Welcome to the first edition of the MANTIME newsletter. You are automatically receiving this email because you have attended a MANTIME event and are on that email list. My hope is that this monthly email with be an informative, reflective, and most of all, encouraging source for you in your journey to becoming the man God desires you to be. If you are not interested in receiving this email you may unsubscribe.
MANTIME 2016 RECAP
A couple of weeks ago many of you joined us in Midland, NC for MANTIME. Since then, I’ve received emails and texts from many of you who have shared what an encouraging time it was.
During the Pow-Wow Sessions, we were honored to have Tim, Greg, John, and Mike share with us some words of inspiration and encouragement in the context of the four movements to manhood based on John Sowers’ book, The Heroic Path. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you grab this book and devour it. I’ve compiled some impact statements from each of our speakers and added a few notations myself. Hopefully, you’ll find these reminders helpful.
Intentional living must begin by moving away from the loud, busy, demanding voices of our culture.
Learning to slow down, break from our demanding work, take a walk, or sit in silence are practices that don’t come naturally to us. Tim reminded us that silence is not just the absence of sound but also restraint…choosing not to do something.
During his time in Oxford, England Tim discovered that while restraint was a difficult virtue to practice it was a refreshing and rewarding step towards a more peaceful, purposeful life.
He shared that restraint was not the root issue…trust was. Tim said, “The lack of ability to practice restraint boils down to an issue of trust. When we’re able to trust, we’re able to severe from the world.”
Is this not the ultimate issue that we’re all faced with? TRUST…it’s antithetical to our nature yet it’s the very foundation that Jesus calls us to in relationship to Himself.
At its root, intentional living will have an inward provocation to trust that God is leading you to a better life in Him. A life in which He offers grace and mercy, hope and sustainment, forgiveness and love.
Most often when we choose those quiet moments to reflect, rest, and be alone we discover the still, small voice of God
Greg shared how often he is challenged to confront those areas of his life that are uncomfortable, difficult, or painful.
He said, “God loves you enough to wreck your plans if He believes your plans will wreck you.” This reminds me of a training seminar for youth leaders that I attended many years ago by Mike Yaconelli titled “Ruining Kids’ Lives By Exposing Them To God’s Call.” Talk about in your face honesty...that's nitty-gritty confrontation.
It’s easy to avoid confrontation. We look for the easy escape. As men, our curse from the beginning has been passivity. We put some much value in the here and now. We gravitate towards outward accolades and tend to avoid the inner stirring of our soul.
Greg reminded us, “Don’t overestimate what you have andunderestimate what you could have.”
Opening yourself up to God, fully surrendering to how he wants to change you, can seem risky and dangerous. Actually, it’s the most confrontational thing you could do. Ask Jacob. God confronted him and Jacob didn’t back down. His wrestling with God brought about a new identity. He was blessed even though he walked away with a limp.
But this is when true transformation happens in our life.
The essence of the Christ-life is believing and walking in the truth that our life is now hidden in Christ. He is in me and I am in Him.
John shared with us that the false life is building an insulation around ourselves so we don’t hurt anymore. As men, we have this macho ego perception of manhood that we hide our feelings or don’t allow anything to touch us in those deep places.
But this is so contrary to biblical manhood. Again, looking at the life of Jesus we see a gentle yet strong man. We see a man with great courage yet had compassion for people. We see a man with unwavering conviction yet humbled himself to serve others.
For us, this is the call to biblical manhood…knowing that when we follow Jesus we always leave something behind. Nothing worthwhile is gained without sacrifice.
John gave us some practical insight on how we go about following Jesus…ABIDE! He reminded us from the book of John (chapter 15) that we are not to be producers but bearers. Our job is not to try to live the Christian life but to allow Christ in us to live His life through us.
As a result of being transformed by His grace and given a new identity in Him, we now walk with confidence.
In his book, Sowers talks about leaving the village to go into the wilderness and face “Something Awful” as an act of becoming a man…a godly man. This journey will vary from man to man but eventually he must return to the village. Once tested and proved, he returns to his family and community with conviction, courage, and vitality. His willingness to look beyond the here and now compels him to serve for a greater cause. A sacrificial love with a purpose to leave a legacy not just a memory.
Mike shared with us that this “return” is not an option but a commission. He said, “The return is always dangerous, sometimes more so than leaving in the first place.” And the return always cost something. Let’s face it, if it were easy more men would do it.
But we can return despite our reservations because the love of Christ draws us into action. Mike reminded us “It is finished!” The bar Jesus set is actually low. Too many times we complicate it by picking it up, raise it higher than He intended, and then trip over it in our attempt to cross over. Jesus says, “Put it down and trust Me…believe Me…It is finished once and for all!”
Upon returning we are confronted with many needs…our family, work, church, community. Where do we begin? How do we balance the demands? So much to consider that it feels overwhelming.
As Mike brought us around the Eucharist table he shared the idea of two anchors: On the one side God says “I am here”, on the other, He says “Come to Me.” Mike suggested that we find our living in the center of those anchors.
Knowing we have been tested; knowing we have been transformed; knowing we have a new identity; knowing we have been filled; we can now say “YES” and pour out from our fullness. Christ in us, the hope of Glory!
It is finished, you are forgiven, walk in newness of life!
KEEPING MANLINESS IN THE NEST
Here is the link for FREAKERS. Hope you guys that attended MANTIME enjoyed these creative freaks of art…made right here in the great state of NC. There are tons of other choices on their site. Even if you’re not interested in purchasing one, the site is fun to browse.
I know you gentlemen enjoyed Chef Sean’s delicious BBQ at MANTIME…so much so you ate almost 40 lbs. of it. Well, I asked Sean to pass along his spicy BBQ sauce for your enjoyment. You can alter or change it up however you like.
Sean’s BBQ Sauce: Begin with 2 cups Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (use any base
sauce you like)
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 tablespoon of Frank’s hot sauce (use any other hot sauce
Stir well…add or minimize any amounts for your own taste
This issue’s links to enjoyable, valuable, and considerable reads.
John Sowers-The Heroic Path
Tim Willard- author page
Also here's a link to his blog
Greg TeSelle- Link to his blog
PS...Huge shout out to Matt, Landon, Ben, and Caleb for leading our Beer & Hymns time. What an awesome sound it was to hear the voices of manly men fill the white barn with those timeless hymns.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
Founder & Curator of MANTIME