Acts 4:13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Spanning the seasons of life from teenagers to senior citizens, several men’s groups within the Northern Worship Center of the Boston Church of Christ gathered for a grand buffet breakfast and a feeding from God’s Word centered on the theme, “Courageous.” Even at 8:00 A.M., 40 disciples and 21 of their friends gathered to share a meal and powerful sharing from Mike Jones and Peter Hirmer.
Mike Jones, left, attacks an opponent in the U.S. National Fencing Championship
Few in the audience were aware of Mike’s skills as a fencer as he shared about courage to follow a dream. He shared of how he abandoned a dream from his childhood- only to see it fulfilled after being a Christian for 19 years. Mike’s dreams to be an Olympic athlete were dashed when he failed to reach the medal round of the U.S. Nationals as a high school senior. Mike kept his swords and awards in his basement until Eric, his then preteen son, asked about them.
Mike decided to renew his fencing skills. He shared how re-engaging this dream as an adult was scary, and how the counsel of spiritual men helped him keep this dream in proper perspective and balance in his life. Mike recently placed fifth nationally in épée competition within his age range.Peter’s story was also one of courage – as he moved from his personal nightmares to God’s dreams for his life. After years of stumbling with alcohol and drug abuse, Peter became a disciple in the 1990’s, along with his wife. Having stopped his drug abuse when becoming part of God’s Kingdom, Peter shared how even the occasional glass of beer or wine continued to be an escape from the intimacy that he desired with his family and with God. Crediting a Sunday lesson by Willie Flores about addiction, Peter began attending a chemical recovery program with his discipleship partner. He shared how even as a participant in the group, he doubted his need for it.
Peter’s breakthrough came as he spent a night in prayer. He then spent time the next afternoon sharing with his wife how he saw that his use of alcohol had been a barrier to connecting with her in a deeper way.
Wyndham Shaw tied the two messages together and brought the messages home in a challenge for us to men of courage in our convictions in a world where personal conviction is dissolving in our cultural desire to be inclusive to the point of compromised truth and acceptance of every kind of belief except the Bible. He illustrated it with the USA Today article that showed how Hollywood had stripped the recent hit movie about Jackie Robinson of its true roots in faith in Jesus.
- “This was really a tremendous time. The personal sharing was absolutely courageous.” – Steve Rosenbaum
- “All the stories blended by the Holy Spirit made for an impacting day! My neighbor loved it especially the personal and vulnerable sharing!” – Wyndham Shaw