A little over a year ago, I attended a Men’s Conference at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church(my church). After the conference, I was part of a Men’s Bible Study that was to last 6 wks. We have now been meeting every Saturday at 6:30 a.m. for the past 14 months. About 8 months ago, Paul suggested we do a guys wknd get away. It would involve Sports, Food and a little Bible thrown in. Yep … I’m in! You mention Sports and Food and I’m there! Seven of us agreed to get together of this weekend.
This was/is the wknd Paul picked. Needless to say, since it has involved Sports and food, we have had a great time! However, there are several things I have learned this weekend:
*If there is a a wreck on I-40 between Little Rock and Conway Friday evening at 6:30, you will have no where to go, so you better be full of food, not need to go to the bathroom and have a full tank of gas. What was supposed to be a 90 minute drive at the most ended up being a 210 minute journey. When we finally reached an exit to get some dinner(most important thing), there was a long line of people at KFC/Taco Bell doing the same thing. A 10 minute in and out meal turned into a 30 minute dinner.
*Paul is good at any sport he plays. He beat us in Ping Pong, Pool, Golf, Cards, Tennis, etc. You name it … he embarrassed us. He is no longer allowed to do anything like this again. He either doesn’t come or doesn’t participate. We lost a little bit of Ego this weekend thanks to Paul.
*I’m extremely rusty at Ping Pong. It’s been 2 yrs since I played at all and that time was with Arlyn for about 30 minutes. Other than that, it has been about 10 yrs since I’ve played. I don’t see Ping Pong playing competitively in my future any time soon.
*I’m even worse at golf. I haven’t played in 15 yrs and it showed in a big way! Of course, I was never any good, but it was even worse yesterday.
*What you like/don’t like is all about perspective. We ate lunch halfway through 18 holes yesterday and the water was horrible. It tasted like dirty dishwater. When I asked the waitress to bring me some unsweet tea instead, she told me that their water was delicicious! Said it’s local water everyone loves. Her perspective was limited to her experience.
*I hope you didn’t start reading this looking for some type of wisdom. It won’t be in this blog … sorry …
*I learned that I want a large 4 door, Red Pick up truck, with large knobby tires and a loud engine. Please Alan, let me drive it for a week. That’s all I ask …
*I learned that guys from any background can get along. Brant mentioned this last night. He stated that it dawned on him while golfing that each of us came from different backgrounds and we were all having a great time. Each one of us was raised differently and have different life experiences. However, we have several things in common. We love God and try daily to serve Him. We love our wives and try daily to be a good husband. We love our children and try daily to be a good father. We always are drawn to hang around people we have everything in common with. Maybe we would learn more if we just connect with the people God brings into our lives and not worry about whether our income level, clothing styles, sports teams, attitudes, etc. match with our approval.
*I learned that guys can talk … non stop … for 3 days … There was never a quiet moment in our house. Until it was time for bed. Guys are way more “chatty” than we care to admit …
*I learned that I can’t do the life of a Christian on my own. For the longest time, I have been extremely independent. I don’t allow people in my “bubble”. I keep my life private. I don’t need friends. Acquaintances are good, but friends are unnecessary. The past year of my life has been completely different than any other year I have had. I have men that I can call true friends. I can text/call/email/etc about a prayer request, praise, etc and they will pray with me; rejoice with me; etc. They share with me wisdom, experiences, etc. that have helped me in so many ways.
*I learned that in order to have Godly men in your life, you have to take a chance and be vulnerable. We spent over 2 hrs discussing our backgrounds, experiences, struggles, etc. last night. It was such a blessing to know that God has used every one of them in an amazing way. It was also a blessing to know that we all have different backgrounds but the same struggles. We always think a man who shares his heart is a weak man and is throwing away his man card when he opens up. Maybe it’s time we realized our families would benefit more if we admitted our weaknesses and showed them our vulnerabilities.
*I learned that God has blessed me far more than I deserve. I got choked up last night thinking of how much God has given me when I deserve so little. I’m so thankful that He loves me unconditionally. I’m so thankful He doesn’t hold grudges. I’m so thankful He forgives AND forgets and NEVER gives up. I’m so thankful for the amazing wife He has given me. I’m so thankful for the circle of men He has placed in my life that I can call FRIENDS.
So, Paul, Brant, Jason B., Matt, Eric, Alan, Jason H., Bryan, and Luke … thank you for praying for me; praying with me; challenging me; listening to me; and being willing to be used by God … and to Paul, Brant, Jason B., Eric, Matt & Alan, thank you for a fun weekend that started out being sports, food and a little bit of spiritual and ended up being a lot about God and a little about sports and food. Each of you are a blessing to me and a help to my walk in Christ. I love each of you as Christian brothers …
If you’re doing life alone … DON’T … men need men in their lives … women need women in their lives
It means you have to be vulnerable some and trust God a lot! When you do that, you might be surprised what God does in your life!
I found this “compiled Proverb” last night online under Proverbs 32 Man … it was a blessing to me:
Portrait of the man of integrity
32 Who can find a man of integrity? The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him. (20:7 )
2 He is wise and will hear and will increase learning; and as a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. (1:5)
3 He walks in the way of good [men], and keeps the paths of the righteous. (2:20)
4 Therefore, he finds favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (3:4)
5 His children hear his instruction and attend to know understanding. (4:1)
6 He avoids the strange woman (5:8) and rejoices with the wife of his youth. (5:18)
7 For he keeps the commandment of his father and forsakes not the law of his mother: (6:20)
8 Blessed is he for he heareth me[wisdom], watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. (8:34)
9 He receives [instruction] and becomes yet wiser: Because he is a righteous man, he will receive teaching and increase in learning. (9:9)
10 As a wise son; he gathereth in summer.(10:5)
11 His strength enables him to obtain riches. (11:16)
12 And his worthy wife is a crown to his life. (12:4)
13 For he even shows tender mercies to the life of his beast. (12:10)
14 Because he tilleth his land, he has stored up plenty of bread. (12:11)
15 Because he is diligent, his hand bears rule. (12:24)
16 Because he walks with wise men, he is wise. Fools are not his companions. (13:20)
17 He is good and leaves an inheritance to his children’s children. (13:22)
18 For he hath so loved his son; that he hath chasteneth him. (13:24)
19 And his ways please Jehovah, so that the Lord maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. (16:7)
20 Slow to anger , he ruleth his spirit as a victorious commander. (16:32)
21 In old age his children’s children are a crown to him; and the glory of his children are his glory. (17:6)
22 His words are [as] deep waters; a wellspring of wisdom like a flowing brook. (18:4)
23 He knoweth his wife is a good thing because the Lord has favored him to have found her, a prudent wife. (18:22, 19:14)
24 Because he shows himself friendly, he has
friends, for he is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (18:24)
25 Diligent in his business, he stands before kings and not before mean men. (22:29)
26 He holds not correction from his child; (23:13)
27 Neither is he found among winebibbers, nor gluttonous eaters of flesh. (23:20)
28 Yet, he hearkens unto his father that begat him despising not his mother when she is old. (23:22)
29 As iron sharpeneth iron; so he sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (27:17)
30 Because he hideth not his eyes from the poor, he does not lack. (28:27)
31 As a husband, he is known in the gates, where he sitteth among the elders of the land. (31:23)