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Male hardwiring is prone to addictive lusts of the eyes. Now you can see how our own churches wound us with their desire to be "relevant," promoting and approving the very things that rev a guy's sexual engine into the red zone. Once there,...Continue

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Suicide, Self-Absorption, and Men

After spending a decade on the phones counseling depressed, down, and suicidal people I have come to the conclusion that suicide (in some form) is a thought all men have pondered. From “I wish I wasn’t here” to “everybody would be better off without me” to “I want the pain to end”, all men have wanted dramatic relief at some time in their lives. Unfortunately, while more women attempt suicide, it’s men who are more successful taking their own lives. It’s the final step in the plan for destruction, set in motion by our enemy. Suicide, Self-Absorption, and MenAll too often, the thoughts, circumstances, sadness or brain trauma that lead up to suicide, get suppressed momentarily, only to be resurfaced more effectively.

 

Hope gets lost. The decision of self-demolition ensues. Yet…There is hope, and there is life. It’s just one call away. And, it comes with a promise. The key word to remember is “yet…”

 

The Bible, and the entire book of Lamentations, includes many true stories about being in distress. One Lament, in chapter 3 verses 19-20, provides context we can relate to: Feelings of affliction, aimless wandering, bitterness, and a downcast soul. But in verse 21, we find the key word to remember.

 

  • Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” — Lamentations 3: 21-26

 

Spend any time in the book of Psalms, and you will read songs that share a depressing soul only to follow with a surrendering “yet God”-type of acknowledgement. While we wrestle with thoughts of suicide, we have to remember “yet God.”Yet God is with you. Yet God is able. Yet God wants to save you. Yet God promises to answer your call.

 

It’s like picking up an emergency hotline to God. While the prophet Jonah was in the depth of the sea, inside a fish, he prayed a “yet God”prayer:

 

  • “I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.” — Jonah 2:2

 

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God promises to answer your “yet”call:

 

  • “(God said) Call to Me and I will answer you.” — Jeremiah 33:3

 

Better yet, God says he will save you when you call on him:

 

  • “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” — Acts 2:21

 

Still, making that call may seem like an open-ended proposition.

 

 

Avoid Toxic Traps

 

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Thank the Giver vs. Give Thanks---"Meat-up" this Thanksgiving

Holiday cheer can be hard to muster when there’s chaos in the air; with more tasks and less time, ‘tis the season that puts a squeeze on our emotions, priorities and finances. Some men paint on a grin and roll through the routine with low expectations. Others face demons from the past, broken families, pressures and circumstances that bring up pain. For many, it’s not survival of the fittest; it’s just a matter of survival.

 

Holidays can be so much more. Allow me to tweak your perspective this year, starting with T-Day.

 

Typically, we go into Thanksgiving with hunger in mind, an appetite for turkey, stuffing, all the fix-ins and a football game, all in the name of gratefulness -- just like the pilgrims celebrated the harvest, right?

 

Wrong. Did you know Thanksgiving was the original men’s “meat-up” dinner that started with a prayer? Thanksgiving was actually evangelism in action, introducing other men -- in the Pilgrim’s case, Native Americans -- to God. It was a gathering of men to thank God for the harvest. Not just a time to be thankful. It was a time to address the person behind the provision, not randomly recite positive thoughts. 

Comebacks Need Setbacks

We don’t plan setbacks and that is exactly why they set us back so far emotionally. They are unwelcome, unexpected, and unmercifully longer than necessary. The toughest part of weathering a setback is that you must emotionally reset to zero and start all over. Brutal.

 

Ironically, setbacks are the birthplaces of all comeback stories. Just like diamonds are best seen against black velvet, recoveries are best seen following our tragedies. Ask my wife about each of her three miscarriages which were each followed by the healthy births of Cara, Ryan, and Jenna (my kids). Brutal losses followed by beautiful babies and magnificent maternal bonds.

 

Job is one of the most incredible, if not the greatest, ‘setback to comeback’ story of all time. Every man can relate to his story in way or the other. If you find yourself depleted, broken, lost, confused or angry with God right now, consider Job.

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