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Austin Kleon

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Latest Posts

Refugees

Real Life

Naser is a refugee twice removed. First, due to the genocide in Darfur, he fled to South Sudan. Then as South Sudan broke into war, he had to flee and seek refuge in Uganda. Incidentally, while in South Sudan, he heard of Jesus, and his life changed forever.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Hard Christian Truths

Zombie Church

The modern church is not dead, but undead. The dead at least have the manners to be done with it and lay politely in their grave. But the church of the 21st century fills me with confusion. Its decay and disease have betrayed the church’s intended form and, unfortunately, spread worldwide. We see today not the ekklesia of the first century but a Zombie Church.

Jeremy Taliaferro
woman placing her finger between her lips
Missions

A Crisis On The Mission Field

There is a growing mental health crisis in America, and most churches seem ill-equipped to address the struggles of their congregants. Some churches try to address the impending emotional instability, but others just bury their heads in the sand. Instances of depression and anxiety have increased exponentially since the turn of the century, with no signs of letting up.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Church Missions

Six Ways Bureaucrats are Delaying the Next Movement of God

The first-century disciples turned the world upside down precisely because of their boldness and willingness to pay any price to see the kingdom expand. These things are still happening in many developing countries around the world, but it seems the western church has come to a dead standstill, and there are no signs that it will change anytime soon. Have you ever wondered why?

Jeremy Taliaferro
Culture

Six Things I Will Miss About Uganda

We have had the privilege to live in the pearl of Africa for ten years now. Sadly, that time is coming to a close. There are certain things that I will not miss (Bodas, politics, matooke), but there are things about Uganda that will be etched in my memory forever, and I will cherish them till the day I die. Here is a list of things I will miss about Uganda.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Church

You Are NOT Called To The Ministry

My understanding of “calling” has evolved over the years. Early on, a narrow institutional perspective defined my view of being called. It was the only framework I understood at the time, but now my view of calling is profoundly relational. My perspective underwent a necessary shift that led me to a more Biblical understanding of calling.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Stories

Your Name Is Elijah

In 2017 my nephew was diagnosed in the womb with Spina Bifida. I knew his life would be characterized by struggle, but his parents were brave and they trusted God. They decided to name him Elijah. I wrote this letter to Elijah before he was born. In honor of Spina Bifida Awareness Month, I share it with you

Jeremy Taliaferro
Biblical Manhood

An Exercise in Self Awareness

My best friend and I sat on the front row of the dingy movie theater, trying to hold it together. We were only ten years old, our bottom lips quivered and our eyes filled with moisture.

We had just finished watching “Benji: The Hunted.” (A movie about a little dog if you aren’t familiar with 80’s kid’s movies.) As the lights in the theatre came up, I looked at my friend. Both of us frantically wiped the tears from our eyes. We knew we had a problem.

Jeremy Taliaferro
hollywood sign on hill
Mentorship

7 Worst Movie Mentors

When Hollywood invents fictional mentors, their sole purpose is to move the storyline forward. Movie mentors are caricatures with highly exaggerated features which seem primarily positive. But upon further review, they often do more harm than good. In this article, we will take a deeper look and poke a little fun at Hollywood’s attempt at mentorship. Hopefully, you can learn what NOT to do.

Jeremy Taliaferro
gray scale photo of church
Organic Ecclesiology

Is Church As We Know It Preventing Church As God Wants It?

We Christians are strangely devoted to how we do Church. We love tradition. We enjoy the feeling of going to fellowship with other like-minded people in a beautiful building. We delight in hearing the choir or worship team sing and listening to the inspiring messages. We appreciate the children’s programs and youth mission trips.

But are these traditions producing the result that Jesus expected from his Church?

Jeremy Taliaferro
Christian Living

Imitating God Series

Like most teenage boys in the 90’s, I was obsessed with Michael Jordan. My walls were literally covered with MJ posters of the G.O.A.T. dunking on his opponents. You seriously could not see the color of the walls for all the posters. I had a couple of jerseys, but I couldn’t afford the shoes. Which seems much less critical now than it did back then.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Church

The Greeting that Went Viral

In the early church, believers would greet each other (year-round) with these words: “He is risen,” and the response, “He is risen, indeed.”

The resurrection of Jesus was such a pivotal point in history that it immediately changed the cultural greetings of large numbers of people. As centuries passed this greeting became less common or mostly centered around Easter Sunday.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Hard Christian Truths

I Am A Pilgrim

What is it that genuinely stirs your passions? Politics? Sports? Fashion? Maybe travel? Social Media has given us a revealing peek into people’s true passions. If you go to someone’s Facebook or Twitter feed you will see conspiracy theories, political rants, sports rivalries, and trolling, lots of trolling. All of this revealing what it is that captures your interest and attention.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Missions

Unmet Expectations

Our first term as missionaries was a case study in unmet expectations and seemingly surprise disasters. We were supposed to go to Peru to lead teams of young men into the ministry of planting churches in the villages and training them up in the skills they needed for that task. Here is a short list of our dashed hopes just for giggles:

Jeremy Taliaferro
Missions

Losing Giants

We all knew it was coming. Eventually, our friend Billy would die. He wasn’t perfect, but to some of us, he represented as close as it gets without having nail-scarred hands and a thorn-marked forehead. Still, even though we were expecting it, Billy’s death filled us with a mixture of sadness and joy when it happened. We are sad because our role model had left us but joyful because he had been made whole. But I found myself having another emotion, inspiration.

Jeremy Taliaferro
person standing near the ocean
Mentorship

Leaders Go First, Leaders Go Last

Leadership is a hot topic in America, especially in Christian circles. But we also have a long history of getting it wrong. The disciples had a specific idea of leadership that they imposed on Jesus. Jesus tried to prepare them for His kingdom and how things don’t work the same there. But until the unthinkable happened, they couldn’t grasp that Jesus was leading from a position of humility and suffering.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Christian Living

Waging Spiritual War

General George “Ol Blood & Guts” Patton, was either loved or hated because of the way he conducted his life. For Patton everything was Black or White; right or wrong. He knew how to wage war and how to win. When his superiors disagreed with him, he found a way to do it his way, and he won.

But what can we learn from Patton regarding the Spiritual War?

Jeremy Taliaferro
Christian Living

Consume or Cultivate

God is a creative being; he forms things and works to perfect them. To be like Him, we must also learn to create. But most of us are consumers. We don’t make anything. We buy what other people make, and we use it. 

Our consumer mentality disconnects us from our immensely creative God. This is especially true in our relationships.

Jeremy Taliaferro
Christian Living

Are Bullies the Real Problem?

We have started “Anti-bullying” campaigns to protect the defenseless. Still, it seems that over the last couple of decades, this strategy has actually increased the bullying problem.

Why? Because parents are fulfilling this critical task of protection, and they have not allowed the children to learn to govern themselves. Kids need to learn how to live and function in a harsh world filled with wolves and bullies.

Jeremy Taliaferro