Category Archives: Questions on Faith

Another Question: How Will a Relationship With God Manifest Itself?

“If I become a Christian, how will this relationship with God manifest itself?  Will he talk to me the way everyone else I share a relationship with does?”

This is another, really good, rightful question.  And there’s no condescension in the second part as there are people (and many believers) who feel as though God speaks to, and sometimes through, them and/or others.  That being said, let’s get this out of the way first; does God talk to me as my friends/family/etc. do in other relationships? No. Still, are there ways I know He’s there, He’s looking out for me and He has my best interests at heart? Yes.  I’ll give you two examples:

In the couple of days leading up to my post(s) on porn addiction (here and here), the two daily devotional books my wife and I read from both had to do with being in God’s will; resting in God’s will; knowing that if you earnestly strive to follow Him, He has your best interests in mind. Then, the posts came out and an unanticipated, curious fall-out happened with the non-profit my wife and I were involved with–ending with our walking away from an organization my wife helped to co-found.  Oddly, our first thoughts were of almost a relief and finality. This isn’t the first time we’ve rocked the boat with our “controversial” stands on issues, including outward proclamations of our faith, but by this time we’d had enough. We were fine with walking away. Even walking away from something my wife had helped to create. Then, looking back over those previous days devotions, it became clear to us that things happened exactly as they were supposed to happen, God was setting us up to be okay with it, and through it all, we were going to be okay. You can call it karma, or coincidence, or fate. We choose to call it God’s will for us.  In other words, one of the ways our relationship with Him has manifested itself.

The next would be the birth of our daughter. Continue reading Another Question: How Will a Relationship With God Manifest Itself?

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Gentle, Meek, Humble: UGH!

In a couple previous posts (here and here), I’ve touched on aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  While writing, I kind of hit a speed bump though with this particular one: gentleness (meekness, humility).  As from the Amplified version of Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

Let’s first deal with some definitions:

Gentleness: the quality or state of being gentle; especially: mildness of manners or disposition.
Meekness: enduring injury with patience and without resentment: deficient in spirit and courage: submissive: not violent or strong.
Humility: the quality or state of being humble: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission.

Really??!!

“[Mild] of manners or disposition”, “deficient in spirit and courage”, “. . . offered in a spirit of deference or submission”?  Total honesty here, but that’s not exactly how I would want myself described.  How about you?  I mean, I’m a guy after all, I have this certain, macho, roguish image to uphold.

(Somewhere, my wife is snorting coffee through her nose in hysterics . . . but I digress.)

Could that really be who God intends for his followers to be?  Is this what we, as being like Christ, are to show to the world?  Are these attributes in any way appealing to anyone to want to give their lives over and pursue?

In this day and age?

Do you equate “gentleness, meekness and humility” with “weakness, softness and frailty”?  In being humble, are we also being . . . wimpy?

Something’s got to be missing here.  The fruits of the Spirit are supposed to be advantageous to us; desirable; things we can rest in; finding comfort and assurance. Continue reading Gentle, Meek, Humble: UGH!

An Observers Perspective of Discipleship Training

This is a reblog of my first post published through RLM’s Church Training & Development website.  Does this mean I’m an officially published writer now?? 🙂

An Observers Perspective of Discipleship Training

Here’s an idea. Let’s take a group of 90 to 95 people from about 12 to 15 churches around the nation, put them all in groups of 10 to 12 in separate rooms along with a staff of three volunteers and we’ll just talk about some of our innermost hopes, dreams and fears over the next two days.

And so we do.

And it works. It has for years. In fact, there’s currently a waiting list of various church staff from across the U.S. awaiting the opportunity to come to this “conference”.

Why?

Because a lot of churches, be it their staff, their vision or their congregations, are stuck or gone sideways. Maybe they have lost their spark or sense of direction—often through no fault of their own—and are desperately searching for that elusive “thing” that will bring them back together as a cohesive unit. Hopefully reigniting the passion and commitment they had so long—or not so long—ago.

That “thing”, is called Immersion, and it is discipleship training unlike any other you’ve ever been to. I promise.

What makes it special?

Let’s start with the rotating cast of characters that staff these sessions. No less than about 60 people make these events possible; all overseen by an official church staff of eight to ten. That’s right; about 90% of the team that put on these Immersion events are volunteers: From facilitators to food prep to prayer warriors. I know, I’m one of them, having recently dipped my toes into the fast running rapids of volunteer ministry through both the Church Training & Development team and the Marketing & Communications team.

I was what you call an “observer”—yes, that’s an official title.  (Please click here to continue reading . . . )