My Radical Family is a Threat to Society

This morning I was reminded that I come from a history of people who were a threat to society… 🙂 Radicals.

“The Anabaptists’ reform efforts were a threat to their society, because they claimed Christianity was to be lived out in small communities in accordance with the explicit teaching of Scripture. Similarly, the first-century Christians were a threat to their society because they claimed that there was a more important kingdom than that of the Roman Empire: the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Both Christian movements spread because of the way people maintained their faith in Christ and love for others, even in the face of persecution.”

At what cost do we follow Jesus even when our ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ persecute us?

Read the full article here with an interesting video discussion…

What is the true job of a pastor?

The other day I had a delightful call with a young leader who brought up the topic of how a Pastor’s role appears to have terribly wandered today. I did a little digging on what others are saying…

“Most books on church growth and leadership today argue that if pastors continue to do what pastors have done for so many years, they will fail.”

Too many churches today operate with leadership models started in world models and adapted to the church. This is dangerous. Why?

These business models allow people to put pastors on pedestals.

These models puts the needs of the church first and forget outside the church.
The goal becomes building the church’s own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. (Megachurch mania.) It’s the…, ‘If we build it, they will come’ mentality. And yet, we are called to go

But, pride leads to destruction…

Proverbs 18:12 (CEV)
12 Pride leads to destruction;
humility leads to honor.

And, selfish ambitions destroys a church…

James 3:16 (GW)
Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

Instead, the role of the pastor should be based on a biblical model…


So, what does the Bible actually call a Pastor to do?

1. Pray first.

“Jesus lived a life of prayer. He started every day in communion with the heavenly Father. He ended every day in close relationship with His Father. At times, He even spent the whole night in communion with His Father. Jesus actually was in touch with His heavenly Father all the time.”

2. Do life out of a deep abiding relationship with Jesus.

“Over and over, the Scriptures show us that Jesus placed the highest priority of His life on spending time alone with the Father. His life reveals an intense passion for the presence of God. His heart longed and hungered to touch the heart of God.”

3. Preach the Word that is living and active, for heart transformation!

“We must study the Bible, not for curiosity, but for a new heart.”

4. Be in relationship with others. Do life with people. Don’t just lead meetings.

“Christ’s method builds relationships and meets needs.” Jesus didn’t die and rise again for us to be in meetings.

5. Then teach others how to do the same. (Emphasis on relationships.)

When Jesus began His public ministry, He called and empowered people to be His disciples— who would champion His world changing cause. As Robert Coleman says in The Master Plan of Evangelism, “His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. . . . People were to be His method of winning the world to God.”

6. And live a life of sacrifice.

Time, resources, and life unto death… willing to get in the muck. I recall this list…

12apostles

God calls us to live the life Jesus lived. Pastoral ministry is not about us, but about Him—about knowing and serving Him.”

Read the full excellent article here: The Biblical Role of the Pastor

Related: Epidemic: Another Pastor Burned Out and Quit Last Sunday

Intentional Meals Together?

“Cook at home and enjoy family meals.”
I read these words recently in the newly updated food guide…

feast.togetherThanks to a young friend recently visiting from Germany, who inspired us, I have been encouraged to ALSO include EVERY family member in the making of suppers, no matter the initial headaches, and turn them into a s..l..o..w.. going culinary social event from start to finish.

Food prep, feast, clean up…

I realize that though our Canadian family is one of the few (it seems) who aren’t running off to a million events after downing a quick fast food supper meal, I realized we still were not eating slow enough… like Europeans seem to do…

feasttogether

These folks across the ocean seemingly take 2-3 ours of everything together – food prep together, eat together, drink together, visit together… and often then games together.

I like this.
Intentional togetherness feasting.

I’m thinking too of the early house churches where the communion dinner was a full intimate meal and not like now in many places with little cups and little wafers done assembly line like and quickly with no interaction with others.

So, I’ve been re-inspired to swim upstream in my culture…

Make meals together.
Eat together.
Linger together.
Celebrate together.
Play together.
Bonus delight: invite a friend or two, or a family or two on the whole process! Adopt others into your family for dinner.

Forget the too many cooks in the kitchen theory.
(Yikes, did I just say that?)
Let’s make it work.

I wonder too…
Could we have less anxiety and depression in our country if we did this more…?
Less isolation…?

(Wow, all that prompted from the newly updated food guide…)

 

Inspired by:
8 ways Canada’s new food guide will change how you feed your kids…
https://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/new-canadas-food-guide-is-awesome/

My Process of Healing

victory

“Watching is a vital part of praying. God wants us to seek out the holes in the walls of nations, churches, and individual lives. Just as David and Joshua found out why God’s blessing had dried up, it is our job as prophetic intercessors today to find these gaps and fill them with prayer.” – Murray Dueck

I was standing in the gap…
with the gap becoming wider and wider …
and watching some who once prayed with me, lose their way…

“…Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning. But every time he lowered his hands, the Amalekites began to win.” – Exodus 17:10b-11

…and, eventually my body said, ‘enough is enough’ and crashed…

BUT…

The process of healing and renewing my strength…

…(with bits of my story) has been the following so far… 🙂

1. Blessing Prayers and Breaking Curses

2. Heart Wound Healing Prayers

3. Inner Healing Prayers 

4. Bonus: Something I’ve learned about my gifting while resting…My Spiritual Sensitivity and Burden Bearing

Thought: One advantage of chronic fatigue and chronic pain in recovery from ministry fatigue? I feel the Lord’s presence more strongly. I can tell when the Holy Spirit has given me more of His strength. Because I’ve got nothing. It’s like a jet propulsion or something.

Less of me, more of him! 🙂 Sweet Jesus, thank you!

Are We Seeking God’s Kingdom?

Graham Cooke speaking to men… about building the church and seeking God’s kingdom …Powerful.

Watch short clip below…

 

If you’d like to watch the full video…

(skip through announcements to about 6:42 or even 9:40…)

Read the book: Permission Granted to Do Church Differently in the 21st Century

Easter Song: Holy (Wedding Day)

“Holy (Wedding Day)”
The City Harmonic 

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
But it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea
O death where is your sting
Cause I’ll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord

This is the story of a bride in white
Waiting on her wedding day
Anticipation welling up inside
While the groom is crowned as king
O death where is your sting
Cause we’ll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy is the Lord

Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
Who was and is and is to come

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
And it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea

This is the story of the a bride in white
Singing on her wedding day
Of the God who was and is to stand before a bride who sings
Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty

 

Women Divided

How beautiful it is when women do life/walk/pray/disciple together in community. It is no wonder…the enemy is threatened by the power of women in unity. It is no wonder that one of his strategies is to divide women. (Not just men against women and vice versa.)

Yes, the enemy hates women in unity, discipling others together.

In the last days, the Bible warns us about division…

Matthew 24…

10 At that time, many will turn away from their faith. They will hate each other. They will hand each other over to their enemies. 11 Many false prophets will appear. They will fool many people. 12 Because evil will grow, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who remains strong in the faith will be saved. 14 This good news of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world. It will be a witness to all nations. Then the end will come.

The battle rages on… flesh vs spirit…

Galatians 5…

19 The result of sin’s control in our lives is clear. It includes sexual sins, impure acts and wild living. 20 It includes worshiping statues of gods and worshiping evil powers. It also includes hatred and fighting, jealousy and fits of anger. Sinful desire is interested only in getting ahead. It stirs up trouble. It separates people into their own little groups. 21 It wants what others have. It gets drunk and takes part in wild parties. It does many things of that kind. I warn you now as I did before. People who live like this will not receive God’s kingdom.

22 But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed their sinful desires to his cross. They don’t want these things anymore. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become proud. Let us not make each other angry. Let us not want what belongs to others.

“Lord, have mercy and come quickly…”

In the meantime…

1 Peter 5:8 

Be watchful and control yourselves. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to swallow up. 

Put on God’s Armour…

Ephesians 6:

10 Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s evil plans. 12 Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world. 13 So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing. 14 So remain strong in the faith. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. 15 Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. 16 Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s word.

18 At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

If you are a Christian woman betrayed by other women,

…you are not alone… 

1 Peter 5:9 
 Stand up to the evil one. Remain strong in what you believe. You know that you are not alone in your suffering. The family of believers throughout the world is going through the same thing.

You are also in good company with Jesus…

Luke 22

Then Satan entered Judas, who was called Iscariot. Judas was one of the 12 disciples. He went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard. He talked with them about how he could hand Jesus over to them…

20 In the same way, after the supper Jesus took the cup. He said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. It is poured out for you. 21 But someone here is going to hand me over to my enemies. His hand is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go to his death, just as God has already decided. But how terrible it will be for the one who hands him over!”

When We Silence Women

silence-001
Image source: Globe and Mail

What happens when we silence women, “on behalf of God”…?

“What we lose by excluding the distinctively feminine from ‘official’ ministries of teaching and preaching is of incalculable value. That loss is one of a few fundamental factors which account for the astonishing weakness of ‘the Church’ in the contemporary context.” (Dallas Willard)

What women bring to God’s kingdom building…

Many women in my circles are naturals at intentional relationship disciple-making. And if we do use programs, …in our current culture that loves the latest study, …we women are often found intentionally building relationships within those programs. Relationships that are intentionally built, continue long after the programs. Programs are only launch pads for disciple making. The most powerful disciple making happens organically.

But, we women are not perfect at this and it does not originate with us…

We see this example set by Christ Himself personally investing in 12 men and several women (Luke 8:1-3). These people did life together outside any classroom. Jesus didn’t invite spectators and note takers, he invited people to become disciple-makers. Men, can teach us women (and always have) but we women would love for men to be willing to learn from us as well.

If men didn’t listen to women, they may still think Jesus was in the grave. Go back to the Easter story and see who first believed and who first shared the Good News message. 

“All of Easter hangs on the testimony of women.” – Ravi Zacharias

We are called to build the kingdom together.

Together is better.

Because of Jesus, there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’…

“There is no Jew or Gentile. There is no slave or free person. There is no male or female. That’s because you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:20

Men… Brothers… We are not here to outdo each other. We are here to serve together to share the Gospel with a dying world. The world needs Jesus who defeated sin and death, and they won’t see Jesus in us when we fight with envy and fear. We need to choose to empower each other all the while being led by the Spirit. Truly godly women don’t want to take over, we want to be faithfully using our gifts for His kingdom!

People will only see Jesus in a family where men and women honour each other because they love Jesus more than anything. (John 17)

Let us not tarnish our testimony and halt sharing the Gospel because of our mistreatment of each other. The enemy laughs when this happens.

Let us not quench the Holy Spirit through the silencing of women who have been called to teach and prophesy…

“ ‘In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Holy Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions.
    Your old men will have dreams.
In those days, I will pour out my Spirit on my servants.
    I will pour out my Spirit on both men and women.
    When I do, they will prophesy. (Joel 2 & Acts 2)

The world needs Jesus, the God who broke cultural barriers, gender barriers… and cosmic barriers – the barrier between God and man.

At what cost will you quench the Spirit? Or will you rather let Him lead through others you may not expect?

Read Acts 10 &11 to see the paradigm shift Peter had to go through regarding Gentiles! What paradigm shift will God need to take you through regarding genders, races, etc to show you that His Holy Spirit is available to all who believe in Jesus?

“What we lose by excluding the distinctively feminine from ‘official’ ministries of teaching and preaching is of incalculable value. That loss is one of a few fundamental factors which account for the astonishing weakness of ‘the Church’ in the contemporary context.” (Dallas Willard)

*Silencing women or any other group from sharing the Gospel and making disciples is spiritual attack.

The enemy hates women and men working together because that was Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21… to be one with God and one with each other… so that people will come to Jesus…

“I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.”

Read my own story of the enemy’s attack: From Curses to Blessing


More info:

Be Still :)

A video invitation from one of my online mentors.
Come away from rush and hurry…
You and I are invited to do life not out of an anxious to-do list,
but out of a place of rest and peace…
Find a quiet place,
enjoy the peaceful music,
the words and questions to stir your heart and mind…

Rest Deeper. Live Fuller. Lead Better.

http://www.unhurriedliving.com

I first ‘met’ Alan Fadling online through Sabbatical topics and have chatted with him via Twitter. I very much enjoyed his book:
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest