The One in the Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


As we enter this world, the smile and joyful exclamations of one man welcome us to our new reality. Who is this man? He is known as our father. This moment is the beginning of the important role he plays in the different stages of our life. He is not just an individual who helped in our creation or pays our bills at the end of each month.

A father is a person who gives all he can to help you, in ways great or small. He takes the responsibility he has been given seriously and sacrifices himself for the sake of his children. He has a role to play, which no other individual can replace. A father is one who gives in selfless love to provide for you, teach you, and challenge you.

A father is a giving person who sacrifices daily for his family. This sacrifice may be found in working long hours to support the family or spending time with his kids. Through this sacrifice, he realizes that he is not the center of his world. He is aware of the importance of the responsibility he has been given. Sacrifice is a necessary element of fatherhood.

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We Know What To Do

And that is our problem. We know what to do; in life, in ministry, and in business. And if you don’t know what to do, someone will happily tell you (sadly most often from the same source as your “knowing” comes from). There is no blank slate to start from…

My mind goes to examples from scripture that highlight such “knowing” and reveal it’s source.

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Overcoming Politicization

Why do most major issues become rapidly politicized and fought over, with fixed battle lines and endless strategizing? Who wins with this approach? Who loses?

We are living in a time where everyone is looking for the “high ground” of being the “one” who is right. Not to mention the immediate huddling into opposing camps, consolidating power, shaming and reproach of opponents, and basic devaluing of the dignity of ourselves and others. Looking for the high ground in a conversation, and especially in an argument, robs us of the benefits of the perspective of others. The robbery happens when we need to prove our points as superior and ultimate.

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