Episode 166

Disciple Up # 166
Potpourri: Boredom & Symbols
By Louie Marsh, 7-1-2020

 American Boredom –  hat tip to Hotair.com

The survey, by market research firm OnePoll, defined a boring day as containing simply no fun whatsoever. Not even reading a HotAir post about boredom.

The average respondent reported that being bored, having no fun or dreading something was taking up about 36 percent of their life. Which works out to 61 hours every week. Or 131 days every year.

Imagine being bored or dreading every single day for that long, ever since last New Year’s Eve, in fact.

Clearly, this is a First World problem since these respondents are not spending their days dodging bullets or foraging for food.

The biggest reported culprit for American boredom seems to be having adult responsibilities like going to work and parenting.

More than 20 percent told researchers 2018 was less fun than 2017. And almost half (49 percent) said last year was the most stressful year going back all the way to 2015.

You probably remember all the excitement during 2015. That’s the year Paul Ryan became House Speaker and Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify.

Remember when you were young and all you wanted to do was grow up? Well, now nearly two-thirds of those surveyed think their life is too “grown-up.” Half of them really miss hanging out with friends. And a quarter want more birthday parties. Come to think of it, so do I.

Why not have more fun? Well, a little more than a third (36 percent) said the costs of doing some fun things were prohibitive. Thirty-five percent said they’re just too tired most times to do anything fun because they have too much work to do (32 percent).

However, the biggest culprit (66 percent) was an inability to get everyone in their family or group to agree on a fun thing to do. Besides, of course, reading HotAir.com out loud at dinner.

Still — and there’s little explanation for this apparent inconsistency – Americans reported spending upwards of $5,000 a year on fun entertainment.

“Fun is really about the escape,” said one of the study’s sponsors, Colie Edison, “breaking away from daily stressors and focusing on enjoying the moment.”

So, what would folks really rather do? A quarter of them would prefer an afternoon at an arcade to going to brunch. A fifth would rather have a sleepover with friends over going to a movie.

And 39 percent would opt out of an exercise class to choose some time at a bowling alley. Which might sound like fun and makes sense since the poll was sponsored by Bowlero, a chain of bowling alleys.

12  “All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, ‘Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,’ 13  and when you say, ‘I’m bored—this doesn’t do anything for me.’ You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air—act superior to me, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it’s a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I’m going to accept it? This is GOD speaking to you! Malachi 1:12-13 (MSG)

13  But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Malachi 1:13 (ESV)

 

The Power of Symbols –  Louie Marsh

 

As you can see in the post below we had a baptism yesterday. That always makes me happy and marks a great Sunday no matter what else happens as far as I’m concerned. I suspect most Ministers would agree with me on this one.

 

There are a couple of reasons for that. One, that I’ll probably write about someday, is the fact that baptisms are one of the few concrete things we in the ministry can point to as markers of progress or “success” (however you define that elusive word). Working in a business which seeks to change lives and restore the soul provides few substantial markers of progress.

 

I think another reason is the power of symbols. The Bible is full of symbols of course. From circumcision to all the symbols in the Passover dinner and beyond we seem to see them everywhere.

 

Those ancient symbols still have the power to move us today, even though they are no longer a living part of our lives. As Christians we have left behind most of the Old Testament symbols and have inherited the ones custom made for God’s New Covenant.

 

Before I preformed the baptism today I gave my customary little talk. But I did use a word that I don’t believe I’ve ever used before, a word found above, ancient. It’s a little funny to me but our New Covenant is over 2000 years old. I can’t think of anything else anywhere close to that age that we still call new or would even consider doing so.

 

Yet it is New, for it’s alive and the reality of the living Christ and the power of His Spirit still change lives today, as much as they ever did. It is new because it’s living, as real now as it was on that first Pentecost morning, and it will always retain that newness. Our faith is a constantly reoccurring springtime of the soul that is both ancient and new at the same time.

 

Part of the way that we hold on to the reality of this newness is through the symbols Christ has given us. There are two major symbols given in the New Testament, baptism is one and the Lord’s Supper is the other. Baptism is a one time act of faith, the Lord’s Supper is one enacted “as often as you do it.”  Both are done in the Name of Jesus, in memory of what He alone has done for us.

 

Thus both are ever new.

 

Beyond these two symbols there are others we can draw from the New Covenant. The Cross is probably the most striking and well known of these. You can name others, the empty tomb, descending dove, etc.

 

The danger with symbols is that they can get old, routine, mere habit. When we allow the Lord’s Supper to become mundane we are guilty of taking it in a way that does not properly discern the Body and Blood of our Lord. In so doing we lose the newness.

 

So this week as we come into contact with the various symbols of our faith, let us ask God to help us appreciate them anew, see them through new eyes, and draw from them new insight and the new spiritual life that will sustain through whatever may come our way.

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Episode 162

Disciple Up # 162
Peace Thru Meditating On Scripture
By Louie Marsh 6-3-2020

How To Meditate On God’s Word
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:2-3

 

Meditation is THINKING / PONDERING about a Bible verse(s) in order to discover how I can apply its truth to my own life.

 

WHY Meditate On Scripture?

 

1) It is the key to becoming like Christ.

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

 

And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit. NRS 2Co 3:18

 

2) It is the key to a more fruitful prayer life.

 

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  John 15:7

 

3) It is the key to successful living.

 

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Joshua 1:8

 

Six Ways To Meditate On A Verse

 

  1. Picture It! Visualize the scene in your mind.
  2. Pronounce it! Say the verse aloud, each time emphasizing a different word.
  3. Paraphrase it! Rewrite the verse in your own words.
  4. Personalize it! Replace the pronouns or people in the verse with your own name.
  5. Pray it! Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God.
  6. Probe it! Ask the following nine questions…

 

S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. Questions

  • Sin to _CONFESS_?
  • Promise to _____CLAIM_
  • Attitude to _CHANGE_?
  • Command to _OBEY_?
  • Example to __FOLLOW_?
  • Prayer to _PRAY_?
  • Error to AVOID_?
  • Truth to _BELIEVE_?
  • Something to __DO_?

 

Links to pages talked about in this episode:

https://unlockingthebible.org/2015/10/five-steps-to-meditating-on-the-bible/

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/17-ways-to-meditate-on-scripture/

https://ourdailybread.org/resources/how-to-meditate-on-scripture/

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 157

Disciple Up #157
Wrestling with God, Sin & Self
By Louie Marsh, 4-29-2020

Thoughts on Perspective & Other People’s Struggles

Wrestling Against Sin & Satan:

12  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4  In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:3-6 (ESV)

Resisted (antikatestēte). Second aorist active indicative (intransitive) of the double compound antikathistēmi, old verb to stand in opposition against in line of battle, intransitively to stand face to face (anti) against (kata), here only in the N.T.

Unto blood (mechris haimatos). “Up to blood.” As was true of Jesus and many of the other heroes of faith in chapter Hebrews 11.

Striving (antagōnizomenoi). Present middle participle of antagōnizomai, old verb with the same figure in antikatestēte.

Against sin (pros hamartian). Face to face with sin as in Hebrews 12:1.

  • Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Wrestling – Greco-Roman Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Roman_wrestling

Greek Wrestling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_wrestling

Greek wrestling (Greek: πάλη, translit. pálē), also known as Ancient Greek wrestling and Palé, was the most popular organized sport in Ancient Greece. A point was scored when one player touched the ground with his back, hip or shoulder, or conceding defeat due to a submission-hold or was forced out of the wrestling-area. Three points had to be scored to win the match.

One particularly important position in this form of wrestling was one where one of the contestants was lying on his abdomen with the other on his back trying to strangle him (back mount). The athlete on the bottom would try to grasp an arm of the one on top and turn him over onto his back while the athlete on top would try to complete the choke without being rolled.

Wrestling was the first competition to be added to the Olympic Games that was not a footrace. It was added in 708 B.C. The competitions were held in elimination-tournament style until one wrestler was crowned the victor. The wrestling area was one square plethron or stremma. This event was also part of the pentathlon. Wrestling was regarded as the best expression of strength out of all of the competitions and was represented in Greek mythology by Heracles

These are the rules of the ancient sport Palé

  • No intentional hitting or kicking is permitted
  • No gouging the eyes or biting is permitted
  • It is at the discretion of the referee whether or not twisting the fingers with the intention of forcing the opponent to concede defeat is permitted
  • Grasping the genitals is prohibited
  • All other holds intended to persuade the opponent to concede defeat through pain or fear are permitted and are an integral part of the contest
  • Infractions shall be punished by immediate whipping by the referee until the undesirable behavior is stopped
  • Three points must be scored to win the match
  • A point can be scored in any of three ways:
    • the opponent’s back touching the ground at any time
    • by the opponent tapping or in some other way making clear that he concedes defeat through pain or fear
    • by the opponent making contact with ground outside the allocated wrestling-match ground with any part of his body, or by being lifted and carried out
  • After scoring a point, the opponent must be given time to rise on his feet and a few moments more before the wrestling may continue
  • The match is both started and ended at the signal of the referee

Wrestling Against God (Self):

22  The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23  He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24  And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25  When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Genesis 32:22-25 (ESV)

26  Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27  And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28  Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29  Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30  So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:26-30 (ESV)

31  The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32  Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh. Genesis 32:31-32 (ESV)

The Hebrew verb is translated “to wrestle.” There are no Semitic cognates of this verb to assist in translating, but the cognate of “dust” (HED #75) indicates it is something done on the ground
Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary – Aleph-Beth.

Wrestling For God:

28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. Colossians 1:28-29 (ESV)

12  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12 (ESV)

17  Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17 (ESV)

12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 1 Thessalonians 5:12 (ESV)

9  For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (ESV)

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Episode 156

Disciple Up #116
The Power of Perspective
By Louie Marsh, 4-22-2020

How we view, look at, understand and respond to everything depends entirely upon what our perspective of it is. As disciples of Jesus what perspective should we have on life? Well if we want to see things the way Jesus saw things then we need a Biblical Perspective on life.

A Definition of Perspective

 A particular perspective is a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that is influenced by your beliefs or experiences.

…a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. – google

A Brief Explanation of Perspective

Perspective is our frame of reference, our point of view on things. You could compare it to a camera lens. If you take a picture of the same object with a wide angle lens and a close up lens you’re going to end up with two very different pictures.

The object itself has not changed, but it looks different because of why we viewed it.  Thus perspective changes how you see and interact with the world and everything and everyone in it. That’s why two people can see the same thing or hear the same news or speech and yet have two very different responses to it.

Person A might love what they hear while person B might be dismayed by the very same speech. Why? Because if Person A has a secular or cultural perspective on life and Person B has a Biblical Perspective on life then they will love, value and evaluate things very differently.

A great example of this in the New Testament are the Gospels. The Synoptic Gospels all have a very similar (but not exactly the same) perspective on the life of Jesus. John’s Gospel on the other hand is very different in perspective. A professor of mine in Bible College said it’s as if the Synoptics view Jesus from ground level and John was shooting from a crane in the air.

Some Verses Reflecting A Biblical Perspective

17  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)

17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (ESV)

11  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)

4  though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6  as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7  But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:4-11 (ESV)

Popular Perspectives

  • Positive – everything must be positive.
  • Political – everything evaluated in light of whatever political stance I have – and everything (or almost everything) is seen as political.
  • Intellectual – everything must “make sense” to me or it’s false.
  • Emotional – what makes me feel good is true, what doesn’t is false and bad.

Markers of a Biblical Perspective on Life

There is a God.

  • Therefore we are all ultimately accountable for our lives.
  • Therefore life can have a real purpose.
  • Eternity is real so life can extend beyond mere space and time.

The Bible is God’s Word

  • The Bible is an accurate and objective moral and spiritual authority.
  • We ought to make it our high priority to know and understand it.
  • Since the Bible records so much history, it must be important & I ought to learn from it.
  • We are accountable to obey what the Word teaches.
  • It is the ultimate authority of what is moral and what is immoral.
  • Good and bad do not change with the times or the culture.

Jesus is God’s Son and the Only Way of Salvation

  • I must make Him Lord of my life.
  • I must live life according to His commands and example.
  • If His Word is true than all others who disagree with Him must be false.
  • His Kingdom must be number one in my life and is not of this world. That means eternity is more important than time.

God Wants to Be Involved In My Life

  • The Bible teaches He answers prayer.
  • He wants us to be filled with the Spirit and let Him direct our lives.
  • Prayer should be an ongoing dialogue with God.

How This Impacts Our View of Life

  • This should change how we see death for sure.
  • This should radically how we react to suffering and the current Corona Virus situation.

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Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


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Episode 153

Disciple Up Show Notes # 153
Christian Confessions During A Crisis
By Louie Marsh, 4-1-2020

1) “I CONFESS I’M DISCOURAGED”

Refocus on Jesus –

1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

Recognize what’s causing your discouragement

3  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)

Remember that God is in this situation and is ultimately in control

10  fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

8  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (ESV)

Repent – if necessary – of any ungodly thoughts and actions

 5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 (ESV)

Reject your discouragement and embrace God’s abundance

 3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ Ephesians 1:3-9 (ESV)

Restart yourself in the race God has called you to run.

7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10  always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12  So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (ESV)

2) “I FEEL COMPLETELY INADEQUATE”

Resume for Failure
1) I don’t know enough.
2) I’m not good enough.
3) I’ve made too many mistakes.

YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR GOD TO USE IF

1) YOU HAVE MESSED UP BIG.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips…’ Isaiah 6:5

 Moses murdered a man.

  • Abraham was a liar.
  • Jacob was a cheater.
  • Rahab was prostitute.
  • David committed adultery.
  • Paul murdered Christians.Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ Isaiah 6:8

    2) YOU ARE UNSURE OF YOURSELF.
    Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’ Exodus 4:10

 God doesn’t choose the prepared, He prepares the chosen.

  • The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”‘ Exodus 4:11-12

    3) OTHERS THINK YOU ARE NOT.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

What is God calling you to do?

3) “I DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING”

WHY PEOPLE DON’T FEEL LIKE PRAYING

1) You’re not sure God will answer your prayers.
2) You’re not sure you really know how to pray.
3) You get bored praying.
4) You think your requests are too small to bother God.

REDEFINE PRAYER

Prayer – communicating with God.

1) JEREMIAH: PRAY HONESTLY.

O LORD, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Jeremiah 20:7

Two Prayer Don’ts:

  • Don’t pray to be seen.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray… to be seen by men. Matthew 6:5

  • Don’t pray long, empty prayers.They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.” Mark 12:40

2) DAVID: PRAY CREATIVELY.

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. Psalm 5:1-2

Creative Praying
1) Try writing your prayers.
2) Try praying during routine tasks.
3) Try praying in different places.
4) Try praying in different positions.
5) Try praying by listening to God.

3) NEHEMIAH: PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING.

The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king… Nehemiah 2:4-5

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

4) HANNAH: PRAY CONTINUALLY.
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. 1 Samuel 1:12-13

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

4) “I DON’T LIKE A LOT OF CHRISTIANS”

Why I Don’t Like A Lot of Christians:
1. Christians can be judgmental.
2. Christians can be weird.
3. Christians can be hypocritical.

WE FORGET THE MAIN POINT

1) ABOUT OURSELVES.

… do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. 1 Peter 1:14-15

hagios – sacred, pure, morally blameless, consecrated, set apart.

                                                                    Non-Christian       Christian

Volunteered at non-profit last month                        27%               29%

Donated to non-profit last month                              48%               47%

Gave money to the poor in last year                        34%               24%

Read their Horoscope                                              36%               36%

Have been divorced                                                  23%               27%

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking… Ephesians 5:3-4

  • We tend to accuse others.
  • We tend to excuse ourselves.2) ABOUT OTHERS.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 We judge rather than love.

  • We shoot our wounded.
  • We stop caring.Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    3) ABOUT CHURCH.
    …on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Matthew 16:18

 The church loses touch with the world.

  • Some Christians think they can make it without church.
  • The people start thinking the church is here for us.All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Acts 2:44-45

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Disciple Up #136
Christian Publishing Is Dying & Why You Should Care
By Louie Marsh, 11-27-2019

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/november/christian-bookstores-authors-publishers-changing-market.html

Those became mega-bestsellers, but the big retailers also demanded bigger discounts from publishers, in turn undercutting prices at evangelical bookstores. The big stores also sold fewer titles, so publishers increasingly looked for authors with some celebrity or platform, making it harder for unknown writers to break into the market.

On another side of the evangelical book industry, though, it’s just part of the business. Take Christian authors, who are competing for fewer bookstore spots and Amazon rankings with the already-famous: reality stars like Chip and Joanna Gaines, the Duck Dynasty crew, and breakout Instagram influencers like Rachel Hollis.

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Episode 133

Disciple Up 133 Show Notes
Kanye & Christ: When Celebrities Come to Jesus
By Louie Marsh, 11-6-2019

With the release of his new album and his statements of being born again, Kanye West is the latest in a very long line of celebrities becoming a Christian. There’s plenty of controversy about this and that’s what we want to talk about today.

How do we react when a well known person, entertainer or otherwise, becomes a Christian?

Some Celebs who, at one time or another, claimed to be a Christian.

Charlie Sheen

In 1997, Charlie Sheen claimed that he was a born-again Christian.  Less than a year later, Sheen was back to his old ways. In 1998, he was hospitalized for a drug overdose.  Currently, Sheen doesn’t seem to follow any organized religion.

Johnny Cash

Country music legend Johnny Cash became a born-again Christian in 1968. On being born-again he said, “A few years ago I was hooked on drugs. I dreaded to wake up in the morning. There was no joy, peace, or happiness in my life. Then one day in my helplessness I turned my life completely over to God. Now I can’t wait to get up in the morning to study the Bible.”

Kirk Cameron

Kirk Cameron became a born-again Christian when he was 17 years old.  He has left mainstream Hollywood behind him, as he now focuses his energy and talent on Christian projects. He has said, “Put your nose into the Bible everyday. It is your spiritual food. And then share it. Make a vow not to be a lukewarm Christian.”

Bettie Page

In 1959, she was lying on a sea wall in Key West when she saw a church with a white neon cross on top. She walked inside and became a born-again Christian. After attending Bible school, she wanted to serve as a missionary but was turned down. Instead, she worked full-time for evangelist Billy Graham‘s ministry. However, a move to Southern California in 1979 brought her more troubles. She was arrested after an altercation with her landlady. Doctors diagnosed her as suffering from acute schizophrenia, and she spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, and she was subsequently placed under state supervision for eight years.

Jane Fonda

In 1998, Jane Fonda became a born-again Christian. She discusses her faith in her book My Life So Far.  She said that she developed an eating disorder when she was 60 years old and Christianity helped her get her life back in order.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, was raised in a Jewish household. In the late 70s, the “Like a Rolling Stone” singer became a born-again Christian.

Gary Busey

Actor Gary Busey became a born-again Christian after suffering a life threatening motorcycle accident in 1988. In 1996, he was quoted as saying, “I am proud to tell Hollywood I am a Christian. For the first time I am now free to be myself.”

Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt became a devout Christian after an interaction with a stranger in Hawaii when he was a teenager. “He was like, ‘I stopped because Jesus told me to stop and talk to you. He said to tell you you’re destined for great things.’ My friends came out, and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go with this guy.’ I gave my soul to Jesus within, like, two days. I was stuffing envelopes for his organisation, Jews for Jesus,'” Chris Pratt told Esquire of the meeting.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star surprised fans in 2017 when his acceptance speech for Choice Sci-Fi Actor at the Teen Choice Awards was filled with Christian undertones. He also often mentions his religious beliefs on Instagram, such as when he announced his engagement to now-wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, saying, “Proud to live boldly in faith with you.”

Non-Hollywood Celebs – Chuck Colson, James Irwin (Apollo 15), etc.

Sources:

https://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/celebrities/galleries/5-celebrities-who-converted-to-christianity.aspx

 https://www.ranker.com/list/celebrities-who-are-born-again-christians/celebrity-lists

KANYE WEST:

 https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/kanye-west-s-christian-conversion-less-about-jesus-it-about-ncna1075136

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/october-web-only/kanye-west-conversion-jesus-is-king.html

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/kanye-west-god-jesus-king/

WHAT SHOULD WE DO:

  • Be careful in opposing what God might be doing.

33  When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34  But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. 35  And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. 36  For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37  After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38  So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; 39  but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, 40  and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Acts 5:33-40 (ESV)

  • If they are morally & doctrinally sound, let them work even though what they’re doing is very different from what you are doing.

36  And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37  Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38  But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39  And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40  but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Acts 15:36-41 (ESV)

  • You will know them by their fruit.

15  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:15-23 (NIV)

6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7  which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9  As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10  Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6-10 (NIV)

  • Pray for them that the Gospel will be honored & spread by their example and words.

4  Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5  One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6  He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:4-8 (NIV)

26  When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29  He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30  When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Acts 9:26-30 (NIV)

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;

Episode 129

Episode 129

Live Streaming Test Audio – Off the Cuff

Sorry it was off the cuff so no show notes this time!

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Episode 123

Disciple Up #123
Can I Be God’s Lone Ranger? Christian Community Gone Wrong
By Louie Marsh, 8-28-2019

Update on Live Stream for International Podcast Day – Sept. 30th, 2019

Many Christians Don’t See the Need for Community:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/august/lifeway-discipleship-assessment-growth-alone.html

Some of the “One Another” Passages in Scripture

http://storage.cloversites.com/wakarusamissionarychurch/documents/59one_another_scriptures.pdf

Love one another: John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:10; 13:8; 14:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:12;

4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 3:22; 4:8; 23; 4:7, 11-12; 2 John 1: 5

Serve one another: Galatians 5:13; 21; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter 4:9; 5:5

Accept one another: Romans 15:7, 14

Strengthen one another: Romans 14:19

Exhort one another: Hebrews 3:13; 10:24

Encourage one another: Romans 14:19; 15:14; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25

Forgive one another: Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13

Meet with one another: Hebrews 10:25

Carry one another’s burdens: Galatians 6:2

Community Gone Wrong: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/ray-ortlund/one-anothers-i-cant-find-in-the-new-testament-2/

Gospel Centered Life Spiritual Growth Campaign

http://christschurchontheriver.com/the-gospel-centered-life/

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Episode 122

Disciple Up #122
When Someone Leaves the Faith
By Louie Marsh, 8-21-2019

Recent “High Profile” Christian leaders have either abandoned the faith or nearly so. Marty Sampson and Josh Harris are two of them.

John L. Cooper(lead singer of Skillet) FaceBook post on this: https://www.facebook.com/johnlcooperstuff/photos/a.2899206263638620/2899204140305499/?type=3&theater

John L Cooper’s “Rant” Edited

 Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once “faces” of the faith are falling away. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?) as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I’ll state my conclusion, then I’ll state some rebuttals to statements I’ve read by some of them. Firstly, I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.

My conclusion for the church: We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or “relevant” people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I’ve been saying for 20 years that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.

I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, “I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.” I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?

My second thought is, why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying “I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.” So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.

Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that “no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.” This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, “How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.” As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

And lastly, and most shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their “new insight/new truth” that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say “I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others”. Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature

It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths. But rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT. “The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8)

 CT Article: https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2019/august/leaving-faith-by-losing-focus-part-1.html

How Should We React When People We Know Do This.

 1) Stay calm, do NOT overreact and get in their face.

 2) Pray immediately. For them and for yourself and what you should do about this. Don’t spread it around, take it to God.

 Check yourself and make sure you are standing strong.

 1  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

 3) When you talk to them the most important thing is to try and get to REAL root of the problem. This usually isn’t what they’ll tell you at first. In my experience it’s often tied to personal pain or betrayal inflicted on them by a Christian. Or it’s a tough time and God hasn’t answered their prayers they way they wanted Him too.

4) Ask lots of question and actually LISTEN! Be like Jesus who did exactly the same thing.

5) Reaffirm your love for and friendship with them. Be in this for the long haul if that’s what it takes. Don’t reject them just because they are, or think they are, rejecting the Lord.

6) Main question – where’s Jesus in all this? Often this will bring them to realize this is more of a rejection of the church or other believers than it is a rejection of God or Jesus.

7) Ask them if you can pray for them when talking to them, and tell them you are going to pray for them privately.

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