Daddy – by Travis Simpkins, age 20, Fulton County Jail, Atlanta

“I’d like to think that I’ll be a better father, that I have learned from Dad’s mistakes. On most days I can buy that. But there are times when I look in the mirror and see who I’ve become, and think of who he’s always been, and I’m not so sure. You can’t pick up a newspaper without reading of the nightmare that is child abuse, or how alcohol is ripping families apart. I see these articles and feel a little foolish for my anger. My father was neither abusive nor alcoholic. He was simply absent.

Dad always did love me. He still does – or so he says on the rare occasions when we catch one another on the phone. He had his priorities when I was young, and now I have mine. I’m in jail, and my primary concern is my trial. I’m sure he understands. I always did.

I don’t remember much of him in the early days except that he was my hero. I recall stories I sued to tell the other kids about an important and powerful man. He used to fly in on a moment’s notice. I’d see him for a few precious hours. Then he was gone.

Such is the innocence of youth that when he called, always a few weeks after Christmas or my birthday, and told me that the package I had never received must have gotten lost in the mail, I believed him wholeheartedly. Until I was 13 or 14 years old, I was afraid to mail a letter for fear that the same fate would befall it.

The road from realization to acceptance is a lot longer than it looks. I’ve been on it for the past 5 years, and I’m not all that far from where I started. My father and I have a hard journey ahead of us, provided we can find the time. There is sorrow in his voice when we discuss the past, and I know that if he had it to do over, he’d do his best to do it right. Second chances are few, and it’s much easier to do it right the first time.

My dad loved me as only a father can love a son. I don’t question that. But he was also self-centered and let me down when I needed him most. A part of me will always be that kid at the window waiting and waiting with his nose pressed against the glass; knowing that if Dad said he was coming, he was coming; but waking up curled beneath the window, alone.

I love my father, but looking in the mirror sometimes I get a little scared. We are just so much alike. Father’s Day is just a few months away. There are a lot of kids thinking about their hero’s and a lot of hero’s thinking about their kids. Probably there are many kids who don’’ see too much of Dad. If I’’ lucky, a handful of those fathers are reading this. Your kids will love you whether you make it or not; that is the nature of being a hero. But maybe you should take time to consider how important whatever else you have planned is. We do grow up fast. Just ask my dad, or better yet, ask yours.”

Signed – Travis Simpkins, age 20, Fulton County Jail, Atlanta.

And so we see the end result of another failed father. The sad tale of another man who refused to follow God’s plan for the family, the fruit that came to another man who never knew heaven in the home.

https://manlytraining.com/2018/01/24/how-to-be-father-easy-steps/

Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

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Jesus The Teenage Rebel – part 3

In Jesus The Teenage Rebel, we have been looking at the fact that Jesus grew up in a normal home. Jesus lived without sin, but his parents and his siblings did not. There was surely conflict in His house. Sibling rivalry, parenting issues and other kinds of conflict. Jesus was a pretty normal 12 year old when he chose to go to the temple and ask the Rabi’s questions. But His parents didn’t think so. They were worried! Jesus rebelled against the teen tendency to view adults as irrelevant, boring, stodgy, out of touch old people. Instead, He saw how much He could learn from them and maximized His opportunity to learn.

We are looking a Jesus as a teenager. In the first two parts, the lesson was mainly for the teensagers, but parents got some encouragement too. There are not a lot of writings about this time of His life. we can find the best one in Luke 2:41-52. And you know what it shows us? It shows us that; Jesus was a teenage rebel!

Luke 2:41-48

Luke 2:41-45 Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
Luke 2:46-48 The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”

There is a third thing I notice in this passage. A very interesting one, especially for parents.

3.- Jesus’ obedience to God caused some anxiety.

His growth produced some tension. By choosing to maximize His opportunity for growth Jesus made His mom and dad anxious. That is often true for us also. As we grow, and change, it is often uncomfortable.

We have growing pains. You often hear teenagers and pre-teens complaining about their legs, their arms and just about every extremity in their body. That is very uncomfortable!

Let’s not forget the whole issue around weight and height! As pre-teens turn into teenagers and young adults, they first put on some weight. Then they gave growth spurts. Their bodies are ever changing and getting ready for adulthood!

Let me tell you that the same is true spiritually. As we grow in obedience to God, it often creates tension with others around us!

Examples

I can think of several examples of this spiritual principle. Take for instance when one spouse decides they want to be more giving and another would rather make the next big purchase. That has to add tension to any relationship.

What would happen if one family member suddenly wants to become a world Christian and wants the family to give up a meal each week and send the saved money to the hungry in Africa? Tension!! Especially for those les “spiritual in their growth”.

As we mature as Christians, we may come face to face with this other issue causing tension at work. The partner at work doesn’t understand why you “suddenly” have a moral problem with the way income is reported for tax purposes.

That is just how it goes. Growth produces change and change sometimes creates tensions and anxiety. Expect that! Embrace that as part of the process! Above all, don’t let it stop you from making steps in your spiritual life. It is part of being a rebel!


 

Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

 

Jesus The Teenage Rebel – part 2

I hope that those of you who are parents of teens, and those of you who are teens, are taking comfort in this series. In JESUS THE TEENAGE REBEL – PART ONE, we understood that Jesus was a pretty normal guy. He went to school, he had a normal family, he had brothers and sisters, etc. We also looked at the fact that there had to have been some conflict in Jesus’ home. Jesus was without sin, but his parents and his siblings were not. As a parent, I am glad to know that some conflict is normal! And although there are not a bunch of stories of Jesus as a teenager, there is one: Luke 2:41-52. And you know what it shows us? It shows us that; Jesus was a teenage rebel!

Luke 2:41-48

Luke 2:41-45 Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
Luke 2:46-48 The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”

2. Jesus chose to go to the temple:

I love where they found Jesus – at the temple!! How mad can you get at your teen sneaking away so that he/she can spend more time exploring their faith??

Jesus was a twelve year-old boy at this time. Jesus didn’t stay behind to play pranks on the temple money-changers or laugh at the “old guys just sitting around talking”. He didn’t stick around to spend more time with a new friend he made in Jerusalem. He stayed behind so that He’d have a chance to spend more time at the temple. Jesus wanted to ask His questions of the teachers there, to sit among them and digest the wisdom of God of which they spoke.

Maximize the Opportunity

I think the example for us here is that Jesus maximized His opportunity to learn and grow. He maximized the opportunity to sit with the best teachers and learn from them. And He maximized the opportunity to deepen Himself in His understanding of God and the world He was in.

Do we? I mean, week after week, do we maximize the opportunities we have to grow, to worship, to learn? Are you prepared when you show up to worship? Are you eager to be a part of a small group and an Adult Christian Education class? Do you maximize the opportunity to be a light for Christ in your school or home or workplace? God has so much to offer us, and so often we settle for such a small part of the fullness that He wants to because we fail to maximize the opportunity – to take a risk – to ask a question. It caused Jesus a bit of grief. His mom wasn’t too pleased, but it was worth it!!

That’s Not Where You Typically Find a Teenager

This picture of Jesus at the temple surrounded by adults is to me a great picture of a rebel. That’s not where you would find ordinary twelve year-olds! They generally would rather sit in front of a video game, or a WWF or WCW wrestling match, or just hang out with friends.

Jesus rebelled against the teen tendency to view adults as irrelevant, boring, stodgy, out of touch old people. Instead, He saw how much He could learn from them and maximized His opportunity to learn. There is a flip side to that too! We adults need to rebel against the tendency to see teens as wild, evil, unmanageable hooligans. We need to be brave enough to start a relationship with them and get to know them and share some of the things God has taught us.

To rebel means to go against the norm. Jesus certainly did by going to the temple and learning from the teachers there!

Jesus maximized His opportunity to learn and to grow. Will you?

https://manlytraining.com/2017/12/12/joseph-life-meant/

Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

It Just Makes Sense.

3. It just makes sense.

Teenagers are wet cement. They form to the forms layed out for them. While working with adults is definitely important, sometimes a jackhammer and wheelbarrow is required before the wet cement can be poured in their souls.

Jonathan Edwards, perhaps the most intelligent scholar/preacher of the 1st Great Awakening, recorded that the “revival has been chiefly amongst the young….” Teenagers led the way for awakening in this powerful 18th Century revival. As a matter of fact, teenagers have been on the leading edge of every major spiritual awakening in the history of the United States.

Teenagers are idealists, visionaries and unrealistic. This lack of realism allows them to see visions and have dreams that thoses of us who have been worn down by the realities of life may no longer see. Adults tend to use microscopes while teenagers have a penchant for telescopes. We tend to get worn down by life and they tend to get fired up by causes. We wonder how much money it will take and they just don’t care.

An old French proverb goes, “The most dangerous swordsman in France is the one who has never wielded a sword.” Why are they dangerous? They don’t know the rules so they just hack away and break the rules of engagement until they win.

Teenagers don’t know the rules of engagement which can help them win souls. They can break the foolish patters of their forefathers which, for the most part, has kept the Gospel locked within the four walls of the church sanctuary.

They don’t know that they can’t reach the world for Christ just by spreading the gospel so they are willing to do it. They don’t know that they can’t reach their school for Christ without market research so they just reach it.

The average teenager has 425 online and face-to-face friends. They can use their social media clout to spark Gospel conversations in ways we could never imagine as adults.

Hitler hijacked teen culture and used it to advance the Nazi agenda. Communists harnessed and unleashed the idealism of teenagers to spread the message of communism. For years radical Muslims have recruited young people to spread a message of hate and, in far too many cases, trigger acts of terrorism around the globe.

If evil people and evil philosophies can mobilize young people for their causes then why can’t the Bride of Christ unleash young people to spread the gospel for the best cause ever, the spread of the gospel across the planet?

Teenagers are the most underutiziled, underestimated and underchallenged group of people in the church. As a result, our churches are dying.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto was asked about how he felt. His answer was stark, “I am fearful that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with terrible resolve.”

It is time to awaken the sleeping giant in the church called teenages and fill them with holy resolve. To join the movement, simply share this with as many of your friends and family as you can. Then, click HERE to subscribe to our mailing list.

No matter if you’re a lead pastor, a youth leader or a volunteer, never underestimate the power of teenagers to change the world for Christ and transform this culture!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

The Foolish Things of the World

2. God receives glory when the foolish things of the world confound the wise.

1 Corinthains 1:26-29 makes this crystal clear, “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

If this passage is not a case for working with teenagers I don’t know what is. Teenagers are foolish, goofy and hyper. I love it! God loves it! He wants to use them as twitchy revolutionaries to change the course of nations and to launch a global awakening of Biblical proportions just like his Son did 2,000 years ago!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

Teens Can Do Great Things.

God has a track record of choosing teens to accomplish great spiritual feats.

From Joseph, to Timothy, to Esther (who won a beauty contest then saved a nation), God has used young people in big ways to do even bigger things.

In 1 Samuel 16 when the prophet Samuel goes to the house of Jesse, it’s not the strapping, strutting older brothers of the house that God chooses to be king. It’s the underage runt of the litter that got annointed as the future leader of Israel. One chapter later, this kid named David, who was delivering cheese and crackers to his older brothers in the war, got ticked off that a nine foot giant was talking smack against the God of Israel. His anger left an impression on Goliath…a deep one.

But its not just in the Old Testament that God demonstrates his predisposition to choose and use teenagers. For the most part Jesus mostly picked teenagers to be his disciples. In Matthew 17, when Jesus, Peter and the disciples go into Capernaum, only Peter and Jesus pay the temple tax (although all of the disciples are there!) According to Exodus 30:14 the temple tax was only applicaple to those twenty years old and older. If I’m reading that right, that means that Jesus was a youth leader with only one adult sponsor…and one really rotten kid.

And God used this “youth group” to reach the world! He can use you to do the same!


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



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© 2017 MANLY TRAINING

Why Train Teenagers?

ejq3 is a website I launched with the sole purpose of reaching our young people for Christ and then training them. After all, we are called to make disciples.  For the past two and a half years, I have been working on “manlytraining.com” and reaching men (and some women) to train (or disciple) them in God’s ways. I reasoned that if we could reach the men, we could reach the whole family. And if we could reach the families of America, we could make a difference in our nation. For as the family goes, so goes our Nation!

So far, Manly Training Ministries has done well. We have a large online following made up mostly adults from 30 to 60 years of age. We have a weekly group of men we call “The Men of Destiny”. These men get together every week to encourage each other and study God’s word so that we can grow as men and become the men God created us to be.

As a part of the strategy that God has given us here at Manly training Ministries, we are now launching out to the younger generations. After all, they are our future. But WHY would we take on a ministry that aims to train or disciple teenagers? Well, let me tell you why:

We want to disciple the younger generations because:

1. God has a track record of choosing teens to accomplish great spiritual feats.

2. God receives glory when the “foolish things of the world” confound the wise.

3. It just makes sense.

I will explain each one of these three reasons in seperate posts. Let’s make a difference together as we train our teenagers and young adults to become the men and women God designed them to be.


Patreon

Patreon allows you to support this Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization with a tax free donation. Your donations and support will go towards program material, training material, summer camps and much more. In addition, we have overhead such as the website and its maintenance, transportation, and well, my family and I need to eat.

On Patreon you can pledge as little as $1 a month, and in return you’ll get some pretty cool rewards, ranging from your name and blog on my MTM VIP page, exclusive content, and PODCAST VERSIONS of my posts! You can support Manly Training Ministries with as much as you want, I won’t stop you. But I will pray for you and with great gratitude, we will receive it and put all of it (100%) to work for the ministry.

Just Click  on the Patreon Logo to go to Patreon and start receiving exclusive material from Manly Training.



STAY CONNECTED BY EMAIL. CLICK HERE

© 2017 MANLY TRAINING