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Archive for June, 2007

A friend tipped me off that there is a great bloglink on my friend’s blog Fisher of Men to another blog that must be a smart guy, because he thinks like me.  😎  Seriously, though, it is a wonderful blog and is definitely going on my “to read” list.  Check it out, it’s called evtales.

Some of you might not like either blogs, since they are both really passionate about evangelizing the lost and not just putting on a good show for the “seekers” who are looking for the church with the best band and the coolest coffee bar!  But for the rest of you, check ’em out.

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Just finished reading “Every Man’s Battle” by Arterburn and Stoeker.  First of all, I’m glad to finally know where the term “bouncing your eyes” comes from, as well as understanding exactly what it means now.  Second, I HIGHLY recommend this book for any man.  I’ve found that a lot of books dealing with sexual purity tend to focus a lot on the really overt types of sexual sins.  For example, I read “Samson and the Pirate Monks” a few weeks back (another excellent book!) and while I got a lot from the book, the examples given in that book dealt with picking up prostitutes, visiting strip clubs, viewing pornography, having affairs, and so on.  I know that a lot of guys struggle with those kinds of sins, but I always suspected that most Christian men struggle with sexual sin without going to those extremes.  That is, the average guy in the pew might not get a sensual massage, but he might struggle with not looking at a female jogger or the cover of Cosmo while in the checkout line.

“Every Man’s Battle” deals with the battle that a typical man has with his eyes and his mind: looking at women and having impure thoughts.  We might be good at avoiding things like pornography and prostitutes, but it’s hard for the average guy to walk through a mall without being assaulted with things that would cause him to lust, from real women to Victoria Secret displays to advertisements.  It’s been well-established that men are much more visually stimulated and we’ve all heard the stats about how often men think about sexual things.

This book gives some practical ways to be pure and makes it very clear that we are dishonoring to our wives (or future wives) when we engage in these kinds of actions.  Remember, even Jesus tied adultery to “looking at a woman with lust”.  I really recommend this book and think that it would make a great study for a men’s group.  Granted, a lot of guys are involved in some pretty extreme sexual sins, but for the guy who thinks that just looking and daydreaming is not bad, this book is for them.

Not only does it deal with sexual sin and overcoming it, the book also stresses how important it is to honor and cherish your wife, no matter what.  I’m going today to get “Every Man’s Marriage” because I was so impressed with “Every Man’s Battle” and its emphasis on strong marriages.  I’ll be doing a wedding in a few weeks and I now know what I’m going to give the groom for a wedding gift.

Of all the “Men’s Interests” books I’ve read, this is one of the best.  Very practical, very honest, very biblical, very encouraging.  No pat answers, just solid advice.  Plus, there is a section at the end of every segment for women to read.  This is good, because if the average wife picks up this book and realizes what goes on in the mind of the average guy she is going to be shocked: the “woman’s section” helps to make a little bit of sense of it all (and to be fair, we don’t get why women have so many shoes).

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Next in the series based on Bob Russell’s points in his book by the same name.  I’m not 100% happy with this one, but it ended up preaching better than it looked on paper.  Thank God the Holy Spirit is there when we preach!

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Gilding the lily.

Ok, so you are probably wondering how a bunch of hip cats like me and the wife spend a wild Saturday evening, aren’t you?  Oh, you might think that we go to Club 54 or eat at La Maison Poopoo or go rock climbing or cliff diving, but no, you’re not thinking exciting enough.

Here’s how me and missus spent our Saturday night this weekend.  She held down our VERY fat and VERY mean male black cat (I’m not sure they got everything when he was neutered) and tried VERY hard to keep the sharp, pointy bits in check.  Then I grabbed his front paws and methodically clipped the tips off his very sharp and pointy claws, trying to avoid the sharp and pointy teeth.  You have to be careful trimming the nails of a dog or cat: you hit the quick and it can be extremely painful.  And bloody.  And loud.  However, when you trim a cat’s nails he will squawl like you hit the quick every time, so you have to make sure that you don’t.

Why did we do this?

To put fake nails on him, of course.  Red ones.  Bright red.  Why?  Well, the other choices were purple and pink, so we thought red would give him an air of menace, as though they were covered with blood.  And as mentally cruel as I can be to our cat, I didn’t think that pink or purple would give him the street cred in the yard that he requires.

Oh, you mean why put fake nails on a cat?

First let me finish with the how.  While the wife is holding the freshly shorn cat, who at this point is NOT very happy, to say the least, I reached into the little plastic bag, grabbed a fake nail, squirted a little bit of superglue into it, then grabbed his paw (with superglue on my fingers), pressed the pad to get the claw out, then mashed the nail on as fast as I could.  About an hour and a half later, every front claw had a red, plastic nail.  And me… did I mention that I was using superglue while wrestling a mad cat?  I had glue and tufts of black fur all over my fingers.  Gave me something to pick at during church on Sunday.

Ok, why put fake nails on the cat?  It’s keeps them from clawing the furniture, the carpet, the fence outself (to escape), the dogs, and me and the missus.  They can still retract their claws and scratch, but with plastic nails it’s more amusing than destructive or painful.  Not sure if you know this, but declawing a cat if INCREDIBLY inhumane.   They don’t just remove the nail, they take off the first knuckle of the foot.  The other technique involves cutting the tendons in the paw: not much better.  So, fake nails it is.

Yeah, that’s a fun Saturday night!

Here is a picture of the nails and a not very happy cat wearing them:

And here is a picture of that same cat being made to lie in a thought balloon.

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My blogosphere friend Rindy who writes Experiencing the Journey has started a new blog with an interesting concept.  It’s a place where you can anonymously (or not) share things that you have struggled with, are ashamed of, would like to confess, would like to discuss, etc.  Think of it as an online confessional booth.  The blog is apparently very new– there were no new comments on there as of today– but sounds like a wonderful idea.  It’s a way that we can share burdens with one another, as 2 Corinthians 1 tells us to.  Appropriately it’s called “Sharing Burdens.”  I’d like to see how it takes off and think that it could be a great place for people to help each other in this thing called life.  You can check it out at: http://sharingburdens.wordpress.com/

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Missed Opportunity?

I feel really bad.  I was at the local Christian bookstore and while looking at a shelf of books I overheard a conversation in the next aisle.  The little lady who works in the store was talking to a teen-aged guy.  The conversation went like this:

Lady: “Well, the bible DOES say it’s a sin, have you read your bible.”

He: “I don’t have a bible.”

Lady: (shocked) “You don’t have a bible?!?”

He: “No.”

Lady: “Do you go to church?”

He: “Not in the last six years when my parents stopped making me go.  The only thing I know is what my friends are preaching to me.”

Lady: “Well, the bible says it’s a sin.  If I bought you a bible, would you read it?”  (By now I had figured that they were talking about homosexuality).

He: “Sure.”

They then went over to the bible section and the lady bought him a bible.  Here’s what I feel bad about.  I was standing there overhearing the conversation.  I could tell that the lady was out of her league, not sure what advice to offer other than “read your bible” and “go to church”.  I could probably have helped the guy, or at least listened.  I thought that he must really be seeking to have gone into a big chain bible store and to have asked a random clerk for advice.  I thought about going over to offer my ear and advice, but didn’t want to “butt in.”  Still, I hated to miss an opportunity to help someone.

I was going to approach him, but by then he was gone.  He did get a bible, though I doubt he would be able to just pick it up and figure out his answers.  I circled around the parking lot looking for him, but it was too late.

I feel really bad, what a missed opportunity to help that guy out.  I really hated myself for that.

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Here is the third sermon in my latest take on my series “When God Builds a Church” based on the 10 things that Bob Russell identifies in his book of the same name (again, this is not a rip-off of a Bob sermon, I’m just using his points).

This one is on excellence: something that more of us need to focus on in the typical small church.  Enjoy.

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