December 2013

Big Shoes to Fill

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One of my fondest memories of our son, Brent's, early childhood began when he was no more than three years old. Brent delighted in putting his little feet into my big shoes and walking around the house in them. Of course, my shoes swallowed his little feet. However, he loved playing with my big shoes.

Lifelong Learning

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Abraham Lincoln once said, "I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."

To Lincoln, learning was both an orientation and a daily adventure to be explored throughout life. People who are truly effective in what they do generally did not get that way by sitting still| they have applied themselves to constant or continuous learning.

Love Really Does Win

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Love wins, really, it does. But how does love win? That is the question that requires an answer.
 
Lately, there has been considerable controversy about God's love and what it means when we say "love wins." Some suggest that love wins by finally overlooking one's lack of response to God's redemptive offer of grace. Others may suggest that love wins because prevenient grace is enough; love ignores a person's unwillingness to submit to the call of God to live a righteous and holy life.
 

In Search of a Better Flash Mob

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This past December, my wife was talking with a fellow teacher at her high school. It was the last day of the semester. Both students and teachers were eager for their long-expected Christmas break. As they talked about their respective holiday plans, Kim's colleague offered some "insider information" regarding a flash mob that was being organized the next afternoon at the large regional mall in our community.

Q&A: How Do We Teach Discipleship?

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Q: As a local church Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) superintendent, how can I transition our local church from a Sunday School model to a discipleship model that includes spiritual formation, intentional discipleship, and Christian Education?

A: Remember, "Methods are many, principles few; methods change, but principles never do."

Let me offer these definitions:

Lifelong Learning

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Abraham Lincoln once said, "I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."

To Lincoln, learning was both an orientation and a daily adventure to be explored throughout life. People who are truly effective in what they do generally did not get that way by sitting still; they have applied themselves to constant or continuous learning.

Serve. Listen. Love.

Today, new opportunities for ministry are opening around the world. Check out this example of an urban coffee house that is serving up more than coffee. Cory Stipp (CS) is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. He has been in ministry for 15 years holding associate pastor roles in Illinois, Michigan, and Kansas. Holiness Today managing editor Carmen Ringhiser (CR)* recently dialogued with Cory about the coffee shop he runs in Kansas City, Missouri.

We Believe In You

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On August 8, 2013, I was ordained an elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Some would say that it was the culmination of a nine-year journey that began when I received my first district minister's license in 2004. I tend to think of it as the culmination of a 23-year journey, stemming all the way back to when I came home from kindergarten and informed my mother that I was going to be a priest someday. (To know why I used 'priest,' search for Father Dowling Mysteries.)

A Look at Mentoring

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What is Mentoring?
The definition of mentoring depends on the person, the situation, and the goal. Mainly, it is pouring yourself into another life to help that person learn and grow.

In a professional or career sense, a mentor may be someone in the career you'd like to pursue. For example, if you want to be a game developer, you might connect with an adult who is already in that field and is willing to give you a pointer or two. Or you might even connect with an older student who knows more than you and can teach you some of the ropes of programming.

Good News for the Church

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In 1995, a hurricane battered the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua. On Sunday morning following the hurricane, a congregation there, All Saints Church of the Nazarene, gathered for worship.
 
The congregation had to stand that morning. The pews were damaged, the roof was gone, and the wooden floor had buckled. Rosa Lee, the district superintendent and pastor at that time, stood before her congregation and said, "Brothers and sisters, our building is gone, but the Church remains."
 

What good news. The Church remains!
 

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