Heart-fire

We need God’s heart-fire! Christianity is much more than a mind informed about the Bible. It’s a heart continually ablaze with the presence of the living, risen Jesus Christ! Are you in a relationship with the living, risen Jesus?

heart-fire

There’s nothing like Jesus’ flames cascading in your soul! Experience the cause that refreshes — daily spreading the love and joy of Jesus!

Beyond Pulpit To Being God’s Puppet

Like a puppeteer with a puppet,
Christ wants to live through you.
Christianity is not just about
Hearing words from a pulpit.
It’s about ordinary people
Being yielded to Christ,
Like puppets to a puppeteer,
In our day to day lives.
“Christ in you; the hope of glory!”

Some ABCs Treat You Bad

These ain’t ya momma’s ABCs!
–If you are Afflicted by Addiction;
Beaten up by Bondage; and
Caught up in Compulsions;
Then your life isn’t working right.
And if you don’t get right,
You’ll stay stuck in wrong!

 

Posted in aflame, burning heart, Did not our hearts burn within, fan into flame the gift of God, fire in the heart, heart care, heart religion, heart strangely warmed, heart-felt, heart-felt love, hearts on fire, in a relationship, Jesus in my heart, love God with all your heart, pulpit, pulpit ministry, puppet show, puppeteer, puppets, relationship with God, spiritual relationships, the door of your heart, the heart of worship, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should we go all the way with “born that way?”

I believe that human beings are born with a deep longing for God and that we never outgrow it (even though we sometimes redirect it).  Wherever you find people you find religion and ritual — some form of attempting to connect with (or appease) God or gods (even if they don’t call it that).

This almost universal yearning for inner meaning and purpose has been called “a God-shaped vacuum in the human heart.” Even when people try to ignore it, deny it, or refute it; an inner dissatisfaction of life without God, still drives them and eats at them.

God shaped vacuum

I know that I was born that way. My parents told me that when I first learned to talk I would tell them about God, even though at that time in their lives, they didn’t go to church or talk about God. I wanted to know God from the time I first remember until I was born again at age 19.

So if (at least some) people are born with a craving for God, isn’t contemporary culture contradicting itself when it tries to curtail and cutoff religion? Our present day society teaches that if a person has a deep desire, then she/he has been “born that way” — therefore they should be free to openly express that desire and everybody else must approve of their desire or be labeled intolerant and/or hateful.

Why don’t we use the same “logic” or “reasoning” when it comes to religion? Why doesn’t modern society call people who disagree with religion and/or don’t approve of faith in God, “intolerant”?

Here are some quotes that testify that people have a natural born yearning for God:

“He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart.” –Ecclesiastes 3:11

“You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” –Augustine

“There is a hole in our hearts that only God can fill.  We were made to be connected to our Creator.  We were made to know Him and to be plugged into His power. Your heart is designed to contain God.” –Rick Warren

“We’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls. Some people use alcohol, or sex, or their children, or food, or money, or music, or heroin.” –Tiffanie DeBartolo in the book God-Shaped Hole

“Love Christ, and then the eternity in the heart will not be a great aching void, but will be filled with the everlasting life which Christ gives and is.”  –Alexander MacLaren

 

Posted in agnosticism, Alexander Maclaren, atheism, Augustine, books, born again, dissatisfaction, Ecclesiastes, God seeker, hate, longing for God, Pascal, Rick Warren, ritual, Tiffanie DeBartolo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Christians playing with a full deck — ekklesia?

Is the traditional concept of church short of God’s full deck — the Greek New testament idea of ekklesia? Is ekklesia God’s trump card that empowers Christ-followers to dynamically connect with the living, resurrected Jesus and with one another? A fresh, new definition of ekklesia dropped into my mind during the night:

me and deck not full

Ekklesia is Christ’s city council called together as an interactive, governmental body; to proclaim, decree, demonstrate, and release Heaven’s culture, as prompted by the real presence of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.

  • “Christ’s city council” — In the Greek New Testament Jesus is quoted as saying: “I will build My ekklesia.” (Ekklesia is the name of the city council in ancient Greek city-states.)
  • “Called together as an interactive, governmental body” — Ekklesia literally means: “called out ones.” (The ancient Greek ekklesia met when a “herald” called citizens to come together to collaboratively conduct city business.)
  • “To proclaim” — Christ’s ekklesia meets to declare the good news of Jesus’ victory over sin, death, Hell, and the grave!
  • “To decree” — Jesus taught that His followers would “bind and loose.” The decrees declared in ekklesia are powerful!
  • “To demonstrate” — Ekklesia goes beyond mere words, as Paul of Tarsus proclaimed: “My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
  •  “To release” — Ekklesia radiates the presence of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. It discharges His power in all directions.
  • “Heaven’s culture” — The will of God (Heaven’s culture) is not the way of contemporary society. Jesus taught His followers to pray for Heaven’s culture to be manifest on earth: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth has it is in Heaven.”
  • “As prompted” — The members of ekklesia don’t act on their own will. Instead they are directed by and obedient to the still, small voice within.
  • “By the real presence” — When Christ’s followers gather in His name (under His direct control and authority), His presence moves beyond myth and/or mere religion, into dynamic reality.
  • “Of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.” The Christ of ekklesia is not “the historical Jesus” (confined to the past) or the “religious Jesus” (confined to a distant, pietistic Heaven),  but the “present-moment Jesus,” alive and active in the world right now!
Posted in Beyond Church, Bible quotes, Bible verses, called out ones, decrees, demonstrations of the Spirit, Dones, ekklesia, Greek, Greek city state, Greek New Testament, Heaven, house church, nones, on earth as it is in heaven, organic chruch, simple church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are sermons working or just keeping up appearances?

Are sermons working or just keeping up appearances? Will a talk about religion give you the personal power to walk out your faith in daily life?
* When church people recommend sleazy entertainment on social media; sermons aren’t working;
* When Christians run people down, sermons are not working;
* When ministers steal, sermons aren’t working;
* When church attenders lie, sermons aren’t working;
* When millions of people are becoming “Dones” or “Nones”, sermons are not working.
–Perhaps it is time to go beyond sermons — beyond church as usual. Below a copy of “Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia” is standing on John Wesley’s pulpit. Get your copy @ http://amzn.to/1UgXwe4.

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Posted in church decline, church meetings, church refugees, church services, church speakers, church teachers, homiletics, homily, house church, lecture, lecture in church, message, message in church, organic chruch, religious talks, sermon series, simple church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 6-word sentences 4 engracing your life

Grace is more than just a free gift. It’s freedom! Here are seven six-word sentences to help ingratiate your life:

one — Grace is the place things change.

two — Grace is the power to replace.

three — Grace will erase sin’s suffocating bondage.

four — In grace’s face life becomes amazing.

five — The grace pace is steady growth.

six — Grace gradually removes sin’s every trace.

seven — Life based on grace radiates glory.

got grace? (Christianity, if not lived daily, isn’t.) Grace replaces:

* bondage with freedom * fear with courage * worry with peace * addiction with deliverance * hate with love * being cool with brokenness * pride with humility * spiritual blindness with light * anxiety with contentment * hurt with healing * sin with seeking God * guilt with forgiveness * compromise with holiness.

Christian history magazine

 

Posted in cheap grace, Christian history, church history, extreme grace, for by grace your are saved, full of grace and truth, gives grace to the humble, God's Riches At Christ's Expense, grace card, grace definition, grace greater than all my sin, grace preachers, growing in grace, hypergrace, If grace is an ocean, living in grace, salvation, saved by grace, saving grace, Uncategorized, understanding grace, what is grace | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Laodicea or ekklesia?

Do 21st Century Christians have amnesia? Have we forgotten that Jesus calls Christ-followers to be His ekklesia, not the church of Laodicea? Christ wants us to look to Him alone as our panacea!

hot or cold.png

The church has amnesia and has forgotten that Christ originally built it to be ekklesia — the lost word of the Bible. If we don’t want to be the lukewarm “church” of Laodicea we need to turn back to Christ’s original pattern for ekklesia — 1 Corinthians 14:26. (See http://amzn.to/1ru0px6.)

Spiritual amnesia has caused us to forget ekklesia — God’s glorious galleria of the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit freely flowing through ordinary people as they come together to minister to one another as directed by the living, resurrected Jesus Christ

Techlesia (making and maintaining Spirit-led connections between Christ-follows through social media, texting, and other technology) extends the reach of ekklesia beyond the constraints of time and place. Experience techlesia at this Facebook page.

Experience ekklesia in Nashville, Tennessee every Sunday morning at 10:45, 225 Berry St., 37207 at The Salvation Army Berry Street. See the Spirit of God freely flowing through everyday people.

Posted in 7 churches, be hot or cold, Book of Revelation, facebook, laodicean, lukewarm, Middle Tennessee, organic church, revelation, Revelation 3:16, Salvation Army, simple church, social media, spew you out of my mouth, spiritual formation, spirituality, techlesia, Tennessee, texting, texting in church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Get trained to serve and make a difference in Nashville

Would you like to make a real difference in Nashville? Would you like to get hands-on training and interactive experience using your gifts to serve and make a real difference? The Salvation Army has an opportunity for you in East Nashville that is changing lives and helping to transform the urban McFerrin Park Neighborhood. At The Salvation Army Berry Street we are:

*  Allowing People Of All Ages The Freedom To Actively Participate In Worship Meetings

Our worship meetings are based on ordinary people sharing testimonies, Scriptures, prayer requests, words of encouragement, songs, prayers, etc. (as they feel led by the Holy Spirit); rather than on a 1-person sermon.  This matches our 21st Century participatory culture by allowing people freedom of expression and disqualifying no one. We allow the Holy Spirit to speak through anybody present. In this interactive environment people learn by doing.

*  Cultivating And Spreading Spiritual Awakening

All that we do is focused on loving and obeying Jesus Christ.  Every week we see God do many amazing things in people’s lives.  Each Sunday morning we have a different worship leader help us enter into passionate praise and worship.  Our participatory meetings stir up God’s fire in people’s hearts compelling them to make necessary lifestyle changes.

At Berry Street we want to be an example of the power of  Christ working through everyday people spreading spiritual awakening through out Nashville.  We want to see people’s lives changed for the long-term, with practical results, such as getting and sustaining jobs, getting a GED and/or college education, and developing healthy and moral relationships.  The ultimate outcome is that they become strong believers and leaders/examples in the body of Christ and in the local community.

*  Facilitating Individual Transformation:

We seek to extend our impact on individuals beyond short-term assistance to long-term life transformation.  To do this we have established a climate of mutuality where all are equal and all can freely give and receive love, encouragement, and hope.

Our meetings engage people in open sharing and participation.  As people actively support and minister to one another amazing transformations occur.  People are often moved to tears as they feel a direct connection to God’s love.  Their attitudes and behaviors begin to change and this is noticeable and encouraging to everybody.

Two staff members spend much of their time during the week listening to, praying with, counseling, and encouraging both regular attendees and members of the community.  The regulars have now begun to spend time together encouraging and helping one another.  This growing love and sense of caring community creates beautiful changes in people as they experience personal growth in both confidence and ability.

*  Encouraging Community Transformation:

The Berry Street members and staff interact with many people who live in our community each week.   People are seeing their neighbors and friends changing before their eyes.  Community members drop by the building for assistance, prayers, and encouragement through out the week.  Each week we have visitors from the community in our Sunday morning meeting.  Berry Street has also been conducting highly visible neighborhood prayer walks (carrying a full size Salvation Army flag) 1 to 4 times per week for several years.  This has facilitated much friendly interaction with community members and represents The Salvation Army taking a strong stand in East Nashville.

*  Improving Racial Reconciliation

Although our community is predominately black, our Sunday meetings are very mixed with both blacks and whites.  We are also reaching out to Hispanics and frequently have people from other ethnic groups.  One neighborhood visitor (who is now a regular member) said that Berry Street reminded him of a “bowl of Fruit Loops” (because of the diversity).  Our diversity is harmonious and is rarely ever mentioned as people have moved beyond race to seeing each other as equal brothers and sisters in Christ.

*  Loving At Risk Children

Every week we have 20-40 neighborhood children (most come without a parent) in a Sunday morning children’s church.  They are served a snack; taught a Bible lesson, and then given recreation time with adult leaders who have been teaching and mentoring them for more than two years.  Once a month they are served a full meal at Berry Street after the Sunday meeting.

*  Developing Leaders

We are seeing people not only beginning to take responsibility for themselves and their lifestyle choices, but people are also seeking to help and to influence others to follow Christ in practical obedience to His word.  Our goal is to train leaders and send them out to help train others to hear and obey the Holy Spirit in churches, in cell groups, and in their individual lives.

Come hang with us:  Sunday mornings at 10:45, 225 Berry St., Nashville, 37207.

berry street family 2016

 

Posted in changing society, disciple making, Doing the most good, Dones, hanging out, leadership training, life skills, Making a difference, making disciples, Millennials, organic chruch, reaching Millennials, Salvation Army Corps, spiritual growth, spiritual training, spiritual transformation, transformation, transformation movements, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment