Twenty FC3 men went to Tulsa to a Promise Keepers Conference this past weekend (September 20-21.) We were challenged and encouraged to be the men that God has called us to be! Here we were in a half-full room with 3000 other men from around the area. [Tulsa was not represented among the Tulsa “Christian” churches 😦 ] I know that this coming weekend (September 27-28) Beth Moore will be in town at the BOK center and it will be full. Our men have been absent and lacking in their leadership roles. But for the 20 of us that will not be the case anymore! And we are calling other men to join us in the quest to rise up and live out our roles as leaders in the home, church and workplace. This is not some woman-hating jargon. This is an obedience to God and HIS Word. So my word to you is not “watch out here we come”, but rather, “lift us up in prayer as we seek to honor God!”
On my wedding day, I said vows to my wife to love, honor and cherish her, but some things that I did not say in the vow, I took on as a man gaining a bride. I promised to lead my wife spiritually. I promised to lead my family for the glory of God. I promised to be the man of God I was created to be. I WANT TO KEEP MY PROMISE! In order to do this with greater strength, I need other men doing life together with me to encourage me on and help this brother out.
So some of the things we are going to do as men is spend time together through bible study and also times just to be together to encourage and grow for HIM. So each Monday morning, men are encouraged to join us at Hickory House at 6:00 a.m. It is a time to eat, hear the Word and/or listen to life stories and spend time praying together. The understand the purpose behind our time together, I want to echo Paul’s words from the first book of Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 14:3 “Everyone…speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort…” Of course, this verse is talking about those that prophesy versus speaking in tongues. But we want to strengthen one another, encourage each other on this journey and comfort each other in the struggles. Men, come join us. Don’t shy away, come grow with us and journey with us to live as men who keep their promise.
Have you ever watched a close basketball game where either team could easily walk away with a ‘W’? Then as the clock is winding down you see a play that (at least in your mind) is the game changer. The moment that particular play happens you know the other team (team B) is toast. There is not recovering from that dynamic blow! Nothing will be the same. The confidence is overwhelmingly with that one team (team A). Maybe it was a dominating dunk, or a threatening three pointer or even just an unbelievably spectacular shot. Whatever it is, you know – GAME OVER!!! You can turn the TV off and not even watch the final moments because nothing, and I mean nothing can change the momentum of the game.
The Bible as several of these game changing moments! (Right?) Just recently, I was reading in the book of Ezekiel (highly recommend!) and I saw a game changer in action. The first 39 chapters a recurring phrase appears 63x, “Then they will know that I am the Lord.” God proves HIS LORDSHIP time and again in the first 39 chapters. Chapter 40 brings a different tone (as I see it!) The New Temple and Temple area are measured. Now if I am going to be honest, I began to get blurred vision from boredom for two reasons: One: I can’t picture very well what Ezekiel is describing. Two: I have no idea what is coming – the game changer!
Ezekiel 40-42 talks about gates and their sizes, inside measurements, outside measurements, how many stairs here, how many stairs there, thirty rooms on this side, alcoves right here, tables over there, these rooms are for priests, this table is before the Lord… I can hear Charlie Brown’s teacher talking…”Wah, wah wah wah wah wah” (You get the idea, I can see your head bobbing and I can tell you are thinking about not finishing this article, but hang with me.) Then Chapter 43 opens up with this, “1Then the man brought me to the gate facing east” (Oh know I thought here we go again!) “2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roaring of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.” It was like a slap in the face moment. It was a “I coulda had a V-8″ epiphany. What did I just read? God’s glory! Holy, holy, holy. It was a game changing moment in two forms, two timeframes: First was Ezekiel’s and the second one was mine! For Ezekiel, he saw the glory of God and it brought him to his knees while the glory of the Lord filled the Temple! He realized that he was standing on holy ground. And God’s message to Ezekiel was that earth was a resting place for HIS feet! (See Isaiah 66:1 and Psalm 99:5)
For me, I realized I had dangerously fallen prey to the lie that the Word of God is boring! My V8 moment, reminded me any time I think nothing important is going on in the Scripture I am reading, I MUST be drawn in closer to see the God of Heaven and Earth who calls me into HIS presence! It was a game changer for me! The God who wants to live with me and in me has blessed my life with HIS Word. I will never be the same. But don’t stop watching, the game isn’t over because God is still working on me and through me ALL FOR HIS GLORY! But the clock is still winding down…
When it comes to life decisions, I guess it just doesn’t make sense to me! I understand a few thing (not all things! 🙂 ) I understand that in the beginning sin looks exciting and it is – at the beginning. I guess I don’t understand why we buy the lie EVERY time. I understand that addictions are ‘hard to break’ thus the name. I guess I don’t understand an attitude of quitting EVERY time because it is hard. I understand that I want more for myself (and my family) that’s why it’s called selfishness! I guess I don’t understand why I think something easy will be the solution EVERY time when EVERY time I end up disappointed and stuck in my old rut of addictive behavior and issues. I understand that loneliness is depressing. I guess I don’t understand why I would stay by myself when I know the outcome already because it is the same EVERY time. I understand that sin easily entangles and keeps my mind from the right things to help me lose my time. I guess I don’t understand why I don’t choose to let Jesus untangle me, but I choose to remain stuck EVERY time!
Maybe the truth of it is I must not understand anything, but I guess EVERY time I think I do I get myself in a deeper hole. Why not THIS time make a change? Choose differently? Go in a different direction instead of sticking with the same old EVERY time way!
Looking for something new, fresh and revitalizing? THIS time go HIS way!