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Stephen R. Clark's Blog (16)

Basics of a good group, Part 3 of 3: Outreach

This three-part series explores some basics on how to build, maintain, and grow good small groups in your church, fostering healthy biblical engagement together.

There’s nothing like a…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on January 6, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

Basics of a good group, Part 2 of 3: Leading

This three-part series explores some basics on how to build, maintain, and grow good small groups in your church, fostering healthy biblical engagement together.

A small group leader training booklet lists 15 tips for leaders.…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on January 5, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

Basics of a good group, Part 1 of 3: Logistics

This three-part series explores some basics on how to build, maintain, and grow good small groups in your church, fostering healthy biblical engagement together.

It’s the first night of your small group. Several people are now gathered at the front…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on January 4, 2017 at 7:30am — No Comments

The scars we bear: Sin, consequences & grace

In Carson McCullers’…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on December 29, 2016 at 10:56am — No Comments

Easter-ish thoughts: Nose hairs, balding heads, knee pains, terrorism, politics, sin & Jesus (A very short post)

The Psalmist tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made.



It’s a lovely thought.



Until I get out of bed in the morning and my knee hurts in a way it has never hurt before for no particular reason.…



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Added by Stephen R. Clark on March 24, 2016 at 1:32pm — No Comments

Street skirmishes, politics, personal preferences, non-essentials & foolish bloody faith fights

Politics, it is said, can bring out the worst in us. And note the “us.”



We pick sides, and this year the sides have been legion at times. Once picked, we defend “our man” or “our woman” or “our cause” with vehemence.



At moments it seems like one giant virtual street fight. Verbal…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on March 7, 2016 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Vocation now & later: Preparing for the other side

Whenever the idea of Christian vocation is addressed in an article or conversation, there’s a well-known quote attributed to Frederick Buechner that inevitably comes up: “Vocation happens when our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”



Actually, according to Beuchner himself, it’s not a direct quote, as he explained in an interview. But it captures the essence of what…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on February 4, 2016 at 5:00am — No Comments

Foolishness, stupid arguments, injustice, scarecrows, sea-plows, gender strifes, bowls of wine & cucumbers.

I pity the fools, uh, I mean people. Yes, people.



I pity good, sweet people who foolis..., uh, stubbornly refuse to read the Bible in any other version but the King James.



I love the King James. It’s what I grew up reading.…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on February 1, 2016 at 5:03pm — No Comments

I won the Grand Prize! And now I need your support! (This is so hard for me.)

NOTE from Discipleship.Network Coordinator ~

Our community guidelines allow inviting members to offer support in prayer but we do not approve financial solicitation. Nearly everyone on this site has ministries that could use additional funding. We are confident the Spirit will make it clear if/when you are to contribute without that individual or ministry…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on January 23, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

"I hear you earned a Certificate thingy from Princeton Theological Seminary. That's nice. So, now what the heck are you going to do with it?"

Late last year, I completed the Certificate in Theology and Ministry offered online by Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS).* Along with about 120 or so other people who were scattered across the country and the world.



This past weekend, PTS invited all who completed the course to attend a special recognition luncheon and worship service at the Princeton, NJ campus. There was a…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on January 22, 2016 at 11:46am — No Comments

Punishing all for one or a few: Treating Syrian refugees like naughty children

When I was a kid, it wasn’t unusual when someone acted badly in a classroom or any group situation, that everyone got punished for it.



This would happen because the adult-in-charge either couldn’t identify a specific bad actor, or was just too exasperated and took the easy way when it came to “discipline.”



Whenever this happened, I seethed inside my little innocent child’s heart. …



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Added by Stephen R. Clark on November 18, 2015 at 12:47pm — No Comments

Don’t be fleeced into thinking of this mighty introvert as one who shilly-shallied

When you’re a kid growing up in a small Pentecostal church, knowing God’s will is a big deal. You want to know the formula for getting it right.



Just when you thought you came across something in the Bible that might be “it,” the “anti-fleece” sermon would roll around the next Sunday to remind you that you were wrong. Again.



The “anti-fleece” was a popular sermon I heard a lot growing up. The gist was what not to do when seeking God’s will.…



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Added by Stephen R. Clark on November 19, 2014 at 5:43pm — No Comments

Don’t hit me! Resurrecting real grace & giving faith more than a ghost of a chance

When I was a kid I loved to go to the local YMCA. My dad’s boss, Mr. Meek, would buy memberships to the Y for the families of his employers, an incredibly kind gift. As a member, I could get my buddies in for a small fee. We would head there many weekends and weekdays over the summer.



Besides swimming, there was a room full of table games like foosball, ping-pong, and whatnot. One day while standing idly in the game room, someone tapped me on the shoulder saying, “Hey, buddy!”…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on November 1, 2014 at 10:59am — No Comments

Sojourn. Hospice. Vigil. Joe. Emily Dickinson & Shakespeare.

Sunday, June 29

Spattered throughout scripture is the idea that, on this earth in this life, we are merely sojourners.



Travelers just passing though.



Even “aliens and strangers” moving about on this God-breathed world (1 Peter…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on June 30, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Timely Tips for our Trek Toward the Stars

Canadian Tom Cochrane wrote and Rascal Flatts famously sang that, Life's like a road that you travel on” (Life Is a Highway).



Beloved American poet Robert Frost stated that, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”…

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Added by Stephen R. Clark on March 28, 2014 at 4:00pm — No Comments

BOOK REVIEW: I’ll see you in hell. Not!

H – E – Double Hockey Sticks. Hell.



The place we want to send all of our enemies while avoiding it ourselves. And for many, a place imagined to be one giant endless debauched party. Woot!



Which is, of course, better than being bored in a heaven.



Right? Wrong!…



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Added by Stephen R. Clark on February 20, 2014 at 3:00pm — No Comments

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Wisdom

Posted by Mary Elizabeth Whitlow on October 10, 2011 at 9:49pm — 1 Comment

Peter Pan and Adam Sandler Christians

Posted by Michael Mack on November 24, 2010 at 9:27pm — 7 Comments

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