Filed under: Uncategorized
With the ability to buy just certain songs from albums these days, how many people buy whole albums anymore? If they do, can they even hold it in their hands? Maybe this is a dying favorites. However classic albums still exist: The Beatles’ White Album, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, U2’s The Joshua Tree, Led Zeppelin’s Led Zeppelin.
What are your Top 5 albums?
Filed under: Culture
By: Travis Evans
With Thanksgiving in less than 24 hrs, people are excited. We men are no different. Many guys will be watching football, eating 100 lbs of food, napping, or dreading the awful “Black Friday.” As a culture, I wonder if we overlook Thanksgiving. I know it already gets overshadowed in the stores by Halloween and Christmas. When we think of the actual Holiday itself. What do we think of? Food? Time off? Do we go through it just to get to Friday?
The point of Thanksgiving is hard to find when your society is historically so prosperous. However, we really want to be thankful, and Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to intentionally give thanks. Is there food for you to eat? Be thankful. Do you have a job to buy the food? Be thankful. Are you surrounded by friends and family? Be thankful. Are you in good health or even alive? Be thankful. These things are not the norm. Many people do not have these things.
Ultimately, for those in Christ, we want to give thanks to God because He satisfied our greatest need by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross for our sins. We can know God and enjoy Him forever because of Christ’s substitionary death for us on the cross.
If you are not in Christ, I hope that God would use this time of year to bring you home. You are far off. Don’t be deceived. All is not well. “The good news is that at the cost of His Son’s life, God has done everything necessary to enthrall us with what will make us eternally and ever-increasingly happy, namely, Himself.” – John Piper
“Thankfulness is a soil in which pride does not easily grow.” – Michael Ramsey
by Caleb Hancock
Personify: a verb meaning “to represent a quality by a figure in human form”
If that’s the definition of personification, then it is safe to say that we as men have a model, an ideal, the perfect representation of leadership ever given to men by God…God himself, Jesus Christ.
Let me be clear on the purpose of this series on leadership. My goal is NOT that you would look to me, or a pastor, or your dad, or whomever, as your ideal picture of the ideal, biblical leader. Should we seek to learn from and be taught by others’ examples…absolutely. (Hebrews 13:7)
But, we just can’t hope to find the perfect example of leadership in human form, the personification of it, apart from Christ.
With that caveat in mind, let’s look at Jesus’ leadership.
How did Jesus lead? Through service. I could write on any number of biblical examples of this, but one in particular stuck out to me as a prime example of Jesus’ brand of leadership.
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
So, guys…are you ready to lead if that means leading the troops into battle? Or the civil disobedience club at school? Or your sports team to compete and be victorious? Ok.
But are you ready to lead by humbling yourself and putting other’s interests before your own? To lay down your time, giftings, preferences, and even life for those that you lead? Are you ready to stand for the truth of God’s word and testimony in the face of fierce opposition? Are you ready to put to death the misdeeds of the body, through the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, even when no one is watching? Are you ready to fight the fear of man and preach the good news of the gospel of Christ? This was Jesus example, and he clearly says, “Follow me.” (Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, etc.)
Men, let’s not forget that the reason that we drop the attitudes of apathy, the indulgence of our sinful nature, and the selfish ambition that once ruled and drove us, is that there is a better treasure, one of greatest price. It is worth selling all else that we have, in joy, to have this treasure…Jesus! He gave his righteous standing to you through faith, took on and exhausted the Righteous Wrath that your sins deserved, and now calls you to live a life that was radically different than the one that you once walked in, one that he lived perfectly.
Hebrews 12 puts it this way…
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Guys, we have a Savior, an example, and a high-priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses (laziness, selfishness, pride) for he was tempted in every way that we are, yet he never sinned! His life’s ministry and work on the cross atones for your sin, credits you with free-righteousness, and now calls you to lead through service.
Let’s follow the example that he set for us, because of the ransom that he made for us, so that we might glorify his name through His work in us.
Just as there is an innumerable amount of musical genres, there are countless bands and musical artists. Some have been around for years. Others are up-and-comers. Some are mainstream. Others are mostly unknown.
What are your Top 5 artists/ bands?
Filed under: Humor
by Caleb Hancock
Filed under: Thought Initiative
by Tyler Thayer
[This was adapted from an article I wrote on July 21, 2008 for Bound 2 Christ]
Today, I was listening to a Christian house mix, yes there are Christian DJs that spin house, and some of it is really cool. I love techno and house mixes, and when I found a website that promoted Christian house mixes, I jumped on it. However, the second song that I listened to really disturbed me, so much so I felt it was necessary to discuss its theological inaccuracies and its impact on our generation in this blog.
In our generation, our culture has several misunderstandings of proper biblical doctrine and many things we promote are not theologically informed. We have some serious problems, even as Christians, with our biblical understanding. We say and promote things that are not biblical and thus they become very dangerous to our generation. We can easily find this in the health, wealth and prosperity gospel that is being preached in many of our churches, in music, in media, and books.
Truly, I believe many believers don’t know that they are promoting biblical and theological inaccuracies. I would even extend this to some pastors who unknowingly preach this dangerous gospel (But as the bible points out, even if they don’t mean to damage the Gospel, they will be held accountable to what they preach). These inaccuracies stem directly from a nation full of people who fail to seriously read scripture and meaningfully reflect on its implications to life.
The song I was listening to had a line that went like this:
“Once you learn to love yourself you can love someone else.
‘Cuz He watches over you.
Yes, ‘cuz He watches over me.”
First, that statement doesn’t really make much sense as far as the cause and effect relationship they imply. But that really isn’t what bothered me. It was the first line: “Once you learn to love yourself you can love someone else.” This statement has to be the result of the self-help era that has plagued our culture, and unfortunately as soon as you think it is ending it comes back in full force. (Ironically, and sadly, it occasionally gets a boost from the Christian church) The self-help theory is basically the world’s way of dealing with low self-esteem, or someone who is not satisfied and unhappy with themselves and/or their current living environment.
Why did it get under my skin so quickly and painfully? It preaches skewed doctrine. It points people struggling in life to themselves before it points them to Christ.
Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Christ amplifies the Leviticus law of love others as yourself, to first point believers to Himself (the fulfiller of the law, the perfect, the savior). In order to love others (and yourself) you must first learn to love God. This is a first and a must. You cannot do the latter without the first. There is no self help in scripture; there is only a redefining of the paradigm and a conforming to the one who saved us. So how do we love? We simply receive the love that God has showed us as defined by the Gospel. (Read John Owen’s Communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost)
This song, and many other self-proclaimed Christian books, speakers, and pastors are buying into the world’s view on self-esteem and promoting self-help instead of a life transforming, soul empowering, undeniable, overwhelming free gift from God. The idea that a Christian Self-Help book can even exist is absurd, yet in almost every Christian book store there it is, the aisle named “Self-Help.”
Please read the bible. Seek to understand scripture and study it, don’t just clothe worldly quick fixes in a Christian façade of language. Truly, the only help there is for sinners is the hope of Christ. Our generation must learn to deny the self-help mentality and begin to embrace scripture. When we do that we can begin to produce songs that are gospel based and theologically informed. This will glorify our God, by singing the testimonies of Christ.
So my questions for you:
- Was I right in responding to the song like this?
- Is it really a big deal? Should it bother us that some people and songs seem to miss the point?
- Is the “self-help” mentality biblically sound? Does God help those who help themselves?
Filed under: Culture
By: Travis Evans
It’s no secret that guys like to eat. Hungryman frozen dinners (with the tagline of “it’s good to be full”) boasts a pound of food (or if you’re really hungry try the XXL with a pound and a half of food). Nutrisystem has a dieting program for guys that advertises “real food for real guys.”
PLUS-Guys Get More Food
We know how important it is for a man to eat great-tasting, hearty foods throughout the day-and on the NutriSystem Advanced Men’s Program, you get more food than any of our other programs.
Sadly, gone are the days of real food and real eating. Today, men are buying “specially formulated” and “all-natural” and “plucked from a tree and made into a source of fiber that will supply a lifetime of vitamins and minerals and make you live to be 145.” When was the last time we raised a pig, slaughtered it, made sausage out of it, smoked it, and ate it with a pan of biscuits and some molasses? I know. I know. No one wants a heart attack or through-the-roof cholesterol (and I am all for being healthy). However, I live with 9 other guys and I bet that I can open their cabinets and be disappointed at what “food” lies within. Food has been exchanged with “foood” (pronounced light and fluffy). Work has been replaced with exercise. Don’t be afraid to eat a hot dog covered in mustard and coleslaw, or eat a turkey leg or two.
All of the men in my family are alive and kickin’, and they live on good-ol’, country, fried, gravy-covered food. How? Hard work! Running farms. Building stuff, like cars and house additions. I say, “Put down that bowl of all-natural, 98g whole grain cereal; eat some steak and eggs; and get to work.”
Ok, so the above is (mostly) in jest. Let’s take a quick look at food and our culture and how it should differ. First, food (no matter how it winds up in front of you) is provided by God alone. Though you may grow or buy it, you ultimately do not provide it. God sustains you. Be thankful. Second, food should humble us. Since we, men, are proud, we need to continually be shown areas to grow in humility, and food is no exception. We need to eat. We need our energy replenished. God does not need to eat. God needs no replenishing. Third, eating is for God’s glory. Food is not our treasure. When we eat, we should delight in God in that He created various tastes and flavors when He didn’t have to. He gifted mankind with creativity to create different dishes and meals. So, take note how you eat and do it in a manner worthy and pleasing to God.
Think you’re a mauler of masculine meals? Get inspired here.
For fitness tips (and to show that I really do want men to be healthy), go here.