Pages

the manhood meal

today was a significant day and one the that i've been working toward for several months now. i decided several months ago to take seriously some discipleship challenges for my son (as well as myself) and issued him several challenges.

the genesis of this challenge was a couple of things: first, luke 2:52 says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. second, men's fraternity challenged men to take serious the observance of specific rites of passage for our sons.

so, today, josh, me, my dad, two of his uncles and his youth pastor celebrated my son becoming a teenager and a young man. we went to fire of brazil, and enjoyed a man's meal, and then spent time giving him symbolic and significant gifts. along with the gifts, were words of wisdom, love and a challenge given by each man.

gotta say this...i was BLOWN away by what God laid on these guys hearts to share. i won't share all of the details here, only a few highlights.

thad (uncle) - talked about how a knife is a tool and also a weapon. he then gave my son his favorite knife that his grandfather had given him. he talked about how our tongue is a lot like the knife - it can be a tool or a weapon! powerful truth my friends!

jason (uncle) - talked about digging deep, holding our ground and standing our ground as followers of Christ. he challenged my son to never give in or give up - he told him to dig deep into God. he then gave josh a cool camp shovel as a symbol of digging deep.

sergio (youth pastor) - gave josh a lock and talked about how a lock provides protection and security. he then challenged josh to protect the anointing, purity, passion and Godliness that he had - powerful!

papaw (josh's grandfather) - took several moments to explain what a prayer shawl is and then gave my son a prayer shawl and a book that explains how to use it in our prayer life. papaw then gave josh his great-grandmother's family bible! this blew me away! this was the family bible that was used for family devotions early in my dad's life - priceless!

finally, i gave my son a bible (an "every man's bible" - from the Every Man series) and challenged my son to stand on this truth. i told him that although he was not yet a man, he is becoming one and that he's growing into a young man, the truth is the rest of the men at the table today weren't fully grown men either - that we are all growing into our relationship with Christ, changing daily, becoming more like him. i told him that we welcome him into this band of brothers, this fraternity of men, that we open our lives to him and welcome him as one of us. but i also told him that although we may and will fail him, the Word of God will never fail him.

he thought that was the end of the ceremony, then i asked him to turn around and face away from me...i then pulled out a sword that i wanted to give him as a visual reminder to trust the sword of the spirit, the word of God. his face reflected utter shock and disbelief - it was cool.

my final thoughts:
  • this is a day he will always remember - i know this because he's told me at least 3 or 4 times
  • i validated him as a young man and a young man growing in Christ
  • i told him i understood that he's still a teenager and we are in no way going to short change that experience of his life
  • guarding your tongue, digging deep, protecting your life/eyes/heart/mind/body, prayer, the Word - what more can you challenge a man with (that's not really a question - everything God wanted said today was)
  • finally, it's so cool to see how God orchestrated this entire day, all of the words and the powerful impact it made on my son

on the radar (the second 5)

here are five more blogs on my radar that i think you should check out.
  1. going to take some heat from this one from my worship leader-type friends, but here it goes...the top 10 pet peeves about worship leaders (esp. #'s 2,4,6)
  2. the numbness of frequency - all to true!
  3. sometimes ministry is just a matter of thinking
  4. a pastor that confesses to a mistake that damaged his marriage - men, please don't let this happen!
  5. AM...as in 5AM - the most important time (i'll get there eventually, but this is a thought provoking and humbling...and short, post) please read it and pray for our friends in china

on my radar (first 5)

haven't blogged much of late...apologies. several reasons: 1.) we've gained a new family member (her name is belle, she's about a 2 or 3 year old dog someone gave to us - she's a blessing); 2.) lots going on with work; 3.) the kids and wife are back in school so free time isn't as available. anyway, here are some posts that i've kept pondering on or saving to refer you to...
  1. read the shack? here are a couple of lenghty posts regarding the book and the author. post #1 is a review of the book and post #2 is an interview with the author
  2. almost as important as that book was to me, here's a VITAL article that EVERY dawg fan MUST read! check it out here (warning it pertains to guts)
  3. brilliant post for anyone - play your best - for what its worth...sports related posts are the ones God tends to speak to me through...it's my love language i guess.
  4. what if you said 'yes' to everything - something to consider!
  5. stop making excuses about needing more!

wild goose chase



i was able to get my hands on an early release copy of wild goose chase with the understanding that i'd post a review of it here on my blog....here it goes...

the subtitle is "reclaim the adveture of pursuing God" - this is something that i believe our western, sterile Christianity has lost - let me explain (and maybe borrow some battersonisms) - we in the comfortable confines of our cozy sanctuaries have lost what it means to follow the adventure of following God. as batterson says, and as i often say now, "playing it safe is risky" - remember the parable of the talents...the one with one? yea, bad day at the office when the master returned!

here are some resources for those more interested

here are some notes the publisher sent...

Summary:

Most of us have no idea where we’re going most of the time. Perfect.
“Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit–An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something….

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.” --from the introduction.

Author Bio:

Mark Batterson is the lead pastor of Washington, DC’s National Community Church, widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative churches. NCC meets in movie theaters at metro stops throughout the city, as well as in a church-owned coffee house near Union Station. More than seventy percent of NCC’ers are single twentysomethings who live or work on Capitol Hill. Mark is the author of the best-selling In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and a widely read blogger (www.markbatterson.com). He lives on Capitol Hill with his wife, Lora, and their three children.

finally, here are some of my favorite quotes:
  • i wonder if churches do to people what zoos do to animals (p.5)
  • i wonder if some of us are living such safe lives that not only are we bored, but so are our guardian angels (p.7)
  • i'm not convinced that your date of death is NOT the date carved on your tombstone. most people die long before that. (p.16)
  • when God puts a passion in your heart...that God-ordained passion becomes your responsibility (p.20)
  • there are some things you don't need to pray about (p.27)
  • when Christianity turns int a noun, it becomes a turnoff (p.29)
  • signs follow faith (p.32)
  • the passion was internalized long before it was verbalized (p.37)
  • how you start is not nearly as important as how you finish (p.53)
  • hurry kills everything from compassion to creativity (p.57)
  • one of the greatest dangers we face is learning how and forgetting why (p. 58)
  • as long as abraham was inside the tent, a man-made ceiling obscured his vision. it kept the promises of God out of sight. (p.74)
  • faith is not logical. it is not illogical either. faith is theological. (p. 79)
  • getting where God wants me to go isn't nearly as important as becoming who God wants me to be in the process. (p.137)
  • sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is hang in there (p.138)
  • ALL of chapter 7!
finally, here are the 6 cages batterson says we need to be released from :
  1. cage of responsibility
  2. cage of routine
  3. cage of assumptions
  4. cage of guilt
  5. cage of failure
  6. cage of fear
you have to read the book to understand these better - do so!

mis-titled

so, a couple weeks back i posted this post from my phone while on the road...it was a hasty post (learned a lesson there) and it was really mis-titled.

i titled it this...

Not all stupid signs HAVE to be church signs-here's one that tax payers paid for!

when what i should have done is titled it is something like this...

sign seen on the road, if not heeded will lead to stupid mistake

or this

Hastily posted pics via moblog lead to stupidity

thanks to the comments of debbie and hope, i will now rethink my posting while driving...

or perhaps i'll rethink the whole posting WHILE driving thing...might be better that way - what do you think?

regardless, i wish to take back my insinuation that the sign is stupid - actually it' is very creative...but i still find the thoughts of it hilarious...along the lines of this comedian