Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Becoming a Disciple of Jesus

Regularly we water down what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?

I think this post states it well.

Here's some bits from it:

"A disciple of Jesus is simply someone who is with Jesus to learn from Jesus how to be like Jesus. It will involve loving Jesus and putting his teaching into practice. It will involve re-arranging your life and priorities so that you can do the things he said were best. And to enroll in this course of study, Jesus says you must…

1. Prioritize discipleship above everything else.
2. Completely die to your old life.
3. Give up everything you have.
I’m sure this all seems like an unrealistically high bar to our comfortable, postmodern Western ears, but these were Jesus’ own words to the “large crowds” that were following him. He wanted them to be aware of what it actually meant to follow him as a disciple. Perhaps we need to hear them today as well, when it’s easy to be part of “large crowds” that think Jesus is a great guy that can help them with their struggles, but really need to understand what it looks like to become his student in kingdom living."

Check out the post for more ...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Over a number of years now I've been aiming to implement some rhythms into my life.  As someone who likes spontaneity this has been a difficult process but one that I know that I need and that makes life work in much better ways.

These words in a blog post by Hamo ring true for me:
"Rhythm… I like it. I don’t like routine. I find routine boring. But rhythm is different. It’s recognising that our lives work best when they are in some kind of order and when we can anticipate what’s ahead."

Saturday, September 15, 2012


How often do we really listen to each other?

Here are some great thoughts thanks to this post:

  2. BE SILENT WITH THE OTHER PERSON IN AN ACTIVE WAY: open, active, receptive, alive, without letting your mind wander or daydream. Keep eye contact, let your body language tell the person you care.
  3. LISTENING INVOLVES PATIENCE. It may take a period of time before the person trusts you enough to tell you what he/she really wants to let you know.
  4. AFTER YOU HAVE LISTENED CAREFULLY AND REFLECTIVELY, YOU NEED TO REFLECT BACK WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD, and ask for more details. This is called feedback on what you have heard.
  5. LISTENING IS A GIFT WHICH ONLY A FEW PEOPLE ARE BORN WITH, BUT IT CAN BE LEARNED. Having learned how to listen, don’t ever let it be rote.
  6. LISTENING OFTEN INVOLVES SHARING OURSELVES. People who come to us need to know that we are wounded too. This sharing is mostly to put the other person at ease, and is never more than the person can bear to hear. The troubled person coming to be listened to should not become my therapist! We listeners are the wounded healer.
  7. WE USUALLY MUST LISTEN TO THE MORE SUPERFICIAL LEVELS OF COMPLAINT BEFORE WE ARE LET INTO THE DEEPER AND MORE VULNERABLE PLACES. If we pass the first test of acceptance, then a dam breaks and the whole human pours forth. It is hard to hear this kind of pain, but if we do not listen to this dark side of others, we seldom see these people in depth. They remain for us like a child’s painting—with no shadow or perspective or depth.
  8. BEYOND THE DARKNESS/SHADOW LIES A BEAUTY WE NEVER KNEW EXISTED. In this deepest level of the human psyche we discover that within another human being we have communion with God.
  9. LISTENING REQUIRES A PRIVATE AND QUIET PLACE. Usually an hour at a time is enough for most people.
  10. LISTENING USUALLY MEANS HOLDING MY OWN CONCLUSIONS IN ABEYANCE—until the other comes to his/her conclusions. Whenever I argue or interrupt, I probably have a sensitive spot in my own being that has been struck, and my attitude stops fruitful communication. I give unsolicited advice only when I see pitfalls the other hasn’t which might destroy the other person.
  11. OUR ONLY TASK IN LISTENING IS TO ENABLE THE OTHER: to grow, to take responsibility for his/her own life, to form his/her value system, and to come to own full potential by his/her own choice.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rules of Thumb for Change Agents

Steve has listed these rules of thumb for change agents:

• Stay alive – care for yourself and keep a life
• Start where the system is – empathy for the group and the people
• Look for green zones – places of promise
• Innovation is as simple as a good idea, initiative and a few friends – work with the willing
• Celebrate well – build in lots of success milestones
• Light many fires – utilise the complexity of any group by seeking movement in as many places as possible
• Keep optimistic – with a focus on the better future

from “Rules of thumb for change agents”, a chapter by Shepard in Organization Development Classics, 1997.)

I reckon they are helpful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Prayer Window

How do you go at remembering to pray for things that you want to pray for?

Lots of people have systems in place to help prompt them to pray for things.

I loved this idea about a prayer window that I read about here.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Impact of Interdenominational Organisations ...

I work for an interdenominational evangelical organisation.

I love that and there are so many great things that organisations like mine bring to the Christian spectrum.

However, there are some impacts of interdenominationalism.

Rory ponders whether in seeking to downplay the things that we don't agree on we lose some things and things that are important in the discipleship journey.  There are impacts, for example, of downplaying the sacraments.  This may not be significant in the interdenominational context that we are involved in together; however, often these situations shape our theology and practice strongly and we carry these influences over into the whole of our church and life contexts.  This certainly does impact the importance some place on the sacraments amongst other things - and may well have broad implications.

What do you reckon?

Friday, September 07, 2012

What is your land?

What is yours to toil? To work? To plow?

Have you found it?

Are you working it?

Are you plowing it?

What would it look like to look for it, to find it, to work it, to plow it?

It takes courage to find your land ... to work it ... to plow it ... to trust for things to grow.

(inspired by this blog post)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Discipling People Older Than You

It's been great over a number of years to play a significant role in the lives of some people who are older than I am.

For some people this is quite strange and sometimes people feel a bit uncertain about how they might go about being in an intentional discipling or mentoring role with someone who is older than they are.

This is a great 3 minute video that speaks just to that topic and says some quite helpful things.

Monday, September 03, 2012


Ideas - so often we think they come from nothing.  We treat them as if they come out of thin air.  Sometimes it seems like that.  Those moments are precious.  Far more often, however, we have to work for our ideas, or at least work for the space that allows them to come.

Cheryl Lawrie's words on this struck me the other week:

"I remember how to have ideas now. It’s 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. You have to do the hard work of being interested in the world; of being in different places, of delving into really complex areas of life, of being interested in other people’s wisdom and experience and way of interacting with their world, of not being an expert. And then the ideas just come."