Here are three very reasonable challenges for 2005...
1. Several men have told us they are tired of being overweight and out of shape. The guy in the picture here used to be 100 pounds overweight. Just kidding, brothers! Here's the deal. Karl Geissler from Gill Athletics has agreed to help us do something about being overweight, lethargic and overweight. We're starting a once a week men's fitness program starting Jan. 12 from 6-7 am here at the Vineyard. Karl says it will be a non-traditional program, where more natural concepts are applied ... "Some of the same concepts used in many Olympic training programs." It will be tinged with God's wisdom, to boot, Karl says. Hey, I've never done anything like this before. It's worth a shot. Why not join us and try it. Wear athletic clothes, Karl says. It's early but lots of us have to work. No, you will not look like the guy in this photo on the right, but you might lose some weight and feel a whole lot better about yourself.
2. Mark Saturday, February 19th on your calendar. We have planned a Saturday (9am-3pm) seminar called: "God, Men and Sex." Our presenter is Dr. Doug Weiss from Colorado Springs. The men from the Evanston, Illinois, Vineyard told us they had this seminar and it brought dramatic change to the lives of scores of men in their fellowship. Watch for the coming brochures. I'm hoping for 150 men. As I've been thinking about this seminar, I've been trying to collect different kinds of information. Just yesterday I read Steve Gallagher's "Out of the Depths of Sexual Sin." I ordered the book off Gallagher's web site. It's a fast read but a really gripping story of how God dealt with Gallagher's sexual addiction and lead him into a ministry to help men who struggle with sexual addiction. Be forewarned. Gallagher lived a wild life. But that's the story's beauty. God saved him. God changed his hard heart, giving him a heart of flesh. God literally saved Gallagher's life many times. I strongly recommend you go to: purelifeministries.org and check out Gallagher's ministry. You can get the book from his web site.
3. I'm just finishing reading a great little book recommended by Dave Schmelzer (pastor at the Cambridge, Mass. Vineyard) at the regional Vineyard conference this past summer here at the Champaign, Illinois, Vineyard. Published in 1944, it's Dale Carnegie's "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living." I was skeptical, but Schmelzer was shooting straight. It's really good and lots of fun to read. Talk about staying power. This book is as pertinent today as when Carnegie wrote it 60 years ago. Lots of inspiring stories and time-tested methods for conquering worry. Want to stop worrying? Buy this inexpensive little book in any bookstore for a few bucks and read it.