Last Saturday morning at Boot Camp I woke up a different man.

The night before as we stood around the fire, I had taken the “plank” from my eye, on which was written front and back lies from the pit of hell that were clouding my vision, and cast it into the lake of fire where it belongs.

As I pulled back from the flames, I clutched firmly the sword in my hand inscribed with my new name: Encouraging Warrior. I’ve prayed about this moment. We know that every man needs a Paul. A mature man to learn biblical lessons from and to see the nature of Christ in. We know that every man needs a Timothy. A younger man to train, build up, speak spiritual truths into and impart wisdom to. Having these two types of men in your life is essential. I firmly believe every man also needs a Barnabas. An encourager. A peer. A man to keep you accountable. A man who knows you well enough to tell you when you are on the right track or way out of line. A man who’s willing to say, “What you did right there, that’s not you.” A man who will speak truth but always in love.

I’m “owning” what I heard last weekend. I’m wearing my armor, I’m using my new name. I’ve put my hand out to watch bullets stop. I’ve come along side brothers and made myself transparent and available. My wife has seen the change in me. In 41 years as a follower of Christ, I’ve not had this kind of awareness of His presence and what He is doing in me. Looking forward to the battle. As you said, the process is brutal but the destination is glorious.

Attendee, SWAT Boot camp, April 25-28, 2019