Dream: The Agony of Hope

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“We have forgotten — or perhaps never really understood — what it means to trust that God is in control.
Politics matters.
But we have forgotten that good political leaders were supposed to be our gift to the world.
Now we think they are something the world has to give us, so we can truly practice our faith — or feel good about ourselves.
So whenever we see a leader — inside or outside the church — who doesn’t seem to honor our truth, we are filled with anguish; and act like God has abandoned us… ”

Music Playlist: The Agony of Hope

With Bill Breck
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Dream: Techie Mayor CEO

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I am at another startup
We have just gotten a new interim CEO
Everyone is skeptical
Especially the Engineers

Because the CEO
is actually the (former?) mayor
Of a nearby town
(Small but with a large population)

Everyone is expecting him
To be a slick extrovert
With no substance
Or Intellectual depth

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Unsolicited Fatherly Advice

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Based on everything I have learned over the last several years, here is my current practice for how to confront someone I love that I am concerned about.

It reflects many painful learnings about what I have found to be counterproductive, but I am sure there is still room for improvement. Let me know your thoughts!

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DBJ Season 2: Call for Hosts

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This week is the “Jubilee” recap, ending Season 1 (2021A) of Discipling by Jesus.
Season 2 (2021B) starts the week of April 11th and runs through Pentecost.
Registration will be available soon.

Robby and I are inclined to NOT host any sessions for Season 2, in order to create space for new people to Host. Instead, we are inclined to act as Sponsors to walk alongside new Hosts, who have full autonomy to manage their Sessions as they see fit.

Please let us know ASAP if you are interested!

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TGR-S4E6: FBD-1 “Empowering Disciples”

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This week on the Biastes we will be attempting a “FishBowl Dialogue” between Ernie P. and David J. This blog post is Ernie’s attempt to organize his thoughts in advance, based on his current best guess about David’s underlying Concern. Tune in next Tuesday 9/29/2020 to find out what actually happens!

What exactly are we talking about?

Question: What exactly is Ernie trying to accomplish with The Great Reset?

Perspective: Show the Body of Christ how to empower disciples of Jesus to keep growing closer to Him — rather than us.

See also: David and Ernie’s follow-up video.

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TGR-S4E1: Healthy Submission

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We kick off Season 4 of The Great Reset with the Biastes* on 1pm PDT Tuesday, Aug 25, 2020 by wrestling with questions of authority and submission, prompted by a viewer’s email.

Question

How should members of Christ’s Body best relate to internal and external human authorities and institutions, in order to continually increase God’s Kingdom?

Practice healthy submission to existing structures while we continue to design and implement more Christ-centered models
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Joshua 3: Holy Shittim!

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Questions:

  • Why should the Israelites stay a kilometer behind the ark?
  • How does God exalt Joshua? To what end?
  • Where should priests keep the presence of God?
  • What is the connection between “relationship” and “results”?
  • What’s the secret to leading a large group on inconceivable adventures?

Read more to pursue answers in [Joshua 3]

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Knight Club: The Knight’s Code

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The following is based on 1 – Introduction – The Training of a Knight – Age of Chivalry – Thomas Bulfinch, adapted surprisingly little to match the challenges of a preschool boy in modern America.

Knights:

  1. Respect their elders
  2. Serve the church
  3. Help their friends
  4. Protect the weak

I added the converse, to help clarify appropriate versus inappropriate behavior.

Bullies:

  1. Disobey their elders
  2. Disrupt the church
  3. Fight their friends
  4. Take from the weak

 

LEAD! Part A, Revisited

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The LEAD! course format evolved considerably during the time I wrote it, especially in the first 3 months. We are working to publish it as a three-volume bible study, which means I need to go back and make the first few lessons consistent with the latter ones. So, I’ll try to rewrite each of the lessons from Part A at the rate of at least one per week.

The new lessons will replace the ones currently in the syllabus; links to the original lessons are archived below.

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LEAD! C.12 Joy in the Journey

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In Which We Begin to Pursue the End…

This is the final lesson in our series, but hopefully just the beginning of your journey in understanding what it means to lead others — and yourself — into the “name” of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As we proceed to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (cf Philippians 2:12), it is essential to continually rejoice (cf. Philippians 4:4), because the “joy of the Lord is our strength” (cf. Nehemiah 8:10). We may occasionally become discouraged when we realize we will never reach complete perfection, either in our discipline, our character, or even our theology (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:9). On the other hand, the good news is that this means we will always have room for improvement!

This course has tried to give you the basics, but there are even more wonderful truths about Christ to be understood, deeper works of the Holy Spirit to be experienced, and greater glories for the Father to be won.

May we persevere together in that pursuit until the day we are all finally united with our Beloved Bridegroom, to celebrate His matchless “name” for all eternity.

Memory Verse: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”Matthew 25:13 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 13. Celebration
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 13. Perseverance
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 8. Joy: “We Laughed, We Sang”
    • 11. Perseverance: “They Never Could Keep Me Down!”
    • A Long Obedience: Epilogue
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 9. A Rule of Life: Cultivating Rhythms for Spiritual Transformation

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LEAD! C.11 Discerning Direction

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In Which We Hear to Obey, and Obey to Hear

Few questions are more fraught with promise and peril for the believer than “What is God’s will for my life?” While we know the textbook answers, we still long for more specific, personal guidance — and rightly so. Properly hearing God’s voice can open the door to dramatic transformation of people, relationships, and society; alas, mishearing God’s voice can result in darkest tragedy.

There is no simple answer, but there is a sure promise: if we entrust our ways to the Lord by faithfully pursuing the disciplines in submission to the Spirit, the Word, and the Body, He will ultimately lead us in a way that glorifies His name…

Memory Verse: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 12. Guidance
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 12. Learning
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 3. Providence: “God Guards You from Every Evil”
    • 14. Obedience: “How He Promised God”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 7. Discernment: Recognizing and Responding to the Presence of God

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LEAD! C.10 World-Changing Worship

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In Which We Give Up the World for God, So We Can Give God to the World

Worship is simultaneously the most personal and the most all-encompassing of all human experiences. True worship is to encounter the Divine Presence in the very depths of our being, in a posture of absolute stillness and submission.

Yet such an encounter doesn’t merely empower and inspire us; it also requires us to manifest that same Presence amidst the frenzy and confusion of this present darkness (cf. Ephesians 6:12). Even to those we think least likely to respond…

Memory Verse: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.””John 4:24 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 11. Worship
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 5. Worship
    • 6. Evangelism
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 4. Worship: “Let’s Go to the House of God!”
    • 16. Blessing: “Lift Your Praising Hands”

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LEAD! C.9 Confrontation and Confession

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In Which We Speak The Truth, Even If It Hurts

Early we discussed reconciliation and forgiveness in the light of Christ’s salvation. This week, we dig into the disciplines which enables all of those: confession, and its handmaiden confrontation.

Though we love to be forgiven, we generally hate to confess, and are terrified of confrontation. Though we are ready to face persecution and death for the sake of Christ, we find ourselves paralyzed at the thought of admitting our sins to another — never mind confronting them face-to-face with their own sin!

Yet these two disciplines have the potential to break individual and community strongholds of sin that otherwise would not fall despite years of bible study, prayer, and fasting. They may be a heavy cross to bear, but if we persevere in them we shall find a glorious resurrection at the end…

Memory Verse: “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”James 5:20 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • Part III. The Corporate Disciplines
    • 10. Confession
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 11. Journaling
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 2. Repentance: “I’m Doomed to Live in Meshech”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 6. Self-Examination: Bringing My Whole Self Before God

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LEAD! C.8 Submission and Service

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In Which We Triumph By Surrendering

Submission is the key to understanding and exercising divine authority. Not merely submitting to God, but also to other humans — even those we might be tempted to count our inferiors — in order to serve them.

Crucially, our service must not spring from codependency or a need to be liked, but from a single-minded devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ, who made Himself a servant for our sake.

For only if we serve as Jesus served can we triumph as He triumphs.

Memory Verse: “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.”2 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 8. Submission
    • 9. Service
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 7. Serving
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 5. Service: “Like Servants . . . We’re Watching & Waiting”
    • 15. Community: “Like Costly Anointing Oil Flowing Down Head & Beard”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • N/A

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LEAD! C.7 Silence and Solitude

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In Which We Withdraw From The World To Draw Near To God

The modern world considers solitary confinement and enforced silence as among the worst long-term punishments — with good reason; it is a terrifying thing to be cut off from the consolations and diversions of society. And yet, the very severity of that terror hints at the fertile spiritual soil to be uncovered when we deliberately cultivate time away from the distractions of ordinary human life…

Memory Verse: “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them; but He said to them, ‘I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.’ “Luke 4:42-43 (NKJV)

Assigned Reading
  1. Richard Foster: Celebration of Discipline

    • 7. Solitude
  2. Donald Whitney: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

    • 10. Silence and Solitude
  3. Eugene Peterson: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

    • 7. Security: “God Encircles His People”
  4. Ruth Haley Barton: Sacred Rhythms

    • 2. Solitude: Creating Space for God

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