Being a Disciple - Blog

Tom's Turn - Pray on Election Eve, Nov. 7

Posted by Tom Plumbley on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 @ 03:13 PM

We have had some contentious elections in this nation before. One thinks of the election of 1824 in which John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson in a contest decided by a vote of the House of Representatives. In the next election, 1828, Jackson defeated Adams, but only after nasty accusations from both sides including charges of murder, bigamy and procuring women for use by foreign heads of state. In more recent memory, there was the election of 2000, with its “hanging chads” and, finally, a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court (or 6-3, depending on which part of the opinion you want to hang your hat on).

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Christy's Comics - Musings from Colorado

Posted by Christy Drechsel on Thu, Oct 06, 2016 @ 04:47 PM

Christy is attending the Birthing Cross+Gen Ministries Conference in Estes Park, Colorado this week.

As I write, day one is over and we are getting ready for day two. My excitement about the things I am hearing is only dampened by my struggle to adjust to being 8,000 feet above sea level and the fact that it is 40 degrees outside. On a side note, Estes Park is beautiful and last night after dinner we watched two beautifully HUGE elk fight for their territory – it happened right outside the dining hall. Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the questions that are running through my mind after day one. My prayer is that you will ponder these questions with me.

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Christy's Comics - Reading the Bible and the Rainbow It Paints

Posted by Christy Drechsel on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 04:08 PM

I love the times I get to spend with my daughter reading to her. Many of you know, reading to a two year old is not always the easiest thing to do. Their attention spans are not that long. Meaning we usually get 2 pages into the book and she starts asking to read another book. I know reading to her is important and so I do my best to show patience. It must be working because she “reads” to herself quite often. She even wants to take a book to bed with her. It will be pitch black in her room, but I can hear her “reading” to herself.

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Tom's Turn - Focusing Energy on Mission

Posted by Tom Plumbley on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 @ 02:12 PM

Church growth does not simply happen. Church growth is a gift from God. We can bring in all sorts of consultants who will “help us learn how to grow our church,” but that entire enterprise starts on the wrong foot. It’s not that it’s wrong to hear from other voices. That’s often just what’s needed. The problem is with the notion, first, that it’s “our” church, and, second, that we will be the ones who will grow it. Yes, our work is vital. Yes, more people are helpful in our efforts to be faithful, and to maintain institutional continuity, and so forth. But our calling is always to be the Body of Christ which, Jesus said, was anointed to be good news to the poor, sight to the blind, liberty to the oppressed and declaring God’s Jubilee (cf. Lk.4.16ff). And we will still be judged on the basis of whether we did or did not see and tend to the needs of Christ in the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned (cf. Mt.25.31ff). Our commission is to make disciples, that is, folks like the Lk. 4 Christ, folk who see and tend to the Mt. 25 Christ—to make them in all nations, to baptize them with God’s claim on their lives, and to teach them all these Jesus things. That’s who we are, how we are and will be judged, and what we are asked to do. Now, growing an institution has often been found to be helpful with some of that, but it has also often distracted from all of that. Growing or maintaining an institution is nowhere said to be the mission itself. That, frankly, is part of the genius of the simplicity of the Campbell-Stone movement from which this congregation comes. We are free to do the mission in a variety of ways and let God do God’s thing, which is to provide the growth and/or to use our mission in whatever way God may choose to use it.

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Christy's Comics - Fear of Failure

Posted by Christy Drechsel on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 02:10 PM

I recently heard a TED Talk with Astro Teller. He works for a company simply known as X, which is run by Google. They call it X because some of the things they work on are secretive. They also call it X because most of what they work on fails and they aren’t sure they want the number of failures out in the public. When X started, Astro sat down with one of the company’s co-founders to try and come up with a way to describe what they would be doing.

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Christy's Comics - There's an App for That

Posted by Christy Drechsel on Thu, Sep 08, 2016 @ 01:42 PM

        With today's technology it is entirely possible for us to have absolutely no face-to-face human contact as we go through our day. We can certainly interact with people across the world through text messages, emails, and social media, but we never have to actually talk to the person next door to us. We can have groceries delivered to our house and soon that won't even involve a person - drones will do the work. That's a convenient world to live in, but not a world I want.

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Tom's Turn - Elections and Christians

Posted by Tom Plumbley on Thu, Sep 01, 2016 @ 07:17 PM

We have something less than seventy days left until the election, and it seems the only constants are negative ones. Never before in history have so many people hated so many candidates so much of the time and for so many reasons. The poll questions are stated more in terms of people having “an unfavorable opinion” of a candidate, but the level of vitriol and disrespect is such that I think “hate” is an entirely fair word to use. We do not simply disagree with a candidate’s position on policy matters. Heck, we usually can’t state what their positions are—because in many cases they have none, or at least we do not hear or read them. The caustic nature of the races is not limited to the contest for the White House. But that contest certainly exemplifies the current state of campaigning. Negative campaigning works. Negative campaigning pays. And until we do something about campaign finance we will continue to have big money people insisting that the candidates get the most bang for the bucks they’ve donated. And the most bang comes from going negative. So we’re left with a giant whirlpool of cash sucking everything downward.

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Tom's Turn - A Soft Sighing

Posted by Tom Plumbley on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 @ 04:18 PM

I love the work and resources of the Sojourners Community. Begun way back in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s when I was a kid, Sojourners was pulled together by a fellow named Jim Wallis. A bunch of long-haired girls and bearded guys moved in together in Washington, DC, in a ghetto. It was not all that different from some of the Hippie communes of that era except that it was specifically and intentionally Christian. To me, at first blush, they seemed like just another bunch of what we called in those days “Jesus Freaks.” When I was in high school and when I got to TCU, I found enough of those to do me for a lifetime.

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Christy's Comics - Still More Work to Be Done

Posted by Christy Drechsel on Mon, Aug 08, 2016 @ 04:24 PM

Have you ever seen the MLK Monument in Washington D.C.? The centerpiece for the memorial is based on a line from King's "I Have a Dream" speech: "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope." A 30 feet high relief of King named the Stone of Hope stands past two other pieces of granite that symbolize the "mountain of despair." Visitors figuratively "pass through" the Mountain of Despair on the way to the Stone of Hope, symbolically "moving through the struggle as Dr. King did during his life.” I’ve sat at Dr. King’s kitchen table. I’ve seen the damage that remains from the bombs placed on his front porch. And, yet, I still cannot completely understand the struggle he experienced in his life, but I have been able to see the fruits of his labor.

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Tom's Turn - When It's the Monsoon Season of the Soul

Posted by Tom Plumbley on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 04:21 PM

In Psalm 5 the author writes, “For [God’s] anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

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