Friday, June 30, 2017

DOD 9 - Real Freedom, Real Life

John 8:36 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”

I remember like it was yesterday… 22 men I had shared a POD (large cell) with for 6 months at the Marion County Detention Center saw me packing my bag and emptying my locker, and they knew I was heading home. After a couple administrative stops and goodbyes to officers in the building, I was released through the double front locked doors and handed my papers. I took about a dozen steps to the front door of the lobby and then stepped through one final set of doors into the morning light and sun shine and fresh air. I was finally a free man. Besides giving my life to Christ and feeling the actual weight of all my sin and shame removed from soul, this experience of leaving jail for the last time and taking a deep breath as a free man was an important one for me. It reminded me of the Life and Power that come from REAL freedom…

Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Romans 8:2 – “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

John 8:32 – ““And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Psalm 118:5 - “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”

In the New Testament, Paul refers to himself in the original Greek language many times as a “Bond Servant” of Jesus Christ. A bond servant would have typically begun as an indentured servant who had a contractual obligation for a definite amount of time to his master. Over the course of his service, this indentured servant would have developed such a love and respect and admiration for his master that he would, upon completing his contractual requirements, choose to remain the servant of his master FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, and take an oath to remain loyal for life. He would then submit his body to his master, and his master would pierce his ear with an awl, marking him as the voluntary property of his master for life.

1 Peter 2:16 – “Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”

Reflection/Response Time:
1.    Using the language and imagery from the scriptures and examples above, take some time to reflect on your own relationship experience with the Father and the Son. Would you call yourself a bond-servant of Jesus, an indentured servant of Jesus, or something else altogether?

2.      Freedom is defined as the power to act, speak, or think as one wants… So why, in the choices we make from a place of “freedom”, do we find ourselves getting burdened under the weight of slavery, addiction, and bondage?

3.      So if freedom isn’t getting to choose whatever we want, what is Real Freedom as the bible defines and pictures it, and why does that kind of freedom lead to Real Life?

What I realized when I left the Jail after 180 days inside was that true freedom was not in my ability to pick and choose whatever I want (the whole world appears to be doing that).  Rather, it was my recognition of the infinite number of choices around me, and because of the Father’s Love, the Holy Spirit’s power and my increasingly confident identity as a son of the MOST HIGH GOD, I can remain faithful to who I am IN HIM and who HE MADE ME TO BE. True Freedom is found in obedience to the One who made me. Like Paul said, I AM A BONDSERVANT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

May that be increasingly true for each one of us this day, and in the days and weeks to come.

To wrap up, watch this video (some have seen it before and others have not), and then chime in on GROUPME with anything you want to share from the questions and thoughts above, as well as what you have to say about one of the videos ringing lines I’ve paraphrased here – “And by the way, the door is open and you can come out whenever you want…” WATCH THIS -      

 Men – let’s believe HIM for that today.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Warm up:
Take a 5 minutes to talk to Papa.  Don't think about what you need to praying for like purity or self-control.  Just talk to Him.  Tell Him how your feeling.  Express your pain, worries, fears.  Thank Him for everything.  Even the little things.  Maybe you had a really good cup of coffee this morning.  Tell Him what you need.  Don't ask. Tell Him like you would a friend.  Settle your mind and relax.

So rest before short rounds.  Consider how sin has owned you.  How it has ate up your time, energy, integrity and made you hide in shame.  It has owned us all.  Exodus starts out by telling the story of God freeing the Israelites from their bondage to the Egyptians. So let me set the stage here.  God appears to Moses and tells him to go talk to the Israelite elders. God sends message that He will rescue them. Follow along. 

Exodus 3:16-17 "Go, assemble the elders and say to them, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-appeared to and said: I have watched over you and see what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you out of your misery into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perrizites, Hivites and Jebusites-a land flowing with milk and honey.'"

Round 1:
"I have watched over you and see has been done to you..."  God has watched over you.  He has seen how the world has sold you lies.  He sees how sin has owned you and wrecked you life.  Reflect on how sin has ruined your life or at least parts of it.  See what sin has done to you.  Consider how much more it could have taken from you.  What if this had happened or had I not got exposed. Yes we have been exposed and it is hard but we could have lost more. Realize God has been watching over you. Take a minute to thank God for what you still have left. 

Round 2:
"And I have promised to bring you out of your misery..."  Sin does not own you.  Sometimes we feel like we are powerless to our temptations.  We feel like even if we could say no we will be miserable with desire or left wanting.  God does not want us to be miserable.  He doesn't want us to be doing all the right things but unhappy because we just keep telling ourselves no.  So how does He do this.  He changes our desires.  So take a minute to talk to God about your struggle with sinful desires.  Yes He knows but talk to Him.  Ask Him to change your heart, mind and feelings.  Ask Him to show you the lies that make you miserable.

Round 3:
"...a land flowing with milk and honey."  God doesn't just promise to deliver us out of misery but He also wants to give us the riches He has.  Imagine that. God does not just want to free you but to give you the promised land.  So now dream big.  Dream how you would want God to change your life.  Dream of you not only being faithful and free of lust but closer to your wife and kids.  Dream of how God would give you friends that know you and be like brothers.  Dream.  Don't stop there.  Maybe you want to be driving a truck.  Maybe you love golf and would like better clubs.  This may seem off the point but it is not.  I don't want you to be greedy but I want you to talk to God about your promised land after He has freed you from your misery.  Remember He frees you.  You don't work hard enough to get better.  You go to Him to deliver you.  Back to my point.  Talk to God about your promised land.  Be honest and real with Him.  Relax.  Be excited about the journey God has you on.

Cool down:
Reflect on what God said to you today.  Share any thought or feeling on GroupMe.  Even if God took you on a tangent from the points here.  Share what told you today.  Share how He has met you right where you are and what you needed.

DOD 7 - Community

Righteous Men of God in Christ Jesus

Today we take a break from DOD's, but not our pursuit of God! 

If you go to Sunday's DOD then you will see that we believe and have seen that one of the critical elements of walking in true and lasting freedom is community. 

Tonight at 7:00 we will gather and be in community with a Men's Integrity community celebration night.  Bring your own beverage and we will provide the hotdogs and other snacks. 

You don't want to miss tonight.  Also - great night to invite someone you know who may need a community of men around them who are committed to pursuing God and integrity as we walk with Him.

Great praise song to get your heart open before Him....the one who is worthy of our praise!

Look forward to seeing you all tonight!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DOD6 -- a shift toward Center

Wednesday June28th

Warm up:

               Centering Prayer; Spend 5 minutes in silent communion with God. 

               This is not asking for God, or His input.  This is not requesting things from Him or expecting to hear anything either.  Centering prayer is a way of “just being with” God. 

               Jesus said he would never leave us or forsake us.  That means he is with us right now. . Centering prayer is taking time to acknowledge his “already presence” and simply consent to being with him with no agenda. 

               Give it a try.  What better way to start healing than to spend time sitting with the one who created us in the first place. 

               Tips:  don’t get hung up on doing perfect.  If you find yourself distracted, set any thought aside and return to a focus on God’s presence.  Just keep doing that over and over.  What better way to honor the Father that is always looking for the return of his prodigals, than to do just that, return, over and over.  He knows we get sidetracked.  Be gentle with yourself and keep turning back to the Father.


               We’ve spent a lot of time looking back this week.  There has been a lot of reflection on coming clean and getting caught and the emotion that goes along with that.  But I get the sense that there is more that Jesus wants to do.  Luke 19:10, “the Son of Man (Jesus) came to save that which was lost.”  Some versions say ‘those who were lost’, but that seems to be less than the full meaning from the Greek.  Jesus came to get back all that the enemy has stolen. 

               So, what about our past, our emotion, our heart?  I believe Jesus wants to resurrect it all.  I also believe that Jesus God has been with us all along.  He’s been looking for a way to wake us up, only we didn’t understand, so we turned to the things that brought us comfort (porn, affairs, fantasy, what have you).  But despite our sins, he’s been trying.  He’s never left us or forsaken us remember, He’s working everything for the good of those who love him.

               So, the workout today is to let Him take you back to the moments that He was arranging for you.  The times he was pursuing you.  This is a prayer exercise.  It may only take a few moments, but the effects could be revolutionizing.  When we recognize what God has been doing all along it can shift our perspective.  We are looking for God to show us the “good”.

               In prayer, think back, ask him to take you back to a place or a time where He was trying to awaken you.  It may be way back, childhood even.  Was there a safe place or a beautiful spot somewhere that was special to you? Was there a person that comes to mind that showed you some special Grace?  It may be hard to believe that this could be true.  You may not think there is any good “back there” that’s why this is prayer.  That’s why we don’t let our emotion lead us.  Let Jesus lead you in this.

Cool down:

                It seems simple enough, but if you’ve had the courage to take this kind of look back then I hope you have found a new level of God’s grace toward you.  The “cool down” is this, take a second and write down this experience.  Then, seek first the kingdom for the rest of today, look for those places where the Father, Son and Spirit are wanting to awaken you to glory, to a larger story of LIFE.  Because, he didn’t just do it “back then”, He’s doing it now, today.  And tomorrow too…but don’t get ahead of yourself.

In Jesus Name, I bless you each with the spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear the activity and the voice of your Father calling you, awakening your heart to your full potential of Christ’s Love in you.

Monday, June 26, 2017


Tuesday, June 27, 2017


I have been going through a hard time.  Really dry and quiet time.  It feels that a deep work is going on in my heart, while Father is off in some distant region of space seeing what other galaxy he can throw together.  I know that isn’t just feels that way sometimes.

And a lot of times I have felt alone in this process.  As much as I would try to describe how I was feeling to those close to me, it would frustrate me because it didn’t seem like I was able to convey how I felt.  I know that isn’t true…it just feels that way sometimes.

So, I am sharing with you an exercise I have been doing in my personal process:
  1. Lead my emotions
  2. Declare I can hear

Here is a great song to sit and really listen to the lyrics.  To me it is a reminder and promise of Who God is and what He does no matter what my feelings may try to get me to believe:


Here is something I have been trying to practice and really get it down inside me:

Feelings are a gift from God.  It is one of the biggest identifiers that we have to the truth that we are made in His image.  But we should never be led by our feelings.

Kris Vallotton - You are not your feelings!  Your feelings do not tell you how you are doing.  Your feelings should not tell you what to tell your soul how to feel.
5 Things you should know about feelings:
  1. Feelings don’t always tell the truth
  2. How you feel is not how you are
  3. Valuing your feelings, without letting them determine your decision, is maturity
  4. If you change your mind your feelings will follow
  5. True love is an act of your will, not an emotion you feel

So - my emotions do not measure the closeness, the distance nor the magnitude in which I can experience and will hear Father.

“Declarations: Unlocking your Future”

The Scripture:  
Isaiah 30:21
Matthew 4:4

  1. My Father desires to speak to me even more than I desire to hear from Him.
  2. As a child of God, it is my privilege and birthright to hear my Father’s voice.
  3. It is easy to hear the Voice of God.
  4. I am constantly hearing God’s voice through scripture, my thoughts, other people and nature. (I ESPECIALLY LOVE THIS ONE!!!!)
  5. Even when my mind cannot comprehend, God is speaking to my spirit.
  6. As I renew my mind, God will reveal His good, pleasing, and perfect will to me.
  7. Hearing God’s voice and obeying in faith is worth any risk of failure.

  1. God doesn’t speak to me as profoundly as others.
  2. If I mishear the Lord on a major decision, I will automatically ruin my life
  3. What other LIES do you think you have believed in and that need to be cut off?  DO THAT NOW!

  1. Thank Him for the ways He speaks to you now - this could be through Scripture, a sense of peace, or an encouraging word.  Ask Him to open your spiritual “ears” to hear more from Him.
  2. Start listening NOW!
  3. Share what you hear (if you want to) on Groupme.

Romans 10:17

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DOD 4 - 40 Days to Freedom Challenge

Monday 6/26/17
“The Gift of Getting Caught”

I remember like it was yesterday the first time my secret life and my public life collided in my marriage. I got a call from my wife wanting answers for the hundreds of text messages to one unidentified number on our phone bill from the previous month. I had no idea that kind of stuff was tracked on the bill, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I panicked and felt so exposed, and didn’t know what was going to happen next. I had a choice in that moment - to come clean and humble myself to confession, conviction, and the Lord’s correction, or to rationalize, distract and diffuse, and then sweep it away. I did NOT pick humility that day, and chose instead a path that would lead me down the darkest road of my life. I had been caught and I missed the gift that was in front of me.

Warm Up: Music connects my heart to God’s and allows me to absorb truth in a way that simply hearing it spoken to me wouldn’t, and this song is a beautiful way to set the stage for this morning’s workout and truth. - “He Is Lord” by Elevation Worship

Getting Some Reps In: Read and Meditate on John 8:1-11

Questions to consider:
1. Think back to when YOU were caught in you sin. How did you feel? What did you think God was thinking about and feeling about you in those moments? Did your sin all come out at once or did you try to control and manipulate your circumstances to manage your image, only to see yourself get caught again and again?

2. The woman from John 8 was met with many different reactions from the crowd. What did Jesus have to say about the woman, her sin, and ultimately her position in relationship to God?

3. Through getting caught, did you sense the opportunity to “go and leave your life of sin”, or did it feel like a death sentence? Looking back, can you see this invitation now and did you take HIM up on it?

This woman was caught red handed in adultery, a crime punishable by death. She was dragged out in front of a crowd of religious men, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that this woman was expecting to die, and die painfully. What she encountered instead though, was the perfect, grace-filled love of a savior who knew everything she’d ever done, and offered her the path to life anyway. 

Genesis 50:20 “You (Satan) intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

A friend of mine who was pivotal in leading me through my initial recovery after my affair once told me that YOU CAN’T BE FULLY PARDONED UNTIL YOU ARE FULLY KNOWN. When we are fully known, And the invitation of the Love of God remains,  we can rest in knowing that what we’ve done doesn’t determine who we will be. In fact, getting caught fully frees us up to embrace the truth that God’s love is not contingent on who we’ve been or what we’ve done. Getting caught became a reason to celebrate in my life, because it introduced me to the unconditional love of God himself. 

Jesus finished his interaction with this woman by forgiving her, and then telling her to go and sin no more. The very next verse has him speaking again to the crowd saying, "“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”. This is who we get to be on the other side of getting caught. Encounters with Jesus that lead to life ALWAYS end this way. 

Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Cool Down: - “Find Me” by Jonathan Hesler

Share on GROUPME how getting caught has changed your life, and what God has shown you about himself through your darkness coming into the light. Then listen to this last song linked above and ask the Lord to give you a new perspective on the time in your life when the truth came out and the darkness in your life was finally introduced to the light of Christ. This brothers, is a reason to celebrate, no matter what. And in case you need proof, I've got the newspaper with my mugshot on the front page cover spread in my bedside table still to this day any time I need to remember just how radical the love of God really is. I can't believe he saved such a wretched sinner like me!!!

DOD 3 - 40 Days to Freedom Challenge
A day of rest

Men - praise the Lord for a day of rest!  As a reminder...we won't have a Devotional of the Day for Sundays as we hope to all be gathered at a church with other believers worshipping the Father.  We also won't post one on Thursdays as we will be meeting those nights in our group.

Below is our Men's Integrity - What We Believe statement for you to have, share, read and believe.

Have an amazing day of R&R.  But don't let your guard have fellow warriors just a call away if you need anything.

Love you men!

Men’s Integrity is a group that believes that total freedom is available to any man who truly desires is and is willing to humble himself to do the work that God calls him to do.  Sexual sin of any kind…lust, pornography, masturbation, fantasy, emotional affairs, adultery and more all lead to death.  Death of intimacy, true loving relationships, physical and spiritual death and death of the man God created you to be.  It bears the fruit of depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, pride, insatiable lust, broken relationships everywhere, powerlessness and other devastating consequences.   We know that there is an enemy that seeks to devour…to steal, kill and destroy and sexual sin one of his main weapons to ensnare and destroy men.

There is no “formula” to follow that leads you to true, lasting freedom.  There are, however, several key components that when combined will guarantee victory.

·         Humility – we must come to a place where we admit we are powerless and need the help of a higher power.

·         Community – we need each other…a safe group of men who will offer a balance of truth and unconditional love.  We sharpen, pray, challenge, listen and support each other at every turn.  We cannot isolate ourselves and be free.

·         Openness – when sin and darkness face the light…they are dispelled.  We must bring our sin out in the open.  It takes courage to be vulnerable in this way and leads to healing as shame is broken and other men are allowed access into your life to battle with you.

·         Group Study – we will go through a study together throughout the year that helps you dig in and understand the nature of sexual sin, identify root causes, see the wreckage and give hope and guidance on rebuilding and renewing your life

·         Christian Counseling – there are many great counselors that are trained and eager to help us walk through things that perhaps we need more time processing than you would get in a big group.

·         Jesus Christ – a true, intimate, life-dominating relationship with Him is the only way to find real, lasting freedom from life-dominating sin and to having an abundant life full of joy, love, peace, rest, power and purpose.  This is the fruit that walking with Him in an intimate, personal relationship will bear in your life.  If you don’t have this relationship or have questions about how to start one or if you have never experienced this transaction, please share this with your group leader.  We would be thrilled to discuss this and help you start the adventure of a lifetime with the One who defeated all sin and death and will help you do the same!

Meditate on the Word:

·          “The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

Reach out for Encouragement/Prayer

Michael Powell – – 859-509-4190

Jon Linwick –  - 859-327-1729

Daniel Maggart –  - 502-370-7040

Matt Krupp – – 256-486-7433

Jamie Svec – – 859-321-3093


Friday, June 23, 2017

DOD 2 - 40 Days to Freedom

DOD 2 - 40 Days to Freedom Challenge

Mighty Men of God -  
What does “abiding” mean as it relates to our freedom from sexual and other integrity issues?  How do I go from where I am today to a place where I am truly abiding as the bible describes it?  Dig in with me and let’s see what the Holy Spirit shows us.
Worship leads us into His presence and prepares our heart to hear more clearly.  Listen To / Watch this video:
Holy Spirit – please meet with us, reveal truth to us in Your word, change us today.  
Getting some reps in:
Read and Meditate on John 15:1-11
  1. Who is the vine and who is the branch?
  2. What happens to branches that don’t bear fruit?
  3. What happens to branches that do bear fruit?
Personal Questions:
  1. Is your life bearing fruit today? 
  2. If not, ask God what needs to change in your life so you can bear fruit….listen and write down what He shares.
  3. If your life is bearing fruit…what area do you think He is pruning now so you bear even more fruit?
  4. How can you actively, purposefully join Him in this pruning work (rather than resisting) and get busy bearing more fruit and being filled with joy to overflowing (vs 11)?
  Heavy lifting:
A life of freedom is built one day at a time walking with God.  Decisions we make each day to abide and join Him in His work will yield the fruit of freedom from bondage to sexual integrity issues.

What decision will you make today as it relates to today’s reading of the Word?
Cool down:
Share thoughts, questions or decisions on GroupMe.  This will help us all to sharpen each other.

Love you men and proud to call you friends!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

DOD 1, 40 Day Challenge


For the first DOD (devo of the day) I am totally plagiarizing a beautiful sermon I heard a couple of weeks ago.  It was the Sunday right after we had a great conversation about hearing the voice of God and how to and knowing how to listen.  I am excited about these next 40 days and the work we will do.  

Read I Kings 19
This story happens right after Elijah had killed 400 prophets of Baal.  You should note that Elijah hears God's voice clearly in this story. 

Getting some reps in:
Consider these points.  Meditate on each.
1. verses 1-9: You have a body. God cares about it. Taking care of your body will make it easier to hear God.  You won't be distracted by physical needs.  God cares.  Maybe you need to eat a sandwich or take a nap or go for a walk. 

2.  verse 8: Elijah was on Mt. Horeb also known as Mt. Sinai.  The significance is this mountain had been a place God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave the Ten Commandments and I am sure a few other significant events.  Consider a holy ground you can meet God on or in.  Maybe a home office, or the car, or maybe on a rug.  Muslims have a prayer rug they use to pray on.  I don't think it has any significance other than to keep them off the dirty ground.  I am getting myself one.  A place I take anywhere and lay down and get barefoot.  It will be my holy ground.  Where is your holy ground?  Have a place to meet God most days.

3. verse 9: Elijah is in a cave. There are no distractions in a cave.  No noise. No weather to deal with. Not even light or shadows.  It is quiet.  Consider when you have your time with God how to remove as much distraction as possible.  Make sure the TV or radio is off.  You have to be on your computer or phone to get these but maybe after you have read them power down your media. 

4. verse 10, 14: Be honest with God. Share from the depths of your heart every feeling and thought.

5. verses 11-13: God spoke gently to Elijah because he was beat down at the time.  God will speak to you in a way that meets you where you are and in a way you can hear.

Heavy lifting:
How are you going to apply this?  What is you decision on what you need to do or change so you can hear God.  Use this application the next 40 days.

Cool down:
Share thoughts or decisions on GroupMe.  In the next 40 Days when you hear God share what you hear with the group.