Time

Since starting and being involved in the Six Sided Men’s Ministry efforts a simple yet important aspect has made itself known. It has been well worth the time. I have loved every minute of our time together and the resulting challenges it has created in me.

I have come to look forward to Monday Mornings at The Grove with fervor and excitement. In a short time it has become exciting to other people as well. Andrew Lee messaged me apologizing for oversleeping and regretting not being able to make it. It has been a blessing to get to know him better over the past few weeks. No fear my friend we will see you again soon!

Yesterday morning was no different as Mark Howell, Dan Cook, Jason Toy, David Bozeman, Matt McVey and I spent time over coffee talking about a variety of Spiritual and Biblical subjects. It was extraordinary how valuable that time was to each person as well as the collective enrichment of getting know more about each other on a personal level. Relationships take time and effort. I have known all of these men for many years but in the eleven years of going to our church I had not experienced the chance to talk to them all at once in that way. The reason is very simple. We had not taken the time or advantage of the opportunity to do so. Who is to blame or why this is so does not matter and are questions at this point only a fool would ask.

The difference? The secret to experiencing this again is not to just tell you about it on a blog but commit to continue to make the time going forward to be a part of these moments. Whether that is joining our groups activities or a get together somewhere else.

Make the time and go. YOU are welcome, wanted and needed. Every time and always.

David Bozeman recently mentioned we need to be in the Word as well as attending and participating in our events. I felt the discomfort of a challenge to a steady way of being I had grown accustomed to. I had to confess to myself that I had not been a part of an consistent attempt to be in the Word…ever. In eleven years since I was baptized I can not tell you I had dedicated a consistent extended time to studying the Bible. I had read here and there.  I read the Daily Verse in my Bible app every morning as a starter and obsess a bit in my brain about all things Christian. However, I had not taken a consistent dedicated time frame to read the Bible and let it speak to me. The discomfort I felt was due to the truth David had spoken. I say this because recently I have used the time I work out to listen to the Bible instead of what I usually do. I also took a queue from Doug Robinson and have been listening to 1 Corinthians and have done so more than once. I even took David’s advice again and changed the Bible version which made the listening aspect even better for me. Ironically, the voice for The Message Version of the Bible App sounds like Doug to me so there is that!  So far, the experience has been invaluable. I wanted to confess to you the first part of this paragraph as it was the truth and I did not want to write about how wonderful being the Word has been without a perspective. I did not want to give the impression that I do or have always spent my time well in regards to reading and studying the Bible. No, sir, I have not but I am going to take the time going forward to take the time to make it a priority in my life. I believe time is our greatest resource and there is only so much of it. However, we make time for the things that are important to us.

This all reminded me of a video I came across recently. I find it compelling and highly applicable to this post. Enjoy.

Overwhelmed

Our apologies at missing a couple of Sundays. Two Sundays ago was Memorial Day weekend and then last weekend both David and I ran into a couple of hurdles on the personal side.

I was actually getting ready to write the blog late last week, about this same time, when I came across an article about letter written and read by the unidentified Stanford University rape victim. I found myself overwhelmed  by the story. I spent much of the week reading more about it and talking about it when given the chance. As a father and human being, it struck a cord in me. I became a bit obsessed and even took the opportunity to reach out to my oldest daughter, Emma, about it given she is heading off to college in a few months. However, I think the best thing here is to simply say if you have not read the letter or heard about the story take the time to do so. I do not want to give my two cents worth but will say that while I and many others were overwhelmed by the gravity of the entire situation the strength and grace of the victim are winning the day. I will say a simple prayer of strength and thankfulness for her.

This morning, while at church, I happened to catch a glimpse of a news article headline that said something about a mass shooting in Orlando. I had a moment to click on it and quickly learned that an estimated 50 people had been killed and 53 wounded in violent attack at a popular gay bar called Pulse. The initial reports and indications is this was an act of terror in the name of Islam and according to Reuters ISIS has taken responsibility. It has already become political fire for both sides of the isle with one perspective raging for gun control and the other against it. At the same time the religious implications given the link to Islam have stoked the fires again that started almost 15 years ago. While I find myself beginning to lean towards certain perspectives I find the entire situation overwhelming. What does any of it matter now? Would either have prevented it?  Stricter gun laws or the ability to open carry? Are we going to start focusing on peoples beliefs rather than their character in regards to how we view them. I can not believe those are the real solutions to this situation and others like it. Those are possible reactions to what happened but not actions to keep them from happening. The answers to that question and what to do now in the wake of these tragedies seem overwhelming. I want to start by saying a prayer for the victims, their families and friends as they try to understand this terrible tragedy. As all of us do.

While at church this morning, I found myself shifting much more than usual in my seat because of a sermon by Doug Robinson. It challenged me because it made me uncomfortable and rightfully so. He talked about the false promise of the singular belief that our personal success, positive feelings, outcomes and the like are completely dependent upon ourselves. He showed a video clip which I have pasted below by the actor and comedian Jim Carrey. I have seen and heard him in various videos lately and all of them are focused on a single theme. We can easily find ourselves measuring our self worth and success by a medium that will never satisfy us coupled with a never ending conquest of success to reach a level of achievement that cannot be found.

As Christians, we have confessed that we cannot do it alone. We know that our fallen nature paved the way for the Crucifixion Jesus. I realized that when the mountain of my own mistakes had overwhelmed me to the point where I knew I had to look beyond myself for these answers. I had tried and failed because I could not do it alone. I need Jesus and if you asked me I think he can be the answer in everyone’s life. Even yours.

As we go into the week and try to understand why a man would rape an unconscious woman, a person open fire on a nightclub full of patrons or any of the other myriad of things that can, will and have happened we can find ourselves easily overwhelmed if we try to understand it, control it and fix it by ourselves. We cannot do it alone. Life is a team sport. It is not just about you and me. We need each other and Jesus at the center.

We do become the hands and feet of Jesus by employing the six sides of 1 Timothy 6:11 into our lives and everything we do. We are not just individuals meant to seek out our own glory but His. We are after all brothers and sisters. We are more like each other than we are different and this gets easily lost in the chaos of individualism. God loves us all equally. Why can we not do the same?

Sean McCoy
Member, Six Sided Men

Always Do The Right Thing – Righteousness

As a kid of the 80’s the phrase “Always Do The Right Thing” reminds me of the Spike Lee “Joint” of the same name (Joint is the name Spike Lee uses instead of the word movie).

Much like the short video clip the advice is simple and poignant. ALWAYS do the right thing. It seems as though the simple things are the most difficult things. Do not judge. Love your neighbor. Slow to Anger. Quick to Forgive. Short and simple, yet powerful.

 David Bozeman Getting Us Started

David Bozeman Getting Us Started

As we discussed Righteousness at our monthly Six Sided Men’s event yesterday, one aspect that Jason Toy mentioned resonated with me and many others.  It was the perception that Righteousness was doing what was just. It is not a person doing something good but doing what a person should.

 Jason Toy providing the meat of the Righteousness Presentation

Jason Toy providing the meat of the Righteousness Presentation

It reminded me of an experience with that same idea I had earlier this week when I heard a man say he did something simply because it was the right thing to do.

The most poignant event (outside of my baptism and the creation of my family) I have ever been a part of was 9/11. I was not there physically in New York City but like many I watched helplessly as it unfolded. It impacted me to the depths of my soul as I had been to and fallen in love with New York City. I had very good friends who lived and worked there.

There is not much about that day or the days relative to it that I do not remember. One of the moments etched into my memory was watching a lady on television, through tears produced from a depth of sorrow impossible to quantify, saying slowly with horror in her voice, “They’re jumping…oh my God they’re jumping.” Very few events spark a level of intense unbridled emotion in people like that one. Osama bin Laden became the face of the source of blame for that event and all that has transpired since.

On May 2, 2011 he was killed during a mission led by Admiral William McRaven. A recently published article about the mission was done by CNN and interviews Admiral McRaven.

Admiral McRaven was the guest of honor and “Legend” interviewed for Texas Children’s Cancer Center’s An Evening with a Legend on Tuesday night. The SEAL is the now the Chancellor for the University of Texas and is retired from United States Navy after just short of 38 years of faithful honorable service.

 Admiral William “Bill” McRaven

Admiral William “Bill” McRaven

The event is set in an interview style and during the questions the burial of Osama bin Laden was brought up because of an order Admiral McRaven had given in regards to that specific situation. He insisted that Osama bin Laden be given the proper Islamic burial in accordance with those customs and beliefs. This of course begged the question as to why? The interviewer asked that question and Admiral McRaven stated simply, “…because it was the right thing to do.” Would anyone have questioned him for not doing the “right” thing? Where would the cries of injustice come from? I doubt anyone would have said much of anything about it. However, because he did the act itself has an unquantifiable and undeniable meaning.

Did Admiral McRaven want to do that? I will not speak for him but for most the sentiment of a proper burial for Osama bin Laden would probably not have been the first thought. Probably not even the second…however, whenever the right thing to do becomes apparent it is simply just that.

 My wife, Lisa, and I with Admiral McRaven

My wife, Lisa, and I with Admiral McRaven

During that same event Admiral McRaven donated the $10 Wanted poster of Bin Laden that hung in his command headquarters to be auctioned. His troops wanted him to have it when they finally got bin Laden. He had even mentioned that out of all the accolades and awards his favorite were those from his men. Donating the poster was not planned and completely his idea. It was a piece of not just his personal history but of our country. He was that moved by what he saw in the halls of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. It raised $100,000 for Pediatric Cancer Research and was purchased by man whose wife worked at the World Trade Center. She missed going to work on September 11, 2001 because she had an OB/GYN appointment that morning.

Because I have an awesome wife who has worked in Development for the last 22 years, I got to meet Admiral McrRaven after the event. While talking to him, I found out he led a mission in 1996 to go after Abu Nidal in Bahrain that involved my ship (USS Rushmore LSD-47) and the SEAL Team we had attached to us. It was a small world moment for my shipmates and myself that answered a 20 year old question. It took him a few minutes to remember but he eventually recalled the mission as well as the name of target. I had gotten to know the SEALs but true to form they did not tell us who the target was only saying he was not the nicest guy you would ever meet.

It again reinforced for me the importance of doing the right thing. Could he have blown me off? Did he have to take extra time after the even to even talk to me or others? Did he have to donate the Wanted Poster? No…we do not HAVE to do the right thing. The great majority of the time not doing the right thing goes unaccounted for and many times unheralded. The benefit is not meant for the person doing right thing after all.

All I can hope for is as I am challenged in my life going forward that I have the consistent and never compromising ability to Glorify God and ALWAYS do the right thing. To embrace Righteousness not just as something I “have” to do but want to do regardless of what I may feel personally. After all we are not Righteous because of ourselves but through the presence of God in our lives.

God Bless,

Sean M
Member, Six-Sided Men