Guardrails part 2

As we continue ManSchool Lite, this morning we dove into specific guardrails concerning friendships. Recapping from last week, we need a guardrail system around us to protect us from danger.  These are things that trigger our conscience to warn us and make us think twice about situations in our life.  The problem is that our culture baits you to participate in things that are dangerous and then that same culture chastises you when we falter.

Don’t ask “Is it a sin to (fill in the blank)?” or “Is it ok to (fill in the blank)?”  We know that if you have ask that question, you probably shouldn’t do it.  The better question is “Where should I place the guardrails to protect me from danger/going too far off the road?”

You need to be cautious of friends that seem to going in the opposite direction.  You need to give yourself enough space to avoid the disaster.  With friends we tend to drop our guard.  The thing that makes friendship so great is the thing that makes it dangerous.  You are most open to influence around friends.  You close down around rejection but you open up around acceptance. This is why ManSchool small groups are so critical because you are able to open up to friends that are going in the same direction versus being vulnerable and getting crushed by the oncoming traffic of friends going the opposite direction.

We looked at Proverbs 13:20 – “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”  The first part is a promise; wisdom is contagious.  The second part is the warning.  It doesn’t say that being around fools makes you a fool but you can suffer from the shrapnel of the disasters they bring.  A fool knows what is right and what is wrong but they just don’t care.  It’s foolish to expect your friends that don’t take care of their own marriage, physical health, mental health, spiritual health, etc. to help you take care of yours.  This is why we need to be going in the same direction.

Relational guardrails – Your conscience should “light up” or bother you when:
1.       Your core group isn’t going in the same direction as you
2.       You pretend to be someone else/posing
3.       You feel the pressure to compromise.  The temptation becomes an option. The guardrail is not doing the behavior but when you consider it.
4.       “I’ll go but I won’t participate”.  You become guilty by association.
5.       You hope the people you care about the most don’t find out where you’ve been or who you were with.

Don’t let your resistance turn into regret because you ignore God and don’t respond to what He’s trying to tell you.  Will you face up to what God is calling/telling you to do?  Deal with it now because we won’t think about it again until it’s too late.

We will see you next week on Wednesday July 9th.

Why are you NOT doing this?

Watch this 4 minute video from John Eldredge’s son Sam.  The visuals are captivating.

He poses an incredibly important question for each of us …

“We come to the wild as a company of men to look for answers, to be restored, to be renewed, to sort some things out, to look for ourselves, to look for God.  Where do you go to find this?  If you never get away to think about your life and sort things out, life will swallow you up.  You need some place you can go.”

It goes back the Gary Player story of the man saying, “I’d give anything to be able to hit a golf ball like that.”  Ummm…no you wouldn’t.  You could.  But you don’t invest the time and do the hard work to be able to do it.

Personally, watching this video I said to myself, “I’d give anything away to have a company of men to adventure with, to be able to walk in the creeks barefooted, camp out and watch the stars around a campfire, ride bikes through the Moab…”

“I’d give anything if I could retreat so I could be restored by the Father.”

Ummm…no I wouldn’t.  It is available to me.  All of that IS available to us.  (Well, maybe not the Moab but you get the point)  But…we don’t do it, we don’t invest, we don’t value it and instead we find ourselves feeling swallowed up by life.

Do you seek relief or restoration?  I love his line of “If you never get away to think about your life and sort things out, life will swallow you up.”  So true.  Anyway, I just saw this and even though I already did one post today, this one is too important to not get out right away.  Oh that I might feel deep restoration…

Watch the video and ask yourself, “Why am I NOT doing this?”

Note: for some reason when I post these, the emails that go out sometimes omit the link to the videos.  Just go to the blog and you will see it

Guardrails – Session 1

Today, we launched our Summer ManSchool series on the need for Guardrails in our lives.  Patrick Grant said that ManSchool is just that, it is “school” equipping us for life.  Today was no exception.  This series from Andy Stanley is packed with great tools to help you navigate life.  Please join us next week at 6am.    (reminder – we will NOT meet the following week July 2nd)

As you live this life, you’re going to have to be very careful where you walk. 

You need to be very intentional of how you use your time because the days are evil.

We need to face up and embrace what we know in our heart is the life God wants us to lead.  Stop deceiving yourself.  Stop kidding yourself.  Stop justifying your behavior, “yeah, I did get a little to close to her but I never _____, I never crossed that line.”  Don’t kid yourself, you may not have crossed “that” line but you have crossed too many lines with her.  You’ve done things, said things, felt things that you know would crush your wife if she knew.  Stop kidding yourself.  Or maybe it is electronic temptation and we dance, we dance, we dance with the edge, “If I look at this but don’t take it any further, that’ll be OK”.  Stop kidding yourself.  As Andy says, so many of us want to know just how close to the line we can get before it is officially a sin.

We keep flirting with disaster.   We need guardrails which are personal standards of behavior that if tripped will bother our conscience.  We need to establish lines we will not cross because we know that if we cross them, things will spiral and we’ll lose control and big time damage is on the other side of that guardrail.

He uses Ephesians 5:15-18 (rather than quoting it here, I encourage you to pick up the Word and read it) and talks about drunkenness – that being drunk should be a guardrail in our life.  That being drunk is a line I will not cross because I know once I am drunk my defenses drop and a whole lot of bad stuff is on the other side once my defenses are down.  Being drunk is foolish.  Giving up control is foolish.  Flirting with that girl is foolish.  The deeper you get into that, the more you confide in one another, the more your defenses drop and there is a line that once you cross it — once you lose control — you will be unable to stop.  You are a fool to torque yourself up, dance with danger, push the boundaries and think “I can stop before it goes too far”. 

It is the loss of control that is the sin and that’s why we need guardrails.  Your life is too important, time is too short, the days are too evil for you to kid yourself any longer.  Put on the full amour of God because you face a battle every day.

See you next Wednesday.  LiveUP!

ManSchool this Wednesday

Do you need some guardrails in your life?  Have you struggled a bit (perhaps more) with temptation?  Temptation of another woman or of porn?  Have you struggled financially finding yourself continually in credit card debt and seeing no way to get ahead?

Are you living life continually on the “edge”?

Culture baits us right up to the edge of disaster.  We push to the very edge and flirt with danger.  Every now and then one of us will step over that boundary and into the abyss and, as you know, the very same culture that baits you to the edge of disaster will mock you and turn its back on you when you step over into the abyss.

Do you need some guardrails in your life? 

The answer is a very clear, very wise, very strong … YES.   “The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”  Proverbs 27:12.

Andy Stanley will lead us this summer at ManSchool going through his series on Guardrails.  You don’t want to miss this one.  Starting this Wednesday at 6am!

Guardrails – ManSchool this summer


ManSchool for the summer – what we call “ManSchool Lite” will kick off next Wednesday morning June 18th at 6am in the Milgen Room.  We will follow the same format as usual – gather for 10 minutes or so and catch up, worship & pray and then do our study and break to small groups at 7am.  We will be done by 7:30.

We will be going through Andy Stanley’s video series on the need for “Guardrails” in our lives – guardrails in the area of money, sex, temptation, friends, marriage, etc.  This is a fantastic series and you will get a ton of useful weapons to help you fight the battle we all face.  The videos are all 28 minutes long and Andy’s teaching is outstanding and he is very entertaining and easy to listen to.

So much is being accomplished in our midst.  Men are breaking bondages and coming out of the fog.  We are engaging our wives in new ways and taking the leadership role in our family’s spiritual life.

Precisely because so much good is happening … we need to stop and go through this series.  You need guardrails in your life.  Society baits us up right to the edge of disaster and then mocks us if we step over into that disaster.  We are baited and tempted right up to edge of sexual temptation.  We flirt.  We push the boundaries.  We open webpages we don’t need to open and then justify our “limited” use of the stimulation.  We push to the edge financially and see just how close we can get to disaster.

We need guardrails.  Guardrails are usually in the safe zone where you can drive but they are there to protect you from what is on the other side i.e. the cliff or the edge of the bridge.  Yes we can technically drive right on the edge but is that wise?  The guardrail is there if you let your defenses down and drift too far.  Yes, it will bang up and dent your car but you will avoid the catastrophe.  If you hit the guardrail, odds are you will survive and walk away.  Not so if that rail wasn’t there and you hit what was on the other side.

We need these boundaries in our lives as men.  We need to know where that line is and we must know there is a point we cannot cross.  That’s a guardrail.

Join us for this study.  INVEST the time.  I will promise you that you if you come and if you implement even just a few of these things Andy is going to share, you will not regret it.  Odds are, you will look back in a few years and say, “Man, I am so glad I put that guardrail in place back in 2014.”

See you next week.

the “young places” in you

John Eldredge’s latest “Men at the Outpost” video

addresses this issue of “young places” in us (starting at the 10 minute mark.

Here is a summary…

We all have “young places” in us regardless of our age.

The boy inside us that needs a Dad and the love of a Dad.


Watch it play out in your life and you can see it showing up – “Why do I react so strongly to rejection?”  or   “What is the ache I am trying to fix with food or booze or sex?”

These are “young places” that need tending to.


It opens up a whole new level where God can comfort you and come for you.

“Father, I need your love”


Most of us despise these young places in us – they embarrass us or they show up at really inopportune moments so we push them away rather than tending to them in love.


Invite the love of the Father into the boy within.

Not a one-time thing – it is a great, on-going spiritual discipline to learn and keep.


“I need your embrace here Father”

“Father me in this hole I have”


And if you begin to pray and invite God into these moments of pain – when you wake in the morning and feel fear, when you feel like your wife isn’t meeting your needs, etc., you will begin to see God mediating on your behalf via other men coming alongside you or even through experiences.  John talks about Stacy being gone for a few days so he would go walking at night just to be alone with God simply to let God love him.  He was walking along a trail and about to turn back and he felt God say, “Keep going”.  And he kept talking to God and listening and just focusing on God’s love, needing God’s love and right in front of him was this perfect mule deer antler shed.  To John, that’s a treasure and he found himself all week at home just walking around the house holding that shed.


That’s the little boy being loved on by the Father – sort of like when you Dad would go away on a business trip and bring you home a prize.  You cherished that.  That’s what John is talking about.  He carried that antler around like a gift from his Dad, because it was! 


Let God love on you.  Invite God into your young places.   



Erwin McManus info

Erwin McManus has a new book out, The Artisan Soul.

The “Who told you that you were naked?” video is from the podcast series he has just completed going through the Artisan Soul book.  You can access that episode plus all the rest at  Then click on podcasts, video podcasts (or audio if you so chose) and it will open the iTunes store and you can download for free as many of the podcasts as you’d like.

Artisan Soul ties in directly with living Wide Awake – it is a natural extension of what we just studied and it might bless you this summer to read the book or watch the podcasts.

I especially encourage you to watch the “Who told you that you were naked” podcast in its entirety with your wife.  As we discussed, this issue of “voices” is especially potent in the lives of our women.  Women really struggle with this – remember the serpent went after Eve first.  They struggle with body issues, “matching up”, they have father wounds, mother wounds, past-boyfriend wounds, etc.  They gave their heart away many times only to see it smashed.

Watching this video with your wife might be incredibly productive in unpacking some real issues she/you have lurking beneath the surface and the process of restoration can begin.


Tonight’s ManSchool recap

here are the slides from tonight which is a full recap of our entire study of Wide Awake…  wide awake summary

Tonight we had an awesome celebration closing out ManSchool for the Spring.  About 50 people were there including more than 20 wives.  Patrick Grant and The Celebrate Recovery band – WOW.  They are amazing.  Thank you Patrick, y’all blessed us.  And of our course, Jerome Harrell’s food was fantastic.  Jerome is this quiet, unassuming, happy-go-lucky, servant of the Lord.

It was very important for the ladies to hear the ManSchool story and to see our community of men in action.

I was blown away by the comments, especially those of our women (and most especially Shannon’s).  Shannon was so right, you men mean the world to me.  ManSchool has blessed me in so many ways – seeing you men coming alive, responding, doing battle for one another and striving to grow in your authentic faith – truly inspires me.

Some truly beautiful and wonderful things are happening in our midst.  We are so blessed.  God is moving in a powerful way right in front of us.  Men are breaking free of multi-year bondages.  Agreements with lies are being revealed and broken.  Marriages are strengthening.  Our women are responding to what is transpiring in us.  A tribe is forming.  A band of brothers.

There is something special about our group.  I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to catch your eye across the room on Sunday morning and get a thumbs-up or a nod or a smile and I know, I just know, that man is my brother.  A brother forged in the battle of ManSchool.

thank you.  simply, thank you.

To God be the glory.  LiveUP!