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Archive for November 2014

The Manger Build – Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014

A great opportunity to be an intentional Dad. Build a life-sized manger with your children that you can use to remind your family about the truth of Christmas. Be a hero as you spend quality time with your kids, and lead your family in keeping Christ in Christmas. Stop in anytime between 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Building the manger will take approximately 30 minutes. Materials and a free devotional will be provided.

Who: The men of the church building Christmas mangers with their children and children of the church.

What: The Manger build is designed to help men lead in a fun activity, then in family devotions that celebrate Christ.

When: Sunday, Dec. 7, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM at Christ Community Church.

Where: The newly purchased Porch building.

Why: It engages men by getting their attention, equips them with practical resources and encourages them to lead. This is a powerful tool to build men and progresses this way; building mangers –builds men-builds the church-advances the Kingdom!

How: The Men’s Leadership Team is required to execute an excellent event. We need the courageous leadership of all the men on the team in order to glorify God.

 Learn more about The Manager Build at www.themangerbuild.org

Joy in Suffering

So, we have been looking at joy the past couple of weeks. And this week, I want to look at one of the great joy disrupters… suffering. Suffering is all around us. You go online, read the news paper, or watch the news, you see suffering everywhere. Think about your own life. Undoubtedly, you know somebody – a friend, a coworker, a loved one – who is experiencing some kind of suffering in their life. Perhaps they lost their job, their marriage is falling apart, their health is deteriorating, or they lost a loved one. Maybe the one who is suffering is you.

Many of you know of the physical suffering I experience in my life. For those of you who don’t, here is the short version. Approximately three years ago, I started to struggle with being able to keep food in my system. I would eat and start to vomit almost instantly. As a result, I lost an excessive amount of weight. To date, I still suffer from this health issue and have to be very careful about what I eat. I say all of this because suffering has a great propensity to take away joy in our lives.

Paul says to the Philippians, “Every time I think about you I’m grateful” (Phil. 1:3). This is a great statement by Paul because when Paul was in Philippi he wasn’t treated all that well. He was falsely accused, arrested, beaten, stripped of his clothes, and thrown into jail with his feet in stocks (Acts 16:16-24). Now think about this happening to you. How would you respond? Would you respond like Paul? Luke tells us that Paul and Silas where praying and singing hymns to God (Acts 16:25).

So, how do you respond to suffering? Are you, like so many, who just close yourself off to joy and happiness because of the suffering you’re going through? Remember, there is something far better than the happy life and that is the meaningful life. If our ultimate goal is to be happy than we will never be happy, but if our goal is meaning, than chances are we will get happy with that.

You see, the best response to suffering isn’t hopelessness; it’s usefulness. The best response to suffering isn’t despair at what’s going on whether it is in your life or in the life of someone close to you; rather it is the determination to make a difference. The best prayer during suffering is “God, make me useful.” We can all do this; we can all be useful in the life of the one suffering. Maybe it is spending time with them, praying with them, take them a meal, send them a card. Just something to show you care.

If it is you suffering, you can still be useful and you can still have meaning in your life. For me, I find meaning in being a husband and a father. I find usefulness and meaning in serving God with the many opportunities He provides for me. All of these things, being a husband and a father and a servant of Jesus bring me great joy in the midst of the suffering I experience in this world.

The psalmist says, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Now I don’t know when your morning is going to come; maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or next year. Just know that someday, your morning is going to come. So don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t quit, because suffering may be able to disrupt happiness, but it can never take away meaning.

~ Tim Hall

https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

Investing Wisely

Last week we looked at having a meaningful life. Now, a meaningful life is much more important than a happy life because when you aim at having a meaningful life, you’re likely to have happiness in it. But, if your goal is a happy life, chances are you will get neither happy nor meaning. So choose wisely; choose to have a meaningful life.

Now, one of the best ways to have a meaningful life is to invest in your relationships with others. Having meaningful relationships is so critical to our lives. Look at what Apostle Paul wrote to the people in Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy” (Philippians 1:3-4). People mattered to Paul and because life is about relationships, people should matter to us.

Here’s the thing, nobody has unhappy relationships and a happy life and nobody has joy-filled, meaningful relationships and an unhappy life. Relationships matter. This is so true. You see, Paul was dirt poor financially, but relationally he was filthy rich. So, are you spending as much time building relationships in your life as you are spending trying to be successful, making money or being happy?

Paul says, “I thank God for you and I pray for you with joy.” Who are you grateful for? Who do you pray for with joy? Take time this week to write them a thank you note telling them how grateful you are for them being part of your life.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

It’s A Meaningful Life

This time of year brings me much joy and happiness. There is an amazing beauty in the changing landscape, the weather is getting cooler, and the holidays are just around the corner. But the real reason this time of year brings me joy is because of everything pumpkin. There are pumpkin waffles, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cereal, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin pop tarts (they’re amazing), pumpkin donuts, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cake. You can go to a store called Trader Joe’s and get a six pack of mini pumpkin pies…they will change your world. And then there is just regular old pumpkin pie. Do you know what is better than pumpkin pie? NOTHING!

Now think about what makes you happy. Who or what brings you joy in your life? We all want to be happy, we all hunger for joy, but it seems to be so elusive in our lives. I wonder if it is because we often search for happiness in material things or our circumstances. These things may provide happiness for awhile, but eventually that happiness will fade away and then we look for the next thing that will bring us joy.

Here’s the thing, if your basic goal in life is for you to be happy, chances are you will never be truly happy. If you honestly want happiness you need to pursue something more important and more significant than a happy life, and that is a meaningful life. So if you want joy, if you want happiness, pursue a meaningful life. One way to do this is to practice acts of kindness.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul refers to himself as a servant (Phil. 1:1). He tells them in their relationships with one another to have the same mindset of Christ Jesus, who took on the nature of servant (Phil. 2:6-7). You see, joy comes not when people do for me what I want, but when I do for them what they need. In other words, when I’m a servant, joy comes. We think we will be happy when we get what we want, but it turns out happiness and meaning turn out to be about what we give. Joy and happiness actually increase when we serve others.

This week, do an act of kindness for somebody. By someone a cup of coffee, run an errand for somebody, help someone with a project, bake something for a neighbor, or visit somebody in a nursing home. Smile at strangers, hold the door open for others and wish them a good day, call a friend, call your mother, do something for your spouse that they have been asking you to do for weeks, give someone a hug. Make your home, your church, your workplace your neighborhood the happiest place on earth by serving others and doing an act of kindness. Let me know what you did this week how you served someone and how that gave you meaning and happiness in your life.

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)

What Kind of Man are You – Part IV

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

In his book Men of Courage, Dr. Larry Crabb writes that there are three characteristics of an inauthentic man that represent the battles that go on deep inside their soul. These characteristics are that an inauthentic man feels powerless, angry and terrified. Last week we looked at the characteristic of anger. This week as we wrap up this study, we are going to look at being terrified.

Men who live in a terrified state ask questions like: “What if life exposes me as a failure?” “What if I ruin everything…my family, my friendships, my job, and I’m left all alone?” “What if I face the fact that all my possessions, all my money, and good times have not fulfilled that emptiness deep inside of me?”

You see, inauthentic men live with a terror that won’t go away. They try to keep the terror hidden under wraps of success, sociability, and routine. But when the terror and fear can no longer be hidden, contained or controlled, inauthentic men panic. Some inauthentic men become violent, while others engage the pleasures of immorality. They look for an instant, reliable pleasure and release mask the terror they feel. Most often this is pornography, but it can include other pleasures that stimulate their imagination. Whatever their outlet, the goal is relief…a quick, reliable, easily achieved relief.

Conversely, an authentic man finds his answer to terror in freedom. When terror strikes, they may be tempted to respond like inauthentic men and become violent or look for that quick relief, but they do neither. Even though enjoying God can be harder, that is what an authentic man does. He takes the bad circumstance that caused the terror and uses it to exhibit something good and to reflect on the always hopeful movement of God. An authentic man fights hard against the unrelenting desire for instant gratification and release. He is a purposeful man who pursues his call of authentic manhood.

You see men, every day, we move either towards authentic manhood or away from it. What way are you moving? What areas of your life do you need to repent of? Who do you need to seek forgiveness from? Who do you have in your life to walk beside you on this journey to authentic manhood? You can’t do this alone. Find somebody to hold you accountable and enjoy the freedom that comes from being an authentic man…..being a godly man

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

~ Tim Hall
https://twitter.com/1timothy12
(I encourage feedback, questions & comments – email me at 1timothy46@gmail.com)