Friday Men’s Group 7/28/23

Pocket Gopher

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!”
Psalm 150:6

Hi Men:

It’s been pretty darn hot for many across the country.  The temperature gauge (in the shade) at our barn hit 120°F “again” a few days back.
Question: When it’s this hot, can we still,
“In everything give thanks, …….” (1 Thess 5:18).  If we are thinking correctly, this life is but a vapor and eternity is a blink away.  I love the verse: “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison”  (2 Cor 4:17)   ….. and we should also reflect on verse 10  “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”  For me, the key word is “IN” …..  I might recommend you all grab your Bibles and refresh yourselves on 2 Corinthians 4.   Let me be clear, 2 Cor 4 has nothing to do with hot temperatures, but suffering for the cause of Christ !   [ See Article Below“So You think You’re Facing Persecution, Do You?”

Note:  At least 120°F is a far cry from Burning Sulfur!  From the Friday letter back in 2021: E²


Pocket Gophers

Last week I mentioned the gophers we have been battling forever.  On one hand they are my nemesis, especially with horses; for it’s possible to have a very serious accident for both rider and the horse if the horse steps on one of their underground tunnel systems.  On the other hand, they are absolutely amazing.  They truly are underground architects.  Check out these photos:

The first photo is one of our valve boxes for our arena sprinklers (1-1/2 valves).  These are pretty big boxes.  The second photo – the same valve boxes, only after the pocket gophers filled them up with their excavated dirt.  You will notice they packed it so full, it even matched the inside mold of the fiberglass lids!!  I had no idea these gophers were even around until the sprinklers stopped working because they chewed through the wiring.  I removed about 4-5 wheel barrels of dirt.  By the way…… the double-barrel shot gun you see is only for effect.  I had a Caddyshack moment 😊

A few facts about the amazing pocket gophers:
  • Family – They belong to the rodent family (mice, rats, squirrels, beavers)
  • Master Engineers/Architects – They are capable of building an intricate network of tunnels underground extending hundreds of feet
  • Cheek Pouches – They have large fur-lined pouches for carrying, food, nesting materials and tons of dirt
  • Rapid Diggers – With their front legs and sharp claws they can dig about 2.5 feet per hour
  • Excavators – A single gopher can move up to 2000 lbs of dirt in a year.  REMEMBER:  They only weigh a ½ pound
  • Much More – There is much more to say, but I’ll stop here.  Jesus said in John 14:2 He left to go prepare a place for us.  I hope they don’t have gophers 🙂


IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD  …… and down the street

Two Photos:
Last week I shared the story when I visited my audiologist.  This week she sent me a photo to show my wife of her baby boy playing with the stuffed bear……


Also last week, I mentioned about the mom that has been in and out of hospitals and rehab centers.  Her name is Michelle.  She has a severe autoimmune system disorder that has impacted her health greatly, from respiratory failure to being put in a life threatening coma.  Years back, I was her son’s Scoutmaster and she was one the single-moms that were so involved in assisting many aspects of running a Boy Scout Troop.  These single moms were my heroes.  They worked all day and then drive to the troop meeting to make sure their boys had this Scouting Experience.  In addition, we had a large group of wonderful God-fearing men that modeled what it was to be a man!

On one hand, we are to create relationships so we can share the Good News of the Gospel (my audiologist) and on the other hand, we are to “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Michelle)  I won’t go into it since I covered it last week, but when I asked Michelle how many from the troop had visited her, she said, “Only you Mr. Russell.”  By email, I have been keeping the troop informed of her condition and to pray for her.  That has been going out to about 85 people.  I scratch my head when I reflect on the verse above from Galatians 6:2.  I know I slip up all the time and plead with God not to take me to the woodshed.  Lord, let me stay obedient to your Word at all costs!

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men……” 2 Cor 5:11 (KJV)
(Gal 2:20)



Two verses that should give us all pause:  “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple……..  He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (Luke 14:26; John 12:25)

Do you believe this?

Read on………….

Seeking to Please Only Christ – Red Book Day 209
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically

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




Rarely do I make a statement saying every man (and family) needs to watch this documentary.  My wife and I watched it Wednesday night.  We were truly touched.  It is so well done – by the same guys that did War Room, Courageous, Fireproof, etc.  (1hr 30min)

After you watch it, I know God will place other men on your heart to share this documentary with.

(After clicking on the above link, scroll down to see the ways to watch)

Note:  If you have Amazon, you can sign up for a 7-day Free Trial for Starz and watch it




by Alistair Begg


Men:  One of the brothers in Georgia sent me this audio message and thought it would be a great one for the guys.  He was right!  It is excellent. 

Here is the link  (38 minutes)



So You Think You’re Facing Persecution, Do You?

So what does it mean to suffer for righteousness’ sake? It’s simple really—it means to suffer for living and behaving in distinctly Christian ways.

Here is the article




Men:  Just for fun…….  Someone sent me this…….. it was uplifting.


Watch on YouTube (9 minutes)





One of the brothers on So. Cal emailed and said this documentary is coming out in theaters today, July 28th.  He saw a pre-screening and said it was “encouraging for the body to see.”
To know more, here is the link




Men:  Have you listened to Steve Lawson’s message (11 minutes):  It Will Cost You Everything
If not, I encourage you to do it.  Personally, I still listen to it about once a month.
It helps keep my eyes on JESUS & ETERNITY! 
Watch on YouTube (11 minutes)


Lawson Quote