Archive for January, 2009

What comes out when you are squeezed?

Discipleship = Following Christ


Who comes to mind when you think of someone who has been radically transformed into the likeness of Jesus? When Dr. Daryl Eldridge thinks of someone like Jesus, he thinks of Erma.

  Do you know someone who models the life of Christ?
















I think of Erma.  Erma was my mother’s best friend.  She lived a few doors down from us.  I would retreat to Erma’s house when my parents and I disagreed, and she would always help me to see the other side of the story.   Mother and Erma sang in the church choir, but neither of them had ever sung a solo.   But on those days when I visited, we would sit around her table with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk, and she would sing about Jesus. 


I was in graduate school when Mother called and told me that Erma had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and the prognosis was terminal.   We rushed home to see her.  She asked about school, about our children, and sooner or later I knew she would begin to sing, “Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all.  He gives me strength from day to day, without him I would fall.  When I am sad, to him I go.  No other one can cheer me so.  When I am sad, He makes me glad!   He’s my friend.”  You see – when Erma was squeezed, Jesus came out.


This remarkable woman displayed the character of Jesus.  She had only a high school education, but she was wise in the things that mattered.   I wanted the transformed life that Erma possessed.   The Bible explains this life as a “Spirit-filled life” – a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit. There was an indescribable quality about her that was genuine and attractive. 


Years later, when I began to really study the life of a disciple, I would think of Erma.


Discipleship is about being a Christ follower who, over time, looks more and more like Jesus. Are you changed?  Have you been transformed?   Have the basics been forgotten? Discipleship is about transformation—of the head, the heart, the hands, and habits.



Well, It is time to refine in 2009.  Or is it everything will be fine in 2009.  We have a new regime in Cleveland taking over the future of the Browns franchise.  We have a new coach and the same regime in Detroit.  How many games will the Lions win in 2009?  Will the Browns make the playoffs?  Will Arizona win another Super Bowl?

One number I know for sure.  That is 1878.   It has been 1878 days since Michigan beat OSU in football.