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April 2016 Whetstone Newsletter

“When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.”

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the April edition of the Whetstone Newsletter. I think I’ve found some good stuff for you this month. Be sure to check out the Ransomed Heart podcast on seasons of fatherhood. Good stuff. Oh and by the way The Whetstone now has a logo. Spiffy.

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Fighting Lust With Lust Erik Raymond

“How do we fight lust? We fight lust with lust. That is, a ceaseless pursuit of the delight of God, which is a delight in God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

We all fight with lust. It’s not just a sexual type of lust, but anything that we put our own will and pleasure above God’s.

 

The Right Kind of ‘Code’ for Men to Live By Barnabas Piper

“A friend would be willing to go face the uncomfortable and push for things to be made right, to uphold the real code to which all men should hold themselves. “

What kind of “code” do you live by? Spoken or unspoken, we live by codes. A code is an  expected norm or behavior. These may (but shouldn’t) vary by context (ie locker room, work, church, etc). Do the codes you’re expected to adhere to agree with what you know is true?

 

Of Burner Phones and Busy Lives: Making the Best Use of TimeNathan Eshelman

“Time is something with which we all have a relationship. As in all of life, time is not neutral, but must be understood through the scope of Scripture. We must purchase, protect, position, and profit as we seek to make the best use of time.”

 

One of my favorite verses is “Teach us to realize the brevity of life so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 At times life feels as if it will go on forever, but it won’t. We need taught that our time on earth is short and God has made us stewards of that time. Time is as important as our finances to manage. How are you managing your time? By the way, You’re not too busy.

 

Do you Know Your Calling? This Might HelpJJ Peterson

“When I look at scripture I don’t see God pushing people into specific careers, I see Him calling people to a new way of living. He doesn’t call people to be doctors or lawyers, He calls them to be a specific kind of doctor or lawyer.”

 

To broaden this a bit, we might ask the question, “What is God’s will for my life?” I believe that at times God has specific, detailed plans for parts of our lives (see Noah, Jonah, et all). But I also believe that more often than not God has a general will for our lives (love God, love others) and whatever you do as long as it doesn’t violate those two commands is in God’s will. Sometimes we just need to push on and stop waiting for the “right” thing to appear.

 

The Title of “Brother” Means Something – Josh Buice

“As we see Brother Paul affectionately referencing Epaphroditus as his brother in Philippians 2:25, it’s clear that there is a unique bond between those who have been saved by the blood of Christ and adopted into the family of God. “

 

A interesting read on the use of “brother” in the bible and thoughts on how we might use it today.

Listen

Seasons of FatherhoodRansomed Heart Podcast

Three dads from the Ransomed Heart team swap stories about the various seasons of fatherhood.

 

Watch

Where We All Get StuckGary Barkalow

“So, don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.  Offer what God has given and developed in you with humility, gentleness and patience (Eph. 4:1,2) as He reveals a need for it.”

 

Stay Sharp

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March 2016 Whetstone Newsletter

God loves us as we are, not as we should be. Brennan Manning

 

Welcome to the March 2016 edition of the Whetstone Newsletter!  If you haven’t heard, the Whetstone is honored to have three new monthly writers. Find out more about them here. This month we have 5 great articles on topics like beer and Jesus, 7 Habits of a Family that Wins, and youth sports.

On to the newsletter!

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I Love Beer More Than Jesus – Morgan Snyder

“And yet, right here Jesus loves us. Right here in our propensity to attach our desires to so many things other than relationship with Him, He loves us.”

I can really identify with Morgan because I like (ok, love) beer. The flavors, the colors, the aroma.  As Homer Simpsons says, “Mmmmmm, beeeeer.” But, have I given beer a place that should only be occupied by Jesus? At times, Yes! How about you? “What do you love more than Jesus?”

“Our addictions can be conduits of profound grace, for in facing them, we come face to face with our Jesus and the depth of His love for us.”

 

7 Habits of a Family That Wins Mark Timm

“I know I want a family that is strong, that can handle whatever adversity comes its way, and that is positioned to leave a legacy that matters for generations to come.”

I am really digging this series by Mark Timm. It’s a unique way of looking at family through the lens of of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Mark’s 7 habits for families are:

Care, Commitment, Character, Communication, Collaboration, Change, and Celebration. Over the next few weeks he’s going in depth on each one. I’ve linked to the ones that he’s published so far.

 

Social Media and Secret Live of American Teenage Girls Nancy Jo Sales

“Kids today are often accused of being narcissistic, but they may be learning their exhibitionist ways from their parents. Accompanying the boom in selfie culture is a rise in competitive spirit, as well as a disturbing trend of sexualization. Likes, hearts, swipes—­validation is only a tap away.”

Dads, listen up! We are called to protect our children, from others and from themselves. Nowadays predators don’t have to drive around in creepy vans to entice our children. They can find your kids’ social media profiles and “connect” with them there. Be involved, be proactive, be loving. You may tick them off, but at the very least you may keep them from seeking validation in the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons.

 

Boys Need Their Moms Tim Challies

“Boys need their moms—I am convinced of it. Even teenaged boys, boys who are nearly men.”

Ok, one for the ladies this month. Boys seem to be tough for moms to figure out. They do stuff that even they can’t explain. But, they need you. They need you to help prepare them for his future relationship with their wives. You have a great deal of influence on the man he will become.

 

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Sports? – Todd Hill

“There’s an idolatry problem in our community related to youth sports. I see this problem every weekend as families gather at the field rather than their church. It’s a problem in my heart, too. “

We all have our idols, some are just more acceptable than others. Youth sports is one of those “accepted” idols. And it’s not just youth sports, I would add youth activities in general. And even more alarmingly, we as parents can make our children in to our idols. When we put our children’s happiness and comfort before everything else including our spouses and relationship with God we have given them a position they can’t and shouldn’t be in.

 

Listen

Why You Need a Life Plan Now – Michael Hyatt

“Far too many people drift through life, dissatisfied and nagged by regrets. But there’s one tool that can help you fight the drift and pursue the life you want. “

I really enjoy Michael’s podcasts and books. He just released a new book called, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Order now and get some bonuses like a detailed action plan guide and audio training.

Watch

The Value of Aggression – Ode to Dan Gable – Tim Ferriss

“As an athlete, he had a 182-1 prep and college record. His single loss, in his final NCAA match, infuriated him. To make up for it, he out-trained the world and won the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics…without surrendering a single point. This is like winning Wimbledon on serves alone.”

As a former wrestler I was very familiar with the work ethic and mythic like legend of Dan Gable.  He was just amazing as an athlete and coach.

Do

Did you miss the Whetstone’s exciting announcement? The Whetstone now has 3 monthly contributors!  Check them out here.

 

Stay Sharp!

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February 2016 Newsletter

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, Welcome to Lent.

Valentine’s Day is a few days away. Have you gotten your sweetheart something yet? There’s still time. While you’re getting her a Valentine’s Day card, get a bunch of other cards for her too. Get some romantic ones, silly “thinking of you” ones, and some blank ones. Then you’ll have cards on hand to give her at random times.

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God Loves Odd Couples – Stephen Altrogge

“Perfect marriages exist only in Nicholas Sparks novels. Every marriage has challenges, hurdles, and seeming impasses. But God loves odd couple marriages.”

I don’t know what a Nicholas Sparks novel is, but I get the idea. The fact is, “God is for you, Jesus is in you, and the Holy Spirit is interceding for you. Jesus can give you power to serve and sacrifice. The Holy Spirit can transform your marriage into a piece of divine art. You only need to ask.”

Looking for a way to strengthen your marriage? Take one of these courses.

 

Some Thoughts For Those Who Are Considering Divorce – Randy Alcorn

“Don’t just trust that God can change someone else’s heart. Trust that He can change and renew your heart.”

A challenging but encouraging article from Randy Alcorn.

 

Saying These Two Words More Often Will Improve Your Marriage –  David Pescovitz

“We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last,”

You know those cards you bought because of my Valentine’s tip above? Use a few to give your spouse some random, but specific, Thank you’s!

 

Ministry to Men is More Than Pancakes – Kris Dolberry

 “Haven’t we had enough pancakes? Let’s take those two words found in men’s ministry—men and ministry—and meet each other, engage, learn, grow, challenge, inspire, and love one another. Walk out of isolation into interaction.”

Amen. You older men, just don’t fade into retirement. Use those experiences and lessons God gave you in life to mentor younger men. We need it.

 

The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood – Thabiti Anyabwile

“As men, we can fight the symptoms of a disquieted inner life—anger, lust, insecurity, anxiety, and the like. Such fights are necessary. Or we can wage war against the bunker out of which these enemies come: lack of self-control.”

Self-control or as I like to call it discipline, is key in living out God’s calling in our life. It’s tough, but thankfully He gives us the power to do so. And the grace when we do not.

 

Listen

Friendship – Tim Keller Podcast

“The book of Proverbs says that you will not be a wise person and you will not lead a wise life unless you are great at choosing, forging, and keeping terrific friendships.”

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17. That’s verse this newsletter is built on. We need friends and not just “Did you see the game?” friends. We need friends that really know us. A friendship like that is irreplaceable.

 

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Your Guide to the Best Day Ever – Matt Rise

Want to have Your Best Day Ever? Download my free guide to getting the day before the day gets you here.  The guide will help you be intentional about your mornings so that you can do those important things first. 3D Mockup I.jpg

Click here to download it for free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for this month’s newsletter.

 

Stay Sharp,

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