Friday Men’s Group 4/19/24

Cicada Invasion 2024

“Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this,
in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”
(Job 12:9-10)

Hi Men:
Well, how’s your week been? Question: How many of you have walked into a business meeting or a store, bank or restaurant this past week thinking to yourself, how many of these people in here are headed to heaven or an eternity in hell? I think we all need to reflect more deeply on this subject. It may get some of us out of a spiritual rut. Many of you know that Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 Resolutions when he was a young man. His 55th resolution reads as follows:

“Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and the torments of hell.” July 8, 1723.

If you look up his age, he was 19 when he wrote this one. What were you thinking about when you were 19? Be praying to see people in light of their eternal destination.



It’s time to revisit our special little cicadas. I took that photo several years back when they emerged from the ground at my house, climb up our Elm trees, shed their skins and fly off to find a mate.

This year is different and in a different location, the South and Midwest. Starting in another week, two broods will start to emerge at the same time (this hasn’t happened since 1803 and won’t happen again for another 221 years). Brood XIX has the 13 year cycle and Brood XIII has the 17 year cycle. There will be only a small area of the country where both will emerge simultaneously (mainly in Illinois)

Brood XIII is shown by blue dots Brood XIX is shown with red dots

If interested, there is much information out there, you can read and study to your heart’s content. A cicada app has even been developed, so if you are in those areas above, you can even help tract them!! Google: Cicada Safari App

Let me conclude with just a few amazing facts about these cicadas!

  • HUGE NUMBERS: Most likely, trillions of cicadas will emerge.
    o     In some areas, 1.5 million per acre
    o     By the way, there are 3300+ species of cicadas around the world
  • THEY CAN COUNT: They know exactly when their 13 & 17 year cycle kicks in
    o     Who knew they had calibrated alarm clocks in their pockets
  • TEMPERATURE GAUGES: They emerge when the ground temperature is exactly 64°F
    o     Who gave them that temperature gauge?
  • JET ENGINE: They can generate sound upwards to 110 decibels. Close to the noise of a jet engine
  • CICADA BRAINS: They have to figure out when to dig upwards, climb a tree, shed its skin, find a mate, mate, and then die all within a 6 week period
  • INTELLEGENT DESIGN: Tell me again Romans 1:20 doesn’t apply.



Meet Aarion at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop down the street. I volunteered to assist my wife, who with a few other ladies, organized a Women’s Conference. My job was to deliver 8 large trays of sandwiches for lunch last Saturday for about 80 gals. When I arrived at Capriotti’s, I looked for Aarion, who I had met previously. He had (2) of his guys load all 8 boxes in my car and while outside, I gave each of these young guys the Steps To Peace With God, the Million Dollar Gospel of John and Are You A Good Person tract. I actually had enough time to explain each one. In light of eternity, they saw the importance of what was discussed. I even got to explain the “wages of sin” (Rom 6:23) they have earned using the Ten Commandments. They were drawn to the conversation. They eventually had to get back inside and I followed them and had the same conversation with their manager, Aarion. He was so receptive and even asked if I could come back again. They know you really care about them. And of course, each of the packets had a serious tip enclosed……. I’LL BE BACK!!


In light of everything going on in the world right now, I am so grateful that our Sovereign God is 100% in control. Like R.C. Sproul once said,

“If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

Everything is being played out EXACTLY as God has preordained.

Grateful for His Peace,
(Galatians 2:20)


The School of Affliction

Men: Just yesterday I read this from J.C. Ryle’s, Daily Readings. Check out this profound paragraph:

“Affliction is one of God’s medicines. By it he often teaches lessons which would be learned in no other way. By it he often draws souls away from sin and the world, which would otherwise have perished everlastingly. Let us beware of murmuring in the time of trouble. Let us settle it firmly in our minds that there is a meaning, a needs-be and a message from God in every sorrow that falls upon us. There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction.” J.C. Ryle 1816-1900

As Walt states below, “You are never more vulnerable to temptation than when all is well.”

The Benefit of Affliction – Red Book Day 110

The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he


Men: Since we are talking about affliction, let’s ratchet it up a bit

⚠️ If you like your restful sleep at night, don’t read this ⚠️

The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

Sobering!!  If you do read it, sent it to your church buddies
Click To Read The Article

I’m also including this devotional again, because we all need to ponder it. In the past (3) Friday Letters, you read Dr. Scott Bangert’s Three Part series on Smart Phones and Social Media. Today everyone is basically saying, “Look at me and what I have done!” So the devotional below is NOT “Strive For Pretentiousness” but OBSCURITY. And not only is it an epidemic in the world, but throughout most Christian churches. As pastors preach, they should be praying their audience see the “Living Word” and not them.  A couple weeks back, some of us discussed not only how dangerous “comparison” is, but “receiving honor and recognition.” A very serious verse from Jesus  [John 5:44].

Strive for Obscurity – Blue Book Day 110

The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he


Beulah Beach, Ohio

Theme Verse: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love.”

Begins Thursday, April 25, 2024

Please pray for the men and speakers
for this upcoming conference


Don’t Look Back

by Ron Hocutt | Apr 9, 2024 |

[Note: Only a 2 Min Read, but take some time pondering what Ron shared in this article]

Jesus tells us “…..No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

This passage is commonly understood as referring to one who begins a work only to regret the decision, wishing to retreat from the work at hand.  He who does not count the cost and desires to take his hand off the plough (i.e. the work of God), forfeits his assurance that he belongs to the King.

While this is a reasonable exegesis of the passage and holds true in its application, there is another understanding, rooted in the agricultural environment in which the writers of the gospel lived that also contains an additional weighty application.

To a farmer, there is only one reason to look back once he puts his hand to the plough, and it isn’t to cease ploughing – it is to measure the quality and quantity of his work.  A farmer looks back to see if his rows are straight and how much of the field he’s ploughed.  Those of Jesus’ day would have immediately understood this given the agrarian nature of their society.

Looking back creates a problem, however, as ploughing straight rows requires looking forward at all times.  Any time a farmer looks back, he has taken his eye off the target, which is the end of the row.  This results in a poorly ploughed field that produces an inferior crop.

Along with this understanding, there are warnings here for the believer.  Who among us is not desirous to see the results of his efforts in the Kingdom?  We evangelize someone and say they were “saved” and move on, checking the box in the “persons saved” list.  But God is clear in scripture – we cannot measure His work, and any attempts to quantify the effects of “our” efforts is a dangerous step down the wrong path of thinking that one controls, or contributes to the work of God.

Instead, we are instructed to do as the farmer does when ploughing – look ahead to the end.  It’s simple really – by not looking back to measure the quality or quantity of his work, the farmer more than likely will plough straight and useful rows.

The Christian is called to do the same:  Read the word, evangelize the lost, encourage the brother, and obey all you are commanded.  And while you’re doing this, don’t take your eyes off the end goal in an attempt to see if you’ve had any effect.

Only two things can happen with this approach – you become vain if you see “good” results or you are discouraged if you don’t.  To that, let us all be reminded of what we’re told in Psalm 77:19 regarding the works of God:  Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

As God uses you, you will likely have no idea how He is doing so. Keep your eyes forward and plough straight rows.

Link to Article at



Fish Story (Part 1)

Men: This is a new video by the John 10:10 Project. It is amazing.
God’s miraculous creation. Mind boggling!

WATCH FISH STORY (Part 1)  (YouTube 9 minutes)

Side Note: Since we are talking about fish, if you haven’t watched the story of the Fishless Fishermen’s Fellowship, Watch It Now (YouTube 3 min) 


Remember these two Hindu girls from last week’s Friday Letter?
Just so I can continue to give you a picture of what’s going on in India,
check out this RAT TEMPLE in Bikaner, India

Here Is A Short Video from the Smithsonian Channel where the Hindus WORSHIP RATS  (YouTube 1:20 min)

Now do you see that Hinduism is not only about practicing Yoga?
Note: I also have a DVD where the Hindus are licking up the sacred rat urine off the floor. You think I’m kidding? The demonic activity in India is overwhelming.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK – Megan Leavey

My wife found this on Netflix. It’s not a Christian movie, but it’s a tender, heartfelt movie that has a great ending (PG-13) We both really enjoyed it. You might want to watch it this weekend. And if you like dogs, that’s a double bonus!