Friday, February 22, 2013

Who are you like? Thoughts on talking vegetables and vocab.

Have you ever found yourself deep in conversation with a friend, only to realize that you are mimicking her body posture?  I find myself doing it a lot, actually, and sometimes I feel silly when I realize that, just like my friend across the table, I am sitting with my chin on my hand, or arms crossed, or even leaning to the left or the right.  But it is actually a good thing - it shows empathy and helps you connect with the person across from you.  I've also noticed that I pick up my friends' vocabulary.  You could probably tell who I've been hanging out with by the slang and cliches permeating my conversations and status updates.  Don't tell him I told you this, but I often hear my husband's words come out of my own mouth, even as he is saying the same thing. It just goes to show that we become like the people we spend time with. Hopefully, I'm spending time with people that rub off on me in a good way!

But seriously, there is One whom I hope to be the most like.  One Person that I hope is reflected in my speech, in my behavior, and in my responses to others.  The only way I'm going to be like Him is to spend a lot of time with Him, allowing the Spirit to work on my heart, and transform my thoughts, words, and actions.     I hate to admit this, but it is hard for me, with three small children, a small business of my own, and hours of grad school homework, to find even a few minutes of quiet time to spend with my Savior. Today, it seems, the most Bible time I've had is listening as the kids watch King George and the Ducky (the Veggie Tales version of David and Bathsheba).  At the risk of becoming more like a talking vegetable than the Savior, I know that I need to find a few minutes to visit my Savior, to sit across the table from Him, in order to make my actions look like His.

How do you find time in your schedule to read your Bible, to pray, and to know your Savior?

1 John 2:4-6, The Message
If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Am a Follower by Leonard Sweet

Leonard Sweet turns the world of discipleship and ministry upside-down in his book, I Am a Follower.  His premise is that grasping for leadership is contrary to the heart of God.  Jesus didn't call any of us to be leaders.  He called each and every one of us to be followers - His followers.  Using the example of apostle Paul, Sweet demonstrates this idea.  Paul didn't claim to be a leader; Paul asked others to join him as he follows Christ.  Those in leadership positions should not really think of themselves as leaders, rather, they should see themselves as first-followers: people who follow Christ first, and then point the way so that others can do the same. This counter-culture book is great for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the realm of discipleship and following Christ.

I've always had a respect for Leonard Sweet, for his creativity, for his writing style, for his ability to get to the heart of the matter and simply tell the truth.  I was a little surprised by the nature of this book.  I didn't expect Sweet to dash our leadership hopes on the shores of discipleship.  But he certainly has opened my eyes to a different way of doing discipleship and a different way of seeing the church.  As I work my way through seminary, I am seeing my future in a new way.  I don't have to strive for leadership, respect, or anything else.  My focus needs to be, first and foremost, on following Jesus Christ and inviting others to follow Him along side of me.

This is a great book for anyone heading into ministry, already in ministry, or anyone looking to delve deeper into discipleship and knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.  Sweet does a great job embracing this topic honestly and creatively.

Monday, February 11, 2013

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