UPrising #1

We got off to a great start this morning.  If you want to watch the podcasts of UPrising, first make sure you have iTunes. Then go to http://www.mosaic.org and click on “podcasts/streaming”.  Then “video podcasts” (if you want to watch them, audio if you just want to listen).  iTunes will open and list all of McManus’ podcasts.  UPrising starts on 4/7/13 and that is what we watched parts of today.

We focused on 3 key verses today …

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”  Psalm 119:32

Think about that verse – I run in the path of your commands…so I am under God’s commands, His rule, His authority…and I am free?  Doesn’t it sound like if I am under a set of commands that I will be anything but free?  We think of teenagers and their desire to be able to be free, be able to make their own choices.  And yet, their choices tend to put them in bondage.  If we give a kid total freedom, he’ll wind up in a ton of trouble.  He fights and pulls and pleads for freedom and then blows it and has to give you back the keys to his car.  So much for his freedom.

So this verse is counter-intuitive – to be free, I need to remain under His commands.  It is also very comforting.  I thrive under my Father’s guidance and boundaries.  He wants me to thrive.  He gives me the entire garden to nurture and cultivate and He encourages me to dream big.  What He gives me is oh so good but I’m the one that wants the one thing He withholds from me.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.”  Galatians 5:1

We tend to forget this and think of God as a task-master whose goal is anything but our freedom.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  We cannot forget that EVERYTHING Christ did for us was to bring us freedom.  We are so concerned with our “right to choose” that we tend to overlook the very decisions that take away our freedom.  A “woman’s right to choose” has been passionately fought for and yet no one ever seems to talk about all the decisions they make leading up to their right to choose abortion.  We lose sight of the forest for the trees.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition for vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should not look to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient – even death on a cross!”   Philippians 2:3-10

It’s like the picture of the circles (in the attached slides) and the question in the earlier blog post “what kind of man are you becoming”.  Christ diminished Himself so that we might flourish.  He made himself nothing and became a servant…so that…you may live fully alive!

Here are the slides from today

uprising 1

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Do you want to live? An UPrising starts tomorrow morning…

We’ll have LiveUP hats for sale for $10 tomorrow morning at ManSchool.  Coffee and biscuits will be available.  We’ll worship and pray and then dive in.  6am in the Milgen Room.

Are you ready?

“This is how life is supposed to work.  It’s an adventure, a journey, a trek filled with uncertainty, excitement and risk.  One bad or painful experience can cause you to remain on the banks.  But when you do, you neither move forward nor backwards; there you sit, just watching life go by.  Yet I am convinced in all of us there is a voice crying out, a confession waiting to be declared without shame, “I want to live!”  This journey requires many confessions and declarations, but this is a good place to begin.  Sometimes this yearning has been neglected or even rejected.  The longing to be alive is drowned by lesser ambitions.  We just want to make it through the day, survive, make ends meet, go through the routine, and then exist rather than live.  If you have ceded to this lesser form of humanity, let me invite you to hear the roar inside your own soul.  You may be apprehensive at first but let the trembling turn into rumbling.  If you would dare risk it, stop right now, stand up wherever you are, and declare without shame, “I want to live!”   (Uprising page 5)

There is an UPrising starting tomorrow morning.  A revolution of the soul.

an uprising is coming… ManSchool next week

there is an uprising coming.  will you be onboard?  will you participate?  is God calling you to something higher?

Our theme for the men’s ministry is LiveUP.  It’s a great call, a great and constant reminder.  Now we take the next step and we rise UP into an uprising of men, passionate in our walk with Jesus.  There is so much more.  God has been setting the stage for this – with the Men’s Fraternity studies we’ve done, with John Eldredge’s Waking the Dead and this summer’s DVD series on learning to Walk with God.  Now He takes what we’ve been doing and He is moving us into an uprising.

Are you ready?  Are you willing to step out of a comfort zone and step UP into the role God has for you?  Are you ready to live life fully alive and passionate for the Lord?  Are you willing to take perhaps even radical steps to break the bondage that has trapped you?  Are you ready to be free?

This is uprising.

It is a transforming journey.  It is a passion to live.  It is the cry of freedom.  It is wide-open spaces.  It is life without limit.

Does it appeal to you?  Is this what you hunger for.  If so, join us.  About 25 men have already signed up and I suspect we’ll have about 40. If you haven’t signed up, please leave a comment below.

OK, so here’s the deal…we start this Wednesday at 6am in the Milgen Room.  We’ll have coffee and biscuits.  We’ll open with worship and prayer.  We’ll be done and into small groups by 7am.  Small groups meet for 15-20 minutes or as long as everyone can stay.  So you can completely done by 7:20 and on your way.  Don’t check out and leave before the small groups.  They are vital.  In fact, one of our groups has been meeting for breakfast the past 3-4 weeks in between sessions because they didn’t want to lose the power of what was happening in their group.

6am is NOT hard.  I used to think it was but that was before I did ManSchool.  I was on the outside looking in and saying, “I’m too busy and besides I can’t get up and going that early.”  And I had never tried!  Once I started doing ManSchool, I found it was easy.  I also found that I really LOVED being there and that is a CRUCIAL part of my week.  God really feeds me being in your company at mid-week.

Please…don’t miss the blessing that is ManSchool.  Something neat is happening in our midst.

The book — a man asked me yesterday, “Do I have to buy the book?”  The answer is “No”.  You don’t.  But I suggest you do.  If you’re not going to read, then don’t buy the book.  Save your money.  But if you will read each week (about 15 pages a week), you will get tons more out of this study.  If you want to buy it, you may be able to find it at Lifeway or Barnes & Noble.  I know you can get it on Amazon for about $13.  Erwin McManus’ book Uprising.

For this week, read chapter 1.

Let’s do this.

LiveUP Logo FINAL

men’s events & retreat…

Keith asked me to back off of my day-to-day leading of the various projects of the men’s ministry (like Carver) and to begin to build leaders.  To call men to StepUP into roles.  He wants me then working with each of the key area’s leaders and focusing on the big picture.

Robert Nobles has taken the leadership of the Carver ministry and is going a fantastic job.  I’m still there, still helping but he’s the quarterback.  He needs to build a team of men around him willing to “own” that ministry.  There is so much more that we can be doing with Carver.  Robert can’t do it all.  I know they need help with tutoring/mentoring.  Derrick is leading FCA down there every Friday.  He may need more help with that.  We need a team that prays about, thinks about and engages in this ministry to take it to the next level.  Are you interested? 

Carver banquet – that’ll be here before we know it.  Obviously (for those of you that have been involved), it involves a very large team.  We’ll need a quarterback for the 2014 banquet in March/April.  We need a man to take this and run with it and build a team to pull this off.  We’ve got tons of workers but we need a leader.

ManSchool – we need a team of men that “run” ManSchool.  That own it.  The food.  The music.  The communications to get the word out and engage other men into our community.  Again…we need men that ManSchool really matters to steppingUP into leadership of that ministry.  We need men that will Dream Big.  I am the “leader” of this now.  We need a quarterback.  Someone to take and run with it. He needs a team so that when he is ready, another man will be there to step into his place.

Retreat – we haven’t had a retreat in almost two years.  We were going to do one this fall but have now decided to shoot for a spring retreat.  Michael Wood is the quarterback for the retreat but he definitely needs a team.  A big team.  If the retreat is something you are passionate about and feel is crucial, then StepUP.  Reach out to Michael or respond to this post with a comment.  Our last retreat was great but there is, again, so much more we can do.  We need a group of men that will pray about this, dream about this and then will work to pull it off. 

Cooperative effort with CrossPointe Church and Calvary Baptist.  Keith has been talking with the pastors of these two churches about men’s ministry.  They are putting together a unified effort to bring the men of these three churches together a couple of times a year for a men’s event.  They are planning one for later this fall.  Stay tuned.

So here’s a call men.  We need leaders.  We need teams.  We need men to StepUP.  Our men’s ministry is good but it can be great.  We need to Dream Big.  There are tons of men in our midst who have had no involvement AT ALL in any of this we are doing – none of cookouts, none of the gatherings, never come to ManSchool or been to Carver – and yet they are at church every Sunday.  They are missing out on some real blessings.  Let’s step this up a notch and take it to the next level.

ARE YOU IN ?

Richard

what one man said about ManSchool…

We’re 10 days out from the start of ManSchool.  Do you have your copy of “Uprising” yet?  Are you in?

A man in our small group sent me this comment about what ManSchool has meant to him.  He’s been through some really, really hard times.  Our group has rallied around him.  God is moving in his life.  We can almost physically see the breakthrough coming over him.  Something radical is about to happen in his life as he seeks God.

Here is what he said…

“(I am) Participating, RISING UP, listening, engaging, benefiting, recruiting, persevering, attending, praying, attenuating, thanking…Most of all, going deeper into my purpose and personal revelations.  Sinking deeper into the sensation that a plan is designed for me and that I cannot change it.  Simply, I can only maximize and optimize my strengths that are one with God.   

Love Man School!”

What say you?

LiveUP!

ManSchool starts in just 12 days….

We have 12 men signed up through www.ccclive.org (through the myCCC tab) and 4 men responded to the “There is an UP rising coming” post.

There is an UP rising coming … but … will you be coming?  Will you be bringing a friend?  Wednesday September 25 at 6am in the Milgen Room at Christ Community.  If you plan to join us, please leave a comment below.

You need to buy the book UPRISING by Erwin McManus.  You can get it on www.amazon.com for $12.99.

It is going to be a great time for us and I hope you will join us.

LiveUP Logo FINAL

what kind of man do you want to be?

I am going to give this talk to the Carver football team this afternoon and will ask them this simple question, “What kind of man do you want to be?”

circles

What does that question have to do with this picture?

Which orange is bigger?  If the orange circle was a man and you had the choice, which man would you want to become?  The (orange) man on the right?  Or the one on the left?

Let’s see what Jesus had to say about this question…

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one other than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:12-13

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”   Matthew 18:1-4

They came to Capernaum.  When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  Mark 9:33-35

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”    Matthew 20:26-28

And the story of the rich man in Matthew 19 who comes to Jesus to ask what it takes to have eternal life.  Jesus told him to go sell all his possessions and give to the poor.  The young man went away sad because he knew he would not give up his treasure.  At the end of this passage, Jesus said, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

 

So we see Jesus telling us to lay down our lives, our plans, our needs for the benefit of our friends.  We are called to be humble like a child.  We are told that if we strive to be “first” in this life, we’ll end up last.  However, if serve others, place others ahead of self and strive to be “last” in the world’s terms, we’ll be first in God’s eyes.

We are called to Servant Leadership.

circles

Back to the circles – The one on the right is a picture of the world, “Life’s about me, what I can get, what I want, what I can do, my accolades, my notoriety, my fame…” and the effect of this life is that those around us shrink.  By elevating ourselves and seeking to advance no matter the cost, others around us will pay the price.

This shows up in football.  It shows up in how we treat women.  It shows up in how we respond to our coaches/teachers.  It shows up in how a Senior football player treats a freshman.  It shows up all across our lives.

The picture on the left is a picture of the kingdom of heaven – we put others ahead of ourselves.  We celebrate their successes, their work, their achievements.  We work to clear the path so they can run for the touchdown.  Team first.  Synergies.  1+1=3.  And you see the impact of this…those around us grow and flourish like lush crops in rich soil.

So I ask you, what kind of man do you want to be?

Here’s the clincher…the two orange circles are exactly the same size!  Same man.  One choice.  What kind of man to do you want to be?