Wednesday, January 31, 2007

arepas + friends = discipleship

If you haven't been to our house for arepas you are missing out on half of life! Yes you are all invited, just by commenting on any of the entries to this wonderful blog! Let us know when you're free and we'll have you over. We'd even be willing to pick you up at the airport if necessary. I know some of you out there have seen the blog by now so go ahead and click on the reply button, I'd love to hear your comments too!
We visited with 2 friends from Costa Rica tonight and of course began discussing my latest passion, discipleship. My thought this morning was, "can discipleship ever be done by a course in a book?" Being a disciple is something you are, something you do. I'm not an etymologist yet. (Had to check to see how it's spelled.) But by looks I would say that "disciple" and "discipline" have something in common. To be disciplined, you have to change your actions, not just your thoughts. So being a disciple must mean that there needs to be some change of action, interaction too, not just theory or information.
We reflected tonight w/ our friends how much we have learned over he past year about what it means to know God and trust in Him, subjects that many a sermon is preached on and many bestsellers have been written about, but until you learn to do it, no importa nada.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Being and Making Disciples

Naty and I debriefed today at Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) reflecting on the past two years of our missionary internship with them here in Columbus. We spent one year helping with Iglesia Cristiana Hispana in Hilliard with both of us serving as youth leaders, me as worship leader and Naty as church secretary. Then for the second year we followed God's leading to shift gears and joined with Columbus Network of Micro-Churches ( planting house churches. It was refreshing to reminisce over all that we have experienced in the past two years. Amazing really, how God has led us in so many ways!
The one thing that I learned by doing, more than anything else in the internship, is the supreme importance of being a disciple of Jesus and making more disciples for him.
I clearly recall one evening when we were with ICH, talking with one of the pastors of the church and telling him how important I thought it was that I be known as youth "pastor" of the church instead of just youth leader. I got so wrapped up in titles that I thought that I had to be called a "pastor" or else somehow my ministry wasn't valid. Oh how wrong I was! It didn't take long after that for God to begin showing me that it doesn't matter what title I have, what matters immensely more is who I am. Period. My life speaks so much more than any title. I've since given up seeking titles.
I've also come to see that more than pastoring and leading worship, God has first called me to be a disciple and then make disciples. Those are really priorities #1 and #2 in The Kingdom. I am since reorganizing my life to reflect those priorities.

a new OS

Microsoft is coming out with Vista. I'm not sure what it is, someone clue me in. Is it software? or an new OS? does it matter? because they are going to come up with another one in 5 years again anyway. I was challenged by a German guy named Wolfgang at an organic church conference held by in Long Beach, (which I kept calling "Palm Beach" for some wierd reason) California, that the ekklesia needs a new operating system. He also refered to it as a personal "thological suicide" that he had subjected himself to. I now ponder this death to the theology that I have developed over the past 20 years of being a believer and starting over with the motherboard wiped clean. Wow! Talk about radical!
Yet at the same time, it is the perfect time for me to hear this message because as we plan to go to Venezuela in August we will truly be starting from 0. Maybe even on the negative integer side for me because after all I am a "gringo, muzungo, guero, guaracho" or whatever else you want to call me. I feel lowered and emptied by the idea of being at 0 as I approach the mile marker of 30 years in this life. What has everything else I've lived meant? What does it matter? I really think the only wisdom I've gained is that I am really not wise at all. Wisdom comes from the Father. So, finally I'm at the point where I am beginning to see how to live "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." That is wisdom. Trust, not knowledge, not experience, not prophecy, not call, nothing else but "TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART"
To truly do that, how can I do anything else but erase the old operating system and and start again? The wierd thing is that I also think that God wants me to start over with MS DOS and not even consider Vista.

Here's a pic of our group in Long Beach, CA