Monday, July 5, 2010

Man Day Event 2009

Caleb at the beginning of the ceremony

Opening his gift

The look on Caleb's face is utter disbelief

Caleb's shield is carved out of solid black walnut

The four quadrants say:

Servant King .. Provider (King's Crown)
Tender Warrior .. Protector (Crossed Swords)
Wise-Mentor .. Teacher (Holy Bible)
Faithful Friend .. Uniter (Two Hands)

The Men

A Collection of Stones

During the ceremony, I presented these stones to Caleb. In the ancient days, stones were used to serve as a sign; when your children ask, "What do these stones mean?" tell them they are to be a memorial...forever. Joshua 4:6-7

Each stone represents a significant event in Caleb's life

13 stones were presented as markers to significant events in Caleb's life: Protected, Life, Dedicated to God, New Life, Service, Independence, etc. Each man then signed their name on a stone as a marker signifying this event in Caleb's life. A journal has been kept on the specific details of each stone. Two additional stones have been added since last year...

Two very proud parents with their son

Best Friends

Man Day Event July 2009

Tomorrow is Caleb's 14th birthday. It's hard to believe that one year ago we were celebrating his first step into manhood. I thought some reminiscing was in order. I wrote the note below just after the celebration took place.


Jerry has had this event on his heart for many years. In a way, it's hard to believe it has already come and gone. Jerry might word things differently than I am here, but the end result is the same. This event is to serve as a marker in Caleb's life to remind him to look back to where he came from (heritage), consider where he is now, and look to the future realizing that God's hand is on his life and directing his steps.

Caleb was presented with a new Bible, one whose cover is thick leather, hoping it will last his life time. It was signed by his pastor, Alistair Begg, as well as by his father, mother, and sister. Each gave an admonition: Keep On!, Walk with the Lord, Stand Firm!, and Belong to the Truth.

Taken from the book by Stu Weber, The Four Pillars of a Man, here's an excerpt:

What kind of man builds a civilization, a small civilization, that out-lasts himself? What kind of man has shoulders broad enough to build upon? A four-pillared man:

--A man of vision and character...a King.
--A man of strength and power...a Warrior.
--A man of faith and wisdom...a Mentor.
--A man of heart and love...a Friend.

It is upon these pillars, the four pillars of manhood, that the small civilization we call "home" will either stand or fall. You can't support a roof, keep out the elements, and shield against things that go bump in the night with one or two pillars. Three pillars might hold up a roof for a while--but the structure is out of balance and always in danger of collapse. It takes four pillars to hold up a building, a temple, or a home. And it takes four pillars to make a man. A man who will bear the weight, stand against the elements, and hold one small civilization intact in a world that would like nothing better than to tear it down.

And so the book begins...

After the day's events (breakfast with the grandfathers, skeet shooting, bowling and golf), dinner was served and the ceremony began by Jerry going back in time over Caleb's heritage. Most of you know that Caleb was a twin and is the only child to survive similar circumstances. He was then reminded that he was created in the image of God for God's purposes. We were given Caleb as a gift, but realized we needed to hand him right back to God for His safe keeping. While we have made many mistakes as parents (and will in the future), we have done our best to direct our children in the ways of the Lord and to stand firm on the foundation of God's Word.

Each man wrote a letter with his thoughts for life and presented it to Caleb. He will have these to look back on and remember and reflect upon this first step into the journey of manhood. As God would have it, both Carl and Tim chose scripture from the book of John about being out what you believe...impact lives for Christ.

The gifts were then presented. The ceremony ended by the men gathering in a circle around Caleb and praying over his life, commissioning him to the Lord.

This was not the end of the was just beginning!

And so one year later, I find myself looking at my son who has grown physically and spiritually. Somewhere between then and now his voice even changed.

I end with a letter Caleb received from a mentor-friend who was not able to join him for the day of celebration.


Congratulations on your 13th birthday! I wanted to encourage you, now that you are officially a "teen", to stick true to God's Word. Our culture seems to think that an official and unavoidable part of being a teenager is a "stage" of rebellion, and many Christians have bought into it as well. It is all too easy to go with the crowd, and our sinful nature makes doing what is right all the harder.

The Psalmist gives some excellent advice in Psalm 119. Why was he blessed by God? How did he obey when everyone else rebelled? By "sticking" to God's Word (vs. 31), loving God's Word (vs. 97) and having the right friends (vs. 63, 74, 79, 115).

As you enter your teenage years, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be miserable, rough, or difficult. Keep yourself immersed in God's Word, and you will find that you will appreciate it more, understand it more, and love it more! Love God's Word to the point that it grieves you when others disregard it (vs. 53, 136, 139). The Psalmist lists numerous blessings from loving God's Word and obeying it in verses 97-104. These blessings come because of the three things he did in verses 59-60 (this is not original to me, but I thought it was excellent): He assessed his ways, adjusted his life, and advanced in doing right.

If I can leave one last thought with you from Psalm 119, it is this: your spiritual life and walk with God should affect--and will be affected by--your friends. You will become like the people you hang around with. If they follow God and are obedient to their authorities, it will be easy for you to do the same. If they are crude or rebellious, it will be hard for you to stay pure and obey. The Psalmist describes who he spent time with (and who he avoided) in verses 63, 74, 79 and 115. Haggai 2:11-14 puts it in a very clear picture.

Caleb, it has been a pleasure getting to know you. You are remarkably mature for a 13-year-old, and I thank God for you when I think about you. Keep it up!

In Christ,

Hebrews 4:15-16

What more is there to say? That's what I thought too.


  1. May we praise Our Lord for His mercy and goodness towards us and our children. And I thank Him for my sons, my wonderful husband, and my daughter. May we continue to be faithful.
    Happy Birthday, Caleb :D

    3 John 1:4
    I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

  2. AnonymousJuly 06, 2010

    Just Wonderful! Even though I was at the event, I didn't get to read Alex's letter.


  3. That is really neat. Though I have to ask about the "Man Day Event" - could you give me some background on it?

    Happy birthday, Caleb! :)

  4. AnonymousJuly 06, 2010

    Happy 14th. Birthday Caleb. Just know your going to have a Wonderful Day, all day.
    Just Two more years and you will be abler to DRIVE!!! Ha, now that will give Dad & Mom a little more time. :)
    Love you Kiddo, enjoy your Birthday, oh heck, Enjoy your whole Summer.
    Love Ya--Elbel

  5. Wow, that is SO COOL!! Caleb is one blessed young man! Happy Birthday (belated)!