Here’s What’s Wrong with Manhood

I respect my wife and serve her every chance I get, I love my child like I’ve never loved anyone before, I give my time and money to organizations I believe in, but I’m not much of a man (or so society seems to think). Here’s why:

I’m not a big sports guy. Motor sports, yes. The typical “ball in play” sports, not so much. I can’t tell you how awkward it feels when I’m at work in the morning and people are talking about the game the previous day.

“What do you think about the game, Scott?”

*Awkward silence and crickets*

Me: “I like Formula 1 and Moto GP…”

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Should we keep on sinning

If I were to look at the church from the outside in approach (as not being a Christian) in most American churches I would most like being skewed and left with hypocritical opinion of the church.  That is, to say, that I would probably ask why do I need God if Christians continue to do the same thing that they did before and continue to sin and keep on sinning.  I would say how can they judge me when they keep doing the very things that they say that they are saved from.

cheap graceIf I were to look at most men in these churches in America, I would be disappointed by the statistics that compare the world to them, meaning there probably wouldn’t be much difference.

If I were to be real with these American churches that were just lukewarm, I would look to the book of Revelation and say to them what Jesus said to one of his churches about being lukewarm – he would rather have that church be hot (on fire for Him and His will) or cold (worldly) instead of lukewarm (which is like vomit in His mouth).

stopBased on the way that some Christians live, some in the world can conclude that the salvation of that church (living like the world) is like a lottery ticket – meaning that they can be “saved” and also live like they used to live by continuing to keep living the same way as before (this is the world’s view). I would caution any church against living a lie such as this…you will be held accountable by misleading others.

Let’s test that against Scripture:

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The 5 W’s

Many of  you have heard me quote the poem, The 5 Watches, from time to time over the past eight years of being involved with Lance and this blog.  Lance and I do believe that Character, Integrity, Honor, Courage, Honesty, Gentleness, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and Self-Control are important to being a Legacy Dad.  It is important because that is the call of the disciple priorof Christ.

Many of us, do to the the lack of time, over-commitments, laziness and/or fill in your blank: _________________, do not always measure up to these demands and some may even feel overwhelmed by the God’s call for our lives.  I think if we are honest and really reflect back, I would believe that a majority of us would realize the answer:  It’s not because God couldn’t do this for us, rather, because we got in the way – we tried to do it on our own.  That is, to say, that we gave him a little of our day (our schedule, our sin, and our lives) but we didn’t give it all to him.

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Why do bad things happen….?

why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people-blog-postSo I was sending this work email this morning, after men’s group, and fell upon this video of a woman who has sadly lost her battle (on earth) to cancer.    This video struck me in so many different ways that I do not have enough time in the day to post on this topic.  That being said, I have shared before that I have had malignant melanoma and there was a time when I almost lost my wife (two years in a row).  I understand pain and loss and the fear of death.  Let’s just say that I have spent a lot of time in the book of Job and in prayer during these trials and tribulations.

I have been hurt and I have been angry and I have asked why do these things:

  • Why is there cancer?
  • Why is there evil in the world?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why is there so much pain?
  • Why do we face trials and tribulations?
  • Why, Lord, Why?

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What is good about good habits?

Phrases like “creatures of habit”, “practice makes perfect”, and so on, should continue to highlight the theme in our daily walks and biblical discipleship.  All throughout the Bible we read about a God who takes the time to invest in ordinary men and does extraordinary things with them.  Does He need us to do his will?  Of course not!  Does He desire to use us for His good?  Of course!  Words like grace and mercy and justification and honor and integrity and courage should all be words that describe you as a legacy dad, as a man of God, as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

There is a poem that I like from Frank Outlaw that goes like this:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

HabitLoopAdaptationIf accept this poem as true in human nature, then we have to be careful and watch our habits because that could shape our character.  That being said, I was surfing the internet and found this chart (inset to the right) that I really liked.  The reason why I like this is because you can apply it to just about every aspect of our life:

Physical:

  • Eat Healthy
  • Sleep Healthy
  • excercise
  • Laugh
  • Love
  • and be social (God desires us to be in community)

Mental:

  • Exercise the Brain by reading and writing
  • Healthy Sleep
  • Have accountability in your life (to keep you on the road of healthy thoughts)
  • Avoid sin
  • Laugh

Spiritual:

  • Read the word daily
  • Pray continuously
  • Have accountability in your life (true accountability – not just a social hour of patting each other on the back)
  • Listen to preaching and teaching of the Word
  • Sing Songs, Hymns and Spiritual songs (with reckless abandon and act is no one else is watching but our Lord)

As a men’s ministry leader, elder, legacy dad and husband and father, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I witness men getting out of healthy habits (routines) and how they are able to slip back into sin so quickly.  Or other men, who shoot up so strong in their faith and yet fade away when temptations or anger sets in.  Or men that have marriages that are barely holding on and instead of letting go and letting God they hold on tight to mediocrity?  Honestly, sometimes this can be frustrating, and if I am really honest about this, then the frustrating part becomes when I realize that the very thing that annoys me about them – really annoys me because I can identify with that – meaning I can shift and fade quickly as well.

Jesus put it like this in Scripture:

Matthew 13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Some may come to the Judgement Seat of Christ and say, “Lord, Lord” and Jesus will reply depart from me, I never knew you.  Scripture is clear that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Don’t misunderstand this reference because someone who is truly saved (born again) is always saved (Once saved, always saved – Read John for this one).   Immediately upon salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us and promises to us gifts of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control….

We are called to examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith?  Or if we ever were?  Are you?  Is your life-bearing the Fruit of the Spirit?

What if you are not?  What if you are in the same rut, sin, shame every day?    If you are not and all you see is the fruit of the Sinful nature, then pray and ask God to call you to be His (Read Romans 10).

If you are, but are slipping backward or finding yourself along the thorns of life, the rocks of life and or just away from the good soil, then try this on for size:

Cue:

  • Wake up an hour earlier
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Be patient and quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Routine:

  • Read the Bible daily
  • Meditate on the word
  • Join a men’s group
  • Have accountability in your life
  • Get involved with your family (put the phones, computers, video games and alcohol down)
  • Start serving at your church

Reward:

  • Try this for 6 months (same cue, same routine) and email me (dante@legacydad.com) to tell me your reward.

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

What should the top 6 + 1 priorities be?

Earlier last week, I posted What are your top 6 priorities?  I listed, in any order:  Family, community, work, church, friends and God.  One other person, that I respect, amended this list and added Self.  I asked you to do some honest work on assessing this in your life with your spouse and yourself and what you thought that the Bible would say about this list.

priorAs a result, I am listing the following order of what I believe the Bible tells us that our priorities should be:

  1. God – Jesus said, when asked by the leaders of Israels time, what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength (and the second, to love our neigbhor as our self.)
  2. Self – some may argue with this one, but I would like to contend the following verses:  1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 3 John 1:2, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 5:7-9.  Our bodies are a temple to God (His Holy Spirit resides in each of us that are born again).  How can we help others when we are not well?  How can we show Christ in us, when we do not treat our bodies, mind and soul with this respect that God calls us to be.
  3. Family – as legacy dads we are called to be prophets, priests and kings of our household.  Ephesians 5 tells us to love our wives as Christ loves the church.  Colossians 3 gives us important details about the family:  Love our wives and do not be harsh with them, do not embitter our children.  Deuteronomy 6 tells of how we are to raise our children.  Family is our direct mission field.
  4. Friends – we are to love our neighbor as our self.  Who is your neighbor and why are we called to take care of our friends?  Our life should model Christ and point our friends to church.
  5. Church – can really be included under friends.  In church, we are called to corporate worship and to listen to the reading of scripture.  We are called be the body (working together) to go and reach the disconnected growing the connected and making disciples.
  6. Work – King Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, tells us that life is but a mist.  We are to work hard, enjoy life and to give all that we have to our maker.  Without him in our life – it is pointless.  Colossians 4 tells us how to approach work and to realize who we are working for.
  7. Community – lining up #1 – #6 gives us the importance of our mission field in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states and nations.  Mathew 28 gives us the Lord’s commission – The Great Commission.

humilityThis is my two sense (cents).

Blessings,

Dante

Why I do a daddy-daughter(s) dance…

For the past several years in February of each year I have the pleasure to take my two daughters to the ball (aka “Daddy Daughter Dance”).  This past year was a blast because I went with a really good friend (who I just came back from vacation with – adults only) and really enjoyed our time getting to know each other and building our friendship.  We both decided on vacation to step up the dinner to a fancy place – and our girls really enjoyed themselves as did we.

10997701_804122766289849_6290549389971137351_oWe took pictures, the girls ate cake, drank juice and had candy along the night and would not stop dancing with their dads throughout the entire night.  I think it is really important for dads to date their daughters for many reasons.  I think it is important to treat their mother the way that you want them to be treated.  I think, as Legacy Dads we could not have a more challenging task then to raise our kids to know the truth (owning the word of God and having a relationship with Jesus) along with life skills.

So hear are the top 10 reasons why you should date your daughters:

  1. They need to learn how a man should treat a woman (with respect and adoration)
  2. They need to have our time (not just quality but as much quantity, hugs, kisses and full attention we can give them (men – put your stupid phones away when you date them)
  3. Teach them how to dance (if you don’t make it up, woman love a man who doesn’t care what others think when they are having a good time)
  4. Show them how to open a door for them and to pull out their seats before they sit down (Chivalry in my house is well and alive)
  5. Hugs and Kisses and Butterfly Kisses, as well
  6. Because when you are intentional with the love that they so crave from you (as dad) you will see a glimmer of hope and awe in their eyes – see the picture for proof)
  7. They are watching you, your walk, your talk, your integrity and your relationship with God (is your faith real)
  8. Do not be afraid to chase their hearts (pursue their hopes and dreams and listen to what they are saying
  9. To give them the sense of security (dad is in control)\
  10. To show them the love of God

Life is precious and before you know it – they will be gone

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

blog-pursuit-of-happinessThe unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…

These men were standing together against tyranny and against a form of government that no longer cared about the inalienable rights of individuals as highlighted in red above.  They stood together against a far superior force and military that for any other reason would be overwhelmed if it had not been for God allowing these men to form a nation:  The United States of America.

This post is not about the rich culture of American History and the men that made this such a great nation.  Not every founding father was a professing christian and had a relationship with Jesus Christ, but we read in Romans 8, that that doesn’t matter because God will use who He chooses to use for His good and purpose.  I am so thankful to be a part of this country and to be able to be free to speak and to worship and to read the Bible in public venues without fear of persecution or condemnation.  Clearly, some of you may be thinking that this government is so far away from the original statements laid before in this wonderful Declaration, but we have seen this before.  Communists trying overthrow our government through media channels, Nazis infiltrating very aspects of our society and some other modern day Governments that so desperately crave to destroy the very essence of Freedom.

There is a lot that is wrong with this world and even in our country, but remember this, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.  No matter how we hope that legislators and rulers and bosses and so on can get the very essence of God’s word to promote justice and freedom and the belief for each and everyone of us to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we will always find those that want to stunt this thought and have plans of their own.  Plans that our contrary to the word of God and to the very statutes of our creator.

These founding fathers understood the most important lesson in life:  There is a Creator and every knee will bow and tongue will confess.  So what does that mean for you and I?  Simply put, why should each one of us act differently then the world?  Why should we be humble, teachable and respectful of others?  Why should we love the Lord God with all of our heart, mind, body and soul and secondly why should we love our neighbor as ourselves?  Because Jesus told us that these are the two most important commands to follow (because all the others hinge on this).

What rights do we have as legacy dads:

  • To love God
  • To read his word daily
  • To pray often
  • To be loved by Him
  • To love our wives unconditionally (Read 1 Peter 3:7)
  • To love our children unconditionally
  • To pursue our happiness (honoring God all the way)
  • To be humble in all circumstances
  • To trust and obey (for there is no other way)
  • To Submit to God’s will for our lives (this brings us His plans and His freedoms for our lives)

What if these are not the case in my life?  What if my life is bearing more sinful nature stuff then the fruit of the Spirit? What should I do, Dante? Lance?  Where can I turn?  How can I right this wrong?  How can I turn this ship around?  How can I take this dead marriage back to life?  YOU CAN’T, BUT  GOD CAN MAKE NEW THINGS AND RAISE THE DEAD TO LIFE!!!

Right now, if this speaks to you:

  • Pray, ask God to reveal His will for your life (note:  If you are not reading the Bible, then you will not get this request)
  • Get involved with other men (in a bible study, in an accountability group – true accountability)
  • Love unconditionally
  • If there is more deeper issues (scars, hurts, wrongs) get profession biblical help

Wait on God & Trust Him.

Blessings,

Dante