I do not believe in discipleship

The concept of discipleship was ingrained in me early on:

Who is discipling you? and who are you discipling? were familiar questions.

It was normal to be in a discipleship group–a group that taught the ways of Jesus. The motive was (and is) pure and good.

However, over the years, I have discovered that neither the words ‘discipleship’ nor  ‘discipling’ are in the Bible. From all I can surmise, we made up those words over time to describe what we are doing.

Apparently we in Christendom, pure heartedly, have veered off course. Way off course. Let me explain my point of view.

At age 24, I went to seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. I had been working with teenagers since I was 19. I had quite a bit of favor with teenagers (youth) but no education in that area. The next seemingly apparent step was to earn my Masters in Religious Education.

Early on during my time at this fine institution of higher learning, I found a church that I liked.  What I really, really liked most about this church was my Sunday School teacher. His name was Dr. Stan Lee. He and his wife, Marlene, were, in real life, missionaries in a foreign land. For some reason, though, they were temporarily at this church. While there, Dr. Lee taught Sunday School.

Each Sunday I, along with a few others, went early just so we could watch him as he prepped to teach. He would stand in front of two chalkboards for a bit and just stare at them.

And then, as if an unseen checkered flag dropped, he began to write—he wrote and wrote until both chalkboards were filled up. And the words he wrote were full of RAW LIFE. Then Dr. Lee took the next 45 minutes or so and spoke about all the words on the board. Again, LIFE. I was mesmerized, challenged, and hungry for more!

One Sunday I got up the nerve to wait after class to ask Dr. Lee one simple question, “will you disciple me?”

Side note: I was naïve about the obvious taboo male/female discipleship thing. However, I was very pure hearted and eager to get more of this life-filled teaching, which is what I believed discipleship was.

Awkwardness appeared. Dr. Lee looked angst. Yes, my query definitely troubled him.

He looked away, looked back at me and looked away again. He opened his mouth, closed it, and after a few more seconds, he spoke slowly and methodically and this is what he said: “Only one disciples. And his name is Jesus. I disciple no one.”

I smiled politely, curtsied and excused myself. (Okay, I didn’t curtsy, but I did hightail it out of there.)

I was so embarrassed. What the heck did he mean?? I had asked a very common Christian-type question and he slammed me.

Yet, I heard what he said. I thought about it a lot. And over the days, weeks, months, and years to come, it resounded. It resonated.

And it altered my life’s trajectory. 

That very day, Dr. Lee contributed to making me a disciple as well as giving me a much greater understanding to actually what making a disciple meant and means.

“Go and make disciples…” was the very thing that Jesus told all of us to do in, what we call, the Great Commission.  Disciple means a devoted follower. Dr. Lee didn’t mind teaching me; he simply did not want me to follow him.

Jesus did NOT tell me (or any of us) to disciple anyone.

If someone is discipling me, I am following them.

If I disciple someone, then they are following me.

If I am making disciples (devoted followers), then I am pushing them (or compelling them) to follow the One and only person that God wants us to follow, that is Jesus.

Over time, I have learned what it means to go straight to Jesus. I am still learning how to walk with him and talk with him and most of all, listen to and follow him.  

I have learned that he is life and gives his life freely. I have learned that his yoke (teachings) are easy (oh, so easy) and the burden (expectations) he places on me is oh. So. Light.

I am his disciple. And the way I make disciples is to push others (believers and unbelievers alike) to him. Again, I am here to push people to him, not to bring them to me.

Yes, I teach. (And listen to other’s teachings.)

Yes, I mentor. (And have a few mentors that I can call on.)

Yes, I make disciples. (That is now normal, and very easy.)

But, no, I do not disciple, because that is not what he asks me to do.

Thank you, Dr. Lee, for not discipling me, but instead for doing what all of us are called to do: for (contributing to) making me a disciple.

So many squash so little time

8a075e50-ec1c-430f-9116-983ed0dd1edaI love summer and all the fresh foods that it brings: tomatoes, zucchini, ocra, corn, herbs, and SQUASH! Lots and lots and lots of squash.

I love to cook-it-down in bacon grease in an iron skillet or slice it, toss in corn meal and fried it along side onion rings in hot grease.  I’m drooling as I type!

However, sometimes there is just SO MUCH SQUASH with only a limited number of ways that my family will not only EAT but ENJOY!

A few years ago I found a great recipe that my whole family loves and, admittedly have tweaked it a little. It is easy and, strangely enough for our clan, HEALTHY–of course, anything is healthier  than all my bacon grease and canola oil…

Go ahead, print this one out now.  I tried to make it the right size to fold and put in your recipe box but who knows what the In-ternets will do to it!
Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.08.49 AM

IMG_1141FullSizeRender-1I also love growing and cooking with herbs.  So, I was able to jump off my porch and harvest (fancy word for pinch off) some basil and thyme.  And yes, I washed it first.

Most of the other ingredients came from the local grocery store, but our squash, zucchini and tomato plants are growing as fast as they can so it won’t be long before I have fresh ingredients for my kitchen.

I also took the above photo of the veggies on a cutting board that my son made with his own two hands. So proud!

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Oh, well. That’s it!  Please let me know if you make this recipe–or even if you print it out.  Heck, let me know if you even read this.  What joy it would bring to my beatin’ heart!

Hugs! Summertime, summertime, I do so love summertime!

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on Karma (in 399 words)

Bigot! Racist! Idiot! Bully!

The words fly more easily through fingertips than they do through lips.

It is soooo easy to type them and even feels more powerful to add a hashtag: #bigot

I read, I cringe, and then I hide the very post that made the person who posted it feel so righteous–simply because I don’t want to see it over and over. And as I hide it, I wonder, “would they say what they just posted to that person’s face?”

In other words, would THEY want to be treated the way that they are treating that politician, that celebrity, that official, their co-worker, their fellow student or that bozo in the other car?

 see someone scream racist from my Facebook feed and I wonder if they even know the heavy meaning of that particular word? And, in using that word, do they realize that they are actually segregating, as well as categorizing, themselves? It is frightening.

These loaded words are strong. And online, there is no takey-backy!

At the very time the #bekind movement is rising, our culture is feeling more and more entitled, and empowered, to voice opinions about anything and anyone at anytime.  All of us have opinions. Few, if any of us, should so flagrantly voice them…especially in a public forum.

One day my son overheard me quip, “they’d better be careful—what goes around comes back around…”

He said, MOM!? Do you believe in Karma?”

I thought for a few seconds and said, “Yes, I do. But God invented karma: ‘you reap what you sow.’ Somehow that got a name.”

Yup, the rants that we perceive we are entitled to make, will come back around. #karma

So I have taken it upon myself to make a to consider list (simply because lists are trendy!):

Five Things to Consider before you Post and One Good Suggestion 

  1. Do you really know the true meanings of the words that you are hashtag-ing?
  2. Is adding your opinion online important enough to categorize yourself? 
  3. Would you say that wonderful quippy zinger to that person’s face?
  4. Is your rant actually unveiling a bully?
  5. Would you mind if this person posted your words about you?

Good suggestion: Read through your posts and see if (and which of) your friends are:

  • liking your post?
  • ignoring your post? (ouch)

And remember: #treatothersthewayyouwanttobetreated

Really. Even online. Especially online!

and, please, #bekind