The Bible’s like a roto rooter

The first Christians opened up the faucet on their spiritual plumbing and let the risen Jesus flow. They experienced supernatural revelation & passed it on in the Bible. What Jesus reveals today won’t contradict what He’s revealed in Scripture. Don’t hear God speaking? Read the New Testament & you will. Today, the Bible’s like a roto rooter. Reading it with an open heart cleans out your spiritual plumbing.

Connect to God media: written–in the Bible; wireless–in your heart. To not want to know the Bible is like not wanting a smartphone — you miss so much. Most people don’t notice their breathing or God; however, both are vital. Listen to God’s Spirit & explore the Bible with an open heart.

The Bible’s a miracle. It opens the blinds & lets God’s light in. Powerful words from God’s Spirit were written down & collected in the Bible. The Bible will transform your life if you read it for what it says, not for what others say it says. The Bible will show you the risen Jesus if you read it like a love letter from God. “The message I proclaim about Jesus Christ…now revealed & made known through the prophetic writings.” -Paul of Tarsus

I was an agnostic college student, totally lost and confused about life. Then one day I picked up an old Bible I had been given as a kid and begin to read the New Testament every day. Soon the words began to come alive and burn in my heart. I’ve read the Bible almost every day since then and it still releases hope, encouragement, & fire in my heart. Much of the Bible fits my heart as a key & unlocks treasures of insight, peace & joy.

Neglecting the Bible neglects the spiritual life & power shared by its authors. It’s dangerous to ignore the testimonies & teachings of the first Christians — the New Testament. God won’t contradict today what He revealed to the first Christ-followers. Find the fire & faith of the first Christians. Explore the Bible daily.

It used to be that unbelievers rejected the Bible. Unfortunately, now many, who say they believe, also reject the Bible.

It’s important to test the smorgasbord of beliefs about God by His menu–the Bible–before you swallow. Don’t try to make God match your beliefs; make your beliefs match God’s biblical revelation. Our culture has swapped moral discernment with mindless self-expression. We need to lead self to God and His holiness. For too long we’ve allowed self to lead us to selfishness and ego. Christians are alive to be ambassadors of Christ’s light, to the here & now.

Here are three ways to recognize the people who have the risen Jesus working in and through them. You can recognize Jesus by the Holy Spirit revealing Him to your heart; by seeing His character and nature in people (the fruit of the Spirit); and by checking out what people say and teach and making sure that it conforms to the Bible.

Love is caring, concern, & compassion; not approval or acceptance. Blind approval of sin & rebellion is apathetic, not loving. God doesn’t approve of our rebellion against His will; but calls us to turn back to Him. To rebel against love is to break the heart of the ones who love you.

“Hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you.” –Paul of Tarsus

“Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instructions in this letter.” -Paul

“Anyone who rejects this instruction doesn’t reject a human being but God.” -Paul

“Have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.” –Paul of Tarsus

“Ah ha.” “Now I see!” Humble people + Holy Spirit + faithfulness to the Bible + freedom to speak = God surprises and the Greek New Testament experience of ekklesia. The Bible, along with ekklesia, releases supernatural revelation from God. Ekklesia is everyday people sharing Spirit inspired insight, heart to heart. Be undone by the presence of God in ordinary people.

Ekklesia consistently aligns with the Bible both in beliefs & behavior. To avoid chaos, any meeting needs ground rules. For ekklesia it’s the Bible. New Testament ekklesias were powerful. Then they slowly morphed into churches.

Experience ellkesia and open spiritual plumbing every Sunday morning in Nashville, Tennessee at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., 37207. Learn more about it in my book Beyond Church.

Posted in back to the Bible, Bible reading, Bible study, Bible teaching, Bible verses, church, how to learn the Bible, inner rivers, love, New Testament, New Testament Christianity, New Testament church, open mic church, organic church, rivers of living water, testimony, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UnconferenceNashville–hands on ekklesia June 23-25.

You’ve read books, articles, & blogs about open, participatory, interactive church (what I believe the Greek New Testament calls ekklesia). Now experience it for 3 days in Nashville.

Are you a Christian who’s done with organized church, but still wants Christian community? Are you a pastor or other church leader who’s still called to the organized church, but wants to get out of the way and let God take control? Do you long to see a revival where Christians will once again be known for how they love their neighbor, rather than who they vote for?

If any of these questions stirs something in you, then come explore the answers with us! Let’s spend the weekend in Christian fellowship and conversation, as we seek the Lord about how to embrace Christianity without churchianity, to rediscover what it means to be his ekklesia on this earth, and how to untangle our faith from our politics, in order to become effective ambassadors of his kingdom once again.
However, please know: this isn’t your typical Christian conference! In fact, that’s why we’re calling it an unconference.

We’re not looking for passive audience members who want to sit quietly and listen to experts. Yes, there will be a few brief talks to spark some great conversation. But that’s the key. We want real conversation where we can learn from one another. We also want to carve out time to let God speak to us.

We can’t wait to worship and fellowship and wait on the Lord together. We hope this will be a life-changing event for everyone. However, SEATS ARE LIMITED, so SIGN UP NOW!
#unconferencenashville

Details:

Unconference Nashville is being hosted by The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN. The conference will take place on Friday evening, all day Saturday, and the second half of the day Sunday, though participants will also have the option to attend the Sunday morning worship service at Berry Street.

Tickets are for conference admission only. Meals are not included, though light snacks and cofeee will be served. Out-of-town particpants will also need to make arrangements for hotels and travel. Depeding on the number of attendees, we may bring in food trucks for lunch. Otherwise, both lunches and dinners will happen offsite.

Either way, attendees will need transportaion to-and-from the conference venue. So, if you don’t plan to drive your own car or rent one, you might need to carpool with other attendees or rent an Uber, as needed.

Organizers:

Richard Jacobson, Keith Giles, and I will be facilitating the meetings which will be held at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville.

Keith Giles is author of “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb.” Keith is part of a house church in Orange, California where no one takes a salary and all offerings are given to help the poor in the community.

Richard Jacobson is author of “Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity.” Richard started as a hippie kid in the Jesus Movement, and eventually became an organized church pastor, then quit, in order to search for non-institutional Christian community again.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unconference-nashville-tickets-32875969911

Early bird registration by March 24 is only $25.00. Regular registration is $35.00.

Posted in Berry Street, Berry Street Worship Center, downtown Nashville, East Nashville, house church, Nashville churches, Nashville events, Nashville tourism, Nashville tourist attractions, Salvation Army Berry Street, simple church, Uncategorized, visiting Nashville, what to do in Nashville, witnessing in Nashville | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creativity is a mind mine unearthing ideas & insight.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Truth & error & discernment; say what?

Strive to know and live truth; and to avoid error. Clear discernment of truth is a gift of God that needs to be continually sought. Truth and error matter; and Christ-followers need to know the difference. Even if error is presented as good & loving, we need to recognize & avoid it. Though billions believe a lie, it remains forever untrue. Seek truth!

Those who first followed Jesus wrote down their experiences for you in the Bible. Truth was revealed to them and their writings pass truth on to us. Read about what the first Christ-followers did and then go do the same! If we’re not experiencing Jesus like the first Christ-followers did-something’s wrong!

Spiritual discernment will operate when Christ’s body listens to the Spirit together. Christ’s body listening to the Spirit together discerns better than any one person. The risen Jesus can lead you to truth more accurately than your opinions and emotions can. We should always test our discernment with that of the first Christ-followers in the Bible. The witness of the Spirit today won’t contradict His witness to the first Christians recorded in the Bible.

My experience with Christ doesn’t prove Him, but it is a piece of evidence. Something (or Someone named Jesus) transformed my life at 19 and has kept me fired up and excited ever since then. The experience of the first Christians is evidence for Christ. Read it in the Bible and then experience what they did for yourself.

My favorite daily health/energy supplement is the Bible! Five minutes daily in the Bible will make an amazing difference in a month. Try it. Texts from friends are on your phone; texts from God are in the Bible.

The cure for spiritual dehydration: Christ’s living water flowing through your soul. And the Bible can help you to open up the faucet on your spiritual plumbing and let Jesus flow. The Bible’s been treasured for centuries because it reveals the risen Jesus.

Ekklesia is Christ’s ecosystem where His presence & power echo from heart to heart. Watching Jesus show up in ekklesia is the “show” of a lifetime! Hearts encounter & embrace each other in ekklesia. Ekklesia happens when we’ve allowed Jesus to weave our hearts together. Read more about ekklesia at http://amzn.to/2mJOh8j

Posted in Bible reading, Bible reading plan, ekklesia, living water, rivers of living water, spiritual discernment, spiritual experiences, spiritual formation, Uncategorized, witness of the Spirit | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t wait until Easter to celebrate!

Why wait till Easter for Jesus’ resurrection? He’s been alive 2,000 years! If the risen Jesus who lives in us can’t lead us, who can? Look to Jesus moment by moment! If you can go an hour without loving thoughts about Jesus, you may not know Him.

Plug into Jesus & let His presence flow through you like an electric current! The risen Jesus Christ wants to be a fountain of beautiful emotions flowing from within you!

Many think that Jesus can’t lead a church service all by Himself–but He can (if we let Him)! Instead of following Jesus as the living way, we often block His way with our way. Pride lives your way. Jesus calls us to deny self & then follow Him and His way. Let Jesus take over and trump your plans today, redirecting you His way!

I love it when everyday people meet as a body of equals in Christ’s ekklesia! Ekklesia is Christ’s ecosystem where His presence & power echo from heart to heart.

Let God give you His brain scan. Let His Spirit & the Bible scan your mind & heart. Without the writings of the first Christ-followers as a plum line, deception’s easy. To align with Christ and Scripture is to be set free from self-pity & self-destruction.

Avoid “another Jesus.” Follow & obey the Jesus of the Bible. See 2 Corinthians 11:4. Don’t accept “a different gospel.” Stay with the New Testament. See Galatians 1:6.

Christianity isn’t a chameleon religion. It’s a steadfast, lifelong surrender to Jesus. Grace doesn’t overlook your wrongs. It pays your sentence if you turn from your sin. Without God’s judgment there’s no grace. Innocence doesn’t need it. I deserve God’s punishment; He offers me mercy. That’s grace & I’m so grateful!

Christ’s inclusiveness doesn’t include our sin. He calls us to “repent.” (Mt. 4:17) God loves us like we are but He doesn’t want us to be stuck in self-torment, sin & misery. True love calls people away from self-inflicted danger & pain.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Pi Day (3/14)

For Pi (3.14) Day (3/14), here’s Ephesians 3:14: “I bow my knees before the Father.”

Like pi, true Christianity never ends: 3.14159265359…forever.

Here are a few more pi Bible verses:

Matthew 3:14 — “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”

Galatians 3:14 — “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

Philippians 3:14 — “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:14 — “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

1 Thessalonians 3:14 — “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

Titus 3:14 — “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.”

Hebrews 3:14 — “We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.”

James 3:14 — “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

1 Peter 3:14 — “But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

2 Peter 3:14 — “Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”

1 John 3:14 — “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.”

Revelation 3:14 “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.”

pi

Posted in Bible verses, Colossians, Ephesians, Galatians, Gospel of Matthew, Hebrews, James, John, Peter, Philippians, revelation, revelations, Scripture, Thessalonians, Titus, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be stuck in Cold Case Christianity

Is Jesus Christ a cold case in your heart? Have you filed away His claims on your life and left them to languish until some undiscovered evidence happens to fall in your lap?

Many people have done just that. Sure, at some point in their life, they have acknowledged some degree of interest in Jesus — joined a church, walked an aisle, gotten baptized. However, for the most part, Jesus is no longer a real interest in their life. Now He’s just a cold case to them.

Cold case Christianity is really quite dry, lifeless, and boring. It is like the valley of dry bones that the prophet Ezekiel saw. However, God had so much more for those dry bones than being a cold case scattered across a valley of death! God asked Ezekiel: “Can these bones live?”

Then God told Ezekiel to cry out to the cold case of those dry bones and to tell them to come alive! And they did! They became a mighty army for God.

Cold case Christianity never gets above lukewarm; but the risen Jesus is calling out for us to come alive like those dry bones did. Jesus is offering us His spiritual fire to blaze uncontrollably in our heart and to raise us up to be elite soldiers in His Army!

Why settle for Jesus as a cold case in your heart? Why not open up and let Him breathe His Holy Spirit inside of you in a way that overcomes all your resistance and makes you a flaming torch for God?

If my words haven’t inspired you to cry out for more of God’s fire; perhaps this song, “Come Alive (Dry Bones),” will. Listen to it here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XAeyFagceQ

Smoke & mirrors & religion can never replace the reality of God’s fire burning in your heart! 

Posted in be hot or cold, case for Christ, Ezekiel, fire, fire in the heart, fire of God, fire of the Holy Spirit, formal religion, God's army, God's fire, God's word like fire, heart religion, lukewarm, music, not religion but relationship, revival fires, Salvation Army, Send the fire, spiritual fire, the Holy Spirit and fire, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment