Wanted Man

“The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him…” (2nd Chronicles 16:9)

God wants men to step up and be what He designed and called them to be.  That’s the bottom line…. really nothing more to it.  We were designed to be warriors and leaders, but instead many are dragged into the pit of follower and complacency.  Our own world becomes self-centered and ruled by self-indulgence.  We quickly choose to follow our careers, hobbies, and lusts more passionately than we follow our God.  Our goals in life are seldom focused on God, instead they’re typically directed on all the other things we want in life…. the things we somehow believe we need and deserve.  Yet, God searches the earth for men whose hearts are fully committed to him.  I am not yet that man, are you?

I hear a cry from deep within calling me to become a man that is fully committed to Him.  Do you hear the same cry inside of you?  I believe you do.  If not, it’s likely because you’ve ignored it so long, buried it so deeply under so much that you’ve become deaf to it…. but it calls out nevertheless.  It calls because it was embedded within the design of what man is to be.

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

Much of my life has been spent wading around in lukewarm water.  It’s rather comfortable, there is much to keep me entertained and plenty of company.  But a voice keeps crying out from deep within me….   Reminding me that I am a “Wanted Man.”

Men of Palmyra Grace…. you’re going to start hearing a lot about something called “Fight Club.”  It was designed to help you become the man God has called you to be.  Fight Club is for every man, but not all will choose to accept the call.  Some men will be just too busy, some men are just too comfortable.  I say these things in love…. not in anyway to be judgmental or harsh.

Fight Club is not easy.  It’s essentially a 12 week spiritual boot-camp.  It will challenge you spiritually, physically, relationally, academically, and emotionally.  Some that accept the challenge will strike out and not finish, but no doubt they will be a better man for trying.  I’m calling you out! No excuses!  I myself am weak and need like-minded men to stand beside me and FIGHT!!

To prepare for this battle go to crosseffect.org and register for the “Kick-off” event to be held on March 13th.  And yes, it actually does start at 10 p.m. (past my bed time), but that should be no deterrent for man seeking God.  On that night you will have an opportunity to hear more about Fight Club, and then a few days to decide if you’re willing to begin Fight starting March 18th.  I believe you will choose to join us in battle if you can still hear God crying out within you, “You are a wanted man!”

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Try Again

Let me try this again.  My first attempt at writing a blog this week failed miserably as my wife nicely told me it basically stank.  I’ll tell you why she was right.

There are times in my life when I’m so purposeful in my relationship with the Lord that I’ll not take a step out of my bed until I’ve first focused my mind on God by thanking him and spending even just a moment in prayer.  Other times (for seemingly no reason) it is all I muster to force myself to read a quick devotional or look at one verse while sitting on my throne.

My brother Ed Martin shared a scripture with me last week that stuck me in a way as to make me wonder if I’d even ever heard it before.   Mark 9:24 states, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said ‘I believe; help my unbelief!”

In the context of the story the disciples had just failed to free the boy of the spirit and so the father seeks out Jesus to heal his son.  In verse 23 Jesus tells the father. “If you can!…. All things are possible for one who believes.”  The father immediately responded that he does believe but asked for help of his unbelief.

Do you ever feel like that?  Do you pray about things…. believe things to be so but then struggle with unbelief?  I do.  It helped me to know that my brother Ed does too.

I was in a funk that day last week and by opening up to a friend I was blessed from his insight.

Anyway, back to why my first attempt at a blog stank and I had to try again (hopefully you’re not sitting there thinking “it was actually worse than this one”).  When I try to do things on my own I’ve got nothing.  I was not “feeling it” if you know what I mean.  When I woke up this morning (for whatever reason) I basically just skimmed through my devotion and failed to even crack open my Bible.  I tried to force something onto paper in hopes of “getting my blog over with.”

I’m trying to step up and be the man I’m called to be but my mind is too easily troubled because I fail to believe and trust in God as I should.  This causes me to stress,  and neglect the things that are most important to me in my life.  Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.  This time I spent some time in the Word and prayer before I tried to even type a letter.  Thank you God for being there to always let me try again.

Prepare to Fight!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Storm Chaser

A few weeks ago much of the east coast was to receive a huge blizzard.  Talk of 2 feet of snow combined with winds of 50 mph permeated the news waves.  New York City was temporarily shut down due to the impending “Snow-apocalypse.”  The pressure system roared across the the land taking dead aim at our surrounding area, we were all clearly in the cross-hairs… and then NOTHING!  How different things would have been had we never paid attention to the forecasts.

This situation seems a direct correlation of how I’ll often handle potential storms in my own life.  I tend to try to be the forecaster, running all the possible prediction models over and over through my mind till I make my final forecast.  Often times it is the “Apocalypse” scenario.  More often than not the storm never comes, but if it does it is rarely as bad as I had predicted.  You’d think that by now I’d realize that I’m a horrible forecaster and recognize the futility of my attempts to predict life’s “weather.”

What makes my attempts at forecasting so detrimental is that most of my time is spent looking and worrying about the pending storm as opposed to seeking and praising after my God.  This tends to leave me grumpy and living my days void of the joy and peace I should be experiencing.  Instead of being filled with a true revelation of God’s love so that I may share it with others….  I’m too busy storm chasing.

I could get all spiritual on you know and list all kinds of scriptures about the way we should be thinking about the “weather” in our life, I’ll not do that because I think you already know. You know the kind of man God has called you to be and you know where to find Him… you know where to find His promises and strength.  Stop trying to predict the weather and focus of the fight.  Stop measuring your preparedness on your perception of your own personal holiness, but instead focus on knowing God.  This is what God wants from us more than anything.  Stop looking at the weather, stop worrying about storms, start focusing on knowing God.  PREPARE TO FIGHT!!!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Fight, Fight!!!

So many good intentions…

I really do want to be a better husband, father, and friend… to get in better shape… to maintain the sweet, meaningful relationship with the Lord I have tasted…

I yearn for such things.

Unfortunately I rarely fight for these things.

Why is that?  Is it because I fail to realize that there really is a battle?  That there is a battle raging whether I engage in it or not?  It would be much easier if some sinister intruder tried to invade my home.   You can bet I would fight then.  If I hear the door getting kicked in and someone storming into my home he better hope I don’t get my hands on the field hockey stick leaning in the hallway (no idea why that’s there but that’s another story).  I could do some serious damage with it.  Over six feet tall, 300 lbs, and ticked off… I could probably kill someone with that pink field hockey stick.

But in reality the intruder is almost never that concrete or tangible.  They don’t kick in the door and physically threaten me and mine.  Instead it’s the subtle breeze of passivity that blows in the window I forgot to shut, a shadow that slowly creeps across my marriage, a son quietly walking out the door I have failed to fully prepare for what lurks outside.

Recently I was blessed to be part of a group that helped me remember this. Chad, who generally writes this blog, invited me and a couple other guys to be part of a men’s ministry called “Fight Club.”  This ministry reminded us through a variety of challenges to remember that there is a battle, whether we like it or not. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 it is not a battle with flesh and blood but a spiritual battle.

The group of men encouraged me to resist the passivity that I tend to embrace and called me to stand up instead and engage in this battle.  To fight- to remember that I do not fight alone.  That I must act, we must act.  Together we can reclaim our homes, our families, our churches, and our community.  The clarion call of the “Fight Club” men’s ministry is found in Nehemiah

14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”  Nehemiah 4:14.

Consider joining us as we engage this battle through a new fight club chapter at Palmyra Grace.  Learn more about it Friday night, march 13, 2015.  Come fight along side us.

Sincerely,

Ed “the 300 pound crazy man wielding a pink field hockey stick” Martin