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Showing posts from November, 2020

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Jesus is the most inclusive guy you’ve ever met

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  Photo by AllGo - An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash "'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me' (John 14:6 NIV). At first glance, this seems overly exclusive. Jesus is the only way? But on further inspection, we find that Jesus' offer is quite unique from other religions and, in fact, incredibly inclusive." --Louie Giglio Jesus of Nazareth was from a small town, likely learned his father's trade as a carpinter, and lived in relative obscurity until about age 30.  His public ministry lasted about 3 years.  That's about 1000 days, and in that short time, he inspired about 120 folks to become committed followers. Within about 6 months of his death and burial and resurrection, his followers' numbers swelled to well over 3000 committed followers.  In about two generations the mediterrean cities had certainly heard of the Christ, and within a decade his followers earned a new name, "Christiani",

Leader: Start Now on Next Year's Goals

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In the role of leader it is important to look ahead with grounded confidence.  Routines like goal setting help the whole organization. New Year's celebrations bring a rhythm we can capitalize on.   Photo by Boba Jovanovic on Unsplash Fight the Typical with the "Three Ses" Everything I just said is obvious.  What isn't obvious, however, is the power of stillness , silence and solitude .  What if we prepared for every new year with a solid hour of doing nothing but existing?  What if we just breathed and sat, eyes closed and ears plugged , and knew that we are loved, limited and that we are loving others the best we can?  What if this were part of every Black Friday or Cyber Monday instead of consumerism?  When can you offer yourself the gift of a quiet moment?   Some practical ways I've built my understanding and practice of the "Three Ses" are to: -Simply set my Fitbit timer for 20 minutes every morning after my coffee and be still in a room away fro

Leader: How to Thrive this Holiday Season 2020

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Welcome!  I hope you enjoy reading a couple posts while you are here.  Please comment below.  For more ideas, on how to thrive in all your many roles, click on the tags at the end of this article.   Let's consider some ways to thrive in this pandemic-affected holiday season.   It doesn't get any stranger than this year's planning for holiday celebrations. We actually have an excuse if we don't want to go to the family party this year.   This year's typical holiday season will be different, even as we approach the limits of our patience with 2020.  Christmas lights have popped up earlier than ever, and our kids would almost rather be in school than remote schooling. Today's post is simply about ways and ideas to thrive any year, but especially this year, as many of us have pared down plans for winter celebrations.  Here are some ideas we discussed with our spiritual community group this past week, with a few extras: Actual screenshot from my alarms on my phone Wo

Dad: Teaching our Children to PROTECT, Part 3: Protecting our Connections with People

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As we work through the final aspect of the   Help ,  Teach ,  Protect  (Please consider catching up with those and returning to today's blog), today I'd like to offer some perspective on protecting our connections with others even as we teach and model doing this for our children.  Attacks Against Our Connection With People Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash We were made, in part, for people. To connect with them, talk with them, survive with them.  We were made to relate well to them.  Isolation is a desperately cruel punishment.  Being an outcast causes trauma on the human heart.  Othering is a verb of shame, a process of making a soul feel less worthy for an arbitrary reason like skin color, income, zip code or facial features, et cetera..  No one wants to be out of the mainstream but it happens all the time.  Any elementary school playground will prove this.  We want to belong, to know, and be known (in safety) by people.  Individuals don’t survive long, and reality TV,

Dad: Teaching our Children to PROTECT, Part 2: Protection from Four Internal Attacks

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I have blogged this month about our family motto:  Help , Teach , Protect  (Please consider catching up with those and returning to this blog).  Derek Thomson on Unsplash Today, as we discuss the final part of the triad, Protect , I explore and discuss how to teach ourselves and our children to protect themselves and those they love...from internal attacks.  We must teach our children to be internally growing in strength.  The world is going to try to keep us in the shallow and superficial.  The world values simple outcomes and profits, not internal wholeness.  We may have lots to say to our kids about being kind to themselves, but this must be taught by example.  We must do the work the hard inner work is the only way.  For a guide to some of that internal work, you might consult the Many Roles Matrix and do your own work first before trying to correct the course with your children.  But it is more realistic to simply be humble, talk often with your children about your inner work, a

Dad: Teaching our Children to PROTECT, Part 1

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I've been blogging about a very important triad to me and my family:  Help, Teach, and Protect.  Today's blog explores how I have tried to teach my sons to protect and how I've striven to protect my sons.  Thanks for joining the blog here.  Please subscribe using the button at the top of this page, check out other posts, and the podcast .  But, for now, let's focus on protecting Protect our children... Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash Protect vs. victimize .   I have consisently taught my sons: You can wrestle and test your strength with your brother, but we’re not going to hit or kick.  Point your gun towards the bad guys.  Fight against the bad guys with your brother.  Don’t shoot your mom, protect her!  As my sons played with guns they had around the house, these kinds of quotes helped me to help them.  I think it was John Eldredge who mentioned that we tell boys over and over to stop playing with guns to stop being dangerous, but we want those same boys to grow

Many Roles Matrix

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 Are you willing to use this strange season in late 2020 (or whenever you read this) to reflect and do some deep inner work?  Would you like to come on the Man In Many Roles Podcast as a guest?  I'd love to hear from you. Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash Are you willing to do the work?   How would it affect you to be more mindful and grounded at the next holiday function, tomorrow at work, in your parenting or marriage or in your current relationship?  This matrix is just a starting point, and I attempted to address some of these questions in my first Man in Many Roles podcast that introduces the roles as I understand them in my life. Good questions are like tools, thus the beautfiul photo on this blog.  Good questions dig deeply if they are asked with genuine curiosity, and if you engage questions deeply on your own, they provide a solitary opportunity to know your identity more deeply, just like the fascination we feel when we are young, dig up the ground and find a world of wo

Dad: Teaching our Children to TEACH, Part 2

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 Welcome back! This is part 2 of a two part blog.  Check out Part 1 , then continue here. The third aspect of teaching our children to teach others and themselves well, is to help them understand what it is to build. Teach them... ...to build. Photo by Sneaky Elbow on Unsplash Build refers to strengthening, (and helping as explored in my recent blog about the  Help  aspect of the Help- Teach-Protect triad I use with my two sons as I raise them)  This is a blog in total reaction to the way the world and suburbia works.  What is the opposite of a “cut down” or a “roast”? Think of elementary school culture.  Fit in or be ostracized.  Remember the first time you were shamed at school?  When I was in school, when you got dissed, everyone would put their hands over their eyes, nose, and mouth, and yell, “Oooooh! FACE!”  Kinda makes me laugh now because we totally overused that phrase back in the day.   Think of your adult life. Who has supported you in hard times? What would that horrible m

Dad: Teaching our Children to TEACH, Part 1

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 This is the next verb in the Triad: Help Teach Protect.  The verb of focus today is "teach".  We need to teach our children how powerful they are to teach others.  So, as we think especially about our boys and how to channel their energy, we want to avoid suffocating their power and instead redirect their power with positive foci.  So our family motto is Help, Teach Protect.  Let's consider ways to teach our children to teach others and themselves well. Teach him... ...to create. Photo by Ethan Hu on Unsplash Consider relationships, music,  and art in various media like movies, books, youtube, and traditional tv shows and in real life. Who are you close to?  Who’s music inspires you?  Whose art do you love to enjoy? John Eldredge offers a quote from an ancient culture that is along the lines of, “Don’t give a man a sword until he can dance.”  How many boys have been told that being artsy is “girly”, or worse?  Yet, how many of your favorite artists and musicians are men

Dad: Habits, Attitudes and Beliefs of Helpful People

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It's all about the HAB!  Today we are considering Habits, Attitudes, and Beliefs of Helpful People Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash Habits :  Helpful people LOOK, LISTEN TO, and TOUCH others, both on a heart level and physically with kindness.  Their presence is invaluable.  They are observant, don’t interrupt (unless it’s culturally acceptable to), and are affectionate.  They consistently ask themselves, especially if they believe in God, “What does this person need?”  “What are some things I might do to help in this situation?”  They combine past experience with the current need and want to help whether they know exactly what action to take or not. Empathy is helpful.  NOT advising is helpful when someone is struggling or complaining or otherwise feeling stuck.  If they ask for advice, offer it, but if not, a helpful habit of action is to just be with the person you are trying to help.  Sometimes simply bearing witness and saying, “I see you are suffering” or “This is hard, and

Dad: Five Ways to Help Our Children to HELP, Especially Our Sons

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Photo by Philip Veater on Unsplash Thank you for visiting! I have put together a series of blogs that I will gradually release that unpack my family motto: Help, Teach, Protect . Today's installment is about the first verb, Help . Please comment, subscribe using the button at the top of the page, and/or follow me on Twitter @maninmanyroles . Help him to like… (acclimation) When we are talking about acclimation, we are talking about adjusting to the new. What a year 2020 has been to adjust to the new. We are talking about patterns. While it is hard to build new patterns into our lives, we boys love cranking stuff out with high quality and increasing speed. We will often challenge ourselves to do the work faster if possible and especially when we are in a pattern. Whether digging fence post holes, putting up drywall, outlining a chapter using headings, shooting free throws, or classifying Pokemon cards by HPs, we love patterns and picking them out. The card game SET is a