Saturday, June 30, 2012


The meeting or gathering in the early church was primarily a believers meeting.  Scriptures make that plain in 1 Corinthians chapters 11-14.  Unbelievers were not the focus of these early church meetings.

I think it’s important to point out that as we look to the New Testament to grasp an understanding of how the early church believers gathered it becomes clear that there were four primary types of meetings.  Each of these meetings served a different purpose.  Lets look at these meetings briefly:

  • Apostolic Meetings - These were meetings where the apostles preached to a group of people. These meetings were often interactive allowing for discussion.  The purpose of these meetings were to either plant a new church or encourage an existing one (Acts 5:40-42; Acts 19:9-10; 20:27, 31)  In these meetings the apostle did most of the ministry initially.  This was an itinerant work so the worker would not be there permanently.
  • Evangelistic Meetings - In the early church evangelism happened primarily outside the regular meetings of the church.  The apostles preached the gospel where unbelievers were - they took the gospel to them (Acts 14:1; 17:1-33; 18:4, 19).  The fruit of these meetings was to plant a new church or to add to an existing one.  The workers were not a permanent part of these local churches.
  • Decision Making Meetings - There were times when a church would need to gather to make an important decision.  The meeting in Jerusalem described in Acts 15 was a meeting of this nature.  In these meetings everyone participated in the decision making.
  • Church Meetings - These meetings were the regular meetings or gatherings of the church.  These meetings were comprised of believers who gathered for mutual edification.
I want to look at the believers meetings.  These meetings were radically different than today's institutional church services.  In the early church gatherings there was not a pastor who preached a sermon behind a pulpit while everyone else sat passively and listened.  The thought of a sermon focused pastor to pew audience style "church
service" was foreign to the Christians of the early church. 

The church service of today's institutional church is designed for singing, hearing a sermon with perhaps a little evangelism thrown in from time to time for good measure.  In contrast, the purpose of the New Testament church gatherings was for mutual edificationThis is something Christians, today, have a difficult time digesting.  It's not about the preacher.  It's not about the building.  It's not about the singing.  It's about the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives and gatherings!

Frank Viola in his book Reimagining Church stated, "The regular meetings of the church envisioned in Scripture allowed for every member to participate in the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:16).  There was no "up front" leadership.  No one took center stage.  Unlike today's practice, the teaching in the church meeting was not delivered by the same person week after week.  Instead, every member had the right, the privilege and the responsibility to minister in the gathering.  Mutual encouragement was the hallmark of this meeting.  'Every one of you' was its outstanding characteristic."

Singing was an important part of early church gatherings (Colossians 3:16).  Singing in the New Testament church was not led by a group of professional singers and musicians.  Rather, each person had the opportunity to lead the singing (1 Corinthians 14:26).

We see, once again, how the early church took "one anothering" seriously.  It was an open format where each person could share in word, song or any other manner they felt led to share.  The leading of the Holy Spirit was key in the sharing.  As the New Testament church gathered for their believers meetings we see a church where every
member took part.  Even today, this same freedom, openness, spontaneity and leading of the Spirit should be what our gatherings consist of.  The primary goal of our believers meetings should be the mutual edification of God's people.

I believe when the church returns to her New Testament roots, the church will once again be the church God envisioned.  When the church returns to every member functioning for mutual edification the impact of the church will be like nothing we’ve seen in our life time!  The church will once again be the church “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against.

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.  If you are interested in reading more regarding the organic expression of church life I recommend Frank Viola's book "Reimagining Church".

Thursday, June 28, 2012


This is my 50th blog post!  I thought it would be both interesting and fun to take a look back at the five most viewed posts on this blog.  I would also like to share some statistics with you regarding this blog.

Let me say, first of all, THANK YOU to all of you who take the time to read these blog posts.  It’s my prayer that God would use the things that are written on these pages to touch hearts, change lives and spur the Christian on to spiritual growth. 

I realize we touch on some unconventional topics on this blog.  I share what God lays on my heart to share.  I believe each blog post has hit its target – and still continues to hit its target for that matter.  Previous blog posts are read almost on a daily basis.   This lets me know God is using this blog for His purpose on an ongoing basis.

I also want to thank those of you who repost a link to this blog so others who are not on my friend list or otherwise subscribed to my blog may see it.  I truly appreciate it.  Many of those folks have “friended” me on Facebook and some have began to follow me on Twitter, as well.

Without further ado, the top five blog posts on this blog since it’s inception earlier this year are…drum roll please…
Note:  Numbers What About Our Sunday Go To Meeting Clothes and Contentment tied for fifth place so I thought I would list them both.

And now for a few stats...People from the following countries are reading this blog:  United States, Russia, Germany, Ireland, South Korea and Malaysia.  I've also been informed that there are some in Canada that are reading this blog, as well.  Praise God!  There were 448 page views just last month!  Not only are the current blog posts being read, but previous blog posts continue to be reviewed on a daily basis.

When God laid on my heart to start a blog I had no idea it would have such far reaching affects.  How humbling that He would see fit to use this blog to touch so many lives in such a short time.  I truly look forward to seeing what God has in store for the coming months!  Remember...little is much if God is in it!

Again, I want to thank those of you who take the time to read and repost this blog.  By all means, I encourage you to continue to forward a link to this blog via the icons below or by email.  Let's get the word out!

Also, if you would like to be notified when a new blog post it posted I would be happy to add you to my email list.  These go out as BCC so that no one can obtain your email without your permission. If you would like to be added to our email list for notification purposes just send an email to with the word "Subscribe" in the message body and I will be happy to add you to the email list.  You will then receive an email when a new blog post is posted.

Let's continue on this adventure with Jesus together. 

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Am I anti-church?  Recently this question came up.  I wanted to address this in my blog so those who read this blog will know where I stand.  

Allow me to state at the onset that I am absolutely NOT anti-church by any means.  I love God's church.  I love God's people.  It's my sincere desire to see the church be the church God intends for her to be.   I think anyone who truly knows me knows this.  I know we have a number of readers of this blog who do not know me personally, so I wanted to let you know where I stand.

Now having said that, I AM opposed to the modern institutional church system.  As I have written in previous blog posts today's institutional church is so far removed from what God intended that it's not even recognizable to God.  Most of our church customs and traditions have their roots in paganism.  I might add most of the things we do in our church services (including the service itself) has no basis in Scripture.  That's what I am opposed to.

Today's institutional church leaves its members spiritually and sometimes emotionally bound upIn many cases it seeks to drain them of their financial resources as well as their time and energy.  This simply is not the New Testament church in action.  

Today's institutional church has done a good deal to dissuade people from joining God's family.  So many of today's modern churches are spiritually lifeless.  Oftentimes there are cliques, backbiting, bickering among other things in these churches.  Who wants to have anything to do with that? 

The modern church places a good deal of emphasis on "church membership" sometimes pushing people to "join" the church.  Joining the church, they say, gives you a voice.  God's church isn't supposed to be a democracy.  I, personally, don't believe in church membership as it's emphasized today.  I believe when one is born again, he or she is born into the family of God.  That makes you a member of His family - His church.  That's good enough for me.  By the way, I see no precedent for church membership in the early church.

I hear stories often of people struggling in their spiritual lives sitting right there on the church pew.  The modern church gives the people the misconception that they get "fed" spiritually by coming to church.  While there may be some truth to that, our primary source of spiritual growth should be our personal time time with God.  We should love Him, praise, Him, worship Him, serve Him, honor Him, adore Him and spend time with Him.  

These things, no doubt, sound odd coming from one who is currently shepherding a congregation in a rural setting.  I addressed this in an earlier blog post titled"WHY AM I A PASTOR?"  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God set my wife and I here for a season.  I'm equally as sure there will come a time when God will lead us out.  You see, while this church we are in is considered "outside the box" in a lot of ways to those who are still in the box, it still has it's traditions and ways of doing things.  It's my hope that I will be able to lead this congregation into a new found spiritual freedom that comes only in Jesus.

The church - God's church - gathers together with the intent of each member functioning.  There are no pastors as we recognize them today.  "Pastor" is not and should not be a position in a church, but rather a function.  The meetings should be spontaneous with songs, testimonies and sharing.  Above all Jesus Christ should be and must be the center of each meeting.  You see, in God's church, It's all about Jesus!

So, rest assured, I'm pro-church - God's way!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The New Testament uses a number of descriptive words to describe the church.  For example, the terms body, bride, family, living temple, etc are used to describe the church.

Each of these terms indicate the church is a living organism as opposed to an institutional organization. When I say the New Testament church is organic, I mean its alive!  It has a spiritual origin not a man-made origin.  I think most believers, today,would agree with that.  But what does organic church look like?  Has this really taken root in our spirit?

Frank Viola illustrated it wonderfully in his book Reimagining Church (p. 32) when he wrote, "Whenever we sin-scarred mortals try to create a church the same way we would start a business corporation, we are defying the organic principle of church life.  An organic church is one that is naturally produced when a group of people have encountered Jesus Christ in reality (external ecclesiastical props being unnecessary), and the DNA of the church is free to work without hindrance.

To put it in a sentence, organic church life is not a theater with a script; it's a gathered community that lives by divine life.  By contrast, the modern institutional church operates on the same organizational principles that run corporate America."

Just as we see the triune God have fellowship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the church is an organic extension of our living God.  The church is a community of believers sharing and expressing God's life in the earth.  One could say the church is the earthly image of God.

The very essence of the church displays traits and characteristics we find in our triune God.  Among these characteristics are mutual love for one another, mutual fellowship with one another, mutual dependence on one another, mutual honor expressed to one another, mutual submission to one another, and true authentic community with one another.

Looking at the Trinity, its important to note the absence of hierarchical leadership. There's no fussing over who's in charge.  There's a complete absence of religious programing.

You see, these things are man-made, not God-made.  These are not characteristics of God neither should they be characteristics of His church.

Organic expression of church will reflect four elements:

1) It will always express the Headship of Jesus Christ as opposed to the headship of a human being.  Jesus is Head of His church!

2) It will always allow for and encourage every member to function in the gatherings.

3) It will always hold to the theology of the early church.

4) It will always be rooted in the fellowship of God.

We recently spent a good amount of time writing, in this blog, how that most of the practices of the institutional church of today have their roots in paganism.  After a period of time these pagan roots have become traditions in the modern church.  It is through these the traditions the Word of God becomes ineffective (Matthew 15:6; Mark 7:8-9).

People often ask, "What has happened to the church?  Why is she not having the impact on society that she should?"  I believe it’s because society has had its impact on the church thereby rendering her ineffective in today’s world.

The religious traditions we hold so dear, today, have shaped our Christian walk.  These church traditions have shaped our minds and even put is into to a box, spiritually speaking.  Think about it, we open our Bibles and read in to the Scriptures our religious traditions.  We have been trained to think that way.  
For example, when you see the word “pastor” in the Bible we think of someone who preaches behind a pulpit on Sunday mornings.  When we see the word “church” we think of a place where we go for a service.  Do you see the problem? 

We are good at taking things out of context as we read them in Scripture.  In fact, it’s become a common practice to lift a number of verses out of their context to prove a point, establish a doctrine or defend a tradition we hold dear.  Oftentimes we do it without even realizing we are doing it.  If we would read the New Testament in chronological order and take out the chapters and verses it would go along way in giving us the proper narrative that God intended.

As stated previously, many of our current church practices, methods and doctrines are without Scriptural foundation.  They are man-made.  They are also at odds with the organic expression of church.  Most even do not express the Headship of Jesus Christ.  Instead they embrace man’s ideas and traditions therefore stifling out any organic expression of church life.

Frank Viola said it well in His book Reimagining Church  (pg 45), “The DNA of the church produces certain identifiable features.  Some of them are the experience of authentic community, a familial love and devotion of its members to one another, the centrality of Jesus Christ, the native instinct to gather together without static ritual, the innate desire to form deep-seated relationships that are centered on Christ, the internal drive for open-participatory gatherings, and the loving impulse to display Jesus to a fallen world.”

The church is to be an organic expression of our faith.  She is alive!  She is growing!  She is beautiful when she is allowed to function as God intended.  She is NOT a business.  She is NOT a bunch of lifeless rules and traditions. 

Let’s return to the basics of letting Jesus be Head of His church.  Let’s return, like the early church, to the centrality of Jesus Christ.  Let’s express organically as we live, breathe, grow and function together as the body of Christ.

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.  If you are interested in reading more regarding the organic expression of church life I recommend Frank Viola's book "Reimagining Church".

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Frank Viola in his book, Reimagining Church shares his heart as he shares with the readers his dream for God's church.  I could not have stated it any better myself.  May God touch your heart with these words.


I have a dream that one day the church of Jesus Christ will rise up to her God-given calling and begin to live out the true meaning of her identity - which is, the very heartthrob of God Almighty - the fiancée of the King of Kings.

I have a dream that Jesus Christ will one day be Head of His church again.  Not in pious rhetoric, but in reality.

I have a dream that groups of Christians everywhere will begin to flesh out the New Testament reality that the church is a living organism and not an institutional organization.

I have a dream that the clergy/laity divide will someday be an antique of church history, and the Lord Jesus Himself will replace the moss-laden system of human hierarchy that has usurped His authority among His people.

I have a dream that multitudes of God's people will no longer tolerate those man-made systems that have put them in religious bondage and under a pile of guilt, duty, condemnation, making them slaves to authoritarian systems and leaders.

I have a dream that the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ will be the focus, the mainstay, and the pursuit of every Christian and every church.  And that God's dear people will no longer be obsessed with spiritual and religious things to the point of division.  But that their obsession and pursuit would be a person - the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have a dream that countless churches will be transformed from high-powered business organizations into spiritual families - authentic Christ-centered communities - where the members know one another intimately, love one another unconditionally, bleed for one another deeply and rejoice with one another unfailingly.

I have a dream...

I encourage you to join me in daring to dream this dream!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.

Monday, June 18, 2012


A number of years ago I began looking at the way we were doing church in the church I was pastoring at the time.  We were already an "outside the box" group of people.  Many in the community considered us "odd" or "weird" because we were different.  Yet I knew something was still amiss.  Something still wasn't right.  I knew this in my spirit.

I began doing some research about how church is done.  It wasn't long before I found other brothers and sisters around the country who were sensing the same things in their spirits. Needless go say this excited me.  Just knowing I wasn't alone in my thoughts regarding God's intended plan for His church was encouraging.

Things have changed even more today.  According to George Barna's book, Revolution, the number of people questioning the institutional church is growing - and getting larger every year.  A good portion of these people have left the institutional church for their own spiritual benefit.  We are hearing more and more about people becoming stagnant and sensing themselves in a  spiritual downward spiral all while being a part of an institutional church.

Today's institutional church is not meeting the spiritual needs of those who have a deep longing for an intimate relationship with Jesus.  As spiritual needs continue to go unfulfilled, believers will continue seeking for something more, something different, something better.

As I talk to different people and even respond to those who read this blog who have sent me personal messages, I truly believe something is brewing.  Something exciting, I might add. Some may call it a revolution of sorts.  This goes well beyond a series of revival meetings.  It goes well beyond our institutional church practices.  Its deeper.  Much deeper, in fact.  It goes to the core of not only church practices but also of the teachings and theology itself.

I believe God is doing more and more to being His people out of the spiritual bondage they've been in for so long.  This involves a renewed emphasis that the New Testament church is a spiritual organism, not an institutional organization!

The institutional church of our day is a man made system of doing church under the headship of man.  There are some precious people in the institutional church.  I have no problem with the people, its the institutional system that puts people in bondage or, at the very least, does not permit them to function in the gathering that I take issue with.  These churches are very much building centered organizations being led by ministers/pastors.  In an institutional church the congregants watch a religious performance once or twice a week led primarily by the minister/pastor.  After that dissertation they return home to go live their individual lives.

God's church, as previously stated, is organic in nature.  When I say "organic" I am referring to churches that function according to New Testament principles like the early church did. Make no mistake about it - God's church can, indeed, express herself organically just as she did in the New Testament.

Don't die on the vine!  Become part of God's church - the living, breathing organism Jesus laid down His life for.  The gates of hell cannot and will not prevail against this church!

Until next time enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Are you bored in the institutional church setting?  Are you concerned about the lack of spiritual transformation you see in these organizations?  How about yourself?  Are you growing spiritually or do you find yourself spiritually stagnant?  Perhaps you've noticed more spiritual growth outside the organized church setting than inside.  What about the New Testament church?  We see a church that was alive and vibrant!  The early church is not duplicated in the organized church of today.  In fact, comparing the early church to today's church one can see, with little effort, how far we have departed from our biblical roots.
Just recently I wrote several blog posts regarding what church has become and the problems with that.  Now that we've looked at the problems it's time to look at some biblical solutions and answer a couple of questions.  So, is there a viable way of doing church outside of the institutional church setting?  If so, what does it look like?

I think most, today, have a flawed understanding of what the church is.  The church isn't an organization, a denomination or even a movement.  The church is not a building or a gathering at a particular time on a particular day.  The church is so much more than that. The church is the people of God and is also known as the bride of Jesus Christ.

I don't know that there is only one "right" way the church expresses herself in the world, today.  I believe there are a variety of ways and means that God has provided for us to be the church on the earth today.  So we want to look at some fresh ways of being the church in this blog over the coming weeks.  We will take a look at the teachings of Jesus as well as the other apostles in the New Testament.  We will see how they fleshed it out in their day to day lives.  

I long so much, and have for several years, to see God's people set free from the spiritual bondage the status quo brings with it.  Leadership in the institutional church often creates oppression on the congregants of these churches.  God is not an oppressive God.  Jesus is not an oppressive Savior.

Jesus desires go be the Head of His church.  We need to get back to the basics.  We need to get back to the supremacy of Christ in our lives, our families, our gatherings and our local assemblies.  Only then will the church be the church God has ordained her to be!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


It you know of someone who would be challenged and encouraged by this blog please pass on a link to them.  You can share this blog easily by clicking on the links below.  I believe the church needs to be set free from the bondage of the status quo she has been in for so long.  The blogs over the next few weeks will help us to see how this can be done.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


He made a change in the way that I'm walking
He made a change in the way that I'm talking
Old things pass away, behold everything's new
He made a change in the life that I'm living
I'm born again, set free, finally forgiven
If He can make a change in me, He can make a change in you.
This chorus of this southern gospel song has been reverberating in my spirit since last Friday.  As I was praying while driving to work those words began to sear into my spirit.  Our assembly was coming to the conclusion of having different people share their stories of God's faithfulness.  Some were from our own assembly while others were people whom the Lord laid on my heart to have have them share.  I firmly believe if we are a Christian we have a story to share about God's faithfulness in our lives.  Some in our assembly didn't like this series so much.  That didn't concern me.  My desire was to be faithful to what God had led me to do.  Each of these stories we heard shared over the past six weeks have been different, yet the same.  Each person, without fail emphasized the change God brought in their lives.  Each person's story hit a "target" in the gathering.  That is, someone was challenged and encouraged each week.  I love how God does that!

Last Friday as I was reflecting over the stories we have heard shared, I began to recall the change God made in my life.  That gets exciting when you look back and see the difference. 
I began to praise God for the change He made in me!  I'm not the person I used to be.  I don't talk the way I used to talk.  I don't do the things I used to do. Why?  Because HE made a change in me!  God is in the business of transforming lives!

I think it's important to acknowledge the Source of the change that has taken place in my life. 
The organization we call "church" didn't make a change in me.  Not even my brothers and sisters made this change in me.  It wasn't some book or seminar that made this change.   It took the blood of Jesus to affect this change in my life!!

Don't misunderstand.  Its important that we gather with the ekklesia - the assembly of believers.  Incidently, that can take on many shapes and forms.  It may include gathering on certain days.  It may include gathering for fellowship around a meal.  It may include a visit to a park or a walk with a friend.  It can manifest itself in many different forms.  The important thing is that we gather with our brothers and sisters.

Too often we get hung up being inside the walls of the building of an organized church.  We think that's the place where we are supposed to meet.  Nothing else will do according to some.  They miss so much putting themselves in that sort of a mindset and bondage.

I propose to you a question:  How much community actually takes place just sitting and looking at the back of the head of the person who is sitting in front of you?  My guess is not much!  The very nature of the way the organized church meets is not conducive to the "back and forth" of discussion whereby the whole body has the opportunity to share and even ask questions.  Today's organized church has drifted so far away from what God intended.

For the body to function as God intended we need each member of the body functioning. Paul compared us to a physical body (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).  In order for our physical bodies to function the way God intended we need each member of our body to be a healthy productive member.  If there's a broken arm, the body doesn't function in the manner God intended for it to function.  It still functions, but not fully.  The same is true of a broken leg, a broken wrist, shoulder or even toe.  When the body is well with members of the body functioning as intended, the body functions best.

So it is with the Body of Christ.  When some members of the body are not functioning, the body is not functioning as God intended.  When all members function using their gifts to exhort, encourage and edify their brothers and sisters then the body is functioning as God intended.  

This is another aspect of change God makes in our lives.  This is the change of which I am talking about.  Let's free God people of the bondage man has put them in for so long.  Let's free God's people to function when they gather! Let this change come over them and free them to minister to others.

Yes, God has made a change in me - and, I might add, He still is changing me.  Like the old song says, "He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be".  He's still working to change the mindsets of His people.  I thank God He hasn't given up on me!  In the same manner, He hasn't given up on you either!

I encourage you to allow God to continue to make a change in your life.  You won't regret it!

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


I want to encourage you to repost the link to this blog to other social media sources you may utilize by clicking on the links below.  Please help me get the word out about this blog so that we can encourage even more people.  God continues to open up doors and lead and we want as many people as we can reach to be aware of the things God is doing.  Thanks for you assistance!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Who among us has never questioned God?  Most all of us have asked God, "Why?"  I thought this was real good.

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this", or "Why did God have to do this to me".  Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers. "Yuck" says her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?"  "Gross, Mom!"

"Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?" "Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies: "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.  But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!"

"God works the same way.  Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times.  But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!  We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!"

God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.

Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.  He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
Please pass a link to this blog on to someone else who needs encouraged today.  Let's be encouragers.  I hope your day is a "piece of cake!"

Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, June 8, 2012


Some Christians, today, look like they are enduring their salvation.  They are void of the joy of the Lord.  They look as though they've been sucking on lemons for some time and have a persistent sour expression on their face.  Serving God, for them, is like going to the dentist for a root canal.

Who would want what they have?  If that was the only example you seen of a Christian, would that draw you into a relationship with Jesus?  Probably not.
  I know it wouldn't me.

As believers, we ought to be the most joyful people on the planet!  Think about it - we are forgiven, redeemed, set free and have an assurance of life eternal in heaven.  The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin. The Holy Spirit resides in us. WE are the temple of the Holy Spirit!  We share the journey with other brothers and sisters.  Jesus Christ is the very center of our existence!

Our joy is not based on others.  Our joy is not based on outward circumstances we find ourselves in.  Our joy is not negatively affected by the trials and valleys that we encounter on this journey.  Our joy is based on Jesus being the center of our lives.  There's an old chorus that says, "The world didn't give it to me and the world can't take it away."
   Praise God this joy we have didn't come from the world!  That simply means that the world (or the goings on in this world) cannot take away our joy! 

Out joy is not based on what others might think we ought to be doing.  Its not about what others call "church".  It's not about a building, a meeting, a seminar or a book.  Our joy is based on Jesus and on Him alone!  Nothing else will bring real lasting joy.

Have you ever known Christians who were going through tough times yet they seemed to still have a joy about them?  This is what we're talking about.  JOY!  True joy is only found in Jesus.

Until next time, let's enjoy the journey with great joy!


I want to encourage you to repost the link to this blog to other social media sources you may utilize by clicking on the links below.  Please help me get the word out about this blog so that we can encourage even more people.  God continues to open up doors and lead and we want as many people as we can reach to be aware of the things God is doing.  Thanks for you assistance! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


The early church did it right.  They produced followers of Jesus who had the reputation of turning the world upside down!  The early church Christians are still teaching us how we are to live and grow in Jesus.
Remember, being a disciple is about bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God.  We do that by knowing Jesus and allowing Him to live His life through us.

Discipleship has come to mean something different than originally intended.  Today, many think of it as a seminar or a course of study to be completed.  Most believers have a skewed opinion of what discipleship really is.  So many favor impractical, passive outcomes that do not reshape who we are and how we live.  To most, discipleship results in no difference in their journey with Jesus.

Jesus set the example of what it is to live for God when He walked this earth.  He showed us firsthand what that looked like.  As Frank Viola and George Barna wrote in their book, "Pagan Christianity?", "He began with a community of twelve men and a handful of women who lived a shared life together.  And that community expanded into communities all over the Roman world.  Those communities were the early churches."

Unlike the institutional church of our day, Jesus used interactive and hands-on means to affect change in lives. His sermons, per se, were few and far between.  When He did utilize sermon type lessons they ways led to putting into practice the point of the lesson in their lives.  They fleshed out what Jesus taught.  Wow!  What a concept!

Now, how does this translate into practical personal action that we flesh out?  Simply put, the school of Christ is the community of believers - the ekklesia of God!  You see, we learn Jesus and from one another in a close-knit, shared life community, where every member is free to share Jesus with their brothers and sisters just as the early church did.  It's in this community where every member learns Jesus together, hears Him together and follows Him together.

The Christian life was never meant to be lived outside of the Christian community.  Again, the church is a shared life community under the Headship of Jesus.  There are no lone rangers in this community.  The reality is...we need each other!  This was God's plan from the beginning of His church.

Think about who you are in Jesus.  If you are a believer you are a priest of God, a minister of the Lord Jesus and a member of the glorious body of Christ. Now that ought to excite you!!

Through your commitment to Jesus along with your desire to live with Him forever, you not only have the right but also the responsibility to be a functioning priest, minister and member of the body.  How awesome is that?

There's no question the organized church has veered off course over the past 2000 plus years.  So what shall we do?  As I see it, the only way to truly get back on track is for each of us to get down to business with God and begin prayerfully exploring God's original plan for His church and then be willing to respond faithfully to that plan.  If we do this, we'll see a grassroots revolution spread across our land like wild fire! Then God will get what He has desired for so long.

Until next time, enjoy the journey!


This blog post is another in a series looking at the practices of churches today and how they line up with the New Testament.  Perhaps this series could be better called, "Kicking Over Sacred Cows". For further reading and research, I recommend the book "Pagan Christianity?" by Frank Viola and George Barna.

I want to thank those of you who are sharing this blog with others.  I so appreciate it.  It's my desire to encourage and challenge believers everywhere to be the church Jesus has called us to be.  Leave the baggage of organize religion and serve Jesus in freedom following the leading of the Spirit as we gather in His name.  Please feel free to continue to post a link to this blog on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or even email it by using the icons below.  Let's see what God will do!

Friday, June 1, 2012


I received this from a list I belong to sometime back.  I thought it was real good.  It appears to have been written by someone from 1895.  This could very well have been written about America in 2012.

You talk about "fundamentals" of the faith!  That, in a nutshell, means basics.  I felt impressed of the Lord a number of years ago that "It's time to get back to the basics of the Word of God."  Since then we have done that and still endeavor to do that.

Let me know what you think.


Ignorant formal Christianity

(J. C. Ryle,  "What Is Needed?" 1895)
I am convinced that one of our grave defects today, is a most serious diminishing of the good old custom of private reading of the Bible. Between the growth of Christian periodicals and books, I have a strong impression that Bibles are not read as much and as carefully as they were two hundred years ago.

I am well aware that there are more Bibles in Great Britain at this moment, than there ever were since the world began! There is more Bible-buying and Bible-selling, more Bible-printing and Bible-distributing, than there ever was! But all this time, I fear we are in danger of forgetting--that to have the Bible is one thing--and to read it privately ourselves quite another!

I am afraid that the Bible of many a man and woman in Great Britain is never read at all. In one house, it lies in a corner--as stiff, cold, glossy and fresh as it was, when it came from the bookseller's shop! In another house, it lies on a table, with its owner's name written in it--a silent witness against him day after day! In another house, it lies on some high shelf, neglected and dusty--to be brought down only on grand occasions, such as a birth in the family--like a heathen idol at its yearly festival. In another house, it lies deep down at the bottom of some box or drawer, among the things not wanted, and is never dragged forth into the light of day--until the arrival of sickness, or death! These things are sad and solemn. But they are true.

I am afraid that many in Great Britain who do read the Bible--yet do not read it aright. One man looks over a chapter on Sunday evening--but that is all. Another reads a chapter every day at family prayers--but that is all. A third goes a step further, and hastily reads a verse or two in private every morning, before he goes out of his house. A fourth goes further still, and reads as much as a chapter or two every day, though he does it in a great hurry, and omits reading it on the smallest inconvenience. But each and every one of these men does what he does--in a heartless, scrambling, formal kind of way. He does it coldly, as a duty. He does not do it with appetite and pleasure. He is glad when the task is over. And when the book is shut--he forgets it all! This is a sad picture. But in multitudes of cases--oh, how true!

But why do I think all this? What makes me speak so confidently? Listen to me a few moments, and I will lay before you some evidence. Neglect of the Bible, is like disease of the body--it shows itself in the face of a man's conduct. It tells its own tale. It cannot be hidden.

I fear that many neglect the Bible--because of the enormous ignorance of true religion which everywhere prevails. There are thousands of professing Christians in this country, who know literally nothing about the Gospel. They could not give you the slightest account of its distinctive doctrines. They have no more idea of the true meaning of conversion, grace, faith, justification, and sanctification--than of so many words and names written in Arabic! And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it. I do not believe they do!

I fear that many neglect the Bible--because of the utter indifference with which they regard false doctrine--as if it did not signify much, and was all the same thing in the long run--whether one was a Roman Catholic, or a Socinian, or a Mormonite, or a Deist, or an Agnostic. And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it. I do not believe they do!

I fear that many neglect the Bible--because of the readiness with which they receive false teaching. They are led astray by the first false prophet they meet with, who "comes in sheep's clothing," and has a pleasant voice, a nice manner, and a gift of eloquent speech! They swallow all that he says without inquiry, and believe him as implicitly as papists believe the Pope! And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it. I do not believe they do!

I declare my firm conviction, that an idle neglect of the Bible is one cause of the ignorant formal Christianity which is so widely prevalent in these latter days!

Brethren! We are drifting, drifting, drifting--and what the end will be--no man can tell.