My buddy Michael just joined a men's book group at his church, and is questioning just how authentic we are in this day and age. It made me realize how truly blessed I have been with the incredible group of guys I meet with (at least) every other week. They come from a broad spectrum of belief, education, and personalities. The thing that binds us together is our love of God, manifested in our love for each other. This, in turn, allows us to love other people more fully, more deeply, more completely...a lesson I am trying to learn. Each of us is on a quest, and as we question, talk, raise each other up, and spend time together, we become more completely like the Christ we follow. All the while, we have fostered a safe, close environment built on Biblical principles of love and sharing.
One of the things I realized early on is how different Men's Bible study is from church. It's much more open. It's a lot more interpersonal. Church, for me, is more about praising God, thanking Him for the things he has done in my life, the incredible blessings He has bestowed on me. Men's Group has been more focused on exploring my relationship with God and giving me the strength and courage to act on those beliefs I've formed. Both are equally important, but in opposite ways.
I had a conversation with Little Fish the other day and she asked who I prayed to. I said I prayed to Jesus, because I like his gentleness. She said she prays to God because he's like a Dad, and he's always there. I have to say I got misty.