I Am Weary with Christians Fighting Battles We Do Not Need to Engage

Here is a letter I sent to a close friend after our discussion during a break time at a conference.

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Dear Jeff,

Thanks so much for listening to me share about our new assignment we have received from the Father.  (I had shared how Pandora and I are called to plant a network of “micro-churches” starting in Market Common at Myrtle Beach.  “Micro-churches” are churches of 12-20 people meeting in home, businesses and public places.  They gather periodically into one gathering for praise and celebration.  See a two page summary on the strategy by CLICKING HERE.)

As always your strength as a networker shone through and you began to look up some good contacts to share with me on your phone who you know would be keen on working and sharing with us.

I appreciated you also sharing how God was leading you to be part of leading a large church.  I celebrate with you in God’s assignment!   It is such a great gift of God’s grace and mercy to let us play a role in the great work he is doing.

Then you went on to describe being in a gathering of church leaders and how the missional community/house church guys were beating up on the large church leader in the room.  You mentioned how they used the “rabbit” and “elephant” illustration found in the missional community literature as a stick to beat up on the large church leader.  My heart joins you in grieving this needless fighting.

When will ministry leaders wake up and see that God’s Spirit is creative and loves to use many different ways to reach and make disciples of those far from God.  He uses large churches, micro-churches, churches led by men and churches led by women, churches with loud music and churches with very quiet music, churches that use one language and churches with many languages.  God loves those who remember the history of the church and those running into the future and  building bridges for where they see the culture going.

Jeff, I believe those who engage in defending their format of practicing church are often feeling defensive and threatened deep inside.  They lack a certainty they are simply servants carrying out the next assignment the Father has given them.  They tear down or devalue the works of  others in order to gain an assurance they are okay.

I want to cry out, “Look around — go visit the church in Egypt, Iran or China.  Visit the urban poor and the affluent new neighborhood.  Go to the islands and then go walk a mountain trail to an isolated village.  Visit a refugee camp where new people are arriving daily and families living there are living out a cultural family pattern of a new child every year.”  In this kind of world we should celebrate that God can organize disciples of Jesus to work like salt and light in any setting.

There are lost people who the Spirit will convict  and draw as they sit among thousands. There will be lost people who will need a friend who comes and eats in their home, respectfully absorbs their life story, and helps them connect God’s good news to the bad news going on in their life.

Comparing, competing or tearing down the work of another of Christ’s servants is not new.  See Paul’s attacks described in 2 Corinthians and Philippians to remember there is nothing new in Satan’s deceptive strategy of turning the church to devour one another.

Instead of using our energy and creativity to attack how someone else is doing church let us spend time in giving thanks for them and interceding for their fruitfulness.

Let us practice Roman 14 and 15.

“Who are you to judge the servant of another?  To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. . . . Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.”

I look forward to taking a walk on the beach together and praying for one another!

A fellow servant, Roy

It Really is About Loving!

Life is living out our design to love God and others.  BUT — this is not the love of our culture.  The Spirit’s work in you is always to make you a Jesus-like lover!

Love is the key.

Joy is love singing.

Peace is love resting.

Patience is love enduring.

Kindness is love’s touch.

Goodness is love’s character.

Faithfulness is love’s habit.

Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness.

Selfcontrol is love holding the reins.”

~ By Barnhouse

 

What Takes Priority Over Worship?

“So if you are offering your gift there before the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come  and offer your gift.”  Matthew 5:23-24

My wife often has a reminder for me; a former teacher, “Don’t overthink it. Just do it.”

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Jesus does not give any options or let me consider how I feel.  He just says, “You remember… Go.”  Don’t try to get lost in worship and push down the damaged relationship.  Jesus values reconciliation more than adoration.

Also, be single minded.  When you worship have one thing on your mind.  If you need to go be reconciled be single minded in going to your brother.  Jesus values our obedience to the thoughts on our life we recall.

BE STILL!  TAKE A RELATIONAL INVENTORY.  LOVING GOD IS ESSENTIAL BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF A BROKEN RELATIONSHIP.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

The Kingdom of God is Child’s Play Regardless of Your Age!

MEP_0290-meganpixels  “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  — Jesus

Lord,  May we, in joyful confidence in You

Willingly do small things;

      — Boldly do big things,

                  — and —

      — Be Relentless in doing all things you offer to us.

Like a little child may I run hard, enjoy every waking moment, laugh a lot, cry when I fall down, and run to your arms for your healing Papa kiss that makes it better.

May I so enjoy all the things you give me to do that I say, “I’m not sleepy!!!” and then as soon as I stop I am soundly and peacefully resting in you.

— Your kingdom children, Roy & Pandora

What is the difference between these words?

What is the difference between a problem and an opportunity?

What is the difference between a interruption and a surprise?

What is the difference between a complaint or a burden?

Most often the only difference is our PERSPECTIVE that is guiding our response to a life situation.

I can have a life full of opportunities, surprises, and burdens if I see God as bigger than anything touching my life.  If I embrace his good and loving heart toward me as seen in Jesus then the load is lighter and I am filled with gratitude instead of complaining.

I am NOT describing a spiritual denial — NO certainly not!  I am holding up a trust and confidence in God’s presence and activity in all spheres of my life.

He holds my whole world in his hands!

God’s Good News For Our Bad News

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God gave me the opportunity to preach at Sandhills Community Church in Columbia, SC on July 2.  My text was Revelation 1:4-8.

In the first 4 minutes I explained our new adventure which includes church starting and leadership coaching.

Whatever “BAD NEWS” is touching your life — God has GOOD NEWS to touch the hard painful places.  The good news centers on our God who IS, who WAS, and who is TO COME.  Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE SERMON.

I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS

Whisper from God

I am a member of a pastor’s prayer group.  Recently one of the men shared of a whisper of the Spirit he received during a period of worship.

From God, “It is OK to doubt yourself.  BUT do not doubt Me!”

As I have reflected on those words a recent reading from Oswald Chambers seemed to be saying almost the same thing as he wrote about Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” The first rule of  living in the Kingdom is to own our poverty before God.  We must be aware, feel and come to God as one who is poor.  Perhaps that includes all of those times when I doubt myself and see very well my frailty and weakness.  BUT — while poverty is the true state of my self never, never, never, doubt God.

Do not doubt Him as you stand there holding a few pieces of fish and bread.

Do not doubt Him when the storm is raging and the boat seems to be going down.

Do not doubt Him when you are in prison and they are sharpening the ax.

God has been working, will keep working and He is working right now, in this very moment.