Author Archives: Vince Miller

Accelerate Your Listening

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Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

Move Anger In The Right Direction

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Move Anger In The Right Direction

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.—Ephesians 4:26-27

We are all guilty of moving anger in the wrong direction. Everyone has escalated an argument, and nothing good comes from it. And here's a classic signpost that will tell you if your anger is moving in the wrong direction.

Inflammatory Words.

When you get heated, and the words start to fly, our language begins to change, and the inflammatory words start leaking out—this is a sure sign that your anger is moving in the wrong direction. For example, words like "You always" or "You never" are a sure indication of impending trouble. First, personal pronouns like "you" are pointed, and others focused. Second, words like "always" or "never" are almost always or never accurate. It's in our sinful nature to do this, but it's not helpful. And in the end, rather than sunsetting the issues, we might be sun rising new problems.

DO THIS: Determine a sunset clause for the issues that trigger your anger.

PRAY THIS: God, there are situations in which my anger becomes out-of-control. First, forgive me. Second, help me to understand what triggers my anger. Third, help me to find a way to move my anger toward Godly resolution.

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

It’s Reality

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It's Reality

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” — Mark 8:31-33

The Bible is clear; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. But it's a struggle for men to remember that our physical experience is a temporary reality. The human experience bombards us, reinforcing a physical reality—and we can become consumers consumed by it.

Take Peter, for example. His mind is consumed with political concerns and national victory. Bombarded by his present physical reality, he had no presence of mind to consider a much different spiritual reality. His hope was hijacked by his mortal vision for the end rather than the Son of Man's plan for eternal and spiritual victory.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. — Colossians 3:2

DO THIS: Today, set your mind on a single spiritual reality all day.

PRAY THIS: God, I do confess this is challenging. My mind is quickly distracted by the things of this world; news, politics, sports, challenges, people, even physical beauty. Focus my mind toward the things of you. May your spiritual reality be more real than the issue of this world.

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

Four Things Friends Do Even When It’s Hard

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Four Things Friends Do Even When It's Hard

“The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.”—Charles Dickens

Son, you are hitting that time in life when you will find some friends, and you are going to go in different directions. While this is going to happen from time to time in your life, we can choose to handle this with relational excellence and process it well. Friendships are destined to change because we are all in process. Our values change over time, and because of this, we undergo detachments that take us each in different directions.

One friendship in the Bible that went through a sudden separation was the friendship between Paul and Barnabas. Readers of the Bible often are saddened by the break up between these two incredible men and friends. The rift, of course, occurred when Barnabas proposed that his cousin Mark accompany them on a journey, but Paul adamantly opposed the idea for his reasons. Their falling out was painful, and significant in part because of how deep their bond had been. They had been the best of friends and Christian brothers.

But even so, here are four things we learn about their friendship that are important for you to hear.

One | Friends champion each other.

And when he (Paul) had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 9:26-27)

One can understand why everyone was suspicious of Paul at first. After all, before his conversion, he had been a cruel persecutor of Christ-followers. But Barnabas believed that Paul’s newfound devotion to Jesus and his zeal for the gospel were genuine. So he championed for Paul, and because so many looked up to Barnabas, many Christian men listened. Indeed, through much of Luke’s account in the first half of the Book of Acts, Paul and Barnabas were inseparable. Reading between the lines, it would even seem that Barnabas played a massive role in mentoring Paul and developing his spiritual life as their friendship took root and grew. 

Never forget this. Great friends are great champions of each other. They fight for one another, stand behind them, and advocate for them, especially when it aligns with the values of God.

Two | Friends partner in mission and adventure.

“While they (prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch) were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:2-3)

Paul and Barnabas made quite a team during what we have come to call Paul’s first missionary journey, effectively communicating the gospel to audiences from the port city of Antioch, to the island of Cyprus (Barnabas’ home), to Asia Minor and beyond. They complemented each other well, Paul an engaging speaker and Barnabas a born encourager (his name means “exhorter” and “comforter”). They knew each other’s strengths and allowed these strengths to shine. Along the way, they encountered — and by the Holy Spirit’s power defeated — an evil sorcerer, performed miracles of healing, and at one point were even mistaken for Greek gods. The response to their message and their chemistry as friends and colleagues was hugely positive — though some among their Jewish listeners were becoming a bit unnerved.

Find friends that make you better. Guys who bring out what you best bring to the world, and then make it look excellent. Like a role on a team, friends play a position on the team with you. Some play defensive roles. Others play offensive roles. Individually they are nothing, but in partnership and adventure, they can make some great memories and impact the world for the glory of God.

Three | Friends see each other through adversity.

“…it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:25-26)

In this excerpt from a letter to Gentile believers from the Jerusalem Council, Paul and Barnabas are acknowledged as “men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The duo’s encounters with the opposition during the first missionary journey were sometimes frightening, to say the least — Paul was even stoned and left for dead when they were in Lystra. But in an early demonstration of “no man left behind,” Paul was rescued, and the pair hightailed it to Derbe. The point is, friends have each other’s backs. They’re willing to face risky, even life-threatening, ventures as a team because they know they’re in it together.

See your friends through their challenges, and they will never forget you. Too often, we fail to be this friend. But this is what a great friend does—supports another through the challenges of life. This is the ultimate test of a great friendship, be this friend and others will more likely be this friend to you.

Four | Friends weather their conflicts and move on.

“And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, ‘Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.’ Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.” (Acts 15:36-41)

This is a severe departure. Heartbreaking. But let’s make a couple of critical observations. First, the dispute between Paul and Barnabas was not about doctrine. They remained united on the gospel message and teachings of Christ they shared throughout the land. And second, they did not allow their disagreement to deter them from their mission — both went on to follow through on the work they’d committed themselves to complete. Nor is there any evidence that they bad-mouthed one another after going their separate ways. In fact, there is some indication that they eventually reconciled (see 1 Corinthians 9:6).

The truth is that conflict is inevitable even in the healthiest of relationships. It’s a fact of life and certainly should never deter us from pursuing friendships with other brothers in the Lord. When conflict happens, we should strive not to let our tempers control our speech, and we must always seek reconciliation. In the meantime, let’s take a cue from Paul and Barnabas and cheer each other on, partner with each other for the cause of Christ, and leave no man behind.

I love you, son, Dad.

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

It’s More Than A Contract

Emotional Growth In Marriage a blog by Vince Miller

It's More Than A Contract

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.—Genesis 2:20-24

Many men incidentally believe that if we have a "happy wife, we'll have a happy life." While this is intended tongue-in-cheek, these cliches, sentiments, and ideals are perpetuated by a world that seeks happiness alone based on cultural views of marriage. God has a much different idea about marriage, and his concept is not focused on personal satisfaction for one; or even for one over the other. Marriage was created by God, not by man. It was designed outside of culture and intended as a covenant commitment for one man and one woman. And yes, it fills the void for a need of companionship, but it serves a purpose—change. In the one flesh experience, man and woman are changed. Simply put, two sinful people come together and discover how to honor God together relationally given their faults and flaws.

As always remember, as the Creator, God is designing with intent and with purpose, and it's His plan we must follow.

DO THIS: Heed God's plan for your marriage, relationships, and in all parts of your life.

PRAY THIS: God, may I honor your plan for all my relationships by doing them your way, and with your purpose.

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

The Way A Man Leads

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The Way A Man Leads

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”—Exodus 19:3-6

We learn to lead by being led regardless of whether the experience was good or bad. We are shaped by the way we've been lead. In this text, we learn from the greatest leader of all time—God.

Long before God asks Moses to lead the Israelites, he was preparing both Moses (the perceived leader) and the Israelites (the people of God). God tells Moses three things that he and the people need to hear. First, God reminds Moses His salvation from Egypt. Second, God warns Moses of the call for obedience with a promise. Third, God tells Moses that there was still to come for the future.

As leaders, we should expect great things from the people we lead—from our spouse, children, friends, and employees. But we need to remember that we lead under the authority of God because "the whole earth is God's." We are but stewards of a plan that reaches farther than our own. Follow God's example, lead thoughtfully, expectantly, and lead well today.

DO THIS: Give attention to your leadership, to the way you lead, and align it with God's far-reaching plan.

PRAY THIS: God, may I lead the people under my direction the direction you want them to go.

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Right or Righteous

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Right of Righteous

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.—Matthew 5:20

This sentence is the thesis statement of the greatest sermon ever preached—the Sermon on the Mount delivered by Jesus Christ. Jesus, in this sermon, was about to dismantle everything religious teachers taught and even thought was right. While many of the religious leaders of the day thought they had the corner market on the legal interpretation of the law, but Jesus was about to deliver the law that He had given.

The lesson is simple. You can seek to be right, or you can seek to be righteous.

DO THIS: Be righteous, let God be right.

PRAY THIS: God, we all need you. Be our righteousness.

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Isolation Is Our Enemy

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Isolation Is Our Enemy

"After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. (John 5:1-9) 

Think about it. For 38 years, this man sat in the same spot, lonely and tired, without a friend to help him. Can you imagine the heap of loneliness and human pain buffeted by the surging tides of thousands of people who failed to see him or reach out to him — for decades? But Jesus singled him out. He connected with him as an individual. He saw his need and met it. 

How often are men isolated in loneliness? 

And how often is it a misery of our own making? 

We do not know how many people must have suffered by the pool of Bethesda. Many of them abandoned by those who should have been there for them. But sometimes we are the ones who isolate ourselves — putting up invisible walls in an effort to maintain a meaningless pretending to the world; or afraid to show any vulnerability that might be perceived as a weakness. This is not how Jesus lived out His humanity. He was authentic, not afraid to be and reveal the man He really was. And though He would at times withdraw from others — most often to be in communion with the Father — He did not neglect to maintain friendship and fellowship with the men He had sought out to be His community. We should follow His example and seek out relationships with other men, for isolation is the enemy of men.

Here are some steps we can take as men.

One | Take a self-assessment

"I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop." (Psalm 102:6-7)

Are you prone to isolation? To being that lone wolf of a man?

I know that even I occasionally need a little solitude — time to rest, regroup, and recharge. But there's a big difference between healthy isolation and intentionally retreating into an abyss of loneliness. Do you have any guy friends you meet with regularly, not just for recreation, but to interact with about things that matter? Not just trivial stuff but some real conversations? As men, we need to strike a balance in this area; otherwise, we will discover one day we have a lot of acquaintances but not a lot of meaningful friends that help us become better men. Take a few minutes to assess your balance between relationship and isolation, and maybe decide what t

Two | Take stock of your current relationships

"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" (1 Corinthians 15:33) 

We tend to subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) adopt many of the attitudes and values of those we spend the most time with — so our choices when it comes to close friends can be more important than we realize. This doesn't mean that we spend time only with those who are "just like us," but rather, that we exercise discernment in the way we invest in relationships with others. We need friendships — but we need to choose wisely. We need to choose friends who will draw us closer to God, not distance us from Him. Take some time to take stock of your relationships. Are they driving you toward good and godly things, or do the lion share drive you away from them?

Three | Take small steps in the right direction

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him — a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

This passage is often quoted at weddings, but the context actually refers to all our human relationships; indeed, the verses that precede it talk about a man alone, having "neither son nor brother." God makes it clear to us — we need each other. Not only is there reward in a relationship, but we are all stronger together than we can ever be on our own.

Just as Jesus made the first move when He approached that lonely man at Bethesda, He also has made the first move with us. He lived His life on earth as He would have us live ours, focused on God, while also reaching out to not only heal and teach but also to share life with others; the ultimate act of fellowship. And then He died on the cross in our place. 

May we, as He did, strike a balance between solitude and deep connection with a close, trusted brother in the Lord.

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

The Feedback Reflex

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The Feedback Reflex

Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray. How forceful are upright words!—Job 6:24-25

Feedback is tricky—both to give and even more to receive. Sometimes to receive it feels shameful or embarrassing, especially when we know that we've made a mistake. As we mature in our faith, we come to realize that feedback makes us better men, husbands, fathers, and leaders. However, when we're young, we resist feedback as we fail to see all the positive aspects and the hugely positive outcomes.

To become better men, we must reject the resistance reflex. But this is only developed over time. Job demonstrates tremendous maturity in his words above. Slain with afflictions, he still proclaims, "teach me." This was one of his great secrets as a man of God. In the end, he knew, even when he questioned himself, that there was One greater than he—a Teacher who possesses all truth. He understood he was the student, the one to receive feedback from The Teacher of all—God.

DO THIS: Be silent, listen, and invite feedback if you want to be a better man.

PRAY THIS: God, teach me today. I am ready to receive your feedback. Help me to respond quickly.

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

The Model of Friendship David & Jonathan

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The Model of Friendship David & Jonathan

As male friendships go, few can compare to the relationship between David and Jonathan. The emphasis of their relationship was a major recurring theme throughout much of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament. The brotherhood they shared was based on love. The Hebrew word for love, which describes a platonic affection with clear political and diplomatic implications, ran deep between them and served as an example of the biblical brand of male bonding that every brother would do well to embrace — and be blessed to experience.

"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." (1 Samuel 18:1)

To love another as one loves himself in the context of the Bible means, of course, that the other person's needs, desires, hopes, and dreams matter to you. You care about the other guy's health and well-being. And though David and Jonathan both led their own lives, they also both served the same king (Jonathan's father Saul), the same army, and the same God. What critical principles of friendship can we learn from this extraordinary "knitting of the souls"?

Personal Sacrifice

"Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants." (1 Samuel 18:3-5)

That Jonathan gave his robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt to David not only demonstrates the sacrificial love, Jonathan had for his friend, but it also symbolizes a major component of their covenant: that when David succeeded Jonathan's father Saul as king of Israel, Jonathan would serve as his second in command. This was a symbol of genuine servitude and was a powerful gesture in that the natural line of succession to the throne would have been Jonathan. Real friends are willing to make sacrifices for each other, make plans together, and serve one another with respect and humility.

Unity in Faith

"Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, 'Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.'" (1 Samuel 14:6)

"Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.'" (1 Samuel 17:45)

Both David and Jonathan were motivated by their devotion to God and their commitment to further His kingdom. They were united in their faith and faithful to their callings. As in marriage, shared faith plays a huge role in a successful relationship — and partnership in mission and ministry.

Enduring Loyalty

"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, 'You son of a perverse, rebellious woman, do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, neither you nor your kingdom shall be established. Therefore send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.' Then Jonathan answered Saul his father, 'Why should he be put to death? What has he done?' But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had disgraced him." (1 Samuel 20:30-34)

The friendship between David and Jonathan had become complicated because Jonathan's father Saul had grown to despise David and for all kinds of reasons. Can you imagine Jonathan's predicament? He was torn between loyalty to his father and loyalty to his friend. But Jonathan sided with David because he knew that his father's position was unjust and influenced by all kinds of wrong motives. At the risk of his own life, Jonathan maintained covert contact with David so that he could warn him of impending danger. Defend and protect — sometimes at great risk, but that's what true friends do for each other.

Emotional Connection

"…David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most." (1 Samuel 20:41)

Things with Saul had deteriorated to the point where David's life was in constant danger. It was time for him to disappear, and when the two friends had to say "goodbye," they didn't know if they'd ever see each other again. One way you know you really love somebody is when it hurts so bad to part ways that the dam breaks and the tears flow. Is it worth it? Absolutely, brother. Don't let anybody tell you differently. 

A friendship between men like the one David and Jonathan shared is all too rare. My prayer, guys, is that the Lord will bless every one of us with such a bond of brotherhood.

Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

Is The Timing Right?

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Is The Timing Right?

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up... —Ecclesiastes 3:1-ff

Timing is everything—might be the short synopsis of the wise man above. But this axiom is applicable in every area of our life (marriage, family, work, neighbors, and friendships) and also in each challenge in these areas. A man intuitively knows that what you do, how you do it, and when you do it are all incredibly important. But when we do it might trump what we do and how we do it. Time does dictate the need for specific action done rightly, and wise men do this well. Take time to consider one challenge you are facing today and journal about it. Then ask God to direct you on what, how, and when it will be time to address it.

JOURNAL THIS: God, today my one challenge is...

PRAY THIS: God, in this challenge, help me to know what to do, how to do it, and most importantly, when it needs to be done.

Be a brother and share this with a friend below.

Confession

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Vince-Miller-Bio-Pic-2019

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 16 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God's Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men's Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at www.beresolute.org

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