The Countdown Continues … 4 to go

Looking at my support I found out that I am now only 4 families at $36 away from being at 100% of my monthly support.  I can’t express how encouraging it is to be at 96% of my monthly support.

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Not 5 more families

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Only 4 more families till I get to 100%

3 John 8 “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

Will you become a fellow worker for the truth by supporting me financially?

If you want to support me please use my account number 0170101 and click on the link below.

Give Online

Ark Encounter No.2

The interior was awesome.  I had always had a simple perspective on what the intrior of the ark looks like.  However, a simple child’s perspecive would not have allowed for all of the animals and humans on the Ark to survive for about a year.

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Example of Small to Medium Animal Cages

One of the ways that these animals were able to survive was the way that they were caged.  Each of these animals were kept in their pair.  There were small, medium, and large animal pens which had both food and water dispensers so that the animals didn’t need to be fed and watered every day.  The design of all of these cages also allowed for the waste to be easily collected and disposed of.

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Example of Large Animal Cage

There are many different animals in the world and it might have been physically impossible for each and every one of them to fit on the ark.  However, there was an explanation offered on the ark.  The explanation was kinds of animals.  Below is a picture of the different types of the dog kind.

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Kind’s of Animal Example

One of the things that I did not think of as a child was the ventilation problem.  How can you get fresh air into an enclosed ark in an efficient manner which would allow for all of the animals to survive?  The ventilation issue was solved in a very ingenious way as described in the picture below.

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Ventilation Plan

Another issue that I didn’t think of as a child was that of water and waste.  How do you store enough water or get rid of all of the waste that the animals on the ark would need/produce?  The picture below described how water and waste could have been dealt with.

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Water and Waste Plan

Ark Encounter No. 1

On this cross country trip I visited the Ark Encounter in Williamtown, KY.  I was completely surprised at the sheer size of the ark.  I knew that it was big but actual size of the Ark amazed me.

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Ark Selfie

According to Genesis 6:15 the ark is 300 cubits long, 50 cubits, wide and 30 cubits tall which translates to about 510 feet long, about 85 feet wide, and about 50 feet tall.  I could tell you the measurements before the visit but seeing this with my own eyes put it in a totally different perspective.

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The Ark

The ark is so big so that it would be not only stable but also be able to hold the animals and their food.  It was very interesting to see the interior modeled of what the ark could have looked like.  In the next blog I will talk more about the interior.

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Model of the Ark (Interior)

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Model of the Ark (Exterior)

Common Discipleship Objections: Maturity (Discipleship #3)

The most frequent category of objections is relating to Maturity.  All of the questions in this category can be subdivided into two groups, either relating to the Discipler or the Disciple.

Before tackling the questions below it is good to be reminded of some of the universal principles which directly apply.  I would encourage you to review principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 11.

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Discipleing Young Men

MATURITY OF THE DISCIPLER

  1. I have to know the bible inside and out.
  2. I have to have an answer immediately for everything.
  3. I have not conquered all of my sins, how could I help someone else.
  4. I don’t want anyone to imitate my life, they just need to imitate Jesus.

RESPONSES TO EXCUSES

  1. Knowing scriptural facts is not a requirement for discipleship but doing what the scriptures tell you to do one aspect of discipleship.  An individual does not need to know everything but simply exhorting others to observe all the scriptures.  The Thessalonians were only discipled by Paul for 3 weeks and did not have time to learn everything before they began to be a great example of discipleship.  Applicable Verses – Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
  2. As a discipler you are not mandated to answer everything immediately.  Not everyone has an immediate answer as to what is truth but the discipler can search the scriptures to see what the scriptures say, Acts 17:11.  There is great humility that the discipler needs to have to say that he does not know an answer immediately.  Not having an immediate answer for everything will also be an encouragement to the disciple so that they may see humility modeled.  Applicable Verses: Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
  3. Dealing with sin is a normal part of an individuals walk with Christ.  To say that we have conquered all of our sin would be to deny the truth in 1 John 1: 8 & 10 which says that we have all sinned in the past and will be sinning in the present.  A key aspect of discipleship is to help others learn how to deal with sin in a biblical way.  Applicable Verses: 1 John 1:8-10, 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
  4. Having a life worth imitating is paramount for the disciple maker.  Paul called others to imitate his life.  Paul’s disciples also became an example for others to follow.  The key verse is 1 Corinthians 11:1 where Paul says that the believer is supposed to imitate him as he imitates Christ.  Applicable Verses: 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7
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Discipling Young Married Men

MATURITY OF THE DISCIPLE

  1. I have been a Christian for a long time, why do I need to be discipled.
  2. I don’t think that anyone could help me with all of the sins that I struggle with.
  3. I don’t know enough about the discipler to know if I want to be like him.
  4. I don’t want to be like anyone but Jesus because they are fallen sinners and I might become like them.
  5. I am only discipled by Jesus.

RESPONSE TO EXCUSES

  1. The discipleship command does not have a finish line.  The end goal is to be faithful and strive to become more and more like Christ.  No Christian has ever imitated Christ completely.  We are all striving to grow to become more like Christ and are in need of others to point out our deficiencies.  Applicable Verses: 1 Corinthians 11:1, Proverbs 27:6, Matthew 28:18-20
  2. As long as we are alive there is hope that Christ through the gospel will be able to change us so that we might have our sin’s dealt with.  Galatians 6:1-2 says that those who are in sin need others to help them be restored. It is also important to remember that every sin which an individual might struggle with has already been dealt with and overcome by another believer.  Applicable Verses: Galatians 6:1-2, 1 Corinthians 6:11
  3. If you don’t know enough about the discipler to know if you want to be like him than get to know him.  Even if you are not a good fit walking with someone else who will encourage and exhort you to become more like Christ is worth your time and effort.  We are called to be patient with everyone even if we do not get along with them well.  Applicable Verses: 1 Thessalonians 5:14, Proverbs 27:17
  4. This sounds good superficially but once you read Matthew 28:18-20 it is clear that repentant sinners are supposed to disciple other sinners.  We may ignore Matthew 28 but you can’t ignore Galatians 6:1-2 which says that we who are spiritual are to restore the one who is in their sin.  My favorite verse to address this is Proverbs 27:17 which says that we are supposed to sharpen one another.  Applicable Verses: Matthew 28:18-20, Proverbs 27:6, Proverbs 27:17, Galatians 6:1-2, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-7
  5. Matthew 28:18-20 is very clear that believers are to make disciples of other believers.  1 Thessalonians 1:5 illustrates that believers are supposed to make disciples of other believers.  The Apostle Paul also clearly calls people to imitate him.  Applicable Verses: Matthew 28:18-20, Proverbs 27:17, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Thessalonians 1:5

SUMMARY

Maturity of the Discipler or the Disciple is a common excuse but when you read all of the scriptural passages about Discipleship it is very clear that maturity is not a qualification for making disciples.  Maturity will help with different aspects of discipleship but it should never be an excuse to not be discipled or be discipling others.

The Countdown Continues … 6 to go

I am so thankful for all who have decided to support me.  I have had more families join my monthly financial support team in the past couple of days.  As of Thanksgiving I am now only 6 families at $36 per month away from being at 100% of my monthly support.

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Not 8 left

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Not 7 left …

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Only 6 families left to get to 100%

3 John 8 “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

Will you become a fellow worker for the truth by supporting me financially?

If you want to support me please use my account number 0170101 and click on the link below.

Give Online

Final Week of FPS

The last week of FPS was filled with four days of specific training.  The first two days were Crucial Conversations training.  In this training we were given tools to help us better communicate with everyone on the field.

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Crucial Conversations Training

The second training was Situational Leadership training.  This training is based on how to help influence people to excel in specific tasks.  I look forward to putting some of these tools to use.

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Situational Leadership Training

FPS Break Day

During two weeks of FPS training in Harrisburg, PA we had only one day off, it was Sunday November 13.  During that day I decided to visit a friend in Willow Grove, PA near Philadelphia.  It was a blessing to visit her church and go out for lunch after.

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Lunch with a Friend

After visiting my friend I came back to ABWE and went to Hershey, PA with fellow FPS classmates.  I decided to take a group picture of the deserts we ordered.

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Picture of our orders because of security issues

It was fun to visit Hershey’s Chocolate World and to get a break from drinking at the fire hose of information which is FPS.

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Hershey’s Chocolate World

And the Training Continues … FPS

I am excited to be at Field Preparation Seminar (FPS) because this signals that I am close to being able to leave for South Brazil.  FPS is the last major required training which I need to complete before I can receive clearance.

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FPS Workbook

We have had many trainers during FPS and most of them have spent time as missionaries on the field.  It is so encouraging to hear the practical field experience provided through years of service.

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John our lead Trainer

The most helpful portion of FPS at this point has been the language acquisition training. The training provided helpful pointers to enable me to learn Portuguese better.

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LANCE training

The Countdown Continues … 9 to go

After finishing my FPS training yesterday I checked my account and found out that another family decided to partner with me in monthly.  This means that I only need 9 more families at $36 per month to reach 100% support.

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3 John 8 “Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.”

Will you become a fellow worker for the truth by supporting me financially?

If you want to support me please use my account number 0170101 and click on the link below.

Give Online

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Common Discipleship Objections: Introduction and Expectations (Discipleship #2)

Discipleship is a very common word which is thrown around in Christian circles.  It is something that is intimidating to anyone.  In a prior blog I addressed some Universal Discipleship Principles.  However that doesn’t help those who are thinking about discipleship because some of their objections trump any principle.  Let’s look at these objections in some general groups: Expectations of Discipleship, Maturity, Life Stage, and Discipleship Mechanics.  To address these I will attempt to address each issue category in an individual blog post to follow.

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Jamaal Preaching

In this post I will address some common objections related to discipleship expectations.   Expectations which are unrealistically high or too low can have a profound impact upon the view of someone.  If expectations are too high they will almost never be met and you could have the greatest event but it didn’t fulfill the expectations so it is a failure.  The opposite is true also if the expectations are very low, the event will meet and exceed all of the expectations so it could be thought of as a success even if it was lame.

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Pat Preaching

This blog is not so much to answer some of these questions right now but to set the expectations at an appropriate level.  If you think that this blog will be a step by step guide to discipleship you are mistaken.  The purpose of this series of blogs is to help you to think biblically about discipleship and to encourage you to begin to practice discipleship.

Common Discipleship expectations related to the categories which will be addressed in future blogs:

Maturity of the Discipler

  1. I have to know the Bible inside and out.
  2. I have to have an answer immediately for everything.
  3. I have not conquered all of my sins; how could I help someone else?
  4. I don’t want anyone to imitate my life, they just need to imitate Jesus.

Maturity of the Disciple

  1. I have been a Christian for a long time, why do I need to be discipled?
  2. I don’t think that anyone could help me with all of the sins that I struggle with.
  3. I don’t know enough about the discipler to know if I want to be like him.
  4. I don’t want to be like anyone but Jesus because they are fallen sinners and I might become like them.
  5. I am only discipled by Jesus.

Life Stage of the Discipler

  1. I am too young to disciple someone older than me.
  2. I am too old to connect with this younger generation.
  3. I don’t have kids, wife, etc. so how could I disciple someone with kids, wife, etc.?
  4. I am too busy with life to disciple anyone.
  5. I have done too many things wrong.

Life Stage of the Disciple

  1. I am too old to be discipled.
  2. I am too young to be discipled.
  3. I need someone to disciple me who has already successfully completed my current life stage.
  4. No one would understand the difficulties that I am facing right now with my family, job, relationships, etc.
  5. I don’t have enough time in my life to be discipled.

Discipleship Mechanics

  1. I have never been discipled so I don’t know how it should look.
  2. I think that discipleship comes from the pulpit.
  3. I can do biblical counseling but I don’t know how to disciple someone after counseling is over.
  4. Discipleship is only going through a book of the Bible.
  5. Discipleship is only going through a book about the Bible.
  6. Discipleship is supposed to be a 4 part 2 hour long meeting: 30 minutes of catching up on life, 30 minutes of prayer, 30 minutes of bible study, and 30 minutes of application.  I don’t have time to do this.
  7. I can’t be like the guy who discipled me.
  8. I disciple people between church services when we are talking.