About men: They have to do something, but also need a burning bush experience

It is generally not easy for a man to simply do nothing. When they are still boys, even doing the wrong things beats doing nothing and as a result they are often in trouble. Look I know there are exceptions to every generalisation, but most guys I know, myself included, feel very uncomfortable with inaction.

If you wnat to see what I mean, watch what happens to men when they are out of work. Some climb the wall, some go right over the wall, others just slump against the wall in misery and a few, like Winston Churchill express their pain by building a new wall. Its a very tough thing for a guy, because rightly or wrongly he is conditioned by life to be a provider. It is tough to let go of that and look to God as our provider - most men will really battle to make that transition, even very spiritual men.


About men: They need to be heroes ... but who needs another hero?

Ever since my boys were small, there was a budding hero in their hearts. They took to guns and weapons of mass distraction, faster than I can write these words. They were up drainpipes, launching themselves down flights of stairs onto precarious mattresses or walking along the edge of nothingness or exploding stufft that the CIA might find less than amusing, before they even had teeth - thank you Lord that their teeth came later and that they each have a spare set, for they really need it.

To this day they both dream of changing the world and ridding it of all the baddies out there. Both had far more effective solutions for Iraq, Iran, Zimbabwe and other trouble spots of this earth, than the trillions of dollars the US spent in coming to a non-resolution.


About men: one of their greatest needs is to be needed

Decades ago, African men were defined by their prowess. They would carry spear and shields, chant war songs and go off to do battle, if not with their enemy, then with the antelope that frequented their grassy plains. After a hard day’s work the women would cook the food and wait on their warriors. But as the sun retreated below the tall stands of savanna and the thorn trees that stood sentry along the shadowed escarpments, the men would sit around their fires, drinking beer and sharing stories, the light in their eyes enflamed by the legends of bygone eras.

Sadly the world no longer needs their strength. They still stand in huddled groups around brazen fires, where flickering street lights enflame their empty eyes, as they shelter from the emptiness beyond … until the grey shafts of morn restore life to the cold, stone flagstones.


About men: they are caught in a conflict of expectations, that point back to God

My family has been through a long season of struggle. After a series of life-class setbacks, the final blow came with the failure of a business and my inability to get reemployed. That resulted in the loss of our life savings and many other deep struggles. Well, such is life. God has been faithful anyway and He has always provided our daily bread. He has also used our experience to shape us to His will and to equip us for whatever lies ahead.

Yesterday my wife had an honest moment with me. Now that we are at the bottom of the barrel she questioned whether I was doing enough to address the crisis. The fact that I have faced countless disappointments, is besides the point, but as she expressed disappointment in me for failing to meet her needs, I in turn said, “I feel the same about God”.


About men: Why men outperform women

Men best women in almost every sphere of achievement. It is empirically true. The best chefs are men, men are better in almost every known sport, in non-athletic sports like golf or sailing, men still outrank women. Throughout biblical history, there was one female judge, no female monarchs, but endless male leaders. Throughout human history, men have built roads, bridges, empires and great structures. Men invented and perfected aircraft, motor cars, the space shuttle, weapons … they have excelled everywhere.


About men: We don't need another hero

Ever since my boys were tots they have cried out "watch me Dad", before diving down a full staircase onto the mattresses far below or exploding a home-made incendiary device or doing a double-somersault into the pool or walking along a parapet above a 3,000 foot sheer drop or launching a rocket or, more recently, to review their academic progress. I never had girls so I can't comment on that, already complex mystery.

The need for approval and recognition is a powerful driver in men. It was the key driver behind all the greatest waves of history. Unfortunately it is also misplaced.

So having upset a whole lot of ladies I am now upsetting a whole lot of guys

The Stranger in our House

A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mum taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger... he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

About men: they have greater needs for identity

One of the greatest needs of men is directly linked to one of their greatest vulnerabilities: the toughest of men are all susceptible to their egos. As such a little woman can stand up to a big man and tear him down with words or rejections.

The Scots have the most unshakable accent in the world. I have met Scots that are more than 50 years removed from their homeland, but whose accents are as stubborn as ever. I once heard of a woman who applied for a job. A condition of employment was to lose the accent, which she did, thereby proving that it is possible to shake, even if it is undesirable to do so. That stubbornness is because their cultural identities (kilts, bagpipes, traditions, symbols, food) are so strong and vivid, which firmly anchors the Scots to their roots.