Life Works Better When Ego Is A No-Show

Life works better when your ego is a no-show! When you set aside your ego, your soul can flow and soar in the Spirit.

To follow Christ is to say no to ego. It is to bring your thoughts, desires, words and deeds in line with His word and His will!

So why is there so much ego in religion?  Why are church services so often focused on one man’s personality and control needs?  And why do people name “ministries” after themselves?  You don’t see “Apostle Paul Ministries” or “Peter The Rock Evangelistic Association” in the Bible.

Here are some wise quotations about ego . . .

ego

“That joy-stealing ego will try to do you in every chance it gets.  Get your ego out of the way and let the love shine through.”  –Lynn Namka

“The ego is the false self–born out of fear and defensiveness.” –John O’Donohue

“The ego clings to negative thoughts and feelings and, as a result, magnifies, intensifies, and sustains those emotions while the ego overlooks the subtle feelings of joy, gratitude, excitement, adventure, love, and peace.” –Gina Lake

“The ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.’ The spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.'”  –Marianne Williamson

“Ego is just like dust in the eyes; without clearing the dust you can’t see anything clearly; so clear the ego and see the world.”  –unknown

“The ego is a veil between humans and God. In prayer all are equal.” –Rumi

“If someone corrects you, and you feel offended, then you have an ego problem.”  –Nouman Ali Khan

“When you allow your ego to control your thoughts, everything you believe becomes an illusion.”  –Rusty Eric

“Ego stops you from getting things done and getting people to work with you.  That’s why I firmly believe that ego and success are not compatible.”  –Harvey Mackay

“Leadership is not a popularity contest; it’s about leaving your ego at the door.  The name of the game is to lead without a title.”  –Robin S. Sharma

Posted in defensiveness, ego in religion, Harvey Mackay, inferiority complex, Marianne Williamson, naming ministries after yourself, positive thinking, Rumi, self-esteem | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worship’s new normal!

A new normal for worship is coming!
–Society is moving beyond the old normal of passive spectators politely listening to the same religious expert every week.
–Our culture is going interactive and participatory–worship will too.
–The first normal (lost and forgotten for many centuries) of lovers of Christ meeting together as equals to love, encourage, exhort, help, pray with, instruct, and inspire one another, is being rediscovered around the world and is gradually becoming the new normal.
–Don’t be left out! Read about the first normal/new normal @ 1 Corinthians 14:26. Experience the new normal at The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN.

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Streaming Jesus–Enabling Christ-Followers To Develop Their Full Potential (General André Cox Quotes)

The Holy Spirit wants to work through each believer, not just through one “ordained” person. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” –1 Corinthians 12:7

Streaming Jesus keeps Christ-followers beaming!  Perhaps we could let the living, resurrected Jesus stream through anybody present in a church meeting! It’s an incredible thing to see everyday people streaming Jesus! Paul of Tarsus put it this way: “Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Quotations from General André CoxInternational leader of The Salvation Army:

General Cox 2

“When we look at our history, particularly the early days, the Army readily adapted innovative and unorthodox ideas.”

“Our leadership model is not about personal elevation, but how we enable others to develop their full potential.”

“Jesus clearly did not like the prestigious titles used by the religious leaders of His day and declared: ‘But none of you should be called teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters.'”

“‘Beyond spectatorship to discipleship!’ The Salvation war requires total mobilization, belief and commitment. Building for God’s Kingdom is the responsibility of all who know Jesus as Savior, living as salt and light just where we are.”

As Salvationists (soldiers of The Salvation Army), we are keenly aware that our places of Christian worship are not retreats from the world for a select few. Rather, they are bridgeheads of God’s Kingdom into the world – Jesus-centered, grace-filled communities serving others selflessly. Our churches are places in which Christ’s disciples can be resourced, empowered and enabled to fulfill the Great Commission – in word and in deed.”

“Moment by moment, day by day, we can know the power and the victory of Christ’s resurrection in our life!”

General Cox displays this:

“The mark of a mature leader is not how many people that they can control, but how many people they can release into ministry.” –Jeremiah Johnson

Posted in church, International leader, Jeremiah Johnson, organic church, priesthood of all believers, servant leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncorked & Live Streaming — When Church Freely Flows In The Spirit!

Some features of uncorked church:

uncorked

* Surrenders the structure and control of the church service to God.

* Takes the lid of human control off of the meeting!

* Facilitates an environment where the living, resurrected Jesus can reveal Himself through ordinary people.

* Allows God to freely pour out the new wine of the Holy Spirit as He sees fit.

* Is open and free flowing as led by the Spirit.

* Let’s rivers of living water overflow people’s hearts and run out into the meeting.

* Permits ordinary people to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit by saying and/or doing whatever the Spirit tells them to.

* Releases gifts of the Spirit in the meeting.

“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” 1 Corinthians 14:24-25

* Live streams the Presence, power, and love of God, rather than following a man-made program.

* Can make people wonder if the participants are drunk:

“Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.’ Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ‘Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.'”  Acts 2:13-17

Check out uncorked church @ The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207, every Sunday morning @ 10:45.

Posted in 1 Corinthians 14, gifts of the Spirit, Nashville, organic church, rivers of living water, Salvation Army, simple church | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alive to be a difference-maker — called to be a saint! (Answering life’s call to all, yall!)

Life is a call to all, yall!  When God gave you life, He called you (yes, you — the person reading this)!

We often think of a calling in life as something super special that other people get (the talented, the important, the highly intelligent, the rigorously religious).  In religious circles, the concept of calling has usually been considered to be even more narrow — the call to preach.

However, if you search the Bible, you don’t find the concept of being “called to preach.” Instead the Bible presents a call that is to all — “whosoever will.”  Jesus said:  “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy laden.”

In several places Paul of Tarsus addresses all the believers in a particular city and says that they are “called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” So what is a saint? A saint is someone who is sanctified – set apart (called) to be holy, godly, pure, obedient to God, Christ-like — a difference-maker!  (Difference-makers don’t belong on the bench but on the field making plays.)

The call to sainthood is not a special privilege just for top-notch Roman Catholics.  God’s call is for every believer.  The Protestant Reformers identified God’s universal call as “the priesthood of all believers.”  If you have answered God’s call to follow and obey the living, resurrected Jesus Christ, then you are a priest (with or without a denomination’s or church’s ordination).

Society needs the saints to come marching in — shinning God’s light, showing God’s love, serving those with needs, and shouting God’s hope from the housetops!  But unfortunately, most saints don’t even know that they are saints — most of God’s priests think that they are just regular church members confined to sit silently in Sunday services and then sink back in sync with everyday life.

So how can the saints go marching in when, Sunday after Sunday (for hundreds of years), we have been conditioned and trained to sit silently still and listen?  Perhaps we (saints) need to be retrained!  What if we begin to allow all the saints to stand up and speak out in Sunday church meetings?  Then, in that safe and loving environment (Sunday after Sunday), instead of learning passivity, we would learn how to overcome our fear of what people might think about us, how to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, and how to boldly shine with God’s light.

If you would like to experience a church service, where all the saints are allowed to speak (according to 1 Corinthians 14:26), then visit The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee, 37207 on Sundays @ 10:45 am.

saints song

Posted in Catholic, church history, holiness, Making a difference, Nashville, organic church, Protestant, Reformers, Salvation Army, sanctification, What is a saint | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Awesome Wonder Of Childlike Openness In Church!

To live under the direct command and government of the living God (what Jesus calls the kingdom of God) requires us to be childlike — to be open, informal, interactive, changeable, honest, humble, simple, real, enthusiastic, playful. Perhaps when we gather for worship we need to create an environment where those present have the freedom to be childlike.  Here are some inspiring quotes I found on the subject of the value of being childlike:

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” –Jesus

“We must try to recover the candor and wonder of the child; the unspoilt realism and objectivity of innocence. Or if we cannot do that, we must try at least to shake off the cloud of mere custom.”  –G.K. Chesterton

“Childlike surrender and trust, I believe, is the defining spirit of authentic discipleship.”  –Brennan Manning

“Throughout his life, Albert Einstein would retain the intuition and the awe of a child. He never lost his sense of wonder at the magic of nature’s phenomena-magnetic fields, gravity, inertia, acceleration, light beams-which grown-ups find so commonplace. He retained the ability to hold two thoughts in his mind simultaneously, to be puzzled when they conflicted, and to marvel when he could smell an underlying unity. ‘People like you and me never grow old,’ he wrote a friend later in life. ‘We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.’”  –Walter Isaacson

“It takes a childlike heart to feel the promptings of the Spirit, to surrender to those commands, and to obey.”  –Henry B. Eyring

(While I don’t agree with all of theses people’s beliefs about God — Erying was a Mormon and Einstein an agnostic — their statements about our need to be childlike, are powerful.)

child like

If you would like to experience a church service based on childlike hearts obeying the nudgings of the Holy Spirit, visit The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville, Tennessee 37207 on Sunday mornings @ 10:45.

Posted in Albert Einstein, Brennan Manning, childlike wonder, G.K.Chesterton, Henry B. Eyring, Jesus, Nashville, Quotations, Salvation Army, Walter Isaacson | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Characteristics of Soul Goals (That Turn SMART Goal Setting Upside Down)

Spiritual goals go by different rules than traditional goal setting. The 7 characteristics of soul goals turn goal setting upside down!

There is a popular acrostic that teaches that goals need to be SMART:  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, & Time based.  However soul goals are based more on God’s wisdom than on our smarts.

What’s your soul goal?
–Let your soul flow with love, joy, and peace and you’ll be filled with pleasure.
–Let your soul roll with anger, sadness, and anxiety and you’ll be rocked with pain.

A soul goal is . . .

1) Qualitative not quantitative.  It’s not about how much, but about how pure, how real, how sincere, how inspired.

2) Free of time limits.  The only deadline for soul goals is the flat line that shows no heartbeat.

3) Not measurable.  “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.”  –Paul of Tarsus

4) Flexible.  The closer we get to God, the more we allow Him to change our soul goals into His goals.

5) Not achievable.  Soul goals are spiritual gifts to the humble, not the achievements of the proud.

6) Himpossible.  When life takes a toll and you’re out of control, Christ can make your soul whole!

7) Approached by surrender not by striving.  The more we lay down our will and surrender to God’s will the more our soul will flow with His presence and gifts.

(A popular name for soul goals is spiritual formation.)

women's gathering 2014

Posted in 7 characteristics, Christian goals, eyes on the prize, how to set goals, kinds of goals, new approaches to goal setting, soul goals, spiritual goals, tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment