Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Consistent Man

One of my first thoughts I had after I really gave my life to Christ was 'I need to be consistent'. If I was going to be a true Man of God, I would need to maintain my walk with Him. My main two ideas were consistency and discipline. These are two traits that most people need for their job, their marriage, their kids and so on. But I knew I had to apply it to my walk with God. I had to come up with a way to make it daily and serious. I needed to find a way to separate from the False desires of this world and pursue God. It took a few months of reading books and praying for consistency, when God brought up the idea of Manturity. He presented this to me in such an easy way that it just made too much sense. He provided all the tools and showed me the opportunity for true consistency.

For me, Manturity is my way of reaching out to God everyday. I make it a point to post to Facebook and Twitter everyday, even if it's only one time a day. A few months after I started Manturity, I signed up on Digg and started reading and promoting articles about other Christian men and more. This has become a great learning tool and another way to reach people and spread the good news of how God is working in other peoples lives and around the world. Although I have not been as consistent with Google+, I have found and met a lot of great people on there and they post a wealth of information. I love to see new followers, comments and interaction on the blog and hope to take things to the next level in the new year.

Manturity has been a way to keep my mind on positive things and away from the garbage of society. As much as I hope it helps other people, it is truly a tool that has helped me refocus daily. It has pushed me to find my real desire and write multiple posts about it. God showed has shown me ways to adjust my influence and find my true identity. He continually is providing me with new information and ideas to a point that I have had to start keeping Evernotes so that I do not forget them. As I run into the new year and chase new opportunities and new ideas, I can't wait to see what God has planned. Truly the most important part of all of this consistency is my walk with Him. I know that He is always consistent with me, but the real challenge and goal is to keep Him first and allow Him to Father me.

With a new website planned, an ebook in the works and many new topics. I pray that you have a wonderful new year and are consistent in all that God gives to you.

Happy New Years!

Are you more likely to Love or to Judge? Check out the new post on the Manturity  TWEET THIS!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Resolution Battle

A new year means new beginnings. Right? Whether you have publicly stated your resolution for the new year or have kept it private, only you know your resolution. Only you know the truth about it and what it really means. It might be a few of the following; to loose a few pounds, to be a better friend, to be a stronger husband, to get more involved with your Church, to spend more time with your family or kids, or pursue a stronger and more real relationship with Christ. Whatever it may be, you have come to realize that you have a goal in mind. From there you have to decide when are you trying to accomplish this goal? Is there a specific time frame you are setting yourself up for or this a year long activity that will take you to your next resolution? Figure our your resolution and apply a time frame to it. Even if it is just a few months to get you started, you have to have a goal that you are working towards. 

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 
2 Chronicles 15:7

Figuring out the resolution and coming up with a timeframe or goal in mind, in my opinion, are some of the easier steps in the process. The resolution is most likely something you have been thinking of for awhile and you are ready to attack it head on. The timeframe is set as a goal or a target. The real challenge is the daily battle or what I like to call 'The Resolution Battle'. This is the part of the resolution that you have to face everyday. What does it mean or even look like to accomplish your resolution? What sacrifices are you going to have to make to ultimately achieve success? What habits are you going to have to change? What relationships are going to change? What will be your driving force? I had to ask myself these same questions last year and will continue to ask these questions each year. I had to come to a place where my resolution was not just mere words that I spoke, but would become a daily way of life. This type of situation separates the men from the boys, the immature from the mature and, I believe, someone that is serious about growing up in life. Here are a few ways that can help you beat the daily battle of your resolutions. Try them out, follow them, change them, adjust them, but do not forsake any of them. You have to stay true to yourself during this process, you have to find real perseverance and you have to see the victory in the end.

1) Set up Reminders! One of the best things to do when you come up with your resolution is to define the terms. Write down and figure out the daily things it will take to accomplish your goals. If you have a smart phone, set up a reminder to come up a the end of each month. If you use another type of calendar, go through it and mark reminders for every month of the year. Incorporate your terms of the resolution and why you chose to do it at the time of decision. Remind yourself about the why!

2) Tell a Friend! This could be your wife, your buddy, your parent, sister or brother. Let someone know the conditions of your resolution and have them hold you accountable. Offer them the same option if they also have a resolution. Work together on this process and you will be that much more willing to fight for the resolutions! Make them a part of your monthly reminders!

3) Pray! "You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary." Revelation 2:3. The most powerful thing you can do is pray. Pray that God would help you in your resolution. Pray for a clear direction for your resolution. He may have another course set out for you, but it requires perseverance in other things first. Know that He has a plan for you and pursue Him. Make His presence in your life a daily, living thing.

4) Repeat! Do these things and then do them again. The courage and perseverance it will take to accomplish your resolution will not come easy, but the rewards will great. 

I wish you the best for your resolutions this year and pray that you will succeed in whatever goal you set your mind too. Please share your ideas, thoughts and tips on resolutions!

The seed has been planted, now it's up to you to make it grow!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Unlikely Candidate

Well it has been a very, very busy month and it has not left me much time to write. My most recent post I have been trying to write is titled 'A Consistent Man'. It is kind of an ironic title considering this month has been my most inconsistent month since I first started Manturity. Anyway....

Today is Christmas! Ever since I have been married, my wife and I will come home for the holidays and stay at her parents house. The week leading up to Christmas always means busy days shopping for those last minute gifts, visiting extended family and getting all of those wonderful grandparent gifts, and of course a candle light service at Church. This year was a great service. We attended my wife's families church which is 'Grace Church' in Erie, Pa. You can find the .blogspot blog from the Pastor right here. God spoke a great message to him this year about 'who or what do we magnify in our lives'. His parallel story was of course the Christmas story in the book of Luke, with an extra emphasis on Mary. He went into her story and about her powerful faith in God for the journey that she was about to encounter. Although Mary was an unlikely candidate for the task set before her, she trusted God with all her heart and knew that she had to be faithful. The same is true with us, we all feel like we are an unlikely candidate for the task Christ has before us. It doesn't matter what we look like or what we have done, if we are rich or poor, God wants us for Him. He wants us to magnify Him with all of our heart.

The Christmas season is a time of giving and sharing. Christ gave Himself for us and is gracious enough to share is unconditional love for us. Magnify Christ today for His wonderful birth and magnify Him every other day for His unfailing love. 

How do you magnify Christ during Christmas? Traditions?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'The Way of the Wild Heart' Book Review

God is a God of process. One of the best examples of His process is how a boy becomes a man. Author, John Eldredge explores this idea in the fantastic book titled 'The Way of the Wild Heart '. This book is a follow up to the best seller titled 'Wild at Heart '. John breaks down the masculine journey into six stages; boy, cowboy, warrior, lover, king and sage. Each step has is a new and crucial part to the development of a man. One of my favorite quotes comes from early in the book that says this, 'If you want a man, you must begin with the boy'. This statement is so simple, but so very true. The culture today seems to have a bunch of boys in men's bodies. Boys growing up without fathers, fathers that existed only in the physical aspect, and an overall culture that puts men in a lower position than they should be.

Let's take a closer look a the journey. A boy is full of energy and ready to explore. It is a time of true affirmation. It is also a time that he looks to his father and wonders if 'He has what it takes'. From there the boy becomes a cowboy. He has learned a thing or two about life now and takes his game to the next level. He learns to throw a curve ball, drive a car and catch the eye of a young woman. From there he takes on the stage of the warrior. This is when a man finally starts to see his purpose. He may get his college degree, join the military or find the woman of his dreams. He faces the battles of real life, learns discipline and some of the hardships and glories of life. In this time period he also finds the stage of the Lover. This is a time when the warrior is still fully alive, but under more control. He may put a ring on that beautiful woman's finger, he may find a good cause to support or he may take up reading or teaching. These two stages set up the man for one of the most important stages. This is the stage of the King. The time of being a King will be one of the most difficult and most gratifying stages of them all. This is the time of raising a family, coaching a sports team, being on the board at Church and being strong and humble during the process. The King will be tested and challenged thoroughly. And at the end of the stages we get to the Sage. This is not the time to give up on life, but rather a time to minister to the warriors, lovers and especially the Kings. To offer guidance, offer encouragement and remind them of his own path in life. To lead by experience.

This is a very short glimpse of the stages and what they look like. The book goes into great detail and would be a great read for any man or woman. I would highly recommend! You can also check out 'The Way of the Wild Heart' manual that goes along with the book!

What are some ways you have experienced the Masculine Journey?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Right Connection

One thing that always comes along with the Holidays is decorating. I can honestly say that 'decorating' is really not my thing, but my wonderful wife enjoys it so I do my best to help out. One of my jobs this season was the outside Christmas lights. It doesn't sound like a hard project, but I always seem to mess it up. I take them all out of the box and look them over each year. I have learned from the past that it is a good, no great, practice to plug them all in first to make sure they are all still ticking and I proceed to lay them out. This is always the tricky part for me; I try to make sure that the plugs at the end of each light strand are in the right spot so that I can make The Right Connection. I really felt like I had it figured out so I proceeded to hang around the front of my house and thought they were looking great. When it was all said and done, the hanging process that is; I grabbed the extension cord and went for the power shot. It was at this point that I figured out that my calculations were, well wrong. Let's just say all ends coming together will not work. I had no plug, no prongs. I went through it a few times just to make sure and sure enough, I was out of luck.

Isn't that how it goes sometimes? We think we have gone through all the right steps, only to find out that they were the wrong steps or we didn't properly check before we started in our direction. I ended up taking all the lights down and reworking them correctly. It took me a few minutes, but the payoff is lights, that work. I don't think the lights get the full effect any other way....

How many times a day, a week or throughout the entire year do we try to do something without The Right Connection? Or should I say, how many times do we not include God in our decisions? I use to think that I could only go to God for the big stuff or the hard stuff, but the truth is He wants us to go to Him for each and everything. I came to the point of trying to just have a conversation with God throughout my day. I wanted to make sure I was connected and that what I was doing was being considered properly.  I can think of so many past times that, if I had only asked, things would have turned out differently. God wants to stay in close connection to us. He desires for us to keep a close connection to Him. It's about relationship. Just like the cords could not connect, even after all the work up to that point, we can not connect to God unless we stay in prayer.

Make the right choice, make the right connection and it will help considerably!

Do you agree?