Arena Men,

A book for taking a bath... Kidding. It is a book for taking (rather, leaving) that other thing! All the blog posts in the month of July and early August are excerpts from our 365 Men’s Devotional, The Field Guide: A Bathroom Book for Men. This is a favorite devotion resource for men, and we sell out at every event.

            We are sharing the five essentials from my Amazon bestselling book Strong Men Dangerous Times in preparation for the August launch of our Your Best Version Assessment, which will be available on our website. 

The Descent

Though pain and resistance characterize the climb, on the way to the summit, most problems occur on the descent. Climbing Mt. Everest, for example, is incredibly dangerous. But most deaths occur on the descent, in the so-called “Death Zone” just above 26,000 feet.

            As a young man carrying eighty pounds out of the mountains, I struggled to maintain footing on the descent. Being an avid backpacker and getting sick of my constant slipping, my hunting partner Darby instructed, “Jimmy, nose over toes. Always keep your nose over your toes.”

            To this day I remember those words and teach people the art of descending safely—nose over toes. After celebrating the summit, the temptation on the descent is to relax, lean back, and put it in cruise control, which is more comfortable but much more dangerous. Leaning over the toes is frightening, but it’s where you’ll find the best traction.

            What appears dangerous is actually the safest way to descend.

            Nose over toes. Nose over toes.

            Protecting integrity fighting apathy, and pursuing God passionately sets the stage for men to reclaim their identity. The man who possesses the former three without taking the initiative to lead, however, is worse than losing traction in the death zone. How many churches are filled with anonymous males who love the Lord, but refuse to get into the arena and lead, deferring it to the pastor, anonymous Sunday school teacher, or a podcast preacher to disciple those they love?

            But men do not defer leadership.

            Someone said, “You can delegate everything except final responsibility.”

Leadership. No Big Deal.

Leadership seems like no big deal, but navigating down the mountain of leadership is a matter of life and death—for those a man loves. When a man gets it—everyone wins.

            But when he doesn’t, be aware of the body parts.

            How many times have we seen a man fall and his family come tumbling down as well? Far too often, I’m sad to admit. By falling, I’m not only talking about sins of commission but omission. It’s a slippery slope when a man leans back and chooses comfort, anonymity, or selfishness over leading his family. Men lean into the path to which we are called.

            Nose over toes.

One Thing Spiritual Leaders Do That Others Don’t

We are all in a different place on our masculine journey. Some men are single or have no children. Others are fully immersed in the Stress Bubble (aka arena), loving their wife, raising children, and trying to stay afloat. Others, like me, are continuing to coach their adult children, grandchildren and children in-law. Some are believers, others are not, and some are trying to figure out what faith in Jesus is all about.

            The worst thing I could do is tell you what you should do, or what I did (as a professional Christian being in vocational ministry the past three decades). But here is what I will tell you. Here is what the best of the best do in leading their family. Get your pen and paper. Click the note app on your iPhone.


            Here it is.

            Do something! Do anything. Do one more thing than you are doing. Just decide to lead your family.

            They are watching. Like it or not, they are following.

            Nose over toes.

Best Version Leaders Wanted

We at Men in the Arena believe teams are the greatest tool to see long term growth in men. Starting this fall we are unveiling a NEW strategic plan to train thousands upon thousands of men globally about how to live at full capacity as their best version. 

            During the month of July, we wrote about each of the five essentials of manhood that will be covered extensively in our new program and that are explained in detail in the Amazon #1 bestseller, Strong Men Dangerous Times. In August we will go live with the Your Best Version Assessment and actively start placing trailblazing men into teams with our seasoned National Team Captains.

            Spots are extremely limited to first come first served. This is not a marketing ploy. We are launching five teams of 20 men each this fall cycle, five more during the winter cycle and five more in the spring—300 men maximum. Sign up today to reserve a spot on the Wait List. The only cost involved is the price of the workbook.  


Living at Full Capacity in Him,