Stuff I Like

Week-long Mission Trip Opportunity in Boston for only $137

Check out a great mission trip opportunity in Boston. Lead by good friend and great pastor, Jay Ridenour.  Trip costs $137 + transportation.  They need trips this summer to help support local church plants.  Details here: Metro West Missions

They also have a summer internship. Job description here: Communication Internship

Email the church at info@fbcsudbury.org for more information.

5 Things I’m Teaching My Boys About Abortion

5 Things I'm Teaching My Boys About Abortion

I ran across this article and thought it was worth passing along.  Abortion is a big issue to me, one that I hope we see stopped.  I do not want to look back on my life and say I remained silent about this issue.  This article is something I will archive and will be one more thing I will talk to my boys about when they get a little older.

5 Things I’m Teaching My Boys About Abortion

by

1. The Big Cop-Out for Men: “It’s a Women’s Issue”

I want my boys to know they can’t cop-out of this issue by saying it’s a “women’s issue” and thus have no opinion.

Abortion isn’t just a women’s issue; it’s a human issue. If you’re a human, it’s an issue that impacts you. Our children need to understand this is too important of an issue to ignore.

I want my boys to learn to stand for the rights of those who can’t stand for themselves. I want them to learn to stand up for the helpless, the marginalized, those that are discarded and seen as unimportant. I want them to know that a noble man, a man of virtue, is a man who stands up for the rights of others without regard to how it impacts them personally.

I’ve known too many men in my life who have used this excuse for non-involvement—and it absolutely infuriates me. I can’t respect a man who uses this cop-out. Have an opinion, know what and why you believe it, and stand firmly for it. I don’t want my sons to pull this wishy-washy stuff and say they have no “right” to an opinion. 

2. Life Begins at Conception—any dummy can tell you that

When our children interact with the world, they’ll encounter all sorts of lies. One such lie that many spout is that a fetus is not a human life—a baby.

I have a degree in Biology, but you don’t need one to know this. It’s unequivocal. When a sperm and an egg meet (in humans as well as in any species of animal) a life is created. Things either are living or inanimate—they have a capacity for growth and development or not. Clearly, an embryo has a capacity to grow and develop.

KEEP READING…

10 Overlooked Truths About Taking Action

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Action is essential in ministry and life.  Action is essential in success.  Action will sometimes end in failure.

Inaction always ends in failure.

The Art of Manliness outline 10 Truths about Taking Action.  These are not spiritual in nature but applicable in our relationship with Christ.  As Kevin DeYoung puts it in his book, Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc., God has already revealed his plan for Christians’ lives: to love Him and to obey His Word.  Now we just need to TAKE ACTION.

10 Overlooked Truths About Taking Action

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Kyle Eschenroeder.

“This is a holy moment. A sacramental moment. A moment in which a man feels the gods as close as his own breath.

What unknowable mercy has spared us this day? What clemency of the divine has turned the enemy’s spear one handbreadth from our throat and driven it fatally into the breast of the beloved comrade at our side? Why are we still here above the earth, we who are no better, no braver, who reverenced heaven no more than these our brothers whom the gods have dispatched to hell?

In this speech from Steven Pressfield’s gripping, well-researched re-telling of the Battle of Thermopylae (Gates of Fire), the Spartan King Leonidas addresses his troops after a victory. He is reflecting on the fact that when you do battle in chaos, Lady Fortuna and skill have an equal say in the outcome. Pressfield explains this dynamic in his equally worthwhile non-fiction work, The Warrior Ethos:

“In the era before gunpowder, all killing was of necessity done hand to hand. For a Greek or Roman warrior to slay his enemy, he had to get so close that there was an equal chance that the enemy’s sword or spear would kill him. This produced an ideal of manly virtue – andreia, in Greek – that prized valor and honor as highly as victory.

Andreia meant that judgment was based on actions taken — not outcomes. Society understood that the outcome was, at least in part, in the hands of the gods. What was in a man’s control was how he acted.

KEEP READING…

Happy Birthday Jonas!

Today Jonas turns 3!  Jonas is our comedian and future front man.  He has an incredible imagination and is always dreaming up new ways to play with his toys.  He also loves music and singing.  When he sees a stage of instruments and a microphone he has to go check it out.  He even gets on the mic occasionally.  Jonas has the sweetest disposition and can melt the heart of his grandparents with just a smile.  He has a pretty powerful effect over his mother too.  Both of our kids can have that affect.  Jonas is constantly talking.  There is a steady stream of consciousness coming out of his mouth.  Whatever he thinks, he says.  A funny story about Jonas comes from on of his teachers at school.  They asked him when he was going to start peeing in the potty and with one hand held to the sky,  he responded with a resounding, “NEVER!”  We love our Jonas and are so glad he is our son.

Jonas

Jonas

music mantractor Flamingo Big boy Beach

 

Lone Oak here we come!

Lone Oak
We are excited to announce that we have accepted the call to be the High School Student Pastor at Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah, KY. 

God has used the last 5 1/2 years at Crossings to prepare us for our next chapter in student ministry.  While we have loved our time at Crossings, we cannot wait to invest in the students and families at Lone Oak FBC.  God’s call on my life and my passion for student ministry has lead us to make this decision.  God made it clear earlier this year that my time at Crossings was coming to an end.  While we didn’t know where or what He was leading us toward, we knew He was leading us away from Crossings. In a step of faith we began the job search process. Through prayer and reading God’s Word, He made it clear that He was leading us back into the church.  At Crossings my primary responsibility has been to minister to students through our summer staff and the various programs and resources that I helped to develop. My connection was on a one week basis connected only through the churches student pastor or group leader.  God was giving me the desire to invest long-term.  As the student pastor at Lone Oak FBC, I will get the opportunity to walk through life with students and families on a long-term basis, something I have truly missed.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:4

I surrendered to the call to ministry when I was 18 years old at a church camp (Centrifuge) in Jackson, TN.  At that point I had no clue how the Lord was going to use someone like me in student ministry.  I held on to these two verses as Christ begin to do a new work in my heart and in my life.  It has been an incredible journey to see how God has personally directed my path and given me the desires of my heart.  He has given me a passion for student ministry and I am excited to be used for His glory.

Every Man Needs a Man Mentor

manmentor

A good mentor, specifically a good Christan mentor is not just a good recommendation, but a necessary element in spiritual growth.  If you don’t have one, get one.  Stop waiting for some older, wiser, person in your life to identify the fact that you need a mentor and that they could be your mentor.  Just ask them.

Check out this post from The Art of Manliness that highlights this very point.

Every Man Needs a Man Mentor

by Brett & Kate McKay on February 15, 2009

When I was 15, I met a man who would have a profound impact on my life. His name was Andrew Lester. I first encountered Mr. Lester at church. He was the fun old guy that everyone liked being around. Despite being in his 8os, he had this boyish, mischievous look to him. He also made wearing a Breath-right nasal strip look cool. He wore them all the time. Mr. Lester was an artist by trade. His mother was a Cheyenne Indian, so his art focused on Native American motifs. A tribe called him the White Buffalo, and he made a really beautiful painting representing the name bestowed on him. I have print of it hanging up in my office.

While Mr. Lester dabbled in painting, his real skill was in sculpting clay. He sculpted mammoth busts of great people from history like Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Thorpe, and Western movie star Tom Mixx. When he wasn’t working in his studio, he volunteered in various community organizations aimed at helping underprivileged Native and African Americans. Mr. Lester was very active in the African-American community in Oklahoma and founded the Oklahoma African-American Museum Hall of Fame.

When I first saw Mr. Lester at church, I never thought he would become a mentor and good friend to me. But by chance, I was asked to regularly visit him and his wife to help them out around their home. Little did I know the impact this man would have on my passage into manhood.

A few weekends a month throughout high school, I would drive up to Mr. Lester’s home in Guthrie to visit him. Our visits usually began with me doing some chore around the house or in his art studio. This often involved me pulling some weeds or moving the big clay busts around in his studio. He sometimes had me actually work on his busts. I remember doing some fine tuning to Tom Mixx’s hat and nose with a chisel and some sandpaper.

KEEP READING…

Happy Birthday Maddox!

Today Maddox turns 3!  Maddox is a man who knows what he wants.  Always has. Always will.  This little dude has to be one of the most determined, focused, and attentive 3 year old I have ever known.  He doesn’t miss a thing.  He notices when another kid at the zoo has on the same pair of shoes as Jonas.  He notices if we take a different route home from church.  He notices if his mom gets a haircut.  If he could give me a heads up occasionally, that would be great.  He notices everything.  He is also a pretty sensitive kid.  He can tell when someone is upset and he tries to comfort them.  The sweetest story about Maddox is how he treated a new student in his class last year.  This student was from China, didn’t speak English, and cried all day.  Maddox waited on him hand and foot and even fed him his lunch.  What a kid! We love our Maddox and are so glad he is our son.

streaker Snow Outfit Helper Guitar

 

 

Survival Lessons from World War Z

zombie3

The Art of Manliness outlines 7 survival lessons from the book World War Z by Max Brooks.

Here are a few of the lessons they mention.

1. It’s not if, but when

2. Zombies don’t care about your PowerPoint skills

3. Practice self-reliance before you need it

Read the article to check out the rest.

Due to some bad language and some pretty intense zombie descriptions, I wouldn’t recommend this book to a young reader.  It will definitely give them nightmares.  I do have to say however that it was one of the more entertaining books I have read and would move it up near the top of my favorite fiction books.  Just like the movie, the article is good, but the book is better.

Survival Lessons from World War Z

by Jeremy Anderberg

Before World War Z was ever a Brad Pitt flick, it was a bestselling book. It tells the story of the zombie apocalypse as a series of interviews conducted by our journalist narrator. These interviews are taking place years after the zombie war has ended, which makes it a unique telling of the popular genre. What really sets it apart from those other cheap zombie thrills is that it focuses largely on how individuals, communities, and governments would react to such a scenario. It’s almost more of a fictional sociology textbook rather than a novel.

Because of that, survival lessons abound. Whether in the actual apocalypse, or just a localized natural disaster (like what we experienced a couple weeks ago here in Colorado), these are lessons that anyone and everyone can start applying.

It took freak flooding in the city I live in to teach me the lesson that being prepared for disasters isn’t just for folks who are hardcore, it’s for people who are smart and want to come out the other end with their families and communities intact.

KEEP READING…

 

The Cure for the Modern Male Malaise: The 5 Switches of Manliness

“The primal elements of masculinity sit within us like a well-trained regiment of soldiers that is ready and itching to fight, but sits waiting restlessly, and endlessly, in reserve. Core aspects of the male psyche lie dormant, and men find themselves as square pegs trying to fit into a round hole. Having butted up against this mismatch over and over again, men are feeling angry and restless, losing their motivation, and giving up.”

PHYSICALITY

CHALLENGE

LEGACY

PROVIDER

NATURE

If these words mean nothing to you, then I suggest you leave your man card at the door.  Check out this and the related posts from The Art of Manliness blog.  While this blog and its contents are not spiritual in nature, the loss of manliness has huge spiritual implications on our country, our families, and our culture.

The Cure for the Modern Lame Malaise: The 5 Switches of Manliness

by Brett on May 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, I caught the premiere of the Discovery’s Channel’s “Human Planet,” a television show about the ways people have adapted to survive in Earth’s most extreme environments. Perhaps a better name for the program would have been “Man Planet,” as the show primarily chronicled the incredible feats of men around the world–men the tentacles of civilization have barely grazed. There were men mining sulfur from an active volcano; men diving dozens of feet and holding their breath for five minutes at a time to spear fish on the ocean floor; men initiating their sons into manhood by teaching them how to train eagles to hunt.  Even seemingly pedestrian tasks like taking your kids to school were fraught with danger; a father escorted his children on a 60 mile journey through the Himalayas, watching for potential avalanches and walking over a frozen river that could have cracked open at any moment.

I was immediately taken in by the show’s spectacular cinematography. But it was the image of these men straining and sweating, risking life and limb to provide for and feed their families that really caught my attention.

And by the end of the show, a bunch of things I’ve been thinking about for awhile had coalesced together.

What’s Plaguing Modern Men?

There has been a copious amounts of hand wringing lately about the state of modern men, about the fact that men appear to be falling behind in life and seem unmotivated and listless.

Why all this concern? The statistics are familiar to anyone who has read this genre of articles:

  • Women are more likely than men to graduate from high school.
  • Only 44% of undergraduates at community and four year colleges are men.
  • Female college students have higher grade point averages than men and are more likely to graduate within four years.

KEEP READING…