Hangin’ with Mother Teresa


I’m inspired and challenged! I feel like I have been spending time with Mother Teresa.

If you have ever thought that you would have liked to meet and visit with Mother Teresa, now is your chance. You can read her private letters and personal stories from people who knew her well, in the book, A Call to Mercy–Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve.

This book is not only uplifting reading, it’s a great resource for ongoing encouragement in your life. Here are a few of the quotes:

“Love is for today; programs are for the future . . . So be concerned with what you can do today.”

“Keep giving Jesus . . . by your example, by your being in love with Jesus, by radiating His holiness and spreading His fragrance of love everywhere you go.”

“We cannot work for peace, nor give peace, if we do not have that peace in our own hearts.”

“In the silence of the heart, God speaks.”

“Let us not use guns and bombs to overcome the world but let us radiate the peace of God and extinguish all hatred and love of power in the world and in the hearts of all men.”

“By helping others you will be rewarded with peace and joy.”

“That unborn child has been carved in the Hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved not only now in this life, but forever.”

“By adopting a child couples receive Jesus, but by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus. Please don’t kill the child.”

“It is true; some of you have done the wrong thing in killing the unborn child in your womb through abortion. But turn to God and say, ‘My God, I am very sorry for killing my unborn child. Please forgive me. I will never do it again.’ And God, being our loving Father, will forgive you. Never do it again–and believe me, God has forgiven you.”

“For me, the greatest development of a human life is to die in peace with God.”

“Give Jesus a free hand to do with you what He wants.”

“Let us make prayer a daily habit. Prayer not to murmur a few words and spend some time, but prayer with the heart and fervent wish, prayer that should come from within.”

Here’s the official “Author bio”: “Mother Teresa (1910–1997) was born in Skopje (present-day Macedonia) and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin in 1928. She left the Loreto order in 1948 to begin the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta. Her service to the poorest of the poor became her life’s work. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was beatified in 2003. Editor of Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC, PhD, was associated with Mother Teresa for twenty years and is now director of the Mother Teresa Center, which has offices in California, Mexico, India, and Italy.”

I received this book from “Blogging for Books” for this review.

Posted in forgiveness, hearing God, hearing God's voice, humility, inner peace, nonviolence, peace with God, prolife, prolife prochoice, right to choose, right to life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mr. Potato Head all ears? Or the Body of Christ?

Are you familiar with Mr. Potato Head — a Playskool/Hasbro toy that originally came out in the 1950s? Mr. Potato Head was so popular that he was included as a character in the Toy Story movies. He has also been a regular in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a Mr. Potato Head balloon.

Originally Mr. Potato Head was a box of separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato. (However, because of getting so many complaints about rotting potatoes and due to new government safety regulations, in 1964 Hasbro started including a plastic potato body in the Mr. Potato Head set.) I had the original when I was a child. It was great fun to play with. I always liked getting out of the box with Mr. Potato Head and pinning the his parts in unusual places on the potato. I created some strange looking Mr. Potato Heads.

Perhaps church has done the same thing I did and produced some unusual concepts of the body of Christ. Can you imagine a Mr. Potato Head with rows of ears lined up all over his body facing one solitary mouth? That’s been the primary way that church has been structured since the first few centuries. We’ve lined up rows of passive listeners (ears) to sit and hear one man (1 mouth) talk. However, the Bible asks an interesting question about the entire body of Christ being reduced to ears: “If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” (1 Corinthians 12:17)

Perhaps we could to allow for the many various parts of the body of Christ to share in a church meeting instead of leaving everything under the control of one part acting as the mouth. 1 Corinthians 12:14 reads: “The body is not made up of one part but of many.”

There are so many gifted people in any gathering of Christ-followers and the Holy Spirit wants to use all of them. Perhaps it is time to let some of the many ears in our churches have the freedom to be the parts of the body God is calling them to be.

Perhaps we need to go beyond Mr. Potato Head and allow the living, resurrected Jesus to be the literal, controlling Head when His body meets together. Learn more about how to do that here. If you live in Nashville, come and see various parts of the body expressing their gifts as they are prompted by the Spirit at The Salvation Army Berry Street, 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207 on Sundays at 10:45 am.



Posted in 1 Corinthians 12, alternative church, church programming, church programs, house church, Nashville, organic church, participatory church, Salvation Army, simple church, thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are there answers to eternal questions?

What does it mean to be right with God? To be saved? To be born again? To be on your way to Heaven? Church has made those questions religious and has answered them with “church membership,” “attending church,” “saying a one-time prayer,” and/or “having a one-time spiritual experience.”

However, what if salvation is an ongoing, personal, submissive, and obedient relationship with the living, resurrected Jesus Christ, instead of those things? Some thoughts recently came to me about what salvation is. I put them on two posters. If you follow your conscience, that inner light will lead you to the risen Jesus and to the powerful realities taught in the Bible. If you ignore your conscience, darkness will gradually lead you away from God.



Posted in Are you saved, born again, clear conscience, dull conscience, religion, Uncategorized, voice of conscience, what does it mean to be saved, what is conscience | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

First century therapy groups . . .

A First Century Therapy Group . . .

–The early Christ-followers formed therapy groups to help them heal from the dysfunction in their culture and in their personal lives. There is a description of how those therapy groups met to encourage, exhort, and comfort one another in 1 Corinthians 14:26.
–Our crazy world needs therapy to help us heal from anger, disrespect, violence, hate, vulgarity, greed, and other dysfunctional attitudes. Experience a Christ-led therapy group with us every Sunday morning at 10:45 at 225 Berry St., Nashville 37207.
How did twenty-first century Christ-followers get so far away from those first century therapy groups? We have been trained to put our attention on one man’s weekly message instead of focusing on hearing directly from God and on lovingly listening to one another.
–Words from a preacher (or conference speaker) enter the ear, pass through the brain, and are mostly forgotten. (Do you remember any details from the last sermon you heard?)
–Words directly from God rise up in the heart, healing and transforming it. (Do you remember the last time God spoke in your heart?)
–Words spoken from the heart of others, touch our hearts and release compassion, inspiration, love, and healing. (Do you remember the last time someone opened up and shared their heart with you?)
Religious talks are seldom exciting and invigorating. The living, resurrected Jesus Christ, working in and through His everyday people, always is! Check out my book about how the first century group therapy meetings worked.
berry street family 2016
Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, 12 step group, addiction, cell groups, discovery group, encounter group, encouragement, freedom, group interaction, health care, mental health, one anothering, one anothers, overcoming addiction, recovery groups, Salvation Army, Salvation Army ARC, Salvation Army church, Salvation Army Nashville, self-help group, small groups, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2 pods about church without sermons

Here are two podcasts about how God will break out of the traditional church mold (if we let Him).

  1. He stopped the sermon. Hear how a church in Nashville, Tennessee has been meeting for 8 1/2 years without a sermon.
  2. Can institutions unchurch?  Learn how a denominational church can meet like a support group with open sharing and testimonies.


Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, alternative church, alternative to preaching, alternatives to sermons, book, bored in church, church decline, church experiment, church order, church organization, church programming, church revitalization, church sermons, church services, church without a program, churching, conversermons, house church, how to conduct a church service, how to do church, I will build my church, immunity to sermons, interactive sermons, interrupting a sermon, participatory sermons, Richard Jacobson, sermon-free church, sermon-hearing, shared sermon, Thom Schultz, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

When God flows like Niagara Falls (Seeing is believing.)

Since I was a child growing up in Arkansas, I’ve heard about Niagara Falls. However, everything that I have heard and all the pictures I have seen of Niagara Falls couldn’t convey the reality of the falls to me. When I finally went to see Niagara Falls this week, it was so much grander than I expected. I have seen numerous waterfalls, but all of them put together would be dwarfed by Niagara’s two massive falls.

That’s the way many people are about Jesus Christ. They have heard about Him. They have seen religious pictures. Yet, all the sermons and all the icons in the world cannot convey even a tiny fraction of the reality of the living, resurrected Jesus. To fully appreciate His power and grandeur, He (like Niagara Falls) must be experienced in person.

My visit to Niagara Falls was hands-on. I looked at it from many vantage points on both the Canadian and the American sides. I ate in a restaurant above it. I went in a tunnel behind the Canadian falls and felt the power up close. I rode a boat to the base of the falls and felt the mist and wind pushing my body around. Even wearing a poncho, I was drenched. When I got off the boat I had to literally wring out the sleeves on my jacket. What an experience!


That’s the kind of experience we need with Jesus. It’s not enough to just hear about Him in sermon after sermon until we are so board that we fall asleep. We need to experience Jesus like I experienced Niagara Falls. But how?

Take the time to listen to Him, then do what He tells you. Dive into the book about Him with an open heart. Talk to Him. Gather informally with people who let Jesus flow though them in love, in words, and in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

When ordinary people are allowed to show and tell what God has done as they feel led by the Spirit, the power and presence of the living, resurrected Jesus flow like Niagara Falls. Experience this for yourself at The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville where instead of a one-man sermon, everyday people show and tell what God has done — Sundays @ 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., 37207. Learn more about it in the book, Beyond Church, available in Kindle & paperback available at this link.



Posted in analogy for church, Arkansas, awe, awe in church, awe inspiring, Christ's presence, church, experiencing God, experiencing Jesus, flowing in the Spirit, God's flow, Holy Spirit flow, how to flow in the spirit, icons, living water, rivers of living water, top attractions in, Uncategorized, whitewater, whitewater river | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We cry out to dry bones, “Come alive!”

Church is no place for passivity! Biblically it’s a gathering for interactive, Christ-led involvement. (See 1 Corinthians 14:26 and http://amzn.to/2dvrvlz.)

Far too many people believe that occasionally attending a highly structured and tightly controlled church service is Christianity. However, the 50+ “one another” passages in the New Testament paint a different picture of what it means to be a Christ-follower — going beyond being a passive, silent member of an audience; to being an active, Spirit-led participant in the body of Christ. The song Come Alive (Dry Bones) puts it this way:

“We call out to dead hearts
Come alive, come alive
Up out of the ashes
Let us see an army rise
We call out to dry bones, come alive.”

–It’s time to go beyond passively sitting through a church program. We desperately need spiritual revolution — the life of Christ flowing freely among His people and personally directing each one of us when we gather in His name!

At The Salvation Army Berry Street ordinary people stand up and speak out as they feel led by the living, resurrected Jesus Christ. When they do, dry bones come alive. Come see: Sundays @ 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., Nashville, TN 37207.



Posted in 1 Corinthians 14:26, a new reformation, Berry Street, Bible type revival, church, house church, nontraditional church, organic chruch, revival, revival center, revival in Nashville, Salvation Army Corps, simple church, spiritual formation, spiritual revolution, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment