Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NIV) >DING-DONG<< Ugh! Who could be ringing the doorbell at 10am in the morning? But, before I had a chance to think about it any further, another chime blared out: >>DING-DONG!<< Rarely have I experienced house visitors ringing the doorbell a second time so quickly. Must be a kid. Now what kid would be out of school at this time of the…? >>DING-DONG!!<< Again?! What in the world is going on?! Why would people ring the doorbell so…? >>DING-DONG!!!<< OK, this is getting obnoxious! Who does that?! So agitated was I that I shut my upstairs office door, content to let my bride handle this supposed intruder at the door. Wow, Travis, lots of courage there…. Much of the time, I travel to minister, but this morning, God literally brought ministry right to my door. And I was...

No matter how bad things appear to be, suicide is never a good option.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 (NIV) Don’t do it. Please! Just don’t do it. No matter how bad things appear to be, suicide is never a good option. Meet “Simon” In the fading moments of a recent men’s retreat, a man named “Simon” (not his real name), approached me, anxious to talk.  His darting eyes gave him away, but his shaking hands betrayed his fragile state as well.  Desperation drenched his words as he revealed his recent unemployment, his wife’s fear of losing their house, and his own plummeting self-esteem. “I just never thought I’d be here, Travis,” Simon lamented.  “Sure, there were signs that things at work weren’t going very well.  So my boss eventually took me into a room, and basically forced...

Trials come in many forms, but God asks us to trust Him through them all. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3 (ISV) Have you “heard” from God lately? Men frequently ask me this question or the various versions of it (i.e., “How can I “hear” from God?), and my answer is always the same: I “hear” from God most often when I’m reading the Bible, God’s Word.  It’s a sure-fire way to better understand His love, mercy, and forgiveness, and, of course, His rescue plan.  That’s one reason why it’s so important to be in His Word daily. Aside from Bible reading, I also frequently hear from the Holy Spirit in my prayers.  It’s not an audible voice, per se, but a thought or an idea that certainly didn’t originate from my linear, often-twisted...

This month’s update highlights a passage from our book, A Faithful Dad’s Guide to Legacy © 2016 by Travis L. Zimmerman, available on Amazon.com. What is a dad? …the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart.  1 Samuel 13:14 (NLT) In my view, being a dad is God’s highest privilege to men.  Being a dad encompasses so much of what God has created us to be.  In fact, the prerequisite for being a faithful dad is first of all being a man of God. Becoming a man of God isn’t necessarily a rite of passage, though there is certainly a degree of ceremony in it.  I clearly remember turning 18 and my dad warning me that now I could both vote and die for my country.  Yikes!  No, simply turning a year older doesn’t make me a man of God.  A man of God is someone who follows after God on...

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17 (NIV84) It was a frigid early Friday morning, January 2005, and I was beginning to wonder… A new men’s group: God, what are You getting us in to? The Bob Evans Boys: The backstory Of course there’s a delicious backstory about how dozens of men of varied backgrounds voluntarily, without (too much) compulsion, came together Friday mornings over breakfast in a group that affectionately became known as “The Bob Evans Boys” (BEB). To be sure, this particular frigid early Friday morning in January 2005 wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for our wives who themselves were part of a new neighborhood Bible study God put it on my bride’s heart to kickoff just a year earlier.  As our wives were increasingly enjoying God and His blessings upon their new group, a thought slowly but surely, now audibly arose among them… Wouldn’t it be awesome...

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  Matthew 25:36 (NIV) Been any place interesting lately? As school wraps up and spring glides into summer, many of us dream of vacations to places like Florida, Texas, California, Canada, or even Puerto Rico.  Wouldn’t it be cool to visit those places?  No doubt! But there’s a place I’ve repeatedly visited over the past year, a place different than any I’ve ever seen before: a state correctional institution.  In short, a state prison. In a move that only God could have orchestrated, I serve as a spiritual advisor (read “pastor”) to a dear brother in Christ whom I’ve known for years.  And while I’ve long known that a prison hold convicts, I didn’t realize until recently just how many lessons a prison also holds.  Our update shares five of...

“The living, the living – they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness.”  Isaiah 38:19 (NIV) Sunday’s forecast: Sunny with a high near 77. A day full of promise! We could do so many things today, Sunday: We could hit the gym; We could catch up on our latest Netflix series; We could finally clean out the basement; We could play baseball; We could even sleep in!   These choices are all good in varying ways, and there are so many more things we could find ourselves wrapped up in on any given Sunday, but I’d like to make a simple suggestion: Whatever your Sunday holds, Dad, take your family to church. When we take our family to church, we demonstrate our love for God in: worshipping Him publicly; singing His praises corporately; giving our time, talent, and treasure to Him bountifully; praying as a congregation to Him freely; and ...

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.”  Job 31:1 (NIV) Regrets. We all have them.  And this regret is probably my biggest. Of course, I’m not proud of it – totally ashamed of it, actually – but God used this repugnant habit, my biggest regret, to bring me back into right relationship with Him.  I just love how God works like that (see Luke 15:11-32)! That regret, that habit was a 16-year pornography addiction ending precisely on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 at 8pm.  God forgives sinners just like us. And, despite my wrong assumption all those years that I was the only one in the world caught up in this deceitful web of lust, I soon discovered upon coming “clean” there are millions of people of all ages caught up in that same web.  In fact, so prevalent is the scourge of pornography that over my years...

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32 (NIV) Well, I’ll admit it: this story isn’t what I initially set out to write. I had planned to celebrate one of stories of how God has been working so wonderfully through our ministry – stories that totally glorify Him, and I’m quite confident God will allow me to share them with you in His perfect timing.  But, as you’ll soon see, the following story couldn’t wait, and God knew that.  So, I’ll move forward here in revealing this potentially tragic story, because I need for your help. It involves a simple piece of paper. And, we, dear friends, are that piece of paper.  More on that...

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” Matthew 25:21 (NIV) Wow.  I sure do miss him. I miss him even more than I thought I would…but I’m not alone in that. We all miss Robert. On December 3, 2016, Robert Buchter quietly succumbed to colon cancer.  It was at once a battle measured in years, a journey bathed in prayer, and a victory that resulted in a homecoming beyond compare: Jesus claimed Robert as His own, granting him life everlasting in Christ. (Matthew 25:21) Soon afterward, the family hosted Robert’s celebration of life service, and hundreds of us gathered to remember Robert, to comfort his dear family, and to celebrate what God had done through this humble man’s nearly 50 years on earth.  In a well-orchestrated, well-timed service that Robert,...