Want Impact?

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Want Impact?

If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed—Luke 17:6

We want our lives to matter. We want these few days we spend here to mean something. We want some sort of impact. Well, brother, if we really want impact, we’ve got to allow the amplifying power of the Holy Spirit to work through us—by being willing to act in faith. When we act alone (as we so often do), we do so with our own strength. But when we act in faith, our actions are amplified by the strength of a great and powerful God. Men and women acting in faith have “stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:33-34).

The surprising thing about acting in faith is that—unlike when we act alone—it’s not our skill, nor our cleverness, that determines the magnitude of impact. When the Apostle Paul worked to start the church in Corinth, he spoke “in weakness and in fear,” lacking “plausible words of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:3-4). He must have doubted whether he’d had any impact at all. But the church was established nonetheless. “God’s Spirit and God’s power did it,” through Paul’s seemingly unimpressive actions, taken in faith (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 MSG).

Asking My Spouse These 2 Questions Every Week Keeps Our Bond Strong

My mother-in-law sent a text myself and my spouse this past week that contained this article. It was a great observation that many couples probably go through. I know me personally I have often asked my wife the same non-starter conversation starters. Even when I am really engaged in finding out about her day the opener really needs something.

Take a look at this article I have posted it below.

Hope you enjoy it too.

Arthur Poston Jr.

Recently, my husband, Marc, and I started testing out a new ritual. We are habit people and find that when we can put key aspects of our connection on autopilot — that is, we get them to happen without having to think too much about making them happen — we find each other more in the slightly chaotic, sometimes harried, often muddled, basket weave that is life.

For over a decade, we’ve carved the habit of a weekly date night into our family blueprint, amassing a dugout of equally delightful and reliable babysitters and teaching our kids that mom and dad time is the norm, no different than morning breakfast or nightly tuck-ins. It’s just what we do. This is simply how the Manieri family rolls.

Call us overly self-indulgent, but we find that after 13 years of marriage, we’d actually like even more couple time together (gasp!). Sure, we see each other every day, but the bevy of hurried, innocuous, and sometimes snippy interactions Marc and I experience throughout our busy day feel more like baton passes in a relay than anything close to a meaningful connection.

So we’ve started the practice of meeting once a week for tea (wine or seltzer works just as well if that’s your fancy). And rather than let the day’s headlines or our endless checklist guide our conversation (i.e. Did you call the roofer? Should I book the flight before it gets too expensive? Are you going to call the bank about those extra fees?), we anchor our interlude in two questions that have completely changed how we spend those 30 minutes together: “What would you like to be acknowledged for?” and “What would you like me to know about your life?”

Notice that these are different from “How are you?” or “What’s going on?” which usually elicit fairly standard and bland responses such as “fine” or “not much.” These questions require the responder to actually reflect, step inside themselves, and call something deeper to the surface. And when my husband asks me these two questions, the floodgates of my inner world literally break open.

What would you like to be acknowledged for?

For starters, this question immediately sends the message to me that the often thankless and mostly unnoticed work I do to keep our family and business humming matter to him. Being asked what I would like to be acknowledged for launches an internal inquiry that truly gives me pause. Hmm, what would I like to be acknowledged for? What is something I’ve done lately that deserves a little credit?

It’s not about praise or pats on the back, two things I care little about. In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, I place “Words of Affirmation” at the very bottom of my list of ways I feel loved. (“Quality Time” and “Acts of Service” are tied for top position for me.) I don’t crave recognition or get a sense of elation when I receive them. But I do want to feel seen. The opportunity to say what I want to be acknowledged for, gives me the chance to feel known, noticed, relevant, and appreciated, and that has enormous connective benefits for our relationship.

External appreciation has tremendous value, but here’s the thing: the real juice actually lives in the way that speaking my accomplishment out aloud (no matter how big or small) allows me to acknowledge myself. I get to unearth and underscore my tiny triumphs for the sake of my own recognition and notice. I’ve asked to be acknowledged for big things — like when I was nominated for an award! — and seemingly small things, like how I held my temper with the kids when they couldn’t find their shoes and we were already late. Marc speaks his appreciation for my feats, and then we switch so I can do the same for him.

What would you like me to know about your life?

In my experience, this question has such a different spirit from “What’s going on?” It’s not asking for a laundry list of to-dos. It’s recognizing that even married people, who live their lives in parallel, have their own distinct worlds they move in, and it invites each other into those worlds.

“I want you to know that I’m really worried about my dad, and it’s really hard to see his health fail.”

“I want you to know that I’d like to start spending more time with my friend Erica, and I wondered if it would work for us if she and I met for a walk on Wednesday mornings before the kids go to school.”

“I want you to know that I believe Elizabeth is having a tough time with your travel schedule, and I think it would be really good if you took her out for dinner, just the two of you, this weekend.”

“I want you to know that I’m so looking forward to getting away together next month. I really miss you.”

There’s a level of revealing and disclosure that this question seems to tap into. It offers me the opportunity to search for an answer I probably haven’t been totally present too. It’s amazing how worry or inquiry or concern or anticipation can hum away in the background like radio static. And then we look right at it, actually take stock of our life and all the balls we’ve tossed in the air, and boom, it’s like someone has tuned the dial perfectly.

It’s not always groundbreaking. Sometimes I want him to know that I think the cats have fleas again, that he really needs to move those boxes into the attic, that I’m really tired of how much chicken we eat for dinner, or that I started listening to a new podcast that I think he’d love, too.

Not every conversation is going to have us baring our souls, but some will. The point is the opportunity, the invitation, is there if we choose it. What bubbles or is beckoned to the shallows gives us the chance to reveal a glimpse into our world neither our partner nor even sometimes ourselves knew was incubating.

It all boils down to this: I matter. You matter. And even if we experience feeling truly significant nowhere else in the world but in the company of our spouse, the practice of being seen and known (even just by one single person) can be everything.


Blessed to Bless

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Blessed to Bless

Good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
running over will be put on your lap—Luke 6:38

Have you been blessed? [Pause for a moment to consider.] What’s your reaction to that question? Is it easy to see how and how much you’ve been blessed? Or is it difficult, especially with so many people around who’ve been blessed more? Well, make no mistake; all of us have been blessed (Genesis 1:28). I mean, do you have a job, some money, enough to eat, a safe place to live, family, some friends, a church, or an education? It may be in unique ways and in varying degrees, but we’ve all been blessed . . . abundantly.

So how then should we think about these blessings? I mean, how can we reconcile the fact that we’ve been blessed with so much—so much more than countless men and women alive right now in other parts of this country and around the world?

The only way to think about our blessings, brother, is to view them as means to bless others. And the only way to view ourselves, then, is blessed to bless others. You see, knowing what we do about God and about his intentions for us (Matthew 22:36-39), how could we ever conclude otherwise? How could we ever conclude that we’ve been blessed simply so that we may live in comfort and security and isolation? What kind of story would that be, anyway? No, we must view these blessings as personal invitations into God’s much greater story of blessing other people.

Just a thought

Morning thought –

This morning my thoughts lean a lot toward just being thankful for what we have right now. I look around and can see that all 6 of the kids are healthy. The ones that are old enough to have kids of their own; their kids are healthy too. Waking up and knowing that is a blessing in itself.

I also am blessed to still have those that raised me and all of the family except maybe a couple are still in-place. We have been smiled on a lot in life.

Thank you,
Arthur Poston Jr.

No Secrets

Close-up of a Sign Against White Background

Being a man in this world today the guy code is made up of secrets. When growing up as a little guy and you go somewhere with your dad and he tells you don’t tell mom where we went. It seems like a game or club that you and your father have just created. I am guilty I have done it to my kids too. What happens though when the secret could really hurt your significant other?

I remember a few times when a secret that I kept caused a problem that I wanted to share with my spouse but couldn’t. Well not that I couldn’t but I I was embarrassed and a little ashamed because it was something that if I had shared it with her she could have given some though or insight into why it may not work exactly as “I see it happening”.

Other times secrecy can be very disarming of a relationship. Couples that have been together for years can unravel by a secret that the other just finds out. They are poison and if relationships are built on these they will crumble at some point in time. It may not be today or in the near future but it will happen. Myself as I cleanse my soul and have begun to allow my souse to know everything she probably sometime thinks you have kept that one to yourself. Transparency is what I want that way nothing is ever going to come that she doesn’t know about.

Have secrets with your wife or significant other that could be inside jokes about yourselves. They should not be on the outside but on the inside of your circle at all times. There are things that are not yours to share with your spouse but anything that has their interest tied to it as well should be shared with them period.

People it will be hard but being transparent is a huge stress reliever.

Thanks for reading,

Arthur Poston Jr.

You’re Designed for Extremes

“My brothers, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

You’re Designed for Extremes

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot—Revelation 3:15

There are three approaches to life with God: All In; All Out; and, in the middle, between those, a third approach. This third approach is actually a range—it encompasses every approach between the two extremes. Many of us take the third approach. I mean, we do believe life is better with God—but, our belief is more theoretical than not. We get busy with our careers, families, finances, and rarely think about actually applying the life and truth of our King, Jesus Christ, to our own, complicated lives. And so, they become indistinguishable from the lives of men All Out.

Jesus calls takers of the third approach “lukewarm,” and is particularly frustrated by us: “because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). We third-approachers mistakenly presume we’re doing okay faith-wise—not as well as we could maybe, but okay nonetheless. Therefore, Jesus’ words are startling and challenging—and force us to consider All In.

So, what does All In require? The world tells us, too much. But, that’s wrong. It doesn’t require more than we can give. Brother, we’re designed for All In. Jesus isn’t some out-of-touch “high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). He understands our lives. He knows what he’s asking. All In doesn’t require we be perfect; we couldn’t. It requires a soft heart―a willingness to try, genuinely, to use Jesus’ life as a pattern for our own.

The Next Chapter

. . . he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come—2 Corinthians 5:17

We write with God all the time. Working alongside him, we write the stories of our lives. He creates the settings and the characters. He creates the conflicts—the situations requiring choices. And we get to make those choices as the characters in his stories. God may encourage us, invite us, surprise us, persuade us, challenge us, convict us—but we and we alone decide, for ourselves.

As we move along in our stories, as we live them out, we sometimes try to convince ourselves that some decisions aren’t actually written down or that we can selectively somehow strike decisions from our stories, after we’ve made them. Looking forward, we tell ourselves, “no one will know.” Looking back, we think, “no one can ever know.” The truth is, every decision is captured: large, small, good, bad. Every decision is written into our stories, immediately, indelibly.

Thankfully, the plot God intends for us involves making some mistakes, some bad decisions, but learning from them and allowing him to redeem them. He can, you know, redeem even the worst decisions (Romans 8:28). What we must do, going forward, is to keep our stories in mind, when we come upon decision points. What we must do is ask ourselves, at those points, “What decisions do we want to be written, permanently, into our stories?” Asking ourselves that, in those moments, is how we begin to lay aside our old selves and put on our new selves (Ephesians 4:22-24).

Okay, so what do we do?

When you come to a next decision point—today, tomorrow—ask yourself, before you decide, “What do I want to be written into my story?” Ask yourself, “What do I want the next chapter of my story to be about? Trust or mistrust? Selflessness or selfishness? Love or resentment? Maturity or immaturity? Redemption or sin?”

If these words impacted you today, send them on!

These words are from the WiRE’s email publication that I receive twice a week.

Thanks for reading,

Arthur Poston Jr.

Irresponsible Worry

And which of you by being anxious 
can add a single hour to his span of life?—Matthew 6:27

Something’s coming. Doesn’t it always feel like that? Maybe it’s something financial . . . maybe work-related . . . maybe health-related . . . definitely bad. And so, we worry. I mean, it almost feels like that’s just a part of being a man, worrying about what’s coming. We worry about all the bad things that could happen, to us and to our loved ones. We scheme about how to get out in front of all those things. Then we worry some more about whether we’re actually men enough to execute our schemes. All this worrying hangs over our lives. It haunts our thoughts and steals important moments—moments that should be joy-filled.

But, it would be irresponsible not to worry, wouldn’t it? We’ve been trained to worry, all our lives. We’ve been trained that men with responsibilities are supposed to worry. It’s part of manhood.

Or is it? Our King, Jesus Christ, teaches us that it’s actually not. You see, he didn’t come so that we’d live lives haunted by fear. He came and died to set us free from such things (Galatians 5:1). He assures us, our Father God will take care of us, whether we worry or not (Matthew 6:26). We must, therefore, adopt a radical, new mindset: “We don’t know what’s coming . . . but our Father God does. So, we’ll leave it to him.

Okay, so what do we do?

Letting go of worry is tough. You must approach it not only intellectually, but practically too. You cannot simply command yourself, “worry less.” That, by itself, doesn’t work so well. You must get practical by actually talking about worries with a spouse, a friend, with brothers in community. That does work (2 Corinthians 12:9). Getting your worries out into the open is as powerful as it is counter intuitive. So, brother, defy your instincts.

If these words impacted you today, send them on! Share them:

Who’s In Your Circle

Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts:
Consider your ways—Haggai 1:5

What if the measure of a man’s life, in the end, isn’t how many hours he’d logged in pews on Sundays? What if it isn’t how many times he’d read through the Gospels? What if the measure is, rather, only how he’d treated people around him? What if it’s how well he’d noticed and met the needs of people who came into close proximity? Well, brother, if those aren’t the only things measured, they’ll certainly be among the most consequential.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory . . . he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33).

Our King, Jesus Christ, in his sheep-and-goats discourse, teaches that our lives will indeed be measured—and he tells us how. By doing that, ahead of time, before we’re actually gathered before him, he gives us a decision framework, one we can use during our lifetimes. On that day, he won’t ask for a church attendance record. He will ask how much we’ve used our lives for other people, especially those in need (Matthew 25:34-40).

Okay, so what do we do?

Throughout your day, today, imagine a circle—one with a 2-meter radius, you at the center. Notice who comes into that circle. Log their names. Notice and write down their needs—friendship, mercy, love, tough love, hope—and how you might help meet them.

(There’s nothing special about 2m. What matters is increasing intentionality. And, truly, a man could spend his entire lifetime just trying to meet the needs of people who’d come into his 2m circle—so, it’s a good place to start.)

Messin’ With Your Heroes

Therefore be imitators of God—Ephesians 5:1

Really? Is it so wrong for us to emulate the life of another man or woman? Is it so wrong to hold another person up, as a role model? Well, the answer is (as it often is) . . . it depends. It depends on what exactly, in the person, we long to emulate. If it’s Christlikeness only—if it’s only how the person demonstrates Jesus Christ to us and to others—then, no, it’s not so wrong. We’re meant to be, for one another, physical examples of how to follow Jesus ever more closely. Watching another person move further into the character of Christ helps us move further, too. That’s how it’s supposed to work. The Apostle Paul wrote: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Too often, though, that’s not the way it actually works. Too often, we look up to men and women—and strive to emulate them—for the purpose of becoming more like them, and not more like Jesus. Too often, it’s worldly things that draw us in: a person’s success, their achievements, their talent, their career, their money, their power, their possessions. We men fall into this a lot. And the problem is the same whether the things coveted are secular or ecclesiastical in nature. We can lift any person too high: magnate or minister, entrepreneur or entertainer, priest or professor. We can lift them so high they begin to obscure Jesus.

Okay, so what do we do?

Hero worship is a sensitive subject. We men like our heroes. And we don’t like people to mess with them. We must be careful, though, that no person (great though they may be) gets between us and the ultimate hero. Examine your heart. Wrestle with the issue. Discuss it openly with some brothers—and with God, in prayer.

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