Raising A Champion

watching-with-dad-1510745-1278x848One of the things I love about watching the Olympics is hearing the backstories about the athletes. Not only have most athletes gone through great adversity and sacrifice, but so have their parents. A Forbes study showed that it costs an average of $15,000 for 5-8 years to put a young woman in a position to possibly qualify for the Olympics. The mother of 2012 gold medalist Gabby Douglas spent so much money funding her daughter’s training that she was forced in bankruptcy. Many families end up moving to be closer to certain training centers, and some athletes leave home as teenagers to train full time {Gabby Douglas famously moved to Des Moines at age 14 to live with a host family.}. I’ve even read stories where parents have quit their jobs to follow their children’s athletic pursuits full-time. Even participating in traveling teams at the youth level, considered a necessity to have a chance at even playing at the high school level, can cost thousands of dollars and wipe out many weekends. In short, behind most successful athletes are parents sacrificing money, time, and energy to ensure their success.

 

Don’t take any of the above as an indictment of raising athletes. As an athlete myself I fully understand the importance of athletics and the positives they can have on your life. I am also very thankful for the sacrifices my parents made to support my participation in sports and other competitive activities. But, more important then the energy they put into competitive success was the time and energy they put into raising me as a disciple of Christ. From an early age my parents taught me how to pray, read me Bible stories, involved me in church, helped me memorize scripture, modeled the life of a disciple, and provided me with numerous tools to grow in my faith. I remember getting into Christian music because my parents would buy me Christian CD’s, but I had to buy the secular ones on my own. That may sound silly, but it ended up having a big impact on my life.

 

Spending energy on raising our children to be disciples is not just something we should do, its something we are commanded to do. As Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4: Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This is not something we are to leave up to our church or to chance, but a duty that has been assigned to us as fathers. Just as it takes substantial work to raise a champion athlete, it takes a major effort to raise a disciple of Christ in our growingly secular world. As dad’s lets start owning our responsibility. Let’s model faith to our children, pray with and for them, helping them get into the word, and provide them the opportunities and resources to grow into disciples and leaders. Let’s do whatever we can to raise a generation of champions for Christ.

How Will They Know That I Am A Man?

Romans 15:7New Living Translation (NLT)

Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Identity or especially the lack of it continues to grow not only in our country, but among men. Go to a mall or an event and you can see this misconnection men have in what real men are.

Look at the man who walks showing his back side with his drawers at the bottom of the behind while holding the belt buckle so they will not fall off and wearing a straight brimmed hat with the stickers still on them.

How about the guy walking in a tank showing off his latest tat with biceps bigger than a man’s thigh showing that manliness is about exaggerated strength.

There is the man who has jeans so tight that if he bends over, he will surely blow them out.

I have mine too with the Harley Davidson disease where I want the fastest and most unique bike to give me identity.

Sorry men, none of this works.

As I have read the book, Making Men by Chuck Holton, it clearly shows that our identity cannot and will not come from outside looks. In his outline of Five Stages to Growing Up, you will find key answers to knowing who we are as men.

I am so looking forward to September 14 when Chuck Holton will be our main speaker. This man is a hidden treasure. He was a man in the military, an army ranger. He takes those perspectives along with the Bible and portrays true manliness. 

Make sure you attend the September 14 Vital Men Night. It will be a great evening, so do not miss the moment.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Corporate Prayer for Peace

1 Timothy 2:1-4New Living Translation (NLT)

Instructions about Worship

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

The primary activity of believers is meeting together in fellowship and to minister to the Lord in prayer. Prayer should be given on behalf of all people. As believers, our primary responsibility is to pray for the government of our nation. We are to ask God that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and reverence. The government we live under affects the life we lead. We are to ask that our government will achieve conditions in which we who are under the government may lead a quiet and peaceful life. We are to lead a life in all godliness and reverence. We must pray that our government will do its job well and properly. We are to pray for a good government. The basic purpose of our Constitution that was put together by our founding fathers was to create a country where people could lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and reverence. God approves of good government. God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God wants the truth of the Gospel proclaimed to everyone everywhere. We know that good government is the will of God because it helps the preaching of the Gospel, and that is the primary purpose of God for our world. What goes on is not beyond our control. We must grasp the limitless possibilities of prayer and praying according to God’s will that is revealed in his Word. Pray for the government.

Matthew 18:19-20New Living Translation (NLT)

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

When two or more are lead together by the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, they can count on His presence. If we are in different places praying in solitary, our prayers still come up before the Lord’s presence as one corporate voice as we pray His will and in His name. Pray 1 Timothy 2:1-4 as a corporate prayer for peace.

Vital Ministries News

Matthew 22:37New Living Translation (NLT)

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

At Vital Ministries we believe it is vital to have Christ in your heart and know he is your Savior. When Vital Men was first birthed, another man and I sat down and discussed what it meant to live a Vital Life.

Have you ever taken the time to see what is most important in your life? As men, we usually do not take the time. We are too busy conquering, building, or living like the masses – ordinary.

The words that Jesus spoke was to love God with everything that is within you. These are red letter statements in the Bible. These are His Words, so pay attention! That is how they speak to me.

So how is it playing out? I life busy and full? Is there no time read or pray? You cannot expect to live red letter living if you do not read the red letter verses. This is something to chew on in your busy living.

Fall Kick Off – September 14 – Put it on your calendar!! – Featured Speaker Chuck Holton. Chuck wrote the book, Making Men. It will be an amazing night!! Go to vitalministries.org for more details.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Mind Your Heading and Look Back Often

When I started hunting in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains, I had a topographic map and a compass. They served me well for the most part. I seldom found myself wondering where I was, where I was going or how to get back.  

In 2004, while hunting elk in the Bitterroots of western Montana, I learned a valuable lesson that I will never forget.  We got on some bugling bulls that where working down the back side of a ridge in heavy dark timber.  I was fixated on the thundering screams and with laser beam focus pursued.  We traveled quite a ways before admitting defeat.  The bulls were just too fast and stayed well ahead of us.  At that moment, I turned around to look for the return route and nothing looked familiar.  I looked at my compass, but what good was it.  It could tell me what direction I was facing, but not where I had been.  I hadn’t been checking my heading on my compass, nor had I been pausing for a look back at where I had been.  A shudder of panic fell upon me.  Where am I and how do I get back?!!!  

This situation could easily have turned dire, fortunately, my best friend Derin had been watching his compass heading and making periodic looks back.  He knew where we were, where we’d been and how to get back.  

Lesson learned.  From that point on, I have made an intentional effort to mind my heading and to look back often at where I had been.

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Navigating unfamiliar territory in the wilds is not unlike navigating life.  We are continually heading into unfamiliar territory.  I have been spending a good deal of time reading from the Old Testament lately. Looking back, so to speak.  I have been studying the history of God’s children, our history, where we’ve been, what we’ve done and the results of those choices.

II Chronicles 30:7-9 (NKJV)  And do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brethren and your children will be treated with compassion by those who lead them captive, so that they may come back to this land; for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn His face from you if you return to Him.”

This study has led me to personal reflection, as well.  Where have I been?  What have I done?  Where am I headed?  Have I been watching my heading?  Should I get off track, could I find my way back?  What does that path look like?

So often, we allow ourselves to be so focused on what lies ahead, we forget to look back at where we’ve been.  How can you confidently know if you are on the right course?  

As a society and as individuals, it is vital that we not loose sight of our back trail.  History repeats.  We need to know our history, so that we can strive to repeat the positive.  

In this era of GPS the navigation has gotten a bit easier, but I still rely heavily on my map and compass.  I keep an eye on my heading and look back often.  God’s word is our map and compass in life.  Watch your heading, look back often and try not to get lost in the wilderness.  God bless you all and have a great weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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