Category Archives: Protecting

The REAL Man

Return weekly for blogs from our various writers: The following blog is written by Senior Pastor of Church 212, Mike Harrison, on Real Biblical Manhood.


We desire to help men grow into REAL MANHOOD.

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“The REAL HUMAN is the being that came from the hand of God, unspoiled by sin and the fall.”

In a very real sense, the only true human beings were Adam and Eve before the fall, and Jesus. All the others are twisted, distorted, corrupted, samples of humanity. It therefore is necessary to look at humans in their original state and at Christ if we would correctly assess what it means to be human” (Erickson, Introduction to Christian Theology, 162).

Obviously, sin caused a twisted view of what a TRUE human is to look like and manhood has followed suit. The true definition of manhood has been lost within our culture. It is not uncommon for men to be cast as “idiots…clueless..the joke” of most cartoons, sitcoms, romantic comedies and the like. Few men have had role models to mentor them in what real manhood looks like. In Erickson’s statement there are only three perfect humans: Adam & Eve, and Jesus.

Adam & Eve
We do not have a lot of knowledge about Adam & Eve before sin entered their lives. The original couple were made “in His (God’s) image and in His likeness”. We know BEFORE the Fall they were shameless and walked with God. We also know man and woman were in harmony with each other. Adam had a superior intellect because he is commissioned to name all of the animals. Beyond that we don’t have much more information. But we do have Jesus. He is said to be, “the Word made flesh and dwelt among us…” which is God’s Person and thoughts animated so we could know God’s acts & ways (John 1:14 – 18).

Jesus
We can read about Jesus throughout the Bible. In the Old testament we read His pre-history; prophecies about who he would be and what He would do when he comes to earth. In the New Testament we have four eye-witness accounts (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) of His life and Passion; in Acts His work in the Early Church; and throughout the Epistles of Paul, Peter, James , John & Jude we have His life explained; in Revelation we learn all about Him and His final dealings with mankind. We study the life of Jesus Christ as our model of true humanity.

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“We are seeking to multiply men who act like, respond like, and live like Jesus.” -Mike Harrison @MultiplyingMen

The New Testament is replete with stories of how Jesus encountered problems, interacted with people, and his personal teachings about how to live our lives. Watching Him through the pages of Scripture, and hearing Him teach through biblical writings we can learn how to be men…REAL MEN. For instance, as Paul teaches, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25 NIV). This is very different from our cultural norms that have men who are self-seeking, self-made and look out for number one (self). Selflessness is a trait which Jesus exhibited throughout His life and modeled for us to follow. This is just one example of how we learn about Jesus and follow His lead.

Conclusion
As we listen and act on what we learn about Jesus, we begin to be transformed into His image (Romans 8:29). That’s the kind of men we want to multiply.

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Join, or start a small group, to study the Bible and interact with other godly men who are all encouraging one another to be like Christ and seek to PRACTICE DAILY what they LEARN about Him.” -Mike Harrison @MultiplyingMen

In the process you will become A REAL MAN.

Written by Dr. Mike Harrison
Lead Pastor Church 212
MikeHarrison

When Men Say Too Much

The following blog is written by Dr. Rich Frazer, President of SOS International, a global leadership-equipping ministry. He also writes a bi-monthly article for the Desert Christian News in the Coachella Valley.


When Men Say Too Much

I talk too much. I also write too much. For a 650 word article like this, I will write 2500 and whittle out what is inappropriately illustrative, self-amusing or exalting, and extraneous. Real writers call that downsizing, “Murdering Your Darlings.” It’s as heartless as it sounds.

My excessive verbal capacities surfaced again a few years ago during a rather disconcerting encounter with an Arizona State Highway Patrol Officer. While traveling to Phoenix with my good friend from India, the officer pulled me over for a chat.

He informed me of a state law that asserts if a be-lighted emergency vehicle is parked on the side of the highway, it is mandatory, not to mention courteous, for the motorist to shift his/her car or truck over a lane away from that side of the road so as not to pose a danger to inhabitants of the stopped vehicles.

That was news to me.

While the patrolman and I were getting acquainted next to his patrol car, behold, a car and driver in violation of the aforementioned statute sped by us in the forbidden zone – the rebellious driver likely chuckling over my demise. The officer looked up from his notepad on which he was writing a warning, shook his head and said, “There goes another one,” to which quickly I recommended, “Don’t let him get away! You better go NOW and catch him!”

He said not a word. He just gave me “the look.”

I was able to make a comeback, though. I got him laughing and telling me about the interesting and bizarre he has seen on his roadway beat. Then the thought occurred to me – and I verbalized it out loud (redundant, I know), “You could keep yourself busy all day stopping people who don’t know that law.” He nodded and grinned in hearty agreement. I was making a comeback with this guy. And just at that moment there existed the occasion to say no more and save face.

But I just couldn’t keep my trap shut. That would be so – un MAN-ly.

Without skipping a beat or stopping long enough to take a breath, I blathered, “But if you chased down all those cars, then you wouldn’t have time to go to the… (DON’T SAY IT!!) . . . Donut shop.”

Moronic, huh? I know.

That “darling” should have been assassinated. Our fellowship ended. We were not going to be friends. There was no comeback. He would no longer be humored. He completed his paperwork and I would soon be on my way. Before dispatching me he asked if I had anything illegal in my vehicle.

In my final attempt to lighten this awkward conversation, I told him in jest that I wasn’t sure about my Indian friend. I think he was referring more to implements like guns, drugs, rockets. He eyeballed me one more time, shook his head, and assured me he was not the INS.

As he walked back to the car, a verse came to my mind that I should have thought of prior to this encounter on the Arizona thoroughfare:

With many words transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise (Proverbs 10:19).

Men, our words can get us into big trouble! Though our female counterparts get more press as the chattier gender, on average generating twice the number of words per day than the average guy, we still can get into an equal or greater trouble operating at half their capacity.

I think I can save us from a lot of embarrassment, misunderstandings and explanations, guys, were we to heed those words penned by the wisest man who ever lived. Here’s a few bytes of advice to keep us biting our tongues:

Murder the darlings.

When you’ve formulated that perfect retaliatory retort that will put her – or whomever – in her place, advance your competitive edge or stroke your ego, bury it.

Some things ARE better left unsaid.

Swallowing your pride is not fattening. Stifling your self-promoting blather does not stunt your growth. We’re to crucify the flesh (and all that goes with it) and speak “only such a word that builds others up and is appropriate for the need of the moment and will promote grace in those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29).

Tweet: “Words are not to be misused to destroy, but to promote others in appropriate ways at appropriate times” – Dr. Rich Frazer @multiplyingmen

Say Less.

“Restrain your lips,” as our wise-man counselor tutors, and you’ll be wise. It’s been said that it’s better to be keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Listen up. Everything you’re going to say, you already know. To learn and gain wisdom, you have to pay attention. To discover and understand, you must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger . . . (James 1:19).

OK, Guys. Get out there and strengthen, bless and promote those around you – especially your children, grandchildren, co-workers, and, especially your special lady – with your timely and well-spoken words

When men say too much

Dr. Rich Frazer
President of SOS International

What Are You Feeding On?

The following post is written by market place leader, Kim Harrell. Kim is National Sales Manager for All Weather Insulated Panels (www.awipanels.com). Kim is passionate about biblical manhood, disciple-making, and following Jesus.

He is a great example how God calls us from our very livelihoods, leveraging our occupations, for the spread of the Gospel, both in our local cities, and to the ends of the earth. Stay connected for more from Kim.


What are you feeding on?

What we take into our mind, into our heart, and into our soul becomes the foundation for our character. We can literally store good in our heart. But in order to fill our heart with good stuff, we need to post a guard to keep the bad stuff out.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

This is a verse that all of us as men should know and apply in our lives. This needs to be memorized and put into practice. We need to be very careful of exactly what we allow into our heart.

The truth is: We cannot “unsee” things. Once we have experienced something – especially visually – it can be a difficult emotional and spiritual battle to push out of our minds. Sometimes I wish I could zip off the top of my skull and pressure wash my brain to erase memories I have from my past. But, unfortunately we can’t do that.

Getting to the core

The caution of guarding our heart goes to the core of what we are feeding on. We can’t simply avoid or flee from certain thoughts and behaviors – we must also pursue those things that are God-honoring and will help to develop our character. The Bible cautions us to guard our heart and it also encourages us on what to focus on:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

What we dwell on will determine our thought life and ultimately develop our character. Many of us often feed on the wrong things. The television, magazines, internet sites, movies, music and other media that we take in, result in patterns of thought. These thoughts result in our behaviors and habits.

No matter what condition we find ourselves in today, Paul tells us that there is hope:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Romans 12:2

Paul encourages us that we can actually renew our mind and transform our character with the help of God’s Spirit and through our own personal diligence. It is rarely a huge event that affects us.

Tweet: It is hundreds of little events and choices over a period of time that shapes our behavior. -Kim Harrell @multiplyingmen

So What?

What are we feeding on?

  • Do we need accountability with our computer?
  • Do we need to rethink the movies and music we enjoy?
  • Pause to ask ourselves during the day: Is what I am doing right now helping to develop Christ-like character?

Prayer:

Lord, help me to guard my heart. I need your strength and wisdom to make the proper choices. I need men in my life who are serious about their faith to encourage me and keep me accountable. Lord, help me to learn and grow to pursue the things that You would pursue. Help me to fill my heart with what is true, right and honorable and push the negative and harmful stuff out. I pray that I could grow in the character of Your Son.Amen.

Kim Harrell
National Sales Manager
All Weather Insulated Panels
Follower of Christ
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Don’t Sell Yourself Short: You Were Made For Greatness

The following post was written by Shana Howard, Small Group Pastor of Church 212 in Palm Desert, Ca.


Don’t Sell Yourself Short: You Were Made For Greatness

One day, I was reading a book at my community pool. Close by in the Jacuzzi, were two guys talking. These men were strangers and had struck up a conversation. They were talking so loud I could hear every word. But trying to read, I attempted to tune them out.

However, due to their volume and subject matter, I was unable. Their discussion was about how they could use women for their own sexual gratification.

The older man (in his 60’s) was sharing with the younger guy (in his 40’s) how he was getting a bride from another country, set up in an apartment, so he could use her sexually however he wanted. He was telling his new friend how he should do the same—that he doesn’t even need to marry her, just string her along and hide her away somewhere.

The younger engaged the conversation. It got more graphic as more women were discussed with more ways to get away with “using them.”

My next move

As you can imagine being a woman, I was aghast. I was so uncomfortable sitting there and wasn’t sure what to do. Honestly, I was disgusted at their conversation and wanted to chew them out on behalf of all women but decided to mind my own business.

As I’m not one to confront strangers, I packed up to leave. Until, of course, the Holy Spirit compelled me to address the situation.

Tweet: “Nothing changes if Christians don’t say anything. You are the light to darkness.” – Shana Howard

Gulp. I didn’t want to actually confront these guys. I was nervous.

But then God flooded me with love and compassion for these men. He gave me exactly what to talk to them about and I loved what God had to say. He wanted me to tell them they were made for greatness. God didn’t want me to chew them out, he wanted me to call them out and into where their lives would be fulfilled and meaningful. He didn’t want me to say what they couldn’t do, but rather share with them what they could do.

So I nervously approached and interrupted their conversation. With conviction and compassion, I said something like, “I couldn’t help but overhear you talking. You were made for more than using these women…”

The older guy interrupts me and tells me to mind my own business. But I continue with passion and tenderness, “You were made for greatness. You were made to honor women and protect them. You were made for so much more than you are giving yourself.”

The older man scoffed while the younger man apologized for offending me. I continued sharing with them God had great plans to do through them. Great things.

Protecting the weak and defenseless

These choices were preventing them from experiencing true greatness by God’s hand. I reminded them as men, they were designed to protect the weak and defenseless. They were to be men like they saw in the movie’s Braveheart and Gladiator; men of purpose, heroic and great. The older man continued to scoff but the younger man waved him off and said, “I need to hear this.”

So I reiterated what I was saying making sure to use the phrase God had given me to say to them, “You were made for greatness.” The younger guy thanked me and the older man apologized for his inappropriate use of language in front of me.

I was witnessing this scripture come to life in that moment, “The kindness of God leads man to repentance” (Romans 2:4). I don’t remember my parting words, but I left those two men praying in my mind, “God press those words deep in their heart, “You were made for greatness.”

Bring them to remembrance when they go to do things in darkness. Give them hope there is another way to live. Reveal your Son Jesus to them. Help them to become men you desire.

Men that honor, protect and glorify you.”

Your takeaway

I share this story with you guys to remind you, “YOU WERE MADE FOR GREATNESS.” God wants to do great things in you and through you.

I have no idea what might be hindering you from having all that God has planned for you but I pray as you read this, He speaks to you–that the Holy Spirit calls you out and into a better life of purpose.

Whether you feel complacent or unworthy because of past choices or deeds of darkness, KNOW THIS: there is a God of Hope. He wants to strengthen you to live for His glory. Call upon the name of the Lord and He will help.

Brothers, I am cheering you on. Rise up! Take hold of the great position God has given you. Be a man! Battle for good! Go for it! Enjoy your New Year!

Your sister in Christ,

Shana Howard
Small Group Pastor, Church 212
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