From patriots to preachers, my mind races in different directions every time I hear the song…
One of my favorite singers is George Jones. He’s a country singer and I know his brand of country isn’t so popular today. But I like his voice and a lot of his songs. We had one of his songs in my wedding! My daddy listened to him, and I guess that’s where my liking him started.
He sang a song titled “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” that I love. The song speaks of old country music performers that are dead and gone. Many of them exited this world too soon.
The lyrics speak of the greats… The Red-Headed Stranger, The Man in Black, The Okie from Muskogee, Hello Darling and even Elvis… It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who they are, it just means you don’t know great music!
The song goes on to say “imagine life without them… all your radio heroes…” It’s hard to imagine life without them, for me, because I grew up on them. And then the lyric that really grabbed me the first time I heard the song… “Who’s gonna give their heart and soul to get to me and you? Lord, I wonder, who’s gonna fill their shoes?” Did you catch that? Who’s gonna give their heart and soul… to get to me and you?
I have a confession to make… just hear me out before you pass judgment. I know it’s a risk to bare your soul in front of others, probably the mere word “confession” sends some hearts pounding in anticipation of- some juicy bit of gossip… some dark secret… some character flaw… a big “reveal”. Well, enough of the buildup, I’ll just come right out and say it… I’m a cheater. There you have it. Funny, I don’t feel any better than I did before I said it. I thought “confessionals” were supposed to make you feel better?
Wait, what are we running from?
The internet abounds with memes of lemmings. That's not lemmings in the photo, that's wildebeest, we'll talk about them in a moment. But back to "lemmings". It seems we know them for following each other over cliffs. Whenever we call someone a lemming, we are saying they are someone who “unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.”
To be fair to lemmings, they don’t commit mass suicides. Not intentionally. That’s proved “scientifically”. Suicide being limited to “voluntary deliberation”, they don’t intentionally commit suicide, it just happens because of their foolishness.
Everyone has a story... Arguably, some are better, or "more interesting" than others... but everybody has one...
My Uber driver showed up within seconds. I climbed into the front seat of the jet-black suburban, and settled in for a ride. I was in New York City! Apparently, making polite conversation- something we do in the south- hasn’t been invented in NYC yet. I asked, “Where you from?” He smiled and said, “Queens, New York.” I asked, “Where are your from originally? India? Nepal? Pakistan?” I was guessing. I admit it. I was judging the book by the proverbial cover. He smiled again and replied very concentratedly, “Queeeensa… New Yorktt”. He was obviously not originally from Queens. The word “originally” was much too much of an advanced English word for him to comprehend, to have been originally from “Queeeensa, New Yorktt”. “Alas,” I thought, “I’ll never get your story...”
As much as I despise restrictions, I’ve learned an ever-important fact: they’re unavoidable. Inescapable. – And vitally essential.
I can remember as a small boy, sitting near the fire place in a tiny, crowded, dusty old living room, staring fixated at a huge Zenith T.V. Its clothes-hanger-antennae, wrapped in aluminum foil, forking toward the ceiling like the rabbit ears they took their name from. I watched in rapt wonder as the black and white screen displayed the cowboy, as he sat lazily atop his gorgeous, golden palomino stallion, strumming his guitar, white hat cocked gleefully to the side, singing…
Oh, give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide-open country that I love
Don’t fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever… But I ask you please!
Don’t fence me in!
Spiritual Declination- the angular deviation of the direction your emotions or “feelings” pull you from the Word of God.
When I was a little boy, my daddy gave me a very fascinating gift. It didn’t look like much. Just a small, metallic, circular tube about ¼ inch thick and perhaps the circumference of a half dollar. It looked at first glance like a plain pocket watch, with a stringy leather strap attached. You could see inside the tube, through its tiny glass face that it had a painted bottom, with the letters N, E, S, W proudly displayed in a clockwise fashion, and atop that face was little floating arrow. The pointy end was painted red, and no matter which direction you turned the tube, the little arrow with the red point, kept pointing in the same direction. I was fascinated! It was the first compass I had ever seen. My dad explained briefly how to use it, and told me to always trust the compass, (regardless of my instincts) and I’d never get lost.
Very simply stated, like all magnets that are attracted to opposite poles, the tiny needle of a compass is a magnet that is attracted to the magnetic pull from the north pole. The fascinating thing is how sensitive it must be, and depending on how you look at it, how strong the pull from the north pole has to be! It seems like if it were such a strong pull, it would tug at everything attracted to a magnet… and if the needle of the compass is so sensitive, it would be disrupted by every refrigerator magnet or pocket magnet in the world!
Why are all our heroes fighting each other… Batman vs Superman. Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Daredevil vs Punisher, X Men: Apocalypse, Democrats vs Republicans, Blacks vs Whites… Are we losing our minds?
It seems that we are in another “Civil War” even though the sides are blurred, the uniforms haven’t been selected and the boundaries are overlapping between the states. We haven’t quite deteriorated to taking up arms, but I wonder sometimes with the level of rage I see in protests and rallies just how far we are from that. Are we losing our minds?
It’s Father’s Day… I appreciate my father, a real man, raising me to have the courage to stand up in the face of opposition, be it from school yard bullies, modern societal pressures, politicians or a politically correct agenda imposed by our government. He taught me to stand up and speak out for what I sincerely believe to be right. Before it was clichéd by movies, books and social media, I was taught about the sheep in the world, the dangers of the wolves and the sheepdogs that keep the wolves at bay. Granted, my dad never used those exact expressions, but his message was clear, nonetheless. There are the innocents, the bullies, and the people who stand up to them no matter the difference in size or number. Thanks dad, for raising me like a real man.
What kind of idiots are declaring this as a righteous cause?"
People will sacrifice anything for a righteous cause. We are a great nation today because of such sacrifices laid upon the altar of freedom by our forefathers. However, the danger lies in the fact that every cause deemed by some as righteous could be deemed by others as atrocious or unrighteous. Real men today are facing a seemingly insurmountable problem of being… Well, real men. The very fabric of our being American is challenged daily. Attacks against our first and second amendment rights, by people who claim to know what’s best for all of us, and who dare us to defend our own property or stand up to bullying, or who claim that all of our virtues are antiquated, threaten us daily on some form of media.
"I believe there is a hunger in our nation among masculine men, to maintain their masculinity, and still love Jesus Christ, be Christian, and be accepted by others."
I have a son who’s 12. He wants to grow up to be a man. A real man. He also wants to be a real Christian. However, when he juxtaposes mainstream society’s ideas of Christianity and masculinity, it would seem that one has no place for the other. Thus, the conundrum. Not to mention that today’s society has drastically changed the definition of “masculinity” in general. The dictionary says it means “having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men, especially strength and aggressiveness.” Aggressiveness??? Holy cow! It actually used the word “aggressiveness”. It also says “effeminate” is “having or showing characteristics regarded as typical of a woman; unmanly.” Unmanly… (I’m glad they used that word.) And since he wants to avoid being “unmanly” and wants to be “manly” and “Christian”, according to a lot of what I’ve read
Marine. Husband. Christian. Father. Pastor. A Real Man helping masculine men find their place in God’s Kingdom, without sacrificing masculinity to do it.