Category Archives: Bible

When is a boy a man: Part 3

The first two posts on defining the qualities of a man can be found at these links:

1.  Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

2. Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Work to Do

Today’s post covers quality three of six.

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Woman to Love

MOM

Each of us have one thing in common in this world.  We each had a mom.  A woman who carried us for around nine months before we were born.  Through the process of caring for us when we had no way to do so, our mothers displayed an unconditional love for us.

No matter if we were calm or kicked a lot, she ate and slept for both of us.  Then we were born.

Most of us have a mom that also cared for us and loved us after we were born.  Here again she loved us no matter what we did because we came from her.  We are her flesh and blood!

I think we should always treat our mothers with respect.  I never want to embarrass or bring disgrace to my mom.  I never wanted to disappoint her either.  I know sometimes I did, and I always felt bad about it.

WIFE

Genesis 2:18-25

For unmarried young men I want that you and your potential wife (girlfriend) should not be unequally yoked.  Meaning it is best that a Christian date and marry another Christian.  There is a lot to be said about why, but let’s just leave it at that right now.

Your wife (or wife to be) should be an extension of how you treat your mother.  Treat your wife will only follow the patterns you established with your mother (respect, admiration, care and love).

The good part about what is different with a wife and a mother is the fact that the intimate relationship can now be sexual within the covenant of a marriage.  Yes, once we are married to our wife the pleasures God intended between a man and woman can be fully explored.  And those pleasures are wonderful – within a marriage of a man and a woman.

You should also be ready to change with her during the different seasons of life.  We will all grow older if we do not die first, so if we are still living we will grow old with our wife.  There will be seasons where things are going good and seasons when things are tough – and they may not balance out.  But you both will change as you grow older.  Just be ready for those changes and find new ways to love her.

A man should remember what he promised on his wedding day.

To Have and to Hold

For Better or for Worse

Whether Richer or Poorer

In Sickness and in Health

To Love and to Cherish

from that day forward until death does part you

 

 

 

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When am I a man? : Part 1

When does a boy become a man?  When he can shave or grow a beard?  When he can drive?  Graduates high school or college?  When he gets married?  When he becomes a father?  When he gets a job?  All of these are milestones to look forward to in a boy’s life.  But when does he become a man?  When is he told he is a man?

I want to share over the next four posts what I consider the characteristics that make a Godly man.

I first need to give credit to Robert Lewis who wrote Raising a Modern Day Knight.  I suggest you read his book and explore his web site for a different and more exhaustive perspective.  From reading Robert’s book and other sources that have inspired me for help raising my son, I developed the six characteristics that define a Godly man.

I welcome your comments and feedback for this most important topic in our culture today.  I feel there is no greater need in our country than to raise up Godly men who will lead the next generation.

Truett Cathy said it so true in one of his book’s title It’s better to build boys than to mend men.  We have to be intentional about how we raise our boys today.  I am in no way saying I am doing it the right way or the only way, but I am raising my boy the best way that I can while seeking help from God.  I first shared with him and taught him these six characteristics of a man.  After we covered these characteristics I asked him if I could share them on this blog.  He said that I should … and so I do.


 

When I was a child,
I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child,
I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I put aside childish things.
               1 Corinthians 13:11

Accept RESPONSIBILITY for a Will to Obey

The first thing to know is that as a man there are responsibilities we must accept.  The first responsibility is for a will to obey.

Who’s will do we obey?  We certainly will obey somebody’s will with our life.  But a Godly man will obey the will of God.  When we say the will – it simply means doing what someone desires of you.

So – how do you know what your creator has in mind for you?  What does He want you to do with your life?  How do you know when you are obeying Him not yourself or other influences in life?

I believe God wants at least four things from every man:

  1. To have a relationship with Him  [Matthew 6:6]
  2. To love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul and strength  [Mark 12:30]
  3. To love others with your deeds  [Mark 12:31]
  4. To resist satan  [James 4:7, Ephesians 6:11]

I believe that through our circumstances in life God has uniquely equipped us for certain tasks in life.  Certain things He wants us to do, that only we will be able to do.  God can accomplish all He wants in this earth, and some of those things He wants to use our mind and body to accomplish!  We just need to ask.

Do you know that the Creator of the universe, the One who made the moon, stars and earth, wants a relationship with you and wants to communicate with you!  How does God do that?  How does he communicate directly with me?

God will communicate the desires of His heart to you if you will:

  • Read and study the Bible regularly
  • Pray to God   (which means talking and listening to Him)
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you

If you do not know exactly how this works I would love to talk with you and explain how our Father in Heaven wants to communicate with you and me here on earth.

Temptation leads to pain

I wish I could remember who shared with me this wisdom of truth in life.

With temptation comes pain.

I guess I was aware that there was pain associated with temptation, but when this person said it out loud I stopped to look at what tempts me and realized they were right.

We all are tempted.  Each and every day, and we all have different things that tempt us.  Some temptations are strong and some just annoy us.  From lust, to envy, hate, gossip, gluttony, laziness, pride, idolatry and more – we have temptations that take away from our relationship with our Creator, Savior and King.

But I have learned one way to fight temptation is to realize there will be pain, and endure just a little while – without giving into the temptation.

The pain is going to come either way…

God gave me a picture that shows where pain comes in.  I have shared it with some folks and it really makes sense to me.

Pain in Temptation

Knowing we all have temptations we will take one of two paths – giving in to the temptation or denying the temptation.

Giving in to the temptation

If we are weak in the flesh and give in to the temptation, what immediately follows is pleasure.  That’s what makes the temptation so strong is the thought, taste or feel of the pleasure.  No doubt we enjoy the pleasure for a time.  Sometimes it is short-lived and sometimes we really dwell in it, but we do experience the pleasure.  But then comes the pain.

After we have squeezed all the pleasure out of that sin we face the reality that we have disappointed God.  If that does not pain you then your relationship with Jesus should be evaluated.  By giving in to the temptation and experiencing the sin, I experience some kind of pain.  Sometimes just bothered by what I did, and sometimes grieved to tears.  Some people even hold on to that pain for years without knowing how to get rid of it.

Of course what should come next is repentance to God and those offended by my actions.  Even more pain!

Denying the temptation

The other option we have with a temptation is to deny the lure and not give in or experience the pleasure.  That of course creates pain for us by not allowing us the pleasure that we know can come with the temptation.  Here again, sometimes these pains are just a nuisance, but sometimes we have a really hard time saying no.  By saying no I know that I will not get to experience the pleasure that was on the other side of the temptation, and that hurts.

The good news is that when we say no to the temptation and know that pain is coming we can prepare ourselves.  For example I can say to myself – I know that if I hold my tongue for about 10 minutes I will not hurt anyone’s feelings and I will have avoided the temptation of hateful talk.

James 4:7 says Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Submit to what God says – do not sin.  Take a little pain by denying the temptation.  Then according to the Bible – satan will flee from you!

So – do I just need to deny satan one time and he is out of my life?  No, that is not the case.  We are told by Jesus in Luke 9:23 to daily deny ourselves (deny sin), get about the business He has in store for each of us, and follow Him.

Jim Rohn said “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

Choose the option of pain by denying temptation.  In the long run your life will be more richer and satisfying!

Fellowship: the core of a local church

Fellowship hall, fellowship time, fellowship church, fellowship app, academic fellowship, fellowship college, right hand of fellowship ….

Just what is Fellowship?IMG_1634

With the help of the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary and Merriam Webster I would define fellowship as:

  • Joining in membership with a local church
  • Communion together at the Lord’s Supper 
  • Giving of tithes and offerings
  • Ministering to the saints
  • Suffering together

 


Join in membership with a local church [Hebrews 10:24-25]

First let me qualify that my look at fellowship is only from the view of a church member. With that in mind, I think everyone needs to join a local church to enjoy the fellowship of a church. Thom Rainer outlined very well what it means to be a church member in his great little book I Am A Church Member. Thom says a healthy church member will:

  • Be a functioning church member

By studying God’s word, praying, eating, serving, sacrificing, giving, sharing, and ministering with other church members.

  • Seek unity in my church
  • Not let my church be about my preferences and desires
  • Pray for my church leaders
  • Lead my family to be healthy church members
  • Treasure church membership as a gift

 

Communion together at the Lord’s Supper [1Corinthians 10:16-17]

To take the Lord’s Supper you need to have professed faith in Jesus. So for those who take the supper together; we are saying to one another that we have accepted the same gift of life eternal through the sacrifice of Jesus, have given our life to the service of Jesus, and are together in observing the sacrifice He made for me.

 

Giving of tithes and offerings [2Corinthians 9:6-15]

God says we should give generously. The Old Testament gave the guideline 10% of our first fruits (earnings) are to be given back to Him. The New Testament says to be a generous cheerful giver. Does that mean only 10% – no I say 10% is only a starting point. Give to make God pleased, as much and as often as you can.

 

Ministering to the saints [Hebrews 6:10-12]

Who else in this world will come to the aide of Christians – only other Christians. It is our duty to love and help our fellow brothers and sisters. We need to minister to Christians by listening to them, helping them financially, mentally and spiritually, and praying for them.

We should be ministering not only to the other members in our church, but should be lifting up other churches. There again – who will help a failing church … only another church. We should also be ministering to the missionaries who go and who live to spread the Gospel in places other than their local community.

 

Suffering together [Philippians 3:7-11]

Are we going to suffer here on earth – you bet. Jesus suffered … why would we avoid such? When we suffer we need fellow Christians surrounding us to listen and guide. When you are the one suffering you know it makes things easier if we have a friend to share the burden with. Our burdens range from being uncomfortable all the way to the point of death.

Where should we come along and share a burden with a friend – whenever you feel led that they need support. I don’t know about you, but the problem I have with that is that I need to be more in tune with God to be able to listen when He says go and suffer with someone.

Part of praying to God is to listen, and by listening I can be directed to go suffer with someone.

This Ain’t Heaven

Man life sure can be tough some times.

Amen?

Amen (I’ll go ahead and credit you that one).

Just recently I have spoken with friends and relatives who have been through tough times:

cancer, job loss, marital infidelity, death of a loved one, friend whose parent is sick, job cut back, lay off, loss of trust from a friend, family corruption, drugs, alcohol, disease, unwanted pregnancy, heart problems, broken bones, mower won’t start, car wreck, and the list could just go on…

Some people have asked me and I could tell some were thinking it but just did not ask – why does God let bad things happen?  Some will even ask – why does God let bad things happen to good people?

I submit there is a simple answer that is hard for some to believe or even accept.IMG_5262

In Genesis 2 God told Adam and Eve to work and watch over the garden of Eden, but not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  In Genesis 3 we see their disobedience and followed the advice of satan by eating the forbidden fruit.  And we assume sin entered earth then.  But the more difficult question if you think about it is this – where did that serpent come from?  How did satan get to the middle of the garden that God made to tempt humans?  If satan had not tempted, then maybe humans would not have sinned and we would be in a much better place.  Maybe so.

But the fact of the matter, is that God did create all things – even satan himself.  Now why on earth would God do that?  And even more so why did He allow him here on earth?

I think the answer to many of the questions I have asked here can be answered by three words.

   This ain’t Heaven.

In Heaven there is no sin.  There is no pain.  There is no death!  There are no wasps, snakes, hornets or skunks.  There are no jobs, and our only desire will be God!  Man that is heaven!

But this earth just ain’t Heaven.  Do you see?  Do you agree?  Here on our 3rd rock from our sun we have a lot of things that make us uncomfortable.  And they will always be here on earth.  We do however, have a comforter here who is the Holy Spirit.  He will guide us and help us in our daily walk – while we inhabit this earthly vessel we call a body.  But one day this body will expire for all of us.

And when it does – we will all end up in one of two places.       Heaven or Hell         That choice is ours to make while we are still living and breathing in this earthly vessel.

Top Five Takeaways from the 2014 Cross Train Sports Camp

For the past three years, the last week of June has been designated as the week for Cross Train Sports Camp at Gibbs High School in Corryton, TN.2014 Cross Train Sports Camp Group

Each night of the week children ages K – 8 are invited to learn more about their sport and hear about the love of Jesus!

Campers are treated to excellent coaching from the top coach of each sport at the high school level for football, basketball, cheerleading, softball, baseball, soccer and volleyball.  Head coaches, coaches and players from each of these sports are represented to show these younger kids drills and motivation to reach the next level.

The camp starts each night a 6:30 and ends with a huddle time in the gym where the kids hear about the theme and Bible verse for the week.  Each night a speaker will share their experiences with life and Jesus – sometimes they are famous, and sometimes they just want to pour into kids.

I have been a part of the conception and leadership team for the camp each year.  For me this camp is so special because of how it was birthed, who it serves, who serves in it, and because I was saved as an 18 year old boy at FCA camp in Maryville, TN.  Camp is just special to me.

I love serving the kids and our community through the camp, and want to share five positive takeaways from this year’s camp.

  1. 21 Salvations recorded this year.  This is the reason we have sports camp – to see children saved.  Now did each one of these understand what they were doing – probably not.  We are in the process with following up with parents, but even if they did not understand today – they are on the right track in their minds to fully understand what true repentance and salvation looks like.
  2. Praying with warriors.  Man we have some awesome prayer warriors show up for Sports Camp, and I love to see God working in their lives.  They build me up and give me encouragement.
  3. Loving on children.  It is so good just to love on kids who will let you.  All too early kids put up their shields like they don’t need anybody, but it is so good to get those who will let you love on them.  Some of these kids are love starved, so loving on them in the name of Jesus is so impactful.
  4. Serving with friends.  I grew up in this community.  I know a lot of people here, and it just blesses my heart to serve our Jesus with friends outside the walls of our church.
  5. Strengthening our community.  I don’t know of any other event that will strengthen our family like coming together, serving each other and our God.  It builds the community in very deep ways that will pay dividends for years to come in ways we may never even see.

 

Good to Great: look #2 into John Grigsby

Good  ————— > Great

This is look #2 into some of the things that make me who I am.  I want to live a life that is not just good but great.  It is a continuation from Look #1 post.John BlueLighthouse

I list here a few more events and seasons that I feel have shaped me wanting my life to be counted as more than just good:

Church – I have held a few positions in the church since I married and started settling down.  I have been among other things a youth leader, Sunday School teacher and now a Sunday School director.  Here again I found myself seeking out what a great leader in those positions looked like, and try to be even better.

Of course for church (and really everything I do) I have someone I really do want to impress, and that is my Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.  I really do want to do my very best because of what He has done for me and who He is to me.  Jesus set a perfect example of how to be a great leader.  I cannot be perfect like Him, but my goals are to be more like Jesus every day.  And if I can just get closer each and every day then I feel I am trying to be great!

Husband – Knowing what an idea husband looks like seems to be a bit more subjective.  I know what my father looked like as a husband – at least from the eyes of a child.  I had friends who had good dads, but I only saw those men as a friend of their child.  I have seen movies and TV shows that portrayed a husband, but those were only made for viewing entertainment.   So where on earth could I find what a great husband should look like?  I found the answer in my Bible.

The Bible clearly says that a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church and love her as he loves himself. (Ephesians 5:25-33)  This is a serving sacrificial kind of love where you put your spouse before yourself.  If you really understand that concept, then you know that I have struggled with meeting that expectation.  In the early part of our marriage I really labored with putting her needs ahead of mine.  As I learn more about Jesus, I am learning better how to love her – but still fall short.  I have made a lot of selfish mistakes, and at times have not treated her like I should have.  I am so thankful for her patience and forgiveness.

As a husband I should strive to be a great helper, encourager, lover (physically and sacrificially), leader, listener, provider, fixer, and faithful visionary.

The first example of a husband I knew in my life was of course my dad.  Dad has shown devotion and love to my mom by giving of himself to her.  He doesn’t want to go to some of the places she wants to go and see sometimes, but he goes because he loves her.  I have seen them argue and disagree before, but dad has set a great example for me by keeping his vows to my humble mom for close to 50 years now.

Archie Johnson taught me through his actions how to be a humble husband and father.  He allowed me to go on vacations with their family growing up, and he always treated me just like I was one of his own.

Dad – I love our children so much and I really wanted to be the best dad to them that walked the earth!  However; I know I have fell short many times.  I have fed my personal wants and desires over theirs at times.  I have let my anger take control of my mouth and actions at times.  But I really do want to be the best dad I can possibly be.

A great dad I think provides guidance, discipline, encouragement, is a helper, a listener, a teacher and an example.  I have wanted them to see me committed to being a great example for them.  They were able to see me graduate from college at the age of 31.  They have seen me win awards from work.  They have seen me have fun on vacations and while coaching ball teams.  They have seen me serve as a leader in our church and at school.   I really have tried to live my life as a great example for them.

A few years ago I expressed my desire for our family be known as giving, loving, passionate Christian family.  We even created a family crest to visualize these characteristics.  If we are known by these qualities, then I feel I have been successful as a dad.

There is none like You, O Lord ;  You are great, and great is Your name in might.  Jeremiah 10:6

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater  works  than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  John 14:12