This is honestly one of the most helpful videos that I have ever watched, especially around the holidays.
This came direclty from Justin Taylor’s blog and is one of the best descriptions of fatherhood that I have ever read.
Share on Facebook
Andrew Peach has an excellent post at First Things’s On the Square blog. Don’t be put off by the philosophical formulation of the problem (if you’re not used to reading such things). Here, for example, is some practical payoff:
Most fathers-to-be suppose that their old ego-centered lives will continue more or less unabated after the child arrives. With the exception of a few more obstacles and demands on their time, their involvement with their children is envisioned as being something manageable and marginal. Nothing like a complete transformation—an abrupt end to their former life—really enters men’s minds.
But then the onslaught begins, and a man begins to realize that these people, his wife and children, are literally and perhaps even intentionally killing his old self. All around him everything is changing, without any signs of ever reverting back to the way they used to be. Into the indefinite future, nearly every hour of his days threatens to be filled with activities that, as a single-person or even a childless husband, he never would have chosen. Due to the continual interruptions of sleep, he is always mildly fatigued; due to long-term financial concerns, he is cautious in spending, forsaking old consumer habits and personal indulgences; he finds his wife equally exhausted and preoccupied with the children; connections with former friends start to slip away; traveling with his children is like traveling third class in Bulgaria, to quote H.L. Mencken; and the changes go on and on. In short, he discovers, in a terrifying realization, what Dostoevsky proclaimed long ago: “[A]ctive love is a harsh and fearful reality compared with love in dreams.” Fatherhood is just not what he bargained for.
Yet, through the exhaustion, financial stress, screaming, and general chaos, there enters in at times, mysteriously and unexpectedly, deep contentment and gratitude. It is not the pleasure or amusement of high school or college but rather the honor and nobility of sacrifice and commitment, like that felt by a soldier. What happens to his children now happens to him; his life, though awhirl with the trivial concerns of children, is more serious than it ever was before. Everything he does, from bringing home a paycheck to painting a bedroom, has a new end and, hence, a greater significance. The joys and sorrows of his children are now his joys and sorrows; the stakes of his life have risen. And if he is faithful to his calling, he might come to find that, against nearly all prior expectations, he never wants to return to the way things used to be.Read the whole thing.
Last November I was assigned with the annual task of carving our family turkey. I’ve performed this task several times, but always with terribly disappointing results (mangled pieces of turkey lying strewn all over a platter). This year I decided to take my turkey carving skills to the next level by checking the internet for advice. I was directed to an outstanding video that was created by a blog called “The Art of Manliness”. Being a man I decided to investigate this site a little further and have since come to greatly enjoy their writing. The posts cover a broad range of topics including how to grow a manly beard, a simple daily exercise routine, how to pack the perfect travel bag, etc. I should mention that this is not a Christian site, but thus far I have found their posts to be enjoyable reads and actually very helpful.
They have even put together a Guide to Manliness in 2008, which I would highly recommend for any man, but especially for young men who are wondering how to avoid being a “scallywag”. They cover topics such as cell phone etiquette, proper tipping, and even the proper use of facebook. You can get a free copy of the Guide to Manliness in 2008 by signing up for their RSS or by clicking on this link (it looks like their having a problem with their RSS Feed providing the link, so I’m giving it here). They also have a free man’s cookbook, which I have yet to try but am confident will turn out to be well a good resource. So, check out http://artofmanliness.com and let me know what you thin.Share on Facebook
Theodore Roosevelt was known for being a fighter. He held his beliefs passionately and fought for them. The following is a quote from him in praise of “The Man in the Arena”.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
By manly qualities the world is carried forward. The manly spirit shows itself in enterprise, the love of meeting difficulties and overcoming them, — the resolution which will not yield, which patiently perseveres, and does not admit the possibility of defeat. It enjoys hard toil, rejoices in stern labor, is ready to make sacrifices, to suffer and bear disaster patiently. It is generous, giving itself to a good cause not its own ; it is public-spirited, devoting itself to the general good with no expectation of reward. It is ready to defend unpopular truth, to stand by those who are wronged, to uphold the weak. Having resolved, it does not go back, but holds on, through good report and evil, sure that the right must win at last. And so it causes truth to prevail, and keeps up the standard of a noble purpose in the world.But as most good things have their counterfeits, so there is false manliness which imitates these great qualities, though at heart it is without them. Instead of strength of will, it is only willful; in place of courage, it has audacity. True manliness does what it believes right; false manliness, does what it chooses to do. Freedom, to one, means following his own convictions of truth; to the other it means thinking as he pleases, and doing as he likes. The one is reverent, the other rude; one is courteous, the other overbearing ; one is brave, the other foolhardy; one is modest, the other self-asserting. False manliness is cynical, contemptuous, and tyrannical to inferiors. The true man has respect for all men, is tender to the sufferer, is modest and kind. The good type uses its strength to maintain good customs, to improve the social condition, to defend order. The other imagines it to be manly to defy law, to be independent of the opinions of the wise, to sneer at moral obligation, to consider itself superior to the established principles of mankind.All boys wish to be manly; but they often try to become so by copying the vices of men rather than their virtues. They see men drinking, smoking, swearing; so these poor little fellows sedulously imitate such bad habits, thinking they are making themselves more like men. They mistake rudeness for strength, disrespect to parents for independence. They read wretched stories about boy brigands and boy detectives, and fancy themselves heroes when they break the laws, and become troublesome and mischievous. Out of such false influences the criminal classes are recruited. Many a little boy who only wishes to be manly, becomes corrupted and debased by the bad examples around him and the bad literature which he reads. The cure for this is to give him good books that show him truly noble examples from life and history, and make him understand how infinitely above this mock-manliness is the true courage which ennobles human nature.
Share on Facebook
The amazing variability in beard-growing ability is just one of the mysteries of the beard. The beard is a gift and gifts differ among men. Those who have the gift of the beard should share that gift by growing the beard for all to see.
I am the designated turkey carver in our home, so this year I decided to actually look up how you’re supposed to carve a turkey. I found this very helpful article and this VERY HELPFUL video. Enjoy.
If you haven’t heard Brad Paisley’s new song, “I’m Still a Guy” than you really need to watch this video.
A few months after I got married, I noticed something horrible about myself. The DNA that I had been born with had begun to kick into gear and my hairline was receding at an alarming rate!!! Everyone who knows me knows that a few years ago I decided to help the process along by simply shaving my head. Tonight I found a post that was so witty and well written I had to share it on the blog. You can find the post here.
The following is an excerpt:
Yet baldness is nonetheless a great gift from the Lord, in that it imposes a certain dignity on the ageing process by cutting off the various less dignified options (e.g., ponytails, which shouldn’t be sported by anyone over 30; and mullets which, frankly, should not be sported by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Period.). Of course, there are those, even Christians, who fight against this divinely-imposed dignity. Dreadful toupees abound in the church, along with frightful transplants, and the ubiquitous `comb-over’ or `sweep.’ The latter seems predicated on the false notion that, if you have six hairs to stretch across the barren landscape of your otherwise shiny pate, nobody will notice that you have gone completely bald. Or perhaps there is a belief somewhere that, in the country of the bald, the one-haired man is king. Come on, gents, parade your baldness with pride and accept the dignity which your divinely-imposed hair loss brings with it.