Treehouse Fellowship…..and the story of Philip!

We’re taking our fellowship outdoors this week.  The weather is spectacular, early fall in Charlotte.  We’ll gather starting at 7:30 am at the Lenhart’s backyard treehouse (1609 Sterling Road).  Come enjoy the fellowship, in the treetops!

Our study this week is on the apostle Philip (Chapter 6), who is the “head” of the second grouping of four men.  Our author explains that while the initial four, Peter, James, John and Andrew, all found Jesus (when John the Baptist pointed out Jesus to them), it’s widely considered that Philip was the first apostle found by Jesus.  Philip is so excited about meeting Jesus, that he runs to Nathanael to excitedly tell him, “We have found the Messiah.”

I love what our author says on page 123:

“I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism.  When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful.  And it seems that invariable, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person’s first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ.”

Twelve Ordinary Men, p. 123

John Paschal leads us this week in our discussion about Philip.  Gather in the treehouse beginning at 7:30 am.  John will start the lesson at 7:45 am.

Peace!

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What’s Not to Love about the Apostle John?

Little teaser there as we dig into our fourth apostle this week, John—“the apostle of love”.  Homework is to read chapter 5 in “Twelve Ordinary Men”.

Arguably, John is the most familiar to all of us because he’s written most of the New Testament.  As such, there’s much to draw from on his personality and character.  In reading back through Chapter 5 (again), I’ve taken back by John’s focus on the “black and white” of human life.  In other words, John sees things as absolute.  He’s very set on what doctrine teaches and the consequences as such.  But notice what our author says of John on page 98:

“He (John) is concerned primarily with the overall pattern of a person’s life.  He wants to underscore the fact that righteousness, not sin, is the dominant principle in a true believer’s life.  Those who read John carelessly or superficially might almost think his is saying there are no exceptions.”

-MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men, p. 98

As you read this week’s lesson, I’d encourage you not to focus on the final outcome of John….but rather on the journey along the way.  The transformation of John is one of the most powerful lessons we can model even in modern times.

Again, MacArthur speaks (on page 105):

“The kingdom needs men who have courage, ambition, drive, passion, boldness, and a zeal for the truth.  John certainly had all of those things.  But to reach his full potential, he needed to balance those things with love.  I think this episode was a critical rebuke that started to move him toward becoming the apostle of love he ultimately became.”

-MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men, p. 105

Rob Miller leads us this week.  He promises lots of “nuggets galore” along the way!  (Rob is always a treat when he leads!)

Cornwell Center parlor room; gather at 7:30 am.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.

Peace!

Ambitious James?

As with the previous chapters so far, I’m certainly picking up on a few tidbits of information that I didn’t necessarily see the first time reading our book, “Twelve Ordinary Men”.  This week is another prime example.

Our reading this week covers chapter 4, James: The Apostle of Passion.  Admittedly, I skimmed most of the chapter for this week’s preparation but my mind focused in about mid-way through when our author describes the ambition of both James and John (and their mother, Salome).  More specifically, it seems like the brothers felt as part of Jesus’ inner circle that they were well-deserving of sitting on the kingdom’s throne alongside Jesus.  In fact, Salome is described as a willing participant in the notion of directly asking our Savior for those seats.

Jesus, however, replies, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with…” (MacArthur, p. 91)

So….if that’s not the ultimate “can you walk the walk or just talk the talk” then I don’t know what is!

David Parker leads us this week as we go over the story of James.  Great reading well beyond the sample story I mentioned above.

Join us this week, beginning at 7:30 am at the Cornwell Center for fellowship.  David will start our lesson promptly at 7:45 am.

Peace!

Living in his brother’s shadow??

Happy Thursday….!

Our reading this week takes us to Andrew, brother of (Simon) Peter.  Read Chapter 3: Andrew–the Apostle of Small Things.

Some of you, like me, grew up with a sibling, perhaps a brother or two.  The Bible is not clear about who is older, Simon (Peter) or Andrew, but all indications seem to point that Peter was the elder of the two.  He’s more polished, shows more leadership, and quickly becomes Jesus’ right hand man.

As we’ll learn this week, however, it’s Andrew who makes the initial introduction of Jesus to his brother, Peter.  Andrew hears about Jesus from John the Baptist, and then has a period of following Jesus, and then alerts Peter that “we have found the Messiah”.

It’s almost as if Andrew wants to lay claim to finding Jesus….first.

“Look at me….look at me,” is maybe what Andrew runs telling his brother.

But we know how the story unfolds, right.

Poor Andrew…...

Ironically, as our author points out, Andrew (just like Peter) was perfectly suited for his calling:

“….Andrew may be a better model for most church leaders (today) than Peter, because most who enter the ministry will labor in relative obscurity, like Andrew, as opposed to being renowned and prominent, like Peter…”

Chapter 3, p. 64, “Twelve Ordinary Men”

Much more on Andrew on Friday!

Gather beginning at 7:30 am.  Jason Schubert will kick off the lesson at 7:45 am.

See you then!

The Two-Named Leader of the Disciples

This week, our study picks up on the man few would argue against as the leader of the twelve: Simon Peter….or simply, Peter.

I picked up on something new while reading Chapter 2 of our study (this week’s assignment).  Our author talks about the two names for Christ’s “Rock”.  Simon and Peter.  Throughout the gospels, Peter is sometimes referred to as “Simon”; other times as “Peter”; and even fewer times as “Simon Peter”.

John 1:43 describes Jesus’ first face-to-face meeting with Simon Peter:

“Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon, the son of Jonah.  You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone).”

So, “Simon” refers to the old ways; the brash, vacillating, and undependable fisherman.

And, “Peter” refers to the person Jesus wanted him to be.

MacArthur writes:

“He wanted the nickname to be a perpetual reminder to him about who he should be.  And from that point on, whatever Jesus called him sent a subtle message.  If He called him Simon, He was signaling him that he was acting like his old self.  If He called him Rock, He was commending him for acting the way he ought to be acting.”

Maybe more of us should go through life with two names; one that describes when we’re acting less than our potential; and the other when we’re leaning towards greatness.

What would your two names be?

Rob Miller leads us this week as we dig more into Peter from the Chapter 2 reading.  Fellowship begins at 7:30 am.  Lesson starts at 7:45 am.  Cornwell Center.

I’ll see you then!

12 No-bodies who became Some-bodies!

Lots of excitement among our group this week as we kick off (or re-kick-off) a new series, Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur.  For some of the group’s veterans, this is a re-do, of sorts.  For others, it’s a great study that remains a favorite by most of our men.

Selfishly, I looked up the introduction from this study I posted in January, 2018 and pasted it below.  The instructions then are still relevant this week:

This week, our homework is to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 (“Common Men, Uncommon Calling”).

As you read this week’s assignment, think about a few things:

  • First, Jesus chooses the twelve not because they were famous, smart, powerful or even wealthy.  Why do you think this was the case?
  • Next, read 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and write down the qualities that Paul says are prerequisites for being a leader in the local church.  Think about which of those qualities would not have been present in the disciples when Jesus first chose them.
  • Finally, how can we balance out the understanding that God delights in choosing ordinary nobodies (like us) but yet has high expectations for us at the same time?

Lots to cover this week and it’s a long reading.  Remember to break it apart, if you must, and save time to go ponder the three questions above.

Finally, with new study comes the opportunity to invite someone to join us.  I’d encourage you to extend the invitation today!

See you this Friday, SEP 6th at The Cornwell Center.  Gather starting at 7:30 am.  We’ll launch into this week’s lesson at 7:45 am.

Peace!

Who’s Tom???

Really enjoyed our fellowship at The People’s Market last Friday with the men who joined.  Special “thanks” to my good friend, Scott Rigsby, who joined us to share is personal testimony of triumph over tragedy.  I’ve heard him speak many times and I always leave with new nuggets of wisdom.  Last week was no exception!

For those interested in Scott’s book that he mentioned, you can find it on Amazon at this LINK.

Looking ahead for our next study, quick reminder that we’re off this Friday due to the Labor Day weekend.  We’ll meet again on Friday, SEP 6th to start our “re-look” at Twelve Ordinary Men…or what I affectionately refer to as “TOM”.

I’m looking for men to sign up to lead any of the weeks for this study.  Please sign up at this LINK.  As always, the expectation is that weekly leaders put the ball in play….the group tends to take on the lesson once you get things rolling!

Enjoy the week off.  I’ll see everyone on the 6th at The Cornwell Center!

Peace!

Mike

Friday Fellowship this Week at The People’s Market!

We’re taking a brief pause this week between ending our last series and starting up on next one.  Reminder that our next series is Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur.  If you haven’t purchased the book, please do so before that series kick-off in two weeks, Friday, SEP 6th at The Cornwell Center.

No FMMF-Charlotte next week due to the Labor Day holiday.

This week, we’re gathering in “fellowship” at The People’s Market on East Blvd.  Come meet for coffee or breakfast or both beginning at 7:30 am.  My good friend, Scott Rigsby, from Atlanta, will be joining us.  He has a great story of how God led him to triumph over tragedy.  Very informal chat….but I’m excited Scott will join us this Friday for breakfast.

More on Scott at this LINK.

I’ll see you on Friday!

Peace!

Mike

 

Looking in the Mirror

As I read through this week’s lesson, Chapter 8: Forgiveness, I kept thinking about this concept of looking in the mirror.  Our author does a great job of discussing the expectations that we have on receiving forgiveness from God and others we’ve “wronged”, but are often slow to grant the same forgiveness in the same manner.  That’s where I had this vision of someone, maybe even me, looking in the mirror and questioning their own abilities to forgive.

There’s a great discussion about the costs associated with forgiveness.  Our author explains:

“Forgiveness is costly.  It means canceling a debt when we feel we have every right to demand payment.  It means absorbing the pain, hurt, shame and grief of someone’s sin against us.  It means looking for repentance and restoration.”

So how do we tackle this “cost”?  Well, luckily we have Rob Miller leading us this week to discuss this week’s chapter.

Meet at the Cornwell Center starting at 7:30 am on Friday.  Rob will lead us beginning at 7:45 am.

And, don’t forget that we’ll start the next series the Friday after Labor Day weekend, September 6th.  Details on the next study series and our upcoming meeting schedule are in last week’s update at this LINK.

Peace!

Looking Ahead to Our NEXT Study: “Twelve Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur

We’ve got two more lessons in our current study, but I wanted to share information about our next study as well as some related calendar dates.

By popular demand, we are re-visiting a study we’ve done before….because it packs such a powerful lesson for all men, especially today!

Twelve Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur.  You can order the book at this linkTwelve Ordinary Men

We will tackle this study over a 10-week stretch: September 6th thru November 8th

August 23 will be a special “breakfast fellowship” at the People’s Market at 1315 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC from 7:30 am – 8:30 am.

And August 30 will be a “FMMF Charlotte” holiday in advance of Labor Day weekend.

Sign up to lead our Twelve Ordinary Men (TOM) study at the FMMF Charlotte sign-up page:  FMMF Charlotte sign up page

Finally, as always, a new FMMF study is a great way to invite one individual or several to check out our Friday morning fellowship.  I encourage you to extend that invitation today!

Peace!