Monday, February 14, 2005
I used to call in people's homes, to talk with them and pray but now I've no time left to call; I have to be away Attending meetings here and there, as loyal preachers must;How else can one keep up to date, when programs are discussed?
The phone bell rang the other day. A tearful voice said, "Please, could you find time to see my dad? He's sick and ill at ease."I could not call that afternoon. I had a conference on,where specialists in pastoral work discussed things pro and con.
The next day proved too late to call. The poor old man was dead. His folks were peeved and sent for Reverend Doctor Brown instead;(Though why they'd turn to him in need I cannot comprehend;No conference on pastoral work he ever did attend.)
My youth work here has all but died, though Doctor Brown's is fair;For while I run to institutes, my young folks worship there.You'd think my church would boom and grow; but strange to say 'tis not;For while I go to conferences, my church work goes to pot.
They stress evangelistic work, which every church should do;They plan a lot of institutes to take our deacons to. These "New Life" conferences tell us how lost souls from sin to pry; They only trouble is that now we've no time left to try.
Perhaps we've made a big mistake, as some profess to see. Perhaps most church work has become a vast bureaucracy. Perhaps our time would best be spent among the needy mob. Perhaps God's kingdom profits most by staying on the job.
If faith is like the dead sea; it is dead because all things flow to it yet is refuses to give of itself so others may live. I want a river of living water as my faith, flowing, causing turbulence when needed, peacefully flowing at times...I want to live..... abundantly.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
I believe the issue is not a one time confession, but spiritual growth... I see it as "no growth - no seed was truly planted"... Anyone can say I believe... demons believe, but they do not receive new life. They do not have their old nature crucified with Christ.
Action and growth...
To me one can still be very foul in the human sense yet receive Christ and struggle with sin that is still with in... but to just say..."I believe in Jesus and He forgave me", then go and not grow...something is wrong somewhere.
Faith without action...or growth (works) is dead. I think we have too many who are "osas" who are sitters in the pews on Sunday and forget God all week but "feel" secure about it.. This is also the problem of those who believe they can lose their salvation. Funny it is never "I can", but "you can", very judgmental. I have seen many that live as they want all week and just go get saved again every Sunday.... again something is wrong...they refuse to grow.
If we stop worrying about salvation... and think of it as not a destination or line in the sand we can concentrate on growth. If one grows, the natural thing is salvation.
I see salvation as a journey without end. To me salvation is growth...
A simple view is this.
A stream of conversion that moves and pours into a river of redemption and grows as it pours into the ocean of salvation that is Gods Love that has no end. As we grow and enter into Gods love we have the journey continue for there is no way one can find the ending of Gods love.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
As I have finished reading Brian D. McLaren’s book, The Church on the other side,
I was struck by Chapter 2.
I know I have been blinded too often of the effect we have, not just at our immediate
World around us, but even more as we have this blindness multiplied 1000’s of times over…meaning all Christians going blindly about missing what effect they have on others around them.
To me it is no wonder the Church - who should be an earthly reflection of Christ – is viewed as the enemy or even something evil to the world. We are a bit like the time of the Roman Church as it viewed itself a political Nation, flexing it's muscle, except now we are an “economic power”. Yet, with all this so called “economic power” we still miss the greater power, or lack it…in reaching the world with the message of the Kingdom of God.
When our individual actions show no love on the peripherals (me included) we have individuals whose lives are not touched but in fact tossed out – because of our sin (Blind Modernism). Yet, to see that individual actions impact collectively on a national and global level we must first see the devistations of not just individuals, but also of nations.
Personally, I have yet to discover the ramifications of all this. But it does bring to my mind a thought...
Have we in our focus on individual worship and freedoms lost sight of the “Universal Church”, even worse lost sight of the Kingdom of God?
So many Churches are programmed to say they are “the” Church”.
As one friend of mine pointed out as an example, the word “Baptist”. The definition of Baptist has for the most part lost it’s meaning to most people thus lost it’s impact.
You have Free Will Baptists, Calvinist Baptists, Liberal, Fundamentalist and on and on. Yet, many hang on to the title "Baptist" as if it were their savior. Just as “Bible believing” used to say “Bible centered teaching” now seems to say “ How we read and interpret the Bible is right here” implying “and no where else”.
As we cling to the many outdated and outmoded or “programmed” thinking often the world gets more confused and thus blurs what being a Church or worse being a Christian really means.
We must be willing to lose some of the “old baggage” of the old world church so we can move onto and into the new paradigm.
We need to decide what is more important, our little kingdoms or the Kingdom of God. What is more important to “get them to church”? or to receive more of God’s Children into the Kingdom.
It has become my prayer we lose the baggage we have created. The “us against them” mentality and focus on what makes and defines us as “Christians” Then those who once we would never fellowship would be brothers and Christ would be center of His Kingdom as we let our kingdoms fall.