Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Be Like Him

Two weeks ago, I mentioned the practices that Dallas Willard claims to be ok, but not primary to the objective of turning yourself into a disciple of Jesus. The last half of Chapter 9 in the Divine Conspiracy dives into what the two primary objectives are. The first is to bring apprentices to the point where they dearly love and constantly delight in the “heavenly father” made real to us on earth in Jesus. There is no “catch” and no limit to the goodness of his intentions or his power to carry them out. The second objective is to remove our automatic responses against the kingdom of God – to free us from our old habitual patterns of thought, feeling and action. Our body has been trained outside the kingdom to respond in certain ways, and it will continue to do so until we purposefully disrupt them. Dallas adds that the two objectives cannot be separated.  They must be pursued in parallel as they feed off of each other. I am expecting Dallas to continue to provide guidance on these two objectives as we read on.   

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Disciples in training

Our small group from church is now in Chapter 9 The Divine Conspiracy.  Dallas Willard will be giving sound wisdom on what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  But before diving in, he warns us of four objectives which are NOT primary in becoming disciples.  He lists 1) external conformity to the wording of Jesus’ teachings about how to respond in certain situations, 2) profession of perfectly correct doctrine, 3) faithfulness to activities of the church and 4) seeking special states of mind or ecstatic experiences all as non-primary.   While none are bad in and of themselves, they just do not create the kind of transformation that God wants for us.  Stay tuned for what does.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Author's Perspective

The Young Messiah is opening in theaters tomorrow around the country.  I am always interested to see the origins of religious themed movies and how they are received by the public.  Anne Rice wrote the book which the movie is based on.  Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt tells the story of the 7 year old Jesus through his own eyes.   The premise sounds interesting to me.   I was surprised to find that while Ms. Rice was raised Catholic, she later became agnostic as a young adult, and then returned to Catholicism during the period that she wrote the book.   She has now distanced herself from the church again over her positions on social issues, but claims that God is still a big part of her life.  It will be interesting to see how all of the searching might play out in her depiction of Jesus in this movie.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Running for Him

In my SpotOnTheLake post this week, I featured 16 year old, Grace Cromer, who started Pennies for Preemies, a non-profit organization helping families of babies born prematurely.   There is another family I know who had two precious daughters born prematurely.  Caroline and Abby were born to Catherine and Michael Goforth.  Catherine was our go-to babysitter on our  street when my kids were young.   We knew from an early age that Catherine was special, and she has grown into an amazing wife, mom and lover of Jesus.  The twins are thriving and they now have two additional sisters.  Catherine and her husband have been closely involved in Young Life for many years.  Young Life is an organization that promotes adults forming bonds with kids to help shape them into the people that God intended.  Catherine is running a half-marathon in Asheville in support of her association with Young Life.  Run, Catherine, Run!