Home Improvement

Home Improvement

Men are often tempted to view their vocational occupation as separate and distinct from their calling as father, husband and follower of Christ.  But nothing is further from the truth.  Our occupational calling is intimately connected to every other sphere of influence God grants us.  Nowhere is this faux distinction more keenly felt than when a man spends all his energy and influence on the outside world then has nothing left for his wife, family and church.   Are we as faithful in our calling within the home and church as we are in our occupation?  Are we more concerned with what we build for strangers than with what we build for those closest to us.

The story is told of an elderly carpenter was due to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the business and start a life of leisure with his wife and extended family. He would miss the money, but the time was right and he was ready to hang up his hammer.

His boss was disappointed as the carpenter had been a loyal and diligent worker for many years, so he was sad to see him go. He asked for one last favor, requesting that the carpenter could build one last house before retiring. The tradesman agreed, but it was soon clear that his heart wasn’t in it. He took shortcuts, used inferior materials and put in a half-hearted effort. In the end the final product was well short of his usual standards, a disappointing way to end his career.

When the job was finished, the employer came to inspect the work.  After taking a look around, he handed the keys to the carpenter and said, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked and embarrassed. If only he had known, he would have made sure that everything was perfect. If he had known the consequences, he would have demanded excellence from himself.

Nehemiah did not rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by himself, nor did he enlist the aid of general contractors.  He led families with diverse gifts and callings, each working in their own neighborhood, to rebuild the city of God together.  This is an apt picture of our calling as men to fulfill the Great Commission from the inside out, starting within our own homes.  What are the spiritual challenges this calling creates for you?  Join with other men as we gather this Thursday morning, August 10, from 6:30 – 7:30am at Panera Bread, 10701 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, for fellowship, prayer and discussion of godly manhood from the life of Nehemiah.

Decisiveness

Decisiveness

Temptation to indecision is a part of every man’s life.  But nowhere is male indecision more vividly on display than when a man takes his wife on a date.  The Scripture commands us to “dwell with our wives according to knowledge” (1 Peter 3:7).  Yet men often seem oblivious to their wives preferences and needs.  How many dates begin the circular rhythms of the “where-should-we-eat” dance?

Why are men prone to indecisiveness?  Why is it so hard to make a decision?  Certainly the Bible warns against undue haste, failing to count the cost, and even rash oaths, but at the same time men are commanded to be decisive, boldly walking by faith and not by sight.  Perhaps indecision is rooted is apathy toward the options, fear of making a wrong decision, or failure to assess what is most important.  Or perhaps indecision springs from a faith crisis.

Nehemiah was a man faced with many demands for decisive action.  What spiritual disciplines enabled him to resist the temptation to inaction and to be decisive?  Join with other men as we gather this Thursday morning, August 3, from 6:30 – 7:30am at Panera Bread, 10701 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, for fellowship, prayer and discussion of godly manhood from the life of Nehemiah.

Men’s Bible Study

FeaturedMen’s Bible Study

In 1968, Little Rock native, Charles Portis, published his most famous novel, True Grit, as a weekly serial for the Saturday Evening Post.  The story’s main character, Rooster Cogburn, is a washed up, over-the-hill lawman — a man whose vices had robbed him of every shred respect and responsibility.  No one expected much of Rooster Cogburn.  Nor did he expect much from himself.  But young Mattie Ross recognized that somewhere deep inside of him was a man of ‘True Grit.’

The world today does not expect much from men.  The growing cultural ambiguity over gender has brought confusion to men regarding their unique identity and calling, robbing men of respect and responsibility.  The concept of masculinity has become a vacuum which has sucked up every worldly idea of what makes a man a man.

Men are looking for role models, someone to follow – a narrative to fill the vacuum.    In his book, The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell astutely noted that men are drawn to stories of strong men.  But what he failed to grasp is that it is real men, not mythical ones, whose examples are needed.

Such men are not to be found in legend or in the movies, but in the Bible.  Contrary to the assertions of skeptics, the Bible the most well attested collection of historical stories of great and influential real men.  Men who wrestled with the question, “What does it mean to live and lead like a man?”  Nehemiah was one of these men.  He was a man with ‘true grit.’ The Book of Nehemiah reveals some essential principles for godly manhood, but,

“we do not come to the Bible primarily to study a man’s character or Christian methods, we come to meet God; a message has little value unless it brings us to the feet of our Savior.” Alan Redpath.

Men today are searching for significance — significance in their manhood, their vocation, their role within the family and their world.  Men want to know how to live and lead.  Nehemiah was confronted with these same challenges as he sought to reform the church and state of his day.   His example has much to teach us as men.

Join with other men as we gather Thursday mornings, beginning July 27, from 6:30 – 7:30am at Panera Bread, 10701 Kanis Rd, Little Rock, for fellowship, prayer and discussion of godly manhood from the life of Nehemiah.