Christian life

The goal of community with Jesus and His disciples was not to just gather, study the scriptures and leave. It was family with a focus. Friendship with a purpose. It is all about life on life discipleship.

Here is a scale and simple test:

You do Not have community: If you miss church and no one notices, so no one calls you to see why you missed.

You might have Good community: If you miss church and people notice, and you get phone calls after church wanting to know where you where.

You might have Great community: When everyone knows why you where not going to be there a head of time because they do life with you daily and know what is going on in your life.

overflowNear the top of your bathroom sink as well in your tub just below you drain plug lever there is what is call the overflow hole. It’s purpose is simple if the sink or tub start to overflow with water, the water go’s in the hole and down the drain instead of out on to the floor.

In scripture we are told to not only be filled with the Holy Spirit, but that we need to seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit, it’s not a one time filling. In fact we can obtain deferent levels of fullness of the Holy Spirit depending on the person and whether or not they are pursuing to be filled with and just how much they want of the Spirit in them. The scriptures make that very clear.

Well God gave us a overflow hole, a hole that just like the one in your sink and tub, allows excess to flow into it, or in this case out of and it you mouth. Jesus said in Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” And so it is, when you are so filled with the Holy Spirit, I mean really perusing the filling of the Spirit you overflow with the Spirit and it, He comes out of your mouth. Your words are Spirit induced, Spirit influenced, you find your talk is really the Spirit talking.

What ever you are filling up on, is what will come out of you overflow hole, if you spend you time studding and learning the word of God, the word comes out. Filling yourself up with praise for God, praise comes out. Filled up with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, things of the Spirit will be flowing out of you.

Some examples of what You will speak according the scriptures:

* The Word with all boldness.
* Utterance of wisdom
* Utterance of knowledge
* Prophecy’s
* Praises to God
* Faith and Hope
* Encouragement
* Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord

So what are you filling up on, what are you overflowing with, your conversations will tell others. Is it the Holy Spirit you are overflowing with, Gods word? Seek to be filled tell you are overflowing with the Holy Spirit. You must seek daily, even hourly to be filled and never be satisfied with the level you are at.

This is my goal, my daily prayer, that I be filled with overflowing of the Holy Spirit.

There was an article in this weeks Inc newspaper here in Kansas City, it was titled “Sex Sermons at Church? Yes “. The article was on two church here that recently had sermons on sex and it gave the high lights of them.

Both pastors endorsed premarital sex, said that it is old school Christian beliefs that used fear tactics to keep people believing that sex before marriage was wrong. “That one can not separate their sex lives from their spiritually. God crated sex for man to enjoy within a committed relationship and that is up to each to define committed relationship as they see fit for themselves”.

This is what happens when “churches” stop teaching the Word of God, believing and obedience to the Word of God always comes to an end. When church abandon the fundamentals of the faith for culture relevant life styles and beliefs.

I will leave you with the words of Jesus as to church that abandon the Word of God in exchange for a culture relevant life style, and the pastors who lead them.

Rev 2:20-23 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality.Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.

unemploymentSay you just got laid off or fired. Eventual you will face the interview question: What are you doing now?

This blog is about an answer to give that will be better accepted than draw unemployment.

Yes you look for a job, but the truth is you cannot job hunt for eight hours a day seven days a week. Once you read all the job ads, replied to any you are qualified for and are interested, what then.

So spend your days doing something meaningful with your time and that will not only keep up your spirits, give you something of quality to talk about in a job interview but will also have kingdom purpose.

But this is also good for you in your job hunt. Because when you talk about what you have done since you left the last company, you can present it in a positive light by talking about doing what you are doing now.

1. Create a job for yourself. Offer to work for free, do an internship at a company (I did this once at a Video Production Studio). That way you do not have a gap in your resume, resumes do not have show part-time or full-time or show pay or no pay. So volunteering at a company for a few of hours a day or week can ended up looking like a full-time job on your resume. And this can be very helpful to get experience in the field you want to get into, a transitional move on your resume as well.

Two and three is where the kingdom purpose can come in.

2. Work at your church. Do the things you always said you would if you did not have to work. A day or two at your church, in the office, in a ministry there. Churches are always in need to staff help, just ask your pastor is there something I could be doing for a day or two a week.

3. Work at a ministry. Such as a homeless shelter a food bank one day a week or even half a day. Even better start a ministry, that one thing that you have had a burden for, a calling you in your heart. Now may be the time to make it happen, get it going. You will be serving God and the Kingdom as well as again a resume doesn’t show part-time or full-time and it doesn’t show pay or no pay.

4. Start a blog about the industry you are in or want to go into. Blogging is a great way to keep up in your industry and network without looking desperate. Everyone who is unemployed should be blogging as a way to get their next job. They say you should be branding yourself for the job you want in three years. A lot of people even go as fare as to say your blog is the new resume. I just recently stated one on Leadership for this very reason read it here.

5. Go back to school. Take a class or classes in anything. Use the time to grow, better yourself. It does not have to be job related, just getting the most out of your time off, time to do what you have not had the time to do.

7. Teach a class. Volunteer to teach a class on a subject you have expertise on, it will keep your skills alive and refined, and give you something impress to add to your resume. You could check with local colleges, business groups and community centers, even at your church.

8. Start a company. Have you ever thought of going into business for yourself. Do you have a business idea? Your may never have a better opportune time than during unemployment. You have time, and you can try ideas and see what happens.

148342084 d7ad611ec8What kind of workers is Jesus looking, we read in Mat 9:39 He says “Pay the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”. In the verses prior to that verse we read that Jesus calls Matthew to “follow Him”, and He and the disciples eat a meal with sinners. Then Jesus goes about raising a girl from the dead, healing a woman who has been sick for 12 years, gives sight to a blind man and cast a demon out of a man. And after having modelled this to His disciples, He turns to them and says, pray for more help in the harvest, more workers to do what I just did, showed you to do. That’s the context for verse 39. This is what He is telling them to ask for help to do, the 38 verses prior and the next 42 verses of chapter 10 tell us to what the workers all to be called to do, what the field is and how to harvest it.

Then in chapter 10:1-9 He gives them the exact same authority to do what He had just be doing, to continue what He had just done. “And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” This is the kind of workers Jesus is looking for, and the type of work He has called His followers to.

1. Heal every disease and every affliction.

2. Cast out demons

3. Raise the dead

4. Make clean the unclean

5. And proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand (doing all of the above is the Kingdom at hand, being manifested on earth.

Notice only one has to do with talking and the rest have to do with demonstrating the power of God, manifesting the Kingdom on Earth. He is saying not only go out and share the word of the Kingdom but also do the work of the Kingdom. Something to think about.

At Mars Hill Church in Seattle, they use a lot of war expressions and metaphor to describe the mission of the church and the way they organize community. The Bible uses all kinds of war metaphor and imagery to describe the spiritual battle that we find ourselves in as believers on a mission (i.e. Ephesians 6), we must understand that we are in a battle against our sin and against the enemy, for the hearts of people that God is calling to himself.

trial study guideTheir latest sermon series, Trial: 8 Witnesses from 1&2 Peter, is a great example of that effort to connect the War we find ourselves in individual and as the church. Mars Hill is handing out a 200+page study guide in book form free-of-charge to every attendee of the church. I have obtained a copy and it is impressive. Here is the link to download:

Trial: Study Guide – This study guide outlines all details for this series of sermons, including Group Resources, Group Discussion Questions, Family Resources, Pastoral Parenting, Family Dinner Bible Study and more.

In the wake of this new series, many pastoral teams from other churches have been asking how to plan and strategize such an endeavor. Thankfully, Mars Hill is continuing to give away helpful information on how it structures its leadership, manages its programs, and generally leads the people God has called to participate in the church. To see how Mars Hill works from Bible book selection to fully themed sermon series, check out the 1&2 Peter Battle Plan.

Drafting a Battle Plan Downlaod.

Information obtianed and provieded by Deo Gloria

A random thought.

We are not called to invite people to go to an event crated to entertain people we call church. We are called to proclaim the Gospel, tell everyone about Jesus, preach the kingdom of God, to heal the sick and we are called to make disciples. So why is everyone obsessed with simply inviting people to an event they call church when we are not told to ever do that, Jesus did not come suffer and die for people to join a event called we call church. So then why is it the people are not proclaiming the gospel and making disciples?

Why are pastors so obsessed with proclaiming their church, lifting up the church when Jesus said “Lift Me up and I will draw men unto myself .” Why is their marketing all about the church and what has to offer in the way of an entertaining experience and not about Jesus and the Gospel. Why do they train their people to promote the church and not teach them how to proclaim the gospel to the lost, go to the lost with the gospel and teach them how to make disciples of the nations and not be salesmen for church attendance?

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I heard a presentation today that broke my heart, the speaker compared the Church to products like Crest and toilet paper. And that it needs to be marketed just like them, a commodity that needs to be packaged and marketed just like Crest.

Jesus and church are not commodity to be marketed like toothpaste. Church is an event of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the followers of Christ. Something that happens when those whom Jesus indwells, whom are filled with the Holy Spirit come together in community.

Is this what we come to, that church conference are put on just like an infomercial for some get rich business scheme. Like a Madison Ave. company meeting discussing their marketing tactics to improve and move their product. Like so fly-by-night pyramid scheme, with the CEO telling his managers they must get their sales teams fired up, get them motivated and produce sales or they are fired.

This is a said time in church history. I know the men speaking and they are good men, love God, they just have lost sight of Jesus and what the church is, how it is done. Lord may they get back on track.

Read my related posting here.

cats and dogsThere is a book titled: Cat and Dog Theology: Rethinking Our Relationship With Our Master.

In the book the author states. A dog says, ‘You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God.’ A cat says, ‘You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God.’

“This book challenges the readers’ understanding of their relationship with God. The God-given traits of cats (‘you exist to serve me’) and dogs(‘I exist to serve you’) can be similar to certain theological attitudes held by many Christians. In our personal theologies, some attitudes may draw us closer to God, and others can also pull us away from Him.”

I love his comparison, Today we have to many cat’s in the church, people who believe God is here to serve them. And we have to many churches that function on cat theology, one only has to look at the worship services to see that, they are designed to please the attendee not worship God, they treating the people as if they are God. As if worship is all about them, something to please them, be about them and their likes and dislikes. Worship has become about the band and songs that entertain, please the attendee not worship God. They even get marketing surveys to tell them how to do worship as to please the attendee. The bands, songs, the light and sound shows, and drama are all attendee focused, there only real purpose is for the people in attendance not God. Worship today is set up not to be an observed performance. Some of the people may sing along with the band, but that not the same thing.

Real Worship happens when we have a dog’s theology, we come to celibate, worship, love on, thank God for who He is and has done for us. Go not to be entertained (be the center, target of worship, be god), but to fall on our faces and worship, love on God with our own personal words of praise. Come with a new song in our heart to sing out to God. Seek after His face and presents and not stop tell He shows up in all His power and might that we might love Him face to face.

Which one are you, which theology are you? We need to get a dogs theology, get back to God is God and worship Him and Him alone. I long for the day with church is filled with the glorious presents of God, and the people are found prostrate on the floor before Him crying out Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty.

Ninaber'sThe most blessed man of God I know is my friend Lloyd, he is currently on his way to India to help rebuild a hospital, he just got back not to long ago from spending several weeks in Africa. I meet Lloyd in 2001 here in Kansas City, we joined a church planting movement on the same day and served on staff together for two years planting a church before he when back to Canada.

Lloyd is the father of four, two boys and two girls, lives in Canada (most of the time), so why do I conceder him so blessed of God, his life. Lloyd chose long a go to live for and serve God at what ever the cost. Lloyd has been all over the world doing God’s work, North and South America, Europe, Africa and India, India alone 3 times in the last three years.

Lloyd has his own business, so that he can work when he wants, and take off when ever he needs to go where ever and when every the Lord leads him to, he spends 4 to 5 months a year doing ministry. He has planted churches, pastored churches, preached the gospel across the globe, fed the hungry, built homes, church and hospitals. He can even lead worship, plays the guitar and sings.

Lloyd could work 50 weeks a year like everyone else and make really big money, but instead he doesn’t. He owns a modest home just barely big enough for a family of six, drives older cars, he could have a bigger more expensive house and drive new cars. But he rather live like he does so he can go into the world with the gospel.

His kids never had all the frills most kids enjoy today, all the expensive gadgets and toys, or designer clothes. But what they did have is a life that a lot of people only dream of, they had a father who showed them how to love, worship, live for and serve God with all your heart and take the gospel into the world. While other kids where playing Xbos 360 and Wii his where seeing the world, feeding the hungry in a third world county, learning how to plant a church, how to do evangelism. His kids where writing worship songs and singing worship, and even leading bible studies before they where old enough to drive. That is brining up a child in the way it should go. His daughter Melissa is now in college and the most in demand worship leader in Canada, now recording her second CD and she just turned 21. But she has had 21 years of first hand experience of serving the Lord around the world.

A life time of serving God by taking the gospel to the whole world, planting and pastoring churches. A beautiful and godly wife,two beautiful daughters and two sons all following and serving God, what more could a man ask for in life.

He is the most blessed man I know, has the life I would love to have.