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This isn’t really a lesson, just some thoughts I’ve shared on Facebook recently.
Why do some pastors (and Christians) think that their presumption of correct doctrine gives them the right to be offensive? Example shared at a recent LOAF meeting: one local pastor (not present) told another “I’m praying for you to get saved”…
If you look at the bunch that Jesus served the Last Supper to, you wonder how any church can deny this sacrament to anyone.
Jesus did not constantly scold or browbeat his disciples – much less unbelievers. Where do some ministers get the idea that this is the thing to do?
Graham Cooke speaking on “decisions that define us”. Church is about making a difference, not being a social club. Being an army, not just a hospital.
Listen (it runs a little over seven minutes).
Just now (about 7am this morning), I was listening to Todd Bentley’s CD “Soaking in the Secret Place” and had a vision. I was in a small (1-2 person) boat by myself, moving across a small calm lake. I don’t know whether it was in heaven or earth. The day was sunny and mild, probably 75 degrees, and just the slightest hint of a breeze. There was no motor or sail, I don’t know how the boat was propelled, but it seemed to go what direction I wished it to.
I saw a small river coming into the lake and decided to go up this river, and the boat went that direction. I went a little ways up the river and came to a large field of emerald-green grass. Jesus was sitting there on a throne and I knew I was supposed to get out of the boat. When I did, He got out a picnic basket and blanket and invited me to have lunch with Him (fish sandwiches!) Although I describe it as a blanket by its heavier nature, it actually looked a lot like a red and white checkered tablecloth.
I wanted to listen to Him teach, but He said I needed to eat and “hang out” more, so I happily did. We didn’t talk much, I just enjoyed His presence. Then we both laid down on our backs and looked up at the shapes in the clouds. He asked me what I saw in one, and I said I saw a chariot. It was a very calm but fulfilling experience.
As I got up to go, He said to me “You can come back here any time you wish.” I am still processing the significance of this vision.
Last night I had an odd dream … I was riding in a car with a well-known evangelist (her car – a large car like a Lincoln, with a driver in the front seat, we were in the back seat) … we were talking about a computer program I wrote.
We arrived at our destination, and I helped her take pieces of an artificial Christmas tree out of the trunk and into a house of some sort (not mine, but much larger). Then all the sudden I was sitting in my living room with her, and once again I was trying to explain a part of this computer program to her. Then it ended.
It was odd because if I had time to spend with this person, I would certainly serve her (help her carry the tree pieces) … but the last thing I would do if I sat down with her on my couch is try to talk about my day job!
After I woke up, I was thinking “That was an odd dream, what are you trying to tell me, Lord?” and He reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was busy making lunch, while Mary listened to Jesus. Making lunch is a good thing, but Jesus apparently didn’t ask her to do so.
It was a reminder about the importance of what I do with my free time, who I spend it with, and what I do during that time.
Last Monday (June 15th) about 7am I had this vision, which I want to share. Note that what I write here does not represent my present church (or any particular church). It was a vision so the pictures were symbolic. It was speaking to me, however, and I think to the church as a whole as well.
The first door was called “revelation”. I opened the door and went in, and it was dark inside. But I saw a bright light a distance off. I could walk towards the light or back away from it. I didn’t yet go too close to the light, yet I knew I could come back to this place any time. It was the place to learn about God and the Kingdom.
I went in the second door, it was called “outreach”. Behind it were hungry people. They were calling “over here, over here” and reaching for me. They were many races, many of them poor, most of them non-caucasian. They were hungry for the least little thing I would share with them about Jesus and the Kingdom.
I went in the third door, it was called “ministry”. In it was like a big formal church sanctuary, a relatively modern sanctuary, but with large old-fashioned fixed pews. The carpet was red. For the size of the church, however, it was largely empty. The pulpit was vacant, I knew I had a message to deliver there, but the crowd was passive, unresponsive. There was no enthusiasm in the singing.
Then I was standing outside of the four doors. I was told that of the first three doors, I could choose to spend as much time as I wanted behind each door, I would make that decision. I could move from door to door freely.
What I saw, however: I most wanted to spend my time behind the third door (ministry) – ministering to those that are already in the kingdom. I most needed to spend my time behind the first door (revelation). I was most needed by others behind the second door (outreach).
I’m asking the Lord to help me apply what I saw. I need to balance the time I spend at each of these calls on my life. It’s easy to get too involved in any one of these.
I follow @PsalmsoftheSoul on Twitter, Pastor Debbie George of Everett (Seattle area), WA. Today I just discovered the blog she started, http://coffeewgod.blogspot.com
In addition, she has a new CD coming out on June 17th, Shining Through. There are sample songs online. My friend Apostle Dale Jarrett of Believers Covenant Fellowship in DC area did some of the keyboard work.
Congratulations Pastor Debbie!
I say this to the religious people who oppose marriage equality:
You think we’re redefining marriage?
How can you accuse us of that when you’ve done something far worse?
You redefined love.
“Love the sinner, hate the sin”? Please…
For you, “love” means making sure gay people cannot adopt a child who needs a home.
For you, “love” means accepting someone only if they never act on their sexuality.
For you, “love” means allowing doctors to refuse patients who need their help because the patients are gay.
This fits so well with what I learned at BSSE about how we have to interact with people on the basis of love and honor – not scolding and correction – if we want to have a gospel worth telling people about. It also challenges Christians to look at what they’re really doing and saying.
I spent a good part of the past week at Bethel School of Supernatural Evangelism. This class was taught by three teachers from the ministry school at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. This class caused some major changes in my thinking, and I strongly recommend it.
Some key points: