Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Thoughts on Discipleship Part 1

I've been thinking a little bit about discipleship. What is it, really? Am I doing it? Should I be? What should it look like?

First of all lets talk about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I mean really, it has to start there. In Matthew chapter 8 there were a couple of people that wanted to be disciples. I think that was a fairly common thing in that time. John the baptist had disciples. Most of the "teachers of the Law" had disciples. People that followed around their disciple-er and learned from him and imitated him. There were a lot more disciples than just the 12 around Jesus. From what I understand, disciple means: One who follows one's teaching. So to be a disciple of Jesus seemed to be the thing to do at the time.

One of the teachers of the law (also called a scribe) wanted to be a disciple. "Let me follow you around!" (paraphrased by me). To which Jesus replies (not paraphrased) "Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." What?? So what are we to make of that answer. Obviously, you couldn't be following Christ around and expect to have a nice cozy, safe place to sleep every night. Hrm.

The next guy says "I want to go and bury my father before I go" and Christ replies "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." are we to take that. (by the way, the basic understanding is that the guy's dad wasn't dead and waiting to be buried, but he was older and the guy wanted to stick around until he died...and THEN follow) So apparently, Jesus didn't want that guy to wait. He wanted him right then.

So what can we take from this? What was (is) the cost of following a man like Jesus? Simply liking His teaching? Being an active listener and trying to apply these amazing "truths"? Or is it more than that?

Let me suggest that it is in fact MUCH more than that. Jesus was expecting his followers to be willing to sacrifice comfort. Willing to sacrifice stability (in a worldly/wealthy sense). Willing to sacrifice safety in terms of always having a roof over your head. He expected followers to leave behind whatever worldly attachments they had.

Then, a few chapters later, Jesus gets super clear as to what he expects of a disciple. "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." Um. Alright.
This is radical.
This is not "oh, I like Jesus...he's a good teacher and taught us a lot about treating others how you would like to be treated"
This is what it looks like to truly be a disciple of Christ. So now what? How for real am I about being a disciple of Christ? How well do I know what he says? More than that, how well do I apply it?

Do I turn the other cheek? Do I walk 2 miles when unfairly asked to walk 1? Do I pray for those who hurt me? Do I judge others? Do I visit those in prison, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, tend to the sick? Am I storing up treasure in heaven? Am I free from worry? Am I doing the will of my father in heaven? These are serious questions because if I am not doing those things, if I am not forsaking all for the call of Christ, if my life is no different internally and externally from one who is not a disciple, then can I really call myself a disciple? What am I willing to sacrifice. How radical am I willing to be in following Christ and His teachings. `

Let me tell you my answer. I have not been radical enough. A diligent enough student. More of my energies go to just doing my day to day than to pursuing my Teacher (and Savior and Redeemer and Friend) I want to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Do you want to join me?

AUGH! There is so much more I want to say on this subject. So many more thoughts running through my head but if this gets any longer, no one will have the fortitude to read it and I'll never get it posted. It has already taken me an entire day just to get this much down. So...I will post other installments for those interested in reading at a later date.

Disclaimer: I do not think you have to be perfect to be a disciple of Christ. I do not thing that we earn our salvation or earn favor with God by doing things better. This is a conversation regarding following the teachings of Christ after one has already put their faith in Him and His work on the cross. This is not legalism. I hope that is clear. Let me know if it isn't.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Teaching Women

This last week we started something that has been years in the making. It has been on my heart for quite a while to do some community development type things. I had so many ideas of things I wanted to do, but no idea how to implement those ideas. And I have been so busy homeschooling my children, taking care of a baby, taking care of a home, working with the Sunday school ministry, plus my own endeavors such as trying to learn the guitar, getting some sewing done, and basic hospitality (parties, baby showers, dinners, etc) that I honestly didn’t take the time to really investigate answers to my logistical questions.

So…God was working, even when I was busy. A missionary friend named Tracy passed along to me a book titled “Cuidando la salud de nuestros hijos en casa” (taking care of the health of our kids at home…more or less). This book was a textbook or guide of sorts to a class that was given at a hospital in Atlanta in 2000. In it is all kinds of subjects ranging from cough to burns to bites to fevers and describes in detailed laymen’s terms what they are, how they are prevented, and how you treat them at home. It is a FANTASTIC resource. This little book got the ball rolling.

We used that book as a foundation and we started a class at our church for women in our community (especially those indigenous women that work in the market close by) given by doctors in our community covering a series of topics including those described above. Brynne, the CAM intern that is living with us this summer, made up a flier giving out the information. My friend Stephanie and I spend about 30 minutes one morning passing out around 30 fliers to the women in the market.

For every family represented, we give a portion of food as a thank you for their attendance and to motivate them to come. This week it was a pound of beans and a bag of salt and each week we will give something along those lines: beans, rice, oil, sugar, corn, etc.

We held our first meeting on Thursday at 3:30pm and a member of our church who is a doctor gave the talk and discussed first aid, allergic reactions, and bites. We had 3 women come and they all seemed very interested in the information, taking notes (those that could write) and asking questions. They assured us that they will be inviting more women to come next week. I was just thrilled. There is so much that I desire to do and it seems that the Lord worked this as a first step. I left very encouraged. This could be a fantastic outreach for our church as well as a tremendous help for the women that receive the information. Many of the poor here rely on home remedies (some are fantastic, others…not so much) or they take their children to the public hospital for a cold or an eye infection. Let me just say that that hospital will most assuredly cause more harm than good unless you are in a life or death situation. It was a prescription from that hospital that caused Gladys’s (my house helper) infant grandchild to die. (see here for the story)

Anyway, we are excited. Please pray for this ministry as we are hoping for a greater attendance in the future, as well as an opportunity to show the love of Christ to these women in word and deed.

I’m a dork and didn’t take any pictures this last week, but am going to try SUPER hard to remember my camera for the next one. The only bummer (sort of) is that Brynne won’t be attending because she is going to be teaching an English discussion group to a group of high schoolers at a local private school. She can talk about anything she wants to, so pray for that as well!

Friday, June 10, 2011


I am starting a new blog. I have another blog over at and truthfully, I haven't been all that good at keeping up with my blog life. I am wanting to change that and I want to have a place to sort of categorize what I am blogging about. There are generally two types of blogs that I type (when I type them): Family/Home blogs, and Ministry blogs.

With in these two types, there is some overlap, but I wanted have a dedicated place where I could write about each. wife and mommy blog is now going to be dedicated to family, home, home making, home schooling, discipline, recipes, etc and this new blog (which I am hoping Brandon will also utilize) is going to focus more on ministry and faith.

Here is where you can read about ministry events, our spiritual journeys, and our ministry life in Guatemala. So subscribe via email on the right side of the page, watch facebook for updates, and enjoy!