A New Year

Several weeks ago I posed a challenge to let our 2015 New Year’s Resolutions be focused more on spiritual matters as opposed to physical (although I still need to lose some weight).   Hopefully you were able to take some time and reflect on your heart/spiritual condition of 2014 and come up with some areas to improve in next year.  Here are a couple areas we might all be able to consider.

  1. Be a spiritual leader:  Author Doug Wilson, author of reforming marriage wrote “A man may not be a vocational theologian, but in his home, he needs to be the resident theologian.”  Is this an area you could improve in this upcoming year?  If you’re not sure, ask your wife and kids.

  1. Lead with humility:  Men may be called by God to lead their wives, but our leadership should be selfless.  Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  Put this verse into practice and it will solve 95 percent of the issues you face.

  2.   Be a godly, courageous man:  First Corinthians 16:13 gives a clear definition of biblical masculinity:  “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” Before we can be godly husbands, we must be men of courage.  Wrapped up in that definition of what it means to be a man is the idea of courage, with the the essence of courage being to have such a great fear of God that you fear nothing else.

Ideally, we’d each live a life where everyday we sincerely desire to be a more godly man than we were the day before.  There is nothing wrong though with committing to make significant changes at the start of a new year…. so will you?  The above 3 are areas that I’ve come to understand that I can improve in.  Feel free to use them as well or develop your own.  Blessed is Best!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Not Always Easy

Christmas is not always easy.  I love Christmas now…. but for so very long I did not.   For so long Christmas was merely a time to “GET.”  Ironically, what was supposed to be a wonderful time of the year really wasn’t for me growing up.  It seemed to be a stressful time around my house and sadly I carried this mentality over to my family for many years.  It’s only really been the last few years that I recognized this (thanks to my wife) and have tried to make it different.

Tomorrow is a day of celebration like no other.  God…. the Creator of All…. loves us!!  It does not matter what you’ve done or even whether you accept it.  It is so easy to get all caught up in every thing about Christmas… that is not really Christmas.

This blog is primarily intended for men so allow me to draw a connection to what I’ve shared thus far.  Brothers, what memories and legacy are you leaving to your family about the meaning of Christmas?  When the day is over will they truly understand what it represents.  It represents that fact that no matter what happens in this world each one of us is loved more than we can ever imagine.  God showed this to us by sending us His Son and desires that we now share this same love with our families and those around us.  May we be this kind of man. Merry Christmas.  Blessed is Best!!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Labor of Love

As a follow-up of Chad’s latest (Impact), I choose to impact my brother Chad. I know he appreciates a breather from the blog.  May this be momentum for me, similiar to financial guru Dave Ramsay’s paying off the small bills (first), to gain momentum for bigger bills, or in this case Blessings.

Well, in my household there’s a lot of post mission processing going on. This brings both good and bad news.

The Bad
It’s very sobering knowing that we Americans, and yes Canadians too, are not the norm when it comes to standards of living.  Just a few facts;

1. Half the world lives on less than $2.50 per day.

2. More slaves (sex,labor,child, and child soldiers) exist today (in the world) than ever before in human history.

3. We spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half the world spends on all goods combined.

Excess has impaired the people in America, we are the richest people in the world, praying to get richer.

The Good
It’s easy to dismiss all these grim facts but that’s NOT we are called to do.  I believe we can each find our own gifting/cause to make a difference – and see it through.  Then, indeed, we would become “good news to the poor” Luke 4:18

Let us be thankful for where we live, our family and friends. Let’s, most of all, celebrate Christmas and the good news it brings. Knowing that a life in Christ is everlasting – It’s great news for everyone.  An angel put it this way: ” I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem” (Luke 2:10-11)

Shared by Doug Ross

A recent song I heard on WJTL sung by Point Of Grace (a more realistic account of His birth over 2000 years ago)

Labor Of Love

(Songwriter: Andrew Peterson)
It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David’s town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother’s hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
On the streets of David’s town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
For the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

Impact

The year of 2014 will soon be over and before long many of us will reflect upon the things we’d like to do differently in 2015.  This process can often be more of a ritual than anything else.  I’ll eat better and exercise (at least) through January, maybe plan on reading through the Bible, and probably set a few other goals that will likely be forgotten by Spring.  I’m often thinking of how I’ll do things better and differently, yet as time goes on there is often little genuine change.  This is not to say that I’m not better in anyway than I was at the start of the year, it’s just that my life is not typically in line with my goals.

In considering my potential goals for 2015 it occurred to me how many of them are all “about me.”  So I’ll ponder a new direction and challenge you to do the same.  What goals can we set that will have the greatest impact on someone else.  Ironically, it may be something that will need to change in your life, but it’s impact will be seen in the life of someone else.  I think of a father who sets a goal of seeing genuine fruit in the lives of their children…. this would start with the parent themselves.

My post this week is simple.  In about 3 weeks it will be time to decide the things that we will want to do differently for 2015.  May we spend time reflecting upon the things that we could do that would be of the most benefit for Jesus and others.  Let us prepare to have a more powerful impact than ever before.   Let us strive to have Colossians 3:2 kinds of goals by “Setting our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Blessed is Best!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Man-Thanks

On the heel of Thanksgiving I just want to say “thank you” to the men that have been there for me.  Until recently, I tried hard to make it through life on my own without the camaraderie and help of other godly men.  Your counsel has been received and your prayers have been felt.  Just a year ago many of you I knew very little,  I kept you at least an arms length away from me.  You’ve accepted me as the imperfect man that I am, you have helped me by showing me that you are not perfect either.

About 2 weeks ago I had the honor of getting to share a testimony at the men’s retreat.  This was a big step for me because public speaking had not been an easy or pleasurable experience for me most of my life.  I was excited to share this time though because I knew God was speaking to my heart about something.  He had been revealing to me overtime just how important it is for men to be real with each other…. to remove “our masks.”  During this time He was convicting me of the mask that I had been wearing for so long.  I removed my mask that night as much as I could,  prematurely assuming it would be a catalyst to a level of spiritual maturity I’ve not yet ever attained.  A funny thing happened though when after the retreat it was as if I had taken 10 steps back in the wrong direction.

If you have not read 1st Kings 18 recently I’ll ask you to do so.  It is one of my favorite stories in the Bible as I can only imagine how awesome it would have been to be Elijah that day.  It would not have necessarily been nice to be Elijah the next day if you continue to read on into chapter 19.  There is a point to me mentioning all of this… If you have not noticed men we are in a battle.  If you’re hiding behind a tree or in a ditch somewhere you may avoid getting shot at.  If your goal in life is to just to avoid getting shot then congratulations.  But know this…. the enemy may not be able to sight his scope on you, but your wife and kids might likely be easy pickings.

I’ll not judge whether you are hiding or fighting valiantly.  If valiantly…. thank you for your fight and example of the kind of godly man I need to become.  If hiding… step out from behind your blind and fight, but please don’t try to do it alone.  You have brothers in Christ that need you to join them as much as you need them to join you.  For those that have already joined in to fight with me… I’ll simply say thanks-man!   Blessed is Best!
Shared by Chad Hellenthal