Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thoughts on Discipleship

Discipleship, what is it? Many are talking about it, but many do not have a workable definition that eventually leads to a desired result, even I don’t! Wait, maybe I do…I “believe that we exist to walk with people, guiding them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, nurturing them towards a Christ-like maturity and equipping them for ministry to release them into the world.”

So a while back I threw open the idea that I wanted to make myself available to “do life” with a number of men from our community. So, here I am trying to meet with a number of individuals and find it incredibly difficult to connect, other than the internet!!!!!

Here are some of my thoughts and I would love to read some of yours.
(For some of you read CAREFULLY [that may mean s-l-o-w-l-y as well] before your respond)

I, and many other believers are following Jesus and living life as broken, fractured people – and by that I don’t mean that we are bad people; we are redeemed and we have a position, a new identity in Christ, so I’m not talking about walking in shame and guilt when I say that - but what I am saying is that we are still broken. We are not fully reclaimed. We are, thank God, redeemed, and there is a difference. But the process, or this theological concept is what we call sanctification and it is ongoing and lifelong.

So, in a nutshell I wonder if being a disciple of Jesus is messy? I know in Christianity we want things nice and neat and churchy, PERFECT almost like 'Shiny happy People' but hear me out! While following Jesus is a passion, following Him is a daily struggle, a daily commitment (Just drive the streets of Winnipeg). Even as a pastor, I think about my own life and how much further “down the road” I should be and I’m not. So, before you start criticizing those of us who take discipleship very seriously because we refuse to make it a program or a religious process or a set of rules, or a book where you fill in the blanks remember, being a disciple of Jesus Christ is messy.

It is wonderful. It is worth it. It is fascinating. It is a blessing. It is life changing. But at times we gain and then lose ground, we step forward and then fall back, we attempt to step over it and then sometimes we end up stepping in it. I wonder if the key here is not the process, but progress.

So, if you’ve made progress in your walk with God as a spiritual being then you’re a disciple, and you’re in the process that the theologians call sanctification. One day we will be fully restored to a glorious state. But today you feel like a mess, and if you feel like a mess, that is OK. OH, I said it!!!!!! Yes, even if you feel like a mess, there is someone who is there to walk with you…carry you…be with you…pray for you…encourage you…help you…listen to you… and the list goes on…sometimes all we have to do is just ask.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Mind Dump

One of the greatest privileges I have is to be a Dad. I have four great sons: Joshua, Jordan, James and Jesse. It has been the joy of my life to be their father. They are wonderful young men and I couldn’t be prouder of all of them and then to see three of them playing at Soul on Sunday in the band. I love my kids because they are all very different and they all have great hearts, amazing talents, they are strong, and smart; all a winning combination.

One of the things I have to admit regarding Father’s Day, is that while I love being a father, I haven’t always been a good one. I’ve been too flawed, and too self-centered and selfish too much of the time. So on Father’s Day when we thank fathers for all that they do, why don’t we as fathers take time to re-double our effort to be the godly men that our children need and deserve?

My prayer or my pledge to my boys is that I will love them, lead them, bless them, to pick them up when they fall, and to follow their lead when they outrun me, as they’ve already begun doing, and I will also love thier mother.

On a separate note!

"The greatest opposition to what God is doing today comes from those who were on the cutting edge of what God was doing yesterday." - R.T. Kendall, pastor of Westminster Chapel

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Well Said....

I get confused at times...really I do. I get confused how people "do church." I wrote a post a while back on McChurch but recently an fellow blogger wrote one that I found interesting.

Give it is a read and tell me what you think....


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Tattoo Testimonies

Tattoo's, currently a cultural phenomena, yet something that has a history! I received an email that got me thinking and the email went like this...

Hi Gerry,
Sunday {at Soul} I met a young woman who had an amazing Tattoo on her left arm. Chatting with her a little during the coffee break this crazy thought hit me. Could we do a "Tattoo Testimony" service . . . or something similar, where we get those folks from Soul with Ink to share the meaning behind their artwork.

This young woman had her Tattoo done in Indonesia, and although I didn't get any details, I walked away knowing there was a story behind it. It would be a very cool opportunity for people that aren't really "mainstream" in the church to get the opportunity to share their story and journey. I have three Tattoos and they all have meaning and a story to them.
So this got me thinking...why tattoos? and what is the story behind them? I would like to know...
Personally, there is no way that you would stick me a thousand times to leave a mark that Goof Off couldn't remove! Ok, fine...I hate needles....but I am still a man! So, I threw this thought out on Sunday and I promptly recieved and email that went like this...
"Pastor Gerry, On the topic of tattooing- I quote Lev.19:28 'You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you.' However, I do believe in the temporary kind of tattoo, the impression of my hand on the BUTT of my child. this kind of tattoo is visible for a short time but has lasting results in responsive children who now serve the Lord and minister to people. MOM ."
What are your thoughts?