Assuming we have tomorrow, and missing out on today….

Is there someone or something in your life that has to be “on” all the time? In other words, think about a job where that person cannot be less than 100% on any given day. For those people, being “less” can literally be the difference between life or death.

When I was the company commander of an airborne infantry company at Fort Bragg, NC, I also had the additional responsibility of being a “jump master”. A jump master is someone who’s been trained to inspect paratroopers before boarding the aircraft, inspects the opening of the door during flight, and “pushes” the soldiers out the door into (many times) the dark abyss of falling into gravity.

I loved being a jump master and I especially took great pride that on many jumps, my own soldiers would line up in front of me, instead of other jump masters because they knew I always had my “game on”. They knew if I was inspecting their parachute equipment, then then would be safe.

They had no idea if on any given day, on any given jump, if I was less than 100%.

But without fail, I always took that job extremely seriously and I never took shortcuts, regardless if any of my soldiers questioned that or not.

Years later, I was often asked by my friends who were civilians if I ever got scared or nervous when I was getting ready to exit an aircraft during flight.

“Every single time….”, I would always reply.

To their amazement, I would follow up by saying, “The day I’m not nervous, was the day I’m not completely focused. The day I’m not my 100% best!”

Jon Paschal

This week, our reading assignment is Chapter 6, “Act as if your life depends on it”. Our author discusses this concept of not discounting today, because tomorrow might not ever come. He’s really talking about giving our 100% every day, right?

Jon Paschal leads us this week and I’ve included the video primer below. Let’s gather starting at 7:30 am ET. Lesson starts at 7:45 am ET.

Peace, gents!

Chapter 6 of “Save the Last Arrow” (video primer)

Staying WHERE you are means staying WHO you are….

Chapter 5 this week is titled “Refuse to Stay Behind”.

I thought, initially, about a phrase from the Army’s Ranger Creed:

“…Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country…”

US Army Ranger Creed

Our country’s military has made it a mantra, not just within the Rangers, but we will never leave another member of our force “behind”…

But McManus this week is talking about something completely different. Although the battle analogies might be similar, our author is instead talking about those who choose to “stay behind” rather than go outside our comfort zone; go to an area where God might be calling us to go.

There’s several great quotes from the chapter…but I really felt called to the one I’ve paraphrased in the title above:

“When you stay where you are, you stay who you are…”

Among other lessons, this quote speaks to us about “growth”. What are we doing in our Christian walk….to grow each and every day, week, and beyond? And “growth” ain’t always easy. In fact, rarely does it come without some pain, questions, or doubt.

Every week, I’ve shared a 5 minute video primer of that particular week’s chapter. And I’ll share it over our Zoom meeting on Friday. This week, I’m going to give you two videos; the primer, below, and beneath that, a sermon given by McManus that likewise covers most of the key points from Chapter 5.

Chapter 5 “Refuse to Stay Behind” video primer
McManus gives sermon on “Refusing to Stay Behind” (Chapter 5)

So, you can read Chapter 5 or you can just watch the second video (about 35 minutes). The great thing about the 35 min sermon is that you’ll really get a sense of McManus’ passion. Really. It’s worth the watch! But you can’t underline sentences or write in the margins on the pages….so maybe do both!

Mike Lenhart

I’m excited to lead this week. I have some personal passion about his week’s chapter, as I’m sure some of you do as well. Looking forward to sharing my thoughts and hearing yours.

Same Zoom invite as last week. Let’s gather starting at 7:30 am; I’ll open us in prayer at 7:45 am, then onto our lesson.

Have a great rest of the week until Friday morning!

Come on Baby….Light My Fire!

My apologies.

After reading this week’s title, you’ll have that song ringing in your head for a few hours! Sorry!

The title of this week’s homework is “Set Your Past on Fire”….. and our author shares some literal and figurative examples of people setting “things” on fire.

We’ve been talking about leaving the past behind; focusing on the future, right? Now, McManus gets very direct about “why” we need to do that.

“This chapter is all about burning away everything that should remain in your past and not taken into your future.” (McManus, p. 46)

Did you catch the subtle message, however? “….everything that should remain in your past…”

Ernie Meland

Does this mean there are (sometimes) items we should take to the future?

Ernie Meland leads us this week and maybe he’ll answer that question for us. Not to sound like a broken record but you all know the drill: Gather at 7:30 am ET….Ernie kicks things into gear around 7:45 am ET. Your calendar invites have the Zoom information.

We’ll play the video “teaser” in the morning, but if you want to watch it now, here it is below.

Chapter 4: Set Your Past on Fire

See you in the morning.


Crooked Farming!

This week’s reading assignment is Chapter 3 of our book, The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus. The chapter title is “choose the future” and our author preaches mainly about focusing on the past, focusing on the present, or focusing on the future. Which is the best for us….one of those categories or some combination of all three?

Jason Schubert

Honestly, I feel like I’ve been playing “catch up” all week. Work has been crazy busy, and I’ve always got a lot going on with two “active” teenage boys! So…I guess I’m guilty of only focusing on the “present” and a little bit of the “past”. But when you read the chapter, you’ll see what the author suggests. I won’t give that mystery away, but Jason Schubert leads us this week…and I’m certain he’ll cover all that.

One nugget that stood out to me comes early in the chapter when McManus shares one of my favorite analogies from Jesus:

“No on who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”

Luke 9:62

Here’s the video preview for Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: Choose the Future

Looking forward to catching up with everyone tomorrow. Our participation has been growing….and I’m thankful for that! Same Zoom information at before. Check your calendar invites or reach out to me for details. Please gather at 7:30 am ET and Jason will start promptly at 7:45 am ET.

You’re Either Busy Living or Busy Dying!

That comment….”you’re either busy living or busy dying” was shared with me by a dear friend of mine in Atlanta.  She was an ER doctor at Grady Memorial Hospital, which if you’re from Atlanta, you know is known as a huge trauma center in the southeast.  It’s been said that if you had gunshot wounds or were in a terrible car accident, and you ended up at Grady, then you were in good hands.

It was not uncommon for my friend to work long, 60-hour work weeks at Grady.  And when she wasn’t working, it was hard to find her.  She’d be training for an Ironman triathlon, or working at a free women’s clinic, or even traveling to Africa with Doctors Without Borders.  I really loved spending time with her, but I admitted one day that “the things I love most about you, are also the things I hate.”  You see, those amazing things she was doing outside of the work, were also taking her away from me.

So what how did she respond?  That’s where I heard the “busy living or busy dying” phrase, which I learned later on came from the movie Shawshank Redemption, where two convicts are talking about breaking out of jail.  My friend taught me that life is worth “living” … and there’s no time to wait around, pondering about “dying”.

This week’s assignment is to read Chapter 2 of our book, The Last Arrow, where our author touches on that same subject.  John Ramey leads us this week.  The chapter is an easy read….but remember even if you don’t have time to read, still come to the Zoom meeting!  You’ll always get something out of the time together.

Same Zoom invite as last week.  Hit me up if you need that information, otherwise check your email calendar invite.

See you at 7:30 am ET on Friday!

Here’s this week’s chapter video primer from Erwin McManus: