by Justin GravittIf someone asked you to compile a list of seven basics of a disciple’s life, what would you include? Now, I’m not talking about beliefs or doctrines, but practices or disciplines. Take a moment and think about what would be on your list. When I was an infant disciple, I was introduced to seven basics. As I grew, they helped clarify for me what a disciple practiced. They also prepared me to be a disciplemaker. The seven basics keep the focus tight enough to manage and yet broad enough to develop depth. To be honest, I don’t know… Read moreSeven basics to develop in those you disciple
Wisdom cries aloud in the street,in the markets she raises her voice;at the head of the noisy streets she cries out . . .Proverbs 1:20-21 by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) The noise in our streets is deafening. Daily it seems that another stature or monument is toppled. I have mixed feelings about this. No one likes public destruction. However, the protests pose an uncomfortable question, “What are we honoring through a monument?” In some cases, the statues honored individuals who promoted and supported slavery and segregation. How do we look back in history and evaluate leaders we once admired? As citizens… Read moreStatues are coming down…is there a message for us?
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com)I know that stomping on a chalk drawing is not going to stop the pandemic. This fun act takes off some of the edge of being “self-isolated.” Nearly three months in the same house is pretty confining. Stomping on the virus helps me “get real.” “Stomp!” read a neighbors’ chalk drawing. Nate is an art teacher at a local high school. He drew a replica of the corona virus on the street and invited people walking by to “stomp!” on the virus. So I did! And it felt good. I’m sometimes “reality challenged.” When asked “How are… Read moreStomp!
by Bill Mowry (www.alongsider.com) It’s time to ask some questions. Not everyone is comfortable with asking questions or answering questions. Look at how politicians and teachers squirm when asked a question they’re unprepared to answer. Question asking is important. The dilemma is which questions should we ask. Two questions are in people’s minds today. First the big one: “Why is God allowing this pandemic?” The second is more practical: “When will it be safe to start up schools or go to a restaurant?” The latter question is for politicians and scientists. The former question nags at everyone’s soul in tough times…. Read moreIt’s time to ask some questions.
By Bill Mowry – I feel like I need some soul-therapy as I shelter-in-place. It’s been over three weeks since I’ve been in a store or a restaurant. It’s been over three weeks since I talked with a non-family member closer than six feet away. It’s been four weeks since I’ve been in a Lowe’s or Home Depot (maybe the hardest separation!). On top of that, I’m bombarded by life-threatening statistics and images through the media. Peggy and I are grateful for God’s protection and provision but sometimes our emotions see-saw up and down according to the latest news cycle…. Read moreTherapy for the Sheltered-in-place
By Bill Mowry – I was bored by the roundtable discussion on disciplemaking . . . until Jeff spoke. “I should be more intentional about disciplemaking” he said, “but I tend to wing it. I guess I’m more organic in my approach.” Carol immediately jumped in on Jeff’s comment: “I invite friends from the neighborhood over to fold laundry and talk about Jesus and the Bible. This is how I disciple others. It’s pretty organic.” I liked the discussion on flexibility and friendship but what caught my attention was the word “organic.” “Organic” is a popular term describing how we… Read moreIs it Organic or Intentional?
by Ron Bennett ( http://www.rbennett.net/ ) All communication is based on shared meanings not shared words. Words are only the container into which meaning is added. For example, the word “agua” is a random arrangement of letters unless you are familiar with Spanish. When Spanish speaking people see the letters “agua”, they share a common meaning. If we are to understand their meaning, we must look at it through the lens of their culture. Another example of the problem of meaning is found in the biblical term “eternal life”: a very common concept in our religious culture. Jesus told Nicodemus… Read moreThe Anatomy of Discipleship
by Ron Bennett Success in baseball is simple to explain but much harder to achieve. The number of hits, errors, base runners, or any other of the myriad stats that go into making baseball interesting, do not count in the end. All that really matters is the number of players who touch all four bases in a counter clockwise sequence in a particular inning. Spiritual coaching/mentoring, like baseball, has 4 bases which need to be touched each time you meet. The bases are the same regardless of the level of maturity or the type of coaching that is taking place. … Read moreThe Relational Diamond
by Tricia McCary Rhodes The ancient Celts used to say that there are only a few feet between heaven and earth and at times, that distance can be even smaller. When this happened, they called it a “thin place.” A thin place is that Kairos moment, that holy instance where God breaks in and we experience him in ways that are precious and transformative and impossible to describe. Thin places can be our experience during majestic moments of communal worship, or in the sleepy solitude of morning prayer. Thin places often emerge through our encounters with nature; The roar of the ocean… Read moreCultivating Quietness in a VERY LOUD WORLD
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) I marvel at how God mysteriously and paradoxically ties His will to our prayer lives. Our Lord is fully sovereign, able to accomplish His purposes without us, yet our prayers play a role in moving His hand. Consider the example of Samuel. As a Judge and Prophet for Israel, it’s recorded that, “Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:13). Why was God’s hand so evident during Samuel’s lifetime? I believe it was more than his prowess as a leader. Samuel’s farewell speech provides a clue: “As for me,… Read moreThe Alongsider’s Partnership