What man is looking for

Eldredge poses this question – “If man is the image of the Lion of Judah, how come there are so many lonely women and fatherless children, so few men around?”

There is a problem in nature right now with a rapid decline in the honey bee population. It has researchers concerned for the long-term implications of crop production. As bee hives die in shocking numbers, plants are not being pollinated. The problem dates back to 2006 when bee keepers first reported a troubling phenomenon known as “Colony collapse disorder”. Adult male bees were simply vanishing from the hives, leaving behind the younger bees, the queen and the honey.  The implications for the global food supply could end up being apocalyptic.

Could this also be an analogy for the American household? Men are disappearing, shrinking back and checking out, leaving their kids and wives alone to fend for themselves.

John continues – “How come when men look in their hearts they don’t discover something valiant and dangerous, but instead find anger, lust and fear?  Most of the time I feel more fearful than fierce.  Why is that?  Thoreau wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  As the line from Bravehart has it, “All men die; few men ever really live.”  And so most women now lead lives of quiet resignation, having given up on their hope for a true man.”

Hits close to home?  Are you tired of posts like these?

There is hope.  There is more … so much more that is available to us as men.  Your heart was made for so much more than this world is offering.  So much more than the cheap imitations of the posing, the weekends on the golf course, the escape of TV sports, pornography, day trading stocks or gambling.

In all of these things, man is an impostor, not a real man and he fears he will be eventually discovered.  No, you bear the image of the One, true God.  You were made in His strength, no so much physically but soulfully.

You and I chase these false gods because we are after something.  We turn to pornography because we long for beauty, we long to validated as a man and crap, sometimes we want to just feel like a man.  Porn offers us that in a quick fix.  But it is a very cheap and a very dangerous substitute for the real thing.  The hunting/golf/gambling/risk taking in business is driven by something far deeper written on your soul.

We men are all looking for the same thing in all of this – we are looking for God.  God gave you this heart for beauty, this craving to be a true man, this spirit of adventure, this deep-down desire to rescue your woman, this calling to stand up and fight for what is right.  In all of these desires, you are in reality looking for God.  The very good news is that He is actively looking for you and seeks to father you.

Our desire has been painfully distorted, perverted and twisted into some pretty dark ways.  It is the “fall”.  But, there is hope.  This Wednesday, we are going to journey into Wild at Heart as a tribe, as a band of brothers.  We aren’t going to rush this.  We are going to go deep into it and see what God is trying to say to us men – where many of us fine ourselves buried in a dense, dense fog bank.  Jesus came to seek what was lost and to set the captives free.  If authentic manhood seems lost on you or if you feel trapped or in a prison of your own making or if you’re “good” but just feeling a bit foggy, you should join us.

The exciting thing is that this journey could be the start to a radically new life.

Don’t you want more?

What kind of man are you?

Honestly, how do you see yourself as a man?  Are words like strong, passionate and dangerous words you would choose?  Do you have the courage to ask those in your life what they think of you as a man?  What words do you fear they would choose to describe you?

Are you Adam?  When Eve reaches for the apple … do you do nothing?  Absolutely nothing?  Do you not say a word, not lift a finger to stop her?  Will you not risk?  Not fight?  Not rescue Eve?  Like our first father Adam, many of us give into fear, give into paralysis.  At our very core, we are soft and passive.  To strike a chord that cringes every man who hears it, many of us have gone limp.

And like Adam, most of us carry deep within our heart this sense of failure and weakness.

To mask that, many of us pose.  We put on this false front, false self and wear that self to do life.  And the truth be told, we’re faking our way through life.  A man who goes around telling his buddies that he’s a cowboy, a maverick and a warrior is, in reality, none of those things.  He’s posing and he sneaks around in life behind this persona in fear, hoping he won’t be discovered for who/what he truly is.

These are some of the costs of a world at war.  Your manhood is under assault on nearly every front.

There is moreSo much more for you as a man.  There is a battle to fight.  There is an authentic adventure to live and yes, there is a beauty to rescue.

Will you join us next Wednesday at 6am and will you commit to staying with us through the entirety of our walk through Wild at Heart?  If you will commit to invest the time and dig into this, I don’t think your life will ever be the same.  It’s right here in front of you.  Yours for the taking.  But you have to commit and invest.  No one is going to do it for you.  Its UP to you.

Will you?  If so, please comment below.

Is this you?

Do you feel trapped?  Is your world a desktop PC, committee meetings and duty?  Is your world pre-fabricated, modular, non-fat, zip-locked, franchised, online and microwavable?  Does your heart long for adventure?  For wildness, danger and pushing boundaries?  Do you dream of a life without deadlines, cellphones or committee meetings?  Do you dream of a place where there is room for your soul?

Are you trapped?

Are you thinking – who am I?  What am I made of?  What am I destined for?

Eldredge says in Wild at Heart, “Deep in a man’s soul are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at the kitchen table.  It is fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control.  But the answers to his deepest questions are not to be found on the television or in the refrigerator.

Your soul longs for passion, for freedom, for life.

As D.H. Lawrence said, “I am not a mechanism.”  A man needs to feel the rhythms of the earth; he needs to have a hand in something real – the tiller of a boat, a set of reins, the roughness of rope, or simply a shovel.  Can a man live all his days to keep his fingernails clean and trim?  Is that what boys dream of?

This is what is coming against us as men – “Some women want a passive man if they want a man at all.  The church wants a tamed man – they are called priests (or deacons or committee members).  Universities want a domesticated man – they are called tenure-tracked.  The corporation wants a sanitized, shallow, hairless man.”  It all comes together as a westward expansion against the masculine soul.  And thus the heart of a man is driven into the high-country, into remote places, like a wounded animal looking for cover.”

Men, you must ask yourself if this resonates with you in any way.  Does it?  Is something stirred within you?  There are about 175 men that follow this blog and frankly, most men don’t really follow it.  In a sense they are checked out and far more interested in espn.com.  Men in our midst at Christ Community are sleep-walking through life.  Marriages are under assault, pornography rages, our kids are in their rooms on their iPhones and we’re sitting on the sofa thinking about how we’re going to make it to Friday.

Manhood is under assault – especially in the church.

We’re going to go hard after this next Wednesday morning February 4th at 6am in our Wild at Heart study.  Everyone is welcome.  If you’ve never come to ManSchool and any of this tweaked something in you, stirred something, then perhaps God is calling you.  Wives have told me “My husband won’t come because he thinks the crowd is too old” – or – “I want my husband to come but you need to invite him and hold him accountable to coming”THIS is symptomatic of the THE reason we are doing Wild at Heart.

Men, the time for excuses is past.  There are dozens of reasons to not engage in ManSchool and we will assure you the enemy doesn’t want you joining us.  He likes you just where you are.  If you’re ready for something radical, if you’re ready for an awakening as a man of Christ, you really need to pray about committing to joining us and leaving the excuses on the couch.  We’re all in this together.  We’re all under assault but there is a brotherhood of men fighting together for each other on Wednesday mornings.

Will you join us?

ManSchool start and Carver

First, the Carver banquet is set for Saturday February 21st at the Church.  That’s just 6 weeks away!  We need LOTS of men to pitch in to help.  If you’ve done this before, you know what a blessing it is to serve these kids and their families.

I need a SET UP team with about 10 men for Friday night – to break the room down, set up tables, decorations, etc.  This is typically 6pm – 9pm.  KITCHEN team – we need 3-4 men to help Jerome in the kitchen on Saturday.  GRILL team – I need 3-4 men to help Coy Nichols with the grilling.  GREETING team – I need 6-8 men to help Patrick Grant with greeting our guests as they arrive and helping them get to their seats.  SERVING team – we need 10+ men to serve the tables.  It is a buffet but we need men to refill glasses, make sure they have butter, A1 sauce, dessert, etc.  CLEAN UP team – we need 10-15 men to clean the room up when they leave, break it down and rebuild it for the Sunday AM service.  Clean up takes about 2 hours after they leave.  Some men will do two roles i.e. they will help set up and then serve the next day.  Or they will grill and help with the clean up.

If you want to help, please respond on this blog and let me know what role(s) you want to play.  I need a man to volunteer to Quarterback the servers (Phil Staten did it last year) and to Quarterback the clean up (Garrett Dumler did it last year).

ManSchool – we have our date!  ManSchool will start on Wednesday, February 4th at 6am at the church.  We will be going through John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart.  Please order the book and dig into it now and see if God stirs something.  If you want us to order you a copy, please comment below and we’ll have it there for you on February 4th.  You can buy yours ahead of time on Amazon.com for $8.99+ shipping.

We are very excited about Wild at Heart.  In many ways, everything we’ve been doing these past few years leads up to this moment and this book.  God is moving in our midst.  Men are coming alive and LivingOUTWARD (Excurvatus ex Se) and you are hearing testimonies all through our church about what is going on with the men.  If you have never attended ManSchool, THIS is the time to start.  If you are planning on coming, please RSVP by commenting below.