Explaining the Levels of Discipleship

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

(Luke 14:27 NIV)

There are various people in the world back in Jesus’ day as there are today. There were sometimes vast crowds (“multitude” In the KJV) of people numbering in the thousands. (Luke 12:1) The size of these crowds of people apparently ebbed and flowed. Sometimes there were just a few followers, and sometimes it was in the thousands.

Then there were the unnamed disciples. These apparently sometimes numbered in the hundreds. (John 6:66-67, Luke 6:17 NIV)

Then there were the twelve. (Matthew 10:1-4)

Then out of the twelve, there was an “inner circle”: Peter, who was given a promise that nobody else was given — namely that he would be the rock that Jesus would build His church upon (Matthew 16:18). Then there was James and John, the disciple that “Jesus loved” who were the only disciples present to see the transfiguration. (Mark 9:2)

Present day is little different. We all have different stations. There are evangelists, such as Billy Graham, teachers, like Joyce Meyer, and pastors of huge churches like Pastor David Yonggi Cho, and pastors of small community churches. There are elders and deacons and the congregation. There are people minister to youth, and the little old lady who brings the wonderful dishes to the pot luck dinners… All the way down to people who only go to church on Easter and Christmas.

So. How strong of a walk with Jesus do you want? It is up to you. Though God calls many, He is very polite. If you are among the called, He leaves it up to you how close you want to draw to him.

Sure it sounds great in theory – but in practice, you will find there is a cost. Sure the reward is great but so is the cost. And the devil will remind you of all the things you are “missing out on” in hopes of discouraging you.

You have to take up your cross. Not a fun task as anyone who has seen or heard about Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ will know. What is the “cross”? I misunderstood this for years. Your cross is not suffering for your own sins – though you will reap what you sow – everyone, believers or not, will in some fashion will reap what they sow. The cross that Jesus carried was a burden that he carried for others. If you take up burdens for other people, you are bearing your cross.

Remember Love is a choice of behavior – not a warm fuzzy emotion. Emotions go away. Love is eternal.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

(John 13:35 NIV)

 

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A.L. Howard is the founder of www.modernchristianissues.org: A Christian Apologetics Blog which attempts to provide biblical answers to tough questions — Bible Apologetics for the layman — designed to be a resource of Biblical Apologetics that you do not have to be a scholar to understand. He has been studying creation science and Bible prophecy since the early 1980s. Visit the site to explore salvation, evolution vs creation science (creationism), cults, the 12 steps and Christianity and much more.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=A._L._Howard

Internet Funnies: Muppets in Trouble

In 40 seasons, Sesame Street has featured over 1,000 characters. Although we’ll always have mainstays like Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, many Muppets have been forgotten or deemed unnecessary. Here are a few Sesame Street residents who were evicted, or just created a stir.

1. Roosevelt Franklin

roosevelt-franklinPerhaps the most famous of the retired Sesame Street Muppets is Roosevelt Franklin. Originally voiced by Matt Robinson, who portrayed the first Gordon on Sesame Street, Roosevelt was an African-American Muppet who had his own school (named Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School). He often taught the class important lessons about things such as the geography of Africa and how to avoid drinking poison.

Parents wrote to the Children’s Television Workshop to complain that Roosevelt was a negative stereotype of African-American children, citing his rowdy nature and the fact that his classes closely resembled after-school detention. Roosevelt only lasted from 1970-1975, but he has appeared in many Sesame Street books, and it was recently revealed that he will make an appearance in the background of an episode of Sesame Street in the upcoming 40th season.

2. Harvey Kneeslapper

harveyIf a Muppet with a ’70s porn mustache and googly eyes offers to keep an eye on your hat, run the other way. Chances are he’s Harvey Kneeslapper, and he’s about to crush your fedora with an oversized letter I. Harvey pulled practical jokes on unsuspecting victims—jokes featuring bad puns about letters and numbers. Harvey was his own biggest fan, laughing loudly at his gags. One person who didn’t care for Harvey’s trademark laugh was his performer, Frank Oz, who complained that performing the character was too hard on his throat.

3.  There’s an HIV-Positive Muppet

kami
In 2002, Sesame Workshop released a statement saying that they would be introducing an HIV-positive Muppet to Sesame Street. What most people in the U.S. missed was that Kami, the Muppet in question, would not be appearing on the domestic version of Sesame Street, but the South African version, which is called Takalani Sesame. The producers of Takalani Sesame agreed that an HIV-positive Muppet would be beneficial because South Africa has the highest percentage of AIDS-infected people in the world, many of which are children. People became outraged that PBS would allow a children’s show to feature an HIV-positive character, and news sources and pundits went to town on the story. Kami never appeared on the American Sesame Street, though she has proven to be a very successful character on Takalani Sesame.

4. Professor Hastings

professor-hastingsIf there’s one thing kids like, it’s boring lectures. That’s why Sesame Street introduced Professor Hastings, a Muppet whose lectures were so boring, he’d put himself to sleep. And as entertaining as an educational narcoleptic might be, the dull Professor didn’t last long.

For a bunch more ‘failed muppets and basic muppetology’ go to Mental Floss at:

http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/40275.html

I Guess It’s Time for Meds: Funny Pic

 

Just a little something to lighten your day.  Hope all is well and if you’d like prayer for anything please let me know.

 

Managing God: We Insist on Quality!

God’s Quality Management Questionnaire

God would like to thank you for your belief and patronage. In order to better serve your needs, He asks that you take a few moments to answer the following questions.

Please keep in mind that your responses will be kept completely confidential, and that you need not disclose your name or address unless you prefer a direct response to comments or suggestions.

1. How did you find out about God?
___ Newspaper
___ Bible
___ Torah
___ Book of Mormon
___ Koran
___ Other Book
___ Television
___ Divine Inspiration
___ Word of mouth
___ Dead Sea scrolls
___ My mama done tol’ me
___ Near Death Experience
___ Near-life experience
___ National Public Radio
___ Tabloid
___ Burning Shrubbery
___ Who?
___ Other (specify): _____________

 2. Which model God did you acquire?
___ Yahweh
___ Jehovah
___ Allah
___ Just plain God
___ Krishna
___ Father, Son & Holy Ghost (Trinity Pak)
___ Zeus and entourage (Olympus Pak)
___ Odin and entourage (Valhalla Pak)
___ Gaia/Mother Earth/Mother Nature
___ None of the above; I was taken in by a false god

3. Did your God come to you undamaged, with all parts in good working order and with no obvious breakage or missing attributes? __ Yes __ No

If not, please describe here the problems you initially encountered. Please indicate all that apply:
___ Not eternal
___ Not omniscient
___ Not omnipotent
___ Finite in space/Does not occupy or inhabit the entire universe
___ Permits sex outside of marriage
___ Prohibits sex outside of marriage
___ Makes mistakes (Michael Vick, Tiger Woods)
___ When beseeched, doesn’t stay beseeched
___ Requires burnt offerings
___ Requires virgin sacrifices
___ Plays dice with the universe

4. What factors were relevant in your decision to acquire a God? Please check all that apply.

___ Indoctrinated by parents
___ Needed a reason to live
___ Indoctrinated by society
___ Needed target for rage
___ Imaginary friend grew up
___ Hate to think for myself
___ Wanted to meet girls/boys
___ Fear of death
___ To piss off parents
___ Needed a day away from work
___ Enjoy organ music
___ Needed focus on whom to despise
___ Needed to feel morally superior
___ Graduated from the tooth fairy
___ My shrubbery caught fire and told me to do it

5. Are you currently using any other source of inspiration in addition to God? Please check all that apply.

__ Self-help books
__ Tarot, Astrology
__ Star Trek re-runs
__ Fortune cookies
__ Ann Landers
__ Psychic Friends Network
__ Dianetics
__ Playboy and/or Playgirl
__ Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll
__ Biorhythms
__ EST
__ Television
__ Mantras
__ Ted Haggard
__ Crystals (not including Crystal Gayle)
__ Human Sacrifice
__ Wandering around in desert
__ Burning shrubbery
__ Other:_____________________

6. Have you ever worshiped a false God before? If so, which false God were you fooled by? Please check all that apply.

___ Odin
___ Lottery
___ Baal
___ Beelzebub
___ The Almighty Dollar
___ The Conservative Right
___ Mick Jagger
___ Bill Gates
___ The Great Pumpkin
___ A burning cabbage
___ mushroom
___ Other: ________________

7. God employs a limited degree of Divine Intervention to preserve the balanced level of felt presence and blind faith. Which would you prefer. (circle one)?

a. More Divine Intervention
b. Less Divine Intervention
c. Current level of Divine Intervention is just right
d. Don’t know – what’s Divine Intervention?

8. God also attempts to maintain a balanced level of disasters and miracles. Please rate on a scale of 1 to 5 God’s handling of the following: (1 = unsatisfactory, 5 = excellent):

Disaster:
1 2 3 4 5 flood
1 2 3 4 5 famine
1 2 3 4 5 earthquake
1 2 3 4 5 war
1 2 3 4 5 pestilence
1 2 3 4 5 plague
1 2 3 4 5 my last relationship

Miracles:
1 2 3 4 5 rescues
1 2 3 4 5 spontaneous remissions
1 2 3 4 5 crying statues
1 2 3 4 5 water changing to wine
1 2 3 4 5 walking on water
1 2 3 4 5 stars hovering over towns
1 2 3 4 5 VCRs that set their own clocks
1 2 3 4 5 clear and competent statements by the President                                      

9. Please rate the following on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 =unsatisfactory, 5 = excellent):

1 2 3 4 5 God’s Courtesy
1 2 3 4 5 answers to your prayers
1 2 3 4 5 Are your spiritual needs being met?
1 2 3 4 5 How are your shrubs doing?

10. Do you have any additional comments or suggestions for improving the quality of God’s services? (Attach additional sheet(s) if necessary.)

 

-Writer unknown

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“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings to search out a matter.”  (Proverbs 25:2).

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