Subtitle: “REAL MEN READ – RMR” Update!
I’m taking a break from the Samurai Sheep series in order to share what a marvelous thing God is doing with a ministry that was born out of failure. I say it was “born out of failure” because my original assignment was to start a “Life Group” out of my home. Our church wanted to develop a Life Group ministry, of which 3 groups started and mine immediately began failing!
Now there were various reasons for this, one of which was our geographical location, being the farthest away from the church. Another was that my wife and I were fairly new to the church, whereas others already had well established friendships which they all gravitated to. You would think these things could be overcome, but when you got a group of people who already said “no” to Life Groups once before, well, it was difficult and we were not overcoming. My first attempts failed miserably and I was forced to go back to prayer and find a different answer.
The different answer we came up with was “Real Men Read” – RMR! I felt led that it was to be a men’s group only. What? An Oprah’s book reading club for men? Of course we did not present it in such a way, but from the moment I began to reach out, God began opening doors! In no time at all we had a meeting place, a book to read, and four men ready to join me in this Life Group!
I started a blogsite for RMR at rmr01.wordpress.com, intending for it to promote Life Group. Now that part has not really been all that successful. I just can’t seem to keep up with two blog sites along with everything else I am doing. Also, I have gotten no reaction from the city of Indianapolis, as far as any one coming to the group because of the blog site, not even any good comments! So…that site is good if you want to see how we started, but today I want to brag on God about where we are now! Because last night I challenged the men with something, and they said, “YES”!
I must say it all started with the book: “The Harbinger”. It did not take long before each of us in the group began to see the seriousness of our present earthly situation, which led to the next question of… “Is there anything we are supposed to do about it?” The subject of our “personal responsibility” kept arising more and more as we discussed the book in our group.
Eventually the question evolved from, “is there anything we are supposed to do”… to… “If we are supposed to do something, what would it be?” Now the book actually leads you to the first step of the main answer, which I will share as soon as I explain a little more about our group.
We started out by meeting once a month, on Wednesdays at 6:oo pm., at a little Greek restaurant called “The Four Seasons”. We gathered around a table with our coffee cups and maybe a desert. We had our book, The Harbinger, and a Bible. We opened in prayer and we focused on the book and “FELLOWSHIP”. We read the book at home, discussed it as we came together, and I was a teacher/facilitator for the group. We had a good time and everyone left each meeting feeling “charged” and looking forward to the next meeting! Each of us were drawing closer every time we met. Our group has now grown from five, to six, and someone said they thought we should be meeting more than once a month. I agreed, but I suggested it should be a different kind of meeting, something that would take us in the direction that Jonathan Cahn recommended in the book.
So last night I came to the group armed with a vision for the next step. In the book, Jonathan Cahn leads you to II Chronicles 7:14, a scripture we mostly already know is the main answer to our woes, but how many of us are doing it? Of course, it is the one about > If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.
So basically we are talking about a very serious prayer group. But exactly what shape should this take? Prayer groups can be done in many different ways. We expect our prayers to be a stepping stone to another assignment God will reveal to us as we do this, but what shape shall this next very next step take? To complete my answer, God took me to the book of Revelation.
Revelation is the “last” book written, by the “last” living Apostle. It comes at the “end” of our Bible, and it is the “last” book to be understood. (We are still working on it.) And the main subject of the book of Revelation is the “LAST” days. So it seemed to me that if this is “REVELATION” for the LAST DAYS, then I should pay attention!
The Holy Spirit pointed out to me that there is no reference to a sword coming out of the mouth of Christ in the whole entire Bible, until you get to Revelation, and it is mentioned “5” times! (Now I know I said I was taking a break on the Samurai Sheep thing, but here it is again! I did not plan! Honest!)
Also, it specifically says that they OVERCAME the devil by 1.) the blood of the Lamb, 2.) their word of testimony, 3.) and they loved not their lives unto the death.
So I took II Chronicles 7:14, and the points out of Revelation that seemed to stand out to me, and I rolled them around in my head for a while, as I continued praying. What I eventually envisioned is what I went to the meeting armed with last night, ready to challenge the men and see what they would say? It consist of 3 main steps.
First we divide into two groups, because we are 6, two groups of 3 is perfect. We still have the main group meeting once a month as we have been, but we add this 2nd meeting, two groups meeting in our homes. As these small groups grow to 4 or 5, they must divide and multiply into another 2 groups. The meetings can be anything from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on what the group wants to do. It is a PARTNERSHIP! We are ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS to each other, and we will do these 3 things when we come together >
1.) Memorize scripture! Our first assignment is Psalms 91 > the whole chapter. We will work on it till we can not only quote it, but we can literally “PRAY IT” from our belly unto God! A sword out of our mouth! We need to be able to pray scriptures! The goal is to help each other in this, not hurt each other. There is no pressure here, just each person doing what they can, as they can.
2.) After practicing the scripture memorization, from there we move into PRAYER. Each person prays and lifts up different things to God. Prayer for each other, the lost, the church, the country, our president and other political leaders, for Israel, and whatever the Holy Spirit inspires. Simple, honest, sincere, prayers.
3.) As the prayers end, we seal the deal, bring it all to an end, as we are reminded of the blood of Christ, and the price he paid. The juice and the cracker will already be sitting there ready. The meditation on scripture, and the prayers prayed have already set a proper atmosphere. No other words need to be said other than perhaps a “Thank you, Jesus”. As we each reverently take our cracker, and then swallow that juice representing his blood. They overcame satan by the blood of the Lamb. We need to be constantly reminded.
This is what I laid before the men last night. They each, very seriously, and overwhelmingly, said, YES.