Posted by: whereintheworldismike | June 8, 2011

Two Changed Lives…at least

Going to Cambodia was unexpected but I felt so prepared because I believe God had it in his plans long before I knew about it.

Sharing on saturation church planting, and holistic discipleship was a blessing for all myself included. God’s presence was obvious to us all several times. As part of a broader look at church systems and developing people to maturity in Christ, I shared about kavanah which is the act of the will to be intentional about God’s presence moment by moment whenever and wherever. It’s a Jewish mystical term and I read about it in The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission in the 21st Century Church by Frost and Hirsch. It was nice to put a name on it since this is what I try to do most of the time in my own life. It’s also another way of describing what Blackaby espouses in Experiencing God.

I shared about kavanah with the pastors and 2 in particular really took to it. Chhay and Tahwi are 2 of the youngest pastors in the group. They often encouraged me during my presentations letting me know they were tracking with me. After class one particularly hot and humid day, Tahwi invited me to play ping pong with him. As we sweltered, I remarked that it was like exercising in a sauna and Tahwi readily agreed. The heat did not hinder dear brother Tahwi from winning 4 out of 5 games of ping pong!

One of the main objectives of the program is to get the pastors to teach what they’ve learned either from previous sessions/speakers or from the current sessions. This often happens in the early morning right before I would arrive at 8:30am. One morning there was Tahwi enthusiastically expounding about kavanah to the other pastors. He listed 7 things on the white board and since I could not read it in the Kmer language, I asked later what were his 7 points about kavanah. It turns out that Tahwi was correctly making the connection–passionately, I might add–between moment by moment devotion to God and obedience as Jesus said in John 14 and 15 and as we discussed the day before from The Greatest Life Ever Lived:

The 7 Commands of Christ (condensed from 334)

1. Repent, believe, and receive the Holy Spirit.  These go together; we cannot do one without the others. (Mark 1:15, John 20:22)

2.  Be Baptized.  This command includes living forever the new, holy life it signifies. (Matthew 28:18-20)

3.  Love God, Family, Fellow Disciples, Neighbors, and even Enemies. This command thus teaches the need for forgiveness (Matt. 22:36-40, John 13:34-35, Luke 10:25-37, Matt. 5:43-48)

4.  Celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  This includes cultivating the communion with Christ and his people that the Eucharist affirms. (Matthew 26:26-28, John 4:24)

5. Pray daily.  Pray individually in secret, Family devotions, Intercede for the saints and for the lost, engage in spiritual warfare prayer.
(Matt. 6:5-15, Luke 11:9, John 16:24)

6.  Give generously of time and treasure and spiritual gifts.
(Luke 6:38, Matt. 25:14-46)

7.  Make Disciples.  This includes evangelism, teaching obedience to everything Christ commanded, shepherding, and training pastors and leaders.         (Matt. 28:18-20)

When the pastors shared what was most helpful to them and what they were eager to apply in their churches, nearly all chose “Holistic Discipleship.” Stay tuned for the book in a year probably.

Tahwi and Chhay are the pair farthest left. They found looking at discipleship holistically revolutionary

All I can say is I love sharing with others all the good stuff God has brought my way in the last 30 years!


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