The Fishless Fisherman

There was a group called Fishermen’s Fellowship. They were surrounded by streams and lakes full of hungry fish. They met regularly to discuss the call to fish, the abundance of fish and the thrill of catching fish. They got excited about fishing.

Someone suggested they needed a philosophy of fishing. So they carefully defined and redefined fishing and the purpose of fishing. They developed fishing strategies and tactics.

Then they realized they had been going at it backwards. They had approached fishing from the point of view of the fisherman and not from the point of view of the fish. How do fish view the world? How does the fisherman appear to the fish? What do fish eat and when? These are all good things to know.

So they began research studies and attended conferences on fishing. Some traveled to faraway places to study different kinds of fish with different habits. Some got PH.D.’s in Fishiology.

But no one had yet gone fishing.

So a committee was formed to send out fishermen. As prospective fishing places outnumbered the fishermen, the committee needed to determine priorities. A priority list of fishing places was posted on bulletin boards in all the Fellowship halls.

Still no one was fishing.

A survey was launched to find out why. Most did not answer the questionnaire but from those who did respond, it was discovered that some felt called to study fish, a few to furnish fishing equipment and several to go around encouraging fishermen. What with meetings, conferences and seminars, others simply didn’t have time to fish.

Jake was a newcomer to the Fishermen’s Fellowship. After one stirring meeting of the Fellowship, Jake went fishing. He tried a few things, got the hang of it and caught a choice fish. At the next meeting he told his story, was honored for his catch and was then scheduled to speak at all the Fellowship chapters and tell how he did it.

Now because of all the speaking and his election to the Board of Directors of the Fishermen’s Fellowship, Jake no longer had time to go fishing.

Soon he began to feel restless and empty. He longed to feel the tug on the line once again. He cut the speaking, resigned from the Board and said to a friend, “Let’s go fishing.” They did – just the two of them – and they caught fish.

The members of the Fishermen’s Fellowship were many, the fish were plentiful, but the fishers were few.

Lorne Sanny, Navigator Associate (thank you Cecil Bean for posting this!)

Summer and Escaping the Prowling Lion

Summer is here and our Bible study group is on vacation!  Now, this is a good thing because everyone, including ministries, needs a “sabbath” in order to stay refreshed, focused and energized. Additionally, we need time to plan and prepare for the new session, which starts in September.

But hear this word from my friend Susie Walther —

The bad thing about summer is that too many women choose to fall off their spiritual wagons during the breaks.. Le me ask you this:

Do you know what happens to the gazelle who separates lion-and-antefrom the pack on the African plain? She gets eaten by the lions! Satan is described in the Bible as a prowling lion. Don’t ever forget that. When we stay linked and connected to each other, we can protect, encourage, and spur each other on, but if we begin separating from the “pack” and isolating from Christians who are running hard after Christ, we become easy pickings for the hungry lions.

I want to encourage you to fight hard for a few things during the break. Fight hard for your time with Jesus – reading His Word, journaling your God-thoughts, memorizing some Scripture, and talking to God in prayer. Fight hard to stay with the “pack” by going to coffee or lunch with other women. Some of us go to the same church, so why not sit and worship together and then invite women to join you for the next session of your Bible study group? Stay connected through your ministry’s Facebook page.  Then look around and see if you see any stragglers. If you do – grab them before they become the Devil’s chow! Don’t slow down and for Jesus’ sake, don’t stop or quit!

Why become a spiritual carcass when you could have been spiritually alive and well instead? 

The Point of Holy Week

crossThis week is Holy Week. That means a lot to some and absolutely nothing to others, unfortunately. This is the week leading up to the holiest day in all Christendom – the day Jesus Christ defeated sin, hell and the grave through one miraculous act of resurrection, making it possible for death to work backwards in our lives.

Now, what should be clear beyond a shadow of any doubt is that Jesus didn’t come to earth on Christmas Day, die a brutal death on Good Friday and raise from the dead on Easter Sunday so we could go to church once a week to sing songs and listen to a message.

What should be equally clear is that He didn’t teach for 3 years in a teeny country in the Middle East so we could sit around and read books and do Bible studies on the things He taught.

YET you’d almost think from the way we live and approach the Word of God that Christ’s life, death and resurrection were so we could go to church and join a small group. But it’s just got to sink in that neither of those is the point. Church and Bible study are good and they can be a means to the point, but they are not the point itself.

The point really is Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. God is calling us to participate in Jesus’ life, which is meant to define our character and ministry to others. God is calling us to participate in Jesus’ death, which is meant to define our expectations and sacrifice here. God is calling us to participate in Jesus’ resurrection, which defines our existence as new creations. As new creations, we are the light of this world. The ministers of Christ. The ambassadors of Christ. The witnesses of Christ. The martyrs of Christ. Our lives are not our own. They belong to the One who lived and died and rose again and told us to go into the world and make disciples of it.

So, go to church, friend. Go to Bible study. Join a small group. But if that’s mostly all you do, then I’m afraid you’ve missed the point.  

Yours, Susie Walther

Are You Wearing Borrowed Clothes?

“So he took them off.” I Samuel 17:39

This past weekend our church hosted Hope For The Heart, a AllisonAllenone day women’s conference with Allison Allen as a guest speaker.  Allison shared many great things with us, and here is a thought I’d like to pass on to you:

You know the story of David and Goliath in I Samuel 17?  Remember when King Saul dresses David up in his armor, helmet, and sword?  And David “… tried walking around because he was not used to them.  “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.”

David going to battle in someone else’s clothes would have been a disaster.  David needed to be himself… the young man who knew God, who travelled lightly with only stones, a slingshot, and a history of being delivered by God.

Whose clothes are you wearing these days?  Are you clunking around town, trying to do your job and wage battles in the clothing of another?  How’s all the dressing up and masquerading going for you?

Would you consider taking off the mask you’re wearing?  Would you consider being authentic, real, and known as you really are?  Has it occurred to you that God doesn’t want you dressed up and pretending to be someone else, something other than yourself?

He knows you.  He loves you.  And He has a plan for you, a purpose in life.  But first, you have to take off the mask.

Healthy Discipleship Requires Raising Up Disciplers

We need to raise up disciple-makers… This is not simply the task of your pastor… we are ALL called to be disciple-makers, because disciples of Jesus Christ cannot be mass produced. 

Programs do not make disciples, people make disciples.

Good blog post.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2015/february/healthy-discipleship-requires-raising-up-disciplers.html