Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Do You Let Music Influence You?


After a long, hard and stressful day at work, I would leave angry and ready to attack. I would pack up my crap, walk to my car and think to myself "what kind of music will make me feel better". I tossed around my options to help me cope with the anger; something hard and something up beat. My attitude reflected a type of music that I thought would make me feel better. I would earnestly flip through my iPod and find the right song. Crank up the volume and let the tone and words soak in. This was my peace; this was my lie.

Jumping forward to a couple years back; I was angrier and more bitter then I had ever been in my life. My marriage was on the rocks of divorce, my Christian walk was non-existent and I had no friends. I spent a lot of my time building cabinets in my back shed. I am a carpenter by trade and could do these little projects when I felt like it or when the opportunity became available. This project allowed me to stay mad. It allowed me time away from the chaos of my marriage and my overall life. I would get home from work, eat and head out to the shed to be alone with my tools and my music.

As I would put my plan of attack together for the project, I would have already decided on a band or type of music. Let me think, something to reflect my attitude... hard and angry rock. The problem was not in the first few times working out there, rather it was when the project needed closer attention to detail and my head had to be free. This was the time when I decided to change my music or better yet, change my influence. This was when my music preference changed forever.

iPod Play: Fight Club Soundtrack

I am a huge fan of Fight Club, and apparently of the background music as well. I had it stored on my iPod so it was an easy option to choose. What was the difference? There were no words. What does that mean? There was no lyrical influence and therefore nothing to sway me to a particular thought or memory. It was just the instruments, just the beat and so much more. This music allowed me to keep track of numbers, sizes and dimensions. It helped me stay organized and under control. This changed everything.

iPhone Play: Pandora Fight Club Radio

As my life turned around, my marriage recovered and my project finished. I found a new love in this type of Downtempo style music. My car rides after work became calming instead of intense and angry. I am no longer involved in the standard copy of music on the radio. To be honest, I can't stand the radio anymore. Most of all, without the words in the songs running through my head, I can pray, I can reflect on ideas, I can get out of the bad things of life and jump where ever I please. I honestly find myself praying so much more and reflecting on the important things in life with this type of musical influence.

Don't get me wrong, I love occasional rock. But my moods and my influence do not depend on what culture is putting out there on "popular" radio. I suppose classical, jazz or other type of wordless music would also work. The point is to keep your mind free for the things Christ has for you and wants to share with you. We should always be listening.

How Do You Let Music Influence You?
Can you relate with this scenario in your own life?
Let's compare and share thoughts.

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Tips When Grocery Shopping with your Wife

Earlier in my marriage, I would dread the time of the week when it came to getting groceries. Something about it just annoyed me to no end. My wife and I would decide that we needed groceries and we would take off. I didn't like the idea of spending this much money for just food nor did I like shopping around other people at the "Supermarket", they only added to my anger and frustration.

After about a half hour of meandering down aisles and disagreeing what to get, we would get mad at each other, annoyed with those around us and the rest of the day would be ruined. Don't call me crazy yet, I think this happens more then we think.

Next time you're at the grocery store, look for the man tagging along with his wife. Now, I know that there are men out there that don't mind a good grocery store experience, but I would say they are a minority. Anyway, keep your eye out for the younger couple. The woman will typically be with the cart and the list and the man will be walking somewhere behind her hating life. I see it all the time. 

So here's what I have come up with gentlemen. After dealing with this scenario for a few years and learning from my mistakes, here are my top 5 tips when grocery shopping with your wife or lady friend.

1) Make the list together
We are men and we have to eat at some point. Am I right? This is the first crucial step to grocery store experience success! Gather in the kitchen and decide on your breakfast, dinner and lunch options. Say what you need or want out loud to each other and add it to the list. Surprises at the store are never good. Get the list done and agree to stick to it. Got coupons? If so, get to clipping and compare those to the list and use the ones you need. At this point you both agree on the food and therefore the expectations are established!

2) Go with her
If you have agreed on a list and you have a game plan, get in the car and go with her. You can make this a good experience gentleman. It is within your power. Marriage is all about communication and teamwork. Consider these times together a test on how you will handle harder and more complicated decisions that will come. Work together.

3) Grab a pre-game snack
OK, this is a little trick I recently started applying to the G-store experience. Like that? Anyway, upon arrival to the store, find the bakery or coffee shop and get something little. I like to grab a favorite cookie and a small coffee. Maybe you'd go for the bag of chips and soda. Whatever it is, grab something little as soon as you get there. It will make you happier, it will calm you down and it will take your focus off the store chaos.

4) Mark off the list and coupons
In my experience, the longer you are at the store, the worse it gets. The tension starts to escalate, the emotions start to get crazy and that coffee was finished far too long ago. Again, work together. Someone take the cart and someone take the list. Mark things off the list as found and move to the next item. Ladies, if you're reading this, men love to have a task. In a respectful way, try to get your man to find specific items as you look for the harder to find items. This will make him feel important and part of the team. Keep track of those coupons too.

5) Watch the total go down
Got everything? Good! Get in line and get out of there! Lately, my wife and I have been competing to see who can save more money at the register. Most recently, between coupons and bonus savings, she saved around $52 dollars off the top. I tried to take the trophy from her the next time, but only pulled off a healthy $49 dollars. I was slightly disappointed, but still satisfied overall. Anyway, hand over your coups and watch the tally go down at the end. 

Give each other a high five. Load up the car and head home to enjoy some great food!

That's it! What do you think? 
Will these tips help your next 
experience be the best one ever?

I'd love to hear about your grocery store experiences or how you and your wife find ways to work together!


Check out 5 tips when Grocery Shopping with your Wife! via @Manturity  > Tweet This!
Grocery Shopping with your wife? Check out 5 great tips here >>  Tweet This!

photo credit: © Ljupco Smokovski -

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Manvotionals: Book Review


Today's culture makes it difficult to define what true manliness looks like anymore. Commercials on the television are putting out ads with well dressed men, tall and handsome to promote a cologne titled "Man Up". Is this really what "manning up" is all about? The smell? Is the man who spends hours at the office and never sees his family the definition of real manhood? The position? Is the man who constantly works out hard in the gym, but won't stand to love his wife the definition of manhood? The exterior?


According to Brett and Kate McKay, the authors of Manvotionals and founders of the popular men's book and website The Art of Manliness, manliness lies in the 7 Manly Virtues. They are:


I enjoyed reading this book over the last few months. It is very different from the other books I have read in the past, but in a good way. Reviving the lost art of true manliness means going back to the era or time frame when manliness was at it's peak, the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book is packed with various book quotes, speeches, poems and stories from all different makes of men. Some included are Theodore Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur, Henry Van Dyke, Winston Churchill and many more.

With such variety of resources in the book , it was hard at times to focus on certain stories or quotes. Whether it be the time frame or accent of the written language, it would get hard to understand what was even being discussed. Although this was only a few times, I would simply skip over the read and get into the next article. Overall, the articles and categories were very well selected. Some of the chapters or articles spoke to me much louder than others and I would think the same would happen to you on your journey through the book. The chapter or virtue I enjoyed reading about the most was "Resolution". 

Ultimately, manliness lies in the interior, the core, the character of a man. The timeless lessons taught and told in this book have helped me better understand what I'm doing right or what I need to change in my life moving forward. Even if some of the information is over 100 years old. They got it right, and I want to do the same. Unless you have the time to find and go through actual old books, there is no where else you'll find this kind of information all in one place.

So are your ready to find out what makes a man a man?

Learn the art. Change your life. And become a man!

Have you already read this book? If so, share your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, March 18, 2013

3 Reasons Why Every Christian Man Should Write

Are you ready?


There I said it. Let's be honest gentlemen and start things out in the seat of your local church. You know, the one you try to sit in every week. Maybe you are sitting there alone, maybe your arm is around your wife. Either way you are sitting there, listening to the pastor preach the message. This is where honesty comes in. 

What are you doing sitting there? Daydreaming? Thinking about the big game later that day? These are very valid questions. The other question is, what is in your hands or what is your wife doing next to you? Writing?

Let me ask another question, "how good is your memory?" Why does this matter? Well, if you really think about it, how much of the message actually makes it into your heart? How much you are paying attention to, is how much you are getting out of it. What do you do next? You grab a pen, a paper and start to write or in other words take notes. Why?


I don't know about you but my memory is just not that good. It is a well known fact that my wife's memory is head over heals better then mine. I feel like I woke up one morning around the age of six... Anyway. Men, we are not good enough to remember everything that is being preached. This is an average of course. Simple reviews through my own eyes, at my own church have proven this point. Judgments? No, truth.

What is the main topic in the message on Sunday? Write it down. What are some of the questions the Pastor or speaker is asking and answering? Write those down too. What quick one liners could you pick up for your social media updates in the coming week? You guessed it, write it down.

You might be thinking, "this sounds too hard or too involved." That's right men, this is called a challenge. A call. A (insert Braveheart cry here). We must challenge ourselves in our walk with God. Why? Think about the disciples. On numerous occasions, Jesus would challenge these men and make them THINK. Did they always get it? Did they always want to do it? The answer is no, but they overcame the doubt and were Jesus' right hand men. Who are we? We are Jesus' right hand men NOW. And it's time we started acting like it.


Let's be honest. No, better yet, lets think about this for a minute. What will all of this extra work give us? What will writing down notes in the sermon actually do for me? Glad you asked. 

Writing down sermon notes at Church will increase your knowledge and understanding like never before. Don't believe me? Try it. Your mind won't be able to focus on the big game, your eyes won't wander to the well dressed woman in front of you. You will be focused. You will be engaged. And you will be putting the information into your heart. You will become a better, no, stronger disciple for Christ. Do I still have your attention? 


Because here is the ultimate test: 
Here is your challenge. I asked you at the beginning if you were ready.
This is your week. Yes, I repeat that this is your week! What do I mean? This is your week to write the weekly devotional for the entire congregation. What? Trust me, I am not crazy. (for the most part). Yes, write the summary, the main idea, the main theme. In words better understood, give us the instant replay.

If you took the challenge or have a thought on this topic. 
Share your replay in the comments below. 
Be Strong! Have Faith!

Check out 3 Reasons Why Every Man Should Write via @Manturity  > Tweet This!

Why do you think Men should write? Read more via @Manturity  > Tweet This!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CONCEPT MAN: The Interview

After all the hype and chaos started earlier in the reveal of the CONCEPT MAN. He was of course asked by many in the crowd to do some follow up interviews. They wanted to know more about this concept man and how he thinks he'll come to be popular in this current culture.

"One at a time, one at a time", he says to them. They blurt out their questions as typical media does when a new and shiny product comes out to the market. They knew this concept was much different though. What  makes you think this will stick in today's culture? Who gave you this crazy idea? What are some of your other different features. He never blinked. He just downloaded the questions and prayed that God would reveal the right answers.

Without hesitation, he continued to name off more features:

Maturity: Yes, the concept man is mature. How so? This again easily caused a stir among the new culture folk. He smiled and continued. The idea of maturity in this culture has taken a back seat with men. Boys are now still boys well into their twenties. These boys attend a general college and must learn to live on their own without any instruction. Once out, they are immature and unprepared for the harsh world ahead of them. He tells them that this was taken into much consideration in the redesign of the man.

The older, more mature men out there must not end their pursuit of these young men. We must rather chase their hearts and teach them the values they will need in their all to near future. We understand that the choices from there are up to them, but we have to try and at least warn them. Yes, maturity is to be a new standard in the concept man. We that are older must take the initiative now! We must show everyone that maturity lies in the values of the Christian man, the morals of a pure man.

Confidence: As the curious continued to listen, the concept man reviewed his new man sticker one last time and read the last line. "The new man will think confidentally, act confidentally, and trust his Christian and pure values confidentally." This quieted the crowd. This line was the last and it was intense. He proceeded to tell them that this was the last line on his sticker. This trait was pivotal in maintaining the new life of a concept man.

Confidence will be what carries this man into a strong and successful life. He must know that having God backing him up, a pure heart to lead him and the maturity necessary to grow will lead to achievements in the workplace, true love in a marriage and solid leadership over children. This confidence will help him overcome the unbelievers, the doubters and the curious. This confidence will be what draws in and keeps the supporters coming in for more.

In closing the man tells everyone this: We are all capable of becoming this concept or this idea of what a man should be in today's world. All we must do is seek out God, keep a clean heart, grow in maturity and have confidence. God Bless.

His list has ended, but what about yours? Become a Concept Man. A man that is different from this world, but a man that the world needs badly. If you consider yourself a Concept Man, share your features for other men in the comments!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Any good man can appreciate the lines, curves and special features of a new concept car. As a young boy, I would love to look at car magazines in the store and see the latest and greatest cars that "might" come out to the market. 15 years ago when I was reading these magazines, I thought there would be flying cars by now and space rockets sitting in people's front yards. We can all dream I suppose...

Speaking of dreams, is the rough and tough man of the past just a concept anymore? Have the lines of manhood been blurred and confused by powerful advertising empires? Have the lines been crossed in television shows that show the male or husband figure to be nothing more than a klutz? What do we do about these problems? We introduce a shiny new "concept man".

Set up the stage. Invite the crowds, the unbelievers, the doubters, the curious ones and the supporters. It's time to rethink manhood and introduce the Concept Man.

Pay attention to the front, he's about to come out. Insert your name. Que the applause, the hews and the haws. Out front now, he proceeds to tell everyone...

The New Features of Manhood:

Christian. Yes, he's a Christian. The unbelievers look at each other with, well, unbelief. He doesn't waver in his words or in his first feature declaration. He proceeds to walk around and tell the crowd why; they listen closely. He can tell they're interested. A Christian man has values, he tells them. Offended? He is a man that lives for things like faith, love and sacrifice. He looks to the past to find his vintage, but long lasting manly values. He takes on the persona of the man himself, Jesus Christ. He is not intimidated, he is not afraid.

He continues and tells them that by believing in Jesus he has a real purpose; a real sense of something bigger than himself. He tells them all that the Christian man is selfless. He knows that he comes in second place. He puts others before himself. He gets out his crisp "new man sticker" (you know, like a new car would have on the window) and it clearly reads that he puts his family, his wife, his children first. The doubters had to stop shaking their heads due to the proof in their face. They worried at what other features this concept man was going to show him next. He stopped walking around and took a knee to pray.

Purity. Yes, he's not a man influenced and blindly led by the pornography industry. The curious ones in the watching crowd start to laugh and almost turn away. He again shows them the new man sticker and they stop in their tracks. "There is no way men in this culture can abstain from this industry", they say. The man, again, holds his own; convinced that this feature is one of his best and clearly one of his strongest. Immediately the crowd sends a beautiful woman to the stage. She struts around him with intense confidence that he will look her up and down and fall victim to her false beauty. What does the man do? He closes his eyes and looks toward the ceiling; no he looks towards his God for strength.

This is the time that the supporters started to stand up and, well, support. These were the men in the crowd that believed in the same thing as this Concept Man. These were the men that said they would join in the cause and help him promote this radical new idea. With multiple men on the stage now, the crowd could see that what they were looking at was not merely a Concept of a Man, but rather a concept that was coming to light and would change the way the world would look at men. Forever.

Check out Part two: The Interview

Are you a Concept Man?
Check your sticker and add more features:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Don't Mess with my Towel


It's 4:30 am and the alarm on my iPhone goes off. Sometimes it can be so selfish; it takes up my attention during the day and it thinks it can wake me up too. Anyway, I jump out of bed and head to take my morning shower. Once in the shower, I use my preferred soap and shampoo. I wash myself up in a certain order of tasks and I'm done. The occasional stand around and enjoy the comfort of the water does take place, but I quickly realize that the day is calling me. The water goes off, I open the curtain and there's my towel, Mr. Consistent. I grab it from its faithful location and dry off. From there it's clean the teeth, slap on some deodorant and just make sure I smell half decent. This is my morning.

In review of everything so far, I can safely say that these are my morning habits. I have my certain products that I like to use, I have a certain order of doing things, and these things all have their place. In short, I am comfortable and use to how things get done. The only time things become a problem is when CHANGE comes into play. For example, my shampoo runs out, I forget to replace my wash cloth and I find myself without, or if my wife decides she is going to hang her towel in my spot.

STOP. This is where the story gets funny, but also kind of complicated.

I can't remember exactly how it happened, but the short story is my wife started hanging her towel in my normal spot. Now typically she takes the left side and I take the hook on the right side. No big deal right? I tried not to think anything of it the first time and thought maybe it was just a fluke. Well, it went on for another couple days. During these couple days, my annoyance level started to peak. I thought "how could she take my spot, this is my spot", "how dare she"; pretty ridiculous right? I finally convinced myself that we had to talk about it. I needed to know if I needed to adjust my habits moving forward or see if she'd be willing to move back to her spot. Here's how it went.

Hey babe, we need to have a talk. She was sitting innocently on the couch just doing her thing. She looked at me with concern and asked what about. I hesitated and said, "We need to talk about the towel situation." I must have looked ridiculous. She looked at me with confusion. I held my ground and proceeded, "your towel has been hanging in my spot recently and I need to know if you plan on keeping it there." She didn't realize it was such a big deal. She smiled at me and said that she would be willing to move it back to her old location. I breathed a sigh of relief and after a little more discussion, we laughed about the entire situation.

What did I learn here? A couple things...

The first was the importance of good communication in marriage. Can you imagine if I would have let something like this fester for weeks, or even months and let it destroy my marriage. I would have been crazy! She didn't even realize it was such a big deal to me and was more than willing to change back to her spot. Marriage requires give and take by both partners, no matter how small or large the situation appears.

The second was the realization of my habits. Habits help us run our lives at a smoother pace, but they can also make us just a little too comfortable. In starting out with my walk with Christ, I had to make some big changes to my habits. From the music I let influence me, to the way I spent my free time, to the way I led my marriage and so much more. Jesus was a man that led a life of habits that were about teaching, sacrificing and loving other people. Following him requires a new set of habits, a new outlook on life and new view on what's important. Area you ready to make these changes? Are you ready to change your life for Christ?

And I learned again that God has a great sense of humor...

Feel free to share a funny story about how habits can control certain parts of your life.
Or share your thoughts on how following Christ requires a change of our habits.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Man Up Leadership!

Have you heard of Man Up Leadership?

Man Up Leadership is an app for your phone or for your browser. The app was released at the beginning of this year and is growing quickly. What makes the app so great and effective? It consists of the four following categories:


The resources section contains powerful articles and videos that are written for men and by men. The Manturity Blog joins the ranks of Blog of Manly, My One Pursuit, FiveStarMan, Fearless Men and many more! The Challenges section is led by founders Josh and Tyler. The two men put out a new video every Monday that contains a serious challenge for all men to step up and accomplish! The Hurdles section is the heavy hitter on the app. Any man can write about whatever he is struggling with, needs advice about or if he needs some prayer support. 

As stated above, the Manturity Blog posts will now be featured in the Resources section on the app. It has been amazing to see how God has blessed the Blog since it's inception. This partnership is just another example of God showing me how faithful He is and continues to be. 

I would love to hear if you have downloaded the app and hear what you think about it. Do you agree that this could bring real change to the men of this culture or world? 

Click here to learn more about Man Up Leadership!

Friday, March 1, 2013


All I could do was stand there. I tried to keep my eyes closed, but it was as though they were forced open. The gates were a distance off, but they looked larger than anything I had ever seen. The bridge just before them was falling apart and went on for miles. Jagged rocks lined the edges. They fell off as needed and changed the path continually. The bars were long and thick; all black. Not the shiny black that you're used to on a gate, but flat and dull. Something made me look behind me and all I could see was other people standing and staring at the same thing. Our clothes torn and ragged, we were here. Hell.

Without blinking I considered how I got here. The past world was a faint memory, but I could still feel some of the emotion, the hatred, the fear, the failure and everything else that went with that place. How stubborn and stupid could I have been? How oblivious was I that I ended up... here. I suddenly get a distant memory of my wife and my children. I slowly turn my head, as I can't move my chained up feet. They're no where. I attempt to open my eyes, but things only get fuzzier. I attempt to speak, but my voice is not there. My worry increases. Where are they? Are they safe? There was nothing I could do but look back towards the gates. Somehow I had moved closer to them, the entrance...

It wasn't but a moment later that I realized my wife, my kid's, my once important things were all gone. It was hard to imagine a place like Heaven after what my eyes were seeing at the present moment, but if I could I'd cry. This was it. This was what I lived for. All the times I denied, Chr, Chri, Christ. All the times I trusted in things rather than Him; all those times I worshiped my work, my computer, my hobbies and my whatever; all the blank moments at Church; all the fake handshakes; the fake smiles; the lies to my wife; the lie I was to my children...  They'll never know me now. Their memories will fade and so will I.

 The wind begins to pick up the pace, enough so that I have to move forward for the first time. It's strong. A force that gave me chills and made me move. My steps were small. They only had one direction to go toward and it lead straight to the bridge, straight to the gate. As the wind picked up, my vision grew worse. My skin started to peel. My mouth and eyes cringed. Others started to pass me and I could see them on the bridge. Between the chains and the jagged rocks, only half the people made it across. I could see them being pulled down. The cries. The fear. The people who went through life thinking they never needed anyone but themselves, suddenly yearning for help, even begging for it. But no one was there to help. The role had been reversed on us. A selfish life yields no help, no results. Empty.

I came up to the bridge and looked down. The wind was still way too strong to attempt a return back. It had looked like 100 feet wide from a distance but turned out to be about 10 feet wide. And with the amount of people, it was heel to heel; shoulder to shoulder. I did whatever I could to stay standing. Pushing, shoving, and yelling. This is what we did in life to get where we wanted and we're doing it here. The worst part was, we had no idea why we trying to get across safely. We had no idea what lie ahead, but it didn't matter. We, I, was the only thing that mattered. I managed to get across and get to the gate. The bridge ended and the path widened. It had to, the gate was enormous. 

Once there, I looked up only to close my eyes as quick as possible. They were reopened. There was no where to hide here, no secret of what lie ahead, your fate was decided. Truth told, we decided our fate before we ever even got to this place. We were told to get in a line and wait. Those who fought were sent back to the jagged rocks. We entered inside the gate one by one. This was it. This was the end. I asked myself one more time if it was worth it. I got to the entrance and was forced in. No words. No warning of what was to come. I wanted to do things on my own in life, I chose this path, I chose not to follow Christ, I chose to leave my family behind. The gates were now behind me and all that I faced was eternity.