Time to put your man pants on


What makes a man? 

Many will say that it’s how much one knows. If you know how to change your oil, build a fence and can drive a motorcycle, you’re manly. If you’ve got an epic beard and can dress to the nines, you’re a man. 

Some will even think that if they gather their children around other men, they will learn to be a man by watching and being around them. Well…unless your child learns by osmosis, it’s a long shot.

I remember watching my dad and always knowing that it took a lot to become a man. It took blood, sweat and tears. As a child, my definition of a man was skinned knuckles, greasy pants and a dusty cap. A man was someone who provided for his family regardless the cost.

Wildman taught me how to be a man. I didn’t learn it anywhere else. He taught me how to be honorable and respectful, the traits of a great man. I remember leaving home knowing that my dad made me a man. 

But I was ill prepared. 

By the world’s standards, I was developing into a man, but something was missing. I was missing what it took to be a man spiritually. It took a my Heavenly Father to make me a complete man. 

Through His Word, I learned how to become the man the He created me to be. I learned that being a man was not only about the “art of manliness,” but that “a good man lays up an inheritance for his children and children’s children.” (Prov. 13:22)

A true man means to stand for what is true and to put away the childish things of life. He models his life after Jesus. He endures opposition and never loses heart (Hebrews 12:3.) He is a man of the Word, using Scripture to overcome temptation (Matthew 4:1-10.) He is a man of prayer (Mark 1:35.) He is a man of love and sacrifice (John 13:1.)

Essentially, it all boils down to living The Word in your everyday life. Showing it to your children, leading by example and not by mere words. 

Learning all that other stuff is well and good, but without modeling your life after Christ and living that day in and day out, you are only half a man. 

So fellas, where do you stand? Are you a man of God or just a poser who wants to talk a big game for the audience? Ladies, where does your man fall? Don’t get me wrong, I know that we are all works in progress.  But that’s the thing, there has to be progress, not a stalemate with the worldview. 

I encourage you men to press in and learn more about your role as a man in the Word. Ladies, pray for your man, whether you’re married or not. Pray that he understands his role as a Godly man. 

That’s all for today! As always, comments, shares and likes are appreciated. Y’all be safe out there. 

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Coffee across town

  

I sit, 

in a booth, in a diner

on the far side of town.

My spoon is dirty,

I stir my coffee with a fork.

As I sip,

the bitter heat sears my memory.

Our wedding day,

where we smeared cake

across each other’s face.

Moving into our first house

and sliding through the kitchen

Saturday mornings in just our socks.

How could all of our good times

just slip away, like the moon at dawn?

As I reach the shallows of my fourth cup,

I glance across my ‘fortress of solitude,’

a couple catches my weary eye.

They are old, him in his red Member’s Only jacket,

and her with her blue hair and matching eye-shadow.

They aren’t talking,

they just sit, and eat their pecan pie.

They talk of their grandchildren,

and plans for a 50th anniversary.

Tears erupt.

This could work, we could work.

We don’t have to end with litigated papers.

I motion to the waitress- Jean, I think-

I pay the tab for me and the couple.

I pull myself from the booth,

and shuffle towards them.

“Thanks,” I say, “You saved us tonight.”

“But you’re by yourself,” they reply.

“No, I’m not,” I said, looking to my left hand.

I had a hard time getting something written today. So, here’s a poem I wrote nine years ago! 

I hope that this will offer just a smidge of hope for you if you are going through a rough patch. What this poem is lacking is the third strand that is vital to any marriage. 

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” That means that for any marriage to get where it needs to be, God needs to be added in there. 

The Word talks a lot about marriage and what it takes to be successful. What you need to do is crack the book open and read it! Learn what it means to be a good husband or wife. Study the covenant that you have between God and your spouse. Be encouraged!

Thanks for reading, y’all be safe out there. 

When words just aren’t enough.

  
Recently, we had a family in our church who lost a child unexpectedly. Like, he was good the day before, gone the next morning. It’s a terrible tragedy for this family. 

What do you say? You fight for the words of comfort to say to them. Eventually, you let the Spirit do the talking because mortal words have little comfort. You just let them cry on your shoulder and pray. 

I had a similar situation when I was in full-time ministry. A family of four were traveling home from visiting family Mexico when they rolled their vehicle. Only two of the four survived, the mother and teenage son passed. I was in my office when I heard the news and just couldn’t believe it. We prayed as a staff for the family and prepped for the services. Since this happened across the border, it was going to take some time for anything to happen. 

A day or two later, the father and his extended family came to plan the service. I had talked to him a handful of times before, but it was always just a little difficult due to the harsh language barrier. Our eyes met and I stood to greet him. He rushed to me and hugged me. We cried together and that was really just it. No words, just love. That was what he needed at the time. 

When a death in the family happens, it’s like your whole world just stops. Nothing else matters. Your mind definitely isn’t in the present and you just can’t find any words to illustrate how you feel. 

The outpouring of love and support is generally a great one. Your church family is around, food is getting dropped off and you just get to reflect. But what happens afterwards? 

That is when it hits. The reality of the whole situation sets in. They aren’t coming back and generally the outpouring that you had up to the funeral is gone. It’s just you and your thoughts. Where do you go from here? As I stated earlier, mortal words aren’t going to help.

It reminds me of when David lost his first son with Bathsheba. He cried and fasted while the child was dying, but when he gots news of the death, he changed. 

“David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate.”

‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12:20‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Everyone was puzzled at what was going on. He just replied, “I can go to him, but he can’t come to me.” He took comfort in the fact that his son was in Heaven and one day, he was gonna see him again. 

You might be going through a loss in your family. It might be the loss of a child, a husband or some extended family. I want to encourage you to get off the floor, clean up and go worship. Nothing in the world can replace the loss that you’ve experienced, but God can fill that hole with His love and supernatural peace that passes all understanding. 

Maybe you are on the outside looking in to this kind situation, just get in there and love on the hurting folks. Be those hands and feet to the body like we’ve been called to do. Sometimes all it takes is a hug and a smile to let them know you’re there. 

As always, thanks for reading and comments/likes are appreciated. Y’all be safe out there. 

A tire guy, a lunch lady and Jesus walk into a room…

  
Last week, we had a blow out on the crane at work. It was an outer tire, so we were able to limp to our location and call for a quick change. 

Since I have been in the oilfield for a little while now, I know that it is a little bit of a challenge to find us sometimes. My coworkers and I figured it would be an hour at least to get the tire changed. Our world was about to be rocked. 

Thirty minutes after I placed the call for the change, a tire truck pulls up on location. Out waddles a rather large man who looked like he was in no position to be changing tires. We just knew that we added about 40 minutes on our wait. 

He stared at the tire, grabbed two levers from the back of his truck, popped the busted tire off and had the new one on and aired up in 10 minutes. Just like that, he smiled and was gone. I stood amazed. 

As I picked my jaw up from the dusty ground, I thought, “Man, that guy knows his stuff.”

While walking in United this weekend, I saw a face from my college days. It was the lunch lady, Viver Loving. It’s pretty rare for me to forget a face, but I knew I would never forget her because I saw her everyday of my first year in college. 

She was old then, now it’s been a decade. But the years have been kind and she was shopping on her own with a cane in tow. The Spirit just nudged me to talk to her. 

I introduced myself and told her thank you for cooking for me all those years ago. Her eyes lit up and her reply hit me hard. She said, “You’re very welcome, I just loved cooking for you kids. It was just great. You have made my day today.” We said our goodbyes and went on. She didn’t only know her craft, but she loved it. 

You see, as people we tend to get dissatisfied with our surroundings fairly easily. We want to move on as soon as things get hard or we disagree with someone. What happened to growing where you were planted?

These people knew their craft and loved it. They grew where they were planted. Now I can’t say whether or not these two were following God’s instruction in their life, but they were going to be the best tire guy or the best lunch lady there ever was. 

I was always taught that same thing growing up. Wildman would say, “If you’re chopping weeds, you be the best. If you’re cleaning toilets, you be the best.” Little did I know, the Wildman was pouring a little bit of the Word in me. 

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is talking about a husband and wife’s relationship, but take out marriage and place work in there and you have an excellent reminder of how you should act. 

“And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.”

1 Cor. 7:17

Grow where you have been planted! God is going to guide you through this season. Are you having trouble believing that where you are is really where you are supposed to be? In Ecclesiastes 3:1, it says “for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” 

Grow where you have been planted!

Use this time to hone your craft. To get better at what you’re doing right now. God is using you in this season. He could be using this as a stretching time, a growing time, or it could be a place where you just need to seek and draw closer to Him. 

I tell ya what, this preached to me big time. Hopefully, it’s gonna do the same for you. Thanks for reading. Y’all be safe out there.