Summary: Session 1 - learning to lean on Christ for salvation, strength and success.


Retreat Session 1

This weekend I would like to ask the question “What makes a good man.” Let me suggest to you over the next few days 3 characteristics of a good man. These are 3 things that will help you be a better husband and father. They are learning how to LEAN, learning how to LEAD and learning how to LOVE. Tonight we are talking about learning to lean.

Two hunters got a pilot to fly them into the far north for deer hunting. They were quite successful in their venture and bagged six big bucks. The pilot came back, as arranged, to pick them up. They started loading their gear into the plane, including the six deer. But the pilot objected and he said, "The plane can only take four of your deer; you will have to leave two behind." They argued with him; the year before they had shot six and the pilot had allowed them to put all aboard. The plane was the same model and capacity. Reluctantly, the pilot finally permitted them to put all six aboard. But when the attempted to take off and leave the valley, the little plane could not make it and they crashed into the wilderness. Climbing out of the wreckage, one hunter said to the other, "Do you know where we are?" "I think so," replied the other hunter. "This is just about the same place where we crashed last year."

As a man I recognize that there are times in my life where I have had a hard time learning from my mistakes. Too often as men we are rely on our own strength and our self dependence gets us in trouble. Many men have a hard time admitting that they need help. Are you good at asking for directions? Men often try to be “in control”…to “make things happen.” Often ladies find it easier to “rest in the Lord” and lean on Him for salvation. It’s a part of a woman’s nature to place themselves in someone else’s hands. It’s not that way for men.

The secure man’s 23rd Psalm says… I am my provider, I shall not be in want. I have stored up hay if the grass is not green in the valley. I have a big canteen just in case the waters are dried up. I have a map so I can find the right path. Even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I have no fear… I have life insurance. I will fear no evil because I have theft alarms on my car and home and the police will be there in minutes. My accountant and my broker, they comfort me. I have prepared an investment portfolio that will put food on the table for years to come. I have been anointed with ability and good planning. Surely, income and dividends will follow me every month, without fail. And I will dwell in my own home all the days of my life.

Prov 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

So how do you learn how to lean? What does it mean to lean on the Lord?

On September 10 1945 Lloyd Olsen, a farmer in Fruita Colorado, headed out to the barn to get a chicken ready for dinner. Wanting to preserve as much of the neck as possible for his Mother-in-law who was joining them for dinner, he swung his axe at the base of the skull. Rather than die the chicken lived and became a bizarre piece of history. Olsen not only didn’t eat the bird, he actually started to care for it. ’Mike’ would go through the motions of pecking for food but couldn’t get anything. When he tried to crow, only a gurgle came out. The farmer fed this strange chicken with an eyedropper, and after a week of survival, he took Mike to some scientists at the University of Utah. They theorized the chicken had enough brain stem to live without his head.

For another 18 months the chicken lived and grew from a mere 2 1/2 lbs. to nearly 8 lbs. Seeing that there was money to be made Lloyd Olsen took Mike the Headless Chicken on a national tour. Curious sideshow patrons in New York, Atlantic City, Los Angeles, and San Diego lined up to pay 25 cents to see him. Mike the "Wonder Chicken" was valued at $10,000.00. Mike made it into Life magazine and the Guinness Book of World Records. One night he choked to death on a kernel of corn in an Arizona motel - eighteen months after surviving the chopping block. In March of 2000, a sculpture of Mike the Headless Chicken was unveiled in Fruita. Every year a festival is held to celebrate Mike’s will to live. I know you think I made this up but you can check it out at

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