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I love Mark Drisdoll, and here’s one of many reasons.

If you follow that link to his latest Washington Post article, you’ll find an opinion that echos Christian (and probably even a few non-Christian) women’s frustrations with “men these days,” or, as Mark calls them, “boys who can shave.”

This article definitely resonated with me. Especially this part….

“What happens if you walk into the church and try to find out what a man looks like? First of all, you’re not going to find a lot of guys in most evangelical churches. The least likely person to see in church is a single, twenty-something male. He is as rare at church as a vegan at a steak house….In the church, boys who can shave are cowards who are complainers…They don’t declare a major, church, theology, or fianc√©. They don’t want to fail and they think if they don’t try, then they can’t fail. And by definition, that’s a failure.”

I think that one of the biggest ways the enemy is attacking modern Christian women is through “Christian” men. The church is full of awesome young women who are passionately following Christ (myself included). Yet if you look around the church, our options for Godly boyfriends/fiances/husbands have become sparse, if not non-existent. Our young singles ministry is a good example of this imbalance. At our last event, we had about 10-12 women show up, and only 4 men.

Several of my girlfriends have asked me (in frustration), “Where are the young, single Christian men?” I don’t know the answer, and I’m afraid of the obvious assumption (There aren’t any?).¬† Thanks to lack of options, many Christian women try to get creative and find Christian men outside of the church (easier said than done). Or, they try “missionary dating” (i’ve been guilty of this method), which basically involves dating someone who is NOT a Christian in hopes that they will eventually commit their life to Jesus before you get too committed as a couple (this rarely ends well). Then there are those women who give up on finding a Christian man, and settle for someone whose values and beliefs come into direct contrast with their own (which requires great compromise of the heart). And then there are those who give up on dating altogether (oh hey there cat ladies!). Still, some of us (like Mark Drisdoll) have no hope in guys, but have hope for the guys because they are the glory of God (this requires prayer and supernatural intervention).

I’m glad Mark used a trending article as his jumping off point for – let’s be honest, his RANT – on the modern man-child. Sometimes I daydream about being born in another era (Mad Men makes the 50s-60s seem sexy, though rather dysfunctional), but then I remember how much I love air conditioning and Tivo. So I’m glad I’m a modern-day Christian woman and all, but all us Jesus-loving gals would love for some Christian men to show up in 2010. Or at least in the next decade. But preferably sooner.

Meanwhile we’ll all be praying.

My Papa is so loved. After less than a week in the hospital, the hospice unit nurse said she would certainly miss him when he is discharged from the hospital, and will cry when he’s gone.

So sweet.

I’m glad other people get the honor of knowing and loving him, because knowing and loving James Louis Clark is definitely an honor. One of the biggest things he’s taught me is how to love well, and what it’s like to BE loved well. He never misses an opportunity to tell me that I am treasured, adored, precious, wonderful, etc. He’s been my biggest fan, and my best PR person. And throughout my life, he’s the one I knew I could always call for ANYTHING – no matter how outrageous – like an impromptu ride the airport in the middle of the night, or a place to live (more than a few times). He once drove 16 hours straight across 4 state lines just to escort me across the football field for Homecoming court. I couldn’t have been more proud to have him standing by my side that night – him in a suit, me in a dress with a gigantic Texas mum attached to my hip. I could share countless stories of his selflessness, sacrifice, and generosity. In this world, it’s rare to find a man you can depend on and admire. I’m so grateful for his example.

I’ve heard it said that unless you’ve been loved well by people in your life, specifically a father figure, it can be very hard to understand God’s love in that way. I think I struggled with that idea for awhile, because my relationship with my biological Dad is not as close. But when it dawned on me (thank you Mike Yearly) that “Abba” is actually a slang/familial word meaning “Papa,” I understood God’s love in a whole new way. As John Burke (not my uncle, but a different John Burke) wrote in Soul Revolution:

“You’ve never experienced a love whose source did NOT originate in God’s love for you.”

This means I have a God who thinks I’m treasured, adored, precious, wonderful, etc. I have a God who is on my side, who I can count on for anything, who is the ultimate generous giver. What an amazing gift. And I am forever grateful to my Papa for showing me what it means to love and be loved well, by both an earthy and Heavenly “Abba.”

Dear loyal friends and readers, I have another Papa update for you.

Last week my Papa was admitted to the hospice unit at the recommendation of his visiting hospice nurse last week. However, medicare will only pay for 5 days of hospice (at the discretion of the hospital), and since he was doing a little bit better, they were going to discharge him this week. But then he took a turn for the worse yesterday afternoon. He started having mad hallucinations, along with uncontrollable sweating, laughter, and tears. He announced that he was going to die within two hours, and he had seen heaven and his deceased family members welcoming him. This was so unlike anything he would ever say, so all of my family (within state lines) left their jobs and rushed to the hospital. The nurses thought it could be the end. But by the end of the day, he had calmed down, and besides a lot of vomiting (poor guy), he was better this morning. He is a fighter! He wants to stay alive, and wants to stay by my grandma’s side.

Since he is doing so much better, hospice is kicking him out of the unit again (causing some drama/stress on the family), and he is being sent back to assisted living as long as they can find him a hospital bed and a full-time nurse.

It’s been an exhausting and emotional few days, to say the least. I’ve been stressed about possible last-minute travel to Indiana when the time comes (which I thought might be yesterday). I looked into my family’s pilot “companion vouchers,” but they are unavailable until after labor day. I’ve looked into compassion/bereavement fares, but let’s just say I don’t think that $600-700/ticket is very compassionate. So I am praying that the Lord will provide when the time comes.