Category Archives: Devotional

Men: Time To Stand Up!

This is another guest post from Bridgewood member, Stewart McKenzie.  A challenging message for all men.  Leave any thoughts in the comment section of this post.

The TV news business exposes you to some of the more unpleasant facts of life. You have to take the good with the bad.

real manOne of those unpleasant realities is domestic violence. Just last week, CBS 11 had a crew at the Collin County Courthouse in McKinney to cover a trial. Outside the courthouse, a husband attacked his wife and knocked her unconscious in the middle of the …road. In front of witnesses. In front of TV news crews. In front of police. Why? He hasn’t said. And he’s sitting in jail.

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. Why would a man hit a woman?

Domestic violence murders in Dallas doubled from 2011 to 2012. Unfortunately, it looks like that trend is continuing in 2013. There have been 4 domestic violence-related murders in just the first few weeks of the new year. The number of domestic violence cases continues to grow exponentially in Dallas, Fort Worth and other cities across our nation.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has launched a campaign to raise awareness to this serious social issue. We have asked him to wake up early and join us on the 6 A,M, newscast. He has. Twice in the last month. And it’s not an election year.

With pressing issues related to the economy, jobs and south Dallas development, the mayor of one of the largest cities in Texas is having to focus the attention of his office on a social problem. He has gone to New York City and joined others who spoke at the United Nations about a campaign to stop the violence against women.

I applaud Mayor Rawlings for his efforts. I applaud his office and the city for organizing the March 23rd rally, to gather men together and pledge not to commit acts of domestic violence.

I agree. Men, it’s time to stand up, take charge and be real men. It’s not ok to commit an act of violence, physical or mental abuse, against a woman. I can’t believe that we actually have to write about such things. But, one look at the headlines shows that it’s something we must stand up and address as a society.

Even back in the time when the New Testament was being written, men were urged to stand up, take charge and be reminded that we’re held accountable for our actions.

“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” according to Ephesians 5:25. Jesus came down from heaven, took on the form of man, went to the cross and died a horrible, brutal death for our sins and to establish the church. Yes, it’s a big deal.

Guys, it’s a big deal. “Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the Church.” (Ephesians 5:28-29)

Men, it’s time to hold ourselves to a higher standard than society expects. Stand up and be the leaders that God expects us to be.

The Hope of Opening Day

The following article is written by Stewart McKenzie, a member at the Bridgewood church.  Stewart is active in serving the Lord at Bridgewood, works as a producer and is an avid baseball fan.  We hope you enjoy his devotional thought.

As I was looking on my refrigerator last night, I counted 8 Texas Ranger schedule magnets dating back to January 2006. The magnets are given away on baseball’s Opening Day or the Rangers Home Opener.

baseballHas it really been 8 Opening Days that I’ve attended since moving back to DFW? Yes it has. Time can certainly fly, especially when baseball is involved and my favorite team has been to the World Series twice.

I’m surprised that my schedule has allowed me to be off, or I’ve had enough vacation days to enjoy the experience of 8 Opening Days. So, why has this one day in late March or early April turned into an unofficial holiday for me?

One simple word. Hope.

A baseball season is a journey. It’s not played 16 weekends a year. It is double the number of games compared to both basketball and hockey.

Baseball is a 162 game adventure that is played nearly every day, or night, for six months.

And on that Opening Day there is hope. The slate is clean. You see it in the eyes of the players and what they say in the interviews with the media. Maybe this is the year that my team wins the division title. Maybe this is the year that my team actually makes it to the playoffs and beyond.

Hope is a powerful thing. It is the foundation for our dreams. It’s what drives us to succeed. To try harder. To believe.

The journey is long. There will be frustrating times. There will be experiences of glorious achievement and a witness to improbabe success. And there will be moments that can only be described as “blah”, when endurance feels like an impossible task.

But, baseball is a game. It’s played by grown men with amazing talent. And they get paid ridiculous amounts of money to hit and catch a ball that is about 3 inches in diameter.

However, the same qualities found in the game of baseball can translate into our lives. I’m confident Jesus was more concerned about our souls instead of the characteristics of a game in Romans 5.

“We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…” according to Romans 5:2-4.

That’s how my hope is shaped and molded. Enjoy the good times. Acknowledge the tough times, endure, learn, grow and celebrate. That builds character and defines who I strive to be on a daily basis.

Every year I hope the Rangers win the World Series. They came within one out, twice, in 2011. Yet, they are back with a re-tooled lineup and an energized fan base of more than 3 million people. And for that one opening game, at least, that hope is big and bright. And the 162 game journey is off and running.

However, my real hope is built on something more solid than a game. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, ” Romans 5:8. I thank God for His grace and pray for endurance to complete the journey that is set out in front of me.