Time to Get Strength Through Weakness !

“In my weakness you have been so strong.” – Decyfer Down ‘Scarecrow’

When is the last time as a man, you have admitted that you were weak?  No way why would you do that, that is not what men do, we just suck it up and move on… right?

Imagine a world where you come home from a hard day at work and can just give in to the urge to scream, yell, cry and pout with no judgment no embarrassment.  Guess what you can, no matter if you are married or single, you are never alone in the battle of being a man.  We have the opportunity everyday to start anew and unburden ourselves in the cross and claim the healing power that was promised by the way that holds us up when we are weak. 

Abandon the macho persona for a moment, open your mind to open your heart and open a Bible.  In the words of our father there is everlasting life, forgiveness and understanding.  Regardless of what your friends, your bro’s say about it a man that is able to forgive himself enough to open the Word and dive in is more manly, mature and strong than anyone trying to make it through this life alone.

Open up the Book, put the armor of Christ on and you will feel a freedom and renewed energy that will enable you to lead your family, friends and community in ways you never could have dreamed of.  Put your hands up and give in to the healing power of the Word, quit fighting the war inside your heart.  Release the pride, draw the battle line, prepare for the rising tide, take the sword of faith up and stand strong.

“At some point, we all face a point in our lived when our shame is laid bare for all to see.  If we’re lucky, someone comes to our aid, shows us grace.” –  Jeff Goins ‘Wrecked’

In our moments of weakness we feel we must hide our shame and bury ourselves behind a manly facade.  We are afraid to show weakness even when we are breaking as we are the ones that are supposed to be leading and remain steadfast.  Lord forbid that we may appear weak as that will reflect upon our innate masculinity and we cannot allow that, what would our wives think of us? 

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They would think you were human, they would think you were in touch with your feelings, which by the way is not such a bad thing.  Imagine the world being turned upside down when your wife walks in and finds you reading your bible or on your knees humbled rather than being a couch potato watching SportsCenter or even worse. Imagine if your addiction to your phone was so you could read the latest YouVersion verse or post on Manup rather than ESPN scores and Facebook updates.

Humble yourself before the Lord, your wife, friends, neighbors and others, make your life about serving and you will become the man you think you are.  Be a symbol of the Gospel in your actions at work, on the road and even behind closed doors.  Become a Man of God that is strong when weak, powerful through the Word, and honorable in all things through your Lord and Savior.

Blessings,
CJ

As always I welcome your comments, treasure my readers, and believe in you and everything you do!

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Christ in a Rain Coat

     It had been raining for two days straight with the New Year upon us and the coldest weather of the season moving in, all anyone wanted was to get home.  I walked my normal route out of the office to my truck, letting the day’s events fall out of my mind so I did not bring them home.  As I started to turn towards the lot where my truck sat waiting peacefully for me to get in out of the rain, something no someone caught my eye.

    He walked towards me in the rain, slowly, as if he was unsure whether to cross my path, turn down the side street or even turn around.  Instantly, as I have many times in the past in our city my mind started to prejudge, thinking of ways to avoid eye contact much less conversation, where is my wallet is it secure, I am out here by myself with this guy, what should I do?  Then it happened as it has many times before; he raised his head from under his rain jacket and with eyes full of hurt and pain asked me “can you help me?’”

     By general rule, I do not give to people on the street, at least not money for we all know where that goes right?  For some reason this time felt different, I casually replied, “Sure, let me see how much I have in my truck”.  He followed behind me, not too close to be intrusive, but enough to make known that he was there.  I walked to my truck and got the three gold dollar coins I had left from change after paying to park in our lovely city many months earlier.

Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.
Matthew
25:40

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     He had said he needed eight dollars in order to stay in a shelter downtown for the night, all I had was three.  You would have thought I had given him the world, as he thanked me repeatedly, not for the money so much as ‘for stopping and noticing me’.  My heart sank, ripped to the core, here was a man mid thirties maybe, scar on his right cheek from a sloppy set of stitches, shoes wet and one-size too small, he carried all he owned on his back, as everything else he had had been stolen, and this man humbly thanked me for not ignoring him and walking by like so many others do.

     We stood out in the rain together for another twenty minutes or so as I pointed him to resources where he could possibly get help, as well as shared some secrets of the street that I happened to know.  We talked, laughed and he shared with me his story, in the end I will probably never see this man again, at least not out in the rain in a borrowed rain coat.  As we went our separate ways, his fear seemed to have left him; I almost think I saw a glimmer of hope in his eyes.  Granted I only gave him three dollars that I had on me and yet from him I gained the world.

     As he walked away he turned and grabbed my hand to shake it again, and said looking into my eyes, “Thank you again, and God Bless you always”, and I said in reply “God Bless you too and best of luck, stay safe and dry.”  Little did I know or realize at the time that I am pretty sure like the song says that was “Jesus in Disguise.”

But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:3-4

Happy New YOU 2014!

Once again we are burdened with the finality of another year; it is gone and done with all the blessings and messings we must move on.  Many of us will make New Year’s resolutions today to fulfill tomorrow and break by January 31st if not sooner.  While we let 2013 go out with a bang or a whimper (you decide) we welcome the New Year of 2014 with open arms ready for new beginnings.  Here is some food for thought as you countdown the clock tonight..

◇ Become the person where the mirror does not scream in horror each day.

◇ Be a little kinder to those you pass by, they may be having a worse day than you.

◇ Use a friendly wave or the sign of the cross rather than the middle finger when someone cuts you off..Blessing them on their way.

◇ Read more books that will benefit your life spiritually, financially or emotionally rather than magazines and other smut based on sleazy dreams and lives of people you will never be.

◇ Instead of watching the news that is full of negativity use that time to spend with your family the headlines, weather and sports reports will be there to catch up on at any time.

◇ Feeling a bit empty, try filling someone else’s life, whether at a soup kitchen, giving your time to your favorite charity or just taking the time to be interested in the welfare and well being of someone that can never repay you.

◇ If you have been away from church, find one, if you are part of one, be a part of it and not just a bystander in the pew.

◇ Compliment rather than complain, you will be amazed at the energy you will feel being positive towards your life and those in it.

◇ Write.. write and write some more, empty your soul on the pages of a journal, a blog wherever, no one should carry all that weight alone.  

◇ Stretch yourself a little more, challenge your comfort zone, whether it be lacing up your shoes for a 5k, starting a new business or blog, forgiving someone that hurt you, whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable..Go for it until you rock it!

◇ We each have a lot of talent within in us that we are destined to share, give unto others and be willing to share.  Our stories unfolded for others to see are much better than a book that is not opened and sits on the shelf unseen.

◇ Being willing to wreck your whole world to provide someone else hope and possibly even joy will be the biggest reward for any goal you want to achieve.

◇ You are not in this alone, find a support group whether online in the form of a bunch of fellow dreamers, or a group of men that sharpen each other spiritually at lunch every 3rd Friday. Whatever the source find a mentor, a sounding board. It makes things easier and will make you feel a little less crazy when you want to change jobs or change the world.

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In 2014, we all enter it unknowing of what the future holds, whether we will have a job, medical coverage, another war, another natural disaster.  We do not know anything that will happen in this coming year except what we set out to make happen. Rather than making empty promises on New Year’s Eve, if we do some deep soul searching and truly believe that 2014 is our year, each and every one can and will make it so.  Worry less and pray more, open the door to the New Year with great expectation and deliver on the promises rather than the resolutions.  Happy New Year to each and everyone may it be filled with blessings, health, friendships and revelation.

Blessings,

-CJ

 

In the spirit of giving and compassion

We are entering into the season of giving and will be spending time and money on our family and friends to share the holiday spirit.  While we all tend to get caught up in the material side of Christmas and the real meaning slips away a little bit.   While we are bombarded by the glam and glitter of the sales and the last minute shopping for those that mean the most to us, we all tend to forget.  

We forget the homeless man on the street corner that was holding the cardboard sign this morning on the way to work this morning. We forget the pregnant single mother that is scraping together change to buy groceries at the store; we get impatient that this woman was not prepared to pay for what she picked to feed herself.  We forget the elderly widow down the street that will be alone with her T.V. dinner on Christmas as her children no longer visit her.  We forget the neglected and abused dogs and cats in the shelters and on the streets that eat scraps and fight to stay alive another night.  We forget all these things as we rack up our credit card bills buying Christmas gifts that will end up in someone’s closet, garage or yard sale.  We are consumed with the newest and shiniest item this year, while there are others that would be doubly blessed with our hand me downs that we are apt to throw away this year to make room for the new.

In the spirit of Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I challenge each and every one of you to make a difference this year.  Change your life for a few minutes and change the life of another for possibly forever.. here are a few ideas, not only for Christmas but any time throughout the year that you are feeling a bit empty and need a fill-up in compassion and humanity.. The list is just a starting point.. And I challenge you even more to share in the comments how you did at making a difference too.

For each item of clothing received you donate an old one to a shelter.

Instead of buying meaningless gifts donate to a charity on the recipients behalf.

Rather than pass by the hungry on the street, go to the nearest restaurant and buy them a meal.

Will work for food.. Let them trim your hedges or wash windows for a hot meal.

Stray animal on the street, feed them, shelter them, save them, give them a forever home.

Lonely widow, bring them a batch of homemade cookies and a Christmas card.

Nothing to do with the visiting relatives besides go to the movies or the mall, take them all to the local soup kitchen and serve the hungry.

Write up a bunch of cards of inspiration and blessing and personally deliver them to the homeless veterans on our streets.  While at it they love a good PB&J too.

Extra money or gift cards burning a hole in your pocket?  Many charities have benefactors that will double the donations received at the end of the year.

Most of all think of others, live in their shoes for a moment and think about serving the needs in your community, the ways to serve as Christ would are endless.

Feel free to add to the list, I welcome your comments and look forward to each and every one of us making a difference throughout the year.  Merry Christmas and God Bless each one of you always.

-CJ
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Why SecondIron – what is in the name

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17 KJV

As a man, a christian, a husband, a follower of one God, I have devoted my life to sharing the love of my lord, the humbleness of the cross and helping others any way that I can.

SecondIron is based on the Iron concept that as Godly men, we cannot do it alone and we need other men (or iron) to sharpen us on our path as warriors for our families, communities and society. The Second is a blending of living second to Christ, the full acknowledgement that if we put God first in our lives everything from our family, friends, career, school, and everything around us will fall into place.

I, like many of you come from a broken past and have a hopeful future. Instead of dreading each day as a burden that chains me, I treat each day a blessing that molds me. I am a avid reader and seeker of mentors and mentees. I live my life by sharing wisdom born from experience, both of my own and that of those that have come before me.

It is my hope that through future musings, book reviews, music analysis, opinions and ultimately being open and honest with each other we will take many travels through our journey in becoming better followers. Becoming bigger inspirers and humble givers in our communities that begins the ripple in the fabric of humanity and leaves our world just a little better than we found it.

I welcome you to join the discussion, the more interactive the journey is the more sharpening will occur. Please feel to share and subscribe as periodically there will also be opportunities for freebies for the loyal iron out there like books, ebooks, music and the like. Looking forward to sharing and building a community of God fearing, iron sharpening, second to one leaders across this country and beyond.

– CJ