Manday: Two Men in the Lion’s Pit-Part Two


The pursuit of Biblical Manhood can be very elusive.  It can be like trying to excel at all the gifts of the Spirit.  Pile on top of that leadership imploring that you need accountability and mentoring just to survive until next Sunday.  Every proclivity is treated as an addiction and a week of spiritual rehab and repentance is needed, again, just to survive until next Sunday.  As being a Heralder of Men’s Accountability, I have had to take a deep breathe and try to simplify this whole process.

The Bible paints an amazing picture of accountability with the example of two men on a roof.  Recall King David alone on a roof when he should have been leading troops to war.  Instead, he lusted after a woman, slept with her, murdered her husband, and then tried to cover it up.  Another man lying on a mat, paralyzed, is carried onto a roof by four friends and lowered through the same roof to be healed by Jesus.  Amazing opposites.  Imagine how King David’s tale would have been different if he had four men advising him to be at war instead alone drooling over bathing women.  An amazing portrait of accountability.

I scoured the Bible to locate a portrayal similar to the two men on a roof that portrayed an example of Biblical manhood.  Over the years, I have noticed two camps in the church-a ‘gentle’ man and a ‘rough’ man.  I’ve heard the Jacob and Esau example used and it did not sit well with me because God loathed Esau.  Still I believe there are two kinds of men. Those that run toward danger and those that stay back and fortify the front. Both are needed and both fill our pews of our churches today. One is not better than the other.  God’s Word gives two examples of two different men that God chose to write about.  Both warriors entered a lion’s pit and lived to tell about it.

Many have heard about Daniel in the Lion’s Den.  Daniel was a slave so favored by King Darius he was chosen to govern the government. Details mattered to him. He was submissive to the authority he was under but he obeyed God’s law.  Daniel never lifted a spear or took a human life. But…Daniel was a prayer warrior on his knees.  He abided in God’s laws, not eating the Babylonian food, and choosing to pray despite a law forbidding him.  Daniel was thrown in to lion’s den as punishment for breaking that law but God protected him.  God shut the lions mouth shut and Daniel survived a night in a lion’s pit.

The other example is Benaiah.  In scripture, we read of a valiant warrior turning the tables and chasing a lion into a pit, and, then killing the large feline.  This man is different from Daniel but needed.  This man runs towards gunfire.  He is a warrior in a different manner.  He is a man of action with his physical nature.  He is a man that seizes opportunity. His hands are calloused and a hard days work for him is the soreness in his muscles.  This man is needed as a warrior.  And our pews are filled with this type of man.  He is a risk taker.  Ironically, he was King David’s head of Security.  Do you not think he knew David was on a roof by himself.  Hmmmm.

So which man are you?  Are you Benaiah or Daniel?

I think all of us have a traits of each.  As I posted last week-I am no gentleman.  You will tolerate a man like me because you sleep better at night knowing I hunt the lions you believe don’t exist.  My life resonates with Benaiah’s.  I hunt those lions.  But when I find myself surrounded or thrown into a lion pit will I have lived my life like Daniel to be spared the tearing of my spirit?

Simplified?  Maybe.  I just prefer these two men as examples of Biblical Manhood instead of Jacob and Esau.



Manday: The Lions That Don’t Exist Part One


On February 23, 2013, I posted an article about two men on a roof as part of my accountability series on Manday. To this day, I have been looking for ways to follow that up and continue my series on Manhood.  It has been a long journey since then.  It is no secret that at Leadership Voices there are different kinds of men that post to this website.  We come from different walks of life.  Some subscribe to the gentleman theory and some subscribe to the “kick in the door first-ask questions later” theory.  We stubbornly subscribe to these theories to a fault.  But ironically, we are great friends. And we are an encouragement to each other.

I am no gentleman.  You will tolerate a man like me because you sleep better at night knowing I hunt the lions you believe don’t exist.

I spent the past month in a class being taught how to investigate crimes against children.  The mental images that are imprinted in my memory still haunt me.  The Bible says Satan prowls like a “lion seeking who he may devour”. There are lions out there seeking to devour you, your wife, your finances, your job, and your health.  And if the lion claws, roar, and teeth can’t phase you and penetrate your comfort zone…it will hunt, seek, and destroy your children.

Lions don’t lick their prey to death.  Lions tear the flesh, break bones, then suck the marrow and life out of their prey.  Then they lick the sinews and blood off their fur.  They are happy like a child with ice cream all over their face.  But it’s not ice cream.  And it’s not a child.  It is a vicious animal who tears at its prey until it can be devoured.  Are you getting the picture?

Christians in Roman times were very familiar with this tragic portrait.  They were often thrown to the lions as halftime entertainment in the Coliseums between Gladiator battles.  So when Peter wrote that Satan is like a prowling lion; that imagery resonated with the early persecuted Christians.  Today, we don’t see the lions or we swat them away thinking they are an inconvenience and can be easily scheduled out of our lives.  Or we just change geography and the lions don’t exist anymore.

Lions don’t exist because we move to the suburbs.  We live in gated communities.  We can watch our property on our cell phones.  We have alarms on our houses and vehicle.  We can locate our children through GPS.  Even our motor vehicles will stop on a dime if we aren’t paying attention to the road in front of us.  If I live my life clean…I won’t see any hardship.  This clean Christian living is easy.

As leaders and men to your family, I caution you as Peter did to be alert and sober.  Always mindful, that you are a target for the enemy.  Be mindful of the lions outside your tent.  Be sober and alert.

(BTW-have you ever kicked in a door…it is an awesome feeling!)

Manday: Sometimes Good People Have Bad Days


faking smart parking

Conversation with a child in one of the many crime ridden apartment complexes I patrol.
Child: “You only arrest bad people right, Mr. Officer?”
Me: “Yes. I do.”
Child: “Do you like to arrest bad people?”
Me: “No. I don’t like arresting people. It’s not fun.”
Child: “Then why did my Momma get arrested last week?”
Me: “What’s your name, son?” (As I go to one knee to talk to the child on his level.)
Child: “Joowan.”
Me: “Joowan? Is your Momma a bad person?”
Joowan: “No. No she isn’t. She loves me.”
Me: “Well, Joowan. I believe you. But…sometimes good people have bad days.”
Joowan: “Yeah. She was having a bad day.”
Me: “I believe you, Joowan. I believe you.”

I posted that story on Facebook over two months ago.  Everyone thought I was Saint or a wise old Yoda.  In that moment, I felt compassion for the child and candidly it was self-preservation for the future cop that would meet this young Joowan when he hated the world and knew all the answers.  Have I always responded with this inspired wisdom and counsel?  No.  As I write this, my head is shaking at the numerous times I have thought-then-said the first thing that comes to mind.  I consider those moments missed opportunities.

I don’t know why good people have bad days.  I don’t know why decent men and women find themselves in the throes of divorce, or why hard workers lose their only source of income or why a young child has to undergo chemotherapy for a chance to live.  I have an idea.  As Leaders, I believe it is an opportunity to respond. How we respond as leaders and men can determine our metal.  It can provide followers peace and solace in troubled times.

Let me share one more story with you.

I was dispatched to an accident.  A woman with a suspended drivers license attempted to pull into a parking space in front of a store.  Somehow, she accelerated and crashed into a fully customized Ford Mustang.  The impact was so intense that the Mustang was pushed up onto the curb and into the building entering the store.  On its journey toward the storefront it destroyed another vehicle parked next to it.  Glass windows and merchandise were destroyed but only the front of the vehicle was in the store.  The Mustang was wrecked. No one was injured. Everyone in the store was safe.  (BTW-The Mustang had its parking brake set.)

The owner of the Mustang was having a bad day.  We quickly learned that the car was his hobby and he poured a lot of T.L.C. and money into it.  I watched him.  He was all business.  He took control of his environment and lead.  He was calm and concerned about everyone’s well being.  Somehow, his friends showed up and they expressed anger and sadness for his vehicle being damaged.  Then I saw disdain and hatred on their faces for the woman who caused the accident.  He wasn’t offended but they weren’t going to miss a chance to be offended, hurt, and angry for him.  The owner of the Mustang was oblivious to all this and his friends were attempting to get him fired up like a posse.  I saw an opportunity, I intervened.

Me: “It’s a good thing you were parked here sir.”
Mustang: “Hmmm. I can fix the car.”
Me: “Think about it. If this space had been empty, she may have driven into the store and hurt someone.”
Mustang: “Oh my god, you’re right.”
Me: “I can honestly say that you, your Mustang, and your choice of parking spaces saved lives today.  If she had not hit your car who knows what damage she would have caused in the store.  Your car stopped her from entering the store and hurting shoppers.”
Mustang: “Thank you, Officer. I feel so much better knowing that.  Did you hear that the Officer said if my car wasn’t parked here, someone could have been hurt or worse.”

The posse was dispersed and crisis averted.  Opportunity seized.   It may sound like I’m tooting my own horn but I want to share with you that leadership will emerge in times of chaos and crisis.

How you respond will determine if you are the Shepherd or the Sheep.  Think before you speak and take action.  Do not miss opportunities to lead.


The Blindness of Showing Up


Courtesy NBC Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Recently, I began watching a new Sitcom called Growing Up Fisher. The show is told from the view of a middle school boy whose father happens to be blind. You find yourself rooting for the Father as he struggles to manage a law firm, a recent divorce, two children, and a new seeing eye dog named Elvis. Sounds bleak but it isn’t for many reasons. The show is worth watching. It is rare to find a kind-hearted show on the tube these days.

The show reminded me of a father who attended every one of his son’s Little League baseball games. He never missed one game during that season. Not a big deal eh? What made it unique is that the Father is blind.

Yes. He couldn’t drive to the game or gripe about traffic or complain about parking too far from the field. He was blind! He couldn’t watch his son play. But he was present and in attendance supporting his son every game.

Walter would sit in the stands with his walking stick and watch his son play baseball. (How he got there…I haven’t a clue.) He may have been physically blind but he wasn’t blind to the needs of his child and the importance of showing up.

What blinds you to the needs of your family? What keeps you from showing up?


The Convictions of Man

kinopoisk.ruI have wondered for some time this one penetrating question; What happened to the convictions of man?

I’m sure the period of time in which we find ourselves probably has many of us asking the same question. Let’s consider a few quotes from Saving Private Ryan. Private Jackson says to Captain Miller: “Sir… I have an opinion on this matter.” To which Captain Miller replies: “Well, by all means, share it with the squad.”

Ok squad, to be a man we have to find where that definition comes from. Knowing that God did NOT give us the definition but instead explicitly gave us examples of what it is to be a man of God. Clearly, there are two types of men; a worldly man, and a man who reveres God. We must understand what a man looks like under God’s leadership.

It is important to know that: Responsibility = response + ability.

The Convictions of Man - 2Men have a natural tendency to avoid social responsibility,

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Misleading Leadership

When Leaders Make Mistakes - 1

A lady I know works for a major corporation in their acquisition department. Her manager recently retired and the supposed replacement brings the team in for a meeting. In that meeting it is discussed whether he will or will not seek to be the new replacement manager. The answer rendered here was a “NO”.

Upon her return home and while going through her e-mail, she receives one that states the manager who had just told her he was not going to seek the position had in fact just been awarded the position. Ok, most of you are like me. You will put out your best efforts for someone you trust. Trust from a manager is not something that comes “with the territory”, but is something that is essential not only to the success of the company but the manager as well. The real truth is…Speak a lie once and all your truth becomes questionable.

Leadership and Integrity - 1Trust on all levels whether in a relationship or workplace setting, when violated sets the stage for many hard days at work or home, to say the least. The worst feeling in the world is to know you were used and lied to by someone you trusted. How in the world can anyone think that starting off a relationship with a lie is in the best interest of anyone?

Let’s talk “man to man” here for just a bit. What hurts the most…is a lie that draws a smile or the truth that draws a tear! Hurting people with the truth is better than killing them with a lie.

Misleading Leadership - 1Think about your family for a moment. How would you look in their eyes if all you did was lie to them? Let’s put things in the proper perspective. Misleading someone is NOT a lie when what you are passing along is accurate to the best of your understanding, only to discover that those who based their actions on your statements were mislead by your statements once you determined that they were not accurate. Lying to someone is an intentional act of deception!

Traveling the way of the world will only lead to destruction. The first person you have to lie to is yourself. From there it is the life of a “poser”. You will always need to convince self that you are something you’re not.

Who do we think we are fooling?

Photo credit: TerranceDC / Foter / CC BY-NC
Photo credit: contemplativechristian / Foter / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: Shreyans Bhansali / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: pursuethepassion / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Kindness as a Tool

I was recently invited to speak at my sons’ school about one of the gifts of the Spirit-Kindness.

At first, I laughed when the President of the school asked that I come and provide some insight into my job as a Police Officer and how I use kindness in my work. (Do you know who I am?  You’ve heard my sharp tongue and lack of tact.  Are you sure?) His thought was that I would use kindness as a fruit of the Spirit in my profession.  In reality, I use kindness as a tool to control ‘tools’.  It is something that doesn’t naturally flow from me.  Believe me…ask anybody who has spent ten minutes with me.  I am mean and can be a tough pill to swallow.

In a recent article, attempted to explain why Police Officers can be so arrogant and, candidly, insufferable jerks. We think differently because we deal with folks that can’t manage their surroundings and we have to intervene. We have zero tolerance for stupidity. In those moments, kindness is not going to be the first tool we are going pull from our belt.

It is God’s virtuous gift to be able to respond to the special needs of others who are hurting or in need.  In a world full of anger, selfishness, and contention, the Lord wants us to cultivate the fruit of kindness in our lives.  Let the Lord use you to show kindness to others.  –The Resurgence

As leaders, I believe we need to exercise kindness when dealing with others.  It can help us achieve more than busting someone’s chops.  Believe me I have my moments.  I recently told a mother who left her six-month old daughter and three-year son in a car alone while she went shopping that that she was being ignorant and stupid.  This was after she told me un-repentantly that she knew it was wrong to leave her children locked in a car unattended.

The best example of kindness I can think of was my recent Sergeant.  This man refers to ‘tools’, gang members, teenagers as sir and ma’am.  His tactic to be always respectful of everyone, colors, and personal space allows him to understand the intricate Gang lifestyle in Houston.  With his kindness, he was able to build a huge gang database for Police Officers to better understand the factions on the street.  And ultimately, he may have save some officers lives.  His contagious spirit emboldens other officers to be kinder and more respectful of the civilian population.  His leadership is infectious to those under his supervision.  It challenged us to slow our roll and try a different approach.  He uses the tool of kindness with a deftness that comes from years of experience on the street.  In other words, why fight when you can settle things with words.

During my talk to the students, I shared a simple story of how one aggressive officer was rude and inconsiderate to a woman who had witnessed a car chase come to an abrupt end.  What we didn’t know was that the woman just wanted to know if the person in the car was uninjured.  I only learned this because in moment of kindness I pursued her and asked her how I could help her despite my aggressive counterpart.  After a few choice words directed toward me and the aggressive officer, she stated she was told her son was involved in the car chase and all she wanted to know is if he was alive and uninjured.  I was able to share with her good news and I apologized to her for not being considerate of her needs.

It was at this moment, I was reminded that-It is God’s virtuous gift to be able to respond to the special needs of others who are hurting or in need.

As leaders, God may be wanting us to join Him in responding to special needs to those that are hurting.

The School Assignment: What makes me…ME!


I still have the privilege of helping my boys with their homework assignments.  I get the privilege of peeking under the hood peek at the heart and discover what men God is allowing them to become.  The school assignment this week in Communication was a speech about themselves.  My oldest decided to mix his unapologetic humor to a interesting perspective about himself that would make any parent proud.  I thought I would share it with you.

I was born in 1997 at midnight to my mother’s discomfort.  When I first came out I was unable to breath because my cord was wrapped around my neck.  Well life for me started as a fight.  At an early age I was a barbaric gentleman.  My dad and my grandfather were always hard on me to be respectful, polite, and to do things to the full glory of God given my abilities.  My dad taught me to fear God and him. 

My brother and I were home schooled for the majority of grade school by my loving mother who taught me the meaning of respect through the belt.  Unlike my brother I went to public school my first few years of school.  All my friends were Hispanic and Black: I found them easier to get along with than the white kids.  At home, my brother and I would play outside for hours; we never wore shirts or shoes we believed that was for wimps.  To this day I still have very little feeling in the bottom of my feet due to the hot concrete on my feet.  When I was five I received a puppy, it was my responsibility to take care of her; that was the first time I ever had to care for someone other than myself. 

Playing outside I broke my arm doing a wheelie on my bike I was very little and my brother locked me out of the house.  Pain grew me that day, because of that first break I’ve never cried again when I broke other bones in my body.  Also I came to love the Simpsons, Sponge Bob, Dragon Ball Z, and Ed, Edd, and Eddy since all I did was watch T.V.  My father with the combinations of those shows gave me a great sense of humor.  My father also knew I wanted to be a soldier so he put me in MMA and Scouts around age 12.  I got in trouble in Scouts one day for getting in a fight with a little punk.  My dad told me one of the important things I remember “Don’t start fights just to make sure you finish them” .  That along with the punishment from my MMA Instructor taught me to control myself.  Later the same kid and his friend would ambush my brother and me when I had my broken wrist.  My little brother who was 9 at the time protected me from three different kids.  This is first time I began to appreciate my brother. We finished that fight.

My brother and I are still in Scouts today.  Boy Scouts has taught me time management, communications skills, and how to survive.  It has molded me into a leader.  I’ve missed Homecoming Events every year for Scouts.  I’ve missed many fun events with my friends from school because I was climbing mountains, riding horses, licking something by the side of road, jumping off dams, canoeing up stream, fishing, burning other Scout’s things, doing back flips off mountains, running from bears, eating wild hog, shooting shotguns, falling in mud, hiking 125 miles uphill then hiking another 100 downhill just to say I did it.  And to this day I will never regret this ever.  That’s what makes me. Me!



Manday: A Husband and Father’s Take on the Ranger Creed.


I was never a Ranger but many of my friends are.  I have always admired their Creed and see it as one of the most motivational things I’ve ever read.

Dividing Line - 2.png

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Husband and Father, fully knowing the difficulties of staying happily married and raising good children in the modern world, I will always endeavor to uphold the Honor, Happiness, Faithfulness and Fidelity of my family unit.

Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.

Acknowledging the fact that a Husband and Father is an all encompassing and life changing job, I accept and relish the fact that my family expects me to work harder and be better that other Husbands and Fathers around me.

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.

Never shall I fail my wife or children. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred percent and then some.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.

Gallantly will I show the world that I am a special kind of Husband and Father. My love and faithfulness to my wife and my love and caring for my growing children shall set the example for others to follow.

Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.

Energetically will I meet the challenges and pitfalls of being a Husband and Father. I will overcome any challenge for I am a better and more motivated Husband and Father and will try with all my might. Breaking my sacred Oath is not an option. I will never leave my Wife or Children behind and will in no circumstances will I ever embarrass my Wife or my Family.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.

Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to continue on according to God’s plan and complete my mission of taking care of my wife and raising good capable children no matter the circumstances placed upon me.

Rangers Lead The Way!!!

Manday: A Movie Recommendation and Two Must Read Articles

DF-11070-Edit - Ben Stiller in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY.

I am a movie buff.  I have passed that passion for movies on to my two boys and my wife.  Every week, my bride and I have date night.  That date night usually consists of dinner and a movie.  The day after Christmas, my boys insisted on seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I want to highly recommend this film to you and your family.  Ben Stiller directs and stars in this amazing film.  It has a kind heart and is worth your time and money.  It is not a violent film filled with flashy stars flaunting their skin so it won’t be in the theatre for long.  See it.

One of the most powerful elements in this film is the use of cut scenes, dream sequences, and wild adventures that play out Walter’s fantasies and imagination. One minute everything is normal for Walter, and then suddenly, the scene is interrupted with loud special effects, character action, and slightly unrealistic scenarios. There is a part where Walter and his boss (Scott) are having a confrontation, and Walter zones out and imagines soaring through the city and fighting his boss like something out of “The Matrix.” This can be confusing as the scene goes completely off the rails without notice, but most times after playing out Walter’s vision, everything settles down and goes back to reality. These jumps in and out of reality are quite entertaining, and it is amusing to see Walter snap back into reality with people calling his name while he stares off into the distance. Walter’s imagination only begins as fantasy, but as the film goes on, he begins to actually experience real life adventures. The special effects and scene transitions are more than satisfactory, and there are outstanding camera shots of mountains, oceans, volcanoes and other scenery. There are many fantasy or silly scenes throughout the film, but these are presented to look the best on screen as they possibly can.  –HAYDEN PITTMAN WFAA Special Contributor


I am a father.  My 300 often share articles of interest about parenthood.  Ken shared the following article during one of our many breakfast meetings,  I found it convicting and thought provoking.  The article is entitled:  How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home.  Click on the link and read it.  It will get the spiritual and moral juices flowing.

 “And that was such a huge shift for me from the American Christian ideal. We’re drinking a cocktail that’s a mix of the Protestant work ethic, the American dream, and the gospel. And we’ve intertwined them so completely that we can’t tell them apart anymore. Our gospel has become a gospel of following your dreams and being good so God will make all your dreams come true. It’s the Oprah god.”

Lastly, I am also a man who checks the pulse of politics and social issues.   My friend and popular author David T., shared an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that I had to share with you.  I thought it was appropriate with all the turmoil surrounding free speech, reality TV shows, and alternate lifestyles.  I also found it amazingly appropriate for Manday.  I teased on Facebook, that Ms. Paglia’s views are pure heresy and would be rejected by the small fringe groups, mass media, and popular opinion makers.  I challenge you to read it.  The article is entitled: Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues.  Yes.  That Camille.

“Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America’s brawny industrial base, leaves many men with “no models of manhood,” she says. “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.” The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm “inspires me as a writer,” she says, adding: “If we had to go to war,” the callers “are the men that would save the nation.”

I wanted to share these three things with you as you start your New Year.

Here is to a great 2014!!!