My Life for Theirs: A Multi-Generational Vision

Here’s a snippet from a new post at Pursuing Godly Manhood

My life for yours. Training and nurturing our children in the Lord – when we rise, when we go to bed, as we live throughout the day, when it’s convenient, when it’s inconvenient – making sure that our children are not merely “taught at” but saturated in the things of God each day, all day – because they are eternal beings and heirs of the King. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

Are we leaving a godly legacy to and for our children and our children’s children for a thousand generations? Are we dying so they can live – really live? Can we think outside our individual lives to see how our own deaths will extend the Kingdom of God by producing many seeds? Will we believe the promises of God that he has made regarding faithful, covenantal parenting? My life for yours and for a thousand generations after you. Talk about a payoff!

Click here to read the whole post.

New Men’s Study at Southside

Marriage: Becoming A Godly Husband

 NO HOMEWORK! Now that I have your attention, read on…

 For 10 ½ years you men have been busting your backsides… faithfully doing your homework, showing up each week, participating in discussing God’s Word with your brothers, praying for one another, etc.

 For our new study we’re going to take a brief hiatus from the homework… yet still dig in just as deeply to discover what God’s Word has to say about marriage, and especially who we’re called to be as husbands.

 We’re each at different places on this journey. Some of you have been husbands for a long time and some for only a few years. Others of you have never been married while others of you are divorced or widowed. We’re all over the map. But here’s what I believe to my core: In addition to hearing what God has to say about marriage, we desperately need to hear from one another and learn from the variety of our experiences. We need to learn from our collective successes and failures. That’s one of the ways we can become the husbands that God has called us to be.

 In a real sense there will be homework each week. I say that because, hopefully, with God’s strength and wisdom, you will apply what you learn each week, in whatever relationship you find yourself.

 I’ll hand out the schedule for our new study at this week’s meetings. As always, this is a great time to invite new men to join us.

 Please pray with me that God will use this new study to pour out his blessings upon us.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at DaleTedder@yahoo.com.

 Your Brother in Christ,
Dale

Every Man, God’s Man

Every Man, God’s Man
By Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, and Mike Yorkey

I just started this book, which is subtitled, Every Man’s Guide to Couragious and Daily Integrity. That’s such a key phrase, I think. I have often said that the hardest part about parenting is that it’s so daily. Well, that’s also true about being a godly man. Consistency seems so elusive. We have good days and not-so-good days. But seeking to be Christlike is always our goal. This book has been out since 2003, but the ideas are as fresh and relevant as anything written today. In fact, it has recently been republished. This link will take you to the good folks at ChristianBook.com’s listing of it so that you can order it.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is not a “book review.” Instead, I’m seeking to glean key ideas from the books I share (usually just focusing on a chapter at a time) so that I can share what I’m learning with you and the men I’m blessed to serve at Southside UMC. Enjoy, Dale

Introduction and Chapter One

From the Introduction

Men spend a lot of time playing to the wrong audience. “God Almighty is the only audience we need. …When we play for God, we become God’s man.”

The Three Rs of God’s Man

1.)    “Read – God’s man reads. A careful reader soaks up truth and lives it out in his life.”

2.)    “Recommit – Recommitment means relinquishing some of our rights and leading by serving. Recommitment means removing the sins that burden us down.”

3.)    “Relate – God’s man relates to God, his immediate family, and to other men.”

From Chapter One: Bogged Down in the Red Zone

The authors reference Dallas Willard, saying that before we seek to renovate our lives, we must first renovate our hearts. I couldn’t agree more with that. In fact, I’ve written on that very idea many, many times as well. The whole Bible, I believe, is predicated on the need for heart-work before life-transformation can truly take place.

This is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does. It first puts a man into a right relationship with God through Christ (by grace through faith and repentance) and simultaneously makes that man a brand new creature with a brand new heart.

That new man of God then spends the rest of his life seeking to become (through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit and the means of grace God has provided) what God has already declared him to be – holy (or what we might call “Christlike”). This is an inside-out procedure. It involves a renovation of our character and not simply behavior modification. Our minds must also be renewed before we can really start living lives that please God and conform to the Christlikeness that God desires. “Right actions” which are not done for God’s glory and out of love for Christ are not properly motivated and thus not pleasing to God. Too many ministries today focus too much on changing behavior first. They’ve got it backwards. I believe this book seeks to straighten that out.

Kenny Luck talks about the great privilege it is to serve men by pouring himself into their lives. I couldn’t agree more. I thank God daily for calling me to such a ministry. It’s a blessing that I enjoy each day.

I once heard Tony Evans say something along the lines that if you connect with a man, his family will be blessed, then his church will, then his work, then his community, and eventually the world. Luck quotes a pastor friend of his who made this similar statement: “If you reach a man, then you reach every relationship he has.” Amen to that!

Here are some of the things that the authors will be focusing on throughout the book (These topics look great. I can’t wait to really dig in and share what I learn with you.)

  • the personal benefits of having an undivided heart toward God
  • how to stop resolving to change and instead experience a revolution inside
  • how to move against fear and replace it with faith
  • how there is no such thing as a “double agent” believer because one agent is always compromised
  • how to deal with the “mole” within that bids you to indulge the dark side
  • how winning or losing a spiritual foothold changes the tide of war
  • how and why “80/20” thinking fails; that is, doing things 80 percent God’s way and 20 percent your way
  • the importance of “marinating” your mind
  • why having other men watch your back is nonnegotiable for God’s man
  • how confession releases God’s power and bloodies the Enemy’s nose
  • how to partner effectively and practically with the Guide – God’s Spirit
  • the source of real spiritual power and how to tap it
  • why perseverance is the mark of God’s man
  • the purpose of building and staying within well-marked boundaries
  • the need to jettison the baggage in your life
  • mastering your spiritual motivation once and for all

 If that list doesn’t motivate you to go out and buy the book, I don’t know what will. I look forward to reading this book and working my way through it with you.

Blessings,
Dale