Thoughts from a Jesus addict

I’m a Jesus addict, staying high on Him & looking to start a Jesus epidemic! I’ve found that true happiness is addiction to Jesus.

Group meetings help Jesus addicts keep His fire burning in one another! O, what a relief it is to forget about self by focusing on loving Jesus & serving others!

So let’s put our religious docket in our pocket & plug into Jesus’ power socket. For a meeting to have a docket & lock it in, can often knock it off track with the Holy Spirit.

The Bible’s like a powerful drug. Soak up some Scripture & experience what it does! Jesus doesn’t just reveal Himself within us. He has also revealed Himself to the writers of the Bible. Their writings give us a solid objectivity to anchor our own inner perceptions of Christ to.

Jesus doesn’t follow our schedule; but calls us to follow Him! Shall we? It’s much better to fit your life into God’s schedule than to attempt to fit God into your schedule. It’s important we don’t confuse following Christ with following our own feelings & opinions.

Trying to schedule God is like trying to schedule the weather. It just doesn’t work! Christ puts His wisdom in all His people. Perhaps we could let them all share it as they are prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Too many people try to make Christ fit their lifestyle instead of making their lifestyle fit Christ! Don’t let your feelings push you around. Stand up to them & do what’s right! A person following his/her own opinions & desires is like a dog chasing its tail.

Faith is birthed through Christ-encounters; not just by theological reasoning! The more we obey the risen Jesus, the less we are consumed by self.

“Encourage one another & build each other up.” (1 Thes. 5:11) That’s what we do when we meet in ekklesia! Ekklesia meets with no itinerary but to hear & obey Jesus together as His body.

God is beyond human comprehension, yet my heart sings His praises! Then I strive to be faithful to the truth revealed in Scripture both in my beliefs and in my lifestyle!Jesus' power socket

Posted in Bible, Bible one anothers, change, change management, choice of lifestyle, happiness, inward change, lifestyles, one anothers, schedule, stress relief, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A poem about an altar call

The beauty of an altar call,
When people open their hearts
And respond in obedience to God,
Doesn’t have to be confined
To a few minutes at the end
Of a church service.
Why not open up the meeting
From beginning to end
And freely allow people to
Hear and obey the risen Jesus
The whole time we’re together?
(Learn more about this @ http://amzn.to/2tg8Uxi)

Posted in Beyond Church, ekklesia, house church, organic chruch, simple church, Uncategorized, unchurching | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith is a fight not a fiesta.

Faith is a fight not a fiesta. To love is to care deeply about someone, even if he/she disagrees with you. If your heart is full of love, your words will be, too!

If you don’t learn to love, follow, & obey Jesus while living, why would you do it when you’re dead? If you never learn to be obedient & submissive to Jesus, you’ll always be a rebel against Him! Close your soul to evil & open it up to the glorious presence of God. Being a Christian isn’t an occasional nod to Jesus. It’s total commitment!

When church tries to please people; we forget about pleasing God. People pleasing is based more on fear than on love. Rather than trying to please people, perhaps church could challenge them to follow & obey the risen Jesus!

People pleasing can prevent church from focusing on directly hearing & obeying Jesus. When you truly love people, you do what’s best for them, not what pleases them. When you’re goal is people’s approval, you soon become a slave to their opinions. Be faithful to follow Christ & His teaching, no matter what people say about you.

Nobody is liked by everybody, so don’t waste time trying to get everybody to like you. Living to please self leads to misery; living to please God leads to joy! The Bible shows us “how to live in order to please God.” -1 Thessalonians 4:1.
If you read the Bible with an open heart Jesus will tenderly untangle your soul.

People who live for people’s approval are quick to accuse others of “judging” them. To do wrong & expect to have no guilt is like rolling in the mud & expecting to not get dirty.

If you’re not daily growing closer to Christ, you’re missing life’s greatest adventure. If you’re not wildly in love with Jesus, perhaps you’ve never met Him. The risen Jesus continually lifts me out of sadness and into gladness!

If you’re full of self, there’s no room for God. To ignore God is to embrace loneliness. “I am not such a lover of myself nor so vain that in order to avoid censure I would refrain from preaching Christ’s glory and strength.” –Hrotsvitha, a 10th century Benedictine nun & Christian playwright.

If you feel the need to use profanity, perhaps you’re trying to mask insecurity. Cussing is adolescent language. Profanity is hate speech, cussing others instead of blessing them. Lying is also hate speech; robbing people of their right to know the truth.

It’s incredibly powerful to be quiet & let God form words in your heart! Try it. If you dare to take time to be still & silent, God will speak in your soul. It’s beautiful to worship with people who freely open their hearts to Jesus and to one another.

God cares deeply about every person, which means He experiences the pain of tons of unrequited love. “The mercy of Heaven is greater than you or your sins. Let your sadness be dispersed by its glorious beams. Do not let apathy prevent you from seizing the moment for repentance.” –Hrotsvitha

Christians can meet together & experience the life of the Spirit among them. Let’s go beyond the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, & back to the tree of life.

Ekklesia is based on the life of Christ in our midst, not on our religious knowledge. Ekklesia is an agape-lab where the love of God can be openly experienced & freely shared.

Posted in approval, Benedictines, commitment, cussing, disapproval, dishonesty, faith, influence of words, is cussing judging?, judging, lying, power of words, profanity, rebellion, rebellion against God, Thessalonians, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer sayings & inspiration

Prayer is heartfelt connection with God that goes beyond words. Jesus is my PrayPal. We talk together all day long!

Prayer is not Amazon Prime. It often takes more time.

Prayer is scrappy. It embraces good & refuses to be deterred by evil!

Prayer is preferable to panic. To pray is to admit that you need help.

What’s learned in prayer is hard to forget. Refusing to pray is often more a result of pride than of belief.

Prayers don’t need to reach the ceiling. God’s so much closer than that. You can’t out ask God. Prayer for beginners: Simply & honestly talk to God.

If you don’t believe in miracles, don’t pray for one because that prayer will miss up your belief system.

Here are more original quotes on prayer. (Is that an oxymoron?) Yes, I’m quoting myself.

Prayer’s not just saying; it also involves listening. Just saying: There’s more to praying that just saying words. Prayer is like breathing — pulling in God’s presence & blowing out self-will.

When my mind could make no sense of life, prayer brought me encouragement & insight. Prayer is the ultimate communication devise, sending to & receiving from God. A surge of prayer in your heart can give your life a brand new start!

Praying for others often allows you to feel a bit of God’s great love for them. Heartfelt prayer will eventually overcome & overpower self-focus.

3-step prayer: 1) Hang up on self; 2) Connect with God; 3) Follow His instructions. Prayer makes the heart grow stronger.

A prayer acrostic:

Please
Return to
And
Yield to God.

Prayer makes the heart grow fonder of God & others! To hear everyday people pray from the heart is a powerful experience.

Prayer’s not natural; it’s supernatural. Try it and see. When hearts open to God in Spirit-led prayer, His presence becomes almost tangible.

The Bible says effective prayer is fervent–passionate, intense, burning, heartfelt. Prayer changes you! Say a few & see! Let your pain produce passionate prayer.

Prayer is not limited to words. It’s a human heart crying out to God. The way beyond guilt & shame is not denial; but to humbly confess your sins to God.

Prayer, direct connection with God, can continue though out your day–24/7/365. “To pray or not to pray?” shouldn’t really even be a question! Every pain & every problem is an invitation for you to talk to God.

To ignore prayer is to isolate from God. To pray is to open the door of your heart to God. To dare honest, humble, heartfelt prayer is to become aware of God’s presence! Prayer is an experience of the heart, not just religious words we run through our mind.

Treat those who mistreat you to your prayers for their transformation. Pray with gratitude; not with platitude.

Prayer is not confined by time, place, words, posture, or circumstances. Just pray! When things are troubling you, take the trouble to pray!

As you pray let your heart & words go where the Holy Spirit leads you. To laugh at prayer is to declare yourself unaware of the transforming joy & peace it brings to multitudes.

A current of prayer flowing through your heart can be more powerful than the flowing of a mighty river. Prayer is a soul-opener, exposing your heart to the love & reality of God.

God’s love calls us to turn away from our rebellion and to draw near to Him. Instead of putting people down; put down their names on your prayer list. Pray for someone who has done you wrong & before long your bitterness will be gone.

Spirit-led prayer is a chain breaker, setting captives free. There’s no need to read or rehearse a prayer. Just share your heart with God. To pray is to open yourself to the possibility of God.

Ultimately, prayer is not getting what you want from God. It’s surrender to what God wants in you. If you let prayer burn in your heart, you’ll discover more than you can ever learn with your mind.

If you’re not growing through what you’re going through, you’re missing a blessing. What to do on a typical weakday: pray! Need someone to talk to? God’s listening.

The media needs to get in touch with the real world where most people pray! Lord, help me! (Just prayin’ . . .) I’d rather pray than make a wish!

“Prayer is where the action is.” John Wesley–founder of the Methodists.

Love is to care enough to let your heart be broken by the trouble & shortcomings of others. Pray that God will stop the demons of violence that are terrorizing the world.

Prayer is how a hungry soul begins to open up to God. Here are two amazingly helpful addictions: 1) Spontaneous prayer; & 2) Reading the Bible with an open heart.

When people don’t like what God tells them, they sometimes say, “God’s not real.” When people don’t like what Scriptures say, they sometimes say, “You can’t trust the Bible.”

What happens when Christians gather to pray as led by the Spirit? Learn more @ this link for my book Beyond Church.

Posted in agreeing in prayer, answered prayer, Bible, learning to pray, listening prayer, pray for one another, pray for your enemy, prayer list, prayer meetings, prayer without ceasing, prayers don't get past the ceiling, praying community, praying in the Spirit, Quotations, Scripture, soak in prayer, supernatural praying, the effectual fervent prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preachers interesting & ordinary people boring?

Church acts like preachers are interesting & ordinary people are boring. (It could be the opposite.)

Protestants made church a classroom. Perhaps church would be more effective as a prayer closet!

The body of Christ is a team ministering together; not one person doing it all. In the body of Christ, all are wiser than one. Much wisdom is lost by the silence of all but one man.

When church opens up to unplanned content, Jesus brings beautiful surprises.

The more unconfined church can be, the greater the freedom of the Spirit. Christians are called to meet for spiritual combat; not just to watch a USO show.

Church needs to open up to “user generated content” (UGC) & let people speak out. I love seeing Christ working in & through ordinary people as they share from their heart!

Social media encourages people to make comments. Perhaps church services could too. Ordinary people have amazing, God-given insights. Maybe church could listen to them.

When Christ’s presence is substituted with a program, ekklesia becomes church. Before church there was ekklesia. (http://amzn.to/2stxptp) The New Testament takes us back to the time when Christians met informally as family. When Christians get together & freely pray for one another, they go beyond church to ekklesia.

Taking turns in church lets everyone have a chance to speak. Then Christians can meet like a bar-b-q grill of hot coals & all fire each other up!

A Christian testimony is a glory story. Do you have one? Experience Jesus in the Bible, in your heart, in an interactive body of believers, & in serving the poor.

However, we still need the Bible as God’s revelation to help us avoid the deception of human opinions. Have you every heard of Bible heart-burn: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us . . . & opened the Scriptures to us?” –Luke 24:32

To help and/or encourage someone to do wrong is not love. It’s enabling.

Posted in Beyond Church, church reform, church refugees, ekklesia, house church, preachers, simple church, social media, testimony, Uncategorized, unprogrammed church, unprogrammed meetings | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiness: restrained from bad or inspired to be good?

Holiness anyone? Although some Christian groups are built around the concept of “holiness,” I’ve had trouble understanding it. To me holiness has always seemed like legalistic adherence to outward appearances, and not really a matter of the heart.

However, as I was praying this morning for someone struggling to overcome an addiction, I saw holiness in a different light. I prayed something like: “Lord, let this person see Your beauty with such intensity that he/she can’t bear to turn away from it, even a little bit.”

I have usually thought of holiness as turning away from something that appealed to me and turning to some standard that didn’t appeal to me. However, now I see that holiness is just the opposite. Holiness is to behold such beauty that I can’t bear to abandon it.

After praying that prayer, this Scripture popped into my mind: “O, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” –Psalm 96:9

Lord, let everyone who reads this be so captivated by Your beauty that they long to gaze at Your beauty all the days of their life and forever afterwards.

A meeting about Jesus is informative and tends to become legalistic; however, when a group meets with Jesus, it’s inspiring and life-changing from deep within! In the beginning Christians met as a family; now we meet as an audience. Perhaps holiness calls us back to family, what the Greek New Testament calls ekklesia.

Spiritual paralysis and unholiness occur when members of Christ’s body are taught to be passive spectators rather than active participants. Early Christians met to minister to one another as they were prompted by the Holy Spirit; now we meet to sit and have one man minister to us. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26.)

“What the law tried to do by a restraining power from without, the Gospel does by an inspiring power from within.” –Catherine Booth

“If holiness is possible anywhere for anyone at anytime, it is possible anywhere for anyone at all times.” –Bramwell Booth in The Splendor of Holiness

What will you let the living, resurrected Jesus Christ do in and through you?catherine booth church & world

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, Blessed are the pure in spirit, Christian spirituality, church, ekklesia, Holy Spirit, obedience, obedience to God, purity, spiritual formation, spirituality, Uncategorized, worship | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keepsakes of the heart (inner connectedness)

Connection happens when people meet up with one another in a Christ-led environment.

To collaboratively hear & obey the Spirit with others, is an incredible experience!

If people are kept silent about their faith while attending church, they’ll have little confidence to speak about it elsewhere.

Don’t forget, misplace, or overlook the keepsakes God has deposited in your heart!

Let Jesus turn on delight in your heart!

Christricity is more powerful than electricity. Plug into Jesus’ current.

When people say, “No way,” Jesus says, “I am the Way!”

A joyous life-journey with Jesus starts with a single step.

Jesus’ living water won’t flow until the faucet is turned on.

Don’t be on the wrong side of His story! Follow & obey Jesus.

Once upon a time Christians met & let Jesus lead without a program. It was powerful!

Jesus is the Architect of community!

Ordinary people sharing stories of faith is built into the DNA of Christianity.

Let’s gather & let Jesus build us together as “living stones” in Spirit-led community.

Perhaps silent faith is an oxymoron: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”

Faith gets people moving for Christ. When we believe something we act on it.

Posted in experiencing God, faith, faith in action, faith stories, hearing God, hearing the Spirit, heart-felt, heart-felt worship, I am the way, let the redeemed of the Lord say so, living water, telling their stories, testimonies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment