The CORE for Men studies are brought to you by the men behind Promise Keepers. In this second series, Transformed, five short films tell stories of real men who learned how true transformation takes place. We begin by deconstructing our masculine identity, then declaring what God's Word says is true about us. Within a genuine brotherhood, we can get honest about our idols, and hold each other accountable to stop and reload to prepare for what's ahead.
Jason Petty, aka Propaganda, poet and activist, offers a brilliant dissertation on identity. We naturally take on our identity from our tribal affiliations (family, neighborhood, culture), yet he realized his definition of masculinity was nothing more than misogyny and patriarchy. As a man of God, he now defines manhood in countercultural ways: winning is losing, leading is serving, strength is humility.
Willie Alfonso, chaplain of the New York Yankees, has a story that shows the power of God's redemptive grace, especially considering his upbringing. He was abused, abandoned, homeless, addicted, and rejected, yet God rescued him. A transformation such as Willie's can only happen through the daily influence of God's Word as he reads it, applies it, and obeys it.
Sam and Emmanuel Acho, NFL players, felt like everything they worked for was crumbling around them. There's a destructive myth that figuring things out on our own is our safest and best option. Underneath this is pride ("I don't need you"), and fear ("I don't want to be judged by you"), which suppress vulnerability and cause us to handle things alone. It takes a greater courage to be real with your trusted brotherhood.
Jerry Quiroz, professional soccer player, came to a crossroads in his life. God opened his eyes so he could see how his dream of becoming a star soccer player had become a self-destructive idol. Anything that is more important to us than God, that absorbs our heart more than God, that we seek to give us what only God can give, becomes an idol. Jerry made choices that changed the trajectory of his life.
Clint Bruce, US Navy Seal, helps us tie this whole series together by likening it to a ridgeline. A ridgeline is the place to celebrate the letting go of old ground and reloading to advance into new ground. To be one of the "elite" that get to the ridgeline, you have to make tremendous sacrifice and equip yourself with the tools and friendships around you to make the climb.