Go Small to Go Big

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Go Small to Go Big

So then, as we have opportunity,
let us do good to everyone—Galatians 6:10

Once we’ve decided to do something, we men often like to “go big.” We think to ourselves: if we’re going to do this thing, let’s really do it. We can bring this kind of thinking, this “go big” mentality, to all kinds of work, even the work God calls us into—that is, the work of loving and serving others. Great things can result, of course. But the mentality can backfire, too—for example, when we set our ambitions too high, get overwhelmed, and can’t follow through. It’s interesting that, knowing us as he does, our King, Jesus Christ, suggests an opposite approach:

“This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice” (Matthew 10:40-42 MSG).

Start small! Why does something rise up in our hearts, against that approach? Well, it’s mostly because by “going big” we hope to grab a little glory for ourselves. We want others to see us and think well of us. And if we don’t “go big,” they might not actually see our accomplishments. But, Jesus reassures us: “You won’t lose out on a thing” (Matthew 10:42 MSG). We must trust his words and trust that God the Holy Spirit can do amazing things within even our smallest, most ordinary acts of love and service. And that’s plenty big for any of us.

Look Again, Harder This Time

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Look Again, Harder This Time

. . . and they shall call his name Immanuel
. . . God with us—Matthew 1:23

We men often feel alone. Even surrounded by family, friends, work colleagues, we can still feel very much alone. These feelings—not of loneliness, but alone-ness—are most acute, of course, in times of stress or struggle or suffering. You see, it’s when we’re most in need of help and companionship that we’re most apt to be convinced that no one’s going to help or no one’s going to understand . . . maybe not even God. Right? I mean, in those dark moments, it can feel like God’s just not there, or has turned away. In one of his dark moments, King David cried out: “I am cut off from your sight” (Psalm 31:22).

The truth is, God is always there, inevery moment, bright and dark. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God doesn’t abandon us in dark moments, even when our sin causes the darkness. So we must learn to see him, even in those moments. One great way to learn is to look backwards, at dark moments from our pasts, moments when we felt alone, and look for him once more, a bit harder this time.

Here’s One of My Non-negotiables ⏩

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My brother,

I’ve got to tell you . . . I believe in community. I believe in the power of finding a few other guys—one guy, even—and meeting on a regular basis, so that God can do his work in our hearts and in our lives. Community, for me personally, has become one of my few “non-negotiables.”

But, why? Well, for a few reasons. “Two are better than one,” Scripture tells us—we’re stronger, less vulnerable, together. “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10).

Even more important, though, Jesus tells us that he’s uniquely present when we gather together. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). You see, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Therefore, when we gather, the power of the Spirit is able to flow from one to another and back. When we gather, the work of God is done: confessions are made; sins are repented; love and compassion are expressed; hearts are healed; encouragement is given; lives are transformed. Men are lifted up—up out of sin and rebellion, and into life and identity and calling. Life is lived in a way that it cannot be in isolation.

That’s why, if WiRE has begun to impact your life, even in a small way, I want to lay down a challenge for you: pay it forward. If WiRE has begun to impact your life, I want you to share it with someone else. You good with that?

Okay, here goes . . .

  • Quiet your mind for 10 seconds—close your eyes, if you’d like;
  • Now, ask God . . . “Who do I know who would benefit from WiRE?”
  • What thoughts come? A face? The name of a friend, a colleague, a brother, a father, a son?

Once you have your person in mind—or maybe two or three—I want you to send them an email or a direct message today. Tell them about WiRE. Make it personal. Tell them that it’s impacting you, and that you think WiRE might benefit them too. This isn’t a “share with everyone on Twitter” kind of deal. This should come from your heart and go right to the man (or men) God has put on it.

You can copy and paste this link to the WiRE signup page into your message:

WiREforMen.com/learn_more

I pray a huge blessing of community on your life, my friend. Pay it forward today.

Sincerely,

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Copyright © 2017 Gather Ministries, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Gather Ministries795 Folsom Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107

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Just a thought

Morning thought –

This morning my thoughts lean a lot toward just being thankful for what we have right now. I look around and can see that all 6 of the kids are healthy. The ones that are old enough to have kids of their own; their kids are healthy too. Waking up and knowing that is a blessing in itself.

I also am blessed to still have those that raised me and all of the family except maybe a couple are still in-place. We have been smiled on a lot in life.

Thank you,
Arthur Poston Jr.

A Pernicious Loop

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

A Pernicious Loop

. . . he himself gives to all mankind
life and breath and everything—Acts 17:25

There are few more powerful (and potentially harmful) forces at work in the lives of men than the When/Then lie. It goes like this: when we get that job, that promotion, that house, that “number” in the bank account . . . then everything’ll be great. Things will settle down then. We’ll have peace and joy and security then. The lie wouldn’t be so bad, but for the behavior we rationalize and excuse with it, hoping it is true: neglecting people we’re meant to love; disregarding people we’re meant to serve; ignoring people we’re meant to rescue; treating badly and taking advantage of people we are meant to encourage and support.

Our enemy, the “father of lies” (John 8:44), created a clever one with the When/Then lie—it’s an infinite loop. You see, whatever “something” follows When is never as good as we think it’ll be. And so, any given “something,” when it’s achieved, is quickly replaced by a bigger, better one.

There’s freedom available to us, though—freedom to enjoy the abundant blessings we’ve already been given; freedom to access true peace and true joy and true security, right now—if we’re willing to reject the lie and, instead, embrace the promises of our King, Jesus Christ. He’s promised that our Father God will provide everything we need in any given moment (Matthew 6:25-34). His provision just might not look how we think or hope it will (Isaiah 55:8).

No Secrets

Close-up of a Sign Against White Background

Being a man in this world today the guy code is made up of secrets. When growing up as a little guy and you go somewhere with your dad and he tells you don’t tell mom where we went. It seems like a game or club that you and your father have just created. I am guilty I have done it to my kids too. What happens though when the secret could really hurt your significant other?

I remember a few times when a secret that I kept caused a problem that I wanted to share with my spouse but couldn’t. Well not that I couldn’t but I I was embarrassed and a little ashamed because it was something that if I had shared it with her she could have given some though or insight into why it may not work exactly as “I see it happening”.

Other times secrecy can be very disarming of a relationship. Couples that have been together for years can unravel by a secret that the other just finds out. They are poison and if relationships are built on these they will crumble at some point in time. It may not be today or in the near future but it will happen. Myself as I cleanse my soul and have begun to allow my souse to know everything she probably sometime thinks you have kept that one to yourself. Transparency is what I want that way nothing is ever going to come that she doesn’t know about.

Have secrets with your wife or significant other that could be inside jokes about yourselves. They should not be on the outside but on the inside of your circle at all times. There are things that are not yours to share with your spouse but anything that has their interest tied to it as well should be shared with them period.

People it will be hard but being transparent is a huge stress reliever.

Thanks for reading,

Arthur Poston Jr.

Here’s What Energy Drinks Actually Do To Your Body

From Men’s Health

Love Red Bull? A new review has some bad news for you

 NOVEMBER 16, 2017
what energy drinks do to your body
Getty Images

Energy drinks can give you a boost when Monday morning hits you hard. But that fizzy beverage isn’t doing much for your body beyond your temporary pep, according to a new review published in the journal Frontiers in Public Health.

After reviewing the current studies surrounding the risks tied to energy drinks, researchers concluded that they might be associated with a wide-ranging slew of health problem. You might already know that energy drinks can screw with your sleep, make you gain weight, or even spike your blood pressure. But overarching evidence suggests they may lead to substance abuse, mental health problems, a higher diabetes risk, tooth decay, and kidney damage, too.

“The wide range of conditions that energy drinks can negatively impact was quite astounding,” study author Josiemer Mattei, Ph.D., assistant professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health told Men’s Health.

The sweet stuff may be to blame, she says. Energy drinks typically contain high amounts of added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners. In fact, an average 500-milliliter/16.9-ounce can contains roughly 54 grams (g) of sugar, the review found, which is well beyond the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no more than 36 g per day for men.

When you down too much sugar, your body will eventually have a hard time responding to it, requiring more and more insulin to help glucose enter your cells. This insulin resistance can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases. Plus, consistently high blood sugar levels can damage your nerves and blood vessels over time, which can set the stage for heart disease and kidney problems.

And it’s not entirely surprising that sweetened drinks can pile on the pounds. In one meta-analysis, researchers found that people who ate whatever they wanted typically weighed more when their diet contained more sugar and less when they didn’t consume as much.

Energy drinks also pack a perky punch, with some cans containing as much as 207 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per 2 oz, according to the review. While the researchers note that a moderate intake of up to 400 mg per day for adults is considered safe, the health implications can get a little dicey when you start to go overboard. That’s one potential reason why the drinks are associated with anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. One Korean study suggests that caffeine dependency may influence your irritable mood and screw with your sleep, which can be linked to stress and symptoms of depression.

Mattei believes this excess caffeine may also play a role in certain cardiovascular issues, like high blood pressure. However, other stimulants that contribute to the buzz—like gaurana, taurine, and ginseng—may have an influence as well, according to a study from the American Heart Association.

That’s a bit up in the air, though, says Mattei, and further research needs to be done to understand exactly how those ingredients affect your body. The review itself is limited, since there are only a small number of studies surrounding energy drinks, most of them focusing on young, healthy adults at one point in time.

Mattei emphasizes that the current evidence does support that the health risks outweigh any short-term perks you might experience from your energy drink.

Your move, then, is to nix them from you diet altogether. As obvious as it sounds, reaching for water can help, she says. Staying hydrated naturally keeps your body running—no funky ingredients or added sugar necessary. And if you want to wean yourself off of caffeine for good? Here are seven ways to boost your energy without it.

A Bit About Me, creator of WiRE

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My brother,

Since you’re new to WiRE, and you might be new to Gather Ministries, I wanted to share a little about myself—and the path that led me to creating this unique tool for men.

My name is Justin Camp. I live on the San Francisco Peninsula with my wife, Jennifer, our three kids, and one nervous golden retriever—and I believe God has called me to write about Him to men like you. I believe God’s called Jennifer to do the same thing, but for women.

So, in 2013, Jenn and I started Gather, a Christian nonprofit. Through it, we offer a new, hope-filled, honest perspective on God’s goodness and love to busy men and women. We create things for you that are beautiful and stirring, yet stripped-down and unpretentious . . . and that can fit right into your busy everyday life.

Prior to Gather, I spent fifteen years investing in high tech startups in Silicon Valley and a few years as a lawyer in New York City.

I like what I am doing now 🙂 Honestly, it’s one of the great blessings of my life to create resources like WiRE for men—all of which I handcraft to meet you right where you are, wherever you are.

My simple and sincere hope is that you allow WiRE to equip you to pursue God (and enjoy Him) more earnestly.

It’ll do that for you, I promise . . . if you let it.

By subscribing , you’ve already taken the first step. You’ve picked up a tool. Well done, my friend. Now, let’s begin to use it, together.

Sincerely,

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Copyright © 2017 Gather Ministries, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Gather Ministries795 Folsom Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94107

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You’re Designed for Extremes

“My brothers, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

You’re Designed for Extremes

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot—Revelation 3:15

There are three approaches to life with God: All In; All Out; and, in the middle, between those, a third approach. This third approach is actually a range—it encompasses every approach between the two extremes. Many of us take the third approach. I mean, we do believe life is better with God—but, our belief is more theoretical than not. We get busy with our careers, families, finances, and rarely think about actually applying the life and truth of our King, Jesus Christ, to our own, complicated lives. And so, they become indistinguishable from the lives of men All Out.

Jesus calls takers of the third approach “lukewarm,” and is particularly frustrated by us: “because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). We third-approachers mistakenly presume we’re doing okay faith-wise—not as well as we could maybe, but okay nonetheless. Therefore, Jesus’ words are startling and challenging—and force us to consider All In.

So, what does All In require? The world tells us, too much. But, that’s wrong. It doesn’t require more than we can give. Brother, we’re designed for All In. Jesus isn’t some out-of-touch “high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). He understands our lives. He knows what he’s asking. All In doesn’t require we be perfect; we couldn’t. It requires a soft heart―a willingness to try, genuinely, to use Jesus’ life as a pattern for our own.

You’re Magnetic

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

You’re Magnetic

Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?—Mark 2:16

God loves us—just as we are, right now. Wow. That’s kind of difficult to accept, isn’t it? I mean, it’s hard to feel worthy of that love, with all our mistakes, our imperfections. Don’t we need to be perfect and holy too, just as he is, before he can love us? No, brother, he loves us—just as we are, right now. If we’re ever going to understand God, if we’re ever going to understand ourselves, in relation to God, we’re going to have to bend our minds toward that truth.

He is perfect and holy; we are not. True. What’s not true is that, because of his perfection, he’s drawn only to more perfection. What’s not true is that, because of his holiness, he demands our holiness before he’ll love us, accept us, want anything to do with us.

God knows our mistakes, every imperfection. Nothing is hidden from him (Hebrews 4:13). And, actually, precisely because he knows, he executed the ultimate act of love: he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to be our King and to save us from our mistakes and imperfections (Romans 5:8). So, the truth is—like a doctor to the sick—he’s actually drawn to imperfection and sin (Mark 2:17). Our relationships with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, begin to work when we accept and welcome that love.