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Are you prepared for this?

“Besides this you know the time, the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Romans 13:11-14

Preparing for Junior High Recently while talking with a father at our sons’ Track and Field day for second graders at Greenbrier School District, he informed me about some of the things his oldest son faced at the middle school this year regarding sexuality and how others behaved. He and his wife were blown away by all of it and felt completely unprepared. I noticed a stark difference from a different father that same morning. Our MD5 lab group had just met for breakfast a few hours before. One of the men shared his fear of sending off his oldest to middle school in August. Another man in our group shared how his oldest son had the best school year, despite it being his first year at the middle school. Surprised, we asked him how they had a successful transition to middle school. This father shared how his friend, who happened to be a former middle school principal, told him he must have conversations with his son regarding various sexual and cultural issues before he entered middle school. It was a challenge to prepare his son to have an understanding of the times. As a result, this man’s son was not surprised at what he encountered and better prepared to handle it. This father had an understanding of the times and was intentional in talking with his children regarding the current cultural issues. Because he possesses a healthy relationship with his son he could have a continual open dialogue regarding these issues. I left the MD5 lab breakfast encouraged and challenged as a father. Seeing the World through a Christian Worldview We must intentionally equip ourselves so that we can equip our families. We must surround ourselves with like-minded Christian men who will “sharpen” us even in regular conversations regarding parenting, culture, life, marriage, work, etc. Men who are intentionally desiring and pursuing a closer relationship with Jesus. How do you find these men? Join an MD5 Lab Group These groups are starting with men who have already gone through a year of MD5 but are looking for the next step. These groups challenge guys to get together monthly and share one thing from each of the five “F’s” they will commit to work on, implement and / or accomplish before their next meeting. Then, the group checks in and challenges each man to follow through. I once heard a pastor say people will not do what you “expect” but what you “inspect.” Understand our Times Lastly, I challenge you to equip yourself to have an understanding of the times intentionally, and no, I am not talking about Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or any social media platform. The Old Testament pointed out in 1 Chronicles 12:32 that the men of Issachar had an understanding of the times. Jesus rebuked his generation for not understanding the times in Luke 12:54-56. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to know the times in Romans 13:11-14. How do we fit this into all the other things we have right now? Find Christian resources that are deep yet short and to the point. Here are a few resources that I read or listen to get an understanding of what is going on without the normal 24/7 news media.

  • World News (Christian journalism based in Asheville, NC) has a daily sift area of their website and magazine for $3.99 monthly. They include a paragraph about what happened and a paragraph of context with no fluff or spin. It is short and to the point.

  • The World and Everything In It Podcast (35 minutes) from World News

  • The BreakPoint Podcast (5 minutes) from the Colson Center on my morning runs

  • The Denison Forum Daily Article by Dr. Jim Denison’s (6-minute read)

Although these resources are not as entertaining as other forms of entertainment, I want to have an understanding of the times through a Christian worldview lens to help my own family. May we all be like the men of Issachar and have an understanding of the times and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, know what to do.

John Gore MD5 Facilitator

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