This is Stu Epperson from the Truth Talk Podcast, connecting current events, pop culture, and theology. And we're so grateful for you that you've chosen the Truth Podcast Network.
It's about to start in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, and please share it around with all your friends. Thanks for listening, and thanks for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Coming to you from an entrenched barricade deep in the heart of central North Carolina, Masculine Journey After Hours, a time to go deeper and be more transparent on the topic covered on this week's broadcast. So sit back and join us on this adventure. The Masculine Journey After Hours starts here, now. Welcome to Masculine Journey After Hours, and this is a special week. It's the most special week we've ever done a show, isn't it, Robby? Yeah, it is the Eve of Eves. It is. Christmas Eve. Yeah, Christmas Eve. That means a big day is tomorrow. If you didn't already know that, I'm just kind of wondering where you've been.
Yeah, and you probably aren't listening to Christian Radio. Just a thought. I accidentally got here, so welcome. Welcome, yeah.
Welcome to Masculine Journey. We are talking about a really cool topic this week. We're talking about the gift of Jesus. And so what's the gift of Jesus? And so if you listen to the regular show, we kind of left that at the break, and then again at the end asking you, you know, what's it mean to you? And so we'll do that probably again at the end of this show and let you take that and ponder it through the rest of this day and into tomorrow and just celebrate some of the time of his birth, the way we celebrate it, and what he's done for you. All right, so we're going to continue talking about, you know, our answers to the question, the gift of Jesus, and we start with you, Jim. And something just wandered into my brain, which happens a lot.
This is the greatest gift that keeps on giving, as some old commercial used to say. Yeah, that was in Christmas Vacation. Oh.
The Jelly of the Month Club. I think it was before that. Yeah. Anyway, when I looked at this, and, you know, I think it was before that, anyway, when I looked at this, and it's the relationship that I have with Jesus Christ is the greatest thing I have.
But like a lot of gifts, I sometimes set it in the corner and ignore it for a while. But a big part of my journey was changed by the man that I've got a little clip from here. It's Henry Blackaby, and I, as my earliest memories, I knew of God. I was raised in a strong Christian family and went to church, even when I didn't have to, and did everything that a kid should do. But it really didn't become a relationship until I did the experience in God. And this is a clip out of Blackaby's gift from God that has been given to millions of people around the world at this point in 40 languages, I think.
So we'll listen to it in English. Because the heart of the Christian's life is not activity, but relationship. God wants you to love Him.
He wants you to respond to Him. And if we take the Scripture as a guide, then of all the things that we ought to know, clearly and unmistakably, is God speaking to us. You know, the Spirit of God, any time, any place, anywhere in the Scripture, can take the Word of God and couple it with the will of God and help you to understand the ways of God for your life.
And so the Spirit of God says, I want this person, I want your life involved in what I'm about to do. So the Holy Spirit touches your mind and your heart in the Scriptures to lead you to truth. Now truth is not a concept, it is a person. Jesus said, I am the truth.
And that was the last of that when I realized that the truth wasn't any proposition. It was our Lord and Savior. And I often add this in my closing prayers. I'll say, thank Jesus for being Savior and Lord, but also brother and friend.
And your clip, both because I love James Taylor and also have gotten to that stage in life where I really consider Jesus a friend. And another part of that was, we're not called to do things for Christ, for God. There's nothing we can do.
There's no way we can impress Him with what we're doing. But He does pursue us for a love relationship. And anybody that, well, when you have the ruler of the universe is chasing you because he loves you, can there be a greater gift than that? And that's really what hit me first and foremost in this. And I know he loves me and I know I've got an eternal place with him that will be, and I expect that to be, an even bigger adventure than we're having here at that time.
And there is much freedom in letting go of all the stuff that men tell us to do that we should be doing for God and letting God lead us through this life. Thank you, Jim. Now, David, you actually took it in a little different direction, the type of clip. It's similar, but different in lots of ways. Yeah.
I mean, honestly, the clip is funny. It is. And a little context behind it, you know, to our listeners, our loyal listeners out there, you may not know, but my band of brothers here definitely got me to be able to pray a little bit more publicly by the, I don't want to say bullion, but, you know, the- Encouragement. It's been a lot of that.
Yeah, yeah. Strong encouragement. Stern encouragement. Beloved peer pressure. There you go.
I like that word for it. So this clip's from Talladega Nights. It's when Ricky Bobby, which is played by Will Ferrell, is praying over, you know, this beast of sorts that they're having.
And we can listen to the clip and then we'll come back and talk about it a little bit. Dear Lord baby Jesus, or as our brothers to the south call you, hey Zeus, we thank you so much for this bountiful harvest of dominoes, KFC, and the always delicious Taco Bell. I just want to take time to say thank you for my family, my two beautiful, beautiful, handsome, striking sons, Walker and Texas Ranger, or TR as we call them, and of course my wife, Carly, who is a stone cold fox. I also want to thank you for my best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton Jr., who's got my back no matter what.
Shake and bake. Dear Lord baby Jesus, we also thank you for my wife's father, Chip. We hope that you can use your baby Jesus' powers to heal him and his horrible leg.
It smells terrible and the dogs are always bothering with it. Dear tiny infant Jesus, Hey, you know, sweetie, Jesus did grow up. You don't always have to call him baby.
It's a bit odd and off putting to pray to a baby. Look, I like the Christmas Jesus best, and I'm saying grace. When you say grace, you can say to grown-up Jesus or teenage Jesus or bearded Jesus or whoever you want.
You know what I want? I want you to do this grace good so that God will let us win tomorrow. Dear tiny Jesus, your golden fleece diapers with your tiny little fat balled-up fist on them. He was a man. He had a beard.
Ricky, finish the grace. I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-shirt. I like to picture Jesus as a ninja fighting off evil samurai. I like to think of Jesus like with giant eagle's wings and singing lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like an angel band.
And I'm in the front row. Dear eight-pound, six-ounce newborn infant Jesus, don't even know a word yet. Just a little infant, so cuddly, but still omnipotent. Thank you for all your power and your grace, dear baby God. Amen. That was less than two minutes, believe it or not.
It was. It took some cutting to get down there. You know, when I was thinking about this, I started in one direction and then really got to, you know, asking like, to me, what is the gift of Jesus? And ultimately, at the season I'm in currently, the gift of Jesus for me is my band of brothers. You know, they've been with me through a lot in just a short amount of time. And, you know, that beloved peer pressure, as Danny called it, just now really pushes me to, you know, walk stronger in my walk with Jesus and do things that take me out of my comfort zone that ultimately bring me closer to Him.
And for me, definitely in this season and at Christmas, that's the gift of Jesus and what it means to me. Thank you, David. As much as I give you a hard time, we're very glad to have you with us. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Plus I have clips that, you know, sometimes make people laugh. Yeah, and that may change next week, but for this week we're glad to have you here. As long as I'm laughing, I'm good. Exactly.
So, Robby, we come down to your turn, and I'm looking forward to this one. Yeah, so this has been a really, really neat Christmas season for me. God has shown me some things that literally blow my mind, which is a big part of what Jesus means to me is that it's so incredibly powerful, so incredibly huge. It blows my mind, you know, day by day and with things that just amaze me beyond amazement. And that's a big part of who He is and what He is.
So, in the song, We Three Kings, which definitely goes with the season, John Henry Hopkins is the first American carol, Christmas carol, that became famous in the 1860s. The genius of this line, star of wonder, star of night. And as you wonder, like you see a passage in the Scripture, or maybe you just wonder about a sunset, or maybe you wonder, you know, how that deer showed up in that particular moment.
What it is that you're wondering about. As you wonder and you take that to Him, He quite often like brings you to an understanding that is way beyond anything that you thought was even possible. And so, I want to play the clip and then I want to talk about myrrh a little bit and we'll see where that goes. So, the amazing thing about that verse is the idea of myrrh and the gifts of the Magi, which clearly John Henry Hopkins was wondering about.
He wondered, why would he bring him gold? And so, if you look in each of those verses, if you listen to the entire song, you'll see they gave an explanation of why those gifts were important and what they represented throughout the Bible, which in itself is quite a wonder. Well, myrrh, if you listen to the sound of it, it is the root word of the word Mary or Miriam, and it has to do with bitterness. In order to get myrrh, you have to cut a tree and it bleeds, it drips. And that word myrrh comes from that idea of a drip or a tear, but most specifically a red drip, if you look at myrrh, it has a red hue to it.
So, it has got a lot to do with blood and a lot to do with Christmas. And just to give you a little wonder of myrrh, in the 22nd Psalm, which begins, you know, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? It's very much a Psalm that takes you to the cross. In the sixth verse, I believe, it says, I'm but a worm. That worm is the scarlet worm. And in Hebrew, when you look at the word, it's talking about this worm that attaches itself to a tree as a mother and lays its eggs. The eggs, when they hatch, the mother never leaves the tree.
She's attached to the tree and she begins to issue the crimson color. So, it's called the crimson worm, and it actually is the word for hope. It's that word, crimson, if you look deeply into what it is, and that idea of the crimson worm is the scarlet thread that runs through Scriptures is crimson.
And it has to do with the blood of the firstborn. And so, just as I wondered about myrrh, and God continued to blow my mind with things that I would understand about myrrh, and what a gift that really is this time of year, if you can lose your life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, then you'll gain it. And so, as we can give Jesus this gift back that he gave to us, if we live our lives for our brothers or our wives or whoever that we do, we're finding that not only was it a gift to us, but we can give it back. However, the gift of wonder, when I really think about what it is that gets me, what he got me this year is like, man, every time I turn around, he blows my mind. So, this morning, I came upon the eighth chapter of the eighth verse, I mean, the eighth verse of the eighth chapter of the Song of Solomon. If you're Robby Dilmore, you're like in Delightsville.
I mean, you can't get better. The eighth means literally the miracle chapter, and it's also the miracle verse of the eighth chapter. But the problem is it's extremely cryptic, and I have no way to understand this verse without Jesus, the Holy Spirit, et cetera. And I woke up this morning, looked at it one more time after years of looking at it, going, oh my gosh, I got to teach on this verse, and I have no idea what it means. And the verse says, we have a young sister, and she has no breasts. You know, what will we do for our sister on the day that she is spoken for?
Like, what the heck? What does this mean? And so, I began to do my normal study, which God has given me lots of ways to study, to look at the Hebrew, to look at scriptures, to look at commentaries. And interestingly, both Matthew, Henry, and Rashi took me to Ezekiel 16, which has everything to do with this verse because there it talks about Israel and that God, after He, you know, brought her out of slavery, He made her beautiful and adorned her.
And then it says that He fashioned breasts for her. And as soon as I saw that, the Holy Spirit went ding, ding, ding, ding, and you just found the magic decoder for what it is that you're looking for, right? Because the idea of the het is this idea of how do we unite with Christ? How do we come together with Him? How do we become one with Him, right? And through becoming one with Him, we bear fruit, which is the whole idea of the Hwang and Solomon, is to be fruitful, right? And to be fruitful at exactly the right time, because this is what the verse is talking about.
When's the right time? Because our sister's not ready for love. So how does that work? And how does God fashion breasts? Well, as I studied that word, fashioned, I realized, oh my gosh, it's like the magic decoder ring, because it has to do with a desire, wonder, okay? Like I'm wondering, and I have this desire to unite, and what I'm doing is I'm holding up, essentially above, which has to do with a hook into heaven, trying to get help from heaven on how is it that I could get where I want to go, and the next letter is a final nun. And the final nun means faith coming down. And when you think about it, somehow or another in my life, with the moment I was clearly an ignorant, I can't believe what I thought about God, and all of a sudden, he sent me faith in him. And at that point in time, that's how you fashion breasts, that as you begin to believe, you're ready for love, that a young girl or a young person, period, they have to have faith before they can get married. They've got to believe in somebody other than their mother and father, whatever. Young children have faith in themselves, or they may have faith in their parents, but to actually find a partner that they can have faith with is how they end up ready to marry somebody. And that faith is the thing of it that like, oh my goodness, that because I believed that God was going to show me what the Scripture meant, and because I had this wonder, then he sends down this unbelievable understanding that gives me like, okay, now I understand that in order for us to become fruitful, what's got to grow is our faith. And as we have faith, then we have something to feed the children that hopefully he gives this union, which is why it's the eighth verse of the eighth chapter, because once you have a union, you will have children, you will bear fruit, but once you have children, just like Jesus told Peter, you've got to feed my sheep. What are you going to feed him with if you don't have breast?
And what are you going to feed him? His faith. And so it was like, oh my gosh, this is spectacular.
Like, man, this is the mother lode, and I got it this morning. And it started from that point of a star of wonder. So again, these things are important to me because God's just been showing me this stuff, but I wonder about what's important to you. I mean, what have you been wondering about this Christmas, and will you push into that? And will you believe, will you have faith, that he's going to show you something spectacular? And the thing that he's continued to grow morning by morning in my life is that, man, get ready, strap on, because he's going to show you something that's going to be above something of this earth.
It's going to be something of God. There's no way you could think of this stuff. There's no way you could understand this stuff if you didn't have him. And so, man, if you want to get on that ride, it starts to me with wonder and desire, which I think is a lot of what John Eldridge writes in his books. You've got to want it. Yeah, and if you look at that, you've got Jesus paid it all.
There was a big cost that he paid, but for us, it's just like the entrenchment. It's F-R-E-E free. Yeah, as somebody else says, it's done, right? You don't do, right?
It's already done. So you don't have to do anything to get it, but by the same token, and so it's really neat to hear, like I said, the potpourri of what it means to have Jesus as a friend. I could totally relate, but there are so many things in our lives right now. I know Andy is mourning the loss of his mother. Faith means everything when you're in the middle of that.
I've got a family member that is not talking to me that's breaking my heart. Faith means everything. At this point in time, I know God's doing something like you talked about, Sam, that He gives me a peace, that it's going to be okay.
And how important is that? And as Harold says, where would I be without the love of Him that comes through my family and so many different—and you guys, right? Yeah, we definitely, if you've been listening to the show and you tend to pray, please pray for Andy. This is very close to Christmas losing his mother within a few days. And just everything that goes with that is first Christmas without her, and several of us here have been through that.
I can't imagine, with it being so close, how much harder that would be. Andy's mother, because his father left when he was young and his mother had a big part of raising him, and he stayed in such a relationship with his mother. His mother went on a special trip this year, and then she got sick and nobody saw it coming. And he was literally talking to her, standing up, moments before she died, literally in his arms right there in the hospital. It's just really kind of unthinkable what he's been through this week. But yet, I saw him tonight, as we all did, saying that she's got it made right now. I mean, he knows that faith is what makes this possible for him to endure something that horrible. Right. So the gift of Jesus. We've been talking about it, so what's that mean to you?
I know you can't answer me right now, but you could. You could go to masculinejourney.org and send an email from any of the links there. Sam at Masculine Journey, Robby at Masculine Journey. David, just fill in the name, and you can get to masculinejourney.org. You can reach us on social media. You can ask us about the entrenchment. If you're looking for the last-minute gift, a boot camp or a gift of the entrenchment, and the entrenchment won't even cost you anything. The only thing I would ask is you have the conversation with the person, make sure they're interested, and then just go to masculinejourney.org and sign them up. Have them sign up for the entrenchment coming up, and it's a Friday night, and then most of the day Saturday. It's just a great time.
We did our first one this last fall. It was very, very cool to see the men kind of come together and gel and see what God was doing in their lives. It's jelly of the month, because it's a gift that keeps on getting. It is. It is definitely that.
They gel with jelly. And then there's always a boot camp coming up in March if you want to give somebody a gift of a boot camp. And so we'd love to have that. We'd love to have people there and see what God has in store for them, the gifts that he has in store for them at an entrenchment or at a boot camp. And this boot camp is an advanced boot camp.
It is. So you need to come to the entrenchment if you haven't been to one so that you qualify for the advanced. But for those of you who have been on the sidelines saying, yeah, I did the boot camp, I'm looking for something more, well, this is going to be a whole lot more.
Yeah, quite a bit more. We're going in a lot deeper than what boot camp does. And I know that boot camp has been described by many, many people like drinking from a fire hose.
This is even more so, drinking from a fire hose. And the good thing is God has got you ready for it, and he will bring you through exactly what he wants to bring you through at that camp. Whatever he's got in store for you will be exactly the right thing for you. And a boot camp, just like the star, is full of wonder. It is one of those times where, just like Robby is describing there, you get to a boot camp or go to an entrenchment, and this is what it's all meant to do, is make you just wonder deeper about Jesus, about God, and what he's done for us, and what gifts, and it is very plural, gifts that he has given us. And it's just a great time to be able to do that with other men and be able to ask them questions and talk and discuss and work through it and try to understand what's going on in my life, what's going on now and what's going to go on in the future and help yourself be prepared for all kinds of things. Like Andy, with his faith, being strong at this point, to be able to lean on Jesus and say, Lord, I know that all things work together for good and this is, my mom's in a better place and I can't wait to see her again in the future.
It's just he's very strong at this moment. Yeah, and he was good to reach out to us when he needed to talk, and I know he'll continue to do that, or if he just needs quiet time, he'll let us know, hey, I need some quiet time, leave me alone, which will be good. When I think about a boot camp, the two words for me that come to mind is a mixture of authenticity and grace. Because you can have authenticity that's just kind of in your face and feels very edgy, it's a cone of shame or whatever you want to call it. That could be authenticity, but this is full of grace.
And that's what Scripture talks about, God's grace, God's authenticity. What I hear from people when they've been to a boot camp and an entrenchment is, I didn't expect it to be so real. You talk about real world issues, you talk about real struggles.
It's not a lot of tips and techniques. It's taking it back to God, it's taking it back to the source, it's letting Jesus take you through it. Yeah, if you don't have Jesus involved, there's not much sense in taking many steps. What we constantly try to repeat is go to Jesus first, start there, really try to work through things with him, and then talk to others that you know are very well entrenched in Jesus and have talked with him and go to him often. Thank you Rodney. We wish you just the merriest of Christmases and hope that you will think about the topic, what does the gift of Jesus mean to you today, this holiday season, in this season of life, in this uncertainty, in this joyful time, whatever it may look like for you, Jesus is there, he's been there and will continue to be there, but what's that mean to you and your heart and let God kind of foster that and let the Holy Spirit grow it. And we'll talk with you next week when we go over our Word of the Year for 2022. We revisit that so you don't want to miss that topic. We'll talk with you next week.
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