Tag Archive | adventure

Masculinity P1

Questions are an essential part of life but a subject that us men seem a little nervous around.  They are essential because they help us troubleshoot; a vital part of problem solving which is a core purpose of the masculine soul.

Questions are a sign of humility which predisposes God to give us His power. 1 Peter 5:5 they also reveal a desire to learn, grow, develop and transform and these are intrinsic parts of being a disciple of Jesus.

I have had many questions levelled at me through the years and I have had those ‘percolating questions’ that rise up within my masculine heart and soul.   These usually fall into two categories – What is a man?  Am I a man?

Right from the outset my masculine heart and soul received a steady stream of data regarding these two foundational and fundamental questions.  I have to say; the messages were mixed, confusing and conflicting.  Until I came to a place, a ah ah moment.

I was reflecting on Gen 1:28 and reading a book by John Eldridge and came to a thought of his –

 “God doesn’t make generic people, he makes something very distinct – a man and a woman.  In other words, there is a masculine heart and a feminine heart which in their own ways reflect and portray to the world God ‘s heart.” Pg 8 Wild at Heart John Eldredge

If I believe, which I do, that I am created by God, then He intentionally designed and defaulted my masculine soul.   At that moment, eight years ago, the desire to discover the design, function and purpose of the masculine heart and soul began.

What I have discover, learnt and am applying is the subject of the next four posts.

The structure, functions and purposes of the masculine heart and soul are fourfold – Navigate, Engage, Empower, Sacrifice.

The big four are like grid references on a map.  They are ordinance survey points that help orientate us.  They are the needles of a compass and sacrifice is the magnetic north our masculine heart and soul.

Navigate speaks of planning and directing a journey, by the use of maps and instruments at our disposal.  This paradigm of life as a journey which needs to be proactively charted, lies at the core of our MH&S, by design.  It is not co-incidental that the game Uncharted was a massive hit with men and yet the things called for through the levels, tests and challenges of the game, are paralleled in life.  Sadly, too many men have retreated to the online version and seem detached from the real-life version of Uncharted!

“Adam was created outside the garden, in the wilderness.  Man was born in the outback, from the untamed part of creation!”  Pg 34 Wild at Heart. John Eldredge

An essential part of navigating is trusting the encounters and experiences of those who have gone before and who have left clues to the terrain, obstacles and challenges of the journey.   These mature topographers, these generational ‘charters,’ are what the Bible calls spiritual fathers and should be in our world, and yet they are rare.

I have to be honest and say I don’t think I’ve been the best navigator or topographer to my marriage and family but like Paul I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting what’s past I press on to the upward call of Christ. Phil 3:12

In July and November of 2016 I was given the privilege of becoming a granddad.  I feel the call of this new level of the ‘computer game of life!’  I have another chance as a navigator and topographer and I will rise to challenge to be there for the emerging and the established generations.

AS the lyricist said “No one said it was easy!’  and nothing worthwhile ever is!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dad Trip!

Men love road trips and sons, by and large, like to spend time with their fathers. The Father portrayed in the Bible loves spending time with His sons and enjoys taking them on road trips. This pod explores ‘Dad Trips!’

borders!

Borders are a vital dynamic to grasp because the Father who designed and created the masculine heart and soul, will consistently bring us men, His sons, to many border times and crossing over opportunities.

From Memory 2 Imagination Part 3

stepping stones

If we are ready for the challenge and the adventure, here are five steps that will move us from memory to imagination.

1.      Think about what you think about.

Begin taking an inventory of our thoughts, especially about the issues and dynamics of home, work, and relationships, our potential, future hopes or aspirations.

  • Become aware of any fear that’s there! Fear is an acronym –
  • Future Events Appearing Real.

These words were spoken to a friend of mine, who was about to follow his ‘TA army flock’ down the ski course. The Sergeant and instructor saw fear in his eyes and challenged him to see future events in a different way and engage his new skills and he’d be alright.

We cannot go any further or higher than our thoughts permit!

  • Is our fear just the result of being human ?
  • The consequence of facing something new or big?
  • Or is it tied to a past experienced that acts like a bungee?

We cannot change what we cannot see or become aware of!

 2.      Repent 

There are two actions within this one word: change the way you think and then go in a different direction. See Luke 15:17&18

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Einstein

Our thinking informs and builds our belief and precedes our actions. So if we attempt new actions without new thinking, we will experience limited progress and success.  However, if we combine new thinking with new actions, we will release new power into and towards our contexts.

The law of combination states: that when we combine two elements we release a compound – energy/power!

New thinking combined with new actions will release new momentum, and this new power and energy will begin to affect the issues and contexts we desire to change. (Apologise for so many news but new is good!) Have to be careful with formulas but as an illustration it helps –

Thinking + Attitude + Approach + Action = Outcomes 

When we change one part of the chemical formula, we change the nature of the results! Stephen R Covey *

3.      Visualise

  • Before we think thoughts we imagine!
  • It is true that a picture paints a thousand words!

One of the purposes of our imagination is to make present and possible, ‘future events’ that seem impossible at the moment. As an adopted son of an amazing Father, I am commanded to imitate Him (Eph 5:1) The dynamic within this words speaks of copying or mimicking Him –

  • God makes know the end from the beginning. See Ish 46:10
  • God often enters our today using the language & image of tomorrow
  • These words & images often  bear no resemblance to how it is or how we are e.g. Gideon Judges 6 & Ish 54:1-4

The love of this ‘Tomorrow Imagining and Speaking Father’ is trying to cast out fear.  1 John 4:18

  • Imagination and faith, when combined release vision.
  • We see around us with our eyes.
  • We see tomorrow with the eyes of vision.

Sight is a function of the eyes, vision a function of the heart. Dr Myles Munroe *

Taking the time and making the effort, and it will take both, to continually bring to our imagination a new image is a vital principle in moving us from memory to imagination. Vital because our minds seek to complete the image we persistently bring to it.

  • Our words are the dictionary of our hearts and the core purpose of a dictionary is to define!
  • So what we confess is dynamically defining us!

 4.      Confess

Begin the process of using metaphors and language that support the new image  and thinking we are holding within us.It might seem weird or a little odd to use present tense vocabulary towards our ‘still the same contexts or issues’ but think of it like this:

  • When our new tomorrow happens, what language will we use?
  • Then use it now!

God tells the barren woman to sing, burst into song and shout for joy, which on the surface seems insensitive or even harsh but He’s addressing her form her tomorrow and with the benefit of hindsight.

She is on a page but He is on every page, including how it ends!

God dynamically does the same to Gideon; He addresses him as a Mighty Warrior because God knew what was in him and had seen him operating as one. The answer to an unproductive and fear gripped life is vision and Father has got loads of it and desires to share it with us.  See Eph 3:20

 We need to watch our metaphors because our potential and capacity are listening!

 5.      Act: Stop and start.

There are some actions we need to stop because they are part of the problem and other actions we need to start because they correspond to our new image, thinking and future. Our new image has the same potential and power as a seed but unless this seed encounters an ‘intentional grower’ it remains dormant.

Some years ago, seeds were found in a tomb in Egypt, they were hundreds of years hold. A person, an intentional grower, took them and gave them the environment and commitment they needed –

They released what was entombed!

  • Our imaginations are either wombs or tombs!
  • Father’s seed is in there but is it dormant?
  • Are we ‘Tomb Raiders?
  • Do we need to become intentional growers?

Only through cultivation can we make the picture on the packet become a reality in our lives!

Passivity lets anything and everything grow.  Cultivation, which is intentional growing and purposeful production, takes pro -activity.  Have a look at  this  metaphor at Proverbs 24:30-34

I hope these steps and their thoughts have made us think and I would love to hear your comments.  I would like to share a final thought, which has and still does help me in my daily discipline of making future events become real!

More energy was used breaking out of orbit than was used to travel to the moon and the rocket shook the most as it was breaking loose of gravity!

If we decide to take these steps, you will experience gravity and shaking but these are signs that you have engaged the power and are heading to a new destination!  The gravity and shaking will occur in our soul, which houses our mind, will and emotions.

  • Feelings and thoughts will try and hold you back and keep you in. Our & others
  • Feelings and thoughts  will act like gravity because –
  • They are attached, even super glued to the comfortable and the familiar.

Once we begin to move inwardly and outwardly towards our new goal, they will kick in, seeking to accomplish what gravity does; hold us down and keep us in place.  However, if we continue in these steps despite our feelings we will experience breakthrough and breakout.

  • So are we staying with memory or moving to imagination?
  • Staying within orbit or going where no one has gone before?

P.S   My TA padre mate made it down!

Please leave your comments

* pg 86 Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

* Preface to the principles & power of vision Dr Myles Munroe

From memory to imagination : Part 1

Image

Michael Paling has been on and recorded many great journeys.
Stephen Tompkinson, is giving us amazing aerial views of great landscapes and places as he balloons across continents.

  • Great journeys are vital to the masculine soul, for it was created to explore!       
  • The glossary of the masculine soul includes words like: adventure, discovery, challenge, risk.  
  • Great journeys offer us all of these and more. 

Great journeys are not just geographical.  Life offers us the opportunity to discover, go beyond the norm and the status quo

  • Think about childhood to adolescence.  Remember that?
  • From adolescence to manhood.
  • From single to married

Great journeys, undertaken, mean the traveller will not be the same when they get back.  This in part, is why we long to go there as men. One of greatest ‘toxins’ for the masculine soul is boredom.

“Boredom is the plight of a modern man when he lacks distraction and has no absorbing passion or pastime.” Blaise Pascal

When Joshua had grown old, the  Lord  said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. (Joshua 13:1 NIV)

  • Joshua was very old but God is not talking retirement, slippers and shed.  
  • His agenda is still to go beyond, to move from the familiar to the unknown!  
  • Joshua’s travelling and journeying days were not over!

When we stop journeying we become settlers and we silence and sideline the urge to move out and into!

There is a great journey that I believe the Father desire we all take as men and that journey is from Memory to Imagination. Memory and imagination are powerful dynamics that have the ability to impact our masculine hearts and souls, leaving their mark and some impacts are meteoric!

  • Memory is all past, previous or present focused!
  • Imagination is possible and future focused!
  • Memory is limited, imagination unlimited!

One of the saddest dynamics I have experienced many times over in conversations with men, is they focus on what they have done, seen and experienced.  Very little about what they are looking forward to, imagining or planning for!

For some men, imagining is not the problem; it’s the power of memory that keeps them within the boundary line and accepting the status quo, instead of crossing over into new territory.
See Gideon Judges chapter 6 esp v13.

One thing I have realised about following the Father of the Bible is this:

  • He never leaves us where He finds us.
  • He always takes His sons from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary
    .

Speaking as an achiever, Lord and mentor Jesus said to His twelve disciples and friends, this very truth –  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8 NIV)

The Holy Spirit will lead these men from Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth; this is not just about the spirit of mission but of adventure and risk.  The Holy Spirit would be compelling these men to keep journeying, He would be pioneering opportunities that would be life transforming, for them and others!

Being male and a follower of Jesus is not about slippers and settling but about journeying and transformation! Travelling and greatness are intrinsically connected.

Final thoughts –

  • A soul can exist in memory but it can only thrive through imagination! 
  • Have you taken this great journey yet as a man?
  • Are you still behind the line and in the memory?
  • Women burnt their bras do we need to burn our slippers?

The greatest journey lies ahead: from time into eternity and  what we have released in time will echo throughout eternity.