The best place to meet singles.

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This morning I looked at my emails like I normally do, and I saw the 2018 results for the best of La Crosse County survey. It’s a survey in my area where they ask people what they feel is the best of a specific category such as best burger or best place to get a massage Etc. Now I am not single, in fact as of this Saint Patrick’s Day it will be our 10th anniversary of our first date, but I just happened to read among the things I skim read in the survey results the response that people put for where to find singles. According to the 2018 best of La Crosse County survey, the best place to find singles was the write in response: Church.

Now before you rush to judgement thinking that lacrosse is a very religious and conservative area, let it be known that is far from the case. Yes La Crosse County does have churches, because every Community has churches of course, but La Crosse is far from being that way at all. Not only is it politically one of the most liberal counties in the entire state of Wisconsin, but it also is at one point surveyed to be the sixth most drunk City in the entire country, it is also the worst pay per hour rate County in the entire state, and it also has its own lgbtq organization in the downtown area. Yet in spite of all these things, the average person of lacrosse County voted that the best place to meet singles is at church. What does this survey result say? It tells me one of two things…

Either A) you can be cynical and think that a bunch of old people voted for the survey, even though when you look at the survey all the responses are not in reflection to that, or B) even though much of the country is demonizing God small town people still overall feel that in some way shape or form God has to come into play to a degree when it comes to finding a wife or husband. That’s encouraging to me as a Christian, because in spite of what the mainstream media reports about how our society is becoming, surveys like this every now and then will burst its bubble. If people truly meant that when they voted for church as a great place to meet singles, then it shows that there is still hope yet and that we can’t believe the Doom and Gloom that some people might say about our world today. Even though not everybody is necessarily going to be on the same page if you were to ask the same people who God is and how important God is to them, at the very least it shows that we have not completely kicked God out of our society. It also shows me, that there are enough people out there and lacrosse area that believe the same thing I did 10 years ago when I was first meeting my now-wife. You can’t find a daimond in a sewer.

Time and time again I hear of single people lament about why they can’t find a good person to settle down with. The answer that I have given to people when they have said this and told me that they usually go to the bar to look for people, I can’t help but lovingly tell them that they’re looking in the wrong place. Oh sure you’ll definitely have some fun at the bar if you’re like most Americans and some have found that future spouse there as well, but the fact of the matter is if you really want something long-term and fulfilling in a future spouse the bar is rarely the best place to go. Although the church is not the best answer for everyone, it is a great answer because of the moral values you will find there in comparison to the bar. There are definitely exceptions to this principle, because I met my wife on Myspace 10 years ago, and some have met there love at a festival, or high school, or an organization like the YMCA,the gym, the grocery store, and the list goes on. However, overall it holds true, in spite of what some will tell you the bar is not the best place to meet singles because it is a place where people are still growing up and a place where people want short term benefits rather than those other places where people are soberly calculating more long term what is important and why. Whether you agree with this or not that’s what the research in my area shows and I can’t help it but find it to be fascinating, a little funny, and inspiring. If you are single I pray in the name of Jesus that you will find a spouse that will be a great fit for you long term that with pleasure you will want to spend the rest of your life with.

Real Success is Not achieving the American dream.

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I once worked for a man who had the wrong idea of success. This person, who for legal reasons will remain nameless, was a decent person to work for but had the wrong idea of what real success it’s supposed to be. Now that I’m a little older, this comes to no surprise for me, because a lot of guys feel the same way about what success is supposed to be defined as in every man’s life. A lot of men have the mistake of thinking that real success means achieving the American dream.

To summarize what the American dream is real nice short and sweet, it is that you have to have everything that a man is supposed to have. Every man is supposed to have a large bank account balance, a real nice house, a hot wife who’s hundred pounds skinnier than you, a nice car, brand name clothes, fancy this and fancy that etc etc. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with having a nice looking wife, a nice house, plenty of money in your bank account, and a few toys here and there necessarily… Unless of course it is at the expense of others. We have a problem in our world today that when men foolishly desire to chase after the American dream they do so by being married to their jobs more than they are married to their wives and caring for the attention, affection, and interest of their children. There is a fine difference between being married to your job and being a good provider.

This man I once worked for, felt that real success was having the American dream come true in his life. And yet one day without doing it on purpose he exposed the foolishness of it to me. I was mopping the floor one morning and he talked to me about usual stuff ‘hey how’s it going’, ‘did you mop here and stock there?’, and random small talk to seem as though it wasn’t just business that he wanted to talk to me. After talking for a bit and since it was mid October at the time, I had asked him a question that was more offencive then I would have thought. ‘so what are your boys dressing up as this year for Halloween?’ for whatever reason this question seem to almost offend him, because he answered with a Gruff tone ‘oh I don’t know.’ and when I asked him what he meant that by that and what he would be doing on Halloween he replied,’I’m going to be too busy being a success.’

His reaction seem to him to me a few things. The first thing that it hinted was that he was triggered by the fact that I wasn’t thinking of my family in the same aspect as he was. Like I said before this is a man who felt that a real man is supposed to be a success by having a large bank account and achieving the American dream. And when I didn’t agree with him indirectly this offended him in that aspect alone. However gets a bit more deep than that. I feel that he was also subconsciously realizing that he was missing out on something valuable and wanted to deny that was as true as it really is, so in order to attempt to bury this subconscious feeling of guilt or remorse however you want to phrase it he wanted to make me an example. Make me an example by indirectly saying this is why you’re mopping the floors and this is why I own the company.

I’ll admit, it annoyed me a little bit when he responded that way to me and I couldn’t say anything to him after he had said what he said about being too busy being a success. Now, I feel sorry for him in the aspect that while he definitely makes more money than I do in that he owns a company and that I work somewhere else, God has given me a blessing that is far better than a large bank account. One thing I have learned from the Bible is that being a real success is that you run a good household. While my household is not perfect by any means, God has helped me in being a devoted father and husband caring for the needs of our home to the best of our ability. I bet if you were to survey an elementary school class in most areas of the country, and ask them this question for a bonus quiz question if they would rather have a dad who makes a lot of money but virtually spends no time with them at all or a dad who makes an average amount of money but is able to on a daily basis give them some sort of attention affection and care for their life, I believe very confidently that most kids would choose be.

Even though many children would be tempted by the Rich Dad in that the Rich Dad could get them an Xbox 1 or this and that, they wouldn’t want that if they could never ever see their dad and if that Dad would never give them any sort of wisdom or guidance in their lives. Granted there are some kids who don’t have a dad, and some kids who have a very poor excuse of a father, but I firmly believe based on both what the Bible says and from experience every child needs a good dad in their life and craves it deep down subconsciously. My household may not be perfect in any way shape or form a my life could always use a little bit of tweaking in different aspects of that as well, but one thing I don’t want the devil to say to any of you out right is that you’re not being a good enough father just because you’re not able to get your kids this or that. Real success is that you are there for your family, that you love them very much and your family knows it is real, that you are there to guide them and strengthen them, that although you’re not with them every single moment you’re with them when you are able and when it’s important, Etc.

Real Christianity by William Wilberforce book review

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Real Christianity. By William Wilberforce

February 27th 2016, I attended the Wisconsin State Youth Conference with my church’s youth group. When I went into their bookshop, I saw multiple books that practically wanted to leap into my arms; one of those books was William Wilberforce’s Real Christianity. Months later, when my radio show first debuted on Blog Talk Radio, (when I was doing my show) I had six different books up for nomination for my Thursday book segment, and by the roll of the dice, this book was selected as though it was meant to be. I had heard great things about Mr. Wilberforce, in particular the idea that he was crucial to the abolition of slavery in Great Britain, but admittedly I didn’t know anything else about him or anything about his book. I’ve grown to love studying up on the Christian greats of history in recent years, so I knew this book was going to be interesting.

Real Christianity is a book out to challenge the reader with a series of thought convicting, spiritual kidney punches to the gut of our ego. Mr. Wilberforce very passionately wants the reader to understand that there is a very fine difference between a Christian who is of an authentic faith versus a person of cultural Christianity. What he defines as cultural Christianity ought to serve as a stern warning as he exposes the weakness, laziness, and ignorance such a person has. What he defines as a Christian of authentic faith should serve an even greater sense of urgency, not just because of it is in comparison to cultural Christianity but what such a faith requires for us… In my opinion, this is a book every Christian ought to have on their bookshelf.

William Wilberforce’s Real Christianity is one of the best books I’ve ever read. This is the type of book where you are challenged spiritually, literally, in almost every page! Although this was written more than 200 years ago, it’s easy to read and the vocabulary isn’t too advanced, partially thanks to Bob Beltz’ adaptation of the original work. This is also a book that you’d swear Mr.Wilberforce rose from the grave, and wrote about the year 2016. What he warns in his book is a message all churches need to hear, not only to expose the fakes that may be within her, but this book also will strengthen those who truly want to live for Jesus Christ. I was humbled, convicted, shocked by things that haven’t changed 200 years later, and encouraged all at the same time throughout the reading of Mr. Wilberforce’s book. Again this is a book I feel ought to be on every Christian’s bookshelf; I highly recommend it!

5 out of 5 stars.

Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala

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By Jim Cymbala

Looking for a book to read one day, on, I happened to see Spirit Rising was on special. I thought: “Oh neat, a book on the Holy Spirit. I’ve always wanted to learn more about that.” (since in most Christian circles the talk is usually about Jesus or God, but not on the Holy Spirit.) I ordered it, because I wanted to learn more on a subject I admit I’m not as experienced in as I probably should be. When I received this book, I thought an endorsement from Francis Chan was especially interesting so I began reading Jim Cymbala’s book.

Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit is a book, which as you probably are able to imagine it is, about the Holy Spirit. Jim opens the book on expressing a thought which I expressed earlier in this review: various Christian circles neither understand nor talk enough about the role of The Holy Spirit and that needs to change. The meat of the focus for Mr. Cymbala’s book is The Holy Spirit, his church in Brooklyn, and testimonies from a few of his own parishioners. Does Jim speak of The Holy Spirit in a heretical way? And how insightful is Mr. Cymbala’s book concerning The Holy Spirit? Spirit Rising does a good job getting started on helping a Christian become more in tune with The Holy Spirit, but it is a light dusting of the surface readers are craving.

I am glad Mr. Cymbala did not promote anything heretical within his book, because the very phrase: “Tapping into the power of The Holy Spirit” is a risky phrase some might misinterpret as a piece of lingo from the heretical Immergant Church movement. I also appreciate the testimonies his parishioners gave for Spirit Rising, because some are very inspiring to read. My favorite testimony to read was concerning the woman immigrant from Latin America; though at times sad the ending is encouraging. Though these things are good, I also felt there could have been more to this book, because there were some unanswered questions… The book seems primarily focused more on trying to convince you into agreeing The Holy Spirit is a neglected teaching and ought to be further pursued through the example of his church in New York, rather THAN actually teaching you things about The Holy Spirit itself… Though I learned some things while reading Mr. Cymbala’s book, I was a little disappointed that time was more spent on talking about Brooklyn Tabernacle than The Holy Spirit itself…

Book Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within By Dr. Gregory Jantz

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By Dr. Gregory Jantz

Fear is an emotion I’ve dealt with much of my life. The fears and struggles have changed throughout time, but the overall feelings resulted by each fear and struggle has remained with the exact same effect. I am not afraid to admit I am an imperfect person, in fact this is one of the reasons why I love Jesus as I do, but I also have recognized as of late it is something which has held me back in life. Not too long after a conversation with my wife, I ran into Dr. Gregory Jantz’s book: Battles Men Face, which I hoped would give some clarity to what I’ve felt for a long time…

Battles Men Face: Strategies to Win the War Within is a self-help book, targeted for men, which guides the reader with both Christian theology and clinical psychology. Dr. Jantz examines The What, The Why, and The How of various issues Men face. He also guides men with patient testimonies, scriptural passages, and even personal experiences in order for readers to understand and relate to what’s going on within their hearts. Battles Men Face is a book which reveals many thoughts readers might have never thought about as specifically as they might think, and it is also a book which asks the reader some tough yet essential questions…

Though not every man has every problem Dr. Jantz describes, he writes about the inner struggle exactly how it is; at least within my heart. Partially thanks to Dr. Jantz’s book, I realize I have even more growing up to do but what I learned from his book is a good start on my journey. It was eye-opening for me to see a glimpse of why I struggle with the issues I do, and how I should respond to those issues from now on… Based on my personal experience reading Battles Men Face, I’m confident not only was this a very good book for me as a man, but also for any man who wants to be honest enough with themselves. The only complaint I have about Dr. Jantz’ book is every time, I remember, he sources scripture he uses The Message translation; I feel there are better translations out there than the MSG. Otherwise I did not see anything promoted by Dr. Jantz which is contrary to what scripture says. It’s great to see there is a Christian out there who isn’t just trying to help people with their issues, but is also trying to lead them to Jesus Christ; the most important thing a man and woman can do to respond to their inner struggles. I recommend this book highly, and I am encouraged to check out some of his other books as well.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Loving the Bad Man: A DVD Review

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An East Lake Film

Before Christmas arrived, in addition to wanting to watch something with the wife, I also wanted watch a Christian based title. While at Family Video, I saw there were a few Christian titles made available recently, which I can’t help but think is really cool by the way, and one title which I couldn’t resist renting was Loving the Bad Man. I saw an ad for this on Christian Cinema not too long ago, and I also remembered that Stephen Baldwin was on the cover so I was like “hmmmm wonder what’ll be about…?”

Loving the Bad man, concerns two different people. One is a upstanding, Christian girl who tries to be good to everyone and loves the Lord even more. Another is a not-so-wholesome man with a criminal history, that isn’t happy with where he is currently situated in life. The unwholesome character runs into the Christian girl, because she is in need of some help with her flat tire. However in a drunken rage, he rapes her after completing the job…. The dude is thrown into prison while the Christian is struggling with the fact she is now pregnant. Will this prisoner realize the evil he has committed, and how will this Christian girl respond to this very difficult life circumstance?

This is a very controversial film for both Christians and unbelievers a like. I definitely feel this is a film which should be viewed primarily by Christians, simply because there are some ideas within this film which unbelievers are not going to understand or appreciate. However, what is addressed is something which some Christians might also struggle with as well like how Julie responds to her rapist. At times I almost feel the movie is unrealistic, to an extent, in certain scenes where both Julie and her rapist make some diffcult decisions way too quickly; no I am not referring to Julie’s decision to keep the baby. Overall it’s a decent film, it could have been better at times, but it could have been a lot worse too…

Movie Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Homeless for the Holidays: A DVD Review

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A Bridgestone Film

Believe it or not, I remember watching this on TV once locally. It was a couple of years ago I was watching one of my local television channels when I saw this unusual obscure title on the programming list. I was reminded of Homeless for the Holidays years later while looking around online for Christian Christmas films. When I was reminded of this, I had to ask myself: “why didn’t I like this again?”

Homeless for the Holidays is an independent film about a wealthy marketing director who gets fired from his job, due to a wrongfully accused situation he is pinned upon. Jack Baker with his reputation now ruined cannot find ANY job, until he pushes his way into a minimum wage fast food job. The idea of dressing up as a penguin is embarrassing enough, but things get real tough and discouraging when his power gets shut off and the bank is ready to foreclose on his house if some serious cash doesn’t fall into his hands. Will his family really be homeless for this Holiday? What will Jack and his family learn? And will he ever get his job back with his reputation restored? Homeless for the Holidays had a good premise, especially because this was said to be based off of a true story. I liked the fact the movie was discouraging Christmas to be about material things, and instead was promoting something worth while like family. In fact, one might argue this might be a modern-day parable of The Book of Job.

However, overall I’m not much of a fan of this film. My first complaint is Jack Baker’s personality. I get the idea you’re supposed to not like Jack at the beginning of the film, because he is egotistical and obsessed with his job, but I just didn’t like much of his personality throughout the entire film even when he was being humbled. Of course maybe part of this feeling comes from the fact the acting was terrible. Most of the people in this movie unfortunately sound like they’re either over acting, inauthentic, or just down right cheesy. Speaking of cheesy, certain story elements I strongly felt were quite cheesy like when Jack’s first dawning the Penguin suit and especially the ending itself when things just get resolved perfectly as though the accusation was never even made. Not planning to buy this movie, but if a friend gave me a choice of whether to watch Homeless for the Holidays or a Holiday Fluff film like Adventures of Bailey: Christmas Hero I would much-much rather watch Homeless for the Holidays.

Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.