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Many years ago, I used to be like a space man or a sea diver when I ventured into gatherings of people who were not my home church. If I was with a buddy of mine from my church, in my mind we were both in a diving bell or a module that was a bubble around our spiritual lives and practices. An exception to this is when we were on a missions trip or at an evangelistic outreach. But when we did a missions trip or an outreach it was still like we had the space suits or diving gear on while we came into contact with "the other". No one stood up and taught us this behavior, but it was modeled. That was then for me.

Now, I don't view the Christian life that way. Church, missionary, and evangelist are something we are; not something we go to or do. Jesus was who he was and did what he did seven days a week. He didn't have a "holy bubble" around him. Jesus is the model for the church, for church life, for mission, for evangelism. The religious leaders were doing it the bubble way.

Contextualization is taking the good news into and being the good news in a different culture than our own and putting it into a language that can be understood by the hearer and seer that in no way waters it down. This is probably harder than the "build it and they will come", or "invite them to church (meetings)" approach. But to me, it's more authentic and holistic. I believe that it is better for people to find Christ where they live. They already have some nurture (pastoral care, eldering, brotherly & sisterly love) where they live from those who shared Christ with them. Because of this, they have support already and stand a good chance of growing.


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The Two Disciples and The Two Donkeys

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-Matthew 21:1-7

On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. But, he had two disciples get two donkeys: a mother donkey and her colt. Jesus rode the young male who had never been ridden before. In his carefulness and perhaps kindness towards these two donkeys, he had th…

God's Secret, Hidden People

(The children) of Elam 1,254.  -Ezra 2:7

Do you feel hidden?

The name Elam means secret or hidden.  Do you feel like you are on the shelf, not being used by God?  Maybe you are part of God's secret agents.

God has people who are in secret.

I have this idea that God has His attention on secret people.   I believe that God has rewards for secret people coming.  You may feel on the shelf, but you are actually hidden for a special purpose.  God has you in reserve.

The number one thousand, two-hundred, and fifty-four; tells us God's plan for his hidden, secret, and in reserve children

One thousand speaks of recompense.

Recompense means that you will be compensated or made amends to, due to harm or loss you suffered. In Genesis 20:16 is the story of Abimelech recompensing Abraham and Sarah.

Two speaks of fellowship, partnership, and co-laboring (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There are hidden people who have felt like they are "going it alone", who are about to be joined by someone.  …

God Will Always Bless Your Rest, by Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke:

"So in Genesis 2, by the seventh day, God completed his work which he had done and he rested on the 7th day from all his work he had done, and then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made.

God will always bless your rest.


Since I learned rest, there has never been a time when God has not blessed that rest and honored that rest and sanctified my rest.

In other words, set aside peace for me; set aside rest for me.

So, for me, therefore, when God blesses something and sanctifies it and sets it apart; what that means is rest is always available as an absolute essential for life.

So, every circumstance you encounter already has rest in the issue.

No matter how hard, no matter how harsh, no matter how difficult, no matter how awful; every single circumstance has rest, because it's the one thing that God has blessed and sanctified, in terms of his relationship with you.

So, it'…