Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Part 8: A Band of Brothers

What is a band of brothers?

John Eldredge comments in part 8 on the DVD that the men in the video are his brothers. They work together; play together; worship together; their families fellowship together; they go through the good and bad times together; they laugh and cry together. What they are not is an accountability group...a group tracking each other's sins. A band of brothers go much deeper than superficial fellowship and accountability.

Watch the Lord of Rings trilogy and see how the 'Fellowship' interact with one another. Watch the HBO series, "A Band of Brothers", parts 1 & 2 and notice how EZ company support each other. Watch the men in Gladiator fight together in the coliseum. Watch the Scottish armies form in Braveheart.

Brotherhood is essential to our walk in Christ. Without brotherhood, we feel alone. No one likes to take the journey alone. Where would Frodo be without Sam? The apostle Paul had Timothy and Apollos. Peter had James. David had Jonathan. Friends who journey and fight the good fight together.

How do we find these 'band of brothers'? John Eldredge says pointedly, "Pray." Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you to other men who are searching as well. Craig McConnell mentions this 'brotherhood' won't form overnight, but in God's time.

Lastly, a band of brothers are actively involved in each others lives and look out for one another through Christ. So many relationships fail due to fear of committment, pride, or selfishness. Don't allow Satan a foothold in your brotherhood. Keep committed to each other and Christ to lead you on the adventure.

Are you ready to begin?

Sam: This is it.
Frodo: This is what?
Sam: If I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been.
Frodo: Come on, Sam. Remember what Bilbo used to say: "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Part 7: Rescuing the Beauty

Lesson 7: Rescuing the Beauty

If you want a really good synopsis of this chapter watch the movie, True Lies. Pay close attention to Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Helen Tasker. Helen is a bored, lonely, and unfulfilled housewife. She longs for excitement. She wants to be seen as ‘captivating’. She wants a prince to ride in and sweep her off to his castle. She wants to be a part of the adventure.
Only after a series of events does her husband, Harry (Arnold Schwarzenegger), realize and understand what he has done to her. He rightfully changes to be her knight and includes her in the adventure.

John Eldredge remarks that he, too, had used work as an ‘escape’ leaving his wife longing. He was having a dangerous affair with work. John mentions he felt "affirmed" at work, yet not at home. For many men, work is their ‘bride’ who builds them up and champions their efforts.

We saw, from the DVD lesson, that women want to be seen, rescued, and be a part of their husband’s adventure. They want to be longed for. They carry wounds and want their hearts to be set free. They want their husbands to be warriors, not ‘nice’ guys.

The culture today wants men to be passive with their wives and children. Satan thrives on lazy, cowardly, and bench-warming Christian men. God says differently:
Nehemiah 4:14
"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

Take this time to share this lesson with your wife and solicit honest feedback. Sure, it may be painful, but remember she is your beauty. Always be willing to fight for her and rescue her.

Helen Tasker: "Have you ever killed anyone?"
Harry: "Yeah, but they were all bad."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Part 6: The Adventure

"It's not just a's an adventure!" says Bill Murray's character in the movie Stripes. He's right. Actually John Eldredge takes this phrase one step further. Everything we do in life should be an adventure. Now I'm not saying everything is going to be action-packed. If you read the accounts of any climber tackling Mount Everest, you'll see there are necessary down times. However, we should be living an adventure; a journey filled with purpose and wonder.

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is men who have come alive."
- John Eldredge

I love the thrill of adventure and the unknown when all seems to be positive. But put me in a potentially negative spot and I worry. My wife tells me to live what I preach. Live the adventure no matter what the travels may bring. Isn't this what Gandalf told Frodo? Is the adventure going to be an easy walk in the grass? I don't think so. The adventure is full of risks, perils, jumps, and maybe a scrape or two. And what are we waiting for?

Comfort. Control. Assurance. The known. Ever swim in the ocean out in the deep? The thought can be frightening. No bottom to touch - maybe even no land to see. How was it that Abraham and Sarah survived in the vast desert? How did Joshua, Gideon, and David defeat their enemies? Faith in the Almighty God. The One who loved us before we loved Him.

When we truly live for God, through Jesus Christ, wonderful and amazing events begin to happen. We get in midst of an adventure where God is our guide and life takes on a whole new meaning.

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
- Earnest Hemingway