Check In: August 1, 2015

Ryan Murray here.  I am designated hitter for Darin this week, so join me and several guys to kick off another summer weekend with Men’s Check In. This week, we will continue the discussion of the Fruits of the Spirit and faithfulness. What kind of fruit should you produce when you are connected to the Body of Christ? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” (Galatians 5:22-23a NIV).

There are many aspects in our life that benefits from our faithfulness. We benefit from faithfulness to our wife, our kids, our friends, our trust in God, and so on. As leaders of our families and communities, how do we know if we are aligned with how God wants us to be faithful? Rick Warren boils it down for us with 6 essential questions to ask ourselves about our faithfulness:

  1. Do you possess the right values? A faithful person knows what’s important in life and what isn’t important in life.
  2. Do you care for the interests of others? God says faithfulness is proven by our others-directedness and by giving our life away, by looking at others rather than concentrating on ourselves.
  3. Do you keep your promises? The Bible is saying that faithfulness is a matter of if you say it, you do it. You keep your promises.  The number one cause of resentment is unfulfilled promises.
  4. Do you develop your God-given gifts? God has made an investment in your life and He expects a return on it. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each should use whatever spiritual gift he has received to serve others faithfully, administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
  5. Do you obey God’s commands? We can be skilled leaders, but disobedience disqualifies us from being seen as faithful as God defines it.
  6. Do you pass on what you learn? You’re to give what you learn to faithful men and those faithful men are to give it to others, and so on.

What questions were easy and which questions need some more consideration? Think about one of these questions this week that needs some work in your life. I think improving just one area of faithfulness will help provide a meaningful benefit in your life.

Note from Darin – We have several guys signed up for the Good and Beautiful Conference on September 11-12, but we still have a few spots available.  Our reservation includes a Meet and Greet with the author, Dr. James Bryan Smith.  If you are interested in attending this conference, and especially if you are attending the Meet and Greet, I need to know in the next week.  E-mail me if you would like to be included.  The cost is $15.

See you at Check In this Saturday morning at 7:30am (David’s Office),

Ryan

We are jumping back in to our discussion of the Fruits of the Spirit this weekend.  We’ve covered Love, Joy, Peace and Patience.  This week we’ll discuss Goodness, Kindness and Gentleness.  We’ll wrap this series up over the next two weeks with our final discussions on Faithfulness and, finally, Self Control.  I hope you can join us each Saturday for the next three weeks at 7:30 in David’s office.

The scripture this week is the “Good” Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

I know that this is a familiar story, and there is a lot to unpack.  But, I want to focus on the title of the passage.  This is always referred to as the “good” Samaritan, but nowhere does Jesus refer to him as “good” in the parable.  So as we discuss goodness, kindness and gentleness, the question of the week is

What makes the Samaritan so “good?”

Note – We have several guys signed up for the Good and Beautiful Conference on September 11-12, but we still have a few spots available.  Our reservation includes a Meet and Greet with the author, Dr. James Bryan Smith.  If you are interested in attending this conference, and especially if you are attending the Meet and Greet, I need to know in the next week.  E-mail me if you would like to be included.  The cost is $15.

I’m in

Darin

Hopefully you all had a safe and fun Independence Day.  We are meeting again this Saturday at 7:30 in David’s office.  We are continuing to work our way through the Fruits of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23  (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Typically the fourth fruit is stated as “patience,” but I like the interpretation of “forbearance” better.  Patience brings about the idea of waiting idly by for something fortuitous to happen.  Forbearance speaks of endurance and perseverance in adversity.  More like the patience of Job.

James 5:10-11 (NIV)

10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

If you missed Misha’s comment from last week’s post, I thought his excerpt regarding Admiral Stockdale was fitting for this topic.  Check it out if you have a couple of extra minutes.

Question of the Week:  How do you endure in times of adversity?

On a technical note, we’ll bundle kindness, goodness and gentleness together next week.  Then spend a week each on faithfulness and self-control.  I’m thinking of a wrap-up session, or maybe a get-together of some type off-site when we’re done.

Also, we still have a few reserved spots available for the Good and Beautiful Conference on September 11-12.  Cost is $15, and we’ve got a spot for our group at the meet-and-greet lunch on the 12th with the author.  Let me know, and get me your payment, if you’re interested.

I’m in.

Darin

Thanks to all of you who made it out Saturday morning.  We had intended to spend the time talking about peace.  And, in a way, we did.  We actually focused most of our attention on the controversial topic that was blowing up the internet last week – same-sex marriage.

I will not try to re-cap the opinions of the entire group, because they are variable and unique.  But, I will share my own thoughts on this topic, and our response to it.  My first thought is that it is not the Supreme Court’s job to interpret the Bible (that is our own responsibility), but rather to interpret the Constitution.  This legal decision should have no bearing on our beliefs.  Secondly, as I stated a couple of weeks ago, I believe the primary message of Jesus is love – not fear or hate or judgement.  Therefore, I choose to let the concept of love lead me through these difficulty and complicated kinds of issues.  Finally, If I can find peace in Philippians 4

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.

then, I must not be afraid to speak that peace to others.  Notice I didn’t say that I needed to be silent and avoid conflict, but rather actively speak peace.  I don’t believe that God is passively letting peace seep into my life, but rather actively speaking it to me.  And, I feel that I should be doing the same to others.  Maybe not through the bullhorn of Facebook, but preferably through individual conversations, small group discussions, and, perhaps most importantly, through my actions.

I’d love to hear your feedback to this discussion, so Leave a Comment.  Perhaps this is a good, less public place to carry out some of these conversations.

I’m In,

Darin

Special Announcement:  NO Check-In this Saturday, 4th of July.  See you next week, July 11.

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 darin_charles@hotmail.com.  The  cost will be $15 per person.

I’m in.

Darin

Check-In: June 20, 2015

Darin Charles —  June 16, 2015 — 1 Comment

Thanks to all of the guys who came out for Check-In last week.  We had a great session as we returned to weekly Saturday meetings.  We’ll meet again this Saturday at 7:30, in David’s office.

We’ll continue to spend a good amount of time to let every guy check-in, and then we’ll resume our discussion on the fruits of the spirit.  This discussion is based on the passage from Matthew 6 that guided last week’s talk:

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.

This week we’ll focus on the fruit of Joy. John 15 says this about joy

10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Joy was actually my “word of the year” a couple of years ago.  Specifically the idea of sharing and showing the joy I feel in my life.  Although I consider myself a joyful person, I have a difficult time expressing that.  How about you?

Question of the Week:  How do you express the joy that you feel?  If, like me, you’re not very good at it, how can you improve?

Special Announcement:  The Church will be hosting a conference with Dr. James Bryan Smith, author of one of David’s favorite books, The Good and Beautiful God, on September 11-12.  The conference should be great, and I hope you can all attend.  I have reserved us at least 10 spots to the conference, and in doing so, I have secured us a special lunch with Dr. Smith on the Saturday of the conference.  If you would like to go, comment on this post, and I’ll get your reservation set.  We’ll discuss this more in the coming weeks.

I’m In.

Darin

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,

Darin

Gentleman,

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.

David

Brothers,

I am writing today to give you information on our next gathering which will take place on Monday, May 18th at 8:00 pm in my office at the church, room 213 which is located on the second floor of building A. I really hope you can join and add your input to the discussion we have planned for Monday night.

What we want to do on Monday is follow up on the discussion we had last month regarding some potential ideas to expand the reach of this group. As many of you know, our model for gathering together has evolved over the last several years and last month I proposed an additional evolution of that. I think it is time for that change and I think we have the potential to impact the lives of a much larger group of men with a different model.

The proposal would be this…

A monthly gathering that would most likely take place on a weeknight here on our church campus. The first 15-20 minutes would be dedicated to the presentation of the topic for that month and then we would have break-out groups very similar to our original “check-in” model that would then give every man the opportunity to share their insight on the presenting question or thought. We would most likely want to launch this in the fall.

I have outlined the mission of this gathering in this way…

Cornerstone (or whatever we end up calling this thing… I was just playing with some names) is a men’s community dedicated to building faithful husbands, devoted fathers, and spiritual leaders in the marketplace.

There are lots of questions that I would like to discuss with you on Monday and hear more of your insight on this proposed change. I want to encourage you to take the time to be with us on Monday if you can. Your insight will help us sharpen what I hope will be a great blessing to the men of our faith community.

See you Monday.

David

Brothers, 

We had previously scheduled to meet on next Monday, May 4th. Due to a scheduling conflict, we are going to move our May gathering back a few weeks to Monday, May 18th. I will send you more info. about our topic for our May gathering in a few weeks. 

Hope you can make it this weekend as we begin a new sermon series, “Graduation Day.” 

Grace & Peace, 

David