Timothy Keller by Collin Hansen

By Bill Mowry May 25, 2023

When I first wrote this “What I’m Reading” blog I never imagined it would serve as a testimony to Timothy Keller’s life and ministry. Like many of you, I was saddened to hear of his recent death. Keller’s writing and teaching ministry had a profound impact on the church in the first decades of the twenty-first century. Hansen doesn’t paint an intimate portrait of Keller but explores the development of his thought life and teaching. I didn’t walk away understanding how he parented his children,…

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The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin

By Bill Mowry May 19, 2023

There’s two subjects I enjoy reading about — rock and roll and creativity — and this book combines both of them. Rick Rubin is an illustrious record producer. Besides his work in rock and roll and rap, he resurrected Johnny Cash’s career on his American Recordings.  Even if you’re not a music fan, you will enjoy this book. Here’s why. The Creative Act is a series of meditations/brief essays about the nature of creativity. Rubin writes from the wisdom gained from his work producing various…

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Life is like an Art Gallery: Picture #3 – Look at the crows

By Bill Mowry May 5, 2023

“We seldom rise above the quality of the pictures that hang in the galleries of our minds,” writes author Warren Wiersbe. Our minds are full of pictures that have shaped our lives. One picture that’s hanging in my mind’s gallery features CROWS. Here’s the crows’ background. I’ll be the first to admit it; sometimes I’m concerned about money. This doesn’t surprise Jesus since nearly one-fourth of his teaching is about money. Even we “faith” missionaries worry about finances.  Early in our staff experience our monthly…

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Life is Like an Art Gallery: Picture #2 – The Book

By Bill Mowry April 21, 2023

I had trouble sleeping. My mind was trying to untie a mental knot of anticipation, anxiety, and appreciation. Tomorrow, I would step down as Regional Leader and give my responsibilities to a new leader. As I lie thinking about this event, an image of a BOOK came to mind. What did this BOOK mean and why was it relevant to the next twenty-four hours? I loved my job as a Regional Leader. One friend called our staff team the “dream team.” This dream team had…

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Liturgy of the Ordinary

By Bill Mowry April 5, 2023

Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren Tish Harrison Warren is becoming one of my favorite authors. In Liturgy of the Ordinary, she weaves the spiritual disciplines into the daily routines of her life. Here are some examples:  Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite: “. . . following Augustine, [who] argues that to be alternative people is to be formed differently — to take up practices and habits that aim our love and desire toward God.” “It is in the…

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Life is like an Art Gallery – Picture #1: The superhero.

By Bill Mowry March 30, 2023

Deep learning is personal and transformational. Some of my deep learning moments with God have been through pictures that only my eyes could see. I’m writing to give you a peek at some of these private and personal images that fill the gallery of my mind. Author and pastor Warren Wiersbe compares our lives to art galleries and wisely observes: “No Christian rises higher than the beauty and quality of the pictures than hang in the gallery of his or her mind.” What picture dominated…

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Greening the Great Commission

By Bill Mowry March 15, 2023

The traffic was terrible. Peggy and I chose Savanah, Georgia for a brief vacation because it had a reputation as an easy-going Southern city with history to see and exotic food to eat. We hadn’t expected jammed streets, limited parking, and people wearing green t-shirts and drinking green beer. Welcome to Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day. It turns out that Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the U.S. and we were stuck in its aftermath.  Most Protestants don’t think much…

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An Artful Touch to Disciplemaking

(Disciplemaking foundation #4)

By Bill Mowry March 3, 2023

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away . . . I was an art student. In fact, I was once certified to teach art in grades K-12. Why didn’t I pursue this career? A deciding factor was a grade on a watercolor painting. The painting was a collection of nondescript bottles gathered from my dorm room to quickly complete an end-of-the-semester assignment. The instructor picked up my haphazard approach and wrote on the back of the painting, “Trite and unimaginative. C-“ I…

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Three Disciplines of Moby Dick Disciplemaking

(Disciplemaking foundation #3)

By Bill Mowry February 15, 2023

Have you ever had a picture lodge in your mind that you can’t stop thinking about? No matter where you are or what you’re doing, this picture creeps into your consciousness. Here’s my latest re-occuring picture. In his book The Contemplative Pastor, author Eugene Peterson describes a scene from Moby Dick of a whaleboat dashing after its prey. You can feel the men straining at the oars to attack the behemoth. “In this boat, however, there is one man who does nothing. He doesn’t hold…

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Houses don’t appear out of nowhere… and neither do disciples.

(Disciplemaking foundation #2)

By Bill Mowry February 1, 2023

Houses don’t appear out of nowhere. There’s no magic wand that makes them materialize. Nearly a hundred years ago, you could order a home from a Sears catalogue, have it delivered to your site, and built in a few days. Today, you can buy modular homes that can be assembled within hours. However, no matter how fast the home can be built, there’s always a plan, a foundation, and deliberate action to make the house happen. A house may go up fast but the process…

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