04: Discipling Children – Hit the Mark
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It was a make or break moment. His future was riding on what he would do. Confinement and possible death on one hand. Favor, prosperity and possible freedom on the other. He was a young man without a home, alone in a foreign land, living the life of a slave. He had few opportunities that promised anything more than a continued life of the same. Now everything was on the verge of change.

The odds had been [...]

Does Gideon’s Fleece System Still Work?
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Image © Erik Stenbakken from GoodSalt.com

In my personal devotions this morning, I read,

Then Gideon said to God, “If you are truly going to use me to rescue Israel as you promised, prove it to me in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me rescue Israel as you promised.” Judges 6:36-37 NLT

Image © Erik [...]

The Arrow of Prayer
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It was a simple question: “What are you doing here?” Standing in a cave after fleeing for his life, Elijah recounts the lament of his soul. His recent conquests for God appear to have taken a turn for the worse. Feeling alone and confused, this man of great experience, has all but given up and resigned himself to defeat. Elijah is in a crisis and he needs a word from the Lord.

Instructed to stand on the mount to hear from [...]

Prayer: Give Me or Take Me?
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God needs our hand to use for service

I have had the opportunity to observe Buddhist culture a couple of occasions when I have taught college courses in Thailand. The overtness of Buddhist devotion was something new to me. It was not uncommon to encounter a shrine to Buddha where people were praying, chanting, and offering incense, or rubbing gold leaf onto an image.

Buddhist temples are colourful and interesting cultural icons, standing out in the landscape. My Thai friends would [...]

Discipleship and Prayer – Hit the Mark
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Praying

She seems an unlikely character for this week’s discussion on discipleship and prayer. Throughout her story as recorded in the Gospel of John, prayer is not once mentioned. She is not one of the many who came seeking Jesus for miraculous healing from some incurable illness. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even initially recognize Jesus as they conversed together. Yet, her brief interaction with Him speaks volumes about our experience with God as it relates to prayer.

The Prodigal Son Is In Good and Regular Standing
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Prodigal

Whenever the subject of the prodigal son comes up, we picture a young person who has lost his way. We use this story, and rightly so, to show the dangers of a life of aimless, godless living. For many mothers and fathers this story gives hope to the day that their own “prodigal” child returns home. If it could happen for the young man in this biblical account, surely it could happen for us. Amen, somebody.

While all of the above [...]

02: Discipling Through Metaphor
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Hands of Jesus Holding Pearl

Seven miles had never appeared as long as they did that day. Just a few days before, the two friends had expected that their journey home would be joyful and full of good memories. But instead of recounting tales of fellowship and feasts, they were downcast and sad. Unexpected tragedy had replaced all celebration. Now their futures, once full of hope, had become overshadowed with uncertainty and doubt.

As they walk together that fateful day, they are joined by a Stranger [...]

Filling the Empty Chair
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0112.html?r=ssnet

Maybe you’ve experienced something like this: You are talking with someone when suddenly they openly yawn and look at their watch. How did you interpret those actions? Can you remember how you felt at that moment? Were you hurt? insulted? enraged? How did you react? How do you wish you had reacted?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

What about this: You’re discussing ideas with a colleague and while you’re speaking, you think you see them just barely roll their eyes [...]

Discipling or Cloning?
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Oct. 4 006

While living in Texas I was taking a Texas history class at a community college. In writing a paper for class, I mentioned a political figure who was assassinated. I contrasted the pomp and circumstance of his funeral with the plain funeral of the man who killed him and was killed shortly after. I pointed out in my paper that, humanly speaking, the political figure was not any more of a saint than the man who killed him, yet he [...]

01: Disciples and Scripture
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This was more than he bargained for. It started out innocently enough, but now things had taken an unexpected direction. With sincerity he had asked the question to which his mind desperately needed an answer. His question, though sincere, was also a potential trap the religious leaders were hoping to use to justify their malice towards the object of their contempt.

“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:25. I like that – straight and to the point. [...]