January Articles at CBMW

Throughout January, I had the opportunity to write several articles for CBMW.  Here is a summary from the article, “I Resolve to Mature Manhood:”

It is no secret that manhood is being attacked in our culture.  It is increasingly risky to be a man who possesses complementarian values.  Men, today, are taking the heat of feminist word bombs.  Manhood is neutered in the media, especially in television and movies.  It is no longer culturally proper to be a man whose manhood calls him to be the spiritual leader of his home, or serve well in his local church, or work hard, or date his daughter, or strive for purity.  I am saying here that those are the most befitting things you can do as man.  In fact, they are the manliest.

It is to these pursuits I resolve.

Men who tote guns on their hips, have long beards that dribble with stew, or can conquer mountains by only wearing their Chacos, often are the personifications of manhood as it is commonly displayed in the church.  These traits, however, are not necessarily the qualities of mature manhood.  The reverse is also true.  Men who work as baristas in the inner city, sport skinny jeans, and don earrings are not the antithesis of biblical manhood either.  What is more, if the skinny jean wearing barista pursues Jesus with a ferocious posture, and the mountain man does not, who is manlier?  It is always the one who labors towards the “fullness of Christ.”

This is mature manhood, and it is to this I resolve.

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MY JANUARY ARTICLES:

How Should I Choose a Job?

What Can You Expect from CBMW Manual in 2015?

The Best of CBMW Manual from 2014

I Resolve to Mature Manhood (repost)

SERMON: #NoFilter Series | Foothills Student Ministry

SERMONS: Hipster Humanity

Through the month of November, I preached a series for Foothills Student Ministry called Hipster Humanity.  In this series, I talked about biblical manhood and womanhood and what it means for teenagers to flourish as young men and young women in our culture today.  As teenagers struggle with sex, dating, relationships, gender confusion, and gender identity, this is a topic that must continually be put before them.

Furthermore, we must teach dads and moms to teach their children what being a man and being a woman is according to Scripture, and walk with those students who don’t have dads and moms to model it to them.

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How do I handle personality differences and inward personal conflict with others?

When it comes to conflict, no one is really good at it.  But when it comes to personality differences and inward conflict, how should we work towards stewarding our differences well?

Here is what I would submit to you:

  • Ask yourself, “Is this really worth fighting over?”
  • Remember: Conflict starts in your own heart.
  • Also remember: Satan promotes conflict in many ways; especially amongst believers where there shouldn’t be any (1 Peter 5:8).
  • Overlook minor offenses.
  • Check your attitude—and change it.
  • LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS.
  • If it’s a personality difference, a difference in opinion, interest, goals, etc., it might be best to work through this inward conflict you have between you and God, and not bring it to this person.

Scripture pertaining to this discussion:

  • 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
  • Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
  • Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

Don’t have a bucket list

“Consider in this light the far more dreadful 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.  Leaving aside its absolute violation of the sovereignty of Whim–given the length of the list and the brevity of life, if you enslave yourself to this tome’s tyranny you’ll never read another word just for the heck of it… 10o1 Books You Must Read Before You Die is the perfect guide for those who don’t want to read but who want to have read.” -Alan Jacobs, The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction, (68).

Here’s the point of this incredible quote: Don’t straight-jacket yourself onto any “I must do this before I die” type of list.  In fact, don’t even have a bucket list at all.  Live life.  Practice the sovereignty and beauty of Whim.

A bucket list is for those who don’t necessarily want to live but who want to have lived.

Jesus gave away the spotlight

In the first few verses of John 4, we see a significant leadership trait displayed in the life of Jesus.  It reads (from the ESV), “Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples)…”

Here we see Jesus giving away ministry to his disciples.  It was an attitude that was characterized more by faithfulness than accomplishment.  It was an attitude all about the Kingdom.  In other words, he gave away the spotlight.

When teams have members who give away the spotlight, amazing things then begin to take place between the members of the team.  When people don’t care who gets the credit, the credit then is rightly magnified onto our Savior.  Unity begins to build like never before.

Leadership is lonely… but it doesn’t have to be

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it one million times: Leadership is lonely.

The more I experience leadership, the more universally this seems to be true.  Yes, when I look at the leadership lessons of Jesus, I see a man who withdrew from the crowds to be with his Father (Luke 5:16), but I would probably bet that Jesus wasn’t necessarily always a lonely man.

In the pages of Scripture, where do we find the greatest leader the world has ever known?  Amongst people.  With the crowds.  Leading with ultimate example.  That’s where Jesus was.

I get it.  Sometimes we can spread ourselves so thin relationally that it feels like we don’t have true friends, or we only have surface level friendships, but if that’s the case, then that’s on us and no one else.  Even as a leader, who’s in your inner circle?  Who is encouraging you daily (Heb. 3:13)?  Who have you invited into your life to speak into your life and hold you accountable.  Even the best of leaders should be doing that.

Leadership is lonely… but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

 

Celebration is contagious

More and more, I’m convinced that we have to be organizations, teams, families, and cultures of celebration.  Celebration, in a way, is a New Creation event.  It is a foreshadow of what is to come.  In reality, this is all we will be doing as Christians one day.  Worshipping.  Celebrating.  Feasting.  New Creation living.

Therefore, if nothing else, we should be a people of celebration because these things are true for us.

Here are a few things that celebration brings:

  1. It brings a positive environment, as it removes the floor for negative and cynical people to have a voice.
  2. It brings a contagious atmosphere, as people want and desire to be a part of it.
  3. It brings humility, as you celebrate what God is doing in and through other people.
  4. It brings team unity, as you work for the good of one common goal.
  5. It brings a way to measure your success, as it forces you to have clear goals and objectives that everyone understands and champions.
  6. It brings more authentic accomplishment, as you celebrate your wins together.
  7. It brings quantitative accomplishment, as you can do way more together than you can alone.

 

 

That person who doesn’t like you… bring them bacon

Welcome to the human race.  If you don’t already have people in your life who don’t like you, which I can’t imagine that to be so, you will soon.  There are often times 3 universal truths I always preach to myself: Jesus is alive, bacon is awesome, and there will be people who don’t like you.  The question, though, is what do you do with that person who doesn’t like you?

Here’s my suggestion: Start by showing up randomly in their life with bacon.

And if bacon doesn’t work, dust your feet off and move on (Matt. 10).

Life is too short to dwell on those who don’t like bacon.

Sometimes you have to apologize

Confession time:  I hate it when I have to apologize.  I mean, why can’t everyone have safe-proof feelings and Terminator-like emotions.  Life would be so much easier, but it wouldn’t be better.

The gospel paints the picture of a whole man—full of grace and Truth.

Community is hard.  Working with people is hard.  Leading people is hard.  Having friends… you got it… is hard.  Being married… yep… super-duper hard.  Hard doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good, though.

Conflict will happen when we try to do Acts 2:42-47 type of community.  Conflict will happen even if we’re not.

And sometimes, to move forward with a friendship or relationship, we just need to apologize.

There is nothing more Terminator-like than that.

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