The Lord gave me a dream several years ago, wherein I was fishing from a large rock that extended into the river. There was someone with me, but I do not remember who it was – a faceless friend would be a good way to describe my fishing buddy. I was using my steelhead pole with a level wind reel, cast the bait into the water and reeled in slowly to work the bait along the bottom of the river where the big fish are.
With the first cast, I reeled in too quickly and the bait did not reach the bottom. My fishing buddy suggested I reel in more slowly and keep my rod tip up to achieve more depth. With the 2nd cast, I felt the sinker bumping along the bottom of the river and I waited for the hesitation that would tell me I had a bite. When I felt what seemed like a bite, I set the hook and began to reel the fish in quickly. My ‘fishing buddy’ instructed me to slow down and take my time reeling in the fish, as a slow retrieve is better for landing Continue reading
BIBLE TRUTH: God does NOT live in temples (houses) made by hands (men) (Isaiah 66:1-2, Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24, Matthew 23:38).
BUT! Come worship God in our man-made temple every Sunday morning!
BIBLE TRUTH: We are temples (houses) of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:22).
BUT! Our church building is the house of God!
BIBLE TRUTH: We are Sons of God (John 1:12-13, Romans 8:14, Galatians 3:26, 1 John 3:1, Revelation 1:7) and the Sons are FREE (Matthew 17:26) from paying taxes to build and maintain a man-made temple (Matthew 17:24-25).
BUT! Give to our church building and maintenance fund through your tithes and offerings!
BIBLE TRUTH: Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 4:14, 1 Timothy 2:5) and we are priests before God in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:5 and :9, Revelation 1:6).
BUT! Our pastor is the priest! We are the laity. Continue reading
My outlook has changed from one of striving to do works and looking for God’s approval after the fact to one of resting in Christ and trusting the Holy Spirit to direct me in concert with God’s work. It is not unlike Peter who fished all day and caught nothing, who at the end of the day followed Jesus’ instructions and hauled in an huge catch. The former was Peter’s effort without Christ’s direction, the latter was Christ’s doing through Peter’s obedience. The lesson in that? Action without direction is fruitless.
One way I see things differently now, is through the gardening metaphor so often used in scripture. Working in my vegetable garden Continue reading
For 18 months I applied myself to various church jobs, hoping to spark something, anything, that resembled revival. Yet it seemed the harder I worked, the worse the situation became. Finally the Lord said to me:
Get out of the way and let it fail.
His words blew me away. In fact, I questioned whether or not it was the Lord speaking to me since I felt it was blasphemous to suggest that the church should fail. But the Lord showed me the church was not a building, nor the religious institution with all its programs most people identify as the church, but simply the children of God coming together as family to live in community with God and one another. The Lord went on to speak to me about building on sand and that He is doing as He has always done: sending wind, rain and waves to test our houses for whether or not we’ve built on the Rock. Continue reading
Jesus calls each of us to fellowship with Him because He loves us. He wants to spend time with us and teach us His ways. Getting to know Jesus takes commitment and discipline on our part to spend time with Him daily. But how should we go about getting to know Him?
I once thought knowing Jesus was as simple as reading Christian literature. There is no shortage of Christian devotional and study guides, topical books, and even fiction for entertainment. As if that weren’t enough, there are thousands of blogs and web sites devoted to spreading the Gospel, and an abundance of subscription services to deliver daily prayers, scriptures, and devotionals directly to my email address. Continue reading
Let’s play Name that Wineskin.
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will
burst the skins and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new
wine is for fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:22 ESV)
Which is the OLD wineskin, which is the NEW?
- An ordained priest conducts a weekly religious service in a man made temple.
- Every believer a priest, ad hoc assemblies, a life of service, every believer a temple.
Which is the OLD wine, which is the NEW?
- The Gospel.
- The Law of Moses.
How will this wineskin fare?
- Wineskin: An ordained priest conducts a weekly religious service in a man made temple.
- Wine: The Gospel.
When the Holy Spirit first called my wife and I to “flee Babylon”, I remember asking “who or what is Babylon?” Perhaps He answered the question at the time, still it was 2 years before we began to understand enough of what the Lord was showing us to hear and obey His call to leave man’s traditional church for Jesus’ Church alone.
When we moved from the rural Midwest to the Pacific Northwest last fall, we attended a small country church to meet other believers with whom to break bread real and spiritual. That “new church smell” dissipated quickly, overpowered by the noxious odors of man’s tradition-bound religion. After just 8 months, we left for that wonderful spacious place (Psalm 18:19) of freedom in Christ we had come to know and love for so long. We have no regrets about our time in the small country church for we did indeed meet several spirit-filled brothers and sisters and the experience has rekindled my passion for writing. Continue reading