May 2012 Beard of The Month

[box color=gray]The following post is part of the “Beard of The Month” series. To find out more behind the purpose of this series, including an end of year beard contest to raise money to help end extreme poverty, check out the new Beard of The Month page.[/box]

Ladies and gentlemen- it is my pleasure to present to you, May’s Beard of The Month winner, Pastor Joe Thorn. Joe is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL, as well as a husband, and father of four. He blogs at joethorn.net, and is the author of “Note To Self.”

One of the things that I find most intriguing about Joe, is that he is the creator of one of my new favorite websites, beardedgospelmen.com. So in a nutshell- Joe is basically my hero. Keep reading, and I think you’ll see why…

Getting to know your beard

Approximate age of your beard: I started growing the beard in July of 2011. So, it’s about 9 months old as I’m typing this up. He’s still just a pup.

Beard style/category: Full beard/long beard.

Food most often found stuck in your beard: I avoid the messy stuff. No more Wings from BW3. For some reason oatmeal always hangs around for a visit, and now that I’m growing out the ‘stache, frothy drinks will add highlights there as well.

Your bearded lifestyle

What inspired you to grow your beard? Most of my heroes in the faith had great beards. John Knox is certainly at the top of that list as a short man (like your’s truly) who was used of God to herald the gospel with boldness.

How do you avoid the summer temptation to shave your beard? It’s not a temptation. I even run 3-5 miles in the warm weather with it. It’s not any worse than no beard, and in fact it might be a little better with it! Seriously, check out those cultures in desert regions. A lot of men in such places are sporting beastly beards. They know what they’re doing.

What is the most unique comment you’ve received regarding your beard? I went to pick up some donuts at a local shop, and the moment I stepped in the door the long haired kid behind the counter said, “DUDE! Sweet beard!” I said, “Thanks, man.” Then he said, “It’s like all the hair on your head slid off onto your face!” This was, of course, followed by a typical “stoner giggle.”

What does your wife think of your beard? (Question added by Joe) She is an amazing woman. She would prefer me to be clean shaven, but she says this looks good. She’s happy to let me grow it out.

A day in the life of your beard

Describe the daily maintenance of your beard: After a shower I put a small dab of light pomade in my beard, running it through with my fingers, and then combing it through. That’s it.

How do people typically react to your beard? Early on when things were starting to look a little crazy I got a few jokes. But at this point I only get compliments, often from complete strangers, many of whom are unbearded themselves.

How do you defend yourself against beard enviers? I try to turn them from enviers into pogonotrophers. If they can’t grow a full beard, they can probably rock a ‘stache, or a goatee.

Your beard’s uniqueness

How would you say your beard matches your personality? It’s a synthesis of sobriety and silliness. I view the beard as a mark of masculinity, but it’s also a lot of fun. I don’t take my beard too seriously. But I do take being a man seriously.

What about your beard are you most proud of? The truth is, I have always wanted to grow a beard, but I never thought I could. So discovering that I can pull it off has been a pleasure! I’m not proud of my beard, just thankful for it.

How has your beard in particular served as an inspiration to others? I think it’s fair to say yes. I followed the lead of bearded men in our church, and others have since followed my lead. beardedgospelmen.com seems to be encouraging men to get their beard on.

Big thanks to Joe for letting me feature his follicles. If you’d like to submit a nomination for Beard of The Month, email me at stephen@thebeardedidealist.com.

Chime in: How has Joe’s gospel beard inspired you?

  • http://sightregained.com Louis Tullo

    I love this post! :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) How can you not, Louis!? It’s THE Joe Thorn and his stellar beard.

      • http://sightregained.com Louis Tullo

        He’s like our generation’s Gandalf!

        • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

          Ha… that’s a good thing, right? I imagine I could see that…

          • http://sightregained.com Louis Tullo

            Absolutely! Gandalf was wise and cool. :)

  • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

    :) How can you not, Louis!? It’s THE Joe Thorn and his stellar beard.

  • http://www.knoxmccoy.com Knox McCoy

    I just think that this is the most genius thing ever.

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Thanks, but I don’t know about that… we’ve still got that podcast with the car full of Sean Connerys that everyone’s talking about…

  • http://twitter.com/thomasmason_ Thomas Mason

    Awesome post, Stephen! Joe seems to be a very down to earth guy with a lot of wisdom. I have his book, Note to Self, and I’ve queued it to read within the next couple of months. The way Joe talks about his beard is starting to make me have beard envy! Very enjoyable read!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Agreed- I’m certainly a big Joe Thorn fan! He seems to love Jesus, truth, and righteous beards, and I have to support all of that…
      Thanks again for nominating him- perfect fit!

      • http://twitter.com/thomasmason_ Thomas Mason

         Sure, you’re welcome!

        • http://www.joethorn.net Joe Thorn

          So, YOU nominated me? Thanks, Thomas!

  • http://twitter.com/thomasmason_ Thomas Mason

    Awesome post, Stephen! Joe seems to be a very down to earth guy with a lot of wisdom. I have his book, Note to Self, and I’ve queued it to read within the next couple of months. The way Joe talks about his beard is starting to make me have beard envy! Very enjoyable read!

  • http://www.becomingcliche.wordpress.com/ Heather

    I am inspired to grow a beard. I am trying. Trying…trying…

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Don’t give up, Heather! That is a truly noble venture…

  • http://www.joethorn.net Joe Thorn

    Stephen, I am truly honored to be the Beard of the Month! I feel unworthy, and receive it as grace with gratitude! Seriously, I dig the blog. Keep it up!

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) Thanks, Joe.  I really appreciate you taking the time and indulging me! You’re the man.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    Oh, a “puppy beard”  I love puppies.  :)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      Ha- that “puppy” must be on steroids! Looks pretty mature to me.

  • Andrew Tebbe

    As a beard newbie myself, I’m wondering how you respond to women who openly express how much they loathe beards?

    • http://www.joethorn.net Joe Thorn

      I don’t say much. I just feel bad that they prefer a man with a feminine face. ;)

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I’m having having a hard time believing such women exist. Surely you’re speaking hypothetically.

  • http://www.wildbillkerr.com/ Wild Bill Kerr

    One day when I grow up I will have a beard as glorious! 

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      :) That’s quite ambitious, Bill… But I still think you can do it.

  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    I am a huge fan of the irony of a shaved head and a maxed out beard. NICELY DONE. 

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      There’s something about this look that says, “I like to read books, but I can also choke you out if the situation calls for it.” And who doesn’t love that?? :)

  • http://dbartosik.com/ David Bartosik

    just got introduced to the beard month concept and its terrific!  Also, a slight resemblance to BB warfield….with a little less hair on top?  Only me?

    • http://thebeardedidealist.com/ Stephen Haggerty

      I can totally see the comparison, David :) Good call!
      And I’m glad you like the Beard of The Month concept, thanks! Let me know if you have any nominations.

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