Are You a Millennial?

By: G. J. Fortier

I really don’t like to categorize people. I firmly believe that, and arguably so, the strength of the collective is derived directly from the differences of its individuals.

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit. Into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (NIV)

Having said that, I asked a question in the title of this article because, in these strange times that we are living in, the term—millennial—conjures images for most of us that will help define what it is that I’ll be talking about.

Let’s explore those images.


Rejoice?

By: G. J. Fortier

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Today, as I write this, it’s New Years Eve, 2018! We are all facing a future that’s unknown because no one, regardless of what they may claim, knows the future.

Yes, that was repetitive.

But I’m sure that you understand what I mean. The new year, and the future as a whole, is a mystery that we have no other choice but to face day by day. That’s the way God set things up for us. We are forced to see how things unfold however they do in His timing, good, bad or indifferent. And it’s a very good thing that we believers put our trust in Him that everything will work out for our benefit. If you have any doubts about that, just read the first chapter of the book of James. Here’s a sample.


Prophecy

By: G. J. Fortier

The definition of prophecy is: a prediction

Have you ever had a funny feeling that something just wasn’t right, and that you needed to act in a way that would normally be contrary to your character to deal with it?


Some Marriage Advice… From A Single Guy

By: G. J. Fortier

Marriage. As far as I’m concerned, marriage is an institution that was created by God and it exists solely between one man and one woman. Oh, I’m gonna have the PC police on me now, for sure.

Oh well. I’ve accepted the fact that—unless God has other plans for my career—I’m never gonna be a successful writer (in terms of this world’s standards) because I am anti-PC, and I’m okay with that. I write because I have a God given gift and I intend to use it simply because it makes me happy.

But, I digress.

Let’s talk about “this world’s standards” for a minute.


Lead Like A Man… of God

By: G. J. Fortier

Here we go again. I don’t really like to get political (please disregard several articles that I wrote during the summer of 2016—and most of my other ones too) but …

As we approach the 2018 mid-term elections, one thing has become glaringly obvious to me. Many of the citizens of this great country have lost their sense of “self”. And no, I’m not confusing this with “identity politics”— which, in my opinion, is just another term for “divide and conquer”. If you’re not sure exactly what “identity politics” is, let me explain it to you as I understand it. It all began with the bull-in-a-china-shop mentality called “social justice”. It started with the rise of feminism, combined with the so-called “free love” movement of the late fifties, sixties and especially the seventies. Now, it’s not my intention to pick on feminists (God forgive them) because there are far too many—oh, for the sake of argument let’s just call them— “factions” to lay blame on any one group for this freight train run amok.


Some Women Just Know How To Walk In High Heels

By: G. J. Fortier

Bet I have your complete attention now!

Have you ever just watched women who wear high heels as they walked? Okay, I know that it’s a “loaded” question … and I’m quite sure that you’ve done this very thing on many occasions (and frankly, if you’re a man and you said that you haven’t, well …). Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to watch women walking—in high heels or otherwise—in a respectful way. After all, when a woman knows how to walk in high heels, it’s can be an exercise in poise and grace that’s pleasurable to witness.


So, you think you know people?

By: G. J. Fortier

Oh sure, you know your family and friends … to a great degree but not completely. And you know your co-workers … as well as you can, given the time that you spend with them. You even know your neighbors, at least a little bit. But, I’m talking about that guy that flipped you the “bird” in traffic the other day for some slight, whether perceived or otherwise, that you inflicted upon him. Or the woman at the grocery store who muscled her way in front of you at the “15 items or less” checkout lane … when she clearly has more than 15 items! Or the person who’s tail-gating you in the fast lane (in Georgia, the law says that you must move right if you’re the slower vehicle anyway) and being quite “animated” in their zeal for you to get out of their way. What are these people thinking? Why do they get to be rude and inconsiderate and even abusive in their actions towards me and my family? What makes them so special?

Or, maybe you should be asking yourself, what are these people feeling?


The Book

By: G. J. Fortier

One of my favorite things about writing is, at the end of any given month when I haven’t been inspired to write about anything in particular, when all of a sudden … boom … there it is! That’s what I’m supposed to write about! It usually happens while I’m in the shower (sorry to those of you who know me personally for any images that may conjure) and then I hurry to my computer and start writing like a banshee that’s been lit on fire (if it’s possible to light an Irish mythological spirit on fire, that is)!


So… what’s next?

By: G. J. Fortier

Well, it’s over. The Awakening 2018 is gone … finito … put away … done … in the history books.

Or is it?

This past weekend, The Awakening 2018 made its presence known in middle Georgia and beyond! With eight dynamic men of God – Pastor Troy Wynn of Freedom church in Warner Robins, GA; former NFL fullback Jonathan Evans, chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys football team; former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp; former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran; minister and U. S. Senate candidate Bishop E. W. Jackson; minister, public speaker, and writer / producer of movies like Flywheel, Facing the Giants, War Room and others (and my personal favorite), Stephen Kendrick; legendry college football coaches Bobby and Tommy Bowden – combined with the music of This Hope, well … what more could you ask for? They were gathered together motivating an audience of hundreds, and well … let’s just say that if you weren’t in Perry, Georgia Friday night and Saturday, April 27th and 28th, 2018 then … shame on you!

Yes, that’s right, the most spiritual event to hit middle Georgia in years (and not just because I was involved in it) lit a fire under men the of God who were fortunate enough to attend. I know, because I was there! It inspired men to return to their home churches, form up with other men and study the Word of God in Christian fellowship. They were learning how to support other men in a passionate, non-judgmental and loving way, and how to hold each other accountable for all the things that we struggle with in our daily lives.

Armed with a super-duper (when’s the last time you heard that?) eight-week Bible study that was designed by men for men to help them ease their way into a fellowship study that will transcend the passage of time and provide the basis to form a more effective men’s ministry. Together, and with those tools in hand, they’ll be able to spread His message of love, humility and redemption throughout their communities back home. In other words, they’ll be able to do what Jesus commanded us to do:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Ok, so what does all that actually mean?

I’m so glad you asked!

What it literally means is that, for men to train themselves to become more effective Christian leaders in their communities, they need – I can’t even believe that I’m gonna say thisthey need help. Yeah, that’s right, you were not born with a natural instinct to do the right thing. In fact, when you think about it, you were born pretty selfish, and it takes years of training to break us of that. And just when you think you’re done learning what you need to learn to start your walk with Jesus, you realize that … wow … there were older men there all along that helped you prepare for it! How about that! You didn’t do it on your own!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Who’d a thunk-it? You really aren’t self-sufficient, in spite of what your daddy might have told ya.

So, what makes you think that there aren’t men in your life, coming up behind you, who need some help too?

Do you see a pattern forming here?

Whether you’re a son, or a brother, or a father, grandfather, uncle, best friend, friend … you get the picture … no matter who you are to the people around you, there are men in your life that you can help prepare for their Christian walk … even if you don’t see any way on Earth that they’ll ever grow up, calm down, get right, shape up, and simmer down. (You can go on and insert your favorite phrase here) Don’t ever forget that you were young once and you probably did a lot of stuff that you aren’t particularly proud of. Maybe even some things that no one knows about even to this day. Regardless of what you think, there are men …

maybe even some older ones …

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers.” 1 Timothy 5:1 (NIV)

maybe even some women …

“older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 2 (NIV)

that you can, at the very least, provide a godly example for. You never know who’s watching you now, or who God will put in your path tomorrow.

And if you’re thinking that all this is what your pastor or pastors are supposed to do, that it’s their job to do the mentoring because that’s what your tithe is paying them to do … then double, no triple, no quadruple shame on you! Show me in God’s Word where it says that! Our pastors are men just like us. They need our help too! Men, we are each the priests of our homes and our home is anywhere we hang our hat!

Here’s the bottom line. You’ve been given a job to do. Are you doing it? Are you helping to raise the next generation of Christian leaders in your community? Because if you aren’t, what good are you to Jesus? How are you honoring His sacrifice – His death on the cross— for your sins? Who will say, when you’re gone, that you accomplished anything that really matters?

“If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed’, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:16-17 (NIV)

This might seem harsh, but if that’s your attitude, then you might as well not even have bothered to become a Christian.

To answer the question that I asked at the beginning of this article – Or is it? Well, that’s entirely up to you.

P.S. The Awakening 2020 … is coming!

Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

G. J. Fortier is a member of IronMen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his novels, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 and Reflections of the Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles book 2 on Amazon for Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.mirroredman.com.


Are You Ready?

By: G. J. Fortier

Here we go again! The Awakening 2018 National Men’s Conference is here!

Can it really be that it’s been two years since The Awakening 2016? Well, not quite, but that’s beside the point. We’re here, we’re on fire for God and we’re doing what Jesus Christ commanded us to do:

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19 (NIV)

Okay, I know that some of you are here for the first time, and the rest of us will forgive you for that, so let me take a few lines to tell you all just what this conference is all about. If I had to describe what we hope to accomplish during our limited time together in one word, that word would be fellowship. We, Christian men, were never meant to walk this walk alone, and it makes little difference if you’re married, or have a girlfriend that you can share your life experiences with. There are just some things that you can’t talk to your significant other about.

Think I’m wrong? Well, how about that porn site that you stumbled onto when no one was around, and you lingered a bit longer than you should have? What about the woman in your workplace that you watch with anticipation to walk past your desk and your mind wanders to places where you really shouldn’t go?

That’s what I thought. There are some things you need another man, and not just any man, to share things like that with. Why not “just any man”? Because you also need a man who will firmly, but with love and compassion, hold you accountable for the things that you struggle with.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

But that’s not all. Fellowship is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for the sharing the Word of God. We all get discouraged, distracted and downright tired with all the things that we’re responsible for in our daily lives, and it’s hard for anyone … including you pastors out there … to stay inspired, especially in this day and age.

“The times, they are a’changin’.”

“A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3 (NIV)

I don’t need to tell you that all you need to do is look around to see how different the world has become in the past couple of generations, and I’m not going to take the time to explain the obvious to you now. But whether we’re living in the end times, or simply in a world that’s changing so rapidly that it’s nearly impossible to keep up, we, Christian men, have the responsibility to keep the focus on the Word. After all, if not us, then who?  

At the church where I am a member, we have what we call “Halftime”. It’s our Wednesday evening men’s Bible study. To borrow a term that’s popular with today’s youth, Halftime is a real “safe space” where we gather to pray, to study God’s Word and fellowship with our brothers in Christ. But it’s more than that. It’s a time when we can, without fear or reservation, share those things that weigh heavily, and very often overwhelmingly, on us. It’s a place where we can— pardon the term— “vomit” all of life’s troubles out on the floor and have it sifted through by men who care and, more importantly, can in some cases even relate to. Chances are, if you have a problem, no matter how dire it may seem, there are men who have experienced something similar and can offer advice and comfort through prayerful counsel. But it only works because anonymity and confidentiality are strictly adhered to. Do you have a time and place where you can feel comfortable enough to do that? If so, share what you have with others. If not, seek out one of The Awakening event staff— the guys with the different colored shirts— and they will help you find a place where you can feel that same love of Jesus that I feel at Halftime, and believe me, if an introvert like me can find it, so can you. Trust me, we haven’t cornered the market. Jesus’ love is infinite. It may just take some out-of-the-box thinking to make it happen in your corner of the world.

Here’s a question for you: When’s the last time that you shared your testimony with anyone? Isn’t your testimony important to you? Don’t you think that it’s worth sharing? Isn’t it the reason that you’re a Christian— a follower of Jesus Christ? The fact of the matter is that it’s critically important that you share your personal testimony with others, especially the younger people in your life, because I guarantee that it will inspire them, it will embolden them, and it might just give them the encouragement that they need to share their testimony with someone else.

Here’s another question: Do you have a testimony to give? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Do you know … that you know … that you know, beyond all doubt, where you will spend eternity when you leave this world? If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, isn’t it time for you to find out the truth? There is only one truth. The only way that you will find salvation and eternal life in Heaven is by acknowledging that you are a sinner, accepting Jesus sacrifice on the cross as atonement for your sins through grace, following His Word and obeying his command— to go forth and share it with the world.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

This is the place! Now is the time! The battle is on!

Ephesians 6:10-18 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.

G. J. Fortier is a member of IronMen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his novels, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 and Reflections of the Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles book 2 on Amazon for Kindle and paperback. Or visit his website at www.mirroredman.com.