Today, we wrapped up Manschool for the Spring. It was a great day. Ken Himes blessed us with coins we can take with us daily to remind us to put on the full armor of God. Wow! Thanks Ken. Dave Jeffers and his team shared the plans for the fall men’s retreat. They’ve done a great job and have found a great location. Richard Peters shared what their small group will be doing during the 3-4 weeks before “Manschool lite” starts our summer series – their group will continue to meet and allow men to share their life story with their small group. By sharing our story, we truly get to know one another.
We announced the launch of m&w – man&woman – pursing God together – the extension ministry from Manschool where we’ll be intentional about having at least quarterly gatherings with childcare for our tribe and our women. We’ll show videos like the “Who told you that you were naked?” and “Rethinking God – God isn’t disappointed in you (shame)” and we’ll break to let the ladies unpack it and talk through what the videos meant to them while we men do the same thing and then we’ll come back together and discuss it together. We’ll encourage you to grab a few other couples and meet for dinner beforehand as yet another way to build our community.
notes from today…
A few of us went last week to Newnan to see the release of Eldredge’s new film, A Story Worth Living. It was amazing and this notion of “story” has really stuck with me. Interestingly, of note, so far, “story” is the #1 question you want answered according to the early results from our poll (see the previous post on the blog). Story ties in with so much of what we’ve done this Spring.
“What are you so mad at son?” It’s a good question. “What are you afraid of?” “Why won’t you let people get close to you?” “Why all this discouragement?” Why are you hiding? There’s always a story. Behind every man, there is a back story – the things that shaped you. Behind every posing man, there is a wounded boy.
Many of us struggle with addictions – addicted to sex, pornography, addicted to needing other’s approval of us, addicted to needing to be seen as successful or having it all figured out. The need for control. Addicted to money or power or reputation. Other medications – drugs, booze, toys like cars, guns, TV’s – striving to find that one thing that will make me feel better. In all of this, we must ask, “What is it you’re trying to medicate here?”
There is a root in us – a story or a history that explains it.
“He FOULED me!” – someone did a great injustice to me, offended me, being ignored, overlooked, passed by … you take a lot of wounds in this life. Pay attention to what Jesus is surfacing here. We need to pay attention to the wounds and we need to learn how to invite Jesus into those wounded and painful places to seek His healing and restoration.
We make agreements with our pain. Things are done to you or spoken over you. Many times, it is multiple assaults against the same soft spot – a common theme against you. The wounds carry a message and over time, we make agreements. Agreements meaning we accept them as truth. “I am not worth loving”. “I will always be a failure”. “I will always be alone.” “I am a seagull.” “My father was right, I am ______”. “Life will never be the same”. When you find yourself saying these things over yourself, you’ve made an agreement with a wound. There is a pain that came into your life and you’ve agreed with it and odds are, it has played a huge role in your life. If you believe you don’t have a voice, that your opinion doesn’t matter and that no one cares, eventually you’ll go silent. You’ve let those other voices come in and silence you. That’s a wound and an agreement and you need to invite Jesus into that pain.
All of this goes to story. Your life is a story.
Your heart is made for an epic story. When you give up looking for your story, you give up living. For many of us, our wounds have told us there is no story for us and so we’ve stopped seeking it. You have a story – each and every one of you – that is worth living. Maybe there has been a lot of misery in your life and you no longer believe you have anything to offer. It’s not so. God is in the business of turning misery into ministry.
You have a story worth living. What will you do to find yours? How do you want the story of your life to end? Not all the mistakes and junk of the past but rather from this day forward … how do you want your story to end?