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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

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,  Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
-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…

Teaching vs. Indoctrination

As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
-Acts 17:2

There is a difference between teaching and indoctrination.  Education is not indoctrination.  But some secular and christian education is indoctrination masquerading as education.

If you are a teacher, whether you homeschool your children, teach at the pro level or you teach in your church; it is good to know this difference between indoctrination and true teaching.  Many people are indoctrinated today, rather than taught.

What you might notice, is that when you preach, whether you preach to a crowd or a few, it is easy to be an indoctrinator rather than a true teacher.  True teachers ask people questions and expect them to challenge and debate them.


Sharing ideas and conceptsTeaching is absorbed and integrated into one's own lifeConcepts or ideas are questioned and debatedMaterial is reflected uponStudents summarize back what's being learnedStudents thin…

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.  …