New Men’s Study: The Cross

Southside’s weekly small group men’s ministry will begin a new study, beginning on Monday, March 12, and Wednesday, March 14. Our study is entitled The Cross. This 13-lesson study is based on the classic book, The Cross of Christ, by John Stott. Here’s a description of this new study…

The cross transforms everything: our worship, our call to mission, our ability to love our enemies and to face the perplexities of suffering. No theology is genuinely Christian that does not arise from and focus on the cross—the center of the historic biblical faith. Drawing on John Stott’s classic book The Cross of Christ, the studies in this guide are designed to bring us to the heart of the cross with an understanding of what was accomplished there on our behalf.

After three introductory studies, we come to the heart of the cross, looking at forgiveness of sin and emphasizing a truly biblical understanding of the notions of satisfaction and substitution. Then we will move on the three great achievements of the cross: saving sinners, revealing God and conquering evil. The final four studies grapple with what it means for the Christian community to live under the cross.

As always, if you live in Jacksonville, we would love for you to come and join us for this new study. You don’t have to be a member of Southside to be part of our fellowship. We have many men who belong to various churches in our area.

For your convenience, we have two different meeting times:

  • We have a group of men that meet on Monday evenings, from 7-8:30, in our Family Life Center.
  • We also have several other groups that meet on Wednesday mornings from 6:30-7:30, also in our Family Life Center.

Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions (396-2676) or email me at


Calling All Mission-Minded Men at Southside


Below is some information about the mission trip to Guatemala that some of the men of our church will be going on this coming April. The info-meeting referred to has already happened, but the contact information is still good and it is definitely not too late to learn more and/or sign up, though space is limited. (Just to be clear: this mission trip is open to any and all men at Southside… though, as I said, space is limited.)

PS – One of the best and most inspiring messages I ever heard on missions was by John Piper. You can read or listen to the message by clicking here.

Grace and Truth,

Have you been looking for a way to put your faith in action?  Has God begun to give  you a heart to serve?  Do you desire to deepen your relationship with God by sharing His love with others?

Then we’ve got a trip for you!

The Baxter Boys men’s ministry here at Southside is sponsoring a mission trip to Guatemala on April 21-29 of 2012.  We will be involved in a construction project with the Mission2Guatemala team–the ministry our youth have worked with over the past few years–and will stay at their center in Chisek.  The cost of the trip will be $1500 per person which includes airfare, living expenses in Guatemala,  and construction materials for the project.  A deposit of $400 will be due by January 15, and we hope to offset the rest by fundraising.

We will have an exploratory meeting on Wednesday, December 14 at 5:45 PM in the Family Life Center main area.  We will discuss the trip, pass out the FAQ sheets from M2G and plan fund raising.  If you have any questions or are interested but cannot attend, contact David Preston at or 616-6817.  You don’t have to be a “Baxter Boy,” just a man of God willing to rise up and go forth in His name.  See you on the 14th!

New Marriage Study

Good Morning Brothers,

This week we begin our new Fall study on MARRIAGE. Not that any of us need to work on marriage. I know we’re all batting a thousand. But I bet you know someone who knows that they need work. Or, if they’re not married right now, they are planning on it one day and deeply desire to have a God-honoring marriage.

So, for the next few weeks we will be be watching videos, praying prayers, discussing Scripture, and talking with one another about marriage… and how we can become the godly husbands that God has created, redeemed, and called us to be.

There is no study guide for this. The only homework we’ll have is to put the  stuff we talk about into practice. So plan on coming this week… and invite a friend… or two…  or three… to join us.

I’m looking forward to learning from you. This is certainly a study where we very much need each other. The accumulated wisdom that we’ll have each week (that we’ve gained from our own successes and failures) is just bound to be a blessing to us all.

See you this week.

Your Brother,

New Men’s Study

Come join us on Monday nights or Wednesday mornings for our new Summer study that will begin in two weeks.

The title of our study is, “Fighting the Good Fight” and is a study of Paul’s first letter to Timothy and his letter to Titus. Here’s a description of the study from the cover…

We live in a culture where the beliefs and preferences of the individual are given final authority. Paul’s firm commitment to the church as “the pillar and foundation of the truth” stands against the current. His letters to Timothy and Titus call us to reestablish the core beliefs of Christianity and affirm our convictions about the gospel. Paul’s priority in these letters is to make sure that the truth of the gospel is faithfully guarded and delivered to the next generation. Through these studies, we will be challenged to carry on the battle, armed with the truth of the gospel.

Here are the lessons from the table of contents…

  1. True or False (1 Timothy 1:1-11)
  2. Belief that Behaves (1 Timothy 1:12-20)
  3. Worship & Women (1 Timothy 2)
  4. A Leader to Follow (1 Timothy 3)
  5. Choose Your Weapons (1 Timothy 4:1-5:2)
  6. Caring for Widows (1 Timothy 5:3-16)
  7. Showing Respect (1 Timothy 5:17-6:2)
  8. Money Matters (1 Timothy 6:3-21)
  9. Truth in Church (Titus 1)
  10. Truth at Home (Titus 2)
  11. Truth in the World (Titus 3:1-8)
  12. United We Stand (Titus 3:9-15)

We would love to have you join us this Summer for this great study by John Stott.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at

Grace and Truth,

Every Man, God’s Man

Every Man, God’s Man
By Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, and Mike Yorkey

I just started this book, which is subtitled, Every Man’s Guide to Couragious and Daily Integrity. That’s such a key phrase, I think. I have often said that the hardest part about parenting is that it’s so daily. Well, that’s also true about being a godly man. Consistency seems so elusive. We have good days and not-so-good days. But seeking to be Christlike is always our goal. This book has been out since 2003, but the ideas are as fresh and relevant as anything written today. In fact, it has recently been republished. This link will take you to the good folks at’s listing of it so that you can order it.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this is not a “book review.” Instead, I’m seeking to glean key ideas from the books I share (usually just focusing on a chapter at a time) so that I can share what I’m learning with you and the men I’m blessed to serve at Southside UMC. Enjoy, Dale

Introduction and Chapter One

From the Introduction

Men spend a lot of time playing to the wrong audience. “God Almighty is the only audience we need. …When we play for God, we become God’s man.”

The Three Rs of God’s Man

1.)    “Read – God’s man reads. A careful reader soaks up truth and lives it out in his life.”

2.)    “Recommit – Recommitment means relinquishing some of our rights and leading by serving. Recommitment means removing the sins that burden us down.”

3.)    “Relate – God’s man relates to God, his immediate family, and to other men.”

From Chapter One: Bogged Down in the Red Zone

The authors reference Dallas Willard, saying that before we seek to renovate our lives, we must first renovate our hearts. I couldn’t agree more with that. In fact, I’ve written on that very idea many, many times as well. The whole Bible, I believe, is predicated on the need for heart-work before life-transformation can truly take place.

This is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does. It first puts a man into a right relationship with God through Christ (by grace through faith and repentance) and simultaneously makes that man a brand new creature with a brand new heart.

That new man of God then spends the rest of his life seeking to become (through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit and the means of grace God has provided) what God has already declared him to be – holy (or what we might call “Christlike”). This is an inside-out procedure. It involves a renovation of our character and not simply behavior modification. Our minds must also be renewed before we can really start living lives that please God and conform to the Christlikeness that God desires. “Right actions” which are not done for God’s glory and out of love for Christ are not properly motivated and thus not pleasing to God. Too many ministries today focus too much on changing behavior first. They’ve got it backwards. I believe this book seeks to straighten that out.

Kenny Luck talks about the great privilege it is to serve men by pouring himself into their lives. I couldn’t agree more. I thank God daily for calling me to such a ministry. It’s a blessing that I enjoy each day.

I once heard Tony Evans say something along the lines that if you connect with a man, his family will be blessed, then his church will, then his work, then his community, and eventually the world. Luck quotes a pastor friend of his who made this similar statement: “If you reach a man, then you reach every relationship he has.” Amen to that!

Here are some of the things that the authors will be focusing on throughout the book (These topics look great. I can’t wait to really dig in and share what I learn with you.)

  • the personal benefits of having an undivided heart toward God
  • how to stop resolving to change and instead experience a revolution inside
  • how to move against fear and replace it with faith
  • how there is no such thing as a “double agent” believer because one agent is always compromised
  • how to deal with the “mole” within that bids you to indulge the dark side
  • how winning or losing a spiritual foothold changes the tide of war
  • how and why “80/20” thinking fails; that is, doing things 80 percent God’s way and 20 percent your way
  • the importance of “marinating” your mind
  • why having other men watch your back is nonnegotiable for God’s man
  • how confession releases God’s power and bloodies the Enemy’s nose
  • how to partner effectively and practically with the Guide – God’s Spirit
  • the source of real spiritual power and how to tap it
  • why perseverance is the mark of God’s man
  • the purpose of building and staying within well-marked boundaries
  • the need to jettison the baggage in your life
  • mastering your spiritual motivation once and for all

 If that list doesn’t motivate you to go out and buy the book, I don’t know what will. I look forward to reading this book and working my way through it with you.


For Men’s Discipleship at Southside on this Lord’s Day

Below is an email I sent out this morning to the men in our church’s men’s discipleship ministry (which has a good number of men who attend other churches). If you’re not a part of our fellowship, then kindly disregard the reference to our present study. But please, by all means, make full use of the prayer and prayer helps that are offered. May God use them to be a blessing in your life. (And, of course, if you live in the Jacksonville area, you are more than welcome to come and join us.)

Good Morning Brothers,

 I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful Lord’s Day today. Thank the Lord for the rain.

 This week we will study Lesson 12, “Reality Bites Again,” which focuses on Moses being falsely accused – not only by other leaders, but also by his own family. Such is the possible domain of every leader. How would you handle that sort of situation? Would you rush to defend yourself? Get revenge? Run away? We’ll talk about how Moses responded and hopefully gain some biblical clarity with how we should handle such a situation. 

 I thought I would share a prayer for your family and then some Scripture prayers for you to offer on behalf of your family members.

 Prayer for Family

O God our Father, as we begin this day, bestow upon our household that grace which shall keep us in the fellowship of the Christian way, and grant unto each one of us that guidance and control which shall maintain our hearts in peace with one another and with thee. Help and prosper us in the doing of our various duties; and defend us from inward evil and from outward harm so that when the day is ended it may leave us not in sorrow, strife, or shame, but in true unity and thankful rest; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from the 1965 edition of the Methodist Book of Worship)

 The following Scripture prayers come from Rev. Keven Meador’s website. They have been a real blessing to me.

 Prayer for Yourself

Father, I pray that you would create a clean heart in me. O God, renew a right spirit within me. Change me and mold me into the man that you want me to be. (Psalm 51:10)

 Prayers for Your Wife (if you’re not married, you can pray this right now for your future wife)

I pray that __________ will gain a firm understanding of her secure position in Jesus Christ. Grant her the assurance of salvation. I pray that she would know that she has believed in Christ and received his salvation (1 John 5:13)

 Father, I plead that you will enable me to love __________ unconditionally. Help me show this love to her in all circumstances of our lives together (Romans 5:5).

 Father, grant me the wisdom to help __________ deal with her fears. Deliver me from adding to those fears. Grant me a special sensitivity to those fears and how to help her deal with them (Proverbs 2:6)

 Prayers for Your Children (if you don’t have any children, you can pray for those children you know, mentor, etc.)

Ask God to convict your child of his or her sin. Plead with God to show your child that he or she is a sinner in need of God’s grace and the love of Christ (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-18, 23).

 Father, I plead that __________ will love you with all his//her heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).

 Heavenly Father, you are the perfect Parent. You are gracious, loving, wise, and fair. You are good and right in all your dealings with your children. I plead in the name of Jesus that you will enable me to raise __________. I ask that you will give me the strength and the wisdom to mold and develop __________’s life. I cannot do this without your power or your help. I look to you and trust that you will enable me to do this for your glory and for __________’s good. (Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:5).

 Praying for Your Pastor

Father, I ask you make __________ a man after your own heart who will do all your will (Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 16:7).

 Father, cause __________ to love the Word of God with all his heart and enable him to memorize and meditate on it all day (Psalm 119:97).

 Father, I plead that __________’s ministry would be fruitful and would glorify you (John 15:16; Colossians 1:28).

 Prayers for those in need of Physical Healing

Father, you created __________. You formed him/her. You knit his/her inward parts in the womb. You alone know how to make what is right in __________’s body. You alone know how to heal __________. As his/her Creator, I pray that you would grant healing to __________. Let your power envelop him/her and bring the healing that is needed (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139).

 Have a blessed day today brothers.

In Christ,

New Men’s Study at Southside

In a couple of weeks our men’s weekly discipleship ministry will begin a new study entitled, Empowered By God: Insights into the Life of Moses by Gene Getz. Here’s an excerpt from the cover…

One of the most compelling of all biblical men, Moses was not unfamiliar with trying times of leadership or moments of intense self-doubt or sustained periods in the literal desert. As a man, he wrestled witht he assignment God had given him as he faithfully carried out his God-given charge. This study will teach you how to emerge from the smaller story to be a man truly empowered by God.

Here are the titles of the lessons…

  1. Paternal Action Required
  2. The Line in the Sand
  3. Ready…Fire…Aim
  4. Paralysis of Doubt
  5. Divine Confidence
  6. Image is Everything
  7. A Matter of Survival
  8. Love Hurts
  9. Life on the Edge
  10. From Desert to Glory
  11. Reality Bites
  12. Reality Bites Again
  13. The Human Part of the Equation

As always, this study is open to any man who would like to join other men each week to study God’s Word, pray and enjoy Christian fellowship.

If you have any questions about time, location, etc., please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 396-2676 or shoot me an email at