Filed under: Masculinity
During the summer, men do spontaneously primitive things. Like hurl themselves blindly into some uncharted wilderness-like location, throw their rubber sheets over a tree limb and sleep on the gound. Often times, they do this with absolutely no preparation whatsoever, and because of the fall and our inherent pride, they assume they can survive these dangerously primitive situations. Jeff Sanders, in Popular Mechanics, field director of Boulder Outdoor Survival School in Boulder, Utah helps us understand some of the steps necessary to surviving these self/stupidity-inflicted, precariously primitive predicaments.
Manskills #6. Find Potable Water
- Don’t exert yourself in the heat of the day. You may lose more water by sweating that you’ll gain by digging. Ravines and valleys are carved by running water, so head for the bottom. In deserts, with only occasional flow, look for cottonwoods, willows and other light-green vegetation that grows in wet areas. When the sun or moon is low in the sky, scan the horizon for reflections that may reveal the location of small pools. (Don’t worry if the water looks scummy. Waterborne illnesses won’t kick in for at least three days’ dehydration can kill in a single day.) Collect morning dew by wiping grass with a cloth, then wringing out the water. If you have plastic bags, wrapping them around the boughs of deciduous trees yields 1 or 2 ounces a day.
Don’t overestimate yourselves, fellas. Potable water in your spontaneously self-inflicted wilderness survival predicament is harder to find than you’d think. Let that be a lesson to you.
More to come later. In the mean time, happy survival to you.
Filed under: Masculinity
A Hearty Hello to all of you men/aspiring men/random female readers,
In a Popular Mechanics magazine I recently stole from a friend of mine (sorry Jason), I saw an article titled “100 Skills Every Man Should Know.” It intrigued me, because I’m always looking for easy ways to seem more manly. I’ll take any little thing I can to add to my repertoire of skills and useless talents, in hopes that I can at least look the part of a manly man, until, God willing, I may at some point become one.
Anyway, throughout the summer, I hope to post a few of these, to keep you on your toes, and growing in your outward manifestations of your (hopefully) inward, (primarily) Godly masculinity.
(1) Split Firewood (Originally written by Nathan Waterfield)
- “Seasoned splitters use a maul, not an ax, to prep firewood. (With its slim taper, an ax head often gets stuck in the end grain.) Don’t use a chopping block–it reduces the arc of the swing, which decreases power. Instead, place the log on the ground, 5 inches closer that the length of the maul handle. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart; place your dominant hand at the bottom of the handle and the other hand three-quarters up the handle.
- Rest the maul on the wood, then lifet all the way up–your bottom arm should be straight and your top arm slightly bent. As you begin the downward motion, slide your top hand down to your bottom hand, Use your whole body, not just your arms, and bend your knees slightly, snapping them back a split second before hitting the wood. You want to drive the maul through the wood, so complete the swing once you make contact.
This is for all those guys in the southern hemisphere who are now experiencing winter, by the way. Or us Norther Hemi guys who want to get in some practice before the treacherous mid-south winters billow our way.
Filed under: Masculinity
A man needs to own ties and know how to tie them. (Clip-ons don’t count!) Check out these resources from Ben Silver that walk through several knots and include helpful videos.
Filed under: Masculinity
by Mike Plewniak
“This really does get to the heart of the issue. Men should not expect to be comfortable with an understanding of masculinity that is not based in these roles and responsibilities. When manhood is not defined in these normative terms, confusion necessarily follows — complete with a new and confusing vocabulary.
In a biblical perspective, manhood is defined in these roles and responsibilities. A man is defined in terms of who he is and what he does in obedience to God. A society that rejects or sidelines these roles and responsibilities — that does not honor fatherhood and hold it out as expectation — will sow seeds of disastrous confusion. The damage to our language is among the least of our problems.
While the Bible clearly honors men who forfeit the blessings of wife and children for the sake of the Gospel (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-28), the history of the Christian church indicates that these represent a minority. The normative expectation is that a young man will mature to take on the role of “father/protector/provider” that Peters correctly sees as “not considered as necessary or desirable as it once was” within the secular culture. Those men who are faithfully living out these responsibilities are not likely to be too concerned about finding true masculinity. They are living it.
When this expectation is no longer normative, it should be no surprise that men struggle to define masculinity. The focus shifts from family to fashion accessories. Our language betrays our confusion, but the confusion reveals a larger betrayal.
We lie to ourselves if we believe that we can hold onto a healthy masculinity without honoring true manhood.”
by Mike Plewniak
Hebrews 12:1 says “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…”
A majority of the men who read this blog are young (relatively). You are probably in college, your choosing a major, wondering what your job is going to be, looking to get married someday, maybe have a few kiddos, and hopefully serve God faithfully over the long haul of your life. How long will that be? What will your life look like in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years?
The questions I want to ask are: what do you want your life to look like? And how can you get there?
So often, young men don’t see that the decisions they make are building a foundation for the rest of their lives. What you do today is setting habits and building character that will effect who you are in 10, 20, and 50 years. Small things….reading the bible for a few minutes, memorizing a scripture, making a decision to have integrity in your class or at your job, using self control with a thought that hits your mind….all of these add up to how we run this race.
Look at this definition from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:
ENDU’RANCE, n. Continuance; a state of lasting or duration; lastingness.
1. A bearing or suffering; a continuing under pain or distress without resistance, or without sinking or yielding to the pressure; sufferance; patience.
My prayer for the young men (and I include myself in this prayer) who read this blog is endurance to run the race. For faithfulness in serving God over many years. For perseverance and strength (Isaiah 40:31).
For an illustration of endurance, look at this recent news story about a 101 year-old man who ran a half-marathon.
– Buster Martin is 101
– Buster has 17 children
– Buster is currently working as a plumber
– Buster completed a half marathon
– Buster stopped half-way thru to have a “cigarette and a beer”
– He went to work on Monday after the marathon, on time
– He is going to work until the day he dies
– He has never taken a sick day in 90 years of working
– He’s in the world’s oldest rock band called The Zimmers
If you live to be 101, what do you want to be known for? What is your list going to look like? What can you do today to get there?
by Bill Kittrell, guest blogger
These are my boys. They are now 22, 20 and 12.
This picture was taken in 2006 while we are in the Badlands of South Dakota on a vacation out West. We took advantage of the rattlesnake sign to…look masculine, I guess.
I love my boys. Aside from Jesus Christ, my Savior, and sweet Cheri, my wife, there is no one I love more than these guys and their sister, Lauren. They are my best friends. I spend more time with them than anyone else and I would have it no other way. They are a gift from God to me.
We do a lot together. We love fishing together the most…fly fishing, I mean (and if you knew us you would know that it would tempt us to think less of you if you thought otherwise.) We also love hunting, basketball, golf, hiking, etc., etc., etc.
I can’t believe that my boys love all the things I love. What a gift from God for our relationships that we enjoy doing the same things! What if all they like to do was play video games (which I loathe)?! I’m so glad that over the years we have learned to love doing these activities together!
But how sad it would be if they didn’t learn to love Christ too. Tears come to my eyes even as I consider it. Over the years, by the grace of God, Cheri and I have focused on this over all other concerns. We are so grateful that we can say we are observing much evidence of grace in each of their lives.
One man wrote, “Boys thrive under authority and are not threatened by it.” This has been my experience. As their Dad, I have sought to exercise my God –given authority in the home to lead them and today (with exceptions!) they often thank me. I think boys are wired to follow their Dads.
Fathers, lead your children. Fathers, lead your boys. They love it and God will use this in their lives for His glory.