Oct 9, 2019
Fishing With God
By Chris Jackson
In Church, Thinking of Fishing…or on the River Fishing with God?
A couple of Sundays ago I went fishing—just me and God. I’ve been tired lately, really tired. My candle had been burning on both ends for the last few months. Plus, had been messy. Life is like that. But my fatigue was not remedied by sleep. I was getting plenty of sleep, but was still tired. My weariness was beyond physical; my soul was tired!
Sometimes I feel God drawing me away. Do you ever feel this way? Like Jesus said to the disciples in Mark 6: 31, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
So I went.
I grabbed a rod, a handful of lures, my fishing vest, Crocs, which were now in “off-road” mode, and off I went—just me and God.
Oct 1, 2019
T'was the Month Before Christmas
A month before Christmas a few years back our Men in the Arena team was discussing ways to lead our families closer to Jesus at Christmas. These guys were raw in their faith and several hadn’t been involved in a local church for some time. The men stared back at me dumbfounded. I realized that these poor guys had no idea what it meant to be a spiritual leader. So I asked if they knew what a spiritual leader looked like.
I’ll never forget what happened next. One guy, a real man’s man, looked at me and then silently pointed his index finger right between my eyes, “You are!”
“Nope. You are!” I shot back with conviction.
It was a groundbreaking realization for them all that men don’t defer spiritual leadership—they own it.
Sep 25, 2019
Black Hill in Morro Bay, California
I write this from the Back Bay Café in Baywood, California. Yesterday I went on a hike around my old mountain biking stomping grounds—Black Hill. I’ve ridden this trail dozens, if not a hundred times, but not since 2003. I experienced something surreal while on the trail. My mind exploded with latent memories of rides long past, and I start talking to myself!
“Don’t’ be deceived by the swooping sandy corner! I crashed there!”
“If you don’t downshift now, you’ll never make the approaching short steep climb.”
“Dang it! I never could make it all the way up here without dabbing!”
“Be on the upstroke at the corner or you’ll hit that rock at the top.
“When you come off this descent, brake for the hard right that will shoot you into the poison oak if you miss it.”
Sep 18, 2019
On August 1, 1992, I married a woman who would become the most important person in my life. We entered marriage completely ignorant about what to expect. As written before, Shanna married a youth pastor, coach, and male. I was not a man. She had some massive concerns about the man she was about to spend her life with and compelled me to promise certain things in front of our 300 friends and family.
With vows in hand, I appeased her troubled heart with this vow, “I promise to do the best I can to pick up after myself around the house.”
The crowd laughed thinking it was a joke. Shanna didn’t think it was funny. And neither did I. I knew how fierce my 22-year-old bride was about cleanliness.
Sep 12, 2019
Lessons Learned from the Tallest in the Bighorn Mountains
He didn’t lie and he didn’t mean to undersell it. But he did. As I spoke to the leader of Summit Church’s Wilderness Adventure Weekend, I should have realized he was barely 30, lived at 5,000 feet above sea level, and was a wilderness search and rescue volunteer.
But I didn’t.
He casually laid out the schedule—day one climb 1500 feet of gain with full packs in 7 miles and camp at 10,000 feet. Day two travel light and summit Cloud Peak at 13,167 feet and twelve miles round trip with 4,200 feet of vertical gain. On day three walk 7 miles back to the trailhead.
Two months prior, our annual Men in the Arena Death Ruck challenged us with 48 miles in less than two days, and 7,500 feet of vertical gain. So what if we were never higher than 1,300 feet in elevation. I’ve got this.
Cloud Peak, I will own you.
Mathematically it all added up.
Did I tell you I’m not good at math?