Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some thoughts for the New Year...

Greetings everyone! I hope you have had some wonderful time with family and friends to reflect on God's gift to sinful mankind of a Savior who is Christ the Lord. As we approach the final days of 2009, no doubt many of us are gearing up for one New Years party or another. This brought to the forefront of my mind a familiar question, the discussion of which is very prevalent this time of year. "Is it alright for a Christian to drink?"

I know that I probably have readers on both sides of the issue, and I'm not interested in stirring up a long and heated debate that won't get us anywhere, but I think it is important to look at our lives in the context of God's word and seek to align them with it.

Paul wrote "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." I Cor 10:31 As Christians, we are Priests and Kings "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." (Rev. 1:5-6)

I think in light of this passage, the admonition of Lemuel's mother in Proverbs 31 is worth our consideration. "It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted." (Proverbs 31:4-5)

I believe that the best best course of action is to abstain from any alcoholic beverages for the above reasons as well as a few more:

1) Because I drive my wheelchair everywhere I could get a DUI at any time.
2) I might become an alcoholic
3) Even if I could "handle it," my brother to whom I am an example to might not be able to do so. Work at the mission has given me a front row (sometimes downright scary) look at what can happen after "just one" drink.
4) There's plenty else to choose from.

I can't tell you what to do, but I think instead of asking "Can we..." we should ask "Is this bringing Honor to the One whom I serve?"

As I close, I want to leave you with this parting thought. 2009 is almost history and 2010 is just around the corner. How will you approach the coming year? I hope you will join me in echoing the prayer of the song writer Frances R. Havergal.

"Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, another year with Thee.
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee."

God bless you in 2010!



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Doubling the Curse?

Imagine that you have just had a busy day at the office. You had a big project due and had to stay two hours late to get it done. Your boss yells at you because it’s late and you leave with a headache bordering on a migraine. If you are anything like me, a day like that leaves with a desire to go home, put your feet up, and read a good book.
Now imagine that have a second job as a personal secretary, food manager, nurse, nanny, chauffer and all around personal assistant. The hours are unpredictable and the rewards, though great, are not always clearly visible. The combination of these jobs makes for late nights, early mornings, and busy days.
The only way to avoid burnout with this situation is to get rid of one job or prioritize one over the other. This is a dilemma that many mothers face daily. They are trying to balance their obligations to the workforce with their responsibilities as wife and mother that greet them at the door when the come home. They often wonder how they are supposed to balance all of these responsibilities.
I believe that the answer is surprisingly simple…They’re not! I believe that the reason that women face this dilemma is that we as men have allowed women to shoulder a much greater burden than God intended.
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;” Genesis 3:16-17
Both the man and his wife were given curses for their disobedience. These curses specifically affect the God-given roles. The man was given sweat and toil in his work of the ground. The woman was given pain in childbirth. I believe that the woman has taken on double the curse and as a result is running herself ragged!
Much has been said about the difficulties that women find in balancing the responsibilities of work and home. Much of the focus has been on how to do both successfully. I firmly believe that these discussions have failed to truly consider the effect that being a working woman can have on a wife and mother.
Both career and family are extremely demanding roles. They each require an extreme amount of focus and passion. As a result, one or both of these roles will suffer when they are embarked upon simultaneously. For a working mother, this often means that the having children is either put off until a better time or is greatly limited in order that they not interfere with her career and way of life.
When children do come along they are often put into daycare and spend there most impressionable years of their lives in the care of someone other then mom. Thus, one of God’s greatest blessings has been relegated to a scheduled commodity.
I believe that we as men bear a great deal of blame for this tragedy. Instead of taking responsibility for the needs of their families (thereby allowing their wives and children to reach their full potential), many men have succumbed to the cultural norm. By allowing their wives to work, they may have better prospects financially, they also inherit a great deal of stress.
Remember that just because God allows something doesn’t mean he is pleased to do so. “They [the children of Israel] soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:13-15)
I believe many Christian families today are in this position. They have much in the way of earthly resources, but in the things that really matter they have very little!
It is also quite possible that the financial gain of a second income might not be as great as we think. By the time you factor in the cost of daycare, gas and other car expenses, along with other miscellaneous expenses incurred by this, and you could find that the actual net total of your take home pay is actually quite low..
Consider the following facts:
• “The 2004 the median income of FTYR (Full Time Year Round) male workers was $40,798, compared to $31,223 for FTYR female workers.”
• Daycare Expenses: $6770 ($65 per week; 2 small children)
• Transportation Expenses: $624 (gas only)
• Lunch Expenses: $520
• Clothing/Dry Cleaning Expense: $520
• Dining Out Expenses: $1820 (family of 4)
• Miscellaneous Expenses: $300
• Median NET yearly income: $31,223
• Total income after expenses: $20,679
Based on these numbers (which are calculated on the low side) a working mother can easily spend upwards of 1/3 of her take home pay just to keep her job. Being a working mother can be emotionally costly as well. 75% of men and 65% of women admit to having sex with people they work with. Considering that this is not something that people are generally proud of or bring up in everyday conversation, the numbers could easily be higher.
If woman were at home under the protection of their husbands, these numbers could be greatly reduced. I am not trying to say that men are not to blame in this. In fact I am stating quite the opposite.
The ramifications of failing in our duties as men are great. One of the reasons the man was placed over the woman was that in addition to being created first, the man was not deceived as his wife was.
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (2 Timothy 2:14) This is not a pleasant truth to discuss, but ignoring truth doesn’t make it any less true. We as men must evaluate the cost of following this cultural norm and ask ourselves, “Is it worth it?”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chapter 1

Chapter 1
God’s Appointed Leader

The familiar phrase “Anything you can do I can do better” if not directly spoken, is implied in every facet of life as it pertains to the battle of the sexes. Woman today are bombarded with the message that they don’t need men and that they are capable of doing anything that a man can do and even surpass his capabilities. They are told that men fall into one of two categories:
1) Stupid pushover
2) Domineering hothead
I wish I could say that these were just stereotypes—with no basis in reality—but I can’t. Manhood today is a far cry from what it once was. There was a time when a man was duty bound to protect and provide for the women in his life, first of all for his wife, but ultimately for any woman in need or distress.
Somewhere along the line however we have failed to protect our families and woman have been pressured to compensate for this lack of leadership. As a result, women no longer feel the need to be protected by men. Some even take it as an insult when you allow them to precede you out of a room or if you stop to open the door for them, or at least give you strange looks when you do so.
Today’s women are very career oriented and are often complaining about not getting the same wages or opportunities as men. Where women were once content to be homemakers and raise children and allow their husbands to serve as the sole breadwinner for his home, now two-income households are typical, children seem to be an afterthought, and in some instances (when the wife makes more money) it is the husband who stays home with the kids. The church is not much different than the world in this regard. The results of this role reversal are sad at best.
Rather than embracing their God-given roles as the keepers of the home and the primary care takers of their children, many of them feel the need to work outside the home. They have bought into the lie propagated by the modern feminist movement that a woman needs a career to find fulfillment in life. As a result children are often an afterthought.
When they do come along, they spend some of the most impressionable years cared by someone other than mom. Families then become segmented. No longer one cohesive unit, they are merely individuals who happen to live under the same roof. This leads to many problems. A major result is the rise of the broken home. It is quite significant to note that the divorce rate in the church is not all that different from that of the world.
There are many reasons given for this societal shift. They range from the economical (“We could never make it on one income!”) to the cultural (“Times have changed”) I believe the real reason goes far deeper than that.
The fact of the matter is that we as men have failed to fulfill our God-given role within the family. God has set the man over the woman and has given him specific instruction to care for his own. “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (I Timothy 5:8)
There are two main ways in which men today fail to fulfill God’s mandate for leadership. Some take a domineering “my way or the highway” approach to leadership within their family. They alienate their family because they care only about their own agenda with little or no regard for how it will affect their family. The modern feminist movement would have us believe that all males who display leadership are vindictive in nature.
I believe that a far greater problem in men today is the “stupid push-over” mentality. We are afraid to assume the God-given role as leaders in our homes and in our communities. The world tells us to focus on personal material success. A popular motto for the world today is “Looking out for number 1”. Ad campaigns are constantly telling us that bigger is better. Bigger income, bigger house, bigger cars, you name it. Climbing the ladder of success is what is most important and it doesn’t matter what it costs.
We as Christians have a higher calling. We are called to be different. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God:” (I Peter 2:8-9) The people of God! What a sobering thought! Christians have a mandate from above to fulfill His purpose on earth.
Unfortunately the line between the world and the church has become increasingly blurred. Rather than being concerned with distancing themselves from the world and paying whatever price such a stand would cost, Christians today often seem content to follow the blueprint presented by the culture, with very little consideration for how it will affect others in their life or society as a whole. Nowhere is this more evident or more tragic than in the failure of men and women to understand, appreciate, and embrace their God-given roles.
God calls men to take leadership for the protection and preservation of women. It is not meant to hinder, but to heighten her potential. It is a gift, not the curse it is made out to be.
In order to embrace our roles as leaders, we must seek to understand—really understand—why God gave men this awesome responsibility. Let’s start at the beginning. We have already established the fact that the woman was given to the man as a helpmeet. The Hebrew word is ezer {ay'-zer} which literally means “one who helps[i]” God ordained women as helping hands for their husbands. This is supposed to be a blessing to both the man and his wife.
Sadly the feminist movement has convinced women (even in the church) that it’s not good enough to work “behind the scenes.” They would have women believe that if you can’t lead you can’t do anything. There is perhaps no greater lie in the world. In many cases the successes of those we see are made possible only by the hard work of many we don’t see.
Consider the following examples:
· In sports the athlete gets most of the praise but owes much of his success to his coaches and personal trainers.
· When it comes to moviemaking, the actress might be the best ever, but a lot of credit goes to her writers, the director, the camera crew, and a myriad of others who never make it on camera.
In the same way, the wife has the extreme privilege of helping her husband and family. In many ways she is the key component of his success. Being “behind the scenes” doesn’t make her less important. She is very important. She doesn’t need to go elsewhere for fulfillment.
The most important thing to remember is that God has a plan. He knew what he was doing. Sadly, many of us have dismissed much of what the Bible says on the family as obsolete and not culturally relevant. I think our society is reaping the consequences of this flippant attitude.
God is very clear. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Cor. 11:3) Every facet of our society cries out for male leadership. We must wake up and realize how serious this issue is.
In the workforce, it is important that men are willing to work and free their wives up to fulfill the all-important task of being “discreet, chaste keepers at home.” (Titus 2:5) Women in the workforce take on twice the load that they should. This causes a great deal of undue stress.
The responsibilities of a wife and mother are at odds with those of an employee. One has to suffer from a lack of quality time. Unfortunately it seems that ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ are the roles that suffer most. Women in the workforce have also contributed to the break-up of more than a few marriages.
At home, a mother needs to know that her husband will lead in the discipline and spiritual training of the children. Fathers are commanded to “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) She also needs to know that her husband will lead her. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” (Eph. 5:25-26)
In the Church, God clearly has established men as the leaders. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)
As we seek to fulfill this duty, there are some things that we would do well to keep in mind. Service to God and others is most important. Real family leadership involves looking out for the interests of those in your care. “But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Jesus, the greatest leader the world has ever known, came to serve us! If the only man who had the right to lord himself over us chose not to, we must be careful not to allow our responsibility to inflate our egos. It is Christ who made entrusted us with this duty. With out him, we can do nothing.
A leader must be willing to do all that he asks of his followers. Everything that Jesus has asked us to do he has already shown us by example. That leads me to a question which I believe every man should ask himself as he seeks to lead his family. The question is “Am I living my life in such a way that I can say with Paul “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ?” (2 Cor. 11:1)
I would like to address one more prevalent aspect of this issue. I am sure that some who are reading this may say that they don’t feel that they have the qualities required of a leader. Let me just say that although it is evident that some have a greater capacity for leadership than others, lack of skill does not absolve us from responsibility. Just ask Moses. He tried to tell God that he wasn’t skilled enough to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt, but God set him straight.
“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” (Exodus 4:10-12)
My friends, God specializes in using those who are most unusable. Consider this: God will often give a man a task, than make it impossible for him to fulfill so that when it happens he gets all the glory! You may not feel prepared to lead, but if you are a man (especially a husband and father) you are called to do so. Seek the Lord for the grace to accomplish this task.
As you can see we as men have a huge responsibility. As we study this solemn duty in greater detail in the following chapters, I urge you to consider what I have to say and search the Scriptures to see whether my conclusions are sound.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Men of Valor

Men Of Valor

By Andrew Gommesen

To Andrea—
May you one day find your
Man of Valor


How many of you have received a gift for Christmas or your Birthday and then had the giver say to you “Take good care of that, I worked very hard on it”, or maybe “That would be hard to replace, be careful with it.” I know I have.
If you are anything like me, the scenario often plays out something like this. The special gift is given, the giver’s entreaty made, followed an emphatic promise to fulfill the wishes of the giver. At first the new keyboard is neat, you can’t imagine a day going by where you wouldn’t “tickle the ivories,” lightly dust the keys, and put it away in a proper place.
Unfortunately, the novelty quickly wears off. The keyboard now lacks its initial luster. Though you once played it every day, it gets stuck on a shelf somewhere and you forget about it. You only discover it when you do your spring-cleaning. You get excited again, pull it out, blow six inches of dust off of it, and try to play it again only to discover that two of the keys stick and one is broken off.
It is very interesting how something that was once so precious to us can become an afterthought. The time and effort that our loved one put into it is wasted. We hope and pray that they don’t ask about it, and when they do we try to quickly change the subject or simply hang our heads in shame.
I believe that God has given men a great gift which is of far greater value than a keyboard. As a matter of fact “her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:1) One of the best earthly gifts God has given to men is the gift of women.
When God finished creating Adam, he brought all the animals to him so that he could name them. These animals were no doubt friendly with Adam. But none of these animals could adequately fill the roll of “helpmeet” for him. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” (Gen. 2:18, 20)
The chapter goes on to explain God’s solution to the problem and Adam’s grateful exultation of God’s faithfulness in meeting his need. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.“ (Verses 21-23)
Women are very precious and fragile. The Apostle Peter refers to them as a “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) There was a time when men were quick to embrace their duty to protect the precious gift of womanhood. “Woman and children first” was the rallying cry of the men of valor aboard the Titanic in April 1912.
Almost 100 years later few vestiges of such valor remain. Men are classified as either stupid pushovers or dictatorial tyrants. I’d like to be able to say that these are totally groundless stereotypes but I cannot. Men have dropped the ball. The “weaker vessel” of womanhood has been damaged. The results are seen everywhere from the rise of the stay-at-home dad, to the women who put their lives on the line in the service of the Armed forces.
Men have been given a great gift in women, and with that gift come great responsibility. We must care for, protect, and defend the women in our lives. The consequences of failing to do so are far greater than failing to dust the keys off a keyboard regularly. We have been charged with preserving and protecting a valuable part of the Bride of Christ. We must be men of valor. Join me on the following pages as we discuss how to do this and the ramifications of our failure to do so.
As I close this introduction, I would like to say a few words to the ladies who may be reading. First of all, thank you. I hope the thoughts and ideas contained in these pages will be an encouragement to you—to those praying for husbands as well as those who are praying for those you already have.

Note: These next few weeks I will be posting chapters of my book. If you have any ideas fo publication let me know. Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The more life changes the more it stays the same. I know it's an overused phrase, but it is also true. I hope that as you read this blog you will be blessed by what I have writtten. For those who are familier with my blog, the name has been changed, but the content is still the same strong thought provoking matierial I am committed to sharing. (I hope) Comments are welcome!