Where Are The Men?

Ephesians 4:2New International Version (NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Have you ever read this verse and felt like you are not sure you could live up to that? At times it feels like a hammer hitting me when I read this verse.

Sometimes we will take Paul’s words to be gentle and start applying it to become a passive man. If this was the true thought of Paul, why did he encourage Timothy to stand and be bold?

I think, in my mind, that there has to be diversity in the moments. How would a police officer, soldier, fireman, a manager, or even a church leader stand when he is faced with adversity or a tough situation?

There has to be both a place for boldness and being humble. It is by allowing the Holy Spirit take control and step into those situations. I believe that this is why the Christian man goes running.

Often we are taught from the pulpit meekness, gentleness, and loving one another. All of this is good, but there are times a man you must stand. Nowhere do I see in Scripture Jesus cowering. Even in the face of Pilot, he stood knowing who had the true authority, and it came from his Father.

Men, here is a call to lead. Here is an all call to stand. Here is a call to be bold. It is time to face our enemy, the devil, and allow the Holy Spirit the Power to work in our lives. That I how men start showing up.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

 

Vital Ministries News

It is hard to believe That we only have 4 weeks left of Vital Men small groups. We will finish up with our teaching series, “Frequency”, in the next week with chapters 9 and 10.

Our last week for Vital Men will be April 3-7. On our final two weeks we close with a two week series on “Fallen Men Rising”! It will enhance the Easter Season as we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection!

Let’s finish strong and well men!!

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Tenaciously

I Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I find that I am generally most successful at an endeavor, when I exercise a particular brand of tenacity.  That brand being, all in, set my sights on whatever it is and with focused determination pursue.  

When practicing shooting, I know whether I am executing with tenacity, mindful of all the intricacies of my form, or just going through the motions, completing a set routine and calling it good.  While hunting, especially elk hunting, if I lose my tenacious drive (or like one particular year never had it),  I am almost certain to fail.  It’s not enough to just hold on, endure and hope to make it to the end.  Tenacity is a fired, determined, no quit approach to the pursuit of what it is that you KNOW you will accomplish.  Tenacity is an unwillingness to give up, to endure, yes, but to endure with vigor.  Tenacity is being willing to say, “this hunt is not going as I’d hoped.  I’m beat up and worn out, but I’m headed for that saddle with vigor and determination, because I know that I don’t know what opportunity may await me on the other side.”  Tenacity is a refusal to just hang on and pray the end comes sooner rather than later.  Tenacity is watching an obstacle drop in your path and immediately, enthusiastically searching for a way over, under, around or through.  

Tenacity is a great thing to strive for.  It’s something I wish I could say I never lacked.  Unfortunately, I sometimes do.  

Tenacity is something that I’m learning needs to be applied to my pursuit of a greater understanding of God and my relationship with Him.  I need to be tenacious about reading His word.  I need to pursue, with tenacity, daily time in close conversation with Him.  I need to tenaciously endure the hardships and heartaches that have and will inevitably come my way.  In doing so, it shows my willingness to faithfully believe that no matter what it is or what the reason (known or unknown)  He will not let me fail.  His working of this level of tenacity in me serves as an illustration of His glory to all around me.    Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LordAnd He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.  

We can merely hold on until this life is over, fix our grip and wait for that glorious day to come when we leave this world and join our Father in the eternal home He has prepared.  Truthfully, I don’t believe that’s a shameful thing.  For some to just endure the rigors the world throws at them is nothing short of monumental.  However, for most I believe we owe it to God to be as vigorously tenacious as we can while we’re here. We have work to do for His kingdom, examples to set, relationships to cultivate, disciples to make.  That doesn’t happen if we’re not in the game and tenaciously pursuing the possibility.  Have a blessed weekend!  

Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace

 

The Right Path

We make hundreds of choices every day, so how do we know we have been making the right ones?  Hopefully, we are able to learn from our mistakes, and even occasionally, we can learn from the teaching of others before making other mistakes.  Experience seems to be a good teacher if we have a good awareness of our successes and failures.  Over the past day, I made several mistakes and near mistakes that would probably have not been made if I had not been in a hurry, or would have planned my steps a little better.  From dinging my elbow, to making a mess on the garage floor during an oil change, they were not major mistakes, but things where I should have known better.  Where have you messed up today?  How will your successes and failures impact what you will do tomorrow? 

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.  Psalm 119:133

Most of our mistakes are born of our ignorance, pride, and selfishness.  We don’t ask for help when we are not sure what to do or how to do something.  Our pride keeps us from seeking advice or even learning from our past mistakes.  Or we want to do what makes us feel good, no matter if it is harmful to others or even to ourselves.  When we are aware of our actions and consequences, hopefully we are able to admit our faults, our sins, and change our direction.  We can even learn from our ‘small’ mistakes to keep us from making ‘big’ mistakes.  Do your failures lead you to discouragement or determination to make some changes?

Do as I do, for I am doing as Christ did.  1 Corinthians 11:1

Whether you realize it or not, others are learning from you.  Your family and your co-workers are watching and listening to you and picking up things as you go about each day.  Maybe you had the same experience as a child, but kids only need to see or hear something once and it can be locked in their memory for good.  Something as simple as how you keep your word leaves an impression on others.  Your word is your reputation.  Others will believe or doubt what you say depending on how well you keep your word to them.  We may do the same with God.  Once we are able to see how his Word holds up to what He says, leads us to trust it even more in the future. 

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.  Psalm 119:105

Who is watching?  I often remind myself to try and make decisions as if your boss, your whole family, God, and the whole world is watching.  I find this helps me avoid some selfish or stupid mistakes that cause trouble down the line, but is not fool proof, especially when I am acting like a fool.  I admit that I am not perfect, but if we strive for perfection and to get things right each time, our percentages go up.  If we turn ourselves in the right direction, and keep our eyes on our destination, we are less likely to wander from the path, to stumble or fall.  Plus, when we are walking in good company, it makes the journey a little easier and more enjoyable.  Enourage others as we walk this road together!

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

Blessings in Christ,
Clark 

Labels Part 1

When I was in 5h grade, I got in trouble for talking in class.  I was making all of the people around me laugh.  My teacher said if I did it again then I would have detention. Well 10 minutes later it happened again.  My teacher told me that unless I gave her a good reason for why I was laughing I had detention.  I told her in health class we learned that laughing builds our immune system and since I had a cold, laughing would be less distracting sneezing.  She laughed at me and called me “Slick.”  This nickname stuck.  For the rest of the year, my teacher and my class called me slick.  I learned how I could be smooth with words to get what I want.  This label shaped my future.  Other people said talk was cheap, but smooth talking got me friends, jobs, and many opportunities.

This is the story of Jacob.  Labels shaped how he saw himself, the things that he pursued, and the choices that shaped who he became.  All of that began at birth when his parents named him Jacob which means deceiver and supplanter. Jacob was a twin and second born.  So Jacob wanted to surplant his older brother Esau so he could have the first born right. So Jacob waits or the right moment and takes advantage of his brother in a weak moment.

The first label is the label others put on us.  All of us have labels that have been put on us.  Some lifted us up and others tore us down.  Some were from people we cared about and others were just people who said the wrong thing at the wrong time.  Either way these labels gave us an identity that we walked in either to prove right or fight to prove wrong.  That is where our story begins.

Genesis 25:29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)

31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”

32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”

33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.

What are the labels other people have put on you?  Write them down. Who did they come from?  How do you respond to them?  Are they lies of the enemy that work against you to kill the good God wants for you?  Ask Holy Spirit to replace the lie.  Write down your new label.

Often the process I describe above is painful.  I know it has been for me.  Many of these old wounds have layer Holy Spirit leads me to.  I will think I have fully dealt with the wound only for Him to take me to another layer of the wound.  What I know is this…

Philippians 1:6  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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