Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Note from The Director

Recently, I watched a movie called Forever Strong—only because my Netflix is down and I’m stuck on season 5, episode 22 of Magnum P.I. Anyway, it was a good movie with a great plot and a heart-warming ending that revolved around a delinquent youth, a distant and driven father, and an extraordinary rugby coach. As I was watching it, one part which stuck out to me was the team’s motto, “Don’t do anything to embarrass your team, yourself, or your family.” I had heard those words many years ago when Mr. Fullen took us to a national event in San Diego, California as part of the Marine Corps Fitness Team at Blackhawk High School. Even as a kid, I had little fear of mouthing-off to adults except for my dad and Mr. Fullen. I don’t think I was the only kid afraid to mouth-off to Mr. Fullen.

At the end of the movie, I saw the caption and realized it was based on a true story. This coach has the most successful rugby program in the world and it is because he values teaching boys to have the kind of character that lasts forever. After the credits rolled, I felt myself wanting a program like this coach has. In fact, the Marine in me says u-rah! But then, I started to think about forever, also known as eternity. I also started to think back through the film and, while there was some spirituality and mention of God here and there, it didn’t really show me (nor do I think it was meant to) how these boys were going to stay strong forever. So, then I reflected and thought about my team of misfit men and wonder if I am doing my job as their coach. It is then that words from the Building 429 song “Press On” come to mind about how we as believers can be discouraged when we are looking for physical results.

Sometimes this world starts breaking me down
I get so lost I think I’ll never be found
And there are moments of fear and doubt
Even the best fall to the ground
I am a mess, I am a wrecking ball
I must confess that I still don’t get it all
Lord I believe that all Your words are true
Doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You
I press on, I press on, I press on
When I still don’t get it
I see the world through my jaded eyes
I get frustrated when there is no Why
I put my focus on worthless things
Even the strong fall to their knees
God only knows what we all need 

So, thank God we have an Easter message to tell us how strong men find themselves falling on their knees at the cross and that the empty tomb gives us forever, and than His return and righteous judgment will be the only victory we will ever need.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boys' Center Update

What does it take to be a man? What is a man? These are some of the questions I have been asking the middle school boys these past few months at the Boys Center. Over the past month we have had many discussions speaking on what it takes to be a man. A true man of God. While Christ was God in human form, He was also a man, and that is the type of man that we as men should strive to be like. It’s harder for middle school boys to grow up these days than at any other time in history. The pressures of society are stronger than ever and many boys grow up without a positive male role model to look to. Aside from what looks like difficult times ahead, God still reigns now and forever.

Looking at some characteristics of men, we looked at “The Resolution” or the covenant the men from the movie Courageous signed. The commitments the men made in signing that covenant are decisions that EVERY man should make to be what God created them to be. We discussed some simple things that they as young boys can do every day to help them become the men God created them to be - simple things such as respecting those in authority, serving other people, treating all people respectfully, and working hard in school (athletically and academically).

The most profound thing that had happened this past month was when two boys had come back to the Boys’ Center after everyone else had left. Mr. Bryan and I talked to the guys and these two young men turned their lives over to Christ and are now working toward being the men God created them to be. I had never expected anything like this to happen, but what Mr. Matt and my professors at Geneva had told me is true: the best time to minister and mentor is in a one-on-one setting.

I encourage all who read this to continue working hard in what it is you do. And for the men out there, whether you have children or not, be a father to the fatherless. This is the “fatherless generation” as some call it and these boys need to know that there are truly positive and wonderful men out there. Have a blessed rest of this year!

Chez Anderson
Boys’ Center Site Supervisor