Spiritual Sniper

There is no bigger movie right now than “American Sniper.”  Coincidentally, I’ve been reading a book entitled Sleeping Giants: No Movement of God Without Movement of Men in which several associations are made to another sniper…. the devil.  Allow me to summarize some of the thoughts from the book:

  • A sniper attempts to reduce the enemy’s fighting ability by striking at high-value targets,  subsequently pinning down and demoralizing the enemy.

  • His goal is maximum disruption to enemy operations.

  • Sniper’s will select and shoot their targets in descending order according to rank.

  • A sniper will identify targets by observing behavior which suggests that others depend on him.

  • A sniper works hard to find the right “hide site” or concealed position that gives him the widest view, best camouflage, and clearest line of sight to the target.

  • A good sniper has profound psychological effect on the enemy by inducing constant stress

  • A sniper usually aims at the chest because he depends on maximum tissue damage, organ trauma, and blood loss to make the kill.

For a sniper, rank is synonymous with influence.  And when it comes to the topic of the church, men, and their capacity to deliver help or harm, Satan is no fool.  In fact, the Bible, from this perspective, chronicles a savvy enemy, laying in wait specifically for men, capitalizing on their ignorance of his proximity and presence to take them down.  Satan wisely sees men as leaders, influencers, and game-changing assets in the kingdom battle. He devotes massive resources to culturally lure, recruit, and use men to execute his evil plans in the world.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around

like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1st Peter 5:8)

May I add these thoughts…..   If you are  fighting I’d recommend taking cover.  The cover you need to take is in God, His Word and His promises.  I’ll strongly suggest you not fight alone… have brothers by your side that “got your back!”  Finally, if you’re not getting shot at….  are  you even in the battle?

Blessed is Best!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Nothing Box

At our last men’s breakfast we watched a video clip by Mark Gungor called “The Tale of Two Brains.’’  If you’ve never seen this video it is an absolute MUST SEE because it is so funny and accurate.  In the video Mark speaks of a spot in every man’s brain called the “Nothing Box.” The “Nothing Box” is what allows us to be so happy and content with doing and thinking absolutely nothing.  I myself can totally relate to this and find myself wanting to enter this zone many times after a long day of work or when I’m otherwise stressed because of the seemingly endless cares of this world my mind likes to ponder.

Most women do not have this box, nor do they understand (in anyway) the “Nothing Box.” This can sometimes lead to confusion and troubles as there tends to be nothing that women can stand less than a man that is doing absolutely nothing.  Since watching this video I’ve become convicted about just how broad and encompassing my “Nothing Box” is in so many aspects of my life.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only,

deceiving yourselves.”  (James 1:22)

Humbly, I’ll admit that when it comes to professional work and goals…..   I’m the Man!  I’ve been blessed with skills and strive to perform in a manner that makes me worthy of my role and title of “Provider.”  Whether I’m teaching or painting, I can work, and work, and work, and work, and work, and work, and work…..

Being the husband, father, friend, and caring Christian person I need to be are often placed in priority right behind my need to spend time in my “Nothing Box.”  I’ve got no excuse because I hear what the Word of God desires that I do in so many areas of my life, I just don’t always do it.  There is a place in our life for the “Nothing Box.”  Sometimes, (most of us) we need to just chill and do something brainless and pointless.  I fear though that many of us spend entirely too much time there, although it may appear that we are doing something, when assessing  the value of or actions it boils down to a worthiness of about  “nothing.”

How big is your “Nothing Box?”  Does it take priority over matters of greater importance?  Is there a wife in your life that could use a few extra minutes of your attention and service?  A kid that needs you to help him improve his basketball shooting form or learn to catch a ball? An acquaintance or friend that is dying to have someone show them the love of Christ through your simple actions and expressions?  A savior that needs to hear you say and ask, “I love you, what can I do for you?”  If you fail to ponder these questions in your own heart, you may be guilty of choosing to do absolutely nothing about the things in life that mean absolutely everything.   Blessed is Best.

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Women Want What???

I’m probably more qualified to write about this topic than any other man you know.  After 15 years of marriage I’ve mastered everything needed to be a perfect husband.  During the first year of marriage there were a few things I needed to work on.  Since then I’ve been writing my book entitled “Memoirs of the Perfect Husband,” and offering guidance to all the other men I know so they too can become a perfect husband like myself.

In an effort to help you regular guys out some more allow me to share with you the number one thing that women (a.k.a. your wife) want.   Before I share this most precious knowledge with you, I’ll mention that I actually discovered this information by reading an article by Every Man Ministries entitled “The Top 5 Gifts Husbands Can Give Their Wives.”  I was reading this article because I’m not really that man I spoke of in the first paragraph of this blog post. I’m better than I was during that 1st year, believing I’ve made strides over the years but the more I learn…. the more I understand how much more I must improve in areas unrealized.

So here it is brother….. The #1 thing women want:

Unconditional Love and Acceptance  

 

“But God demonstrates His love for us in this:  While we were still sinners,  

Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

There is not even a close second with women and all men should get this. Ask yourself: When do you need unconditional love in the worst way? Answer: When you least deserve it! Your heart says “phew,” your mind stops racing and wondering,

and you feel a burden lift only to be replaced with peace.  Practically, here is what women mean when they want unconditional love and acceptance from you. Unconditional love………

  • Does not dwell upon or linger over mistakes — it covers them

  • Draws closer when someone is in pain or afraid — not withdraw

  • Does not magnify or repeatedly highlight someone’s shortcomings or faults

  • Understands at the heart of a woman she needs to be comforted and accepted

  • Does not compare a person (on any physical or emotional level) with others

  • Encourages at moments or points of failure

  • Respects her opinion

  • Appreciates her uniqueness

  • Listens vs. Fixes

  • Carves out and makes time for her in the midst of full schedules

  • Recognizes and seizes opportunities to say no to self and yes to her

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. How do you react when your wife’s faults or shortcomings become visible?

  2. How does God react when yours surface?

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Too Late

I’ll sometimes joke that I was born late… and that was the last time I’ve ever been late.   This is not entirely true but for the most part I tend to live by the rule of “on-time means 5 minutes early and 7’o clock does not mean 7:01.”  It’s relatively easy (for me at least) to live like this habitually when it comes to making meetings and appointments.  There are other aspects of my life where I tend to be much more willing to flex, waiver, delay, and procrastinate.

Yesterday I received a Facebook update which informed me that a guy I graduated with just died.  I’m 41 and he would have been approximately the same age.  His father posted about the situation, saying “Charlie” had been diagnosed with a brain tumor just 10 days prior and was scheduled for surgery in the very near future.  There was great optimism regarding the prognosis after surgery but then Charlie just passed away in his sleep.

Honestly, I never really liked Charlie in high school.  In fact, despise for Charlie would be a more appropriate way to describe how I felt about him back then.  Nearly twenty-five years laters however I’m far removed from those foolish childhood memories.  Charlie may have grown into a fine young man… a Christian man of unwavering resolve and faith.

Or not.  Maybe Charlie was a vocal atheist.  Maybe he was on the fence of commitment to Christ with several people working hard to witness to him.  We’ll probably never know.  The reality is that there is a matter in which “too late” has eternal significance.   I’m not sure how many of us live our lives with this understanding at the forefront of our focus.

Do you recall what it was like to first fall in love?   I’ll never forget the times of falling in love with my wife Stacy and my Lord Jesus.  I don’t always live my life with them under the same level of passion and commitment as I once did.  If you can relate to what I’m saying I’ll share a scripture with you that has recently touched me deeply.  If it touches you I pray that you can do something about it before it is too late.   Blessed is Best!!

“I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:3-5)

Shared by Chad Hellenthal