Anvil Ministries E6: Fight Club Series- Living Safe
Below are the show notes, and should have the info you may want or missed when listening. Email me at David@AnvilMinistries.com and let me know what you think.
Fight Club Series Sponsor: Anthology.Church
Intro song: (Modified) “Corporate World” by The Dust Brothers
Welcome- Hello, and Welcome to the Anvil Podcast E6!
Last week we started this new series on Fight Club. If you havnt already – Check out last weeks episode.
Thanks for listening. Find Value. Listeners 15+
Learn more AnvilMinistries.com or follow us on FB or T @AnvilMen
This series is sponsored by Anthology Church.
Intro to Ep- This weeks episode is about…
Lessons from the cult classic movie Fight Club.
Before we get into the topic for today and get into this new series I have a challenge for you. I want to you focus on one thing for the rest of this series. One thing that you would like to change. One thing that is holding you back from living the life that God wants for you. Just one. If you have no idea what that one thing is, go back and listen to EP5. That should bring some clarity there.
Focus on that over these next few weeks. Pray about it daily. Talk about it with others in your life. Just one thing. Don’t get distracted with more then one. Just pick one, and commit yourself to it.
With that lets get into it…
The dangers of safe sanitized living.
Your going to have to learn how to take a punch, and get dirty.
Last week we explored Memento Mori and looked at the fact that our days are numbered, and how can that encourage us to use our time here wisely, and do the things God has called us to do.
This week we will be looking at the traps of safe, sanitized living. Roosevelt’s quote-
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Men- we live in a day and time where we go to great lengths to be safe, and sanitary, and protect ourselves. There is nothing wrong with that per-say. When it becomes wrong is when we begin to worship it. Much of our culture worships safety, and is quick to coverup things that are dirty, flawed, imperfect, dented, and otherwise blemished.
Too often we let fear prevent us from moving forward into the things God has called us to. Many times that fear is of things that may actually hurt us, and sometimes they do. What’s important is that we don’t let that stop us, we need to learn from them, expect them, and stop avoiding them.
We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
Moving to CO and Back. When I was a kid I used to go on these family trips to KY for family reunions. When we would drive out from CA we would pass through CO. Thats when I fell in love. From that first time I saw the Rockies I was hooked, and it was my dream to live there. Once I got married, we talked about where we wanted to move to raise kids, and we both loved CO. In the summer of 2011 we had a opportunity to make the move, so we did. Now the economy in 2011 was horrific, we were almost homeless, when looking for work wasn’t an option I started a business to make ends meet. Shortly after that we got settled, and I got Gods call to go into ministry full time. Then Gods call to come back to CA. So with no jobs locked in, we chose as a family of 4 to move, and live by faith. We moved in with Mom, and step father, and started figuring out where God wanted me. Financial struggles, but I started Anvil and helped plant a church.
Now this left me full of cuts, bruises, scars, and tears – for me and the fam. We are pressing on because I know it is what God has called us to do.
If what God has called us to do was easy we wouldn’t need to rely on Him for it to actually happen.
Col 1:11- “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,”
Following God is hard. He knows we need His strength, and power, and endurance, and patients. Following God is dirty. It is messy, and you will get beat up.
The reality is in the US we live in a very clean world. Full of disinfectants, antibiotics, and antibacterial soap. We have laundry detergent, and bleach. We usually take daily showers, wash our cars. We shave, or have some sort of hair management. We have seat belts, and airbags, and crash test ratings. Our kids legally have to wear bike helmets. You get the point, these are all normal parts our lives. We do everything we can to keep our little worlds neat and tidy and free from scars as we can.
Certainly these things aren’t necessarily bad, but what if scars were good for us? What if a little dirt and grime and bruising is beneficial to our well-being?
In recent years, the number of children with food allergies has skyrocketed, with dairy and peanut allergies leading the way. Gluten, and corn not too far behind. It’s become such a problem that there are many schools where children are no longer allowed to even bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the premises. What could be causing this?
While certainly not conclusive, research is starting to find that our addiction to cleaning — both ourselves and our home — could actually be leading to weaker immune systems, especially in children. In our younger years, it’s crucial for us to be exposed to common pathogens; dirt, dust, grime…germs. It works the same way that vaccines do — a little bit of exposure helps our body fight those things in the future.
The same concept can apply to our adult lives as well. The narrator in FC notes that he doesn’t want to die without a few scars. To him, a few blemishes are actually desirable. Why would this be?
For one thing, to have scars means that you’ve lived. You haven’t just been in your house eating Cheese Puffs your whole life; you’ve been doing things — taking action, taking risks, and pursuing the hard way in order to live a more satisfying life. It’s not good for us to live in a bubble, and being out in the real world means the occasional scrape – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Beyond that, scars make us stronger. In fight club, you get socked in the face, leaving behind a nasty mark that you’ll see in the mirror every day until you die. And it serves as a learning experience and reminder for future fights: keep your hands up, make swift movements…duck and weave! That scar can make you a better fighter.
Now at Forge, we actually do some of this physically. When I go through a lesson like this, we put on gloves, and mouth guards, and swing at each other for a few rounds. If you’d like to join us we’d love to have you. You can go to our website to see how you can get involved. We are also completely funded on donations from people like you. Give. $20 a month 18 months.
Anthology Chuch – Great place in Menifee, CA. Newer church, so lots of opurtunities to get involved. For more info about Anthology Church check out their website Anthology.Church (not .com, or .org. .church)
This concept of scars, and bruises doesn’t apply only to our body, but your mind as well. Psychological scars, although emotionally painful at the time, can serve to make us mentally stronger. If you’ve taken the risk to start a business, or ministry and it fails after a couple years, you’re going to have your confidence and drive shaken. But if you don’t let that failure crush you, and instead use it as a learning experience, it can act as a springboard for success in a future endeavor.
Gal 6:9- “And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”
Now, lets talk about spiritual scars, bruises, and the church. What then happens when you’ve been praying for something for years, and God has not answered? What about when you’ve given all you have into a ministry and have it disband? What about when you do what you believed God wanted you to do and were wrong? Or what about other Christians you’ve tried to rely on and weren’t there when you needed them? All hard, and valid questions. My only answer is to trust God in the things we don’t understand. Talk with Him about them. Seek His wisdom, and if all else fails, and you feel so alone, and all is dark, cling to the things that you know. God loves you more then you can ever imagine. You can trust that. You can trust Gods word. Because it is Truth. That is the critical moment where you choose to press on, or give up. In those moments you find your strength, or you find your weakness.
Eph 6:13 “Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”
One of the things we need to do as men is to constantly seek balance between Truth, and Grace. These are not opposites, but complementary to each other. As we grow as Christians, and men we get better at this, but it’s important because one without the other brings damage to ourselves and others.
Now, for the blood, and sweat and tears, and scars we face – it doesn’t mean that we go seeking harm to ourselves, but we don’t shy away from new experiences that might offer a scar or two either. Strive to always be in the arena. Remember, pain is weakness leaving the body.
Let God take you into those things where you may get hurt, like a practice for bigger things, like being exposed to germs as a kid we need to toughen up, and ready ourselves for the God sized adventures He has called us to. It feels overwhelming at the time, because it is. But in the big picture, it is probably not as big a deal as we may think.
One of the best biblical illustrations I can think of for this is David. Most talk about Golith as this huge impossible feat that David faced. Now before that happened, he killed, bears, and lions. What do you think killing that first animal was like? What about the second, then Golith, but that’s not even close to the end, it’s just barely the beginning, as he continues to be hunted, tempted, face his sins, and the sins of his children.
What if he never fought that first animal?
Those opportunities are a chance to find out what you’re made of. There’s a chance to maybe bleed a little. More importantly a chance to learn something about yourself. Expect pain. Expect discomfort. Maybe you’ll get a good shot in.
How does this relate to your one thing your focusing on over these next few weeks?
You’ve got to fight. You’ve got to try. It’s time to be brave. No one likes getting hit in the face. It hurts. Like it or not the things that God is calling you to do hurt sometimes. It’s hard, you have to be brave, you have to fight.
When God sends men out like- Moses, Joshua, David, prophets, apostles, disciples, etc. Biblical men, struggle, but they go. They move forward though they diddn’t feel capable or adequate. They do what God has called them to. Even in the case of Jonah, God’s Grace brings him back. What about Jesus? He knew what was going to happen to Him the whole time, and even asked God if there were any other way, but ultimately submitted to the Fathers Will.
If we are to ever find our strength, and live from it with power and confidence we must do the same.
I love practical teaching, and taking action. So here is something you can do this week to find your strength-
Men- take your next step, the one God is calling you to. Cling to Him and go, do, move despite the fears of possible scars and bruises that may await.
If you truly have no idea what that is – do something this week that is related to your one thing. Something that will leave a mark, and make an impact.
If you don’t know what one thing you’d like to focus on – listen to EP5 – Blacksmith idiums. That should help.
That just about wraps up our episode. I hope you got something from it. It is my honor serving you through it. Our next episode we will continue on with our FC series, how we can learn from it, and apply it to our lives. So be sure you catch those and continue your journey with me as men.
Keep in touch with us here at Anvil. Check us out at AnvilMinistries.com. Looks us up on FB, and Twitter @AnvilMen. Shoot me an email at David@AnvilMinistries.com, let me know what you think of the show. This show is only possible because of people like yourself supporting it. If you go to our website and click on the Give link to see how we can help us impact the lives of men.
I want you to know that I pray for you regularly. Remember that God is for you, as am I. You may be living as the man in the arena right now. Your face is marred with dust, and sweat, and blood – I’d urge you to continue on into the things God has called you too. And you may be the critic right now. Living squeaky clean, and surrounded by comfort. Your life may be far from anything that would challenge or push you as a man – I’d urge you to muster the courage to take that first step into the arena that God has called you too. Regardless, I want you to know that God is with you, He cares about you, and wants to help you go through, not get out of where you are. You are His son. He wants great things for you. And loves you more then you can imagine.
Men – Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Continue to fight the good fight, and find your strength.
I am David with Anvil ministries. May your journey continue…