No “Lamb Chops” tonight!

Here’s a powerful and funny story about how God can use anybody who is open to His leading:

SWEET & SALTY

I went out with a friend to see a movie and as we approached the theater, there were several Christians sharing their faith with people outside.  They were very respectful and most of the people were willing to hear them out.  After I listened for a few minutes, we bought our tickets and headed inside. 

We had a little time before the movie started, so we were catching up with each other.  I could not help but zone in on the conversation beside us!  There were two guys conversing about how they wanted to “lambaste” the sheep outside, (so to speak).  I then got a big smile on my face, and because my friend knew me well, she figured out what was about to happen!  She said “no Lisa!”  I ignored her plea and proceeded to follow the gentlemen outside.

For some reason that night, (probably God) I wore a…

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What makes a bad New Year? People.

If the world is bad,
People made it so.
A better world
Requires better people.

We try to fix the world with laws & programs that fail to make us better people. The world doesn’t need a better political system. It needs better people. (If good people are running the world, why is it in such a mess?) Governments are filled with corruption because they are full of bad people. Jesus is great news for bad people — the opportunity to be changed from within.

A new year without a new you will be the same ole same ole. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) If I am a good person, why don’t I do the good things that I resolve to do?  Resolutions fail when we try to do them in our own power and self-righteousness. I resolve to admit that I can’t keep resolutions without Christ working in me! We resolve, “I will stop that,” and then we don’t, because we won’t let God free us. When your resolutions begin to fail, early in the new year, cry out to the risen Jesus! A New Year’s resolution can’t make me a better person. Only Christ can do that!

If we humans were good people, the world would be good — no laws necessary. People say, “I’m a good person,” but Jesus said, “No one is good–except God alone. (That’s why good people who are completely honest & always do the right thing are hard to find.) The Bible says: “There is none righteous, no not one.” We’re all bad people needing Christ’s mercy.  If I resolve to behave better but I’m not changed inside, I’ll stay stuck in bad.

Good people don’t misbehave, so they don’t need forgiveness. Bad people do. God loves us bad people so much, He sent Jesus to live a good life in & through us. Turn away from your badness & surrender to the risen Jesus & His goodness!

Christ wants to free us from our carnality and connect us to His reality! Whoever says “I’m a good person,” denies the evil in his/her own heart. Jesus came to forgive us bad people, change our nature, and empower us to love. The world’s a mess because people are a mess, that’s why we need a Savior. We don’t need just to “do better,” we need to be better–transformed from within! Forgiven bad people love much but “whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

I’m not a good person. I’m a person forgiven and transformed by Jesus Christ. People say “Be good,” but we can’t be good. We must surrender to Christ’s goodness! Jesus didn’t say, “Make yourself good,” He said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.”

Has our society deceived us into believing that we are good people? I individually asked 1,400+ addicts, “What kind of person are you?” All but a handful replied: “I’m a good person.” However, Paul of Tarsus, who wrote much of the New Testament, wrote: “O, wretched man that I am.”

What would you do if there were no laws or consequences? That’s who you really are. It’s so frustrating for us bad people to try to be good in our own power. (Romans 7) The only reason humans can be forgiven and restored to God is the blood of Jesus. “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Good people wouldn’t need grace; they could stand before God on their own merit.

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Insider ideas for innerpreneurs

innerpreneurs

Christ-followers need to be innerpreneurs & find fresh ways to shine God’s light. He who thinks he is an expert at Christianity, misunderstands what it is. Beginner Christ-followers just love on Jesus, experts get caught up in religion. When an expert runs a church meeting, people are quiet, afraid of being wrong. A religious authority figure is no substitute for a relationship with Jesus. Church should be like a living Savior interview, not a dead person documentary. A meeting’s never boring when Jesus is allowed to work miracles in & through ordinary people.

A group can experience God by letting ordinary people share as led by the Spirit. Maybe church, by making people passive, has created spiritual paralysis. Christ’s body should gather to minister to each other & scatter to minister to the world. Church must be more than people staring at one man talking in a pulpit.

Maybe church doesn’t need more stuffy experts, but more enthusiastic beginners. The more precise church becomes the less likely it is to open up to the Holy Spirit. Perhaps church could allow pauses so people could give feedback & share insights. Stop resisting God & let your mind & heart be gently & easily lead by the risen Jesus.

The only boss in the body of Christ is Jesus!  Perhaps pastors should train people to be dependent on God, not on a pastor! Don’t be bossed about by your feelings & whims. Make them obey Christ. May the use of force not be with you; but love for all, even your enemies! Losing is loaded with lessons. Let’s learn to live out those lessons & love people more and more!

Jesus Team Ekklesia lets you test drive Christianity before you take it home. God can speak through anybody present in a worship meeting, if we let Him. A Jesus Team meeting lets everybody speak or be silent in response to the Spirit. Let’s give Jesus the remote during worship meetings & let Him choose the channels.

We gather in a Jesus Team meeting to encounter Christ & share Him with others. In a Jesus Team meeting everyone listens to and obeys the risen Christ. A Jesus Team meeting doesn’t follow an expert or a plan. It follows the risen Jesus. A Jesus Team meeting cultivates sensitivity to the presence of Christ. A Jesus Team meeting always makes room to follow Christ in a new direction.

It doesn’t take a degree or ordination to hear God’s voice and share what you hear. No credentials are necessary to share God’s love & His word with others. Just do it! Anyone who loves Jesus can share the Gospel. Why do we keep people quiet in church? One specially ordained minister can do little. However, when everybody ministers, we can reach the world!

God can fit our hearts together like pieces of a picture puzzle beaming His glory. If your idea of church is different than a group of people staring at a man in a pulpit, you’ll love Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible available @ http://amzn.to/2hNjvtw.

Posted in alternative Christianity, alternative church, alternative to church, alternatives to sermons, Holy Spirit, innovation, ordination, preaching credentials, priesthood of all believers, Quotations, releasing creativity, religious innovation, spiritual innovation, Uncategorized, universal priesthood, worship innovation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self Quotes (Original Quotations)

I love to try to write something that no one has ever said before.

We don’t need to copy others. God has given each of us the gift of originality!

Don’t just absorb what others say. God wants to speak to and through you!

Ancient history is alive in me. The risen Jesus is releasing victory!

A relationship with Christ can only be experienced & lived out. It can’t be taught.

Has church made a simple relationship with Christ complicated & a big production?

There’s no substitute for being taught directly by God. Are you listening to Him?

Knowing Jesus is not like knowing mathematical formulas. It’s like knowing beauty.

May God free you from the desire to follow experts and woo you to follow Him.

To live without wonder, astonishment, & mysticism, is to miss life’s profundity.

When you surrender to the risen Jesus, strength & hope begin to surge from within.

Calling on Christ is not just the best way to die. It’s also the best way to live.

Jesus Team Ekklesia lets you test drive Christianity before you take it home with you.

You only need one other person to start a Team Jesus group. Why not try it? If 2 or more people meet in Jesus’ name, He’s present to create a Jesus Team group. What about Team Jesus!!! Everyday Christ–followers are doing amazing things!

God can fit our hearts together like the pieces of a picture puzzle beaming His glory.

When church only lets one person speak it’s like an army with only one weapon.

If church always follows the same format, it will continue to get the same results.

If we are called to be lights that transform our culture, we are falling far short.

Christ-followers need to be innerpreneurs & find fresh, creative ways to shine God’s light.

Social media gives us unlimited opportunities to share our love for Christ.

Perhaps church could make room for new possibilities–for something fresh from God.

Perhaps church has too many words and not enough action.

One man speaking without any interaction creates passive inaction.

Defining God does not equal experiencing Him.

 

 

 

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Creative thoughts for Christmas 2016

The real St. Nick would want you to focus on Christ in you, the hope of glory! Christ makes me merry! Christ isn’t just the first part of the word Christmas. He’s the fire in my soul!

Christ didn’t follow a human program 2,000 years ago. Why do we expect Him to now? Christ came to transform our lives, not to get us to sit through religious meetings. Jesus wasn’t born to give us a nice Christmas story–but to save us from our sins. (See Matthew 1:21.) Christ wasn’t born to make Dec. 25th a holiday, but to fill you with His presence.

Christmas time, without time for Christ, is a misnomer. In all your presents, don’t miss Christ’s Presence! Make your Christmas about “Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) On the day named for Christ, may you surrender control of your your life to Him. Sentimentalism is sweet, but it takes the risen Jesus to change your life.

Why celebrate the birth of the historic Jesus if we won’t obey the risen Jesus? Has what happened in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, happened in your heart? Christ’s advent was 2,000 years ago — He’s been changing lives ever since! Celebrating Christ’s birth without letting Him be born in you, misses the point. Advent was not meant to be a past event but a present reality–God with us!

Have an Xtra special holiday with the risen Christ! X out the “mas” & let Christ lead your life. Why do we have birthday parties for Jesus & act like He’s not in the room? If people gave each other gifts on my birthday, but ignored me, I wouldn’t like it. In all your presents, don’t miss Christ’s Presence! Christmas time, without time for Christ, is a misnomer. New stuff can be nice, but if that’s all you got for Christmas you came up short!

‘Tis the season to unwrap your heart and let Christ fill you with His presence! Baby Jesus can’t do much, but the living, resurrected Jesus can transform your life! The history of Christ’s birth is no substitute for surrendering to His presence. The true Christmas Clause? “God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son.”
Christ came to stay, not to show up every Christmas Day and then vanish away! On the 1st Christmas, God did amazing things through ordinary people. He still does! God wants you to be all wrapped up in the presence of Christ! Let’s go beyond celebrating the Christmas holiday to living Christ-like lives! Christmas but faintly reflects the joy of an intimate relationship with Jesus!
Christmas is 1 day of 365. A relationship with Christ is 24/7/365. Too often we put away Christ the way we put away Christmas decorations! Retailers have made their money. People have their gifts. Now what about Christ?
When we take down the tree & lights, let’s be careful not to take down Christ. Christmas is more than what comes from a store (or online retailer). Until Christ is born and lives in you, you’ve missed the real Christmas.

christmas-holiday

Posted in 'Twas the night before Christmas, Baby Jesus, Bethlehem, Christ in Christmas, Christian holidays, Christmas cards, Christmas cheer, Christmas greeting, Christmas is about Jesus, Christmas season, for the holidays, Happy Holidays, holiday greetings, holiday hype, real meaning of Christmas, Reason For The Season, Uncategorized, winter holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn to whitewater raft on Holy Spirit rivers

the-spirit-contemporary

Jesus said: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” This book is about learning how to whitewater raft on the rivers of the Holy Spirit.

Leon Fontaine boldly proclaims “It’s time that we stop living boring, safe little Christian lives.” The Spirit Contemporary Life can help you step beyond church as usual into the exciting lifestyle of following and obeying the risen Jesus in the person of the Holy Spirit. To emphasize that the Holy Spirit is a person and not a force, Fontaine drops the traditional “the” always refers to Him as “Holy Spirit” in the book.

Fontaine states that this book is “not just about putting a new face on Christianity; it’s about getting back to the basics of what Christianity was always meant to be and then presenting that reality to the world.” He practically explains the New Testament concept of hearing and obeying Holy Spirit in such a simple way that any Christ-follower can learn to do it. He says: “With Holy Spirit, ordinary people can do extraordinary things . . . The answer lies with allowing Holy Spirit to work through you in a contemporary way in the context of your normal, everyday life. And it can happen so naturally.”

Fontaine calls us to radically change our approach to Christianity. He says: “Refusing to change when change is necessary is one of the most destructive things you can do.” And he reminds us: “There will be times of discomfort as you walk in step with Holy Spirit.” He asks us: “Are you willing to let go of the holy cow of ‘the way we’ve always done it’ and let Holy Spirit guide you into truth?” He advises us: “When you feel a leading from Holy Spirit, simply share it in a natural way.”

Here’s more practical advice from The Spirit Contemporary Life: “You can become adept at sensing when Holy Spirit is speaking to you. All it takes is a bit of practice. Holy Spirit is a person. You get to know Him the same way you get to know anyone. Talk to Him. Ask His opinion. Tell Him how you feel. Ask for help. Then pause to listen so you can have a dialogue, not a monologue. He will communicate with you.”

Fontaine ends the book by applying the concepts of The Spirit Contemporary Life to Christian community. He says that the body of Christ “is meant to be a group of people working together to train and support one another so they can learn to know God better and serve Him more effectively. ” Fontaine says that leaders in the body “need to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. That means showing them how to sense and release God’s power into situations.” He goes on to say: “When clergy are the stars of the show, the message they convey is that they are special somehow” and that this exalting of “clergy” makes it harder “for our churches to become Spirit Contemporary.” He states: “If we create church services that are just theatrical productions . . . we set people up for failure.”

If you want to learn how to flow in the Spirit as an individual, this is the book for you. (If you want to learn to flow in the Spirit as a church, check out the book Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia.)

whitewater

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

 

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Mobilizing For His Mission

Team Jesus is missional — #thewholeworldmobilizing. The way to grow in Christ is to go into action for Christ. Team Jesus trains and mobilizes everybody (not just preachers) to login to Jesus-wifi. In Team Jesus, everyone gets online with Christ & then does what He tells them to. When we set aside our programs & let the risen Jesus, Himself, lead us, He will mobilize all God’s people in amazing ways!

hand

Let’s mobilize Team Jesus to transform our neighborhood, our city, our country, & the world!

The risen Jesus is the Team Owner, General Manager, and Head Coach of Team Jesus. Team Jesus doesn’t put on a performance; it surrenders to Christ’s presence.

Team Jesus is “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” Team Jesus is “filled with knowledge & competent to instruct one another.” (Romans 15:14) Christ working in & through the Jesus Team is “the hope of glory!”

The Jesus Team is a Christ-led support group. It’s a forum for Him to speak through and use anybody He wants to. In Team Jesus, ordinary people are eloquent.

Try Team Jesus @ The Salvation Army Berry Street Worship Center in Nashville, TN. Berry Street visitors are always amazed how Jesus can lead a meeting all by Himself. The early Salvation Army was an invigoration & reformation of Team Jesus. Let’s do it again in our day! Read more about Team Jesus here.

 

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