The call of Abram is one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. I have moved quite a lot, and the experience of packing up my life in England to move to the U.S. nearly three years ago is still fresh in my memory. The challenges that face Abram and his family are exciting, probably daunting, but certainly not without their cost. I love the way the call is vague about the destination: it seems that getting moving is more important than knowing the final details.
Beverly Donofrio had just been “looking for a monastery to join, for Christ’s sake.” She had closed her laptop, having bookmarked religious communities she might write to, then had fallen into a deep sleep. During the night she was raped at knife point in her home in Mexico.
I once saw children's ministry as a steppingstone to something else. This attitude put me in league with the hindering kind of disciples.
John Knapp tells the story of a businessperson short on cash, with a client who can't pay his bill. For Knapp, this case study highlights the great divide between work and faith.
"Jesus calls us to make disciples, not just converts," says Todd Friesen of Lombard Mennonite Church in Illinois. "I believe that discipleship begins in communal worship."
Seekers often want Christianity to be a set of ideas one knows to be true, or at least to provide a feeling of certainty.
One of our tradition's best ideas is that God calls us to become all we were created to be. One of its worst is that only clergy are called.
Once you finally get a job, then you need to get a “real” job. Then you can expect to be laid off at least once in your life. Then you have to retool and enter the workforce again. Then even if you get your “dream” job, you might come to the realization that you’re destroying your family and your personal life, and the dream becomes a bit of a nightmare. Then you begin to realign all your goals. Then you begin to look toward retirement, and you begin to imagine what your vocation is going to be when you retire.
Why, the customs officer wanted to know, was I traveling to Canada just to preach? It was a question to ponder.