Monday, July 23, 2007

Random Musing

Normally I am a detractor of the National Soccer team of Mexico and relish any time they flop. I am even better at this when it comes to Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

So I find myself in a weird space this morning as I celebrate Blanco scoring in his first game for the Chicago Fire. I need to cheer this. I want to cheer this. Chicago brought Blanco in to help a struggling franchise, and he did immediately. MLS is often looked at as a lesser step-child of world first division soccer leagues, including the Mexican League. One need look no further back than the 3-0 loss the LA Galaxy suffered to Tigres UANL just last week for proof, which the media throughout the world seized upon to remind David Beckham that he was going nowhere fast with the Galaxy.

But, MLS needs high-profile players, with competitive fire and results to prove its continued worth. If MLS brings players in and they do not perform, then of course the player was already washed up and it is no wonder they couldn't play anywhere else in the world, except for MLS. If they outperform the competition then it proves that those "other leagues" are just so far above MLS it isn't even funny. But, for those who have played sports a competitive levels, playing with the best and against the best serves only to raise your game and make you want to work that much harder. I am excited to see MLS grow in this way, challenging the days ahead where we can contend for contracts for the great players while they are just getting going and through their prime.

So, to Blanco and the success of the Chicago Fire, I say congratulations and all the best -Except when you play the LA Galaxy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Evangelism = Teenage Sex

It seems to me that evangelism in this diocese is a bit like teenage sex -
* It’s on everybody’s mind all the time.
* Everyone is talking about it all the time.
* Everyone thinks everyone else is doing it.
* Almost no one is really doing it.
* The few who are doing it are doing it poorly.
* The few who are doing it are sure it will be better next time.
* The few who are doing it are not practicing it safely.
-Craig Schwarze

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


On the heels of reading and preparing texts for Isaiah 1 for August lectionary I came upon another insight into worship. This is true for Del Rosa UMC and so many more.

If the congregation or anyone is looking to me or the church to fill their spiritual needs only hurt, pain, frustration and desperation can follow.
Only God can meet our spiritual needs, and yet the #1 reason given for leaving a church is that "it does not meet our spiritual needs". Our spiritual needs can only be met by following the great commandment, "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and the second which is like it to Love your neighbor as yourself."
Worship then is about giving back to God from the bounty of gifts we have been given. I preach not because everyone else needs to hear the words, but because my spiritual need is to give back to God the richness I understand through the scriptures.
We have some basic forms to worship, that can happen every day, given to us through the scriptures:
-feed the hungry
-clothe the naked
-shelter the homeless
-care for the dying
-cure the sick
And more we have the various spiritual gifts from which to share the glory of God (The links are to spiritual gifts inventories):
-and many more (up to 36 in some inventories I have seen)

The purpose of church then is to fulfill my spiritual need to give back to God in a faithful community, not to fill my spiritual void with another program, another message, or cup of coffee. I may find that my spiritual life is enriched because I have come to give, rather than to be given.

As such, I wonder what would happen if I said at the start of service:

"If you are here in church today to have your voids filled, and your needs met -Go Home!
"If you are here to fulfill your need to thank God for his gracious gift of love and life by giving back from your gifts, in the community, with your 'prayers, presence, gifts and talents' then by all means - Let's give back and worship!!"


PS Transformed Daily by Eric Jones has another excellent article on a similar train of thought, this time with some New Testament texts.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jesus had a house? What, what???

Many thanks to T Michael W Halcomb at Pisteuomen who thought this one through with some solid exegesis and understanding of the cultural context.

"Did Jesus have a home"

Very thought provoking stuff.

August Cadence

Dear Del Rosa Family,

One of the lessons I learned early on in ministry is that you need to have a vision to help guide where the process is taking you. Even though I learned this lesson I was a little slower to put it into practice. I had prayed over this, I had copied other mission and vision statements, and I have even run one through the youth ministry wringer.

I have been struggling for the better part of two years now with trying to develop an adequate vision and mission for my ministry and for the ministry I hope to instill in others.
As such I have struggled in the search for God's heart and words to convey the message of my ministry. I have often described my approach to ministry as one that is ministry by deduction, as in eliminating the other possibilities - sometimes by trial and error. As such the clarity of where we are going is often scrambled in the journey.
Alas, there is hope as the journey is the thing, and I have come to a new understanding of how to journey. Three years of Institute, Church Development and Revitalization Training, Local Church Visioning and that inner need for clarity of purpose have culminated in something very simple.

"Extending Ministry"
To Extend Ministry through Longevity; Progress; Impact; Proclamation; and Variety

I have seen our own church struggle in the same way, and I pray that we will find the vision God has laid out for our journey ahead.

In the spirit of our ongoing “simple ways to help” and in an effort to “Extend Ministry” here are some ideas for your use.

Volunteering your time

Pastor David Camphouse

If you don’t have dollars, or any of the other items listed to be able to donate, or you have all of the above a little time and energy to give away, here is the chance for you to match up your opportunity with someone else’s need.

From the site: “We make it easy for you to find a volunteer opportunity that fits your interests, skills and schedule.”

Frazee Community Center

Harry Ulmer

We often provide food, clothing, dollars and service to Frazee from Del Rosa UMC. From the site: “A long standing and varied ministry, Frazee Community Center began as a Good Samaritan outreach through the former St. Stephens Methodist Church in San Bernardino. William & Cecile Frazee, members of St. Stephens, were the inspiration for the center. “

Heifer International

Harry and Delores Ulmer

Heifer International provides multiple resources to help communities get up and running through the introduction of animals and other products and education about how to raise such animals for the good of the whole community.

Mission Aviation Fellowship

Leola Rea

Stan and Pam Lincoln have been supported by the Del Rosa UMC for several years, through general donations to MAF, direct donations from the UMW and the congregation. Stan and Pam and their children have been to visit and share with us about their experiences several times over recent years.

From the site: “MAF is a faith-based, non-profit ministry. Teams of aviation, communications and technology specialists overcome barriers, transform lives, and enable the work of more than 600 organizations around the world.”

Operation Christmas Child

Bill and Janet Hunt

Save your shoe boxes is only the beginning of how you can help this project. Wrapping boxes, organizing products, stuffing boxes, and even shopping for the gifts are other means to help keep this project moving forward.

From the site: “Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love.”

Buy Green

Pastor David Camphouse

Treehugger is a community marketplace for all kinds of conversations, purchasing, and general knowledge about how to be more environmentally friendly. provides a great abundance of products for sale that are organic, fair trade and recycled. Take advantage of a common shopping area in the internet age and take a look at some of the great ways to help preserve and protect the earth, just by shopping better.

7 Villages

Pastor David Camphouse

The United Methodist Church is trying to help the local church, pastors and laity connect to one another, the agencies and groups of the church and develop a social networking site for the UMC, similar to the ideas fomented by MySpace and Facebook.

Here is your opportunity to befriend thousands of Methodists Worldwide, find activity pages that suit your interests in the UMC, form groups and get connected.

Cal-Pac Yahoo Groups

Pastor David Camphouse

If you are wanting to get connected, but don’t want to take the time to find friends, search out special interest groups and just want to keep it to simple emails then the Cal-Pac Yahoo Group might be for you. This online chat board is designed to cultivate conversation among United Methodists in the California-Pacific Annual Conference through email communication. Check out the group website and sign up if you desire to enter the conversations.

Relay For Life

Patricia Fischer and Desire Slough

Walking for 24 hours seems like a lot, until you realize the purpose of the 24 hour walk is to raise awareness for those who walk with breast cancer and other forms of cancer every hour of every day until it is cured. And so t he relay for life helps fund “The Race for the Cure”.

From the site: “Relay For Life®
One day. One night. One community: By participating in an American Cancer Society Relay For Life® event near you, you honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives lost to the disease, and raise money to help fight it – all right in your community. Much more than a walk around a track, Relay is a time to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember those lost and get inspired to fight back. Those who have shared the same experience find common ground, hope and healing at Relay. By participating, you have the power to continue the American Cancer Society's progress toward a future where cancer doesn't take the lives of our friends and family.”

30 Hour Famine

Stephanie Hunt

Students are invited to help raise funds to fight hunger, and then share together in a 30hour period where they fast and learn more about the regions of the world most severely affected by hunger.

From the Site: “The 30 hour Famine is an international youth movement to fight hunger.”

Project Linus

Barbara Plunk

Need a little something to do with your hands while you watch TV or work your way through prayer, consider tying knots in a blanket that will be given to a child undergoing drastic medical care at a local hospital.

From the site: “Project Linus is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization with a two-fold mission: First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers." Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”


Pastor David Camphouse

Have you heard that small business loans are more likely to be successful than had previously been depicted? Do you want to live out the banker in you?

From the site: “Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.”

Nothing But Nets

Pastor David Camphouse

When The United Methodist Church, Sports Illustrated, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, The United Nations and the Mark J Gordon Foundation all come together to stop one of the most disabling diseases worldwide, this is what you get – Nothing But Nets. Sign up your own team, or just help out another spotlighted team. The Cal-Pac Young Adults have already formed a team, and you can help that team if you so desire. Do a search for Nick Gallegly, the team Captain or go to the site

From the Site: “Malaria Kills – You Can Help Save Lives

Malaria Kills more than 1 million kids a year. For just $10 we can buy a net, distribute it to a family and educate them on its use. You can save a family, Your friends, school, church or team can save a village. Together we can cover a continent…”


Pastor David


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sermon July 8 - 2 Kings 5

Some thoughts and reflections on the lectionary text for 6th Sunday after Pentecost, July 8, 2007. - revcamp

First, I think it helpful to add a few verses to this week’s text. Lectionary prints this text as II Kings 5:1-14. I would suggest adding through verse 19.

Aram - (Aramea, Aram-naharaim, Padan-Aram) The territory north and east of Palestine where Abraham’s ancestors had settled and from where the wives of Isaac and Jacob came; roughly the region of modern northern Syria and northwestern Iraq.

Prophet - (from Greek for “to speak for, to speak forth”) Designation given to accepted spokespersons of God (or their opposites, “false prophets”); a person who speaks in the name of God.


When one hears of Aram in the scriptures hear also the story of Abram who came out of Ur with the words, “My Father was a wandering Aramean.” That is to say, the very heart of monotheistic culture and the understanding of God inherited through Abram came out of Aram. Even with those roots, Aram is now a very dangerous enemy to Israel and Judah, the divided kingdom.

Jesus references this story of the cleansing of Naaman in Luke 4:27.

2 Kings 5

New International Version (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

1 Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. [a]

Note that the victory of Aram over Israel was because God willed it. This story is going to be a story of God’s power and the common understandings of power. Naaman is a very powerful man, who sits essentially as the Prime Minister or Vice President of Aram. He is a great warrior displaying great power in battle. He is laid low by a skin disease that if allowed to progress will strip him of all his power and send him into exile.

2 Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman’s salvation begins with a little Israelite girl who is in the ownership of his wife. He now has a choice to exert his power over this disease, or to let those who are powerless, a slave girl and a woman (his wife) tell him what to do.

4 Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents [b] of silver, six thousand shekels [c] of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman still doesn’t get it, he wants to power his way through. He goes to his King and gets permission and envoy to the Israelite King (notice the kings are not named, just their power is invoked). What’s more is that the assumption made by Naaman and his king is that the power to cure him lies with the power of the King. It is a natural assumption as Naaman was sent to Samaria, the capital of Israel (the Northern Kingdom – and thus the result of much of the quarrels and outcast status of the “Samaritans” in the time of Jesus; by Jesus’ time the fight had become about legitimacy for the capital and control of Israel). Naaman goes once again thinking that power of status, money and goods will get him what he wants.

7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

Now we begin to see more examples of powerlessness as Naaman entreats the King of Israel for healing, who recognizes he has none to offer. (When power meets power, no one wins).

8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

Elisha “speaks forth” to the King of Israel and to Naaman and invites Naaman into more powerlessness. Naaman is told to come to Elisha, when the powerful, like Naaman, never expect to go, but that everyone else will come to them. Naaman has to take a journey and put himself at the mercy of another person. And then Elisha angers Naaman even more because Elisha does not come to the door to speak to Naaman himself, but sends a messenger. Elisha calls on Naaman to display powerlessness once again to practice patience dipping seven times, to display trust, going to an Israelite River, and to do what yet another servant has told him to do.

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman’s pride stands in the way of going forward to act as he should. He lets his pride overcome service to God, through the words of Elisha. Remember the story of Peter and Jesus as Jesus goes to wash the disciples feet at the Last Supper, Peter’s pride stands in the way of service to God too.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Unable to hear the words of service from Elisha Naaman’s servants are able to talk him through the truth of what is at hand. Please note the several times to this point when service has met power and service has won out. (servant girl/Naaman’s wife; Naaman/King of Aram; Elisha/King of Israel; Elisha’s servant/Naaman; Naaman’s servants/Naaman)

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.”

This is a preview of Jesus and John at the River Jordan some 800 years later at the Baptism of Jesus, but has relevance in itself for the proclamation that there is no God in all the world except in Israel, which also calls us back to the story of Abram leaving Aram for Israel because that was the call of God upon his life. For Naaman he has finally submitted his power to the power of another, and grace and service win.

16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

Even after all of this Naaman doesn’t get it. The whole of Elisha is not wrapped up in power struggles and politics. Elisha heard of someone who sought the transforming power of God and offered to meet him where he was. Naaman was met by Elisha at the place of his infirmity through the powers that Naaman knew, and brought him to a new place in the understanding of God. This is a powerful lesson for us to hear, that evangelism is about answering the questions others bring with the grace and love of God, not inventing questions for others to have to wander through the maze.

17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD. 18 But may the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this.”

19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

Elisha teaches a valuable point to all of us today. Naaman seeks to be loyal and to continue to carry out his role. Elisha does not force Naaman to change, allowing God to work that act. Moreover, Elisha allows another person “their” religion as he gives Naaman the freedom to work with his King in an idolatrous temple. We should hear echoes of this in Paul’s writings to the Corinthians as they try to discern food laws and whether they can eat foods offered to foreign Gods. Elisha offers this in the face of great tyranny from the Arameans, continued battle with the one who has just proclaimed Israel’s God the only God in the land, and brutality to come. Elisha recognized that the boundary between one person and God is more important than political or power boundaries between peoples, and sometimes we have to cross the political and societal boundaries to achieve the connection between God and another person.


  1. 2 Kings 5:1 The Hebrew word was used for various diseases affecting the skin-not necessarily leprosy; also in verses 3, 6, 7, 11 and 27.
  2. 2 Kings 5:5 That is, about 750 pounds (about 340 kilograms)
  3. 2 Kings 5:5 That is, about 150 pounds (about 70 kilograms)

Imagine though, that you are Elisha, a good Methodist Pastor in the time of the Revolutionary War, and the General of the British Troops, a devout Anglican, comes to you, and asks to be healed. How might you react, and do you imagine such a response as we get from Naaman?

Or do you think you could offer healing to Osama Bin Laden’s lieutenant, even knowing that the attacks would continue, and the bloodshed would persist?

Where has service “trumped” power in your life or the life of your community?

Is there a need in your community to recognize, like Elisha, that the greatest need is for someone to recognize the power of God, regardless of the political and societal barriers between you and “them”?

My enemy is not the nation or the person in power, my enemy is that which reduces life to worry and suffering.

Christian Educators Fellowship

The lovely folks on the CEF 2008 design team are working hard to coordinate plans, people and more to get the full event in Albuquerque, October 24-27, 2008.

I am posting to let you know that I am still accepting workshop proposals for the event, to be reviewed before the end of August and letting folks know whether we will use their workshop, and how we might need to offer such great ideas as you present.

Please contact me through this blog for more information or check out the CEF 2008 Conference Website (and the workshops page) or the National CEF page.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

2 Kings 5:1-19

Lectionary Blog # 1 up and running.

Need some notes for Sunday July 8?

Check these babies out!

Monday, July 02, 2007


At least that's what it seems like when I have entered yet another rabbit hole.

Thanks to Jay and his very kind giving ways I now have a Pownce account. I guess that means I now have yet another avenue to send and receive even more files and such.

And to think I do all this without having an ipod or MP3 player. Sometimes the times pass me by, and other times I am close at hand.

But for more info about Pownce check this article out.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Sermon I Didn't Preach

Today, I went in ready to preach another sermon only to be reminded by the texts in our bulletin that I had prepared another sermon for today, so as not to double the texts that my guest preacher used last week.
So here is the sermon I had intended to preach today, until I realized otherwise.

Sermon title: “Life in the Spirit”

Sermon Notes:

This summer we are going to learn from the prophets. As one of the most misunderstood spiritual gifts, and yet one of the most fascinating I took this opportunity to jump on the lectionary to share some of the discoveries we have through the prophets of the Old Testament.

The most fitting beginning really is here with Elijah, as the archetype of Prophet. In fact, when people now reference Jesus as the summation of prophet priest and king the images brought forth are those of Elijah, Moses and David.

Elijah had a function similar to that of a current Bishop. He was responsible for the prophets throughout the region. He is just finishing his rounds of the local temples, and we see the fruits of those visits shortly with the presence of the other prophets. Elisha is the Bishop’s Assistant, following and doing the bidding of the Bishop as needed for the ministry at hand.

1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel."

Prophecy hears God’s call, but sometimes wants to put its own interpretation on it. For this reason we want prophets and prophecy to understand and be active in the Internal/External Confirmation process.
But Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel.

Do you hear the other scripture passages Ruth, “Whereever you go, I will go, your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” and Jesus, “Where I am going you cannot go.”?

6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan."
And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on.

Once again we hear the popular refrain that Elijah has that he is hearing God’s call that it is time for him to go. We do not know if he is shunning Elisha as a test of faith, as protector, for surely God would sweep all in Elijah’s presence into heaven as well, or whether this is just wanting to go and die alone.

7 Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

The prophet draws a crowd as he goes. Recalls the past and moves into the future, with the parting of the seas, as Moses did and as it was done for the crossing of the Jordan River with the Ark of the Covenant in Joshua. But the memory is only part of the story, nbot the story itself. Miracles become part of the commonplace for the prophet. They see them, create them and make miracles part of the everyday, that others might see God as clearly as they do.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied.

The prophet is always in service to those who follow, as Elijah is here with Elisha. Remember your inheritance laws, and the story of the Prodigal son, where the younger son asks for his portion, or the story of Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons, or Jacob and Esau and the story of their inheritances? The eldest son gets a double portion of the inheritance, before it gets doled out to the others. Elisha is not asking for twice what Elijah had in his ministry, just the portion that belongs to the eldest son.

10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise not."

Elijah recognizes it is not his ability to give spiritual gifts, but God’s alone, and yet if Elisha is there when Elijah is taken he will have been in the presence of God, shown steadfast friendship and should be deserving of such a gift. How would it be for us to search after God and those with Gifts so closely that when the time came for us to receive our inheritance God gave us a double portion of those whose gifts we emulate.

Additionally Elijah does something that is very foreign to us today. He chose his successor. Bishops today are chosen by the people, guided by God. Elijah treats this very much like a kingship, as have some of our models: Peter, Paul, Wesley and Schuler. The real test comes when the people have to decide whether that is the person they are going to follow. Again recognizing that internal and external confirmation of leadership.

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart.

Elijah has come to the end of his life and his friend is there, and his friend, who is like a son, lets Elijah know the time has come. We should also remember in this the Chariot of Fire that Ezekiel saw, and that Enoch, the father of Methuselah was also taken to walk with God, rather than die. We see and hear the Chariots as the harbingers of the incredible. And here we begin to see what happens when the new leader rises up to take his role with the people. Elisha begins by mourning the loss, and stripping himself of the old as he rends his clothes.

13 He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

He takes up his new mantle as the leader of the prophets, and goes to see if there is external confirmation of the internal change he hs felt, as he goes to the River Jordan and does as his master had done to part the seas. He takes chances with the miraculous because it had been done before.

15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 "Look," they said, "we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley."
"No," Elisha replied, "do not send them."

17 But they persisted until he was too ashamed to refuse. So he said, "Send them." And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him. 18 When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, "Didn't I tell you not to go?"

Elisha immediately sets himself apart from Elijah. Elijah was not going to change his mind in anything, for anyone. Elijah was also willing to send people to their death for the glory of God, regardless. Elisha is a prophet with the spiritual gift, and shows that Spiritual Gifts cannot be cloned, but instead are shaped by the individual and by God to meet the needs of the people at the time they have come to serve, and the people are never going to be the same.