SecondIron's Blog

Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Capes and matching red tights not required

Once again as I prepare for my upcoming graduation I am handing the reigns over to a guest blogger. Today’s post is by Tom Swan, who usually blogs at ask Tom Swan. Take a moment and welcome Tom to the conversation and read his contribution. Capes and matching red tights not required Ask any child under the age of three what they want to be when they grow up.  Most likely they will tell you they want to be a super hero.  You might even be lucky enough to hear about all of the super powers they will have. Somewhere between the age of three and adulthood, we stop dreaming.  We lose the belief that we can be a super hero!  We trade in our capes and super powers for student loans, a mortgage payment, credit card debt and a 401(k).  We may or may not get married and start a family. Before we know it, the life we dreamed of as kids is nothing like the one we are living now.  We say things like, “There are just not enough hours in a week.  How am I supposed to get this all done?” We trade our time for a paycheck.  Maybe we are lucky enough to be doing something we love, but for the most part, we do the work that pays the bills.  When we’re not at work, our days and evenings are filled with PTA meetings, soccer games and dance classes. We get home just in time to fall into bed, so […]

Ashes, Abstinence, Fasting and Penance

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Lenten season marking the beginning of a 40 day journey of Ashes, Abstinence, Fasting and Penance.

Many Christians are under the belief that these 40 days are a new diet. They give up chocolate, sweets, caffeine and more. It is really not the time to join Weight Watchers. This is not a make up period for your broken New Year’s resolutions. Rather than concerning ourselves with simple atonement that others might notice. Better we do penance for our sins than continue breaking God’s heart.

“Wherever you are in the spiritual life, Jesus Christ wants to encounter you right there and take you further…” ~ Steve Bollman

If we spend these 40 days in reflection and prayer.

Take time each day to investigate our own hearts.
Start a conversation with your Heavenly Father.
Focus on forgiveness, not only of others but your own.
We are all broken sinners that by God’s Grace and healing we can be made new. Beginning a path to spiritual newness and donning the armor of our faith. We can begin to live a life of sacrificial service and fortitude. As men we are challenged by temptations throughout our life. Lent is a prime opportunity to wage war against the three main temptations.

The Temptation of the Flesh – sins like pride, greed, lust, anger, envy, sloth and gluttony (Deadly Sins)
The Temptation of the World – pursuits of the material world through power and prestige and ‘to rule over others’.
The Temptation of the Devil – outlets like the media, movies, t.v. and more that work hard to persuade us to live without the presence of God.

Why Men are Leaving Church

Church leaders everywhere are scrambling to understand why the men are leaving Church and not coming back. Historically men have led the church, fed the church and filled the church. As Church attendance across the nation declines and some churches are having to shutter their doors. One trend has become true, the men that once attended are not returning, new men are not coming back. Men are leaving the Church and the Church seems surprised. The real question every church needs to ask is why? Men by nature seek a different level of fulfillment at church. Gone are the days of going to church because you grew up in the church. We need more than the readings on Sunday and maybe Wednesday nights. Our spiritual cup is empty and the Church no longer runneth over to refill it. What is it that men need from the Church? 1.) Brotherhood – Men are better when they have other men to keep them honest. Iron sharpens iron was not just words in Proverbs. It is the truth and the light that men need other men to rely on. Dating back centuries as cave men, as bothers in monasteries, as soldiers, as teammates, men need other men. 2.) Spiritual – As men we are attacked by satan everyday of our lives. We are tempted as in the garden of Eden with fresh fruits. We rely on the spiritual guidance and armor to protect our hearts. Alone we are weak, but with the armor of the Word to protect and […]