Growing up, I thought the Marine Corps had the best recruiting commercials out of all the armed services. Maybe that’s why I spent so much time in the Marine Recruiting office in middle school. However, I followed God to Bible College rather than going to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego after High School and a year at Junior College. There’s something inspirational, though, in the thought of being the “tip of the spear” and thus saving the world. Something almost unexplainable rises inside of me when I think about the values of the Marine Corps.
But maybe that’s not you. Perhaps God has placed something different in your soul, which initiates vision and life. I think John Elbridge got it right when he noted, “Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man.” Today though, noble manhood has fallen on tough times in many quarters of our culture. As we approach Father’s Day in 2023, the problem is much more exasperated. (more…)
For some Father’s Day ushers in a number of confusing emotions. I feel a sense of sorrow at the identity confusion of Bruce Jenner and can only wonder how he and his family are emotionally tackling Father’s Day this year. I also though feel a sense of almost bewilderment at the social media’s confusion and acceptance of Jenner’s self proclaimed transition into womanhood. Until recently such a story would only be found in supermarket tabloids along with pictures of Big Foot, alien sightings, and write ups about how Hitler was actually found alive living in the Amazon basin last Thursday. But here we are now in America with the Jenner journey and similar headlines not only being accepted by serious news outlets but also being trumpeted as heroism by the White House. While I agree that people like Bruce may struggle with uncomfortable emotions, the fact remains that a human being with an X and a Y chromosome is a male and a human with two X chromosomes is a female and no amount of hormone injections and plastic surgery will change that. Why is this not clear?
The ruse of Rachel Dolezal was clear this past week. Her self-proclaimed identity transformation from a caucasian woman to a black woman was rejected by just about everyone in culture. While Dolezal may feel black and desire to live life as a black woman, everyone knows she is not such.
So why is Jenner’s identity confusion being welcomed with open arms and celebration? Does it even matter? (more…)
This Sunday is Father’s Day and for some people that means a powerful time of positive reflection. Dad was great. Others though approach Father’s day with a yawn at best. Either way I typically look at this confused occasion as an opportunity to teach about God’s design for fatherhood and the family. Dads are influential and important beyond measure. When I talk with solid leaders I like to ask them about their fathers and their relationship with them. If I’m studying the life of a great leader from the past or one presently alive that I just can’t get close to I still try to uncover something in connection to their fathers. Almost without exception, the great Kingdom leaders that I know had a good relationship with their dad and he was a tremendous part of their inner formation.
My story is not too shiny in this department. When people ask me about my father I sometimes jokingly reply, “Well, which one”? I suppose I could categorize my journey with dads this way. (more…)
My last surviving grandparent crossed over the river into the other side of eternity yesterday afternoon. Granddad Stephens was 97. When I think of the legacy that my grandfather left, I almost always think of the song, “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg. Granddad Stephens had a natural talent for music and he pursued that as his career in life retiring as a High School band director not far from where I grew up. Maybe more importantly though, along with my grandmother, he brought music into the lives of his children and even down into my own soul today. Granddad, I know that like King David of old, is now playing and dancing in HIS presence. For the rest of our family who are left behind, we are thanking God and remembering the good things that have been built into our lives by granddad hands. He left a legacy.
The reality in this situation is that we all have an opportunity to leave a legacy. Whether we like it or not, unless we move to the desert by ourselves, we’re going to leave some kind of imprint, good or bad, on those around us. The question is what kind of legacy will we leave. (more…)