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Writing about the fallen state of the visible church is not my favorite subject, but others keep bringing it up and this is what the Lord has been showing me.

Regarding fellowship at church, as to going to church for “fellowship” let me define it as I see it in scripture, and what burns in my heart.

To go to church to have 5 to 10 min conversations with people once a week is no way biblical fellowship, that I see in scripture anyway, nor is that what my heart longs for. That’s the same level, depth of relationship I have with the check out girl at the Wal-Mart I shop at. Same as the girl behind the counter when I go to Chipotle. In fact in a way I have more fellowship with them because I see them more than once a week for 10 min.

The fellowship I seek at a gathering of the church, and see in scripture is deep, is wide and 7 days a week (Acts 2:40-46). And as for me I do not go to have conversation about worldly and, trivial things. I don’t want to hear about what cute things their  kids did, the new car they bought, what they did at work, what they think of the president. And I most certainly don’t go to be a target from someone’s networking to make sales for their job or the business they own, or someone trying to sell a house to me. How does gathering with a group of people talking about worldly and, trivial things further me in my walk with Christ, equip me for the work of Christ? It doesn’t.

I go to fellowship in Jesus, about Jesus, with followers of Jesus, to make much about Jesus, I want to hear about what God’s teaching them from the word that day, week, what they got out of their daily bible study. What God is doing through them, their part in the the mission, how God is fulfilling the great commission and Matthew 25:31-46 through them. I want to hear what God is saying to them in their prayers, a word they got from the Lord for the body. I want to Pray for one another, and I don’t mean for things like a promotion or raise at work, a better deal on a new house, but praying things like Ephesians 1:17-23 for each other.

I want to hear about their relationship with Jesus, hear what their part is in the mission is, not their pursuit of money and worldly things.

Yes there is a place and time for chit chat about the other things of life, about the kids and work, but the gathering of the church is not the place or time, no where in scripture do we see that.

When I meet someone for the first time at a gathering I don’t want to be asked, “What do you do for a living?”, “Where do you work?” , I want to be asked “How are you fulfilling the mission?”, “What are your Spiritual gifts?”, “What did God say to you in prayer this morning?”, “What did God say to you in your study of the word this morning, this week?” As you can see those questions can only come from someone who is walking with Jesus, can answer the same questions. They must be a person of prayer, one studying the bible, and living on mission,  a person walking in the light as 1 John 1:7 says.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:7-8, NKJV).

This verse leads me to see that  fellowship of the saints is defined by our walking in the light as Jesus did.

So then, if we as individuals are walking in the light of the Father as Jesus did, then we are also His sons as Jesus is and it is out of this fellowship with the Father that we also have fellowship with one another. Think how rich that fellowship would be if all were in tune with the Spirit of God as we should be. One person’s light, passion would be illuminating and kindling the other person’s, until all were brightly shining and freely moving under the anointing of the Spirit, and engaged in the mission.

I want to gather with those who are “walking in the Light”, I can only have the kind of fellowship I seek, that I see in scripture in the first church if the others are truly  following Jesus. How can I talking with them about their part in the mission if their not in mission. Talk about the word of God, if they are not diligently studying it daily. Get a word from God from them when they are not intimate with God, a person of prayer, spend time every day before the face of God on behalf of others. I can’t.

Read my 3 part post on

I’m Tired of Church in America

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 2

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 3

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How do I fix my eyes on Jesus, how do I behold His glory, gaze at Jesus? The bible,  community of Jesus, i.e. church, where we can make much to do about Jesus, talk about Jesus, the gospel, celebrate with one another who Jesus is and what He has done. Sing to Him and about Him to one another. This gathering, what we call the church should be where I can go and get all that, it is to be a profound boost to the soul, our spirit for the rest of the week.

I Love to set around with good brothers in Christ, have good food, good drink and just talk about Jesus, How God is moving in this, works in that. Dig into the word, and dig deep into the gospel.  That helps me fix my eyes on Jesus, keeps me on mission.

I want to be around people who talk about Jesus, I want to read about Jesus, think about Jesus, talk about Jesus, listen to things that point me to Jesus. I do Not want my conversation at a gathering of the body to be focused on worldly things, the cares of this world. Jesus said Don’t be like the gentiles in Mt. 6:31-32, don’t be concerned with the things they are.

That why when I gather with the body I do not want to talk about politics, work, money, material things. I want to talk about Jesus, the gospel, God, living for Jesus. I want to discuss Jesus, the gospel, Not how to make more money, or be the target for someone’s networking to make sales. I gather with the body to be in the presence of Jesus, and glorify Him, not ignore Him.

When I was at Calvary Chapel, what seems a lifetime ago, there was a group of us that went out for dinner after the Sunday and Thursday night services , with bibles in hand we had dinner while digging into the word, discussing the study we just heard. We would get into the nuts and bolts of life with Jesus. We where there sometimes tell one or two o’clock in the morning. Loved it, that’s where real fellowship in Jesus happens. That’s what a gathering should look like.

For me a gathering of the church must be like this, a place I can go and have fellowship with Jesus in the company of others doing the same thing. Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) if that is true, the reason we gather, then how can not every conversation be about Him?

Somebody point me to a gathering of believes that are madly in love with Jesus, are following Him, where all they do when they gather is talk about Jesus, the gospel, and I’m in.

I’m Tired of Church in America Part 2

I’m Tired of Church in America

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As one who is is passionate about a face to face relationship with God, through Jesus, who desires real relationships with other such passionate followers of Jesus. Who are actively living on mission with Jesus, spending their days preaching the gospel, making disciples, and fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46. Those who are truly seeking to “know nothing but Jesus and Him crucified”. Who are joining Jesus in his suffering for the cause of the gospel, to reach the lost. I seek to gather with such people, for the purpose of encouraging and equipping each other for the work. To pray with and for each other. To fall on my face, dance and shout before the living God of Israel in worship together. That’s a gathering of the church that I desire to be part of, seek.

I thought I was alone in my desires to gather with that kind of body, to read the bible and look at a church and see what I read, that looks like and is doing what I reading (especially Acts chapter 2). Then a follower of Christ whom had become my fave pastor for about 6 years, stated seeking the same thing, preaching the same stuff that was in my heart, he also is tired of what we pass off in America as church. Then in 2010 he left his church because he could no longer do church American style. His name, Francis Chan, he is my hero, we are on the same page, of the same heart, and I believe same leading of God. We both want to open the bible, read what it says and do it, live, just do it. And what the bible says about church, we want to have a church that is doing just that, that looks like that, what we read in scripture. Now others have joined us in our passion for real church, like David Platt (read his book Radical) whom is among a growing list of others join us in our quest.

I seek to gather with those whom are “suffering for the sake of Christ” and “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” they live their lives striving to fulfill the great commission, in making disciples, setting free the captives, feeding the hungry.

Gather with those who “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus”. Follower of Jesus are in an army, that is at war, and I want to gather with my fellow warriors, not those who in words alone claim they are, but who are actually living it out, daily. I what to live on mission and be surrounded by those whom are also doing so, also sharing in the suffering for the gospel sake, for Jesus.

I do not desire to gather with people to eat donuts and hear them talk about how much money they make, what they did at work that week. The new car or house they just bought or want. Politics, what this party did vs that party, or about who’s in office or should be, the cares of this world (that we are told not to get entangled with, 2 Timothy 2:4) . I want to talk about Jesus, the gospel, souls that where saved that week, the naked that where clothed and those need to be clothed, how they feed the hungry. How they are fulfilling the great commission and Matthew 25, and how can we this week.

I do not want to hear cute sermonettes, I want to hear the word of God taught Word by Word, in light of the gospel, that I am reminded of the gospel, and equipped for good works. Be reenergized after doing battle with the world proclaiming the gospel. Come in weary from my labors for Christ and be sent back out reenergized  that I might go back into the battle, go and tell the world what Jesus has done. I don’t what to be giving good coffee and a great guest experience. I want to gather with those that they and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, and in proclaiming the gospel and making disciples, and actual living it out daily.

I want to Pray with those who prayers are about being strengthened to carry out our work, for our brothers in chains for Christ around the world, that the captives in human trafficking be set free,  the needs of the poor, this sick, the starving billions. And not for the best parking place at the mall, a bigger paycheck to waste on themselves, a even bigger house, more expensive car.

I want to gather with the followers of Jesus who desire to “be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”. not be entertained for an hour.

Like the saying goes “water seeks its own level”, so I  seek a true biblical church of witch the body is living at the level of life with Jesus that I want. That is “Going”, that are giving food, giving drink, taking in, clothing, visiting and going to. I no longer want to be brought down to the low level that the American church is at. I read the bible, the book of Acts and see what the church was doing, what the disciples where doing and say that’s what I want, the level I want to live at. So I seek a church at that level, and not just a hand full, or a few.

I do not need or want the American church, what I need and desire is to gather with my co-labors in the gospel, God’s coworkers in the gospel of Christ, as the Apostle Paul says.

Read Part 1 here

Four minutes of awe-inspiring illustration of eternity by Francis Chan my favorite pastor. If you really get his message it will change your perspective about life and what it is really about, what matters most.

Does making lost of money really matter? No. Does having a successfully career really matter? No. Big houses, expensive cars, fine clothes, lots of material things? No. Which political parties your in, who’s president? No.  In light of eternity none of those things matters one bit, has any effect on the next billion years.

We should ask ourselves is what I am doing right now, spending my time, my life for, matter in regards to my eternity, and the eternity of those around me?

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It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:13 in that verse Jesus was referencing Isaiah 56:7 where God said “For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

Sadly I can count on my fingers how many churches I could walk into and say this is true of, and have fingers left over. And that is a sad testimony for the church in America. I thank God that I have the International House of Prayer (IHOP) here in KC when I can go 24/7 and both worship and enter into prayer with the brethren. I often go on Friday nights to the Encounter service, witch is 6 hours of Worship, Prayer and a study of the word. Love it, I usually spend 4 to 5 hours there in worship and prayer with others, giving and receiving prayer, and worshiping God, that’s what I talking about. That should be the norm for a church. If you cannot go to your church, especially on Sunday morning and engage in prayer with the body (and I don’t mean a 3 min prayer time), its not only a tragedy, but according to Jesus, its not His house, His church your in. Because His house, church will be a place of prayer, prayer for the nations. Prayer should be central to every gathering of the body of Christ, the church.

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I’m tired of going to church and seeing a big production. I’m tired of feeling like I’m at a rock concert or a funeral  when it comes time to worship in church. I’m tired of hearing shallow sermons presented with a flashy power-point and HD videos. Tired of message that are carefully filtered to be PC, not to offend anyone, so that it would Not Convince, rebuke, or exhort anyone. I don’t go to church to be entertained, I can entertain myself well enough on my own time. I don’t go to hear a sermon that sounds like a self help book. Of going to church that you do not need to bring your bible to. I feel that it would be too much to ask to simply have a pastor open the bible and expound on the word of God. I come to church to be with others on the same mission, Jesus’ mission He sent us on and to be equipped for that mission, to share the gospel and make disciples.

When I read the scriptures that is what I am longing for, what I read about in Acts, what I read church to be, is want I long for.

I want to erase everything I have learned about church in America, in bible college, seminars, books and the church. I want to open my bible and do what it say church is! Read what is God saying in the scriptures church is about and what the first church did, read it and go and do it. I want a church that looks just like that, what I see in the bible. I Would not come up with what we have in America as church by simply reading scripture, that’s not what would I come up with for what church is if I just read the scriptures, not what I see today. (more…)

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This is the woman I am looking for.

There are many things I could post about her, but it comes down to her pursuit of Jesus.

A woman who is firmly seated upon her identity in Christ. A woman who doesn’t need me to feel whole. A woman who abides in the joy of our heavenly Father because she’s aware that He sings & dances over her. A woman of the scriptures who is more concerned with intimately knowing her Creator than filling her head with knowledge. A woman who understands the Gospel is of first importance, not reformed vs Lutheran or arminianism vs calvinism or pre-trib vs post-trib. A woman with a heart burdened for the least of these, passionate for the poor, the naked, hungry and thirsty, who doesn’t mind getting down and dirty and loving them in tangible ways. A woman who can appreciate long biblical discussions over dinner. A woman who spends time with her Abba in the secret place, found on her face before God daily. Who is passionate in worship, who cannot contain her love for God sitting in a pew, she must dance and sing to God, shout out her own words of love to Him. A women with a heart for the body of Christ & a desire to serve it well.  & ultimately, a woman who sees no greater purpose in this life than to make much of Christ & Him crucified.

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When a married man says, “I love my wife even though I Lust after every pretty girl that I see,” is lying to himself, what he’s really saying is his heart goes out to his poor wife while his flesh goes out to every pretty girl. The husband is essentially split in half: he’s not a whole person, he is not wholehearted towards either of them. He isn’t really loving either of them, that’s not love. And this is where Jesus was most clear about real love. There’s a maturity there that does not see in part but loves in full. It leaves the childish ways of playing with toys that you leave on the floor; while yelling at your parents demanding more toys still yet. He is the immature child that has a toy in hand but screams and throws a temper tantrum wanting the toy another child  has, he either appreciates or loves neither of them. Love sees sincerely, without hypocrisy, love seeks after the good of the other, it is single-minded.

Love cannot exist in a lie, saying you’re in love with one while desiring, lusting after another is a lie. Love is bound in truth, and in such it is fully alive.

In Greek there are five types of love, they are found in the bible. One being Eros (???? ér?s) is passionate love, physical or sensual desire and longing.  i.e. Lust. Another is Agape (???? agápe) which means “supreme love, an ‘unconditional love”  as in “I love you” i.e. In love with, the highest form of love.

I believe that too many men sadly and mistakenly marry someone for Eros, out of pure lust for them, not because they are In Love with them, and therefore they lust after others, because their heart is not in the marriage. They are not In Love with their mate, only in lust with them and lust is never faithful, it covets without end. So it will continually seek what it does not have, seeks fulfillment, it’s never satisfied. It wants only what it does not have. But no one who marries someone because they Agape them, are In love with them, will lust after another, they will not because the one has their whole heart. They are satisfied, fulfilled, their heart has what it wants.

I have married guys who lust after other women tell me I do not understand because I not married, which is nonsense. you don’t have to be  married to know that is wrong, not normal. And I have been in many long term relationships and I never once lusted after another woman while in a committed love (Agape) relationship. I was engaged once and I never even as much as noticed another girl. Why would I, I was in love (Agape) with her, she had my whole heart, she was the only girl I wanted, I was in love with her. She meets my every need, she lacked nothing that I wanted or needed in a woman. No other woman could have offered me anything, I was deeply in love with Joan, as the song by Art Garfunkel goes, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, and I did only had eyes for her. My eyes, my heart, my mind desired her alone and none other. That is at the heart of being In Love with someone, you only want  them. That’s how you know they are The One, The Only one you want to spend your life with, and so it was with Joan. I never, ever betrayed Joan even once, not even with my eyes.

So I am speaking from experience, I believe based on my life experience, as well as other married men whom I have known that were in love with their wives that it is imposable to truly be in love with one woman and lust after every skirt that walks by.

I will leave you with the lyrics to “I Only Have Eyes For You”

My love must be a kind of blind love.
I can’t see anyone but you.

Are the stars out tonight?
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright.
I only have eyes for you, dear.

The moon may be high,
But I can’t see a thing in the sky.
‘Cause I only have eyes for you.

I don’t know if we’re in a garden
Or on a crowded avenue.

You are here, so am I.
Maybe millions of people go by.
But they all disappear from view.
And I only have eyes for you.

 

Pastors you’ve got a choice: you can shepherded a church or run a country club. If you’re going to shepherded a church, you’d better offer Jesus and the gospel on Sunday. If you’re not, you’d better build a golf course, because you’re not going to get away with being a country club with no golf course.

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After taking off almost 4 months from Blogging, I am back, well maybe. I took a break do to the turmoil my life was, still is in. As well as I have been re-thinking my whole social net working presence. Blogging as to should I keep on blogging, is so for what purpose. As well as Twitter and Facebook, if I should even keep them up as well.

After all does anyone really read my blog, or my Tweets and FB? does what I say really matter to anyone?

So I will be working through, both thinking and experimenting with by blog for the next few weeks to see if I will keep it up, end it, try something new. With my life (if you can call it that) in such turmoil this might be a bit of a challenge for me at this time, but what better time is there to reboot every aspect of yourself.