By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
When David Redding and his friend Tim Whitmire started a men’s discussion group at Christ Church in Charlotte, N.C., they never imagined it would lead to 1,850 more men’s groups. These new groups use something very different — physical fitness — to prepare men for virtuous leadership in their communities.
That’s what happened as F3 — which stands for fitness, fellowship, and faith — grew from inception in 2011 to become a men’s leadership movement in 30 states. Redding had taken part in workout groups before, but Christ Church helped him come to faith in Christ and envision how men’s fitness groups might lead to something more than bodily conditioning.
“You can take the Book of Common Prayer and find, particularly in the catechism, the roots for how a Christian man should conduct himself,” said Redding, a 55-year-old litigator and retired U.S. Army captain and Green Beret. “It’s all there. All you need to do is follow it.”
Redding, who now attends a Presbyterian church, and Whitmire launched the first F3 group in Charlotte with a few core principles in mind. It would be open to all men. Participation would be free. Leadership in each workout group would be by volunteers; participants take turns at the helm and become more confident leaders. Workouts would always be outdoors, even in extreme heat and cold. And each workout would end with a circle of trust in which men say their F3 nicknames (each person receives one), their ages, and concerns they have.
It is not uncommon for a circle of trust to result in a “ball of man,” as F3 calls it when men huddle, sometimes to lay hands on someone in prayer.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness. And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!
Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today.
Frog in a Milk Pail
One day at a farm, a frog decided to investigate the cellar in the yard.
He hopped through the open door and down the staircase, curious to see what was inside. But as it was somewhat dark, he stumbled and he fell into a small milk pail which was filled with fresh milk.
He attempted to reach the top of the pail but the sides were too high. He stretched his feet to touch the bottom of the pail but found it too deep. He didn’t want to give up, so soon so he continued to swim in the milk and struggle. He kicked in the milk again and again and squirmed continuously. Half an hour later, all the churning had turned the milk into solid butter.
So the frog could now step on the butter, reach the sides of the pail and get out of it!
“Never Give Up!”