September Newsletter - Be Still

September 1, 2022

Dear Arena Men,

Here is a recent Hero Story from a man in Wyoming.

“Words could not do justice to how much I appreciate the Men in the Arena Podcast. Recently, I was faced with a difficult decision on whether to accept a new job or not. To accept this job, would mean pursuing my dream job in my hometown. But doing so would have meant postponing my wife’s dream of getting staying home with the kiddos for a year. Thanks to Men in the Arena, I made the right decision. Thank you for your good work.”

With many amazing stories and numerical growth, our tenth year has been off the charts. But there was a cost— exhaustion. Thankfully, our Board graciously agreed to a month away from ministry to refresh. After my time away I realized that I’ve had solid boundaries for 30 years but had lived without margin most of that time with little room for error. It no longer serves me well. I need margin.

Whitewater rafting the Deschutes River with Shanna, Darby, Libbie, and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Alyson and Chad. Long haired guy was our guide, Clay.

Check out my recent message at Yamhill Christian Church from Psalm 46:10 entitled “What Matters Most.” It is my recent prayer for margins in my life and takes about an hour.

Be still and know that I am GOD. This is a call to TURN to God and give Him my undivided attention. Prayer doesn’t start with talking to God but turning to Him. For me, among many other things, it’s the fire in Shanna’s eyes for me after 30 years of marriage (as of August 1), the wind blowing through palms over a San Pedro (Belize) full moon, seeing my eyes when I look into my granddaughter’s, the solitude of the Owyhee River Breaks at dusk, just to name a few.

Be still and know that I AM. This is a call to PRAISE God for who he is. Life is hard. It can be brutal at times, but God is worthy of praise based only on his character and nature. The psalmist exclaimed, “All you have made will praise you, O LORD!” (Psalm 145:10).

Be still and KNOW. This is a call to TRUTH. Jesus made a bold claim when he said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Just because a person declares something “my truth” does not make it the truth.

Be STILL. This is a call to LISTEN. The psalmist whispered, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits” (Psalm 130:5). I always pray with a yellow notepad (not on my phone) and pen and wait for God to speak. Every good idea I’ve ever had was probably written on yellow paper first.

BE. This is a final call to TRUST. Him. We can trust Him. I can trust Him. He will never let us down. Thank you to all who have trusted God with their resources to minister to families through this ministry.

 

Living with Margins (#Goals),

Jim Ramos

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