Jim Ramos

HOW TO BECOME YOUR BEST VERSION

“Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man”



Bulletproof

Years ago, I was invited to a friend’s ranch to hunt doves in a Central Valley almond orchard. As we neared the property my buddy said, “Okay I have a few rules you have to follow. Rule 1 (pointing his finger across the street): Never step foot in or mention that Minimart right there because the owner’s wife had an affair with one of our family members. Rule 2: Never pronounce the ‘L’ sound when saying almond since we beat the ‘L’ out of them. And Rule 3: Don’t ask my Dad about why he limps. His lower leg was shot off in a hunting accident.”
          I still chuckle every time I remember that speech but am reminded that none of us are bulletproof. I’ve always taught my sons to respect the empty gun. Many have died thinking the gun in their hands was empty.
          No one is bulletproof.

A New Kind of Bulletproof
Last week we interviewed founder of the New Kind of Man Podcast, Chad Zueck on the Men in the Arena Podcast. Chad is a Lead Pastor in Dublin, Georgia, who has been working in men’s ministry for over 18 years, and is about to release his first book, Six Bulletproof Ways to Become a Better Man.
          No man is bulletproof in this life, but we can trust God to make us into the best version of ourselves and able to withstand the battles of life, which reminds me of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12-16b, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to 16 … extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
          Here are Chad’s six bulletproof ways to become a better man.

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Jim Ramos

WHAT DOES IRON SHARPENS IRON MEAN

Do You Have the Eye of the Tiger?



Character that Counts

If you haven’t had a chance, go back and listen to our Men in the Arena Podcast interview with Rod Handley, Founder of Character that Counts. Both episodes will be well worth your time. We address each of the ten accountability questions Rod uses in his book, Character Counts: Who's Counting Yours?
          Our interview with Rod reminded me of Rocky III and Survivor’s hit song from the movie, Eye of the Tiger. I wondered why so many men have lost their edge on life, their heart for God, and the eye of the tiger. So many have hung their heads in defeat, but God has made us for His victorious purposes! If you have lost the eye of the tiger, then hang on! You are about to get it back!



What You Never Knew about Iron Sharpens Iron

Men don’t wake up one day with the will to win gone. It happens over time as they isolate themselves from God and his people. Oregon is now limiting church services to 25 people indoors. There is no more tempting time for men to excuse away gathering with men to spur each other on (Hebrews 10:23-24). They must fight for eye-of-the-tiger relationships. During these times I can relate to Rough Cut Men founder David Dusek, whose curriculum asks, “Who has Your Six?” At 2:00 AM, who has your six?
          Another friend, Brian Doyle, is the founder of Iron Sharpens Iron Men Conferences, taken from Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
          I want to pull out two key points about this verse I bet you never knew. 

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Jim Ramos

WHY ACCOUNTABILITY IS IMPORTANT

10 Questions Men of Integrity Answer Honestly



What’s in a Name?

There’s an old Korean proverb that says, “When a tiger dies, he leaves his skin. When a man dies, he leaves his name.” People associate your name with your character and nature.
          In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “…hallowed (or holy) be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). In Jesus’s day, a name was not only a way to identify a person but to identify their character. A modern-day equivalent would be a man’s last name. The name was associated with a certain way of living, which is why it was so important for children to“Honor their father and mother” (Exodus 20:12).

Character that Counts

I really enjoyed our Men in the Arena Podcast interview with Rod Handley, Founder of Character that Counts. Rod has served as team chaplain for the Kansas City Royals (1995-2009) and the Seattle SuperSonics (1986-89). He and I also serve together on the National Coalition of Ministries to Men (NCMM) Board of Directors.
          He has written over 30 books including our interview topic, Character Counts: Who's Counting Yours? which details the “why’s” and “how’s” of accountability.
          According to Handley, “Accountability means I am liable to be called to account for my life. It means I am regularly answerable for key areas of my life to certain people. It means I am being held responsible for who I am and what I do.”
          In his book, Rod candidly shares 10 questions he has used for over two decades in his accountability group. I want to share them so that you too will make yourself accountable.

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Jim Ramos

HOW CAN A MAN HONOR GOD EVERY DAY PART 2

The Dirty (Half) Dozen Imperatives to Honor God



Dirty Chainsaws

Last week I shared about my unfamiliarity with two-stroke engine and having to learn how to use a Husqvarna chainsaw that was given to me as a gift. That refurbished chainsaw taught a lesson to us all about setting our lives apart as men who honor God with our lives, in spite of having a jaded past. I shared three of the six “Dirty (Half) Dozen” imperatives to honoring God that Peter listed in 1 Peter 1:13-18. They were:

Dirty (Half) Dozen #1: “Prepare your minds for action” (13)

Dirty (Half) Dozen #2: Keep Sober in Spirit” (13)

Dirty (Half) Dozen #3: “Fix your hope completely on…Jesus Christ.” (13)

Here are the final three of our “Dirty (Half) Dozen” imperatives for the man who wants to honor God.

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Jim Ramos

HOW CAN A MAN HONOR GOD EVERY DAY PART 1

The Dirty (Half) Dozen Imperatives to Honor God



Dirty Chainsaws
I was recently given a Husqvarna chainsaw from my Mom’s man friend, Kelly “Chainsaw” Dodge. I nicknamed him “Chainsaw” because he loves refurbishing old “Husky” chainsaws into better than new condition. To him, owning any other saw makes you less of an American. My chainsaw gift taught me a great lesson on honoring God from 1 Peter 1:13-18 that every man should know about.

1 Peter 1:13-18 (NASB)

Subtitles of this section vary based on your translation (NASB offers no subtitle). New International Version subtitles it, “Be Holy”, “Called to Be Holy” in the English Standard Version, and “Living Before God our Father” according to the New King James Version.
           If I were to subtitle this section, it would have gone with none of the above, opting instead for, “The Life that Honors God”. Sadly, all of the above implies a tragic truth of Christendom, that there many “Christians” who do not honor God with their lives. The hope is that you will assess which category you fall under after you read through what I call the Dirty (Half) Dozen Imperatives for the man who honors God.
          Here is the passage:
          “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’
          If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.”

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