Prayer Warriors Needed

Each week I typically write related to things that are currently going on in my life.  At this time there is nothing else I could write about other than the start of the “Fight Club” ministry at our church.  A total of 28 men stepped up to this 12-week challenge.  At this point it has only been 1 week but God is already at work in the hearts and lives of many of the men.  The fact that so many men stepped up to this challenge shows that inside most men exists a hunger to be closer to God.

It’s awesome to see men encouraging and growing closer to each other.  Many of you that read this blog are the same men that have accepted the Fight Club challenge…. regardless I want to ask you all for a favor.  Will you pray for these men?  There is no telling what great things can happen as a result of so many men stepping up and trying to get more intentional in their relationship with God. The enemy is going to try everything possible to disrupt and discourage these men… thus prayer support is needed.

Honestly, the start of Fight Club has required much of my time…. the blog this week is a plea for your prayers that God will work in the lives of these men.  Blessed is best!

Shared by Chad Hellenthal

To Forgive… Or Not To Forgive

It was hard for me to figure out what I’d write about this week.  For many weeks my mind has been focused on the Fight Club “kick-off” and now that it’s over I feel like taking a bit of time just to chill before it begins.  The problem is that my “chill” tends to quickly turn into complacency if I’m not careful.   Fight Club will officially begin tomorrow and I’m ready…. well part of me is anyway.  The other part of me knows the challenge it will be, yet it is so needed in my life.

I’ve been trying recently to make peace with someone in my life with whom dissension has come between us.  I’d like to say my efforts went well, but they did not.  I desire not to cast blame, it almost always takes two to cause conflict.  I just want to talk briefly of our need to forgive and to try to be a peace with others.

Unforgiveness is poison to the innermost parts of a being.  Pride is the root cause and causes  a reluctance to forgive someone.  It is self-centered way to live life.  I’ve been both the one who refuses to forgive and the one who is not forgiven.  Unforgiveness is a horrible thing.

Before this chapter of Fight Club begins I wanted to rid myself of any bitterness and unforgiveness.  Mark 11:25 states, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive your transgressions.”  In Matthew 6:14-15 we are told almost the same thing, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

I’m sure we are all familiar with this basic Biblical principle, but how many of us ignore it?  I have many times.  It feels good to forgive, and some of you need to humble yourself and both forgive… and seek forgiveness.  Remember this, if someone refuses to forgive you… that is between them and God.  All we can do is assure that we are in right standing with God so that our prayers will not be hindered.  We worship a God who always forgives when we ask… we should do the same.  We forgive for ourselves, so that our prayers and connection to God is not hindered.   Blessed is Best!!

 
Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Fighter

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” (Nehemiah 4:14)

I’ve gotten soft.  My relatively simple life has caused me to get physically and spiritually soft. Things were very different long ago when a man had to directly work for his food.   I’d say there were less distractions back then to pull focus away from God.   I reckon that if I lived back in the times of 1:1 combat with swords or duals with guns, my focus would have been much greater on assuring that I was ready to fight and protect in a seconds notice.

I do not think that most men (myself included) are near the kind of man we were designed to be.  Most of us are workers… not warriors.  Lovers… not fighters.  Lovers of so much that is not of God or eternal significance, not apt to fight for the things we were designed to stand for.  For the most part, each of us are living the good life.  We each have our own life challenges, but for the most part we have it GOOD!

There are so many around us who are hurting so badly inside as they try to make it through life without any knowledge or understanding of Jesus’ love for them.  I remember those days and they were absolutely horrible.  But there was 1 man who refused to give up on me… he lived the life of a Christian and took seriously his job of praying and witnessing to me.   It’s so easy to focus on everything else in our life… so easy, to fall into the trap of developing a relationship with God that focuses on just “thanking” him for the blessings He’s provided.  So easy to forget that we are to focus on spreading the message of God’s love.  To do this places us in a battle for which we must be ready.

In 2 days (March 13th) we will be having our first ever “Fight Club Kick-Off.”  Fight Club was designed to help men become the kind of man God has called them to be.  I’ll mention and invite you again to join us at 10:00 pm this Friday night.  This is for men who are serious about strengthening their relationship with God.  It is a program unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and it will undoubtedly have a profound impact on your life…. which will have an impact on the lives of others around you.  We need men to step up and be a “Fighter” for what truly matters most.  Blessed is Best!!

 
Shared by Chad Hellenthal

Don't be Batman

A few months ago I was focused on the “masks” that most men wear.  As a quick summary and reminder, I believe that many Christian men act as if they have no struggles, problems, or concerns.  If you desire to hear more about this topic I’ll encourage you to find the blog posting entitled “Masked Men” found within the Cross Effect website.  There is no doubt however that men do this… I do this… you probably do too.  Let us now look at the consequences of our actions upon our life.

We’re likely all familiar with the Armor of God described in Ephesians 6.  Have you ever noticed that the armor has no kind of facial covering?  The armor we are to wear provides spiritual protection in our lives.  God gave us all the armor we need, however many of us try to protect ourselves by developing our own facial covering in the form of a mask that keeps people from knowing who we really are.    We decide to shield our faces and reveal who we really are versus carrying the Shield of Faith that God has given us.  When the Shield of Faith is forsaken, it makes us more vulnerable to the fiery darts of the devil and leaves oneself more prone to spiritual attack physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  It’s kind of hard to be the man our family needs us to be if this is how we live our life…. all because of a mask.

Wearing a mask, revealing a sinful lifestyle, covering the light of the Holy Spirit is not a minor matter.  It is to flirt with spiritual disaster both for yourself and the eternity of others.  If we picture ourselves kneeling before God on the day of the Judgement Seat of Christ with our current lifestyle in hand.  Would you regret it?  Are you wearing a mask and covering the light of God within you?  Are you causing others to stumble because you’re in open rebellion? Or is your breastplate of righteousness shining God’s light to the lost?  Hypocrisy and sinful living should be dispensed of!

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

A real man does not wear a mask.  He understand the importance of standing honestly before God and man.  We were created to be this kind of man but the world wages war against us constantly.  On March 13th we have an opportunity to assemble and take steps to become this kind of man together.  I’d encourage you to go to crosseffect.org and sign up of our Kick-off event.  Prepare to Fight!

 
Shared by Chad Hellenthal