Vital Men Groups – Join Us!

VITAL MEN

Tuesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Knoxville – Marion Co. Fairgrounds – Leader Kendall Brown 641-799-0906

Oskaloosa – Vital Ministries Building – Leader Tony Howard 641-295-5666

Ottumwa – Country Kitchen – Leader Rod Bruner 641-660-8596

 

Wednesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Pella – The Well Resource Center – Leader Buck Kraft 641-780-1295

Thursday Nights 6:30-8:00

Newton – Bridgehouse Coffee Co. – Leader Jeremy Masterson 641-521-4031

New Sharon – First Christian Church – Leader Charlie McMillian 641-891-1206

Vital Ministries News

Ecclesiastes 3:2New Living Translation (NLT)

A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.

Harvest season is here. There will be combines rolling. The corn and the beans are ready to be harvested. The leaves on the trees are changing. Fall is here! This time of year is my most favorite. The air is crisp in the morning. The temperatures are moderating. It does not get any better in our state of Iowa.

With the fall comes our Vital Men’s start up season. We are back this coming week in 6 different locations. We are starting a new series called, Conquer – The Battle Plan For Purity. I am more excited and challenged by this series that in years past. It all starts next week. I have listed the nights, times, and locations so you can get plugged in.

Do not hesitate or be passive. Join us!

VITAL MEN

Tuesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Knoxville – Marion Co. Fairgrounds – Leader Kendall Brown 641-799-0906

Oskaloosa – Vital Ministries Building – Leader Tony Howard 641-295-5666

Ottumwa – Country Kitchen – Leader Rod Bruner 641-660-8596

 

Wednesday Nights 6:30-8:00

Pella – The Well Resource Center – Leader Buck Kraft 641-780-1295

 

Thursday Nights 6:30-8:00

Newton – Bridgehouse Coffee Co. – Leader Jeremy Masterson 641-521-4031

New Sharon – First Christian Church – Leader Charlie McMillian 641-891-1206

 

Strength and Courage 

Michael

 

The Mission

Luke 17:33 (NKJV) Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
 
On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of hearing former Army Ranger and author, Chuck Holden speak at the Vital Men Fall Kick off.
His message was enjoyable, but more importantly, inspired thought that had better lead to action.
After processing all he had to share, it brought to mind something that I wrote back in September of last year. Call it a mission statement. I would like to share it with you.
 
Today is the day. It’s been weighing heavily on me for the past several months. I’ve allowed my focus to drift from the Lord and my fire to temper. God decided, last night, that it was time to really start pulling on me. I found my little notebook. The notebook I write notes from scripture, sermon and prayers in, then realized I hadn’t noticed it was misplaced. I’ve been deeply reading scripture, devotions and Billy Graham literature with a renewed vigor. The book that Ben lent me gave me a new look at Graham’s life and ministry. It further illuminated his great strength and gifts, his incredible journey through life proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, I’ve glimpsed a great many of his failings, shortcomings and wrong turns. Throughout it all, the Lord was always there to catch him, to pull him back on course and Billy, sometimes slow, always heard his call. His life and fire for God is unbelievable. Now I know I’ll never be Billy Graham, but I want what he has. I want that life, peace, love and courage. I want to be the Scott Pace that the good Lord designed and expects. I want people to look on me and know that I’m different from others that they know, to see the work of Jesus Christ through my words and actions. I want people to say, “I want to know the life and love that he knows.” When God calls me home, when he punches my ticket, I want those I know and love to sing in joyous celebration. I want them to say, “Scott Pace was a man of God. He loved the Lord and the Lord loved him. He will be missed, but so many will see him again, because of God’s work through him”.
 
As, Chuck spoke, I couldn’t help but think about this mission statement I drafted nearly 1 year ago. God was using Chuck to direct me back to this pledge, this mission. He was a calling me to love, humility and obedience to God. This mission is one requiring death to self (Luke 17:33) and surrender to Jesus and the needs of others. It is a call for endurance and long suffering in anticipation for the mission reward (1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ). And… it’s a call to embrace it and count it all joy (James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials).
 
Chuck challenged us to think about what we would do with our remaining time on earth, to think about how we might be remembered. I’ve thought about it. I wrote about it 1 year ago. Now I will act upon it. Have a blessed weekend.fb_img_1474007384924
 
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,
Scott Pace

Burdens to Bear

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  Galatians 6:2

Every day we see opportunities to offer help to those in need.  Everything from taking a few seconds to hold the door for someone, offering to buy a meal for another, to stopping to see if you can help when a vehicle is stranded along the road.  Just yesterday morning, I saw a car stopped along the highway with a fellow looking under the front wheel.  If I had not been running late for an appointment, is there anything I could have done?  I have stopped several times before when I actually did have enough time to offer assistance, even if just a word of encouragement.    Inconvenient…sure, but worthwhile…yes, which is why I like to ask when able.  What about you?  Are there things you are willing to do for others and things you are not?  Have you ever given till it hurts?

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.  Deuteronomy 15:11

It has often been said, your priorities are revealed in where you spend your time and your money.  This shows where we give to what is valuable to us, good or bad.  Some of the greatest joys in my life have come from when I was challenged by God or others to give more than I was comfortable giving.  Some of the bigger regrets are from when I had a chance to give or help, but for whatever reason, held back in my words or actions.  We can rationalize most any behavior and feel justified, but God’s Spirit is always at work on us and challenging us to grow with each new opportunity.  Where is He wanting you to grow?

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.  Proverbs 3:27

What if someone in need doesn’t want our help?  Whether that is someone struggling with an addiction, a person you know with dementia or mental health issues, or just a stubborn minded friend who refuses to receive any help or listen to any good words of advice.  Maybe you know someone who has heard the Good News of Jesus, yet refuses to have anything to do with ‘religion’.  Your first reaction may be to just ‘give up’ on them, as you did your part and they want nothing to do with you.  But God often places these ‘difficult’ people in our lives to help us grow, to test the limits of our compassion, and to realize that no one is hopeless.  Keep them in your prayers and continue to show kindness even when you face opposition or anger. 

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.   Matthew 11:28-30

What about you?  Are you willing to accept help when you are struggling, or does pride hold you hostage and make you say ‘No, I can do it myself’ beyond all reason.  Whether that is help offered by a friend, or from God, who wants you to receive something better than that to which you are clinging.  Men, most of us think we are right in our own eyes, and hearing otherwise is always humbling.  In my experience, taking help offered by others often helps keep me humble and then I am also reminded of how I can help others as well.  We can try to do it all ourselves, but it is so much more rewarding when we can share the burden with others, just as Christ has done for us!

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.   And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Hebrews 13:15-16

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

What is worship

I have been reading in 1st and 2nd Kings.  Some kings did well and some really bad.  You would think that what made them a good kings was their ability to lead the nation, manage the economy, and keep God’s enemies at bay.  Not the case…   What made them successful in God’s eyes was their reaction to idols.  Some kings worshiped idols, some just allowed it.  These kings were considered to be sinful.  Then their were kings that led people to God to worship in God’s temple.  They prohibited worshiping of idols.  They were considered good kings.  Then there was the best of the kings.  They tore down the worship places for idols.  They burned them to never be used again.  

Then I had to ask what is an idol… Is it an image made of something?  If that is the case…  I have never worshiped an idol.  Doing some research I found an idol is now an image, but an idol is anything you like, love, or trust more than you like, love, and trust God.  Have there been things that I have liked, loved, or trusted more that God?  Yes.  I am guilt of idolatry.  I do not want to have an idol.  David was considered a great king of Israel, I think one of the reasons he was great was he prayed prayers like this:

Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Can you imagine inviting someone to search the inner most parts of your heart?  You would really have to like and trust them.  He goes a step further and invites searching the anxious thoughts.  A person who invites searching the broken places is a person who wants to please Jesus.  This is a person who wants to worship without being held back.  “Point out ANYTHING…”  What if we prayed this way?  What if we worshiped this way?  ANYTHING is complete trust.  It speaks a level of relationship he had with God.  You would only open up at that level when you knew they would handle your heart in a safe way.  “Lead me” is true humility because you recognize your need to be led and that you don’t have all the answers.  

Who do you let search your deepest thoughts?  Who is worthy to test your actions?  Who will you let into the offensive ways about you? Who is worthy to lead you to everlasting life?  This person is WORTHY of your worship!  They are the only one worthy to like, love, and trust more than any other.  

photo-1457630248828-ae1a83d48b79Worship is to lie prostrate in the dust.  I challenge you today to lay prostrate before the ONE who is WORTHY to know your deepest thoughts, test your actions, call out your offensive ways, and lead you to LIFE!  Worship is not a sound or a lyric, it certainly isn’t a song written in a certain time… Worship is to let Jesus be declared worthy of praise and following His lead.  

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

Listen to Mike Sereg on kBOE 104.9FM

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