Manschool starts next week

We will start Manschool next Wednesday morning at 6am.  We will resume with the study on Goliath must fall.   But…next week, we have a special, uplifting message that will give you great hope.  See you then!

PS – if you haven’t RSVP’d for next Friday’s Manschool dinner, please do so.  We have a good crowd coming and hope to see you there.

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Grilled steaks …

The Manschool dinner is in 11 days.  Friday January 26th.  So far, the following men are coming with their wives…

Richard Illges, David Burnell, Adam Keller, Ryan Walker, Rusty Blair, Blair Calhoun, Tommy McDonald, Mike LaFramboise, Bill Angles, Vic Feliciano and James Warren.

11 men have registeredThat means I’ve yet to hear from at least 50 of you.  If you plan on joining us, please comment below.  Jerome Harrell will grill steaks and chicken on site along with great sides, salad and desert.

 

Manschool Dinner with wives

We have scheduled a dinner for Manschool and our wives (or if you’re single, your girlfriend, significant other) for Friday, January 26th at 6:30pm.  That’s 2 weeks from this Friday!  Dinner will be in the Milgen Room where we meet on Wednesday mornings.  If you are single or divorced and whether or not you have a girlfriend, we still want you coming to this event.

These are very fun, rewarding events for us when we include our wives.  They will get to hear a summary of what we talked about this fall and then we will open the floor for the men to share what Manschool has meant to them.  Trust me men, your women love to hear you talking about your faith and how God is moving in your life!  Some of the comments from our women in past events have been very special.

I need RSVPs … ASAP.  Please leave a comment below to book your seats.  I may also need some men to help set the room up that day – more on that later.

Childcare?  When we talked about this in December, no one indicated childcare was needed so we’re not planning on that.  If you have no other way to be there unless care is provided, put that in your comment.

Dabo Swinney talk

Attached is a link to Coach Swinney’s talk here in Columbus.  It’s long but it is full of wisdom.  He did a great job and poured so much of himself into the talk.  He left nothing on the field.  If you have children, I promise you, there are many lessons in this talk that will help you with your kids.

What you will see come through in this talk is here is a man who came from a terrible background but he persevered.  As he likes to say, “There is no handicap in life except a bad attitude”.   He had a clear vision for what he wanted the Clemson program to be about and the impact he wanted it to have on the players entrusted to him.  He has a strong faith and he knew God had a purpose for his life beyond “self” – exactly what we’ve been talking about these past few weeks.

God clearly had a purpose and mission for Dabo Swinney and he is living it out and in so doing, is impacting so many.

Comfort must fall (pt 2)

Here are the slides from this morning … Comfort must fall

Like fear, the giant of comfort is sneaky – especially in the American church.  It is so easy to slip into the luxury of comfort, the safety of “home”, the deception that your ministry field is contained to just the four walls of your family.  There is so much more you are called to do.  Jesus came to this world with a gigantic mission and He left us to fulfill that mission.  The need in this community is a desperate one.  The kids your kids hang out with … need the Gospel.  Their parents do.  The other dads you hunt with or stand with at the ball field … need the Gospel.  Your neighbors do, your co-workers.

Louie Giglio reminded us last week … “The giant of comfort is all about getting us to settle for the easy road and slowly slipping into the mentality of “I want my life to be a stress-free, pain-free, difficulty-free life while I celebrate a Savior who had a life exactly the opposite of that.”

Truth is, too many of us have settled into the pursuit of our comfort as the operating system for our lives.

Our faith thrives best in times of discomfort.  Shakings come along in life and it is usually in those times of great shaking, great uncertainty, that God does His greatest work in our lives.  You must fight the temptation to seek comfort.  It truly is a daily denial of self.  It is turning away from “Me-ism” and looking outward … daily.  It’s a fight because our flesh and our enemy war against this desire.  The last thing the enemy wants is for you to live beyond self, outward for others.  But this is precisely how Jesus lived His life.

McManus said today – Love always builds for others. It looks beyond our convenience. You don’t give money so church can be more comfortable for you, more convenient for you, easier for youIf you’ve already experienced the life-changing presence of Jesus, it doesn’t need to get any easier for you.  If you have been set free by the power and love of Jesus, you’ve been set free for a reason, to do a great work to advance God’s kingdom.”

Jesus came to build for others.  He did not come for convenience, a cushy retirement and every luxury He could accumulate.  John Piper once said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like this – find the treasure, feel the joy, forsake the stuff.”  Amen.

Blessings to all of you this Christmas season.  Live outside self.  Minimize “me”.  Pour out into others.  Forgive quickly.  Love always.  Fight the good fight.  LiveUP!

Comfort … must fall

Why didn’t Saul fight?  He had the tools.  He was a warrior.

We sit in comfortable churches celebrating a Savior who lived a very uncomfortable life.  I want to make sure in my life that I don’t miss God’s purpose and plan in life and the payoff in eternity, because the giant of comfort has got a hold of me.

The giant of comfort is a sneaky giant.  It is possible we will miss out on God’s purpose because we chose the easy route.  “My crops are amazing.  Look at my barns.  So, we’re going to eat and drink and be merry because I’ve got plenty”And Jesus cut him short by saying … “You fool”  — (You do not want Jesus calling you a fool) —  “This very day, your number is up and you’re going to give a full account of your life to God”.

Jesus came with a purpose and a mission.  He did not come to choose the easiest path, to have a balanced life, and to retire in luxury.  He came to fulfill a mission and when He left, He gave me a mission.  “While you are on earth, do what I did.”

This giant is about settling for the easy road and slowly slipping into the mentality of, “I want my life to be a stress-free, pain-free, difficulty-free life while I celebrate a Savior who had a life exactly the opposite of that.”  Whoa.

They endured 40 days of taunting – but they were comfortable.  They had their tents, their fires and meals were being delivered to them.  But, they did not fight.  David comes along and accomplishes the mission in about 40 minutes.

Do not let comfort be the thing that keeps you from God’s purpose in your life.

All through scripture, we are taught that our faith actually thrives best in discomfort.  In scripture, think of the person who chose the easy route, who lived in ease, whose life was described by comfort, who never took a chance and suffered a loss … and plays a significant role in the story of God from beginning to end.  Who is that character?  No one.

None of the heroes and legends of faith had an easy road.  Faith thrives in discomfort.

Jesus – in the place of greatest discomfort – bought us all the benefit we have in our relationship with God.

Who has the most urgency in their faith?  The secret church in China or all of us in our American worship centers?  Who has the urgency in their prayer life?  Who has the urgency in reading the Word to know God more closely?  Whose very life depends upon their faith?

Faith flourishes in hostile territory because faith at its heart is counter-culture.  We are counter-cultural people in a broken world heading to an eternal destination.  We have a different view of life beyond just what we can get in the here and now.  Jesus calls us to this mentality, this lifestyle.

In times of no job, no purpose, unsettled and frustrated – it is soil such as this that you’d think your faith would die but, it is the very best soil for God to move in.

Out of the fog of discomfort, the Gospel pops up.  We look back and see “Wow, that was amazing.  There was so much discomfort, but God did so much.”  We don’t choose discomfort and that’s why God usually chooses it for us.  We need assistance in cutting the rope, so we can drift out into the current where God wants to move.

How do you defeat the giant of comfort?  You partner with Jesus.  “Jesus, I want to be wherever you are, do what you are doing and mission where you want to minister.”  It’s not the easy way but rather the Jesus way – it is the path of true significance.