Thursday, July 24, 2014

Some Important Things I Wish My Father Had Taught Me

     Life is confusing, to say the least.  In today's crazy world where media and social pressure wants to dictate what we do and how we act it is even more important now then ever before that Dad's are the ones teaching their sons.

     I grew up in a home where my father, who was raised by his grandmother had no clue about what to teach his sons.  A wonderful man, but still clueless to what boys need to hear from fathers.  I had to learn some things the hard way and over the years I as I have talked and communicated with other men I have learned that a lot of men could have used some simple council from their fathers.   So with that in mind I decided to write about the "Some Things"  that we all have wished our fathers would have told us.

      The first one I really wish my father had explained to me is that it is OK to be different, in my case, soft, kind, and tender.  I grew up in a home where sports were the standard and man stuff was the only thing tolerated.  I hated sports.  I loved to write poetry, draw,  play with dolls, cook, dress up, and lip sing to records.   I was not coordinated at all,  I was fat and cried easily.   I wish my father would have told me that it was OK if I didn't like sports.   I would have loved to have been praised for my writing, creativeness, and flare.  My father being who he was didn't understand the difference and in all fairness to him he really didn't know what to do with someone so completely different then him.  He was stumped.   Can you imagine a hard core cowboy, ruff and tuff to the bone man, with a son that was totally opposite in every way.   He only reacted how any normal man would have.  He thought his son was a girl in a boys body.

     Now having said that,  I have no hard feelings for my father.  Was it hard living with him, yes.  Do I love him, yes.  We are very close and he admires me completely for the tender, kind man I am.  He, like  a lot of our fathers did the absolute best he could at the time.

     The hard thing for me was not understanding who I was and why I was different.   Is it OK to be different?  Yes, that is the message we need to teach our children.  If our boys are kind, sensitive, tender, we need to teach them that just like being a good athlete, those are gifts.  Gift from God come in so many different ways and just because we don't understand does not mean the gift is not valid.  As fathers we need to teach our sons that what the world teaches us about sensitive sweet, tender, men is not what the Lord teaches.  He teaches that there are many gifts and we know that as our creator he has created us with a specific purpose, and when we follow him, we will come to understand the value of our unique differences.

    Don't let the standard of the world or the teachings of the media dictate who we are and how we respond to the gifts we have.  I for one believe that being a kind, tender, sensitive man is  an amazing gift and as I have grown older I am grateful that I chose to magnify my gift as I follow the teachings of the Savior.

    So for the number one thing I wish my father would have taught me would have to be that you are a man no matter what gifts you are given.  It's OK to be different.  It's OK to be kind and soft hearted.  Just because you like to play with dolls, dress up, and lip sing, does not mean you are gay.  It just means you are who God created you to be.   I am proud to be who I am.  I am different and often I am  mistaken to be gay, but that's OK,  I understand that God is my creator and I value his gifts and his judgement.   Sometimes the understanding does not come until after the trail.  But as we continue to follow Christ, the understanding will come and we will find great joy in our uniqueness.

   Next Blog will be The Second thing I wish my father would have taught me.  How my man body works.


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Monday, July 14, 2014

Stand up and BE a Man

      I believe in friendships and the power of building healthy ones that bless us forever. Each day as I meet men that struggle with building healthy relationships, I am grateful for the knowledge of what friendships can be. I believe that we can and should encourage and develop healthy relationships with other men.   

      Men need other men. It has been so since man was created and will continue so forever. It is part of the Plan. My message is for men to "Stand up and be the men God intended us to be. Men of character, men that are not afraid to love other men in the healthy, wonderful way God intended". Stand up reach out and open your hearts. 

     Our society today keeps us from developing great relationships.   We live in fear of what others think and because of that fear we deny ourselves and others the opportunity of great relationships.  In today's world they teach us that we cannot have healthy relationships with other men.  We are taught that if we feel strong attractions to other men, we must be Gay.  We have been taught that we cannot have close relationships with other men.  So we keep our distance and avoid relationships that could bless our lives in great ways.  

     I remember my very first best friend.  I have to admit I was 18 years old before I had a best friend.  I lived in an abusive environment and did not have many friends.  In fact during high school it was really hard.  Anyway at the age of 18 I met this man.  I will call him KW.  KW was amazing.  The minute we meet we were friends.  Instantly we were inseparable,  no matter where he went or where I went we were together.  Every spare moment we could find we spent together.  I would get up and work with him at 2 am in the morning and he would come and work with me at 10 pm at night.  I was a permanent fixture at his house.  I adored him.  Could not take my eyes off him.  And the best part is that I knew he loved me.  It was an amazing experience for me to have a best friend.  I am sure it was an experience for him to have such a needy friend.  I could not get enough of him.

     He was so good for me.  He built my self esteem in so many ways.  i remember one night he brought a gift to me at work.  It was a Cross pen set.  I was so happy.  The employees asked why he gave me a gift.  I said "I don't know,  I guess he loves me".   The wrong thing to say.   Instantly they made rude remarks about us being gay.  That was the last thing on my mind.  I just knew he loved me and that was that.   I learned just what society thinks about that type of relationship.  Society makes it hard to have deep meaningful relationships.  

    That friendship started 35 years ago and guess what, KM is still my best friend.  I adore him even more and we have shared many memories over the years and I love his family and he loves mine.  Our friend ship is one that only increases with time.   We can go months without even seeing each other and the very moment we are in the same room it is just like we have never been apart.  One time his wife called after we had spent some time together,  she cried as she explained that when KM and I are in the same room she felt like she could cut the love with a knife.  

     KM and I have never had the desire or feelings of an inappropriate relationship.   Yes we hug and enjoy being close together and I can hardly stand it when he is around , I love him so much.  Our friendship has increased in love and depth over the years.   It will continue to increase for the rest of our lives and I am sure forever.   KM is my personal testimony of the value of good healthy friendships that we can have with other men.   I am so grateful for men like KM that are not afraid to express and act upon normal feeling for other men.   

    Great friendships can be had and enjoyed forever when we set aside our fears and embrace our God given ability to love others.   Men,  stand up and don't be afraid to love another man.  Done in the right way those relationships can and will bless your life forever.  

Have a great day.  Brad

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Life Sucks

     Life is all about challenges.  From sin to working, each day is filled with it's own unique set of challenges.  Some days we wonder how on earth we can even make it through the day.  Some days we are so overwhelmed with life we feel like crawling in a hole and pulling a rock over the top and never coming out.  Some days are so dark that it is impossible to see any light.  Some days just plain out SUCK.

       Ever have those days and wonder how in the ^~*("+#~#  you are going to make it.
I have those days, we never want to admit it out loud.  We want everyone to think we are strong and that we have it under control and we are super heros.  But truth be known, even super hero's have those days.  Super heros of the comic book world and my personal super heros of the scriptures,  all have had those days that challenge them to the brink of thier faith and power.  As we  watch the super heros, from both worlds, we always see that the trail increases strength and faith.  Super heros of today get stronger physically and the super heros of the scriptures grow into spiritual giants of great power and strength.

       As I get older I have to come to understand that when we truely desire to return back to our Heavenly Father, he will make sure it happens.  His way of making sure that it happens is growth.

        Growth can be defined as trials that refine us and as if we stay focused on the Savior will eventually bring us back into the presence of our Heavenly Father.   Some days I hate growth.  I frusturates me and often times makes me really mad.  Right in the middle of the trial it is impossible to see the plan, that is where the frustration comes for me.  The inability to see clearly.  That inabiltiy to see clearly is actually the most important part of the trail.  It forces us to have faith in a greater power.

      Turning over the natural man to a greater force an even greater power, the Savior can be hard and painful.  But as we do that and totally submit to his will, his perfect plan, the growth starts to take place in our hearts.  That does not mean the trail is over,  it just means we are starting to understand.

       The great day comes when, after that trial ends we can truely see the hand of the Lord in our lives and we are humbled by all that he did,  all that he did that we were unable to see in the middle of the trail.

     That is what helps me endure the trial.  I know one day I will look back and see clearly the hand of the Lord working in my life.  It has always been that way and always will be.  I have made the choice with all my heart to return to live with my Heavenly Father and I do understand he will do all it takes to get me there.  So although I do not welcome trails,  I do see how they are designed with a perfect purpose, the purpose of a Loving Heavenly Father and Savior to bring us back home. .

Have a great day,  Brad

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