Friday, November 8, 2013

Man up, dude!

I was entertained by this short 1:30 video found on

It's not the final word on things we need to establish our credibility among grown men, but it's worth checking out.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strong Christian women!

Before I send you to the report I wrote on the Homegoing service for Lyndi McCartney, I need to send a shout out to the many strong Christian women out there who stand strong, speak their mind, fight for the things they love, and without whom we would not be the men we are.

Lyndi was that kind of woman.  Yes, Coach McCartney gets the publicity (and the scrutiny), but anyone who knows the couple knows Lyndi was "the brains of the operation."  (And the charm.)

It was a privilege to share the following fact with Coach Mac and most men I know: we married "up."

Read the entire story from her memorial service at the Assist News Service news page:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

It's alive!

After months of frustrating gyrations with blogger, I've just reset passwords and e-mail accounts, and regained access to this blog account!  I feel like Gene Wilder on a good hair day!

I'm so very happy that my last post from Christmas 2010 was a sonnet, a heartfelt literary effort with eternal content, but it's good to get back to telling new stories about "the man thing" again.

There is much to catch up on, so I'll get back to it.  See you here, there, or "in the air."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Of virgin birth... (a Christmas poem)

Of virgin birth, of sinless life,
To rid the world of madness, strife,
We pause to pray, to give in kind.
Like holy men, his star we find.

But most of all, the awesome tale,
That God would condescend as male,
Of humankind, he journeyed toward
Our broken sphere. We call him “Lord.”

Where table full, or pantry lean,
Can we trust? Did he truly mean
To give us hope of better end,
Than where we sit with no true friend?

I say yes, and say yes again.
There is no other plan to win
My mind and will. Here justice swells
To right all wrongs, of this I tell.

My evil deeds press on my soul,
Only redemption makes me whole.
Advent reminds for what I grope,
Messiah’s grace, my only hope.

From this day and season I go
Ahead with fresh start and renewed soul,
With more love for foe, grace for all,
Until again I trip and fall.

May it not be next year - this time,
I’ve forgotten all I learned. Remind
Me - his place on earth is not sole
Of book, rite, holiday, or role.

His presence on the earth was more
Than a brief thirty-three year tour.
If to faith and love he bids me.
Now, it’s in me. It’s my turn. See?

(copyright 2010, Steven Chavis)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Knowing our fathers

The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
--Zephaniah 1:1

Reading through the Jewish prophets, I almost overlooked the opening verse of Zephaniah. Once you run into those “Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim” verses, the eyes glaze over and you might want to skip ahead to other more readable parts of the Bible. Jews for Jesus notes that the 1982 Reader’s Digest condensed version of the Bible left out many genealogy portions. But genealogy is extremely important in Jewish life. People need roots.

Re-reading that verse 1, I thought of my own paternal ancestors and I could only go back two generations, to my father and his father. I want to know more. I am pursuing what I will henceforth refer to as “The Zephaniah Standard” – that’s four generations of fathers. For good or for bad, I want to know the men who spawned, ultimately but not finally, me. And I shall beware the narcissistic delusion that it’s all about me. But I very much want to know about these men.

(I want to know about my “mothers” too, but that’s another blog.) I’m also tracking a story about my mother’s father who spent a night in Lake Erie when he and some fishing buddies capsized. That’s a story of perseverance and survival that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren.

In ancient days a man was known by his family. The family was central to one’s identity. The family was central to one’s business affairs. The trade was passed down within the family. The family’s reputation extended to all its members. That’s one reason the family’s honor was upheld and defended so vigorously. Shame also has a way of enduring through later generations. (Honor can also be abusive and controlling. Witness the brutality of Muslim “honor” killings. Is such behavior really Muslim? Again, a topic for another blog.)

In earlier times the family was a version of what is now known as “the network.” Across time, imagine your ancestors – your fathers - like the crowd of technicians and service people in the Verizon “can you hear me now” commercials. (One of my favorite Verizon “flash mob” videos here.) The book of Hebrews recounts many of the great heroes of Israel’s history, and then the author says, “… since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

I think we lose heart when we see ourselves standing alone. Conversely, we gain strength and courage when we remember we are “standing on the shoulders” of those who went before us. Thinking back to when you were a child, can you remember what fun it was to sit way up high on dad’s shoulders? We could see over the whole crowd from up there!

I’m checking in with my cousin, who’s the patriarch of the clan, and I’ll report back if I discover the identity of my grandfather’s father, and his father. How far back can you trace your fathers?