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Contact us @ www.man-upspiritualoasis.com "Not Pastors..but Regular Guys". Engaging, deep and often humorous looks at faith in today's world by our panel. Man Up is the Adult Bible Fellowship for Men at Sugar Land Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Tex., encouraging Christian spiritual growth through scripture study. Contact us on Facebook under "Man-Up." How Man Up, a Spiritual Oasis for Men, Evolved Man Up began as an Adult Bible Fellowship, that is, a Sunday School class, at Sugar Land Baptist ...
 
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In our final scripture study of Solomon, we contrast the brevity of the account of Solomon's death to the lengthy catalogue of the accoutrements of his wealth that precedes it. This checkered "obituary" leads to some thoughts about building a Christian legacy: how we hope to be remembered and what we hope to leave behind when we die.…
 
Solomon didn't, and as a result, his kingdom splintered. If a leader as wise and faithful as Solomon could allow himself to be distracted by pagan gods and idols, what hope do we ordinary guys have? Solomon's vulnerability was hundreds of wives and concubines plus staggering wealth, a test of God's own warning to Israel's future kings in Deuteronom…
 
At the height of Solomon's reign, the Queen of Sheba visits him in search of answers to "hard questions," presumably about God. We don't know the content of that conversation, but that does not stop us from speculating about it, and discussing how we should answer the "hard questions" put to us by those seeking to know more about Jesus Christ.…
 
Men are natural risktakers. How does Christian faith align with evaluating risk and reward? When does risk become a leap of faith? In this Men Matter segment, Robert Cocheu ("The Professor") and Steve Titch look at Biblical examples of risk-taking ("The Gambler") as they discuss questions of risk, probability and faith. They apply them to current d…
 
Solomon's Temple has been consecrated; sacrifices have been offered and received; the fanfare has died down and everyone's gone home. In the stillness of the evening, God speaks to Solomon, making the same conditional offer he made to the king's ancestors--love me, obey me and turn from sin and I will remain with you. Forsake me and you will be for…
 
Men's groups at church can be a pilot light for the fire of the Holy Spirit. We talk about ways men in the congregation can step up and offer men spiritual enrichment beyond property repair projects and family activities. In short, there's a place in church for men that extends beyond their wife and children.…
 
The author of 2 Chronicles describes the size and strength of the the pillars of Solomon's Temple, but today, when the Church is the People of Christ themselves, who are its pillars? We discuss what "being a pillar" actually means and ways Christian men can step up and take leadership roles in their church and their community.…
 
The economic alliance between Solomon and King Hirim of Tyre is a jumping off point for a discussion about how Christians should approach business negotiations. Solomon provides an interesting example of wisdom, shrewdness and fairness, but when does shrewdness become exploitation? In the competitive bustle of the marketplace, how do we balance hum…
 
Solomon prays for wisdom as he prepares to begin building the temple. In our discussion, we look at the necessity of wisdom for effective leadership and the degree to which wisdom is expressed in conviction and action.Bill Cox
 
American Christians have a huge blind spit when it come to wealth an money. We look at David's largesse in terms of gifts of his own gold, silver, bronze and gems toward financing Solomon's temple. This leads to a discussion on tithing, the proper attitude and reasons for giving and the radical Christian idea that everything you have actually belon…
 
We begin a study of the reign of Israel's King Solomon as recorded in 1 and 2 Chronicles. We start with David's public endorsement of Solomon as heir and king, and the private consul he offers his son as he prepares him for the throne. We talk about the importance of training, encouraging and preparing the way for those who come after us, and the c…
 
Recorded live June 19, 2021 at Sugar Land Baptist Church, we revisit the story of David and Bathsheba in the context of how both the culture and the church treat adultery and sexual exploitation, and how Christian men can navigate the minefield of commoditization, trivialization and commercialization of sex.…
 
Jesus asks "Who are my brothers?" This gives us a chance to talk about the difference between blood relatives and so-called church families. Does one replace--or support--the other? What happens when they come into conflict?Bill Cox
 
Our study of Mark turns to one of the most confusing and debated statements by Jesus--that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. Our discussion touches on the definition of blasphemy, the differences between blasphemy and unbelief, and the conflict between the claim that the Cross offers complete redemption and the apparent exception o…
 
Two lessons in one, plus a special guest! First we look at another Sabbath healing by Jesus, and the legalist reaction from the Pharisees, We then look at Jesus' assembly of the 12 apostles, a "motley crew" of provincials who make for an unlikely brotherhood. We're joined by Dr. Chris Curran, senior pastor of Southland Baptist Church, San Angelo, T…
 
Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so how did things get so complicated that munching on some wheat raises hue and cry? We continue our look at how Christ challenged the blind legalism of the Pharisees. On the way, we touch on blue laws, HOAs, and little known agricultural techniques. In a 24/7 world, how do we best o…
 
Jesus faces questioning as to why he and his disciples are not fasting when the Pharisees are. Jesus uses this opportunity to preview the idea of a New Covenant, where ritual and tradition give way to faith and relationship. Cross-referencing this week's verse with Jeremiah 31:31-34, we explore the tension between obeying the letter of Old Testamen…
 
Jesus dines with Matthew and his tax collector friends, much to the condemnation of the religious authorities. Unlike many of of those Christ ministered to, tax collectors, while rejected by the religious elites, nonetheless had wealth and power. We talk about how Christians can best connect to those who feel religion offers little or nothing to th…
 
Sooner or later faith must become action. To get their paralyzed friend to Jesus, four guys hauled him onto a roof, burrowed a hole and lowered him down. What should we, as Christian men, be prepared to do to bring people to the Lord?Bill Cox
 
We look deeper at Jesus' healing touch of a leprous man and how transgressive it was to a culture which believed it had moral sanction the dehumanize members of a specific group. In a lively discussion, we apply it to today's racial environment, and debate the degree even the most humble of white Christian congregations can be blinded by biases imb…
 
In a unique gospel passage, Mark gives us a 24-hour day in the life of Jesus. We look at how the Lord balanced time he spent on his vocation, with his circle of friends, and on prayer and spiritual recharging. We look at the model it offers how to manage the pressing demands on our own time, and consider some difficult scenarios we can face when ou…
 
When a potentially life-changing opportunity comes along, will you recognize it, grab it and commit to it? The first four disciples Jesus called were work-a-day fisherman, yet they saw something in an itinerant preacher that drove them immediately to drop their nets and follow. A big struggle men face is weighing a personal decision that calls for …
 
Davey Gibson, associate pastor of education and discipleship at Sugar Land Baptist Church, talks with Man Up's Michael Cropper about how church ministries can bring men back into the congregation as the Covid pandemic recedes.Bill Cox
 
We begin a deep dive into the first three chapters of Mark's gospel, starting with the Jesus' baptism and subsequent temptation in the wilderness. Along the way, we talk about John the Baptist's role as transitional prophet from the Old Testament to the New, and how we deal with transitions in our lives. We then look at the temptations Jesus faced …
 
In our milestone 200th podcast, we talk about the listeners we each try to reach and take turns diving deeper into the various themes we return to week after week -- iron sharpens iron, lead dog needs to be fed, exercise your faith muscle, balance sheet of the soul, spoke in the wheel. What emerges is a sort of manifesto for the podcast.…
 
As we approach our 200th podcast, we take a break from our usual format to talk about events external of the past four years: hurricanes, floods and ice storm and a year-long pandemic, and personal: surgeries, accidents, aging parents. We talk about how they have shaped us and how even in difficulty, we can see the Spirit at work. We talk about how…
 
Paul says he has learned to be content in all circumstances. That touches off a spirited discussion as to what, exactly, contentment is. Is it on a spectrum of emotions, or something that can co-exist with grieving, suffering and misfortune? Is it a conscious choice or a gift of the Holy Spirit? And, for American Christians especially, is prosperit…
 
"Do not be anxious about anything," writes Paul. That's easy to say when you're not up against a pandemic, unemployment, gun violence and toxic cultural divisiveness. We all desire the "peace that surpasses all understanding," yet each day it seems less and less achievable. In this week's podcast we each talk about the ways we try to reduce the anx…
 
If our "citizenship is in heaven," as Paul says, what are our responsibilities on Earth? One of the difficulties of being a Christian is that sooner or later, your values will come into conflict with those of secular society. Yet at the same time, we are a religion of reconciliation and transformation. In a time where American Christians are all to…
 
Professionally and personally, men set goals and measure themselves by how well they meet them. But what about spiritually? What are your goals for a mature life in the Christian faith? Better still, what *should* those goals be? (Hint: it's not trying to follow all the rules.) As Paul exhorts us to "press on," we discuss these questions and others…
 
Paul considered everything he had counted as profit before encountering Christ as "rubbish" (a family-friendly translation from the Koine Greek)when measured against the "power of the resurrection." It's a hard teaching for American Christians, but Paul forces us to always question the value of material gain and to be ready to give it all up to fol…
 
We discuss Christian management and mentoring as we look at how Paul delegated ministry work to Timothy and Philippian messenger Epaphroditus. We look at how Paul's heartfelt endorsement of Timothy set up his protoge for success, and how Paul bolstered Epaphroditus, who, because he fell ill on his mission, may have been subject to backbiting by chu…
 
Paul's instruction to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" has widely different meanings across different faith traditions. Is it call to cower before God or kneel in awe? Podcasting through an historic cold wave, we fearlessly dive in to the process of sanctification, submission and discipleship and how they fit into joyful Christian …
 
Most men, including us, find Paul's command to imitate Christ's humility one of the most difficult to follow. Can a Christian afford to choose humility when their teachers, bosses and social influencers place so little value on it? Our discussion explores the tension between assertiveness and humility and we hash out some real-world scenarios in a …
 
What Paul exhorted churches to remain "in one mind," it seems divisions have been the norm since the beginning. We discuss what is meant by being of "one mind" (it doesn't mean marching in lockstep)and look at reasons churches split, from doctrine to poor people skills, and the Christ-like traits that Paul says foster unity amid disagreement. After…
 
Paul calls on the Philippians to stand firm for the Gospel, yet let their manner be worthy of the its message of grace and love. We talk about correct ways Christians can stand united against opponents, whether they are inside or outside the church community. We even stir the pot a bit with a discussion about those who brought the Christian flag to…
 
Paul admitted to weighing the choice between living confined in prison or choosing death and a glorious afterlife with the Lord. That's our jumping off point for a discussion about suicide, suffering and end-of-life experiences with friends and relatives. As Christians, we believe we will enter the presence of God after we die. How much of a rush s…
 
In jail, away from friends, his missionary plans thwarted, Paul still chose to rejoice. Paul didn't just passively accept his situation; he challenged it on his own terms to make it work for the Gospel. We talk about how faith not only helps carry men through hard times, but actually transforms adversity into Kingdom work.…
 
We start the new year with a study of Paul's letter to the Philippians. Paul saw joy from the Philippian church--whose members varied from wealthy cloth merchants to common jailers--as they looked past their differences to partner to spread the Gospel. As secular culture reduces the virtue of diversity into the latest fad, we look at the Christian …
 
For our first podcast of 2021, we take on a potpourri of topics. We talk about the men we hope Man Up reaches and the overall importance of men's ministries. We ask if Christian men can be alpha males and finally we take a look back at a messy 2020 and express our hopes for a better 2021.Bill Cox
 
For our Christmas 2020 podcast, we take a look at Joseph, one of the most important figures in the Christmas story yet one who rarely gets any attention. God delegates the care and protection of Mary and the child Jesus to Joseph, who remains humble and obedient to the Lord, while decisive and purposeful in accomplishing the difficult and stressful…
 
Our panel discusses the traits Paul says will emerge when one truly lives by the Holy Spirit. We contrast that with his indictment of worldly practices that purport to offer the same benefits, but invariably fall short. Everyone strives for greater love, peace, joy, patience, kindness and these other examples of spiritual fruit, but how much comes …
 
The guys discuss Paul's "triad" of traits that emerge when the Gospel and the Holy Spirit combine to spark transformation in a believer. We look at faith vs. works, love vs. duty and finding joy despite hardship and endurance.Bill Cox
 
Instead of getting drunk on wine, Paul calls on us to be "filled with the Holy Spirit" and specifically cites singing as a way to do so. That's our cue to talk about the types of worship music we grew up with and how it contributes the overall celebration we should find in our faith.Bill Cox
 
We dissect Paul's command to be kind, compassionate and forgiving with the reality that men, as leaders, often need to use "tough love" in our parental and managerial relationships. Even Christ saw virtue in directness: "Let your 'yes' be yes and your 'no,' no." (Matt. 5:37) How do Christian leaders set high expectations yet do so with love and kin…
 
Paul seems to say so, but others disagree. This week we explore the meaning of be "sealed" by the Holy Spirit. Can we lose our salvation by failing to walk with the Spirit? What about those who, like Hawk Nelson frontman Jon Steingard, openly renounce their faith? Also, Bill Cox, our director, reflects on Veterans Day.…
 
Our panel takes up the concept of joy and how it might differ from happiness or contentment. Paul says joy comes through righteousness, and righteousness comes through the Holy Spirit, but what is righteousness, anyway? And does claiming your righteous automatically negate it?Bill Cox
 
The fellows look at prayer from perspectives that range from Richard J. Foster to Lulu Roman. Prayer might be the primary means of accessing the Holy Spirit, yet most of us find it difficult. In Romans, Paul says the Spirit will find the words when we can't. We discuss the importance a prayer life and ways to cultivate it.…
 
Our panel talks more about the meaning of Paul's call to forsake the life in the "flesh" for indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We question conventional wisdom that humanity can progress without help from God. And what did Paul mean by the "flesh" anyway? No more smoked brisket for Robert? Can Mike still shop at Houston's Rice Epicurean Market? No chur…
 
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