Jim Ramos

ARE COURAGE AND VALOR THE SAME

Seven Points of Valor



Short Answers, Long Explanations

The short answer is, “No, courage and valor are not the same.” Though used synonymously the slight differences in the two words are noteworthy. According to Google Dictionary Courage, “Is the ability to do something that frightens one.” We send 37,000 words explaining courage in my newest book, Guts and Manhood: Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage that you can down for free until the end of the month. In it, I use my twenty years of Bible study on the topic to dissect certain truths about courage.
          Valor, on the other hand, is slight yet profoundly different in nature. Google Dictionary defines it as, “Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.”
          Courage, according to Google, confronts one’s fears where valor, is exhibiting great courage in the face of clear and present danger—especially war.

Titles Versus Courage

Braveheart is the popular 1995 film about Scottish knight and revolutionary William Wallace, who led the Scots in theFirst War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. My favorite line in the movie is a short dialogue between Wallace and the future King of Scots (1306-1329) Robert the Bruce. With fire in his eye, Wallace rebuts Bruce’s disclaimers about men and titles with, “But men don’t follow titles, they follow courage.”
          In context, Wallace is talking about war, so we are back to square one. Are you confused? The bottom line is this: Courage and valor are slightly different by definition but often used interchangeably, which is what we experienced recently on the Men in the Arena Podcast. 

Read more

Jim Ramos

I WAS ATTACKED BY A LION AND SURVIVED

What To Do When Temptation Comes My Way



Survivor Story

Josh Cowger’s electrician business consumes massive amounts of time, which is why he longs for fall, bow hunting elk in the Pacific Northwest, and reacquainting with his soul. 2020 will be remembered by Josh not only for COVID-19 and race riots, but as the year he survived a mountain lion attack.
          Josh was hunting alone, and as the mid-morning sun warmed his back he decided to take advantage of this time away from his busy job to take a much-deserved nap. He was startled awake by a low growl, opening his eyes to a crouching lion, who attacked once its position had been compromised.
          Josh tried to back up from his lying position with no success, and as the lion leapt upon him Josh went into full defense mode and kicked at the air. By chance (or was it?) his boot struck the shocked lion in the neck, turning it in mid-air. Stunned, the cat turned and retreated into the wilderness!



Read more

Jim Ramos

WHEN YOUR CONSCIENCE BOTHERS YOU

Four Ways to a Clear Conscience



Not-So-Average GI Joe

Several times a year we strategically invite the “Average Joe” on the Men in the Arena Podcast. They have never written a book. They do not travel the country public speaking. They do not have a huge social media following.
          But they are heroes. They are what every man should aspire to when we read about the qualifications of leadership in the Pastoral Epistles that Gene Getz so brilliantly wrote about in his classic, The Measure of a Man. They have stepped out of the anonymous bleachers and into the Arena.
          Rick Aldred (31) is one of those men. Rick in 2010, received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. He spent the next eight years on active duty, deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as numerous training exercises in Europe. During his time in Europe, he committed adultery with numerous women against his precious wife Emily (adultery is a violation of the marriage covenant and an act against your spouse).
          His conscience condemning him, he made the radical decision to confess everything to his wife, which is rare. Usually, adulterers only confess enough to get by and slowly confess as more lies are exposed. This began a long road of recovery and reconciliation, and, through it all, Rick discovered his passion to help others through his own brokenness. Romans 8:28 in action! He graduates with his M.A. in Counseling in 2021.

The Branding

Branding is a marketing term describing the searing of your business brand on the minds of customers. For a 501(C)3 like Men in the Arena this is wildly important. As I continue journaling through the Pastoral Epistles verse by verse, my world was rocked by 1 Timothy 4:2, which reads, “Through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.”
          I burned my arm while grilling this week. Seared skin is dead skin. Dead skin has no feeling after being obliterated by fire. It is the same with the human conscience. If we indulge in sin often enough and long enough, we will eventually become hardened and unaffected by it (Matthew 13:13-15). We will become comfy with deadly sin!
          I was compelled to ask myself, “What sins are being seared on my conscience to the point where they are a normal and numb part of my life? What sins have I surrendered to?”
          A man recently shared some heartbreaking news to me: “I no longer have to deal with the guilt and shame of Christianity. I do what I want, when I want, to whoever I want.”
          Conscience seared. Next victim, please.
          Here are four things you can do now to make sure your conscience remains clear always.

 Read more

Jim Ramos

FOUR THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT FATHERING

What It Means to Be A Father


The Family Man
Todd Wilson is a dad, granddad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker, each year speaking to thousands of dads and moms.
          As the founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through a weekly e-mail for dads, seminars, and books and products that encourage parents.
          We had an enlightening interview with him on the Men in the Arena Podcast. I learned things I had never considered and want to pass them on to you as game-changing fathering concepts.
          Here are four things I bet you never knew about fathering.


Read more

Jim Ramos

HOW CRISIS CREATES OPPORTUNITY

Creating a Crisis in Your Life to Avoid One

An Average Joe, or Is It Jay?
Several times a year we strategically invite the “Average Joe” on the Men in the Arena Podcast. They have never written a book. They do not travel the country public speaking. They do not have a huge social media following.
          But they are heroes. They are what every man should aspire to when we read about the qualifications of leadership in the Pastoral Epistles that Gene Getz so brilliantly wrote about in his classic, The Measure of a Man. They have stepped out of the anonymous bleachers and into the Arena.
          Because they get it—everyone wins
          My friend Jay Penton is one of those men. Jay, 53, was part of the Panama Invasion, served in the Gulf War, is a State Trooper in Alabama, and is an ordained Deacon and the Pastor of Men’s Ministry in his church. In his free time, he monitors our Facebook Forum as an Arena Coach.
          He has a heart of gold and. I’m proud to call him my friend although our relationship has only been through Zoom!
          But Jay hasn’t always been that way.


Read more