Exercising Influence – Rev. Mike Williams

Exercising Influence

Whether by default or design, everyone is exercising influence – all the time.  For good or for evil, for righteousness or for wrong, each of us is making our mark on mankind.  With our words and ways, our deeds and desires, our attitudes and our actions, we are living a life worthy either of emulation or avoidance.  Thus, no one ever fully escapes the unrelenting responsibility of exercising our influence effectively.
The atheist, Max Jutes, lived out his godless life as a neighbor to the extraordinary 18th century preacher, Jonathan Edwards.  He declared Edwards to be a scourge to the community and sought to destroy him in every way.  Believing that men were best served by living their lives in the context of the secular, rather than the sacred, world, Jutes sought to persuade the public that Edward’s faith was a farce.
Not coincidentally, when, in an effort to calculate the sum of public funds invested in their respective families, New York state officials compared the descendants of Edwards and Jutes, the differences in the two men were brought into sharp relief.  The 540 individuals who could be positively traced to Max Jutes were less than half the 1,394 who followed in the footsteps of Jonathan Edwards.
But not surprisingly, the difference was not just one of quantity, but quality as well.  Of those 540 who descended from Jutes, 310 were said to have died paupers – no fewer than 150 had criminal records – 7 were in fact found guilty of murder – at least 100 were drunkards and more than half the women were believed to be involved in prostitution.  It was estimated that these individuals cost the state some $250,000 in 18th century currency, or approximately ten million of today’s dollars.
Conversely, among the 1,394 descendants of Jonathan Edwards were 13 college presidents – 65 university professors – 3 United States Senators – 30 judges – 100 lawyers – 60 physicians – and at least 75 who served as military officers.  More than 100 of Edwards’ offspring became ministers or missionaries – 60 were prominent authors – 1 served as Vice President of the United States – and at least 80 others were public officials in some capacity.  Of the 295 who were college graduates, several were either state governors or members of the foreign service.  Obviously, his descendants did not cost the state of New York, but contributed to the welfare of society both naturally and spiritually.
Suffice it to say, the wise man was right when he wrote, The memory of the just is blessed. (Proverbs 10:7)  Whether as a father to his family, a pastor to parishioners, or just a man to his friends, we must constantly and carefully consider both the ability – and the responsibility – we have to exercise our influence effectively
Maybe now, more than ever, we must be men of substance to whom others can tether their lives in our out of orbit age.  May the proclamation of Paul to young Timothy find its fulfillment in us, That, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1st Timothy 2:1,3-4)
Rev. Mike Willams 
Men's Ministry Director UPCI

Dependant upon Distraction – Rev. Lee Wells

Dependant upon Distraction

Lynda and I dropped our phones off to allow the “Invisible Shield” folks to install permanent screen protectors on our phones.
Wow! It did not take long to realize how lost I felt without my phone. At one point, I had to ask someone for the time. I had not done that in many years! It made me begin to realize how dependant we have become on digital devices. There were several times throughout the night where I, almost subconsciously, reached to check my phone. This really stirred my spirit up.
Sin or Safe?
In a season of prayer, I began to meditate on those tendencies that I had been recognizing tonight within myself. I have been stirred about the age we live and the common issues of devices that bring distraction into our lives and our widespread dependence upon such things.
Could it be that the old thinking of ‘sin vs. safe’ is not the most accurate method of determining the harmful effects of our participations and actions? Could the enemy of our soul somehow dupe the church triumphant and do it so subtlety that we not even recognize the disastrous effects of the simple, yet effective, attack on our mind?
Nowadays instead of simply steering away from sinful content on our computers and phones, there seems to be another category to watch for.

Have we created such useful devices that we cannot carry-on a decent conversation anymore without the constant checking and monitoring of our constant digital connections. Can we not even drive down the road without the urge to talk, text, or somehow communicate with a digitized world?
I am not even going to deal with the local traffic laws and dangers associated with driving while distracted. I am specifically concerned with the spiritual well-being of men who are so controlled by a digital device. 
Once upon a time I had lunch with a very well-known preacher, whom I really looked forward to speaking with and getting to know better, however, we may have enjoyed a very few minutes of conversation, over the 45 minutes we spent sitting at that table together. The entire time together was spent with him being distracted by his handheld digital device. 
The saddest part of the story is when seeing him later, and watching him in service, I noticed he could not even be attentive in church due to his digital distraction. It seemed to rule his every moment. This is not an inditment against ministry or men in general, but it is a reality we all must confront in our digital generation.

It has made me wonder what God thinks about our affection of the digital world?
The Word of God teaches us that We can clearly identify a person’s affections based upon where they choose to allow their attention to be drawn. Colossians 3:2 says we must: Set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. To set one’s affection literally means to set one’s mind, the inward impulse and disposition; not only to seek heaven but to think heaven.  (Vincent’s Word Studies; Vol. 3, Colossians 3:2 “set your affection”)
Heaven, or the kingdom of heaven, is not simply a place to go someday, but it is a place of dwelling now. Our thoughts, our works, and our affections should be based upon our commitment to the heavenly kingdom that we so sincerely enjoy.
Could it be that we have allowed out affections to be shifted to the digital distractions of facebook, twitter and forums? While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these social networking avenues, could our desire for them out weigh our desire for prayer, studying the Word of God, and reaching a lost world, and therefore become a sin-issue before God?
My prayer for each of us in this generation would be that we have not become hypnotized by the simple hope of a return email, status update, like, or comment of a digital world when we have such a great work ahead of us in these last days. The men of the church must once again be validated by the kingdom of heaven rather than the superficial world of digital distraction.
God help us set our affections on things above rather than the device in our hand.
Rev. Lee Wells 
NTXD Men - Secretary 

What Price Success? – Rev. Carlton Coon Sr.

What Price Success?

Success has made a failure of many a man.

Every Man Wants Success

Johnny Devoe started adult life as a stock boy at a paint store. He was blessed with a mind for business. While working for minimum wage, Johnny was saving money. Soon enough money had been saved to buy a rent house. It was not many years before Johnny owned 12 pieces of rental property. Then, he owned the paint store that he had advanced to manage. Soon, Johnny owned a chain of paint stores. Today, Johnny Devoe is worth millions.

When Johnny was 21, he was met Sharon. She was a beautiful young lady working behind the counter at McDonald’s. Sharon and Johnny fell in love and married. Three years later their first daughter was born. She was a darling child, and a musical prodigy to boot. The girl played in music recitals as early as four years of age. Then Johnny and Sharon had a son. He loved the things most boys enjoy: tee-ball, video-games, fishing, and flying kites.

Somethings go unnoticed. While the boy was playing tee-ball, and the little girl was giving music recitals, Johnny was not there. He didn’t have time for music recitals, play video games or endure a kid’s baseball game. There were important things to do; stores to manage, rent to collect, money to be made.

As years passed, Johnny and Sharon drifted apart. Eventually they divorced and Johnny seldom seemed to have time to pick up the children for his parental privileges and responsibilities. 

When the girl was fifteen, in her desperate desire for attention the girl was easy prey for the “sweet nothings” of a teenage Casanova. Soon she was pregnant. Another statistic - a pregnant teenager who dropped out of school. Johnny’s son had his teenage battles. He was involved with a gang, using drugs and eventually drug pushing. He just got out of jail.

Today, Johnny lives alone in a $900,000 home, and drives a $120,000 Mercedes to work. That Rolex watch on his arm cost more than a stock boy in his paint store makes in six months. Others in the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary look at Johnny and point him out as a self-made man, a true success story.

Measuring a Man’s Success

Is Johnny Devoe a success?  Unfortunately, some see Johnny’s money and power as the measures that matter. Those measures don’t include the price tag of that success. Johnny gained his success, money and business acumen by sacrificing his family.

Is that a good trade? You answer the question regarding your life. Does the statement, “He who has the most toys wins?” accurately measure a man’s life? Doubtful! President Woodrow Wilson spoke of people, “Who are defeated by their secondary successes.” It is possible to win some earthly things and lose things much more important.   

What are your goals? What you want may be different than Johnny Devoe. It likely is. I’ve seen men go to great lengths pursuing:

  • Being a scratch golfer
  • Collectible guns
  • A level of advanced education
  • Corporate position
  • Muscle cars
  • College or pro sports
  • A stock market portfolio
  • Horses and livestock
  • Land owned

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of those goals. They work, as long as a man is careful not to ignore the meaningful in pursuing those interests or goals.

What Drives You?


What motivates you toward your goals? Knowing what motivates us will help us make better decisions regarding what we value.

Jephthah, was a judge of Israel. Like Johnny Devoe, Jephthah was a success. What Jephthah accomplished was likely motivated by either his family background or events of his youth.  

Jephthah’s young life was hard. His mother was a prostitute (Judges 11:1). In a dispute over a future inheritance, Jephthah’s half-brothers kicked him out of the family home. Jephthah’s half-brothers did not want him around but Jephthah had some inherent abilities that attracted others. After his exile he moved to a city named Tob, where vain men (we would call them criminals) were attracted to Jephthah’s leadership. Even though he was the offspring of a woman of ill repute and was rejected by his siblings, Jephthah became a warrior chieftain.

In time, the nation of Ammon attacked Israel. It seemed the Israelites would be overwhelmed by the Ammonite raiders. In a crisis, Jephthah’s brothers said, We have a brother who is quite a fighter. Maybe he will help us. Those who had rejected Jephthah were now appealing for his help.

Perhaps, Jephthah thought, This is my chance to gain acceptance and respect. Jephthah decided to help, but only if the Israelites will make him their leader. Since the Israelites had few options, the agreement was made.

Under Jephthah’s leadership, the Ammonites were put to flight. There was a resounding victory. Jephthah’s warriors attacked Ammonite communities deep inside Ammon. 

Did Jepthah, Win or Lose?

Jephthah wanted the honor, promotion, accolades, benefits, etc. of success. He put himself whole-heartedly into defeating the Ammonites. His commitment was extreme. He promised God a burnt offering if Israel was victorious. 

Jephthah was over the top in his commitment to his job. With no consideration of unintended consequences Jephthah promised God, that when he returned home, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out the door to greet him.

It is clear. Jephthah wanted this. He wanted to impress, to win, to succeed. Jephthah didn’t consider what the cost of that success might be.

No big deal. Jephthah won! When Jephthah returned,  And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him . . . (Judges 11:34) His beloved daughter was sacrificed on the altar for the sake of Jephthah’s success. There are times when the corporate promotion are the golf score does not matter as much. The price was paid at home. Jephthah lost at home, even while he won at work!

A Reckless Pursuit of Success

What might Jephthah have done differently?

  1. He could have thought about his motives in wanting this particular success. Wrong motives produce reckless decisions.
  1. Before Jephthah committed to sacrifice as a way to assure success, he should have considered the “law of unintended consequences.” No decision or action happens in a vacuum. There are always ripples that affect your spouse and children.
  2. Jephthah could have specified to God and himself the exact price he was willing to pay for success. Instead, Jephthah’s ambitions caused him to sign a blank check. Jephthah did not know what his accomplishments would cost his family. Always know the cost!
  1. Jephthah should have kept his family and home foremost. The ambition to defeat Ammon and to “be somebody” caused his family to fade in their significance. .

Jephthah’s idea may have been that his daughter was going to have it better than he’d ever had it. Jephthah provided but did not protect. Sadly, his daughter paid the price of Jephthah’s ambition. He was careless. He did not envision this outcome. No man ever does.

Jephthah was a successful failure!

What are some possible behaviors of a modern successful failure?

A Pastor’s List of a Modern Man’s Successful Failure

 

  1. The man who often works late, and on Sunday, limiting his family’s opportunity to see him leading the way in worship.
  1. Living in the right neighborhood, but too far from the church to easily get the family to church.
  1. Having a large investment portfolio and owning lots of “stuff” but being spiritually bankrupt. A symptom: the man’s children never see him in the prayer room.
  1. Celebrating sports heroes, movie stars, musicians and political leaders while at the same time having no time for his children – who would like to see their Dad as their own hero.
  1. Having time to run the store, but not having time to read Bible stories to the kids.
  1. The workaholic who enjoys the acclaim of a job well-done, but is never present for the daughter’s recital or the son’s school play.

Applying the Principle

Answer the following questions for yourself.

  1. What are the areas in which you are at the greatest risk of becoming a successful failure?
  1. In what ways do your interests and goals have the potential to affect your children negatively?
  1. What three things could you change this week, that might keep you from going in the direction of sacrificing your child(ren) on the altar of your success?

Of the three things select one to do differently, beginning today.

Rev. Carlton Coon Sr.

What Price Success comes from a lesson found in Carlton's book Biblical Parenting. If interested in more information about Biblical Parenting or the second book set of lessons on family titled Beating the Marriage Busters, visit CarltonCoonsr.com. There are over 25 church growth and personal growth resources available at the site.

Relationships – Rev. Mike Williams

Relationships

In perhaps the Bible’s oldest book, regarding God, we are challenged to, Acquaint now thyself with Him and be at peace. (Job 22:21)  The apostle Paul took the prospect of meaningful relationship between man and Maker to an entirely different level when he confessed that, what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3:7-8a)  Knowing Him was not just possible, but of paramount importance.
To be sure, relationships are the essence of life – and God is a good place to begin.  From that fountainhead flow all of the other human connections that are critical to our spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.  It should not be lost on us how essential, and incredibly powerful, these connections can be.
Who would dare deny that Jezebel’s shadow darkened the life of Ahab: or that Abigail’s wisdom saved her husband, Nabal’s, hide from David’s marauding men.  Lot’s influence on his children – when he pitched his tent toward Sodom, indeed his daughter’s designs on him – once they had fled to the mountains, is the stuff of legend. 
Still hiding his secret sin, David the king was saved, in no small part, by Nathan the preacher’s fearless proclamation, Thou art the man (2nd Samuel 12:7).  So carefully and honestly had that connection been nurtured, that the prophet felt free to speak truth to his king, without fearing for his life.
Amnon knew that his lustful desire for his half-sister, Tamar, was illicit: apparently, he had successfully fought off that temptation and fallen sick.  So far, so good.  But Amnon had a friend … (2nd Samuel 13:3)  That friend, Jonadab, persuaded him to give in to his urges and with that careless counsel pulled the thread that unraveled Amnon’s life.
Maker, minister, offspring, spouse, or friend – we will be neither more, nor less, than our relationship to them all. We cannot separate our life, from our relationships – they are one and the same. May God give us wisdom to keep them real, rich, and rewarding.
Rev. Mike Williams 
Men's Ministry UPCI - Director 

Sheltering Our Children – Rev. Scott Graham

Sheltering Our Children

The sirens were sounding. There was an unnatural feeling in the air. Just one peak through the curtains at the boiling and violent clouds swirling overhead was enough to convince even the skeptic that steps to ensure our safety were to be taken.
So down the steps the Graham’s went, a family in search of safety while the storm outside raged.  Taking steps that some might deem unnecessary, but which the dynamics of the atmosphere demanded.   We were not alarmists.  We were cautious, particularly when it came to our children!
Whether we wish to admit it or not, we are living in a stormy season.  The winds that blow are many, including every wind of doctrine.  The rains of societal disarray, the winds of declining cultural mores, and the floods of relative values rage against every life and home, until the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:22 spoken of another time begin to make sense in our days.  “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
How shall we survive?  What are the keys to keeping our children safe in such a stormy time?  Where is shelter to be found?  You, as a man and Father, have a key role to play in this process!
Before any other point is considered, we must recognize that for a life, a family, or a church to stand in a season of storms, nothing is more important than a right foundation!  Consider the words of the Lord as he taught.  “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24 – 27).
For one to withstand the storms, his life must be founded on obedience to the word of God!  Only in hearing and doing the instructions of the Lord, can anyone hope to last through the winds, the rains, and the floods which come against all.  But in order to obey one must understand, and this is where a Man's investment is such a blessing.  When the wind was blowing outside our house in Florissant, we were able to take the proper steps only because somewhere in our past we had been taught how to proceed. 
We had heard it from concerned voices.  “Go to a lower level.  Get in an inside room.  Be sure all family members are present.”  Absent such instruction, we might well have taken steps which would look foolish to the better informed simply because we were ignorant of proper direction.  One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching is seeing those into whose lives we’ve invested make wise and safe choices in the face of storms!  A foundation of obedience to the Word of God is an invaluable commodity in such a season as ours!
We must realize, however, that one of the great challenges we face today is the myriad of contradictory voices influencing our children.  While we are sounding proper instructions in the classroom, our children are being bombarded with false messages in a variety of venues.  The sites of these “lightening strikes” are many.  Error flashes and thunders on TV, in movies, over the internet, in popular music, and in video games.
The analogy would be similar to my neighbors standing in the midst of the storm, and saying, “No!  Don’t run to the basement.  That’s old information.  In today’s enlightened world, you climb up on your roof when the tornado sirens go off!”  Their counsel is illogical and contradicts good sense and years of teaching, but if enough voices echo that “new” revelation it is difficult, especially for the young, to stay true to the teaching they’ve received.  That’s why limiting the effect of these voices through guidelines and restrictions is so important.
Clearly it is primarily the parents’ responsibility to filter such influences from the lives of their children, for we all recognize the limits what a pastor, Sunday School teacher, youth pastor, etc. can do absent our involvement.  We must warn our young people that any voice contrary to Scripture is not to be heeded.  We must admonish them to submit to guidelines laid out by their parents, their pastor, and the Spirit of the Lord which draw them away from dangerous voices. 
We must encourage them to remain true to the safety found in Scripture’s imperatives.  And perhaps most importantly, we must demonstrate a life pattern of our own of “taking shelter in the basement!”
The storms will blow.  We will never stop them.  “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:13).  But for all their fury, cultural storms lack the ability to destroy the child of God hidden in obedience to His word.  As men of the Spirit, you must faithfully continue to provide the instruction and the example which makes that possible.
And just remember, one day when the skies part, we’ll come back upstairs to the sunshine of eternity with Him.  The skies were never bluer!
Rev. Scott Graham

Mind Over Media – Rev. Scott Graham

Mind Over Media

We are in a conflict for our spiritual wellbeing as well as that of our families. And while Satan is not some red flannel-wearing imp with a pitchfork and a long tail, there most certainly is a devil, and he is much more than a Halloween costume or a little guy that rests on your shoulder and attempts to persuade you to ignore the angel on the other one. Satan is a spiritual being.
Paul told the Ephesians that
“. . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). And our spiritual foe’s purpose is quite clear. He comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy!
While he is anything but omnipotent, we would disregard this spiritual deceiver at our own peril! No, he does not have the power or the authority to make anyone walk away from God. Still, he is an experienced and wily foe, who has deceived and corrupted mankind from the beginning of time, so it behooves us to know our enemy! “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Corinthians 2:11).
I’m not suggesting that a college course in demonology is needful to make you a better Father or man of God. I am recommending to you the wisdom of the Scriptures that we should be aware of His tactics and carefully avoid his traps! “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). That word “place” literally means a “toehold.” We are instructed not to give the devil any place where he can get the slightest grip in our lives. Just such an area which we must guard is the media!
The Media is a powerful influence in our world and in our
lives. The media is defined as “the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely.” There are two words in that definition that make this so important for our walk with God and our work for Him . . . “reach” and “influence.”
For clearly the media reaches us. It does so in the most ubiquitous fashion. It’s everywhere. Print media is waning in our culture, but only because electronic media is all around us. We are surrounded and bombarded by cell phone and iPads and smart phones and news readers. We cannot readily escape the long arms of the world of media!
It chases us with invisible signals through the air at all times of the day and night. And while I know that this was not Paul’s meaning, still there is this “power in the air,” and we war against the prince of the power of the air!
The media’s reach is significant because it also influences! The media can shift our thinking. It can affect our emotions. It can skew our worldview. Don’t for one second believe that you are not affected by media. If it could not affect you, then corporations would not spend billions and billions of dollars in advertising!
And it specifically because there is an influence of the media that reaches us that some questions need to be asked as filters for our media interaction.
M – Message:
What is the message that is being delivered and and how is it coming across? Is this in harmony with God’s word? Is this contrary to any Bible principles? Is this God honoring and edifying to my relationship with Him?
E – Effect:
What effect does this have on me? How does this impact my emotions? Does this distract me from my walk with God? Is this media habit adversely affecting me physically, emotionally, socially, relationally, or spiritually?

D – Damage:
Will I suffer damage from this? Is this undermining my marriage? Is it adversely affecting my ministry? Is this creating fantasies or wrong thinking? Is it producing unhealthy questions in my mind?
I – Instead:
What could I be doing instead? Is this undermining my productivity for God? Is this advantageous to my goals for today, for this year, and for my life?
A – Ask God:
Does this glorify God? Is He pleased with this? Could He participate in this? Would I be embarrassed to look up and see Him watching me engage in this media outlet?
The media has nearly unlimited potential for either good or bad. So as His children, we must remain committed to safeguarding the purity of our minds and spirits from such a potentially destructive force.
Maintaining discipline in this area of life is a necessity, for only through a pure vessel can He most effectively minister to our families and those GOd places in our care.
We can, and indeed must, have a mind victorious over the media!
Rev. Scott Graham

NTXD Men’s Conference 2017 (Audio)

2017 Men’s Conference

CONFERENCE MEDIA

Thursday Night Kick-off

"When He Made Me" Rev. Lee Wells

Thursday Night Service

"God Is In This Place" Rev. Derald Weber

Friday Night Kick-off

"The King's Covenant" Rev. Rusty Hathcock

Friday Night Service

"Gentlemen, Build Your Boat" Rev. Scott Graham

Saturday Morning Service

"The Robe of Jesus" Rev. Derald Weber

Saturday Main Service

"I Am A Finisher" Rev. Scott Graham

Unexpected Becoming Expected – Rev. Robert Tarpley

Unexpected Becoming Expected

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."  
1 Corinthians 2:8-9
As I read this scripture one thing keeps coming to my mind over and over. When the unexpected becomes the expected.

When when the crowd cried crucify and the soldiers beat him, crucified him and placed him in the tomb they expected it to be over. They expected his time to have come to an end BUT THEN, the stone was rolled away and out walked my savior!

The Lord of glory fulfilled prophecy and rose again on the third day (John 2:19).

What the crowd of people expected was not what Jesus had expected when he said "destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up".
As my mind begins to scroll down the pages of scripture I see multiple occurrences where the man's expectation was different than God's expectation.
We read about a Possessed man in Mark Chapter Five:
"And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit." Mark 5:1-2
We find a man with a Problem that no man could control. He was possessed with an unclean spirit. The people in the village had absolutely no expectation of his situation ever changing.

As we continue to read we find the unexpected became the expected. Let's look at more of the story.
"Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones." Mark 5:3-5 
Our Expectation said he was uncontrollable, unchangeable, he was a hopeless case. He would leave this earth a possessed man.
"But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit." Mark 5:6-8
In verse 6 we find the Unexpected, we find a possessed man running to Jesus and worshipping him.
This man, full of unclean spirits, whose name was "Legion: for we are many" all of a sudden realized the expectation they had of tormenting this man until his death was taking an unexpected turn for the worse.

The unexpected
Jesus showed up
and they new when Jesus showed up - that his expectation was deliverance! They new their time was up. We find in the rest of the story that their preconceived ideas came in contact with a man named JESUS who always shows up with ideas that defy our expectations.
Our Unexpected change is Gods expected change.
We as apostolic men, full of the Holy Ghost, sometimes perfect the words we speak, but how great are our expectations?

Men, I believe we have to become great men of faith to change this world we live. Programs and classes have there place but faith and expectation in God can change our families, and our homes.

I believe today is the day we can look ourselves and make the bold deceleration that: MY GOD can and will move in my life! MY GOD can and will move in the life of my children, and my family!
Today is the day God can step in and bring his mighty expectation to pass.
Rev. Robert Tarpley
NTXD MEN Committee - SW Section