(We bought a Chinese-Dwarf Hamster for Valerie. His name is Theodore. I’m a little concerned about the language barrier.)
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on…” ~Philippians 3:13
I just got off the phone with Dale Bresee, our guest speaker for this weekend’s Legacy Men’s Advance. And we talked about all the things we always talk about together: elders and ministers, men and work, the Church and the World. His vision for relationships within our families and within our churches is straight from Scripture. It’s a powerful vision that puts Christ at the center of everything we do and everything we say to and with one another. It casts to the side the petty, worldly things on which we generally focus and aims our attention at loving and serving one another.
I’m excited that we have so many men at Legacy, over 60 of them and counting, who are giving up their weekends to come together to learn how to be better leaders—better husbands, better dads, better deacons and elders and ministers, better committee members, better Christians. These men obviously want to know each other better and want to know our God better. And Dale is going to bless our lives.
A good friend of mine, David Bazillion, introduced me to Dale when he spoke for us at a Men’s Advance David and I planned together for the Mesquite church in 2001. And that weekend changed, not just the lives of the men who were there, it changed the whole church. It changed me dramatically. It greatly improved my marriage relationship with Carrie-Anne in ways that she noticed and appreciated immediately. It changed the way I saw our God and his Church and the relationships we have with one another in his Church. It changed my perception of the roles and responsibilities I have as a husband, a dad, a deacon, a member of the Body of Christ. It was radical.
All seven of our elders at Mesquite attended that weekend Advance. And the bonds that were forged, the prayers that were lifted, the tears that were shed, the promises that were made all carried over in the following months and years. The Mesquite church began doing things instead of just talking about things. A regular feeding of the homeless in downtown Dallas, the regular Second Saturday Servants, the 24 Hours of Prayer, the Wednesday night dinners, all of that stemmed directly from that Men’s Advance with Dale.
The Four Horsemen grew out of that weekend. All the amazing things our God is doing through Dan and Kevin and Jason and me all go back directly to that Advance.
I’ve often looked back on what was a watershed weekend for me and wondered if it was Dale (he’s good, but he’s not that good) or if it was just that a whole bunch of men had come together to worship and study and talk (it was very different and wonderful) or if it was the bonding that happens during three hours of paintball (it was intense) or if it was God (duh!). And I’m not suggesting that, if you’re at the Advance this weekend, you’re going to ditch your career and go to preaching school. But I do believe it’s going to change you. It’s going to change us. And it’s going to change our church.
Let’s be in fervent prayer together for the next 24 hours as we anticipate all the wonderful things our God is going to do with us this weekend. I can’t wait to see you there.