A brief look at leadership in the NT church: “Who’s in Charge?”

In my last few newsletters I have tried to depict an ideal of the church as seen through the lens of the NT alone. I am deeply convinced that if we see “the Bride” living and functioning as she was intended to be – which I am confident means meeting in homes – we will be utterly captivated! What Elton Trueblood has written in regards to depicting the Christian family motivates me to keep writing about the true, hidden, biblical NT church:  “The intention is to depict an enduring ideal which is practically realisable and which, we believe, has such inherent attractiveness that its very depiction becomes a factor in the recovery and development of what is most precious in our civilisation as well as an antidote to some of our most distressing ills." (E. Trueblood)

Continue Reading…

“Now we know in part…”

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…”

Perhaps no message is more needed today than the realization that “for now we see in a mirror dimly”. We know in part, we prophesy in part, we function (as the body) in part, BUT someday this “partial living” will be done away!!  Someday we, indeed, all creation, will cease “groaning” and be set free from our “slavery to corruption”,  anxiously awaiting the redemption of our bodies! (Rom 8). In the meantime, brothers and sisters, we must know – in our heads and our hearts – that in our weaknesses (ie. knowing in part, seeing dimly, etc.) the Holy Spirit proves His power. As Jesus declared to Paul: “My power is perfected in weakness!”

Continue Reading…

Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century

This Spring I spent 2 days with the authors of The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century (by Australians Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch).  A couple of major things stand out for me that I wanted to pass on.

Continue Reading…

ONE BODY, MANY PARTS

Living with chronic back pain is a real pain! My life has been one continual struggle of pain management since re-injuring my back in November of 2003. Maria and I have learned a lot about the causes and prevention of back pain over these last few months.

Continue Reading…

The Forum for Uniting and Equipping the Church for Spontaneous Expansion

Dear Friends, This is a web site we can recommend:

http://xsorbit28.com/users5/spontaneousexpansion/index.php

The way of spontaneous expansion is not easy for such as we are.  This does not justify us in rejecting it; neither does it justify us in saying that we are doing everything in our power to encourage it if we have not faced and overcome this difficulty in ourselves. Roland Allen

Kingdom Math: 12 + 13=14

Kingdom Math: 12 + 13 = 14

Can I stimulate your thinking with a riddle, not unlike Samson’s, “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet”? The following thought came to me with some clarity recently as I was reflecting on Jesus’ Bride, the church.

Here it is: 12 + 13 = 14

For those of you who have been reading my articles lately you might be guessing where I’m coming from…. to others of you I offer this hint: think 1 Corinthians! Does that help?

The progression is really beautiful when you see it: Chapter 12 and the diversity of the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit, is followed quickly by the “excellence of  love” in Chapter 13. Finally, the question is asked, “What is the outcome then, brethren, when you come together?” and Chapter 14 unfolds an awesome description – really the best one in the whole NT!- of gathering together for mutual edification and functioning. “When you assemble, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation…”

The concept that came to me so powerfully is that without LOVE we will never have functioning with spiritual gifts the way God intended it!

Continue Reading…

The Greek Influences on Early Christianity

When Paul went to Corinth in 50 A.D., he said: “I am determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Please notice: into a Greek culture, which worshipped “knowledge”, Paul sought only to know Jesus! By divine direction, he preached a message void of “persuasive words of wisdom” but instead clearly demonstrated the Holy Spirit and the power of God. (I Cor. 2)

Continue Reading…

Church in the House…

Journey into the “church  at Bill and Jane’s house”

Come with me on a journey inside the “coming together” of the followers of Jesus that I dream about…

“And on the first day of the week, when we gathered together to break bread” Acts 20:7

This is the main meeting of the week, when the believers pour into Bill and Jane’s home, one by one, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and edify one another. Those who can, bring food and drink to eat and to share, which is an important “ingredient” to the Supper. Some of the poor or those temporarily unemployed have little to bring but are gladly accepted into the gathering. As they come through the door, the first thing is to greet one another with a “holy kiss” and reunite as a family.

The most common thing done in homes with families is to eat together, and the church in Bill and Jane’s is no exception. They reclined at the table and ate their meals together “with gladness and sincerity of heart”. There was much joy and spontaneous outbursts of praise and thanksgiving during the meal. Conversation around the meal included stories about work, family life and their walk with the Lord. Sometime during the meal, or after the supper, the bread was broken and eaten and the cup was passed and the wine was drunk. A fresh wave of reverence fell upon the gathering as they remembered the Lord’s death and judged carefully their “body unity” and love and care for one another.

Continue Reading…

Couples Retreat Announcement

Ok Couples,

You are invited to a life changing adventure!

We just couldn't offer this in a church setting. Or in the basement of a hotel. No, in order for a couple to get their hearts back, they've got to take a journey. One that involves risk, beauty, adventure and a point of no return.

The Fellowships of the Heart retreat is a four-day quest into the recovery of your true heart as outlined in John & Stasi Eldredge's books, Wild at Heart & Captivating.

Through teaching sessions, films, guided periods of reflection and journaling, question and answer, and small group discussion, this will be something far more than a retreat-its an expedition of the heart. You will never be the same.

The adventure will begin on the evening of Thursday, July 21st at 6 p.m.. We'll be based at Westwood Retreat Center in Kerrville, Texas.

Our prayer is that this weekend you will meet with God and he will change your life.

This retreat will be in an intimate setting and is limited to ten couples.

What to do in preparation:
Men – Read Wild at Heart
Women – Read Captivating

Registration includes Food, Lodging and all activities.

Visit http://www.fellowshipsoftheheart.com for details and to register.

Please comment if you have any questions. 

Praise and Worship with the Kids

Pbc_2_logo_1

We've just come across a great resource called the Praise Baby Collection.  Its a DVD series that's modeled along the same lines as the Baby Einstein series and combines popular praise and worship songs with colorful animation and real world objects.  All our kids (ages 3 months to 5 years) really enjoy watching it, and its great for adults to sing along with as well.  We think its a great way to involve the kids and adults in a time of praise and worship. 

You can buy them at Wal-Mart for less than $10 each.  If any of you have used these, let me know what you think.

Continue Reading…

Page 86 of 88« First...607080«8485868788»