Family First

Hello and happy Friday!!

This is going to be a short and sweet little encouragement to take the small steps toward the big visions…

1st of all, this is Dennis. I am gracefully married to a badass woman… And I don’t say BA lightly, I mean, this chick makes me a better man and keeps me in line while being an incredible mother and nurturer of our domain.

20130201-122651.jpg

Since being married I have been encouraging Jenna to search for new employment, mainly because I have a little philosophy that I live by, “When you don’t like where your priorities have been stacked, purposefully lose the game of Jenga [The America Edition] you’re playing and start building something new.” Well, my wife has been a single mom for 5 years [I told you she’s awesome] and has provided very well for our daughter, now she isn’t a single mom and her heart is re-configuring some priorities.

Just recently her current place of employment wanted to extend business hours [again], which would put her at work from 6:30am to 6:00pm and something in her heart said, “No! My family comes first… even if it is harder financially…”

She is listening to The Lord and her heart is moldable to what God is speaking into our family. God is allowing me to step up and be a frick’n man in a way that I’ve never been and simultaneously allowing her to be a wife and mom in a way that she’s never been free to be.

Dudes, if your woman is willing to say, “Money is not worth the time away from my family”, don’t be a lazy-ass and try to play video games while your wife puts food on the table. You’re the hunter and gatherer, let her be nurturing and show her LOTS of love! Before I close, I would like to add that not all women are built for the stay at home gig, some women should work [even if you have children] as to not go crazy or drive anyone else there either.

There is a bigger vision for our family… A vision that we both have to see and that our hearts have to align somewhere in the super-natural in order for it to be a possibility that we stay sane and travel together. That vision is not having my wife work 60 hours a week in exchange for some dollars and cents, but rather for us to live alongside people we love, sharing resources, loving one another, and spending time chasing each-other not some silly “dream”.

Displace comfort.
Believe for yourself.
Live for what’s important.

Much love,
Naked Christian Men

Advertisements

Quiet Down & Listen

We choose all kinds of unnecessary conversations to engage in, most of which the bible warns us against having [especially in the company of folks who don’t believe in Jesus]. We waste hours being indignant to our family, friends and strangers who don’t believe what we do, all the while we should know that an argument has (likely) never turned someone’s heart towards Jesus. We write blogs, spend hours reading and exercising our pride for the sole purpose of proving someone (christian or not) wrong.

Please, for the sake of your public esteem, quiet your desire to “be right” in a faith where mystery far out weighs indisputable fact, rather focus on listening to The Lord who (I believe) is far more concerned with you being fully alive than being right.

20130128-095409.jpg

If you identify yourself as Christian then there are only a few things that we trust as truth, things that don’t dance with mystery:
God is a trinitarian reality who is whole and equally God the Father, God the Son-of-Man [Jesus Christ] and God the Holy Spirit].
That unfathomable trinitarian deity is the visionary, designer and builder of everything, literally everything.
God the Father introduced commandments aka rules to live by and he willingly punished certain humans for being disobedient.
God the Son-of-Man showed up on the same earth that He created to live amongst humans that He created in Their image.
God the Son-of-Man chose to be a normal, functional piece of society. He Built furniture, was full of sarcasm, drank wine, got pissed off, made friends in all walks of his life, exemplified grace and emotional vulnerability and closed the chapter by doing supernatural, prophesy fulfilling things.
God Holy Spirit took over as the voice that speaks the word of God the Father to a humanity created in Their image and inherently attuned to The Voice of God.

These span of events have each demanded a new way of living…
When humanity was living based on the 10 commandments and subsequent laws, humanity was expected to obedient to such rules to justify their holiness.
When God the Son-of-Man lived on earth, the flow of humanity was being stirred and shaken for approximately 33 years; the status quo was changing. He was setting up a new way of living for humanity rooted in freedom.
Now we are under the leadership of God Holy Spirit, the communicator, the mediator, the one who shares divine wisdom and knowledge with His likeness, humanity.

If you are traveling this journey of faith without putting a great deal of weight into hearing from God Holy Spirit then you are greatly discounting the intimacy you could have with a God who wants your time. Joy. Peace. Freedom. Vision. Influence… these are all things that we are promised, if we can only believe that we are worth this type of intimacy and unending love from God the Trinity.

The NCM challenge you to shut up and listen today… If you don’t know what you’re listening for, here are a couple insights:
1. You are as crazy as you feel.
2. You will likely hear “your own voice”, which is par for the course; God Holy Spirit is speaking to you, in your voice, in order to be able to communicate clearly.
3. Ask God to tell you something about someone you know very well [preferably someone who believes that God could speak through you if he wanted… this lessens the “crazy” feeling you’ll have].
4. Just go with what you hear… no matter how weird it may be, don’t try and make it sound “normal”.
5. Tell that person what you heard from The Lord and they will be able to confirm or deny if it is really a word from The Lord.

Happy listening ­čÖé

20130128-095958.jpg

Self[ish] Preservation

Over the last 12+ years I have had my hands in something that I hoped to be inspiring to another human being. Whether that be rap-rocking the shit out of a microphone back in the old bloodbaught days [and yes, I know it is spelled incorrectly], or spending hours in middle and high school class rooms baring my entire soul to tens of thousands of students, or by writing, tweeting, facebooking, instagramming and any other excuse I can find to use words. I genuinely enjoy the battle of hypocrisy… knowing that if I’m not who I say I am [and I haven’t always been] then I would likely get found out [and I always do]. I believe with all of my heart that there is no better version of yourself to be than the absolute best version, while fully disclosing all of the ignorant, shady, painful things you’ve done or experience with anyone that will listen.

20130108-140628.jpgThat said, there are a lot of things about being “vulnerable” and sharing my story that are some weird mix of emotionally exhausting and totally self indulgent. But, there are also very rewarding aspects to this journey that I’m on as well. One of the most rewarding aspects of being able to share my story with thousands of teens is the moment when one of them comes up to me, obviously nervous, and says “You’re the only adult who knows this, but I’ve had an abortion too.”

I started on this journey because very early on in my journey of being a Christian [which probably had very little to do with being like Jesus back then] I got really fed up with fake-ass Sunday smiles, bible study super kids, and a paralyzing fear of reality. Don’t get me wrong, I often smile on Sundays whether I am at church or not, but that’s because I also smile on Thursdays. And there is nothing wrong with having a love and passion for learning, studying and knowing the bible… as long as you have some interest in being who He would ask you to be [this will likely be a rant of it’s own really soon]. Lastly, I know that being honest is scary, and I realize that not everyone needs to know your business and blah blah blah… My response to that very real truth is: stop being so damn selfish!

When you do or don’t do something because of how it makes you feel, there is some level of selfishness attached to it, and that may not be a bad thing; I think it brings The Lord great joy in some heavenly way to know that His kids are really enjoying their time on earth. However, when it comes down to not sharing your story because of how it makes you feel I think you should probably just get over it in anyway you need to, solely for the benefit of those around you. I have been reading a daily devotional that was written by one of my spiritual fathers and he captures the weight of being selfless with your story by sharing an aspect of his:


One weekend, I had my first real encounter with alcohol. Southern Comfort might be its name, but it took me on a trip to the pain zone. I was hung over for two days! I did all the things that a sick person does and more. I could not get out of bed because of the freight train that was clickity-clacking in my head. It was horrible.

Those two days, my parents did not say a word to me. They took care of me, but nothing was ever mentioned. A couple days later, Dad invited me to his office. He wanted to talk to me in private. I was in great dread of that meeting!

To my surprise, he shared some things with me out of his childhood along with a few of the lessons he had learned around his own mistakes with alcohol. Things I never knew, stories I never imagined. I still recall what he wore that day, I remember how he smelled, and I was deeply impacted by the fact that he did not demean me, but instead challenged me to responsibility.

All that to say this:
Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, the fine print of our story has an unfathomable worth to someone that tries to hide the same details. And with that I encourage you to share the most painful, scary details of your story with someone else when you feel like you should. If you are a Christian, your life should be lived to the service and sacrifice of your fellow [wo]man for the Glory of God… If you believe that God can/has redeemed you from your story then what in the hell are you so afraid of anyway?

DG

This is not shock value…

I want to thank you for reading this far and graciously ask you to continue.

Ermahgerd! Naked Christian Men

Ermahgerd! Naked Christian Men

Initially, your perception may have been that this is a “shock value” site, well let me assure you that is not the intent. Our intent is pretty simple: to be honest with ourselves, with God and with you. We have chosen to do that by letting our sense of humor be the catalyst for our communication, ┬árather than taking “serious issues” too seriously. We believe that life should be enjoyed amidst the reality that it is miserably difficult at times… Be encouraged that there is far more freedom available to us [than makes us comfortable] to make life an incredible journey.

There are going to be some very sensitive topics written about here and we beg you to join in on the conversation, both here with the Naked Christian Men and also in your own communities.

One last thing before I let you get on with your day… We plan to challenge your thought process, we hope to offend you [at least a little], and our biggest prayer is that we get you to really consider the “why” behind your actions, convictions, judgements and interactions with humans who do life differently than you.

With as much love as a couple naked dudes can give [besides the love we give our wives], we thank you for being here!

– DG & RD aka Naked Christian Men