A Thief Amongst Us

Point Guardz: Turning Point’s New Men’s Group was created to enlist, enrich, and encourage men to follow after Christ as 2 Timothy 2:3 states, Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Here is our Point Guardz Devotional for Monday, June 5, 2017

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

This passage brings to mind a couple of questions:

1) What “thief” are you allowing to rob you of your joy, your peace, your contentment, and enjoyment of your family and the abundant blessings God has endeavored to shower down upon you?

2) What steps will you take to “guard” and protect your families from those thieves?

As fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, and mentors, our role is to be examples yes, but also to protect with integrity the sacred trust of our family and friends by ensuring NOTHING comes between them and abundant life promised to us in Christ, both now, and in the life to come.

It’s important to note here too that this abundant life mentioned here by Christ is only available through Him. No amount of money, success, or material things will even come close to the abundant life Christ affords us.

Let your prayer today be that God gives you courage, strength, and Holy Ghost boldness to fend off the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And, also pray God open your eyes to remain vigilant and aware of these vicious attacks be they mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical. The abundant life promised by Christ is free, but not cheap. It cost Him His Life.

May we Point Guardz be the protectors and defenders of this precious Gift of Abundant Life.

A Deep Dark Place

We’re in a deep dark place in life when we can trample under foot the truths, the values, and the love we were raised with. Whether out of defiance, or desperation, we sink to a place of becoming someone we’re not. We no longer recognize that man or woman in the mirror. We lash out in anger because of our own inner unresolved pain. We isolate ourselves from those that love us, and believe in us, and close doors it took years to open, and open doors it will take years to close.

Word to the wise: Don’t wait until it’s gotten to the point you’re so caught up in your downward spiral, that your children will be caught up in a cyclone of pain and despair. It won’t be the same as yours; it will be far worse. It will have built on the negative energy of your despair, and intensified to a hellish fury in the precious lives of your sons and daughters. We may have sown the wind, but our children will reap the whirlwind.

I plead with you to end the vicious cycle. Your Savior died to spare you from the cyclone of sin and spiritual death. Get the help you need. Spare the next generation of having to contend with the ill effects of your pain compounded with their own.

The Gamut of Grief

What I am about to share was derived from my response to an email I received from a very good friend of mine who was encouraging me to allow “grief” to run its course. This may not make any sense to you, but I found that as I wrote it, it helped me process what I have been feeling over the almost 2 months since Dad passed away.

Coping with Grief
The thing I’ve learned in this grieving process; there are no real rules. Rule books go out the window. People tell you what they “think,” but you can’t “think” your way through grief. It’s a journey. Albeit, a journey we all dread. It’s very much a journey of the heart over the head. And the thing is…there’s no shortcut here. It simply is going to take time. At times I feel numbness, which I feel is more of a feeble attempt at a coping strategy for me. When the emotions well up, I take the time I need. Experts try to describe it and have even given stages to it. But honestly, there’s no replacement for going through it yourself. People try to console you, and I’m grateful for their love, support, and understanding. But, people that have been where I am now, are the ones I find the greatest comfort from. Everyone else can try to help, and I welcome their love, but those that have experienced this pain can relate; often without words. I have to admit, in the past I’ve lost loved ones (cousins, grandparents, and friends), but it’s NOTHING like losing Dad.

The Gamut of Grief

I just can’t sit and dwell on the loss of my dad, to do so would be to rob me and my family of what I gained from having such a great father. What’s amazing; with my dad, you can literally be crying one minute and the very next be laughing. While that sounds like a dichotomy of emotions, that’s just how it’s worked for me. People “worry” when someone loses a loved one if they don’t cry “enough”…I have…but each person expresses their grief differently. Crying helps, but is just one small aspect of the grieving process. There’s the heartache, the withdrawals, the emptiness, the loneliness, the anguish, the sleeplessness, the hunger loss, the denial, the anger, the doubt, the confusion, the questions…the list goes on and on.

Dad is Still Teaching Me
I thought with the passing of my father that I would no longer be able to learn from him; not true. I’ve learned a great deal from him even though he has passed on.

  • I’ve learned to listen more attentively.
  • Care more deeply.
  • Take more time with loved ones.
  • Linger longer with loved ones.
  • We need one another.
  • Our life isn’t about what we’ve done; it’s about who we’ve become.
  • Rather than be bitter about the moments you’ll miss – be grateful for the ones you’ve had.
  • To obsess over the joys you’ll never again experience, is to overlook the joys yet on your horizon.
  • When someone says their sick – even if you think they’re not, if they’re feeling it, be sympathetic.
  • Sometimes people can’t always put into words what or how they feel; they just need someone to listen and take them seriously.
  • You’ll never have enough time with a loved one – you’ll always want just one more moment, one more day, one more phone call, one more email, one more voicemail.
  • The things you’ll miss the most are the hugs, the warm embraces, the touch of their hand, the sound of their voice, the sound of their laughter, the excitement in their eyes, the times you laughed together and the times you cried.
  • The slowest thing to heal is a broken heart – sometimes it never completely recovers.
  • Don’t put-off saying what needs to be said.
  • There are just some things you will never fully understand…in this life.
  • Death and the loss it brings touches more than just the family of the loved one.

I Don’t Want to Get Over Losing Dad
This is going to sound strange, but I don’t want to “get over” losing my dad. I want the tenderness of his memory to make me still get emotional. Whether it makes me laugh or cry, I want the full impact of his memory to live on inside of me. Even if it hurts to think of him, I still want it. Even if it makes me cry for no reason, and at the wrong times, I still want it. My dad made me laugh more in his lifetime than some fathers could do in 10 lifetimes. The occasional bout with tears are a small price for the laughter he brought me…and continues to bring me when I least expect it in the fondness of his memory.

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Update: The 3rd year my father’s passing, August 7, 2011 has come and recently there have been friends and family who have lost loved ones.  As a way to remind myself of the lessons, and to encourage others, I decided to update and re-post this article. My prayer is these words bless you and that you feel not only my hand in yours, but ultimately the Lord’s Hand of comfort most of all, as you join others on this journey I call the “Gamut of Grief.” ~ Rodger Mangold

Motherhood as a Career?

A woman named Ann renewing her driver’s license at the County Clerk’s office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation. She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself. “What I mean is,” explained the recorder, “do you have a job, or are you just a …..?

“Of course I have a job,” snapped Ann. “I’m a Mom.” 

“We don’t list ‘Mom’ as an occupation… ‘Housewife’ covers it,” said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, “Official Interrogator” or “Town Registrar.”

“What is your occupation?” she probed.  What made me say it, I do not know… The words simply popped out.  “I’m a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.”

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

“Might I ask,” said the clerk with new interest, “just what you do in your field?”  Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, “I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn’t), in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I’m working for my Masters, (the whole family), and already have four credits, (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree)? I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.”

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk’s voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants — ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby), in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy! And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than “just another Mom.”

Motherhood…..What a glorious career!

Does this make grandmothers “Senior Research Associates in the Field of Child Development and Human Relations” and great-grandmothers “Executive Senior Research Associates”? I think so! I also think it makes Aunts “Associate Research Assistants.”


Not sure who the author of this clever commentary is, but I can think of no better time than Mother’s Day to share it with all of you. If anyone knows the author I would love to credit them for this. Thanks, and blessings to you all, and a very Happy Mother’s Day.  Pastor RDM