Deep Restoration – Waking the Dead 8

Today’s material was deep but it was so critical.  This is where we get to breakthrough.  We all have our sins, our pains, the mistakes, wounds against us from family or friends, betrayals of trusts, etc.  You’ve got them.  I do too.  They sting and because of the sting, we cover them up, move on and get busy with life.  If I’m running hard trying to make my sales quota, I won’t have to think about “it”.

But they have a way of showing back up.  Why?  Because we never “dealt” with them.  This chapter is about dealing with them.  It requires some pain.  You’ll have to go back and dig them up, relive the pain, ask Christ for forgiveness (if it revolves around your mistakes) and then ask Christ to step into the pain and heal your broken heart.

A man in our small group had a breakthrough this morning.  Sitting there, he spoke up remembering an incident on the playground from when he was 5 years old.  He had said a cuss word and the principal took him aside and wore his rear out.  He was humiliated and embarrassed and decided at that point that he was “bad”.  He made an agreement.  He sank his feet in the cement of condemnation and this morning, he connected the dots and figured out many of his future mistakes formulated in this earlier agreement.  Tears were shed.  He was digging up the pain.  There is more for him to do but this was huge.  A key first step.

It’s there guys.  For all of us.  We all have these pains and these agreements and they have shaped our lives.

Jesus came to restore your broken heart.  He wants to restore you.  He wants to pick up the shattered pieces of your heart and restore you.  The Glory of God is man fully alive.  You cannot be “fully alive” unless you deal with these issues that haunt you.

I shared about my college girlfriend and as I was sharing this and talking about memories we men have of past loves – almost to a man, heads were nodding.  You know.  You have them too.  Unfortunately for us men – as visual animals – we tend to relive those past memories in graphic detail.  Even things that were wrong can serve as a “comfort” to us.  An idol.  We turn to it in times of pain as a way of medicating our pain.

What I had to do about 6-7 years ago is break this agreement.  I had to go back and dig up the memories of her and deal with my sin, deal with my pain.  I made mistakes.  I fell too deeply in love at too young an age.  She was wounded and I didn’t see it.  I saw first love but I wasn’t her first love.  I was medication for her already wounded heart.  In a sense, I was used.  Ultimately, she broke up with me and shattered my heart and 15 years later, I was still holding onto these memories.  And so in a hotel room in Denver after a John Eldredge retreat, God dealt with this wound.  God and I unpacked it.  I dredged it all up.  I owned my sin.  I begged forgiveness for my mistakes and I asked Him to restore my heart.  I blew it.  I allowed my heart to be broken and I asked Jesus to pick up the pieces and restore my heart.  I can testify that here 6-7 years later, it ended that night.  It went away.  I dealt with it by the grace of God.  He forgave me and the bondage I placed myself in was broken.  Those “tapes” never run in my mind anymore.  When even a fleeting thought of her comes up, Praise the Lord, I can tamp those out with a quick thought of “No, I dealt with that once and for all in Denver.  It’s done.  It has no power over me”.  It truly is is done.  Since it is Easter week, I’ll say, “It is finished”.

There are things like this in you.  A father wound.  A brother that you never matched up to.  A mother that dominated and controlled you.  An addiction to pornography that lashes you with guilt and condemnation daily.  A financial mistake or a bankruptcy that shames you every day as you start your day.  A humiliation in high school that still creeps in here 40 years later.  Whatever “it” is, “it” is there in all of us and Jesus knocks at the door wanting to set you free and restore your broken heart.

It isn’t easy.  It is painful to dredge this stuff up but liberation on the other side enables you to begin the steps toward radical freedom in Christ.  The Glory of God is man fully alive.

Do you want that?  Really?  Do you truly want to be fully alive?  Then you need to face these wounds and beg God to step into the mess and restore your heart.  He’ll do it.  I can testify.  He works.  Praise the Lord.


slides from today…   Waking the Dead 8

Carver Banquet is complete! Pictures attached.

Guys, I cannot thank all of you enough.  Tonight was great.  By 9pm, the church was 100% back to normal and we turned the lights out and went home.  It is amazing the transformation that takes place and the service that is given.  So many men played a role – about 50 in total.

Jeff Hampton did an amazing job on Friday night with his team setting the room up.  By the time they left last night, the room was entirely set up and the tables were set.  He returned today with the balloons and final decorations.  Coy Nichols ran the grills and he and his team cooked 350 steaks, mushrooms and some sausage for our men to snack on.  Patrick Grant and his greeters were at the doors making the Carver team and their family feel welcome.

Bill Shelton ran the servers and man, they did an amazing job.  About 20 men all dressed nicely worked their tales off getting drinks to everyone and placing the salads and desserts and then took care of all the requests from our guests for butter, salt, sugar, more lemonade…you name it.  Many of the servers also stayed for the clean up – some of them mopping floors and hauling out the trash.

Brad Wilcox took over after banquet was done and his team cleaned the room, hauled in 750 chairs and completely re-set the room for Sunday morning.  In about one hour, the entire room was totally transformed from banquet hall back into our Church sanctuary.  Simply amazing.

Lastly, none of this could have happened without Jerome Harrell and his team.  They cooked all the chicken, potatoes, veggies, prepared the tea and lemonade, made the 350 salads and cut 350 pieces of cake.

It is almost surreal what just transpired.  You literally have to see it to believe it.  Every year when we plan this thing, I get nervous.  I just don’t see how it will all come together and I am AMAZED every time by all of you.  What you just did was simply amazing.  Remarkable.  To God be the glory.  We did this for His glory and to show these young men and their families how much we love them.

You guys did an incredible job.  To a man, each of you had a servants heart.  If I asked someone to do something, boom, it was done.  You kept saying, “what can I do now?”.  No one complained.  Every single one of you served.  How glorious is that?

So thanks.  I hope it was as rewarding for you as it was for me to watch you perform a miracle.  You truly LivedUP!

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Waking the Dead 7 – God’s intimate counsel

The more I’m in this material and listening to God, the more blessed I am.  I hope you are benefiting from this as well.

The slides are below.  Let me explain the picture of the deer skull.  It has to do with following God’s nudges.  Ryan Walker emailed me a month or so ago saying that he had really had some breakthroughs at ManSchool and he wanted to get with me to unpack those.  We agreed to talk at the marriage retreat.  But due to the busyness of that event, we couldn’t arrange a time to sit down.  He emailed me last week saying he really wanted to get together and suggested we do something outside where we can be in nature and experience God.  I have some new hunting land I can use and thought about walking it with him but they are about to burn the land so I opted for the “easy” by saying, “Let’s have lunch next week.”  Ryan replied and ignored my lunch suggestion and said, “I have some hunting land off of Harris Road in Ellerslie, maybe we could meet on Saturday and walk it.”  Ryan had a nudge.  God nudged him to reach out to me and he pursued.  Good for Ryan.

So here is the really cool thing, his land is off of Harris Road.  This land I am going to hunt is off of…Harris Road in Ellerslie.  I emailed that to Ryan and he promptly shot me back another email with the Google earth map and his property outlined in red.

OK, no, here is the really cool thing…his land…borders my land.  We’re neighbors!  So I said, “How about us meeting Saturday to walk the land!”  And we did.  We walked all his property and cut through the woods and followed the creek over to the land I will hunt this fall.  We conversed in fellowship and got to know each other.  We talked about journaling, God, how we became Christians, our wives, deer hunting, adoption, kids, etc.  As we were walking and talking, I asked him if he ever found deer sheds (bucks will shed their antlers every winter to regrow new ones and finding the sheds can be a real blessing).  He said he hadn’t but he planned to look for them this Spring.  Literally 10 seconds after I asked the question and he answered, I found the young deer skull with antlers intact.  That was a neat gift from God.  I mean come on, it’s just a deer skull but it was an important marker for our fellowship – a memory we won’t soon forget.  God spoke to us that day.

That’s something to journal!  So that’s the story on the skull.

From this morning – and this isn’t in the slides – I talked about our daughter and the pain she’s had this winter with school and social issues.  We were talking to her the other day about how God put all these great things in her.  He created her.  He dreamed her up from nothing and gave her all these incredible gifts – gifts unique to her and He gave her her glory…this wonderful “thing” that only God could create and dream up.

But that glory is assaulted.  Friends, teachers, coaches, sisters and yes even parents do damage to that glory.  She makes mistakes too.  And the Enemy shows up to assault her glory.  Think of it like this – crabs, if piled in a large bucket together, will fight to escape the bucket.  If one starts to make progress and can almost exit, the other crabs will pull him back down into the fray.  The Australians have a term for this that they call “Crab antics” and it symbolizes what crabs do to each other – they pull each other back down into mediocrity.  They lower the bar for the other crabs.

You have a glory.  God installed it in you on the “assembly line”.  It is there.  Others will try to knock you down and “cut the tall poppies” (another Australian saying).  The world does not want you to shine.  They don’t want anyone to get too far “ahead”.  If you have older brothers, you understand what I am saying.  Joseph understood it.  His brothers, calling him a dreamer, sold him into slavery to kill the dream.

You have a glory.  God wants you empowered but as Erwin McManus says, “It is strange how we can believe in Jesus but lead a powerless life”.  So many men shrink back from their glory.  They taste it, get that tingle of empowerment and right as they start to step up, a voice appears and reminds them, “you’re not ready for this” – or – “you fail at everything you do” or “maybe your brother is the real leader, not you.”  Whatever it is, the wounds are there.  The voice of doubt rushes in and we just shrink back into the shadows of mediocrity.

God wants SO MUCH MORE for you than this!  Glory.  He equipped you for glory that will bring glory to Him and that will enable you to be a force for Him.  Enough said.  This was great, great stuff.  Dig into it.  Go there.  Dig up the pain.  Find where your glory has been and is being assaulted.  Find the lies and deal with them.  Don’t let the whispers pull you back into the shadows.


Waking the Dead 7

Carver Banquet – details & instructions

Men –

The Carver football banquet is this Saturday the 23rd at Christ Community at 5:30pm.  To keep things short and to the point, attached below is the list of men we have signed up to serve.

Set up – Jeff Hampton is the QB.  Starts Friday night at 6pm.  Pizza will be served.  We are going to break the room down, set up tables, chairs, set each place with napkins, silverware, etc. and we will pray over the room and each table.

Grilling– Coy Nichols is the QB.  He has his team and will let you know what time he wants you there.

Kitchen – Jerome is the QB.  He will let you know when to be there.  If you don’t hear from him, call him at 706 249-7870 and ask him what time he wants you there.

Greeters – Patrick Grant is the QB.  You need to be at the church at 4pm if you can.  Dress is grey slacks or khaki pants with a white dress shirt.  Some greeters will also help serve and we want everyone in a white shirt so you’ll stand out.  Please bring an umbrella as rain is forecasted and we’ll need to help get folks to the door.

Servers – Bill Shelton is the QB.   You need to be at the church at 4pm if you can.  Dress is grey slacks or khakis with a white dress shirt.  You’ll be assigned a table and will be responsible for getting them what they need (after they go through the buffet) and clearing away their plates after they are done, refilling drinks, etc.

Clean up – Brad Wilcox is the QB.  You need to be at the church around 7:30pm.  Once the banquet is done, you’ll help clean up the room, breakdown the tables, vacuum, clear the stage and set it back up for Sunday and then reposition all the chairs for Sunday service.  This should take about 2 hours (last year it was quicker than that).

The Quarterbacks are crucial.  You are on their team and they are responsible for the “big picture” for their job.  We can’t thank them enough for stepping up into these roles.


Kitchen Server Cleanup
Jerome Harrell Bill Shelton Brad Wilcox
Ronnie Brooks Rob Deloach Rob Deloach
Chad Wells Scott Davis Scott Davis
Bill Skipworth Michael Wood Michael Wood
Syd Sayler Syd Sayler
  Oscar Morzan Dee Dunford

Dee Dunford Brian Alford
Setup Brian Alford Phil Staten
Jeff Hampton Josey Huffman Bill Gaddy
Sid Sayler Phil Staten Mark Cameron
Phil Staten Bill Gaddy Jim Shaddox
Robert Nobles Mark Cameron Joshua Davis
Don Campbell Bill Angles Leland Taylor
Leland Taylor Claude Scarbrough Bret Crumpton
Robin Carr Jim Shaddox Michael Dean
Richard Illges Richard Illges Josh Reynolds
Bret Crumpton Robin Carr Tim Trier
Jim Shaddox Joshua Davis Jimmy Bone
Josh Reynolds Michael Dean Ryan Walker
Nick Hope Dykes Blackmon Nick Hope
Gerald Hatcher  
Greeter Chris

Patrick Grant  
Rob Deloach  
Dee Dunford  
Phil Staten  
Mark Cameron

Bill Angles
Robin Carr
Joshua Davis
Jim Shaddox

Walking with God (ManSchool 6)

In my opinion, Chapter 6 is the key to this book.  John probably should have called this book “Walking with God” instead of “Waking the Dead”.  Learning to walk with God on a daily, hourly basis is vital.

Developing conversational intimacy with God.  It’s just so crucial to our development and walk.  The enemy opposes this.  Big time.  But so many of you have told me you are desperately hungry for this.  It’s yours for the taking.  God wants it.  You need it.  It is opposed.  What to do?

Dive in.  Pursue it.  Fight the temptation to keep God up on the “Sunday shelf”.

There is so much good stuff in Chapter 6.  Re-read it if you need to.

Our small group breakout was particularly good.  I hope each of you are benefiting from your group as much as I am.  This is where rich community forms and we can drop our veneer and be real.  One key thing came out of our group and that is a man’s tendency to be turned-off (repulsed?) by the notion of journaling.  I personally believe it is important where we can get our thoughts down on paper and notate where we think God is speaking to us.  This is rich material for future reference and by writing, we open our hearts.

So why do men turn away from this?  One man likened it to keeping a little girl’s diary.  Ok, I get that.  But that isn’t what journaling is.  If you are tuned off by a “journal” then go to and open up a private blog and blog your thoughts.  If you hear a prayer that speaks to you, make that a blog entry.  If you have a verse speak to you, make that a post.  If you have a conversation with a friend or your wife or a mentor that opens new territory for you, get that down.  You will forget these events in the busyness of life if you don’t document it.  I guarantee you.

Satan doesn’t want you doing this stuff.  He loves for you to associate this journaling (if you don’t like the word journaling, call it “documenting” or “proving” or something to get past your hesitation) concept with “girlie” things and think “I don’t have time to do that” or “I’m not good at writing”.  These lies take away what can be a key component of your walk with God.  Now, don’t get me wrong, journaling isn’t mandatory.  If you don’t want to do it, don’t but I’d encourage you to at least give it a try.

Anyway, good stuff today.  Great time of worship and prayer and good feedback.  I am so blessed all of you – this brotherhood of believers striving to walk deeply with the Lord.


Waking the Dead 6

Carver sign up – latest

The banquet is less than 2 weeks away.  We need men to step up.  Here are the latest sign ups by specific role.

Friday night set up – getting to the church at 6pm – moving tables, setting up each table, the head table, setting each place, decorations and getting everything laid out.  We need 12 men.  Those signed up so far…

Jeff Hampton (Quarterback = man in charge), Sid Sayler, Phil Staten, Mark Cameron, Don Campbell, Robert Nobles, Leland Taylor, Robin Carr, Richard Illges  — (we need 3 more)

Kitchen – arrive about 4:30 on Saturday helping Jerome in the kitchen and setting up the salads and desserts.  We need 8 men.  Those signed up so far…

Jerome Harrell (Quarterback), Ronnie Brooks and Chad Wells — (we need 5 more)

Greeter – arrive about 4:30 on Saturday – you are responsible for greeting the guests as they arrive, introduce yourself, tell them where the bathrooms are, etc.  We need 9 men.  Those signed up so far…

Patrick Grant (Quarterback), Rob Deloach, Dee Dunsford, Phil Staten, Mark Cameron, Bill Angles, Robin Carr — (we need 2 more men)

Servers – arrive about 4:30 on Saturday – you are responsible for overseeing 1-2 tables – making sure they have what they need, drink refills, etc.  They will go through a serving line and then be seated.  You’re responsible for getting them anything they need after they sit down.  This is an on your feet, hustling job.  It’s a great chance to interact with the players and their families.  We need 28 men.  Those signed up so far…

Bill Shelton (Quarterback), Rob Deloach, Scott Davis, Michael Wood, Sid Sayler, Oscar Morzan, Dee Dunsford, Brian Alford, Phil Staten, Bill Gaddy, Mark Cameron, Josey Huffman, Bill Angles, Claude Scarbrough, Jim Shaddox, Richard Illges (floater) & Robin Carr (floater) — (we need 10 more men)

Clean up – you can arrive as late as 7:30pm – this job is fun because you’ll be amazed at what the team can do.  As you can imagine taking that room back apart, cleaning up, setting up the stage, moving all the tables out and lining up all the seats for the Sunday service is a challenge but it it incredible to see it happen.  We need 21 men.  Those signed up so far…

Brad Wilcox (Quarterback) Rob Deloach, Scott Davis, Michael Wood, Sid Sayler, Dee Dunsford, Brian Alford, Phil Staten, Bill Gaddy, Mark Cameron — (We need 11 more men)

OUR NEED – Guys, a number of men are doing 2-3 jobs.  We have 30 empty slots.  We really need to fill these slots ASAP.  This is a great ministry and a lot of fun but the stress level is building for the team and we need these slots filled so we can take that worry off our list.

If you want to sign up, just leave a comment or email Michael Wood at


The glory hidden in your heart (ManSchool 5)


Let me start by asking you what could perhaps be a haunting question – but don’t let it be.  Let it be a glorious question.  Let it be a question that stirs your soul.  Let it be a question that gets you dreaming…

“When the story of your life is spoken of and recounted around the campfires of the Kingdom, what will they say?”

In eternity when men gather around a fire and tell the story, the tale, the myth, the legend that is your life…what will they say?

Will they say “Here is a man who awoke from a great slumber, allowed the Lord to move and free him from the prisons of his own making and radically went forward to set other men free?”  Or perhaps, “He was a man, that even though he didn’t come to “fully alive faith” until he was 63, he still came fully alive and he gave it all for the Kingdom.”  (read into this…it is never too late)

Or will they say, “He was a man who opted to remain the shadows, remain anonymous, tried hard just to stay out of trouble, keep his head down and avoid his glory.”

What will they say about your life?

You have the script right in front of you.  You can re-write history (future history) beginning right now, today.  Where you are isn’t where you’re destined to stay.  Beaten, broken, full of mistakes and regrets and addictions…perhaps.  But destined to stay there?  Really?  The God of the universe can’t restore you?  Has the enemy so beaten you down that you believe the Lord can’t rescue you?

He can and oh how He desires to.  “He came to set the captives free”.

Dream big.  God does.  Find the shackles that weigh you down and the chains that hold you in bondage and let God set you free.

You have a glory in you.  When God created the earth, the sunrise, the Bald Eagle, the waterfalls, the pristine mountain lakes and the flowers, He said it was “good”.  When He created you, He said it was “very good”.

You have a glory.  It’s OK to step into it.  Not to draw attention to yourself or to make it all about you — NO — but your glory is there and is meant to reflect His glory.

You can do so much, stretch so far, reach so high, cross mountain passes you once never dreamed of even looking at if you will believe you have a good heart and that you possess that glory and then, step into it.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s good.  It’s so good.  And there is more…so much more.

You have a role you never dreamed of having.  Will you step into it?

Attached below are the slides.  Take a look.  Pray over this.  Ask God and then listen.


Waking the Dead 5

2 housekeeping things

Reminder – ManSchool is tomorrow morning at 6am.  Chapter 5 of Waking the Dead.  There is some really good material in this chapter.  See you tomorrow.

#2 Carver Football Banquet is Saturday March 23rd at the Church.  We’ll have 350+ people to feed.  We need about 75 men volunteering in various capacities.  If you can’t help on Saturday, you can help Friday night with the set up.  Perhaps you can’t help at the meal on Saturday because of activities with your kids.  You can help Saturday night after the banquet with the clean up and restoration of the church to get ready for Sunday morning.

There are a lot of places for men to serve.  This is a great event for Carver and rewarding for us who give to make it happen.  With the departure of Coach McGee, now more than ever, we need to show these young men what they mean to us.

We will have a booth Sunday at Church in the lobby where you can sign up to help.

Thank you for who you are, what you stand for and for your heart that wants to LiveUP!