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Raising Disciples

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a parent, God has entrusted you with a tremendous privilege and responsibility. The Bible speaks frequently to parents offering encouragement, wisdom and instruction. Before Shannon and I had kids I remember having a conversation about how we would be different than our friends who were letting their kids drive the family’s schedule and priorities. We vowed to be different, that was until we actually had our first kid.

Click to tweet: Parents have to work hard to build a Christ-centered home and not a kid-centered home. @mattyblackwell @verge_family

We realized very quickly that there is an inertia that drives parents towards having a kid-centered home. Their noise, needs, desires, activities, homework, etc. require parents to diligently avoid being consumed by the tyranny of the urgent.

Parents have to work hard to build a Christ-centered home and not a kid-centered home, because a kid-centered home produces self-centered adults. Parents have to constantly strive to take their kids out of the center of the family and remind them that Christ is the center.

Mom and dad, you are the leaders in your home and as such you are uniquely positioned to keep your eyes fixed on God and your finger on the pulse of the family. The kids that God has entrusted to you are your primary disciples. And as their mom and dad you have the privilege, joy and responsibility to lead them.

Click to tweet: The kids that God has entrusted to you are your primary disciples. @mattyblackwell @verge_family

Check out what the bible tells parents in Deuteronomy 6:5-9,

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Here are a few observations about disciple making for parents from these verses:

 Step 1 – “On your hearts”

Let the Word of God and the love of God be on your heart. The best discipler is a disciple. The best leader is first a follower. Your primary call as a disciple maker is to know the Word, love it, and live it. How are you doing in the areas of prayer, sharing your faith, and reading your Bible? If you don’t have a Bible reading plan click here for a free online bible reading plan. As a parent your first step in making disciples of your kids is to be a disciple.

Click to tweet: As a parent your first step in making disciples of your kids is to be a disciple. @mattyblackwell @verge_family

Step 2 – “Impress them on your children”

Parents can impress the things of God on their children through discipline and delight.

Discipline

The greatest context for teaching kids comes through consistent discipline. One of the things that I’ve realized is that while I waver in my consistency in leading family devotions, our kids never waver in their need to be disciplined. The bible speaks of disciplining kids often:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.” Proverbs 23:13–14

The purpose of discipline is to gain a hearing. Most of the time our kids are running around so fast that they don’t stop long enough to really hear what we are saying. The goal of discipline isn’t just behavioral modification but heart transformation. Through discipline we slow them down and create the opportunity to teach them the truths of repentance, grace, forgiveness, and kindness.

Click to tweet: The goal of discipline isn’t just behavioral modification but heart transformation. @mattyblackwell @verge_family

A parent’s role, especially a Father, is not to crush his children but to cultivate them. Through discipline, parents should seek to cultivate their kids so that they become self-disciplined and not continually need a wooden spoon or a timeout or jail cell to have them live rightly.

Delight

Our role as leaders in the home is to equally delight and discipline. It is not loving to delight in your kids without correcting them, just as it is not loving to discipline them without delighting in them. The bible reminds us of the joy of having kids:

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.” Proverbs 23:24–25 “…the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11–12 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the childrenof one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5

Parents, you are to rejoice in and delight in the blessing of your kids today, not in some future version of them. Before any parent disciplines their children, they are commanded to delight in them. This means that most of your time is spent enjoying your children, encouraging them, laughing with them, being affectionate with them, and enjoying them so that there is a deep bond of love and joy between your children and their mom and their dad. The backdrop of your discipline is delight.

Click to tweet: The backdrop of your discipline is delight. @mattyblackwell @verge_family

Step 3 – “talk about them…”

Finally mom and dad, make disciples as you go. Look for opportunities as you drive to practice, play at the park, or put the kids down to bed. Don’t let discipleship be isolated to Sundays, but let it be a natural part of your day. It’s not weird for your kids to hear you talk about what you love and are passionate about. So talk about what God is teaching you and ask them what God is teaching them.

You can’t delegate discipleship. You take the lead and look for opportunities to “talk about these things” as you go. Try to create places where your kids ask questions. Use family devotion times, serving together, going to church together and asking them what they learned as ways to have some conversations. And be patient, because most of those conversations will be short and fruitless, but there will be one every so often that is powerful and transformative.

This is the way of discipleship: patient obedience over the course of years builds a firmly rooted disciple who will bear much fruit. And that is what we are praying that our kids to become. Mom and dad, keep your heart engaged in the Word of God, delight in your kids, correct them when necessary, and look for opportunities to have fruitful conversations that lead them to Jesus.

Having a Father’s Heart

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Fatherhood | 0 comments

A father's heartAs fathers, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility. God has entrusted us to lead our children – to love them as He loves us.

Guys, the sobering fact is this – you and I represent how our children will view God. Particularly in the formative years. That’s a humbling and awesome thought, isn’t it? Our kids will look to us and see how we treat them, and that will become their reference point for their heavenly father! To do this, we have to have a father’s heart for our kids.

Are we patient with our kids, as God is patient with us? Do we value our kids, as God values us? Do we cherish our kids, as God cherishes us? Do we nurture our kids, as God nurtures us? Do we protect our kids, as God protects us? Do we spend time with our kids, as God wants to spend time with us? Do we speak words of truth and life into our kids, as God speaks words of truth and life to us (through his Word and the Holy Spirit)?

Another way to look at it – God has given you an incredible opportunity to influence the future of your children… to represent God to them! What a blessing – what a gift! Sadly too often though, this gift is viewed as a burden… instead of seeing the opportunity, we see the inconvenience.

But it also goes beyond our own children. This same concept applies to how we love God’s Church! It affects how we love those in our community, our workplace, our sporting teams.

Mark Driscoll recently released a video about what it means to have a father’s heart, which we were compelled to include here on our site.

Mark’s Video about A Father’s Heart

 

 

Ten Facts Men Should Consider About Their Wife

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 in Manhood, Marriage | 0 comments

Ten Facts Men Should Consider About Their Wife

#1 – Before she was your wife she was God’s daughter…and He is VERY concerned about how someone treats His girl!

#2 – Women are responders, so if there is friction/conflict in the relationship she is most likely responding to something that is off center…and it is going to take an actual conversation where you use words to figure out what it is.

#3 – If a man will not lead his family then satan will!  (See Genesis 3!)

#4 – One of the biggest questions that a woman is always asking of her husband is, “can I trust you with my heart?”  And the answer to this question is not simply declared but rather demonstrated over time.

#5 – Every word you speak has meaning to your wife…and HOW you say those words carry even more meaning.

#6 – No woman responds well to condemnation…and if we are supposed to love our wives like Christ loves the church, and there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ (Romans 8:1) then we MUST watch our words carefully.

#7 – It is a spiritual impossibility for an angry husband to love his wife like Jesus loves the church.

#8 – Your wife LOVES to know you are thinking about her during the day.

#9 – Surfing the internet or playing games on your smart phone while she is sitting next to you on the couch is NOT romantic.

#10 – Pursuit must be intentional!  You did not accidentally fall in love…and you will not accidently stay in love!

See the original post at http://perrynoble.com/blog/ten-facts-men-should-consider-about-their-wife

 

What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013 in Fatherhood, Manhood, Parenting | 0 comments

Girl holding hand sepia2I’m spending the morning waiting for my car in the repair shop. Four men in flannel (I missed the flannel memo) and I sit around smelling tires and inhaling exhaust fumes while an enchanting little fairy is in constant motion around her daddy. She climbs on him, giggles, turns around, and then she’s back to twirling on the tile.

She’s bouncing and spinning around in her pink frilly skirt. Her black cable knit tights are sagging around her tiny knees, and her puffy coat makes her arms stand out further than is natural. To top off the ensemble is a shiny crystal tiara. It’s been tacked down to her head with what appears to be about 60 haphazard bobby pins.

She’s probably four years old. So little, so vulnerable. She doesn’t seem concerned about it as she sings about teapots and ladybugs in her black Mary Janes. I feel myself tear up as I watch her. I tear up as I watch him watch her. She could not possibly know at four what impact this man, his character, or his words will have on her for years to come. And, maybe he doesn’t know either.

So, to all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew:

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.

2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.

3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.

4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.

5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.

6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.

7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.

8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.

9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re ‘just joking’ is what I believe about my own.

10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.

11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.

12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.

13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.

14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.

15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.

16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.

17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.

18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.

19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.

20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.

21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.

22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.

23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.

24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.

25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.

It’s pretty simple, really. Little girls just love their daddies. They each think their daddy hung the moon. Once in a while when you look at your little gal twirling in her frilly skirt, remember she’ll be grown one day. What do you want her to know about men, life, herself, love? What you do and say now matters for a lifetime. Daddies, never underestimate the impact of your words or deeds on your daughters, no matter their age.

See the original post at  http://tarahedman.com/blog/

How To Lead Young Men

Posted by on Jun 23, 2013 in Discipling, Manhood | 0 comments

Biblical Model of How to Lead Young Men

How to Lead Young Men

“Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:6–8

The decisions that young Christian men make will ultimately lead to either much fruit or much destruction. The first step toward fruitfulness in a young man’s life is that he needs to realize that he is not meant to live life for himself, but for God. Bringing young men to that place needs to be a priority in church, especially when the world preaches the opposite message. Here are some insights on how to lead young men toward being selfless lovers of God (Eph. 5:1–2).

1. YOU HAVE TO CARE Here is an important truth I’ve learned: If a young man truly believes that you care more about him personally than about what he does for you, he will go into battle with you. On the the flip side, if he think you mostly care about what he does for you, then you will lose him, it is just a matter of when. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thess. 2:8 Young men are not as tough as they would like to appear. They are starving for affirmation from men they respect. This could be rooted in a unloving or absent father, or in that they simply don’t know how to grow up without guidance. And if you don’t actually care, pray that you will. You can’t fake it, and if you are faking it, you are probably doing more harm than good and should not be leading (Phil. 2:3–5; John 13:34).

2. INVITE THEM INTO YOUR LIFE If you want to make an impact on a young man, don’t just have a “work relationship.” Invite them into your life to show them you value them, while demonstrating what the next stage of life looks like: how you love your wife, how you love your kids, how you bring faith into the home. These are life-changing lessons, especially for those who have never seen it before. Modeling is very important, many of them had poor models, so model at every opportunity. Set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Lead young men to repentance3. DEMONSTRATE REPENTANCE If you are a man worth following, you got there through repentance, which is simply saying to God, “You were right, I was wrong. Your ways lead to life, and my ways to destruction. Thank you for forgiving me, reconciling with me, and saving me from myself” (Is. 55:8–9; Prov. 14:12). There was a time in my life as a single guy that it became clear to me that everything in my life was in some way always about me. Growth and maturity only started to come as I repented of my selfishness and recognized that God’s call on my life was to put others first. I still have to constantly repent of this and have a long way to go. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8 Sharing these kinds of things with those you lead goes a long way. Young men will start to follow you because of where you currently are, but they will continue to follow you by you humbly demonstrating how you got there, i.e. through constant repentance. Transformation begins by acknowledging that Christ is on the throne, and you are not, and acknowledging God’s way over your own, but it is not a singular event, it is lifestyle of repentance. This is not common in leadership today; it will likely distinguish you from every other leader they’ve known, an utterly unique and a tangible demonstration of being a secure enough person to humbly repent, which is what they want in their insecurity. It will not be encouraging for them to think you are faultless as they wrestle through their sin. Foster a “we are all in this together” mindset among your team, and be patient, so they won’t be afraid to share their fears and fails.

4. CALL THEM TO A PURPOSE, BUT NOT THEIR PURPOSE Every guy wants to be something special, a hero, a man among men. In my experience, I have noticed a similar pattern when young men set out on their own. First, they pursue happiness, pleasure, and fun. Often this leads to partying, adventure, or a lazy pursuit of comfort in things like video games. When that dries out, they pursue meaning, usually in relationships, achievements, or causes. They let the meaning of their life rest on people and situations that will ultimately fail them. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 The point is, man’s purposes are vapid, shallow, and fleeting (Ps. 39:5; Prov. 16:2) Often times leaving a lot of destruction in their wake (1 Tim. 6:9). Man was made for the purposes of God, and this desire is etched in our souls (Gen. 1:26–28). In the words of Pink Floyd, man would rather have a walk-on part in a war than a lead role in a cage. The war is the story of the kingdom of God, from creation to new creation, and it requires sacrifice for God’s glory, not ambition for our own. Invite them into the bigger story of God reconciling all things to himself (Eph. 1:7–10; 2 Cor. 5:11–21).

5. EXPECT A LOT, AND DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR IT Young men need to be challenged, not coddled. They respond to conviction, and desire the same fire in the gut as the men they choose to follow. Call them up to be the men they hoped they would magically turn into. Moreover, call them to be the men whom God created them to be (1 Cor. 16:13–14). Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13–14 God gave the law to show men their need for a Savior, and clear the way for grace (Rom. 3:20–24). In the same way, when men are stretched, the result is every idol that is in front of Christ is exposed, creating opportunities gracious correction by walking them through what it looks like to repent, fight pride and selfishness, and remember that Christ is on the throne, they are not (Ecc. 5:2). These are lessons they will take with them their entire life, especially as they transition into marriage and fatherhood.

6. LIVE IN THE LIGHT Living a double life is exhausting. There is a better way, living in the light and embracing the gift of repentance that leads to joy, freedom, and connection with God and his people (Acts 11:18). That is a pattern that needs to be established in the life of every young man. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. John 12:36 When sin in brought into the light, it is disarmed (John 3:19–21). Kept in the dark, it is powerful. If you are leading a young man, establish early that secrets are the enemy of growth and have no place in this relationship (John 1:5–10; Eph. 5:8–14).

7. DON’T SUGARCOAT Young men want a straight answer with conviction. In this day and age, there is more information and ideas than ever before. Young men are being assailed by the world trying to “sell” them some idea of truth that appeals to their innate selfishness. Advertising, marketing, politics, and culture all promoting worldviews that teach men that they deserve what their flesh desires. The truth unfiltered cuts through the noise for those whom God wants to hear it (Is. 55:11). Call sin sin. Call lies lies. Call lust lust. Call repentance repentance. Most importantly, paint a vivid picture of the magnitude of God’s love and grace, and an accurate picture of the frailty of man. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Psalm 32:5 Additionally, always ask direct questions that require direct answers: “When is the last time you looked at porn?” “Did you touch your girlfriend inappropriately?” “Where is your money going?” “How much did you have to drink?” Catch them of guard if possible, which usually results in a more truthful answer or transparent lie. This isn’t to berate them or humiliate them, but without honesty there can’t be real, transformative repentance. If they aren’t transparent, you can keep pushing, but when they respond repentantly with conviction, give them grace and remind them what Jesus has done for them.

Big shoes to fill when you lead young men

8. BE SOMEONE WORTH FOLLOWING First, a caveat: No one is ever worth following all the time. We are all sinners saved by grace (Eph. 2:1–10). Lead from a place of transparency and as already noted in #3, and model repentance. Often. I heard of a study once that men decide in the first 90 seconds on whether or not they will attend a church based upon if they see the pastor as a man worth following. This is particularly true for young men. If they do not see you as someone they respect and admire, it doesn’t really matter what you say. To some degree, they need to see in you what they want to aspire to, or simply what kind of person they want to be. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. Philippians 3:17 To start, young men often gravitate toward the superficial, everything from how you dress, how you carry yourself, your family, your interests, and your “gravitas.” Don’t overemphasize these outward qualities—but more importantly, don’t ignore the fact that those will open some doors. What ultimately matters is to be a man of character, conviction, love for God, and an unwavering identity rooted in Christ. If you reflect God well as his image, a young man will see that. In leadership, there always has to be a err of “I want to be like him.” Then you point them toward the him that is Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).

THE CALL The church desperately needs more Godly older men pouring into younger men. It is unbelievable how many young men have never guided by a man with a life worth emulating. If you are a man worth following, it means someone has already poured into you, been patient with you, served you, and now it’s time for you to do likewise just like Jesus has done for you. If you are a man worth following, it will be evident to others, your growth will not have happened in a vacuum. If you are a man worth following, please pray that God would use you to impact legacies. Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:2–5

By Brandon Andersen (originally posted on www.theresurgence.com)


Do You Lead Young Men?

If you’re actively involved in God’s church, chances are you’ll  find yourself  in a position where you need to lead young men in some capacity. Hopefully this article provides new insights you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of!

As men, we seek – sometimes crave – recognition and affirmation from older, wiser men. The flip side, of course, is that if you’re older than other men in your church – well guess what? You have the opportunity to speak life, encouragement and affirmation to your younger brothers. Try to give specific praise points (“I really respect how you handled that difficult situation with John”) rather than broad, sweeping statements (“You’re really tops!”).

If you are living a life as described in the article above, your sincere word of encouragement will carry that much more weight to your brother.

Actually, here’s another way you could help to lead young men in your life – refer them to this website!

Daddy God?

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Ebooks, Fatherhood | 0 comments

The idea behind “Daddy God”

The Fatherhood of God is the central theme of the message of Jesus Christ. When teaching the disciples to pray, Jesus began with the words “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”

Although we know this passage as the Lord‟s Prayer, I think it would be more accurate to call it the Disciple’s Prayer, since it was a response to their request, “Lord teach us to pray.”  Jesus told the disciples that when they prayed they were to address God as their Father. Remember that Old Covenant Jewish custom held that the name of God was so revered that the scribes refused to write it down. Even today, I know Messianic Jews who write the word God as „G__D‟ to avoid spelling it out…

The fact that Jesus spoke of God as His Father and encouraged his disciples to do the same so enraged the religious leaders of His day that they plotted to kill Him for doing so. In light of this, we can only imagine the shock and horror of the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus, if they had heard Him pray in the garden of Gethsemane. It was there that He addressed God not in the formal way as “Father,” but rather in the familiar manner in which a child might speak; Jesus calls Him “Abba.” The name Abba can be loosely translated as “Daddy” or “Papa.”

The apostle Paul, as well, would seem to trample upon this sacred ground.  He suggests that even you and I might address God in a more intimate and personal way, as Abba (Daddy). Certainly, to the religious leaders of the day, this would have been considered outright blasphemy. I can remember myself cringing the first time I heard someone refer to our heavenly Father as “Daddy God.” An interesting point to mention here is that slaves were forbidden to use the name Abba when speaking to or referring to their masters…

Daddy God

Fatherhood is more than a title or an office; it is also a function. The purpose of a father was to represent God to his family. In fact, a father‟s authority is ultimately derived from and limited to his representation of God the Father.

The manner in which we as fathers are to represent God’s Fatherhood is to serve as the priest, the prophet and the king (or ruler) of our home. As a priest of our home, a father is to represent his family before God. The event of the Passover will serve as an illustration for this. The fathers held the exclusive responsibility to select a lamb for each house, to kill the lamb, and to spread the blood on the doorposts of the house. In this example, the father as the priest held the power of saving his family from the destroying angel. He could not delegate this responsibility to another member of the family.

As a prophet, the father was to represent God to his family. As mentioned many times in this book, the father in the home is the representative of God. He is to set an example for his children through his words, attitude and conduct. 11 Finally, as the king of his home, the father is to rule by leading his family. Reiterating upon our theme that the pathway to fatherhood is by modeling sonship, his leadership is by way of example. Thus, a father serves by leading and he leads by serving.

Before we continue, I must mention a vital quality that every genuine father possesses. Every father should desire that his children be more successful than he is. Any man who does not desire that his children surpass him should not bear the name “father”. As it is true in every situation, Jesus and His Father set the example for us. Along this line Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Later Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”  Simply analyzing these two passages makes it clear that the Father wanted Jesus to do “great works.” In like manner, Jesus desired for us to excel and do even “greater works than these.” ”

Want to know more about Jim’s “Daddy God” idea?

Grab Pastor Jim McNally’s free ebook, Becoming Sons, here: http://www.becomingsons.com/downloads.htm to learn more about the Daddy God concept.

Steve Farrar – Man of Courage

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Manhood, Marriage | 0 comments

Who is Steve Farrar?

Steve Farrar | Man of Courage

Steve Farrar | Man of Courage

When it comes to consistent male Christian authors, Steve Farrar would have to be high on the list.

After dedicating 15 years to serve as the pastor of a local church and speaking infrequently at conferences, Steve was called to his next step in ministry – helping Christian men get connected back to their Father God, and equipping them to be everything God calls them to be.

Steve has written many books over the years, including:

  • Point Man
  • Anchor Man (no, this was long before the comedy!)
  • Battle Ready
  • True Courage
  • King Me
  • How to Ruin Your Life by 40
  • Men Leading the Charge
  • Real Valor
  • Gettin There, and
  • Standing Tall

I own and have read (at least once!) the first five, and will be adding the others to my collection in time.

What I love about Steve is his genuine style, his openness and his willingness to share – share what’s really on his heart, what God has taught him along the way, and some of the “hard lessons” he’s learned that we can avoid.

My Latest Steve Farrar Read

The most recent book I read, King Me, captured my attention from start to finish. Men, if you have sons & ever wondered about how much you were really influencing them? You need to read this book! Steve unpacks the lives of David and Solomon (and other prominent Biblical leaders) and demonstrates the effects their own fathering had… not only upon their sons, but their families for generations.

I found myself reading out whole pages to my wife Renee, and loved seeing her response as she saw my mind expand, my personal views stretched, but at the same time many of my beliefs and suspicions confirmed.

And as with any book I’ve read by Steve, you’ll find plenty of Biblical references to backup his opinions or recommendations – much like John Macarthur.

Glen’s video Summary of Steve Farrar

And yes… I know… my neck & shoulders do funky twitching in the video (due to poor lighting on that part of my green screen. And I brought the audio up too quickly at the end… but hey, this is me fighting my perfectionism, to just get something published & uploaded!!! 🙂 Hopefully you can see through the technical shortcomings & just focus on the content!

Where to Find Steve Farrar’s Books

You can find Steve Farrar’s materials in most Christian book stores (online or even the old fashioned type!) or directly from Amazon:

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You can check out Steve Farrar’s website for even more related resources.

Life With Mission VS Life As Mission

Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Manhood, Theology | 0 comments

 Life As Mission

He says, “Often we think of [discipleship and mission] as like it’s this crazy, disjointed thing. ‘I don’t know how I‘m going to fit it in my life, all this missional stuff. I’m so freaking busy. How would I possibly fit it in my life.‘  I want to suggest today that we need to change our thinking about discipleship…

Life with Mission

We need to move from a mindset of additional to intentional. What if God has actually given us this amazing way of seeing life that would make all of life one big, huge opportunity for discipleship and mission? Like everything we’re already doing, what if it’s already an opportunity, perfectly for discipleship and mission? He has. It’s the rhythm of life that he’s placed us in.

 

Discipleship is not this set of activities or classes that we need to take. God has actually built the world and everything we’re about and everyone you know is in the same rhythm and it’s perfectly set up for us to live this way.”

 

 

The Dirty Socks that Almost Killed My Marriage

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in In the bedroom, Marriage | 1 comment

By Sam Crowe

Antony and I sat down to dinner a few weeks ago with some friends, a married couple, from interstate that we hadn’t seen face to face for over 2 years. We realised that we hadn’t shared a big part of our lives with them – the near implosion and then miraculous transformation of our marriage.

 

In a frank, open, loving conversation we shared the details of our marriage breakdown, they asked questions, and we all discussed together. Within that I was able to articulate how I had felt in our marriage three years ago. In a nutshell I would say that although Antony said he loved me, and I believed that he thought he loved me… I didn’t feel loved. Then came the critical question of the night, “What was the catalyst, or the big thing that you could put it all down to?”

“He left his dirty socks inside out in the dirty clothes basket.”

 

Silence.

 

More silence with quizzical looks. Followed by a round of silence.

 

He didn’t turn his dirty socks the right way round? That’s right, there was no adultery, there was no abuse, he frequently tried to use my love language to fill my “love tank”, he was a ‘hands-on’ Dad, he did a lot of work around the house and he was the most prolific vacuumer you could ever meet. How is it possible that despite all this, I could say I didn’t feel loved because he left his socks inside out?

 

Allow me to give some background. I spent three years working with teenage girls as a housemistress at a boarding school. One thing I learnt very clearly was that when you had a request or a command you had better make sure you also had a reasonable and well thought out response to the inevitable question, “Why?” And a little more relevant background – my husband is a fire fighter and he does a lot of physical training at work and at home. Ergo, his socks are always sweaty, sometimes smelly and particularly disgusting if they have been sitting at the bottom of the dirty clothes basket for a couple of days.

 

Not too many years into our marriage I made the request that he turn his socks the right way round before putting them in the dirty clothes basket. I followed this request with the very reasonable and well thought out basis for my request, “It’s really gross to put my hand into your inside-out socks because they are all sweaty, and I need to turn the socks the right way round because you wear them outside without shoes and they don’t come out of the wash as clean if I wash them inside out,” (or words to that effect).

 

Six years on I was making the same request with the same reasoning verbalised. I was also receiving the same response – inside-out socks followed by a variety of excuses. From our courting days I told Antony that I didn’t want to be a nagging wife and he fully supported me in this decision!! I was now in a bind. I didn’t want to nag, but I wanted the behaviour to change.

 

I can almost hear some men saying as they read this article, “What’s the big deal, turn the socks the right way round and wash your hands afterwards.” Or perhaps, “You are supposed to serve like Jesus, stop complaining and get over it. It could be much worse and you are just getting worked up over socks.”

 

Now I’m going to speak very frankly. Men, when your wife asks something of you repeatedly and you do not fulfil her request what you are saying to her is, “What is important to you is not important to me.” And whether you like it or not, whether you agree with me or not, what she hears from you is, “You are not important to me.” It’s that simple. It is that black and white. This is the whole point of this article. If your wife is a nag, please re-read this paragraph.

 

Of course you will tell her that you love her and you will point out all the other stuff you do that is important to you but less important to her, to prove to her that you love her.

 

In the end, the issue wasn’t about the actual socks at all. It was about what they represented. I made a reasonable request to my husband and he ignored it on a daily basis for six years. I didn’t feel loved.

 

Men, are you being nagged by your wives over insignificant things like socks? Does your wife complain about the way you do (or don’t do) something? Does she nag you because you “don’t listen” or “have communication issues”? This issue is not the communication, it’s what you are doing with the information. You now have a choice to make: to serve your wife or to continue to serve yourself and pretend it’s her problem (check out Ephesians 5:25-27 for some biblical input on this).

 

I’m very pleased to inform you that my story has a happy ending. I am blessed that Antony has a teachable heart and that eventually (with the assistance of others) he realised that all the vacuuming in the world doesn’t assure me of his love if spotless floors are not important to me. He now turns his socks the right way round (most of the time) and is greatly enjoying the benefits of a happy, beloved wife.

 

What Does It Mean For A Husband To Love And Lead Like Jesus?

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Fatherhood, JESUS, Leadership, Manhood, Marriage, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This 13 min video elaborating on Ephesians  5 provides some powerful insight into how men can lead according to God’s word.

It’s a massive call to live up to but one that is a tremendous privilege, I could not recommend strongly enough take the time to watch this video.

 

 

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