Posts by Jon Fredricks

Why I Do What I do

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Guest Writer: Clair Bolender

I was recently reminded of an event that happened to me about 30 years ago that changed a particular area of my life. It came to me as a “calling” to a specific ministry and, to this day, I am still answering the call and reaping the benefits of being obedient.

As missions go this one may be relatively insignificant and certainly won’t qualify me for sainthood, but there are small tasks that need to be done in the Kingdom as well as large jobs. I wish that I had been as willing and obedient on other occasions when I was asked to do important kingdom work.

I have not been bashful about telling this story many times before, but I don’t think that I have ever put it to paper, and it is too important to be lost from my history. It is about an event that happened roughly thirty years ago, but still affects how I act today. If you have heard it before you are excused from reading this account but the moral of the story is worth remembering, and it may change your life in the same way that it changed mine.

The Run: WHY

My first steps out my house on my first run at 41 were exhilarating.  As much as I hate running, I essentially began to skip.  I stopped myself as I didn’t want a neighbor to see me and call 911.  But, just getting out of the house brought immense freedom.  I felt victorious.  I had […]

Making Easter Personal: Leverage Easter for Big Stuff in my Small Circles

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Okay, Easter hasn’t always been a big deal to me.

Honestly – as a kid I didn’t really look forward to it at all. Yes, there was always candy, baskets, and ham. But there was also new haircuts, hair goo, a tie, and even one year – my dad’s oversized dress shoes! Easter always seemed to require me to stop being me. All that trying to smile for awkward pictures in shoes that just didn’t fit – I hated it!

I am very convinced I am not alone. I am certain that there are not just a few of our close friends that feel uncomfortable about Easter. Certainly, they feel the tug of God in the deep recess of the heart – but church? Attending a church again with all the guilt, the sitting still, the pretending to have it all put together… and then enduring another awkward invite…

Let’s do it differently.

The Run: DOING

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I am a dreamer.  

I love window shopping.  When I do, it always goes far beyond simple admiration.  I like to touch, feel, smell.  I will shop until I have identified the absolute best bargain for the money.  Often, I will call friends, share my dream and purpose, and get their opinion.  

However, in the end it usually comes down.  The dream sadly gets filed away into a “wishlist” to wither and die.  Yet, with all my dying wishes this process oddly still remains fun for me.  I am a dreamer – I like dreaming.  

It is not so for my wife.  After a couple decades of elaborate dream sharing, big plans, crazy ideas, and dying wishlists, she now pleasantly smiles and asks, “Are we DOING that today?  If we are DOING that, I’m in!  If not, could you take out the trash?”  

Intersections

I almost caused an accident today. I didn’t mean to – I was trying to be helpful. But I didn’t see the bigger picture. Anymore I am not a big fan of intersections. Intersections are weird. They are places where people meet daily for brief but very important interaction. Communication is minimal – but crucial. […]

Unplowed Field

I have always loved being outside.  Particularly at the onset of winter.  The ground takes on a particularly unique quality as it begins to freeze.   Growing up in America’s heartland, being outside in late fall did not mean playing under the grand bows of massive evergreens – or running on the cushion created by […]

Mission Week 3 – FAT

When I mention “dodge-ball” what images come to mind?  I think most of us think of that terror, not of red rubber gym balls zinging by our heads, but rather the greatest terror a third grader could face: the picking of the teams!  At least for me, it seemed easier to just head to the nurse’s office before the game started than to face the agony of being picked dead last….

When God does something in a family, a company, a school, or a generation He always does it through a person.  This is His strategy – always has been and always will until the end of time.  When God brings change, He simply looks for a person.

But what kind of person?  What characteristics is He looking for?  

Mission Part 2 – Closing the Gap

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Being a Christian, a disciple, is simply following Christ.

If you have ever taken a road trip involving multiple vehicles, you know what it means to follow.  On the long straight-aways of open highway, in broad daylight, you can feel a little freer to slow down, to go at your own pace.  But, it only takes a few curves, the setting of the sun, or hitting rush hour traffic for everybody to quickly close the gap on the leader.  There is typically panic in the car until we are once again riding the bumper of the lead vehicle.

Following requires proximity.

The Gift of Mission Part 1

On a mountain top in the Galilean countryside, Jesus gathered his small rag-tag group of followers for one of the last times on this earth.  He had spent the previous three years pouring into them.  He taught them to pray.  He taught them grace.  He taught them forgiveness.

Now in His last moments, instead of teaching, He is giving.

He gives His disciples a gift.  It’s a gift for them and everyone who will eventually follow in their steps.  He prefaces the gift by reminding us that He has all authority and He is summoning that authority to give us the greatest gift He could give – Mission.

Matthew 28:18-19  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

You have a mission.  I have a mission.  That mission is the Father’s mission, which we now share.  What is the mission? It is making disciples.

Stand Firm

I often hear people talk about their life verse. I honestly don’t have one yet – because there are quite a few in the running. I’d like to share one with you today. It has meant the world to me over the years. And again today, sustains me. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand […]