Jan 8, 2021
"New Year Resolutions that Actually Work"
2020 Hindsight is 20/20
Last year was unprecedented in so many ways. Where many struggled, with God's blessing 2020 was Men in the Arena's best ministry year to date. All of these goals were set at our annual Board of Directors Course Setting Retreat that we have every January. Below are some bulleted highlights from 2020.
- Obtained Wordserve Literary as our book agent
- Are negotiating a publishing contract with Five Stones Press
- Online auction "audible" raised $10,000 more than all previous fundraisers.
- Finished two books that will be released in 2021
- Started a weekly service for local men called the "Arena Gathering"
- Joined the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men
- Men in the Arena Podcast had downloads from 122 nations
- The Instagram following grew from 300 to over 4,100
- Several posts had over 15,000 likes
- Financial Champion team is the strongest it has ever been
- Paid staff team grew from two to six
- Our new online assessment is weeks away from being released on our website. We believe God will use it to reach one million men.
Dec 18, 2020
“Six P.E.A.R.LS. of Wisdom for Living in Victory”
Social Distancing, Isolation, and Addiction
We have been on varying levels of shutdown in the USA due to COVID-19 since March, and the weight of these shutdowns is not only weighing on our economy and the education of our children but for countless men, it has resulted in domestic abuse and addiction relapse. At some point, the government must weigh the cost of countless lives lost in the wake of these shutdowns.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, spikes in drug and alcohol abuse use have been recorded since March. In late April/early May, the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) conducted a survey of 1,079 people with addictions nationwide on how they were being impacted by the pandemic. Twenty percent of the respondents reported that their own or a family member’s substance use had increased since the social isolation was put in place.
Three-quarters of the APF survey respondents reported emotional changes since the beginning of the pandemic, especially increased worry (62%), sadness (51%), fear (51%), and loneliness (42%). These emotions increase the risk for relapse and unfortunately circumstances since the pandemic has made peer support, for instance in 12-step meetings and similar groups, much more difficult.
An analysis of a nationwide sample of 500,000 urine drug test results conducted by Millenium Health also showed steep increases for cocaine (10% increase), heroin (13% increase), methamphetamine (20% increase), and non-prescribed fentanyl (32% increase).
Dec 10, 2020
"Four Costs of Obscurity when Life doesn’t Seem Fair"
Hail to the Chief
This week on the Men in the Arena Podcast features retired Chief of Police, author, and President of Five Stones Press, Dr. Scott Silverii. Of the more than forty books he’s published we zeroed our sights on his latest book, Favored Not Forgotten, which was released in November. It is the only book I have ever read that deals with obscurity and how to pay the price on the journey to your best version.
We like to ignore obscurity—walking through the dry and often painful deserts of life— hoping it will somehow pass us by, but painful seasons of life surrounded nearly every man who did great things for God in the Bible. Scott writes, “The word obscurity is odd. It’s never really used in a positive light, and without digging into the academic definitions; the word intuitively leaves an uneasy stitch in your spirit.”
When I reflect on obscurity, I think of world changers like Moses (Exodus 2:15), Paul (Galatians 1:15-18), Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9), Joseph (Genesis 37:18-36), Jesus (Luke 2:51-52); all of whom spent literally years—decades— in obscurity before God unleashed their impact upon the world!
Dec 4, 2020
“Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man”
Years ago, I was invited to a friend’s ranch to hunt doves in a Central Valley almond orchard. As we neared the property my buddy said, “Okay I have a few rules you have to follow. Rule 1 (pointing his finger across the street): Never step foot in or mention that Minimart right there because the owner’s wife had an affair with one of our family members. Rule 2: Never pronounce the ‘L’ sound when saying almond since we beat the ‘L’ out of them. And Rule 3: Don’t ask my Dad about why he limps. His lower leg was shot off in a hunting accident.”
I still chuckle every time I remember that speech but am reminded that none of us are bulletproof. I’ve always taught my sons to respect the empty gun. Many have died thinking the gun in their hands was empty.
No one is bulletproof.
A New Kind of Bulletproof
Last week we interviewed founder of the New Kind of Man Podcast, Chad Zueck on the Men in the Arena Podcast. Chad is a Lead Pastor in Dublin, Georgia, who has been working in men’s ministry for over 18 years, and is about to release his first book, Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man.
No man is bulletproof in this life, but we can trust God to make us into the best version of ourselves and able to withstand the battles of life, which reminds me of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12-16b, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to 16 … extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Here are Chad’s six bulletproof ways to become a better man.
Nov 20, 2020
Do You Have the Eye of the Tiger?
Character that Counts
If you haven’t had a chance, go back and listen to our Men in the Arena Podcast interview with Rod Handley, Founder of Character that Counts. Both episodes will be well worth your time. We address each of the ten accountability questions Rod uses in his book, Character Counts: Who's Counting Yours?
Our interview with Rod reminded me of Rocky III and Survivor’s hit song from the movie, Eye of the Tiger. I wondered why so many men have lost their edge on life, their heart for God, and the eye of the tiger. So many have hung their heads in defeat, but God has made us for His victorious purposes! If you have lost the eye of the tiger, then hang on! You are about to get it back!
What You Never Knew about Iron Sharpens Iron
Men don’t wake up one day with the will to win gone. It happens over time as they isolate themselves from God and his people. Oregon is now limiting church services to 25 people indoors. There is no more tempting time for men to excuse away gathering with men to spur each other on (Hebrews 10:23-24). They must fight for eye-of-the-tiger relationships. During these times I can relate to Rough Cut Men founder David Dusek, whose curriculum asks, “Who has Your Six?” At 2:00 AM, who has your six?
Another friend, Brian Doyle, is the founder of Iron Sharpens Iron Men Conferences, taken from Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
I want to pull out two key points about this verse I bet you never knew.