Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deanna and Lauren pause for refreshment in North Africa

Last night, Deanna set out to make White Chicken Chili. It is sooo good and one of my favorites! Last night she nailed it! The spicy hot stew looked the completely wrong color to be called chili, but wow. It was great!

Early on in preparing the meal, she pulled the chicken from the freezer and put it in water to begin to boil it.

She left the kitchen as she was also packing for Thanksgiving. Heading to a cooler climate, she was trying to make sure she had the right clothing for warmth and comfort, along.

She returned to the kitchen, and exclaimed in laughter.

We had both been quite busy pulling out clothes and talking about our trip apart from our girls (who will be together in Texas). We are not looking forward to being separated, but are extremely thankful for the families the Lord has given us.

With our minds full of what was to come, her laughter from the kitchen, penetrated the silence.

Seems she had forgotten to turn the fire on, under the pot of chicken. She was laughing at how distracted she was, knowing how hungry we both were, and knowing we would now be delayed at least 15 to 20 minutes longer.

It was truly not a big deal, but of course, it started me thinking.

Frozen chicken put in a pot of water will warm to room temperature over a fairly short period of time, but will never become the finished delicious masterpiece it ultimately was, without fire to prepare it.

As a matter of fact, once it has thawed, it will remain unspoiled for only a matter of hours. If fire is not added to the process, the stewing in lukewarm water will produce something inedible and even dangerous to our systems.

Similarly, when we come to Christ, it is imperative that the discipleship process begin shortly thereafter. If it doesn't no growth is experienced. Transformation of the soul without the ingredient of growth, produces a believer who is not sure about the Truth they have just experienced.

In many cultures, what happens next is dangerous. If missionaries come into a culture and share Christ and ultimately lead people into a relationship with Him, but do not stay to disciple them or set up a process for others to do so, then history repeats itself.

When Catholicism was originally introduced by the Spanish into South America, basic principles were taught, but not Biblical teaching or discipleship. The result was that the different cultures combined their former religion with the new Catholic principles and produced an offspring religion that did not resemble either parent.

This dilution of the Gospel is incredibly dangerous.

Today, for example you can go into the country of Chile (to keep with the current food theme) and the nationals know who baby Jesus is, but they have never heard of a Savior, nor do they care about Him. Chile is an affluent culture that has long practiced traditions which have syncretized two different religions into the practice of Saint worship.

At each benchmark of life, you are given a new saint to worship. They know nothing of Jesus who died on the cross for the Salvation of the lost. They only know and raise monuments to different saints. What an unbelievable distortion of the Gospel message.

In our churches, we sometimes fail to disciple new believers and then wonder what happened to them when they stop attending, three weeks after coming to Christ.

In our relationships, churches and on the mission field, we need to be willing to focus and spend time in the area of discipleship. It is part of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20. We cannot make disciples unless we spend time discipling.

Salvation is critical. Discipleship is crucial. Without it, we are doing little more than stewing in the lukewarm foolishness of our culture.

We know what Christ said about the lukewarm in Revelations 3. He would "spew us out of [His] mouth"...like a piece of spoiled, or undercooked meat.



At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I just finish the book about your remarkable son BJ, wow! Thank you for sharing your family lives with the world. I wish I could have met him in person but I know I will have a chance to meet him in heaven!
Glory be to God!

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished the book and WOW - what a call to really wake up to what God wants from me. I'm 35 and I'm not sure I know exactly how I'm supposed to serve. I know it's through teaching somehow, but I'm currently so unprepared. Thanks for the wake up call to the revolution for Christ. I pray that my children will live for Christ the way BJ and the rest of your family did/does.


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