Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prayer Request

My sister is in Russia today meeting a little girl that she is trying to adopt, please pray for my sister Cathy and Alana. I have attached an update for you to read and some pictures.

I am asking God for a miracle and that she is allowed to bring her home with her on this trip. We serve and great God and he can do what ever he wants and I know that he can make a way clear for this.

Well … Cathy and Alana (Little Rock) have made it through Day 1 … Cathy is in great spirits but is very tired and finally getting some sleep … I am sure that you can all imagine how emotional this must be for her … Her strong spirit is a testament to the strength that she pulls from all of your love and support … Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers …

I have uploaded all of the photos she has sent and a video onto snapfish … Please see below for a link to them as well as a brief note form Cathy …


Just wanted to send along a few photos and a quick update from my journey. I had my interview today the Minister of Education and it went very well. She was a very nice woman and offered me advice on appearing before the judge and responding to questions. She said she was looking for a healthy child and girl for me - since boys can be trouble. I thought that was funny. After the appointment, we made our way out to Cherapanova to visit the baby house. It is in a very small rural village that is extremely poor. The baby house is very nice and the staff seem wonderful. Svetlana was pretty traumatized when they brought her to me and left the room - she could sense I wasn't a russian. With some time, she really warmed up and was very interactive. We played for over an hour with her laughing, being mischievous, and crawling all around the room. By the end of the visit, she was curled up on my lap just smiling and giggling. So far all looks well. She is a strong child thriving in less than adequate conditions. I have no doubt that she would do wonderful at home on Kent Island. I am hoping to get further medical information tomorrow. The only thing we have noticed is that sometimes she seems to have a lazy eye. Otherwise, she is doing well and only seems to be speech delayed. I'm not surprised though, because the baby house was so quiet all day - they must keep the children very quiet.

I'm feeling very optimistic. She is a beautiful little girl with a lot of personality and spunk. I'm being told that the process could be complete in as early as 2 months but not longer than 4 months. It'll be hard to leave her - it was hard today and it is was only our first visit. But - it will be worth it. Thanks again for all the love and support. I'll keep you posted.


Sent from my iPad

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tim Hawkins

Tim Hawkins Video

watch now

Tomorrow Night

Hello men, this is a very special week for Wildmen. We are hosting the 5th Tuesday celebration at Woodland. This event happens four times a year and is a time of celebration and being with old and new friends from other Wildmen outposts. There will be special music and food with many great desserts and wonderful times of testimony and sharing. Do not miss this one! If you have always wanted to try Wildmen, this will be a good week to do so.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Authors needed


We have recently invited several people to be authors to the blog and we are praying that the right people join us to help share the good news.

Check under the Hood

Check Under the Hood
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, November 24 2010

"But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." - Colossians 3:8

"The root issue you are dealing with is fear. The physical symptom is control, and when you cannot control, you get angry because of unmet expectations." These were the words I spoke during a conversation in a restaurant to my friend who was separated from his wife. He described his anger and how he never saw some of these characteristics in his life until he entered this marriage.

A friend once said to me, "Anger is like the lights on a dashboard. They tell you something is going on under the hood. You must find out the source of the problem." Whenever we have expectations of another person and those expectations do not materialize, our tendency is to get angry. The source of the anger is often the fear that the unmet expectation will negatively impact us. We fear that our finances, our well-being, our image, or any number of things may be impacted by the unmet expectation. My friend's wife had not met his expectations in many areas of his life, so then, many times it resulted in harsh words that damaged his wife's self-esteem. Now, it was leading to a marriage crisis.

Jesus often spoke of living as though we were dead. How can you live as though you are dead? "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11). It is a choice each of us must make. Once you become dead to that which stirs an emotion in you, God is free to change that situation. Until then, you can expect God to allow that situation to remain until you reckon yourself dead to the effects of the issue that causes you to struggle.

Is there something that causes anger within you? Ask God what the source of that anger is. You might be surprised at what you find. Then ask God to give you the grace to reckon yourself dead to that issue. You will find new freedom in your relationships and your own peace of mind.

Thiner Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you're going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without. "Don't waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long," suggests Diekman. Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods."



We must forgive those who hurt us. The reason is simple: Bitterness and unforgiveness are claws that set their hooks deep in our hearts; they are chains that keep us held captive to the wounds and the messages of those wounds. Until you forgive, you remain their prisoner. Paul warns us that unforgiveness and bitterness can wreck our lives and the lives of others (Eph. 4:31; Heb. 12:15). We have to let them go.

Forgive as Christ has forgiven you. (Col 3:13)

Now - listen carefully. Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling - don't try and feel forgiving. It is an act of the will. "Don't wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving," wrote Neil Anderson. "You will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made . . ." We allow God to bring the hurt up from our past, for "if your forgiveness doesn't visit the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete." We acknowledge that it hurt, that it mattered, and we choose to extend forgiveness to our father, our mother, those who hurt us. This is not saying, "It didn't really matter"; it is not saying, "I probably deserved part of it anyway." Forgiveness says, "It was wrong. Very wrong. It mattered, hurt me deeply. And I release you. I give you to God."

It might help to remember that those who hurt you were also deeply wounded themselves. They were broken hearts, broken when they were young, and they fell captive to the Enemy. They were in fact pawns in his hands. This doesn't absolve them of the choices they made, the things they did. It just helps us to let them go - to realize that they were shattered souls themselves, used by our true Enemy in his war against femininity.

upcoming events

Upcoming events:

This Sunday at 2:00PM Skeet Shooting Outing at Skyway Range:
3200 74th Ave N, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33702 PH. 727-526-8993
Cost: $20.00 per person. Guns Loaned for $2.00 Shells $9.50 Ticket $5.50

Next Tuesday please plan to join us for our 5th Tuesday Celebration in Sarasota.

December 3-4, Sarasota Camp out at Woodland the Community Church.

Thanksgiving video

This video is worth watching

watch now

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This week

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families! Many of us are struggling with serious issues now and thankfulness may be difficult. It always helps me to look out to see so many others with burdens far more daunting than mine. The best help for me comes from looking up to see the blessings that God has given that this world cannot take from me. Try to find a path to genuine thankfulness; it will change your outlook on your situation so much.

Wildmen meets as usual this Tuesday with dinner at 7PM and some very special worship/discussion time to follow.
Fifth Tuesday is next week, 11/30, and we are hosting all of the local Wildmen Outposts at Woodland. We will have special music, food, worship and fellowship. Plan to come and bring friends or family members to this very special night.

Men at the Cross
We had a large group of men go to MATC last Saturday and what a glorious time we had. The fellowship time, music, teaching and encouragement was just off the charts.

Ther is no meeting for REAL Men this week as we all celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Check this out

chech out this video

it is great

Men at the Cross update

Hit over the head with a 2x4
The men at the cross event on Saturday was off the charts. The bottom line was that we needed to go out and find our Timothy. I stand there with 800 other men and pray God bring me my Timothy; whatever it takes I am ready. We are in the car driving back and I get a phone call from a young man that I have been sort of mentoring, and he wanted to get together that night but I could not because I had to work after church.
That night we go to church and I look across and see him sitting by himself in the front row. That was when I was hit by the 2x4 my Timothy was right there and I did not even see him. I love our father who cares enough about us to hit us when we are not listening or looking.
I share this because many of you reading this blog were there with me and we all need to be reminded sometimes to open our eyes, hurting people are right in front of us.

Do I have what it takes

Masculine initiation is not a spectator sport. It is something that must be entered into. It is one part instruction and nine parts experience.

This is what lies behind the story of David and Goliath. The armies of Israel have drawn up against the armies of the Philistines, but not a single shot has been fired from any bow. The reason, of course, is Goliath, a mercenary of tremendous size and strength, renowned for his skill in combat. He's killed many men bare-handed, and no one wants to be next. David is barely a teen when he goes to the camp and sees what is going on. He offers to fight the giant, at which point he is brought before the king, who in turn attempts to dissuade the lad. Saul says, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth" (1 Sam. 17:33 niv). Sound advice, the likes of which I wager any of us would offer under the same circumstances. David replies:

"Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." (verses 34-37 niv)

Being a shepherd is the Cowboy stage, and David learned lessons here that would carry him the rest of his life. The life of the shepherd was not a sweet little life with lambs around. It was a hard job, out in the field, months camping out in the wild on your own. And it had its effect. There is a settled confidence in the boy-he knows he has what it takes. But it is not an arrogance-he knows that God has been with him. He will charge Goliath, and take his best shot, trusting God will do the rest. That "knowing" is what we are after in the Cowboy Ranger phase, and it only comes through experience. And may I also point out that the experiences David speaks of here were physical in nature, they were dangerous, and they required courage.

Heart Gallery

Heart Gallery

TGIF today

A Question of Ownership
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Monday, November 22 2010

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." - Matthew 10:39

Otto Koning was a missionary in New Guinea. He worked among a native tribe that had known only their village ways. One of those village ways was stealing from others. When Otto and his wife arrived and moved into a hut, the natives often came by to visit. The Konings would notice that after the natives left the missionaries' home, various household items had disappeared. They saw these items again when they went to preach in the natives' village.

The only fruit Otto could grow on the island was pineapples. Otto loved pineapples, and he took pride in the pineapples he was able to grow. However, whenever the pineapples began to ripen, the natives would steal them. Otto could never keep a ripe pineapple for himself. This was a frustration, and he became angry with the natives. All during the seven-year period in which this took place, Otto preached the gospel to these natives, but never had a conversion.

The more the natives stole, the angrier Otto became. Finally, one day Otto had a German Shepherd dog flown in from another missionary to protect his pineapple garden after other frustrated efforts failed. This only further alienated the natives from him.

Otto took a furlough to the United States and attended a conference on personal rights. At this conference, he discovered that he was frustrated over this situation because he had taken personal ownership of his pineapple garden. After much soul searching, he gave his garden to God. Soon the natives started having problems among their tribe. They discovered that Otto was the reason for their problems because he gave his garden to his God. The natives saw a correlation between what Otto had done and their own lives being affected by calamities in their village. When Otto gave his garden to God, he no longer got angry and was free from worry. The natives started bringing him fruit from the garden because they didn't want any more calamities to come into their village.

The light came on one day when a native said to Otto, "You must have become a Christian, Otto. You don't get angry anymore. We always wondered if we would ever meet a Christian." They had never associated Otto with the kind of person he was preaching about because his message did not line up with his life. Otto was broken in spirit when he realized he had been such a failure.

At the end of seven years, he witnessed his first conversion, and many began coming to Christ once he fully gave his garden to God. The fruit grew so abundant that Otto began exporting it and growing other types of fruit, such as bananas. His village became the most evangelized in the whole region, yet for seven years he had not one convert.

Otto realized something each of us must realize: To gain your life you must lose it, along with your possessions. It was only when he gave all his possessions to God that he became free from them. God measured back to him manifold once He had complete ownership.

Do you have some possessions that you need to give up to God today? Let God have all that you have. Become a steward, not an owner. You will be surprised at how well God can take care of His possessions.

Friday, November 19, 2010


We are meeting at Woodland parking lot @ 6:30am to carpool to Men at the Cross. Just be there if you want to go...we have tickets for you. Bring all your teenage boys for Free, there is a special break out session for them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Men at the Cross

Only 4 days until the Tampa Men at the Cross conference!!

Dear Petre,

By now you've probably seen "Blind Side" twice and if you're like me, loved it more the second time! I like it for some different reasons. You see, that woman who plays the part of "the mom" is so much like my wife it's unreal! My Debbie Jo, who I've been married to for 37 years and love more every year she puts up with me is a duplicate of that mom! She has such a big heart and that girl knows what she wants! I laughed through half that movie watching "my wife" take charge of everybody and then cried through the rest of it seeing that young football player's dreams come true.

Do you know why Orlando Pace's salary dwarfed Kurt Warner's salary the first time the Rams went to the Super Bowl? Because the guy who protects the Quarter Back's blind side is worth it! No left tackle, no quarterback. Ask Joe Thiesmann!

Who's your "left tackle"? Everybody needs one. He's the guy who prays for you daily. He's the guy who asks you tough questions weekly.

"Did you look at anything pornographic this week?"

"Did you honor your wife (or mom) this week?"

"Did you get in the Word daily?"

He's the guy who loves God more than He loves you. He believes in you no matter what, but he's not impressed by you. He'll shoot it straight and won't flinch if you're beating around the bush. He's the guy who'll sit by your hospital bed and help carry your casket someday. I think the reason most guys get knocked out of the game is because they don't have a left offensive tackle who is "bad to the bone" about being honest with them.

When a man is ready to pay the high price of vulnerability and transparency, he'll be ready to draft a blind side protector in the next draft.

I'll guarantee you it will be the most important draft day of your life.

Standing together,

Joe White

Monday, November 15, 2010

Results from this weekend

Acts 5

Re: May we always continue in teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah

Church isn't a noun it is a verb. The church isn't a place it is an action word. The book of Acts is all about the first church being a group of people who acted upon the gospel and shared the good news. In the result were many miracles.

This weekend the Wildmen in Pinellas went to serve at Shepherd's Village, a Christ centered single parent low income/reduced cost housing ministry to families. The men served these families with honor. They changed the oil, filter, wiper blades and cleaned cars for every car there from 8 am till almost noon. The miracle came in the closing prayer.

We started the day together in prayer and closed in prayer. In the closing prayer almost every one of the Shepherd's Village single parents whom the Lord had us serve had tears of joy and thankfulness for what the Lord was doing, without our knowing Christ brought His healing and forgivness. Truly the ministry was simple but for these mostly moms, it was overwhelming because the church, Jesus' people showed up, used their hands and feet and lifted up the name of Jesus Christ to serve the "good news" to what some people say are today's "modern day widows and orphans". Interesting how when the church "Acts" like a verb then the power, authority, forgiveness and miracles that only God can bring, they all arrive on the scene.

Acts 5:42 says, Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

No matter what we do every day, people will know us and that we are His people by our service to Christ and our love for one another. The world and even the widows and orphans of His church need His refreshing. In this weekend's example, the church generously served refreshment. Thankfully we were privileged to see the Holy Spirit's work through Wildmen who were men of action. The result was everyone saw Christ glorify the Father.

Proverbs 11
25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

When we, you and me, "the church" Acts like the church, others will be refreshed. Refreshed by His good news...

May we never stop teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
All to the glory of God.

Friday, November 12, 2010

God Tube

That's right�Godtube.com is back! And it�s better than ever! We have listened to your feedback and suggestions...and we brought back your favorite Christian video sharing website!

Watch this video featuring the hilarious Skit Guys as they explain some of the exciting new features at Godtube.com including video uploads, better user profiles, friends, and more!

God Tube

Watch this is it funny





We serve an awesome God. Think about these facts.

What an awesome and orderly GOD!! God's order may be observed, among many other things, in the hatching of eggs.

For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven, the number of days in a week!)

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God ordered that this animal would have a huge body, and for this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of fruit, vegetable, and grain seed sections and segments, as well as in the number of seeds/grains.

-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.

-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence. Only the God-planned safe life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is fulfilled.

The lives of each of us are ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if we will only entrust Him with your life. If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only the One Who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide us to a glorious and eternal end.


If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would.
Knowing Him is more than simply quoting scripture and going to Church. It is actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day. We are the apple of His eye even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you and me up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Please share this, if you feel led to do so. Sometimes we just take things for granted, when we really need to be sharing what we know.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proverbs 11

Proverbs 11
1 The LORD hates cheating, but he delights in honesty. 2 Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 3 Good people are guided by their honesty; treacherous people are destroyed by their dishonesty. 4 Riches won't help on the day of judgment, but right living is a safeguard against death. 5 The godly are directed by their honesty; the wicked fall beneath their load of sin. 6 The godliness of good people rescues them; the ambition of treacherous people traps them. 7 When the wicked die, their hopes all perish, for they rely on their own feeble strength. 8 God rescues the godly from danger, but he lets the wicked fall into trouble. 9 Evil words destroy one's friends; wise discernment rescues the godly. 10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed; they shout for joy when the godless die. 11 Upright citizens bless a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart. 12 It is foolish to belittle a neighbor; a person with good sense remains silent. 13 A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence. 14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls; with many counselors, there is safety. 15 Guaranteeing a loan for a stranger is dangerous; it is better to refuse than to suffer later. 16 Beautiful women obtain wealth, and violent men get rich. 17 Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. 18 Evil people get rich for the moment, but the reward of the godly will last. 19 Godly people find life; evil people find death. 20 The LORD hates people with twisted hearts, but he delights in those who have integrity. 21 You can be sure that evil people will be punished, but the children of the godly will go free. 22 A woman who is beautiful but lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout. 23 The godly can look forward to happiness, while the wicked can expect only wrath. 24 It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything. 25 The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. 26 People curse those who hold their grain for higher prices, but they bless the one who sells to them in their time of need. 27 If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! 28 Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring. 29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit only the wind. The fool will be a servant to the wise. 30 The godly are like trees that bear life-giving fruit, and those who save lives are wise. 31 If the righteous are rewarded here on earth, how much more true that the wicked and the sinner will get what they deserve!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Men at the Cross, Help Opportunities

Volunteer Request for MATC Event:
1. Data Entry >After the Altar Call on Sat Morning 9:20AM...for about an hour to Enter Data from Altar Commitment Cards, and have that info ready to give to Pastors in 10:40 am Barnabas Meeting.Wife's or Female typist volunteers work great so men don't miss activities (but not a requirement).

2. Airport Transportation (From TPA to Largo Hotel) Help for some of our Arriving Platform team, Speakers and Musician's. Starting Possibly as early as Thurs Night??? But mostly several on Friday in late afternoon and evening arrivals. Some men that would like to help us with Transportation, I could just assign a Flight and arriving Person's Name and information to any volunteers that could make a pick-up, for us.

3. Able Body, volunteers to load into the Church and event Set up on Friday, starting at 9AM until finished. & Saturday at 1PM Able Body, volunteers to pack-up and Load out.

I would be the contact person for anyone interested in these volunteer needs just email me at george@menatthecross.org or call my cell anytime (863) 797-6681

Bless You! George Ridenour

Multi Job Openings

Got this note from our brother Chase. He started a new job with a new company in the area and they need help. Call Chase if you are interested.

I appreciate your help with posting this job opportunity on the Wildmen blog. I only have limited details but I hope to help one of our brothers who needs employment or someone they may know that needs employment. You can have them call me if they need directions or more info. 262-770-7433

1) Light manufacturing / warehousing environment
2) Entry Level Position
3) Drug test required
4) Reliable Transportation
5) Must read/write English fluently
6) Manufacturing / Warehouse Experience a Plus bun Not Required
7) Printing and Press Operation Experience a Plus but Not Required
8) Must be able to stand 8 hours per day

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is there anyone out there?

I see that we have many people visiting the blog every month but my question is why you are not engaging. I personally try to share things of interest and ideas but if you do not like the content please share with me some of your ideas.

For me my walk with God is always changing usually for the better but like everyone I slip and fall. Being a new Christian is a challenge, being an old one from what I am learning in the bible is a challenge as well. We do have an enemy and he does not want us to know the truth. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school and sadly we did not study that bible and I never knew or understood the relationship that our Father in heaven wants to have with us.

I hope to hear from you on the blog, you can just hit comment and you don’t have to leave your name.



Something I read that hit me like a ton of bricks

2 Peter
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Friday, November 5, 2010



Pause on Purpose

Pause on Purpose
by Max Lucado

Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.
Mark 6:31

Ernie Johnson Jr. knows baseball. His father announced three decades' worth of major-league games, following the Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta. In the quarter century since Ernie inherited the microphone, he has covered six sports on three continents, voicing blowouts and nail-biters, interviewing losers and buzzer beaters.

But one game stands out above all the rest. Not because of who played, but because of who stopped playing. Ernie was a nine-year-old Little Leaguer, dutifully playing shortstop. An opposing batter hit a ground rule double that bounced over the fence. Two outfielders scampered over the fence to retrieve the ball so the game could continue. (Apparently the league operated on a tight budget.)

Both teams waited for them to return. They waited ... and waited ... but no one appeared. Concerned coaches finally jogged into the outfield and scaled the fence. Curious players, including Ernie, followed them. They found the missing duo just a few feet beyond the fence, gloves dropped on the ground, found ball at their feet, blackberries and smiles on their faces.

The two players had stepped away from the game.

How long since you did the same? We need regular recalibrations. Besides, who couldn't use a few blackberries? But who has time to gather them? You have carpools to run; businesses to run; sales efforts to run; machines, organizations, and budgets to run. You gotta run.

Jesus understands. He knew the frenzy of life. People back-to-backed his calendar with demands. But he also knew how to step away from the game.

Having withstood the devil's wilderness temptation and his hometown's harsh rejection, Jesus journeyed to Capernaum, where the citizens give him a ticker-tape reception.

They were astonished at His teaching. (Luke 4:32)

The story of what he had done spread like wildfire throughout the whole region. (v. 37 NLT)

People throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. (v. 40 NLT)

Could Christ want more? Enthralled masses, just-healed believers, and thousands who will go where he leads. So Jesus ...

Rallied a movement?

Organized a leadership team?

Mobilized a political-action society?

No. He baffled the public-relations experts by placing the mob in the rearview mirror and ducking into a wildlife preserve, a hidden cove, a vacant building, a deserted place.

Verse 42 identifies the reason: "the crowd ... tried to keep Him from leaving them."

More than once he exercised crowd control. "When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he told his followers to go to the other side of the lake" (Matt. 8:18 NCV).

When the crowd ridiculed his power to raise a girl from the dead, he evicted them from the premises. "After the crowd had been thrown out of the house, Jesus went into the girl's room and took hold of her hand, and she stood up" (Matt. 9:25 NCV).

After a day of teaching, "Jesus left the crowd and went into the house" (Matt. 13:36 NCV).

Though surrounded by possibly twenty thousand fans, he turned away from them: "After Jesus had sent the crowds away" (Matt. 15:39 CEV).

Christ repeatedly escaped the noise of the crowd in order to hear the voice of God.

He resisted the undertow of the people by anchoring to the rock of his purpose: employing his uniqueness (to "preach ... to the other cities also") to make a big deal out of God ("the kingdom of God") everywhere he could.

And aren't you glad he did? Suppose he had heeded the crowd and set up camp in Capernaum, reasoning, "I thought the whole world was my target and the cross my destiny. But the entire town tells me to stay in Capernaum. Could all these people be wrong?"

Yes, they could! In defiance of the crowd, Jesus turned his back on the Capernaum pastorate and followed the will of God. Doing so meant leaving some sick people unhealed and some confused people untaught. He said no to good things so he could say yes to the right thing: his unique call.

Not an easy choice for anyone.

God may want you to leave your Capernaum, but you're staying. Or he may want you to stay, and you're leaving. How can you know unless you mute the crowd and meet with Jesus in a deserted place?

"Deserted" need not mean desolate, just quiet. Simply a place to which you, like Jesus, depart. "Now when it was day, He departed" (Luke 4:42). "Depart" presupposes a decision on the part of Jesus. "I need to get away. To think. To ponder. To rechart my course." He determined the time, selected a place. With resolve, he pressed the pause button on his life.

The devil implants taximeters in our brains. We hear the relentless tick, tick, tick telling us to hurry, hurry, hurry, time is money ... resulting in this roaring blur called the human race.

But Jesus stands against the tide, countering the crescendo with these words: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Follow the example of Jesus, who "often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed" (Luke 5:16).

God rested after six days of work, and the world didn't collapse. What makes us think it will if we do? (Or do we fear it won't?)

Follow Jesus into the desert. A thousand and one voices will scream like banana-tree monkeys telling you not to. Ignore them. Heed him. Quit your work. Contemplate his. Accept your Maker's invitation: "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while" (Mark

What if:

What if the bible is true?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Proverbs 3

1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart, 2 for they will give you a long and satisfying life. 3 Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. 7 Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn your back on evil. 8 Then you will gain renewed health and vitality. 9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine. 11 My child, don't ignore it when the LORD disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. 12 For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. 13 Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. 14 For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. 15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. 17 She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. 18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. 19 By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the clouds poured down rain. 21 My child, don't lose sight of good planning and insight. Hang on to them, 22 for they fill you with life and bring you honor and respect. 23 They keep you safe on your way and keep your feet from stumbling. 24 You can lie down without fear and enjoy pleasant dreams. 25 You need not be afraid of disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, 26 for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap. 27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them. 28 If you can help your neighbor now, don't say, "Come back tomorrow, and then I'll help you." 29 Do not plot against your neighbors, for they trust you. 30 Don't make accusations against someone who hasn't wronged you. 31 Do not envy violent people; don't copy their ways. 32 Such wicked people are an abomination to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but his blessing is on the home of the upright. 34 The LORD mocks at mockers, but he shows favor to the humble. 35 The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!

Face to Face

Face to Face
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Thursday, November 04 2010

"I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete." 2 John 12

It is easy to fire off a letter to someone in this age of electronic communication because of its expediency. In business we call this being efficient. However, there are times when nothing but a face-to-face meeting is the appropriate means of communication. We know that verbal skills are a very small portion of communication. Body language, voice tone, and our expressions make up the majority of our overall communication. This cannot be seen through a letter or electronic medium.

John knew that being face to face with those he ministered to was important. And for John, it meant some major trouble to get from one place to another. It wasn't as simple as getting into a car or hopping onto an airplane. John's desire and determination to visit and talk face to face reinforces the importance of one-on-one personal communication.

I once had to confront a businessman about some problems we were having in a business deal. He lived in another town. The negotiations had stalled to some degree. I could have attempted to solve the problem over the phone. But I realized the serious nature of the issues required a face-to-face meeting. I drove two hours to his office and met with him face to face. It meant all the difference. It demonstrated to my friend I was serious enough about solving the problem to take a day to come see him. It also showed I valued him and he was worth the effort. This resulted in him giving greater emphasis to the issue

Next time a situation arises that requires more focused communication, consider whether the situation requires a personal visit. You may find this will be the key to resolving issues that otherwise might end in a stalemate.