The first annual Grace Adventures Men’s Retreat launched the weekend of September 26th with 53 men in attendance. The vast majority of this Band of Brothers had never been on a retreat before. The teaching time pushed back on what culture analyst Skye Jethani calls the “Gospel of Consumer Christianity.” This is the upside down insidious false gospel that man is the center of everything and it is God’s job to orbit around us as a divine butler or a cosmic therapist. Self-indulgence is a predominant attitude in our land and it increasingly threatens our church culture. We approach God not for who He is but for what we can get from Him. As one person said, “Jesus has become our Duct-Tape WD-40 Combo Packet” who exists to fix everything. Sad isn’t it? The truth is, we are all tempted by consumerism.
“We are fiercely committed to making life work on our own berms, but the Father has rigged the world so it won’t work without Him.” ~John Eldridge
I focused my teaching so that the men could understand whose we are and who we are: the Character of God and our Identity in Christ. I prayed God would wreck our comfortable forms of faith and interrupt our lives. I am sick of malnourished men being suffocated by manmade Christianity and ending up thirsty for the real God. May men come to Jesus and hear Him say afresh, “Follow me.”
“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” ~General Maximus
Later in the weekend we learned a lot from special talks from Dr. Fred Miller and Dr. Shannon Allison. Fred observed that most of us expect life (if it could be graphed out) to be up and to the right...especially if you work hard and honor God. However, reality is… life as a line is a curved line of ups and downs/peaks and valleys. He drew a straight line through the curved line that represented God as our constant. God can be counted upon no matter what. I'm stealing that from him and using it. Shannon taught us that fear and discomfort should not keep us from the will of God...in fact sometimes when we sense those things we need to step intentionally in those directions and get out of our comfort zones. Wow. Great stuff. Now to live it.
“What comes into our minds
when we think about God
is the most important thing about us.” ~Tozer
1. On the morning of October 7th I will be chairing a community event entitled “Leadership Revisited 2014: Unlocking the Keys to High Incarceration Rates in St. Tammany Parish.” We have a great group of community leaders speaking and expect about 140 leaders to attend. Please pray for this event.
2. Election time yields a lot of opportunities to speak to elected leaders and those running for office. Pray for those who choose to run and serve. Pray for leader’s families and the work of Jesus in their lives.
3. I am spear-heading a monthly North Shore Leader Forum comprised of key elected leaders. It will be launching next month. Pray for wisdom and favor.
4. Keep praying for Jonathan as he works Monday-Thursday in Chicago for three months. Pray for Patricia as well.
5. My dad just got out of the hospital and is recuperating at home.