Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End....

The day comes faster and faster each moment.  The "to-do" list gets longer and longer.  I have actually thought of making a list of "dones".  It's like making a list of "to dos" but as soon as you write it you get to cross it out.
November 1, 2010 will mark the end of an era in my life as Major James Grogan's wife.  No...not divorce!  Retirement!  The Major will be retiring after 20 years of distinguished military service!  Thus the end of my time as an active duty military wife.  No worries...I have no plans whatsoever to start playing Mah-Jong in the "Combined Ranks Club".  From here life can only get more interesting because I know God has always had His Hands in it.  The good...the bad....and the ugly...all for a reason...all for His Glory!
So here goes...my list of "dones"...or better yet..."done-so-far".

Fell in love with a military man and married him...not my plan and sooner than the Major had planned.

Worked together in Glacier Park our first summer of marriage before he went active duty...the Major was a rafting guide...I packed the trips.

Emergency landing in a small aircraft!  Almost drowned in a Class 3 rapid on the North Fork of the Flathead river!(these were not on the same day)

Moved to Mississippi....definitely not our plan!

House broken into...not in the plan.

Moved to New Mexico...again...not our plan! 

Kate was born...definitely in the plan!  Just sooner than WE planned!

Now here is where I start learning a bit about myself...when Kate was 3 months old the Major(he was a 1st LT at this point) was sent to Logistics school...in Colorado!  This would be the first...but not the last time we would be separated for a long period of time. I learned to be very independent.  I learned a bit of what it would be like as a single mom, I learned that nights without my husband next to me sucked.  I also learned that God does not give  us anything we cannot handle!  I also made my first cross-country road trip by myself with a baby.  Albuquerque to Denver then on to Bozeman, MT for 2 weddings then onto Whitefish, MT for a 3rd wedding...all without my husband. The best thing I learned....He made me strong!

Sarah was born!  YAY...definitely in the plan!

Experienced the immense fear as a handgun is pointed straight at me in a parking lot in Albuquerque...not fun!

The Major goes to Little Rock for 4 months for C-130 training  when Sarah is 2 weeks old....not fun!

Receive orders to Alaska...YAY!! orders changed to Japan...NOT YAY!

Pack the house, clean the house for inspection(thank goodness for helpful Colonels' wives!) load the trailer and rush 2 year old to emergency room for excessive vomitting!  Then move to MT while the major finishes training in Little Rock then finds housing for us in Japan.

When Sarah is 8 months old we are allowed to fly to Japan to meet up with the Major.  What a long trip with 2 children under 3 years!  I didn't sleep for more than 48 hours!

We get settled in...over the jet-lag.  A week later...new to a foreign country(that drives on the left side of the road)  I am rushing my husband to the emergency room.  He is diagnosed with spinal meningitis and the flight doctor says "if he lives he will have brain damage"...and then leaves the room!  OK...more of the..."He does not give you more than you can handle"...ok...got it...after a stay in the hsopital...all is well! God's plan!

Experienced my first earthquake!  On the 7th floor of our apartment building that is on "rollers" so that it won't crumble. The major slept through it...

The Major receives orders for SOS...in Montgomery, Alabama.  We have only been back together as a family for  2 months and they send him back to the states for training.  And yes...as soon as I could I packed the girls up and we flew to St. Louis then rented a car and drove to Montgomery....by myself.

Experienced my first typhoon...all the flight crews were called up to ferry the aircraft to safety leaving the wives and children to "fend for themselves"...this is when I figured out that if the military wanted you to have a wife...they would have issued you one! I also kindof got use to the major being gone and not knowing where he was located! And I taught English to Japanese children.

After 2.5 years in Japan we asked to be transferred to Abilene, TX! YAY!! Lots of deployments! Not Yay! More 3 day road trips to see family while the major is deployed.  And here I discovered that it is possible to drive 18 hours in a day!

Went to Germany to join up with the Major...just me! First time to leave the girls for any length of time..yikes! Did not like being away from them for 2 weeks! But I did learn something about myself....I really love to drive fast!!! Germany...autobahn...convertible...you get the picture!

Transferred to Little Rock...not our plan....decided to homeschool...never was this our plan!  But definitely His plan as it has been an amazing time with my daughters.

Lost 4 family members in a matter of 18 months including my grandfather who was my favorite person on this earth next to my husband.

Made wonderful life-long friends that helped me through the multiple deployments!

Watched my husband being sent off to war.  not the plan....never is when it comes to military life but always knew it could happen.

The major came home safe and sound....definitely in everyone's plan!!

Transferred to Beale AFB(where???)  in California...not on the spectrum at all!!  And this is when our little family almost fell completely apart!  But God knew what He was doing and put people in our lives for a reason!

Waited impatiently but prayerfully 4 times in the past 2 years while the major was in surgery.  Experienced the near loss of his life because of one of these surgeries going wrong. God has plans for this man!

Graduated our eldest daughter from High School and sent her to college all the way across the country to a place she knew no one!  I learned that Kate is a very strong woman!!  And her sister Sarah is following right behind her.

And today...this is what I know....
A woman who loves a military man WILL follow him to the ends of the earth...even if it was not her plan!
Any military man is blessed to have a woman love him so much that she will do this!
The Code for military officers is more like "guidelines" to many...but adhered to by the best!
Military wives are the fasted mode of communication as well as the biggest hearts!
My husband is an amazing man...hungry for knowledge, for life and for Christ and he fills our home with laughter!
My daughters surprise me everytime I turn around.  Both are growing into women that when they wake in the morning, Satan hides!
God puts people in your life for a reason...some stay and become family...some become a cherished memory...some become a lesson learned.

What I have learned about myself....
I am strong and independent to a fault...and I am learning to get over the independent part!  I am dependent on Christ for everything!
I love my family and I love my friends...and if they do not know this...I am doing something wrong!
I love opening our home and our hearts to everyone...we have been blessed by those who have chosen to stay in our hearts!
I wear my heart on my sleeve and plan to leave it there!
I am learning that I cannot fix everything that happens in life. 
I have learned that the heartbreaks of my children are harder to take than my own.
The most important thing I have learned...that when I fall to my knees I am raised!

My life has been an adventure...so far...I cannot wait to see what He has in store for me next!

p.s.  I will write something soon on everything the Major has done...but that could be a book!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Proverb 31 women

My eldest daughter has started reading the book "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery to a Woman's Soul" by John and Stasi Eldredge.  I have read their male version "Wild at Heart..." and found it to be a psychobabblish piece of literature with a bit of scripture thrown in here and there.  I have not read "Captivating.." but have spent much time reading reviews, critiques etc and have found that many see it as giving glory to women and not God.  In light of my daughter exploring this book she is also exploring Proverbs 31.  If read in the perception that this is what a woman needs to be the moment she is married, we females all fall short.  But with further thought, we know it is what God wants the female to aspire to be, married or not.  To be a woman after God's own heart!

Proverbs 31:10 reads "Who can find a virtuous woman?  She is worth far more than rubies."
This precludes the examples in following verses on what a woman does/is to be virtuous, to aspire to be a Godly woman.

The word virtuous refers to strength of character, that is, moral strength and firmness, pure.  She is a Godly woman, strong, capable and steadfast in her convictions and her faith.When the word is applied to a man, a virtuous man  is one who fears God, loves truth and hates sin.
The virtuous woman does everything wholeheartedly and with all her ability.  She does not do it to bring glory to herself  but to bring glory to God.  And when a virtuous woman brings glory to God, she also brings glory to her husband.

How does she do this?

She remains modest in her dress and her actions.
She submits to the authority of her husband...even when she doesn't want to.
She cares for her family in all possible ways and is charitable to those who do not have as much as she.
She is a joy to those around her.
She supports her husband in all he does being encouraging and loving....even when she is in a bad mood.

The list can go on from here.  But the basic attitude is...serve all others before self...wholeheartedly!

How are my daughters becoming Proverb 31 women?

1. Each day they both look to God's word by doing their devotions and being still with Him.
2. By being more concerned with the well-being of others than their own.  My eldest has exemplified this in her actions toward someone who has hurt her deeply.  She prays each day that God will bless this person and make him the man God wants him to be, praying that no harm comes to him.
3. By being submissive to their dad, they are showing they can be submissive to their future husband.
4. Both my daughters do everything wholeheartedly and with diligence.
5. They are joyful people to be around.  Smiles abound in their presence.
6.  Both are able to laugh at themselves.
7. Both are learning to do those things that a wife will need to do...cooking, etc.
8. Both dress modestly and behave modestly.
9. Both my daughters stand strong in their convictions not leaning to those worldly ideas that may make them popular, but standing firm in their character that keeps them close to God.

The list continues, however, my point to all this is this:  No woman is born a Proverb 31 woman.  But I know my daughters are aspiring to such each morning they wake and turn their faces to God in prayer.
Now, a virtuous woman is not going to want just any man. She is going to want to find a virtuous man (a man of strength, courage and faithfulness) whose adventure in life is to be truly God fearing, to have a love for truth and a hatred of sin.  I pray each day for my daughters' future husbands that they will be virtuous and be the men God wants them to be. I pray they will be men after God's own heart!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I found this interesting......"Wild at Heart"

I have read this book and found it interesting but agree with this critique. Although I do not have sons, I have nephews, brothers and a husband and wanted to understand them better. But, the answers I truly need are in His words. My daughter is reading the female version of this book "Captivating..." and I have asked her to read it as she would any book...with a discerning heart and mind and to keep her bible open next to her. Below is the critique.

Wild at Heart

Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

A Critique by Jim Harmon


If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free — Jesus Christ (John 8:31, 32).

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus — Apostle Paul (Phil. 3:13, 14) .

Even after God’s dramatic rescue of me at the age of nineteen, when I became a Christian, the wound remained. As my dear friend Brent said, "Becoming a Christian doesn’t necessarily fix things. My arrows were still lodged deep and refused to allow some angry wounds inside to heal" — John Eldredge, Wild at Heart.

Simply put, the psychologizing of faith is destroying the Christian mind. It is destroying Christian habits of thought because it is destroying the capacity to think about life in a Christian fashion — David F. Wells, No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?

It is poetic and enticing. It reads like a movie marquee: "A battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live." That’s an underlying theme of Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge. On its Web site, Barnes & Noble introduces the book this way:

God designed men to be dangerous, says John Eldredge. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk. Sadly, most men abandon those dreams and desires—aided by a Christianity that feels like nothing more than pressure to be a "nice guy." It’s no wonder that many men avoid church, and those who go are often passive and bored to death. In this provocative book, Eldredge gives women a look inside the true heart of a man and gives men permission to be what God designed them to be—dangerous, passionate, alive, and free.

It is instructive that at the time of this writing 19 of the 23 readers who submitted comments gave the book the highest rating (five stars). Four gave the book the lowest (one star). There were no in-between ratings. Overall, the vote in favor of the book was a landslide.

Popularity aside, Wild at Heart is a notable example of the integration of secular ideas, theories, and practices with Scripture. As a result, clear Biblical teaching regarding the nature of man, how he should live, and how he changes is compromised, undermined, and obscured. This is not a reliable way of "Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul." At best, it’s like weaving through a minefield. Fortunately, the mines are on the surface. Unfortunately, many readers will not recognize them for what they are. We give it no stars.

The Wisdom of the World and the Wisdom of God Collide

The question "What is a Christian man?" comes early in the book and naturally raises expectations for some clear and reliable answers. Eldredge, however, submerges the issue in a sea of psychological, philosophical, and personal drama that only labors and encumbers the anticipated outcome. Our complaint is not with everything the author says about what makes or breaks a man; people sin and are sinned against, often in painful and grievous ways. Christians need not be surprised or perplexed by the effects and consequences of sin. Rather, in particular, it’s with his unrestrained application of secular and psychological counseling theories and assumptions that serve to obscure essential doctrines and teachings of Scripture, thereby robbing the issue of pure, God-breathed wisdom and the power therein (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 4:12). Masked in all of this, God is not presented as the sovereign, holy, all-powerful, all-knowing One that rules providentially in the affairs of men and nature, working righteously in the life of every believer, and assuring that the "good work" He has begun in each one will be completed.

The basic problem with Christians accepting these secular ideas, though popular throughout society, is that these ideas fundamentally do not illuminate or harmonize with Scripture. Rather, they tend to intrude upon it and meddle with it, usurping that which belongs to God. The authors of such ideas were unbelievers, men who had no regard for God or the Bible. Their work has spawned a multitude of differing theories and techniques. Theirs is a man-centered perspective that typically is based on what man thinks and says about himself. In addition, psychological counseling theory, like evolutionary theory, remains in flux; new ideas and theories continually emerge. Biblical truth is God-centered and confronts man with specific, unchanging facts of life (Matt. 4:4; John 17:17).

The "Wound" Takes Center Stage

"You don’t need a course in psychology to understand men," Eldredge claims. Even so, from the outset he paints the Christian man with a distinctly psychological brush—a victim, one who has been "wounded," most likely by his father, but also by the church, his wife, and others as well. All that follows is an eclectic mix of ideas and assumptions embroidered with Scripture. This mixture (known today as integration) can give the impression that the commentary is Bible-based and therefore misleads all but those discerning readers who insist upon Biblical integrity.

A positive note: The Bible is clear about the responsibilities of fathers in the lives of their children, not only to love their mothers, but also to be involved with the children in constructive ways, not the least of which is bringing them up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). Eldredge, in a manner of speaking, reminds us of that, though he promotes an adventure-oriented relationship.

Conspicuously missing in Wild at Heart is a clear message pertaining to the centrality, necessity, and urgency of the Gospel (John 3:3). It’s not that an unbelieving man is a sinner in need of the Savior, or that a Christian man is a sinner-saint who continually needs to grow in Christian virtue. It’s that he ("every man") is a victim ("wounded") in search of "authentic masculinity" and in desperate need of getting "his heart back." Eldredge deliberately sidesteps or downplays directives from Scripture that speak of obedience and duty, the "shoulds" and the "ought tos," as well as the classic Biblical concepts of sin, salvation, justification, sanctification, and hell. He minimizes the Christian virtues of being "responsible, sensitive, disciplined, faithful, diligent, dutiful, etc." While "Many of these are good qualities," Eldredge says, they are the very things that turn a man into a "nice guy," stripping him of his true masculine nature—"To be a hero, to be a warrior, to live a life of adventure and risk."

"A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family," Eldredge claims. "He must have a cause to which he is devoted even unto death for this is written into the fabric of his being. Listen carefully now: You do. That is why God created you—to be his intimate ally, to join him in the Great Battle."

Along with that, "God has a battle to fight and the battle is for our freedom," Eldredge asserts. In this context, the wounded man is characterized as living life as a "false self." He must regain his true self, his "masculine heart," and discover his "real name" in order to be a "real man." "If we can reawaken that fierce quality in a man, hook it up to a higher purpose, release the warrior within, then the boy can grow up and become truly masculine."

God Wants to be Loved?

While God serves to help men in their battle to recover their true natures, Eldredge also sees God as desperately needing human love and companionship:

And after years of hearing the heart-cry of women, I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone….the cry of God’s heart is, "Why won’t you choose Me?" It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point….In other words, "Look for me, pursue me—I want you to pursue me."

Do you know why he (God) often doesn’t answer our prayers right away? Because he wants to talk to us, and sometimes that’s the only way to get us to stay and talk to him. His heart is for relationship, for shared adventure to the core.

We reflect on these statements in disbelief. Eldredge describes a needy God, a God with fragile hopes and desires, a God who comes in search of attention and affection. Can this be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Can this be the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable "living and true God" (1 Thess. 1:9), who alone is the magnificent Creator and Ruler of the universe and man? Can this be the Father of Jesus, God, "which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13)? Even unrighteous King Nebuchadnezzar understood that God is self-sufficient—in need of nothing, yet providing everything. His declaration is echoed in many ways throughout Scripture (see Dan. 4:35).

Men and Movies

Eldredge is obviously a man with an imagination. His explanations and descriptions often read more like fiction or fantasy than fact. He quotes from a plethora of sources, ranging from Henry V to the Dixie Chicks, individuals from many walks of life, some well known, some not. For the most part, they represent an assortment of secular points of view. For example, Eldredge extensively quotes Robert Bly, controversial founder of the "expressive men’s movement." He also enthusiastically points to certain conversations, relationships, and events in popular, hero-oriented motion pictures to expand his case: movies such as Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Last Day, Gladiator, A Perfect World, Legends of the Fall, Top Gun, and Die Hard.

"Compare your experience watching the latest James Bond or Indiana Jones thriller with, say, going to a Bible study," Eldredge insists. "The guaranteed success of each new release makes it clear—adventure is written into the heart of man." Statements like this are startling. They represent such a questionable line of reasoning. By what legitimate measure can an action thriller, even with its cardiac moments, be compared with the encompassing rest and satisfaction that comes from being bathed in God’s Word? It’s like trying to compare the lasting quality and value of wood, hay, and straw with gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12). Eldredge rightly makes the point, "We are made to depend on God; we are made for union with him and nothing about us works right without it," yet without the force and clarity it deserves, including the necessity of true, personal understanding of Scripture.

Sorting Through the Debris

"I have a gift and calling to speak into the hearts of men and women," Eldredge writes. Yet his commentary on becoming a man is undermined by his descriptions of his own attitudes and difficulties in various situations. For example, he refers to being in a "difficult place" with his wife—a "campfire" that Satan "turned…into a bonfire." "By the time we got to the [wedding] reception," Eldredge confides, "I didn’t want to dance with her. I didn’t even want to be in the same room. All the hurt and disappointment of the years—hers and mine—seemed to be the only thing that was ever true about our marriage….Truth be told, when I left the reception I had no intention of going back." Eldredge ended up doing the right thing, but he says nothing about repenting and asking his wife for forgiveness. Rather, he reports that he asked Jesus to "come and rescue me"; Jesus answered with instructions to "go back in there and ask your wife to dance." Eldredge sums it up with a classic side step: "We nearly lost to the Evil One." What he neglects to say is that his behavior was a sin against God and his wife, and that his attitude, according to the Bible, is what gave the devil an opportunity in the first place (Eph. 4:26-27).

Eldredge writes vividly and somewhat casually of conversations with God, as if he were on the phone with his therapist. These dialogues have more the flavor of a movie script than an arresting encounter with the Divine. He rightly warns of Satan, the "world" and the "flesh," but distorts the idea of spiritual warfare. ("Yet this is where we live now—on the front lines of a fierce spiritual war.") While he focuses dominantly on the battle, Eldredge does give assurance that God "will fight for us, with us, just as he has fought for his people all through the ages." That said, one wonders why he has more to say about heroic characters like Maximus (Gladiator) and William Wallace (Braveheart) than about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Muted in this drama is the Biblical fact that our battle is really the Lord’s (John 17:13-15), and the primary challenge for all believers is to grow in loving God and others, just as He has commanded (Matt. 22:37-40; John 14:15). Also obscured are some of the specifics of God’s protecting provisions, such as "the whole armour of God" (Eph. 6:10-17), Peter’s declaration that believers are "kept by the power of God" (1 Pet. 1:5), and that Jesus, seated on His throne as Priest, is continually interceding for the saints (Rom. 8:34-39; Heb. 7:25).

"When the Bible tells us that Christ came to ‘redeem mankind’ it offers a whole lot more than forgiveness," Eldredge explains. "The Messiah will come, he says, to bind up and heal, to release and set free. What? Your heart. Christ comes to restore and release you, your soul, your true you." We agree that the Bible shows clearly that redemption is, by the grace of God, "a whole lot more than forgiveness." But nothing in Scripture even suggests that Jesus’ death and resurrection was intended to "restore and release" us to be our true selves. Our true selves will follow our heart, which is not "good" as Eldredge claims, but is "deceitful…and desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9). This kind of thinking is an undisguised affront to the Creator, the Author and Sustainer of life, the One we know as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Simply stated, Jesus suffered and died to save us from our sin and from death, and to change us into a "royal priesthood," a people fit for the kingdom of God who live to do the good works He has prepared—all to His glory (1 Pet. 2:9).

The apostle Paul explained that he spoke in words taught by the Spirit, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual," words that the "natural man" does not accept (1 Cor. 2:13-14). Eldredge speaks dominantly in psychological terms that are foreign to Scripture. In addition, in many cases, where the author quotes or alludes to Scripture, his references are not thoughtfully studied or theologically reliable. He often draws questionable conclusions from the Biblical narratives, e.g., the failure of Adam and Eve (pp. 48-57, 115-116), the relationship of Boaz and Ruth (pp. 190-192), the meaning of "a heart of flesh" from Jeremiah (pp. 133-135), and the purpose for which Christ came (pp. 128-29).

Called to Maturity

One of the great Biblical themes is the need for believers to "press on to maturity" (Eph. 4:11-16; Heb. 6:1). When a man is persuaded that God’s answers as revealed in Scripture are not sufficient, he will look for solutions to life’s difficulties outside of Scripture. The typical consequences are that he will draw closer to self than to God—draw inward rather than upward—draw closer to self-love than to loving God and others. In that regard, the apostle Paul warned:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Col. 2:8).

How do we distinguish between the "rudiments [elementary principles] of the world" and that which is according to Christ? Proper interpretation of Bible verses demands a careful and humble comparing of verses and passages with other verses and passages regarding the whole of Scripture (known in theology as "exegesis"). To compare or align Scripture with psychological or philosophical ideas results not in exegesis, but "eisegesis" (the process of reading into Scripture something from outside of Scripture). Authentic research can certainly contribute to our understanding of certain things related to Biblical teachings (i.e., confirming the fallacies of today’s popular self-esteem teachings). In the end, our understanding of the nature of man, how he is to live, and how he changes must be shaped by "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). According to this standard, Eldredge doesn’t make a convincing case for his view of manhood.

Near the end of his book, Eldredge reiterates his complaint about the church: how it views God, how it conducts itself, and how it has drained men of their creativity and drive.

There are no formulas with God. Period. So there are no formulas for the man who follows him. God is a Person, not a doctrine. He operates not like a system—not even a theological system—but with all the originality of a truly free and alive person.

He then quotes an Archbishop Bloom: "The realm of God is dangerous. You must enter into it and not just seek information about it." Eldredge continues:

The problem with modern Christianity’s obsession with principles is that it removes any real conversation with God. Find a principle, apply the principle—what do we need God for?….God is an immensely creative Person and he wants his sons to live that way.

One wonders how Eldredge arrives at these distorted and rebellious conclusions about God, the teaching of Jesus Christ, and how we are to relate to them. Certainly not from Scripture! These are simply the views of men, ideas that tend to bring God down and raise men up. Compare Eldredge’s thoughts with the Bible. The bottom-line question to keep warming on the front burner throughout this book is, "What does the Bible say?"

Isn’t God Enough?

Worthy of sober consideration is James’ warning about the "double-minded" man (James 1:5-8). If one regards the Word of God as somehow insufficient, his answers to the questions like those raised in Wild at Heart will be deficient and distorted. The true answer comes in observing closely the truth of Scripture (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 2:15). It is only the Word of God that is living and powerfully active (Heb. 4:12). Likewise, it is only the Word of God that sets men free (John 8:31-32). God’s purpose for a man’s life is an upward call to Christian maturity, resting distinctly within the declarations, directives, and instructions in Scripture (Ps. 19:7-11; Rom. 8:28; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3-4) and not among the teachings of men (1 Cor. 2:5).

It is no wonder that men who become immersed in the many movies and activities that Eldredge mentions become "passive and bored to death" in church. Men and women who immerse themselves in worldly entertainment become bored with life as well. Many worship at the altar of the adrenaline rush, living on a roller coaster of transient highs—excited, yet never really satisfied. Eldredge’s description of man and his proposed solutions to what he describes as the church-alienated man are themselves the sinful causes of men avoiding church. Worshipping, fellowshipping, and listening to God’s Word will never provide the carnal man with the heart-pounding, flesh tingling, eye-widening experience of Eldredge’s "manly" activities. The carnal man will always be more attracted to the "lust of the eyes, and the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16-17). While Wild at Heart can never reveal "the Secret of a Man’s Soul," it does reveal the ideas and activities that appeal to man’s flesh—the old Adam.

In the end, true understanding of Biblical manhood will begin humbly with a right vision of God. Isaiah was one who had that vision:

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts (Isaiah 6:1-5).

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Santa Barbara, CA 93110


Saturday, January 9, 2010


She came home today with that fiery sparkle in her eyes. And I knew she had been riding that mustang again. The mustang that threw her so hard she broke her arm this past fall. That is how Kate is. She gets knocked down and jumps right back up ready to go again. She has always been that child that accepts a challenge and attempts the daring! At 2 she climbed her bookshelves...which came tumbling down with her. At age 8 she hiked herself up a huge hill with her scooter and once at the top, turned around..gave it a healthy push and barrelled her way down the steep hill...eyes big and her long blonde hair flowing behind her, jumping off at the bottom in order to stop. My heart stopped! She jumped up and was ready to do it again! Age 10 she rode her bike up one side of a huge bunker and straight down the other side...over a ditch and over her handlebars! Again my heart stopped as I waited for signs of life. She poked her head up out of the grass...eyes wide, hair toussled...smiling! And this is the pattern of her life! Down the ski hill as fast as she can go...down the slide standing up! Galloping across the field full speed ahead on a 4 year-old mustang! She is amazing in that she decides what she wants and goes for it! Wholeheartedly! And she loves and trusts Christ wholeheartedly!! She listens to Him in the stillness and waits. And she feels in her gut when something is not right and has never been wrong in following that "gut feeling".

We have tried to hang on to her for as long as we could. But it is like trying to hang onto a wild mustang. She is ready to run!! By this time next week she will be in her dorm at Belhaven University in Jackson, MS. Forging her own path by herself. But not alone..she knows God is with her every step of the way and she has learned to listen. Every single face will be a new one. But she will have made her presence known. She walks into a room and lights it up with her big hazel eyes and huge smile eager to meet new people. Her laughter contagious she will have friends within the hour. She faces life head on! And faces life able to laugh at herself. Tears do not come easy for her and I have only seen her break down with immense, exhausting grief twice in her life. The first when her father left for Iraq and the second just recently. She is strong and loving and stubborn and a pure spitfire of a woman! Life with her has been an adventure. From here she is out in the world but not of the world. I love who she has become and excited to see her grow in Him even more. Those who know her are blessed. The man who loves her will have a life of adventure and contentment. Her children, I pray, will be just like her! I love you Kate! Now go get 'em!!