Wisdom (a mini morsel)

By: G.J. Fortier

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

Okay, I know that things are changing quickly, so if you need me to wait …

Done waiting.

Two weeks ago, was Easter and I wrote about the need for us to obey our leaders. In that case, I was referring specifically to Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia (among other officials) who were advising us to stay at home and celebrate our Lord’s resurrection there. Last week, I wrote about patience, and why it’s important for us to wait for our officials to give us the “all’s clear” before we venture out of our caves again and start acting like human beings instead of morlocks.


Patience (a mini morsel)

By: G.J. Fortier

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)

Okay, it’s been … about a month. You’re antsy. You’re bored. You’re sick to death of bingeing on shows that you never seriously considered watching until this mess happened. It’s time! It’s time to get back out there! There are things that need doing! Games to be played! Bowling balls that need to be … bowl’d! There are jobs that need going to! There are bills that need payed! Careers are being, if not out-right destroyed, damaged beyond all understanding of what it will take to get them back on track. The President and all those smart people, doctors, scientists, men and women in suits who got where they are by winning popularity contests, who all say that they have a plan. Plans are good, right?


Easter! (a mini morsel)

By: G.J. Fortier

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. John 20: 1 (NIV)

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news. “I have seen the Lord!” John 20: 18 (NIV)

Now, y’all do remember last week’s article when I said that these are just opinion pieces, right?

Good.

It’s five something in the afternoon on Wednesday, April 8th, 2020. I just got home from work and took the dog out. Then I realized that I had a short article to write for publication on Friday, the 10th of April, 2020 … which is two days before Easter Sunday … and, up to now, I had no idea what I was going to write about. This is not, by any means, the first time that this has happened either. Often times I realize that a deadline is fast approaching and I’m at a loss for what to write about. And then, just like so many other times, the Holy Spirit spoke to me, telling me what the subject will be this time around.

Only this time He looked exactly like Georgia’s Governor, Brian Kemp, wearing a blue oxford shirt and khakis.


Finding Peace in the Chaos

By: G. J. Fortier

Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus). John 14:10 (NIV)

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24 (NIV)

For me to say that there’s a lot going on in our lives right now would be a bit of an oxymoron. Sure, there is a lot going on, but at the same time, it really seems to me as if our very way of life is in jeopardy of coming to a slow and painfully grinding halt. It feels—at least to me—like we just learned about COVID-19 only weeks ago. Okay, we knew it was “out there”, and that it was “serious”, but that it was “over there”, and we knew that things “like this” happen “all the time”, and that they don’t ever really seem to affect us that much. It does make for some interesting viewing on the nightly news though. Whether it was legionnaires disease back in the day, the swine Flu, bird flu, plain ole everyday flu-flu, SARS, zika, ebola, Spanish … I could go on, but I think you get the idea. There have been so many over the years that it’s easy to lose count. And, with the exception of the plain ole everyday flu-flu, influenza, most of us have only heard about them. And, concerning influenza, we were all vaguely aware that, tragically, tens of thousands of people in the United States alone die each year from this illness, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands who die worldwide. It’s a shame that it happened to those “other people”, but I just got a headache and some sniffles for a week and a half. No big deal, right?


Prudence! (a mini morsel)

By: G.J. Fortier

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Matthew 24: 6-8 (NIV)

For years, I’ve had a feeling, deep in my gut, that something was going to happen. Some of you may remember the predictions that I made about the “mini ice age”, the coming food shortages and the general unrest that the world was about to experience. While I stand by those predictions, I didn’t see this current crisis, that truly is of monumental proportions, coming.

I sincerely believe that people are making this much worse than it needs to be—just my opinion. But there are many reasons about which each and every one of us should be concerned. After all, you simply can’t have a crisis without people. I, personally, worry more about the actions and reactions of people during this emergency than I do about the emergency itself. By-and-large, people are irrational creatures. We tend to act impulsively based on current needs. Have you ever heard that you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well, with what’s going on right now, multiply the craving that you develop for Twinkies (as you’re passing the shelf in the store—that you were trying to ignore—where they’re kept) by about … oh … say … a thousand, and you’ll get an idea of what motivates people to do what they do.

They panic buy.


Diligence!

By: G. J. Fortier

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 (NIV)

I’m guilty, I admit it. I’m one of those people who said, “Oh, they’re blowin’ this coronavirus stuff all outta proportion. I don’t even drink that brand!” Or, “I’m more worried about gettin’ the flu than I am in gettin’ the coronavirus!” Or, “All they’re tryin’ to do is make Trump look bad!” While all of these statements are true, there’s one thing that I failed to consider: People will panic about what they don’t understand.

They say that, in any crisis, 10% of the people will freeze, 80% will


Friday Morning Prayer Breakfast Shutting Down For The Rest Of March

Men,
With the current state of things surrounding the coronavirus and with churches canceling services, we made the decision to follow suit and not meet for at least the next 2 weeks. If conditions improve by next month we will plan our next meeting for Friday, April 3rd. You can check back here and on Facebook for updates as April approaches. Please share this with other Ironmen so that we insure everyone has been informed. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you again in April. God bless!


Current Events

By: G. J. Fortier

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;

“by his wounds you have been healed”.

For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. 2 Peter 2:21-25 (NIV)

We are living in strange times. Would you agree?

I often wonder if the state of the world, and the United States in particular, is worse now than it was in the past. After all, we, the generations who are alive today, cannot be blamed for placing much more emphasis on what we are actually experiencing, as opposed to what we haven’t personally witnessed (on TV), but only read about in books or (more likely) watched on the History Channel. I’ve heard people say that “it’s definitely worse now”, or things have always been “this bad”, it’s just that we hear about more of “it” because of today’s technology, social media, etc. That’s a valid point. But these people have chosen a more cynical view of the happenings around the globe than I do.


In Memoriam

By: G. J. Fortier

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NIV)

These words are heartfelt. While there have been Christian men in my life—whom I will not attempt to list here, simply because I will forget one or more of them—who have passed through the years, I haven’t chosen to write about them, and I have no plans to write about others who may pass in the future.

I mean no disrespect.

I debated internally about what the title of this article should be. I chose In memoriam solely for selfish reasons. I chose it for me, because I cannot help but be solemn as I write this. What I could have titled it is:

In celebration!


Is 2020 The Year?

By: G. J. Fortier

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:36-37 (NIV)

Is this the year?

I’ve heard this question, or some form of it, asked hundreds, if not thousands of times over the years. Heck, I’ve asked it too. Many a New Year’s Eve I’ve pondered whether the coming year would be better (usually hoping for financial prosperity and not the really important stuff), as good as or, Lord forbid, worse than the previous one. The sad truth of it is that the future is entirely what we make of it. There is no luck involved. No amount of kissing pretty women at midnight will harbor good tidings. The coming year will be what it will be. There will be good times and, unfortunately, there will be bad—possibly even tragic times ahead, and the only thing that we can do about them is place whatever situations we might face squarely in the lap of Jesus. Good, bad or indifferent, how we deal with our trials should always honor Him.