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8th Grade challenges

practice makes perfect

What does a “man” look like?  So many times we are told to “be a man” and to be honest many men scratch their heads as to what that actually means.  I think it starts with being a Man of God.  So, what does a man of God look like?  There are many versions but make no mistake; God has a plan for your l

life.  A big plan, one that has been crafted with you specifically in mind. I believe that Men of God seek out that plan, search hard and desire to stay in Gods will.    Your ability to lean into God and trust Him will affect your ability to stay the course, to stay on His path.  That may seem like a lot of pressure, but fear not, you will stray and you will make mistakes.  I believe “leaning into God” is leaning into the things that God has put in your life.  You can correct your course through the use of the tools God gave you.  I want you to understand that if you get off course you can make it right again.  There is Grace and that is why it so important that God sent his son Jesus Christ.  Jesus was “The Man” of all men.

Becoming a man can only be given to you by God himself. Your parents, John and I can point you in the right direction but you must choose to embrace HIM and not the world.  This does not mean that 

Shield of Faith - Your Reward

your life will lack fun and adventure.  However, it does mean that you recognize your decisions in the next five years will have significant impact yon our ability to be a leader, son, friend, husband and father.  Your decisions today impact your future and they impact those who care most about you.  My desire is for you to look back when you are 30 and regret less.  Have less scars and less baggage.


You will be presented with five challenges throughout your eighth grade year.  Once you complete one challenge you will receive the next challenge promptly in the mail.  Each challenge represents one of the FIVE DIALS. 


#1 Know Christ

Your Word is Your Bond

#2 Anchored in Community

Know Where You Came From

#3 Honor Women

Start with Mom and Keep a Working List

#4 Be Second

Serve Mom for 30 Days

#5 Embrace Adventure

Scavenger Hunt!


This year in eighth grade you will be faced with adversity and tough decisions outside of this group. I submit to you that if you take this program; these challenges seriously, you will be better men for it. Men equipped with confidence and the ability to see the wise choices in life and have the strength, courage and discipline to make and follow through on those choices.


If you are successful in completing these challenges there will be a greater reward waiting for you at the end of the school year.  Something that bonds us together as a community of men.  A sort of fraternity that has taken three years to build.  First, you will earn the final component of your Armor of God (Shield).  Second, you will receive a gift from your parents.  This gift should be carefully considered by both you and your parents.  I envision a gift that will be cherished by you, that you can pass on to your son or your daughter when they are moving up into the ninth grade.  I would love so much for this process to become a family tradition.  I pray that your parents embrace this process because as men we love challenges and we need family rituals that can be passed down to the next generation.  We like to be tested.  We like to be rewarded.  We love adventure.


That brings me to the final concept I want you to understand.  God has a greater reward for you.  His plan for your life will lead to great rewards.  Learning to stay the course and seek His will is an art and a challenge in itself.  Constantly seeking and trusting in Him and the guidance of your “inner circle” will yield a greater reward in life but most importantly in heaven.  Heaven is the greatest reward.  Embrace your faith, seek this year to own your faith and defend it.  Make it your own so that you can be salt and light to those who desperately need to see what a Man of God, what a true Christian young man looks like in the world today.  If you choose to accept this challenges...continue.  


Good luck brother.

Challenge #1

Challenge #2

Challenge #3

Challenge #4

Challenge #5

“You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

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