From Religion to Relationship :)

From religion to relationship. Yes, yes, yes…

This was the journey of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. It took a paradigm shift, a transformation of mind to heart. Jesus got his attention, blinded him for days and then gave him new eyes to see! Jesus showed him that it wasn’t about rules, but about relationship!

I read this recently…

“If you believe the wrong thing, it will take away the power of the right thing. For example, if you’re legalistic and think that you have to earn your way to God, the importance of grace diminishes. I think of how before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul the persecutor operated in pure legalism. When the scales fell off his eyes, his religious mindset was not just broken, but God created a new nature in him. In this new nature, Saul turned Paul was not only freed from the religious pressure nagging him in his inner thoughts, but also his mind was renewed.” (Shawn Bolz, God Secrets.)

Legalism prevents us from intimately knowing the Father in the greatest relationship we could ever have.

Legalism also keeps us from loving others, and stuck in just knowing about others and easily slipping into judgement.

Does learning the truth about others always set one free? Maybe not. I can think of learning a few things that did not bring me peace.

BUT, seeing God’s Truth about others is another thing…

Seeing how God loves someone stuck in legalism/religion, whatever… (and instead seeing HIS Truth available to them), helps to set me free to love them as God loves them, and pray for them.

I’m still learning this.

Yes… there IS the call to wipe the dust off our feet when our gift of peace is not received… When peaceful relationship is not welcomed, keep walking… Freedom is elsewhere. Submitting to religion (or someone’s legalism) is not freedom. I don’t want to be Saul of Tarsus or friends with that guy! I want to journey with Paul and see God do mighty things!! God’s kingdom is about freedom!

Ask God:

Where am I trapped in my thinking?

What do you want to set me free from?

Who do you want to set me free from?

(Friendship is related to the word ‘freedom’. If you are trapped, constantly torn apart, that is not a friendship, that is abusive. One of the hardest things to do is walk away from someone you love who has continued to abuse you, manipulate you, control you… Tough love is no longer enabling someone’s pattern of abuse, legalism, religion, etc. Loving them is showing them that behaviour is not okay.)

God, what promise do you have for me?

What gift do you have for me?

Enjoy a 2-way relationship with Father God who made a way through His son Jesus.

Read and Meditate on His Word.
Ask Him questions.
Listen and Write.
Pray it all back to Him!

Christianity is not a religion (earning our way to God’s love), it’s a relationship (He is love and extends His love to us through His son Jesus who opened the doorway).

 

Discipleship Things We’ve Forgotten

people-praying-together
“Success is not the pastor or the staff executing all the ministry; it’s them equipping the saints to do the work of ministry.”

“If you seek to build a church, you rarely produce disciples…If you seek to make disciples, you always get the church.”

“Pray about God giving you 3-5 men you can invest your life in for the next 12 months, and challenge them at the end of 12 months to replicate the process. And you watch what God does.”

“Jesus restricted 90 percent of his time to 12 men. And out of the 12, he restricted a large portion of his time to three: James, John, and Peter.”

Listen or read the interview notes here:

http://churchleaders.com/podcast/302734-robby-gallaty-jewish-jesus-discipleship-things-weve-forgotten.html

Mind Blown: Amazing Disciplemaking Story

A new missionary friend I met at a coffee shop birthday party the other day, sent me this disciplemaking story that made me weep with delight! She sent…

Hey, check this out!

A guy who was orphaned, drug addict, met Jesus, and grew in being discipled and started a discipleship making MOVEMENT. thousands of groups are all over the world… reaching to 8 generations of disciples!

Reminded me of our conversation the other day about, “What is church?”

(Listen to the full audio interview of Lee Wood and enjoy PDF outline…)
http://moredisciples.com/2016/12/24-wwdjd/

 

Listen to it yourself for the full impact of this incredible story…!
but here are some of my notes…
I’m going to listen to it over and over myself!

Poor deeply into the few!! (Don’t go for the numbers.)
We can suck at it.
But, God redeems and multiplies!!

Coach and train others!

You take care of the depth.
God takes care of the width!

Pray one hour or more before stepping out! (YES!!!)
The disciples asked Jesus…
“Teach us to pray!” They didn’t ask him to teach them to preach.

John 14:21

“Anyone who has my commands and obeys them, loves me. My Father will love the one who loves me. I too will love them. And I will show myself to them.”

He manifests in us.
If you want to see the magic, you just got to do the stuff…
Obey Him. Abide in Him!

It’s His pleasure to give us His kingdom.
We’re praying for His kingdom.
He’s our King.

There is joy in suffering and hardship together.
It’s not processing systems. It’s organic.
People are drawn to Him in us as we suffer together.

In the West, it’s a bad church model.
When we talk about this fast growing movement, people look at you like you’re crazy. Most of us in the West are products of a bad model.

What is the difference between a rockstar and a DJ?
A Rockstar wants the fame, the DJ wants everybody to dance.

He wants us to be faithful, and He takes care of the fruit.

Don’t measure yourselves among yourselves.
Don’t compare yourself to each other.

Abide in Him.
Do not seek to produce fruit.
He is the One who gives the increase.

We don’t see much fruit in the traditional Western church because we have short relational ties. We’re too busy. We have consumeristic and materialistic mindsets. If we die to ourselves daily, we will bear much fruit.

Go.
Tell.
Train trainers.

Do not become weary.
Keep doing what you’re doing.
You’ll get better at it.

We are the family of God…
He redeems!
He uses us.

God is faithful!

Lee’s mentor trained him how to multiply and Lee has trained others.

Here’s access to the training at:

Zumeproject.com

I’m in detox

Detox
Image source: pathtonature.com

After reading these two pages which were written back in 1987, I am pondering again yet another confirmation of how much I needed (still need) a detox… and full repair…


(From Danny Lehman’s book: “Bringin’ ‘Em Back Alive“)

Constant brainstorming meetings year, after year, over who (men / women) and what ‘methods’ of disciplemaking is right or effective, and then shelving everything we discussed, and coming up with little or no fruit, has sucked the life out of me…

I wanted to see change in the hearts of men, women, boys and girls, of entire families, a city, the world…

Arguing over a map and who is qualified to read the map (men only or women too?) will never get you on the journey. (Sometimes, you just gotta get in the boat and let the wind blow you to where the Spirit is leading. Control people hate this.  Let the Spirit speak and lead! Surrender. He is God.)

For now, I’m in a meadow with Jesus. He’s my detox guide as I heal from fatigue. He has rescued me from the storm.

Ps 23.

Resting.

Refreshing.

He has graciously delegated everything off of my plate to spend more time hearing His loving voice.

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones?

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones? A friend, community… you name it…?

💔

Good memories are painful… they haunt me… I don’t know what to do with them. How do you grieve over a once faithful but then turned hurtful inner community…? I’m grieving over the betrayal of a small circle within a community I loved and trusted, fasted for, prayed for…

…friends, leaders, mentors…

…who once were devoted encouragers and cheerleaders with pom moms… now with daggers by tongue. Some who have admitted it was out of envy and jealousy…

I am fiercely loyal and I am like a warrior for others. So, when those I once fought for, prayed for… resort to attack because I have not met their expectations which they failed to communicate directly to my face… ugh… I just want my aching heart to stop…

I rest in the arms of Jesus healing my broken heart.

How I wish those I loved in community would have been loving to the end…

Not everyone was hurtful, thankfully …but of a few I discovered painful stories behind closed doors of ones I thought loved me well as I did them. I learned they didn’t have the courage to seek to understand, but only to assume and attack… and horribly misunderstand me.

I apologized for not being aware of their situation, and I forgave their initial hurtful words. We pressed on. Then, I apologized again and forgave,… but the hurtful attack didn’t stop… it became a toxic, abusive community… and my body crashed. It said, ‘enough is enough’.

Blame, lying, hiding… it felt like Act 2 of the Garden.
How dangerous one mindset can become…to affect an entire family.

My heart is now wounded. I ache. We were once a fruitful family… hearing God’s voice together, bringing freedom and healing to others together… Now, brokenness.

Betrayal is so hard from those you deeply trusted and respected and loved.

John 17 is Jesus’ prayer for us as a family…
He prays for unity, for love…
and yet I have been hurt the deepest by my adopted ‘family’…

I am reminded of the betrayal Jesus went through by his own family and disciples… for my sake! … Timely, as it is Lent season now. And I am reminded in Matthew 24 that it is the sign of the times…

And this too was timely…

I have adopted many of David’s Psalms for prayers… I’m so glad he was so blunt and raw and called a man after God’s own heart. Oh Lord, have mercy on my broken heart.

The Purpose of Lent (An Evangelical Perspective)

Forgiveness and freedom is what Easter is all about. Freedom from being stuck in bondage, freedom from sin …and not merely bad habits that make us swirl into addiction and entrapment.

Forgiveness of sin is what Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is all about.

The purpose of Lent is awareness; for you and I to be aware of our situation before Christ’s death… We far too often gloss over our problem of sin and think way too highly of ourselves without God’s rescue plan. Lent is the awareness of our humble position. Lent brings us to gratitude for God’s rescue plan. Lent reflection motivates us to love and to gratitude for the forgiveness of our sin through Christ’s work on the cross. Without awareness of our sin problem, and Christ’s incredible sacrifice on the cross for us, life’s meaning is confusing, life is self-centred, life falls short and we know in our hearts there is so much more than this. Life lived in awareness of Christ’s gift and receiving His gift of forgiveness brings freedom!! This Lent, choose His freedom!

More awareness…

Advent, the countdown to Christmas, is a season of waiting for the Saviour to come. Lent is also a season of waiting; waiting for our Saviour’s rescue plan to be carried out for us! God came down at Christmas as baby Jesus our Lord, and then as an adult was sacrificed for our freedom at Easter! It’s the most incredible story told over and over.

For more awareness…

This Lent and Easter, learn more from daily insights from Biblegateway.com

The Fruits of Our Lives

“What counts in your life and mine is not successes but fruits. The fruits of our life are born often in our pain and in our vulnerability and in our losses. The fruits of our life come only after the plow is carved through our land. God wants us to be fruitful. The question is not, “How much can I still do in the years that are left to me?” The question is, ” How can I prepare myself for total surrender so my life can be fruitful?” Remain in Jesus; he remains in you. You will bear many fruits, you will have great joy, and your joy will be complete.” – Henri Nouwen

How Jesus Spent Time With People « Alan Fadling: Notes from my Unhurried Journey

A mentor of mine, Chuck Miller, suggested the value of reflecting in the gospels on how Jesus spent time with people. So that’s what I’m going to do here. When and with whom is He one-on-one? In small groups? In larger groups?

Read… How Jesus Spent Time With People « Alan Fadling: Notes from my Unhurried Journey.

Who’s In The Driver’s Seat?

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? (Luke 9)

Who or what is first priority in your life? Jesus promises a full life, but many of us settle for a fake.

“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:10

Take a moment and simply talk to God. Tell Him you want to experience the life He promises. Tell Him you want Him to take all your concerns, worries, stresses and carry them for you. Ask Him to show you how to release control over to Him. (Our loving Creator knows what’s best for us, so it only makes sense to let Him lead us. He gave His only son to pay the price of sin for us. Now that is love.)

“Dear Jesus, I am sorry for chasing after things that are nothing compared to you. Fill my desire with you and mind with thoughts of you. Forgive me for loving things and people more than you. Reveal yourself to me. Show me how to be your child. Amen.”