Friday, April 27, 2012

Man Up, Men of God!








What was it in the films “Braveheart” and “Gladiator” that still appeals to men, so much so, that both films are stacked in thousands of men’s DVD collections at home?

I know what they both represented in me…

Courage.

Courage driven by a passion of values. 

In both films the heroes lost their loved ones.  From that moment on, both characters set their faces like flint (à la Isaiah 50:7) and would not stop at anything until mission accomplished.

I think every man wants to identify with heroes like those.  Every man wants to aspire to be just like them.  Gone are the days when Superman was the hero du jour.  Now…it’s PASSION over a cause that men want.  And I think it’s because men have had their passion over the years eroded by changes in our culture.

I had lunch with one of my best friends—a 91-year-old war veteran who flew planes in the South Pacific.  Howard told me that when World War II was in full swing, when Americans were fighting in both the Pacific and in Europe and Africa, the entire nation was driven by the war effort.  Everyone was united and so focused on winning that hardly anyone spoke of anything else.  Nearly every man in the country was chomping at the bit to fight for freedom.  And while they did, their women were active in factories, manufacturing supplies for the cause.

We have lost that, men.  We have been criticized, feminized, and mesmerized by intimidation coming our way.  Since the hippie movement in the 1960’s (something I lived through), fighting for a cause was no longer a noble thing unless it was a fight against the establishment—any establishment, even if it was good.  Superman of the 50’s was taken out in the 60’s by a kryptonite of Krishna-ism.  Good became bad, noble became ignoble, and pure became out of touch.

But now is the time.

Now is the time to recapture what we were placed on this earth for.

Now is the time to join the ranks of martyrs before us and martyrs among us.  Yes, that’s what I said.  We may not die for our Christianity like hundreds of others are EVEN TODAY in other parts of the globe.  But we need to seek and seize the passion that the LORD of Lords has added to the mix when He shaped us men at birth.

Now is the time to identify with the loss of our “loved ones”—not our immediate family members like those in the two films, but the loved ones who’ve preceded us some 2000 years ago.  Loved ones mentioned in Hebrews 11:35-38:

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.  Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.  They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

Then there are our loved ones whose fate was recorded in history just a few years later; those who were sliced in two by Roman swords, who were impaled on long wooden poles, who were fed to ravenous animals in the Coliseum, who were crucified by the hundreds along the Appian Way (the main road leading into Rome), then lit on fire as human torches, the glow of which was seen for hundreds of miles.

Now is the time for courage in an era where literally millions of orphans (163 million, to be exact) are wasting away in so-called “welfare” institutes and children “care” centers, reminiscent of Hitler’s cowards torturing prisoners in “work camps.” 

The documentary I saw recently, entitled “Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children,” will shake your world--children…CHILDREN…with skin hanging on skeletons like miniature Auschwitz victims.  Children peering outside their institutions at cemeteries awaiting their fate.

Meanwhile, the men of God sleep.

Meanwhile, the men of God brush and blow-dry their hair before going to yet another men’s breakfast.

Meanwhile, the men of God hum and haw about which new car to buy next, while running the three-legged race at a summer men’s camp.

Meanwhile, the men of God close ranks in their family, draw a line in the sand, and tell God, “I will here and no farther!”

Men of God, RISE UP!  RISE UP!  RISE UP!

We have a church down our street that told a family they will not allow them to have a fundraising dinner in their hall so they can adopt a desperate orphan. Why?  Because if they did that, they’d have to allow everyone to do the same.  What?!

Men of God, I am not calling for rebellion.  I am calling for REVOLUTION! 

And the place to start is on your knees.

Get before the Lord and your family and repent of not being a man.  Not being a man of God!

Do you not realize that the true heroes and warriors of world history were men of God?

What has happened to us that we allowed a society to suck the passion of God out of us?

Repent.

Then get off your knees and tell your family that new things now matter.  That this life is not worth saving.  That you will no longer save for a retirement that will not last anyway. 

That you will put up with inconvenience…

and hard work…

and an old age that may not mean all of the kids are out of the house…

and that you will now, once and for all, trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the LION OF JUDAH, with your sustenance, your family’s sustenance, your joy in life, your purpose in life, YOUR LIFE!

Man up and rise up, men of God.

Be on a perpetual reconnaissance mission to seek out ways in which to live kingdom life—to obey our Lord’s commands to care for the orphan and the widow, to visit the sick and the prisoner, to feed the poor.

Think: 163,000 million orphans on the face of the planet is not a world problem.  IT…IS…OUR…PROBLEM!

I beg you, let the Christ in you, the Lion of Judah, wield the sword of Truth and lead your family by your courageous example. 

Shun mediocrity and GO TO WAR!

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? YOU ARE A MIST that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
                                                                                                ~ James 4:13-14

30 comments:

  1. Well said brother - courage is NOT a lack of fear - courage is being scared to death but doing the right thing anyway!

    aus and co.

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  2. Pure awesomeness. Thanks for sharing! And man, that is so sad about that church! Let's pray for them, that their eyes and hearts would be open to the words they just uttered! And that their hearts would break for the things that break HIS heart!

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  3. Thank you, Anonymous. Excellent way to pray, by the way!

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  4. Thank you for your words! I am thankful to be married to a man who has courage. Courage to say yes to 7 going on 8 orphans in 7 years of marriage. We need men and women of the church to rise up!

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  5. Wow. I don't know if my husband will read this-and I know it is directed at men. But the lack of zeal and passion and laying down our own lives to do whatever the Lord calls us to do applies to women as well.
    Wow. Well said.

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    1. Thank you so much. And you're right. We can all use this. But statistically, it's the men who are the reluctant ones, pulling the reins on the passion of their wives, unfortunately. Please pray for breakthrough.

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  6. Awesome. That was beautiful and I wish everyone would read it.

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    1. Thank you, Susan. Let's let God get the glory by spreading it around in the social media. My heart is to get the message out. Thanks again.

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  7. Amen Anthony! So well said and strong- felt like something Maximus would have said himself had he been a Christian! ;) Praying for you guys as you follow the Lord through your Bulgarian adoption process!

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    1. Thank you, Caleb. As Maximus would say to you:

      "Strength and honor."

      :)

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  8. Oh to have a society where millions watched with excitement who the next orphan adopted was, instead of who their football team will draft. Thanks for writing this.

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    1. You're right, guys. We can name just about anything that our society is more interested in than rescuing orphans and the like. Lord Jesus, have your way!!!

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  9. Sounds like you are calling for another 'Reformation' and I heartily concur. With all respect to my RC brothers and sisters of course ;)
    Much of the Universal Church has once again lost it's purpose, and it seems that buildings, image, and funds are completely central to the cause. It is as simple as simply reading the scriptures to see what God has to say about life's purpose and our tasks. The Bible is not a business manual, and yet we treat and run church congregations as if they are businesses. When we do that, the 'bottom line' will always come first at the expense of those who would require most of the resources, the weak, vulnerable and sick. Those we exist for.
    Funny thing; the Church is never once likened to a business in the Bible, it is an army, a priesthood, a body etc. but never a financially profitable business. It is about serving, sacrifice, obedience, salt and light at the expense of our very lives. Not profiteering and 'pocketeering', forgive my sloganeering!

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    1. The Mr. All I have to say is, Sloganeer away! Great comment. Thanks!

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  10. We were just told the same thing by our church: We don't allow the use of the facilities for personal events.... Taking care of orphans shouldn't even be viewed as a personal event. The entire body should be involved. In fact there shouldn't even be a be a need for a one-off fundraiser for any family. The church should already have funding methods in place to help families willing to take in a orphan. It's not a "calling", it's a Biblical mandate!

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    1. Paul, that is very well put. It is not a calling. It's a biblical mandate. So, so true.

      And I am very saddened at the thought that what happened in the church I mentioned and the one you mentioned is more prevalent than we might expect. Through taking a stand in love, we can all allow the Father to use us to make a difference. Until then, we must all pray that the Holy Spirit hovers and moves on the face of the planet, stirring our Lord's precious bride to action.

      Thank you for a great comment.

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    2. Paul, you are SO RIGHT! I have to let this truth fuel my prayer, not my cynicism. I have prayed for TWO orphans by name with tears recently and they have found homes. Keep praying, keep sowing, keep living sacrificially. We must run with the goal in mind. He hears our groans!

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  11. I hesitate to post this because you walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I also agree with a lot of this and the sentiment behind it, but respectfully disagree on this.

    What is wrong with saving for retirement ? The Bible does talk about the parable of the ant and being prudent in saving. In fact the book of Proverbs talks about the value of hard work and being prudent with money. Now I am not saying we should hoard money and not give any and we should be content with things. But trusting God does not mean I do not budget or save, buy things in bulk and try to be prudent with the blessings I've been given. The parable of the 10 talents illustrates this more than most.

    I don't know who you see as examples, but I found this statement of yours particularly condescending and I resented that.

    "the men of God brush and blow-dry their hair before going to yet another men’s breakfast."

    The men I know are hard working, trying to hold down a job especially in this economy. Their wages and hours are cut, they have to do more work to make up for the shortage in manpower and despite all this, many lose their jobs. In many cases, they drive miles one way for a new job and they don't see their families except on weekends or move away from their families for temporary work to pay the bills. These are the kinds of men I know sir and my husband is among them. A good, hardworking man of God who may not be open to the idea of adoption, but takes good care of his family, sponsors children and sets aside money to give to families who adopt. He hardly has time to brush his hair, let alone blow dry it.

    Your message is a powerful one and much needed, but if you want to reach people like me and my husband, may I respectfully suggest avoiding such condescending stereotypes.

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    1. Hi. I do appreciate your comment, but I must respectfully disagree with you. My post is not condescending in the least. My post is a call to action. My post is not a judgment for saving for retirement. My post is a challenge to those who store their treasures on earth and not in heaven, who place their trust in things and money instead of the Source of those things for which we need to be good stewards. If you have not interpreted the heart of this post as such, then there is a disconnect with how you are interpreting it.

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous. God bless you for your encouragement and please pray for a vast impact.

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  13. What a powerful hue and cry for the men of God! Thanks Amthony

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  14. (found your blog from Adeye's.)

    halllllelujah! couldn't have said it better!

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. Pray and spread the word!

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