Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Domestic abuse slowly bleeding us to death

For the purposes of this discussion, I'll assume I'm talking to the fellas on this one...

Have you ever had the urge to hit a girl? Most of us were raised with a mental line in our behavior code. Hitting females is over that line. But truth be told, the notion lurks stealthily beneath the surface.

The mental picture that forms in a man's head just before the cowardly deed tends to bubble up in times of stress. When a man feels powerless, he can always fall back on physical force, like a scared dictator with armies at his disposal.

Most men never give that stupid urge a second thought. It was scrubbed out of their behavior set, out of their psyche at a very young age. For some of us who are pursuing a practical, living Christian faith, the practice of self-control enters in to keep us from transmitting domestic abuse to another generation. Surely other faiths have a moral code that keeps men from violence against women.

The beheading of a Muslim woman in New York raises serious questions for the Islamic community, struggling with both the reality and the image of their treatment of women and Sharia law. See the commentary by M. Zuhdi Jasser at EnergyPublisher.com. The Christian church also has an infamous record when it comes to denial about domestic violence. We expect more from the "religious" community.

Young pop singer Chris Brown is being upbraided for his suspicious role in the injuries to his girlfriend Rihanna. Howard University Law professor Lisa Crooms explains her view as a mother trying to teach her son proper behavior in a commentary at TheRoot.com. It isn't surprising at all that Brown himself was raised in an abusive home, according to media reports.

Men, the cycle of violence that dessimates families STOPS WITH US. Let's deal with some anger management issues. Let's get a handle on control issues. Let's deal with the matter of respect, for self and for others. Let's set our children free from these chains that bind.

Check out the website for AMEND (Abusive Men Exploring New Directions). Get with some men who can help you tame the beast.

We've got to get this one right, and in this generation.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The risk of public prayer

Public prayers are loaded with possibility, and risk.

I have been invited to speak and pray at National Day of Prayer gatherings in the past. The pressure is immense. Will the people agree? (Agreement is important in public prayers.) Will God hear? (The bottom line, right?) Will I be humble or proud in my utterance? (Gut-level, no-fooling-God humility is important in any kind of prayer.) Can I muster something prophetic or profound that will cause a deeper love for God and a more faithful walk with God?

The possibility of offering up transparent, honest words to God that represent the people, and that might be considered by a holy, listening God, is too good for most preachers to pass up.

But the risk of blathering on with petty, politically correct pieties (motherhood, apple pie, world peace) is also too good for most preachers to pass up.

Remember that preacher’s invocation at the Kansas state legislature that is still making the rounds on e-mail? Back in 1996, Wichita pastor Joe Wright delivered a “prayer of repentance” originally written by Louisville, Ky. pastor Bob Russell.

Occasionally, a preacher will hit the nail on the head. (I say this when I agree with what was said.) Colorado’s home school leader Kevin Swanson, who is also a pastor in eastern Colorado, offered a public prayer at the Colorado Right to Life rally on Jan. 22, 2009 at the state capitol. Scroll down to Jan. 22, 2009 on his blog: http://www.generationswithvision.com/blog.aspx

I’ll be watching for more of this man’s words.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dangerous Man Day 2009 - communications workshop

For those who attended my communications workshop at Dangerous Man Day 2009 (in Greeley or Denver), here's the link to my seminar notes. It's loaded with links, plus notes on how you might better tell your own story in the 21st century, with special emphasis on social networks.

It's posted over at my "business" blog, which is designed to help people be more effective at communications, public relations, marketing and media relations. I call it "Intel 10.0" because I think it's what you know that will help you change the ground you stand on, like a major earthquake.



Monday, February 2, 2009

Reflections on Roe v. Wade 36

Thanks to EWTN (http://www.ewtn.com/), I was able to watch a replay of wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 March for Life in Washington, D.C.

I heard the call for an end to the genocide of black babies from Pastor Luke Robinson (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/jan/09012311.html) (Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Frederick, Md.). There is more on this untold story at http://blackgenocide.org/.

I heard women stand up and say they would be “Silent No More” about their abortion experience. Apparently, these women were not screamed at or called “murderer” by rabid protestors at abortion clinics. (http://www.silentnomoreawareness.org/)

I heard men tell their story and stand up for their role in 40 million abortions since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973.

I heard family members of Terry Schiavo describe her government-ordered starvation death in excruciating detail. (http://www.terrisfight.org/)

Over and over in my mind, I heard my young children ask me, “What did you do during the war, daddy?” I knew they meant the war for the unborn. Is my financial support enough? Is my public abortion confession enough? Where will this 21st century abolition movement move me?

After the announced closing of Guantanamo Bay, one of my pastors posted the following notice on his Facebook page: “No torture during this administration unless it’s a baby in the womb.”

I am undone.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dangerous Man Day 2009 seminar - Mentoring

Here are the notes from the Dangerous Man Day workshop on mentoring
(Greeley, CO Jan. 31, 2009 - Highlands Ranch, CO Feb. 7, 2009)

Discipling Younger Men – “Walk with me”

Seminar description:
After graduation, most young people leave the church. When they come back, will you be there? Get a handle on God’s call on your life to mentor a younger man.

-Four younger men
-From the Bible
-The Generations
-Fill in the Blanks
-The Value of Mentors
-Where to Mentor
-Steve’s Rules for Mentoring
-Tips and Techniques
-A Prayer for Mentors
-Film List on Mentoring

Four younger men I’m spending time with:
-A young songwriter asked me for help with his poetry.
-A youth pastor poured out his heart to me about revival, and we’re reading a book together
-A young father just wanted an older guy to get a reality check on his new wife and his new baby and his new roles as husband and father.
-I heard a young man talk about his desire to write. He had a germ of an idea, and so we read our work to each other on a couple of Monday nights every month.

From the Bible
Eli to Samuel (I Samuel 1-3)
Elijah to Elisha (I Kings 19:19 – 21, II Kings 2:1 – 25)
Paul to Timothy (From house arrest in Rome to Timothy at Ephesus)
“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy, chapter 2, verse 2 (65 A.D.)

1:8 – Don’t be ashamed
1:13 – hold sound words
2:23 – avoid foolish disputes
3:2 – men will be lovers of selves
4:2 – be ready in season and out
4:5 – be watchful

Paul’s last epistle? His last written words? Relationships! (4:9-21)
Demas, Crescens, Titus, Luke, Mark, Tychicus, Carpus, Alexander, Prisca, Aquila, Onesiphorus, Erastus, Tro-phi-mus, Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, … all the brethren…

BIG, GRAND PURPOSE (B.H.A.G.) - The Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20)
Disciple nations
Combat Fatherlessness
Foster Inter-generational ministry

Builders (up to 1945) -- Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation”
Boomers (1946 – 1964) – we rule the world
Busters (1965 – 1983) or “Generation X”
Bridgers / Mosaics / Millennials (1984 – 2004) - coming of age in two different centuries.

Macintosh, Gary L., “Blending Builders, Boomers, Busters, and Bridgers,” EnrichmentJournal.com, 2002. Springfield, MO. http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200201/200201_046_blending.cfm

If builders have been the main leaders of your church, qualified boomers, busters, and bridgers must be allowed and encouraged to assume key positions of leadership throughout the church.

Throughout history it has been common for multigenerational families to live close together, even under the same roof. After World War II, the development of suburbs, freeways, (I insert air travel) and the resulting mobility of people broke geographic (and) generational ties. Families began to live in smaller nuclear units rather than in extended families. As we enter the 21st century, once again families are finding it economically advantageous for several generations to pool their resources and live together.

Encourage boomers, busters, and bridgers to take leadership. This includes the worship team, new-members committee, worship committee, music committee, small-group committee, activities (social/sports) committee, as well as regular boards and committees, such as elders, deacons, or trustees.

Vital, growing churches in the next decade will be those that can successfully reach, win, and keep multiple generations. For this to happen in existing churches, leaders need to make bold, long-term plans for blending builders, boomers, busters, and bridgers into a unified church. Of course, there are risks involved in attempting a blend, but the call of Christ to make disciples makes the risks worthwhile.

Fill in the blanks:
SIGNIFICANT RELATIVE (other than father): ________

Lessons from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ grandfather (My Grandfather’s Son):
-Don’t do what I say, do what I do
-Old Man Can’t is dead. I helped bury him.
-The man he called “Daddy” always seemed to be preparing for rainy days. Maybe that’s why they never came.

Lessons from Morrie Schwartz about love and marriage (Tuesdays with Morrie):
-Respect the other person
-Know how to compromise
-Talk openly about what’s going on between you
-Have a common set of values – the most important value being the importance of marriage

Lessons from Robert Kiyasaki’s “rich dad” about money (Rich Dad, Poor Dad):
-If you can’t make up your mind decisively, then you’ll never learn to make money.

-Opportunities come and go. Being able to know when to make quick decisions is an important skill.
-Say “I can’t afford it” and your brain stops working. Say “how can I afford it” and your brain goes to work.
-Most people work for money. The rich have money work for them.

AT WORK - Apprenticeships!
AT CHURCH - Youth ministry, young adult ministry, new dads, new husbands
AT HOME - Foster sons
SOCIAL CIRCLES - The sons of friends…
AT SCHOOL - Teacher to student, older to younger classmen

Howie and Bill Hendricks: Just pursue relationship.
Stu Weber’s RULE #1 FOR MENTORING: Be there.
Stu Weber adds, “Love them until they feel it.”

Mentees want your help to “decode” life’s mysteries.
Your trial and error saves others countless hours and pain
Failures are badges, scars, stripes… these are medals!
the accountability that’s built inside the mentoring relationship - Stu Weber reminds us that we have to “Live out your own biblical values to the core.”

From Gordon Shea’s 50-minute Mentor:
Seven Types of Mentor Assistance
-Shifting context - “How about looking at the whole issue in a different way?”
-Listening – the sounding board, ask good questions
-Identify feelings – wisdom breaks through cover-ups, self-deception
-Production confrontation – “Have you thought about the cost of this action?”
-Provide information – Be a source of facts to help mentee make a good decision
-Delegate authority, give permission – empower, test, build mentee’s confidence
-Explore options – brainstorm ideas beyond the “tried and true”

Three things to avoid
-Giving advice (too quickly, without being asked)
-Rescuing them from self-inflicted folly

Almighty Father God,
Thank you for saving me, and training me with your word and your Holy Spirit. I seek to grow as your son. Help me fulfill your great commission to make disciples of all people. I submit to you my plans and my desires, and specifically my schedule and priorities. Conform my will to your will, Good Father. I trust you for divine appointments, and I trust you for younger men into whom I can pour my life lessons, spiritual truths and grace. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so be it and AMEN.

Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie. New York. Broadway, 1997.
Hendricks, Howard and Hendricks, William. As Iron Sharpens Iron. Chicago. Moody, 1999.
Kiyosaki,Robert. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Scottsdale, AZ. TechPress, 1998.
Ravenhill, Leonard. Why Revival Tarries. Minneapolis. Bethany House, 1987.
Shea, Gordon. Mentoring. Menlo Park, CA. Crisp, 2002.
Thomas, Clarence. My Grandfather’s Son. New York. Harper Perennial, 2007.
Weber, Stu. Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart. Sisters, OR. Multnomah, 1997

Films with a “mentoring” message
Coach movies
Hoosiers (1986, PG) Gene Hackman’s legendary role as a legendary coach given a second chance with a 1950s high school basketball team.

Karate Kid (1984, PG) Wax on, wax off. The iconic tale of martial arts training, the hard way.

Coach Carter (2005, PG-13) Samuel L. Jackson plays the lead in the true story of Ken Carter, who benches the entire Richmond, CA high school basketball team until grades improve.

Mentor movies
Antwone Fisher (2002, PG-13) An angry, talented sailor is sharpened and soothed by a caring Naval psychiatrist (Denzel Washington).

Finding Forrester (2000, PG-13) The reclusive novelist (Sean Connery) finds talent in a young man.

Secondhand Lions (2003, PG) Michael Caine and Robert Duvall play the uncles every boy wishes he had. On a farm one summer, it’s a family favorite!

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, PG) Short and ancient, the character Yoda is introduced as guide for Luke Skywalker.

Teacher movies
Akeelah and the Bee (2006, PG) M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-N-G. Keke Palmer plays Akeelah, bright but underperforming. Laurence Fishburne coaches her to the National Spelling Bee, and community redemption.

Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995, PG) Richard Dreyfuss leads in this sentimental favorite of dedicated music teacher’s 30-year career.

Stand and Deliver (1987, PG) Edward James Olmos in a tour-de-force performance as an inspirational Calculus teacher in East L.A. Based on a true story.

The Great Debaters (2007, PG-13) Denzel Washington plays debate coach Melvin Tolson, who trained small Wiley College in a national championship match against Harvard. A true and inspirational story.

To Sir, with Love (1967) Sidney Poitier is a novice teacher assigned to a school of young toughs in London.

Find out more about Dangerous Man Day at http://dangerousman.org/.