Posts Tagged ‘Resourceful Leader’

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Chicken Little And Philippians 4:4-7

May 26, 2009

chicken-little-sky-fallingBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV

Is it just me or should someone have shared this verse with Chicken Little?  Poor guy!  He was simply trying to warn everyone of an impending doom right?  He should have to suffer from all of the ridicule and pain shouldn’t he?

You know, I think part of a child’s DNA is composed of anxiety.  Granted, all of them show it differently, but they all have it.  Whether they are anxious about their grades, friends, audition, or in our household, the daily schedule, anxiety commands a lot of our children’s thought processes.  I do not believe I would be going too far on a limb to say that most of us never grow out of it.

So how do you use the movie Chicken Little to discuss Phil 4 and anxiety?  There are a couple of key lessons to highlight with your child as you watch the movie:

1.  Anxiety is like a cold, it spreads quickly. Notice how the entire town goes absolutely crazy when Chicken Little’s first episode occurs.  It becomes a pandemic very quickly.  A recent example of anxiety spreading over something that may or may not have been something terribly concerning would be that of the swine flu.  It seemed like in only a few short hours, the world was going to be taken to its knees by this new virus.  Only three weeks later, I see very little about this all-powerful flu… so would that be 2009’s “The Sky is Falling!”  Anxiety spreads and makes things worse, Phil 4 tells us not to be anxious!

2. The Bible teaches us to hold fast to Christ, He gives us the ability to be anxious for nothing, for He is our Shepherd. Spend some time explaining to your child the role and characteristics of a plain ole shepherd and then help them understand how Christ is the Good Shepherd.  He said, “my sheep know my voice.”

3.  Our anxieties are funny to God. One of the things I love about this movie is how it accurately portrays false anxiety.  We can usually run around like a chicken with our head cut off when really, we should spend time resting in the promise that Christ will never forsake us.  Help your children understand that to Christ, our anxieties are sometimes if not most of the time crippling to our faith.  Faith is the ability to let go of our anxieties and cling more to the hope and promise we have in Christ’s sovereignty.

Sure, we all have anxieties and some would say they are inevitable and inescapable, but Christ told us to “cast our cares upon him.”   Part of being a dad, uncle, older brother or whatever type of leader you are, is having the ability to teach children to trust in Christ alone.  If you’re like me, maybe if you say it enough to them, you will start to remind yourself of this solid, yet simple truth.

If you would like more in this series, please be sure to check out the other articles in Using Movies to Witness.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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Enemy Behind the Lines: Fear

April 3, 2009

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.”
H.P. Lovecraft

Here is an interesting list for you to consider:

  1. The number 13
  2. Air
  3. Body Odors
  4. Dentists
  5. Dust

So what do all of these have in common?  They are all listed as diagnosed phobias.  The list of diagnosed phobias was pretty exhaustive and surprising.

Alektorophobia.  That is the phobia I have.  Pretty terrifying and to save you some time researching, let me define it for you.  I have a gripping fear of chickens, well, roosters primarily.  Oh, and I have another one, Coulrophobia.  Again, another serious phobia I have of clowns.  I know you are laughing to yourself, but you have them too.  Those silent, hidden fears that keep you caged in yourself.

I found it interesting that when trying to determine the total number of phobias, the answer was quite simple, “there are as many phobias as there are things and situation.”  When I reread over Genesis, I read about the numerous items God created, but found it interesting that fear was not one of them.  So when did fear become so common and accepted as something just to name and accept.  Who comes up with all of these names for the million phobias listed? I would daresay Adam had the easier job naming all of the animals.

Why is fear considered an enemy behind the line?  Interestingly enough, even when you would describe yourself as fearless, you truly are not.  I found this to be true personally.  Granted, I have a distorted fear of clowns and roosters, I thought when it came to faith, I could be considered as fearless.   After comparing myself to some of the people in Scripture, I am not that fearless.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,  – Acts 16:25

After reading about Paul and Silas singing in the midst of facing almost certain execution… painful execution, I can’t really say I am all that fearless.  Of all of the emotions and all of the possible behaviors to display in a time like that, I can’t say that I I would have necessarily chosen to sing hymns to God first.  That, in my humble opinion, is pretty fearless. In today’s environment, we need more of that type of fearlessness.

Most of us, however, would recognize our other fears or phobias.  Those who are afraid of heights stay away from high places.  Others who are afraid of flying don’t even go to http://www.travelosity.com to price flights, it’s just not an option to consider.  And those of us who are afraid of clowns, we steer clear of circuses.  We are able to embrace the fears we know about, but not the fears that are “behind the line.”

If I asked you to speak to a group of people regarding your testimony or to simply share the Gospel with them, unless you were agorophobic, you would not have a tremendous problem with it right?  Chances are, the group I assembled would be somewhat believers ready to receive or at least listen to what you had to say right?  Let’s change the situation.  What if I were to ask you to stand up in a crowded movie theater before a movie started share the Gospel?  Ok, that feeling you just felt in the pit of your stomach, that is the enemy behind the lines… fear.

We all have it, fear of failure, embarrassment, humiliation, or rejection.  This fear is the fear crippling many Christians, especially Christian Men in today’s society.  As a man, it is easy to be the bold one in business, the “take no prisoners” type.  Personally, at one time in my life, I felt great pride in taking down an opponent whether it be a competitor in business or simply someone who, in my opinion, needed to be put in their place.  It was almost second nature.  The tide has shifted though for those of us who have submitted ourselves to Christ.

There is a fear infested in us that lies dormant, it seems, until we commit ourselves to Christ and take up His armor and mission rather than our own?  Suddenly, your ability to “take down enemies” seems to be nonexistent when it comes to defending your faith.  What am I speaking of?  Let’s say someone in your office speaks about women in a lewd and disgraceful manner.  Will you stand up and tell them that it is no longer acceptable to speak in those ways about women?  Ok, if you answered yes, let’s take it one step further.  If you were asked why the sudden change, would your answer be, “Because I have committed myself to Christ and we are to love and honor our wives as Christ loves the church, not speak about them so harshly.”  Yeah, not as easy.

Fear cripples most of us and we do not know how infested our camp is with fear until we are faced with one of these moments.  Most of the time, myself included, we back down and simply retreat thinking there will be another day to fight.  I have thought the same, but have been asked by Christ through my spirit, “What if the battle you needed to fight was today?”  That’s a hard question to answer.

Paul and Silas may have had some fear about singing hymns while in prison, but then again, what did they have to lose?  Chances are, they were told they would be executed or beaten.  They had a bodily threat where today, most of us only have a threat to our egos.  Paul and Silas had a greater fear though: the fear of the Lord.  They knew who was truly in control and submitted themselves to Christ again, in the midst of their fear.  Sometimes, that is all Christ is wanting from us, simple submission.  I am quite sure that as these two men sang, their fear began to subside back into the darkened corners of the prison where it belonged.

As a result of their prayers and praise through their fear, a Phillippian jailer was converted.  Their choice to overcome their fear through fervent prayer and worship saved not only the jailer, but his family.  What a testimony we have in this passage!  As a Christian Warrior, we are called to be bold and fearless in Christ.  Greater is he that we serve than he that comes against us.  If we all were to realize this slippery enemy in our own camp, perhaps Christ could use us more to reach out to the lost men we are constantly working with, speaking to, working out with, coaching with, etc.  Could you imagine the impact it would have on the Kingdom?

If you liked this post, you might want to check out the others in this series:

Unforgiveness

Regret

Self-Reliance

The Lie

Have new posts delivered right to your email, click here.
Subscribe to Christian Men-Christian Warriors by Email
Share/Save/Bookmark

Subscribe//

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

urch Development as a Church Consultant.

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Enemy Behind the Line: Unwillingness to Change

March 26, 2009

Change.  Such a small word brings such different emotions from different people.  Continuing our series on the “Enemy Behind the Line“, I wanted to spend some time on one enemy I see challenging every Christian, especially Christian Men; that of Unwillingness to change.

change-1For some, the emotion is pure excitement and thrill.  There are those who earnestly live to have the adrenaline rush associated with change.  They seek to change large and small things in life.  Sometimes, they will simply move the phone from one area of the desk to the other, simply to have change.  Their enemy is monotony.

For others, the emotion associated with the word change is pure anxiety.  Losing control is not an option they embrace and any type of change, regardless of the size, will send them into orbit.  They enjoy knowing what will happen, when it will happen, and to what degree it will happen.

Unfortunately, as the aphorism goes, “Change happens.”  It is inevitable.  In fact, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says, “There will always be an element of uncertainty in the universe.”  So, if something is not certain, wouldn’t that indicate there is change on the horizon?

Change Agents, or people who initiate change,  can be some of the most well-liked or deeply-despised people in any organization, office, church, or even family.  It seems they have a mug shot to live up to with their energy, out of the box thinking, and convictions.  Depending on what they are changing in your life, you either love them or hate them.  If anyone understood the meaning of this, it was Christ.

Being the ultimate Change Agent, Christ knew his ways would be embraced by some and hated by the multitudes.  A common day for Christ was experiencing such a variety of emotions.  He might have begun his morning being embraced by the father whose son was just healed to being taunted by the Pharisees for challenging one of the rituals they had in place to … you get the point.  Christ himself said he came to change the world and redeem it.  After all, it was in his DNA.

If you were to go through the lineage of Christ’s human side, you would find a whole slew of Change Agents.  This cast of characters ranges from Abraham to Moses to David to Solomon to even John the Baptist.  (Ok, John the Baptist was a cousin, but still in the family tree.)  Not only was Jesus fully God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the “Changer”, Jesus was fully human and of a line of men who embraced change.  Even Jesus’ last command, the Great Commission, was a challenge to change the world, so why is it so hard for some of us who believe in Christ to change or become agents for change?

Chances are, if you are reading this book, you are either one who enjoys change or are looking for ways to become a change agent.  I am not invoking an overhaul to Christian Doctrine, but rather, a simple action plan for embracing the teachings of Christ.

The fact remains that every door swings on at least two hinges.  Regardless of the size, make, or design…two hinges is what you are dealing with.  The same goes in life for all of us.  With every opportunity, we have one of two decisions to make, should we embrace the opportunity to spark change, or do we merely settle for the ways of yesterday.  Most of all of the great heroes of the Bible are noted not because they were ordinary, but because they were extraordinary.  In their lives, they made pivotal decisions affecting not only their lives and the people of their time, but the lives of many to come, including you.  Had Abraham not chosen to listen to God’s calling and follow the path God designed for him, he would not have been the one God used to form the nation of Israel.  Had Moses not embraced the call to free the Israelites from the oppression of Pharaoh, he would have missed out on the opportunity to lead the Exodus, part the Red Sea, receive the Commandments, and much more.  Had David not embraced the challenge from Goliath, would he have been so popular of a king in the early years?   Each of these men had one of two decisions to make, they chose to embrace the call from God to become a change agent and most of them at great costs.

If you liked this post, you might want to check out the others in this series:

Coveting

Unforgiveness

Regret

Self-Reliance

The Lie

Have new posts delivered right to your email, click here.
Subscribe to Christian Men-Christian Warriors by Email
Share/Save/Bookmark

Subscribe//

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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The Enemy behind the Lines-The Lie

March 2, 2009

While watching the trilogy of Lord of the Rings this weekend, I was struck by several allusions to Scripture.  Sure, I am always looking for how God speaks, even in movies.  Every once in a while, there are times I feel Christ throws me a “slow pitch” and this was one of them.

In the second movie in the trilogy, The Two Towers, the story speaks of the Riders of Rohan who were known for their cavalry and once great king.  There should be an emphasis on the word “once.”  King Théoden, king of the riders, had taken counsel from one known as Wormtongue.  Under this demonic counsel, the king had become old and a shadow of man he was, depending on counsel of Wormtongue for everything.  As Wormtongue’s grip on the king grew, the king began to lose life, growing old and weary.  With every word out of the deceitful one’s mouth, the king’s once valiant kingdom becomes more prone and vulnerable to the attack of impending enemy.  Many of the king’s once loyal riders had decided to go on their own, no longer able to follow their king.

So what relation does this have to Christian Men and Christian Warriors? Unfortunately, it has a lot to do with the plight of many men, even Christian men today.  As years have passed, we have begun believing the lies told to us by the “Wormtongue” in our lives.  What are some of the lies we have begun believing?

  • We cannot protect our families from the evil one, instead, we must settle for merely running for cover.
    • This is one of the worst lies to believe. “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7 We are to stand firm against the devil and watch him flee, flee from our homes, flee from our wives, children… We are to take ownership of our homes and pray against the enemy.
  • Our success is to be judged by the number of possessions we have and the number of hours we spend at work, not the number of hours we spend with our families.
    • “Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.” – Ephesians 5:28 I am not seeing anything about working numerous hours to achieve success. In fact, Scripture defines success as those victories in Christ. Rather than spending countless hours at the office or out relaxing from the troubles of the day, men, Christian men, should be with their families. I would dare say, if many of the men of our nation would invest in their families as much as they invest in their jobs, financial endeavors, and other distractions, we would not have nearly the number of divorces, teen pregnancies, young men looking for a home in gangs, and other prolific “social issues” of today. In fact, if many more Christian men focused more on the investments with their families rather than the investments on Wall Street, there would hardly be such a “panic” today for the loss of the treasures that can fade away.
  • It is in man’s nature to be promiscuous; monogamy is only something created by civilization.
    • Again, Ephesians 5:28 tells us to love our wives as we love ourselves. Earlier verses also tell husbands to love and protect their wives as Christ loves and protects the church. Christ’s love binds him to the church and we too should be bound by our love for our wives. We should honor and respect them by holding to our commitment to them. I like the quote from Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle with reference to a man’s “affair” on his wife. Unfortunately, the truthful word, adultery, has been replaced by a grandiose word undermining the detriment such an action has on those involved.
  • Men are not to be the heads of the household and women are not to submit to a man’s authority in the home.
    • Despite the negative connotation placed on this verse of Scripture by many feminists groups, this is still a truthful statement to be not only believed, but put into practice. My wife was one of the first to explain this verse to me in a way I could grasp it. If I, as a Christian man and head of the household, submit to Christ in prayer and trust him with my household and decisions, then essentially, my wife is submitting to Christ and not just me. I could understand where many of those who do not have Christ as the center of their marriage could get confused by this verse. Without Christ in the marriage, this verse becomes a battle line for a war centered around power and selfish desires.

Take a good look at the picture with King Théoden and Wormtongue. This is the picture of the “manhood” of the nation. Although looking at some of the men in the marketplace who are at the “top of their game,” you would not necessarily see them as being so old and decrepit. If you were to take one of their cars, houses, or investment balances away from these men at the “top of their game,” you would see them simply wither away like a plant away from the vine. Many of them have Wormtongue, or Satan, whispering in their ear various lies of today. “Step on whomever to get to the top.” “You don’t need to be at home with your family, you have to be at work to take care of your family.” “No one will ever know…” “Church is for weak men who need an excuse.” Need we go on?

In the movie, the wizard releases the king from the grip of Wormtongue. Of course, one could see the correlation between this and Christ releasing us from our Wormtongue. Once Christ has reached down to change the heart of a man, you find how this new man no longer values the things of old. Rather than spending all of his time investing in his occupation, he invests his time in his destination… the Kingdom. It is not the easiest of experiences for some of us, however, the freedom is more than worth it.

The final part of this scene that I want to share is what happens once the king has been released from the grip of Wormtongue. Although his strength has come back and his face resembles more that of the king than the old shell of a man, he does not truly regain his identity until he has grasped his sword. There’s something about when his fingers touch the sword that reminds him of who he was… a warrior. He was not a man to be manipulated by a pitiful creature like Wormtongue, just as we are not to be men manipulated by Satan. We are warriors and we too need to take our sword, also referred to as the Word of God, and grasp a hold of it. Just as we talked about in the Post, Christian Sword-The Handle, we must spend time in the Word daily, regain our strength and remember our true identity. Once we have our strength from it, we are to wield our weapon decisively at our enemy.

One word of caution is to be careful of your company and counsel. If you find yourself feeling more like the king in the picture above, chances are, you might have a “Wormtongue” feeding you lies. Whether it be Satan using your own voice, or the voice of your chosen circle, remember to grasp your sword and remember who you truly are in Christ. A warrior…

If you liked this post, you might want to check out the others in this series:

Unforgiveness

Self-Reliance

The Lie

Have new posts delivered right to your email, click here.
Subscribe to Christian Men-Christian Warriors by Email
Share/Save/Bookmark

Subscribe//

logo_facebook

About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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Leading Against the Current

January 26, 2009

Against the current…

Alewife and Blueback herring, Ticonic FallsWhen you first read the subtitle, what did you visualize? If your first visualization was of a river, you are in good company. Many of those I introduced the subtitle to thought of the same thing. I must confess that I too though of a river the first time I discerned this was to be the title. Over time, however, I began to see what Christ was truly meaning by this theme. Against the current… you fill in the gap.

Perhaps “the current” for you is a particularly hard financial circumstance that seems to crush your will to lead. Maybe your “current” is a troubled relationship whether it be with a spouse, friend, co-worker, or family member. Maybe your “current” is an internal battle with a beginning reaching back early into your childhood that still affects every day of your life. Whatever your “current” is, we are calling for a Rebellion.

One of the “current” situations I would like readers to walk away with is that of spiritual warfare. Sometimes, just saying these words will elicit a strong and often nonchalant response out of today’s Christians. It seems as if we have forgotten that we are not to be of this world, merely in it. With all of the references to spiritual warfare and the war craft of our adversary in Scripture, it seems today’s Christian goes to the battlefield not only unknowingly, but unprepared. So what is the “current” that I am alluding to?

Using our example of the Spartan army, one could definitely say they went against the current of their day. When their neighbors were engrossed in theology and the arts, the Spartans held true to their traditions of daily training and the development of a regimented society centered around the call to be a warrior. Even during times of peace, the Spartan nation trained for war. Unlike their neighbors, they were aware of the propensity for nations to sit quietly and then suddenly erupt in war. So against the “current” of their day, Spartans were aware that ware was not a matter of an “if” as much as it was “when.” Regardless of the “when”, the Spartan nation would be ready. In fact, when Persia mounted her army to invade the Greek nations, it was not long before Athens and the other Greek states eagerly sought out Sparta to lead the charge to defend their nations.

Currently, most Christians do not actively believe there is a battlefield out there. Some preachers in the mainstream media have shied away from this controversial topic. As a church, we have become so active in evangelizing; we have forgotten the importance of equipping our new Christians for the battle they will encounter. As with the Spartans, we are to know it is not a matter of “if” as much as it is a matter of “when.”

For some Christians who are struggling with the battle of mounting debt and financial troubles, they are not aware there is a demon actively working to use financial disparity to separate them not only from God, but also from their spouse, family, or friends. For the Christian fighting a past of abuse, whether it be when they were a child or when they were older, they are fighting a demon whose intent is to devalue them in their own minds enough to not even have the reality of God’s perfect love register with them or seem attainable. Regardless of your “current” status, there is an adversary actively working on your circumstances to separate you from Christ. For Judas, he used greed for money and power to lure him away from Christ. For Peter, he used that of fear. For Samson, he used pride. Even today, we have unfortunately seen the fall of many Christians who were lured away by the “current” battle of their day.

Part of Satan’s victory begins with us not acknowledging he exists. Read that sentence again. If you are going to fight against the “current” in your life, you must admit there is someone working against you. Look at your “current”, what in life causes you to challenge Christ? Do you feel that Christ could not possibly forgive you because you are such a sinner? If you believe that, then you need also believe the enemy is active in your “current” battle. Satan wants you to feel that Christ’s love is unattainable and that you are just not worth it. Do you feel like simply giving up with your “current” battles of life? Then you’d best believe that Satan is actively seeking to destroy you. He knows that your strength is in your thoughts of yourself and by defeating that, he can defeat you. The enemy is “current” in the world.

Our call in Scripture is the rebel. We are to rebel against the fleshly desires we have and to want that pleasing to God. Scripture calls us to rebel against the notion that we can simply do good works only and get to heaven that way. Scripture calls us to rebel against legalism of faith and seek intimacy over routine. Scripture not only calls for us to rebel against our “current”, it provides us the ability to do it.

In the following chapters, we will discuss the weapons Christ not only used, but passed down to us. He’s provided the training, but it is up to us to wield them effectively against the enemy. The enemy of your “current”.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

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300 Men can make a difference Part II

January 14, 2009

300 Men can make a difference Part II

Believe it or not, there are a lot of similarities of the Spartan soldiers in the movie 300 and the plight of today’s Christian Leaders.  After watching the movie, I spent the next couple of days reading and researching more on these 300 men who willingly took the “Road Less Traveled.”  What was their motivation?  Why did that seem like the only option?  Why does their story remind me so much of the Christian journey?

300-movie-wb19

One of the most notable aspects of the Spartans was their fighting style. Since birth, the Spartan culture raised its young men to be warriors. In fact, beginning at age 7, they entered their training, a training curriculum that would make today’s Navy Seals or other elite military training programs pale in comparison. Day and night, they were taught to survive, fight, and win. With no more than a mere cloth around their waist, they were to endure the heat of the day and the cold of the night.

In their training, Spartans were taught to fight on their own, but the true strength of this army was in their ability to fight as a group. Shoulder to shoulder, the Spartans would use their shields collectively to form a fierce outer shell and would push forward, using their shields for protection and then their spears or swords to execute the decisive blows that crushed enemies. It is said that Xerses could not understand just how this group of Spartans was able to obliterate a major portion of their elite fighting force. It seemed like every force that was thrown against this group of 300 men were slaughtered against all reasoning.

Another interesting note about the fighting style and training of your average Spartan soldier was their emphasis on team fighting. From some historical accounts, you hear of the Spartans fighting shoulder to shoulder and back to back. One defended the other as well as themselves, it was a team effort to fight and defend. What could we as Christians learn from this?

As Christians, we should surround each other and, as the Spartan soldiers, fight and defend each other. One of the key strengths the Spartan armies had was their unity and we have to be able to find that in our daily walk. We have come under the enemy in thinking that our faith is something “private” to us and not worthy or interest of others. In other cases, we know if we share our faith with others, we will be held to more accountability. Regardless of the reason, part of the “rebellion” plan needs to be to partner with other Christians in the battle against “the current”.

One great way to do this is by joining a small group within your church or forming one yourself. If you are a father, join a group with other Christian dads who are in the same battle as you. This is one battlefield that needs more soldiers who are willing to dig their heels in and fight against the enemy. Personally, I have two or three Christian dads that I group with who are able to understand the trials and battles I endure daily not only as someone in the business world, but as a Christian father. When the enemy begins to attack, I know that they will cover me with prayer and support me in any other way I may need it. They also hold me accountable in daily things, especially my “training” routine.

Have you been offering time for daily devotion? Have you spent quality time with your wife? Have you spent quality time with your children? Is work becoming your idol? These are all questions that one of these men will ask me and I will ask of them. It’s strengthening my resolve as a rebel against the “current” of today’s fatherhood.

So what is it about today’s “current” view of fatherhood that needs so much resistance and rebellion? If you were to watch any prime time TV show, you’d see a major difference in how the men of the family are portrayed versus what Scripture has outlined our behaviors to be. According to Ephesians 5, we are to do the following for our wives:

Ø Love our wives as Christ loves the church” –

o That means we are not to lust silently or with our eyes for any other woman. We are to uphold them in the home, love them and respect them. Just as Christ would protect the church, we are to protect our wives not only physically, but spiritually. All too often, as Christian men, we do not claim victory in our homes against the enemy forces. We have to bond our efforts with Christ as our general and join the other Christian fathers in our community and rise up against the enemy. We are to present her clean and without blemish to Christ and to do so through the Word. Rebels, our greatest weapon often sits on our nightstand or end table with dust on it. The Word is our sword, it’s time we all pick it up and begin using it.

So what is the “rebellion” against? What is the “current” we are fighting as Christian men in today’s battle? We are to be Christian men and warriors, not cowards. Our society, through so many channels of the media as well as so many poor decisions made by men in our generation, has cast the father out as unimportant. We have let society warp our role and diminish our authority in the home. This is where our “rebellion” is to take place.

As a partner to other Christian men, I am strengthened by the resolve of my vocation as a Christian father as well as the men I stand shoulder to shoulder with. When I need prayer for help or wisdom in the battlefield I am in, my Christian partners help by raising their shield in my defense and fighting on my behalf while I strengthen through prayer and devotion. The same is true for when one of my Christian partners is in need. My call is to defend them in prayer and supplication, protect them with the shield until they are strengthened enough to fight their battle.

The enemy has brought the war to our camp and enslaved many of our men today. It is time we take the “rebellion” to his camp. How? We are to infiltrate our offices, our little league teams, our homes, and anywhere else we find ourselves spending time. We are to stand for Christian values and intimately discern what we are to do in all situations. When the enemy begins pushing against our families with his various weapons, we are to dust off that sword that is the Word and wage war back against him, defending our wives and our children against the lies and treachery the enemy brings.

It is time for us to take back the ground that we have lost over the last century. It is time for us to start acting like a Christian warrior who has undergone spiritual training comparable to the training received by the Spartan warriors. It’s time for a rebellion.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.

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Christian Leadership-Rebellion

January 8, 2009

Rebellion, it is a strong word in these modern times. I find it ironic, however, to know that most of the historical events that have received recognition have been the result of a rebellion. Some, like the American Revolution, were violent against a government or tyranny. Others were merely against an institution like that of Martin Luther. Rebellion, whether it is violent or nonviolent, evokes a strong conviction within most people today.

So what is “rebellion”? If you were to accurately define the word by looking online or in a dictionary, you would find multiple definitions. I came across two of them that I really liked:

Ø To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.

Ø To feel or express strong unwillingness or revulsion.

Although these are great definitions, my absolute favorite definition was actually the inspiration for the logo for this book. It is from the Chinese language and consists of two characters and these are the characters we will refer to when discussing the Christian Leadership Rebellion.

策 反= to incite defection; to instigate rebellion within the enemy camp

If any Christian were to truly look at Scriptures, they would find Christianity itself was considered a rebellion. In fact, many of the Christian disciples and early believers were labeled as rebels. They were rebels to Rome for not bending their knee to Caesar as Lord. They were rebels to the Jewish authority, claiming that Christ was the Messiah. In fact, Celsus, a Greek Philosopher and known opponent of Christianity, labeled the early Christians as a rebel faction among the Jews-who once rebelled against their enslavers Egypt.

So why in this day in age is the word “rebellion” avoided in today’s Christian discussion circuit? Why does the word “rebellion” or “rebel” no longer associate itself with Christians today? If there were a time for Christians to be considered “rebels”, it would be now. The degree of spiritual warfare always seems strongest by the era it is attacking. I would have to say, however, as a Christian leader in the workplace, in my home, and in my church, I must say the enemy has recently upped his game with new tools. He is on the prowl using technology to help sink his claws into his prey. He has become a master at making Americans just too “busy” to successfully make time for their relationship with Christ. We have some of the core Christian values being attacked in our courtrooms with little or no resistance. As a father, I find myself defending our faith to our children against the things they see on channels like Nickelodeon (even when we monitor the shows they watch).

I love this quote by Benjamin Franklin, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” Today, we are fighting the same enemy of old. He uses the same lie he used in Genesis. As a Christian leader, whether it be in your office, in your community or in your home, you are in a battle. It is time for a rebellion! True Christian leadership in this modern era will be considered a rebellion. The tyranny we face is not from government, but from our enemy and his vices. During the course of this journey, we will discuss this definition of rebellion: rebellion within the enemy camp. This type of rebellion is the most applicable for our current state.

One of the most notable rebellions recently highlighted in 2006. Director Zack Synder made a movie that rocked the box office depicting some of the accounts of the Battle of Thermopyhlae in the hit movie 300. In case you do not know the story of this battle, I would urge you to do some research on it since we will be referencing this battle and the Spartan warriors throughout the book. The first section of this book will focus on the line in the sand the Spartans drew and how this decision changed history. We will focus on some of the characteristics, behaviors, and training that made them different from their enemy and discuss how we, as Christian leaders, can implement some tactics to use in our enemy’s camp.

Have new posts delivered right to your email, click here.
Subscribe to Christian Men-Christian Warriors by Email
Share/Save/Bookmark

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.