“Go”

tying into the “What are you waiting for” … a short, few words on …

Am I willing to “GO”?

Abram was commanded to go – Genesis 12:1 – “The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your lands, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, I will curse those who treat you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Moses was commanded to go – Exodus 3 – “I have observed the misery of My people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings.  I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them from that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey … The Israelites’ cry for help has come to Me, and I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. Therefore, go.  I am sending you to Pharaoh so that you may lead My people, the Israelites out of Egypt.”

So you see, God calls men UP to extraordinary challenges for His purposes.  These are two huge examples that involved men moving nations.  Enormous.  Unthinkable.  So many excuses as to the “no-way I can do that”.  And yet, God said, “Go”.

We are commanded to go.  Jesus said in Mark 10 to the rich young ruler, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”

We’re being called to “Go”.  It is radical.  It means the old life goes.  It means we step forward blindly trusting the Father.  It means our comfort-zone Christianity must go.  Much of what we we’re going to discuss this semester will be challenging and uncomfortable but we believe there is great freedom on the other side.

We’re going to offer you the material and serve up the invitation for you to shed the old ways, shed the old life and wake up to living your life beyond self.  Excurvatus Ex Se – a life lived outward.

Time is flying by.  Another decade will pass before you know it.  Are you going to settle for that nice, safe, domesticated Christianity?  Or are you going to choose the radical?  The untamed, unapologetic, “I will go wherever Jesus sends me” kind of faith.

We have a choice to make.  What are you waiting for?

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Very Best of Manschool (1)

We had a great turnout this morning as we kicked off Manschool.  Richard Peters gave us a great call to action.  He pointed out that his wife loves that he’s attending Manschool and while it is hard to get up and get here, he is blessed by being a part of this Tribe and so is his wife.  He then shared from 2 Kings 4 about Elisha and the widow and the instructions to “go fill your jars with oil”.  He said, “This story reminds me of how the world empties me but how Manschool, through the studying, worship and other men’s testimonies, refills his jars with oil that is the Holy Spirit and he can then take his “full tank” and go back out and minister to his world.”  Beautiful.

Then we discussed this call of “What are you waiting for”

I had my routine physical a month or so ago.  By all accounts, everything is good with my health.  I’ve been eating right and exercising regularly.  After my physical, I went on the website to download and print my test results.  I keep those because I like to be able to look back and see where my cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. are vs. previous years.  The data on the site was last year’s data and I called my doctor’s office to tell them that the data hadn’t been updated yet.  The nurse pulled my file and said, “I’m going to get Dr. Harris to call you.  He wants to talk to you about your test results.”

Wait, what did she just say?  I’d never had “that call” before.  That’s the punch in the mouth no one is ready for.  There has been a flurry of severe illnesses, strange deaths, several cases on pancreatic cancer, etc. in Columbus of late and you just never know.

My mind raced.  My priorities shifted.  I started to run with worry for that call that I knew was coming in a few hours.  What would he say?  What would I do if he said, “there is something disturbing in your results and we need to run more tests”?  I’m almost 52 years old.  It is really hard to believe it is 2016.  In just a few years, we’ll be in the 2020’s.  Do you realize it’s been 15 years since 9/11?  15 years!  I was 37 years old when that happened.  My daughters were 8 and 5.  Now I’m 52 and they are pushing 23 and 20.

Where had my life gone?  Those years seem like a blur to me now.  Did I daydream through all those years?  Have I lived my life to the full and experienced an authentic walk with Jesus?  Or had I settled for lukewarm and a nice, polite, safe faith?  “Wait a minute God, please don’t pull this trigger.  Give me another chance.  I want my life back.”  I felt like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life when the dream has gone bad and he’s at his wits end and he just wants to go back to that simple life he had.

Priorities change.  You suddenly love your wife way more than you had been loving her.  You think of all the things you did wrong and would do over.  You think of the terrible and the “what if I only have six months to live” like the two men I knew that recently died just a couple of months after learning they had pancreatic cancer.  “Boy I’m going to do some things differently if I get another chance.”

All of this swirls over you after one simple comment from a nurse.  Amazing.  My doctor called me a few hours later and I had braced myself.  He said my results were great, improved over last year and he had no idea why the nurse asked him to call me about these results.  He apologized for alarming me.  But it gets me thinking that I want to open this season of Manschool with a very simple question for you … “What are you waiting for?”  That phone call is coming for all of us.  52 becomes 62 in a flash.  72 comes evens faster.  That day coming for all of us and as we age, it comes quicker and quicker.

Thankfully the day is also coming when we step into the Kingdom.  The day is coming when there will be no more pain, no more worries, no fear, no insecurities, no assaults from the enemy.  No condemnation.  No sin.  No temptation to sin.  No distrust.  No wounds.  No shame.

Imagine what that day will be like!  Imagine what it will be like to be fully and completely restored and transformed.  Imagine what it will be like to be reunited with family and friends and to see and know them in their true self – where they don’t live under condemnation, judgment, shame, addictions, pain – but rather when you will know them in their abundant glory, unrestrained, free, passionate, painless, liberated selves?  That glorious day is coming but until such time, I feel compelled to start us with this question … “What are you waiting for?”

Why?  Because I think too many of us are daydreaming through life missing all the abundance that Jesus offers.  I want Jesus as Lord of my life.  Not a utility up on a shelf I can pull down and use when I need it.  I want conversational intimacy with the Father.  I want to know I am delighted in as a son of the Most High.  I desperately want to believe that.  I want to trust him.  I want to converse with him daily – multiple times a day.  I want a bold faith that might just move me across the world if so called.  I don’t want to hold onto the things of this world which are temporary and instead to live and trust in the permanent.

I believe that the great tragedy of life is not the sins we commit but rather the life we fail to live.   Erwin McManus said in his book Chasing Daylight, “We are not called to be survivors but rather conquerors – to move with passion into the storm.  For a Christian, it means to live on the edge and stand at the epicenter of where the Kingdom of God confronts the Kingdom of darkness.  God is looking for adventurers who will fight their way through to rescue those who are lost in darkness.”

Yet many of us choose to remain anonymous and uninvolved.  We avoid potential dangers and hide in the backdrop of life.  Invisible, mediocre, predictable and safe.  Jesus said in John 10 that He came to give us life – an abundant life.  Yet nothing about the abundant life Jesus promised is ever safe.  The abundant life isn’t the prosperity gospel of money and riches.  It’s the exact opposite.  Everything about Jesus is risky.  Where did we get the notion that following Jesus would be safe?  Think of the disciples – “Lay down your nets and follow me” – in other words, “give up your career and your predictable and come and follow me into the unpredictable”.

McManus says, “Too many of us who declare Jesus as Lord have become domesticated or, if you will, civilized.  We have lost the simplicity of our early faith.  The abandon, the freshness, the power, the “I don’t care who knows”.  Beyond that, we have lost the passion and the power of that raw, untamed faith.”  He continues, “We created a religion using the name of Jesus Christ and convinced ourselves that God’s optimal desire for our lives was to insulate us in a spiritual bubble where we risk nothing, lose nothing, worry about nothing.  Yet Jesus’ death wasn’t to free us from dying, but to free us from the fear of death.  Jesus came to liberate us so that we could die upfront and then live.”

That is what we’re after here in Manschool – to create an environment of an authentic, transparent community – we call it Tribe – where we will push towards Jesus and see what living as sons of God can truly be like.  We’ll dive into deep issues and where we will equip you with teaching and tools in order to draw you off the safety of the banks of river into the Class 5 rapids so you can fight for those entrusted to you.  To leave that shore and go into the rapids is risky.  Much of what we’ll ask you do as a man, a husband, a father, a son, a co-worker and a neighbor is risky.  But we believe it will also lead to that abundant life Jesus talked about.

We’ve all got a choice to make.  Am I going to keep settling?  Or am I ready to take it up another notch?  Am I willing to pick up my cross and die to myself so that others I care about can live free?   What are you waiting for?    (part 2 of this – the “go” part comes next)

Manschool starts THIS Wednesday the 27th at 6am

As a reminder, Manschool kicks off this Wednesday morning January 27th.  So far about 20 men have registered to attend.  If you are coming, please complete this step…

https://secure.accessacs.com/access/eventlogin.aspx?id=nF566hHuD9xmUz8T3C8Kag==&site=97076&ReturnUrl=events%2fwz_people.aspx&ChurchID=5014&EventID=103068&sn=97076

We will be going through “The Very Best of Manschool” and it is a great chance for you to catch up on all that we’ve done over the past four years.  It is also a great opportunity to bring a friend who hasn’t been a part of our Tribe.  As Keith and Billy testified to today, community is crucial to our walk with Christ and Manschool is a true community of men striving to learn together, grow together and fortify together.

Billy gave a great analogy this morning of the two mailing envelopes.  The strong envelope, the one fortified with fibers running through it, can withstand the hard punches.  The paper envelope collapses under one punch and is in shreds after a few more.  As Mike Tyson said, “Every man has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth”.  Life is going to punch you in the mouth at some point.  Many men in our Tribe have been through those punches, shared them with us and we’ve walked alongside them through it.

Manschool is fiber.  It is the fiber of the body of Christ weaving through men, fortifying us, empowering us to not go it alone and to radically seek a devoted life following Christ.

Please join us on Wednesday and please register on the link.  One more thing, we have a man that lives on Edgewood Road, right next to the Shriner’s Club that needs a ride each week.  If you think this is a ministry you want to consider, reply back and I will connect you to him.

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The Very Best of Manschool

If you were in church yesterday, you know the topic for Manschool this semester.  We begin this journey, next Wednesday morning the 27th at 6am in the Milgen room at the church.  We are going to go back over the past four years and pull out the very best of our material and give to you the foundational pillars of this ministry.  Many of you are new to our Tribe and missed the first few years.  It will be incredibly valuable for you.

This is also a fantastic opportunity to take Manschool up another notch and draw in new men that have missed all that we’ve done.  This is an incredible discipleship opportunity for you to bring a friend from work or from our church or your neighborhood that perhaps you’ve been talking about what you’ve been experiencing in Manschool.  Now he has the chance to see it all “from the start” and get fully up to speed.

Keith’s call to discipleship yesterday is spot on to exactly what we’re doing in Manschool.  We’ve been having 40-70 men in our midst.  There is no reason it can’t or shouldn’t be 100.  The more men that come, the more men that can come alive to real, authentic, transparent relationships with Christ and other men.

Let’s dream big.  Let’s come alive.  Let’s take it all up another notch.  I need you to pray.  This will come under full assault and opposition.  I need you to personally commit to praying over these next 10 days in preparation.  I also need you to register on the link attached that you’re coming and, more importantly, committing to see it through to the end.

https://secure.accessacs.com/access/eventlogin.aspx?id=nF566hHuD9xmUz8T3C8Kag==&site=97076&ReturnUrl=events%2fwz_people.aspx&ChurchID=5014&EventID=103068&sn=97076