60 & beyond, January

January 1 – I’ve heard it said that Jesus didn’t have to come into our world.  I disagree.  He did have to come and I believe He knew it before He created this world.

January 2 – No one ever runs away from God for “x” amount of years.  God runs with you and many times ahead of you.  When you finally do stop running, He is right there ready to refresh you for a new run with Him.  He is love.  He is tireless.

January 3 – A man who claims to be a “great Christian” usually walks in faith on his own terms.  As for me, I need terms that were signed on the X by the great Man Himself.

January 4 – If God were a man, He’d be Himself.  Truth is, He is in Jesus.

January 5 – The challenge for today was to not be bullied, not be cowardly, not be dishonest, not be fooled, not be insulted, not be intimidated, not be manipulated, not be offended, not be untruthful, and to not be weak…  to not be like the enemy.  Jesus, how did You do it?

January 6 – There’s beauty in the Blood regardless of the curse of the Cross.

January 7 – People-watching will make your eyes sore, and if you’re not careful, it will harden your heart.

January 8 – I taught a high school Sunday School class today and mentioned that when I’m finished living here on earth, I’ll go to heaven and finish eternal living there.  It then occurred to me that one cannot finish eternal living.  Now that made an impression on some teenagers pondering the meaning of life.

January 9 – And speaking of the aforementioned comment on eternal living, this reminded me of the comment I made two years ago when the great Yogi Berra died:  “We’re all gonna die if we live long enough.”

January 10 – I am fully aware that there are days I stink like my grandpa’s mule after a day of plowing in the hot sun (God rest both their souls).  I am also aware that any number of things cause my breath to be muley, too, so I’ve got mints and mouthwash at my disposal for those socializin’ occasions; and when neither is available, I try not to shoot the breeze directly at people.  But after meeting a few fellow followers today, I just wanted to use Dirty Harry’s line…  “Your mouthwash ain’t makin’ it.”  Did you ever notice that these are the people who want to huddle close when they talk (maybe that which causes bad breath also causes bad hearing)?  Pardon me if I don’t huddle, ’cause “A man’s got to know his limitations” (thanks for that one, too, DH).

January 11 – Sipping coffee from a double-walled insulated stainless steel cup is like eating biscuits and gravy from a pre-heated china dinner plate.  Both are thoroughly enjoyable hot and both are preventively disgusting cold.

January 12 – The original sin is still as strong as ever.  People are quick and unusually ecstatic to blame others for their own actions, especially in the attempt to get their own way (Genesis 3:12-13).  When Adam and Eve fell seeking their own way, they indeed took everyone else with them.  Only Jesus can help us stand against the Fall, as well as against spiritual wickedness in high places.

January 13 – Sunshine.  It’s always au naturel anywhere you go, and always naturally good for you.  That’s the nature of natural things.

January 14 – There is nothing better for a man that to tell his son that he is proud of him and that he loves him – and mean it.

January 15 – A Christian man who stands against the wicked one to defend his little children in the faith will have the gates of hell opened to him.  And it doesn’t matter if what comes through those gates is a man or woman or circumstance.  It should NOT prevail; and praise Jesus that’s the promise He gave us as soldiers of the Cross.

January 16 – A high-maintenance man is like a belligerent woman.  You just want to tell both to grow a pair.

January 17 – For nearly two weeks, I’ve been praying for God to help me fight off the wicked one.  All I get are boys speaking to me with wiser words than old men I know; teenage guys reminding me that yeah, their walk of faith is hard but they love God; young men showing up or calling or sending me a note of noble thoughts; peers hanging out with me for a while and just being there when they didn’t even know I needed them; associates standing firm beside me; my pastor acting like a true brother to me (and saying that he loves me); my sons (and even my little grandson) showing how much they are like the image and glory of God; phone calls and emails from long distant friends I’ve never met but who treat me like I’m a valued friend, brother in Christ, and father in the faith; and even a few good women saying uplifting words when I need them most.  Every single day, sometimes twice a day, thrice!, reinforcements arrive:  my sons in the faith, my brothers, my fellow soldiers of the Cross, my co-princes.  All coming into my life or “accidentally” crossing my path, leaving their mark of upliftment when I need it most.  Yep, that’s all I get.

January 18 – Bible study should always make its way to the Cross.  Anything less is not Biblical, and not study.  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  (I Corinthians 2:2)

January 19 – Every Christian man should stay in the Word, surround himself with other Godly men, and act like a man for his family and the little ones around him.  We are the image and glory of God, and should do no less.  (I Corinthians 11:7)

January 20 – It’s amazing how a good day at the shooting range makes everything seem small in comparison.  Even a bad day at the range is big.

January 21 – It is better to teach your son how to know rather than what to know.

January 22 – A teetering person will fall against anyone they hope to push around.  It’s kind of pitiful to watch them ricochet off the man who stands firm.  And it’s kind of ugly, too.

January 23 – We’re all pretty much naked underneath, unless you’re dressed in the righteousness of God.

January 24 – Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”  Our Savior’s warning wasn’t so much about teachers proclaiming false things as much as it was about false teachers making believable claims:  False teachings from pretend Christians intent on ripping apart the successful ministries of God’s faithful children.  May we not forget how sneaky the enemy can be.

January 25 – Vintage and antique stuff are exciting things for old men.  There’s joy in rediscovery.

January 26 – Manliness is not defined by strength on the ball field but by strength of character; not by drinking at the bar with friends but by drinking at the fountain of life with fellow saints; not by fishing for bass but by fishing for men nor by hunting the proud trophy buck but by hunting the chest-beating sinner; not by bleeding testosterone-infused blood but by having been bled upon by the Blood of the Lamb.  Manliness – manliness in the image and glory of God – conforms to the uplifted Cross of Christ, not to the fallen calamity of manhood.

January 27 – Sometimes the best part of my day…  is the end.

January 28 – Every growing little boy has the potential to be a great young man if grumpy old men would just get out of their way.

January 29 – The nakeder I get, the cheaper the cost of living.

January 30 – There is a difference between right and righteousness.  I might not always be right but I will always be righteous.

January 31 – A man who is a model of manhood is a graceful man.  Many things make him so, things like agility, elegance, goodness, honor, integrity, kindness, loyalty, love, mercy, propriety, strength, and tenderness.  He might be a barbarian but he can still be graceful in his barbarian ways.  He might be civilized and he should always be graceful in his civilized ways.  He should be both, having grit with grace.

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