More was broken in The Fall than we even begin to imagine. The first external effect of The Fall shows up in the brokenness of intimate fellowship and communication between a man and his wife. Almost immediately concealment takes the place of clarity. Any man who loves a wife or daughter recognizes that this effect of the fall is still in play. Men struggle with subtlety in language. We are often incapable of setting the words spoken by our beloved in the proper emotional context necessary to decipher what seems to us to be coded messages.
Perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube video that parodies this through a mythical product called the “Manslater.” The Manslater is a device that translates what a woman says in “simple man words.” When a woman says, “I’ll be ready in 5 minutes,” the Manslater translates it into: “Me ready 30 minutes.” Using “emotion and female logic deciphering technology,” this device can also work on men. When a man says to a woman: “Wow,” the Manslater translates it to: “Your beauty is stunning!” As much as this resonates with us, the reality is that only the gospel can reconcile the brokenness sin brings to our relationships and communication.
But it is no secret that men need straight talk. Though we don’t often like it, we need bluntness — iron that sharpens iron and the wounds of a friend. The Letter of James in the New Testament fits this bill. James speaks forcefully and bluntly to the matters that men struggle with: anger, speaking when we should be listening, unguarded speech, failure to pay attention to God’s Word, favoritism, and faith that talks but does not walk, just to name a few. In the short space of five chapters, James issues a radical call to a faith in Christ that is expressed, not merely professed.
Join us, Friday mornings in May from 7:00 – 8:00 am at Blue Sail Coffee, downtown in Technology Park, 417 Main St., Little Rock for fellowship, prayer and discussion, as we gather with other men to learn from The Letter of James and consider some straight talk about walking the walk.
During the month of May, we will host a series of three gatherings on Thursday evenings to discuss membership in River City Reformed Church. We will meet May 3, 17, and 24 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in the Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church where we meet each Lord’s Day evening for worship. For directions click here.
These gatherings will include discussion from to the book, “Don’t Swear in Church: Unless You Really Mean It” as well as conversation about what it means to be a Christian, why church membership matters and what it looks like, what it means to be an Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and what is distinct about the vision and ministry philosophy of River City Reformed Church.
These meetings are not required to pursue membership, but are meant to be a helpful introduction to it. Childcare will be provided for those who want to utilize it. Following these gatherings we will schedule time for families to meet with our Provisional Session to share their profession of faith and take vows of membership.
I pray that you will be able to join us as we take this next step together.
Long before the dawn of the computer age and concern over the alleged influence of Russian hacking, the fate of nations and the tides of war lay in the power of cryptography. During World War II, the best and the brightest were pressed into service as cryptographers seeking to create and break unbreakable codes. The stories of these unsung men and women have been recounted in recent movies such as Windtalkers and The Imitation Game.
One of the most significant of these crypto-analysts was British mathematician, Alan Turing. Turing led a team of researchers at Britain’s infamous Bletchley Park lab to build a machine capable of decoding messages encrypted by Hitler’s famed Enigma machines. Turing’s machine, or Automated Computing Engine, was the earliest electro-mechanical computer, a machine which revolutionized the modern age.
Despite Turing’s brilliance and achievement in cracking the world’s foremost cryptographical enigma, however, he could not decode the ultimate enigma, the meaning of life. His untimely death by cyanide poisoning in 1954 was ruled a suicide. Turing was not the first notable man in history to grapple with the enigma of meaning and meaninglessness. Solomon, in the Bible, had done it all. He had unparalleled wisdom, wealth and experience, but he still wrestled with the same ultimate questions of meaning and meaningless that create existential angst for each of us today.
Solomon, directed by the Holy Spirit, recorded his reflections for us in the book of Ecclesiastes. Join us, Friday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 am at Blue Sail Coffee, downtown in Technology Park, 417 Main St., Little Rock for fellowship, prayer and discussion, as we gather with other men to learn from Ecclesiastes what makes the difference between meaningful and meaningless life so we can decipher our own enigma.