By: Travis Evans
Fellas, do you own a “questionable” article of clothing? I do, and I catch a lot of flack about it, such as the young daughter of one of my pastor’s saying, “Daddy, why is he wearing a girl’s shirt?” Yes, I own a pink shirt. I like it, too. I think guys can wear pink. However, just such a thing points to a blending of what is male and what is female. Don’t believe me? Well, let me shame myself again.
I was at Goodwill the other day looking for future VFC costumes. Well, I ended up finding stuff that I liked (like a blue IZOD polo for $6, and two cool t-shirts for $7), so I just started shopping. Then, still in the guy’s section, I came across this pink, striped, button-up shirt. I thought, “This is frat-guyish, but I like it.” (NOTE: I am not a frat guy nor do I have that style. In fact, I am a country guy with little fashion sense.) So, I took the shirt off of the rack and went to try it on in the fitting room. (Let me pause here to say that the shirt was a medium, and I wear several mediums.) When I started to put it on, the shirt did not fit. I thought, “This is a small medium.” Then, I noticed that the shirt was cut really high (above the waist). I thought, “That’s weird.” Then, I noticed the buttons. Yep, they were on the other side (the left). I was trying on a woman’s shirt. I was truly “wearing a girl’s shirt.”
So, the fact that I got that far is 1) a clue of our culture’s blurring of what is male and what is female and 2) shame on me!!
Final note fellas, if you didn’t know and for your aid, men’s shirts have buttons on the right; women’s shirts have buttons on the left. Also, the shirt in the picture is a man’s.
Filed under: Devotions
by Caleb Hancock
Have you ever seen two bitter enemies reconcile their differences and come together in unity before? I was trying to think of examples recently and found that it was pretty hard to think of more than a couple. (If you can think of some, feel free to comment)
As the Olympics are going on, unity and harmony are what are being pushed as the ideal qualities for participating countries to posses. However, are the competing countries really unified? Aren’t they trying to beat out everyone else? Well, even with the Olympics in Beijing, none of the countries competing are actively at war with each other right now (that I am aware of) and so my analogy inevitably breaks down.
However, when we consider our standing before God as Christian men, it should shock us that we could possibly be reconciled. We were God’s enemies (Romans 5:10) and in turn, God was opposed to us. Imagine, the sovereign of all things, actively opposed to you! What then brought about reconciliation?
Was it our merit before Him? Did we earn back God’s favor? BY NO MEANS!
Rather, God in His sovereign grace sent His own son to take our punishment, that we might receive forgiveness and adoption as sons through faith alone!
Isn’t this amazing? We, the weak, the enemies, have PEACE WITH GOD!!!!!
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We have a mediator gentlemen, Jesus Christ. He interceded, propitiating God the Father’s wrath against our sin, and there is now NO CONDEMNATION (guilty declaration) for those who are in Christ through faith.
Thank you God that you glorify your grace by saving an ill-deserving sinner like me! Thank you that you don’t only cancel my debt, but give me never-tarnishing righteousness. I have peace with you. You are favorably disposed towards me.
God, Thank you!!!
Filed under: Uncategorized
by Mike Plewniak
In response to his amazing sacrifice for us….
Listen to this hymn by John Newton that he wrote in 1779:
“From pole to pole let others roam, and search in vain for bliss;
My soul is satisfied at home, The Lord my portion is.
Jesus, who on His glorious throne rules heaven, and earth, and sea,
Is pleased to claim me for His own, And give himself to me.
His person fixes all my love, His blood removes my fear:
And while He pleads for me above, His arm preserves me here.
His word of promise is my food, His Spirit is my guide:
Thus daily is my strength renew’d, And all my wants supplied.
For Him I count as gain each loss, Disgrace for Him renown;
Well may I glory in His cross, While He prepares my crown!”
Filed under: Uncategorized
by Mike Plewniak
C.T. Studd: “If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.”
C.H. Spurgeon: “It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus. We are not to be living specimens of men in fine preservation, but living sacrifices, who lot is to be consumed.”
Filed under: Humor
by Caleb Hancock
“See what happens when you call these guys “dolls”!!!
Men, Laughter should be a trademark of Christianity. I don’t mean the self-righteous, mean, sinister cackling of a person laughing at someone else’s sin. Nor do I mean the indulgent laughter of those who do not guard their eyes and ears and hearts and minds by intaking unbeneficial media. (All of which are warned against in scripture)
However, as CJ Mahaney reminded us a few Sundays ago…Laughter, true, self-forgetful and unabashed laughter, is a mark of humility.
Here is a great quote of C.S. Lewis on laughter that CJ cited:
Laughter is a divine gift to the human who is humble. A proud man cannot laugh because he must watch his dignity; he cannot give himself over to the rocking and rolling of his belly. But a poor and happy man laughs heartily because he gives no serious attention to his ego….Only the truly humble belong to this kingdom of divine laughter…Humor and humility should keep good company. Self deprecating humor can be a healthy reminder that we are not the center of the universe, that humility is our proper posture before our fellow humans as well as before almighty God…”I suppose,” wrote C.S. Lewis, “we should mind humiliation less if we were but humbler.”
Guys, if anyone has a reason to laugh, it is the Christian. Check out these verses from Psalm 126, that share with us the response of the Israelites when God rescued them time and again:
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Do we not have a greater reason to praise God and sing and laugh aloud than the Israelites of the Old Testament?!? Our sins, which were great and burdening and kept us from God, HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND PAID FOR IN JESUS!
The Lord has taken them from us, onto himself, and has borne the punishment for them, which would have taken eternity in Hell for us to bear. In faith now, we are justified and adopted. Nothing will separate us from His love for us in Christ. Let these truths inform your attitude today.
May we be men not marked by discouraging anxiety or distrust, but humble and self-forgetful and exultant laughter! We have been forgiven! Isn’t that incredible?
Towards that end, here is a voicemail that I listened to on Kevin Shipp’s iTunes the other day and couldn’t stop laughing for a while thereafter…