Tag Archives: discipleship

Six Questions to Start the Summer

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I love questions.

Asking them, being asked, reading them—I love them all. That’s partially why I became a journalist; I could get paid to ask questions and learn. Hashtag what dreams are made of.

This morning kicked off summer classes with my high school and college discipleship group and we began by answering these six questions. They were challenging, exposing, and fun for us. Maybe they might be fun and beneficial for you?

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Waffles, Authority, and the Color Pink

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It was a typical morning. 

The 2 year old with wild blonde bedhead was in her booster seat, the 8 month old played happily in his high chair, and I was cutting up strawberries and waffles.

On the days I nanny, this is the normal 7 a.m. scene and I love it.

It’s time for food. It’s time for talking. It’s time for theology.

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How to Suffer Missionally

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Broken relationships.
Cancer.
Sickness.
Death.
Loss.
Tragedy.
Grief.
Loneliness.

What if Scripture tells us God is a divine multitasker and that this hurt doesn’t only affect us? What if we aren’t suffering because God is cruel but because He’s equipping us to help others in ways we couldn’t without it?

We all suffer. What separates Christ-followers from the world is the way we respond. And with hearts and ears anchored in the Gospel, we can hear the sermon suffering preaches.

Suffering tells us we’re all groaning for full redemption and that we’re not alone because no life is untouched by difficulty. The poison of sin has slithered into the DNA of every human and with it comes suffering—the proof of our brokenness.

Perhaps God walks us down roads filled with potholes and trials and grief so we can learn the streets and one day drive others down them, helping them to navigate the curves to get to the finish line.

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Wisdom, Banana Splits, and My Cute Parents

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We enjoyed 1991 with big smiles and noteworthy bangs.

Teachable moments.
Character building exercises. 
Family meetings and studying Proverbs. 
Heart-to-hearts over big bowls of cereal. 
Constant heart checks and hard questions. 
Laughter, tears, discipline, and mercy. 
Dinner conversation and studying Philippians.
More love and grace than I could deserve in 10,000 lifetimes. 

That’s what my childhood was made of. 

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Not Jesus “the Great”

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Pluralism affirms that every “ism” has its own independent validity and an equal right to our respect. 

It therefore rejects Christian claims to finality and uniqueness, and condemns as sheer arrogance the attempt to convert anybody (let alone everybody) to what it sees as merely our opinions.

How should we respond to the spirit of pluralism? With great humility, I hope, and with no hint of personal superiority. But we must continue to affirm the uniqueness and finality of Jesus Christ. For He is unique in His incarnation (the one and only God-man), unique in His atonement (only He has died for the sins of the world), and unique in His resurrection (only He has conquered death). And since in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in His birth), then bear our sins (in His death), and then triumph over death (in His resurrection), He is uniquely competent to save sinners. Nobody else possesses His qualifications.

So we may talk about Alexander the Great, Charles the Great and Napoleon the Great, but not Jesus the Great. He is not the Great—He is the only. There is nobody like Him. He has no rival and no successor.

-John Stott, The Radical Disciple 

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The Unexpected Gift of McDonald’s

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Over the last several months, I’ve been to McDonald’s more than ever before in my life.

And I’ve never been more grateful for the Golden Arches.

This gratitude is not due to a fervent love (or even appreciation) for McDonald’s particular strand of gourmet food or because of their recent commitment to all white-meat chicken in their nuggets, or even their quality black coffee which I consume with Gilmore-esque enthusiasm.

This newfound love for McDonald’s actually has nothing to do with McDonald’s and everything to do with whom I dine.

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Five Observations from a Cruise Ship

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I never thought I would go on a cruise.

But, in a twist of God’s kind providence, my parents and I just got home from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas and, along with a sweet sun-poisoning rash, I brought back a few observations from our time sailing the Atlantic (as well as a few hundred photos).

Warning: I love palm trees. I may or may not have photographic evidence of pretty much every single one we saw. You’ve been warned.

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What if it’s Supposed to Be Hard?

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We were gathered around a picnic table of fried food and milkshakes when one of my darling small group girls confessed an ongoing struggle to spend time reading the Bible.

As we swapped mutual experiences and compared war wounds, it became clear that this was not an infection exclusive to just one girl but something each of us battle daily.

Diagnostic questions followed.

Why is it easier to watch Gilmore Girls or play on our phones than study Scripture?
Why do we say we don’t have time to get in the Word but spend extensive time each day watching Netflix or perusing Snapchat and Instagram?
Why don’t we wake up every morning in a hurry to fling the blankets off because we’re so excited to pore over the Bible?
Why is it often hard to start reading Scripture?

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Monday Morning Munch No. 161 – Reading Material

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The September/October RTM Magazine is all about the Gospel and relationships.

Interactive content includes articles about marriage, parenting, listening, relating to God in a smart phone society, and our desire to fix people.

Find these stories and other helpful resources in the new {free} RTM Magazine.

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August Reads

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Oh, August. The month when school starts back, the temperature takes a tiny chill pill, and apparently I have more time for reading (which probably has something to do with the whole back-to-school, all-my-babies-have-left-me-during-the-week-for-the-classroom thing). 

As my schedule opened up so have my bookshelves. The following are the books that filled most of my free time last month.

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