Men after God's heart
H.U.G.E. Men of God Men's Forum kicked off last night at Word of Life Church in Marysville. This is my first time attending, so I thought I'd share my experience and growth throughout the 5 week event and in to the 2014 Men's Advance.
AC3's own Pastor Dan Hazen delivered the first week's message, the message was profound. An epic beginning to start this 5 week event leading up to the 2014 Men's Advance.
The intent of the Men's Forum is to unify the men of all Christian churches in and around our community. To continue to create a church without walls, worship, fellowship, deep discussion and HUGE growth in the hearts of the men in our communities.
As I do with all of my time with God's people, I intentionally went in to this night with what I thought was an open heart. I try to leave all notions of who I have been to this point in my life at the door and just take in what God has planned for me to learn.
As Dan passionately and intentionally delivered this message to this crowd of men, gathered on a Tuesday night in Marysville, magic was happening in our hearts. God's presence was apparent and what an open heart truly means was redefined for me, through God's eyes.
I won't dissect this message too much, it was too good for me to hit every point of it and somehow do it justice. I can however relay where and how it hit me. First things first here though, I must say, the worship band absolutely rocked, excellent couriers in to God's presence, that shouldn't be understated but the message hit me hard, so I guess it is.
For as long as I can remember, I've looked to world class athletes for traits that I strive to have. An amazing work ethic, a dream and a lofty goal realized, humility, courage, faith and especially those with an extreme will to succeed.
Russell Wilson is all of these things. His character, by all accounts is absolutely incredible. I bring this up because it was profound to me. That Dan, self proclaimed "nerd" and hardly a fan, let alone a big fan of football would start his message with tangible (and somehow accurate) evidence of how the characteristics of Wilson's heart are responsible for where he is today. Where he is today is on the verge of achieving his ultimate football goal as well as finding himself on the biggest stage possible to spread The Word of God in a community that desperately needs it, he does the latter quite gracefully I might add.
With Super Bowl Sunday coming in a few short days, I think Dan knew the way in to our hearts because that was just the beginning. The set up or the 3 yard run before the deep play action touchdown pass.
The message of and from the heart
If you know Dan, you know Dan's heart. If you don't know Dan, know that he wears his heart on his sleeve and reveals it to his community in every walk of his life, especially while delivering a message from The Word.
I won't dive in to the event in Dan's life that he centered this message to these men around, if you weren't there, I'll leave it up to you to ask him about that. Let me just tell you that he told an amazing story, a story of true courage in a young boy's heart and the profound effects of the lessons learned from it more than 30 years later in his life. How that courage gave him the ability later in life to love his father more and better than he had even thought possible.
The fierce passion in this man's eyes, his tone and his fists, shaking at the sky made it feel like he was talking directly to me, but I know I wasn't alone...I wasn't alone in knowing that men's hearts in our society aren't just broken, they're hardened by our culture. We're on a crash course, losing the courage and will it takes to truly love God, to truly love ourselves and in turn, love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
My will to seek God is the will that matters. We've all been broken by something at some point, our will to seek God is what gives us Christ followers redemption, it's how we find God's grace in the darkest of hours in our lives and how we find true joy in the best of times.
What I took from this message is that my will to seek God, the courage it takes to open my heart, mind and soul to God's word and His people is everything. My heart is hardened by my past, the only way to soften it is to keep it open for God's work, to have the courage to completely break societies mold of the modern man and continue to give my entire life to Jesus Christ so that our community can be the light on the hill for all to see.
After the message everyone headed to breakout rooms for discussion on what we love versus what we fear and different ways men have overcome fear with the courage to chose love in many situations. I'm certain that a man's life was changed in our group and I can't wait to follow up with him to make sure he stay's in God's presence where he was on Tuesday night.
These are the rooms where new relationships with like-minded men in all walks of life come from. A safe place to find real answers to real life problems through someone else who has conquered a similar situation, because I guarantee you, someone else has been there and overcome it, whatever it may be.
So, I hope and I pray that you'll join us. If week one was this good, I can only imagine where we'll go, I can already imagine the bonds that will be created in the hearts of men in our community over the next 6 weeks. The growth that this event is creating in our communities is astounding. So please come, open your heart, be courageous and do your part to make our community and your love for it stronger.
More information on the website HERE
We'll be at the Word of Life Church on 51st Ave in Marysville on Tuesdays all throughout February.