Blog

What do you talk about when the end is near?

By Bill Mowry January 17, 2017

What do you talk about when the end is near? The space station had just exploded. The surviving astronauts were jettisoned into space, hurtling towards a certain death. They have only minutes left to talk with one another. A variety of conversations happen in their headsets. Some men argue. Some lash out at life. But one man remembers and regrets. This is the scenario from Ray Bradbury’s short story, Kaleidoscope. What’s the point of the story? Facing certain death, one of the men describes a…

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The WOW of Christmas

By Bill Mowry December 19, 2016

I’m a huge fan of Christmas. I love how neighborhoods and shopping malls explode in color. I walk through the shops savoring the decorations and soaking in the holiday music. For me, there’s a silent “wow” about the whole season. I know some downplay the pomp of Christmas. They’re concerned that we’ve bought into the values of our consumer culture. I say, “Bah! Humbug!” Let’s enjoy the wild frenzy of lights and decorations. Let’s be generous about giving gifts. Let’s allow the dazzling sights and…

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The Way of Wisdom

By Bill Mowry December 11, 2016

“Can’t you just tell us what to do next, Bill!” It’s tempting to tell people what to do next. I like the feeling of being an expert. My sinful side likes it because there’s an element of control in telling people what to do. Experience, though, has taught me to reign in my advice-giving. I’ve learned that a well-timed question is better than a piece of advice. What people discover is what they own. Besides, if people reach their own conclusions about what to do…

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Beware the perils of programmatic thinking!

By Bill Mowry November 29, 2016

“This time it’s different. We’re not implementing a disciplemaking program!” This leader’s statement thrilled me. Too often, churches shop the Christian market for the ideal program to “plug and play” in their church. Author and pastor Greg Ogden writes, “The committee scours the landscape for a discipleship program that has had proven success. This usually means that they are looking for a system and a curriculum that can be easily implemented in order to provide an accelerated solution. . . .” There are too many…

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Disciplemaking and politics #3: Living in a political world with respect and civility.

By Bill Mowry November 6, 2016

“You’re a nasty woman!” “You’re a liar!” “Lock her up!” “Your followers are a bucket of deplorables!” What has happened to civility in political discourse? By the dictionary definition, civility means politeness or courtesy, being respectful or considerate. Words once found in PG-13 or R-rated movies are now featured in political speech. Why should Christ-followers be concerned about civility? When does respectful speech enter into a disciplemaking curriculum? Our theology of the creation accounts should dictate our respect. Civility began at the Creation. Men and…

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Disciplemaking and Politics #2: Living in a political world with a different road map.

By Bill Mowry November 6, 2016

Wow! I didn’t expect that to happen. We had our neighbors over for dinner recently and the conversation soon turned to the elections. It wasn’t a contentious discussion but a sharing of opinions. After about ten minutes, Steve jumped up from the table and started walking around the room! He was so worked up about the candidates that he couldn’t sit still. We didn’t cause an argument, he was simply passionate about what he believed in. When Steve and Jane left, Peggy and I talked…

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Discipleship and Politics #1: Living in a political world with a radical trust and authority.

By Bill Mowry November 6, 2016

Christians should approach politics with a radical strategy. This strategy is so obvious that it’s like the boy in his kindergarten Sunday School class. When the teacher held up a picture of a squirrel and asked the child what it was, the boy replied, “I think it’s a squirrel but I’m going to say ‘Jesus!’” Sometimes our “spiritual” statements are at odds with reality. You might place the strategy I’m proposing in this category. This radical strategy could be written off as simply a pious…

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Beware the con game!

By Bill Mowry September 15, 2016

None of us likes to be conned. There’s nothing more irritating than realizing that a salesperson tricked us into a purchase. Deception leaves an empty feeling in our hearts. How does this happen in disciple-making? We can trick ourselves into thinking that life change has happened because we’ve learned something new. It’s easy to scurry from one Bible study to another, priding ourselves on the new information we’ve collected. Along the way, no one pressed us to reflect and obey. The New Testament writer James…

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Simplicity Rules the Day

By Bill Mowry August 28, 2016

My first Mac was love at first sight. I enjoyed its elegant but slightly clunky look. Here was a computer that didn’t need multiple commands to create a document or make an illustration. All I had to do was point and click. Simplicity ruled the day. Simplicity was a governing principle for Steve Jobs in creating the Apple brand. The author of his popular biography writes: “He made devices simpler by eliminating buttons, software simpler by eliminating features and interfaces simpler by eliminating options.” When…

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