Books

Men and Boys

“A nicely mixed ‘blokes’ bag’ of different voices, punchy, pithy, entertaining, thought provoking, inspiring. Readable in an hour or over a month’s visits to the loo: ‘Men & Boys’, Thoughts about life from a few good men; edited by Dave Hopwood, author of ‘The Bloke’s Bible’. A man’s book that may not leave hands till finished and which females could find irresistible.”

Easily digestible, bitesize thoughts on life and faith from a few good men.

Buy at Amazon

An extract from the book

Men  
& Boys  
 
Thoughts about life from A Few Good Men  
 
Edited by  
Dave Hopwood  
   
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
There is a time for everything.  
A time to work and a time to play.  
A time to talk and a time to listen.  
A time to laugh and - yes - a time to cry.  
A time to be cool and a time to be honest.  
 
A time to be happy and a time to complain.  
A time to rush and a time to wait.  
A time for TV and a time for reality.  
A time for loud music and a time for quiet.  
 
A time to mess about and a time to knuckle down.  
A time to respect, never a time to disrespect.  
A time to chill and a time to get up at 6.00am.  
A time to encourage and a time to be encouraged.  
 
Based loosely on Ecclesiastes 3  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
Hair  
This is what happens when the irresistible force of nature meets the immovable object of puberty. Hair – it can’t be stopped, it’s like the terminator. Whatever you do to escape it, it will catch up on you. If you try to stop it, it comes back fighting harder the next time. Give in to it, celebrate it. Above all learn from this example – don’t shave all your leg hair off in the bath, because the result is – stronger terminator hair in its place.  
 
Hugh Webber  
 
‘I’ll be back.’  
Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator  
 
Top hairy men in history  
The Hairy Bikers, the Yetty, Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin. Samson who never cut his hair till he was conned by Delilah into getting a number one cut. And Esau.  
‘My brother is a hairy man but I am smooth,’ said Jacob, Esau’s brother. Jacob was certainly smooth, he conned everybody. He even tried it on with an angel once.  
(Genesis 32 v 22-32)  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
Love is patient and kind. It does not push others down or beat them up. It is not proud and arrogant. Not foul-mouthed or stupidly ignorant. Love respects all and looks for the best in others. It doesn’t give up. Ever.  
1 Corinthians 13  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
It’s easy to think God made things to be loved and people to be used. Instead of the other way round.  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
‘Somewhere between our things and our stuff is the real us.’ From the movie Bobby  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
‘Life is what happens to you while you’re making plans.’ John Lennon  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
 
Spots  
The morning arrives and there it is – a volcano has somehow been transplanted on your face, or worse, two have arrived in perfect formation to really highlight your feelings of insecurity. What are the options? Return under the duvet, and fain illness, stick some spot cream on and pray for a miracle, or maybe, just maybe, if you squeezed its insides out it just wouldn’t be there anymore – its worth a go isn’t it?  
 
Okay brace yourself as your fingers squeeze the little monster – come on rupture, burst. It seems to be getting redder and bigger, okay press on. Try another angle, surprise it from a different side, it’s not working, it’s never going to go. BLAM! The explosion hits the glass of the mirror, and seeing the guts of the creature lying dead there brings a very satisfying moment. You inspect the remains of the crater. Yes, I’m sure it’s smaller, isn’t it?  
 
Hugh Webber – missiontowhereyouare.net  
 
Those who suffer from any contagious skin disease must tear their clothes and loose their hair. Then, they must cover their mouth and wander about, calling out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ Leviticus 13 v 45  
 
 
 
Or try Clearasil skin cream.  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
Dear Son,  
 
I cried at your birth, you bawled at your baptism. You left a gigantic jobby on the stairs and applauded God for recycling food into poo! You scared me declaring ‘Rangers’ better than ‘Morton’1! We converted to Killie FC2 and sang Paper Roses on winning the Scottish Cup. You made friends easily and socialised at secondary school.  
 
I can’t remember being 15 going on 16, but I remember an elbow through glass, slamming doors, a bucket of water alarm clock, & puke out the window. At four you told a stranger he could die of smoking and 12 years later you lit up yourself. Debts grew, the truth came out and we moved on together. Despite the banter you’re soft-hearted and quick to say, ‘Sorry’. Now 22, you’re respectful, stick at the low paid jobs and are rarely in! Your quick humour entertains and I enjoy your company.  
 
The road trip from Noddy’s car to named driver has raced in. We’ve learned to forgive each other along the way and I want you to know for sure that I will always love you. I look forward to pursuing God’s Adventure together & I am proud to call you my son.  
 
Forever your Dad!  
 
P.S. Snooker on Thursday?  
 
 
1 Greenock Morton FC  
2 Kilmarnock FC  
 
 
‘This is my beloved son, and I am totally pleased with him.’  
Matthew 3 v 17  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
From my son Josh in my birthday card:  
'Things Dad enjoys doing - football, swimming, emailing.'  
 
 
How easy it is to be continually doing things, even family things, but not really doing anything together, and not really connecting. If there is one thing that my boys love and remember more than anything else it is doing things together, doing anything together, especially one to one. When you have more than one child, making time to do something with just one means a lot. My boys seem to be very different on their own with me than they are together.  
 
 
Don't get me wrong, we have loads of fun all together, but often it's games, tasks, projects, competing with each other. When it is just the two of you, one to one, I see each one soften and become more open. Sitting and chatting is not always easy, especially if I am initiating and trying too hard to have a 'deep' conversation because I know this is the only time I have available this week (or this month!).  
 
 
So it is generally best to be doing something, walking, going to the cinema, penalties, reading a book, even driving somewhere, but doing something and then the chatting, connecting, good questions etc just tend to happen; or not, it is OK either way, as long as we've had a bit of time just being together.  
 
 
Top tip: Special Time  
Just taking an hour after school one day a week for one parent to do something with one of the children. But they get to decide what we do. Activities vary a lot: football in the park; cafe - hot chocolate and a game (Uno, Guess Who, Chess); reading a book; treasure hunt in the garden; bike ride; playing on the Wii, etc  
 
 
Rev Will Kemp  
 
 
Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right. Yes, there is a time and a way for everything, though it’s not always easy.  
Proverbs 8 vv 5&6  
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
   
Between my garden and next door’s there’s a 6ft fence.  
It marks the boundary between my property and his. No matter how much I want to wander in his garden and pick his flowers and vegetables, I can’t because the fence stops me.  
 
Boundaries are essential! I’m not just talking about 6ft fences, but boundaries in our lives – lines across which we will not step. They’re particularly essential if we have a particular area of temptation where we’re weak and give in easily – perhaps looking at harmful stuff on the internet, cheating on your girlfriend or wife, drinking one (or more) too many pints, and so on (you will know what your weakness is).  
 
My advice is to build a fence between you and that sin – a boundary over which you will not step. In the case of the internet this might be an electronic boundary, try www.covenanteyes.com  
but more importantly set a boundary (a guard) on your heart. (Proverbs 4:23). God Himself will patrol that boundary for you. The apostle John puts it like this, ‘The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4).  
 
 
Above all else, guard your heart, look after it, store good things in there. Patrol its doors and windows. Avoid stuffing it with corrosive substances, for it affects everything you do. Your mind, your will, your strength are all connected to the battery of your heart. Keep it charged. Proverbs 4 v 23  
 
Andrew Robertson    
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 
So you want to be a hero?  
Of course you do, we all do, although most of us give up on the idea as we grow up and settle for keeping out of the way and getting by. That’s not good enough for me though. I want to make a difference, live for something, die for something, beat the bad guy, rescue the damsel in distress and save the world!  
 
And why not? Why not aim high? Trouble is we have a problem. We all want to be heroes but we all inherited ‘wimp’ genes from Adam, our great, great, great, great, great… grandparent.  
 
But there is a choice. Because there is a real hero, one who invites you and me to join in a life of living heroically. You see Adam didn’t bother defending the girl when the bad guy came along and that cost the earth. But Jesus is different. He lays down His life for His bride, seals the bad guy’s doom and saves the world.  
 
But right now, here in the middle of history, all things hang in the balance, waiting for the choices to be made. And right now, right here is you. You trying to make sense of life, trying to see where you fit into it all. Are you a hero or just another bad guy? So far you don’t know yourself well enough to find out. A bit of both maybe?  
 
Well here is how it goes; if you want to be a hero, you need to choose it. If you make no choice, just go with the flow, then nothing will happen. You will make little impact, maybe just settle for being a nice guy. Or you could choose to be another villain. They seem to have all the fun, but then they always come to a sticky end – always!  
 
Or you could choose Jesus, join a new family and inherit new genes – Jesus genes! When it’s in your blood to do it, being heroic comes naturally – no great effort. But be warned, being the hero will be costly in a world where honour and virtue will meet few who value or recognise them.  
Life is tough and not fair. That’s how it is. The bad guys get away with all sorts and the good guys get laughed at, beat up and ignored. At least until the end of the story when all wrongs are righted; when the King returns to claim His own.  
 
Leigh Winsbury  
 
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.  
Ralph Waldo Emerson  
 
The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors.  
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe  
 
So remember this, we are surrounded by a massive crowd of heroes who have battled to live the life of faith in days gone by, and let us chuck away the stuff that slows us down, especially the toxic, harmful distractions that so easily trip us up. And let us keep running, keep sweating, keep pounding those streets in the race that God has given us to run. How? Find out about Jesus and keep looking to him. Nothing else defines your faith in the same way, no song, no sermon, no preacher, no rock singer, no worship leader, no DVD, no book (not even this one). Get in touch with the one who was willing to die a brutal, bloody, horrible death because of the good things he knew would be his afterwards. And you are one of those good things. He bled and sweated and screamed with agony and poured out his guts for you. And he is now in a place where he can help you. Remember all that when you get tired and depressed and want to give up.  
Based on Hebrews 12 vv 1-3  
 

Buy at Amazon