A Special Guest Post: The Demise of Guys

I hate pornography. Just the word makes me want to vomit. Every week I get emails from wives who’ve discovered their husband’s struggle. Lately, the emails have been from mothers of boys.

I’m passionate about keeping it out of marriages and I’ve written a lot about it.

But with accessible technology at every turn, our children have become the target, specifically our visually-enticed sons.

I rarely have guest posters. When I do, it’s significant.

Please read. And join the fight.

I recently read the book entitled, “The Demise of Guys” and was totally shocked at the statistics reinforcing what I instinctively already knew in my head. As the author put it, “guys are flaming out”. Crashing and burning. Biting the dust.

Well, I for one, am not letting my guys ages 15, 10, 8 and almost 6 “flame out”. Nope… over my dead body is that going to happen.

These guys are growing up in a world that would have no problem if they just completely wasted all the potential they have wrapped up inside of them. Just chewed them up and spit them out. These guys need a man that has been down the road a little further than they have been, to help lead the way and educate them about all the pitfalls out there. That is what a real man does right?

So why are guys going down in flames? Well, there are a number of contributing factors but the two biggest reasons fit into the same category: technology. Specifically, video games and online pornography.

The average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by age 21. What? With so many boys running around now with a gaming device in their front pocket, I’m not really that surprised. Every time there is a spare minute, out comes the video game and the time wasting begins. The author put this in context when he stated that it takes the average college student only half that time – 4,800 hours – to earn a bachelor’s degree. Let’s see here… a college degree or hours of mind numbing gaming? Unfortunately, many guys are choosing the latter to their own demise. I’m not bashing the occasional virtual adventure on a winter day, but 10,000 hours? Come on.

The pornography business is picking up speed at a staggering rate and destroying guys left and right as it barrels down the tracks. One in three boys is now considered a “heavy” porn user, viewing nearly two hours of porn every week. Really? Seriously? Worldwide, pornography is almost a 100 billion dollar industry. This filth is peddled to anyone that will take a look, with the hope that they will take another look and yet another until they are stuck in an addictive cycle that destroys their ability to have normal interactions with others, especially those of the opposite sex.

Well, as disheartening as these statistics may be… take courage, I have a few simple solutions to consider:

First, boys need more to do. They need to be given more responsibility earlier on in life. How about some jobs around the house for heavens sake? It’s hard to game or get in trouble on the internet while you have a lawn mower or a paintbrush in your hand! Have them get off the couch or come out of their room, where they are more than likely gaming in seclusion, and do something productive. They might cuss you under their breath when they are younger but I believe they will praise your name later in life. Shoot, maybe even sincerely thank you face to face! Wouldn’t that be nice? The men that have my respect are real men that know how to work hard.page1image25440

Secondly, boys need some goals. A clear vision of what they could or should be doing with their time. If they aren’t gaming so much or looking at porn, that leaves a lot of time to do something worthwhile. So sit down with your son, nephew, friend, whoever, and help open their eyes to the many other meaningful things that they could be doing with their time. Read good books, learn how to play an instrument or take on a new language. Get interested in a hobby like hunting or fishing or enroll them in some other organized sport. Maybe it’s weight lifting or running or mountain biking. Help them set some financial goals and teach them how to make good financial decisions. Help them understand that good things come to those that wait. Maybe it’s saving up for the car they might be dreaming of when they get into High School. As they set some goals and then make the effort to achieve those goals they will have an increased sense of self worth. Not some lame, fake, and fleeting self worth that comes from achieving another level on a video game or being momentarily aroused by yet another pornographic image.

You know what’s going to happen if we can keep them out of this technology trap? They are going to do better in school, have better social skills, be more self-motivated, learn how to work and make good money decisions. All in all, they are going to be more pleasant to be around. Bonus!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying to go on complete and total technology lock down. Don’t freak out and pile up the iPhones and start a bon-fire or anything. These little gadgets are totally amazing if used for the right purposes. We just need to make sure that these guys that we are raising are given some guidance so they aren’t the ones that get run over by this technological train barreling down the tracks.

The demise of guys? Well, for my 4 guys it’s going to have to be over my dead body.

written by Gregg Murset is the Founder of www.myjobchart.com and father of 4 boys and 2 girls.

Your Family’s Greatest Mission

“I love what your family is doing, but we could never do that. We are just too _______ [insert one of 1000 reasons].

I cringe every time I hear the words.

I also understand them.

I feel the same way about 364 days a year. “I can’t do this mission. Our family is too human. We don’t know what we’re doing, I can’t even keep up with laundry. I yell at my kids. We are argue and live this grace thing out in ugly ways some days…”

My list of “I can’t and I shouldn’t” is endless.

But living on a mission doesn’t start with doing something for God. It begins with what he has done for us.

“We serve a missionary God. He is all about the sending. We are a missionary people. We are about the going.” -*Jason Johnson.

By nature we are a sent people. That’s our identity. It’s the why of our lives.

The question isn’t Is my family called to a mission? That question has already been answered.

We are called to GO.

Do you wonder what his will is for your family? It’s to go fulfill his mission. We wonder where, what, when… and often get bogged down in the unknown details.

Where are you going today? The grocery store. The school. The neighbor’s house. Wherever you go, fulfill your mission and shine Jesus. Your small step of obedience might lead you to great destinations or it might just lead you to the dog food aisle. Either way, going is half the victory. Because that is your family’s greatest mission.

“If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

He isn’t waiting for us to be perfect or get our acts together, so we can change the world; He specializes in  using the less-than-perfect places in our lives for His glory.

It’s your mission if you choose to accept it.

*Thanks to my pastor for inspiring this post.

WFMW: Easy Static-Free Laundry Tip

My mother-in-law lives on a farm, grows her own food, is famous for her Mississippi Mud Cake and handed over one amazing son to me nearly two decades ago. When she offers a household tip, I listen. While I was with her in January, she shared this awesome tidbit with me.

She was out of dryer sheets and since static is a pain in the dead of winter, she crumpled up a piece of tin foil and tossed it in the dryer to remove static electricity. Boom. I love her.

What works for you?

Bold Love {TVP Giveaway}

UPDATE: The winners for this giveaway are Shana (comment #63) and Brandi

I chose love for the New Year.

Little did I know, I would scarcely breathe from December to February. It’s been a hard, long, beautiful journey in-between.

I have been given many opportunities to display bold love.


And love is in the air, and not the puffy heart kind you find in grocery aisle. The deep abiding bold love He has for you and asks us to have for others.

I absolutely love this declaration:

Today in honor of love and the boldness that comes with giving it, I’m offering TWO BEAUTIFUL Bold Love Necklaces from The Vintage Pearl.

What a perfect gift to give this season. Tell me what else you like in a comment and you’ll be entered to win one of these gorgeous necklaces (valued $62 each).

This giveaway ends Thursday.

I Ate a Caterpillar Among Other Things

I can’t believe it’s still January.

This has been the longest, hardest, best month of the New Year. It’s been high and so low and incredibly busy in-between. The month in re-cap:

  1. We returned from a wonderful family vacation over the week of Christmas.
  2. It’s January 28th and I’m still catching up on laundry from this trip. Oy.
  3. My teen got braces.
  4. My precious sister-in-law and friend lives with Jesus now. I miss her so much.
  5. We flew to Amarillo to be with family for a week.
  6. And celebrated our first teenager in a hotel room.
  7. We took our Christmas lights down on January 16. Woohoo for being those neighbors.
  8. This happened
  9. And this.
  10. Plus a whole lot of laughter. Seriously, watch this and this.
  11. We had a bunch of house parties and speaking events
  12. I ate a caterpillar (for reals) with a dab of goat on the side. We ate dinner with a lovely family from the Congo. It was fun! But I’m thankful God called us to Kenya (the food is way better). P.S. I swallowed mine, Maureen didn’t. But my husband actually liked it.
  13. Drove to the ER with my youngest and her busted mouth
  14. Compiled this epic report
  15. We mailed more than 500 end of the year statements for Mercy House. Whew!
  16. My agent submitted book number 2 to a host of publishers (eek!)
  17. My son tested positive for the flu (again, but a different strand)
  18. We quarantined him from Maureen for 3 days and Lysol’d liberally
  19. Drove to do this yesterday and realized we showed up a day late.
  20. Maureen and I met for hours and hours planning, dreaming and have been continually amazed at all God is revealing to us about the future of MH.
  21. Attended two of my daughter’s basketball games and got her to countless early morning practices
  22. Woke up to this hit and run mess on Friday morning: NO WORDS 
  23. We’re attending a 5th grade musical tomorrow night after flute lessons.
  24. With a (now) feverish 6 year old. Lord, help me.
  25. Tomorrow our precious Kenyan flies 8000 miles home.
  26. I end the month missing her.
  27. And collapsing.

The One Thing That Will Change Your Life

We have laughed our way thru her first automatic carwash and basketball game, introduced Chinese food and trampoline-jumping. We’ve exposed her to the wonders of marshmallows and s’mores, silly string and hammock-lying in our backyard. Oh, and laundry in a washing machine.

We’ve dreamed and planned, worked and played and cried our way through deep conversations, remembering the amazing, often hard road we’ve journeyed, nearly three years now.

For the last two weeks, Maureen and I have told our story, the story of Mercy Housetogether— it’s another first, and it’s been powerful.

How could I know, this, too, would change me?

How could I know seeing my life thru her lens would wreck me in a new way?

How do I explain why my country spends more on accessorizing pets in a year, than her entire country earns? She asks innocently without judgement, “Does your country know how we live in Kenya?” I don’t even have an answer. I’m just embarrassed.

How do I explain why she sees so few hospitals in my suburban town and so many in hers? I try to describe healthcare and preventive medicine and my words sound hollow because I don’t even say thank you for what I’ve always had. We take her to the doctor for a physical and blood work, another first.

Everything about my life is easy. From the laundry piles I whine about to the dinners I prepare, my life of comfort and convenience is the polar opposite to hers and millions of other. I know this. I have been to Kenya three times now and even as I prepare to go again in April, it’s startling to see my life thru her eyes.

It’s one thing to think about your life, comfort and convenience when you’re in the middle of extreme poverty. It’s hard not to. But it’s a whole different ball game when you bring someone from that background into your comfort and convenience.

She’s shared story after story of countless people who suffer more than I can fathom on a daily basis. Today, right now. Children who do not have enough food to eat. And I feel the old question welling up, tears with it. I still don’t have answers; it’s still unfair.

I’ve spent the last few weeks seeing my life as she sees it.  I am deeply compelled to be a part of the answer.

She tells me more of her childhood story, so much that I can smell the sewage that ran in front of her family’s shack. I am moved with compassion at the suffering she endured. I ache for her family and her world and I long to wipe out the suffering of her people. “Don’t cry, Mom. Look how far God has brought me,” and she begins to name blessings. “Look at all I have,” she exclaims and spreads her arms out.

We are standing in my big, beautiful home and I quietly answer, tears falling now, “Look at all I have.” There is no comparison.

But then Maureen holds one arm up to Heaven and one down to the ground and gives me a knowing look. It’s the pose we created for moments like these. It means:

I want to live my life with one hand open to receive from God above and the other hand open to give it to others. I want to be a conduit, not holding anything too tightly, ready to open my hands to others, to give to those who can never give back.

This is our commitment.

This one thing will change your life.

I dare you to try it.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” -John Bunyan


[photos by Suzanne Box Photography]

WFMW: Do Something Unexpected

I’ve always been a play-it-safe-kind-of-girl.

God’s been having fun with me the past few years!

With a more adventurous life, I’ve gotten more bold in my home. I try new recipes, I only check my teen’s room once a week (sanity) and I’m not afraid of color any more. I have fallen in love with bright, explosive colors. Mid-life crisis? Maybe.

So, on a whim, I painted our kitchen island turquoise over the holidays:

Every time I walk thru the door, I smile.

Designer tip (from a home decor magazine): do something unexpected in every room! Love it.

It works for me!

How About Some Free Music? {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  The winners are: comment # 19, 54, 84, 99, and 163 – an email has been sent your way. Congratulations!

The other day while I worked, I let this 49 minutes of awesome play in the background.

It was incredible.

You should try it.


Today, I’m giving away FIVE copies of Chris Tomlin’s new CD, Burning Lights.

Leave a comment if you’d like to win. This giveaway ends on Thursday.