The Peoples Next Door Posts

Worship at church this past Sunday found me in a bit of a crisis. I do not know why it took this long for it to hit me, but it did.

Countless times since I set foot on the dark continent, I have had those moments that stretch me, where life seems to no longer fit into its nice little boxes. This past Sunday it happened again. 

Here is why:

It is a widely known fact that a church’s style can be identified by simply looking at its pulpit. The entire summation of the evangelical movement as it sprang out of the Reformation has been distilled, with very few exceptions, into five distinct pulpit types. Read More You can not judge a church by its pulpit

Discipleship from Africa Funny posts

In my neck of the woods, people have recently finished celebrating the biggest holiday of the year, Ramadan. The entire area is transformed by the observance of this holiday. Market hours change, work times shift, and at the end, people are all dressed up for big parties and feasts. Think of it like Christmas in the States, except with rice and sauce instead of a turkey and dressing. 

For Islam, Ramadan is the holiest month. It is said Muhammad received the first words of the Qur’an during this month and it is a time of spiritual reflection. The entire month, Muslims spend their daylight hours in fast, breaking it each evening as night falls. This action is supposed to be spiritually purifying as the act of self-denial releases one from the material and allows them to focus on Allah. The aim appears to be renewed piety and zeal for the faith.

In reality, my observations of the event have left me a little jaded. During the day, people mope around with long faces, spitting periodically so that anyone in eyesight knows they are not even swallowing their saliva. Furthermore, the attitude towards those who do not participate is obviously condescending. While it is possible to see the truly devout using this time for reflection, it appears many are more concerned with making a spectacle out of their piety. Needless to say, this has had me thinking. Read More Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees…

Discipleship from Africa from the Word

If books series like Harry Potter or Twilight have revealed anything, I believe it is the existence of the author crush. We all have that friend who has fallen so madly in love with the writings of a particular author that, no matter how the ink spills out of said author’s pen, they will lap it up and enjoy it. You know who I am talking about, it is the same friend that usually inserts the phrase, “oh, like when Voldemort…” into your conversations. Or that person who talks like they are “bff” with that shirtless, vampire guy from Twilight. They are the ones who already have their Halloween costume picked out by the end of spring, and may actually wear it around the house when no one is looking.

I pick on people with a crush on J.K. Rowling, knowing very well that I have an author crush myself. It all started the year I graduated from college, the first time. I was never a very big reader growing up, choosing instead to spend my time finding ways to get dirty or grounded. Ironically enough, very shortly after I was no longer required to read, I picked up what I would consider my very first pleasure read. It was love at first sight. The book was a children’s book, called The Magician’s Nephew. It was the first of the famous Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Read More The art of disliking

Discipleship from Africa