Canaans Rest

Canaan’s Rest represents a quiet place “set apart” for the purpose of hearing God's voice, growing in intimacy with the Lord, and being renewed in soul and spirit.

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What do I want when I want to be embraced?

How would you respond to this question? The sentence above is the subtitle from a chapter on fathers in James Smith’s new book on Augustine, entitled “On the Road with Saint Augustine.”  Smith described Augustine’s spiritual life as that of being on a journey back home to the Father.

 Many men are on the road looking for their fathers. It could very well be the oldest story.  “You do not stop hungering for your father’s love,” Paul Auster notes, “even after you are grown up.”  Speaking of his father, Auster laments, “It was not that I felt he disliked me.  It was just that he seemed distracted, unable to look in my direction.  And more than anything, I wanted him to take notice of me.” 

The description of a father being distracted and not noticing is something I felt very deeply as a young boy.  I was never fathered by my Dad, even though he cared about me and was a good provider.  I longed for my father’s embrace.  I never was able to receive his approval of myself as a man.   

Smith quotes Thomas Wolf ‘s observation about our search, “….the deepest search in life…the thing that in one way or another was central to all living was man’s search to find a father, not merely the father of his flesh, not merely the lost father of his youth, but the image of a strength and wisdom external to his need and superior to his hunger, to which the belief and power of his own life could be united.”

As a young man, I had no idea that I was searching for the approval of my heavenly Father.  To me, God, the Father was distant, viewing me as incapable of his approval.  Thus, my hyper performance orientation, even as a pastor.  It took some time on the journey before I know that I was being embraced by my heavenly Father, who was “strength and wisdom” exterior to my needs.

Augustine, became known as the doctor of grace, because Jesus brought him to a father who came looking for him.  That looking is grace. As Augustine searched on the road, he was found by his father and brought home. 

At the heart of the Good News, told to us by Jesus, is the wonderful truth that speaks to the deep hunger for a caring father; one who we can came to know and be loved by.  We can celebrate the news that we have a father who comes looking for us, who adopts us, who chooses us and “who sees you a long way off and comes running and says, ‘I’ve been waiting for you.'”

Men on the road looking for an absent, distant father, like myself, are covering up a deep desire.  It is that of a father, who would come looking for them.  The arrow of hunger Smith notes is, “reversed and the father would return.”  

Could some man reading the blog today sense the brokenness and loneliness of their journey, as a need to be embraced because of a father hunger that goes much deeper then words can express.

This father hunger, when embraced, helps us embrace a deeper longing to be seen and known by the One who made us. 

Men, drink deeply from this great quote by Augustine.  “To be comforted by the word of God’s grace unto the hope of pardon of our sins is to return after a long journey to obtain from a father the kiss of love.” 









Manhood Must Be Taught

“Healthy masculinity is not natural,” notes Glenn Stanton.  “It must be constructed.”  This is not the case with a woman.  “Her biological make-up ensures the girl will more naturally grow into a healthy woman.  As her body matures, internally and externally, it sends her and those around her an unmistakable message of what she is and what she is becoming.  It moves her in a very particular direction with great force.  Her family and community treat her differently because of it,” notes Stanton.

“Not so with men,” George Gilder states in his book Men and Marriage. “Unlike a woman, a man has no civilized role or agenda inscribed in his body.”  He must find, learn and activate his social role. Maleness simply happens.  It is not the same with manhood.  Manhood must be constructed and cultivated.  If not, there can develop a perpetual male adolescence that we see in our culture today.  

Manhood is a behavior that needs to be taught and bestowed upon a young man by his family and other men.  Margaret Mead observed this necessity: “In every known human society, everywhere in the world, the young male learns that when he grows up, one of the things which he must do in order to be a full member of society is to provide food [and protection] for some female and her young….Every known human society rests firmly on the learned nurturing behavior of men.” But she warns: “This behavior being learned is fragile and can disappear rather easily under social conditions that no longer teach it effectively.”  How true this is in our day.

One of the significant, destabilizing forces in a culture is unchecked male sexuality and strength.  “If a society does not find a way to bring these under control,” warns Stanton, “society is impossible to sustain, and very bad things happen.” 

These observations by Stanton and Mead speak to the heart of my passion to continue this blog site.  I continue to “sound the trumpet” for male mentors.  Manhood needs to be achieved with the help of the company of elders.  

I am one voice crying out in the confused wilderness of today’s gender wars, for men to rise up and take their place as mentors to their sons, grandsons and other young men in their lives. Manhood is a behavior that must be taught and an identity bestowed by other men.  We need to step forth. 

I agree with author Erica Komisar, when she suggests boys, “should not be told that having more masculine traits make them lesser.  They should be told to harness that energy productively.”  It is other men who will help harness this energy.  

Men, don’t allow the angry voices in the gender wars cause you to doubt who you are in Christ.  You are his beloved as a man.  “For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph. 2:10). 

Together, as younger and older men, we can do our small part in restoring manhood in our day. “You younger men, accept the authority of the elders.  And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble'” (I Pet. 5:5-6). 




















A New Blog Site

I am not sure how many men read my blogs.  I have been faithfully blogging for over ten years.  Over that period of time, the blog has created a audience of men who intuitively identify with what thoughts regarding men, who desire to be followers of Jesus in our day.     

What I have to say has been out there long enough on the internet for men to get a sense what the experience of “the wildman journey” means for young as well as older men in this time of “toxic masculinity.”  I know there are men who pass it along to others.  My Son, Kurt is the most faithful in sending it to other men.  

I hear enough from time to time about a man appreciating what is being said about masculinity.  That is enough to keep me going.  Be assured. I carry my weekly blog around in my heart the way I used to carry around my weekly sermons.  I continually have in mind my men’s blog when I am reading books, meditating on scripture and praying, and when I read all my favorites on the internet.

I am convinced more then ever that what God has put on my heart is relevant and  helpful, especially for younger Christian men, who want to be a men of God

I write about the blog site, because my Son, Mark and a good friend, Bill Weber, have created a new blog site entitled “Canaansrest.”  The  old site needed updating, since Judy and I no longer run a retreat house on Man Lake.  I also wanted my wife, Judy’s blog to be on the same site.  It is entitled “whispers.”  She will soon be posting her blogs.

To get to our blog site, simply go to “”  In the near future we plan to allow for comments regarding our blogs, so that we can respond and interact with what is being said on our blogs. 

I close with a scripture that keeps me motivated to keep on blogging after ten years.  “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” ( Ps. 71:18).






Men and their Secrets

There was an interesting article in The Atlantic by Lori Gottlieb entitled, “Some men share their secrets only in therapy.”  Gottlieb, who is a therapist, noted that men in therapy often say, “I’ve never told anyone else this before.”  “I think that speaks volumes about how isolated men can be, how isolated in their struggles,” suggests Gottlieb.

Men typically tend to avoid emotional intimacy with another. This can spell trouble at home and in our marriages.  Men are reluctant to share  because they do not want to appear  weak.  “It just shows,” noted Gottlieb, “how much shame there is for men around talking about anything that feels vulnerable to them.”

Michael Stepian of Columbia University’ business school thinks men resist sharing because it goes against stereotypically masculine values.  A person would confide a secret to get help.  “And confiding a secret to  another person, it’s also an act of intimacy…That kind of warmth and sociality and intimacy is also stereotypically more feminine.”  Men tend to emphasize “agency, independence and autonomy,”  which gives the impression of not needing any help with any of those hidden secrets. .

Men, it is vital that we expose our secrets.  Our secrets have a life of their own within our souls.  They spread emotional and even rational poison that can distort the way you look at life.  Take for example, a long standing anger toward a indifferent father. This can create distorted view of God, other men and those in authority in your life.

We read in Ps. 51:17, “The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit.  A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.”  Why is a broken spirit considered a sacrifice?  Because that is just what it is – a sacrifice.  Your ego will suffer a blow.  Its humbling to share secrets because our self image gets tarnished and our effort at self preservation suffers.  But remember I Peter 5:5, “God opposes the proud, but give grace to the humble.”

Being proud and stiff-necked does not allow for the grace of  God.  Rather our inner resistance walls us off from ourselves, others and God.  We live with our secrets, often nursing them in our self-pity and self-hatred.  Don’t let that happen to you. If the light begins to shine on our secrets, don’t hide in the cold, lonely place with your secrets.

Only exposure and brutal honesty brings the healing light of Jesus’ presence.  As I have mentioned on several occasions recently, I have been going through a rough time in my adjustment to apartment living.  I continue to learn some vital lessons that I pass on to you

First, have an open spirit.  Cry out to God for mercy, so you have the courage to open the doors to those hidden closets in our soul.  St John of the Cross calls them “deep caverns” of the soul.  Remember these secrets are buried alive in you.  Don’t kid yourself.  You are not able to manage and order these secrets. You will never get clarity till you get them out into the light

Secondly,  humbly ask God for the ability to receive his love.  Yes, this sounds simple, but once you are assured of God’s love you will sense a new vulnerability to share those secrets.  Shame is lifted, so you can be honest

Thirdly, be brutally honest in prayer.  I often cry out for mercy in my misery.  If you don’t pray to the real God, you will not be sharing the real you.

Fourthly, find someone you can trust.  God will provide that person.  If not a person , then a group of men who are honest about the secrets.  You will learn how to share as you listen to other men.

Day of the Dead

Did you men know that according to World magazine, “The sugar skull, an emblem of Mexican folk holiday Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead is this year’s must-have Haloween décor, plastered on succulent vases, wreaths, mugs, and pillowcases.  Mattel recently announced its new Day of the Dead Barbie, adorned with a floral dress and a skull-painted face, and Nike released a tennis shoe in honor of the holiday, with colored piping and ever-so-faint sugar skulls.”

Only a few years ago this holiday was unknown.  But now Day of the Dead celebrations are taking place in many parts of our country.  “The holiday,” notes the World article, “has established itself as a part of the Halloween retail juggernaut.”  Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virigina Commonwealth University believes, “We’ll continue to see more Day of the Dead shrines and altars……in places we wouldn’t expect.  The more people are rethinking death, the more Mexican culture is becoming relevant.”

I live in a Senior living complex.  My wife and I are surrounded with the reality of death every day.  At our age more relatives and friends are dying.  We both talk about being in the ‘fourth quarter” of our earthly journey.  To me what is interesting in the World’s article is the reference to the “postive death movement.” “There is an encouragement to talk about death and plan for it.  But few in the movement acknowledge any afterlife.”

Men, don’t be fearful of your own death.  Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you.  He tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-2).

Paul was torn between remaining in his body and going home to be with the Lord.  “For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better” says Paul. “Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ.  I really don’t know which is better.  I’m torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ.” (Phil 1:21-23).  He reminded the Corinthians, “that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord” (II Cor. 5:6).

Men, take the lead in your family.  Talk about our dying, or the dying of one of your family members.  Help them visualize the great future they have because of the resurrection of Jesus.  Peter tells us, “Because  Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new lie and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven – and the future starts now” (I Peter 1:4-5 MGS).

If your kids haven’t been to a funeral, make sure they get to one when a relative or friend dies.  Expose them to the reality of death.  Your  attitude help them to become comfortable with being foreigners in this world.  In Chapter 11 of Hebrews, where we read about the great heroes of faith we are told: “They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.  And obviously people who talk like that are looking forward to a country they can call their own” (Heb. 11:13-14 NLT).

So everyday, men check your perspective.  With Paul remember, “we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (II Cor. 4:18 NLT).  Develop that upward focus, with your eyes on Jesus and eternity.

Peanut Butter Falcon

I want to see the movie entitled, “Peanut Butter Falcon.”   David French wrote a review with the heading, “A film with a Conservative Soul teaches three great truths of manhood.”  The movie is  “about a boy becoming a man.”  It happens “through ancient forms of tradition and ritual that are disguised behind the modern frame of the unconventional, accidental family.”

Zak is a young man living in a nursing home because of his disabilities (down syndrome).  Zak longs to escape and find his hero, Saltwater Redneck, a professional wrestler.  He flees the home and meets up with Tyler who is also on the run.  Together they drift down the waterways in the South on a handmade raft.  For Zak the journey is about manhood: “it’s about manhood in a deeply traditional sense.”  French sees the trip communicating three profound truths.

First, a man needs his journey.  Tyler agrees to help Zak find Saltwater Redneck’s wrestling school.  Tyler tell Zak they are going to have “stories.”  In their heroic journey Zak comes “to greater life.” “You can see him walk in new confidence” observes French. “The brushes with disaster and his courageous responses start to define him.”

In modern manhood life is comfortable and safe. “Yet” French maintains, “there is something inside most men that rebels against comfort and safety.”  French insists, “That’s an impulse that should be nurtured and cultivated – even celebrated – not denied and suppressed.  In our comfortable, therapeutic society manhood does not happen by default.  Risk and adventure are not part of life for young men.”

Second, a man needs his strength.  “There is a moment” French remembers, “in the film that encapsulates the way a therapeutic society and mindset can sap a man of his confidence.”  Eleanor who took care of him at the nursing home find him and wants him to take his medicine and come back to the home.  But Zak is now a new man and wants to hang on to that strength.

Young men don’t need to be cuddled, but given encouragement and confidence so  they can face the hardships of life.  In this way they begin to taste the reality of manhood.

Finally, a man needs his dad.  The movie isn’t just about Zak, but also about Tyler, who is transformed into a loving, protective father figure.  As French notes, “Zak finds his manhood, Tyler finds his purpose, and his purpose is in leading and loving Zak….a young man’s restless energy shouldn’t be indulged or suppressed, it should be shaped and directed.”  Tyler is acting as a father figure building up Zak’s strength while protecting him from harm.

If young men do not have fathers, they need what French calls, “a ringleader.”  They don’t stand on the sidelines.  Rather they are participants in the journey.

“Energy and vitality” are often discouraged in young men.  Thus, in French’s estimation: “Young men grow up without facing defining moments.  They don’t know who they are. They don’t know who they can be.  They’re overly protected at best and scorned at worst.”  They need to be encouraged on their journey to be strong so that one day they can sense their calling as a man.

Personally, I can see myself in all three of French’s points  First, at 18 my folks let me go as I ventured out to Southern California, and found myself as a man.  Secondly, there were many ups and downs in my life.  But I can vividly remember realizing at 28 years of age a confidence in my manhood.  Thirdly, I am so grateful for the Godly men in my life, who helped me become a man.  I desperately needed father figures.

The Crucifix

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am auditing a composition honors class at the local junior college.  Our first major essay was to write on an object.  I chose the crucifix for a couple of reasons.  First it has significance for me and secondly, I want to continue to share the “good news” with young people.

So here is  part of what I had said about the crucifix.  Because the audience has different opinions regarding Christianity, I did not include bible verses.  I will simply quote from the essay

“I grew up Lutheran and eventually became a Lutheran pastor.  In my religious tradition a “dead” Jesus on a cross is almost a denial of the resurrection….I came to value the Crucifix, while learning from Leanne Payne.  Leanne had a significant healing ministry in which the Crucifix played a major role.  She has written, “Christian reality is diminished for us because it has been reduced to an abstraction…we need to be reminded that a crucifix is more than a valid symbol of truth, it is and always has been a central one.”  Then I stated, “I found healing for my wounded soul, in part, by focusing on Jesus dying on the cross.  I visualized him taking my pain and sins into his body.”

I write of wanting to make three points about the Crucifix.  “First, the cross depicts a compassionate and loving God, who has demonstrated the extend to which he loves humanity.  He was willing to suffer and die for the failures of each of us. I would like to reimage the Crucifix, not as a bloody portrait of a good man, with all the misconceptions surrounding the death of Jesus, but rather as ‘good news’ in a culture that is crying out for help. Briefly stated – Father, Son and Holy Spirit have lived in a loving relationship from all eternity.  At one point in history a loving heavenly Father, sent His Son to die for the failures of the human race.  The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in our hearts, making this reality a present  truth, bringing healing to our wounded souls.

Secondly, the story of Jesus and his death on the cross as a historical event is meant to provide a way home.  We have all wandered from home, that is, away fro a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.  Jesus came to provide a way back, through his death on the cross.  In a day when many in our culture struggle with issues of identity,  significance, belonging and loneliness, the cross boldly declares, “here is a way home.”

Thirdly…. the Crucifix represents a place where I can go with my problems and pain.  I visualize Jesus bearing them in his suffering for me.  Of equal importance is how I have been able to help others, by going with them to the foot of the cross to find healing for their wounded and broken souls. In simple terms – we can lay our problems at the foot of the cross.

I am simply telling my story and the significance the Crucifix  continues to have in my life.  I know of no other symbol that is more important to me.  That is why I tell my story.  I close by quoting one of the most familiar verses of the Bible.  This is a quote from the Message.  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16).


I am enrolled in an honors composition class at the local Junior College.  My reasons are twofold: first, getting to knowing gen X students and 2) improve my writing skills.  It has been both interesting and challenging thus far.  Recently, we were asked to write a paper on  writing a perfect sentence.

One of the assigned paper was entitled ‘Why Grown-ups Keep Talking Like Little Kids.” The author, John McWhorter, notes, “More and more, adults are sprinkling their speech with the language of children.”  What is surprising is his contention that with “the rise of kidspeak, we are actually witnessing English’s enrichment.”  I see it more as a surrender, due to adults not living with integrity, thus cheapening the use of words.  Paul exhorts us in Eph. 4: 15 to speak the truth in love.

“The horrors of the real world,” McWhorten observes, “are enough to make a person seek the safety of childhood by any means including linguistic ones.”  I wrote in my reflections the following; “Really, do we actually need new words to hid behind in order to protect ourselves from the scary world.”

McWhorten cited a study by April Smith, a psychology professor at Miami University, in Ohio, indicating that young people have become newly fearful of reaching adulthood. Students seemed to be agreeing with statements such as “I wish that I could return to the security of childhood” and disagreeing with such statements as “I feel happy that I am not a child anymore.”  “A generation understandably spooked by ‘adulting,'” McWhorton concludes, “may well embrace the linguistic comfort food of childlike language.” My question – “How long can one survive on linguistic comfort food in a conflicted society.

In a class of 18, including myself, made up of students all in their late teens and 20’s, I shared my reflection on the paper. I suppose I am viewed as a curious grandfather to the 17 others.  As I spoke up, I admitted feeling awkward and insecure.  I told the class that I had issues with what I called “the dumbing down” of the language.  I agreed that we live in a difficult time.  The blame for this is not their, but that of my generation. As for myself, I wanted them to know that I desire to speak clear, loving words,  as I have always done with my children and grandchildren.

I came away from that class with these three impression for myself.  First, a new perspective on their dilemma.  My classmates  looked at me and listened intently.  There is a 50 year gap between us.  These students are bombarded with hateful speech every day through social media.  I want to be a male voice speaking to truth in love, not a voice of accommodation.

Secondly, I am more committed then ever to simply being a humble, loving follower of Jesus among my classmates. I want to listen intently and discerningly.  I hope to win the right to speak.  But I will  speak as an adult man, who speaks the truth in love.  No kidspeak for me.

Thirdly, I want to act with integrity among my classmates.  I am sure there are hurts, disappointments and sorrows with grown up men in their lives.  Through my words and attitude I want to point them to a God who loves them and is waiting for them to come home.  I can do this by speaking as a grandpa who has learned a lot on the journey.  I don’t need to revert to kidspeak.

Drew Brees

I am sure that most of the readers of this blog have heard about the media controversy Drew Brees, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints got into recently. In a short video, Brees encouraged students to participate in Focus on the Family’s ‘Bring Your Bible to School’ emphasis.  In his comments he never once mentioned sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the 22-second video titled “Shout Out From Drew Brees” the 12-time pro-bowler encouraged students to “celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with friends.”  He referred to II Cor. 5:7 as his favorite verse in Scripture.  “So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on ‘Bring your Bible to School Day'” Brees said, “and share God’s love with friends.”

But because the video was sponsored by Focus on the Family, which endorses traditional Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality, the liberal media characterized Brees as being anti-gay.  Brees later tweeted, “Love, respect, and accept ALL.  I encourage you not to believe the negativity….I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality.”

Focus on the Family’s Jim Daly posted a video on You Tube.  “Our goal is to say, ‘Jesus loves you, cares for you, no matter who you are – your race, your creed, your sexual orientation.  Jesus died for every one of us’  That’s the message we want to get out.”

I really appreciate what John Stonestreet over at Breakpoint had to say about this controversy.  Referring N.T. Wright who asks “What time is it?” in the redemptive history from the creation to the new creation, Stonestreet asks, “What time is it?” in regard to the cultural  moment  we live in?  “What is being asked and expected of people of faith now, in this time and in this place.

“The gatekeepers of the LGBTQ movement have moved on, and are now demanding that everything….from football to business to education to politics has to be about this [sex].”  So what time is it?  “It’s a post-sexual revolution, a time in history in which nearly everyyhing about life and our life together, from our understanding of right and wrong, to our understanding of what it means to be human, has been reimaged along the lines of sexuality.”

That sure is the lesson from the “Bring your Bible to School.”  It had nothing to do with sex, but the liberal media made it out to be a matter of sexuality.  So don’t believe that falsehood that Christian are obsessed with sex.  But also be aware of how you speak about theultural issues, such as sexuality, in a time such as this.

Here are a some things to consider from this “dust up” over Drew Brees and a plain, straightforward encouraging word to teens that so desperately need hope and how it was turned around to be about sex by the liberal media.  First, keep you comments and focus on the love of God.  I am learning this with the young people I meet in my college class.  Secondly, don’t get caught up in negativity.  What helps me is to say to those I am in dialogue with, “I am a humble, simple follower of Jesus.  He loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

Thirdly,  above all else don’ get defensive when confronted with charges of hatred and bigotry.  We must all get used to the fact that sharing the Good News” of Jesus’ love is more like being on a mission field were we would expect opposition and ever hostility.  Jesus never said it would be comfortable.  He said we would be hated.

A well of sadness

Nathenial Hawthrone is quoted as say, “Everyman has his secret sorrow which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”  Recently I have been experiencing a well of sadness that has unexpectedly surfaced.  The combination of a new living environment and my desire to allow God’s love to penetrate deeper into my heart, seems to have triggered this sadness.  I am learning not to be “cold,” that is, indifferent to inner pain, but rather process the pain.

The inflow of God’s love into my heart confronts my  egocentricity, exposing my focus on self rather than the Lord.  My sadness is that of the wounded ego. My frail ego, turned inward feeling sorry for myself. “This is real affliction,” writes Ruth Burrows.  She maintains, “what we do almost always inflates the ego.  True affliction deprives us of every vestige of self-complacency.  It is often low-keyed, miserable, something we are ashamed to call suffering.”  Those last words, “ashamed to call suffering.”  When I see people  around me who suffering much more than myself, I have to confess that I am ashamed to be aware of my pain.

I am learning to identify my shame, as part of my fragile ego not making “the grade” spiritually. I am hurting because the spirit of God has exposed vestiges of my false religious self. Pain from being self absorbed in my walk with God is hard to accept. ” God will not protect them [men] from their lives” observes Donald Bisson. He goes on to say, “Men must learn that God desires to enter into their experiences, even when they are filled with ambiguity, pain and struggle.”

The Psalmist is a good model for finding help in expressing our pain.  He tells of his experience. “”The pressure never lets up; all the juices of my life dried up.  Then I let it all out; I said, ‘I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.’  Suddenly the pressure was gone – my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared.” (Ps 32:4-5 – Message).  Men, there is no need to go digging around in your inner life to identify your failures.  Instead listen to what the Spirit of God wants you to become aware of in your heart.

Listen again to Donald Bisson.  “Men feel deeply. They feel so deeply that they fear to let any of these feelings out; they fear they will be engulfed by them.  The most profound feelings are associated with grief.”  Boy, can I identify with this insight.  I sometimes get overwhelmed at what the Spirit of God is exposing in my soul.  It goes back a ways in my story, exposing my well of sadness.

My testimony to any man reading this blog who is in a battle of not wanting to identify and be exposed to his sadness, is to trust in faith that God loves you in all of your stink.  God loves you unconditionally.  What you are experiencing is the inflow of his love.  In order to know this love on an ever deepening level, we are called to expose the dark caverns of our heart to the Lord.

Remember again the wonderful promise in I John 4:18: “Such love has no fear because prefect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. Men, focus on the love God has for you, not on the pain of exposure.

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