Christian life

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Last week was a much welcomed and needed chain of events for me. My friend Lloyd from Canada whom I have not seen since last November came to town for a worship conference. He brought his two sons whom I have not seen in 10 years, since they left Kansas City and went back home to Canada, and 4 other friends of theirs.

It was great to see his boys and catch up with them as well as hang out with Lloyd, he is a great man of God, we helped plant two churches here in KC. This is what our time together was like.

On Wednesday we had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant, had a amazing Chinese girl wait on us whom came to find out was a believer, we had not only great conversation among our selves but with her to.

After dinner we attended the night of worship at the conference lead by Chris Tomlin, so Wednesday was a full night of fellowship, food and worship. We had church, international church, six Canadians, one American and one Girl from China.

Friday we had lunch at Oklahoma Joe’s, voted best Bar-B-Que in the country this year. Had a great time of fellowship and food. Then we went to IHOP and had a time of worship with Misty Edwards leading worship, one of the most passionate lovers of God around.

After 2+ hours of worship we went to the mall, where Lloyd ran into Herbert a guy he did ministry with in Africa 3 years ago, who has been involved at IHOP (House of prayer) and he and his wife to be are leaving at year end to plant a church in Columbia. After a great time of fellowship with them, leaning about Herbert his wife to be what God has been doing with them and where He is taking them. We went to some old friend I have not seen in a couple of years from my old church plant. We all had a home made spaghetti dinner. Two guys from China joined us that are staying with them, so it was very international, Americans, Canadians, Chinese setting down to eat Italian food. We had church again, all day church that is. Then we went out for ice cream and a movie. Then sadly my friends had to head back.

But what a time of deep fellowship in Christ, every day should be like that, good friends, good food, great worship and Christ in the middle of it all. That’s church. I miss those days when that was the norm for me. I want my life to be like that again, that to be a normal day in my life. All day church.

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I feel the need to splash the cold, but refreshing water of gospel truth in my face every morning for now on.

Why? The gospel reminds me not only of my right standing before God, but also that I brought nothing to the table with respect to my standing with God. The gospel is not something we leave at the front door to pursue Christianity without, as most do. I believe the abandoned of the gospel was at the heart of what Paul was referring to when he got upset with the Galliano. When he said that they began in the Spirit but deemed it necessary to carry out their life in Christ absent of the very thing that gave them life, the gospel (Galliano 3:3). They apparently thought, as do many Christians do today that the gospel was for the unsaved to hear to be saved but not needed to facilitate growth in or maintain their walk with Christ.

Without the foundation of the gospel, sanctification can become just a process of sin management, which is what it is for most Christians today. The gospel has been replaced with programs and how to strategies to keep their “sin managed”. It places a focus on me, my sins, my ability and my strength to live out Christianity. My self and other to define who I am. Versus focusing on Christ, His work, His power, and who I am in Christ. Paul indicates in Romans 7:7-14, that highlighting the sin to avoid will only make one gravitate towards it, this is why we must focus on the gospel and Christ.

The gospel ensures dependence on the work of the Spirit, since it is He who enables the believer to walk according to the gospel. The Spirit bears testimony to Christ and facilitates obedience to the gospel. We are able to accomplish this work because of the indwelt Spirit and His gifting not of anything, means of our own doings.

The gospel is the foundation of our Christian being. Spiritual maturity requires the gospel on an on-going basis. Growth and true fellowship cannot happen without it. So the next time we think the gospel is just for beginners, or that it is a message for only the lost, lets think again.

Therefore I chose to do as I stated above, to splash the cold, but refreshing water of gospel truth in my face every morning. To renew my mind every morning with the gospel, to wash away the filth of this world and the lies the enemy bombards me with daily to erode away the truth of the gospel and my position before God in Yeshua, my messiah, and Lord.

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Normally anything that comes our of church denominations I run screaming from, I have nothing to do with them because I know scripturally they are not to exist. Because they divide the body of Christ so I avoid them like the plague.

But early this year the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution on the need for their churches to be centered on the gospel. This resolution is not only very good but is worth passing on and for all churches to take acting on. Here is a different way of breaking down the concepts in the resolution and added scripture to it that Trevin Wax did to make it more palatable for the average Joe.

I would recommend reading this over and over tell it soaks deep into your mind and soul. Mediate on it day and night tell it because part of your DNA.

Gospel Truth

We are, every one of us, sinners against God and, apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, deserving of only condemnation.

* For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)
* For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23) (more…)

51ma-qyg1lL“The Kingdom Life” edited by Alan Andrews with several authors contributing to it, explores the practical theology of spiritual formation. The book brakes down  spiritual formation into two parts, process and theological. The books begins with the seven process elements and three theological elements.

The book does not go into great detail on all the steps for spiritual formation, and I would have liked for it to have more steps/examples than those given. I for one like to have more that the destination given to to, I like a good road map to get to the destination.

Several parts do overlap, but over all it is a good overview of discipleship and spiritual formation. A good recommended for a new Christian as well as for mature Christian to keep your mind refreshed and on keep on track with your spiritual formation.

Your life will truly be changed as you apply the truths of this book to your life. Put into practice what it says, it is a worthy read that you will benefit from no matter where you are in your walk with Christ. Here is a quote from page 119 that I like.

The spiritual heart can be strengthened, it’s passions made greater. Can we imagine that by engaging God in the way He recommends in Scripture, we can have a passionate spiritual heart that directs our transformation? That it would keep the internal and external in balance? That would bring congruency to all of life? It is crucial to understand that one does not arrive at such a state by wishing and hoping.”

That is what the book is about, knowing, applying, doing.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Not only does everything in our lives that is inconsistent with the Kingdom of God start to die the moment we encounter Him, but the superior, supernatural reality of His Kingdom starts to come alive in us. It is not possible to encounter One so overwhelming and maintain the status quo.

Those who respond to the invitation find little else to live for. Those who say no spend their lives looking for an adequate replacement. And there is none to be found, anywhere. – Pastor Bill Johnson

Love this statement by Pastor Bill Johnson, just to bad this truth is not being taught from every pulpit in America. All but the last two sentences of this quote should be found true of everyone who claims they are saved, a Christian.

6-2910Question that most people ask themselves is “What do I want to do with my life?” “What is my purpose?” “What is God’s will for my life?”, some of us seem to be asking that question year after year. It seems like the majority of people I talk with are seeking the answer to some form of those questions.

I think most of the time we answer those questions ether tied to the past, if I would have…I would be doing this… having this life. If only I would have done…….. I could be doing…! Or we make it futuristic, well if this happens….when I get……I will have the life I want. If God will……….then I will……….! If God would just speak! So until then we stand there like deer in headlight, dead in our tracks.

I read something today that opened my eyes, give me a possible answer, or at lest something to think about. “Just start creating life/purpose right now, right where you are with what you have and know, our life can only happen in the present moment, not tomorrow or in the next month”.

Maybe shifting our focus from thinking about what we don’t know to what we do know, that will enable us to real purpose right now and answer our questions above.

Having said that, in the specific question, “What is God’s will for me?” So many people do no ministry because they are waiting to find out God’s will.

The best way to know God’s will, is by doing what you know to do, so start doing what God has already told every follower of Christ is His will for your life, the calling of every follower is in scripture.

Like start with Mark 16:15, “And He said unto them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” So start today, right now sharing the gospel, with whom, with everyone you meet during the day, there is your answer. You do not need to wait for anything more, no sign from above, no training needed, because Jesus said He would give you what to say even, Mark 13:11.

More of God’s will for you…… Matthew 28:16-20, start making disciples, so start discipling someone, find someone to pour your life into, the life of Christ into. Start teaching the word of God to others, start with your family if you are married.

Next, starting doing Matthew 25:31-46 today, go feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit and pray for the sick, take in a stranger in need. That is a full day, full day of purpose right there, and those are God’s will for you, your life.

Putting everything together

  1. Preach the Gospel to everyone you meet daily.
  2. Be discipling others.
  3. Be teaching the word of God to others.
  4. Be feeding the hungry.
  5. Giving drink, water to the thirsty.
  6. Clothing the naked.
  7. visiting and praying for the sick.
  8. Take in a stranger in need.

By the way living like that is also being missional.

Mother Teresa said “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” and all of us can do that, if only that.

So if you are looking for the answer to “What do I want to do with my life” “What is God’s will for my life”, the above just might be the answer, the place to start anyway. Something to think about anyway.

061110This year is the 50th anniversary of Youth With A Mission, YWAM, they have sent over 2 million into the mission field in those 50 years. And I thank God to have been one of them, I spent 3 years with YWAM as a missionary. They where 3 of the best years in my life so far, I spent my time working to rescue teens living on the streets, mostly girls under the age of 18 whom where victims of human trafficking. We worked the streets in an area estimated to have around 30,000 to 40,000 teens living on the streets, all of them in prostitution, and drugs as well. The youngest rescued by our ministry was 11, yes a 11 year old girl living on the streets selling her self to survive. They were trying years, it was a hard ministry to do most of the time, the things I witnessed, man at his worst, but also was a time of great joy, so many teens where rescue, the community life I had with my fellow YWAM’s was true church in action, the true Christian life seen the books of Acts.

On November 28, 2010, yammers and friends of YWAM from around the globe will converge on the UofN Kona campus for a six day ­celebration of YWAM’s 50th Jubilee. I will share some of my stories and experiences in YWAM between now and the end of the year.

See YWAM 50th anniversary website>>>

060810How things have changed over the last 30 years, I was thinking as I was doing my evening bible study that how 20 years ago you could go to the tape library, book store of just about any church and could find the pastors teaching on any verse of the bible. The reason was most pastors taught through the bible, usually verse by verse.

Having spent 10 years at Calvary Chapel, I had heard teaching on every verse in the bible about two and a half times. I could go to the church book store and for $2.00 get teaching of any chapter of any book of the bible and take it home and hear teaching on it. Today I dare you to even find a church who’s pastor teaches the entire bible verse by verse. You will not find a CD with teaching on every verse of the bible for you to pick up, and that is a tragedy.

Today people are not being taught the word of God, they have no knowledge of God’s word, the Apostle Paul stated “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” (Act 20:27). Meaning he left out nothing of God’s word. But pastors today are shrinking from declaring the “whole counsel of God” that is all of scripture, all of the word of God.

The only places I know one can get, find verse by verse teaching for sure, find a library of CD covering every verse of the bible, that is every verse read and taught on is at Calvary Chapel, my old church, as well as most of the other Calvary Chapel’s. Pastors like Mark Driscoll and John Macarthur cover just about every verse of a book.  People say that that bible teaching is widely available to anyone in the US, but that is not true, we have a lot of teaching about the word of God, but not actual teaching of the word of God. We have a lot of teaching that tickles the ears, but not verse by verse teaching.

This must change, we need to fill the pulpit with men who can and do teach as the Apostle Paul stated “the whole counsel of God.” that is every word of scriptures, teach verse by verse through the bible leaving out nothing.

51410I took off the last 10 days from blogging and twitter (except for an tweet here and there) to do some revaluating of both. Doing some serious examination of both and their use.

In the last couple of years, I have become increasing disturbed by what is going on in the American church, by so many claiming to be Christian, and it has only grown worse the past few months. There has been so much of what I can only call junk and noise filling the air. I have grown in anger at all the corrupt doctrine being proclaimed by so many people on twitter, in their blogs, in books and by churches, i.e their pastors.

So I have reached the following conclusion to eliminate many people from my twitter list. And have eliminated all but a hand full of blogs that I will now read. I will no longer read books other than by trusted pastors and Christians I know and respect. I am eliminating the noise from my life. As the apostle Paul said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Gal 1:8

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.” 2Co 11:3-4

I must eliminate the noise from my life, and so I am. There is to much of another gospel being preaching in the American church. To many are proclaiming another Jesus, having received another spirit they have become wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I will go more in to specifics later, so I am eliminating all the bad and corrupted teaching and proclaimers of it. And I will be refocusing my blog and what and why I twitter. And I will be following a fewer people on twitter, and reading very few blogs.

I am stopping all the noise.

You might ask what I am specificity talking about, more on that later.

I have asked myself the question many times the last year… “What is the normal Christian reality or “Kingdom reality” that we are to be living?” I do not mean what is the popular belief today, not what is being taught from most pulpits, in most books today, but what scripture says is, that is what God says is. I keep wondering why do I read of one kingdom reality in scriptures, but see most living another reality around me. I mean if you pick up the NT read it and define what the normal life for a Christian. Then I asked myself the question, “Am I living in this reality? Are most believers living in this reality compared to that?

My answer to this question is, No. I believe that for to long we have allowed ourselves to live to far from living in true Kingdom reality. Christians, have taken themselves so far from living in Kingdom reality in order to embrace the American (Christian) Dream instead. What do I mean? I mean that the so-called impossible, miracles, healing, deliverance, preaching the gospel, making disciples, filled with the Holy Spirit and all His powers and gifting’s, etc. Act 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you“, John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do“. How many live in that reality day to day? Seek to live that way?

With the recent outpouring of the Spirit happening at IHOPU and other places I pray it will open eyes to God’s original plan, life for His people, what is to be normal. So many scoff at those whom the Holy Spirit and His gifts are being poured out on in power, at those who are living as the scriptures say we are to, doing what Jesus said we will do when the Spirit comes upon us. While defending a lifestyle not seen anywhere in scripture for a follower of Christ.

I feel as though this is the time for us to re-define what is “normal” Christianity; and lining up with God’s definition of normal. That we read the scriptures and say that is “normal”, the way my life is to look, the way I am to live, read Acts and say that is the way my life is to be, that’s normal Christianity and I want it.