When men fall short

Today, I will like to share with you this message (link below) by TD Jakes and some key quotes from the message that I found interesting. Some of these quotes touch on the dilemma of being a man, especially in the 21st century and some possibly providing “answers” to some dilemmas. Enjoy

When Men Fall Short

“Has society set us up to fail?”

“How can I be a good man to a woman who enjoys being a good man?”

“When you pride yourself on doing what I used to do, have you not worked me out of a job?”

“You have moved into the positions we used to have and we don’t have a role to play and yet we are commanded to be on the set?”

Why do you need us?

cybercletch-do-you-need-our-services

“It’s hard to be a good man to a woman who never had a man in her life at all, because you have to live up to what she   imagined”

“There is not a good man in this room who is not trying to who you love, “there”…”

“…the dilemma of the man is;

if I manage to have progress, I do it by not being present, and if i am present with you, then I have to leave the horses and give up on progress…”

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Why Men Die- How to Understand Men

The Three Keys to Extraordinary Living

In a past article, The Three Pillars of an Extraordinary Gentleman, we discussed three qualities: Truth, Humility and righteousness that serve as the pillars that hold the extraordinary gentleman’s personality firm in its position and in connection with its foundation. Today, being our first discussion in 2014 and one after a long while, I will like us to discuss 3 other important characteristics of an extraordinary gentleman: versatility, balance and moderation, we shall call them the keys to extraordinary living. Unlike the three pillars which must season every thought, deed and action of a man who desires to be an Extraordinary Gentleman, the three keys of extraordinary living must govern the lifestyle of the man. To be more explicit, truth, humility and righteousness which are the pillars of extraordinary living give an Extraordinary Gentleman man stability of character, while versatility, balance and moderation, the keys to extraordinary living, give the extraordinary gentleman expression of character. Truth, humility and righteousness come together to determine what an extraordinary gentleman should do, but versatility, balance and moderation determine how a man should do it. Given that we have had an already extensive discussion on the three pillars of the extraordinary lifestyle, I will like us to focus on the keys to Extraordinary living.

Versatility
That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2Tim 3:17, NKJV)

As has been paramount to our discussions over the past months, a man’s life is made up of the three functional fields of Marriage, Ministry and Money. Within these fields of a man’s life, he will need to interact with people, institutions and supernatural forces in his bid to achieve his life’s objectives. However, there are various skills that a man must muster if he must function effectively and efficiently in these three fields which may all be operational at the same time in a man’s life. Additionally, the technology, people and the institutions that facilitate a man’s interactions and activities within the fields of his life are constantly changing and even increasing, as such, there is a need for a man to be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim 3:17, NKJV)that is demanded in the any of the three fields of his life or even combinations of them. In short, there is a need for him to be versatile.

Image souce: web.mit.edu

Image souce: web.mit.edu


Versatility, for an extraordinary gentleman, refers to being skillful at different things as well as adapting to different functional requirements while remaining excellent at each of them. You do not have to be a jack of all trades and yet you cannot afford to be a master of only one. Versatility makes you more useful to the people around you and keeps you relevant in the face of changing situations because in many such situation you are of useful or mostly important help. It is like being many men in one, for a man of many excellences equals many men and variety in excellences is the delight of life(Balthazar Gracian). A versatile man is like a man with nine lives. Indeed in this fast changing world, Versatility may well be a perfect substitute for the multiplicity needed to function effectively. But how do we achieve this versatility.

In simple terms, to become and remain versatile, it is important that a man equips himself continuously with necessary knowledge, skills and training from scripture, experience, formal education and wise counsel that will enable him to adapt to the fast changing and complex systems of the world. But firstly know thy self. Know your limits and abilities, then expand the boundaries of your limitations and intensify the quality of your abilities through learning and practice. Learn new stuff, especially technology and basic mathematics. Learn to think, conscious thinking, you will need it in speed and quality and yet for a truly extraordinary life, know the Word, for it is able to equip you with all things that you need for life and for godliness. Be active in your learnings and adaptations but do it within the perfect will of God; for anything that tilts your value system against the perfect will of God is not worthy of pursuit.

I will like to end our discussion on the first key to the extraordinary living here with the hope of meeting you next week for possible discussions on the other keys to extraordinary living if the Lord permits. Enjoy the rest of the week and do not forget to be Extraordinary.

References
The Extraordinary Gentleman: A Handbook for Christian Men

On My Own Now

rebirth

I can speak in every language known to heaven and earth, but if I don’t have love, it’s just a bunch of noise. And I can have prophetic powers, understand every mystery and know all there is to know; I can have faith that will actually move mountains, but if I don’t have love, I’m still a nobody. I can give away everything I own and even offer my body as a martyr, but if I don’t have love, it would be a total loss.

Love is patient and kind; it doesn’t brag or get jealous; it isn’t arrogant or rude. Love doesn’t insist on getting its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it doesn’t enjoy seeing things go wrong for others, but rejoices when things go right. Love puts up with everything; it always believes the best is possible, and hopes for it, and holds out for it.

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The Extraordinary Father: A Character Study of God

It is a blessing to have you today as we turn our attention to the very important topic of fatherhood. In the past two weeks we had the privilege of featuring an article by one of the readers of this blog entitled the Extraordinary Husband: A Case for Adam (it is a must-read). We learnt husbandhood from the first husband, and today we are blessed to learn fatherhood from the first father. And hence the character study of God

Image source:resolvechurchconflict.com

Image source:resolvechurchconflict.com


The bible is decorated with scattered pieces of golden wisdom on fatherhood displayed by God to all his children and especially to his first born Jesus. In today’s discussion, we will attempt to unearth some of the wisdom for fatherhood embedded God’s disposition towards his children.

1. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 RSV)

God acknowledges and bonds with us even before our birth. He sets us apart as his children and plans for our life. Being a great father begins with acknowledging the gift and power of procreation giving to us by God, knowing that we have children to be born to us and that we have a responsibility to guide them into the purpose of God for their life. This demands that we know our children before they are born to us, through prayer and supplication by faith and not assumption, opening our spirit to communion with God concerning our children and their purpose. This is not necessarily to come with clear directions, like the name of the child, the sex or school he or she should attend but this is to raise the your spiritual consciousness of and bonding with the coming child, to grant you prior spiritual insight and for your spirit to download important information about your child necessary for his or her unique nature.

2. For he received honour and glory from God the father when the voice came to him from the majestic glory, saying, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (2Pe 1:17, NIV)

Let your children and those around you know that you love them (your children). Do it in deeds and in words, yes especially in words. That even seems to be where God started with in public in relation to Jesus. He publicly declared his love for his Son. This gives your children an important sense of being valued. Your children need this in a world that may look down on them in many ways. The honour and glory they receive from the knowledge of being beloved is essential in building their self-esteem and confidence and also plays an important role in the choices and decisions they make in life. Love your children from birth and let them know in word and deed.

3. Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing… (John 5:19-20, RSV).

Instruct your child in the way he or she should go, but giving an example is the most important way of teaching a child. For children, especially those who are confident of their father’s love for them, what daddy does is an important indication of what is acceptable now and in the future. Apart from being an indication of what is acceptable, the examples evident in your lifestyle are also important in shaping your child’s understanding or conceptualization of fatherhood and thus manhood in general. As James Robin says, a father’s blessing to a child is sometimes in word but always by example. What examples are you setting for your children?

image source: seekfirstjesus.blogspot.com

image source: seekfirstjesus.blogspot.com

4. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46, RSV)

God is repelled by sin in man and not even his beloved Son was an exception to this rule when he carried the sin of the world on the cross. Set the boundaries clearly at home, what can be done and what must not be done. Let your children understand the need and rationale for these rules at home and outside the boundaries of the home. Do not hesitate to punish disobedience, but punish disobedience because love demands it. Be sure to turn back to your child in love for him or her to understand that punishing him or her wasn’t a pleasure, but a sure way to lead him or her down the path of life. Let them be continually assured of your love.

5. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name… (Philippians 2:8-9, RSV).

The child needs to feel a continual growth of you confidence in him or her. The best way to achieve this is through a conscious increase in the quantity but most importantly, quality of responsibilities you give him or her.

image source: wellthatsawesome.coom

image source: wellthatsawesome.coom

Additionally, some of these responsibilities especially those that are to raise the child into excellence must be rewarded and celebrated when accomplished well. If at first, he or she does not succeed, let them try again where possible. Failure in any of these tasks should not be treated as an end but a source of learning that should make the end better. Teach your children to learn from their mistakes and give them encouragement when the going gets tough. When Christ felt like “giving up” on the assignment His Father had given him (Gethsemane), the Father strengthened him, and when Jesus had accomplished the task, he rewarded him with a name that is above all names.

image source: webmd.com

image source: webmd.com

There are more of these in the word of God and as you spend more time studying your bible I pray that God will open your eyes to more truths of fatherhood and manhood as a whole. God bless you.

The Extraordinary Husband: A Case for Adam

Of all humanity and manhood, I dare to say that most lambasted man is our great grandfather, Adam. Many comedians make fun of him and he is used to represent the weakness of manhood. Oh, but I bet to differ.
This man out of whom we all came, I believe, represents the life of an ideal husband. This I say because, a critical look at this man’s life shows that he is a strong man within and without. It’s true, Adam had the best opportunity you can think of, he had a beautiful garden crowned with a beautiful woman, filled with everything he could ever need. He had the Most High as his father, companion and provider. However, along the line, he messed up everything by disobeying his creator.
In effect, he lost everything he had and now had to start all over again from tilling the ground to harvest to provide for his own need and that of his family. What was his initial reaction? He blamed his creator for giving him a wife who caused the whole mess? What did he do to his wife? He gave her the sweetest name available then, Eve. Eve, from the Amplified Bible means living spring.

Lessons from Adam
1) He did not cry over spilt milk. After losing a very wonderful condition he went on to work to still to be there for the family.
2) He did not direct his frustration towards his wife but his God, who knew about events in his life whether good or bad
3) He did not rain insults, curses and beatings on his wife. Rather, he called her Eve, meaning, spring of life. It is interesting to note that before the incident his wife was called woman and then after Eve. They did not have children before but they went on to have children after the incident.
4) Though he blamed his God, he did not break contact with him. He reconciled with his wife and nourished his family in the way of the creator.
Men, let’s be strong in all situations. Like Adam, God is and will cloth us to cover our weaknesses even when we fail. As descendants of Adam, let’s be extraordinary husbands.

Remember, being an Extraordinary Gentleman is not about that one great thing that you do that totally changes and pushes you into a new light of being. Being extraordinary hinges on the little choices and decisions you make in every situation, even after a major failure.

Written by Richard Ofori

Your Ministry is NOT Your Identity

I loved this post on ministry from one of the blogs I have subscribed to and I feel permitted to share it with you. I hope it blesses you. And an additional thought, no matter what (who) you are (your position), your wife wants a husband, your children want a father (Daddy) and your parents want a son (daughter, for the ladies) and your friends, they want a friend, what (who) you are is secondary. Enjoy God’s blessings.

Genuine Motivation

By Paul Tripp

I was a pastor in the process of destroying his life and ministry and I didn’t know it. I wish I could say that my pastoral experience is unique, but I have come to learn in travels to hundreds of churches around the world that, sadly, it is not. Sure, the details are unique, but I see in many pastors the same disconnect between the public persona and the private man. I have heard so many stories containing so many confessions that I grieve over the state of pastoral culture in our generation. The burn of this concern, coupled with my knowledge and experience of transforming grace, drives me to write this column.

Three underlying themes operated in my life and I have observed the same themes in the lives of many pastors with whom I have talked. Unpacking these themes helps us examine where pastoral culture…

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The Quest for Purpose: The Will of God (with a twist of marriage)

A few days ago, I had a discussion with a friend and spiritual brother, “Shakes”… oh sorry, he is officially known as Daniel Asumadu, yet others call him “Ega” but he prefers to be called Korku Ndo. Whichever you decide on to call him, one thing was certain; part of our discussion bordered on the will of God.

image source: branfordgirl.wordpress.com

The will of God is quite an interesting topic especially if it is in relation to the woman you are to marry as a man. And though today’s discussion will not go in-depth on the subject of marriage, I think marriage will be the point of reference for our discussion. I had to learn much of this the hard way (through experience) but my discussion with “Shakes” was instrumental in my categorization.

I believe that the purpose of God for our life is made up of the building blocks of his will for various aspects of our life. That is, for an Extraordinary gentleman (and with appreciation to all the wonderful ladies who read our posts) the general purpose of God for your life is made up of the building blocks of his will, including the will of God in your Marriage, his will in your Ministry and his will in your Money. Your purpose, I believe, is also just one building block of his general purpose of creation, which I belief is the Glory and Pleasure of God (Eph 1:5-11, Re 4:11). His purpose for your life is as little as just one building block so that you might not boast, but rest assured that the block was so important it was worth the death of his son, who himself is the chief Corner block or stone.

There is a lot to be discussed about purpose and will, I pray the Lord gives us the permission to continue next week, however going back to the marriage for example, I will like to tell you the crux of today’s discussion in a few words.
The will of God in every situation consists mainly of three parts, the declared will (what), the action plan (how, who, where) and the timing (when).

For example, if you ask God about the woman he would love you to marry,
He might reveal to you in one of the many ways he speaks to you; vision, dream, discernment, prophecy etc., and then you might have a confirmation from other sources or rely totally on the witness in your spirit.
However, many of us then begin building the appropriate strategy to implement God’s will. Usually we might start reading some posts or books like “how to make a woman fall in love with you” or may be, “33 strategies of war”. Then talk to a few people with “vast” experience and when we feel ready launch the much awaited attack, we do so after two “long days” of careful planning (forgive my exaggeration but I hope that wasn’t true in your case).
Now the major point, the next time we seek the will of God; remember his action plan and his timing are as equally important as the declared will of God.

Image source: lifeasaluce.blogspot.com

Pardon me to say this, but I think when it comes to action plans God’s most famous action plan is “Wait” a.k.a “just follow my steps” and His most famous timing is this, “my own time” a.k.a “not now”. So why “under the heavens” did He tell me her name, especially knowing it will take three years to come to pass and the fact that she is that beautiful. Well, I think it is because you asked, maybe we should ask first whether it is his will for us to know her NOW.
However, there are times when God Almighty tells you what to do and when it will all be accomplished and if you have that, do not hesitate, prayerfully follow the plan of action and timing of God. If the answer is wait or not now, be sure to be PATIENT, and watch Gods eternal plan unfold before your very eyes. Remember that no matter how things begin to turn out concerning the declared will of God, all things are working for your good (Rom. 8:28)(even if another seems to have her now).

image source: lifeasaluce.blogspot.com

Blessed day, and be sure we would love you to share your experience on this issue or any of our discussions on this blog. Your comments are most welcomed.

Related articles
The Quest for Purpose: Your Desires
The Quest for Purpose: Your Strengths
overview of christian marriage

How to fight with your wife: like a Christian

One thing that has always “scared” me has been the fact that someday, as a man, I might have to experience a not so beautiful part of the one I love as a wife and will be faced with the inevitable choice of speaking or acting, what do I do?

I must confess that I tried to write this article once but I got stuck on the way, however, ideas form Dan Benson’s book “The Total Man” has helped, so I modified and adapted the title of that chapter of his book since I had not decided the title of the article by then.

Going back to the point I was making in the first paragraph, I don’t know if you share the dilemma or have experienced it already? But what do you do in such a situation. As an Extraordinary Gentleman, the only way you are permitted to do anything is by employing the most excellent way. Even when it has to do with fighting (arguing, no blows allowed!) with your wife, you have to fight excellently. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I could believe in a marriage without disagreements and without anything that will cause me to wonder “why under the heavens did I marry this woman!”, but I hear it is inevitable. Like a friend of mine who got married 9 months ago told me,(and I am paraphrasing) it is not easy to live together with a woman when the two of you grew up under totally different conditions, sometimes even the way she eats can be irritating.

I believe that the following guides might help in pursuing and excellent path towards conflict resolutions. But first,

Prepare for the fights,

image source: diefoto.com

I don’t mean the boxing gloves or a sharp cutlass, not even looking forward for a fight but know that it will come and therefore weaken its effect by:
1. Recognizing that some days she will forget her “Makeup”: all of us have a “weight” or “sin” that easily beset us and though we might work every day to reduce or eliminate it, patience and time are investments that must be made. You are not perfect either and that is one reason why you must expect to be offended especially by the one you are likely to spend the most of your private time with.
2. Talking everything out: don’t try to tolerate or wait to see if she will change on her own, maybe she does not even know she is hurting you. Tell her everything as plain as possible but say it in love (speaking the truth in love Eph. 4:15) and gentleness, the aim is not to tell her how wrong she is but how better the marriage will be when the fault is minimized or eliminated. As much as possible don’t store up any issue otherwise, it will blow up nastily one day. However, be sensitive to the time and manner in which you raise the issue for discussion, at least, never discuss it in public even in form of a joke. When the fight becomes inevitable, make the fight safe by
3. Making rules for the fights: not the type of rules that determines who wins the fight, but rather the kind of rules that make sure that no one wins the fight. The only one ever permitted to win a fight between a married couple is the two of them, after all the two shall become one. Examples of rules could include, attacking the problem, not the person, no calling of names (especially in public or before the kids), No accusations (you always…, you never…) and of course no blows!.
4. Discussing the results of the fight: find a short period to cool off after every fight, then issues raised during the fight must be discussed most preferably the same day, for do not let the sun go down while you are still angry ( Eph 4:26). Do not assume you already understand what each other said while you were arguing, clarify what each other meant and make resolutions on how to avoid a fight on the same issue.
5. Forgiving each other: forgiveness is a true healer, and the man should be the first to ask for forgiveness, even if the fight was only 1% your fault. After all, you are the head and the leader of the family team and so you must take the initiative. You must also share all that the other said that hurt you so that she can freely ask for forgiveness. And don’t for forget to forget. Don’t raise what you have forgiven as an issue in another fight. Forgive each other just as in Christ God has also forgave you (Eph 4:32)
6. Celebrating your victory over divorce: celebrate each amicable resolution, even if it is with a hug, for the lack of a resolution is the source of dissolution (divorce). Conflict resolution after a fight is an important part of life especially if it has to do with the one you are going to spend the rest of your life with, celebrate the resolution and renew you love towards each other.

image source: queenoffree.net

May God grant us the strength to make our marriages a wonderful representation of the love of Christ to the world.

I love your comments and don’t forget to leave the one on your mind, questions are most welcome.

Reference

Benson D. (1977) “The Total Man”. Tyndale house publishers INC, Wheaton, Illinois.

Ladies are obsessed with consistency!

If there is one cry common to ladies, then it is this one, “he has changed”… and a few sobs. And if there is any common response then it might be “I don’t even know what she is talking about, that I have changed”. I am no expert at love or its associate studies, but a few decades of experience in the art of life I believe has given me the opportunity to make a comment on the subject under discussion.

Firstly a complete gathering of men has the tendency of being equal to a collection of boys especially when money or God is not the topic under discussion. Ladies introduce a difference and when one lady becomes dominant in our lives especially under the condition of love, then we are or feel the pressure to be the Man.
To win the heart of the woman of our dreams we go to many lengths to win them and exhibitionism is not out of the range, yet when the woman is won the next tendency is to “concentrate or more important things now”. Like a promotion, money for the wedding or for the married, food on the table, education for the kids and lots of money to spare. Sometimes it is all to make the woman know we care. So the less important things like the frequent calls, the “I love you”, the chocolate bars, the weekend outs and the opening of doors begin to vanish, then all too soon our beloved begins the dreaded “we have talk”.

I cannot exhaust the possibilities of what happens before or after the “he has changed” syndrome neither do I want to bore you with much talk , but there is one thing I believe is certain; the sweet lady agreed to your proposal because she believed the sweet little things you do will never end!


It is usual and ordinary to forget the little sweet things when she is yours now, by it is Extraordinary to maintain and upgrade your “sweetness”.

It is said that “a word to the wise is enough” so I will sum what I am trying to say in a few words.
“Ladies are obsessed with consistency that is why the cry out ‘he is changing’. When you want to start out with a lady, start at the level you can maintain not the level you can obtain, then when you occasionally operate at the level you can obtain you will never run out of the sweet little things that add sparkles to the life of the one you love”. Stay blessed fellow gentlemen.