Day 27 · Start a book

After some agreeable words on how reading the blogs on your phone – the irony of this isn’t lost on me as I write this – pales in comparison to getting stuck in to a book, we meander into a patronising ‘benefits of reading’ list. Number 5 struck me in particular: Reading makes you a better man. I really don’t think it does. Are the illiterate men among us incapable of greatness? Besides, does the writer think that reading makes everyone more manly? My grandmother reads a lot but that doesn’t make her more manly.

I do agree with reading the biographies of great people. I actually read a Theodore Roosevelt biography last year and LOVED it. He lived an incredible life and it inspired me in many ways, particularly in regards to my own little family.

I’ve just started reading Church in Hard Places by Mez McConnell and really interested to see where it goes. Watch this space, there’ll be a post about it the coming months.


 

Day 28 · Write a love letter

It’s somewhat fortuitous that today’s task comes in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. Or maybe it’s not. Are love letters on Valentine’s clichéd? That’s the way the chips have fallen this time, but I’ll make sure to think about this when there isn’t a Hallmark holiday around the corner. Anyway, on to the content.

I felt uncomfortable reading “women’s … brains are also quite a but more language oriented than [men’s].” I can tell you that’s not true because it’s the opposite in my marriage. I’m the wordy one, hence my job, which relies heavily on writing. My love language is words of affirmation and when it comes to fighting, I love a verbose argument. My wife couldn’t be more different. She hates speaking in front of people, doesn’t like wordy fights and has to work hard at loving me through my love language – as I do for hers.

AoM’s presumption of manly values are off the mark again; something I’ll reflect on in concluding article.

With that said, the tips they give for writing a love letter are helpful and ones I’ll take on board.


 

Day 29 · Conquer a fear

I’m growing tired of this challenge. Two more days… only two more days.

After thinking a while of what fears I might have I concluded that I don’t have many. Recently I went into a creepy big church building in the dark that scared me a little. I also told my brother-in-law that I was praying for him. That was about as scary as it gets for me.

In fact, most of my fears probably lie in my sharing the gospel. The last time I remember chickening out really bothered me. I was over in London hanging out with my threads team and staying at my usual Airbnb place where I’ve built a good rapport with the host there. In a short space of time our conversation rapidly shifted to her life story and the hurt and pain she’d experienced in her previous marriages. After a few minutes reflecting on ‘karma’ and the like, I sensed the opportunity to tell her about the God I believe in; the God who totally usurped the idea of being paid back for a sacrifice he made.

I tried my best to not make that line above sound cheesy because at the time I genuinely think it would have went down well. I made a half-hearted attempt to say something, but I think I sounded like a new-age philosopher more than anything else. As I went to my bedroom and thought about it, I got annoyed.

I’d like to be able to push past that fear more frequently. I suppose there’s always a risk in sharing the gospel. But it’s one I’d like to make a regular part of my life.


 

Day 30 · Get a straight razor shave

I would totally be keen for this if my wife allowed me to go clean-shaven; something I haven’t been for almost five years. It would seem a little frivolous to pay for a neck shave, so I’ll politely just leave this one here and walk away… thankful that these 30 days are over.

I’ll be back next week for my final verdict on the last 30 days.

Written by Thomas McConaghie // Follow Thomas on  Twitter // Thomas'  Website

Thomas is a coordinator for threads. He's an elder in his local church (Village Church Belfast), working on a Masters in urban planning and geeks out on football. He's married to Laura and the father of two-year-old Ezra.

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