Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Children's Reputations

I recently started Vlogging in the hopes of being able to interact with you, my readers, more. I'm new at this, so it will take some time to work out the kinks, and improve upon my skills. My wife and other lady friends have already said I need to smile more, so I'll keep that in mind! :-)

Share your thoughts, and let me know what you think. Also, if you have any ideas on a topic you'd like me to cover, or have a question you'd like me to answer as a Vlog, please let me know. Thanks, and God Bless...

(If you'd like to receive new videos as I release them, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Male Domain's YouTube Channel

I've been wanting to Vlog for quite some time, and finally made my desires a reality. (For those unfamiliar, the word 'Vlog' is short or 'Video Log' just like 'Blog' is short for 'Web Log.) I posted my Inaugural Vlog recently and hope to post up a Vlog about once a week or so.

My first one is an introductory post and is a bit longer than I wanted, and will be sure to shorten them in the future. I hope to Vlog about various topics and will be looking for ideas to tackle from you, my readers. So if you have some thoughts on topics, let me know.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel and will get new videos as they get released, by visiting us at The Male Domain's YouTube Channel. Thanks, you all, and be blessed!

PS --There's a little box in bottom right hand corner of our side bar that will show our newest video postings as well!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Result of NOT Fathering Your Sons

6 year old, Aliyah Shell, pictured above.

This past weekend saw 49 people get shot, with 10 fatalities, in the city of Chicago, where I grew up. One of the victims who died was a 6 year old little girl named, Aliyah Shell, who was shot while sitting with her mother on the front porch of their home, as her mom brushed her hair while they prepared to attend a birthday party on a warm, sunny afternoon.

Read the article here.

The reason this post is entitled, "The Result of NOT Fathering Your Sons," is because these shootings, as with most violent crimes, were perpetrated by young men with no fear of God, and no measure of self control, which fathers, like myself, are commanded to instill in their sons when they're growing up. When boys are allowed to grow up without men teaching them what manhood is all about, we end up with weekends like this one. The two young men who shot and KILLED this innocent little girl are 18 and 16 years old, who's lives are now forever changed, like Aliyah's.

I have a hard time believing that these two young men have hard working fathers who spend lots of time with them living at home. If that turns out to be the case, I will be very surprised. More often than not, young men who commit crimes like this are being raised by single moms, who are doing what they can to pay the bills and keep food on the table, while the men who fathered the boys, are out doing their own thing. I grew up in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood, so I know what I'm talking about. But not for the grace of God, I would have been one these young men.

Having said that, I really wouldn't have a problem with the fathers of young men who commit crimes like this being held responsible in some fashion. True, the fathers didn't pull the trigger of the gun that killed Aliyah, but neither did they train the hearts of the boys who did, and for that, I say, hold them responsible.

Now the Chicago Police Department is scrambling as they look for ways to combat violent crime in Chicago, so that the citizens there can feel safe, when the only answer needed is found in the world's most bought and read book in human history, the Bible. One verse we can start with is Ephesians 6:4, which reads;
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

Or how about Psalm 78:5, which says,
 "He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children,"
 And if we're man enough to read on, Deuteronomy 21: 18-21 says this to fathers of rebellious sons:

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Now, will sin reign in the hearts of some sons, even though they've been brought up and disciplined by Godly men, yes...

Are men responsible for their own actions in the sight of the LORD, yes...

Can the violence we see in our culture being thrust upon society, in large part, by men, be GREATLY reduced, yes it can...

This little girl didn't have to die in the arms of her mother, who had dreams and goals for her little gift from God, the way that she did. The two young men who killed Aliyah will pay for their crime, in this life and the next, apart from faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sin, and as a society, we long for justice. But what about their fathers? Are they around? Are they alive? Do they even know what their sons did???

In Revelation 21:5, Jesus said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And to that, I say, Amen.

As men, we must embrace our roles in society and do our duty to the LORD. He has commanded us to disciple our children, to love our wives, and to work hard. With a quick glance at culture, it doesn't take long to see how men have completely abandoned what they were created for, and wear their refusal to be a man as a badge of honor. LORD help us.

As you go through your day, keep Aliyah's family in your prayers, as well as the city of Chicago. I have family that live there, know men ministering there, and believe God can do amazing things there.

May every man do his duty...


**If you're able to help with the $8,000.00 funeral cost, please visit my wife's blog where she's collecting money to give to the family. This little girl was best friends with my friends young daughter in kindergarten, so this story is very disturbing on several fronts. If you can't help financially, please pray as you remember to. Thanks, and God Bless...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

CAPTIVATED: Finding Freedom in A Media Captivated Culture

A few nights ago, my family gathered together for movie night, and watched a new movie that  came out a few months ago entitled Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture. It was a blessing to watch and very informative. I know that it can be hard to find good quality movies to watch in your home, but this is one I highly recommend and will spark wonderful discussion with your children afterwards.  Here is a peek at the trailer:

The description:

Everywhere we go we are surrounded by screens. Have we entered a techno utopia or a virtual prison? Should we be unreservedly celebrating or cautiously analyzing? Has social media given us richer, fuller friendships, or have our relationships become robotized? What should we expect from the next generation, when the average American child has over fifty-three hours of screen time a week?

Discover answers to these questions and more from church leaders, media experts, and inspiring individuals and families from across America, and learn how God’s Word addresses the unique media challenges which our captivated culture must face.

One of the strongest points of this movie is that they had teenagers, dads, and women personally speak out about their addiction to media and how they overcame their circumstances. My children were impressed, encouraged and challenged by speakers such as Ray Comfort, Kevin Swanson, KP Yohannan, and other godly men in the movie. This is a wonderful movie for family movie night!

You can get this powerful movie here now on sale for 10% off. 

Or at Amazon HERE.

Also, my wife is trying to save people money when they purchase items from Vision Forum by using this coupon code. Check it out!
LAST DAY to save $15 off a $50 order at Vision Forum!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Here's To Good Health!

Stacy Kennedy wrote a nice piece on the importance of men living a healthy lifestyle. From eating right, to getting enough exercise, it pays to get healthy. Her article can be read on the Reboot Your Life website by clicking here. Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lessons Learned From My 60 Day Juice Fast

November 2011 ------------------------------------ March 2012

I recently concluded a 60 day juice fast, and wanted to share briefly, a few lessons I learned during my journey. I originally set out to do 30 days, but during that time watched the documentary, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," by Joe Cross, on Netflix and was inspired to extend it to 60.

What I learned:
  • God's design for the human body is incredibly resilient. (Your body knows how to take care of itself if given the chance to.)
  • You don't NEED food to live on, you NEED nutrients. 
  • When allowed to repair itself, your body's an amazing physician. (Your body will burn fat, repair cells, detoxify itself, and slim down evenly through the process.)
  • Years of neglect can be undone in a short matter of time.
  • Juicing fruits and vegetables is fun, and can be a family endeavor. 
  • Getting healthy is contagious. (During my fast, I put out a "10 for 10" challenge on this blog, and got about 12 people who took me up on it. As well, three of my children also fasted, my 9 year old son and 15 year old daughter fasted for 3 days, and my 19 year old daughter fasted for 10 days. As well, my wife also fasted several meals during that time!)
  • The Lord will give you strength to accomplish what you don't think you can do.
  • Food should be appreciated, not taken for granted.
  • There's an entire community of people out there fasting and trying to get healthy. (The fan page for the movie has over 113,000 fans!
  • Complete strangers will get behind you and encourage you toward your goal.
  • Everywhere I went smelled like food. 
  • Your body will respond to your mind's decision.
  • It's totally worth it.
  • God is good!
It was quite an adventure, and took me down many roads. I spent several outings with my wife and friends in restaurants and diners, and really wasn't tempted much. For those interested in the numbers, here they are:
  • Total weight loss - about 65 pounds. 
  • Waist - from size 48 to 42/44. 
  • Abdomen - lost about 8-9 inches around.
My goal now is to keep the weight off by eating much healthier. I will continue to juice in the mornings for my essential green needs, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Am I going completely green, or vegan, no I'm not. But I won't be eating meat like I used to either.

I look at it this way; if most of my meals are healthy, then on Sundays, when my church has their delicious potlucks of meat and desserts, or when my wife and I go out for lunch or dinners, I'll have the freedom to indulge a bit without feeling guilty. I plan to make plenty of my own salads for lunch and will begin a good exercise program as well. And oh yeah, I will fast again. I'm even thinking about the next 60 day fast---seriously. You with me on this one???

So here's to good health my friends. Take care of yourselves out there, and If I can help in any way, please contact me and I would consider it an honor to offer my input!

Living in the Good of the Gospel

From the movie, "Passion of the Christ"

This past Sunday, March 4, 2012, I had the honor of preaching at New Hope Christian Fellowship, a church I'm helping to plant in Northwest Indiana, and I preached from John 8. The story is well known among Christians, and was powerfully portrayed in Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ."

My message was titled, "Living in the Good of the Gospel," and I encouraged everyone to always remember a few things that would help them do this. Among them are:
  • Never take your salvation for granted. (We all deserved death, but received life.)
  • Remember who we were without Christ, and rejoice in who we are with Him!
  • Like the woman in John 8, when rightfully condemned, we were allowed to walk away clean, redeemed, and forgiven.
  • All have sinned in some fashion. (Romans 3)
  • All sin is deserving of death. (Romans 6)
  • We received mercy, grace, and salvation so others may do the same. 
My hope and prayer for you as well, is that you'll take some time today to reflect on the goodness of the gospel, and how undeserving anyone is to receive God's mercy, but have. God wants His children to know they've been redeemed and set free. He wants us to know as well, that when we sin, He's prescribed how it should be handled in 1 John 1, namely-- confession.

If you've stared death in the face, and have lived to tell about it, thank the Good Lord above for His amazing grace. Living in the Good of the Gospel is a state of mind and an attitude of the heart. How you doing with it?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Christian Tatoo Artists

(From the Archives of The Coloseum)

This is Seattle tattoo artist and shop owner Damon Conklin. Scary dude, right? Think again.
He's an evangelical Christian who uses tattoos as a form of religious expression.

Christian tattoo shops are gaining a lot momentum these days. Some of the artwork being done is fantastic. But not all would agree that tattoos on Christians is OK, right?

So I'm asking what you think.

Should Christians get tattoos?

Is any scripture violated by getting them?

What message is sent by Christians who get them or have them?

To read the full article on the tattoo artist above click here! I could be wrong, but I believe he goes to Mars Hill.