You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body - 1 Cor 6:20
Every Thanksgiving, I go to South Carolina to visit my family. We enjoy the food and fellowship when we are down there. However, I must admit, I have a tinge of sadness when I visit. The reason for this is that I think about my mother's 2 younger brothers that passed far too soon. Both of them were in their forties when they died. The common denominator was that they didn't take care of themselves in the way of physical fitness or diet. The fact that they were overweight, when combined with other factors, led to their early demise. This had a profound impact upon me. I will readily admit I didn't start right away. I was really intimidated to start working out. However, I knew that not changing my habits would have severe consequences, so I started. You don't have to have the physical conditioning of a triathlete, bodybuilder or a marathoner. You have to start somewhere. Start by walking up the street or doing a few minutes on the treadmill. The key is to start. I guarantee that once you start a program that is comfortable for you, you will never look back. I did it and as a result, I have participated in a fitness regimen on a consistent basis that has lasted for over 20 years. My wife is now a part of it and the kids are starting as well. God has provided us with one body and we have to take care of it the best that we can. Unfortunately, we can't trade it in for a new one, but we can work on the one that we have.
The thing that I'm really happy about is that I have a cousin (he's more like a brother) that has started a physical regimen. The cool thing is that he's enjoying it and sharing his success with me. I check in with him on a regular basis to make sure he is staying on track (pun intended) and hold him accountable. Hopefully, his example of undertaking and sticking to a fitness regimen will spread to his kids and others in his circle of influence. That's the power of one man at work.
“I am somebody cause God don't make no junk” - Ethel Waters
The impostor syndrome is a term that was established in 1978 by clinical psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. It referred to high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as "fraud". Everyone goes through this at some point. For some, it paralyzes them and keeps them from ever achieving their goals or objectives.
I was one of the people that was guilty of the imposter syndrome. I graduated with over 500 other people from high school. I had a non descript academic career and was never nominated for any class superlatives. As I a matter of fact, I would have been nominated as the most likely not to receive a superlative. I will admit that these feelings of inadequacy still rear its ugly head from time to time. As I am typing these words, I think who am I to be blogging and formulating plans for a podcast and a newsletter? When I'm standing in front of the men gathered at our monthly event as a speaker, I wonder how did I get here? Won't they know that I wasn't the most popular kid in high school and was ignored a majority of the time? When I feel that way, I remember a few things: I am the child of the most high God, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I have been made in God's likeness. Who am I not to be doing what he has called me to do? God has prepared me for these moments before I was born. It is said "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13). Remembering these things get me back on track and will do the same for you.
In closing, I want to you reflect on these words from Marianne Williamson : Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Every morning you have 2 choices: continue to sleep with dreams or wake up and chase your dreams. Life is difficult. What's even more difficult is deciding to chase your dreams despite all of the obstacles that present themselves on a daily basis. Everyone is given 24 hours to work with. The question is, how will you spend them? Will you spend them doing something that you don't like or are you willing to spend your time doing what you are wired and equipped by God to do? The choice is yours. Don't be afraid to face the doubts inherent with chasing your dreams. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline" (1 Tim 1:7). The same characteristics that we are to use when worshiping God is the same power that you can access in accomplishing things for the Kingdom. If your dreams align with God's wishes and purpose for you, then you can proceed toward doing great things and tapping into the power that resides in each of us. As Henry David Thoreau so eloquently stated, "go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life that you have imagined. My prayer is that men will recognize how special they are and use their abilities to change the world around them. The video below shows one man that is willing to do what's necessary to chase his dreams.
And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus - Philippians 4;19.
I love going to eat at buffets. The number of choices are overwhelming. I eat and eat. Then I eat some more until I'm full. A funny thing happens after I leave there full and content. I'm hungry the very next day. It's like that in life. We fill ourselves with things that satisfy us temporarily, but then we hunger for more. Some of these items are lust, wealth, and power. All of these cannot satisfy us like a committed relationship with Christ. No matter how much we try to satisfy our hunger or thirst with the things of the world, we will always be left wanting.
Jesus communicated this to the Samaritan women at the well. She asked Jesus what was he going to use to draw from the well that was deep. Notice Jesus' response: "Jesus answered, Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:13-14). This is the key to satisfaction. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with wealth and being able to provide for our families. That's what we men are called to do. What we are required to do is to pursue a relationship with Christ and accept His gift of mercy, grace and salvation. The great thing about this gift is that we can accept it everyday. It's there for us and it does not cost us anything. Once you realize this, you can experience the fullness and satisfaction that worldly things cannot provide.
One of my favorite movies that I enjoyed watching with my 2 sons was "Up". It was released in 2009. I liked it so much that I actually purchased for my sons (it was really for me). One of the things that I remembered about the movie was the performance of one of the characters that reminded me of how I approached the pursuit of my purpose. Dug was a golden retriever that befriended the main characters. Dug, like me, had great intentions, but was easily distracted. The one thing that made Dug and the other members of the dog pack distracted was the mention of the word "squirrel". Just as Dug was about to do something meaningful or make a point, (I forgot to mention that he was equipped with a collar that allowed him to speak) he would think that he saw a squirrel and take off after it and totally lose his train of thought. How many times has that happened to us?
All too often, we waste valuable time chasing after the new and shiny thing instead of focusing on the task at hand. I've been guilty of it. That's why I stated in one of the first blog posts that this endeavor has been over a decade in the making. I would start trying to pursue my passion to help others only to be derailed by distractions that kept me from accomplishing my objective. It was only when I became focused did this project start to come together. Once you become focused, it's amazing how things start to happen. People start to appear that will help you. You are more receptive to things that you would not have noticed before. Men, it is vitally important to integrate focus in accomplishing your goals and dreams. Your family and community are depending on you. Becoming focused is not an overnight thing. It takes practice, but once you master it, you are well on your way to being the person that God designed you to be.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going - Hebrews 11:8 (NIV)
There are times in your life that you don't know where God is going to lead you. You have to take a leap of faith. Abraham left all that he knew and made his home in a strange land. All he had was his faith and the belief that God was going to make him a father of many nations based on the covenant that was made. Abraham believed this even though he was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was barren. When your faith is placed in God, that is all you need. When you walk in faith, God empowers you with the strength to step out of your comfort zone and face the risks and fears head on. Be warned, there are times that God will require you to take risks in order to test your faith and dependence on Him. Hudson Taylor, the great man of faith who founded the China Inland Mission, integrated faith and risk. He said, "Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith." No truer words have been spoken. It is so easy to stay in our comfort zones and not risk anything. As an unknown person said, "you can never stub your toe by standing sill.
In order to change the world, you have to be willing to step out on faith and trust God to supply you with what you need to accomplish His will. It may require a change on your part. Abraham had a name change before he became the father of many nations because he was no longer the same person. If you are operating in accordance with God's will and His plan, you can address the future with confidence and begin to impact the world in a positive manner and encourage others to do the same.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another - Proverbs 27:17 (NIV).
Social contacts can have a positive, stimulating effect on the mind and the personality. Both of my sons run AAU track. One of the first times that I took them to practice, I figured that I would WALK around the track a few times as part of my "cardio" regimen. One of the parents of the other kids at practice saw me and encouraged me to work out with him. Little did I know at the time that he was a former division 1 college football player. My cardio workout changed from a few laps around the track to running the stadium steps! To my surprise, even though I was winded and could barely speak at the end of the workout, I loved it! I continue to incorporate it as a part of my cardio workout to this day.
In life, we need someone as an accountability partner. That person needs to push us when they recognize the potential that we possess to do something great in the kingdom. In addition, that person needs to be there and call us out when we are doing something unethical or exhibiting morally deficient behavior . It's easy to find that "yes" man that will say all the things that we want to hear. It's difficult to find the one that will speak truth in our life on a consistent basis. There is a benefit in finding a relationship where you can sharpen each other. Man was not meant to travel this journey alone. I often say that person makes it to the front page of my IPhone where I have my frequently called contacts. Please make it a priority to find an accountability partner that will be a source of good, solid biblical friendship today.
So what exactly is this Power of One Man? How will it benefit me? How will it make me a better man and equip me to make a positive contribution to society? What is different about this site? All of these are legitimate questions and I will attempt to answer them.
The Power of One Man is designed to give the ordinary man a platform to share strategies that have enabled them to accomplish extraordinary things. All too often we are provided examples of accomplishments by celebrities, famous athletes or entertainers. For the average man, this is difficult to comprehend. We can more readily identify with those types of men that we come into contact with everyday. Everyone has a story to share about things that they have overcome to unleash the power that resides within each of us. That is what this site is all about.
The people that contribute to this site are held to high ethical standards and will have no ulterior motive regarding their contributions other than making a difference in the lives of men. We will share information on a variety of topics in a number of ways. Some of these include: podcasts, guest blogs, and web applications. This is your website. We welcome feedback and suggestions to make it better. By no means is this a finished product. We will work diligently to make this a resource for you to be proud of. We realize that your time is valuable and won't take it for granted. Some of the areas that we will concentrate on are spiritual growth, fitness(both mental and physical) and relationships. I am personally excited about the potential that this website presents and look forward to devoting time to showing how the Power of One Man can change the world.
Here we go! This has been over a decade in the making. Many years ago, I dreamed of starting a resource for men that would help them address some of the struggles that have kept us from reaching our potential and being the leaders that God called us to be. Make no bones about it, we are called to be leaders. This calling goes all the way back to the beginning. The book of Genesis, chapter 3:8-9 details this: "Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, (emphasis mine) where are you?' Even though Eve ate of the tree of knowledge and evil first, God called for the man and held him responsible. This is evidence of the fact that God is holding man to a high standard. Change starts with you and unlocking the power within you can have a ripple effect on your family, church and community. So let's get started!
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.