I had the opportunity to attend a men’s conference in our church this past weekend. Ax throwing, knocker balls, bonfires and most importantly teaching from the Bible. It has been several years since I attended something like this and it was long overdue.

It was so refreshing to simply be with other people that are striving to grow in their relationship with God. We talk a lot about things like accountability, manning up, and choosing to do what’s right. Going to a conference with over a hundred other like-minded men and seeing them striving for the same things is really inspiring.

One of my favorite aspects was the worship. Our church does a great job of leading worship each Sunday but there was something powerful about having a group of guys worshiping together. I don’t have the best singing voice and neither did most of the other men in attendance but what we lacked in tune we made up for in passion. There is something special about men worshiping together. We are each different but know each other’s struggles and temptations. Our hearts can break for our collective failure and we can be inspired by God’s grace and mercy.

Our guest speaker was Jerrad Lopes from the Dad Tired podcast. He helped us unpack many of the lies that we have been believing about our self and our accomplishments. My favorite activity was taking 30 minutes and writing if/then statements on what lies I have been believing. “If I get a promotion I will be happy” or “if I pay off my CC debt I will give more to church”. Things we have been telling ourselves that we know are not true but are also engraved in our habits and mind.

The Core4Life crew got to interview Jerrad at the end of the first night and dive deeper into his story. Like all of us, Jerrad has had times when he felt like a failure and did not lead his wife and kids as he should. God used his wife powerfully to show him love and point him back to Christ and that led him to start his own ministry to tired dads everywhere.

He ended his talk with a benediction that really spoke to me and many of the other men:

I am not what I do

I am not what I have

I am not what others say about me

I am the beloved of God

It’s who I am

No one can take it from me

I don’t have to hurry

I don’t have to worry

I can trust my friend Jesus

And, share his love with the world

You can download a free poster of this at: Dadtired.com/benediction

If you have not had the opportunity to gather with other like-minded men and grow your faith together I would encourage you to seek that out this summer; it will be well worth your time.

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