Wild Hogs and Living the Adventure

Adventur“Women are often attracted to the wilder side of a man, but once having caught him they settle down to the task of domesticating him. Ironically, if he gives in he’ll resent her for it, and she in turn will wonder where the passion has gone. Most marriages wind up there. A weary and lonely woman asked me the other day, “How do I get my husband to come alive?” “Invite him to be dangerous,” I said. “You mean, I should let him get the motorcycle, right?” “Yep.” She shrank back, disappointment on her face. “I know you’re right, but I hate the idea. I’ve made him tame for years.” Wild at HeartJohn Eldredge

Every Man Needs an Adventure to Live, a Battle to fight and a Beauty to rescue – John Eldredge

I don’t include the above quotes because my wife made me tame.  I did! — I lived out of duty and responsibility – because that’s what I thought good godly men did.  I have come to realize that I need adventure to make my heart come fully alive and live as the man God has called me to be.  The adventures that I enjoyed as a young man have been calling me back.  Things like hunting, fishing hiking have all begun to make my heart come alive.

I recently went wild hog hunting with a knife.  Not a gun but a knife!  A good friend of mine and I went to Chappy’s Outfitters in Moore Haven Florida for an adventure that I will be telling my grandchildren about.  We got four wild hogs that day, two each.  The third hog was in a dense Florida thicket which was so dense I could not see through.  I could hear six dogs barking and the hog grunting and squealing.  My friend could see through the thicket and what was going on.  He said “quick find a tree to hide behind he may be coming our way”.  My adrenalin and heart were pumping but thank God my pants stayed dry.  The adventure of that day made be feel alive.

Is this enough?  If the only way I can live the adventure is chasing wild hogs – me and the hogs are in trouble.  I could live the rest of my days and never chase a hog and be ok.  The adventure that I could not live without is the journey that I walk with people each day into the thicket of their lives.  Entering into lies the enemy has planted helping them understand who they are in Christ. Hearing the pain of how the enemy has tried to distort truth and love and leading them to freedom that can be found in the unconditional love of Christ.  My role in the Kingdom is to help people find a new path, a new place, to live in wholeness.  This is the adventure that I would get up early and stay up late for.

To find our role in the Kingdom and live it fully alive as his beloved children – this is the adventure that I think God wants for us.  We have to be willing to risk and be inconvenienced.  You can’t play it safe.  The adventures that I have come to enjoy in the woods again have opened my heart to more.  I want to live fully alive.  I want to live a life that makes people ask questions about a God that is fully alive and present in my life.

How about you….are you longing for more or just playing it safe?

Mark Carpenter
TJM Leadership Team

Importance of Remembrance

memorial day

Being a deep thinker (those of you who happen to know me well stop laughing – this is serious), I’ve been thinking a lot about Memorial Day lately.  This led to an interesting discussion with some good friends this past Sunday.  One of the guys in the circle offered the origin of what we in these United States commemorated this past weekend.

It all started soon after the Civil War (always thought this to be a very odd name for a war).   Anyway, it was originally referred to as Decoration Day, where family and community members would decorate the graves of those who died in the “War Between the States”.  Various states and regions of the country observed the tradition at different times until after World War I when the tradition expanded to honor the WWI dead.  Finally, in the National Holiday Act of 1971 the day was formalized by Congress to be commemorated on the last Monday of May to honor all of our fallen heroes.  I think it is an awesome tradition.

As I continued thinking about this I was struck by the similarity of this tradition to something I remembered reading about the Old Testament Israelis.  They would occasionally memorialize significant dates and events.  One of the most significant was in Joshua Chapter 4 when they erected a stack of 12 uncut stones (one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel) to memorialize God’s act of stopping the flow of the Jordan River and leading them to cross into the Promised Land on dry land.  The scripture specifically says the purpose of this “memorial” was so that when subsequent generations of children asked about this memorial, they would be reminded of how God had supernaturally intervened on behalf of the nation of Israel.

As I thought about this, I was struck by the fact that we Americans typically do a poor job of remembering, much less honoring our past.  We tend to be focused on the present day or perhaps the future, and give little value to the past – a pity.

We in the church are no different.  As our discussion this past Sunday evolved, it found its way around to our own faith stories and whether or not our own children even knew the story of how we came to faith.  My resolve is that very soon I plan to make sure my children know more about my story, and consequently their own.

I think this is important.  What do you think?

Wally Hindman
TJM Leadership Team