What Is Forty Supposed to Look Like?

What is Forty Supposed to Look Like?

I remember a co-worker turning forty when I was a twenty-something still wet behind the college ears. Other co-workers decorated his cubicle with black balloons and banners with phrases of dread, e.g., “Happy Birthday, Dave. You’ve got one foot in the grave” and “New Member of the Over-the-Hill Gang”. I remember forty seemed very far away.

Then I blinked.

It’s that year. I’m turning forty in less than a week. Some might say I’ve looked forty for years with the rapid on-set of gray (my wife calls it silver) hair.

I don’t know exactly what forty is supposed to look like but I get the idea that wisdom should be a huge part of it after four decades on earth.

There have been times where I haven’t felt too-wise despite the gray hair.

Looking back on some stubborn times in my life, I liken myself more to a toddler trying to loosen myself from God’s grip instead of a man seeking the wisest decision.

However, despite the failings, I am grateful that looking back on four decades is not an exercise in shame but a celebration of the grace, mercy and wisdom God has provided me.

Scripture on Integrity

Scripture on Integrity

It’s difficult to define integrity in our culture today because most definitions include moral principles. It can get pretty confusing to try to define what moral principles are right, and which ones are wrong in our world. Luckily, we have the Bible to teach us what the real moral principles are that we should follow, therefore, we also know what it means to have integrity.

At the end of the day, as we follow Jesus, it’s what we do when no one is looking….and when everyone is looking….that shows us where our integrity is. What we actually do proclaims what we really believe.

Do we really spend time with The Lord? Do we read the Bible? Do we pray? Do we share the Gospel? Are we serving one another in love and good works? Are we engaging in sin when no one is looking? Are we living our lives with integrity as we follow Christ?

Here is what the Bible has to say with scripture on integrity:

5 Ways for Men to Lead Their Family

5 Ways For Men to Lead Their Family

I was considering writing another sinful confession, but I wanted to change it up this time. Instead of just writing about it, I wanted to provide some practical ways to repent of it and encourage you to do the same if needed. God has recently done some work in my life to reveal to me just how much I have not been leading my family spiritually. Yes, I might be working hard and providing for them…yes, I might not be doing anything terrible against them…yes, I do love them very much, but, I haven’t been leading them to The Lord and that is one of the worse things I could do to them.

I’ve been taking them for granted and chalking up the “little kid season” to “I”ll get to them at a later season,” which has snowballed into….me doing nothing, really. As I confessed to The Lord and to them, I started to pray and considered what I could do to get started, again.

In my experience, it seems like whenever men are talking about leading their families spiritually, most believe it is a daunting task, but who ever said it has to be? Why do we buy into this lie to begin with? Why would we think God would call us to do something that He hasn’t already equipped us to do by the power of the Holy Spirit?

God knows exactly who is in our family and why they are in our family. We can’t see all the reasons behind everything that takes place (thank goodness because we couldn’t handle it), but God has a purpose and will use any circumstance or person to bring Him the most glory. Your wife is the one and only person God has called to be your wife for a very specific reason. The same thing goes for why you have the specific kids you do. That means…they need the very specific father and husband that God is calling you to be to them for a reason.

You are God’s Plan A for your family.

These are 5 simple ways to lead your family spiritually. If you aren’t doing anything, then make a change now and get started. There’s no excuse to not spend time doing the most important thing you could do for your family.

Act Like Men Conference

Act Like Men Conference

Culture does not get to dictate what a real man is. The Bible provides us the real definition of a man. We’ve written about this topic before, and that’s why we are excited to share with you the Act Like Men conference coming up this November.

This helps explain why:

Look around. What’s so desperately needed where we live, in our country and in our world, are men who embrace all God created them to be. Men who are loud and ruthless about their own sin, but patient and full of grace in leading others. Men who long to follow God without limits and meet the needs of those around them without hesitation.

To get there we need radical surgery. It’s time to cut deep and get it all, and not be afraid of what that means. We challenge you to join thousands of men for a two-day conference this fall—to step up with us and Act Like Men.

Amen and amen!

No Mask Required

No Mask Required

It’s that time of year again. Candy, pumpkins and costumes fill the stores. As a kid, I loved this time of year. My birthday falls 5 days before Halloween so for awhile that meant a lot of celebrating and costume parties. It was great to dress up and to see friends dressed up and ready to score some candy.

Many years older, I think of how innocent that was to masquerade as a superhero, a Jedi knight or whatever else caught the eye and my mom’s budget. Many years later, it’s still fun to dress up on Halloween with the family and score a few laughs (I don’t find the candy as magical these days) as well as enjoy what friends have come up with.

But, in day-to-day life, I don’t find much use for trying to be somebody I’m not.

As a Christian gifted with salvation, the truth and the Holy Spirit, it’s tempting to want to be everything and everyone to people. Sometimes we want to share what we know to see others helped and healed. Sometimes, for less altruistic reasons, we want to appear like we have it all together to mask our own need for help and healing.

However, there is no need for a costume before God. The Bible is clear on who we should be in relation to the identity we have in Jesus Christ.

5 Fatherly Examples from God

5 Fatherly Examples from God

There’s no telling what people think when they hear the name “Father.” It could bring memories of a loving relationship, someone who is completely unknown, memories of abuse, abandonment, or raising children. Luckily, we have the Bible that defines what responsibilities a real Father should carry out. Not only out of duty, but out of honor and joy.

Scripture is filled with areas that describe what God does for us as our Father. As a father myself to Peyton and Matthew, there are many things I already feel responsible for and I am thankful I have someone who has gone before me to show me examples of what it means to be a real Dad. Jerry Bridges points out these 5 examples for us below.

Let’s be encouraged today to look at Scripture to see  5 Fatherly examples that God gives us: