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A Thinking Man’s Guide to Remembering the Basics

Regularly returning, remembering, and refreshing how we live out the basics is important for spiritual growth. This workbook by Don Allen was originally published as a guest article on the Pneuma Foundation website, the legacy site for the parent organization for


Image: Samuel Martins

Remember the Basics

“Keep it simple, when you get too complex you forget the obvious.” – Al McGuire

 Al McGuire was a leader both in basketball and in helping change men’s lives. “He led Marquette to 11 straight post-season appearances and a 295-80 record. As the Marquette coach from 1964 to 1977, McGuire placed himself among a select group of coaches to win both the NCAA (1977) and NIT (1970) championships. In 1971, McGuire was named Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, United Press International and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) following Marquette’s 28 -1 season.”[1]

One basketball historian noted that 26 of McGuire’s players went on to play for the NBA, a major accomplishment for any coach. Yet Al McGuire stayed focused on helping men become better individuals both on the court and in life.

Over the years I have attempted to make my Christian Walk too complex. I have spent time focusing on other people’s opinions of what Godly men should be like, how I should praise Him, what passages of Scripture I should study, which church I should attend, and even sometimes worrying if I’m wearing the right clothes – clothes that would make others happy.

A man’s Christian walk is not complex. It actually needs to be very SIMPLE. Focus on the obvious, first and foremost on your personal walk with Christ. I have found that the old adage “K.I.S.S. … Keep it Simple Somehow” (or as others define it, “Keep It Simple Stupid”) should become a very vital part of a man’s Christian walk.

In my opinion we need to focus on the obvious things in our walk. We should identify three things that we should attempt to focus on daily. I like to think of them as our daily “PAC” (Prayer, Attitude, Commitments). Keeping It Simple Somehow (KISS) has to be a central part of life.


P – Focus on my personal Prayer Time

There are hundreds of opinions of what our prayer time should look like, from kneeling in your prayer closet, speaking in tongues at the church altar, spreading out prostrate on the floor, crying our eyes out and any number of other things. And there is nothing wrong with any of these.

  • When you are in your personal prayer time, how do you choose to pray most often?



However, prayer is truly an individual opportunity to spend time with “the King of King and Lord of Lords.” It is our personal time away from others with only us sharing our innermost thoughts with HIM.

Find that place of Prayer that works for you.

  • I have heard of men who spend hours in their cars commuting back and forth work. They pray as they drive, and their car becomes their place of solitude and communion with God.
  • Some men rise at 4 or 5 in the morning and pray in their basements to start the day.
  • Still other men go into their offices extra early and shut the door for 30 to 40 minutes to pray before their workday begins. Some pray at work during their lunch hour.
  • Others find a quiet place at night at home and pray.


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Category: Living the Faith, Winter 2019

About the Author: Rev. Don Allen, Jr., PhD, is President of Grace Church of the Valley School of Ministry. He also so serves as the Chaplain for Summit Behavioral Healthcare (Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addictive Services) and the Regional Director of Logos Global Network (Midwest). Dr. Allen has presented in professional conferences and trained on topics of addiction, grief, and stress, as well as ministering in churches throughout the USA Midwest and Northeast.

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