• Casting the Vision for Lifestyle Disciplemaking by Melanie Newton
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    Casting the Vision for Lifestyle Disciplemaking

    It happens over time in large and small Bible studies. Women are excited to study God’s Word. But as their knowledge accumulates, the next thing you know they are being snippy about the study questions or whose group they are in or the table decorations. I have seen it happen among godly women in very successful Bible studies. I call it restlessness because we easily get stuck in discipleship and forget our purpose for disciplemaking. I believe that is from Jesus calling us back to our purpose. This post will cast the vision for you to answer the call from the Lord and leap into lifestyle disciplemaking. Jesus followers become…

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    Choosing Bible Study Curriculum

    Popular teacher . . . Best selling . . . Easy homework . . . Recommended. I’ve chosen Bible study curriculum for all these reasons, but none of them is foolproof, and they often won’t meet the needs of your group or fulfill your purpose for Bible study. The popular teacher won’t necessarily reflect good theology or teach women how to think biblically for themselves. Her greatest asset may be her humor or her stories, which are great, but they may not help the women learn the Bible, which is essential to personal discipleship. Best-selling doesn’t always involve depth or even truth. Easy homework by definition fails to wrestle much…

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    Old Testament Disciplemaking (2 Chronicles 17-20)

    Listen to this blog as a similar podcast: Ever since first being introduced to Jehoshaphat (reading through 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles), I’ve been drawn to the life of this man. He loved God and tried to be a disciplemaker for God with the people in his sphere of influence. Right up front in 2 Chronicles 17:3-4, it is declared that the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he sought God and “followed His commands rather than the practices of Israel.” Guess who was leading Israel at this time. Yep, the very wicked Ahab and Jezebel. Jehoshaphat’s life provided a stark contrast between good and evil. God established the kingdom under…

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    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…

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    Last Things First

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The Great Commission was the last words Jesus said, but it was among the first thoughts in His mind as He began His ministry. Why was it that one of the first actions He took was to choose disciples (Mt. 4:18-22) if He did not have a purpose in mind for them? He certainly did not intend to spend the better part of three years preparing followers for nothing… And why did He persevere so relentlessly with them when they rejected His message and thought like Satan (Mark 8:33) or created more confusion than clarity when a father sought their help for…

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    Start With the End in View

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Jesus started with the end in view. From the first day of His earthly ministry to the last, He had His two-fold purpose before Him: redemption and preparation, the cross and the commission. He came to provide redemption for dying men and women. But what good would His redemptive death be if there were no one to tell others what it means? How could He establish a redemptive movement if He had no one to start it? That’s why He declared to His Father before the cross that He had accomplished His will by making the Father known to those He had…

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    The Beatitudes Attitude: Introduction

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Today we start a new series drawn from the Beatitudes which describe the abounding blessings of Christ in us. We start with the introduction this week, go to a preview with our next entry, and then we will look at each of the Beatitudes to see what these blessings mean to us as we seek to grow in the Beatitudes Attitude. Blessed are . . . (Matthew 5:1-12) The first recorded words of Jesus to His future disciples were words of blessing, and what blessings they are! These blessings are the essence of life that have endured through the ages and define…

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    The Ultimate Wilderness – Series Finale

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series Finale: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life AD 33, 9:00 AM Passover Friday, the Place of the Skull, a public place near Jerusalem.   Many people are coming and going, some stopping to see what was happening, observing three men on crosses, two criminals with Jesus in the middle.   A large crowd had followed the crucifixion detail out of the city to the place of execution, the place of the ultimate wilderness…  No one knew it was the ultimate wilderness on that spring morning. Not the Pharisees or the Sadducees, the instigators of the crucifixion. Not the high…

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    The Lucky Wilderness

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life John Paine calls himself “the luckiest man in the world,” and most agreed with him some years ago.   When John was in the seventh grade he decided he would be physically strong, and he worked until he became a superior athlete who played for college football. Then he decided to transfer to a top ten engineering school and strive to become intellectually strong, and he succeeded by graduating Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduation, John married his high school sweetheart and started his family.   At the same time he decided he would…

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    The Parenting Wilderness

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Wilderness Wanderings Series: Learning to Live the Zigzag Life Among all the books on parenting that are floating around these days, there is one missing. It’s hard to believe that we’ve overlooked anything, but we are lacking one vital title.   I’m not sure how the publishers would respond to this, but in this time of self-publishing, they are not as dominant as they once were, which means this book might make it to the market.   The title? Parents Who Did Everything Right and Got it Wrong. There, I told you it would be a best seller. Well, maybe not. Unwanted…