The Continuing Saga of Xtreme Living



To all you “Average Abbas” out there,

I ain’t done with you yet!




About a year and a half ago, on a Monday evening I was at Barnes and Nobles (my favorite place to write). Monday night used to be Karate night at Southbrook Church (I hope they bring it back as I was inches from my black belt right before it ended). The good news was that sense I was at B&N I obviously made it through another night of sparring. My son, Nathan took it as well, and it was ‘kid’s night to spar’—that’s the real reason I did good. I didn’t have to fight! (Nathan did great by the way—thanks for asking). The not so good news, however, is that Karate John (our instructor) informed all of us in the adult class that night that as we test out for our purple belts things are going to get a whole lot tougher.



No more half speed and all full contact.




Oh boy!




I looked around the room when he told us this. I remember when there were 15 adults in the class. Now there were 4! I tried to imagine who would make it and who would quit. For me it is simple. I’m thinking about the goal. I made a commitment to get my black belt as long as I was bringing Nathan to his class anyway. But tonight John made clear something I guess I knew deep down all along. There is no half way with this. It’s all out or nothing. The people who have dropped out along the way are eternal white, yellow and orange belts. So, it’s onward, toward the prize.


Well, I’m at Barnes and Noble again, and still a brown belt. That’s the last place I made it to before Karate at Southbrook was put on hold. I will, however, finish. Then, you negative bloggers will think twice before posting. I might have to show you a round house to the throat.




In Christian love of course.




In each X-Treme blog post, no doubt you’ve noticed I use biblical examples. The reason for this is that the world doesn’t have many comparable Xtreme men to put up against the biblical giants. Becoming an Xtreme man for God can’t be accomplished apart from God. And God is a God of journeys, not formulas.




In fact, take a look at Christian books today. Notice any commonalities? I sure do. It practically slaps you in the face.



Hang on a sec. I’ll be right back.



I just thought I’d take a quick stroll through the “Christian Inspiration” section here at Barnes and Noble in order to prove my pointeven though I already knew what I would find. Here are some of the latest life changing offerings from today’s Christian writers,



The Prayer of Jabez, The Prayer of Jabez for Women, The Prayer of Jabez for Teens, The Prayer of Jabez for your dog, Spot (ok, ok, I made that last one up—I couldn’t resist), The Five Love Languages, Boundaries, Secrets for the Man in the Mirror, 21 irrefutable laws of leadership, 101 most powerful promises in the Bible, Chicken soup for the Christian Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Family Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Man’s Soul,–






My stroll through the Christian section looks more like a trip down ‘pop-psych’ lane or the yellow brick road of self-help. Maybe the key is in that one little oft misleading word, “self.”




Can I cut B&N scavenger hunt a bit short? Would anyone reading really mind?




After perusing the “Christian Inspiration” section I whipped over to the “psychology” section.




Guess what I found?








Seriously. For some of the books the only difference was the word, “Christian” inserted in the title (Ex. Chicken Soup for the Soul and ‘Christian Chicken Soup for the Soul’).




I thought chicken soup was supposed to make you feel better. By the time I got to that cheesy rendering I felt nauseous.



Let’s cut to the chase.




What does this have to do with Feeble or even average fatherhood?







Pop psychology is never going to make you the kind of father God wants you to be. Quit reading the fluff.




I’ll prove my point.




Let’s play a little game called, Less than, more than (< > for short ).



What do we have more of today than at any other time in history?












What else?




Drugs (pharmaceuticals, I should say)




What else?




Depression, ADD, ADHD, Anger, Road rage, violence, suicide, alcohol abuse, abortion, divorce, abandonment, unwed mothers, drug abuse…




What else?




Recovery centers, rehab, detox…




Ok, enough, now, what do we have less of?




Healthy marriages, people going to church, morality, character, contentment, families that stay together, commitment, stability, leadership, biblical literacy, belief in God, self control, charity…




Take your pick.




I’ve got more.


Can’t you see it?!



Something is hugely wrong!




We’ve got more of all the people, places and things that supposedly solve all the ills that plague mankind, yet, at the same time we have more ills plaguing us than ever before.








Want to know why?




I have a theory or two.




Stick with me and I’ll share them on my next post…