Archive | December, 2016

The End of 2015

23 Dec

EA Resources - Christmas Banner

It has been a great year at MTAB, and I am thankful for our regular readers and contributors.  More Than A Beard is a ministry of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to minister to Emerging Adults.

If God has blessed you financially this year, please considering supporting our work by donating to our work.

Click Here!

 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas for your Wife that reflect your Common Faith.

22 Dec

© 2008 Jennifer C., Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Christmas is around the corner, and I wanted to give my readers a few gift ideas for this season.

This year the gifts must have a connection to the concept of Christian faith.  I hope that they help spur you towards remembering your spouse this Christmas.

1.  Pinterest is a wealth of nice products (I am proud to admit that it took me four times to spell that word.)  Here is one site that focused on Christian Gifts for women.  I don’t have an account, and they blackened half the screen because I didn’t sign-up for an account, but it is worth going to see even if you only see a small section of screen.

2.  My sister-in-law runs a personalized jewelry store called, “Tag… You’re It!”  Here is their facebook page.  They are currently closed for new orders (because they are so busy!), but look through their site and make an order for Valentines Day, or some other event.

3.  Give a goat (in her name).   While I don’t think this is the only thing you should have under the tree, you can truly donate a goat to a needy family overseas through World Vision.  Here is the website if you think this idea is not-so- baaaaahhhd.

4.  Attend a Christian Marriage Conference or Begin Counseling.  I know that many women would be completely satisfied with this gift.  A marriage conference or counseling can turn a rocky marriage around, or turn a good marriage to great.  Do an internet search for something in your area.

5.  If you like a gift for her that is really about you, then you might like this shirt.  This website had several other Christian t-shirts that you might like.

I heard this week from several co-workers that they didn’t really care what they got as long as they could tell that their husband put some thought into the gift.  So start thinking, and don’t rely on last-minute shopping at Walmart.

And above all…

Have a Merry Christmas!

 

Dr. G. David Boyd is the founder and managing director of EA Resources.  He is proud to admit that he is already done with his Christmas shopping.

 

 

What’s Missing from the Masculinity Debate?

20 Dec

The title of the article was definitely something that would catch my attention.  The discussion of the definition and qualities of manhood is important and should be discussed in various forms and forums.  It is my desire for men to know that manhood is clearly “More Than A Beard.”

Within Christian culture, there is always a war brewing over whether the church is to masculine or too feminine (Whatever that really means?).  Gender stereotypes are often unhealthy and destructive to individuals and the body of Christ.

Here is an article by Chandler Epp who discusses how “Popular Christian notions of manhood shame, repel, and ruin too many young boys and men who fail to meet those standards and who do not possess dispositions toward “typical” masculine behaviors.”

Please read and share your thoughts.

DSCN9823 from Flickr via Wylio

© 2005 Eric Lewis, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

I remember the first time someone called me “gay.”

I remember who said it. I remember how he said it. I remember the message he intended to convey.

For two fifth-graders playing at recess, this episode made no commentary on sexuality. Rather, this barb was as an allegation of masculinity—my apparent, ungodly deficit of it.

Here is the Article.

 

Man Chooses Himself for Accountability Partner

13 Dec

I am a fan of the Babylon Bee, which releases satirical posts about Christian behavior.  Over the weekend, I read this article that I wanted to pass along to you.  Even the picture is perfect – it appears to be some cool pastor from the West coast who pastors a growing megachurch with lots of satellite campuses.  Have a good laugh, and then find someone (besides yourself) to build you up for the sake of the Kingdom.

ST GEORGE, UT—Feeling a deep conviction over his indwelling sin and recognizing his need for some serious, hard-hitting accountability, local man Ryan McKenzie announced he had selected himself as his own accountability partner Friday afternoon.

“I have carefully considered all candidates in my life,” McKenzie wrote on his blog. “I thought and prayed deeply over the matter, because I recognize I fall short on my own and need someone who won’t pull any punches and who will help me to see my blind spots—someone who is godly and mature. For my accountability partner, therefore, the choice is clear: myself.”

Here is the full article.

 

 

So this is my 40.

6 Dec

So this is my 40.

My reflection on turning 40, has come a little late.  Part of the delay is that I have had a few big issues to wrestle with in the last couple of years (including a career shift, an interstate move, a severely ill spouse, and a crisis of faith.  

Actually my reflection is really late as I am now 41.  I probably would have let it totally pass, but endless requests for letters for friends reaching this same milestone- have completely forced me to reflect on reaching the top of the hill, and I am apparently on my decent.  

So this is my 40.

I still remember the day that I knew I was old.  I was driving to work and was happily enjoying public radio.  As if this recognition wasn’t enough, a glance in the rear view mirror revealed to me that there were now specks of white growing from my chin.  

So this is my 40.

White specks and public radio.  

Oh there is a lot more to this phase of life.  There is my growing waistline, my entrenchment in older fashion (Who is glad that plaid is back?), my befuddlement regarding current fashion, and the failing of certain faculties including memory, hearing, and vision.  

So this is my 40.  

My body is not the only thing that has changed.  

Dreams.  Some dreams have been checked off – Others remain unfinished.  While I may have missed the boat for some ambitions, others I intentionally sunk.

Position.  While many have only seen and known me as a leader, I am not in a place of power.  I am not near people of power.  I actually tend to run from them especially if they tote religious authority.

Placement.  My road map has been frequently updated and my compass at times appears broken.  I never expected to obtain a doctorate that would remain dormant.  I never expected to start a new career in an entry level position at this phase of life.  

So this is my 40.

picture with boysFamily.  I have changed due to the arrival of one, then two, then a third  beautiful boy who resemble me in almost every possible way.  My years pass quicker now that I focus on the changes within them, and celebrating their development.

God has blessed me with a wife who has been faithful by my side  walking on mountain tops and in the valley.

So this is my 40.

Faith.  I was a pillar of spirituality for so many.  A servant of the church who would have done anything for his spiritual leaders.  Unfortunately, that misdirected devotion caused me to sacrifice the emotional and spiritual health of my family and my own soul for the sake of an institution.  

Spiritual abuse that forced me to change friends, locations, and careers.  As a young man, I had never experience pain.  Now, I daily wonder whether my dark night of the soul will end.  

So this is my 40.

Am I disillusioned?  Most certainly.  

Am I suffering a midlife crisis?  Possibly.  

This is my 40.  

I am not the same person. 

While growing up, I missed a fundamental point about adulthood.  

You continue to change.  

Adulthood is not a threshold you cross and enter fully completed.  It is not a plaque earned that gets posted on the wall.  It is not the final hoop that ends the race.  

I somehow missed the fact that adulthood is not the ending but  the beginning.  Adulthood is not the end of development, but simply leads to more change.  I felt adulthood would mean – No more changing.  No more reflecting.  No more wrestling- over who I am or what I want to be.  

But I am so different than I was at 20.  I am much different that who I was at 30.  I am beginning to see that I will not be the same person at 50. 

Life changes you.  

So this is my forty.  

My dear friends from the past, they do not know who I am today because I am different.   They are different too- this is probably why “friends are friends forever” may have rocked our graduation ceremonies in the 90’s, but these relationships failed to last even in a world filled with digital communication. 

So this is my 40.

I have changed, and you have changed.  The world around us has changed.  

So this is my 40. 

My life is strangely beautiful.  At times it is painfully peaceful.  It is better than I imagined and harder than I dreamed.  

But I am here, and I have discovered that I am not alone.  

God is here.  And those whom I love are near.  So whether the future brings me one day, one year, or 40 years, I am hopeful and expectant.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

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