders. Until men are back running the home and the church, it will remain a sissy one and unattractive to unsaved men.


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