How Disciples Are Actually Made

Imagine a scene in your mind. You’re helping a friend set up for a yard sale when she sets out a beautiful old violin and music books for sale. It seems much too beautiful of an instrument to markdown so dramatically to sell at a yard sale, and so you ask her about it.  She explains that she first learned to …

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Preparing GRC for Sabbatical: Part 2

Hello GRC! [This is Part 2 of 2 – read last week’s Part 1 article]. So what does a pastor do on sabbatical, which can be infrequent for most pastors and non-existent for many?  One pastor I know left NYC on the first day of his sabbatical, went to Scotland where his family rented a place and didn’t return until the week his …

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Preparing GRC for Sabbatical: Part 1

Hello GRC! Over a year ago, as we were still learning about the “novel coronavirus” and naively thinking we’d be back to normal routines within weeks, we held a Town Hall meeting – via a livestream – because it happened to be the first Sunday when we decided, before the government ordered us, to cancel in-person worship.  It was March …

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Hear Word

Most children growing up in Nigeria know what “hear word” means. It’s the expression your parents use when they mean to say, “listen to wise instruction because you so often don’t!” This saying would sometimes be followed by the ominous “a word is enough for the wise”. Of the many Nigerian-isms I love, “hear word” is one of my favorites for …

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Who Knew We Could Miss a Cafeteria?

My office outlawed hugging years ago. I work in a big newsroom, part of a huge corporation, and hugging, in general, is not encouraged at work. I’m a hugger, so I know all about HR’s specific hug-time allowances, like if someone gets a promotion or if they are leaving the company. You can offer to hug them then, if they’re …

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From a Fig Tree to a Jubilant Feast

Did you know that there are at least 10 different kinds of figs: mission, belmandil, bourjassote grise, colar, milagro, negra gigante, lampa branca, velez, ficus carica, and aberdin? Mission figs are my favorite (possibly because they are the only kind I can pronounce properly). They are dark purple on the outside and have a nice plump, sweet inside. Recently, figs …

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Blessed Brokenness

There are many stories from the Bible that have gripped me in such a way that I have imagined how great it would be to see them played out on a movie screen (the actual event, not a reenactment!) if not actually seeing it in person. The parting of the Red Sea; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace; Angels …

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Prayer: Sharing in the Heart of God

Most of us recognize prayer to be a central part of the life of a disciple. But sometimes we tend to think of prayer as more of a duty—something that we should do. It can feel like an external requirement or burden, and it’s easy for us to feel guilty about our prayer life. That is not God’s intent. Part …

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I Know That Jesus Loves Me

My family is no stranger to mental illness and dementia.  We’ve had several family members over the years who have found their mental faculties declining due to mental illness or age-related dementia.  It wasn’t (and isn’t) easy to watch these family members decline and forget even the most basic things like their children’s names, the concept of numbers, or lose …

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