Contentment

I was recently asked to submit ideas for topics at a men’s breakfast. I suggested learning to be content. Then I was asked to expound on that – give discussion points. I submitted the following:

  • Being content doesn’t mean quitting, or not dreaming, or not having lofty goals
  • ·         Don’t confuse contentment with laziness
  • ·         Content = desiring to achieve more (proper desire), but willing to accept if God says “no”
  • ·         Contentment is not easy
  • ·         Content = a stillness and confidence in the heart of where you are at
  • ·         Contentment often comes at the end of a process of attempting more, but realizing God is not siding with you
  • ·         To achieve contentment you may have to undo some steps (sell that car, downsize your home, give up your leadership position, sell your business, cancel those classes you signed up for)
  • ·         Contentment = “a cool resolve”
  • ·         You must be willing to accept that contentment is countercultural. People will gossip. It is quite possible that is some circles the content man will not be well liked.
  • ·         True contentment is devoid of the rat race, comparison, jealousy, envy, gossip, guilty conscious
  • ·         Few are men who achieve contentment
  • ·         You can only know if a man is content with life by being in relationship with him. It cannot be determined up one or merely two visits
  • ·         Develop a mentoring relationship with someone who has achieved contentment
  • ·         (this may be debatable) Contentment is not something you can pursue, in and of itself. You cannot set out to be content. It is the end result of a string of wise decisions.
  • ·         It is important to ask the why question: why do you want to be content? What are your motives
  • ·         Signs of not being content: anger, fatigue, poor motives, restlessness, poor worship habits, nervousness, second-guessing, avoiding counsel and advice, fear of criticism, defensive
  • ·         A content person will find ways to glorify God in their current setting
  • ·         A content man will throw the ball out of bounds and settle for a punt rather than trying to force a play and instead throw an interception
  • ·         A content man is in the habit of saying “no, of letting things go, says “let me think about that”, weighing the consequences
  • ·         A content man = less about himself, more about God
  • ·         A content man could care less about keeping up with the Joneses (or Kardashians), not only that, but he probably doesn’t even know who the Joneses are!
  • ·         A content man is OK with losing the fight in effort to retain the relationship
  • ·         The content man doesn’t spend a lot of time looking in the mirror

I am bilingual

Compliments are few and far between. Not sure why, but our culture is hard pressed to give a good, sincere compliment. A couple years ago, I received a great compliment (at least it was to me). After the incredible upset of Auburn over Alabama, on the missed field goal taken back for a touchdown (see clip below) and the end of regulation, I shot a string of texts to SHR celebrating with him. He is a graduate of Auburn, and Auburn/Alabama are bitter rivals – right up there with Ohio State and Michigan. I don’t even like Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss….I simply don’t like the SEC – but the nation couldn’t help but celebrate that most unlikely ending. On into the next day I was sending high-fives to SHR, when he shot back a great compliment. He said “You know what I like about you? You “get” football. You understand the passion and excitement about the game.” Now as a die hard football fan that really did mean a lot to me. And he was right, I do “get” the game

Earlier this week I wrapped up a six week men’s study at church on marriage. The leader of the sessions asked that I be a table leader, which essentially meant leading the discussions at our table each night. Each table had six guys and it was my role to make sure discussions flowed and stayed on topic. One morning the group leader sent me an email praising me on how well I keep conversations going, and manage to make men feel comfortable talking about very, very touchy subjects.

Then it dawned on me. I am bilingual. I am fluent in English, and Guy. Yes, “guy”. I speak Guy very well. I get men and understand fairly well how they tick and where boundaries are often setup. I know how to bust a guys chops, make fun of his favorite sports team, tease him about a particular habit – but seconds later have him confessing is moral failures and frustrations with various temptations. I also know how to praise and lift a guy up. I have been doing this for years. I can see emotions in men’s eyes, and can tell what is sacred to them in a single meeting. More importantly, I have never used this skill for selfish gain or harm. It is a talent, and as far as I am concerned, a God-given gift

This week a 63 year old buddy of mine has been living at our home. He is going through some very serious health challenges – nothing that needs to be discussed on here. He will relocate to a new home about 10 miles from here on Monday. He will share it with three other guys.

He has no family. Never been married, no kids, his sister live in Texas. He is alone and scared (his own words).

Never has my second language been so useful. All week I have been speaking guy to help ease some of the stress that he is going through. He is laughing a lot, and I am doing my best to make him feel strong and manly. He has told me repeatedly that he appreciates it.

I am uneasy about the near future for him. Hopefully a few years from now I will look back on this post and say “Silly, what were you so concerned about.” Regardless, I will continue to bust his chops, tease him and tell him to quit going to Hooters and using my credit card

Enjoy this “answered prayer”

Corn Flakes

I love my football – maybe a little too much.

You’ve heard it said before “a picture is with a 1000 words”. Well, I suppose a YouTube video is worth 2000 words. If you want a snapshot of how I am during football season (especially Sunday afternoons), I will let John Candy show you