A Teachable Moment . . . For Me

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A Cafe Press t-shirtWe have a teenager and we are working on the typical teenage stuff. Things like taking the trash down to the curb BEFORE the trash truck comes by. We’re trying to reinforce those life lessons that we all need to grapple with — like work before play. You know the stuff. Been there, done that. Right?

This morning we were going through the routine, “Did you do this? Have you done that?” And out of the blue it dawned on me that is exactly where God has me at the moment.

It was one of those crystal clear teachable moments but instead of me being the teacher, I was the student.

I heard that still small voice saying to me, “Tim, this is what I’ve been trying to teach you. Do the most important things first. Make ME first. Let all that other stuff follow after ME.” Seek ye first . . .

It wasn’t long before another thought occurred to me. Am I as patient and kind with my son as the LORD has been with me? How has by behavior and reactions reflected God’s behavior and reactions? Is my character reflecting God’s character? In the midst of trying to teach my son to do first things first am I also teaching him about the patience and kindness of his Heavenly Father?

Well I think we all know the answer to that question.

Now it’s time to repent and seek God’s grace to enable me to train my son the way our Heavenly Father is training me.

“Deal with Your servant according to Your mercy and loving-kindness, and teach me Your statutes.” — Psalm 119:124 (Amplified Bible)

“Follow Me”

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“Follow Me.”

A few years ago the Churchville Small Group went camping together. There was a good turnout, a lot of us made our way up to Spruce Lake Retreat Center for the weekend together. Every one had their tents or campers (Except one family and one other person. They shall remain nameless to prevent them from harassment and dishonor.). We did the campy kind of things you do – camp fires, smores (Bud Ciotti swears he makes the best in the world!), camp food, camp bathrooms, and the ever famous camp hike.

Now this was not just any hike. It was A HIKE. We went up this fairly good-sized big mountainous thing. (All you real hikers are smirking right now. I know you are.) When we got to the top it was worth it. It was an amazing view. The perfect Autumn day to be up there. Just gawk at our picture and be jealous.

The view from the top!

But about the hike. The leader of our hike charted the course for the rest of us. He chose the path. He set the pace. If he chose a skinny ledge to traverse as we made our way to the top, well that’s what the rest of us did. His job was to get us to the top. Our job was to follow.


Jesus called us to follow Him. We read about that this week in John 1:43. And just as it was with our hike we had to follow the leader. In this spiritual ‘hike’ that we are on, we are called to follow a leader. He sets the pace. Sometimes it seems like we can’t keep up. Other times it seems like things are going too slow. He charts the course. Up the hills, through the desert, in the cold, the heat – we follow.

Mark Bailey, the President of Dallas Seminary, has written a book called, “To Follow Him: The Seven Marks of a Disciple.”

In it he cites the following traits as true marks of a committed disciple.

1. Supreme and incomparable love for Jesus
2. Regular study and devotion to God’s Word
3. Renunciation of ourselves as the authority and focus of our lives
4. A life of submission and sacrifice to the cross
5. Allegiance to Christ’s compelling leadership
6. Recognition of the true ownership of our possessions
7. Refection of Christ’s love in our attitudes and actions toward others

That list constitutes a pretty steep path of spiritual growth. Do you think it’s complete? Too steep? Not steep enough? Weigh in and share your thoughts on the true marks of a following disciple.

The Fearless Hikers!

To purchase Dr. Bailey’s book, click here.

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