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The Demise of Guys?!

We originally posted a TED talk on the impact of frequent TV, gaming and porn consumption.  After further reflection, we believe the talk didn’t make the case strong enough.  Please watch this space over the next week – we will share more data on this issue. 

We will also share data on the epidemic of fatherless households.  Sometimes this is due to the physical absence of the husband/father, and sometimes it is due to the emotional absence.  Both, have a huge impact on a child. 

In the meanwhile, please support the below MENTOR initiative.  Thank you!

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I don’t pretend to have all the answers but this is one of the reasons we have a men’s ministry.  We refuse to sit idly by, while our children and grandchildren, our sons and daughters, our friends and family become victims to our society!  We are starting a movement!  Will you join us?!

The movement is of fathers to sacrifice for their children and become a  M – E – N – T – O – R:

M = They Model the behavior.  So that their children say ‘I want to be like that!’.  Pastor Denny Henderson
said it best when he said his father told him that he could always be confident in ‘doing what I do.  saying what I say, watching what I watch, reading what I read’.  He would never do anything that he, his son, shouldn’t do.

E = They Engage and Encourage.  It’s important to know what your son is interested in, what they are worried about, what they are excited about.  As someone said, part of loving someone is caring about what they care about. 

N = They Share the Good News.   A firm foundation based on the Gospel.  As Jesus says in Matthew 7 and Luke 6, you will not be able to stand trials if you do not have a strong foundation.  The foundation is Jesus and we build on that foundation through obedience.

T = They Commit their Time.  We need to spend time not only with our children but with our wives.  How we treat their mothers teaches them a lot about how they should treat women.  As Rev. Theodore Hesburgh said ‘The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.’

O = They Expect Obedience.   There is a place for respect and displine in parenting.  As we are obedient to God, we need to ensure our children our respectful and obedient to us and other people in authority.

R = And They Regulate.  As parents we need to regulate the amount and quality of TV, internet and gaming that is consumed by our kids.  We need to create boundaries of appropriate behavior.  Ironically once they know the boudaries it creates a refuge for them because they know what is appropriate.  It’s like the anology that rules in baseball allow us to enjoy the game.  We don’t have to worry about someone running to first and hitting the first baseman in the head with the bat before they are tagged.

Are you willing to make this commitment?   For your son’s sake, for your sake, I hope so.  May God bless you all!

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Men’s Retreat with PriorityOne

Great weekend everyone! We had our largest group ever, 16 people. One member of our group, Curtis, was baptized in the lake! We had a great time getting to know each other. It’s great to have good Christian friends. For those that couldn’t join us – we missed you!

Just posted some pictures on our facebook group. http://www.facebook.com/groups/43848377913/  Hope you enjoy. Here are just a few:

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Finally, in the spirit of the weekend, here are 10 things I learned:
(1) Alhassan can play a mean game of frisbee golf.  After one of my throws he said “you aren’t very athletic are you?”  Thank brother!
(2) A letter in Vinny Coniglio’s last name is silent. Do you know which one?  Hint: It’s not the ‘C’
(3) John snores
(4) If you take a long time to drink your milkshake … make sure no one is around to continue to bring it up all weekend.
(5) Alhassan once shaved his head and John would for a $1000, any takers?
(6) Robert can’t drive a nail while wearing a blindfold, sunglasses and a funny hat
(7) Although it may have felt like it, we didn’t set a world record for the longest time between sinking a ball (other than the cue ball) in billards.
(8) Yves is fearless – zip line, swing, rope course …. bring it on!

(9) When you get baptized in Lake Champion, the Holy Spirit turns your potbelly into a six pack (Curtis)!

and #10….
(10) Yes Vinny, the water fountain works!

Come join us for one of our small groups this week.  Either Thursday evening or Saturday morning.  Send a note to learn more.

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Dad’s Life

Funny Video about the cool and modern dad!

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Mondays with Dad

My father passed away last Thursday. He shared his heart for his family with me during our weekly discussions. I’m so thankful that he was my dad!

Mondays with Dad
(Borrowed from Tuesdays with Morrie)
As Long as You Are Under this Roof…
It is great to see so many people here today.  Dad always loved this church and did a lot to fill it.  Although I can’t say he had those high intentions in mind when he had 12 children … but we can’t say for sure.
It is sure that he did his best to get his children to church.  I remember hearing more than once “as long as you are under this roof you will go to church”.  …Father (referring to Ft. Morris), I think it is appropriate … on behalf of my brothers and sisters; we have a confession to make.  We would often come to church pick up a bulletin and get scarce for an hour.  When dad asked later, “Did you go to church?” we could say “I went to the 10 (holding up the bulletin) and I see the youth group is meeting again this Tuesday”
            Personally, I was very closed minded about God.  I would go to church to please dad.  But I would go to the late service because than, I reasoned, I could at least practice my Spanish.
Mondays with Dad
            It was many years later, actually only 2 or 3 years ago, that dad and I started sitting at the kitchen table each Monday.  We would discuss God, Jesus and Heaven.  Typically the conversation would turn to Scripture and we would have to pull out dad’s big Bible, possible a remnant from his days selling Bibles in the Bronx.  One day I remember holding the Bible with only one hand and the bulk of the Bible fell on the floor, leaving me with only the cover.  Dad quickly said, “you know before you started coming over here that Bible was in great shape.”
Workers in the Vineyard
            On one of those Mondays we actually talked about today’s Gospel reading (Matt 20:1-16.  I remembered telling dad how I used to struggle with it.  I understood that the parable indicates that some will accept Jesus when they are children and others while they are on their deathbed.  And some will resent the offer and never accept Him.  I just didn’t understand why those that have lived, sacrificed and suffered for God for a long time wouldn’t be acknowledged in some way.
            I told him that I was praying about it and God said, “I’m in the vineyard, you are with Me.  The vineyard is heaven.”
Guided by God
            It was probably this reference to prayer that dad still had in mind the next time we met.  When I told him I was praying for something, he quickly stopped me and said, “Terence, God isn’t bothered with trivial things like that.  God is like a landlord; you call him only when you have a big problem.  He doesn’t have time for such small and daily issues.
            “Well dad”, I said, “the Bible does say that God cares about the small details in our lives.  It says that He counts the hairs on our head (which is a moment by moment activity for some of us) and he has his eye on the sparrow…and we are worth many sparrows.”
            Dad paused; it looked like he was thinking even before I started talking.  He then started to share a story but he seemed to be talking more to himself than me.
            “When I was a kid, I was often in trouble for pitching toss.  (An Irish game where you gamble on the results of a tossed coin)  My father (Dad’s dad) told me more than once that I should be studying instead.
            One day, my father thinking of my future, bought me an Irish pub.  On the way home, he saw me pitching toss.  Without even telling me, he went and sold the pub.  He later told me that I wasn’t mature enough.”
            Dad looked at me, “it was probably for the best, I was so easy going that I likely would have given most of the drinks away for free and forgotten to charge for the rest, going bankrupt.  I would have shared in the drinking myself too, possible getting hooked.”
            He continued and turned to me, “Did you know that when I first came to the U.S. I had my heart set on becoming a NY city police officer?”  I never knew that. “Yea, when I got here it turned out that I required a number of months of training and that training would put me over the maximum age allowed.  I would have just missed the cutoff.
            That too, was for the best, when I was young I was brazen and I likely wouldn’t have lived long with a gun in the rough streets of New York City.”
            He continued with more examples of disappointments that were blessings in disguise.  And finally said, as if to himself, I guess God IS watching my way and focused on the small things.
Destined for Heaven
            Throughout our discussions, dad never questioned whether he would be going to heaven.  He once said, “I know two things.  I’m a great sinner and I have a great Savior.  I know I’m going to heaven.  You might make it too but I’ll probably have to travel to see you.”  He was always ribbing me.  Mom quickly responded, “Dad, just because you go to Heaven doesn’t mean they will open the pearly gates and let you in!”
Intercessory Prayer
            The prayer dad copied down, that Patrick read, is what is called an intercessory prayer.  It’s a prayer that asks for nothing for yourself but is on behalf of someone else.  Using the Gospel analogy, I imagine dad (t-shirt wet from sweat after a hard day’s work) going to the vineyard owner, God, and saying I know it is late … but would it be possible for you to go out one more time… there are still a few missing.
            Dad did desire to see this church full but what he really had on his heart was that we would all be in heaven together. Let’s pray.

Creative Commons License
Mondays with Dad by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at nymensministry.com.

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>Do you want to be Forgiven or Excused?

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I recently read a sermon by C.S. Lewis called “On Forgiveness” (From the Weight of Glory published by HarperCollins).  I thought I would share some of the brilliant insights from Lewis:

Forgive Everyone/Everything or you will not be Forgiven Anything
“We believe (as Christians) that God forgives us our sins; but also that He will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us.  There is no doubt about the second part of this statement.  It is in the Lord’s Prayer; it was emphatically stated by our Lord.  If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven.  No part of His teaching is clearer, and there are no exceptions to it.  He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are no extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort.  We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated.  If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.”

Forgiven or Excused?
“I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different.  I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me.  But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing.  Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology; I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.”  But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it; you weren’t really to blame.”  If one was not really to blame then there is nothing to forgive.  In that sense forgiveness and excusing are almost opposites.”

Please Forgive Me but Understand …
“…the trouble us that what we call ‘asking God’s forgiveness’ very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses.  What leads us into this mistake is the fact that there usually is some amount of excuse, some ‘extenuating circumstances.’  We are sp very anxious to point these out to God (and to ourselves) that we are apt to forget the really important thing; that is, the bit left over, the bit which the excuses don’t cover, the bit which is inexcusable but not, thank God, unforgivable.  And if we forget this, we shall go away imagining that we have repented and been forgiven when all that has really happened is that we have satisfied ourselves with our own excuses.  They may be very bad excuses; we are all too easily satisfied about ourselves.”

No Excuses
“When you go to a doctor you show him the bit of you that is wrong-say, a broken arm.  It would be a mere waste of time to keep on explaining that your leg and eyes and throat are all right.  You may be mistaken in thinking so, and anyway, if they are really all right, the doctor will know that.”

He Forgives!!
“A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it (forgiveness), from thinking that God will not take us to Himself again unless He is satisfied that some sort of case can be made out in our favor.  But that would not be forgiveness at all.”

For more on forgiving others, pick up the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Weight-Glory-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060653205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270923180&sr=1-1

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>Good Year for the Westchester Men’s Ministry

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The WMM had a good year in 2009. We hope to have a breakout year in 2010.

First a look back, in 2009 we…

  • had over 10 events including a golf event, hiking, multiple breakfasts and our Christmas dinner.
  • had our first breakfast with Grace Fellowship.
  • had multiple new people join our small groups or attend one of our events.
  • setup a blog, a Facebook group and a Twitter account. We have over 200 followers on Twitter and appear on 6 lists.
  • had nearly 2 dozen men for our Christmas dinner, our largest group yet, including a few new people.
  • just got started!

In 2010, we have big goals!

  1. We feel God is calling us to prepare for the harvest — so we plan to do leadership training
  2. We also feel God wants us to “do” his Word as a group — so we will be coordinating more outreach events.
  3. We will have our first retreat in the early Spring of 2010 (watch for more details)!!
  4. I believe we will have a small group of committed people step up in 2010 that will allow WMM to fulfill the role God intends for it. This may include 501c(3) status and a broader reach in Westchester county.
  5. The spirit of the Westchester Men’s Ministry is to be community based and support multiple churches. So my optimistic goal is to bring leaders from many churches together in 2010 to share our vision to bring hope to the hopeless and strengthen each other!
There are many people to thank for their support in 2009 including Dick Weidenheft, George Holladay, Peter Corfield and Fred Seiler among many others. Thank you guys!
We hope you have a very happy new year. Please pray that God will lead us and protect us because we can do all things through Him who strengthens us and conversely we can do nothing in our own power.
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>Small Group Opportunities

> Last week, we kicked off the year with breakfast. Kevin Gillen spoke to us about being an example in our homes. This is our first and in many ways our primary missionary field. So it was a very appropriate way to kick off our year.


Two small groups are now available for you to join to continue the conversation. These groups provide a safe environment to share, be encouraged and to grow together in Christ. I hope you will take advantage of them.


Thursday Evening at 7pm

Rob Rosati and Marc Greenblum (leaders)

22 Baltic Place, Apt. 3P

Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Every other Saturday Morning at 7:30am

(Yea, you miss a little sleep but you won’t miss any Saturday family events.)

Started Today. Will meet Oct 17th and 31st. November 7th and 21st; December 5th and 19th.

19 Saddle Ridge Road (right off of route 133 near Millwood)

Ossining, NY 10562

914-373-4855

Don’t wait until the next monthly breakfast to be blessed!

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God’s Response to Our Wounds

The Situation: We are all Wounded

  • We are all impacted by our parents. Their actions, their example and their love.
  • Since they are imperfect (like us), we are wounded.
  • These wounds leave us unsure about ourselves and afraid that we will be exposed as less then what we appear to be.
  • They are a lie, that says we are unworthy or not valuable.
  • Like any lie or half truth, it can cause us to respond incorrectly.
  • Even Jesus needed to hear words of affirmation from his father.

You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased  – Luke 3:22

God’s Response
Galatians 4:4-7
“But when the fullness of time had come. God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (ESV)

Joshua 1:9
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.”

Psalm 139:7-10
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Proverbs 3:11-12
”My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (NIV)

Hebrews 12:7
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?”

Proverbs 17:6
“The glory of children is their father” (NKJV)

Study Questions

  1. What words or thoughts strike you in the verses above?
  2. How has God affirmed you in a way your father didn’t or couldn’t?
  3. What implications does this have on us, as fathers?
  4. How can we pray for you as a father? For your son or daughter?