Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 3 & 4)

Last week was kind of a rough/full week.  I started writing the Tuesday Talk for Called Session 3, but before I knew it... it was Tuesday again.  So last week we talked about Submission.  The lesson was 100% based on a blog I wrote on the same subject as part of the series "The 40 Year Old."  HERE is the link to that blog.  (Consider this last Tuesday's Talk).

Before I get into this weeks Tuesday Talk, I need to confess.  I didn't write this.  I tweaked it a little, but it's mainly the same lesson that Sean Brink (Leads theSHIFT) taught during Every Guy's Orders (EGO).  As I tried to figure out what we would talk about in Called, I couldn't escape the fact that we're getting ready to start a new series at Element Church directed towards men, aptly named The Man Series, and this was the perfect time to talk about the way we talk.  Because, let's face it, we can sit in church on Sunday and listen to a sermon about being salt and light, Jesus' ambassador and acting like God's Children, but that sermon is proven in the way we act the rest of the week, around others that don't know Jesus.  So here's this week's Tuesday Talk...


One of the most important things we need to know that what we say has the power to tear people down and has the power to build them up.  The way we talk to, about, and around others is fully determined by how active our relationship is with Jesus and whether or not we are submitted to Him.

James 3:9-11 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

Basically, some of us sit in church on Sunday and belt out every lyric of the worship song, then come Monday hurl every obscenity we can think of at "our" team for not completing a pass during the game.  A lot of guys need to not open our mouths until we learn how to use them. We often fail to realize or ignore that what we say effects people because our tongue is a mighty thing.

James 3:3-8 explains that strength.  It says, "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships, as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."

With our mouth, we tell crude jokes, sexual innuendos, cursing, and swearing.  It's not okay and shouldn't be a part of us. As I mentioned, we (Element Church) are getting ready to start a series where potentially lots of guys will be coming. THIS IS WHERE WE BECOME THE EXAMPLE! This is where we shine as lights, flavor as salt, be Jesus’ ambassadors and act as God’s own Children.

Here's what the bible says about what not to say:

Ephesians 5:4
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

James 5:12
Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

Psalms 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. 

Most of us know what not to say, so what then should we say?  Here's what should pour from our mouths.

1. Words of encouragement
Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Titus 2:6
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.

2.Words of truth
1 Peter 4: 11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

3.Words of praise
Psalm 35:28
My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.
Psalm 66:17
I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue.

I can't close this without speaking to husbands.  If you're married or have kids, this is where leadership starts for you.  What you say to your family matters.

To your wife - She needs to hear that she is lovely.  That she is brilliant and desirable and that your eyes are for her and her alone.  Affirm her and reassure her. I heard a pastor say once that it is your job to prepare her to hand her to Jesus one day.
To your sons - He needs to know that they are good enough.  You need to tell them they can do all things through Christ.
To your daughters - She needs to know that she is a jewel in her King's crown. That she is worthy of pursuit.

James 3:1-12

- Pray for The Man Series and Element's 4th Service starting on October 2nd

Put into Practice:
Pay attention to what you say.  Make it a point, at least once a day, to speak a word of encouragement, a word of truth and a word of praise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 2)

This will be the first of three posts on Spiritual disciplines. Of course I won’t cover all of them in three posts, but I will cover as many as possible.

The first one will be prayer, mainly because it’s hugely important in our Christian walk. I would say that after the consumption of God’s word (reading the bible), prayer is THE most important aspect of our relationship with God.

What I’ve noticed is we get so caught up in our “everything right now” culture that we approach our relationship with God that way. As long as we accept Christ as our Savior, the rest of our relationship will work out. We act like just because we did the “hard work” of accepting God’s FREE gift of salvation that we’re good. As if the work is done, and now it’s up to God. But that’s not the case. We have work to do. There are things that help build our relationship with God that we need to discipline ourselves to do. Prayer is one of those things.

It is so important to not only understand, but believe that prayer is our life line. It is our connection to the Divine. Sadly most Christians look at prayer as either a duty or reserved for moments of desperation. But, it’s neither of those. It’s a benefit of our relationship with God. We get to talk to Him. We get to commune with our God without going through a priest. In order to grow deeper, EVERY relationship requires communication and that’s what prayer is. The bible is God’s means for talking to us and prayer is our way of talking to Him.

I think another problem that a lot of Christians have with prayer has to do with the fact that there are past prayers that they prayed that weren’t answered they way THEY wanted. When that happens they begin to question whether God even hear their prayers. 1 John 5:14 & 15 reassures us that God hears us when we pray. It says:

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

Andrew Murray said it this way, “Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian.

I tried really hard to figure out what to say about prayer, but then I thought who better to teach on prayer than Jesus. Jesus tells us how to pray in Matthew 6:6-13.

6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Jesus is telling us that we need time alone with our Father. There are numerous times in the NT that Jesus went off by Himself to pray. It is in those moments of silence and solitude that we can focus on God and experience Him.

7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

So many guys are afraid to pray because they think they don’t have the right words. They think they sound funny or odd. But Jesus is telling us that it doesn’t matter what you say. He says not to babble on just for the sake of talking, because God knows what you want before you even ask for it. Billy Graham said that “Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.” So talk to Him like it is. This is how Jesus instructed us to pray.

9 Pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need,
12 and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

This is a fairly well known prayer model that I learned early on and it covers all the stuff that Jesus prayed. It’s called ACTS.

AAdoration is to adore God, to worship him and to fulfil the commandment to love him with all of our heart, mind and soul.

CConfession allows you to clear up the things in the relationship between you and God which are displeasing to Him. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us.

T Thanksgiving. God is always blessing u and so we need to be constantly thanking God for his blessings.

SSupplication is to ask God for our needs and the needs of others.

Bottom line is that prayer is a discipline. We have to dedicate ourselves to it. If we are to be men that lead, we first have to seek Him who leads us.

Matthew 6:6-13

Pray through the ACTS model of prayer.

Put into Practice:
During your prayer time, spend some time being quiet. Don’t focus on the way you talk to God, just talk to Him and let Him talk to you.

In Him,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We Are Not... Called!

I posted the first "devo" for Called yesterday (Here). It was the focus of what we talked about yesterday and my main hope for this community group. As God birthed the vision for this group I felt Him keep leading me back to Psalm 45:16 & 17. It says, "Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands. I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever." I felt like God was telling me that we are meant to be Kings like our Father. That we are meant to lead and rule and when done like we were created to, like Jesus, honor would be brought to His name and nations would praise Him. That is my hope. That we would realize we are kings like our King and that when we lead it is meant to bring honor and praise to His name. So that was the first part... essentially.

The other part of what we talked about is what our group would be. Or rather, what it would not be. As I was writing the vision for this group I really tried to articulate what it would be and kept coming back to what we were not. So here's what we're NOT...

We are NOT a Club. We are not there to simply hang out. Although we will fellowship, my prayer is that we commit to and develop meaningful friendships. Friendships that resemble brothers more than anything else. A brotherhood that you can call at 2am when you need prayer or when you need someone to rejoice in blessing and victories.

We are NOT a Bible Study. Not in the traditional sense anyway. We will study God’s word and seek what He has for us as individual leaders and as a group. We will seek not just to know more ABOUT God, but to KNOW God more. We will seek His purpose and His presence for us, our family and our city.

We are NOT an Accountability Group. We as a group should not expect more from each other than God does. Accountability is a vitally important aspect of community, but it can’t be forced or it won’t be authentic. It has to come as a natural result of developed trust. We’ll move towards accountability as God moves us. But accountability is more than just “Don’t look at porn”. It’s accountability to reading God’s word, to prayer, to family time, work commitments, sexual purity in and outside of marriage, responsibility, etc…

We are NOT a Community Service Group. Our goal in this group is not to go out and change Cheyenne. Our goal is to seek Jesus and let Him change us. When that happens we can’t help change our city. Pastor Jeff once told me, if we seek God to set us on fire with the Holy Spirit, people will come to watch us burn. The thing about that is, some will get too close and when that happens,they too will catch fire.

So, that's Called... or not Called.

I'm not,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday Talks (CALLED Session 1)

Your sons will become kings like their father. You will make them rulers over many lands.  I will bring honor to your name in every generation. Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.
~ Psalm 45:16 & 17 ~

There is so much in my heart for this group. With that said, in Session 1 I simply shared the vision that I felt God had given me for this group.

First and foremost there are some things that I know:

First, God so desperately wants the men of Cheyenne to rise up and be the MEN and leaders He created them to be. It is our job to CHANGE and SET the spiritual climate of our homes.

Second and I want to make this point absolutely clear, God ABSOLUTELY honors when women gather together and seek Him. Ministries like WOW do amazing work for the Kingdom. Here at Element we have some absolutely phenomenal woman prayer warriors and I don’t want to discount or down play any of the work that they do and the power they possess. But, imagine what would happen if the men took up arms for them. I truly believe this is not their war to fight. There are some great biblical accounts of women heroes, but biblically it is the men that are meant to be the guardians, the watchmen, the warriors. The women in our lives should be comforted with the knowledge that their men are willing to and do take up arms in defense of them, their families and their homes. THIS is what we, as MEN, are Called to.

Lastly, Every great revival (and I know I’m saying EVERY and that may not be entirely accurate, but it’s mostly true. And besides, I’m sure there were lots of strong women involved) started when men got together to pray. And they weren’t coming together to pray for revival. They were coming together to pray for themselves, for each other, for their families and church and city. And here’s the thing, God heard them and honored their commitment to answer their calling to lead.

Psalm 118:5 the writer reminds us that God answers us when we pray. It says, “In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free.” Make no mistake that we, as Men in the church, should be in distress for our families and for our city. We live in a city that stands #1 in the nation for divorce, where we rank 23rd in the nation for teen pregnancy (we have a 65% state wide teen pregnancy rate), where 10% of our state lives in poverty, we have an out of control drug problem (with I25 being a main thoroughfare for that problem), there are people addicted to pornography, there’s abuse and all sorts of other crap. We LIVE in a state of distress. And when we get together and cry out to our God, He answers. And His answer is freedom. We receive freedom not to sin, freedom to lead the way we’re called to and in that He equips us to change the spiritual climate of our homes and of our city.

- Psalm Psalm 118:5 and reflect on what is means that our God not only hears our prayers, but answers them.

-  For God to make clear and solidify our calling as leaders and to point out areas where we lack in our leadership.
-  That the men of Cheyenne would rise up and lead their homes, work places, churches and the city.

Put into Practice:
- Set time aside each day (it doesn't matter when) and spend it in prayer to our God.  Remember, it's not about the things you say or how you say them, but just that you talk to Him.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Introducing...Tuesday Talks!

This last week started the new season of community at Element Church.  Starting this Tuesday, I'll be leading a Men's prayer group aptly named Called.  I don't want to go to deep into the vision God gave me for this group (that would ruin session 1 on Tuesday morning), but I'll tell you that it is focused on the calling God has placed on every man to lead.  As men we are Called.  We are called to be men of character, men of conviction, men of righteousness and Men of Honor (shameless plug for my friend Shane's group and Blog).  We are called to be leaders. In our home, in our work place, in our churches, and in our cities.  I'm super excited for what God is about to do in the men of Element and and Cheyenne.

Here's the deal... Called will be on Tuesdays (starting this Tuesday, September 6th) at 6 am in the Element Church Well.  All dudes are invited!  And, because I feel like I need to chronical what God does in Called and in an effort to write on a more frequent basis, I plan on posting a blog, every week called Tuesday Talks, on the stuff we cover as a group.  I'll include some sort of devo and maybe a weekly challenge or something, we'll see how it develops.  So stoked for Tuesday!