Vital Ministries News

Vital Men Bikers

Spring is all but here and summer is on the way, so do not miss our kick-off ride for Vital Men Only. This coming June 2, 3, and 4. We will be traveling through northern Iowa to Duluth.

Our second day we will stop at Duluth Harley-Davidson Sport Center on Highway 53. We will then travel north on beautiful Highway 61 along Lake Superior. Then we will start our adventure back to Iowa.

This is a trip with guaranteed beautiful country, great opportunity to hang out with other brothers, and as it says in Proverbs 27:17, we will sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another.

It is a great time to bring another man who has never been a part of Vital Men and see that chasing the Father is a real adventure of life. Keep checking the Vital Ministries Web Page for upcoming news in our Vital Men Biker Trip.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Plant It, You Were

I Corinthians 3:6-9 (NKJV) I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

While having breakfast with a friend last week, he made a statement that has been resonating with me ever since.  He said, “you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.”  What a profound truth.

It got me thinking about my responsibility in working to the growth of God’s orchard.  Every apple tree came from a seed, that came from an apple, that came from another tree, that started as a seed from another apple.  

I was an apple seed from a mature fruit bearing tree.  Many apples were ripened, dropped, and their seeds dispersed without production.  Fortunately, it just takes one and God wouldn’t give up on me.  He had the right seed picked out, the ground necessary for it to land and the time chosen for proper germination.  You could count the seeds in the apple from which my new life sprang, but you or I can’t count the apples that will come from the seed that was planted. 

As we grow into mature fruit bearing trees, we are expected to cast our seeds to the ground in hopes that they too find fertile soil, take root and continue the cycle.  Our lives will cycle through seasons, God expecting us to bear more fruit and disperse yet more seeds.

We don’t know how many apples are in each one of the seeds that we produce.  Our duty is to produce them and disperse them, with the faith and understanding that God will bring up the ones that He chooses.  

As you go through your day, engage ceaselessly with God, find quiet time to be with Him, draw close, pursue His heart so that you may be increasingly aware of when He desires a seed to be dropped.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

 

On Time

I hate being late.  When I am late for a meeting or appointment, it’s like I am saying ‘my time is more important than your time.’  Usually everyone gets done what they need to do and life goes on, but I still don’t like making people wait on me.  When I was in college, I spent a lot of time with several friends from a variety of countries, and they often used the term ‘International Time’ to refer to people showing up late, or things starting later than planned.  It was often expected, and most everyone was forgiving of others when it happened, as it was also part of many cultures.  In America, when we are late, we often tend to miss out on things, even relationships.  How valuable is your time?

Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures;  yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.  Psalm 90:10

There are a lot of books and movies about time travel, most of which fall into the realm of science fiction, because aside from subatomic particles, the ability to transcend time has not been provable by science yet.  Often, they explore the implications of what we would do if we could travel back in time and how it would change our future and the world.  Shows like Dr. Who, Back to the Future, and others make for good stories because of how easy it is to jump into a machine and transcend the barriers of time and space we live within now.  Have you ever imagined what Heaven will be like, or whether or not the One who created space, time, and the universe has the ability to transcend these things?

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”  Luke 18:27

All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:6,8

Time is the universal equalizer for everyone, young old, rich or poor.  It is the one thing we cannot change, buy more of, hoard, or give away.  How much time have you ‘wasted’ in your life?  Maybe you have spent hours pursuing endeavors or hobbies, or even work that in the end seemed meaningless or empty.  Unless you learned something from your mistakes, or failures, it may seem like it was wasted.  How about when you were young and in school and you had ‘free’ weekends without an agenda or care in the world.  Were those wasted, or do you still long for an occasional day like this again?  How do you make your time count now when you have a day off?  Do you try to get caught up on things, truly rest,  or do you use it for other purposes?  Are you really free to choose?

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

So, whether you have just a half an hour break from your labors today, or you have weeks of ‘free’ time in your retirement, how do you make whatever time you have left count for something other than your own selfish endeavors?  Is giving your time for others really more valuable than doing nothing, or just doing what you want?  I would propose it is almost always more rewarding when you can give of your time to a friend, brother, child, or stranger to benefit them in some way.  It is important to find a balance.  Do not burn yourself out if you are giving of yourself all the time.  In the same way, do not close yourself off from everyone and waste away.  Find what is best with your time for God’s kingdom and rejoice in the ability to be a part of it!

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  Acts 1:7

Strength and Courage in Christ,
Clark

Varsity You

As a student pastor in a wealthy suburban Kansas City culture, I am never sure how to dress.  In high school, I wore sweat pants, gym shorts and t-shirts.  The culture of rural Iowa and where I am now are very different.  I am 31 and work with teenagers and I want to look relevant but not 18 and I do not know how to do it.  Then I look at the people I aspire to be like and I am even more confused in how to dress.  THE STRUGGLE IS REAL.  Do I really want to dress like someone else?

I have tried to preach like other people and it goes really bad for me.  Here is what I have learned… Be the Varsity me verses the JV them!  In teenage world and in the adult world it all seems the same, people pretend to be someone they are not.  Often they do not really even like the person they are trying to become.  In the Bible, there was only one Moses, one Abraham, one David, one Elijah, and one Peter.  The circumstances and calling which walk hand and hand were so different.  God only needed one Moses because the leader Joshua had a very different assignment.  

annie-spratt-96529.jpgI believe the reason we are tempted to be someone we are not is because of envy.  We look at our gifts and compare them to someones.  That comparison causes insecurity or worse.  I look at some preachers that I aspire to be like and when I compare I never feel good about me.  However, they have been preaching 10 years plus more than me. I hope I am a better preacher in 10 years than I am today. 

Psalm 139:13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
   and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
    They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
    they outnumber the grains of sand!

This what God thinks about you and the specific gifts He designed you with.  A specific knitting together, a specific set of gifts, and a specific plan was laid out for you.  God only does varsity level gifts!  

So who do you compare or try to be?  Are trying to be a varsity you or a jv them?  Go to Jesus today and let Him share His thoughts toward you! Ask Him how He made you to be and go do that!

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Mr. Nice Guy

Matthew 24:13New International Version (NIV)

13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

The meaning of the word nice is as unreliable as the people it describes. Today, it is synonymous with words like pleasant and agreeable. It is also meant for effeminate, unmanly, cannot endure much, dainty, reluctant, ignorant, and difficult to please.

You might asking yourself, where are you going with this Mr. Nice Guy stuff? We find a fork in the road today as Christian men. If we are unfailingly what they call pleasant, agreeable, and carry the posture of a man who has impeccable manners, we are considered being Mr. Nice?

Often we find these kind of men to simply be posers at church or in front of people. Behind closed doors in their homes, they are secretive and manipulators. Harsh words for the description of being Mr. Nice Guy.

We have lost the true meaning of what it means to be a man and especially a man of God. We fight the 21st century as being called metrosexual, being passive, living a life hidden from adventure, and not living life to the fullest.

Here is a good quote by R.C. Sprouls who says, “When I became a Christian, I understood that Jesus took my sin away. What I never heard from Him was that He intended to take away my backbone.”

I have found that ‘niceness’ makes men agreeable, not good. Niceness and righteousness do not go hand-in-hand. The Bible says righteous men are bold as lions NOT kitty cats. So how do we, as men, live a righteous life? We will discuss that in the next few devotionals on ‘How to Live a Righteous Life’ and how to leave the watered down Mr. Nice Guy behind.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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