Comparing India and Great Britain

I found a fascinating website, Nationmaster.com, which enables you to compare two countries in a range of different areas. My choice was easy as I am a British citizen living in India. Below are a couple of tables.

Living in India the most disappointing statistic is the relative number of roller coasters, the UK has 8x more than India, and the one to gloat about most is petrol prices which are 96% more in the UK.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 1.42.15 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 1.38.45 PM

 

What is discipleship?

Exponential has been delivering a weekly quote giving some definition to discipleship. Below are some of my favourites. They all bring a little more clarity to the question so when  I added them all together I got a very good idea of what a disciple might look like. Try it for yourself, and you might be challenged.

“Discipleship is sacrificing yourself monetarily, emotionally, personally, physically, spiritually and dynamically to seek and equip other people who desire to do the same for the cause of Christ.” Chuck Taylor,

“Discipleship is not knowing more information about Jesus, but knowing Jesus and being transformed into His image through the constant exposure of the Gospel of grace in the context of a local church.His life becomes ours. His mission becomes ours.” Derwin Gray church planter, pastor

“Discipleship is making lifelong, devoted followers of Christ–people who have committed everything they believe and do to what we find in the gospels.” Matt Smay, author and pastor

“I believe it is time to drop the process-oriented term ‘discipleship’ (It’s not in the English or Greek dictionaries) and go back to the relationally oriented term ‘disciple.’ To make a disciple is to form a relationship of intentional and explicit influence directed towards Christlikeness.” Aaron Weisser, Church on the Rock Homer, Alaska

 

Not a cartoon Saturday

…but something interesting nonetheless.

I find the way Christianity is perceived by people outside of it to be fascinating. I realise many in the West paint Christians who have the temerity to believe things that do not fit in with their own worldview as some form of primitive rabid animal. It seems to me an unbalanced and unconsidered approach.

However I do like some of the questions that non-Christians ask, and the thinking process it makes me enter into. As someone with a background in science to simplistically answer their questions or thoughts with, “The bible says so,” is not adequate or reasonable.

In that light, what would you say to Dara O’Briain?

fill in the gaps

Review your plans for living

Dallas Willard translated Mark 1:15 like this,

“Jesus then came into Galilee announcing the good news from God. ‘All the preliminaries have been taken care of,’ he said, ‘and the rule of God is now accessible to everyone. Review your plans for living and base your life on this remarkable new opportunity.'”

I love the simplicity of the challenge, “Review your plans for living

Amen and amen

I am missing something

British prime minister David Cameron has announced an initiative in the UK to have pornography blocked by internet service providers as a default setting. You can watch a brief report about this here or read here.

I was surprised in my reading to realise how many people seem strongly opposed to such a measure. Whilst I understand there are (many) people who wish to watch such material, offering them a simple on screen choice of clicking your mouse and choosing to being able to access it seems reasonable. My simple perspective is that no one is taking away their rights, this is simply an action designed to protect children who might inadvertently access pornography.

I am not sure what I am missing. Aren’t adults are able to make such (rational) decisions whilst children should be protected from harmful material?

In my reading I stumbled upon the infographic below which gives you an idea of what Google is asked to censor in some countries – you need to click on the link below and then by hovering over a specific country you can see the data presented.

What does the World ask Google to censor?

LTCi Assignments Semester 1 2013-14

LTCi students – all assignments for LOC, SFL and ICE are detailed below as well as being in the attached pdf document. All assignments must be produced in accordance with the stated LTCi guidelines unless otherwise explicitly stayed.

Due date for EVERYTHING: 5pm on October 14th

all assignments S1 2013

 

ALL Papers (research and reading) must be completed and delivered to Richard by 5pm on October 14th

201 Life of Christ

Research paper (10%)

Students may select one of the assignments below to complete as your research paper.

  1. Produce a single page (A3 chart paper) summary chart of the life of Christ. It can be an overall summary or based upon one of the Gospels. (Examples will be provided in during the first teaching session.)
  2. Examine the prayer life of Jesus and develop a guide based upon this which could be used in a church setting to teach new believers the basics of prayer.
  3. Write a 500 word background paper on one of the following as understood within the life and times of Jesus Christ. The paper should be suitable to inform an ‘average church member’ about the particular topic in order that they might read with greater clarity and insight. The 500 words does not include Bible references or bibliography. A minimum of three sources should be cited.
  • Pharisees
  • Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  • Sadducees
  • Herod the Great
  • The synagogue
  • Roman monetary system
  • Satan / the devil
  • Fasting
  • John the Baptist
  • Agriculture
  • Women
  • The seven signs of John’s Gospel
  • The seven I Am’s of John’s Gospel

 

Reading Assignment (15%)

Read a New Testament Gospel of your choosing. Produce a summary paper for that gospel indicating, chapter by chapter, the major content / themes of the chapter – no more than 80 words per chapter – include links you think of or possible research questions. Develop your own system of lettering or drawings for summarising the category content e.g. T = teaching, D = dialogue, M = miracle, H= healing etc. As part of this the student is required to produce a log covering the date and the passages read on that date. An example is given below

 

Date Passage Read

Theme (s)

Comments

1/1

/2014

Matthew 1 HN (= historical narrative), M,

Genealogy of Christ linking him to David and Abraham – major covenants of OT.

Why were genealogies important to the Jews, why did Matthew include this?

Birth of Christ including announcements to Joseph and then to Mary – role of angels (today?)

Link of Christ and Holy Spirit at his inception

2/1

2014

Matthew 2 HN (= historical narrative), M,

Wise men visit – time elapsed (?) since Christ’s birth as all children under 2 are killed

More angelic visitation to Joseph

Which Herod is this?

Flight to Egypt and return to Nazareth (parallel with Israel)

601 Spiritual Formation & Leadership

Assignment 1 is compulsory and will be assessed in 2 pop quizzes. The student is to select one other from #2, #3, or #4, and complete that by the given date.

1. Memory verses. One verse / passage will be assigned for memorisation during each of the initial 12 weeks of the semester. These will be examined as pop quizzes.

Week 1: Luke 9: 23-24

Week 2: John 13: 34-35

Week 3: John 8: 31-32

Week 4: Psalm 103:1-5

Week 5: 1 Cor. 6: 19-20

Week 6: Philippians 4: 6-7

Week 7: 1 John 1:7-9

Week 8: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Week 9: Galatians 2:20

Week 10: Colossians 1:16-21

Week 11: Psalm 23

Week 12: John 6:35, John 8:12, John 10:9, 11, John 11:25, John 14:6, John 15:5

 

2. Write a journal describing your growth as a disciple. At six points during the semester (end of week 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11) the student will be required to write a reflective piece (250-300 words) on “what God has been doing in their life”, how they have been challenged to grow, corrections, personal spiritual struggles,use and growth in spiritual disciplines etc.

3. Using a biblical leader of your own choice outline the leadership development process that took place in their life. Ensure you highlight points of growth and challenge as a disciple and a leader. (500 words max, appropriate biblical references not included in word count.)

4. Using the table below as an template select ten passages / verses from the Gospels which teach about spiritual formation (discipleship) and develop a table to illustrate / clarify different aspects of this. Your work can be presented as either an A3 chart paper display or in A4 format as per the college guidelines.

 

Scripture

Ref.

Observation Application Prayer
Gal. 2:15-21 – Faith in Christ & not law keeping is the key to a

righteous life.

– I have been crucified with

Christ (past).

– Christ now lives in me (present).

– I live by faith in Him.

I must daily practice the discipline of awareness that it is Christ who lives in me and that I must live by faith in Him who loved me and gave himself for me, because I was crucified with Him. Lord Jesus, by faith I choose to submit to your life in me today. Have your way in my life and leadership. Forgive me and cleanse me of my sin. Thank you for loving me and giving yourself for me. Amen.
       
       

 

Reading Assignment (15%)

The student will select and read a book available within the LTCi library or online as pdf download which focuses upon either spiritual formation / discipleship or Christian leadership. This choice has to be approved by Richard and then as a supplement to class instruction. A brief (300-500 words) report will be required.

 

501 Introduction to Christian Education (ICE)

Research paper (10%)

Students may select one of the assignments below to complete as your research paper (750 words.)

  1. 80% of lessons are boring. Describe how a “boring” teacher might accomplish a turn around in their presentation so that they become interesting.
  2. Write in a critical but positive way on the subject, “Lessons at LTCi could be improved by…” Whilst this paper will only be read by Richard please ensure that you do not use specifics (names of lecturers, students etc.) here but speak in general terms terms, using generalised examples.
  3. You are a teacher: In your class there is a student who is intelligent yet regularly fails assignments and who refuses to take part in discussion. What should you do?
  4. You are assigned to teach a 2 hour class on “Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ” for a class of 18-25 year olds (all of whom are believers). Write a lesson outline including content, timings and techniques used.

Reading Assignment (15%)

As a teacher Jesus regularly used parables and told stories. In consultation with Richard you are to choose a fictional work, shorty story, novel etc. and read it. As you read you will reflect on what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ about the way the writer tells stories. What do they do that particularly grips your attention, and conversely, what do they do that bores you. Consider how you might use such techniques in the sphere of Christian education. A 500 word summary paper will be submitted.

 

Course Grading

1. Quiz 10%

2. Reading Assignment   15%

3. Research Papers 10%

4. Attendance 05%

5. Participation 05%

6. Examination   55%

Where is the power of God in my life?

A common debate amongst Bible college students focusses around the idea of whether the God of the Old Testament is different to the one revealed in Jesus Christ in the New Testament. You might rephrase it but the essential idea is about whether or not God has changed over the millennia.

Which brings me to the diagram below. It is often used by atheists to take a hearty swing at Christians – things along the lines of why doesn’t God heal everyone today etc.

I took the swing on the chin and asked myself, “Where is the power of God in my life?”

I could glibly answer that I see it each day in salvation, grace beyond anything I can deserve (and often imagine or hope for) and a multitude of other things that can sound casual but are “small” but genuine sources of the power of God to overcome my sinful nature. I would add that as a charismatic / Pentecostal I see it each time I speak in tongues or pray for the sick and see them healed.

Being of the Christian perspective that very much believes God is still working out his mighty deeds today I think it is a good question to ask of myself.

EM Bounds said, “God anoints men, not methods.

Where is my (your) anointing today?

Gods power

bonnke