Monday, May 26, 2008

a recent blog I read and want to share

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:29-30

Last year, one of the runaway bestsellers in the book world was Conn and Hal Iggulden’s, The Dangerous Book For Boys. The instant classic relates tales of historical heroes, tells how to tie knots, make a treehouse, and even how to talk with girls. It is a throwback to our grandfather’s boyhood, and is more than a great read. It is part of a reawakening that boys will never learn to be men unless they get off the couch and learn to take risk, try new things, and get dirty.

In an interview with, one of the authors comments on the book:

Amazon: Clearly, you tapped into something big. What do you think it was?

Iggulden: In a word, fathers. I am one myself and I think we’ve become aware that the whole “health and safety” overprotective culture isn’t doing our sons any favors. Boys need to learn about risk. They need to fall off things occasionally, or–and this is the important bit–they’ll take worse risks on their own. If we do away with challenging playgrounds and cancel school trips for fear of being sued, we don’t end up with safer boys–we end up with them walking on train tracks. In the long run, it’s not safe at all to keep our boys in the house with a Playstation. It’s not good for their health or their safety.

You only have to push a boy on a swing to see how much he enjoys the thrill of danger. It’s hard-wired. Remove any opportunity to test his courage and they’ll find ways to test themselves that will be seriously dangerous for everyone around them.

I know this is true. If the church or parents do not give kids, and boys specifically, dangerous things to do, they will end up in trouble. Even Christian kids need to take risks and try new things. They need to take challenges, get uncomfortable, and feel a rush of adrenaline. I believe that God made them this way. And I believe He made them this way for the sake of the gospel.
Let’s face it, the gospel is not for wimps. And the means the real Dangerous Book is the Bible. My friend and fellow pastor has been reading lately to his 5-year old son, and he has been soaking it up. What adventure novel have they been perusing together? The Old Testament. Something resonates in us men when we read stories of men who were real men, and especially men who were real missionaries or martyrs, for this is who we have been called to be.

In another marvelous book called Trials and Triumphs by Richard Hannula, my family has found stories of Polycarp, Augustine, Luther and Bunyan … men who were chased down, imprisoned, persecuted and martyred for their faith. And these stories have resonated in our souls.

We are all created for danger because following Christ in a world gone mad is dangerous. We are made to take risks because the gospel is risky. We are attracted to challenges because the Great Commission is challenging. And God made us this way.

So, as a dad, I teach my kids that sharing the gospel is their responsibility, and mine. We endure hardship at times in order that others might hear about Jesus. We give up creature comforts to share with those less fortunate. And we are teaching them that the goal of school is not to train them to make a lot of money or get a good job after college, but that they might be equipped to serve their King in His work of redemption.

The rise of sensitivity training and lack of training for “dangerous duty” is why so many people stay home from church when they have a cold. And why Sunday School teachers call in sick because “they’re not feeling well” every other week. Or why people get their feelings hurt and quit. Or why church members tell you they cannot serve because they need to take a season (more like a year or two) of rest. I know there are exceptions, but in a general sense, I say to that: “rest when you get to heaven.” God does not need a church of wimps and whiners. He needs a church of heroes. That is who He made us to be.

So suck it up. Go to the park and walk off the asphalt path. Play with BB guns (I gave my son one today for his birthday) and slingshots (you’ll shoot yer eye out, kid), learn to hunt and fish and clean what you catch, buy the book, Last Child in the Woods, and read about Nature-deficit disorder. And most importantly, read to your kids from the Dangerous Book. Take them with you when sharing the gospel. Fill your homes with people who need Jesus. Stuff tracts in all the “atheism” books at Barnes & Noble (we do this frequently - try it, its fun and dangerous). And prepare your hearts, parents, that someday your children might be missionaries instead of masters of the universe, martyrs for the gospel instead of dying the slow death of self-indulgent, self-worshiping consumers.

And be glad.
February 1st, 2008 by Roger Ferrell

Monday, May 19, 2008

The fairest of them all

Deep in the heart of every young girl and every woman is a lingering question: Am I beautiful? Am I worthy of pursuit? Is there one who will see me and be captivated by my feminine qualities? Woman have the desire to be seen as beautiful. It has been describes as the feminine ache. It aches because women rarely feel that way.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) 11 God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.

Everything has a time to be beautiful. And every woman has the opportunity to reflect God’s beauty. Beauty has incredible power both for good and evil. One woman’s beauty was said to be so powerful that an entire war was fought to win her heart. She had the “face that launched a thousand ships”. In our movie “The Incredibles” we see two young women: Violet & Mirage. I say we see them-sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. Violet’s super power enables her to become invisible if she wants. And at first that is what she wants. But it is not from a place of strength but weakness. Like many girls, she insecure about her appearance and often hides who she is out of fear of rejection. Mirage shows you an exterior quite confidently-or so it appears, but what you think you see is not real. It is more a sudective and manipulative exterior designed to get men to look at her and be brought under her power. Both women have power and both struggle with how to use it.

Beauty is powerful. Physical beauty has its power but inner beauty is even more powerful.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (MSG) 9 And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions 10 but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

Violet's beauty emerges when she is released to be who she is and makes a significant contribution to the fight. I believe this is true for women in real life as well. Gifted, confident women who cloth themselves in the purposes of God are the fairest of them all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

incredible weather-incredible times?

Has anybody taken note of all this weather? A cyclone kills 100,000 in Myanmar, tornados bring death to the midwest, floods on the east coast, wild fires on the west, and a devastating earthquake in china with a rising death toll over 10,000-all happening in a week. I've not even mentioned the financial storms or the potential storms of violence/war/terrorism that could happen at any moment. These are at least interesting times. I wonder about these times and the potential correlation to things written by the prophets and apostles. I wonder about the world my son will grow to be a man in. I also wonder about the church and whether she is prepared to stand and be the light of Jesus through these times. Maybe this season of history will call forth something incredible from us-maybe like generations past we will answer the call supernatural love of Jesus Christ. May we be empowered for these days!

Ephesians 1:19 (NLT) 19 I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him...