St. Nick, Jesus, or Both?

mti2nzy0mzizmzu4otm4mzg2Merry Christmas Week!

Over the years, I’ve noticed that my Christian friends have a variety of practices and opinions on the concept of Santa Claus. After a recent discussion about this with my wife and her parents about the role Santa played in her childhood versus mine, I’ve decided to dig a little deeper into the matter.

Why is Santa considered a controversial topic? Is it because Santa isn’t in the Bible? Is it because it is too pagan? Does the idea/practice of having Santa involved in Christmas deceive kids?

Where does Santa come from? Most people agree he is based on St. Nicholas. According to Biography.com , he was born in Patara, a land that is part of present-day Turkey, circa 280. St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who helped the needy. After his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew. St. Nicholas transformed into the legendary character called Santa Claus, who brings Christmas presents to children around the world. Check out the link for more information.

Isn’t helping the less fortunate one of the main parts of being a Christian? Jesus commanded us to love one another, and to love our neighbor. Isn’t that what Saint Nicholas did?

If you include Santa in Christmas, why not teach kids that being good doesn’t get you presents, but giving them is the bigger picture?

My wife came across the following the other day that is a way to incorporate Santa and not deceive your kids. Here is a great way to transition your kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming their own Santa.

When they are about 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. Take them out “for coffee” at the local wherever. Get a booth, order your drink and make the following statement:

“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown too.” Then list several empathetic behaviors, consideration of people’s feelings, good deeds etc.

“In fact, your heat has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus. You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.”

Ask them the best things about Santa. Then continue with:

“Well now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!”

Come up with a neighbor, or a friend to do a secret mission for. Find out deviously what that person needs and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it and never revel to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn’t about getting credit. It’s about unselfish giving.

That is what Christmas should be like regardless. Be like Jesus, whether that is  with or without Santa.

Until Next Time Readers,

God Bless!

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Mentor Hunt.. Mentor Found

mentoring2 Good morning all! I bet you thought I fell off the face of the Earth. Well sometimes life gets in the way of things.

In the last post, I discussed being a coachable man, and needing a mentor in your life to help guide you along the way. This concept comes from Darrin Patrick’s book, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood

A few things I took away from Chapter 2 include:

– At some point, we’ve all felt that we are cosmically insignificant–and then we work to bury that feeling as deep as we can.

– Men consumed with filling their own emptiness rather than acknowledging it cannot be taught.

– Learning to be coachable is impossible for men who are attempting to cover up their own lack of glory. Some men want to maintain the illusion of control, so they never acknowledge their ignorance.

– Enough excuses! Confront life head on!

– Being teachable means facing our weaknesses and our ignorance and having the courage and humility to change.

After reading Chapter 2, my search began to find a mentor. In my opinion, the best place to look is in your church. That is where I found mine. I wanted a guy that was older and wiser in many of the things that I myself want to be. He is a very passionate , yet kind and level-headed person. He works hard to provide for his family. I approached him with what I was looking for and he agreed to meet with me.

The problem I am having though is what to talk about in the first conversation. Do I discuss my past and what has brought me to the point of needing a mentor? Do I talk about current struggles?

I don’t know where to start.

Thoughts?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Pay Attention And Learn Something: Become a Coach-able Man

karate-kid-i-teach Good Thursday afternoon readers! I hope this week has been good for you so far. Today we start chapter 2 of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick.

What does the word coach-able mean to you? Does it pertain only to sports, or can it be used in other life scenarios? In this case, it is someone who is willing to take and respond rightly to critique.

Who is your mentor? If you don’t have one, find one. You need someone in your life to act as your coach. Great coaches see something in us that we can’t see ourselves, and they work patiently with us to call it out of us. A great coach helps us become who we are and discover the buried inner glory that is waiting to emerge. They also challenge us to see something new in our world. They expand our horizons and introduce to areas that we never knew existed.

I myself really haven’t ever had a mentor, and I desperately think I need one. I haven’t really been able to connect with someone I can look up to, and be coached by. There may be people in my life that are willing to do this for me, but I have to allow them to as well.

For me, the search starts now.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Buying Time

blog-Feb13-600x300 Good afternoon readers! As I said in a tweet earlier this morning, I want to apologize for the lack of posts recently. My new nephew was in town from California, so my time online was limited. So, let’s pick up from where I left off. This post will finish out chapter 1 of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick.

What if time travel existed? What if there was a shop where you could extend a certain day to be more than 24 hours. Unfortunately, those things don’t exist. But there is a way to “buy time”. It is with the choices you make.

Throughout my childhood and even now, I have  heard the phrase “Make use of the time you have. You don’t know how much you have left.” How do you spend your time? Do you sit on the couch and let time just pass you by, or do you make good decisions with it? I myself have my days. Some days I just wanna sit on the couch and do nothing. What does that get me? Nothing. If I make good use of my time by being productive, I feel like I have accomplished something for that day.

Determined men realize that they have twenty-four hours in a day, and if they waste time it is because they intend to do so. Determined men take time seriously and are very intentional about how they use it.– Darrin Patrick

You only have one life. Make good use of it.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Stay In the Present

Be-Present Good evening everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. We are almost through chapter 1 of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick. I am really enjoying this book, and I hope you are! To be fair to you as a reader, and fair to the author, the remaining posts about this book will be more of my thoughts and feelings, vs. having just a summary of what I read. I hope you don’t mind.

Ever dream about what your life would have been like if you had taken a different path? Ever dream about what your life will be like in the future? I would be lying if I said no to either one of those questions. I have caught myself thinking more about the future, than the past lately.My past haunts me and my future though.

The decisions about my future, and where my life is going, ultimately could have been taken care of in the past. My health, finances, and living arrangements, could be completely different if my decisions and actions would have been different. Honestly, all this is doing is playing the what-if game. God says to do things differently.

Determined men refuse the nostalgia of the pastor the speculation of the future. Instead, they embrace the present because they know that every choice right now determines how the future will look. They don’t shrink from reality by courageously confront it. They stare down the temptation to escape into the past or daydream about the days ahead, while fighting to embrace the world around them even as they seek to change it for the better.– Darrin Patrick

I am going to challenge myself to live daily in the present. What can I do each day to live this way? What can I accomplish each day, that will make my situation better?

Will you take that challenge?

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Friday Night Date Night (4/24/2015)

pacman-2 It’s Friday readers! You know what that means! It’s DATE NIGHT!

Just like last Friday, today I will be featuring a randomly selected date idea from 52 Uncommon Dates: A Couple’s Adventure Guide For Praying, Playing, and Staying Together by Randy Southern.

Arcade Date

Jesus encourages us to bring childlike perspective to our walk with Him. Children are trusting, humble, dependent, and able to be shaped and molded. Being childlike occasionally will help our spiritual. emotional, and relational health.

1) Try and find an old-school arcade that has games from your youth.This will allow you to re-connect with your younger self. That is what this date is all about.

2) Help each other understand why those games meant something to you. Maybe share some stories about going to an arcade when you were younger.

3) Play games as a team or even against each other. Make sure both of you gets equal time playing.

AVOID BEING OVER COMPETITIVE! HAVE FUN AND DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!

Before your date ends, involve a discussion about your faith.

Deeper Connection

What does it mean to have childlike faith?

What are some of the things that happen to people’s faith as they get older that Jesus wants us to avoid?

How can we encourage each other to maintain a childlike faith?

Check out the following scripture that talk about childlike perspective.

Psalm 8:2

Matthew 19:14

Mark 10:13-16

Well I hope you enjoy your date night!

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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Convince Your Head, And Your Body Will Follow

Brain-head-with-cog-wheelsHello again readers! I hope your day has been blessed.

I really hope you are enjoying my posts on The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick. To start at the beginning, click here.

I want you to do something.Think about a place in your life where your thoughts are out of control. Call a friend and let them know your discouragement and ask them for a regular phone conversation to talk through it.

Some of us are beaten at our own game, even before we push play. We don’t expect to win. The majority of the battle is having the determination to NEVER quit. Having that “can’t lose” mentality can go a long way towards becoming a determined person.

Until next time readers, God Bless!

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