Author: Craig GlassMy greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you're supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, their daughter Gemma and son Calvin. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I'm convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.

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He Is For You

He Is For You

Right now I think it’s easy to wonder, Is God paying attention? What’s on his mind?

The words, music and facial expressions in this powerful collaboration by dozens of churches in the UK provide and answer: He is for you. It’s the same message wherever we live.

I encourage you to take a few minutes and allow this message, The Blessing, to wash over you.

The Journey 4-17: John Busacker

Craig Glass My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, […]

“Do You Truly Love Me?”

“Do You Truly Love Me?”

Years ago I had a personal encounter with a passage from Scripture unlike any I’d had before. I realize that sounds dramatic. All I can say is, it’s the truth. In addition, it has a message for us in our current socially-isolated, safely-distanced world.

In 1990 I was working at a terrific mission agency which I had been with for 14 years at that point. As great as the agency was, as gifted and admirable as my co-workers were, I was losing steam.

Over time I had reached a point of disenchantment with the way life was going for me and my family. The glamour of raising support and being on a fairly limited budget was starting to wear thin. I longed to provide better for my family, to be able get a normal job and be a typical suburban American worker/provider. I was a slowly losing a sense of purpose and calling. 

At the same time, Beryl and I were leading a couples small group in our church and one evening listened to a cassette tape message by a local church pastor. He focused on John 21:15-17:

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

As we listened to the tape, the pastor repeated the words, 

“Peter do you love me? Feed my lambs.” 
“Peter do you truly love me? Then take care of my sheep…”

The verses oddly started to sound more like, 

“Craig, do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” 

My first response, “Yeah, well I’m kind of tired of that, Lord. I plan to move on.”

Then the second time, 

“Craig, do you truly love me?’ 
“Well yes, Lord, you know I do.”
“Take care of my sheep. Some are sitting right in front of you, by the way.”

As this increasingly personal and piercing message continued, I looked at Beryl and she at me. The expressions on our faces were asking, “Is this hitting you the way it’s hitting me?!”

One more time the question came, “Craig, I’ll ask you again, do you love me?” Silence on my part, just a lump in my throat. The inaudible but clear response I heard from him was, “If so, then be the shepherd I made you to be.”

By the time the message was over, Beryl and I had tears in our eyes, which we vainly attempted to wipe away. I turned to the group and awkwardly asked, “Well, what did you think of that?”

Their replies were along the lines of, 

“It was pretty good.” 
“I thought it was OK.”
“Yeah, we should take care of others.”

I was hardly able to speak. I finally said, “This message was for me.” God made me to be a shepherd, a pastor, and there are times I get very tired of it. But Jesus wasn’t talking to Peter tonight. And the pastor wasn’t talking to me tonight. Jesus was talking to me.”

That night I committed to remaining at the mission, and accepting God’s call on me to shepherd sheep. That remains one of the most personal messages I’ve heard from a passage of Scripture. 

But what does this have to do with the rest of us, and our new coronavirus reality? 

I believe those words are Jesus’ message for all of us. No, not “If you love me go become a missionary or a pastor.” No, that was just the message for me. The core message for all of us is, “If you love me, then take care of those I love. That’s everyone you see.”

To personalize it, 

“Tom, if you love me, then love other people. Because I do.” 
“Becky, if you truly love me then take care of others; they are like sheep to me.” 
“Paul, if you truly love me, then love the people I love. By the way, that’s everyone.”

What does the world see from the Church right now? What does the world see from me? From you? Is it attention, compassion, patience, love? Or is it impatience, distance, hoarding and disregard?

Jesus says to us, “If in fact you truly love me, take care of my sheep.” We might incorrectly respond, “Wait, he says love his sheep. That’s just Christians. All I need to do is like other Christians; I can ignore the rest.”

No, I don’t really think that was Jesus’ point at all— discriminating against the lost. The greater theme of the whole New Testament, and in fact all of Scripture, is God’s undying love for those who are lost. Jesus went far out of his way to be around and to pursue those who are lost, wandering, dejected or wounded. We should too.

I’m reminded of a parable Jesus told in Matthew 25:34-40. The King says to the righteous ones:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

They, not understanding the King’s perspective at all, respond with admirable honesty, 

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

They are clearly concluding, “He’s thinking of the wrong people. When did we feed, clothe or visit him? Never.”

The King’s reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

That’s where Jesus’ parable ends, but I can imagine had it really happened, some hearing the King would have thought, 

“Oh. We had no idea that we were serving you then.”
His reply, “You were. So, now you know.”

Who needs our attention and love right now?

  • Our family that’s for sure. They are frightened and need a voice of reassurance
  • Our neighbor. A widow lives across the street from Beryl and me. Does she know we care about her? Have we made that clear?
  • Is there a single man or woman living near you? I wonder if they might feel desperately forgotten, alone and afraid.
  • Is any neighbor elderly or ill? 
  • Is there someone hungry, alone, sick, even a stranger who needs us to love them?

Like the King in the parable Jesus might say to us, “You cared for me when I was afraid, when I was alone, when I was hungry.” And, like those in Jesus’ story, we might ask the Lord, “When did I ever see you afraid, hungry and alone?”

Jesus’ message is: “I tell you the truth, whatever you do for the least of these you do for me…Do you truly love me? Take care of my sheep.”

Do you love the Lord? Then love others. Now more than ever. Whatever we do for them, we do for him.

The Journey 4/10

Craig Glass My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, […]

Journey Livestream

Journey Livestream

Lessons From Kobe

One week ago we were stunned by the news that NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in California. Since then we have seen an outpouring of grief and accolades on a scale rarely seen: Kobe’s death has been mourned by millions around the globe Superstars […]

Lessons From Kobe
Hope for 2011

Hope for 2011

Post from the Past: 9 years ago I wrote a post entitled Hope for 2011. As Beryl and I entered a new year once again I realized that the core message of this post still fits. On one level, I’m surprised that my hopes for 2020 remain much the same as 2011. But on a deeper level I see that doesn’t mean my hopes for 2011 didn’t happen; it just means I still long for more of the same. How about you?

“I don’t particularly care for New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I largely ignore them. I appreciate the concept of setting goals for accomplishments we value, but somehow those resolutions seem to become demanding taskmasters, dissipate with time or turn into unpleasant reminders of failure. And why is it they have to start on Jan. 1st anyway? If something is worth committing to, why not start last October?

I much prefer focusing on the concept of Hope, as it’s used in Scripture. The world uses “hope” to mean wishful thinking. Scripture, when referring to God, uses the word “hope” as a sure thing; firm confidence in who God is rather than in my ability to make things happen. (“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Heb. 11:1.)

Romans 15:13 jumped out to me in a new way in recent months: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Wow. Several truths stand out to me here:

  • God has authority over Hope. He created it, controls it, and grants it.
  • God is defined by Hope. The power to bring about what is unseen is a central part of God’s nature.
  • He fills us with Hope. He pours it into us, right up to the brim.
  • We receive all joy and peace. As we trust him, he parcels out small morsels of joy and peace. If we’re lucky. No! We get huge quantities of them!
  • Hope spills out from us. As if filling us weren’t enough, he pours in so much Hope it overflows. He is not stingy with Hope. What if he were to use that overflow of Hope so that it spills over from us onto others?!
  • It’s not from us. It’s evident that the source of this influence is not us; it’s the power of the Holy Spirit at work through us.

As we move into a new year I encourage us to think specifically about, not what we wish for in 2011, but what we Hope for. For me they are:

  • Embrace God’s presence
  • Choose joy
  • Encourage and inspire men

What are 3 Hopes you long for God to bring into your life, as you trust in him, that might spill over into the lives of others?

Children of Light

We are entering the Season of Light, the Light Festival, the Christmas season when so much of the world decorates trees, wreathes, streetlamps, and even homes, with spectacular displays of light. Even those parts of the world that may not traditionally be Christian do so. There is an evident way in which the world loves […]

Children of Light
Heroic Men; Genuine Masculinity

Heroic Men; Genuine Masculinity

A term we hear these days, which we never heard until just a few years ago, is Toxic Masculinity. 

I think I understand the intent of those who use it; and I agree with their intent. It’s used in reference to alcohol-fueled frat boys who force their will on alcohol-incapacitated women; to sports thugs caught on camera slapping or kicking their girlfriends; to corporate creeps who think their business authority gives them the right to apply it sexually to the women they oversee; to the media titans shocked to discover that the groping license of the “old boys club” doesn’t apply any more.

If that is the intent of those who use the phrase Toxic Masculinity, I get it. When it comes to standing up for the inherent rights of women to be free from fear of assault, from discriminatory treatment, and from assumed privilege of men in power toward them, I’m with them. In my opinion #ItsAboutTime women were treated with the respect they deserve simply because they are a gift from God who created them in his own image.

But I reject the term Toxic Masculinity. In my opinion, there is no such thing. 

There absolutely are toxic males (I refuse to call them men) who strut and pose on the stage of their own lives, suspecting they actually signify nothing. Males like the ones described above. Males who come to the end of their own sense of worth and potency and unleash their final fury on theater-goers, high school classmates, dance club-attenders, and outdoor concert revelers. 

These are indescribably toxic males who never learned what it really means to be a man. They take as many victims with them as they can as they go out in a distorted “ blaze of glory.” They have nothing to do with genuine masculinity.

Masculinity, like femininity, is a gift from God. Each is a part of his character that He chose to reflect to humanity. Femininity reveals the profoundly relational, stunningly captivating, fiercely protective, life-giving nature of God. Masculinity reveals the powerful, action-oriented, life-defending, self-sacrificial nature of God. 

Just as there are toxic males, there certainly are toxic women. They are sadly damaged and fallen. But just as there is no such thing as toxic femininity, there is no such thing as toxic masculinity. Both genders are, at their core, a sacred gift. 

What is Masculinity? It may be hard to define, but we know it when we see it. Here is one of the best descriptions I’ve ever seen…and I love that it’s expressed by a woman. She knows that, though our world gives us far too many examples of toxic males, genuine masculinity is trustworthy, courageous and heroic. The world needs more of them.

Welcome to Noble Journey

Craig Glass My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, […]