Saturday, May 16, 2009


I always wondered why I never liked poetry. I don't know if I have the answers. But some image of a soft man putting pen to words of expressions with meaning, but lacking the necessary experiences of beauty and strength. Mercy and some balls. Why are most writers more artistic? And less rough? I guess we dont want a rough man giving us poetry.

I met a man who just made me cry over a poem. I met him on his audio reading called "Gray man." My friend, John Blase, had me read a few other of his poems, and I have finally found poetry that somehow meets me between the desire to be expressive and an artist, and not lose my balls. And to be a man, and honest, and not have to be cast off as some wanna-be cowboy.

There is no greater tension in this work, then between art and strength. killing a deer, and being sweet to your wife. and people are just waiting to put you in one of two camps. Fairchild is one you might want to read, he seems to have the balance, so sweet.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Men and Beauty?

It is has been interesting to step into the hunting world, and learn more about species. From deer, elk, turkey. In moving to a new location for Training Ground, we have inherited from the previous owners their pet peacocks. Three of them that are in a cage made up of two barn stalls, and a large area they can come outside and roost, or walk. There are two females. And one male.

But guess who is the pretty blue with the fancy feathers?

The male. Guess which gender has the racks men love to kill? And the turkeys, the two I killed earlier this year, they were fanning that big spread behind them like a 2nd grade display thanksgiving ornament. Looking in the brush, thinking I was a female, trying to impress me.

The two times I have been turkey hunting, when we have called them over, and the big toms and jakes (male gobblers) have begun their display, showing me their beautiful feathers, I just laugh. Laughed both times. It is such an odd thing.Here I am a man, in a blind, with all these pretty camo to make me look good, and there a few yards away is another male, with all his accoutrements of display. staring at each other.

It is comical. but what is fascinating is that in the animal world, the male is more often the prettier one. he is the one who has to impress the lady. fluff his feathers, or stick out his rack, and be admired. is that not something to pause and think about?

If God makes animals, male and female. some semblance to us. what does it mean that he made the males a little more colorful? and maybe, where has that gone in the male world? well, ok, there is Adam on American Idol in his makeup, and emo, but what does that look like for a rather normal man? how should we offer are beauty? doesn't it sound even bad?

I dont know the answer, but each time I walk by the cage, I watch this male peacock in full feathers, displaying for his two female friends staring at him. he most do this 100 times a day. all that work and effort, over and over again for these two lovely rather plain looking ladies.

im thinking. bud. you have a sealed deal. two women, and you are the only thing they got. your in! no more bravado needed. you are in a sealed cage. but still, there is something in, that instinct that says, I must show myself, I must display and win her affection.

how many days is she ready to mate? maybe 3 or 4? I'm thinking, 360 days times 100 displays a day, 36,000 displays of himself, for that one moment. thats a man who isn't afraid of rejection.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Desire reveals Design.

I have noticed that when it comes to issues of masculinity, lets say even, overt expressions, maybe hunting or fishing, or men who launch into some of this, there are many reactions out there. One of them is what I want to talk about. It is the one that says, "Oh, come on. That's not what a man is. A man is one who has Jesus as his guide, all that stuff is just external ego trying to earn manhood."

It is very dismissive towards a man's quest. Essentially saying, there is no reason to do that. Just be Godly. Follow Jesus. that is the way to be a man. there are a few books, that kind of lead you in that path, and can be rather reactionary towards the whole "men's movement."

I must admit, I agree. It is really about Jesus. to glorify him, and enjoy God forever. but my question, really, is how do we ultimately get there?

I think that is what is so beautiful, in my opinion, about some of these uber masculine things. they tell us something about what we deeply desire and long for inside. for the same reason, we could ask a porn addict, what are the images you look at? At first, we would rather say, dont look at porn. bounce the head. control your flesh.

but for most, from what I found, even personally, its a band-aid on a grand canyon divide. but what if inside all those desires, was a deep longing for God? And what if we honored the process, and even affirmed it?

Dan Allender says, if you are going to sin, enjoy it.

Most of us deny it at the time, give ourselves illusions of why we are sinning, till we fall, and feel the shame, and then beat ourselves up in the process. But what, if you actually threw a party for your sin? And really named what it was you wanted?

It sounds so wrong, but I think where it takes you is to actually naming what you want. and since Evil did not create our heart, and longings of the soul, to name our desire is to bring us to God, and his desires for us--ultimately. That is where the process leads us. As Chesterton writes, "A man knocking in the door of a brothel, is actually knowing on the door of God."

One thing that I think would be helpful for those looking at pornography is to name what you really want? You are not realy just looking for a naked woman, right? What specifically are you looking for in that moment? Large boobs? A wild girl? Specifically what scene are you after? What are you searching for?

And then, what specifically deeper than that scene are you really looking for? What's in that image that awakens or numbs, or is your heart searching for? Simple beauty? Are you needing to be violent because of some odd reason of life? Do you need to just be taken away by someone in control?

I think our desires might tell us about something even deeper, that ultimately points us to a God who can meet us.

I think it is the same pathway with masculinity. Why does rolling in the dirt men's stuff appeal to many men? Why might a man want to go buy a gun? I think, because there is a need in the heart, that is searching for God. I believe our desires, reveal our design from God. and to tell that man, don't roll in the dirt, is in some form to deny the pathway to which we meet Jesus. Isn't it always in our brokenness, and sin, and mixed in with longing, and desire? Why would God ask us to pray? We need to name our desires for him in its midst.

I am finding, the more we move into trying to awaken, and stir young men's hearts towards the gospel, and masculinity, a very strong current of this negativism, and a thinking, "isn't this cowboy and Indians?" type of thought. While, if we stay there, yes. But, the beauty of the gospel, the beauty of our hearts is we move towards God, whether we know it or not, we move towards our design, even when evil might trick our eyes of why we are there. It is our blindness that keeps us stuck.

But almost, always, almost always, it is a knock on the door of God. and what I pray for, is not more men to dismiss it, but a legion of men, who can honor the process, honor the man who is there for a reason, and move him deeper into those desires. by not dimissing them, but awakening him to a bigger gospel, and a deeper masculinity. we dont need more pessimism, but men who have been through that process, and can honor the young man in it as well.

I find that most of the men who write this whole masculinity thing off, are men, quite frankly, who have never risked stepping into that process themselves.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Old, Sick, Tired, Creative, Broke.

Most days as I drive to work with Cory (we carpool)there is a man with a wiry gray beard that greets us at our exit off Monument. I don't know his name. But he sits with a cardboard sign. It reads,


4 of those words, speak of pain, suffering, hardship. I guess what we might expect in a man asking for money, right? We expect a sad story. But one of them is something very different. This man's dignity. Creative. I have marveled at that sign for the last 9 or so months. Never handed him a dollar, but wondered. What is his story, so that this word remains. It makes me think he hasn't given up. there is something there, waiting to be engaged. It speaks of original glory. of God. of his hands over the six days of creation, of that image into man. what is this man's creativity?

I realized I have never thought to ask. I've been to busy getting to work so that I could create. so that I could start into my day that gives me the opportunity for much of that. and maybe my irony is that instead of holding a sign in my life, that says OLD, SICK, TIRED, CREATIVE, AND BROKE. I sign my signature on my email, Director of Development. which means, I help think through the creation process, and I even have to find money to make that possible. I guess, in some ways, I hold a sign that says only one of those CREATIVE. b/c who the hell wants to give to a dude who is sick, tired, creative, and broke. sadly, I don't want to admit the rest, only the creative part. but its more true than I want to admit. and the old is coming. one way or the other.

Maybe I need to see both the dignity, and depravity a bit more. live in both. hold my sign that confesses the gospel in me, how it delivers on some promises, and a few I have done my part to screw up. and some, I just don't really know what happened, but didn't quite work out the way I thought.

I am not sure, but I have decided to stop and see if I could get him breakfast, maybe pay for my time that he would normally collect some money during the rush hour, and ask him... what does that word mean to him. what does he create. what might he want to create.

I figured if I posted this on here, it will be my accountability. and I can follow up.