Discipleship Thought began as a weekly email from First Baptist Church at the Mall's Discipleship Pastor, Mark Bedwell, to his Sunday Morning Connect Group Leadership Team. These Thoughts were meant as a weekly encouragement, point to ponder, break from the day and sometimes even meant to make you stop and say "hmmm?"

We hope you find encouragement. Feel free to pass this along to someone who might need a little encouragement today!

Friday, November 5, 2010


I was traveling down South Florida listening to Christian Radio….(I can’t lie)…listening to NFL Satellite Radio….and I received a call from Kim.  I asked her if she needed anything and her response was “no, not really.”  Now, men….you know what this means…this means that our wives are calling simply to talk and it is time to buck up and it is time to turn down our radio and put on our listening ears. She talked of school lunches  and of funny conversations.  She updated me on Google news…how her parents were…and the local weather conditions in Las Cruces, New Mexico (where her parents live). She was in the process of grade updates for both of our kids….class by class…when she stated that Shelby “had a quiz, not a test.”  That is when I did it.  I inserted a question. 
“What’s the difference between a quiz and a test?”  (Men, it is imperative to insert questions now and then to prove that you are listening to the conversation.  Just make sure that your question is relevant to the current portion of the conversation, or the intent of such question will actually backfire.) She stated that a quiz is usually over less material and carries less weight on your final grade than a test.  That being the case….students spend a lot of time studying for tests…and sometimes go into quizzes not as prepared. 

Like most things in life, the quiz vs. test scenario became a theological quandary that began to race through my mind.  I began to wonder what would happen if students spent the same amount of time studying for quizzes as tests.  It would increase their grades and at the same time better prepare them for the larger and heavier tests that would eventually come their way.  I could write a book….”study for the quiz and ace the test.”  I could make millions….and help students everywhere get better grades. I would receive the Nobel Peace Prize and……….

As Christians we spend most of our time worrying about the big test.  We pray about sickness, we pray about finances, we pray about whether or not our kids are ever going to graduate school and become self sustaining tax paying American citizens.  We get “churchy” around holidays and tragedies…but we pass over the daily quizzes in life without much fanfare or attention.  We don’t really pray, seek wisdom, or even think about including God in the little quizzes that the world throws at us every day….the barking dog, the honking car, the overzealous parking attendant, the call from school, the bosses demands, the piled up laundry, the tired husband, the noisy children, the empty supper table, the overflowing garbage can.  Ahh……life’s little quizzes are coming at us faster than we can even imagine…and because they don’t carry much weight or don’t seem to be overly important…we leave God out.  Can I tell you a little secret?  It might be one you already know and if so….feel free to pass it on.  If we spend as much God time in life’s daily quizzes…we will be much more prepared for life’s big tests.  Can I tell you another little secret?  It might be one you already know and if so…..feel free to pass it on.  God is just as interested in how we do on life’s little quizzes as he is on life’s big tests.  They are weighted no differently.  On the Sermon on the Mount…Jesus likened anger unto murder.  And while I am pretty sure you didn’t kill anybody today, I am pretty sure that you have been angry with someone. So…simply put…..get God involved…so that you may become a stronger student…and a better disciple. 

May we be more intentional and focused with our prayer.  May we include and let God lead in all aspects of our life.  May our prayer requests not only be about money and health, but may they also include the little daily trip ups that keep us away from the joy and trust in God.  May we spend more time studying God and less time studying trivial things.  May we turn down our radios and listen to our wives, may we pick up the phone and talk to our husbands.  May we share life with one another.  May we grow.  May we be prepared for life’s tests because trusting God and talking to Him come as natural as passing an open book quiz.  It is an open book quiz you know…..or it should be anyway.  So…go….open the Book and prepare.  Have a blessed day and good luck on the quiz.  Now, let me turn that radio back up…….

Discipleship Thought created 9/15/10

Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
   - 1 Peter 4:7-11

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