Posts Tagged ‘disciple’



One of my favorite movies of all time is “Seven Days in Utopia” (2011). It is not just a movie about golf but chockfull of life applications. One of them was the simple acronym – SFT! Here the grizzled old golf pro played by Robert Duvall was mentoring his young protégé played by Lucas Black and teaching him about Focus.

From the Word of God, we know Focus is the hallmark of a good disciple of Christ. Lack of focus is when we take our eyes off Him and look both inward at ourselves and/or circumstances. This is destructive as we can become full of ourselves; if we get caught up in the world around us and not the Word IN us.

SFT stands for See, Feel and Touch. What does this have to do with this period in the church calendar, which many observe as Lent? What does this have to do with a tradition where we deny ourselves in a meaningful way?

Jesus said we must deny ourselves by dying daily (i.e. picking up our Crosses and going after Him). We must deny ourselves the passing pleasures of sin for a season. We must deny ourselves ……………



A 21st Century Disciple?


BY DEB BURTON ( a friend of BMIC)


This reality game aims to provide a mini experience of the discipleship journey, from ‘baby stage’ to adulthood. Some of it is fun, and lighthearted, as it is designed for all ages. It is a lot about getting to know each other. There is a memory verse to learn as you go – each stage has a piece of it.

  • [Stage 1] Babyhood is being looked after: – feed each other with marshmallows on toothpicks. Memory verse: ”As newborn babies“ Discuss what to feed to new Christians
  • [Stage 2] Toddler is learning about family and friends: – find out 3 things you didn’t know about each other – such as where they were born, their middle name, a nice memory, favourite song, pet hate, etc. Note how this helped you improve your relationship with each other. Memory verse: ”hunger for the”
  • [Stage 3] Early school is learning to communicate: – say or write down something you like about each person (warm fuzzy!) and note how it made you all feel more confident. Memory verse: ”pure milk of”
  • [Stage 4] Learning about God‘s wonders:- scavenger hunt – something from each day of creation: shiny, water, stone, leaf, a picture or other illustration of star, bird, fish, insect, fur, man-made object… At least 6 things – note these… Memory verse: ”the word so”
  • [Stage 5] Learning about yourself:- there’s a picture of a cake at the edge of a table at a girl’s birthday party, soon it gets knocked off – discuss what would be your reaction? Match this with prophet (told you so), server (finds the broom), teacher (what should have happened), encourager, giver, organiser, shows mercy. Note the group gifts [Romans 12:6-8] Memory verse: ”you can grow”
  • [Stage 6] Exploring work options: – Come up with 2 things each person might do with their gifts, in church or paid work [they can be practical work, or academic, or creative, or a mix]. Note and send in report Memory verse: ”up mature and”
  • [Stage 7] Training for adult work;- Memory verse: ”whole in God.” -1 Peter 2:2 Put the verse together and practice it. You might sing it, act it, puzzle it, picture it – but learn it as well as you can! Report when you are ready to be tested.
  • [Stage 8] Adult hood – doing the work God has called you to do. Go sit with each person in your group for three minutes, without talking, but being open for God to speak to you about each other. Share anything you sense – a thought, picture, impression/ feeling, scripture etc. Pray for God to bless and grow each other. Then as a group, each person can share some of the things about themselves if they wish. Report this and return to headquarters – you will be asked for the memory verse as a password.
  • “As newborn babies, hunger for the pure milk of the word so you can grow up mature and whole in God”

1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)             

NOTE THIS:                
REPORT BACK to everyone – recorder/ spokesperson answering “What did the group get out of it?” – added comments from group are OK depending on the time 


1) Deny yourself – James and John coveted the limelight. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory. Mark 10:37. One of your greatest challenges will be to resist promoting yourself and trying to succeed on your own, then asking God to bless your efforts. God’s not interested in second-hand glory. He wants the credit for what He (not you) accomplishes in your life.

Taking up the Cross means dying to self, to live in Christ!

2) Take up your Cross – Nobody goes directly from denying themselves to following Jesus. First we go through crucifying experiences. Paul says: ‘I die daily’ 1Corinthians 15:31. Certain things in your life can be handled only one way – dying to them. Listen: ‘Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God’ Romans 6:11. Jesus did not even talk about the cross to His disciples, until He knew they understood this principle. Why? Because until you do, you will never see the cross as a plus.

3) Follow Him – Too often we take God’s presence for granted because He said He would never leave us. But He also said: ‘You did not choose me…I chose you’ John 15:16. It is not God’s job to follow you, it is your job to follow Him! When you do, it will cost you, change you, and challenge you. Sometimes you will go through valleys, other times you will stand with Him on the mountaintop. You must be willing to follow Him anywhere, any time, under any conditions; that is the deal! Still want to be a disciple of Jesus?


Matthew 10:38
…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24
…Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Mark 8:34
…Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Luke 9:23
…Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Luke 14:27
…And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

(Posted by Admin- BL)


2 Corinthians 6:15 (ESV) says~~ “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?”

Yoga - looks inward, not UPWARD!

The decline of the American evangelical church has actually been traced to the Second Great Awakening and Charles Finney’s Revivals…but those could be books for another day! What is happening now makes a snow avalanche in Colorado look tame! Here in Springfield we have a church-based hospital promoting the practice of Reiki Massage for healing! Several other churches here and across America included “Christian Yoga” in their programs. Not to be outdone, we have the Chatham school system teaching Yoga in their Physical Education! (By the way, would the Ball-Chatham consider letting Christian quarterback Tim Tebow come in and tell kids how to stay chaste and pure in a corrupt, perverted world? No way! He’s a Christian!)

Yes, there is something rotten in the state of Christianity. To understand this trend towards not just Eastern Mysticism but immersion into the pagan religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, we have to know what both Reiki and Yoga are.

The Reiki practiced in Springfield and only certain other medical centers is down by a so-called trained “Reiki Master” who is versed in the art of sending “Healing Energies” around the world into the patient, using the “Seven Chakras”. This is done by the laying of hands in specific ways and other-worldly meditations to treat certain illnesses.


Chakras are so-called “energy centers” allegedly from the base of the pelvic system to top of the head. “Tantric sex” is an extension of this pagan eastern practice. They also allegedly hold the “key to life” and energy in the Universe!!! Have you ever heard such heresy! Do some professing Christians need to be reminded that Jesus is NOT just the “Key to Life” but THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE (John 14:6)?! Do they need to be reminded that “all good things come from the Father of Lights” (James 1:17)…and this includes the True Source of Energy – the Holy Spirit?!

Like Reiki, Yoga is body-centric and depends on the surrendering of one’s mind to another level of consciousness. Christians are not supposed to empty their minds and use their body as a vehicle to connect the physical to some sort of Higher “Source” or spirit! On the contrary, blessed is the man who does NOT walk in the counsel, culture, conformity of the ungodly…and his delight is in the Law of the Lord…on which he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

Yoga has exploded in gyms, churches and schools!

More and more churches are using Yoga as part of a fitness program, as some of their members (who are more culturally diverse) see the rest of the outside world participating.  Fitness clubs already have this for their members. Why parents at the Chatham middle school and others are not protesting their children being indoctrinated into Hinduism/Buddhism by the inclusion of yoga into the phys/end curriculum is mystifying! One only has to look at the positions and know they are not harmless physical exercises!

Participants in so-called “Christian yoga” will say they practice “hatha” yoga (which is supposed to be only the physical discipline part of it). They will insist it’s not the full Hindu practice of “kundalini” yoga….and I believe them. HOWEVER, by its very nature, the physical and the spiritual in yoga cannot be separated. While some people may think they can substitute the monosyllable “om” chant with Psalm 23…it simply does not compute!! Every physical position in yoga signifies a specific part of that eastern cult, whether Christians in post-modern American Christianity deny it or not! True yoga adherents and Hindus are laughing under their breath at our people who think they can compartmentalize Christ and think purely of this as the fine art of stretching and good health!  Personally, I can’t comprehend a person reciting “the Lord is my Shepherd”, while putting the index finger and thumb in a circle with an ankle behind your head!


Am I saying all Christians who practice yoga are unbelievers? No! It does mean that the level of Biblical discernment is in questionable shape! If you speak to former Buddhists and Hindus they will explain the folly AND RISK of leaving one’s mind and consciousness, no matter how innocent it may seem, susceptible to the powers of the air, when our call is different. Christians are to look to Jehovah Rapha – the God Who heals, through intense prayer and intercession to get His blessings on our ailments…and He may direct us to the right doctor, in such an event. We are to look to Christ as our only discipline – the Author and Perfector of our Faith. We are to reason together with God (Isaiah 1:18 ) Who has made our scarlet sins as white as snow. We are to be totally conscious at all times why the Joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)….not let our brain go slack and give the devil yet another opening to attack our souls.

Being a True Disciple of Christ is not blind following. It’s conscious, firm and uncompromising decision made with body, mind and soul. All components of the human condition are in play. Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and MIND”! Anything which deviates from this well….you decide…


God’s Courtroom

God’s Courtroom