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4-1-16_bible_journaling

Nothing better than starting my day in the Word, God speaking to me about His word. Then worship with one of my fave worship leaders at IHOP-KC, Lauren Holmes, the Spirit moving all morning, though His word, though worship, priceless.

And if that was not blessing enough, taking in the Passion for Jesus conference, God is blowing me away. God is so awesome.

Follow all that up with the EGS tonight with more worship and the Word, a Jesus feast today.

Update: It was a amazing day of fellowship with God, in His word, in worship, teaching at the Passion for Jesus session, then the EGS was so filled with the presence of God, the worship was filled with the Holy Spirit moving in us. God’s presences was like a fire in me all day. Nothing like spending the day in fellowship with Jesus. The Word of God working in you, realigning you all day.

Here is a clip of the Lauren from the morning worship.

 

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Monday night I went to be part of a ministry my friend Bruce has called Worship Wagon, they hold church services for the homeless under a bridge in the City Market area of the city.

When I arrived, I help set up the sound system, some chairs, then volunteers (that come from different churches every week) lead worship, and give a message, the service lasted about an hour. Then a food truck from a ministry that feeds the homeless showed up and served a meal. During the whole time us who volunteer to go around offering prayer to everyone, and mingle making conversation with them and sharing Jesus with them.

 

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There were about 50 homeless people there, apparently just across the street in the woods there are several homeless camps with about 100 people living there. I left feeling like more need to be done, maybe is just for myself, that I need to do more. But I have nothing to give, no help to offer anyone, at this point in life I cannot even help myself with my own needs, I too am in need of much. I may not be living on the street, but like them I have nothing and am need of everything.

The most interesting, and most heart-wrenching part was the bus ride there and back, it should have been a simple and quick bus ride from the corner from where I live to there, at least it should have been. That story will be another post.

 

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I cannot help but think of Jesus words in Matthew 25:31-46 “35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’”

That means when I look upon those in need I am looking at Jesus, that is where you find Jesus, not in multi-million dollar church buildings, with their cup holder in the seats and a Starbucks in the lobby. You look in his face when you look in the face of the homeless, poor, hungry, the needy.

When I say that I am only quoting Jesus, read His words above, if you have a problem with that take it up with Jesus when you stand before Him. Of course according to Him is this how that will go.

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. “

If those words of Jesus do not make you stop and think about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus, to be in a deep relationship with Him, I don’t think the fear of God is in you. Jesus’ words make me take a good look at my relationship with Him.

The gathering and more so the event that occurred on the bus ride home (more on that later) effected me so much, so deeply that I went to bed thinking I would not go back next week, it’s just to emotionally hard for me, after all what can I do to help anyone, change their situation. I went to bed depressed, full of sadness, and tearful.

Then this morning I remembered what the Lord had taught me just two weeks ago, and I figured out it applies here, He was preparing me for last night. That just like when Jesus told the the disciples to feed 5,000,  they said “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” , “we don’t have enough” in other words. But Jesus took their “not enough” blessed it, and it miraculously became enough.

So I am going to stop telling God and other what I don’t have, take what I do have, my not enough, and give it to God. And if God so chooses to take my few crumbs of bread, and bless it to feed, five thousand, Praise God. And then He and He alone will get all the glory.

I am going to get off my butt and take a place before God that exhibits some measure of faith, and use what I have, even my not enough.

I’m going to stop cursing my not enough and I’m going to begin to bless.

 

This is a weird generation that we live in, that we say things like hey, did you go to church today? How was church? Because in our mind this so normal to us, because we think of church as a building or we think of the church as a service you attend, but that’s not biblical.

When you think of church don’t think movie, think gang.

Think of church like a gang, like joining a gang, you don’t say what time is gang today, how was gang today? No, you jump into a group of people 27/7 you change your identity, have a sense of belonging, you commit your life to it, to the others in it.

You go to a movie, you have no attachment to it, you go to it, you set there for two hour and watch it happen, you have no part in what goes on, then you go out and critique it, whether you liked it or not.

Family, that’s what God wanted. that’s what he wanted of the family, just look at the Bible, look at these people. There was a deep, deep commitment to one another, it was not something they just attended.

In Acts 2:42 it says they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching in the Fellowship to the breaking of bread and the prayers. It says They devoted themselves, in John 17, Jesus prayer was not just that we put up with one another, He says Father want them to be one, I want them to be one just like you and me are, your in Me and I’m in you, that they may be in Us.

Jesus wanted our unity to get to that level that would parallel the father and son in their unity, so he wanted tremendous love in his church.

This is what happened in the first church, they devoted themselves to each other, they devoted themselves to fellowship, this is what matters, this is what needs to happen in the church. this and what God wants of the church.

God says don’t come like your are going to the movies, He said devoted your selves to Fellowship, be one just as Jesus and I are.

Devoted to one another, devoted to this fellowship devoted to these relationships, that is suppose to describe the church, be how it functions.

That’s what church was supposed to be, devoted to this, walking together, your a gang now, your a family now, your body now, one part hurts the whole part hearts. Let’s get back to that.

Church is not something you attend, it changes your whole identity, you have a common purpose now.

You’ve got this sworn allegiance to one another, you sat let’s go let’s go, we see something much bigger than ourselves to devote ourselves to.

In John 13:35 Jesus said “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Do you get that, Jesus said everyone will know your my disciples because of your love for the body. Not because you go to church, not because you say you are, not because you can quote some bible verse. But because you love the body of Christ. And we learn in Act’s 2 he means in actions, proven in daily deeds.

It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that.

If we can’t get this figured out, does God really want church that isn’t known for its love, it’s just known for a good speaker, a good worship band or good programs, a good juggler to entertain them. Is that really what he asked for? No it’s not.

What does the Bible emphasize.

I’m saying what does the bible emphasize?

If a ten -year-old red read this, what would be obvious to him or her, of what this book emphasizes?

Let’s was look at what God prioritizes and let’s make those our priorities. Not programs, strategies, marketing plans, or charismatic speakers, juggler or a rock show. But love for one another, being devoted to one another, being devoted to the blood and body of Christ.

I’m at an age where I’m going, man, all I want is this, I want to emphasize what God emphasizes, prioritize what God said we are to.

He said this is how the world to believe that you are my disciples. They walk in and go Look how they love each other, look how they are devoted to each other. Their so different yet look at the bond, look at the way they sacrifice for each other. I’ve seen glimpses of this when I was at Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa back in the day.

It was that type of love that the world was supposed to look on and go, I want to part of that, part of what Jesus prayed for.

I’ve just started looking at Scripture and thinking if we can’t build a loving church, should we have a church at all? Malachi 2:3 says “Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it.” God’s people where bringing Him lame offerings, not what He asked for, and God said He was going to rub dung in their faces and reject them for it. Think about that, God said He was going to rub crap in their faces. God is never happy when we offer Him what ever we want, only when we bring Him what He wants.

I want that one day, where wherever were so connected ,were not just a bunch of people attending a sermon. But that there’s a deep, deep love like in the early church, where they are giving the shirt off their backs to one another. There wasn’t a single needy person in the place. Where the people are one just like Jesus and the Father are, that devoted to, that in love with each other, that type of church that I want to be a part of.

 

 

I want to gather with People who love God and have a daily deep abiding intimate relationship with God, with Jesus, with His word. Who want a love relationship with the body of Christ so deep so intimate that is a answer to Jesus prayer in John 17:21. Who is devoted to the blood and body of Christ. Who’s life purpose is to Go and make disciples. I am seeking others who want that, who are seeking that, above all else. What I am looking for is what the bible describes as a real follower of Jesus, what the real body of Christ, the church looks like, acts like and is.

We can’t just be a bunch of people that come in the room and face forward and hear a sermon, that’s not what God asked for. You can justify all you want, but that’s not what I see in Scripture. okay where going to be a body.

We’ve got to be a body, be a family, so, so that our neighbors look on they are in awe.

I’m not looking for a place to show up, a place to attend. I’m not interested in helping someone filling up the room with people.

I’m not looking for the right worship team, right kids ministry, best juggler or what ever.

I want a body, I want to be a part of this, what I read about in Act’s, what Jesus said would be know for its love for one another.

 

Did you ever walk in to or join any type of church thinking, here’s my goal to get as close to these people at the father is to the Son.

This is the way he ordained it, this is Jesus prayer, we are totally ignoring his prayer. This is the prayer of Christ, is this type of unity

This is God desire, this is what church was supposed to be. We’ve turn it into something else.

This is how their going to know you are my disciples, love, I don’t care how good the guy up there speaking. I don’t care how good your music is. I care if you have the best childcare workers, best building. it doesn’t matter, love, that’s what matters. This is how you can tell whose of God, whose of Satan.

 

If we want to impact the world, it’s not going to be through preachers and programs and great bands. It’s going to be through our unity and our love.

Part 1-  Church God’s Way

Part 2 – Church – Christ Centered

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

I just read some of the work of Samuel Chadwick, a pastor who lived from 1862 to 1932, I was so moved by his passion for being a pastor. this is what he said..

Samuel Chadwick on Preaching
I would rather preach than do anything else I know in this world. I have never missed a chance to preach. I would rather preach than eat my dinner, or have a holiday or anything else the world can offer. I would rather pay to preach than be paid not to preach. It has its price in agony of sweat and tears and no calling has such joys and heartbreaks, but it is a calling an archangel might covet; and I thank God that of His grace He called me into this ministry. Is there any joy like that of saving a soul from death? Any thrill like that of opening blind eyes? Any reward like the love of little children to the second and third generation? Any treasures like the grateful love of hearts healed and comforted? I tell you it is a glorious privilege to share the travail and the wine of God."

Oh if only the churches in America where filled with such men today, do you even know of one pastor who would make this same statement, “I would rather preach than eat my dinner, or have a holiday or anything else the world can offer” or say “I would rather pay to preach than be paid not to preach.”

If the Lord gave me a chance I would do it, and for nothing, no salary required. And I would preach from sun up to sun down seven days a week.  Like Samuel said above, “Is there any joy like that of saving a soul from death?” What Job, what pay check could be more desirable than that? None!

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I started fasting the first of August from all news for the month, no network news, no web news, no CNN, none. Except for what came across Twitter and Facebook, and people telling me about something, I stayed a way from the news.

I also fasted from politics, did not care about the election in the least, did not what to hear about it or talk about it. Except for a few conversations that others started about politics, of which I changed the topic as quickly as I could, I sustained from the rhetoric, Mudslinging, name calling, from the lies, deceptions of all the candidates, from both parties.

It has been wonderful, I noted a big attitude change in my self, my thoughts not as negative and my conversation more focused on meaningful things. It been great to unplug from the world news and politics.

In fact its been so great I have, I can honestly say that No News is Good News.

So I will continue to fast from the news and politics for the rest of the year, and the first of January I will decide it perhaps it will be permanent.