Monday, February 27, 2006
How to Encourage Men
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Heb 3:12-13And the word "encourage" stood out. I'm still chewing on the difference between forgiveness and grace that our pastor preached 2 Sundays ago (which we listened yesterday) especially about accountability meetings where forgiveness is the operative word: you grill each other through the checklist and then for each failure you say "we forgive you but try harder next time." Somehow that isn't encouragement to me and I'm sure that's not what the Biblical authors had in mind when the word encourage is used. Even Jesus rarely rebuked people (including His apostles).
I'll post more on my grace vs forgiveness thoughts later....
Undermining the Fathers
A friend pointed out how the church sucks in parents to do the children's ministry and I agree: there's too much emphasis on reaching the children rather than reaching men (esp. the fathers).
Rather than draining the parents out with ministry volunteering, why not equip and encourage the parents (esp. the fathers) to lead the family at home since (as they pointed out in the video) church time is at most 3 hours per week. What really kills the family is that children's ministry volunteering takes time not just Sunday mornings but once or twice a year training seminars (usually all Saturday) and once a month status meeting and mini-training and then some prep time required before Sunday, plus the need to be in class early (and stay late). All that to interact with other people's children. How does that make you into a better parent?
How about 1 hour of family worship and another 1 or 2 hours of men's training (with the lower bound of 13 years or so) while the women and (pre-teen) children socialize? Keeps it simple: no need for busy children's ministry activities and no need for extra volunteers. A rite of passage of young men graduating from the women-and-children socializing to men's meeting would be pretty cool (once a month? every Sunday someone turns into a teen?)....
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Death of prophets
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. Heb 1:1,2So I guess people have used this as a basis for not having prophets today -- at least among some Christians.
Update 2/26: The church I currently attend believes that prophecy died with the apostles but obviously I don't fully agree. On the other hand, the prophets I hear about and have heard in Pentecostal churches, I don't see as the Biblical prophets since they lack the predictive falsification of future events:
You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. Deut 18:21-22[I'm not sure where I'm going -- I'm still not done with my prophet studies!]
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Truth kills Heroes: or why Jesus is the Only Anti-Hero
What got me to blog is that last night, I found out that Ronald Regan signed into law in 1986 making new fully automatic weapons illegal for civilians to buy. That's right: you and I cannot buy machine guns made after 1986. Which is why the market price for used machine guns go up since the supply is limited. Anyway, my point is that I was brainwashed to think that Regan was for the individual rights but it turns out that he was looking out for the State after all. I was greatly disappointed last night.
I knew that since I was fairly young the heroes in the Bible all had faults. Abraham lied and had to back peddle [so did Isaac and Jacob, esp. Jacob stealing the blessings!]. Moses struct a rock instead of just saying it so he had to die outside of the Promiseland. David committed adultry and then murdered the husband of the man he sinned against. Peter denied Jesus 3 times and then avoided fellowship with Gentiles until he was reprimanded by Paul. And the list goes on.
All heroes have faults and it makes sense because they are all sinful humans. All but Jesus: He is the One and Only True Anti-Hero. [Apart from being Man-God, of course.] He lived and died a perfect life -- and He died not because He was forced to die (or just fade away like most heroes) but He choose to die on our behalf, for our good. So the point is that real men need to keep our eyes on the Anti-Hero rather than pretenders of the earthly kind.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Men, Schooling and enslavement
Why all this schooling? To prove that he can be a good employee (if he can get a paper, he can learn to figure out his teachers and then meet those needs rather than meeting the real needs of paying customers)?
A man needs to be financially secure before he gets married but why ding him with school debt and late start? [And makes it worse by giving him easy access to sex partners without any requirements for a commitment.] (I'll be blogging about the negatives of college eventually but this is a start (grin).)
Since my son turned 13, I'm aware that the clock is ticking and I need to do something to help him along to become independent (i.e., remain debt free) and stable (steady income and increased savings).
[These thoughts were started by a comment on a mailing list where a writer asked "What if we are causing this situation by keeping men in school so long?" (while discussing problems with marriage and divorce).]
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Moving on vision
Roy also pointed out the verse:
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. John 4:50bThe man listened to Jesus and acted on His Word. Listen and act are what I need to do: easier said than done, unfortunately.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Prophets for all
Moses [said:] I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Real men at 20?
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Sex Ed at home: the manly Biblical way
One thing good is that my youngest son, who is very curious, is hearing it from me for the first time, not some stranger or from friends. I've spent a weekend with my eldest going over Passport to Purity audio tapes last year but it was something I sort of forced on him, rather than something he wanted to know. Tonight, my younger son really wanted to know and, even though my older son should have been familiar with it, he was a bit shy about it all (and I can understand since at 13, I didn't care either).