Category Archives: Church Life

when integrity vanishes

It’s a sad commentary on our world that “integrity” has slowly been coming to mean self-centeredness. Most people who worry about their integrity are thinking about it in terms of themselves. It’s a great excuse for not doing something you really don’t want to do, or are afraid to do: “I can’t do that and keep my integrity.” Integrity, like humility, is a quality which vanishes the moment we are conscious of it in ourselves. We see it only in others.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 130.


love prerequisite to leading

We are to lead the people of God into the mission of God and to care for each person with the love of the tangible embrace of Christ.

We are called to offer both love for people just where they are and to call and equip them to be part of the kingdom mission of Jesus in the world around them. But to be sure, people need to experience the love of God as they are led into the mission of God. If they don’t feel loved, they will likely not let anyone lead them anywhere.

Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing Over Mountains, page 56.


making more disciple-making disciples

The definition of a disciple in modern parlance is tilted toward knowledge rather than obedience. A two-step process of evangelism and discipleship becomes the working model for most of Christianity. Instead of making disciples, we make converts and call them Christians. Jesus asked us to make disciples who would bring heaven to earth.

This intrusion of thought in the Great Commission creates an argument between the Great Commission and the Great Commandments that is foreign to Jesus’ thinking. They are seen as a both/and function of Christianity rather than in the cause/effect relationship that Jesus intended. The natural effect of disciple-making disciples is living out Jesus’ commands, great and small and making more disciple-making disciples.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, pp. 44-45.


explore the truth in smaller portions

If a little is good, more is better. So we value people who can write and speak well. If I am going to obey something, however, I might want less information to work with rather than more. If information is going to help me obey, it’s because information helps to explore the truth in smaller portions.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, p. 76.


check your calling

Jesus didn’t call us to be communicators, He called us to be disciple-makers.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, p. 91.


restore this world

The Father and His Son as well as the Spirit dream of a transformed world—this world we live in, not just the one to come. They want to show off the power of the Creator to renew, restore, and rebuild the world they created and that humanity has destroyed.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, p. 33.


simple, strong, real, all-pervading faith

Not for years and years had Janet been to church; she had long been unable to walk so far; and having no book but the best, and no help to understand it but the highest, her faith was simple, strong, real, all-pervading. Day by day she pored over the great gospel—I mean just the good news according to Matthew and Mark and Luke and John—until she had grown to be one of the noble ladies of the kingdom of heaven—one of those who inherit the earth, and are ripening to see God. For the Master, and his mind in hers, was her teacher. She had little or no theology save what he taught her, or rather, what he is.

George MacDonald, The Day Boy and the Night Girl. Kindle Edition.


leaders or shepherds?

Pastors are more than preachers. Christian leaders are not just trusted with the Scriptures; we are also entrusted with souls. And before we can lead our people into uncharted territory, they have to believe that we will spiritually protect and personally care for them along the way. To be truly credible we also have to be shepherds. We have to tend the flock and protect them, keeping watch over everyone God has entrusted to us (Acts 20:28). Indeed, most congregants prefer shepherds to leaders, but in the Old Testament particularly, shepherd is the biblical metaphor for Israel’s leaders.

Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing Over Mountains, page 55-56.


making christianity unbelievable

When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


we need to love to lead

We are to lead the people of God into the mission of God and to care for each person with the love of the tangible embrace of Christ.

We are called to offer both love for people just where they are and to call and equip them to be part of the kingdom mission of Jesus in the world around them. But to be sure, people need to experience the love of God as they are led into the mission of God. If they don’t feel loved, they will likely not let anyone lead them anywhere.

Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing Over Mountains, page 56.


the lamb

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Dost thou know who made thee?

Gave thee life, and bid thee feed

By the stream and o’er the mead;

Gave thee clothing of delight,

Softest clothing, wooly, bright;

Gave thee such a tender voice,

Making all the vales rejoice?

Little Lamb, who made thee?

Does thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee.

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee.

He is called by thy name,

For He calls Himself a Lamb.

He is meek, and He is mild;

He became a little child.

I a child, and thou a lamb,

We are called by His name.

Little Lamb, God bless thee!

Little Lamb, God bless thee!

William Blake (1757-1827), The Lamb


history is revelation

In Israel, history was not viewed as the simple sequence of events evaluated in terms of cause and effect, but it was God in action. History is the evidence of Israel’s election – the working out of the details represented in the statement, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” History does not flow at random. It was not coincidence or human endeavor that brought Israel out of Egypt after four hundred years and led them to the promised land of Abraham. History is revelation and requires response.

Andrew Hill & John Walton, A Survey of the Old Testament, page 141.