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An Invitation to “Wonder”

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Written by David Smith

Most of my mentors these days are age six and younger.

While entirely unaware, these mentors regularly reveal mysteries of the human heart, including capacities long forgotten or ignored. They remind us of how God created us, and consequently, what has been lost.

For example, what is “wonder” and how to respond to it.

On September 19th, my grandson Jeffery David (I’m still negotiating name order) entered this world prematurely at 29-weeks and barely three pounds. His first car ride was an ambulance to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, where he spent two whole months (with mom and dad alternating shifts all day). Read More

Is Finding Home even possible?

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Written by Eric Lehman

Finding our Home in Christ. I want to believe it’s possible, but it often feels elusive for me. Finding Home (learn more HERE) is as much for me as anybody. While on a constant journey from “head to heart,” the idea of intimacy and connection with God is a real struggle. As I’m digging into this with you, I wanted to share some things that have been helpful for me along the way.
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Porch Without a House

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Written by David Smith

Are you a “porch without a house?” 

Let me explain.

YouTube sensations Rhett McLaughlin, 43, and Link Neal, 42, host the Good Mythical Morning channel and Ear Biscuits podcast, having earned more than $30 million dollars. After being missionaries and Campus Crusade (now Cru) staff members, they have walked away from their faith. Read More

Losing Control

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“I think this is the summer that we try an overnight camp for Avery! It could be a really healthy growth opportunity for her socially, and I can volunteer as the camp nurse to save us money.”

My wife’s presentation was short and sweet. She had me at “save money”, the magic phrase that softens my heart to brand new ideas I’m not prepared for.

We talk through any potential schedule conflicts, the reality of Karis joining her, how I’m going to somehow work for a week with my 5-year-old little man sidekick with me, and of course the payment deadlines.

We make the decision. Read More

The next generation needs us!

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Pat Little went through Theodyssey when he was 23. Now, as a 33-year-old, and the Creative Arts and Community Outreach Director at Covenant Church in San Diego, he wants others to get connected. As he watches his friends, and the younger generation at large, struggle with their faith, he is convinced that Theodyssey is part of the solution. We asked him to share his heart. Enjoy!

I believe the next generation is longing for something that is predominately missing within the Church today. And Theodyssey, offering authentic, Christian spiritual formation, is stepping into that gap.

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Possibility for Encounter

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THE PURSUIT

It was not a typical route for a run. I never saw anybody training for a race, or even breaking into a slow jog. But this route provided potential that only I could see.

The route started at my house and wove through the neighborhoods of Ocean Beach in San Diego. The sidewalks were incredibly uneven and the streets were narrow. I was constantly weaving back and forth around parked cars, pedestrians, and other obstacles. The route added a sizable hill that was easily avoidable. Unless you had other motives.

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Writing a New Story

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Melissa went through Theodyssey a few years ago, learning how to interact with God as a loving Father. We wrote about her experience of allowing light into the dark crevices of her past: Allowing the Light In.
A shameful secret has now become the area where God has shown His love most profoundly. Melissa had the privilege of sharing her story at her home church, Daybreak Church, as the celebrated Easter.
Here is Melissa sharing God’s ability to create new life, bringing about redemption and hope. What a privilege to be a small part of what God is doing in Melissa’s life!

“Do you love me?”

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A QUESTION: Simple and pure

“Simon, son of John [Peter], do you love me?”

This question in John 21 is straightforward. Simple. Pure. But honestly, this question haunts me.

Jesus asks Peter this question three times. Without doubt taking Peter back to the last time he was around a charcoal fire, slowly but surely denying association with Jesus.

Three chances to answer the question. Coinciding with, and redeeming, his three betrayals from before.

I’m amazed at how Jesus does not use guilt. He doesn’t rehash those moments, dragging Peter through the mud. He doesn’t drive home how hurtful the denials were. He doesn’t assume future behavior based on past mistakes.

I often assume that God wants me to feel the guilt and weight of my shame before I understand forgiveness. To reap the consequences of my actions. In other words, the pain of regret should at least equal, and precede, the joy of reconciliation.

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How do we follow Jesus?

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What does it look like to follow Jesus today? Right now.

The original gang: Rugged and unruly fisherman. Zealots, longing for Jewish redemption. A lowly tax-collector. A self-seeking treasurer and others.

Twelve are highlighted, and many more joined. They all responded to a simple call: “Follow me.”

But following Jesus was not a one-time decision. It was a daily exercise of listening, observing, and learning. With more profound moments of deciding if they were going to continue (John 6:60-70).

The disciples had the seemingly overwhelming advantage of tangibly hearing Jesus’ voice, while watching him back it up with actions. He didn’t give them a textbook, ask them to study it, and then figure out how best to follow Him. He guided them with profound teaching, loving instruction, and the occasional rebuke.

Would you rather…Holy Spirit or Jesus?
And then we come across this crazy passage:

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

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Fear of Misunderstanding

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“Too long.” “Too thorough.” “Sleep-inducing.”

At least I can rely on consistent feedback.

With every writing endeavor, my first draft is double the ideal length. I spend the bulk of my time getting rid of extraneous verbiage. And that opportunity is a gift I do not receive when I inadvertently take over a conversation with one of my detailed stories.

My goal is to finish a story, paper, email, presentation, or answer to collective smiles and nods. No clarifying questions asked. All bases were covered in a way that nobody would ever desire.

The reason for my exhaustive explanations? I have a fear of being misunderstood.

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