047: Intensive Series (Episode 8 of 8) [podcast]

It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by a man, much more than his activities, has the lasting influence.

Oswald Chambers


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In the mid-20th century, The Times in London ran an essay contest, inviting highly respected thinkers and leaders to respond to the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” Chesterton offered this as his full response:

Dear Sirs,

I am.  

Sincerely yours,

G. K. Chesterton

Chesterton was in contact with the reality of the masculine soul. An an apprentice in the way of the Kingdom, he had taken personal responsibility for his part in what is wrong in the world. Chesterton consented to a process of masculine initiation, a putting to death of the false self, this ancient path epitomized in the life and death of Jesus and described concisely by Joseph Campbell: “Where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves.” (2) Through apprenticeship to Jesus, Chesterton had become the kind of king who could be entrusted with more and more of God’s Kingdom.

We are invited to join him at the side of our true elder Brother, so that one day the inverse of the question offered by The Times might be answered positively by us all:

What’s right with the world?

I am.

That is what comes to mind when I think of the men with whom I had the honor to share this conversation for the final episode of the 8-part Become Good Soil Intensive Series.

One man shared this phenomenal joybomb with me recently. He hosted a few alumni and their families for a meal and some laughter around the campfire. One of the wives, who has suffered much trauma from being mistreated by men who were entrusted with the care of her heart, shared these words as she later reflected on the evening:

“I feel safe and secure in a world where there are men like these men around the fire.”

Oh, friends, the good it does my heart to know that among some of the lasting effects of the transformation of God in the hearts of men through this message, is this sort of good and caring impact on the lives of women. Perhaps it is indeed the “atmosphere” a man does or does not produce that can tell us much about the heart of the man.

If you’re joining us for the first time in this series, I would encourage you to begin with part one.

If this series has strengthened your masculine soul in any way, I encourage you to ask God which men in your world would benefit from your passing it along.

The deadline for applications for the next U.S. Intensive is October 12th. Find out more.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan


(1) Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth 

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046: Intensive Series (Episode 7 of 8) [podcast]

For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years. If this performance is devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity, if it is absolutely certain there is no thought of recompense and that, in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth, then there can be no mistake.

– Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees


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Who can forget when Daniel, the Karate Kid, visited Mr. Miyagi in his understated workshop? Or when Luke Skywalker was led to the swamp and encountered Master Yoda? Both young men found themselves responding to an invitation to enter a process of becoming. The theme is universal: the human soul is formed and forged at the feet of a wise master.

Yet this vision of apprenticeship to a Master is often exchanged for a commitment to autonomy and self-realization, especially in a culture enamored with the freshness of youth and fiercely committed to convenience.  

Dallas named this resistance to discipleship as “vampire Christianity.” In his words, this resistance effectively says to Jesus, “Yes, I’d like a little of your blood, please. But I don’t care to be your student or have your character. In fact, won’t you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I’ll see you in heaven.” (1)

The Spirit is faithfully reissuing the invitation to apprenticeship to this generation. And together, we can respond. We can say yes to Jesus’ offer of a front-row seat in his “Master Class for Kingdom-Living” and choose the narrow road of inner transformation.

Join me in episode 7 of the 8-part Become Good Soil Intensive Series as we do the sacred work of turning to elders in the Kingdom, the fathers of our faith, to allow their counsel to orient, refresh, and strengthen the kingly heart set within us.

The deadline for applications for the next U.S. Intensive is October 12th. Find out more.

For the Kingdom,

Morgan


(2) The Great Omission by Dallas Willard

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