Tag: Gerry Fortier

Where do we go from here?

By: GJ Fortier

 I was there! I was at the first meeting of the IronMen Ministries Friday Morning Prayer Breakfast! I was also at the meeting at First Baptist Centerville a week before when Tim Price gave instructions to those of us lucky enough to (volunteer to) be “table leaders”. Tim gave us instructions like, “table leaders should always sit with their backs to the speaker so everyone at their table can have the better view” and “keep your prayer cards with you throughout the week so you can spend time on each of them because, you are your table’s prayer warrior and those men are counting on you!”.

Okay, I might have paraphrased those, but c’mon, it was seven years ago and I lost my notes.

Yes, I was there at the beginning and I (try to) go every week. Oh, there was a period of time when I chose not to attend because of … well, life … but I’ve been there for the majority of the breakfasts. I think.

Anyway, I remember distinctly that our purpose in starting this non-denominational prayer breakfast was, among other things, to bring the Christian men of our community together so we could pray corporately for our families, our churches, our Pastors, our schools and our local, state and federal government, up to and including the POTUS (and we all remember who the POTUS was seven years ago, right?). We knew the kind of man he was and is and, frankly, we knew that we were in for a bit of a ride, so to speak.

I remember there being a lot of emphasis on praying for the POTUS because, well, we didn’t agree with anything that he was doing. So, we prayed for him, a lot. Over the years (the ones in the middle that I missed, I’m guessing) the focus shifted away from the POTUS for whatever reason until about eighteen months ago and the focus shifted back to praying that God would put a man in office who would (for the most part) do His will.

Now we all remember the ump-teen republican candidates that were running and most of us had our favorite. Even if we didn’t agree who that was, we prayed, corporately, for the man, or woman who God would allow to be elected. And, remember, Obama would never have taken office unless it was God’s will:

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good.” Titus 3:1 (NIV)

“Submit yourselves, for the Lord’s sake, to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the foolish talk of ignorant men.” 1 Peter 2:13-15 (NIV)

I, personally, believe that no man or woman has authority except that which is given to him or her by God, and, thankfully, God has given authority (at least for a while) to President Donald John Trump, and that made me happy. No, he wasn’t my first choice, but I did make a vow that if Mike Huckabee wasn’t in the running when it came down to the wire, that I would vote for any non-politician who was running. Viola! There was Donald Trump! I’m also happy to say that I think that we, you and I, along with the millions of other Christians who prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14, deserve at least a little bit of the credit. God heard our prayers, and He answered them, for better or worse, and President Trump was sworn in on January 20, 2017.

So now what?

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know that I am a firm believer in spiritual warfare. I believe that when we do right by God, that Satan gets p****d and he does anything in his power to attack us. I mean, how much energy does he have to expend on the lost? They’re lost, and there are a lot of them! That leaves he and his minions (not the cute yellow ones from the movies) plenty of time to plot and scheme against us. And what do we do to prepare for this? We pray! We pray and ask others to pray for us, that we keep our eyes on God and continue to do His will, despite the adversity that we will undoubtedly face.

Now, I’d like to think that The Donald is a Christian. Most indicators point to that being true, but the bottom line is, we don’t know. He has done a pretty good job (IMO) with his cabinet selections, and he seems to be on the right track (so far) in what he has done and is attempting to do. But if he continues to p**s Satan off, he will surely be facing spiritual warfare, and soon, if he isn’t already. So, we Christians must do our diligence and continue to pray, personally and corporately for this man whom we put so much of our hope in.

Now, you and I know that God is the ultimate authority, but He has put President Donald Trump in command of this, the greatest nation ever to exist in the history of the planet. But, there was also once a man in that position whose initials were BHO, and just look what he did for our country.

Despite what some think, that the end is near and things can only get worse, the Bible is full of God’s people being victorious in the face of adversity, and the next few years just may be one of those times. At least I pray that that’s the case.

“The battle is on”.

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


New Beginnings

By: G J Fortier

Well, it’s that time of year again. 2016 is breathing its last and the new year is approaching rapidly. It isn’t unusual, it happens every 365 (and a quarter for you sticklers) days. But there are only so many January firsts that the average person has to enjoy before our existence on this Earth is over. For us Christians, we have an eternal life awaiting us in Heaven, promised through the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross. But, we still have this life to live and grow and spread His word as we are commanded in Matthew:

“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)

Now, this can be, and is, taken literally by thousands, even millions of people the world over. They leave their old lives behind and trust in the Lord to travel to foreign lands where they use their skills and personalities to love and share the Gospel with those who haven’t heard God’s word. Others take time, vacations for instance, to travel short-term in order to assist those who have made a life on the mission field. These people learn about the glory of God by witnessing, first hand, the miracles that He blesses people with. I, myself, witnessed a few of these miracles when I travelled to Sverdlovskiya, Russia with my pastors to assist a missionary there. It was then I realized that I didn’t go there to “save” anyone, but to be a witness. I was given the opportunity to share with others the things that I, personally, had seen Him do to change hearts, not just of the lost by using the missionaries to lead them to Christ, but by changing the hearts of the un-churched—government officials for example—who have the power to deny or allow His work to be done at all.

Then there are those who have been called to the ministry to become pastors, youth ministers, worship leaders, deacons or other leadership roles within their home churches. There are countless ways in which we can serve the Lord. It may be in the choir, teaching a Sunday School class, serving as an AWANA leader, or coaching Upward basketball. You can be part of the team that does the cooking for church dinners and bar-b-ques. You can help organize Boston Butt fund raisers, or volunteer as an event coordinator. There are writers, like me, who develop devotionals, Bible studies, or write monthly columns for men’s ministry websites. Whatever capacity in which you choose to serve, you need to know that your contribution to God’s kingdom is vital to the survival of the church. And you also need to be aware that you will face opposition.

In this country of late, Christianity is under attack. We might even feel as if we are being discriminated against or even oppressed. In the last several years it has seemed, at least to me, that even our right to free speech has been infringed upon. But in the vast majority of cases, regardless of how much the enemy tries, he does not prevail. There are many places in the world where simply being a Christian might get you attacked physically or even killed, but not here in the United States—at least not yet. Here we still have protections that are difficult for the enemy to overcome. And even when the enemy, whose world this is, might seem to have the upper hand, we still have the power of prayer on our side. Never forget that. Through Jesus, we have power over the enemy.

Even so, we might still get discouraged. We may even lose hope because of the criticism, anger, and ridicule that we may endure for our faith. We needn’t. In the book of James, it says;

“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3 (NIV)

For the first time in years, I can look at our government with hope and I think that we, you and I, have played a role in that change with prayer.

“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)

We have an incoming president who admits that Christianity is under attack and has vowed, very publicly, to fight for us, saying things on national television like “Merry Christmas” and “God bless you all and God bless the United States.” Personally, I believe that if the man whom he is replacing even uttered those syllables, even by mistake, he might burst into flames on the spot!

I’m only kidding.

The point that I’m trying to make is that we will always face opposition. It may be a snide remark or an unkind word about something that we’ve worked hard on, not for our own glory, but for His, made by someone that we consider a colleague, a friend, or someone we respect or even admire. Or it might even be because we don’t get recognized for our hard work by those same people. Whatever the case, we must not get discouraged because we have a place in His kingdom, both in Heaven and here on Earth, for as long as He allows us to breath His air and speak His word. We are on a mission and we must not fail. We must look to our brothers and sisters for support and we must always be supportive. A kind word goes a very long way!

The battle is on!

G J Fortier is a member of IronMen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his new novel, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 available on Amazon for Kindle and at www.smashwords.com. Or visit his website at www.mirroredman.com


Who can you talk to?

By: G. J. Fortier

 

Who can you talk to?

It seems like a straight-forward question, right? I mean, most of us have dozens of conversations with family, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers daily. We talk about the weather, our favorite sports teams or the movie we saw over the weekend. Most of us have, literally, hundreds of conversations every week. We entertain ourselves and others by talking. We inform each other of pertinent goings-on with conversation and the simple fact is that we need to communicate through verbalization in order to live our lives the way we want to.

But that’s not what I’m asking.

Who can you really talk to?

Well, that narrows things down a bit doesn’t it? Most of us have friends, people that we trust, that we talk to about the important issues. What’s the best toilet paper? How do you fix a lawn mower that chokes out? What’s the best valentines gift for your wife or girlfriend?

But that’s not what I’m asking.

Who can you talk to about the really important things?

Well, now we’re probably down to just a few people. Your wife or girlfriend, your best friend forever or BFF. You can ask them, what’s the best hemorrhoid cream? What are we gonna do about that bag of “oregano” we found in juniors sock drawer? Honey, could you pop this giant zit on my back?
Okay, that last one would probably be a very short conversation but, hey, you can’t just ask anyone to do that, can you?

But that’s not what I’m asking.

“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

Who can you confess to? Who holds you accountable?

Ah, now I’ll bet that most of you who are reading this are thinking, I confess to my wife (girlfriend) ! She will definitely hold me accountable!

Really? Can you tell her about that last porn video that you watched when she and the kids were at the grocery store? Can you tell her about that woman at work that you think about just a little too much and it’s not about the way she leaves her desk so messy? Can you tell your wife about that bet you made on the Falcons (Yeah! Right! The Falcons!) that cost you the rent money … again? At least some of you are thinking, I can’t (or won’t) tell anyone about that kind of stuff! My wife would never understand and probably leave me if I did that! Or, my bestest best of the best friend I have in the world would definitely think less of me for it if I told him about that!

Thanks for making my point for me.

Who do you tell those things—and many others that I won’t go into here—to?

My church, First Baptist Centerville, has this thing called a “men’s ministry”. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Every church has a men’s ministry! Every man in the church is in it!

Fair enough. Every church has a men’s ministry. But, now I have a question for you: When’s the last time that you sat in a room with 6 to 10 men and felt perfectly comfortable in speaking out-loud the most intimate details of your life, good or bad and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that none of them would judge you, condemn you and would in-fact pray for you about the things that you struggle with?

We call our Wednesday night fellowship Halftime. We meet from 6:00 to 7:30, first in a large group and then we break up into small groups of 6 to 10. Now, I have to tell you, I love my church, but it was Halftime that changed my life!

I am what I like to call and extroverted introvert. I’m a loner who, by shear force of will, made myself develop the ability to talk to anyone about anything. Now, I don’t claim to be a great conversationalist, but I can hold my own in nearly any situation I find myself in. Believe me, I’d rather be sitting in a corner like a potted plant that nobody notices until they get hold of a drink or an hors’ douvers (pardon my French) that they don’t like, watching everyone else at the party. But I don’t like to talk about myself at all, let alone about my problems. After all, who needs to hear about my problems? Don’t they have enough of their own? When you have some time, I’ll gladly share my testimony with you.

I don’t think that anyone that knows me would call me shy, but the fact is, I am. But when I started going to Halftime and I realized that no one there was going to hold anything I said against me or repeat it to anyone (we have a rule), I was able to relieve myself of the burden of being alone and actually find a group of men who were not only willing to listen and pray with me, but also help me in any way that they could.

This is what we like to call, fellowship and if you’ve never experienced it, it is truly a wonderful and blessed thing. If your church doesn’t have something like Halftime already, then you can come to mine! Or better yet, you can start one there! And if you have questions or need any help in doing so, just find one of the men from First Baptist Centerville. We’ll be happy to fellowship with you!

 

G.J. Fortier is a member of Ironmen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his new novel, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 available on Amazon Kindle.


Prayer Breakfast Early Birds

 

IMG_2503

Some Prayer Breakfast early birds enjoying some fellowship.