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.