Friday, December 17, 2010

Things We Ought to Die to...Before They Kill Us

So, maybe I'm a radical. That's what a lot of people will think these types of things are, by the time I'm through. It's cool. God is radically different than our sinful age and culture, so I am hoping to get labeled with Him.

Here goes...you ready?

I must admit, I am looking at this whole situation through the lens of Genesis 19. Let me give a brief review. Lot is living in Sodom. This is Lot's post-Abraham days. He and his uncle / cousin (whatever they were!) had parted the family business and Lot had chosen the lush valleys down near the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot has become a fixture in the town, so much so that he is sitting at the gate, indicating he was a town leader. God has sent to angels to perform His work of wrath and judgment. Lot doesn't know they're angels, and Lot is a gracious guy, so he invites them over to his house. Sodom was totally bereft of morals and the citizen's of Sodom came to Lot's house and demanded to have "relations" (this IS a family site). Lot didn't give his guests over to those sodomizing fools, but he did suggest they could have his virgin daughters. Wow, right? The angels tell Lot to warn his family, 'cause they are going to destroy the town. Consider Genesis 19:14 =  So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. Did you catch that? They thought he was joking! This is what happens to the man and woman of God who assimilates too much. IN the world, but not OF the world! 


Lot: Fail. 

I ran into a guy yesterday at the local Wal Mart. He isn't a Disciple of Jesus. I want him to be. I've shared truth with him many times. I pray for him and I keep pouring into his life. His family is what used to be called "sharecroppers" but now we say "they rent land" or "they have land under contract." This is an important factor to understand for the rest of this story to make sense.

So, they farm this land and the land owner gets a percentage of all they make. They've been on the land since before I was born, so, for sure, over 39 years. They are very rural, down-to-earth, countryfied kind of folk. They plant, work and harvest. Their lives and fortune are tied to land they don't call their own. At the end of the year, if they've made extra while being honest and upstanding in their living and working, they feel accomplished. Land is a big deal to these folks. They don't own it as much as it owns them. They spend their lives in a struggle to coax fruit from the weeds and thorns and rocks. They plant in the land and curse it and bless it, each according the season and the "fortune" of the season.

Remember, these are not Disciples of Jesus, seeing God's Sovereign Hand in abasing and abounding. They are good people, according to the social standard, and even humble people, but the land and its yield, or lack thereof, is a source of joy or pain for them. That land, with it's hills and gullies, streams and ponds, woods and fields, crop and creature is their lives. Not only do they plant, but they cut and improve; they hunt and they fish; they defend and safeguard.

And, you know, this stuff can be serious. These type of guys can get territorial about "hunting ground." In my days as a neo-flat-land-hillbilly, I have seen some ugly episodes. It can be a seriously serious thing when it concerns safety. I've heard of more than one hunter shot by another hunter for hunting to close to one another, either without realizing how close they were or by carelessness.

At any rate, here's the story...so these farmers are working rented land. Some other guys come along who want to rent the land to hunt on. They pay $1,000.00 to rent the land for hunting purposes. The men who've farmed and hunted where they've rented for years must now go to the new hunt-renters and ask permission to hunt the land they've rented. The farmers probably make the landowner much more money than a those hunter-renters.

I hope you can see into this situation. The farmer guys are upset. They feel looked down upon, passed over and degraded. They feel judged in some respects and ignored in others. Notice, I said "feel." There's always another side of the story, and I haven't heard that. BUT...

BUT...

Here's where my dander gets raised. I don't really need to know the whole story. I know this much: these non-Disciples of Jesus are dealing with Disciples of Jesus. This is what gets me. Hey, men of God, just step back and look at your testimony here! Really. Ask yourself: WWJD?

Does hunting matter more than reaching people for Jesus? Is this that important? Is it worth ruining a testimony to be able to say "I am a slayer of venison!"

Why can't we die to hobbies that get in the way?

I think of the words of Paul right here: "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).

I know, sure...yes, the simple answer could be to fully integrate the farmer-renter into the fold of the hunter-renter. However, that would mean that testosterone would need to be modulated, pride swallowed, possessiveness forgotten and new friends would have to be made. Graciousness would have to be offered (and received) and communication and coordination would need to be resolved. It may be easier to simply quit!

War's 1974 question in song is appropriate: "Why can't we be friends?"

No, I'm not done...

Have any of you guys witnessed the average "church" basketball league? Ugh.

I was 25 years old when I came to the Lord and for about 10 years I really enjoyed "church" league sports. It took a few years for me to see how much the average team shames the name of God by "playing" under the name of some local congregation. I've faced mobs trying to unionize work places with more decorum than the average "church" team.

I  really could write a short book on the episodes I've seen where men (and many times their wives, on the sideline) totally blow their testimony, embarrass their local church and shame the name of the Lord. All for what? Really? Someone tell me.

Now, I have seen a FEW (and by "few" I meant less than 5) truly godly hunting clubs and basketball teams. Whew...basketball, not to mention softball...ugh.

Most are hacking, arguing, whining, complaining, cursing groups who literally shame the name of God (notice: I said "most". I know everyone thinks their team is in the few, but, MOST are not in the few. They are in the MOST category.)

Right here where we live, in this little rural setting, the POLICE were called to a game and then asked to act as security for another. Really? Really? .... Really?

Really?

Is it worth it?

Build a gym at your local church building. Beat each other up. Yell at each other. Curse each other. Oh wait...that'd be just as bad, and like a business meeting, which no one comes to anyway. My bad.

No wonder the church is ignored in America.

Remember my opening Lot rant? Yeah.

Cue laughter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Democratic Church needs a Coup D'etat


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes... (emboldened emphasis mine).

Y'all know where that comes from, right? That's the opening of the Declaration of Independence. Many colonial Americans were angry with Mama Great Britain. King George was waging war and imperialism all over the world and he was doing what every ambitious monarch had done before him, he was taxing (straining) his realm to pay for his ambition. Parliament was in agreement, so they were making laws and statutes that accomplished the king's ends. 

The main thing dissenting colonials were offended in was they were taxed without representation. In other words, there were no colonial representatives in the British power structure (Parliament). Early Americans wanted a relationship with Great Britain, but not at the expense of not being able to add their two-cents into the discussion.

They wanted a voice and a vote. It required rebellion and war for them to get it. Have you ever thought about that? They had to find a way to justify their actions before a watching world, so they said "when it becomes necessary..." Now, we Americans LOVE to vote. We treasure the process and even elevate its importance to national activity which culminates in "Super Tuesday" twice a year. We love to vote! Goodness gracious, the more riled up some candidate or policy makes us, the more of  us get out the vote.

All that is an introduction. Be nervous. It's become necessary that a new rebellion occur. Our power structure is ignoring a very important Voice.

There is MUCH to be said here, but let me start with ONE LITTLE THING: voting in the church.

Really, where did we get such an idea? I can't find a single instance in the Old Testament where the nation of Israel voted toward a positive result, nor can I can find a New Testament church voted. Now, if I'm wrong, okay; I apologize. However, you're going to have to show me. Let me be quick to say that voting is a good tool in a pluralistic society, where many do not place themselves under the rule of God. However, in the church, it's not good, nor is it biblical.

Voting is something most churches hold sacred. Sure, some are run by dictatorial boards or pastors, but even prayer circles, ministry groups, fellowship groups and activity groups vote on this, that or the other on a regular basis. (It usually sounds like, "We decided....")

There are a lot of problems with voting to make decisions in the Body of Christ. Unless it's a 100% vote, someone always walks away feeling like they lost to other people, and, typically, that means someone walks away angry and offended. Secondly, it leaves people room to bully, lobby, practice nepotism, politic, curry undue favor and practice partiality.

The whole process, in a church, typically mirrors the democratic republic process we use in United States politics. We lobby and discuss and banter stats and facts to support our opinion and also carefully and diligently point out our perception of faults in our "opponents" and then urge people to "vote smart." We all know it's hard to see through all that male-bovine-waste. Is it even smart to listen to twisted information to start with? (DEMAND THE TRUTH, but's that a story for another blog post.)

I can chase this rabbit for a long time, but the point is simple, voting is not biblical, and, for the people of God, it's not even wise.

So, that begs the question: WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL WAY TO MAKE DECISIONS? 

I got it. I know. 
You know how I do this, right? I looked in the word. The answer is simple as all get out: WE CAST LOTS! (NOTE: this is not the lottery. Don't start tripping!)

Here's one of many examples:
Acts 1:23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place." 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles (emboldened emphasis mine; http://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/acts/1.html, ESV).
Here are many more examples: http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?q=lots


What's the deal with casting lots? Let's unfold it just a bit. In the cited case, as you probably know well, Judas Iscariot was out of the circle of the Apostles. He was to be replaced. There were some requirements (ref. Acts 2:21-22). There were a limited number of dudes who fit the bill, so they put those two guys names out there and cast lots. In other words, in a very simple definition, they pulled a name out of the hat. What?!?!?! 


Am I advocating (so-called) luck? Nope. I am advocating Providence. Let God decide. Sure, people can rig things like this, but IF we don't, Providence can choose. Then, we're not left to "swallow" the decision that people made. Rather, we're left to "swallow" what God is doing. We can fight men and we can assert our wit and will and we can try to turn things around. We can fight God too, but we will lose. Such a time as this is when we might find ourselves working out our salvation with fear and trembling. Say we don't like God's decision, okay...we'll have to sweat and bleed in prayer and seeking His face until we are reconciled to His will again.


There is no where in the revealed will of God where democracy among His people is advocated or propagated toward any productive end. When we use our logic we often defy the will and way of God.


I am always asking myself the following question: What would it look like if the Holy Spirit ran the church? 


Here is one small step towards that end. We NEED God to take the "power" and "decision making" out of our hands. We NEED God to be boss again. We NEED to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding. We NEED to acknowledge Him in all our ways and allow Him to direct our paths.


We were endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights and one we need to reassert is His rule in our lives and in our churches. We do NOT need the consent of the governed. We need the direction and power of God. It is the right of God to overthrow our unjust church government!


Granted, this is the tip of the iceberg, but I believe I am floating on the right one! We don't need a voice so much as we need His. 


I KNOW this much is true: IF we don't turn the church back over to God, He WILL take it back. He WILL remove the lampstand of a local church. There is much that may need to be surrendered for a local body to give themselves back over to God, but here is a positive first step; stop voting and start letting God decide.


Our Declaration says that government should not be overthrown for "light and transient causes." The same could be said of the church. However, regarding who we are allowing to govern us as believers is NOT a light and transient cause; it's major.


I pray God take us over if we won't give ourselves over.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Give Rash Mad Cash & No Quarrel Bash = Sin Lashed to Sad Past

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY! MONEY!


It's an attention getter, all right. Jesus knew what was close to folks heart, and He was all about getting at someone's heart, so He'd hit that money theme in a hot minute.


I'm fixin' to back door your mind on a concept that we give little thought. Ya ready?


(OK, hip talk exhausted...back to hick talk. I tried to be cool; I just ain't. My bad.)


Peep this (still tryin'):
So, according the minds that be, which, in this case, is the editors of the English Standard Version of Scripture, this passage is about Anger, and I believe that and I'm cool with it (like I need to be cool with it for it be cool, right?). However, I think this passage reveals many other things, and one of which I'd like to tap into is our attitude IN giving. So, read this a couple times and let it sink in. Trust me, you'll learn a lot more than you thought and a lot more than I'm thinking, but I want to touch on this attitude deal, so read the passage and then we'll get on with my thoughts.



Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.' 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. (http://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/matthew/5.html)


Sure, Jesus is talking about the heart, and we know that's what this whole discourse known as the "Sermon on the Mount is all about...the heart...things of the heart...sin of the heart...strength for the heart. Right here, plain and simple, Jesus connects murder to being an issue of the heart. We've all heard someone say "Hey, I ain't ever killed anyone." Jesus says the issue of sin is in OUR HEARTS; our hands/mouth are the valve of the sin, but it's born, raised and lives in our heart. 


What an interesting way Jesus engages the listeners. "You heard it said..." That's a hyper-polite way of saying, "Y'all didn't get what We meant by 'Thou shalt not murder!' so let me set your brain waves to a new shore line."  See, we need this, right? We need to know it's not just that we keep the bullets in the gun, but we must have a heart that keeps the hate out. Wow...this really is transformational stuff, IF we take it to heart.


How does Jesus drive the point home? Interestingly enough, He attaches the discussion to resources. Remember, Jesus is talking to Jewish people who understand offering as a privilege, lifestyle, act of culture and worship, and, basically speaking, a very normal part of every day life. When Jesus says "if" you are offering He is not speaking in a hypothetical sort of way, like we think of making an offering. What He is doing is placing a deep lesson in the middle of a normal discipline.


Let me say this...I have NO IDEA who does or might read my blog...I am writing this because it was stirred in me and I had to let it out. I'm feeling like the prophet who said, "there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot" (Jeremiah 20:9). 


Here's where I get to this one little minor point I feel the need to hit on.


That being said...you may or may not have a discipline of giving. Truly, ALL of us have a discipline of giving, but what I mean is the discipline of making offering to the Lord. It seems what Jesus is talking about is a very "spiritual" activity, not just pulling something out the pocket and dropping it in a passing plate. There's some thought and interchange indicated here. IF you are giving AS you are interchanging with the Living God and HE shows you that YOU HAVE SOMETHING against someone....


...what? 


Whoa. Wait. Hold up. 


It's almost like Jesus is advocating deep thought with giving. Could it be? Is He advocating something spiritual about giving? Is He saying it could be a platform for sin-analysis? You tell me.


I know this much. The average offering collector is afraid for offerings to become God-honoring-spiritual in nature because the average church-pew-sitting-giver is not really interested in discipleship-worshipper godliness, so the collector is afraid they'll stop giving if we make this a "spurutchel" endeavor.


I think such thinking makes for better offerings because it makes for better offerers. Jesus is challenging hearers to resist going through the motions of doing religious formation and get into motion with relational transformation.


This little thought opens up so many other avenues, such as, wise giving, generous giving, conflict resolution, the principles of reaping and sowing, judgment, reconciliation, humility, obedience, bondage, freedom, and O SO MUCH MORE!!!! (Man, God's word goes hard!)


I have a simple encouragement today: EXPECT offerings to be an exchange between yourself and God; one where the Holy Spirit speaks to you and one where you obey. IF it's an issue of sin; repent. IF you've done wrong to your brother, or ANYONE, get it right. Clean your vessel before pouring something out of it for the Lord. 


Think of Cain and Abel...that ol' boy had something against his brother, for sure! Where did that start, ironically? At the time of offering. It went unresolved, and what was in Cain's heart made it to Abel head through Cain's club (or some device). The murder in Cain's heart was made murder in actuality when it went unchecked and the issue went unresolved.


Listen, you know it and I know it, we have all kinds of things in our heart. It doesn't have to be murder to kill our walk with God. All sin is death. Before we offer, while we offer, when we offer, if we offer...a dime, a prayer, a bit of service...whenever we offer, whatever we offer, let's meet with the Lord and listen to what He says.


If we give rashly, and even if it's a mad amount of cash, but we don't bash the quarrels in our hearts then we'll be lashed in sin and our unresolved sad past. 


Let's take the teaching of Jesus to heart. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Transparency Got Me


I love it. I can't lie. I love the new Domino's advertising campaign and I love the new crust and I love free pizza. Wait, I haven't gotten any free pizza, but I did want to mention that I love it.

However, my blatant appeals for free pizza notwithstanding, my point today is something else entirely. This very morning, at Septemeber 10, 7:30 real-American time, I saw a refreshing commercial. I may be naive. I may have just bought into another slick ad campaign. I may be an idiot. Whatever I might be, I like what I saw.

They've had this campaign going for a while in which they are urging customers to take a picture of their pizzas when delivered. The concept is that they don't need to set up picture ops by spraying their pizzas, or nailing them to a board or whatever tricks advertising people use. They say the product is good enough to stand AND it's good enough that anyone could photograph it at any time and it's still good. Not all pizzas are being delivered in tip-top shape, so you can imagine that some pictures are coming in of some jacked-up pizzas.

I remember the "Avoid the Noid" campaign that I thought was so cheesy that I could care less if there pizzas were. That was the 80s and Dominos pizza crust tasted like cardboard to me, and had about the same texture. However, the toppings were good and the Noid was fun enough, in a weird way, to give ol' DP a run. They aren't that way anymore.

Apparently they realized they needed change. They've made it. They made a commitment to improve their pizza and I think they've done a good job of doing that, and, in so doing, have changed their whole image. It's worked on me; no Papa's except when in conjunction with the Mama's.

This leads me to the part I really like. The CEO, or some high ranking official, of Domino's displayed a picture a kid sent in of a recent pizza order. The pizza was stuck to the inside top of the box. The executive seemed genuinely upset; he seemed genuine when he said he would not abide by poor quality such as that. He promised to make sure Domino's remained vigilant until all needed changes were realized to make Domino's good again.

They stepped up. Domino's seems transparent. I'm buying it. Matter of fact, I really did buy Domino's for lunch. It was good too!

If it's fake, they got me. I'm fooled. My tastebuds are fooled. My senses are fooled. IF that's what they are doing, they got me.

There are tons of lessons here, but big one sticks out to me: BE TRANSPARENT. Where there are flaws, deal with them. Where there are weaknesses, shore them up. Where there is failure, admit it. No excuses. No smoke. No mirrors. Domino's said they needed a better crust. They concocted one. They said their pizzas would stand on their own, without the aid of fancy photography. They failed. They confessed. They renewed the commitment and continued the campaign.

My goodness. What would happen if we ran our lives like this? Transparent. Confessional. Purposeful. Intentional. Correcting. Genuine.

Maybe Domino's could teach us a few things about our witnessing campaign.

Things that make you go "Hmmm..."

I love children, rock music, education, government, teachers and America. I think you need to know these things before you read any further. Some of the young people tell me that I "go hard," so I think some disclaimers are in order this morning.
America has become a weird hodgepodge of morality defined by illogical standards. I saw a strange episode recently that highlighted this. I don't even know if I can tell it without gettin' crazy, anticipatin' love and music...er...wait...

I meant without passion. Boston showed up in my mind.

During the course of my pastoral duty, I was having lunch with some elementary students. I always LOVE these times. Kids say the darndest things, so talking with them is a joy. They also have a beautiful, simplistic faith that seems to energize my oft-complicated view of things and remind me to simply trust and obey. (I think this is an unusual case of digress to progress...little to do with the story, but good to remember!)

So, that's the scene. Me. Lunch room. Kids. Gettin' it.

It was in a smaller school, the kind with the gym / lunch room combo that is a curtain pull away from being an auditorium. A gym class was happening on the other side of the big curtain, right beside us. Music was playing and directions were being shouted. We Will Rock You by Queen began to play. My first thought was, Dang, we did gym to no music and these kids are jammin' out! Hmmm...I do remember listening to The Sound of Music once while we did a cake walk. Wow.

Then, I began to look around and notice children all over the cafeteria KNEW THE SONG. What? This is Justin Bieber / Hannah Montana territory. They know Queen? Have I been transported to Backyonderland? Children not only knew the song, but they were singing and dancing! Even short adults are tall in elementary school, so it was easy to look over the whole crowd. I noticed it right away; it was like the first few kernels of corn beginning to pop, then more as students spun, snapped, clapped and boogied in their seats.

Then it hit me...THIS is allowed in school, but prayer, the Bible and faith is not? Hunh? What? See...what had happened was...

Did I mention "Hunh?"

I love rock-n-roll. I know many people would automatically grade me a pagan for that admission, but, pfffttt... I do really like it. I like Queen. Don't believe me? Check out my iPod. You'll see. Still, I don't hold Queen up as any sort of example for morality. Their lead singer was a homosexual. Sure, he was an awesome singer, maybe one of the best rock singers of all time. I'm not here to drag that guy down or run his name through the mud. He's deceased. It's unproductive. I know America's morality-nouveau equals homosexual equals cool. However, as antiquated as He might be, God still calls it sin. I'm not even here to debate that. The thing that hit me is that we have so promoted this stuff in schools that kids KNOW it and RESPOND to it at the drop of the hat.

Don't get me wrong, I KNOW that a child's morality and education MUST BE THE PARENT'S RESPONSIBILITY. Not only do I know it's not the school's job to raise my children, but even if I didn't think the system was broke, I wouldn't want them to. That's my job. 

I'm just saying...

Its' a strange place, both in time and geography, where we can't talk about Jesus in the public schools, but Freddie Mercury is "normal". Did I miss something? Okay, maybe it's just time. Maybe time fixes morality in such a way that 30 years down the road everything is noble. Maybe they'll beebop to Marilyn Manson in a few years. Sure. That must be it. Just more time and Jesus will be cool again, right?

I guess Elvis' gyrating hips would not be much of a stir anymore. But, that Jesus still is unsafe and controversial. The nerve of Him! 

It's not the music. It's not Freddie. It's not even the issue of homosexuality. It's the illogical way we seem to go at things in America. YOU -- yes, YOU, Mr. Government -- can decide what is cool for my kids to hear in school, and THIS is what you chose? THIS is what we got in the trade when we (The Church) silently let you begin to dictate too much of what's good and right? Really? How did you arrive at that decision? What criteria did you use?

Don't worry. This is not a public outcry. I'm not worried. I am thoughtful. I will teach my children. I will obey the Lord and shape their moral compass according to Him. I will teach them to love all kinds of good things; maybe even a few Queen songs, with a discerning ear / mind, of course.

It's our own fault anyway. Kids don't beebop, boogie, clap or sing in church either. Perhaps our worldliness is more contagious than our godliness...

Ouch.



Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fruitful Disciple

I believe I can teach the whole church something that WE all need to know.

Sometimes it probably comes across as arrogance, but I truly don't mean for it to come out that way. I am confident in what God wants to do in and through His church. It's not because I am "in the know" with some sort of special gnosis. I'm not. I only have two things going for me, and I can't take credit for either thing. First, God's word is pretty clear on the subject at hand. Secondly, the Holy Spirit is speaking with absolute clarity on this issue because it's constantly coming up.

What's the issue? Discipleship. Being and making disciples. Simple. We've got to get back to this. It WILL flow out of an abiding relationship with God. It just will. The cacophony of attention-grabbing, peace-stealing things that hammer at our attention every day only push that Still Small Voice further into whereverland; we need to hear and heed That Voice. Not to mention the hundreds of gods who sink claws into us; gods that look like hobbies and innocent "fun"; even religious goulash that has pious or sacred words as its identifiers steal away genuine stuff of faith and fellowship with Almighty God. We've got to get back to the main thing; walking with Jesus -- as a disciple -- WHILE teaching others to walk with Jesus -- as disciples.

I'm not talking about event-based evangelism. I am not talking about event-based teaching / learning (like most Sundays are in the average fellowship). I'm talking about The Church getting down to the blessed, privileged business of walking with Jesus. It's not new, but it's not being done on a wide-scale either. Hey, Lady...yeah, you...Ms. Church...hello? Let's talk. I've got some things I want to whisper to US. And, some things to shout.

And, I am tired of beating up the already-bruised-and-beaten Bride of Christ. I'm tired of blaming. I am tired of apathy. I am tired of complaining. I decided about 3 years ago to forsake that speech, and I'm learning to forsake the attitude. I'm going in a different direction. I am simply going to pursue the biblical mission of making disciples, gleaning from believers everywhere those who are hungry and ready for MORE...you know, that kind of MORE in Ephesians 3:20...the kind of MORE that says "GOD IS ABLE" to do more than we can even imagine! I am going after that. That's my mission. Make and grow disciples. Period.

I have a message. I have a vision. I have purpose. 

Sure, it's not original. Praise God, it's HIS and it's antique, even pre-historical. Sure, it's the same drum I've been banging to people close to me for a few years, but I heard a man say one time that it's okay to keep plucking one note when it's THE NOTE. This is the note. I am taking the show to a larger audience. 

So, maybe I'm talking to the wind, but I'm talking nonetheless. So, I might be unoriginal, and that's cool. I might SEEM arrogant, and even though I don't want that, I'll take that rap if it serves the purpose to awaken the ears of folks to the message. 

You interested in getting into this? Come to Fruitful Disciple. Theme: Discipleship. New? No. Relevant? Absolutely. Important? Imperative. 

I got something to say to you. Are you willing to listen?

Friday, January 22, 2010

If you came to the blog for the vision video, please look on my channel on YouTube: revtwbowes

Thanks!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Broken

Apparently, my site is broken.
God is good!

Ellington Designs and Promotionals

Hey, all my friends...check these people out for your design and promotional needs. I highly recommend this business out of Halifax County, VA. Tell them Tim Bowes referred you and you'll get the special treatment for sure!

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Scottsburg-VA/Ellington-Designs-Promotionals/130970010398?ref=ts