man ALIVE…

Manschool will resume in two weeks.  Wednesday January 23rd at 6am.

I must tell you that through conversations with a number of men that I think this spring is going to be a special time for our Tribe.  These men I am talking to will be new to our Tribe.  Each one has asked “what is it that you guys do?” and when I describe it, they each say, “That sounds exactly like what I’ve been needing – a real, authentic, speak-the-truth, no BS gathering of men from all walks of life”.

I want to challenge you.  Each of you.  There are men ALL around you that need what we have to share on Wednesday mornings.  Our Tribe is a real blessing.  I’ve asked you many times, “if you were out there on your own, doing life alone as a man … what would you give to have a gathering like we have?”  Well … WE HAVE IT!  We have what those men are looking for.

You’ve benefited from what has happened.  It’s now time to share it.  It’s now time to expand our Tribe and use it for what God created it to be … an outreach.  A lifeline.  A rescue.  An island in the storm.  A safe place.  You’ve got men all around you – brothers, neighbors, co-workers, hunting buddies, etc. that need to come.  They need to be here.  They need to experience this.  Will we curve inward and just take what is shared – or – will we live OUTWARD – excurvatus ex se – and give what we have away to other men who need what we have to offer?

It’s not about numbers but I’d like us to outgrow our room.  I’d like us to need more room for all the men coming.  Do you believe that’s possible?  Do you believe God wants other men to reap in what we have all enjoyed?

Each one, reach one.  Cultivate.  Ask some questions.  Ask a friend to just come and try it.

Let’s see what God can do for a Tribe that dreams.  Our best days are yet to come.  There is more and we’re going after it.


Carver is this Thursday evening

The Carver football banquet is this Thursday at 6pm at CCC (the official start time is 6:30).  We could use a few more men to help be there for the meal and more specifically for the clean up afterwards.  Clean up won’t take long and the more men we have the faster we can knock it out.  Need 2-3-4 more men.  If you can help, comment below.

Derrick touched on this in the sermon yesterday – this Carver ministry is one of the coolest things we do at CCC.  We intersect two communities – mostly white men engaging with young black men on their turf, at their school.  We love on them and they love on us back.  To this day, I still run into young men from prior years at Carver that stop me in restaurants or in stores to tell me how much they appreciate what we did for them when they were there.  How cool is that?

It is true that we are blessed to give than to receive and no ministry I’ve been involved with has blessed me more than Manschool and Carver.  Excurvatus Ex Se – live outward and truly live!

Carver football banquet in TEN days!

Wow, we’ve gotta get moving!  Christ Community will host the Carver High Football banquet on Thursday night, January 10th.  We need a number of men to help us pull this off.  It’s a great opportunity to interact with the team and their family and the coaches.  Carver had a remarkable season under Coach Joyner.  He rebuilt the staff and transformed the players and the results were impressive.

Because that is Prayer Week at CCC, we will have a unique set up/clean up.

We have 3 places you can serve…

Set up will be Thursday January 10th at noon.  We need 6-7 men to come to help us move tables and chairs and set the room up for the meal.

That evening, we need about 10 men there to serve as greeters/servers – please wear dark pants and a white dress shirt.  The meal starts at 6:30.  Please be at the church at 5:30pm.

We don’t expect a huge crowd because Coach is trying to manage how many folks come.  So, we’re going to try to clean up and move chairs, etc. after the meal.  We think it may take 45 minutes.  We need 10 men there for clean up/put back.  If you will be a server at the meal and can stay to clean up, notate that in your response.  If you just want to come for clean up, be at the church at 8:15pm.

So… will you help?   6-7 men at noon Thursday.  10 men to serve/greet.  10+ men to clean up.  We should be done by 9:30pm and we will bless a lot of folks.

Please leave a comment below about your willingness to help and where.  Thank you!

Fight Club – this is how we fight

here are the slides from this morning … Which Kingdom 13 – fight club 3

here is the video – we started at 13 minutes into the talk …

When you play football, you understand what fight club is all about.  You’re out of the stands.  You’re committed.  You have invested and sacrificed.  And you’re extraordinarily vulnerable because every play, every move, every block is graded and evaluated in the open.

It is completely different than the people sitting in section 304.

It can be like that in church – we can sit in church, watch from a distance, know 3-4 guys who seem to be Jesus guys and worship at a distance – or – we could get on the field, get some guys of our own, make the commitment and say, “I don’t want to be a spectator, I want to be a participant in what it is God wants for my life.”

 We fight in 4 arenas

We want to fight for our walk with God –  The enemy is going to try and destroy in every man, his relationship with God.  He doesn’t want us to be come a man of the Word and a man of prayer.  You were created for relationship with God.  The best gift we can give to the next generation is to become a “man after God’s own heart” = a man of the Word and a man of prayer.  That is going to take a fight because no one is rewarding us men carving out time to become students of God, becoming immersed in the Word, to learn the Word of God so we can live it and pass it on to our children.  Our call is to raise up our children in the Word of God, not default that to our wives.

We want to fight for our heart and our character –  Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.  To be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”  Survey humanity and culture and you’ll see that silver and gold is way more important than being esteemed.  For most men, great riches would be an easy choice over a good name.  We know we must fight for our heart and our character.  David honorable but he was still subject to temptation and so am I.  If you don’t believe that, you’re deceived and very vulnerable.  Bathsheba came along, and every man knows exactly how David fell.  James 1:14 – “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after his desire has conceived it, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.”

Lust is in the heart of all men – lust for her, for power, for money, prestige, vengeance.  In this fight, there is something about having other men around you who can help you overcome these temptations when they come towards you.

We want to fight for our family –  We are providers and protectors.  We’re good at.  It’s what we do but we are also the fountain for the approval and worth that our family so desperately need.  Ephesians 5 – “Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” At the heart of every woman is a desire for a man that is a protector and provider and a source of approval for her and encourager in her life.  Our families need more than financial deposits.  They need emotional deposits as well.  They need to know we love them, we like them, we think about them, we want to be with them and we want to help them fulfill their dreams.

We fight for our brother –  Ecclesiastes 4:12 – “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves but a chord of three strands is not easily broken.”  Help your brother fight to become the man he wants to be.  Brothers in war.  Transparency is crucial.  100% honesty.  Your success is dependent on how transparent and honest you will be.

It won’t work to get together to talk about work, talk about our family, talk about temptation, talk about lust … and not be honest.  You hold all the cards.  Unless you’re willing to put all your cards down on the table, you’re not going to make it to the ultimate destiny.

There hasn’t been one book ever written about the lone, one man who won the battle, by himself, against all the enemies coming against a man’s heart.  But there are enough books to fill this room of all the men who fell trying to fight against all the enemies in a man’s heart.

It’s going to take brotherhood and it’s going to take vulnerability.

Fight Club 2 – Fathered by God

Here is the clip from Louie Giglio.  We started at 27:30 minutes in …

Here are the slides – Which Kingdom – Fight Club 2

To be a great father, I must understand that I have a great Father.  I am a beloved son of a perfect Father.

The enemy’s plan is to isolate you because that’s when you’re at your weakest and to insulate you, so you can then refuse to deal with the issues that are most important in your life.

A man who says, “I’m good.  I’m fine.  It’s under control” and says, “and there are certain things, I just won’t talk about” – that man, has isolated and insulated himself.  He’s a prime target for the enemy.

We all want the approval of our Dad’s – or we did when we were kids.  That desire is woven deep within us.  There is something about the approval of a dad that can’t be met in any other way.

The enemy knows this and will try to crack our perception of our earthly dad and thus, our perception of our eternal Father.

It’s hard to be a “man after God’s own heart” if the most important man in your life wasn’t after your heart.

Most men you know… are still striving for their father’s approval – or – striving to disprove their Dad who said he’d never amount to anything, never measure up, never be anything important or who was just silent.  This is hard for most men to admit because the pain is layered down deep.

Ephesians 5:1 – “Be imitators of God as dearly loved children”

For a lot of us, we’ve got a box full of parts but no picture of what a man is supposed to look like.  We never had a Dad, or our Dad was too busy, too successful, too dysfunctional or too disinterested.

Yes, Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead and He did go to Calvary and die on the cross as a sacrifice for us, so we could be forgiven and set free – but – God loved Him before He did any of that.  Jesus moved from the Father’s acceptance not for the Father’s acceptance.

We can do great things, build great things, lead great things, leave a great legacy and do what men do but not “so that” we get someone’s approval but because we already have the greatest approval anyone could ever want.

I want to be an imitator of God as a dearly loved child.

As men, we all long for one thing and that is to know we are the son of a father who takes delight in us, who sees us, who wants to be involved in our story and who wants to affirm us because we are His.  We all want that.

Every real life struggle we face as men is all in Ephesians 5.  But it starts with being “dearly loved children”.

Christ fought to the finish and fought to the death for you!

There is No shadow you won’t light up.

No mountain You won’t climb up.

No wall You won’t kick down.

No lie You won’t tear down

… coming after me.

You ARE a beloved son of the Father.  He delights in YOU.  Believe that today.

What a man after God’s own heart looks like…

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless me with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships

So that I may live from deep within my heart.

May God bless me with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations

So that I may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless me with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war

So that I may reach out my hands to comfort them and to turn their pain to joy.

And may God bless me with just enough foolishness

To believe that I can make a difference in the world

So that I can do what others claim can’t be done

To bring justices and kindness to all our children and to all our neighbors who are poor.


Fight club – A man after God’s own heart

Here is the video.  We started at about 24 minutes in…

A man after God’s own heart.

It’s OK to be a man and still have a heart.  You can be tough on the outside and tough mentally and tough about the things you set your mind to and to still be sensitive to the things going on around you and shed a tear every now and then.

David was a musician, brave, warrior, gifted speaker, Lord was with him, rancher, leader, bold, crack shot, poet, good looks, dancer but we also know he was easily distracted by temptation.  He was tempted to decisions that would be massively detrimental to his life.

You can be a man’s man and have your life summed up as a “man after God’s own heart”.

You can be a skilled fighter, but you must know when to fight and when not to fight.

Fighting is a man’s DNA.  Fighting brothers.  Wrestling Dad.  Football.  Fighting to win business.  It’s our nature to fight but we’ve got to know when to fight or else we can risk gaining the whole world and forfeiting our soul.

When the conflict arises, do I deflect, or do I say, “I’m sorry”?

It’s hard for us.  We’re sinful, proud, stubborn, arrogant fighters.  So, it’s hard to say, “I’m sorry” because that phrase brings with it a freight train of other things i.e.  “I’m not right about everything”, “I’m not right about this thing” or because I reacted this way to this, it shows there is something deep inside that just isn’t wired right.

We must know when and where to fight.  We will fight – no question – but to have it said about us, “he was a man after God’s own heart”, we’re going to have to know “when” to fight.

Some of us are still fighting with our Dads.  We fight against him daily even if he’s not around or no longer living.  You’re fighting that “thing” stuck between you and him.

Some of us are still fighting against a wrong in our past – a decision made, an unfair situation, something that wrongly went against us.

We’re fighting against what we can’t resolve, or we fight for things that ultimately won’t satisfy us.  We fight for success and fame.  They don’t satisfy.  Money doesn’t.  Winning the deal, having your name on the building, being first, being best, being most powerful … they don’t satisfy a heart that was made for God.

How can we be men who can have it said about us that we were men after God’s own heart?

How can we know when to fight and what to fight for?

It happens when we move out of isolation and insulation and we move into relationship with other men for the purpose of achieving the ultimate win which is being a man after God’s own heart.

Isolation is a chief skill of men – we’ve perfected it.  Insulation = nobody is getting to me.

I can’t do this alone or at least, I know I’m not getting the amazing outcome I sought doing it in isolation and insulated from others, so I need help to do this.

Fight Club = contending for what matters most.  It’s not what we’re fighting against but rather what we are fighting for.

Paul said (2 Timothy 4:7), “I’ve fought the good fight”.  I’ve contended for the right things in the right way and I’ve gained them.  I didn’t just fight fights, I fought the good fight.  I’ve finished the race, kept the faith.

The question we seek to dodge with our isolation and insulation is “How are you doing?”.  That deep, at the core, no-BS question – cut through the pose, the “I’m great” answer and peel back the layers and expose the real answer … how are you really doing?

Fight Club intends to fight for 4 key areas

  1. My walk with God – am I fighting for my walk as much as I fight for my career, my workouts, my hunting, my yard?
  2. My heart and my character
  3. My family – fight for my wife, not with her.  Fight for my kids.  My dad.  Will I stand up and be the spiritual leader of my home?  Yes or no?
  4. My brothers – will I get into what he is fighting against and get up in his face over it?

I’m going to fight for the disadvantaged and for those who cannot fight for themselves. I’m not going to live a self-focused life, a self-serving life, stacking up what I need, isolating and insulating myself from what I don’t want to feel.  I’m not going to do all these things chasing after a false prize I think will satisfy my life.

The enemy wants you to fail in all 4 of these areas.  So, you need a fight club around you that knows the real you, the honest you, not the church-answer you.  You need men around you where it is safe for you to say, “You know, I am not doing well”.

You have a heart.  Peel back the layers of isolation and insulation until you can get to where you know you’re a son of God.  Feelings, hurts, anguish, loss, anger, etc. are all stuffed down deep – we’ve got to peel those back to get to the covered-over heart, so you can know God at a heart to heart level.

Fighters that we are, real men and all that, we cannot approach God on a strength to strength basis.  It’s only on the heart-to-heart level where we can be fathered by God.