4 Kinds of People (Part 1)

I went to several parties in High School.  They were your typical high school parties with a lot of craziness and little accountability. I thought I could handle it without doing anything stupid. I heard adults say it was a bad idea, but in my mind I was smarter than them. Now God has made me a youth pastor, I love the irony.  

Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom and what it means to walk in wisdom.  There are 4 kinds people talked about the most.  There is the simple, the fool, the mocker, and the wise.  Today we are going to talk only about the first two.

The Simple

The simple person is someone who lacks experience.  There is nothing wrong with them, they are just simple.  Their perspective of how the world works and what wisdom really looks like is limited to their personal experience.  They have not yet learned to trust what other peoples experiences have shown them. Taylor Swift says it best, “when your 15 and someone tells you they love you, your going to believe them.”

Some phrases of the simple: “Nothing is going to happen.”  I am sure you have never used this line, maybe it is just me.  Wisdom does not come natural at this phase of life.  How many of us have stories we wish we didn’t have because we have said this.  Another phrase is “I can handle it” So many men I know have addictions and worse stories as a result of this attitude. The older we get we don’t say this out loud, we just think it and do it anyway. Or “Your Overreacting.”  How many times have we said or thought this to our wives, bosses, pastors, or God?  We make little of things that are not big deals yet, but we all know how it ends.

The cure for the simple is time and applying wisdom learned from others.   So where are you walking with a simple mindset and refusing to walk in wisdom?

The Fool

The fool knows wisdom but doesn’t care. Their attitude is “I don’t give a ________” Depending on who you hang out with determines how they fill in that blank. 

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.
Proverbs 10:23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes,

Fools don’t learn from their mistakes and they find pleasure in their defying wisdom!  They do not have their best interest in mind.  Now if you are friends with a fool…

Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

The fool gets people hurt.  They do not care about the consequences of their decisions. They do not care about their body of their future. They get people and themselves hurt. 

Where are you walking as a fool?  You know the road you are on ends bad, but you do it anyway.  You know you need to bring something to the light but fear holds you captive.

The cure for the fool is tragedy.  They will eventually suffer harm. So where do you have a “I don’t care attitude?”  Where do you need to seek wisdom?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Serve Like Jesus

So, it was my birthday this weekend. Woo-hoo. Since I was about ten I have not cared about my birthday. Sure, I’ll gladly accept your well wishes and gifts, but the day honestly has little meaning to me. Now, I’m totally not judging anyone who makes their birthday a big deal, it’s just not something that excites me. This year my birthday landed on a Sunday, which tends to be a busy day for someone in ministry. On top of my normal Sunday responsibilities my wife was singing in praise band and our five-year old had a 103-degree temperature. This led to me constantly shuffling between church duties, my sick son, and trying to prepare lunch. Of course, when I went to start lunch none of the dishes had been done from the night before, so I first had to do dishes {which, of course, I did without muttering anything derogatory under my breath!}. Then my son spilled all over the floor, leading to a substantial cleanup project. My well-planned afternoon birthday bike ride was ruined by hurricane force winds, and my son’s sickness torpedoed the one thing I had really wanted for my birthday: a family dinner at a favorite restaurant. At around 6PM I found myself frantically searching our cupboards for ingredients to somehow make my own birthday dinner. The following thought then came into my head: “all I’ve done all day is serve others. It’s my birthday for crying out loud! When are they going to serve me!”

 

Soon after that thought came into my mind I was reminded of this verse: the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many Matthew 20:28. Yep, not a very Christ-like thought I had just had! Now, when we hear the term Christ-like we usually think of moral perfection {i.e. not committing sins}. Yet, moral perfection is only part of what it means to live like Christ. At the core of Jesus’s teaching, ministry, and mission on earth was serving others. Think about who Jesus is. Jesus is the creator and ruler of the universe who chooses to take on the wretched flesh of humanity to serve us. Christ serves us not only by his teaching and ministry, but by His sacrificial death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. I want to offer this thought today: to live like Christ is to always be living as a servant. It means putting yourself aside {even on your Birthday} to improve the lives of others. It means joyfully serving, even when it means sacrificing your own wants and desires. It means holding serving others as a core value. Does that describe you? It certainly does not always describe me, but it does describe who I want to strive to be. This week, lets all strive to be more Christ like as we actively serve others.

4 Weeks

 Acts 10:38 New International Version (NIV)

38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

 

What if you knew that you only had 4 weeks to live? Would you quit your job? Would you take a trip? Maybe you would take 4 weeks and spend with family and friends. Have you ever wondered what Jesus did his last 4 weeks?

I went on a search to find out that question. The only thing I could find is that his ministry lasted 3 to 3 1/2 years. We also know from Scripture his final week from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Day, ‘Easter’. Not much is said about his final month.

We do know that because of his relationship with the Heavenly Father that he knew his time was about out. Yet, from Scripture in Acts 10:38, we know that he continued going about doing good.

Jesus did not allow his final 4 weeks to be about him. Full of the Holy Spirit, he went about healing and helping those who were oppressed by the devil. He did not miss a step. He lived life on earth to the fullest doing the will of the Father.

This challenges me to do life as well. If it is 4 weeks, 4 months, or 4 years, what does it matter. I am called to do the will of the Father in my life, and the same Holy Spirit who filled Jesus can and does fill us.

I believe, men, if we would only tap the power of the Holy Spirit and do the Father’s will, we would see even more victories, healings, and captives set free. Jesus never quit and neither should we.

Stay the course, men, and live life to its fullest.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

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1 Peter 3:7 New International Version (NIV)

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

 

Have you ever wondered why wives stop talking? Our wives like to communicate with us. Women converse with us in a communication called, ‘rapport-talk’. It is relationship oriented, emotionally expressive, and engaging. When you come home from work and your wife says, “How was your day?” She is attempting to ‘rapport-talk’ with you.

Men, I assure you if your wife is not talking, that is not always a good thing. They want to engage in communication by hearing the heart or soul strings. When we actively listen to our wives, we are communicating we value her. By listening, we communicate a desire for partnership.

Let’s listen to our wives in an understanding way. A good husband who listens, communicates verbally and nonverbally that ‘You are worth hearing’.

Fellowship of the Sword

 

Remember the men who are ‘Questing’ at Fellowship of the Sword.

March 6-11

We pray that their time with the Father brings openness to their hearts.

 

 

 

No Vital Men during Easter Week, March 21-25.

 

We are encouraging men to participate in the Church as we observe Holy Week and recognize what Jesus endured the final week that lead to the cross of his death and life in his resurrection.

 

 

Exciting times ahead, men. I pray that our Father will give you strength and courage in the journey.

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeding Back

Galatians 6:6 (NKJV) Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

Throughout my walk as a Christian, I have been blessed by being fed into by a number of sources.  These sources include, but are not limited to pastors, friends, family, study partners, fellow church members, radio, books, television and internet.  I draw strength from these interactions that God uses to feed my soul and draw me closer to Him and other believers.  

This past week, prompted by Ron’s comment about last week’s post and subsequent conversations, Galatians 6:6 came to my attention.  I believe the primary intent of this verse is to bring believers to the understanding that our pastors and missionaries, those who teach us, feed us spiritually, need to be physically and financially supported by us and the blessings we receive through God’s good graces.  “Share in all good things”, so I am glad to do my part, so that they can continue in theirs.  

After further meditation and deliberation on this verse, I’ve come to an additional expectation.  I believe that God is telling us that we should also share the spiritual fruits with those who teach and influence us.  I believe, all too often, we take the contributions others make in our spiritual development for granted.  Take, for example, your pastor, bible study or men’s group leader, your christian counsels, your friends.  I guarantee we each have people whom we lean on, have pour into us, selflessly giving of themselves, their time and energy to guide, nurture and develop us.  They do so out of love for us and love and obedience for the Lord.  Their reward for this service knows no bounds, but does often times come at a personal price to them.  

Far too often, those performing such service don’t get to see God’s work through them come to fruition.  Now in most instances, we can allow faith to intercede and be encouraged that since we are being obedient, serving others as God would have, “… that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  However, we are human beings, fallible and imperfect.  It is possible and perhaps even likely, those who pour so much into others could slide into complacency, depression, callousness and even cynicism when they aren’t receiving confirmation and affirmation that their efforts are bearing fruit.  We assume that they know, but we need to assume that they don’t.

 They are feeding us, isn’t only right that we feed them back?!  The people who pour into you, guide you, care for you, need to know that the service they do for you, the work they do for God is achieving a purpose.  FEED THEM BACK!

I want to encourage everyone reading this to think about people who have and are feeding into you.  You need to call them, stop by, text them, make them a card, track them down if you’ve lost touch and tell them how much their energy, friendship, advice, teaching, admonition or guidance has meant to you.  Share with them the specifics, the victories, how your life has changed, you’ve changed other lives because of the work they did with you.  This will be your gift, your feeding back into them.  

Sixteen years ago, I met a pastor on the campus of ISU.  His name is Russ Denstorff.  He was my Paul.  He poured into me like no one before.  He studied scripture with me.  To this day, I try to study like he taught.  He took me to church, guided me, played baseball with me, admonished me, got me looking toward God for the first true time in my life.  I was a punk, a disappointment, a terrible let down.  I left ISU the following spring.  I lost track of Russ and God.  I returned to God in 2010.  Had it not been for the seed Russ planted in 1999, I’m not sure I would have.  Last summer, God placed a burden on my heart.  Find Russ He said.  After a few hours of research, I did.  I called him.  It took a moment, but he began to remember.  I apologized for all the stress I caused him, but wanted to share with him the fruition of all the work he poured into me.  He was my Paul.  Russ had been struggling through an number of those years.  He needed to know what God did for me through him.  His work was bearing fruit.  

Don’t let the Pauls in your life have to go 16 years without knowing what they mean to you.  Call them, meet with them, share with them and in doing so, you can start feeding them back!  God Bless you all and your Pauls!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

 

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