Saturday, January 28, 2012

MM: The Tools

Being a builder has taught me some very valuable things over the years. One of the main things I have learned is that you need to right tools for the job. As soon as I know what the project is, I start figuring out what materials I will need and what tools it will take to get the job done. The right tools will make all the difference. You need the right ingredients to make delicious food. You need a map to help you get from one place to the next. You need... well you get my point. In order to be a Maintenance Man for Christ, you need to have the right tools and you need to maintain them. God has provided us with so many options and there just waiting for us to grab them and use them. I have come up with a few ideas on some really great tools!

I know that is sounds basic, but the Bible is an amazing tool to help you stay on your path for Christ. You can buy a Bible at the store, you can download apps and you can read it on your Nook or Kindle. The Bible is powerful and available. One of the best things to do is to pray before you read it and see what God might have in store for you. There are multiple programs to make your way through the Bible. The point is to stay in it! Find the time and maintain it!

I have written about prayer a few times and still agree that this is a wonderful tool that God has given to us. I use to think it had to be military, eyes closed and head bowed. But prayer goes way beyond those things. God wants us to be in a relationship with Him. Just like any good relationship, you should be able to go to your friend anytime and seek help. I came to realize that I can go to Christ anytime I need or want to; when I am walking, when I am playing, when I am working and so on. Use this tool and use it DAILY!

If it were not for my friends from Church, I don't think I would still be married. God put's people in our live for a reason. We may not always know or understand that reason, but we have to be faithful. We can not isolate ourselves and think that we can do life on our own. We need to be in relationship. Our friendships on earth are a great reflection of how we should be in relationship with Christ. Friends are willing to help, give up their time, listen to the hard things and pray for you when you are down. Having great friends takes time and patience on both sides, but the rewards are great and worth it. Check in with your friends often!

Find a Church and get involved! Our Church is a second family to my wife and me. We have met some great people and have made some great friends. Some of the great tools you can find in Church are classes, groups and simply the Sunday message. My wife and I do a marriage class at Church every year now and in between we try to stay involved with something else for the Church. Doing these classes challenges you to stay consistent and keeps you honest. They are great for conversations, discussions and more. Find a Church, use the resources and become a resource. Go weekly and see the fruits!

These are just some quick and easy examples of some of the great tools God has provided us with. Being a Maintenance Man means you are staying active and using the correct tools. I was always told 'If you don't use it, you lose it.' You need to use the tools available to you. The main theme at the end of each point goes back to consistency with the tools. How can we use these tools for The Job Christ gives us?

What are some tools you use to stay active and involved with Christ? Share what has worked for you or something you would like to try!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MM: The Type of Man

What type of man needs to be a Maintenance Man? Anyone? Every man!

No man is ever finished being worked on. No man is ever finished learning new things. Each day is a new opportunity to learn, grow, fail and succeed and so on. We all know this and are aware of this, but how do we take all of those examples and truly learn from them? How do we use these daily things to help us mature and move on? If you haven't been successful in learning from these daily things, than maybe you need to approach life a different way. Maybe instead of trying to tackle these issues by yourself you consider asking for help. You consider finding a way to keep track of some of these things and find a way maintain your knowledge.

A man has to be WILLING. 'Psalm 119:36'
From my personal experience, the most freeing decision I have made is giving my life over to Christ. Doing that allowed me to take the focus off of myself. When the focus is "clearly" on yourself, it is so difficult to see what is going on around you. You have a harder time considering other people's decisions, situations and feelings. There is a simple term for this sickness and it's called selfishness. Selfishness can become a black hole for men. I didn't realize how it was affecting me, until I snapped out of it. Things seemed to get so clear all of a sudden. I was finally willing to give Christ the time He deserved; the time He wanted me to give Him for so long. There was no question, I was willing.

A man has to be OPEN. 'Ezekiel 36:26'
Following Christ for real, for the first time, meant new things. It meant meeting new people, exploring new ideas, changing habits, finding desire and just plain talking to Christ more. A man that finally takes the leap of faith or the man that has had the faith for a while has to stay open to what Christ is doing or may have planned for you. As a new Christian, I knew there would be things that I had never experienced before, but I knew in my heart that I had to keep climbing. A man that has been a Christian for years must still be open to new ideas. He must not get stagnant with his ideas, beliefs and values. He must learn to be open and maintain that trait.

A man must learn DEPENDENCY. 'Exodus 15:2-3'
Being willing has broken your selfishness, being open has helped you adjust to new practices, but a man must learn that giving his life to Christ means a new dependency. It is no longer "me", but Christ in me. It is He who gives me my money, and it is He who makes my path straight, and it is He who provides a way out of temptations, and it is He who died for me. There is no shame, no weakness in being dependent on Christ. For me, it has been one of the strongest moves I have ever made in my life. It made me realize that my dependency on other people gave me no strength compared to Christ's strength.

Maintain. Sustain. Guard. Keep On. Nurture. Manage. Preserve. Save. Retain. Repair. Renew.

Some say it is easier to maintain a bad behavior than it is a good behavior. I say, give me their names and let me meet them. I say, don't let what others say dominate your opinion. I say, go to the sources, go to Christ and ask Him how to maintain. Ask Him how to be a man. And you know what, He will show you. He will give you all the tools you need....

Challenge yourself to be a Maintenance Man for Christ! 
Share some ways on how you maintain your walk!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Maintenance Man: The Series

2011 was an amazing year for myself. February was the month that changed everything, it was the climax of events and it was the month that I said no more. I finally gave Christ everything I had and started out fresh. As hard as some of those events were, they taught me so many things. The power of the enemy, the work he is up to in our lives on a daily basis, and the strength we need to find in order to take out his army of attacks. As I pursued Christ more and more, I needed a way to maintain my walk. I needed a way to challenge myself. Manturity was created in July of 2011 and has been running strong ever since.

As I finished out my blog posts for last year, I put a large emphasis on perseverance and consistency. I related it to New Years resolutions and the daily battles we face while trying to accomplish those goals. During this time period, God brought up some great ideas for future postings. Some were just random post ideas and others were more involved. The one I chose to start out this new year is titled "Maintenance Man: The Series."

What doesn't need maintenance? Anything? Everything needs to be maintained! Our bodies won't stay fit if we don't work them out, our cars won't stay running if we don't fuel them up or change the oil, our houses won't stay clean if we don't clean them. Such simple ideas that we all have to face on a regular basis with all of our worldly possessions and bodies. But what about maintaining our heart, our walk with Christ, our inner man that we consult with daily. How many people stop and think about the importance of this idea. How many people spend more time worrying about maintaining their looks, their status at work, a certain group of people, what their wearing and more. All of these things that have no eternal value are given so much, well, value. We value them, because we can see them. But what about the inside, the heart.

My goal of the series is to break down the idea of a man that maintains, otherwise called a Maintenance Man. Topics will consist of: The type of man; The necessary tools; The job; The quality of work; Never finished and the Bottom Line.

I am looking forward to a great year of blogging and I am excited to see what everyone else has in store for the new year! I hope you find the series interesting and challenging!

The Man In The Glass

As I work on the new series for 2012, I have come across a great poem while cleaning my house. I have a lot of awards from high school and college that I was rummaging through and this classic poem was found. After researching it, I have found it to be written by a man named Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.. And it dates back to 1934. According to the family, the name of the poem has been changed and the author is mostly now know as anonymous or someone else. You can check out the official site for the author and the original poem here. This version and name is slightly different, but it is the one I found so I will post it. It is amazing to read this poem and see how relevant it still is today.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day.
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife,
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people may think you're a straight-shootin' chum,
And call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum,
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end.
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears,
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

-Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr