Archive for the ‘vocation/calling/work’ Category

Here’s a great follow-up to yesterday’s post. This is a video by Darrin Patrick, who is a pastor in St. Louis and leader of the Acts29 church planting movement.

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Last Sunday, Kennon Vaughan of Downline Ministries spoke to the Emmaus class about his testimony and discipleship. One thing (among many) he said that has really stayed with me was how Soup Campbell responded to Kennon’s desire to be discipled: “Soup told me that he wasn’t interested in how smart or talented I was, but that if I was faithful he could show me how to be a man of God.” It has me thinking about how often I try to be self-sufficient instead of trusting God.  One other part of his story that has stuck around is the question he asked Soup after several months of “living life” with  and being discipled by Soup: “Where are the other men doing what you are doing?” It’s a good question.


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John 1:37-38, Hood’s unauthorized translation:

John saw Jesus as he walked by and said, “LOOK!  That’s the Lamb of God!” Two of John’s disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

May that pattern be duplicated by all of us.  We speak the gospel.  When people hear us, they follow Jesus rather than us.

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Last week I took Zach to visit Wheaton College in Chicago. Wheaton is a Christian liberal arts college. We called on Wednesday to try to set up meetings with a couple of faculty and staff on that Friday. We were amazed when they let us know that they were able to set up several meetings, including the campus Chaplain. One of the meetings was with the director of Urban Studies, Dr. Noah Toly. We both knew when we walked in his office that this was going to be a great visit. He was completely engaging and in Zach’s words was “so present in the moment”. Zach’s comment was accurate and really hit home with me. What a great description of Jesus as we see him in the gospels, that He was “present” with each person He encountered. Here we were, a high school junior and his dad. Dr. Toly had no idea whether we serious about Wheaton or Urban Studies, or even if Zach could get in the school. But there he was, fully giving us his attention and energy, when I’m sure there were a million other things he could be doing. I thought of how many times I have been in a similar circumstance but have not been “present”, of how often I am not faithful in the many small things God puts in my day because I’m trying to do something bigger or “more important”. I have no idea if Zach will get to go to Wheaton, or if he will ever study under Dr. Toly, but I do know that in his faithfulness in the way he received Zach and me he has already started teaching us.


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Cotton Mather, the colonial-era New England Puritan, wrote:

I was once emptying the Cistern of Nature, and making Water at the Wall. At the same Time, there came a Dog, who did so too, before me. Thought I; “What mean and vile Things are the Children of Men, in this mortal State! How much do our natural Necessities abase us and place us in some regard, on the Level with the very Dogs!” … Accordingly, I resolved, that it should be my ordinary Practice, whenever I step to answer the one or other Necessity of Nature, to make it an Opportunity of shaping in my Mind some noble, divine Thought.

Takeaway?  For starters, Calvin needs to take his urination ruminations to a higher spiritual plane.

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This is a video of a guy named Nick Vujicic. He has no arms or legs, but he does have an amazing heart. All kinds of speakers tell groups of young people that they are beautiful just as the way they are. Somehow it means alot more coming from him.

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A brief Labor Day thought on some of God’s own labor:  “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13) . . .

(1)  It’s well worth spending some time thinking about the awesomeness of God’s involvement in your own individual creation.  I suppose at some point that we could get all wrapped up in narcissism, but I reckon that most of us don’t do enough thinking about God’s role in our formation.  And if he’s knitting at the start, how ’bout the ongoing details?

(2)  Note that the psalmist, by crediting God with the work, is not denying natural processes at work in his biological development.  (Pretty sure David knew how babies happened — that’s the knowledge that led to him becoming a murderer.)  Can that help us as we try to create a biblical perspective on the relationship between Scripture and science?

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(1)  My buddy and the best Christian musician and worship leader in Memphis, Josh Smith, has some interesting thoughts on the tensions between different values/dynamics in the way we think about and do worship.

Sort of related:

(2)  It doesn’t get much better than Luther on vocation; this one is going in a book soon:  “God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid, said Luther. According to Luther, vocation is a “mask of God.”  He is hidden in vocation. We see the milkmaid, or the farmer, or the doctor or pastor or artist. But, looming behind this human mask, God is genuinely present and active in what they do for us.”

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