We had another good session of ManSchool today with 40+ men (slides from this morning are below). If you are not coming to ManSchool, it is not too late to join us. Something special is happening among the men of our Church and we think you will be blessed to engage in this process with us.
In the middle of these notes, I reference my daughters. Let me tell you what I shared with the men this morning. I can give you some facts in a 1+1=2 formula and you take that in and move on. Or, I can tell you the story around those facts and draw you deeply into the reality.
Many operate oblivious to the big story going on around them – life is just tough and then you die. But they miss why its tough, they miss the battle and just let life beat them down through heartaches and disappointments until they reach the conclusion that they are pretty much a disappointment to God or else God is holding out on them.
This whole book is about the “bigger story” going on around us. So in that context, I can give you facts and you’ll probably just move on – or – if your heart grasps hold of what is really going on, it can change your life.
So back to my daughters – 1+1=2 – these are my daughters, here they are. That’s a fact, that’s nice, now move on.
But if I share with you the “bigger story”, I can take you deeply into what God was really doing. I grew up in a great home, very blessed with financially well-off parents and two older brothers. I attended Brookstone and lived in Green Island. Being at Brookstone, sports was a huge part of our lives. Both my brothers were good athletes and the coaches had high hopes for me. The only question was “just how good an athlete is he is going to be?” I had visions of playing a key role on the football, basketball and baseball teams (at Brookstone, the good athletes play all 3). Funny how we just assume things will go in our lives.
At 14, through a series of vivid, powerful, scary dreams, I became aware of the “bigger picture”, aware of the battle and very aware that we have an enemy and a Lord who fights powerfully for us. Through all this, I became a Christian.
At 14, something else radical happened with me, I stopped growing. At 15, I looked like I was 12. At 16, I had to disguise my voice at drive-ins and answering the phone out of fear they’d mistake me for a girl or my Mom. I graduated being 5 feet 6 inches tall weighing 140-150 pounds. I was chubby and very out of place. I did not go into puberty. You can imagine what life was like for me as an aspiring athlete. I didn’t date. I had friends but spent most of my weekends at home with my parents. It kept me out of a lot of trouble and I helped start a Bible study for kids at Brookstone. So God was moving and working.
You can also imagine how many times I cried out “Why me?” and “What are you doing God???” He was doing something.
At college, I started testosterone treatments and quickly went into puberty and gradually became “normal”. I met Shannon after college and we married.
Now, as a part of my syndrome, I could not father children. We tried in-vitro but it didn’t work and so we proceeded with adoption. In 1993 (almost to my 30th birthday), a precious 2-day old baby girl named Hannah was placed in my arms as my daughter. 3 years later, Lucy came home. As it turned out due to some health issues of her own, Shannon probably couldn’t have carried a child either or if she could have, it would have been very rough. We didn’t know that when we got married but we see that now. God orchestrated that just as He orchestrates everything in this universe. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. We have to trust.
We were talking on Sunday and telling stories and remembering how when Lucy was a chubby cheeked 2 year-old, she would come up to us, put our face between her little hands and say “I found you!” She asked the other day, “Why did I say that?” and we said it was her way of saying she loved us.
But what she was really saying is “I found you“. This little soul out there wandering, looking for a Mama and a Daddy “found us”.
THAT is what God was doing and it took me 16-20 years from start to finish to finally figure out what was going on, to finally understand why He plucked me off a “certain” path to divert me onto a radically different path for my life.
Men, something grand and mysterious and powerful is going on all around us. There is a big story. There is a war. You have a role to play and God is moving and orchestrating mighty things. We can tune it out, remain in the fog, play the game and hope we can retire with a nice nest egg and a peaceful life – or – we can choose to radically seek Him and step into the Wardrobe and into Narnia.
Will you? LiveUP!