Top 10 Posts for April 2014

top 10 list 2010-resized-600

In case you missed them, here are the top 10 posts for the last month:

  1. Heaven is for Real
  2. When a Staff Member or Volunteer says, “I’m Done”
  3. Getting Married is Easier than Staying Married
  4. Why Revolution Church Doesn’t Have a Women’s Ministry
  5. You’re One Choice Away from Wrecking Your Life
  6. Get the Men, Win the War
  7. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize
  8. Why You Aren’t a Leader
  9. Stop Giving Him an Out
  10. What I’ve Learned from Being Married for 10 Years
Enhanced by Zemanta

Women, It Matters Who You Marry

Marriage

(Photo credit: Lel4nd)

This past week, as I wrapped up our series Beautiful at Revolution, I preached on Proverbs 31. If you missed it, you can listen to it here.

One of the things that struck me is verse 23 when we are told what her husband is like.

There are many sides and applications to this verse.

The first is to women. I’ll blog another time about fathers and the impact of this verse.

In our culture, we often minimize the impact that comes from who we marry. Whether it is movies, the rise in divorce, the lack of seeing strong marriages as we grow up, but whatever it is, many people seem to minimize the impact of this decision.

Outside of your choice to follow Jesus, who you marry will have more of an impact on your life than any other decision you make.

The woman in Proverbs 31 marries well. She marries a man who is respected. He is at the city gates, with the elders. The gates is where decisions are made. He is part of leading the city and community. He is respected by the others.

Women, if you want marry well, marry a man who is respected by other men.

Men respect men.

Don’t marry a guy you think you will make into a man. That doesn’t happen.

How do you know if you are dating a man or a boy? Here are few ways to find out:

  1. Get him around men you respect. Men can spot men. They can also spot a fake. Women can struggle with this because they fall for a boy and can’t see the truth. Those around you can. Ask men you respect what they think of him. This might be a father, a pastor, someone in your MC, someone who cares about you and wants to see you find a man.
  2. Ask him about his vision for his life. This one question separates men from boys. Men have a vision for their life, which means they will have a vision for your life as a couple. Boys do not. They are simply floating through life waiting for it to happen.
  3. Look at how he worships. Does he read his bible? Does he serve in a church? Does he love Jesus? How does he worship? How does he use his money? How he does these things while you date is exactly what he’ll do when you are married. Most of the time, men will take these things down a notch when they get married, but that’s a post for another day.
  4. Look at his work ethic. Does he have a job? Does he provide for himself? Is he saving money or getting into debt? Men work hard. Men are called to provide (1 Timothy 5:8).

Ladies, marry well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Are You Ready to Fight?

book

Fight kicks off 1 week from today!

Fight is a series geared toward men. We will use the life of Samson to see the battles that men fight with their past, their present and their future. We’ll look at what plagues men and keeps them from becoming the man God created them to be, what men who win those battles do that other men don’t, how a wife can help her husband become the man God created him to be, how to help your daughter find a man worth having, how a single woman can find that man and how to raise sons who become the men who win the battles that matter most. Here’s what we’ll cover in this series:

February 16: When Strong Men are Weak
February 23: Emotions that Take Strong Men Down
March 2: You’re One Decision Away from Wrecking Your Life
March 9: Failing Forward

Enhanced by Zemanta

Photoshop, Beauty & Women

A photographer showed me this last week when I mentioned I was preaching on body image. It shows the standard that our culture holds for looks is simply impossible, because it isn’t real.

Just a warning, the woman in this video is not wearing a lot of clothes, but it shows the sad reality of the standard for women.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Book Notes | The Catalyst Leader

book

The Catalyst Leader by Brad Lomenick was an incredible leadership book. I don’t know how else to qualify this book. If you are a leader, or hope to be a leader, this book is one you need to read this year.

I’ve already shared some thoughts from it on How to figure out God’s will, The time has come…, How to be an authentic leader and How to be capable to accomplish your dreams.

In this book, Lomenick uncovers the 8 things leaders today must do to be who God created them to be. Even though this book is marketed as a book for younger leaders (and if you’re under 30 you should read this), it is for a leader of any age.

One of the things I’ve been chewing on is this

To get to the top and to be successful at the top requires two different skill sets.

In fact, after reading this book it made my goals for growth in 2014 obvious to me.

Here are a few highlights:

  • We must never compare our beginning to someone else’s ending.
  • When people lead well, they are more likely to finish well.
  • Ambition must be grounded in wisdom. Inspiration must be pursued with integrity. Dreams must be built with boundaries. And passions need the steady hand of principles to guide them.
  • The right thing said in the wrong way is the wrong thing.
  • Without knowledge of one’s calling, leading well is impossible.
  • Leaders who make the biggest impact also have the strongest sense of calling.
  • A great lesson about leadership: I’m best when I’m being me.
  • If we don’t learn to be content with who God has made us and called us to be, then we will never reach our potential as influencers.
  • We must grow comfortable with who we are before we can share that person with others.
  • God is more interested in the sanctity of his people than the success of our ministries.
  • The best leaders is that they have the ability to “make it happen” and get something over the finish line.
  • Part of being a disciplined leader is being ready.
  • The most influential platforms today revolve around sharing and generosity.

To see other book notes, click here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Making Room for What Matters | Live the Life You Want

book

On Sunday, I finished our Breathing Room series at Revolution by looking at how to find breathing room between work, life and everything that has to get done. This week, I want to share 6 simple ways I’ve done that and you can to. I’m going to share one each day so you have time to process them and hopefully put some things into practice.

The first one we looked at was how to get a good night sleepTuesday, we talked about why you should take a break every 90 minutes. Wednesday, we looked at what electronics can do to our margin. Yesterday we looked at what will probably be the most controversial or at least, the one you think is unattainable: Pay people to do what you hate

Today is the second last one, but also one of the most important things to making room for what matters most: Live the life you want, not the one others want you to live. 

This came up in the first week of our Breathing Room series and it is a game changer for me.

Too many people live the life others want them to live, make choices others expect them to make and miss life. They leave their dreams on the table and live a life they don’t want to live.

How sad.

This can be seen in the jobs people take, the houses they live in, the sports and activities their kids do, even the people they have as friends or marry.

Think for a minute, what is it that you want to accomplish with your one and only life?

What things if you don’t do will you regret? Travel? Writing a book? Retiring early? Taking up a hobby? Starting a ministry or company?

What is keeping you from those things?

Fear stands in the way of many. What will people think about it?

So far, we have done 2 things that friends and family thought were crazy. We were told by friends and family members that planting a church was not a smart career move because of the percentage that don’t survive. We were told that adopting would bankrupt and set us back financially.

Yet, if we didn’t do those two things, we would live with regret and always wonder, “What if?”

Living with regret is not living.

Make a commitment today, not to live with regret. Live with passion and abandon.

[Image]

Enhanced by Zemanta

Why do a Series on Men & Women?

book

I’ve been asked by some pastors why we are doing a series for women and one for men.

The reason is simple, our culture has no idea what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We struggle with identity issues, body image, how hard we should work, how we should dress, what should we put into our bodies. No one is sure how to let go of their past, how to find freedom from addictions.

While there are commonalities between men and women in their struggles, there are ones that are unique to men and women.

Because we often separate men and women at church in distinct ministries to talk about these issues, the other misses hearing about them. For example, I knew women struggled with body image issues, but while researching my talk for this week on the topic, I was blown by how much and why they struggle. Men can’t help their wife, daughters or be a good brother in Christ without knowing this.

In the same way, women know men desire to work and provide for a family, but why is that so important? How can that destroy and drive a man? If we simply separate men and women all that time to discuss these, we will never have true biblical community that walks together through it.

Another one, why do women struggle with the desire to have it all? Men do as well, but women do in a different way. Men desire is largely material and work related. Women struggle to have the body, hair, looks, house (spotless by the way), kids, perfect marriage and sex life, while cooking great meals and making money. Where does that struggle come from? What kind of legacy does that create?

For men, they struggle with boundaries and self-control when it comes to lust and porn. This isn’t news for women. What many don’t know is why that happens. Where it comes from and how porn rewires the brain of those who see it. How that will affect their marriage, how it will affect their daughter who will feel pressure in college to dress and act like a pornstar because that is all the men around her know.

But, if we bring men and women together and have a frank and honest discussion, maybe we can find  a new way forward, a gospel way forward.

When we first planned to spend 7 weeks on this (3 for women and 4 for men), I said, “This will either be one of our best ideas or worst.” We’ll see.

[Image]

Enhanced by Zemanta

Beautiful starts in 2 Weeks!

book

We are doing something this year at Revolution that we’ve never done before. After we finish our Breathing Room series we will do a series geared to women and one geared to men. Don’t worry though, each week will have clear relevance and application to everyone.

Here’s what is happened starting January 26th:

Even when you don’t feel it. Even when you’re not happy. Even when you feel condemned. Right now, someone thinks you are BEAUTIFUL. God wants you to see yourself the same way. Join us Jan. 26 – Feb. 9 for Beautiful, a series for women and the men who pursue them.

Our pastor, Josh and his wife Katie will be teaching this series together as we look at what God created women to be, how to become that woman, and what the roadblocks are to becoming that woman. We’ll look at body image issues, how to let go of your past, how to use your tongue in a positive way, and the legacy you should strive for as a woman. We will also talk to men about how to help their wives become this woman, how a single guy finds a girl that God calls “Beautiful” and how to raise girls who are “Beautiful” in the eyes of God. Here’s what we’ll look at specifically:

January 26: Me, Beautiful?
February 2: Letting Go of Your Past
February 9: The Priorities of a Woman

Enhanced by Zemanta

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

Porn hurts women.

Imagine being the woman who has to convince herself not to take it personally when her husband would rather “whet his appetite” by ogling another woman. It’s just the way men are wired; they can’t help it. It’s got nothing to do with me.But her man arouses himself with enhanced, airbrushed images of nineteen year-olds willing to humiliate and abuse themselves. It’s hard to pretend everything’s alright when she’s pretty sure he’s thinking of other women while he has sex with her.

Ron Edmondson on How physical training helps spiritual training.

One would have to be living under a rock to not know we have grown larger as a people in the United States. Obesity is a growing concern in our nation. And, few in the church have bothered with the issue or even seen it as a problem. We have no problem addressing issues such as greed or guilt, but seldom do we approach the word gluttony. Yet, in my opinion, and experience, how I feel physically almost always impacts my spiritual life.

When women lust.

We all know that men struggle with lust. But what about women? While it’s becoming more common to hear of women’s struggles with pornography use, many women still perceive that they have the moral high ground over men. Such comparisons don’t help because men and women often struggle in different ways.

 

Stephen Altrogge on The internet makes us all miserable.

In the good old days of jealousy and comparison and coveting, we compared ourselves to those close to us. When someone near to us succeeded, we felt like a failure. But the good old days are gone. Now, thanks to the Internet, we can feel like failures all the time.

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

  1. Practicing biblical hospitality.
  2. Geoff Surratt on 3 reasons guests don’t return to your church.
  3. An email from a proud deadbeat dad. Love Matt’s response. Definitely shows what is wrong with men in our culture.
  4. John Piper on Parents, require obedience from your children.
  5. 6 trends in kids ministry.
  6. Carlos Whitaker on 4 tips on how to handle social media with your kids. Great tips for parents.
  7. One father writes a letter to his daughters about body image. If you have a daughter, help her understand biblical body image.
  8. 30 hour work week.