Everyday Miracles

It was recently the anniversary of one of my favorite historical events, the Miracle on Ice. In the 1980 Olympics the Soviet Union was the overwhelming favorite to win the gold, while even a top five finish was considered a stretch for the US. Calling that fateful semi-final game for ABC was Al Michaels, who had called only one hockey in his career heading into the Olympics. Michaels would become world famous for his call at the end of the game, exclaiming: “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Because of the absolute perfection of that line I’ve always wondered if Michaels had prepared it in advance, just in case the US pulled off the upset. Then I watched an interview where Michaels described the end of the game. Once the US took the lead he made the decision to not engage in any speculation, or to even imagine a possible US victory, but to fully engage himself with the action of the game. He gave his best to every moment, dutifully calling every pass, every check, every shot. Then, with five seconds left, the puck slid out into no man’s land, allowing Michaels the freedom to say something not related to the action. Michaels then seized the moment, extemporaneously coming up with perhaps the most famous call in sports history.

 

Many of us spend our lives waiting for big moments. We wait for a big promotion, a big break, an opportunity to go on a mission trip, or the opportunity to share our faith with a room full of people. We think that as long as we’re ready when the big moments come in life that’s enough. And, if the big moment never comes, well then that’s someone else’s fault. But what about the rest of life? You know, the other 99.9% of the time you spend on Earth. The Apostle Paul puts it like this:

 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1-2

 

We need to live our entire life as if we are on the grandest stage for God, because guess what friends, we are! Every day of our lives brings the opportunity to impact the world around us. It’s an opportunity to love our spouse, to encourage our children, to build-up a co-worker, to make a cashier smile, and to do an unsolicited good deed for someone in need. It’s a chance to live out our faith and to shine Christ’s light to a world covered in darkness. Like Al Michaels we need to be giving our best in each and every moment of our lives, not just sitting back and reserving our best for what we perceive to be big moments. Because, lets face it, that little moment where you offer encouragement and love to someone else may be an absolute miracle to them.

Quest

 

James 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Quest – The art or an instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search. An expedition undertaken in medieval romance by a knight in order to perform a prescribed feat.

I am looking forward to this week being on a Quest with 19 other Questors and 12 volunteers where we will be helping men who want to seek the heart of God and know that in his heart he will find manhood.

It is an opportunity to become a warrior hearted man. It is a time of discovering how to fight for your spouse or your potential spouse. It is a time of learning how to become a better father or father-to-be.

Since January of this year in Vital Men, we have been discussing ‘Destiny’. The men who are so challenged to take on this incredible adventure will find the key to their ‘Destiny’ by unlocking the passionate heart which has been placed in all men since the beginning of Adam.

I am so excited to be with two men whom have stepped into this challenge to go on their Quest. This year instead of being a Questor, I will be serving by praying with the men, talking with the men, and locking arms with the men.

As it says in Proverbs 27:17, ‘Iron sharpening iron; so one man sharpens another’. The sparks will be in the air as men adventure in pursuit of chasing after the Father. What a Quest to take on!

I am writing for all of you to start praying about going on a Quest. You can go to the Fellowship of the Sword website and get more information as to what Quest is all about. Be praying for us this week that we all pursue the passion that God placed inside each of us as we draw near to our Heavenly Father.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

 

Vital Ministries News

 

Proverbs 15:1 New International Version

15 A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.

 

Fine is the word for men when we talk with our wives. How was your day? Fine. How was supper tonight? Fine. How does this dress look on me? Fine. Yeah, we got fine down and figured out. The only problem is, it is only one word. She is wanting to talk with you.

There are all kinds of reasons why men do not hold on to good communication skills with their wives. I think for some of us, it is how many words that get spoken from our wives. What takes us a hundred words or less, takes our wives a thousand words or more. It is called details. Most men want the bottom line as opposed to women wanting details.

Men, in order to talk with our wives, it will take you to listen to all the details. It is important to our wives. That is how they talk. Listen in sometime to women as they talk. The words seem overwhelming, but they understand all the details.

In order to be a good husband, you will need to talk with your wife. She not only wants to talk with you, but she wants to you to talk and communicate with her. Let’s make talk Vital in our relationships with our wives.

 

New Teaching Series Coming!

 

Starting Marcy 28, we will begin a new series.

“Making Men”

Five Steps to Growing Up

by Chuck Holton

 

 

Get Ready to Be Apart of Something

Coming Soon: 100 Men On A Mission Red Rock

 

More Details Coming Soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Am I?

1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;   

Pastor Jeff Rabe and I were having lunch a couple weeks ago.  Jeff has become a good friend to me and I consider him one of my chosen circle of wise counsel.  As is often the case, our conversation revolved around bowhunting and, of course, Jesus.  He is, after all, a pastor.  Jeff has an uncanny ability to get me looking at things in a different light, pondering, praying and meditating on things that may have otherwise escaped my thoughts.  One of the things he said during this conversation really struck me.  “Until we know who we are ‘in Christ’, we will struggle with the peace Jesus has for us and will fall short of fulfilling our roles as provider, protector and priest of our family.”  Did you know in his writings of the bible, Paul uses the term “in Christ”  85 times?  Over the next few days this thought really resonated with me.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)  that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 

I am saved.  I have confessed with my mouth Jesus my Lord and savior and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the grave three days later.  I know this.  He knows this.  I am saved.  

Romans 12:5 (NKJV) so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  

Along with all other believers, I am a member of the body of Christ.  I am gifted in ways that others are not and not gifted in ways that others are, so that as a body we are equipped to handle all the work that Lord Jesus would have done.  

I am a sinner, from the beginning of my life to the day I die.  I will strive to overcome, but will fall short of the glory of God.  However, the bible says that’s ok.  Romans 8:1  (NKJV)  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  After all, I am saved and I am “in Christ”.  

My wife, mother, father and brothers will disagree, but the bible says, I’m a saint.  A saint is one who is in Christ and therefore denotes an intimate connection with God.  If you are in Christ, you too are a saint.

Ephesians 1:18  (NKJV)  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 2:19  (NKJV) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 

I am protected.  

1 Samuel 2:9 (NKJV) He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.   

Psalms 37:28  (NKJV) For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.   

I am confident.  Confident because the bible says, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Mark 9:23 (NKJV)

I could continue and continue.  My point is, who I am in Jesus Christ is endless, because He is endless.  I am changed and changing, being shaped into whomever He’d have me be.  I am a child of God.  I am loved, protected, comforted, strengthened.  I am bold, meek, confident and humble.  I am provider, protector and priest of my family.  I am new.  I am better.  I am His.  God bless you and have a great weekend IN CHRIST!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

By a Thread?

At almost any time of the day, we are only a moment away from disaster.   Whether it is a letter or phone call with bad news about our health, an accident, the unexpected death of a loved one, a broken relationship, becoming trapped by an addiction, losing our job, or any number of other things that may blindside us in life. If we lived in constant fear of what disaster might happen next, we would be imprisoned by our paranoia, so we most often live as if the next minute will turn out just fine, without a second thought as to how precarious we can be between life and death. Do you ever think about these things, or ever wonder ‘why am I still here’ with all that has happened in your life?

Lord, what are human beings that you care for them, mere mortals that you think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow. Psalm 144:3-4

When we are sidelined by something as common as the flu, or any number of other setbacks to our plans I would call ‘minor emergencies’, we are reminded in a gentle way that we are not always in control of what may happen next. Whether it is the weather in the form of a blizzard that shuts everything down, or a family emergency that makes us drop everything to help out someone in need, we are not without trials and setbacks in all areas of life. Most of us put on a good face and never acknowledge most of the trials and frustrations in our lives to everyone but those closest to us. We don’t want to give the appearance of being weak or not in control, but at times that is truly where we are.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.   Psalm 121:1-2

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:19

Most of us have had some close calls in life where it could have easily gone another way without much effort. Many have experienced a near miss while driving or an accident that easily could have taken your life. I remember when I was learning to ski and came down a hill way to fast, where I was just able to make a turn on the edge of control to keep from crashing into a bunch of trees. We all have a list of things that make us wonder what would have happened if things had gone just a little different.

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.   Psalm 54:4

When disaster hits, we see a variety of responses. We are reminded of amazing abilities to go above and beyond what we thought was possible with how emergency personnel and regular people responded during the attacks on 9-11-01. There are others who run away or shut down when they don’t know how else to respond. They may try to cover over their pain or medicate it in unhealthy ways. They may lash out and blame themselves, others, or God for their trials. We may also reach out toward a helping hand that we might not have otherwise noticed. How do you respond when reality hits? What have been your past reactions?

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:14-16

Let us look at these reminders in our lives to direct us to what is most important, and to use our time wisely. If you were told you had 5 days left to live, I’m sure you would find a new urgency to talk to some people and complete some tasks you have been putting off for too long. Live life with an appreciation and a heart of gratitude at all times, whether things are going your way or not. Be an encouragement and a source of strength to those in your life who are going through a difficult time. You don’t always have to have all the answers for everyone, but find a way to show that you care. Be generous with love, share truth found in the Gospel, and appreciate each day as if it were your last!

Yours in Christ,
Clark

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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