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Posts Tagged ‘Discipleship’

The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer

A. W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God is a bona fide Christian classic. This holiness title can be found shelved in the libraries of God chasers the globe over. It is a must read for the spiritually hungry and thirsty. It is a must read for those pursuing the holy life. If you long to chase and find God, then this book will aid you as you continue the journey.

The following are a few of the most resonate excerpts offered by Tozer in The Pursuit of God. Read More »

Integrity Matters

My father used to tell me, as I was growing up, that “the person you are when your all alone, in the darkness of your own little secret place, is the person you really are out in the public, regardless of any disguise you may or may not be wearing.” I used to think my father was full of it, but now I really think he may have been gifted with extraordinary wisdom concerning the simple but profound things in life. Read More »

A Prayer for Patience

I was always told patience is a virtue for which you should never, ever pray. “Don’t you dare start praying for patience,” the old church ladies would preach from beneath tightly wound hair-buns. “God will give it to you and Lord knows you do not want the sort of lessons that lead to patience. No, no, no, no! Never pray for patience! Don’t you ever, ever do it! You hear?!?” Read More »

ASBO Jesus on Loving Neighbor as Much as Self

If you haven’t discovered The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus, serendipity is yours!

ASBO Jesus Cartoon

… think about the above cartoon for a bit this morning.

Living in the Tension of Spirit-laden Journey

Living in the tension of a developing faith is not easy. If a faith is not developing than it is already cut off. A handful of simple convictions launches us into journey. The rest we have to discover, break, stitch, patch, heal, and make our own. Jesus is in all of it, somehow. The God searched for and sought after is glorified in the searching and seeking. Read More »

Nurturing Gratitude in Christian Community

Brennan Manning, in an interview for Christianity Today (”The Dick Staub Interview: Brennan Manning on Ruthless Trust,” 12-10-02), said the following:

I believe that the real difference in the American church is not between conservatives and liberals, fundamentalists and charismatics, nor between Republicans and Democrats. The real difference is between the aware and the unaware.

When somebody is aware of that love - the same love that the Father has for Jesus - that person is just spontaneously grateful. Cries of thankfulness become the dominant characteristic of the interior life, and the byproduct of gratitude is joy. We’re not joyful and then become grateful - we’re grateful, and that makes us joyful.

The Christian story is a story built upon joy. We are – or we should be – a people who overflow with joy. This joy is not a common sort of joy. A number of simple but important things can make us happy: a great song, a fantastic piece of art, a new outfit that we look really, really great wearing, a great haircut, a good meal, a new - or even reliable - automobile, a new house, or a vacation from our regular work schedules. These are all very, very good things and they do make us happy. They are not, however, the things upon which our joy - our Christian joy - is founded. That’s a good thing too because that sort of joy - a joy derived from common things - doesn’t last very long, does it? It is temporary, at best. Things like these do make us happy, but that joy is not the byproduct of the deep gratitude Brennan Manning is referencing. The joy Brennan Manning is talking about is a byproduct of the deep gratitude that we all experience when we realize how much God loves us and when we accept God’s invitation to become integral characters in God’s story. Read More »

James Fowler’s Six Stages of Faith Development

I have long been interested in developmental psychologist James Fowler’s Stages of Faith. The Stages offer readers a socio-scientific sort of glimpse into developmental aspects of faith that may - or may not - personally resonate. More often than not, people introduced to the list can in fact place themselves in one stage or another. Sometimes personal experiences reveal a broad span across a few stages too.

Fowler’s Stages, if nothing else, can serve as one tool with which those who are dedicated to critical self-examination and self-awareness can semi-accurately gauge their faith journey. Read More »

Are We Willing to Make Adjustments to Heed God’s Call?

Many of us ask God for an assignment, or look hard to see where God is at work, but then hesitate or refuse to make necessary adjustments. Jesus exemplifies willingness to make an adjustment: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Other Biblical examples: Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time (Gen 6); Abram could not stay in Ur or Haran and father a nation in Canaan (Gen 12.1-8); Moses could not stay on the back side of the desert herding sheep and stand before Pharaoh at the same time (Ex. 3); David had to leave his sheep to become a king (1 Sam. 16. 1-13); Amos had to leave the sycamore trees in order to preach in Israel (Amos 7.14-15); Jonah had to leave his home and overcome a major prejudice in order to preach in Nineveh (Jonah 1.1-2; 3.1-2; 4.1-11); Peter, Andrew, James, and John had to leave their fishing business in order to follow Jesus (Matt. 4.18-22); Matthew had to leave his tax collector’s boot to follow Jesus (Matt. 4-18-22); Saul (Paul) had to completely change directions in his life in order to be used of God to preach the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 9.1-19).

A Philosophy of Ministry for Our Unstable Times

My sincere desire to found a healthy, thriving, and authentically meaningful church in Lancaster City has led to conversations with leaders regarding the clear articulation of Inner Metro Green’s philosophy of ministry and theological approach to living life in the city. Here are my initial thoughts:

1. Our city - as are all cities - is a very diverse place, by default … We are an ethnically, culturally, politically, socially, and religiously diverse people because we live in the city. This is issue NO. 1, as far as our mission is concerned. Read More »

A Few Notes Concerning Christian Sanctification

1. Any operative definition of sanctification can be summarized by one word: “consecration.” Specifically, I’m talking about an individual’s “full consecration to God.” Said differently, I understand Christian sanctification to be the act - which can find a catalyst in crisis or elation - of completely surrendering one’s self and being to God. Sanctification is an act of faith, trust, humility, sacrifice and love. One’s life is let go and offered to God as the most sacred sacrifice. God is everything; life is lived as if it were so. This is the reality of sanctification. Read More »