God drew me back to Dickens last week, and I would have missed both Dickens and Kipling in this week’s Arts &Tradition section of the Epoch Times, had it not been for Ed’s email on Christmas Day. Time and time again, God speaks to us through each other when we make ourselves vessels for Him.
“Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” ~ George Orwell
Why is God drawing me to Dickens, Kipling, and Orwell just now? BECAUSE He knows that they knew who we really are. Actually…it’s more than that. They, perhaps the keenest observers of human nature our world has ever known, knew in the 1800’s who we were in danger of becoming. And in this same Christmas week, our Lady Joan of Arc-Barnhardt straightens out our modern misunderstanding of the lyric (from the same Victorian Era) God rest ye merry, gentlemen…restoring His original intention for us, God Make You Great and Mighty, Men!
That is certainly the primary message delivered by John Eldredge in his fabulous book, Fathered by God. Resting merry gentlemen is the last thing our Creator had in mind for us! Why do you suppose so few of us get it?
I wrote my New Year’s Resolution this past Thursday morning, Imagine a world in which “the Swamp” is finally drained, the real criminals are brought to justice, Truth is back in vogue, and virtue is rewarded once again. That’s my New Year Resolution…what’s yours? Think about it…something I didn’t do before it occurred to me to simply do it. My resolution implies that I, you, me, we, and they…ALL of US have the power to simply do it!
Who in their right mind wouldn’t want the world I’ve just described back again? But God help me, I can count on one hand the men I know who are prepared to stand as the men God made them to be…and simply do it. WE modern men have been subjugated slowly and steadily over the years to a near comatose state of passivity. I can tell you with near certainty, the Governor of Virginia is banking on the portrait of modern man I just painted, as being dead on the money. Oh, there’s a great abundance of keyboard moxie in the internet battle-space around the 2nd Amendment showdown in Virginia, but that’s imaginary as far as I’m concerned.
I did miss the last Men’s Bible Study Thursday before last, where we are now well into the Warrior Stage of Eldredge’s book…and not due to meet again until January 9th. It was suggested that my assessment of our group’s battle-readiness from two weeks back might have been less than fair. God I pray for this to be so. My actual prayer is, God make us great and mighty, men. What better place for Him to do so than in a place where one or more are gathered in His name…led by the perfect guide in John Eldredge? I chose the photo at the top of the page for a very good reason. First and foremost, it is brought to you by the father of lies who rules over the “empire of lies” as the polar opposite of who God fathered us to be, standing in front of a sign that furthers the lie. But secondly, and most importantly, it is a lie that has largely gone unchallenged. And if truth is treason in the empire of lies, then what is silence in the Kingdom of my Father? Hint ~ Read the second half of the sentence in Ephesians 5:11 after reading the Eldredge chapter on Warrior, and you will know.
Finally, there is a correlation between the confused young man pictured and the governor of Virginia. It is the very same bully standing behind and using both to get to us. I recently decided to mentor a young man through the Battalion program as part of the Christian Service Brigade ministry provided through my church. Its described as a “quest for manhood”.
The bully is Goliath in so many ways. Our churches are only half full, because as men we’ve lost our way on both battlefields; physical and the spiritual. The entire point of “warrior” and the objective of Battalion is to awaken the sleeping David in us. Hearts on fire for the love of God…who made us great and mighty, men.
“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon. I seek opportunity to develop whatever talents God gave me—not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any earthly master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say—‘This, with God’s help, I have done.’” ~ The American’s Creed, William Tyler Page, 1917