We all know what is right. But do we know what is important?


When I was little, I often struggled with priorities. Truth be told, I still do and I am guessing most of us find ourselves setting out with great intentions to accomplish something specifically only to find that we get distracted by other things that keep us from properly managing our lives as we’d like or probably should and we feel totally exhausted by the process.  Just yesterday I had plans to clean and reorganize my office which had been a bit ignored for a while. So I got up earlier than I would normally have on Saturday, showered and, after making coffee and having some prayer time, I realized that I hadn’t finished a couple of things around the house from Friday. So I spent the next hour completing them and my wife, Paula woke up and I remembered that we had talked about hanging out together and I really wanted to do that and since the car needed gas and Saturday was the farmers market. And we wanted to stop by and see the grandkids…and on and on and on. My original project didn’t get completed as planned and that lack of organization will probably cost me a lot of time next week and I will likely miss opportunities to spread the gospel because of it.

Everything I did was right. But I didn’t do what was most important.

Scripture tells us that others have also been distracted. We find Jesus in the home of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Both of the women knew who Jesus was and set out to please him. But as he says is verse 40, Martha was distracted. Was she doing what was right? Of course. But it was not what was important.
Distractions are a form of temptation. Paul tells in the Philippians 4:8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

The church at Philippi was going great…they were doing the work of the Lord and giving willingly. But Paul knew how the enemy works and he was cautioning them to keep their hearts and minds covered in things that keep them on track.
He tells the Corinthians in his 1st letter to them in how difficult it is to stay focused on the Lord. 1Corinthians 7:32-35

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

Are the men in women doing what is right in this passage? Sure! But they have to determine what is important if they are going to be devoted followers of the Lord.
My wife and I keep a fairly neat and organized home. In the past, we have had expensive furniture and rare collectible items. We always said we decorated and lived with the stuff. My son and his wife and their 2 children live in their home and decorate around their life. Are both ways right? Sure. But like Martha, it was easy for my wife and I to miss the more important part of enjoying the presence of our grandchildren.
Through the writings of the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Solomon, the wisest man ever to live, explains that even he can’t keep from being distracted. He talks about seeing and trying “everything under the sun” and finds it all meaningless. His conclusion in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments (emphasis mine),
for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

Did Solomon do a lot of things right? Absolutely! And God blessed him with wisdom and wealth beyond compare. But he took his eyes off of what was really important and his kingdom collapsed. In 1 Kings 11: 9 and following

The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.” Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary…

We could go on and on and talk about Ananias and Sapphira and the good they did by giving so much to the early church but missed the important point. Or Peter being corrected by Paul at the council in Jerusalem. We could spend hours talking through the book of James who explains to us what it means to have real faith but tells us that faith without works is dead.
Today, most Americans, especially men, are fathers are in a lot of trouble and are struggling with what is important.
Tonight, about ¼ of the boys in America under 18 will be home without their biological dad. We shake our heads in disbelief but the statistics are really not good.
• 40% divorce rate in America
• 88% of all men here in Indiana not in church on Sunday
• 64,000 kids in Northeast Indiana living in fatherless homes
And we think this stuff isn’t our responsibility.
Here’s the thing.  Men don’t intentionally fail. They do a lot of things right. But they get wrapped up with a society that says it’s important to be happy so leaving an unhappy family and marriage is okay. They do the right thing according to what they have learned growing up, by what the news media says and by what other men…even Christians are doing. But they are not doing what is important to God.
I grew up on an old fashioned Catholic family. My mom was 1 of 5 children and my dad was 1 of 7. All but 2 were married and only 1 divorce. Their offspring yielded 10 divorces that I’m aware of and very likely more. And our children will undoubtedly divorced at a higher rate that our generation. And the pattern continues. Do these men and women plan to fail? Did they start out doing the right thing? Maybe? But the importance of love, honor and respect for each other and for God the creator has been replaced with the importance of self-fulfillment.

There is a lack of fruit growing today…fruit that comes from life by the Spirit. In Galatians 5: 16 and following

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I have done a lot of research about the early church and thought a lot about why we churches today seem to struggle in the area of discipleship. If any of you followed the Bible AD series last year on TV, you were made aware of the violence that was a part of normal life in the first century. Rome was not afraid to punish and persecute the Jewish nation. The Jews who heard the Good News of Jesus salvation were delighted to have an alternative to the tyranny from the Romans that Christianity offered. When Jesus promised his followers that they would suffer because of Him, they were willing. Many were just excited to get away from the oppression from the Roman emperors and the Christian movement was a great escape. When 4000 joined and were baptized, there was a certain percentage that just followed the crowd. But Jesus was willing to use all who joined in and used those who were committed to disciple those who were unsure. That process caused a revolution and many of our churches today were a result of that discipleship effort. Just because someone comes to church doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need some discipleship.
Why don’t we do what the early Christians did? Why have we built church buildings and our congregations have dwindled? With all of the communication tools we have today…cell phones, internet, mail delivery, UPS… Why aren’t we getting more of the word out so that people are knocking our door down to get in? People are different and the world is different and we have to be different. It is harder today because Satan has lulled Christians in to complacency for about 1800 years. It began when Roman emperor, Constantine the Great, was baptized around 315 AD. Since then, we have not been persecuted as Christians and we are casual about our willingness to suffer for our faith. We don’t pursue others who are in need of a savior and our churches continue to decline.
In our churches today, we actually know the truth. We know what is right. And it is a fantastic opportunity. But we have to meet the lost where they are just as Jesus did. Jesus went to the streets, to the markets and to the synagogues to teach and train. He spoke in terms they all understood. His message was relevant and important.
Today, our efforts have to be different. We have to go see those that we know and who we are relevant to. Then we have to do like Paul did in 1 Corinthians 9:20 “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law”
We are responsible for our world today. Jesus explains in Matthew 25: 31-46 in the Parable of Sheep and the Goats

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 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. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’hen he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Jesus commissioned the church to win souls…to disciple others…to be part of the winning team. Praise God, we are on the winning team. Whether it at shortstop, 2nd base or in the outfield, we get to play. Now maybe you’ve been on the bench for a while because you’ve not been feeling like playing the game. This is a new season and the odds are in your favor. You have the number one coach in the league. His name is I AM. Your pitcher is undefeated. His name is Jesus. And your pinch hitter always hits a home run. His name is the Holy Spirit. There is no other team like it. And you are on the starting lineup this year. Your role isn’t just important. It’s mandatory.

I always love it when a team starts their game with a prayer. Here is my prayer for today!

Lord God, Heavenly Father…the great I AM. We come to you today ready to put on our new uniforms. We want to be a part of your team. We have already completed the try out phase and now we want to be on the team. We want to win. And we know we will win! Jesus guaranteed it with his death and resurrection. Sure, we’ve had a lot of seasons that seems like losing seasons. But these were building years. You have been training us and conditioning us to be on the winning team. Father, help us do the things that are most important in order for the glory of your Kingdom to shine through us. And not just in this building on Sunday but through our lives every day of the week. Father, we know that the late innings of every game are the most difficult. Will you fill us with your Spirit so that we can complete the task? We long to hear the words, “well done, good and faithful servant”. Father, give us the strength and the will to become all that you created us to be…in the precious and great name of Jesus, we pray.



What is the HARDEST job in America?

While there may be tremendous debate over this subject, I have justification for why I chose this job…I began it at age 60!

Serving food for a living…and it’s often not a great living…is hard.  Customers can be and are rude and disrespectful at times.  Other servers bring their home life to the restaurant and that can be difficult.  The cooks and backup lines are over worked and under-appreciated and they bite when you least expect it.  And those who manage restaurants usually aren’t leaders.  They merely manage and squeeze the joy out of most things they touch. cracker barrel server

I recently wrote a brief post on Facebook that explained the plight of a server.  It is worth sharing here.

Each day when I walk in…they are there…each scurrying around to see that they have everything covered. There is always a “Hi Bernie” or “How are you, luv?” and they continue to get their job done. They know that they have guests that have come to depend on them for a smile, a kind word and their unique style of great service that keeps the guests coming back. The food is important and is always good but it is the server that holds the key to the success or failure of the restaurant.

Behind the scenes is the interesting part. Even when her plate is full, the server helps her co-worker. Running food, cleaning up, pouring drinks…all for someone else’s guest makes the day seem a little shorter and more humane. Everyone cheers when a server is blessed with a larger that normal gratuity knowing that they’ll also be blessed sometime in the future and everyone will be happy for them. No matter what challenges they have in their home lives…and there are many…they team up when they arrive and the job they do is amazing.

These servers work harder that most human beings should have to and their income is 90% tips…something I never knew. My guess is that most guests don’t either.

Boo-Yah to the servers at Cracker Barrel. They are truly the best there is.

Next time you go to a Cracker Barrel or any restaurant…give the server a break.  That may be all he or she gets and it could change their world.


What is the greatest memorial?

Across the globe, we finds thousands of memorials.  In Washington D.C. alone there are roughly 200 monuments and memorials that celebrate the life…and death…of something or someone worthy of remembering.

But what is a memorial?  Wikipedia describes it this way.  “A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or art objects such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and even entire parks.”

A World War 2 veteran recently qualified for The Honor Flight to Washington DC and shared his experience with his church on Memorial Day “Sunday”.  His step by step recall of the single day event was mesmerizing.  While the purpose of the trip was to allow him a brief trip down memory lane as he visited the WW 2 memorial, he was able to vividly describe dozens of memorials that had impacted him and many of the other men and women who he shared the “once in a lifetime” event with.  His story was incredible.  And inspiring!  He will remember these monuments that he saw for a long time.

It was interesting to find that his most treasured “memorials” were the dozens of letters he had received from friends, relatives, even children from local schools.  These letters contained words of thanks for his service for his country and for the freedom that he was willing to risk his life for.  The letters were not constructed from expensive stone or bronze.  And they were not designed by famous craftsmen.  No…they were written and designed by the hearts of those who truly cared about the effort of this simple man.  Each letter was special because it could never be duplicated.  And unlike the Washington monuments, these will never be forgotten.

What is the greatest memorial?  Ask a veteran and he’ll tell you.


Say what?

What do you say when your adult daughter says “you weren’t here when I was growing up, you aren’t going to be here when I get married again!” Not only do you not get to give your only daughter away, you don’t even get to attend!

six fifteen

The pain from a fatherless home cuts deep…and often lasts for decades!  Families don’t know how to heal in today’s society.  It is often that they don’t have a spiritual compass to guide them to a place of comfort, joy and forgiveness.

At Man in the Mirror ministries, we understand the pain that is happening in our families.  The statistics in Northeast Indiana alone are numbing.

Is there a solution?  We think so.  And we are out to prove that God wants a solution as well.



If you would like to help, you can!  Our “6-fifteen” campaign begins in a few days.  You can help provide the necessary funding that will enable us to equip local churches this year right here in Northeast Indiana to disciple 3000 men.

Men living transformed lives!  Better husbands!  Better fathers!  Better citizens!  Better employees!  Better Leaders!

Sign up today right here or click the box to the right of this post.

Bernie Kaufman

Bernie and Paula Kaufman



What is the “6-fifteen” project?

Each day in Northeast Indiana, 64,000 children under the age of 18 will go home to a single parent home.  What a sad statistic!

During the past 28 years, we have learned that these children live this way because men leave!  Of course there are many exceptions, but statistics show that the overwhelming majority of single parent homes today are missing a biological father.

There is a solution…one you can be a part of!  God is using the ministry of Man in the Mirror to help bring men back to their families.  By equipping our local churches to teach the men in the churches and communities how to become the “real” men that God intended, we are helping to change the fatherless culture.

We Need Your Help!

You Can Help!

And the Formula is Simple!

Starting June 1, 2015, our “6-Fifteen” initiative begins.

Here’s how it works…

–  Pray!  We can’t do this without God’s blessing and He blesses a faithful, praying ministry!

Join our team!  For only $15 per month, you can help us help these kids.  Sign up here.

Send this link This is not a chain letter!  This is an opportunity for you to share with others who have a passion to see children growing up in a loving, dual parent home.

That’s it!  We’ll  have 6 new partners sharing $15 every month to a ministry that works!

The good thing is that everyone knows 5 people they can invite and almost everyone has $15 extra every month.  It’s a couple of cups of coffee or one light lunch out with your spouse.  It is possible!

What you can expect!  (this is the great part)

–  100 churches engaged in intentional discipleship by the end of 2015

–  3000 men living transformed lives because of this intentional discipleship with a renewed commitment to thier families by the end of 2015

–  Hundreds more of our children growing up with a father and mother who can love them and guide them together.

We are here for the long haul!  With your help and the help of all who have been called to support this ministry effort, we’ll begin to see more and more children in strong homes where family is a joyful experience rather than a burden.

Strong men make better husbands!  Strong men make better fathers, Strong men make better citizens.  And strong men make better leaders.

We’ve already begun to see solid results.  We’ll add you to our newsletter when you sign up as a partner. Our ministry has already captured sustainable momentum in over 30 churches here in NE Indiana.  Now it’s your turn!

Join now.   Don’t delay!  “Six-fifteen” stands for June 2015 and it’s almost here!

Together we can make a lasting difference

Bernie Kaufman


Bernie and Paula Kaufman

Spending time in the wilderness.

“Have you ever spent time in the wilderness?”  This question was the lead into a discussion that I was sure that I didn’t want to be a part of.  We were about to discuss the life of Moses but I knew that we would find our way back to modern day.

Moses actually lived in the wilderness for 40 years.  God used this time to take a proud, pushy guy through a growth phase that would ultimately make him humble enough to allow God to use him.  And use him he did!  Moses led God’s people out of Egypt and the oppression of an evil dictator, through 40 years of desert life getting them ready to enter into the land that God had promised them.  He became a fierce leader and protector of his people and even negotiated their lives over and over again when God wanted to destroy them for their disobedience.  Moses allowed God to use his wilderness time to change him.

“Are any of you in a wilderness now?”

“Men are often in and out of a wilderness” someone offered.  “The problem is that we don’t want anyone to know we are in it until we get out.  And then we are willing to share what WE did to pull ourselves out…BY OURSELVES!  The reality is that we need to ask others to help pull us through.  So many times we never get out because we are too proud not to ask for help or guidance.  I’ll do it myself or I’ll die trying!”

“I have been in some tough wilderness times,” said a fellow who everyone looked up to.  I was surprised.  “I almost lost my business a couple of times and I did a whole lot of praying when I was there.  I had to ask family and friends for help.  Humbling!  But the most important thing I learned was that I could get through this with a team and not on my own!”

“My wilderness time is going on now,” I began.  “God has called me to lead a ministry where He will use my skills to help churches change the lives of tens of thousands of men.  The harvest is huge!  How long I will have to live in the wilderness is tough to say.  My problem is that I don’t know how to ask for help and because if it, I have few partners.  We struggle every month watching what little we have in savings going out the door and not much coming in to replace it.  Our ministry is designed to gather financial partners as we grow but the partnerships have been very few.  And it’s tough to be effective working from the wilderness.”

My guess is that God is still humbling me and working on my character.

Looking for the burning bush…

greater good

We could see that he had a question that needed an answer.  And Paul was humble enough to recognize that if he wanted to find the answer to his question, he was going to need to ask it before everyone began digging into the other items that were at the end of the chapter.

“Can we discuss the term Greater Good?”

“I am confused about Morley’s statement that ‘God makes men by orchestrating even the toughest circumstances of our lives for a greater good.’  What is a Greater Good?” I glanced at the facilitator and we both knew that this could be the only question we would discuss today and possibly next week.  I was instantly made aware that the book we had chosen to use for our study group for the next 10 weeks would provide thought provoking, mind stretching questions that had been lacking during the past few workshops.

“I have a question, too” added Dave.  “Why does God allow some of us to live long, full lives like Ralph here (Ralph was 84 today) while others are called home early?  The book also says ‘Nothing that happens to us by human decision can ever happen apart from the will of God.’”  Dave then shared a story from his life when he was serving his country where some of his friends went off to fight and were killed in combat while he and others made it home safely.

Patrick Morley’s book, How God Makes Men, is a compilation of life stories from ten men who were used by God for great things.  Today’s story was about the life of Joseph whose trust and love for God and men provided incredible success in spite of many obstacles the cluttered his path.

“God doesn’t micro-manage” said one of the men at the table.  “He designed the world and created the outline for which we can and should live but he lets us make our own decisions.  Maybe I decide to join the army and am sent to the frontline to battle the enemy.  I don’t make it home.  Did God punish me for making a decision to fight others…I don’t think so.  Did God orchestrate the battle so that I was killed in order that someone else could be spared?  Perhaps.  But we are given free will and things happen as a result of it”.

“I still don’t understand why God would choose to end my life early leaving my wife and children to suffer.  Can that possibly be for a Greater Good?”  Dave was still confused.

“Let me help you out” said Harold.  “We are all living out 2 lives simultaneously.  One life is in human time.  It has 24 hours every day and we understand how it works.  Ralph here has had 84 years in this life.  Some of Dave’s military friends had only 21.  This life is a bodily life.  The second life is the spiritual one and it is on God’s time or Bible time.  Ralph is 84 but his spiritual life is neither young nor old.  It is ageless.  I am getting old and tired also but my spiritual life is as young as it was the day I allowed Jesus into my life”

“What about the Greater Good?  What is that all about?” greater good

“The Greater Good is God’s will” I said.  “Both of the questions can be answered this way.  God is always in control.  Even though he allows us to have free will, he always directs us…or orchestrates as Pat says…to make decisions that are for the Greater Good and always in line and never apart from His will.”

One of the men came up to me after the study and told me he couldn’t wait for next week.  Thanks Pat for your words that are challenging these and thousands of others to become the men that God makes!

Moses!  What do you have for us next week?

Men's Ministry

“We don’t have a men’s ministry.”

Men's Ministry“Really?”  I was shocked to hear those words coming from the church secretary who had proudly announced her tenure of 18 years just a couple of questions earlier.

“If you don’t mind my asking, how many faces do you see every Sunday morning?”  I figured that if I asked enough questions I would eventually discover a ministry that many of the men were engaged in.  After all, I had seen the parking lot on Sunday morning and it was full to capacity.

“We had 63 last Sunday…up from about 50 the week before.  We average 55 to 60.”  No way!  This church has a 500+ seating capacity and a storied history.  And I was certain that the pastor had been around longer than the secretary.

“I drove by the church a couple of weeks ago and the parking lot looked full” I countered.  I was now determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious church.  “What about the kids?  How many children are there?”

“They’re included in the 63.  Not too many young folks with children go here anymore.  Most either go to the churches further out or don’t go at all anymore.  Sure isn’t like it used to be.”  Her eyes dropped and her voice became noticeably different.  “We don’t have the programs the new churches have for the kids, and parents want stuff for their kids.  I grew up in this church and I remember when we had 150 kids in Junior Church and we had two services every Sunday and could have used three.  Things aren’t the same like they used to be.”

“When would be a good time to call on the Pastor?”  If ever there was a church that needed help, this was it.

“I’ll tell him you were here.  But you are wasting your time, sir.  The pastor won’t see you.  We only have money for the important things here at the church.  Extra stuff like men’s ministry won’t make the cut.”

Only “important” things!  I wanted to stay and fight but I realized that the battle had already been won.  And it wasn’t the “good guys” Satan had been slowly staking his claim and through irrelevance he now had clear title.

“I’d appreciate that.  But I have to ask you…what about all the cars I saw in the lot a couple of weeks ago?  Where were all those people?”

“Oh, most of the cars were at the IHOP on the other side of the lot.  They give us a nice donation every year and we let them use it for parking.  The money they give us really helps.  And they are really busy every Sunday.”IHOP

As I walked away, I wondered what Jesus would have done had he been here.  There had been a time when this church fed the people spiritually before they went to the restaurants to be fed physically.  I am guessing that Jesus would have spent more time preaching and teaching in the restaurant than he would have done in the church.  That’s where the people were.  I am sure that’s where He would have been.

What about me?  Am I so selfish that I keep my worship to myself?  Sure, I enjoy meeting my Lord in His house.  But isn’t God’s house an IHOP?  Not the International House of Pancakes.  No, God’s house is the International House of Prayer.  A place we should go for strength and courage before we walk across the parking lot to the restaurant to teach and preach.

Menu for next Sunday.  God’s word, extra salty with a side of compassion fruit.

See you at IHOP!


100 rupees

An excerpt from my book in progress “Then God Interrupted…”

Gateway-of-India-in-Mumbai“Excuse me, sir!  Excuse me!  Can I speak with you, sir?”  I stopped to listen.

The voice was strong and I could feel the maturity in the words.  But how could such boldness and stature come from the mouth of the small child that stood before me.  He was Indian, of course and dressed like all of the other Indian children that were out in the commons of the Gateway of India in Mumbai.  He wore no shoes and his skin was missing the cleanliness that I had come to expect from children in America.Then God Interrupted

“Where are you from, sir?”

“The US.”  I realized that my response must have sounded a bit uninterested and a quite aloof.  And why not?  I had gotten only five hours sleep after traveling over 26 hours to get to India from the US.  I was tired!

“Do you know about the Gateway of India, sir?  I can show you it and tell you all about it!  OK?”

“I’m really not interested, son!”  My voice had become louder and I just wanted to be left alone.

“It is a holy day, sir.  Come and I will take you to the holy man.  He will bless you with good luck for your trip.  Is this your first time to India?”

“Son.  What do you want from me?  I am very tired and want to just walk around and see the sites.”

“I don’t need anything, sir.  My sister…do you see her over there?  She needs milk.  I am the only one she has and she needs milk.  Can you help me?”  OK.  Now we’re getting somewhere.  The hustle was in play and I just needed to give him some money and he’d leave me alone.

“Here is 10 rupees.  Thanks for your help today.”  I was sure that would be the end of the game and I could soon continue the role of arrogant American that knew how to perform quite well.

“We can’t buy mild for 10 rupees!  I takes 30 rupees for milk.  And if you would give me 50 rupees, I will be able to buy her a little fruit also.”

“How old are you, son?  You must be older that you look.  How did you learn to speak such good English?  Where is your family?  Where do you live?”

“I am 8 years of age.  My father is dead and my mother picks up rocks for the men who fix the roads.  I have to take care of my sister and I try to bring money to my mother who sometimes does not get paid.  We live in the Dharavi.  Many poor people live there.”

“But your English…it’s so good.  You speak Hindi also, yes?  Does your mother speak English?”

“My mother does not know English.  I come to the market every day and I listen to people from America and Europe and I learn to talk like them.”

I handed him 100 rupees and he scampered off.  Perhaps a day’s wage for his family.  Equivalent to 2 US dollars.

Back in the hotel room, Paula was just waking.  I couldn’t wait to tell her about the encounter.  We laughed.  But we were quickly reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 12:48“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”

Years have passed since that short visit to the commons surrounding the Gateway of India.  In some ways, much has been demanded.  But God continues to shower us with so much grace that we have to find new ways of sharing/spending it.

100 rupees

“100 rupees, anyone?”

Then God interrupted

Then God Interrupted

This is an excerpt from a book I have been writing.  I was reminded how God makes men as I was leading a discussion yesterday with a group of men about Abraham.  He was such a famous champion in our history yet he was an imperfect sinner just like me until God showed up…and interrupted!

“The highway was especially slick as we drove that Monday morning.  It felt a bit strange actually.  For the past month, the crash of our business had accelerated and every day we drove into work had been increasingly painful.  We knew that we were living in a state of denial but neither Paula nor I knew how to manage the conversation that would lead to the eventual closure of a chapter of our lives that had spanned over 30 years..  We had shared our lives and fortune with over 30 employees who we considered family.  They had since gone on to do other work.  Our bank accounts that had been well fed, were now depleted.  But worst of all, our spirits and our belief in ourselves had become suffocated in fear of the unknown that we agonized about every second. 

But today felt different.  We had orders to fill and we were feeling a cautious excitement that we hadn’t experienced in a while. 

My role as CEO of a multi-million dollar enterprise had now become that of a warehouse manager and shipping specialist.  Driving a forklift and packing boxes were now my daily activities.  I didn’t have the years of knowledge and experience that my former employees had, but I was motivated by survival and willing to do the work regardless of how “dirty” it was.

Paula had become the office manager and part time janitor.  Her job as product development specialist was still a necessity but she now had to blend paperwork, reception, accounting and design together into a daily collage of time management.

11:44 am.  I remember it well.  I had completed my orders for the day and shuffled into the office.  I couldn’t wait to see the results of the Monday mail sort and to fondle the orders that had come in by phone and fax since we had arrived several hours earlier.  I would start on the fulfillment process after we had completed lunch. God's interruptions

But there were no orders.  And there had been no phone calls!  How could that have been possible?  Just a few short years ago, we had over 5000 active customers and turned away business every day.  Everyone knew us.  We even had the respect of the “big” box store chains who recognized our vision and often looked to us for direction.

“We’ve disappeared” I said.  And that was it! 

It wasn’t until months later that Paula and I both realized that God had stepped into our lives in the form of a painful interruption.  He was willing to orchestrate the development of a new life and purpose that was beautiful to Him when Paula and I could only see the pain and frustration derived from our own personal failures.  His rendering of our new life would take us years to fully understand. 

I love in the New Living Translation what Paul says to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 12:13.  “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

Worth the interruption…


No guts no glory

Wanted Real Men

What is going on with Men these days?

Being a real man can be difficult.  So many distractions.  So much stress.  And it’s just too darn easy to get out of your marriage contract.  Leave your wife and your kids and start all over again.  Makes sense, right?

Paula and I celebrated 39 years of marriage last week.  Not much outward celebration.  We didn’t even exchange cards.  But we did spend a fair amount of time talking and remembering.  We recalled many amazing things that we have done as a couple and laughed as we reminisced.  We also talked about the times when life was hard and we both had to dig in deeply to be able to keep our marriage in tact.

Today, couples often look at marriage differently than we did.  Our society teaches us to follow our own dreams.  Television makes men look like fools and we laugh!  Even children are taught that some of us dads should be made fun of for our inability to multi-task.  Even though we should be able to laugh at life’s funny moments, men are in an ever increasing search for recognition and respect and don’t need or want to be ridiculed.

But God is always moving in our lives, in our communities and in our churches.  Thankfully!  He loves us without making us look bad when we mess up in life.  And he acknowledges us and rewards us for just hanging around.

Some very exciting things are happening here in Northeast Indiana that will point men…many men toward the cross and changed lives.

  • Game Plan for Life Outreach Breakfast.  Super Bowl coach Joe Gibbs will be coming to Fort Wayne on Wednesday, April 29 to share about his stories of football, NASCAR and JESUS.  We plan to have a minimum of 1000 men at the breakfast.  This is all about discipleship and we hope to see each table with 8 of the 10 men in need of a Christian friend.  If you are interested in hosting a table, please let me know
  • Butler Indiana churches will be hosting a men’s event on April 11 for all of the men in Butler.  The event will be called Success That Matters and will be led by Man in the Mirror President and co-CEO, David Delk.  This will be the kick-off event of some really amazing men’s fellowship going forward.  Please pray for this city-wide outreach!
  • The Northeast Indiana Coalition for Men’s Discipleship is the local arm of Man in the Mirror Ministries.  We are  reaching new churches every day and our Journey to Biblical Manhood process is equipping churches of all Christian denominations to have successful and vibrant discipleship ministries.  You can learn a lot more about MIM by visiting our website.  Click here.

Interested in starting a men’s discipleship ministry in your church?  How about learning how to mentor your men?  Or perhaps you feel led to help us as a prayer warrior or financial partner.  Click here to receive information.

Just as Jesus was leaving, he commissioned his disciples to “Go and make more disciples”.  That is our calling. Please Join us.

Bernie Kaufman

Bernie and Paula Kaufman




What does it mean to be a trusting man?

As I was journaling today, I found myself reflecting on a difficult week.  How challenging it can be sometimes to trust that God will provide for all of my needs.  He did promise that he would!  But personal failures caused by lack of confidence in that promise lead me to a new week of trying to decide.  Is this the week that I fully trust and just give it up?  Is this going to be like some other weeks where I start out with a great deal of enthusiasm to walk the path that He is laying out for me and then go my way because I want to fix my life and my problems myself?

As I think of what it takes to be a trusting man, I am reminded today of many who have gone before me that have been able to lean on God and trust Him for all of their needs.

Noah trusted God and built an ark.  On dry land.  This might easily have been the craziest thing that anyone had ever done and his friends and neighbors had a field day ridiculing him.  But he had listened to what God had said and continued.  Like me, he probably questioned what he was doing and my guess he had times that he wanted to digress and try and fix life himself.  But he was able to complete the task.  And I am here because he saved the human race from destruction.

Abraham listened to God’s call and uprooted his family to go where God sent him.  Like me, he strayed from the call…regularly.  He lied about his wife and gave her to be the wife of another man in order to save his own skin.  He allowed Sarah to convince him to have a child from another woman even though God had promised him that Sarah would be the mother of his child.  God had to be frustrated.  Yet, he blessed him and I am here because of that blessing.

David had an affair because he couldn’t control his sexual desires.  This is one of our first cases of pornography.  David watched something he shouldn’t have and then acted wrongly by succumbing to his passion.  He then had a man killed to cover up his actions and God punished him in a variety of ways.  Yet God found favor in David and blessed him with success, wealth and power.  And I am here because of that blessing.

Jesus was the greatest example of a trusting man. trusting man

As I am writing this, I am remembering that Jesus was a man, just like me.  He had to have fears and questions and he had to wrestle with the pain, heartache and frustration that I am dealing with today.  Yet he always seemed to move forward with great courage and resolve to trust God and to love others in such an amazing way.  It is really very difficult and challenging to fathom the extent of his willingness to follow God’s calling.

God has always surrounded me with men and women that trust a lot more than I do.  They encourage me to move forward.  Their hearts are strong and cause mine to be stronger.

Today is an exciting day.  Today I resolve to be different that yesterday.  Today I choose to let God unlock and remove the chains that Satan is using to keep me in bondage.  Today is a day to trust…in God’s provision.

To be a trusting man.