Monday, October 25, 2010

Reformation Day Faire 2010

This past weekend, my family spent 3 wonderful days in Morton, IL., near Peoria, at the Reformation Day Faire hosted by Providence Church. This was our second year attending, and enjoyed every moment of the weekend. From the warm hospitality and wonderful meals, to the messages highlighting the life of William Tyndale and Highland games, my family had a blast. We're spending Monday recovering and are already making plans for next year!

Here's a few pics from the Faire...

Members of my church who attended!

Kevin Swanson imploring us to be Reformers!
Young men preparing for war!

Charlie Zahm in concert at the Faire!

The Caper Toss game. I missed winning by 1ft!

My boys Stephen and Ravi attacking their bud Zeke!

My little Josiah!

All made possible by the cross of Christ!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Discernment: A Lost Art in Today's World

"Which parts of a cow are good for eating, and which aren't?" "Which liquids produced by a cow are good for drinking, and which aren't?"

Most people would have no problem answering these questions because the answers seem pretty obvious. However, when it comes to other issues where discernment is needed, I see people lacking in this necessary survivor skill. They throw out the baby with the bath water, or take a blanket approach to answering questions, rather than do some critical thinking which might take some time, and might upset a few folks.

I know it's easier not to think, and it's easier to just go along to get along, but is that what Christ calls us to? As believers, we are called to have and implement discernment all the time. We must look at the culture, and be able to discern which aspects of it should be adopted, which should be adapted, and which should be rejected. I learned this three way approach to culture from Ed Stetzer, who has a great ability to discern the times and develop an approach for the gospel in a given setting.

As we move forward in our lives, my hope is that our ability to discern the times we live in, discern movements around us, and discern  crucial areas of life that we must engage, grows deeper and deeper so that we may able to live as Christ did, and wear the coat of Christ in a way that brings Him glory!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fatherhood 101

I'll be the first to admit - when it comes to fathering - I've got a long way to go. Many of the men I make time for in my life are men I can learn from when it comes to one of the most important jobs I'll ever have - fathering.

With only a limited number of hours in a day, week, or month, I know how important every decision I make regarding my time is. Saying 'Yes' to something that pulls me away from my home and family, is saying 'No' to my family. As men, we need to make hard calls and learn to live as Christ lived - sacrificially. We can't say yes to every ballgame, sports league, or guys outing that doesn't include our families. Doing so will greatly tarnish your familial legacy, or even worse, cause your children to reject the God you desire them to follow because, in their eyes, God stole their dad.

The decisions we make with our time will have far reaching implications with our children and families. Some things need our time - work, keeping up our homes and vehicles, time alone with our spouse, etc.- but others, not so much. Personally, I grew up a big sports buff, a jock if you will. I lettered in football, baseball, and swimming in high school, and was captain my senior year of several of those teams. When I wed, and even after having my first child, I still tried to maintain and feed my appetite for athletics that I thought I couldn't live without. I joined sports leagues, spent Saturday afternoons with friends at the field, and tried to catch every ball game on TV. All this was on top of working over 40 hours a week, so you can imagine, my wife and daughter didn't get much of me; and what they did get was usually left overs.

It took the Lord moving in my heart and me choosing to obey His voice to make the changes necessary to bring me back home - where I belonged. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen over night. The changes were gradual, and even today, with eight wonderful children, I'll still catch the occasional ball game (playoffs usually), and keep up with the NFL, MLB, and NBA by listening to sports talk on my drive to/from work. My boys and I are big Chicago Bears fans, so this year is starting off great with them being in first place with a 4-1 record!

I believe the Lord speaks to men about their activities all the time, but unfortunately, most Christian men ignore what He's saying to them because of what obeying it might mean. How sad, that a team or game which has no soul, feels no emotions, and  knows none of its devotees names, is valued more to many men than their own children or wives. How many men opt out of church or bible study because there's a game on that they  absolutely can't miss? I've seen and heard this far too often, even in my own my life, before I chose to obey the voice of God.

My word to you guys is this: Don't make time for the temporal by sacrificing the eternal. Your wife and kids need your time - not your money or possessions - your time. An hour with dad to a 8 year little boy or girl is like a whole day in their eyes. Sitting on the couch with your kids gathered around conveys to your family that they really matter and that dad means what he says about God. The Lord will hold us responsible for how we bring up our children (Eph. 6: 4), and how we love our wives (Eph. 5: 25), and in order to accomplish both of these commandments, somethings gotta give.

So build you an altar, lay your time consuming activities on it, gather your family around, choose to obey the voice of the Lord, and let the bonfire begin - I'll bring the marshmallows!

Feel free to share a comment of how God has changed what you choose to spend your time on, I'd love to read about it!


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Monday, October 11, 2010

Why Glorify Evil?

My family doesn't celebrate, honor, give credence to, attention to, or spend money on, Halloween. Why not? -you ask- because we're Christians, I say. We'd rather do all the above for the one who redeemed us from our voracious appetites for evil, Jesus Christ.

Now, if you're not a Christ follower, go ahead, indulge in Halloween. I don't expect you to live under biblical authority (although, even unbelievers are blessed when they adhere to biblical precepts), but, if you'd rather not, I won't hold it against you.

On the other hand, if you are a Christ follower, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb through and through, I'm curious to know why you would choose to bring attention to, exaltation to, and spend your money on, that which God says to avoid? Just curious, that's all - really - I'm not looking for a fight, or trying to judge your motives or heart, (only God can do that), but I'm always fascinated at the responses Christians give when they try to justify celebrating Halloween every year about this time. It's like Mike Tyson in a spelling bee - lots of mumbling, studdering, and sweating!

So go ahead, throw a punch, I can take it. Just stay above the belt because I'd like to have more kids!

Whatever you choose for your family, just remember this - the cross of Christ unites us, and therefore, if you disagree with me, I'm cool with that, and as an expression of my solitude with you, if we ever meet I'd be willing to to let you buy me a cup of coffee as we chat about how wrong you are on this one! Peace...


To see a short video about the origins of Halloween, visit my wife's blog, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, by clicking here! She has quite an array of opinions being expressed...


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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Focus on the Family writer, Mitch Temple, has a written a nice, short checklist to help marriages prosper in any circumstance. Read it by clicking here!

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Patriot's Club: An Exciting Way to Teach History

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ." -Patrick Henry

Here at The Male Domain, we strongly believe it is essential to raise up a new generation for the Lord in order to ensure multi-generational faithfulness from our progeny. We know it is critically important to raise godly seed that will take their stand in the day of testing.

That's why I would like to introduce Patriot's Club.