- Mon Oct 14, 2013
- 0 comments
“The government did not get a ‘winner.’ On the contrary, it got a fraud and all the publicity and exposure that goes along with having sponsored a fraud. That is decidedly not what the government bargained for.”
This throat grab and assassination of character is our government’s official response to Lance Armstrong’s motion to dismiss the fraud case in the matter of The United States v. Lance Armstrong. Cutting, clear, and concise: Lance Armstrong is a thief. It’s about as personal as you will ever hear the government talk about a former favorite son. In a rare display of feelings, the claim transcends the money and journeys shamelessly into morality—this guy stole the good will of his sponsor and partner. Vengeance hath no fury like a government duped.
Fat chance getting that case dismissed Lance.
Not Getting A Winner
Substitute the words “this single mother,” “this betrayed wife,” “this fatherless child” for the “the government” in the above entitled action and one gets close to the toxic feelings and emotional fever boiling in the hearts of millions of wives, mothers, girlfriends, daughters, and sons in social fabrics across the globe. They did not get a “winner” either. They were victims of “male fraud” and live each day with the public and practical consequences they did not bargain for. And while the government might be able to get some of its financial investment back if it wins, that same hope does not work in the realm of emotional capital invested in a man. There is no recourse for that kind of loss in our legal system but there is plenty of regret, feelings of stupidity and loss for having once believed fully in a man only to be confronted with an ugly reality.
High school pick up.
I wish that meant the act of picking up my sophomore daughter in the car. But after sitting in the car waiting for her to leave cheer practice, observing the parking lot “happenings,” and filtering what I saw as a dad, I am convinced we have epidemic cluelessness as fathers. “High school pick up” is a theme not for cars or carpools here, but for what is happening to daughters of clueless dads being visually and physically preyed upon by young boys looking for the next girl they can conquer. So… dad… let’s start by talking about the clothes your daughter wears for a moment.
What’s your stance on shorts? I am not talking about the kind a dad in Utah protested recently by wearing cut off Daisy Duke style jean shorts to teach his daughter a lesson in modesty. I am talking about the booty shorts or yoga pants that leave no curve or cheek to the imagination becoming acceptable in the name of sports or cheer or exercise. My “high school pick up” experience made this loving father mad: one football player and eight female high school volleyball players in the parking lot all in booty shorts and cut off shirts. Forget about the guy for second. Think about these young girls as a father. At that moment I wish I could have every dad of a high school girl on a simulcast conference from the parking lot. Listen: high school boys DO NOT need to see your daughters butt cheeks or draw them into imagining what they are like. I am not suggesting pants. Nor am I suggesting pulling out the tape measure. You were a young man once right? You know too short when you see it. That’s usually synonymous with too tight, too revealing, and way too visually noticeable.
Imagine waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, opening your daily news and the top headline alerts readers, “God Fears Your Faith is Going Stale.”
Not sure the networks would pick up that newswire. But God’s man should! I can envision the lead paragraph going something like:
DATELINE -- WORLD NEWS TODAY -- God, who calls himself “I Am,” announced today he fears Christian men are forgetting their first love, allowing their faith to grow stale which is creating major weaknesses in the front lines of the ongoing spiritual battle between good and evil. God warns men who follow Him to keep their faith fresh or they will fall victim to sin, self, and Satan.
I fear men often accept Jesus into their lives, get excited for a season, then check the box called “faith” and resort to showing up Sundays to sit in a pew. The excitement of forgiveness of sin, being loved by God, and the power of life transformation can grow stale unless you fan the flame of faith.
That’s what happened to Nineveh. It’s a sad story because within 100 years after turning to God, not one man followed God. It’s also a parable for us men. We can’t be like Nineveh. Don’t let your love for God grow stale. Keep it fresh. Here’s how:
Bored, unsupervised, fatherless boys are to policemen what “unaccounted for” uranium represents to counter-terrorism worldwide—a threat to peace, to innocent people, and a major problem that demands attention. Among boys all it takes to “weaponize” the plentiful supply of youthranium in our country today is a really bad idea offered in vacuum of moral convictions. Deep within the brain of one our nation’s fatherless at the center of the latest “boys gone evil” news story, a spark was felt, a neuron fired, and words were expressed. “I got it!” he says. “Wouldn’t it be cool if… we killed someone?” The idea is welcomed and executed without filters or objection. This is gonna be fun.
Meet the Lost Boys.
They have been on their own since they were little and have remained on their own as boys hoping to become men. Raised by single mothers, they have been unsupervised and un-mentored by any male figure as long they can remember. The macabre and toxic excitement rising from this deadly brainstorm is not just about a lazy summer, it’s about becoming men in a cesspool of broken male culture, character, and conduct that becomes the norm for lost boys. This broken culture produces beliefs (about self and others) and behaviors shaped by peer angst and self loathing instead of fatherly concern and modeling. The result: broken male culture that trains young men to act selfishly and separate their hearts from their heads when a decision they make impacts others negatively. It’s called alexithymia. Look it up. The root words that form the word mean to “repel” (alexo) and “the soul” (thumos). It is a picture of being emotionally dead.
- Tue Aug 6, 2013
- 2 comments
I am one of those people who “believes the best” about other people.
In my career as a junior guy working his way up and as a CEO I have met all sorts of leaders in the marketplace and, now, in the church world. I have noticed over the years that both leaders and managers in Christian settings (like churches or ministries) are engaged with much less cynicism by their junior people at the beginning of a relationship because there is this perception that a common set of spiritual rules are shared and believed. This makes employees in those settings feel more secure, more loyal, and more trusting of their leader, his promises, and the possibilities of moving personally forward and developing. “We” are in this great cause together and, after all, “Do to others what you would have them do to you” is in red letters, we work from the same playbook, and this is “God’s work” that we are advancing together. It’s all smiles, honeymoons, and hope. Woo-hoo!
Then it gets weird.
Over time (and it could take years) you begin to see and sense things. Your sniffer goes off and you catch strong whiffs of self-protection or micromanagement or both. Friendly demeanors turn into business-like interactions. Distance creeps in, meetings are missed or cancelled, and the next interactions that follow are directives being handed down. To motivate the team there has to be “spiritual reasons,” logic, and precedent as well. The Devil gets mentioned. Pressure comes into your team or organization to rally and perform for projects and agendas your “leader” will get credit for in the larger organization. Other talented leaders in the team stop leading and innovating and start administrating. The message both directly and indirectly is that we don’t need leaders or vision anymore, we need managers. The whole tone changes—professionally, emotionally, and relationally. Hallway conversations increase. People turn over. People leave. Disillusionment and doubt set into the team.