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What Type Of Man Are You Going To Be Today?

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Brother in Christ,

What type of man are you going to be today?

You and I are boys by birth, but we have to choose to become a man. Dr. Joe Martin believes we can choose one of five options.

1.The Whiner:
This is the man who gets up most mornings and chooses to be paralyzed by his past. He finds it difficult to move forward in life because he’s constantly looking backward. He chooses to blame his present struggles on his past problems. The result is that he becomes what I call a “Why Baby.”

He asks questions like: Why did that happen to me? Why didn’t that happen for me? Why him (or them) and why not me?

2. The Worrier:
This is the man who is not paralyzed by his past, but he’s fearful of the future because he’s constantly looking ahead. He’s afraid to move forward. But unlike the Whiner, the Worrier doesn’t ask “Why?” because he’s too busy asking himself, “What if?” What if this happens? What if that happens? What if this doesn’t happen?

3. The Waiter:
This is the man who is indecisive in the present. He isn’t satisfied where he is, and he wants things to change but he’s not willing to make any changes. He’s waiting for a miracle or act of God to change his circumstances or situation. He expects to be rescued and reap the rewards with little or no effort on his part.

For instance, he wants his marriage to improve, but he’s not willing to go to counseling. He wants to stop watching pornography, but he won’t join a support group. He wants a better relationship with his children, but he won’t spend more time with them.

4. The Wounded:
This is the man who lives in isolation and suffers in silence. He’s still hurting from his past, he feels helpless in the moment, and he feels hopeless about his future. He’s stuck in shame and guilt, and it’s difficult for him to talk about it because he finds it very difficult to trust anyone. He’s either too angry, too afraid, or too ashamed to move forward so he doubts himself, others, and even God.

5. The Warrior:
This is the man who doesn’t whine about his past, he doesn’t worry about the future, he’s not waiting to be rescued from his present situation, and he’s not afraid of being wounded again because he’s more concerned about leaving a legacy. He’s willing to fight for his marriage, his family, his children, and his brothers.

He’s concerned more about: his character than his circumstances, his destiny more than the detours in his life, and his legacy more than his losses. He’s a fighter and he’d rather die with a spear in his chest than one in his back. His motto is no retreat, no surrender. (From The 5 Types of Men: Which One are You? By Dr. Joe Martin)

I have found myself, at times, in all of these categories. But my goal, and I hope it’s yours too, is to work toward option 5. So, ask yourself, if you are in another category, what is keeping you from choosing to be a warrior?

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Ron

Is Your Marriage Perfect?

Thursday, June 22, 2017 by Ron Carlson


The struggle is a common one. A spouse sees the shortcomings, personality flaws, and unmet expectations in their mate and decides this can’t be the person God intended for them. So, they decide to hunt for a perfect match. A friend did just that, but after being remarried said, “All I did was trade one set of problems for another.” Even those of us who have a godly loving spouse will tell you since two imperfect people that are involved, there’s no such thing as a perfect match. So, where’s the encouraging, inspirational, and uplifting message in all this? For starters, Jesus will reward the ones who love, even when they aren’t loved back in a way they’d like.

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Do You Know Where You Belong?

Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Ron Carlson

There’s been a lot of news coverage and controversy over who should be allowed to stay in this country. With this turmoil has come fear and confusion. Those who don’t possess the proper proof of citizenship can be told they don’t belong and quickly sent away. Even though we may be legal citizens of this country, as followers of Jesus we, also, can feel we don’t belong. Maybe that's how we should feel.

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Have You Ever Been Unreachable?

Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Ron Carlson

My cell phone went dead this morning. As I was texting someone my screen just went black. I pressed buttons, plugged in the charger, pressed more buttons and finally realized I was just going to have to accept it. For now, I was unreachable. It was an uneasy feeling. What if someone needed to reach me? What if people were sending me texts and wondering why I wasn’t responding? I hustled off to my cell phone provider to get this fixed. But to add to my frustration, when I arrived at 9:00 am, the store was closed. It didn’t open until 10:00 am…HOW COULD THEY NOT OPEN UNTIL 10:00 am? While I waited impatiently for the open sign to turn on, the thought came to me…have I ever felt God was unreachable?

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Are You A Criticizer?

Thursday, June 1, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I was sitting around with some fellow soccer players the other night and started paying attention to the ratio of positive versus negative comments about other people. It didn’t seem to matter whose name came up, the words said about them were easily 90 percent critical. It made me wonder, what’s my ratio of positive to negative statements about others. Do I tend to focus on other people’s positive attributes or their shortcomings? And if I focus on their shortcomings, do I justify it by thinking, I’m just being a truthful observer?

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How Do You Define Courage?

Thursday, May 25, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Here’s a definition of the word…” the ability to do something that frightens one.”

We saw a prime example of courage at our recent men’s retreat. During one of our gatherings a man from our church told more than 180 guys about his decades long struggle with sexual addiction. He talked about how it started in middle school and continued to build to the point of damaging his self-worth and his relationship with his wife. He was fighting a private war, but he knew it wasn’t a secret to God.

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What Do You Think About Yourself?

Friday, May 12, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Chances are you don’t need critics to tell you, you don’t measure up. Certainly, others have some influence about your thoughts of self. In fact, your self-esteem may have suffered severely from verbal abuse by a person of influence in your life. For the most part though, our self-talk takes precedence as chief evaluator and that voice can be harsh. We need to be careful here because our living God says our thoughts about ourselves determine our feelings and those feelings end up determining how we act.

 

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What Type Of Man Are You Going To Be Today?

Thursday, May 4, 2017 by Ron Carlson

You and I are boys by birth, but we have to choose to become a man. Dr. Joe Martin believes we can choose one of five options.

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Are You A Thank You Type?

Thursday, April 27, 2017 by Ron Carlson

If your parents were like mine, you grew up learning the importance of saying thank you. With that as part of my upbringing though, I’ve noticed my reaction is on the judgmental side when my wife or I do something for someone and they say…absolutely nothing. Okay, it’s a prideful thing I know, but it still irritates me. Is it really that hard to say “thank you?”

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How Do You Treat A Person Experiencing Disability?

Thursday, April 20, 2017 by Ron Carlson

This week our staff attended a disability/inclusion training facilitated by two of our church members. One of them experiences blindness, the other is a mother of a child who experiences Down syndrome. They did a wonderful job explaining what it’s like to attend church. While these two are working through the challenges, they told us many others feel they can’t worship at church. These families experiencing disability either feel too embarrassed or unaccepted. It’s a sad but common reality. Yet these are people Jesus calls us to serve and love.

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Do You Pray All The Time?

Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Ron Carlson

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB)

Over the years 1 Thessaonians 5:17 has been one of the most challenging verses in the Bible. I used to wonder how in the world such a thing was possible. In our busy culture, how can you and I really pray all the time.

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