Wineskins Archive

December 19, 2013

Family Notes 5/7/2010 (Mar-Jun 2010)

Filed under: — @ 8:38 pm and

by Edward Fudge
May 6, 2010

POWER AT PEPPERDINE — Powerful things are happening this week at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where mountain and ocean meet — things that do not originate with human planning, human financing or human skill. I speak of the warm Christian fellowship, the periods of intense worship (imagine 5,000-6,000 believers lifting heartfelt songs of praise in vocal harmony!) and the hundreds of multi-track spiritual classes, all day every day.

TABLE MANNERS — Jesus offended a lot of people with his table manners…. People saw him eating and they knew who he was: someone who had lost all sense of what was right, who condoned sin by eating with sinners and who might as well have spit in the faces of the good people who raised him…. If I were putting together a sinners table at the Huddle House, it might include an abortion doctor, … a garbage collector, … a Laotian chicken plucker … and an unmarried woman on welfare with five children by three different fathers…. Don’t forget to put Jesus at the head of the table, asking the young man to hand him a roll, please….

What happens next is that the local ministerial association comes in … and sits down … across from the sinners…. There is no dirt under their fingernails. When their food comes, they hold hands to pray. They are all perfectly nice people, but they can hardly eat … for staring at the strange crowd in the far booth. The chicken plucker is still wearing her white hair net, and the garbage collector smells like spoiled meat…. But … the heartbreaker is Jesus, sitting there as if everything were just fine…. Who is going to believe he speaks for God if he does not keep better company than that?” –Barbara Brown Taylor, “Table Manners,” Christian Century (March 11, 1998, page 257). read more>>

FAITH COACHING — God still works through people who are willing to be made willing, and gracEmail subscriber Ron Rose wants to encourage such people. To this end, his tax-deductible nonprofit Faith Coaching Network helps believers learn to recognize God’s footprints today and to experience the adventure of joining in what God is doing. In his own words:

When you get to the point when you have God all figured out, when you have all the “right” answers, you’ll find no one really wants to ask you anything. No one cares about your hope. Words and lectures don’t display hope. [That happens by] living a full life, packed down shaken together, overflowing, that sees Jesus in unlikely people, living each day looking for Jesus in others, and in yourself, living to bring out the best in others, living to put in a good word for Jesus, living to inspire second looks and serious questions. “Where does that come from? How do you keep going? Why do that? What do you get out of that?”

Those questions will be asked, but only if you have lived with abandon. I’m not talking about getting the facts straight, or posing for PR pictures. I’m talking about giving up everything you learned in Sunday school and letting God take you where you were meant to go — out of your box. You will experience faith-on-the-go. You will collect snapshots of your memories; you will discover the joy that really does pass understanding. You will know HIM — present tense.

Ron uses both radio and his website, where you will find a striking assortment of tools all designed with the busy person in mind. Check out the website for yourself, or contact Ron at .

FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING — For gracEmail subscribers in other countries, shipping costs on book orders to USA firms can be prohibitive. But relief is available for some, by ordering through a British online bookseller which offers free shipping to dozens of countries around the world. For more information, go to and search for the book you want. They have The Fire That Consumes (Paternoster edition, slightly condensed) and Hebrews: Ancient Encouragement for Believers Today.

PICKING A PREACHER — From fellow Jesus-man and gracEmail subscriber Royce Ogle, the following:

“I have served twice on search committees and both times we hired good, godly men. I have also been used as a reference by ministers seeking a job. One fellow from Arkansas called me to ask about a candidate he and his fellow committee members were considering. He asked ‘Is he a dynamic pulpit man?’ I answered with a question, ‘Why is that important to you?’ My question was met with an uncomfortable silence and then he finally sounded apologetic and unsure saying, ‘Because we want a very good preacher?’

“I explained to this guy that a very good orator, with great credentials, can be a lazy jerk who does all that he does in the energy of the flesh and can not help grow Christians toward maturity and Christ likeness. I suggested that the man go back to his committee and that they should have an extended time of prayer and seeking the mind of the Lord about what their church needed and then interview preachers. Of course he didn=92t listen to my advice, and neither did my friend who I tried to talk out of taking the job and it was a disaster!” read more>>

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