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Ponder. . .  What is a Church?

“Dynamic” is one response.

This may seem an elementary question, but the views people carry about the cares in their life, in no particular order — faith, family, jobs, friends, hobbies — matter.  We invest in the things we care about with our time, efforts, and money.  We bring energy and ideas to projects.

Obviously, there is more than one answer to this question, “What is a Church . . .?.”  Feel free to elaborate if you desire.  I thoroughly believe Christians should share their ideas and beliefs with one another.  Through my eyes this is what fellowship is mainly about:  Spiritual enlightenment.  Sharing with the faithful creates an environment for exchanging the concepts of our faith that help us to learn new views about our faith and, in so doing, sharpen our ability to share the faith to those who need to know more of God.  What better way to expand your own knowledge of God than to share with those made in God’s own image.  In Genesis, God makes humans in, “Our own image,” — which means you and each of those you worship with are somehow an “image of (the plurality of) God.”

“…this is what fellowship is mainly about: Spiritual enlightenment.”

We receive back in measure to how much we give, or in New Testament terms, “Reap what we sow.”  And as our knowledge increases about a subject we understand it better and tend to be more supportive towards it.  In this instance we are talking about ‘church’ and any of its aspects.  If the question seems awkward, rethink it a little.  Maybe “At church we…”  or “What I like is …”  So write us something…

Jeff

 

Leaders’ Quad-fecta

4 Aspects of Christian Leadership

This is 133% of a TRI-fecta!

[This post is meant to be juxtaposed with today’s other post, “Obeying Leaders”.]

1st Peter, Chapter 5

These verses in the beginning of 1st Peter, Chapter 5 succinctly contain how to be a good, effective Teacher and Leader in the context of Christian Community.  Let’s list the major points:

  1. Oversight
  2. Willing to Serve
  3. Not Insisting on your own way
  4. Be an Example of the Christian Faith

Continue reading “Leaders’ Quad-fecta”

Obeying Leaders

[This post is meant to be juxtaposed with today’s other post, “Leaders’ Quad-fecta”.]

Hebrews 13:17

1st Corinthians 16:16

Because of the relationship a Christian Leader has with God (Jesus & the Spirit are right-in-there as well) those who are Shepherded are to submit, be submissive, and follow what Leaders say. Continue reading “Obeying Leaders”

In Time, God Comes Through (Christmas Thoughts)

So many times gods are characterized living above this world, detached from it, yet controlling and manipulating people and events; inanimate objects — rocks, mountains, trees, earthquakes here and there; yeah, even the wind, rain, sun, lightning bolts; well, let’s throw in entire planets, gravity, the whole space-time continuum.  After all, a god is a god and can do anything they well please to do.  Can we, PLEASE, have the choice of a god who has a different mindset?

How about a Deity sitting back, assessing the condition of humanity and surmises, “Just as it is difficult to recapture water that is seeping into the ground, after it is poured from a cup: humanity is lost . . . and should be retrievable“.

Retrievable.  Second chance.  Relocating.  New Life.  A better way than what we, humanity, knew before.

Knew before what: Continue reading “In Time, God Comes Through (Christmas Thoughts)”

Using Your Heart to make Music to Jesus

Ephesians 5:19

The true meaning behind this passage has eluded me, and thus, is one of many questions I have for Paul to give more detail on what he really meant.

Creating, making, yes, using your heart to sing to Jesus. . .  I get it.  Sorta.

So, as I am standing in a service singing a praise song and I kinda start my own little harmony, singing in the Spirit (as Paul brings up in 1 Corinthians 14:15) and it sounds pretty good.  (Even the idea of doing this sounds good).  Singing a personal melody for God.  Is this what Paul meant?

What if my lips and vocal cords do not move, thus, literally my heart is making the melody between the Lord and myself — an inaudible personal song.  Is this what Paul was talking about?

Or is it a group thing, like communion, we all participate together at the same time.  As a group we begin to Spiritually sing.  ?

Maybe in the writing process the Spirit would lead those writing the song.  As the theme modulates in weaving melody and words which will one day move worshipers during a service — those words and melody flowing from the heart.  Is this it?  This is the what I strive for as I write a song.

Maybe you have some more ideas?

I am fond of each of these ideas.  I believe in the Spirit leading us as a group or as individuals in ways that show God in His True Light; perpetuating His story, His interactions with human beings.  His way with ALL humans. His way with EACH human.  His way with __________(insert your name here).  His caring for each one of us.  Even if we are not all musicians.

I believe it’s amazing!  Could the answer be a pleasant mix of them all?  Sometimes one way, sometimes another way?

I do wish Paul could clarify a few things.

Maranatha

On Guarding the Intellect 1

Saint Isaiah the Solitary

The First of 27 Texts

“There is among the passions an anger of the intellect, and this anger is in accordance with nature.
Without anger a man cannot attain purity: he has to feel angry with all that is sown in him by the enemy.
When Job felt this anger he reviled his enemies, calling them ‘dishonorable men of no repute, lacking everything good, whom I would not consider fit to live with the dogs that guard my flocks’ (Job 30:1-4).
He who wishes to acquire the anger that is in accordance with nature must uproot all self-will, until he establishes within himself the state natural to the intellect.” Continue reading “On Guarding the Intellect 1”

Christians as “One”

Jesus, at the close of ministry, chose to tell His Disciples to be “One”.

The Gospel of John chronicles this, starting with John 13:34, when telling the Disciples to love each other, and continuing to the end of Chapter 17.  Jesus builds His case for Believers to be “One”.  This is possibly the biggest care on Jesus’ mind and heart before his arrest.

In the prayer following teaching the Disciples to be “One”, He emphatically drove His point home (my own description), and petitioned God to undergird His followers to be “One”.

He could have stressed power or knowledge,
love or understanding,
but His chosen emphasis was unity:
That WE = ONE.

But do we give up our individual identities to the ideology of the community?  Do you give up God’s essence within you when you come to the community?  Do I? Continue reading “Christians as “One””

Summer of the Monarchs — Butterfly

Monarch Butterflies has been a theme for us this summer!

These creatures are only one creature in a sea of creatures on this amazing planet.  Spending their Summers eating, growing, cocooning (is that an actual word?), then flying as winged insects resembling something that could not possibly be worthy of flight.  At the end of the Summer their instincts prod them to fly to Mexico and hangout for the winter; to return in the spring and start the process over again!

Yahoo!!!

The details of the close ups reveal some amazing qualities!  Look at the proboscis, hairs on the body behind the head, the silk-like threads on the top of the cocoon.  Cocoon shots are of the same cocoon.

 

For years, I have intentionally let grow some of the Milkweed poking through the Spring grass in the yard, mowing around it because Monarch Butterflies lay their eggs, and the minuscule young caterpillars — they need an immediate, nearby food source — greedily begin eating and growing.  Monarchs are having a difficulties in today’s world and any help contributes to their well-being.  They spend the Summers: hatching, growing, reproducing; repeat.

The 4-stages of growth: egg,  caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), adult (emerge from chrysalis).

By the way, these great people were at our great county fair with butterflies, plants, butterfly house, and some great information.

http://thebutterflyexperience.net/lifecycle-of-the-butterfly.html

Appreciate a creature God wants us to enjoy. Help out a Monarch Butterfly if you can!

 -Jeff