Hi Five Oakers, The weekend's coming and there are few things I want to share with you:
If the product of a life lived with God is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, why are you not seeing more of these character qualities in your life? Come this weekend to find out why as we look at one of the best-known and most-loved passages in the Bible: Galatians 5:16-25 on the Fruit of the Spirit.
"N.T. Wright on Gay Marriage" in First Things
When anybody—pressure groups, governments, civilizations—suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out.
Russell D. Moore on "What if your child is gay?"
My denomination is dealing these days with a pastor in California who reversed his position on homosexuality. The pastor said that his shift coincided with his 15 year-old son’s announcement that he is gay. This is a situation every Christian should think through, now. As I’ve said before, at stake on the issue of a Christian sexual ethic is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what if, sitting across from you, is your child or grandchild?
"363 GLS: Leadership Straight from Bill Hybels"
This isn't a post but a resource you can subscribe to. Short (less than 5-minutes) video of Bill Hybels talking on leadership posted monthly, I think. If you love the GLS, I think you'll like this a lot.
One More Thing
...Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thessalonians 2:8; NIV)
Sometimes we make things way more complicated than they need to be. I remember being asked once to mentor someone and thinking, 'I have no idea where to start or how to do it.' And I had been a pastor for years at the time! I knew how to take someone through a formal discipleship process, but I had no idea how to mentor someone who asked.
The best mentoring is simple (same goes for discipling someone). Eugene Peterson, the author of the Message and of dozen of books on spirituality and spiritual growth, talks about one of his early mentors. Peterson was 20-years-old at the time and spiritually restless. First he went to his pastor. His pastor concluded that Peterson’s problem was sexual energy. He says that the pastor rambled on the subject for several meetings. He concluded from it all that sex was his pastor’s problem, not his problem. Next he went to the man in his congregation with the reputation of being a saint. What he found was a man who only wanted a platform to share his wisdom. It felt like hours of lecture but no real concern for Peterson’s real struggles.
It was only after these two failed attempts at receiving spiritual direction that a friend suggested he go and see Reuben Lance. This surprised him. Reuben looked mean with huge, bristly eyebrows and a wild, red beard. Reuben lived by himself and everyone Peterson knew was intimidated by him. He came to church but he never prayed out loud and hardly said a word. But Peterson approached Reuben and presented his dilemma. Reuben said he’d meet with him for supper and prayer two nights a week and they met the entire summer. Peterson describes their relationship:
I remember little of the content of that summer of prayers and conversations. But I do remember that I was with a person who treated me with great dignity. Or more particularly, he treated my God interest, my prayer hunger, with great dignity. The Elijah-fierceness, it turned out, protected a shy gentleness. It was also, I have since thought, an assault on sentimentality (Reuben loathed sentimentalism, especially pious sentimentalism).... He had nothing to tell me, although he freely talked about himself when it was appropriate. But he never took over. . . . Reuben assumed a stance of wonderment. In his company, I began to enter also into wonder. For his attentiveness was not to me, as such, but to God. Slowly his attitude began to infect me--I gradually began to lose interest in myself and got interested in God at work in me.
So simple. They met for prayer and conversation. Reuben listened well and shared his wonderment over God.
If you can listen well, and if God and his grace still amaze you, you can mentor someone. Don't shy away if someone asks.