Two things I don’t get… One that makes sense

There are two things I don’t get, and I come across them occasionally, primarily because I spend at least two and a half hours per day commuting to work.  Both are things that I’ve noticed on peoples’ cars.

 

First of all, I’ve got a bit of a bias against bumper stickers.  I figure that there are cheaper and better ways to advertise or communicate your message than on your car.  After all, it’s a car not a bill board right?  No, I’m not talking about the stickmen families (although, I’m not sure if I get that either.)   Have you seen the “Jesus fishes”?  They are symbols that the New Testament churches used (it was in the shape of a fish, and it referred to the word “fish”).

“The meaning of the word and symbol is very clever. The word ichthys means fish in Greek, but the letters are also the initials of five Greek words that mean “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” (Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter).”  Sometimes this symbol was used to help persecuted Christians to secretly know where meetings would be held.

 

I get it.  It’s an evangelism tool, kind of.  What I don’t get are the “Jesus Fish” with the legs at the bottom.  It’s really an expression of Darwinism and evolution, is it not?   I can understand extreme passion of modern day Christians who would opt to place this symbol on their cars, but why would you put a “Jesus Fish” with legs?  At least a Christian’s passion is about God, and Christ and faith and devotion…

 

What possible passion and fanaticism could one have about Darwin?  Sure, they may have an inkling for what they believe is truth, but is there no other warmer or more emotional truth?  Who do you thank for a new born baby, or a nice summer day?  Darwin?

 

What about the second thing?

 

Well, I almost have to blush to even mention it.  You may not see them often, but have you seen the trucks where individuals have put well… male scrotum underneath their vehicles?   I’m not even sure where one buys this type of truck accessory.  I’m not sure I want to know.  (I’m not sure if it’s as bad as those cars with eyelashes on their headlights.)

 

But, really??

With the much needed discussion of what it means to be a man, and what is masculine, and what is manly…I’ll tell you this; it’s not a truck. Being masculine, and being a man may not always be the same thing, but I can guarantee this… a truck is not a man.  It’s ridiculous, it’s border line offensive (as a man) and mostly weird.  Sorry, that’s just the way I feel.

 

Now, being a “Genesis Man” man is the recognition that the core of what we are (men) revolve around the concept of relationship: relationship with God, relationship with people, and relationship with the environment.

 

One thing I do get, that has nothing to do with vehicle paraphernalia, is the solution to much of the problems plaguing young men and men.  It’s Mentorship.  Mentorship is a key element in relationship, and it flows out of the idea of the importance of relationships as noted in Genesis 2.

 

 

The Young Men’s Summit is less than a week away, it’s this Saturday May 23, 2015 from 1-4 PM!  Mentorship, employment and motivation will be our key area of focus and discussion.

 

This year there will be a forum discussion involving four special guests: Esrick Quintyn, Chudie Asidianya, Hugh Keane, and Mervin Dixon.

 

I’d love for you to be there to join this discussion.

 

Please email < menandmaleyouthalliance@gmail.com> and let me know you will be attending, if I don’t know already -I would like to make sure that we have enough lunch for everyone.  You could also fill in the form at the end of the Blog.

 

 

Lastly, from this Summit we will be creating the Durham Mentorship Employment Network.  More information will follow.

 

See you there.

 

Israel

 

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The Wire, Violence, Sex and Drugs…

What’s happening in Baltimore?  Right now, it’s more complicated than this blog could possibly explain…

 

However, Baltimore was also popularized with the rendering of the 2002 – 2008 HBO television cop show called “The Wire”.  To be truthful, this is not a show that I would recommend.  There were incredible amounts of profanity, violence, sex and drug use.  Interestingly enough though, the use of profanity, violence, sex and drug use (depicted in the series) are symptomatic to the desperate social, economic conditions of perhaps “any given Sunday” inner city environment.  I’m guessing that the producer opted in creating a realistic, raw, adult representation of what things really look like.  (It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.)

 

The viewer realizes very quickly that every character is more than just flawed, and they are great distances from perfection.  As a matter of fact, there are equal opportunities of corruption, and genuine bad stuff portrayed by men and women, gay and straight characters, politicians and citizens, cops and criminals.  There is no one who is good.  The moral line is shaded and elusive.   The “good guys” aren’t always good, and the “bad guys” aren’t always bad.   Moral relativism rules the day like the t-rex hero of Jurassic Park (the first one, which incidentally was the best.)

 

One consistent observation I noticed was the lack of fathers.  (It was glaringly obvious during a heart breaking Season Four which focussed on education, following a group of young male characters and there descent into manhood.)    Mind you, there were plenty of male influences, but many of them were bad, and few were good.   The critical mass of positive male influences was critically low.   (I wonder if the lack of direct fathering, positive direct fathering,  is not the greater issue in these circumstances.)

 

We need an army of men to lead our sons and mentor the fatherless into authentic manhood and masculinity which focuses on relationships in three realms:  relationship with God, relationship with people, and relationship with their environment.

 

Relationship with environment refers to the reality in Genesis chapter 2 that God made purpose and work for Adam (the first male prototype).    God created the “garden” before He created the man.  God had every intention for Adam to take a “tending” role in his environment.

 

Purpose.  Meaning.  Employment.  Spiritual Relationship.   (They seem to be lacking at times.)  Are these our Achilles heel?  Does this lack account for some of the failure amoung men and emerging men encounter?

 

Fast forward to Baltimore.   The issues are real, deep and complicated, but I feel that taking up more responsibility of mentorship and leadership as men must be at least one of the keys to the solution.

 

In The Wire, does art imitate reality, or  is it the other way around?  It’s debateable, but here is an interesting conclusion…

 

Despite the language, sex, drug use and societal despair, in the end, the earthly hopelessness of our insurmountable social problems can find optimism in the divine, within relationship with Jesus Christ.

(Kind of a weird thing to take away from the show… eh?)

 

This is the last comment:

 

Saturday May 23, 2015 the Men’s Group at Erie Street Gospel Centre will be hosting our 3rd annual “Young Men’s Summit.”   (in Oshawa at 17 Erie Street, 1-4 PM)   The focus will be on Mentorship, Employment and Purpose.  Join us as we engage in a conversation with our special forum guests.

Please register at themenandmaleyouthalliance@gmail.com or call 905-433-1438 -as a free lunch will be provided.

 

Sincerely,

 

Israel