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What’s “Window into Bloom”? Want to see what it actually looks like when women get together not to gossip, whine, or bemoan all the difficulties in life. But rather purpose their hearts to experience the tangible presence of Jesus, himself. Ladies from many different local churches gathering for one purpose- to know Him more and to grow in sweet fellowship with other women that encourage them to become fully alive in Christ!  Bloom is a ministry of WDA (Worldwide Discipleship Association) and we love helping Ladies, Wives and Mommies BLOOM into mature believers so that they can raise the next generation of Christian children to grow up in the full Love, Knowledge, and Power of the Lord. We believe that weekly discipleship is an essential ingredient in the growth process. This “window into Bloom” project is to be an opportunity to pier  into the world of Bloom’s weekly Discipleship group that meets in Senoia, GA. I have asked a couple ladies in this current group to write a weekly recap from their perspective, which I hope will be a fresh and genuine glance into the heart of the impact of Bloom ministries.

I’m hoping this “Window into Bloom”, will serve 3 primary viewing purposes.

If you are:

1. A Current Bloom Lady in the Senoia, Georgia Chapter,  then this will be a practical tool for you. If you happen to miss a week’s meeting, no worries, you can stay connected to the heart of the content and the spirit of the last meeting by reading the week’s recap.

2. Interested in learning more about Bloom either to join or launch a new group. If you are interested in either, please read till your hearts content and know that I’d love to talk with you to help you get involved or to answer any questions you may have about your interest in becoming apart of the Bloom network and launching a Bloom Ministry in your community. please email me at BloomWDA@gmail.com

3. A Prayer or Financial Supporter, you will be able to see the current heartbeat of a live Bloom group. This insight will help you know how to pray more specifically as well as feel thrilled that you are actively partnering with the Lord in Blooming the next generation of families, in a mighty way! (Keep in mind this is just one aspect of the Bloom Ministry Reach- your prayers and donations help accomplish much more!)

As always I’d love your feedback. – Jackie Dukes, Founder and Director of Bloom Ministries

***want to know more about Bloom- Click here to go read the Bloom Page

Read the most recent “Window into Bloom” LATEST POST- click here 

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Editors Note: This post was created with permission from Jackie Dukes and Bloom. Learn more about Bloom at their website – http://jackiedukes.com/bloom/

process vs Holy SpiritI had an interesting conversation with a friend over lunch a few months back.

We’re both in the process of joining with other believers in our area to form missional communities and to live out the gospel in community together, so we were getting together to encourage one another and share stories and learn from each other. We got on the topic of processes though, and my friend noted that their community was trying to stay away from all processes whatsoever and really just listen to and be led by the Spirit as to what to do, and where to go with their community in all things.

He noted that this is mainly because many of their leaders are very process driven people (industrial engineers and such), and they feared greater allegiance to the process, than to Christ. He noted that the word organic is getting thrown around a lot these days, but that that was really what they were aiming for.

While I see a lot of wisdom in that thinking, I still wonder if it’s exactly what Christ intended when he told us to “go into the world and make disciples and teach them to obey everything I’ve commanded.” I love that a lot of the language around the missional community movement is the language of discipleship. Making disciples who make disciples, but the follow up question is always, “Okay, so how do we do that?”

Because, as I wrote a while ago, even organic things, or rather especially organic things, go through a process. But then again, most organic things aren’t aware of that process, it just happens naturally, as it was designed to–Mankind being the exception to the rule.

The more I think about this, the more I am amazed by the wonder and mystery of God. He has created us with minds to search through history and scripture and see how He has worked in the lives of countless believers throughout the long river of faith that we belong to. But he has also given us his very spirit, and Jesus said of Him:

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” Jn. 16:13

At WDA it’s our aim to help people grow into Christlikeness; and if you’re interested in reading some more about the complex balance between our involvement and God’s involvement in the growth process, then I would suggest checking out our document Disciple Building: A Biblical Framework.

As I grow myself, I’m learning (or having to be reminded) that this building of disciples is more an act of listening than it is speaking or following a plan.

Is it just me, or do you ever forget to take time to listen to the Spirit of Truth and ask him for guidance in all things?

All our words, from loose using, have lost their edge. – Ernest Hemmingway

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Jesus (Matthew 16:24)

What is discipleship?  It is a word that has come to mean both everything and nothing and this is largely because our efforts to define the word normally relate to the actions associated with discipleship rather than understanding the core issues involved.  This is why in some circles discipleship has come to mean evangelism, in other circles it means bible study, scripture memory, and the pursuit of personal holiness, still in other circles it means being active in missional engagement.

But these things are the fruit of discipleship, not the tree itself.  To define discipleship in these terms would be like describing marriage as sex, or parenting, or filing for joint bank accounts.  It certainly CAN describe the word, but it definitely doesn’t encompass it.

And if we’re honest, this is a big problem right?  Jesus left us with a central command to go into all the world and make disciples, and many of us can’t even agree on what that means practically.  But if we’re honest, our problem doesn’t really come from a lack of understanding, it comes from our unwillingness to swallow the distasteful words that Jesus plainly speaks.  Deny yourself, take up your cross, follow me.

The truth is that we have selfish and rebellious hearts that chafe under the command to humble ourselves and submit to the will and authority of one who is higher than us.  The truth is that we are afraid of any cross, because we are afraid of death and pain.  And the truth is that our claims to “follow Jesus” are related much more to our minds and words than to our hands and feet.  At least this is the truth about me.

Is it really more complicated than that though?  Has the word discipleship lost the edge that it was intended to have?  At WDA we’ve thought about this a lot; take some time and check out some more of how we’ve tried to work this out in the day to day and please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Jesse DukesAuthor:  Jesse Dukes
Jesse leads LocalScope a WDA Next Generation Ministry