Vital Ministries News

 

Psalm 144:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

Of David.

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples under me.

 

We get the opportunity to unite under one evening and to praise our Lord in worship. We will eat at the table together as united men. We will participate in having the Word of the Lord. I realize that our meeting is February 1, and for those of us in Iowa, it is caucus night to show support for the next presidential leader for our country.

For those of you who are going to the caucus, we will be in prayer for you. For those of us who will be attending our Vital Men Quarterly, I ask you to bring someone. Bring a friend, brother, son, or grandfather. Let’s unite as warriors to strengthen and encourage one another in the name of the Lord.

 

Vital Men Quarterly Event

Monday, February 1, 2016

Newton Church of the Way, 2306 53rd Ave. East

Food Service Begins at 5:30

Food Cost $7.00

Worship and Teaching

Fellowship

Special Prizes: Best Arm Tattoo, Best Beard, Best Goatee, and Best Mustache

Strength and Courage

Mike

 

 

Marrow of a Man

Do you know what the word integrity means?  According to Merriam-Webster it means, “a firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility.”  My personal definition is, “integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”  You see, you may get away with wrong doing because no man is present or privy to it, but you can’t hide it from God’s scope.  So, when you stand resolute and refuse to compromise your integrity, knowing that you can get away with it, you’re honoring God.  Now it may only be Him and you who know it, but that’s all that matters.  

In my opinion, integrity is the marrow of a man.  It is a gift from God, even in an unbelieving man.  All good things are from God.  Our conscience, sense of right and wrong, fairplay and justice come from God.

On Monday, I had the opportunity to witness the epitome of integrity.  By mistake, I had significantly under priced a target sight to my friend and customer Chad Andrew.  He caught the mistake and brought it to my attention.  I would not have caught it and he could have easily capitalized, but didn’t.  That, my friends, is integrity.  It was my mistake, but Chad’s firm adherence to a code of especially moral values, would not allow him to dishonor himself or God.  

Think about yourself.  How often through your day to day life do you find yourself compromising your integrity.  There’s a number of reasons for it.  It is often times easier to just go with the flow.  We want a certain outcome and justify it with “I deserve it, no one will know, I’m not really hurting anyone” and on and on.  

The bible has a great deal to say on integrity.  Here are a few examples that will help bring the lesson home.  

Proverbs 10:9 (NKJV)  He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.

Proverbs 11:3 (NKJV)  The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

Job 31:6 (NKJV)  Let me be weighed on honest scales, That God may know my integrity.

Psalms 7:8 (NKJV)  The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.

There’s no escaping the ramifications of compromising our integrity.  Likewise, there is no denying the rewards for honoring and glorifying God through the maintenance of our integrity.  Our convictions should permeate every facet of our lives.  It should be ever present in our thoughts, words, actions, the reading and teaching of scripture, evrything.  We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ for as long as we reside on this earth.  Our integrity directly impacts our witness to the world and consequently how the world sees Jesus Christ.  I have been studying Titus this week and in it Paul is expressing to Titus what should be taught to the churches while he is in Crete.  Titus 2:7 (NKJV)  states, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility”.  In this verse the bible is telling us to be consistent in action and belief, to hold reverently to scripture, and to not corrupt His word for our own gain, thus damaging Him and our witness to the world.  Paul follows this up in verse 8 by saying,“sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”

Integrity, the marrow of a man.  If you seek God’s heart and want to be an effective witness to God’s glory, you have to be willing and disciplined in the maintenance of this marrow!  God Bless You All.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

In Your Anger…

 

What ticks you off? Is it the crazy fast or slow drivers that seem to surround you on the road? When someone doesn’t appreciate or tries to take credit for the work that you do?  The words that come from your least favorite political candidates? When your words or actions are taken the wrong way? The list of what seems to upset people anymore can include almost anything. Just turn on the news and you can listen to hours of discussion and arguments over what anyone did or said. The world is full of people who love to chime in with their opinion, solicited or not, about what they think of others, which often offends a whole new segment of the population. This is especially noted with comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other internet discussion forums. We have always been able to say things to offend others, now we can do it in a greater variety of ways. Blessings and Curses are now possible with the touch of a button.

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

A few days ago, I had several things happen within about 30 minutes that elevated my frustration level from normal to nuts and made me act in ways that I later regretted. I was trying to get several things done within a short time when I got a phone call from a person upset at me for something they failed to do. Afterward, I was trying to help my dad with some things and started a load of laundry, then found I needed more water pressure in another part of the house.  I ran back, hit the shut off button on the washer, and finished my other project. When I returned, I found the water would not fill on the washer, and in fact, nothing worked. I later looked it over and tried for 30 minutes to figure out what was up, but concluded I must have broken something when hitting the shut off button earlier when frustrated. In hindsight, taking a few more seconds to do things calmly, may have saved me a couple hours of effort and a working washing machine. Maybe this is just a reminder from God, that my words and actions have consequences, and better a washer than a human damaged as a result. Have you ever used a little more force than you should when angry and ended up with more things broken than necessary? Or maybe the family pet was in the way or someone else was on the receiving end of harsh words when you were upset. We all know things can escalate quickly if we let them. How do we avoid getting to that point or beyond?

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

If you have been married for more than one year, or in fact, if you have had any relationship that has lasted through the years, one of the likely components of your relationship is that you are not easily angered by the other person. If you are offended in some way, you at least must be willing to forgive them regularly. Unforgiveness in any relationship drives a huge wedge between you and eventually drives you apart. Unforgiveness brings up past hurts and offenses and uses them to justify retaliation and other hurtful actions. How easy is it for us to retaliate with harsh words and actions when we feel slighted, even by our spouse? Be quick to forgive, just as we have been forgiven, and avoid going down a road you will later regret.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.   Matthew 5:43-45

So, with all the opportunities to be upset and angered that we face each day, what is our response? The world usually says you are justified with equally harsh words or actions. An eye for an eye is not justification for retaliation, but is a reminder not to respond with twice the insult given. Christ reminds us that murder starts with growing anger in our hearts. We ought to recognize the early signs of this and be quick to forgive, before things get out of hand and we act out in ways that we will later regret. How about when you see others escalating an argument, is our role to play mediator or to help resolve the conflict? Sometimes helping others work out an issue instead of yelling at each other takes much work and patience, especially when everyone wants you to take their side, but tempering anger is usually better for everyone involved when all is said and done. Find a way, each day, to keep anger at bay.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

What is a “Man’s Man?” Part 2

This last week, I met with my senior pastor.  This does not happen often, so when I come I come prepared with questions.  Since I have been at this church, I am so honored by the men who make up our Directional Leadership Team.  Their respect and unity among them is incredible.  I have seen them disagree behind closed door and so love the way they treat each other.  They are not perfect men but I want to be like them in 15-20 years.

1 Corinthians 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

Those are quite the words.  There is such a level of responsibility in them.  I asked my pastor how he created this culture of honor among his men. Here is what he said:

  1. Clothe yourself in humility. 

Humility is choosing to be known for who you really are, nothing more and nothing less.  He said he often reminds himself of how he needs insight and direction that he doesn’t have on his own. Recognizing our need for wisdom is key for being clothed in humility, especially our need for God’s wisdom. 

Proverbs 15:33 Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.

Do you work with people?  Then you need wisdom. Are you married? Then you need wisdom.  Do you parent a teenager? You really need wisdom. Do you really believe God’s wisdom is best?  Do your choices reflect that?

2. Honor Other Peoples Strengths and Weaknesses

You are incredibly gifted!  However you do not posses all gifting. Nor can you develop all gifting!  I will never be able to sing.  I sing like a dying dog.  I will never be invited to sing on a worship team.  My pastor shared how he intentionally surrounds himself with people who shore up his weaknesses.  He said he is not good with detail and feels constrained in structures.  So he puts two men around him who are amazing with details and creates healthy structures.  He says then comes the hard part, He has to stay out of the detail and structure.  He says when he micromanages them, he is not honoring their strengths.  So where are you weak?  Financially? Marriage? Parenting? Business? Friendship? Something at work?  Who is great at it that could help you in your journey?

3. Be Vulnerable

He says vulnerability is your willingness to admit where you are and how you need led.  He shared how he chooses to be under authority and that there are people in his life that can tell him “no.”  Who can tell you no?  Who knows your brokenness?  A mentor of mine once told me that I am only as strong as the men in my corner who can and has the courage to tell me “NO” and I would follow. Who is in your corner like that?

So are you clothed in humility?  Do you value the strengths and weaknesses of others?  Who are you vulnerable with?  These are marking of a real “man’s man.”

Go Be Vital

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Pressing Stop

I read an article recently about the downfall of Target in Canada. In 2013 Target decided to enter Canada for the first time, opening 133 new stores in its first year. Moving into Canada seemed like a brilliant move. Many Canadians were already familiar with Target, and made stopping at Target a major part of any trip to the US. All indicators were that Target’s expansion into Canada would be a run away success. Yet, from the beginning, the Canadian expansion was a disaster. All of Target’s ordering, sales, and re-stocking are managed by computer software that has served them well in the United States. Canada, however, differs from the US in its use of the Canadian dollar, French and English, and the metric system. Those responsible for Target’s data entry often forgot about these differences, leading to errors in 70% of their initial product orders (mostly related to entering sizes in inches rather then centimeters). This led to major mistakes in the ordering of products, and most Target’s opened with half-empty shelves. To make things worse, store shelves never seemed to get re-stocked. Target soon discovered that its ordering clerks, who needed to keep the shelves 97% full to receive positive evaluations, had turned off the software function that reported empty shelves. While this assured them of a 100% success rate, it also meant that Target HQ was never informed that stores were out of products. Less then two years from opening Target Canada went out of business, closing 133 stores, laying off 17,600 employees, and losing over $2 billion.

 

As I read this story I was amazed that there was never a point in which someone said “stop!” Instead of opening stores with a known problem in their supply chain Target should have postponed openings for one or two months to ensure all their data problems were fixed. When things do not go as we like in life we tend to simply trudge on like Target Canada, no matter how bad things may be. We soon become so stressed and overwhelmed that we have no idea what to do next. When you start feeling overwhelmed in life take Jesus’ advice in Matthew 11:28-29: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. All of us need to take time to stop whatever we are doing in life to simply spend time with God. We need to take time to speak with Him, listen to Him, and let his love flow over us. Even if this is for only 10 minutes during your crazy day take the time to let God re-charge you. Don’t try to do everything on your own, especially when things start going wrong. Press stop and let God’s love and grace help push you through the trials of your life.

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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