On Change, and Why We Hate It


Source of image, HERE)

For some time now, I have engaged in a virtual peripatetic dialogue with a young friend, at the request of his father. Although over 40 years separate us, our dialogue makes both of us discover things about ourselves and about life that we di not know much before. And, many times, good questions prove to be more important that answers, be those good ones.

Our dialogue today is about change and why we tend to refuse it, if not hate it, even when we know is absolutely necessary and unavoidable.

* * *

Q – Why is change so difficult? Change, in itself, is good and beneficial in the sense that it allows us to progress and surmount naturally lazy tendencies, leading to the attainment of a broader mindset and generally greater understanding of this thing we call “life”. So, if we know that change is progress, why is it so hard sometimes? I know that there is also a human, emotional element, and, on the topic, Gibran says that sorrow is like a canyon into which joy pours in, so, logically, the deeper the canyon, the more water it can hold. Knowing this, and knowing that joy and sorrow go together and are part of life, why does this concept of change still frighten and sometimes sadden us so?

A – Humans are essentially conservative, complacent beings. This may be, at the psychological level, another implication of the law of entropy.

Change is painful, and that is, probably, another reason we run away from change. Nobody likes pain. Yet, without pain there is no growth nor maturity.Read More »

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Derwin L Gray – Do We Have Discipleship Wrong?

In the American educational system, from first grade all the way up through high school, we’re taught to memorize INFORMATION, and then take a test. If we pass the intellectual test, then we move on to the next grade.

We’ve transferred this learning pattern to Christianity. We’re trained to learn biblical concepts, principles, and doctrines intellectually. And the more biblical information we know, the greater disciples we are deemed to be.

I think this is killing the church in America, just like it hurt the Pharisees.

Let’s remember that the Pharisees—an elite group of well-educated men in Israel—knew the Scriptures, but they missed the main point of the Scriptures: to know JESUS personally and intimately (Phil. 3:5-11). Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!” John 5:39 NLT

Knowing the Bible doesn’t give us eternal life; knowing Jesus does. (John 17:3)

Some people love the Bible more than they love Jesus.

HEAD, HEART, HANDS

I’m all for learning about Jesus and the Christian faith. I have a Master’s of Divinity with a Concentration in Apologetics (magna cum laude). I’m currently pursuing my Doctorate of Ministry with a Concentration in ‘New Testament in Context’ under New Testament scholar Scot McKnight, Ph.D.

BUT,

if all my learning does not produce more love for Jesus, myself, and people, then I’ve wasted my time. (1 Corinthians 13)

If all that learning doesn’t cultivate more love in my heart, then I wouldn’t be a disciple—I’d be a gatherer of biblical facts. Gatherers of biblical facts don’t transform the world; disciples do. I want to be a disciple. And I want the church I’ve been called to shepherd to be a community of disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Jesus said, “You will know my disciples by the way they love one another.” (John 13:35)

The Apostle Paul says to the Philippian Church,

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:9-11 NLT

The “fruit of your salvation” is the fruit of the Spirit,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24 ESV

When our minds are in awe of Jesus and our hearts are overflowing with the love of Jesus, we become the hands of Jesus by serving people because we love them.

Marinate on that.

(Source, Christianity Today.)

Building A Case for Mentoring in University Education

mentoring

Education, in the fullest sense of the word is not about filling one’s mind with facts – that is basically the Romanian educational system’s approach – this is superfluous at teh time of Internet and search engines. Nor is it about merely acquiring skills for the work market, as the neo-liberal approach to education would suggest.

In its times tested understanding, education is about acquiring wisdom for right living. From the time of antiquity, with an unfortunate hiatus is modernity, which is slowly overcome at present, the best way of becoming wise and competent in life matters is under the influence of a master. That is called, in biblical terms, discipleship, and in the contemporary formation vocabulary it is called MENTORING. Surprisingly, this concept was abandoned by the majority of Christians, and was rediscovered by the world of business. It is time that Christians, and, why not, educationalists, catch up now.

A recent article in Gallup Business Journal calls mentoring ‘the biggest blown opportunity in the history of higher ed’. Here are a few highlights from it.

A few months after Gallup released findings from the largest representative study of U.S. college graduates, there is much to ponder. The Gallup-Purdue Index surveyed more than 30,000 graduates to find out whether they are engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being. In simple terms, did they end up with great jobs and great lives?Read More »

YWAM Iasi – Mission Training Program 2014-2015

YWAM Iasi poster

If you are someone who seeks to know the truth, desires to live abundant life and dares to be challenged in order to become the person God intended for you to be, then…

Come and join us this fall!

University of the Nations and Youth With A Mission Iasi invite you to the 3rd eddition of our training program which will begin on 1 October 2014 and will end on 30 June 2015, in the following format:Read More »

David Platt – Why People Don’t Make Disciples

David Platt is pastor of Brook Hills Church in Birmingham, Alabama, a church I have visited a number of times while I was fundraising for Richard Wurmbrand College in Iasi, Romania.

Platt is one of the youngest megachurch pastors in the US.

He talks here about one of my favourite topics: discipleship. Here is what he has to say

Tabara de la Voronet, 1981

Voronet, 1981
De la stinga la dreapta si de sus in jos: Danut Manastireanu, Viorel Gaga, Ronela (Pintican) Bodiu, Tudorel Sfatcu, Orest Onofrei, Liviu Mocan, Beni Faragau, Benisor Faragau, Dorotheea (Manastireanu) Ardeleanu, Doinita Prelipcianu, Danut Prelipcianu,  Nora Faragau, Daniela Gaga, Mihaela Manastireanu, Luminita Mirauta, Daniel Manastireanu (ascuns dupa Luminita), Ligia Pintican, tanti Tinca (bucatareasa), Zena Bordei, Erszo Sfatcu, Mariana Sain-Morar, Corina (Sfatcu) Shtir, Rodica (Bocaniciu) Mocan.Read More »

The Willowbank Report – A Lausanne Consultation of Gospel & Culture

The complex and often ambiguous relationship between Gospel and culture was discussed a lot since the beginning of the Christians Church and continues to trouble many Christians, as a recent debate among Romanian evangelical, around the legitimacy and compatibility of pos culture – whatever we mean by that, and the Christian ethos.

The Willowbank Report, an important Lausanne Movement document, in which the hand (and mind) of John Stott is very obvious and which I have translated into Romanian about 30 years ago from the French translation, remains a standard for all those interested in this topic.

You may read the text online HERE. I could also sens anybody interested a copy  of the text in .mobi, which could be read on a Kindle. Just ask

God bless.

11-18 august – Scoala de la Suceava

Iata o initiativa foarte interesanta, in care sunt implicati, ca organizatori sau lectori multi prieteni si oameni pe care-i pretuiesc in mod deosebit.

Redau mai jos, de pe blogul scolii, o scurta prezentare:

Convingerile noastre religioase nu pot ramane fara consecinte in spatiul public. Suntem, concomitent, și oameni și români și creștini și profesioniști. Nu putem lăsa nici acasă și nici în agora ceva din ceea ce suntem. Nu se poate ca optiunile noastre religioase să nu aibă efecte sociale și politice.Read More »

Omul care planta copaci

Iata aici din nou povestea ilustrata a lui Jean Giono, de data aceasta cu subtitrare in limba romana. O metafora exceptionala a valorii pe care o are contributia personala a unui singur om. Pentru mine povestea este, de asemenea, o metafora a uceniciei si a mentoratului.

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 9/9 – Impartation

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 8/9 – Reproduction

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 7/9 – Supervision

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 6/9 – Delegation

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 5/9 – Demonstration

[toutube=http://youtu.be/9BC2JWpfrtk]

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 4/9 – Consecration

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 3/9 – Association

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 2/9 – Selection

Robert Coleman – Master Plan for Discipleship – 1/9 – Incarnation

Robert Coleman (si Juan Carlor Ortiz) despre ucenicia crestina

discipleship

Tema uceniciei crestine, care este o preocupare constanta pentru mine, a aparut de mai multe ori pe acest blog (o puteti gasi cu o simpla cautare pe pagina de titlu).

Una dintre cele mai folositoare introduceri in acest subiect  biblic, atit de neglijat in practica de crestinii de toate confesiunile, este cartea lui Robert Coleman, Planul de evangjelizare al Invatatorului, publicate de mine la Editura Logos din Cluj, in 1992, perioada cind eram redactor-sef al acelei edituri (textyul cartii este accesibil online pe Scribd). De fapt ar fi trebuit sa se cheme ‘planul de ucenicizare’, dar probabil ca ‘evanghelizare’ a sunat mai sexy pentru piata (asa cum se stie, in vest autorul are prea putrin de spus cu privire la tutlul si la coperta unei carti scrise d e el; in acel domeniu stapineste, cu puteri absolute specialistul in marketing – noul preot al consumismului ccapitalist).

Recomand cu caldura si convingere aceasta carte simpla si de mici dimensiuni tuturor celor interesati de aceasta tema.Read More »

Leadership Training Doesn’t Work

Have you ever been involved in  a (Christian) leadership training seminar? I think many of you did. There is a real obsession in some church circles, as in various companies, particularly not-for-profit ones, for leadership training programmes.

Have you ever wondered why this programmes never actually work and, in fact, we have less leaders at the end of the process that we have without these gimmicks? Maybe the problem is that everybody wants to be a leader (much more ‘sexy, isn’t it?) but nobody really want to be a follower.

Geoff Surratt is trying an answer to this problem. Here it is.

Geoff Surratt lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Sherry. Sherry is the CEO of MOPS International. Geoff and Sherry have two awesome kids (Mike and Brittainy), a wonderful daughter-in-law (Hilary) and the most beautiful grand daughter on earth (Maggie Claire) Geoff has served on staff at Seacoast Church and Saddleback Church. He is now a freelance Church Catalyst and Encourager.Read More »

Amy Butler – Drive-thru Discipleship

The Associated Press recently reported on churches offering drive-thru blessings on Ash Wednesday. Pastors in my city offered ashes and blessings at the Metro stations so hurried commuters could get their Lenten fix on the way to work. And I guess “ashes on the go” is not so different from our church’s annual tradition of offering communion at a booth in the Capital Pride festival.

The idea behind all of these efforts, of course, is to make a spiritual experience more easily accessible to people who might not take the time or have the courage to set foot in a church.Read More »

Grupul mic superficial

Impreuna cu citiva prieteni ne plingeam pe bloguri de lipsa de interes pentru ucenicie intre evanghelicii romani.

Asa fiind, am gasit pe YouTube o solutie si pentru aceasta problema.

Priviti. Poate ca asta va atrage mai mult.

Aceasta este ucenicia

Multumesc lui Rodi pentru acest link.

Criza uceniciei in comunitatile evanghelice romanesti – 2 – Ispita luminilor rampei

2. Ispita luminilor rampei

Pe Isus îl găsim în scripturi raportându-se în mod diferit la trei grupuri de oameni:

a. mulțimile – cărora le predică, și între care face minuni;

b. ucenicii – grupul larg al celor care au decis să-l urmeze, și cărora le explică sensul și motivația slujirii sale; și

c. apostolii – cei 12 intimi ai lui, chemați să fie cu el și apoi trimiși să facă ceea ce l-au văzut pe el făcând.

Așa cum o dovedește lucrarea lui Isus, între aceste trei tipuri de lucrări n-ar trebui să existe contradicție. În realitate, cei mai mulți slujitori creștini se simt atrași, ca fluturii spre lumină, de strălucirea (adesea îndoielnică) a amvonului, mai degrabă decât de lucrarea de ucenicie, care presupune implicarea lipsită de glorie în formarea unui grup mic de oameni.Read More »

Criza uceniciei in comunitatile evanghelice romanesti – 1 – Ucenicia ca tehnologie a slujirii – UPDATE

1. Ucenicia ca tehnologie a slujirii

În scriptură ucenicia este esențialmente o atitudine (purtarea crucii) și un mod de viață (urmarea lui Cristos). Atunci însă când această idee a ajuns în mâinile americanilor, ei au transformat-o rapid într-un soi de „tehnologie” a uceniciei, în scopul de a o face ușor transmisibilă în alte culturi. Ucenicia s-a transformat astfel dintr-o artă, într-un soi de „știință”, caracterizată de programe, strategii, cursuri și alte asemenea mijloace, mai mult sau mai puțin folositoare.

Îmi amintesc și acum, zâmbind oarecum, de felul în care în fiecare toamnă, Beni Fărăgău, liderul neîncoronat al echipei naționale a Navigatorilor, ne îndemna, inginerește, spre groaza mea, fundamental sceptică față de eficiența acestor „șmecherii” pentru domeniul diafan al sufletului, să ne facem planurile pe anul universitar care urma: afirmații de scop, obiective, mijloace de măsurare, activități și mijloace, erau toate aliniate ca într-un exercițiu de strategie militară.Read More »

Criza uceniciei in comunitatile evanghelice romanesti – Introducere.

Ieri am avut un scurt schimb de mesaje pe Facebook cu Vasile Tomoiagă, care mi-a dat ideea de a lansa o discuție în spațiul virtual în legătură cu problematica uceniciei între evanghelicii români.

Discuția a pornit de la un citat din Scot McKnight, în care autorul afirma că pentru cei mai mulți evanghelici evanghelia se reduce la aplicarea sângelui lui Isus pentru rezolvarea problemei vinovăției pentru păcat, reducându-ne la ceea ce McKnight numea în mod plastic, un soi de „creștini vampiri”, care sunt interesați doar de „puțin sânge pentru păcatele lor”.

Vasile sugera că evanghelicii români nu au neapărat această problemă. și că pentru ei evanghelia este mai mult decât atât. Fără a contesta neapărat acest lucru, am sugerat că, după părerea mea, această concepție reducționistă despre evanghelie se află totuși în conștiința evanghelicilor români, ea fiind, consider eu, cauza pentru criza uceniciei creștine în aceste comunități.Read More »

Pinball effect of Books (1)

Pinball effect of Books (1). «.

Emanuel Murariu isi incepe seria de postari despre care care l-au influentat in ‘(de)(re)formare’ cu citeva consideratii legate de superba carte a lui Jaroslav Pelikan Iisus de-a lungul secolelor.

Nu ratati aceasta serie.

POate ca ar merita ca si altii dinytre noi sa scrie despore cartile (ci poate, de asemenea, despre oamenii) care ne-au facut SA FIM CEEA CE SUNTEM ASTAZI, cu bune si cu rele,

The Ancient Path: Conformed to the Image of His Son

The Ancient Path: Conformed to the Image of His Son.

This blog post on Spiritual Formation and Discipleship, by Jonathan Anderson, is inspired by the Ignatian tradition and may be an inspiration for those who are fed up with the superficial spirituality in many of our churches.

Timothy Tennent about the Church in India and China

A really prophetic call. When China will open up we will be faced not only with the surprise of explosive growth in the church there, but also with a lot of pathologies. Preparing for the opening in the (hopefully) near future is just wise.

Nevertheless, I also hope that the western church will not try to impose on the church in China and India practices and tools that did not work there.

And, I am trying to say this for some time now, probably one of the most important skills that Chinese Christians will need to acquire is that of cultural anthropology. If they don’t, in spite of their best intentions, future Chinese missionaries will be worse in their cultural imperialism than British missionaries in the 19th century, American missionaries in the 20th century and Korean missionaries in the 21st.Read More »