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September 30, 2009


Michelle Lee

Thanks for these challenging thoughts. Following Christ is a choice, and not an easy one, but we cannot pick and choose what scripture we wish to follow. I am praying that God will refine me and change the ways I am not following Him with all of me. I appreciate your heart.

Ryan Roberts

Thanks for these words...very thoughtful and thought provoking. You ask some challenging questions and you define the identity of who you (your community) want to be and what is to be your mission.

Keep on...good stuff.

I have been following your blog for awhile on my feed reader. I can't remember how I first came across your site. I live in South Korea and am thankful to be working/serving at an International School.

Thanks again.

R. Jason Smith


Great stuff. I think you are on to something. I think this is maybe, on a deeper level, the cost of discipleship - period.

We do a disservice to people by not unpacking the cost of discipleship more clearly.


R. Jason Smith


Have you seen George Barna's new book, The Seven Faith Tribes?

If not, I'll wrap it up for you in a paragraph.

Barna has done decades of research on faith and how it is expressed in the USA. It is shocking, but 2/3 or America claims to be Christian.

Barna reconciles this with two categories. Casual Christians and Captive Christians. Casual Christians look at the Christian Life as a category in their life. It is something they do one day a week, in a prayer at night, etc. Captive Christians understand themselves to be bond servants of Christ. They have a biblical world view, and live accordingly, etc. In other words, Christian is something they are, and what they do is a reflection of that relationship.

I think your questions here ask the bigger question, are you or do you wanna be a Captive Christian?

I have found that in my church, I have about 20 people who are Captive Christians. The other 50 or so, are casual. If you ask, they will say they are Christians. They might even accept a laundry list of propositions about the Christian Life. But when it comes down to it, Christianity is something they do in addition to all the other things that define them. That 20 or so, are sold out bondservants.

I think my ministry is all about transitioning people from either a non-Christian perspective or a casual Christian perspective to a Captive Christian perspective.

And that, my friend, is hard work. I tend to just participate in it, because God is causing it to grow, not me!!!

What say you?

Wes Roberts

...with you all the way!


R. Jason, I'm intrigued with the book, man. And I love that word, "captive." That gets at what I'm driving at. Wow, if you've seriously got 20 sold out folks, that's amazing in my perspective. I recently heard that a mayor of a Denver suburb told a group of pastors that if the church was doing its job, our city wouldn't have near the issues that it does. Crime, poor care of the elderly, poor school performance, etc. Lots of that would be vastly decreased with 20 people per church who were captivated.

Michelle- Thanks! I'm praying that God changes mine as well. Looking forward to spending more time with you guys soon.

Ryan R.- Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement. Blessings in your life and work there on there other side of the world. I'm sure you know a little bit about "the cost." Shalom.

Doug Nolte

In a word. . . ."NO". . . just keeping it real.

But with every question you asked, I keep saying, "but I really want too!"

As Ian Percy said, "we judge others by their behaviors, we judge ourselves by our intentions."

It takes great sacrifice to move intentions to action.

Thanks for the challenge.

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Words make Worlds...

  • "It becomes so clear to me as I grow older that people who change, and keep changing, are the only people who grow up." -Richard Rohr
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." -John Wooden
  • "Receptivity without confrontation leads to a bland neutrality that serves nobody. Confrontation without receptivity leads to an oppressive aggression which hurts everybody." - Henri Nouwen
  • "Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of spirituality begins where we are now in the mess of our lives." -Mike Yaconelli
  • "But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this world tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together." -Shane Claiborne
  • "Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein
  • "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
  • "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -Dr. Martin Luther King
  • "Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful--- Christian community is the final apologetic." -Francis Schaefer
  • "It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools." Wendell Berry
  • "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than the particular country in which he was born." -Francois Fenelon
  • "Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership." -Walter Brueggemann
  • "Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get round to being the particular poet or particular monk that they are intended to be by God." "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be." -Thomas Merton
  • "God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and God's been speaking through them ever since. So, if God chooses to speak through you don't think to highly of yourself." -Rich Mullins
  • "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." Mother Teresa
  • "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." Henri Nouwen


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