Under The Hunter’s Moon - How Do You Do That? - Purity 863
Purity 863 10/14/2022 Purity 863 Podcast
Today’s photo of a darkened roadway, the shadows of trees, and an evening sky illuminated by “The Hunter’s Moon” comes to us from a friend who shared this scene of an October evening, presumably near their home in Round Top NY, on social media earlier this week.
Well, we have made it to the weekend and as I stated yesterday, and have now confirmed via Google, we in the Catskills or the Adirondacks regions of upstate New York are currently in the peak of the fall foliage season. So as the forecast, according to Alexa, is calling for partly sunny weather and a high of 67 F degrees, I encourage all of my local friends to venture outside of the four walls of your homes and go see the glory of the Autumn season.
Yesterday, I took my canine friend, Harley, for a westward walk down Waite Road toward River Road which is lined by forests after I pass my neighbors place and was absolutely rejoicing over how God’s creation had all the colors of Autumn on display. We were also blessed by the appearance of a Blue Jay flying above and a Deer scampering across the roadway. Sometimes it’s just being aware of and being present for the things in our immediate surroundings that can give us a resounding sense of peace and a thrill of joy at just how blessed we are to simply live in this world that the Lord has made.
So why didn’t I share any photos of that? I didn’t bring my phone and I have decided that was a good thing for the memory of yesterday’s short walk in Autumn ‘22’s splendor will be just between me and God.
But before you go running off to the wilderness to be one with the Lord and decide that being alone with the Lord in His creation is your purpose in life, I want also remind us all of the blessings that the Lord brings us when Christians are in community and that our purpose is not to keep our light under a bushel but are to share what we have come to know about the Lord with others.
I shared my friend’s picture of what they call “The Hunter’s Moon” because last night I had to don a bright orange hunter’s knit cap in service of the Lord and I wasn’t hunting rabbits, deer, or ducks but was only to be used in assisting the Lord to capture the hearts of men.
My Church, Starpoint Church in Clifton Park, hosted a men’s worship event called “Man Up” last evening and prior to the event I was asked by our executive pastor to be a “connect group leader” to encourage men to boldly proclaim what areas of their life the Lord was leading them to “Man Up” in.
The evening started with fellowship that involved a catered meal from “the Dog Haus”, of sliders and tater tots, and manly games of corn hole and axe throwing was also available, which I missed as I spent the first half hour eating and talking to my brother-in-law and other men I knew from the church.
A lively session of worship music by our churches worship team followed the meal and fellowship and then we were blessed by an impactful message from Pastor Pierre, a visiting friend of our church from Rochester. Pastor Pierre’s message was encouraging and convicting and after I heard it I knew that it would almost certainly cause some of the men to consider the ways they are living and what “shadow” they would be casting for their family and friends to remember as they walked from last night into eternity.
After the message, the men were invited to meet out on the church’s lawn where various fire pits were assembled and lit, for a final session of fellowship, making smores and prayer.
Burt before all that, at the beginning of the evening, the “connect group leaders” were called together to be instructed on what our roles were to be following the service to end the night. Pastor Larry gave us our orange hats, that were to serve as a visual indicator of who would be leading the fire pit sessions, and explained how we were to encourage the men that gathered to share a little about themselves and to answer the question: “In what one area is the Lord calling you to “Man Up”.
As Pastor Larry concluded giving his instructions and we were about to leave, I got a call from the Holy Spirit to pray. I’m relatively new to the church and didn’t know all the guys, but I felt the Holy Spirit was calling me to step out and pray.
So when Pastor Larry asked: Are there any questions? I asked “Can I pray for us?” Pastor Larry said yes and then I said a quick prayer for the Holy Spirit to bless each of the connect group leaders and to use us to help the men gathered to open up and reveal what the Lord was asking them to do.
It was a quick prayer and I said Amen and even though I thought I had did what I was called to do, a strange thing happened right on the heals of that prayer.
I got blasted by what I would call a rush of anxiety and even though I maintained my composure, I was overcome with nervousness and this condemnation that told me that I was showing off or I was too new to this church or I didn’t belong here. Luckily, I knew all of this to be lies but the attack was pretty intense all the same and I had a moment where I was worried and I contemplated “What have I gotten myself into?”
But as I talked to my brother in law Donald and other men of the church, I found my peace again. And after worship and Pastor Pierre’s message, the sudden panic attack was all but forgotten. So I ventured out to a firepit I called my own with my orange hat on and started welcoming men to my circle and lead them through the short session of smore making, sharing their convictions of what the Lord put on their hearts about “Manning Up” in, and then we prayed for one another.
As we got settled in to the group, I introduced myself and started to share testimony of all the things the Lord has helped me to overcome and it encouraged the other men to open up and be transparent about the areas where they needed to step up in.
After we prayed for each other, one of the men pondered and asked “How can we do that? In regards to trying to find the balance between being loving and leading our families but at the same time not being overly controlling or completely passive.
In the short time we had, I couldn’t explain the 12 year journey that had led me through the fires of adversity and to my new life in Christ, but I did encourage Him to follow the Lord and to develop a daily spiritual practice of prayer, Bible study, praying over the Who I am in Christ list, and gratitude to set the foundation for His day and to realize that the work that Lord has for us to do lies in changing our character more than trying to change others.
I confessed that earlier I had a panic attack, probably demonic – didn’t say that to them, but after I was reminded myself of who I was in Christ I had peace and felt able to encourage them to seek the Lord’s will for their lives.
The men truly seemed to appreciate my transparency, and I advised them that all the good things have happened in my life was because I decided to follow Lord and that He could help them too.
And so I was blessed last night by fellowship of the men of my church and by the opportunity to give glory to God for all that He has done for me.
So keep walking and talking with God, because it simply is the Only way to know true peace and to overcome the lies the enemy that would cause us to run away and hide. The peace God has for us is in His light, not in the darkness of this world. So I light a fire for Him and I will continue to encourage others to seek all that He has from them.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
Will be back on Monday......
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the “Extraordinary” of Christian Life
The Beatitudes – Continues
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Jesus’ followers are called to peace. When Jesus called them, they found their peace. Jesus is their peace. Now they are not only to have peace, but they are to make peace. To do this they renounce violence and strife. Those things never help the cause of Christ. Christ’s kingdom is a realm of peace, and those in Christ’s community greet each other with a greeting of peace. Jesus’ disciples maintain peace by choosing to suffer instead of causing others to suffer. They preserve community when others destroy it. They renounce self-assertion and are silent in the face of hatred and injustice. That is how they overcome evil with good. That is how they are makers of divine peace in a world of hatred and war. But their peace will never be greater than when they encounter evil people in peace and are willing to suffer from them. Peacemakers will bear the cross with their Lord, for peace was made at the cross. Because they are drawn into Christ’s work of peace and called to the work of the Son of God, they themselves will be called children of God.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 108.