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Check-In Update

Darin Charles —  October 22, 2015 — 1 Comment

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to let Check-In take a hiatus for awhile.  This group has been significant and impactful to many guys (including myself), but, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t seem to be working.  I’m not sure what the future holds for this group.  Ultimately, that decision belongs to all of us.  Somehow, if it’s going to return, it will have to be in a format, a location, a time, with the right content, and with a leader that all come together to draw guys in on a consistent basis.

Thanks to everyone who’s been to Check-In.  Thanks to the guys who’ve come recently to try and help it survive.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to lead this group.  Thanks for letting me be a part of it.  This group has truly changed the way I think, the way I live and the way I relate to others.

If any of you have thoughts or suggestions on how to re-organize and re-structure this group to better meet your needs, and the needs of tons of other guys looking for fellowship and spiritual growth, I’d love to hear it.  Let’s have breakfast sometime.  In the meantime, make Saturdays count – spend time with your family, play with your kids, get coffee with your wife, go to the gym, pray.

Ecclesiastes 3, KJV

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


I’m Out (for now),


Looking forward to meeting with you guys again this weekend.  This week we continue to build on our discussion of some key foundational topics regarding our faith.  So, we’ll attempt to tackle the question:  “Who is Jesus?”

Perhaps we should start the conversation by looking at what Jesus, himself, said.  In the book of John, Jesus uses several “I am” statements when referring to himself:

John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life

John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world

John 10:9 I am the door

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd

John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life

John 15:1 I am the true vine

Let’s discuss these statements and add some of our own ideas about the central figure of our faith, starting at 7:30, this Saturday in David’s office.  If you can’t make it this weekend, feel free to add your thoughts as comments here.

I’m In,


Check-In Update

Darin Charles —  September 9, 2015 — Leave a comment

This weekend is the Good and Beautiful Conference, Friday night and Saturday.  I’ve had a few more tickets, that include lunch with the author, come available.  Let me know if you would like to come.  I think it’s going to be a great conference.  With the conference, we will obviously not be having Check-In this week.

We will start back in full force next weekend, Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 in David’s office.  Mark your calendars now.  Let’s get a strong group coming consistently this fall.  We will not be covering the Deeper With God series in our group, but I strongly encourage all of you to find a home group to attend with your spouse. If you’re looking for a home group, David can probably help you find one that will work for you.  My plan for Check-In is to start a 3-4 week discussion around the question “Who am I?” next week.  I hope you’ll join me.

I’m In,


Gentlemen, this Saturday we are planning to help out with playground clean-up for First Faith Pre-school and Kindergarten at our church. Start time is 8:00, and it will take a few hours. The more help we have, the better. Bring shovels and wheelbarrows. This is a great opportunity for us to help out the church, and typically a fun morning working together.

Hope to see you all Saturday,

Check-In Reminder

Darin Charles —  August 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

Just a reminder, we’re having a special evening event for Check-In, this Tuesday.  We’ll gather at my house, 3212 Abbey Rd, Mansfield, to watch the Rangers game.  Game starts at 7:05.  Bring a drink or a snack, and I’ll grill some hot dogs.  Free hot dogs are better than $1 Hot Dog Night any time.

Next Saturday we’re taking off as most of us are getting ready for back-to-school.  The following weekend, August 29, we’ll be helping the pre-school prep the playground for the upcoming year.  This has been an annual tradition for several years, and it’s a great way for a group of big strong guys like us to help support the church.

Hope to see as many of you guys as possible Tuesday night. If you haven’t been able to make Saturday mornings, this is a great opportunity to catch up with the group.



I hope you all had a great Father’s Day.  Now, back to the real work – being a good father and husband every day.  We had a great conversation last week as we continue to work our way through the Fruits of the Spirit.  The conclusion we came to was that Joy comes from the Lord, and is not necessarily happiness or exuberance, but often looks like inner peace and quiet confidence.  Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

But, for this week, we’re tackling the next Fruit:  Peace.  I was tempted to roll Peace into last week’s conversation about Joy, but in the last couple of days I have been presented with three separate scriptures related to Peace.  I took this as an indication that this topic was relevant and worthy of our time in discussion.  Here are the scriptures for you:

Philippians 4

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Romans 12

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.


Matthew 5

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

These are three different concepts of Peace – inner peace, interpersonal peace and peacemaking.

Question(s) of the Week:  What level of peace do you feel in your life?  How likely are you to seek peace in conflict?


In regards to the The Good and Beautiful God conference, we’ve had several guys indicate that they want to go.  If you’re interested, reply here, or e-mail me at  The  cost will be $15 per person.

I’m in.


We are returning to our roots this weekend, and I’d love to have you join us. Starting this weekend, Saturday, June 13, we will return to weekly check-in group meetings. We’ll meet in David’s office, upstairs in the A&E building at the church at 7:30, and try to wrap up the discussion by 8:30. Many men who’ve been a part of this group will testify to the power that can come from a consistent group of guys getting together on a weekly basis to share life together.

In an attempt to get back to our roots, we’ll spend a good amount of time with traditional check-in – how’s your week? what’s going on in your life now? what’s going great? where are you struggling? Then, if we have time, we’ll spend some time with an open discussion on the topic of the week (or with some other important topic that has surfaced during the check-in). My goal is to keep the topics to basic concepts that tie into our common goals of being better husbands, fathers, employees (or bosses), community leaders and Christ-followers.

I’d like to spend the next few weeks talking about a basic concept – the fruits of the spirit.

Matthew 7 New International Version (NIV)

17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

If you don’t remember all of the fruits of the spirit, just ask your children and they’ll probably be able to sing you a song to help memorize them. The first fruit is love. I think this is a great place to start with this re-boot of SMCI because, in my opinion, love is the core concept of Christianity.

So, the question is this: How and where do people see love when they see you?

See you Saturday,



I apologize that it has taken me over a week to send you a wrap up from our last gathering which took place on Monday, May 18th. As you know we met for the purpose of brainstorming some ideas to expand the reach of this group. We had some great discussion and I am really pleased with the direction that came out of that conversation we had together as well as the feedback I have received via email since we met.

Let me give you a quick update on that progress.

Saturday Morning Check-In

The first thing is that Darin Charles has volunteered to lead and coordinate a new Saturday morning Check In group. There was a ton of interest in going back to the weekly Saturday morning check in format and Darin has agreed to head that up. In our conversations Darin has communicated that he expects that to launch sometime around the middle of June. When it does, he will be communicating with you through this same email list. You do not need to do anything to continue getting updates on that.

What I know would be helpful for Darin is to hear from you about your interest in this new group. Again, we have already had several guys mention that they will be invested in this, but I know Darin would love to hear if there are more.

You can email Darin here.

Men’s Community

The second thing that I am going to be putting in the works is a larger Men’s Community gathering that we hope will take place on at least a quarterly basis. My guess is that the sweet spot for this is probably going to end up being 6-8 times a year. This gathering will include a much larger community of men. It will include a time of worship and teaching provided by one of our pastors and/or outside guest speakers.

My hope would be that this would not only capture a lot more guys in our church but also give them a next step that might lead to them getting connected to one of our other men’s groups that we have here at our church.

My plan is that we would have our first gathering of this new Men’s community some time this fall.

So that’s the update. Be looking for Darin’s invite for the new Check-In Group. For now, this will take the place of our Monday evening gatherings. It’s likely we will look at that slot for our Men’s Community Gathering when those occur but I will get you more information on that as we continue to refine those plans.

Thanks again for everyone’s input into this process and for expressing all along the way your desire to make sure others have the chance to receive the blessing you have received from your participation in our men’s group. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.


Monday Mornings

Darin Charles —  November 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

Good Monday Morning!  Did this week start off exactly how you wish it had?  Can you think of a better way to start off a Monday morning?

How about starting your week off with fellowship and warm breakfast tacos?

What I realize at each of our monthly sessions is that there is something I truly miss about our weekly meetings.  With that thought in mind, I’d like to invite all of you to an informal breakfast at Fuzzy’s at 7:00 every Monday morning, starting next week.  This will not be a formal Check-In session, but rather a casual breakfast and conversation for any of the guys that can make it on a given Monday.  So, no commitment or RSVP is required.  This is simply an invitation to start your week off with some fellowship and breakfast tacos.


Our next gathering will take place next Monday, July 7th at 8:00 p.m. We’re going to be meeting in my office this month at the church. My office is located upstairs in Building A, room 219. Here’s our topic for this upcoming gathering.

This year we have been intentionally looking at how we can “get better” in several different areas of our lives. We have looked at how we can better invest in our marriages. We had a gathering led by Darin where we focused on our physical health and how we could make improvements in that key area of our life. Last month we looked at our personal spiritual development. This month we are going to be looking at relationships, and particularly how we can better establish healthy boundaries in those personal connections.

I have invited my good friend Bryan Atkinson to lead us in this next session. Many of you know Bryan of you have heard me talk about him before. Bryan is a personal friend who is a rich blessing in my own life. He is also an outstanding counselor who is always my first referral to those who I think could benefit from that relationship.

I hope you will make plans to be with us next Monday night. I know it will be worth your time.

See you in a week!