Friday Men’s Group 10/27/23

Landfall: Acapulco MX Wednesday October 25th 12:25 a.m.

Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?
Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?
Lamentations 3:37-39

Hi Men:

I pray your week was filled with grace and spiritual blessings.  I love this verse from Ephesians 1:3 so much:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”  We have access to an abundance of spiritual blessing “in Christ!”  We are so rich in God’s grace and provision……. Wow!

Thanks for your prayers and extending me grace with last week’s Friday email.  My wife and I returned from the Smoky Mts of Tennessee after having such a grand time with our boys, daughters-in-law and grandkids.  It’s rare for us these days to get everyone together at one time.  It’s ONLY by God’s grace that He has knit this family together.  Here are a couple photos I took from the cabin we rented:  •  Leaves starting to turn before we left (my phone camera made them a bit brighter)  •  A great sunset  •  Three 2 year-old grandsons – so busy!!!   I’ll get a few more of the other grandkids in the days ahead.  I try to avoid, “Let’s have a slide show of our family vacation.”  😊


Strongest storm ever to strike the Pacific coast of Mexico

I’m sure most of you have seen the devastation from Hurricane Otis.  Like a number of you, I don’t watch news on the TV anymore (haven’t for years).  I try to stay somewhat current on other platforms I trust (at last I hope they are trustworthy – who knows nowadays).  Anyway, I zero in on the science websites.  Regarding Hurricane Otis, here are a few interesting facts:

  • The hurricane models predicted there was only 1:4 chance of it becoming a hurricane (remaining a tropical storm)
  • On Tuesday morning (24th) it was only at 70 mph.
  • Then  around 1pm…….Uh-Oh….. Hurricane Hunters fly through the eye and find out…. Yikes!  Call 911….
  • 12 hours later (about 9pm) it is a Category 5 @ 160 mph – a whopping 90 mph increase in just 12 hours.   Broke all records!
  • I love the comment NOAA meteorologist John Kaplan made, “Nature is hard to predict sometimes.”

Acapulco: Drone footage shows trail of destruction left by Hurricane Otis
(YouTube 59 Mins) 

WHAT’S MY POINT?   Warning:  Graphic Details

Let go back up to the three verses in Lamentations 3.  They are all questions….  Can you answer them? 

It might be good to have a quick recap.  Let’s think about Hurricane Otis, the Israel/Gaza War and the War in the Ukraine.  First of all, we need to be praying for all these people whose lives have been devastated.  Are you praying for them?  Second, you might hear people say, “Where is God in all this horror and devastation?”  That answer is easy, “God is 100% in Control” (He’s not sitting on the edge of the Universe biting His fingernails).   Now for the nitty-gritty – stuff that’s hard to think about.  You hear people say, “What happened to those Jewish people at the Kibbutz is so evil and demonic.”  That’s a true statement, but remember, Satan is powerless to do anything unless he has a Divine appointment from God.  If we take this one horrific report by the Christian Post: where the report states that a baby was cut out of a pregnant mother and both beheaded.  How is it different than God using foreign nations to judge Israel for their disobedience.  Here is just one example where the prophet Elisha wept when he foresaw the brutal acts that the King of Aram (Syria) was going to do to the people of Israel:

“And Hazael said, ‘Why does my lord weep?’ He answered, ‘Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women.’”  (2 Kings 8:12)

The vast majority of Christians today have NO FEAR OF THE LORD!  If verses like the one above doesn’t whack you, God help you.  Men, you need to reflect on verse 39 of Lamentations at the top:    

“Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins?”

God is Sovereign, even in affliction and we have no grounds to complain in light of the severity of our own sin.  We need to be in a perpetual state of repentance.  Just look at the Cross and see how merciful Jesus has been towards you!



As Jane and I boarded our flight from Knoxville to Las Vegas, Jane had the aisle seat and I had the window.  That left only the middle seat.  When the plane is full, and the person arrives, I give him the window seat…… they are so appreciative.  On this flight Rick, from Knoxville, got the window seat.  As the plane leveled off and I was reading my book, Rick was enjoying his Michelob Ultra (they first offered him a Bud Light and he almost had a cardiac episode😊).  After about 2 ½ hours into the flight I put my book away and started talking to Rick.  By the way, his breath was curling my toes…… whoa.  I even pointed my vent toward him.  Regardless, I was being convicted to talk to him.  I found out a lot about Rick.  He’s a few years younger than me and his wife died suddenly of a severe reaction to an antibiotic.  The doctor’s office made a HUGE.  His brother is an attorney and Rick was awarded a very large settlement.  Our conversation turned to the Lord and we talked for a long time.  It was obvious, he is trying to find happiness in worldly things.  I pulled out my (3) favorites, The Million Dollar Book of John, Are You A Good Person and Steps To Peace With GodWe flipped through all of them.  He was super interested.  I camped on Steps To Peace and shared my own testimony.  He really resonated with it, because he could relate to questioning whether life was worth living.  I shared what it meant to be born again and he had a number of questions.  He promised me that he would read those three pieces I gave him.  We exchanged contact information and I have already texted him a few times.  I’m disappointed I forgot to get a photo of the (2) of us on the plane.  It funny, once I started talking about Jesus, it’s like his bad breath wasn’t an issue anymore!


You can have all this world, Give me Jesus…….  Click Here for Fernando Ortega’s song
(Galatians 2:20)

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
T.S. Eliot  –  Choruses from “The Rock”



Men:  Do you believe these (2) statements?


I suggest you get clarity on both these truths…… Why?  Because your vapor of life on this earth will go much better!
Take some protracted time reflecting on these (2) devotionals

PERSONAL NOTE:  When I got a handle on Election years ago, it truly set me free!  Prior to that I was unteachable and in bondage……

Serving Others and The Meaning and Importance of Election – Red Book Day 300 & 301 
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically

Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”

If you haven’t listened to this message by John MacArthur given some years ago, I highly recommend it…….
Twin Truths:  God’s Sovereignty and Man’s Responsibility (John3:11-21)
(YouTube 49 Mins)           



Inside the Transgender Empire 
Christopher F Rufo

Men:  One of the brothers said this:

This is ugly reading, but hopefully gives us an urgency with the gospel
and an alertness to evil forces. 

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me”

1 Tim 4:1-5
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,  by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,  men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.  For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”


🔥 LUST 🔥

Hi Men:

Many of you have met Ray Whitby as he has attended the Zion Boot Camp and a regular at Southwest Men’s Retreat.  I listened to his 26 minute talk on Lust.  I thought it was excellent and the Bible verses he emphasized were convicting.  I have to admit, I was out walking early yesterday morning, and a gal with her dog was coming my way….. AND…..  I was listening to Ray’s presentation.  There is no question, this young gal was beautiful (as Ray would say “HOT”).  Ray was at that moment talking about our eyes.  As she passed, I said good morning and avoided taking a second look (also, her dog was HUGE so I gave them a wide berth😊)  I thought of the verse from Deut 32:35 that Jonathan Edwards used for his profound sermon, Sinners in The Hands of An Angry God:  “……..Their foot shall slip in due time…..”   It would have been so easy for me to slip and take that second look.   [If interested, you can listen to this sermon as Max McLean reads it….. just scroll down: E²]

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes
and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
(1 John 2:26)

Listen to Lust by Ray Whitby



-It Will Cost You Everything-
What it Takes to Follow Jesus
By Steven Lawson

Here is a short paragraph from his book (page 84):

Be assured that the religion that costs nothing is worth nothing — and accomplishes nothing. Religion that costs you neither time nor thought, nor self-denial, nor sacrifice, nor prayer, nor suffering, nor opposition, nor persecution, nor conflict, will be a religion that will never save your soul. It is a religion that will give you no comfort in the day of adversity. It is a religion that will give you no peace in the day of your death

This is a great little book that will take you to your knees.
Buy one for yourself or give it to a friend.  Also a great Christmas gift.

YouTube Video if you haven’t seen it (11 minutes) 



What do you think?