Monday, February 08, 2010

A Recent Baptism

Gerardo’s and Carola’s friend Mara was baptized a couple of weeks ago.  She has been trying to follow the Lord for a long time—been in and out of our group (and in again) over the years.  But recently she decided she wanted to make changes in her life—asked for Gerardo’s and Carola’s help with this.  

We pray God’s guidance and blessings for in her new beginnings.  

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Friday, February 05, 2010

A Men's Weekend

I had a great time with 10 of my friends this past weekend.  Six of us from Guadalajara met up with five guys from Mexico City at a cabin on the east side of Mexico City—in the shadow of the volcano, Iztacc√≠huatl.  After several weeks of prayer and preparation, we wanted to spend the weekend with God and with one another in conversation about our role as men—in our families, jobs, churches and communities.  We wanted to be brutally honest with ourselves and with each other about how our life is going, about what we really want, about what it will take to live the life that God intends us to live.  As followers of Christ, we wanted to seek God together in these talks. 

From Friday night until Monday morning we hiked, talked, prayed, discussed scripture, played, ate and challenged ourselves and each other.  At times the conversation was intense.  We told stories from our own lives.  We considered the stories of men we admire.  The conversation was focused.  We also had great fun together!

We talked about our desire to see real transformation in our families, in our churches and in our culture.  We know first hand how difficult it is to live a sane and Christ-centered life in the big cities of Mexico—anywhere for that matter.  And at the same time, we know how critically important it is that there are strong, good men who are living up to their responsibilities as leaders in their homes, in the workplace and in Mexican culture.

We spent a lot of time considering Jesus Christ and the kind of life he lived as a man.  We talked about our Enemy and his common strategies against us.  We recognized together how important it is not to be alone in this battle. 

One of the things I liked about the weekend was the way we were able to get past superficiality and really get to the heart of what it means to live and struggle as men.  I was impressed that in spite of the diversity in this group, we all are challenged with the same questions and doubts, the same failures and needs, the same desire to make a difference in our world.

It was also a cool thing to see the strength in each of my friends—to see how each of them wants to flesh out what God has placed in them.  

As we headed back to our cities on Monday, there was a newfound unity among these men—a simple yet clear commitment to walk together as friends and to help one another succeed in our important role as men—a commitment to a handful of practices that we hope will help us keep moving in the right direction.  

It was not a bad way to spend the weekend.    

I wonder where this will lead in the weeks and months to come. 

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