Guy Talk

guy-talkThere’s been a lot of talk recently about how men talk about women when no one else is around. Call it locker room talk, bro code, or boys will be boys, but there seems to be a narrative building that its normal for men to speak about women in un-flattering terms. While this may be big news today, its not exactly anything new. Television and films have portrayed men as sitting around objectifying women for years, so much so that it seems like a given that whenever two or more men are gathered the conversation will rapidly turn south. Now, my focus today is not on calling out any individuals for their behavior. Rather, I want us to look at how God desires us as men to treat all the women we encounter in our lives. 

  1. Women are to be treated as family: Checkout 1 Timothy 5:2: Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. Women are not objects to be judged, critiqued, and lusted over, but are to be treated as we would our closest family members. While our society tends to tell us otherwise, God makes it clear that such talk and behavior is contrary to His plan. 
  2. Words Matter: In our hyper-connected world nothing seems to stay private and secretive for long. When we let our words fly about someone there is a strong chance they will hear about them, and the results can be devastating. I can’t even begin to relate the stories of immense pain I’ve heard from women who have been ridiculed by men. God never intended for our speech to inflict pain, but rather to lift others up. As Paul writes in Ephesians 4:29: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Men, lets start watching our every word so that only words we speak are those that uplift and bring honor to God and others.
  3. Honor Your Wife: As a man of God our first priority should is bringing honor God in all we do. But very close behind should be honoring our wife, whether they be a future spouse, our current wife, or a wife that has passed on. We need to constantly ask ourselves: “are my actions honoring my wife and our marriage?” Ephesians 5:25 sets the bar incredibly high in this regard: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Think about EVERY action of your daily life. Are your truly living your life in a way that models Christ-like love to your wife?

Men, its time we stand-up and destroy this caricature of manhood that the media has thrown at us. Let’s start modeling Biblical manhood for our world by treating women as family, using our words wisely, and honoring our wives in ALL that we do. 

Grit

Mark 14:36New Living Translation (NLT)

36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Grit is the ability to persevere over difficult times and for long periods of time. It is a relentless resolve to keep pursuing a desired goal and not giving up.

Jesus, the man who knew sorrows, prayed a prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was an incredible prayer. Jesus faced a horror that no natural man could face. He gave up his own life when he said, not my will, but your will be done. He took on a cross and moved relentlessly toward it with full determination. Never has more grit happened or been seen all for the sake of love.

Grit requires courage. It is the ability to manage fear of failure as we face adversity in our lives.

There is a quote by Teddy Roosevelt who describes grit this way: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds cold have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat, and blood; who strived valiantly; who errs; who comes again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spreads himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Galatians 6:10New Living Translation (NLT)

10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Opportunities come and go. It is the choices that we make in them that reveal the doors of life. One opportunity to do daily is doing good toward our fellow man. Sometimes it may be words of kindness and some may be acts of kindness. One is saying while the other is doing.

Allow the opportunities that God places in your life to show his glory through you. Sometimes visiting a person who is unable to leave their home is an act of kindness. It could also be a simple smile or ‘hello’. All opportunities of kindness are good.

Knowing Jesus bring opportunities. Do not allow regret over wasted opportunity to set in. Make the most of every opportunity now and seize the moment.

Coming Soon: Hockey Game – Road Trip to Des Moines to Watch the Des Moines Buccaneers Play the Youngstown Phantoms on the Ice

Date: December 17, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm

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Fruitful Affliction

Genesis 41:52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

I am studying Genesis, just finished with the  life of Joseph, and this verse really impacts me.  

Joseph lived a remarkable life.  Joseph was beset with evil by his brothers, sold into slavery, severed from his people and those he loved.  Who could have known what God’s plan was in all of this?  Joseph himself, was given a preview of the conclusion of things to come.  However, I get the sense that he didn’t connect the dots until his brothers came to him for grain.  

Joseph prospered, despite this unfair, unjust, vile treatment.  He was cast into a land that was not his.  Even worse, this was a land in which he was bound to servitude and his people are second class citizens.  

Throughout it all, we are given a sense that he held fast to his faith and obedience to the Lord.  As his reward, God elevates him to the 2nd highest position of the land.  He positions him to wield influence over influential people and save the lives of countless men, women and children.  

How reassuring is this illustration?  For me it illuminates the truth of God’s control.  Though we may not know why, how or to what ends we have been brought into the various positions and circumstances of our lives, God does.  He is in control.  He is working all things to His purpose and plan.  Can we let Him?  Can we be fruitful in the land of our affliction?  May God bless you all.  Take care

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

The Outer Limits

When I was growing up, I remember watching episodes of the Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, which were science fiction shows that tested the limits of the imagination.  Both series were interesting in that they explored the human condition and how our values and morals were tested in a variety of sometimes extreme scenarios.  We test the limits of our abilities as we grow from childhood into adulthood.  Our intellectual abilities are challenged in school, as we learn to read, and as we explore other areas of interest.  We challenge our physical limits through individual and team sports, and as we find a balance between working, eating and sleeping.  I have been putting in extra hours with some projects and have found the effects that limited and interrupted sleep have on my body, and the results are not good.  Hopefully, in every area of life, we come to understand what things are beneficial and what activities are detrimental to our overall health. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.  Proverbs 3:5-8

Kids like boundaries, though they would never admit to it.  They test the limits of what they can do, but they eventually want to know what is acceptable and what is not, and why.  As we grow from children into adults, we learn what is good and not good for us through our experiences or from listening to advice of someone wiser than us.  Maybe even as adults, we like to know where our boundaries are located, so we can function well within them.  Even if someone warns us that an activity may be bad for us, or cause us to get hurt, at some point we may challenge that assumption and find out through experience that they were right.  At some point, even with rules and boundaries, kids will have the freedom to make choices and face consequences as they leave home and become more independent. 

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

We even test the limits of God’s grace.  We always want salvation and more…a nice house, job, community, respect, and whatever else we may be chasing.  The more is that part of our heart that is reserved for God, but that often gets sold out to some other god.  We are challenged to grow in our faith as we are tested through different circumstances, trials, and challenges we face each day through life.  We make choices to either submit to God or to rebel against Him in little ways each day.  As we encounter difficulties in life, we are either compelled to turn toward God or away from him.  How do you react when things don’t go your way?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Corinthians 12:9

What are the limits of your abilities?  What happens when you reach the end of what you can do…where do you turn?   Whether physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual, we all encounter challenges in life and encounter the limits of what we can do on our own.  We can either run away and try to hide these limitations, or accept the challenge to grow from these experiences.  God wants us to grow more dependent on Him as we mature, even if we have the ability to ‘do it all by ourselves.’  What areas of your life do you still need to surrender to Him?  Take steps to do that today.

 

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

 

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