Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Growing On Your Own

If you left your church, for whatever reason, would you keep growing in your walk with Christ?

If your church shut-down, split, went belly up, etc., would you keep growing in your walk with Christ?

If you moved, got transferred, enlisted in the service, or found yourself alone in life, would you keep growing in your walk with Christ?

If your "fellowship" ended on your last day at your old church, would you keep growing in your walk with Christ?

Sometimes the walk of a Christian calls us to keep growing on our own. You may not always find yourself surrounded by other Christian Men, but the biblical injunction to keep growing still applies.

The Martyrs of near and distant lands often went to their deaths alone, with not a sole to comfort them, except for their Christ. He is sufficient. He is all we need. He is the gospel, and the gospel is what we stand in, are saved by, and propels us forward in the face of adversity. The battle for the kingdom summons you to bear arms, you must continue to fight for the heart of your King even if you look around and it's just you on the battlefield. Courage is not the absence of fear, but doing what is right in the face of adversity. Are you courageous-- are you a warrior your Christ can count on-- or do you shrivel and cower when the arrows of life and your enemy start flying?

As I write this, I'm listening to "Beautiful Day" by U2, and it's helping me think about the fact that everyday is a beautiful day that is walked with the precious Lord Jesus Christ. He gave all in the face of opposition. He shed His blood when His orders called Him to. He is our great God and King and is calling all His mighty Men to do battle in the arena of life. Can you hear the trumpet? Can you hear the roar of the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Will you show up for battle?

I hate hearing of Men who once walked with Christ, but now, because they're not "in church" anymore, have lost their way and turned their backs on Christ. What was the church to them? A nursery? A playground? Or was it what it's suppose to be, a training center, equipping Men to go into battle ready to deal the enemy a death blow every chance he got. Equipping Men to keep growing in their walks with Christ when they're on their own. Ready to lead his family with courage, to disciple his children with diligence, and to love his wife with unwavering devotion!

I'm a church guy. I believe Christ shed His blood for her. I believe whenever possible, Men should be servants in a local assembly, contributing to the prosperity of that church, helping her reach her community. If you're in a healthy, missional, gospel centered local assembly consider yourself blessed. Unfortunately, not all are. Not all have found what the scriptures call churches to be, and my point isn't to blame churches, but to call Men. To call Men to keep growing when everything in you is beckoning you to stop walking with Christ.

If you have stopped walking with the Lord because your "on your own," imagine where we'd be if Christ had done the same...

Friday, March 20, 2009

When Rockers Repent...

Read an article the other day about how Reginald Arvizu, better known as 'Fieldy' from the band Korn, had found God and repented of his past behavior and sins to his fellow band members. Fieldy is the second member of Korn to become a Christian. The first was Brian 'Head' Welch. You can read about his conversion here.

If Fieldy's repentance is real, and from what I've read it seems to be, I say Amen! Imagine the impact someone with his connections could have on the music industry. Think of the witnessing opportunities he could have within the crowd he runs with.

In the article cited, he said his Dad, a born-again Christian, had only one with on his death bed, and that was for his son to find God. And according to the facts, he was born-again the night his father passed away.

I'm sure you could point to things in his life, or Welch's, that may provoke some thought of "That isn't right." But be careful, because they might do the same to you. These guys coming to Christ from the industry they're in reminds me of the passage in Mark 2 when Jesus was having lunch with the "sinners and tax collectors," and told the Pharisee's, who hated to see him with such dregs of society, that he came not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners. And according to scripture, these guys are 'sinners,' and me too!

Other notables who've gotten saved, according to their testimony and not my opinion, are: Deion Sanders, MC Hammer, RUN (of RUN DMC), Bono, and I'm sure you can name some.

My hope is that we see and hear about more stories of repentance and faith in Chirst as the years go on within the music industry, sports industry, hollywood, etc. These industries may be hard to conquer, but the gospel is powerful. Jesus said; "I will build my kingdom, and not even the gates of hell will prevail." If they're called, they'll get saved. Glory to God!
15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) 16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” - Mark 2: 15-17

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Contemplative Quote...

“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.
It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness,
Nourishment of mind by His truth,
Purifying of imagination by His beauty,
Opening of the heart to His love,
And submission of will to his purpose.
And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.” - William Temple

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Men's Leadership Summit...Day 3

Well, I'm back home now and me and Stephen are still digesting everything we heard and experienced at the Summit. Even though my family has been home educating our children for over 14 years, and I've heard some of these men speak before, and their messages doesn't change throughout the years, it's always encouraging, exciting, challenging, and empowering to hear the message of why we do what we do articulated with clarity and passion from men who God has raised up for such a time as this.

There were many memorable moments and quotes from the conference. My son Stephen asking Doug Phillips, Voddie Baucham, Kevin Swanson, and the other who spoke what he should be doing now as young boy since he feels God calling him to be a Pastor. Also at the end of the last message, all the sons were asked to come forward as Scott Brown prayed God's blessing and favor over them as all the men in attendance raised their hands to the Lord, which was a very stirring moment!

Two quotes I thought were memorable are:
  • "History is not made by majorities, but by dedicated minorities." - Doug Phillips
  • "Let's stop using our children as canon fodder in the culture war." - Voddie Baucham
On the final day we started with a nice bible study geared at helping men in their marriages from the current President of ATI. Then we heard from Mike Cheney on the dynamics of "Leading and Bleeding" with your leadership team. And finally, after brunch, we heard some encouraging words from State Senator Kevin Lundberg on how God has saved a remnant in the Colorado State Legislature. He told us that 10 current State Senators had or are currently homeschooling their children. After Kevin Lundberg, came Kevin Swanson, who delivered the final call for Men to rise up to be the kind of Men God has called them to be. He laid out his 40 year vision for the homeschool movement and got a standing ovation that lasted at least 3 minutes. It was powerful to say the least!

For anyone interested in purchasing the messages that were delivered at this Summit, they are available at Resounding Voice. You can purchase individual sessions or the entire conference on CD or Mp3. If you're a homeschooling Dad especially, or just a Mom looking for encouragement, I'd spend the money in a heartbeat. Investing in you is investing in your children, and investing in your children is investing in the future of the kingdom of God.

So here's a few more photos from the event for you to enjoy, and perhaps we'll see one another at a future event. On the way home I met up with some friends at Fair Oaks Dairy Farm for some ice-cream and fellowship. It was a great three days with my son that I hope he never forgets...

Above is Colorado State Senator Kevin Lundberg.
He strongly supports home education!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Men's Leadership Summit 2009...Day 2

Me and Stephen are greatly rejoicing tonight as we turn in for a much needed night of rest. We've been on the go since 6:30 this morning and have enjoyed every bit of the day. It's now 11pm and as Stephen lays in bed I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos with you.

Today we heard from Doug Phillips, Brian Ray, Chris Klicka, Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson and Voddie Baucham. Wow, what a line-up! It was like drinking from a fire hydrant all day long, and loving every minute of it. They sounded the battle cry for the hearts of our children, the health of our families, and the legacy of our nation. And all I can say is, the message was received...

The highlight of the day wasn't having breakfast with Voddie Baucham, or meeting legends in the home discipleship movement like Norm Wakefield and Rick Boyer, who I spoke with over lunch, as great as those moments were. No, it was much more significant than that. It was helping my son Stephen ask the panel of Doug, Voddie, Kevin, Brian and Chris what he should be doing now as a young boy to help him prepare to be a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ! And then hearing those Men of God as they looked him in the eye and offer their advice to him. That was golden!

Well, here's some photos from the day, hope you enjoy them...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Men's Leadership Summit 2009...Day 1

Me and Stephen, my 9 year old son, arrived in Indianapolis safe for our three day getaway at the Leadership Summit 2009 gathering. Me met some old and new friends and enjoyed two very stirring messages from Kevin Swanson and Voddie Baucham respectively.

Both Men laid out a clear and compelling vision for what Men need to do in order to break the cycle of children growing up in Christian homes and then walking away from the faith at an alarming rate of between 70-88% before the end of their freshman year of college.

Their challenge to us in the home discipleship movement is, with God's word guiding us, God's word informing, God's Spirit leading us, and God's Son saving us, can we do better? Must we do better? I think the answer is clear...

We have a long day scheduled tomorrow so by for now. Here's some photos from the first night...

Stephen: "Hi Mama"
Me: "Hey Kids, Hey June, Love Ya"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Contemplative Quote...

"Most Men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them."
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, March 2, 2009

Your Life on Stage...What ending will yours have???

This skit is worth watching again and again. God's grace is never-ending and so is eternity. Are you ready for it??? If you feel far from God, it isn't because God's far from you!