What is a REAL man?

I’m assuming by the title of this blog, the songs from Real Men of Genius from Bud Light popped into your head.  I know it did for me but fortunately for all of you that’s not what I was talking about!  In the case of this post, I wanted to share with you a great message from Dave Wilson from Kensington Community Church last week.  Dave’s message was aimed specifically at the men of Kensington and how they can be a REAL man based in the truths of the Bible.

In typical Dave fashion, he used a mnemonic device (whoa! I used a big word) to help us remember the point of his message.  It worked because below you’ll find what each letter in REAL stands for.

R – Reject Passivity

E – Engage with God

A – Accept Responsibility

L – Lead Courageously

What struck me the most was rejecting passivity.  I know there have been times where I know that I should get up off the couch after a day of work and play with the kids but I didn’t.  I let my passivity keep me on the couch and miss a golden opportunity to interact with my children.  This has broader implications than just the family.  Think about our health or work.  Think about your relationships.  Think about your faith in God.  In all cases, passivity can lead to apathy.  You get what you put into things and for me, being passive is not an option.

There were so many other lessons to take away from that message and I don’t want to just go through them here.  I invite you to listen to Dave Wilson himself by checking out Kensington’s podcast HERE.  After you get to the podcast page, look for “R.E.A.L. – Rochester Hills”.  It is time well spent!

The last thing I want to do is encourage all of you to be leaders of your home and children.  Be an active participant in the lives of your kids.  Play with them and spend quality time with them.  If you don’t, someone or something else will and it might not be a good thing.  The influence we have on our kids is amazing.  Use it.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” (1 Corinithians 16:13)


In The Zone

Looking back over the last month, I’ve felt like my life has been out of control.  Not that we can ever really “control” our lives, but I’ve just felt a sense that I’m reacting to whatever the current emergency of the moment is or the next thing on my “to do list.”  Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of things going on and can get through them but the difference I’m seeing is that I’m more panicked about it.  I’m not focused and I feel like I’m living each day without a clear purpose.  Throughout all of this, the people in my life and the things I’m passionate about didn’t get my best.

Here is another way to look at it.  Michael Jordan often made remarks in post game interviews that he was “in the zone.”  It’s that feeling you get as an athlete where the game is moving so slowly around you and you’re able to anticipate your next move.  When Jordan was “in the zone” his opponents didn’t have a chance.  It wouldn’t matter what the defenses threw at him or whatever else was going on in the game, MJ could perform and execute with purpose because he knew exactly what it was that he wanted to do…win.  He had a focus and a determination to carry his team on his shoulders and win an unbelievable 6 world championships with the Chicago Bulls.

In my self evaluation over the weekend, I discovered what I needed to get back “in the zone.”  My morning devotional time.  Time spent reading my Bible and getting into God’s Word.  For me, this set the table for my day ahead.  No matter how busy I was, life just came to me and I could anticipate my next move or thought with a calmness and confidence.  This really hit home after the weekend services at Kensington Community Church.  Dave Wilson quoted Joshua 1:8-9 and it was a simple reminder for me as to what I need to stay focused daily.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

So today began my training to get back “in the zone.”  Ironically enough, I was pretty good about my daily devotional time when I was doing P90X, so I started that up again too!  I deserve to give everyone my best and this is the one way that helps me get there.  More importantly, God desires it, I need it, and my family and friends benefit from it.

Your turn…what do you do to get “in the zone”?

What difference are you going to make?

How was your Easter?  Mine was in a word…awesome!  I heard a great message from Dave Wilson of Kensington Community Church on Saturday that once again got my head spinning with ideas and motivation!  The message that day focused on how are you going to live your life?  In true Kensington fashion, they used a great visual analogy to get their point across.

Many people go through life being comfortable.  They are risk averse and like to live within the confines of their “normal life.”  It would be like riding my 6 year olds bike…training wheels and tassels included.  People generally feel good about what they’ve accomplished, where they live and what they own.  Not too flashy.  It is safe.  Personally speaking, I’ve lived most of my life in this way and up until recently have felt something was missing.  Yes, things were good.  I have a great wife and wonderful children, but something or Someone just kept tapping me on the shoulder saying, “There is more!”

When you think of Harley Davidson, what comes to mind?  Power.  Excitement.  Passion.  That’s the message Kensington got through to me.  It was in the context of what I talked about in my post about Good Friday.  Through the story of Good Friday and Easter, we are given a second chance at life to really make a difference in the world that goes beyond our immediate circle of influence.  In order to do this, you sometimes have to take some risks.  It’s not going to be comfortable.  You may fail.  It’ll stretch your boundaries and take you out of your comfort zone, but if you are successful imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll have!

Larry Page, Google’s co-founder once said, “I want to run a company where we are moving too quickly and trying too much. If we don’t make any mistakes, we’re not taking enough risk.”  Imagine that and now look what Google has become.  (Thanks to Gini Dietrich once again for the quote!)

The point of all this is to encourage you to find what you are passionate about and do it.  Make it a part of your life!  I know, it’s risky, but this isn’t a new way of thinking.  Ask any entrepreneur that’s ventured off and done their own thing.  The ones that I know are probably the most satisfied professionally and wouldn’t think twice if they could do it over again.

As for me, this mission to find a purpose and make a difference started when I read Wide Awake by Erwin McManus over a year ago.  Of the MANY quotes I wrote down in my journal, this one struck a cord, “You cannot begin to live the dream God has for you until you stop caring about only yourself.”  People matter to me and I look at every human interaction as an opportunity to leave an imprint.  My eyes are wide open for continued opportunities to make a difference.

If we are going to live the life of our dreams, it’s going to take courage, willingness to risk, to attempt, to fail, to get back up. ~ Erwin McManus, Wide Awake