Friday, August 3rd
Location: Krispy Kreme, Florence, SC
Pax Present: Speedwalker, Dipstick, Squatter, Spam, Swan Dive, ThunderByrd, Johnny 5, Jefferson, Monkey, Ice-T, and Ginger (QIC)
Ginger cast vision that F3 Florence can become a community full of Men of Understanding. Proverbs 20:5 reads, “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” Men, especially, like to bury their troubles, struggles, feelings and thoughts down deep. That is the reality of the world. But Scripture paints the picture that we can become men who are skilled at drawing those out of each other.
Some practical ideas shared by the pax that will help us grow into these kinds of men:
-Go the extra mile with each other. Stay 5 minutes after workouts to take a conversation deeper. If someone shares a prayer request during the COT take that person aside right then and pray with them personally. Take time to pray over that request for the next few days and follow up if possible through messenger, by text or in person. Take someone out to lunch and get to know them on a deeper level. We don’t have time to do this with everyone but we can do this with someone.
Ginger also offered the challenge of Matthew 7:6. “Do not give dogs what is sacred and do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do they may trample them under their feet and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Dogs don’t value anything. They are animals that lick their butts and then want to lick you in the face. They vomit on the floor and then eat it. My dog even poops in the yard and has turned right around and eaten it. They don’t treasure things that we value. Pigs are even worse in many ways. They will eat anything they can get their hands on. They are literally nature’s garbage disposal. Christ warned us not to take the things we treasure most deeply and entrust them to people that will not treasure them, protect them and value them the way that we do. The problem is, it can take weeks, months and even years to discover if someone is a pig or a dog. You can entrust very personal things to someone and they not disrespect those things for many years. The danger in this is that this reality can keep us from taking risks. But this is not what Christ was saying. He was not saying that we should never open up and take emotional risks with others but that we shouldn’t throw our treasures to those we know won’t respect them. In order for F3 to be a place where the deep waters of men’s hearts can be drawn out, we need understand this reality.
How do we keep from being a community filled with dogs and pigs?
-Learn to keep confidences that are shared with us. Never use someone else’s vulnerability as a source of humor. Don’t let others belittle the vulnerabilities of others. Be the kind of person we need to help our community be healthy. Do what you say you are going to. Under promise and over deliver. Don’t expect someone else to do it for you. A healthy community starts with you and me.
Ginger challenged us with four questions to think through and consider sharing with each other for prayer and support:
- If God empowered you to complete the task, what is one things you would change in your character or your inner life in the next year?
- In your Family life?
- In your Work life?
- With Your Health?
2 Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” Since this is true, whatever we desire to see changed, God is going to empower us to change it if we are submitted to Him.
Ginger shared that his answer to #1 would be this: He’s been struggling with obsessing about what people think of him. Both good and bad. When he suspects someone is thinking something bad about him he obsesses. When someone says something good about him he obsesses. In 9 years of pastoral ministry he’s never been a slave to this but in the last month it has come out of nowhere. He also shared his answer to #2: He and his wife struggle to find a way to consistently build into the spiritual development of their children. There are a lot of starts and fits in that direction but consistency has been really hard to maintain. Although there is a lot of great spiritual development the children receive through the church but they don’t want to be completely dependent on that to see their children grow in the Lord.
At that point, Ginger realized that they had run 15 minutes past time so a few guys had to leave.
Dipstick shared that he and his wife were wrestling through whether or not to stay at their church because of all the turmoil that is happening there. They are going on vacation this week and want to use that time to seek the Lord as a family about any changes that might need to be made. The Pax took time right then and prayed for him.