Jm

Author's details

Name: jm
Date registered: March 10, 2012
URL: http://jmsmith.org

Latest posts

  1. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Check out this 2-part World Radio feature on my art and ministry! — June 25, 2014
  2. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: United Methodists and LGBT ethics — June 21, 2014
  3. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Bible & Science: Friends or Foes?? (Free audio sessions!) — June 17, 2014
  4. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: A ‘stairway to Heaven’ and impressing a shepherd girl (vids) — June 9, 2014
  5. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Thayer Thursday – 9/11 and Samaria — May 22, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Dojo Discussion: Gay wedding cakes, discrimination and religious freedom — 4 comments
  2. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Guns, Satan, mental illness…who do we blame? — 2 comments
  3. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Questions for Chick-fil-A supporters and opponents alike… — 2 comments
  4. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Christians and same-sex discussion – Round 2: My response (continued, 2) — 1 comment
  5. Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Grabbing a guy’s package = Off with her hand?? (Part 1) — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Jun 25 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Check out this 2-part World Radio feature on my art and ministry!

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/radio/


Hi Dojo readers,

Last week I did an interview for World Radio’s program “The World and Everything in It” for their series on visual artists in the church. Christina Darnell spent the afternoon talking to me about my art, my martial arts involvement and how it all shapes the ministry of Disciple Dojo. It was a great experience and the bit just aired this week.

Here are the segments below. Please listen and share them with anyone you know who might have an interest in the ministry or artwork I do!

Part 1 – Ministry, Art and Martial Arts

Part 2 – Can Christians watch or participate in MMA?

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/06/check-out-this-2-part-world-radio-feature-on-my-art-and-ministry/

Jun 21 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: United Methodists and LGBT ethics

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/metho-sex/


Hi Dojo readers,

I just got back from the 2014 Annual Conference of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. For those who aren’t UMC-savvy, Annual Conference is the yearly gathering of representatives and clergy from all the UM churches in the Western NC district. It’s a mixture of worship services, denominational business, ordination and commemoration of those who are retiring or have passed away. It is held at the gorgeous Lake Junaluska camp in the mountains near Ashville.

Much took place at this AC, but one the final event I was able to attend had significance that will continue to be played out over the next few years in the life of the UMC worldwide.

The Bishop convened a panel discussion over the future of the UMC as it pertains to the recent actions on the part of clergy members and congregations who do not feel they can in good conscience abide by the teachings of the UMC when it comes to the issue of same-sex sexual ethics.

Without going into the full history of the debate, a minority within the denomination have been attempting for roughly the past 40 years to get the church to change it’s view regarding the celebrating of same-sex unions and the ordination of self-avowed non-celibate LGBT clergy candidates.

The issue is one that generates much heat, but often very little light. So our WNCC Bishop will be holding a series of dialogues in the coming year throughout the conference on this issue and the ramifications that might come about if the denomination ends up splitting as a result. The hope is that whatever happens, Methodists won’t have to go through all of the hardships that other denominations (such as Episcopalians and Presbyterians) have experienced when it comes to issues of church assets and properties if such a separation should occur.

My friend and Pastor, Talbot Davis, was on the panel and despite being the only voice representing the current UM stance on the issue, did a good job explaining why it is so important and why it really has to do with much more than just same-sex sexual relationships.

I was hoping to get to ask a few questions during the open Q&A, but due to some “mini-sermons” by others who got to the mic before me, we ran out of time. In a future post I will share those questions perhaps. But for now, I wanted to encourage readers to revisit this exchange I had a few years ago on the subject with a fellow Methodist who disagrees with the denominational stance. He and I engaged in a cordial, respectful, friendly, yet honest debate and I believe it would benefit not just Methodists, but also the entire Body of Christ as we seek to continue living counter-culturally in a post-Christendom culture.

Please read and share the following series of posts with anyone you know, particularly in UMC circles…

http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-1
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-2
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-3
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-4
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-5
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-6
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-7
http://jmsmith.org/blog/same-sex-8

 

Blessings from the Dojo,

JM

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/06/united-methodists-and-lgbt-ethics/

Jun 17 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Bible & Science: Friends or Foes?? (Free audio sessions!)

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/science-audio/


Hi Dojo readers,

It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for me so I wanted to get this posted today. I leave this week for the Annual Conference of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (a yearly UM gathering for worship and church business at Lake Junaluska) where I will be a lay delegate representing Good Shepherd.

After that, I’ll be spending a week in Florida with my family at the beach.

Then I will be leaving from FL to drive out to Las Vegas for UFC 175′s fan expo events, where I hope to connect with fighters, trainers instructors and fans and get my artwork to as many of them as possible. After the event itself, my plan is to drive over to the San Diego and LA areas and visit a few jiujitsu schools I’ve always wanted to train at. It will be a 2-week adventure and for most of it I’ll be camping in the back of my Honda Element and showering at truckstops (or any random swimmin’ holes I may come across!). :)

Before I set out for my Summer travels, I wanted to post the audio sessions from the 6-week “Bible & Science: Friends or Foes??” course I just finished teaching at my church. For those who would like to do the full course, it is available over in the Dojo resource store in DVD format with a free downloadable workbook PDF. But for those who would like something to listen to in the car or while you’re out for a run, 5 of the 6 weeks are available for download:
Bible Science promo

Lecture 1: CLICK HERE to download an MP3 of the audio.

Lecture 2: CLICK HERE to download an MP3 of the audio.

Lecture 3: CLICK HERE to download an MP3 of the audio.

Lecture 4: Unavailable – (Unfortunately, there was data corruption on the audio file from this lecture so we do not have the recording.)

Lecture 5: CLICK HERE to download an MP3 of the audio.

Lecture 6: CLICK HERE to download an MP3 of the audio.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/06/bible-science-friends-or-foes-free-audio-sessions/

Jun 09 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: A ‘stairway to Heaven’ and impressing a shepherd girl (vids)

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/lunchstudy-gen27-29/


Hi Dojo readers,

I’ve been busy working on a number of projects (as well as trying to get my laptop screen fixed) so I haven’t had as much time to post as of late.

However, here are the previous two weeks’ teaching videos from our Tuesday lunchtime Bible Study at Ruth’s Chris here in Charlotte. We’ve moved into the Jacob cycle of the book of Genesis. Many people aren’t familiar with the life of the very person who bequeathed the name “Israel” to the world. This series of videos will hopefully help change that…

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/06/a-stairway-to-heaven-and-impressing-a-shepherd-girl-vids/

May 22 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Thayer Thursday – 9/11 and Samaria

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/thayer-samaria/


Chris Thayer is the Director of Discipleship at Good Shepherd Church in Charlotte, NC where he oversees adult life groups and Biblical education. On Thursdays I share his weekly “Thayer’s Thoughts” for small group leaders, which are based on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Click HERE to watch or listen to the accompanying sermon.

Where were you September 11, 2001?

I’d be willing to wager that you know exactly where you were and what you were doing.

Now: where were you on February 18, 2001?

Unless you had a momentous occasion on that date or you have an uncanny memory: odds are your recollection of that day is not nearly as vivid as September 11, 2001. I don’t have to tell you why this is the case, either. All I have to do is write “September 11, 2001” and images of planes, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania come flooding to your mind. Our context – the circumstances that influence how something is communicated or perceived – sets the stage for us and gives that date a depth of meaning it wouldn’t otherwise have.

It’s no different for the Biblical authors and their original audience. John could write about Samaritans, a woman at a well at noon, and worshiping God at either a mountain in Samaria or Jerusalem – and it would all be packed with meaning because of the original hearer’s context. To us, however, much of this meaning is lost without a little bit of research. This shouldn’t surprise or dishearten us, though. The Gospel of John was written half way around the world almost 2,000 years ago! Imagine asking somebody in Romania what happened on September 11, 2001 two thousand years from now in May of 4014. Unless they’re a history buff, they will probably have no clue.

So today we’re going to briefly address two questions from John 4:

*Who were the Samaritans?

*Why did the woman at the well bring up worshiping God in Jerusalem or at “this mountain.”

First, the origin of the Samaritans begins with the Israelites in the he Old Testament. After King Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel split into two. Those who defected from Jerusalem made their capital in the North, Samaria. In 722 BC, the Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria. After being conquered, Assyria exiled the Israelites and resettled Samaria with people from various surrounding areas who brought in their own gods and idols. Following an interesting story about lions and Gods judgment over the people that resettled in the area, Assyria sent a priest of God back to the land to teach the people how to follow Him. However, they worshipped God AND their own idols, remaining in idolatry. This account can all be found in 2 Kings 17.

In the fourth century BC, the high priest in Jerusalem married a Samaritan (which as you can imagine caused a rift in the community!). So, the father of the Samaritan woman offered to build the high priest a temple to God in Samaria on Mount Gerizim and keep him as high priest if he didn’t divorce his daughter. The temple was built around 388 BC. So the Samaritans worshiped God at Mount Gerizim and the Jews said the proper place to worship God was in Jerusalem.

Knowing just these two bits of information greatly informs our reading of the story of Jesus’ interaction with the woman at the well. Now we understand that it was a big deal for Jesus to speak with this woman, and why the woman at the well brings up the proper place of worship as her conversation with Jesus gets increasingly uncomfortable.

Understanding scripture in context is not an exercise for the ivory towers of universities and seminaries, but is something that every believer in Jesus should pursue to better understand who God is, and what Jesus did for us.

Keep digging. It’s worth it!

 

Chris Thayer

Sermon Title: Shame Wash

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/05/thayer-thursday-911-and-samaria/

May 15 2014

Disciple Dojo - JMSmith.org: Thayer Thursday – Not looking to your own interests…

Original post at http://jmsmith.org/blog/thayer-thursday-not-looking-to-your-own-interests/


Chris Thayer is the Director of Discipleship at Good Shepherd Church in Charlotte, NC where he oversees adult life groups and Biblical education. On Thursdays I share his weekly “Thayer’s Thoughts” for small group leaders, which are based on the previous Sunday’s sermon. Click HERE to watch or listen to the accompanying sermon.

 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”  -Philippians 2:3-4

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read these two verses from the second chapter of Philippians. The idea of a community of believers being so united with one another in Jesus Christ that not one person would look to their own interests is incredible. While sitting here at my computer, typing these words, I’m trying to imagine what that would look like. The more I think about it, though, the harder it becomes. Objections and ‘what ifs’ are flooding my mind. I’ve been in churches my entire life; and while I have seen small glimpses of what this looks like between a few people – the idea of it permeating an entire congregation is baffling.

N.T. Wright in his Paul for Everyone commentary on this passage rightly says that the only way for this to work is if everybody is in unison. The moment one person, one cog in the machinery, gets out of line it collapses.

This, I believe, is precisely the reason we talk ourselves into not living this way. Because we don’t trust our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to look to our interests – we are immediately afraid that we won’t be taken care of and write off how Paul tells the Philippians to act as a hopeless dream.

This thinking, though, is ultimately self-centered and dooms the whole process to begin with.

Richard Foster, in his book Celebration of Discipline summarizes the life of being a servant in a fantastic way that helps us get over this apprehension:

A natural and understandable hesitancy accompanies any serious discussion of service….We experience a fear that… ‘If I do that, people will take advantage of me; they will walk all over me.’

Right here we must see the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide whom we will serve and when we will serve. And if we are in charge, we will worry a great deal about anyone stepping on us, that is, taking charge over us.

But when we choose to be a servant, we give up the right to be in charge. There is great freedom in this.

Our self-centeredness is deceptive and destructive. For the magnificent charge Paul gives the Philippian church to become a reality in our church today each of us must make the decision to let it start with us.

Don’t simply choose to serve. Become a servant.

 

Chris Thayer

Sermon title: “Selfie Wash”

Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2014/05/thayer-thursday-not-looking-to-your-own-interests/

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