disciple

On the Inside; On the Outside


 

Perfectly Imperfect

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Today we remember Saints Peter and Paul: two men called by God to do great things. Two men who certainly were not born equipped to serve the Lord, but rather, two men who were equipped by the Lord to preach the Gospel and ultimately to give up their lives for its sake.

Peter was a young fisherman living on the coast of the Sea of Galilee. He was a man prone to outbursts and weak under pressure. He was unstable, impulsive, insecure, and cowardly. He often spoke or acted inappropriately, and was anything but a rock.

Paul was a highly educated Pharisee who persecuted Christians, even ordering the stoning of the first martyr of the Church, Saint Stephen. He was a bigot, self-righteous, manipulative, vindictive, cunning and opportunistic.

Peter and Paul were two unlikely characters for the Lord to call into his service and to establish as apostles of the Church. Yet the Lord chose them, transformed them, and entrusted to them to spread the Gospel.

God called Peter and Paul to use their personalities for the good: Peter to use his passionate love to look after the flock, and Paul to use his training as a Pharisee and his strength of character to ensure that the non-Jews would be welcomed into the church. It is a reminder to us that our strengths and our weaknesses can become God’s means of helping others, if we let it. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us. God can work through us, faults and all, just as he did with Peter and Paul.

Spiritual conversion requires the greatest miracle of all, but God’s Word is reassuring. If people like Peter and Paul could become deeply converted and change the world, then we know there is hope for the rest of us.

St. Leo the Great

Posted by | Emotions/Feelings | No Comments

Today, November 10th, is the Roman Catholic Church’s memorial of the fifth-century Pope Saint Leo I, known as “St. Leo the Great.” Reigning for over two decades, he sought to preserve the unity of the Church and to ensure the safety of his people against frequent barbarian invasions. Read More

The Cost of Discipleship

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So who wants to be a disciple of Jesus? He certainly doesn’t pull any punches about what it takes (Luke 14:25-33). First, hate your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even life itself. Second, carry your own cross and follow him. And third, give up all your possessions.

It’s that simple and it’s that difficult. Jesus’ words don’t just sound black and white. They are black and white. It is all or nothing. We’re either in or we’re out. Those three things, the cost of discipleship, shaped Jesus’ life and ministry and they are to shape ours as well. Let me break these down one by one. Read More

Moving On with the Mission

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Today would have been my father’s 87th birthday. But as many of you know, he left this world last November. Tomorrow, it will be the six month anniversary of his death. I’ll be honest with you, I miss him dearly. I miss the talks we had, both in person and on the phone. I miss his advice. And I miss his warm embrace when we hugged. And I’ll never forget the last words he said to me the night before he died. When we were done talking on the phone, he said, “So long.” It was his way of saying goodbye. How ironic that these were his final words to me. Read More

It’s All About Showing Up

Posted by | Prayer | No Comments

I spent the day on Saturday with about 800 teens from across the Midwest as we celebrated World Youth Day Chicago – A Midwest Celebration. It was an amazing day filled with energy, faith, and prayer. I was so blessed to have been able to be the emcee and give a workshop to such wonderful, faith-filled teens. The young church is certainly a powerful force! Read More

Bring Deacon Allen in for your next event. CLICK HERE!
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