Author Archives: MikeS

Fighting Discouragement

Nehemiah 4:10New International Version (NIV)

10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”

Discouragement is an easy trap this time of year. For us in the midwest, the sun may hide behind clouds for days. It gets cold, damp, and dreary. Soon our attitudes and outlooks on life may change.

Nehemiah fought discouragement in building the wall for Jerusalem. He faced sarcasm and mocking, which lead to opposition, criticism, and finally conspiracy. It is said that the conspiracy actually threatened to stop the building project.

There were 4 causes of discouragement in verse 10 that I believe will give us insight in how to discover the tendencies of discouragement.

  1. A loss of strength: Usually loss of strength is due to working or over working for long periods of time.
  2. A loss of vision: The confusion of the clutter in life can overwhelm a person, and a goal vision a person has can be lost.
  3. A loss of confidence: If a person loses confidence in accomplishing a task, discouragement to seep in.
  4. A loss of security: If a person loses a sense of security in a vision of a goal or task, that person can loose heart.

Maybe today you are fighting discouragement or have been in the battle of it, and you are wearing out and becoming discouraged. Remember these words in Nehemiah 4:14, ‘Don’t be afraid of the enemy. Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!’

Men, the Lord promises to help us overcome!

Strength and Courage



Vital Ministries News

Matthew 15:18-19New International Version (NIV)

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Next Week Sunday, February 5 at 5:30 is Super Bowl 51. The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons face off. This will be the Patriots 9th appearance, while this is only the 2nd for the Falcons.

It is predicted that over 114 million people across the globe will be tuning into the game. People will not only be interested in the game, but they will be interested in the commercial advertisements and the half time performance of Lady Gaga.

What a change from the first Super Bowl in 1967 when the Green Bay Packers faced the Kansas City Chiefs. I was 7 years old at that time, and I can still remember the game. It was not about commercials or a highlighted half time. It was about the game and the men playing it. It also was not about individual players. 

As a matter of fact, the Super Bowl was about the Packers and the Chiefs. The half time show was two college marching bands performing. Maybe we are missing something in these 51 years.

I encourage us all as we watch the game to watch in what we say and how we act. It is still just a football game and men playing it. What matters most is our conduct. People are watching and so are our kids and grandkids. 

Enjoy the game, but choose to be a Vital Man.

Strength and Courage



Which Way Will You Go?

Proverbs 16:9New Living Translation (NLT)

We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps.

There comes a point in every man’s life in which he will decide which way to go. Will I strive to be someone important? Will I work hard to do something important? Generally speaking, both pursuits will not go hand in hand.

Young men today are often enticed to the glamorous life and with that comes a career like wanting to be a sports star, music star, or an actor. No longer are the careers of being a teacher, doctor, or banker a desired career.

For myself, I was led into a career of construction. I was taught at a young age that hard work produced good results. That has been absolutely true in my life. Eventually, that life lead to becoming a general contractor.

This life has given me a good life and also fulfillment in what I do. Yet, this still did not define me in who I really am. When I went through the darkest hour of my life in my 40’s, it lead me to asking Jesus this question, “I want the rest of my life to yield to be apart of something important, will you guide me?”

Today, the Lord has allowed me to start a men’s ministry called, Vital Ministries. I get to share my faith and disciple men. I also preach at a state correctional facility, and I am also an associate pastor at a church.

I get to help men stand and know who they are in Christ. I get to be apart of something important and advance Christ’s Kingdom.

You have a choice in life to be someone important or do something important. Remember, you may make plans for your life, but will you allow the Lord to lead your steps?

Strength and Courage



Vital Ministries News

Proverbs 27:17New Living Translation (NLT)

17 As iron sharpens iron,
    so a friend sharpens a friend.

Quest, the act or instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search. An expedition undertaken in medieval romance by a knight in order to perform a prescribed feat.

By ‘coming away’ with Christ for five intense days of God seeking, self searching, and spiritual training, the Quest Ministry works to unlock the hearts of men. We seek the heart of God, knowing that in his heart we will find manhood. We seek to become warrior hearted men fighting for our wives, children, and the generations to come. The Quest uses Biblical truths to show men how to have life to the fullest. Our destiny is found in unlocking the passionate heart placed in men from the beginning of time.

Men, this is the last call for the March 5-10, 2017 Quest. Will you come away to the wilderness to a place isolated from day to day routines. There will be no cell phones, no deadlines, and no distractions. The choice is up to you. Go to Fellowship of the Sword and find more information. Sign up for this life changing event.

Strength and Courage



We Are Sheep

John 10:8New Living Translation (NLT)

All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them.

Hearing God’s voice is a question of identity. Who are you at your core? You really have to sit in that question of identity. When we realize that our only true identity can be found in Christ alone, it is at that moment His voice becomes clear.

If you continue reading in John 10:8-11, you will find two voices speaking to fight for a place in our minds. Satan is the first by making empty promises along with an empty identity. Satan’s only purpose for your life is to kill, steal, and destroy.

The One True Voice comes from Jesus. He clearly states that He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Shepherd that sacrificed his life for the sheep which is you and me.

I believe Jesus used the word sheep as a synonym to help us truly understand our dependency on Him. Sheep will die with most any cause. They are frail, they bunch together, and they will follow the leader really well. Sheep depict us perfectly.

That is why sheep need a shepherd, and they know his voice. People outside of Christ do not know His voice. People who have given up their lives to Christ hear His Voice.

Men, we are sheep in need of a Good Shepherd. Allow Christ to lead your life, and you will most definitely understand His Voice.

Strength and Courage



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