Top 10 2020 Moments

2020 didn’t go like we thought it would. But really – does any year ever go like we think it will? In light of God’s complete sovereignty and absolute control over even the slightest detail (check out Isaiah 46:9-10), I’d like to submit to you that 2020 went exactly the way God wanted it. 

The pandemic? Check. 

The financial hardships? Check. 

The job losses? Check. 

The deaths? As hard as it is for our human brains to understand, even the deaths were ordained by God. (People are destined to die once and then face God – Hebrews 9:27).

All of life is in the Creator’s and Sustainer’s hands. And while we may have predicted something different for this year, the God this organization serves trusts that everything He does is for our ultimate good and His ultimate pleasure. 

Yes, even in 2020.

With that in mind, we hope you enjoy Man Up and Go‘s 2020 Top 10 Moments below. 

#PRAY127 12.14.20

Instead of a prayer request, what a great praise report we have this week! Check out what the Lord did last week at our Fall Football Fling Thing – over $35,000 raised to fight for the fatherless. Wow!

We’re asking you to join with us this week in praise and adoration towards our very good Heavenly Father, who sees what we need before ask.

We’re also asking you to pray for those who sponsored the event (listed below), because they believed enough in us and the mission God has given us to help fund the event so that everything raised at the event could go towards our programs that fight fatherlessness. 

Amen, amen, amen! 

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

Fall Football Fling Thing 2020 Program Schedule

Join us online on Facebook or YouTube for our 4th annual Fall Football Fling Thing fundraiser. Catch up on all the wonderful things Man Up and Go has been up to in this crazy year of 2020. Below is the our schedule of events and our impact program. Be sure to visit our Big Board on ways you can make an impact on the fight for the fatherless.

Download PDF here.

#PRAY127 11.30.20

This is a take-your-pick kind of week as you pray for the ministry of Man Up and Go.

Coming off of a Thanksgiving where, despite the challenges of 2020, we have much for which to be thankful, we look towards the first week of December as we have three meaningful events scheduled.

  • Wednesday, December 2 is our Man Up 100 Tampa Bay quarterly gathering . Please pray that we might continue to recruit men to the cause of fighting for the fatherless. Currently we have 60 men enrolled for the current term. We have 21 foster families that we serve every single month, which means 70 kids are impacted. The more men we have to serve, the more families we can help.
  • Saturday, December 5 is our Man Up 100 Springfield (MO) quarterly gathering. Just like in Tampa, we pray for more men to enroll. We have 25 officially in the Springfield cohort, but we know there are more men who need to join the fight.
  • Saturday, December 5 is also the date for our annual Fall Football Fling Thing in the Tampa Bay area. Due to COVID, we’ve changed venues to Keystone Ranch, a 4-acre outdoor ranch with plenty of social distancing opportunities. We’ve also made this an online event, as we’ll be streaming live both on Facebook and YouTube.

This is our one big fundraiser of the year. 2020 has definitely been a hard one in terms of raising funds, so please pray with us that God’s people are moved to give. Our goal is $25,000. We have a $10,000 match, which means we need to raise $15,000 this week. Tomorrow is #givingTuesday and we’re opening up the Big Board, so folks can give all this week.

Thank you for praying – we’re believing God for a big week!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 11.23.20

This past weekend we had the privilege of delivering pre-cooked Thanksgiving meals to foster families and caregivers in our Tampa and SW Missouri locations.

In total,

Big shoutouts to GrowLife Church and First Baptist Church New Port Richey for teaming up on this project – we love seeing the body of Christ working out James 1:27 together!

One of the great challenges in life is to remember, internalize, and actually believe that no matter the circumstance, there is something for which we can be grateful. For kids – well, for most anyone – this can certainly be elusive. Kind of like a Bears’ Super Bowl victory. (Woe is me.)

But unlike this passing world and our life in it, a life which James says is “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” we can be sure that whatever God says will come to pass.

Peter wrote that “The word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Pet. 1:25), and the prophet Isaiah (40:7-8) before him wrote,


The grass withers, the flower fades

when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades,

but the word of our God will stand forever

So when the Psalmist (118:1) writes, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever,” we can be sure that there is always something for which we can be grateful – His love.

It stands the test of time, it was here before us, and will be here long after we turn to grass.

Since this is the case, will you join us this Thanksgiving week in praying for the hearts of the families and children we serve, that they might all have an attitude of gratitude this season, rooted and grounded in Gospel love and the hope of a future where there will be no more tears, no more crying, no more pain, and no more sadness (Revelation 21:4)? What a future indeed!

You see some of their faces here. Thank you for this #PRAY127 request. Have a grateful Thanksgiving this year – yes, even in 2020!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 11.16.20

There’s a verse I came upon recently in Galatians:

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another (Galatians 5:13, emphasis mine).

In America, it is natural and culturally acceptable to talk about freedom as perhaps life’s highest virtue. We abhor the idea of slavery and recoil at the thought that someone other than “self” might violate personal autonomy.

For example, how many times have we heard this – “It’s my life…I can do whatever I want!”?

In general, as Christians, freedom fits perfectly with our worldview, as we see here in Galatians 5

– we were called to freedom. Yet there’s a catch – we can’t use our freedom as an excuse to

indulge the flesh. That is to say, it’s my life but I can’t really “do whatever I want.”

In fact, what’s our freedom supposed to yield? Love demonstrated through serving each other.

Yet we in the West have taken the biblical ideal of freedom and turned it into a license for serving ourselves, not others.

Today, as I’m thinking about this verse…

  • I’m also thinking about the 18+ million fatherless kids just in the U.S. alone.
  • I’m also thinking about the 400,000 children who are in foster care right now.
  • I’m thinking about the 20,000 children who will age out of foster care this year without a family.
  • I’m thinking about how 70-90% of human trafficking victims have spent time in foster care.
  • I’m thinking about how the Super Bowl is not far away, and that many of those 20,000 will be prostituted out for the very first time, somehow convincing themselves that it’s okay because at least their traffickers give them a place to stay and put food in their belly.

In light of this, my #PRAY127 request this week for us is two fold:

  1. That we would pray for those in foster care today, that God might be a Father to the fatherless to them, as we know from Scripture He is.
  2. That the church would continue to wake up to this reality, and take serious the words in Galatians 5:13 – Serve one another in love.

Once again, we give God praise because of your prayers. Thank you. We are convinced they are effective and powerful (James 5:16)!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 11.09.20

ast Monday I was participating in a charity event with Habitat for Humanity (okay, it was a golf tournament!), so that #PRAY127 request took a brief hiatus. However this week I’m happy to share the results of our first ever Awaken Tampa Bay event!

You’ll recall that we had spent nearly two years planning a Wait No More event with Focus on the Family that we had to cancel due to COVID-19. That was back in March of this year. After working with Focus to come up with an alternative, we decided to conduct Awaken Tampa Bay– Taking Up the Cause of the Fatherless, an online and in-person round-table discussion by experts in the foster care system.

If you missed this event, you can watch it on our Facebook page.

Although we only advertised it for just a couple of weeks, there was a strong showing of interest. We had about 80 in person attendees at Calvary Church, and another 300 who registered in some capacity online. Overall there were about 1100 views on the night of the event, and as of Monday November 9th, we’re up to nearly 2000 views!

Even more encouraging, of those who attended, here are those who expressed interest in:

  • Adoption – 12
  • Foster care – 9
  • Guardian ad Litem – 57
  • Supporting foster parents – 90

We are now in the process of following up with these families. Will you please pray that the Holy Spirit would convict? More so, since we know the Holy Spirit does convict, please pray that the Church of Jesus would respond in faith to this conviction.

It was an exciting evening that we pray continues to catalyze the Church in Tampa Bay and beyond. Psalm 31:3 says of the Lord, “For Your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;” our #PRAY127 request today is that He would do this for the Church around the area of fighting for the fatherless.

Thank you for praying friends. We love you so much!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 10.26.20

Before I get to this week’s request, if you prayed for our Board Summit last week – thank you! We onboard 8 new board members and spent the majority of our time thinking about where God wants us 5 years from now. Primarily, we answered this idea: “When people are asked by someone about ‘Man Up’ in 5 years, they will respond, ‘Oh that’s the organization that…'”

Our time together was awesome! The Lord was with us and guiding us, and we’re excited about what lies ahead. We’re as clearer as we’ve ever been – more to come later.

When you hear about a non-profit having to bass a budget, it probably sits a little funny with you if you’ve never thought about it. The reality is that non-profits must not only accomplish their mission towards the end beneficiary (those receiving the services the non-profit provides), but it must also find a way to fund it.

For this week’s #PRAY127 request, we have an event that’s right around the corner and while it was a long time coming, we haven’t had a ton of promotion of this particular event.

As you may know, Man Up had partnered with Focus on the Family to bring their Wait No More event to the Bay area. We had several leaders’ meetings in 2018 and 2019 and the word was getting out, and then – COVID.

After postponing the March 28 gathering, we had to change the ethos of the event, since COVID will not allow us to gather in large groups. Focus on the Family has been gracious to allow us to build on the foundation they laid. Since we can’t have them in for this event, we have planned a similar but shorter and online-friendly event we are calling Awaken Tampa Bay – Taking Up the Cause of the Fatherless. You can expect a thoughtful evening of round-table discussion where subject matter experts in Tampa Bay will discuss not just the state of child welfare, but specific action items to take.

Please pray that God gets His people’s attention with this event, that the folks He wants in the room or online will be present either in person or LIVE online.

As always, it is a joy to know you are praying on behalf of the organization and all that God has put on our hearts.

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.

#PRAY127 10.19.20

Later this week the Board of Directors for Man Up and Go will meet for our yearly Summit. It usually happens in November, but we moved it up a little earlier this year to ensure we had plenty of time to affirm year-end requirements such as electing officers and passing budgets.

When you hear about a non-profit having to bass a budget, it probably sits a little funny with you if you’ve never thought about it. The reality is that non-profits must not only accomplish their mission towards the end beneficiary (those receiving the services the non-profit provides), but it must also find a way to fund it.

In the for-profit sector, the beneficiary of the service or product is also the funder – when you do a good job with your service or product, you ensure revenue to continue your business. Not so in the non-profit sector. We must find a way to inspire those who are not direct beneficiaries of the services we provide to indeed still fund those services.

Which leads me back to the Board Summit this weekend for Man Up and Go. We have come to the end of a 5-yr vision that took many twists and turns along the way. It’s time to set a vision for the next 5 years, and our Board is responsible for stewarding not just the vision of fighting for the fatherless, but also the ability to fund it.

Would you pray for the Board of Directors as we meet this weekend, October 23rd and 24th? We have new Board Members who will be attending and introduced to Man Up on an organizational level like never before. The current members will be listening to a vision for the future and have the heavy responsibility of guiding that vision. (Check out our Board Members and their bios.)

Pray that God would give us clarity and focus, that we would run after things near His heart, and that we would trust Him for the outcome. We want to be thoughtful and wise, laying out a plan, but also faithful and trusting, giving God “elbow room” to show up in whatever way He wants.

Please also pray that the technology would work, as we will Zoom in nearly half the Board. We have a limited amount of time and want to make the most of it.

We often look at prayer as preparation for the work, but prayer IS the work (Luke 10:2).

Thank you for praying!

Regards,
Jeff Ford, CEO
Isaiah 1:17

P.S. Please pass this email on to those who might be interested in praying with us each Monday. They can sign up to receive these emails here: https://manupandgo.org/pray127.