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    Time To Be A Real Man

    Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.

    Marcus Aurelius

    In the story of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet comes to life and gets to play with the girls and boys.  Despite his ability to talk, to move, to jump and play, Pinocchio is plagued by one desire.  He wants to become a real boy.

    In today’s world, it’s not that much different, there are a lot of men out there who are confused.  They want to be real men, but they simply don’t know how.

    Society is sending them conflicting messages.  In the pursuit of keeping up with the Jones’, men are distracted from their true calling.

    Deep down inside, men want to be the best husbands they can be for their wives.  They want to be the best fathers they can be for their children.  They want to be the heroes this world needs them to be.  Men want to be real men.

    Does this sound like you?

    Marcus Aurelius seemed to know that men have a deep desire to live as they are meant to live.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if every man got this?  Wouldn’t it be incredible if every man unchained themselves from the expectations that feel others are putting on them.

    Imagine a world where men lived the way they were meant to live!

    I want to help you become a real man.  I want to help you figure out the next steps you need to take on your journey to becoming a real man.

    Over the past couple of years, I have had the privilege of leading men on this journey through the Stretched Men Group.  This mastermind group for men is all about helping men stretch into the men they were meant to be.

    The group meets every other week for a three-month semester.  Each meeting lasts about an hour-long (sometimes a little longer).  Zoom (video meeting software) is used for these meetings.  The guys in the group are committed to learning and taking action to become real men.  When we meet, I typically teach for 10-15 minutes on a relevant topic to becoming a real man.  Then we take the rest of the time to wrestle through one of your issues as a group (we call this the Hot Seat).

    Guys who have participated in the group so far have made significant changes in their jobs, in their marriages, in their relationships with their kids, and in their faith.

    Spots are now open for the next semester of the Stretched Men Group, and I’d love to have you in the group.

    To find out more, simply fill out the form below (or go to www.stretchedmengroup.com).  Once you fill out the form, I will reach out to you to schedule a FREE 30 minute call where I can answer any additional questions you have about the group.

    Use the start of 2018 to do something for you that will have a ripple effect on your world now and for generations to come.

     

    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

    The Chickens and the Bees – Why You Need to Have That Uncomfortable Conversation with Your Child

    Several years ago, I had the brilliant idea that our family should become chicken farmers.  We ordered baby chicks from a good friend, and I set out to build a chicken coop – actually a deluxe chicken palace.  Our chicken coup had two floors, a four-seater nesting box, and spectacular picture window.

    When our baby chicks arrived via the U.S. Postal Service, our adventure began.  For the first several weeks, we kept the chickens in the shed under a heat lamp.  Over time, the small baby chicks grew feathers and became big enough to move to the chicken palace I had constructed earlier.

    Our chicken raising experience brought us many amazing stories and delicious farm-fresh eggs.

    When we were getting ready for the baby chicks to arrive,I had a couple of challenging conversations with my son, Isaac. Here’s how it went:

    On my way to my saxophone lesson with both kids in the car on Saturday morning…
    Isaac: “Dad, what happens if we crack an egg and there’s a chicken inside?”
    Hannah: Snicker…
    Pause
    Me: “Well, we won’t have to worry about that, because we aren’t getting any roosters.”
    Another pause.
    Isaac: “What do roosters have to do with it?”
    Hannah: Snicker, snicker…
    A longer pause.
    Me: “Well, you can’t have baby chickens without roosters.”
    Isaac: “Oh…”
    Me: “Maybe, we should talk about this later.”
    That evening while I was washing the dishes, Isaac is hanging around me…
    Me: “You remember that conversation we had this morning about the chickens and the roosters?”
    Isaac: “Yes.”
    Me: “Well, maybe we should talk about that some more.”
    Brief pause.
    Isaac: “I think that will be an uncomfortable conversation.”
    Me: “No kidding.”
    A few weeks later, Isaac and I were alone in the car on the way to the mall, and we had a chance to discuss the 30,000 foot view of the fact that roosters and chickens were needed to have baby chickens just like dads and moms were necessary to have babies. We didn’t get into all the details, but this laid the foundation for more conversations.
    As I think about this topic, I’m extremely grateful for the model my own dad gave me for talking openly and frankly about an “Uncomfortable” topic.
    As fathers, we have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to talk with our kids about things that really matter in life.
    If you are struggling when it comes to having the “uncomfortable” conversations with your children, remember these three things:
    1. Your kids will find out one way or the other.  Our kids are actually pretty smart.  They will find things out from friends, from the internet, or from other resources.
    2. Your kids deserve to hear the truth from someone they can trust – namely you.  You have a responsibility to talk with your kids and to teach them about life.  Too many parents shirk this responsibility.  They let their kids learn from others instead of from you.  You are both missing out when you rely on other sources.
    3. You don’t want your kids to get the wrong messages.  Let’s face it.  A lot of the sources outside of your house are simply unreliable.  Culture sends the wrong messages about sex, identity, and other things that really matter.

    Have you been putting off an important conversation with your child?  Take time today to initiate that conversation.  If you are struggling with how to start, take time for yourself to plug into reliable resources and mentors to help you prepare for the conversations you should have with your kids.

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

    Frederick Douglass

    How have you handled the “uncomfortable” conversations with your children?  How did your father handle these conversations with you?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

    Are You A Father? It’s Time To Get Intentional

    ARE YOU A FATHER_

    Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

    Naveen Jain

    Our world needs fathers who are present, attentive, and intentional.  Our world is plagued with poor examples of fatherhood.  We see fathers abandoning their families physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

    It’s time for a change!

    I’ve been a father for over 18 years.

    Fatherhood has brought me some of the greatest challenges in life and some of the greatest experiences of life.

    My kids are wonderful, but I’ve wrestled through sleepless nights, paralyzing fears, car accidents, and a calendar that won’t give me a break.

    On the other hand, my kids have given me the chance to experience victories on the track and cross-country course, emotional highs while listening to their music, and times to just be together.

    18 years of fatherhood has gone by so quickly.  When I first started on this parenting journey, I didn’t feel like some of the early struggles would ever end.  Then I blinked.  Now, I’m ready to send my oldest to college.

    When you become a father, you have two choices.  You can just let it happen.  Or you can be intentional with how you parent your kids.

    I’ve tried to be intentional when it coming to fathering my children, but if I’m honest, there have been many times when I’ve just let it happen.

    It’s easy to let the distractions of life, of career, and of personal pursuit get in the way of being the fathers we really need to be for our children, our spouses, and our future grandchildren.  We have a responsibility to provide for our families, but we also have a responsibility to be present for them.

    If you’re a dad and you feel like you could do a better job, you’re not alone.  You need to know this.  You need to know that you can start TODAY to be more intentional when it comes to fatherhood.

    Part of being a more intentional father involves hanging out with other fathers who want to make the most of their time of fatherhood.  You need this kind of community for ideas, encouragement, and accountability.  Trying to be a more intentional father without the help of others may work for a short period of time, but your efforts will be much more effective when you team up with other dads.

    If you’re missing out on this kind of community with other fathers, let me know.  I’m in the early stages of planning a Stretched Dad Mastermind group.  I don’t have all the details yet, but I’m hoping to launch in September.  If you sign up below, I’ll get back to you with more information.

    Happy Father’s Day!