The Men’s Breakfast

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Jim_Shinn I attended a funeral for a friend’s father last weekend. He was a good man, who is now with Jesus and a plethora of friends.

I was listening to the testimonials. He was 91 years old. A carpenter, educator, poet and he raised birds. He was also very active in his church. After finishing working in education over 30 years, he would meet with other retired educators for a men’s breakfast. I think it helped him live a long, healthy,  productive life.

I have been breakfast meeting with some Christian brothers for nearly 15 years. It is good to fellowship with believers, pray for each other, and eat food the doctors say we shouldn’t. We are all pretty healthy, our marriages strong and doing well spiritually and financially. If you aren’t doing it, I highly recommend it. I think that research bears out that regular prayer and socialization with healthy adults leads not only to longevity, but to a high quality of life. Myself, I don’t want to stick around until my ‘90’s but if I do, I want to be active, productive and healthy.

I am a counseling professional who has extensive expertise in group counseling. Our men’s breakfast is similar to group counseling, but with better food. My latest food fare is scrambled eggs, French toast, sausage patties and decaf coffee. I have taught group counseling at the graduate level and there are several factors that make a group discussion a promoter of mental health. The research says it is not the leader but what happens among the members. In Genesis, it says it is not good for men to be alone. Being at a breakfast meeting helps you to see that your problems, emotions, trials and tribulations are often not unique. It is also helpful to hear how others work out their problems. That is called “spectator therapy.”

mens breakfastI have chosen to dine with some dynamite dudes! They are very intelligent, Biblically grounded and they care about my carcass. In the book of James, it states to seek wise counsel. Well, I get a weekly dose of some do’s and don’ts based on the Bible and sound wisdom. It increase my hope about getting through stuff and I get the tools to help make it a smoother journey. Two things we learn in group or at breakfast. One is just help with emotions. Recognizing what they are and it is OK to have them. The other learning is more technical. It is the how to proceed through life challenges. In our group we have all struggled with death, family disabilities, adult children acting up, and all the woes of the world of work.

We grieve at times but we laugh a lot more. Weekly get togethers, not only breaks down unhealthy isolation, but hanging out with others is fun. Although, we may be a little sleepy when we arrive at our 6:00 am meetings at the Farmer’s Restaurant, we become lively after a few cups of coffee and the many opportunities to look at our lives and the wacky world around us. Consider a men’s breakfast, and if you are not a man, then maybe a ladies lunch might work for you.