The pageantry of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony celebrates the competition that brings the world together for a moment in time. It’s always full of hopes to be realized and hopes that will be ruined. Nevertheless, there is hope.
For many countries, there are no professional sports leagues like in the United States. For them, these world games represent the highest level of competition, the ultimate challenge. To stand with a Gold medal draped around your neck represents the epitome of excellence.
The fact is, we will all get a ceremony -- sooner or later. At the end of our lives, banners will be raised, our names will be called and we will step onto a platform. The question is will you be facing Jesus?
To discover the answer, you have to ask the most important question in life. What race are you running?
Are you running for a meeting with Jesus? Or are you running a race that will lead you to eternity without him? Without light. Without hope.
- Mon Feb 10, 2014
- 1 comments
You may think a pastor’s life is simply breezing in Sundays to teach, shaking some hands, smiling a lot then taking Mondays off before preparing for next week’s sermon. I mean, really, how hard can it be?
Pastors preach from the pulpit, pray for the needy, visit the sick, officiate weddings and funerals, lead-hire-and-fire staff, manage details and resources, strive for growth, create new events, counsel individuals, deepen their own walk while leading their own marriages and families, so most people think pastors don’t ever have problems. I call it the “pedestal effect.” Unfortunately, it places unrealistic expectations on us and creates unwanted loneliness. Both of these dynamics are the Devil’s playground.
While the enemy plots to bring pastors down, men of the church need to provide a hedge of protection and encouragement to their spiritual leader.
After all, they’re God’s hired hands, right?
Here’s what pastors want you to know:
Before you even pack a bag, the enemy is baiting traps to snag you into compromising your moral and ethical standards on the road. When traveling for business men don’t realize that is when the Evil one smells blood in the water. Men can be vulnerable for three main reasons:
1. Isolation -- When we travel, there are extended periods of time when we are alone, despite being surrounded by other travelers. From the moment you arrive at the airport, you venture as a single soldier, often with your guards down. Throughout the trip, you find yourself alone in a car, alone in the hotel and alone waiting. The absence of our spouse, children, friends and parents can open men up to trouble.
2. Anonymity -- Even when the hotel receptionist welcomes you by name, most of the time our identity is anonymous. Upon arriving into a new town, there’s nobody around who will recognize you. You can fly “under the radar” and go wherever you like and do whatever you want without the possibility of bumping into someone you know. Being alone and anonymous put your fate at major risk if you’re not prepared.
3. Fatigue -- Traveling taps the mental, emotional and physical energy resources. Your rhythms can be thrown side-ways, and regular eating, sleeping and exercise routines can suffer. When you’re alone, anonymous, tired and hungry, your impulses can wreak havoc on your spiritual and physical health.
Here’s your ticket and passport to “safe” travel:
Imagine dipping a fragrant, blossoming red rose into a vat of slimy mud, then pulling it out and letting it dry. The next day, and the next, repeat. Day in and day out, the mud caked petals would soon fall and the essence of the beauty would be stolen, yet the flower’s core remains. Its’ DNA is still a rose, but circumstances have drastically altered its’ future.
No metaphor can truly exemplify the torturous, yet profitable, treatment endured by young girls and boys ensnared in the human and sex trafficking web. Yet during Super Bowl week, leading up to the Big Game, the sex trade industry will be at a fever pitch, despite the freezing temperatures. While sports lovers enjoy the “ice bowl,” many other men will be rolling in limousines, literal mobile brothels, or shacked up in hotels dipping roses into mud.
It’s a sick and twisted example of a broken male culture. Men acting worse than animals buying in to each other’s uncontrollable desire to spoil the innocence of youth for their selfish short-term satisfaction.
“New Jersey has a huge trafficking problem,” said Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), who is co-chairman of the House anti-human trafficking caucus. “One Super Bowl after another after another has shown itself to be one of the largest events in the world where the cruelty of human trafficking goes on for several weeks.”
Recent news agencies reported that New York and New Jersey law enforcement are bolstering efforts to address this dirty trade that goes behind closed doors. Even airlines are training personnel to lookout for possible pimps and victims. But I’m reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah, two cities overrun with sexual temptation, lust and sexual appetite and other wicked behaviors. No measure of law enforcement could save these cities. I wonder if the same is true of the heightened level of sex trafficking that comes with every Super Bowl game.
This is a pass-along blog to the woman or women in our lives. I started Every Man Ministries to help awaken the sleeping giant in our world -- men. But women are so critical to life and to my mission I thought I’d dedicate this one for the girls.
Throughout my career of studying men in the Bible, counseling men in rehab, authoring materials for men, pastoring men, speaking to thousands of men and leading my own family, the more I realize our enemy wants men to be distracted from what really matters. Our faith in God, our values to love Him, love others, and to shepherd His family as the spiritual leader are all under attack. Many of today’s social illnesses are due to a breakdown in the family and lack of having an active dad at home.
Men matter. But unfortunately, many men take their armchair stance and avoid getting in the game to make a difference.
My goal is to start a movement of men who are unafraid to address battles at home and in their private worlds; men who openly and actively seek teaching about issues men face every day. My strategy is to use current worldly culture and give it a spin to learn God’s perspective. Every Man Ministries supports men who are following Christ, or investigating Him, while on their journey battling tough topics typically not shared in open forums. We provide the largest library of video teaching from today’s best contemporary teachers and make it available online anytime, anywhere.
But we need women in the game too! While men watch videos from our Media Vault and read our blogs, women may be wondering, “What's in it for us”?
Here are a few things you (men and women) should know about Every Man Ministries, and how it will benefit you: