Fellowship – Discipleship – Outreach

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Kristen / Wearethatfamily.com
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The Truth About Church No One is Talking About

by

I can remember lying beneath the pew on Sunday nights with my twin sister.

I can remember coloring and drawing pictures quietly while the pastor preached.

I can remember what happened when we weren’t so quiet.

I can’t remember not going to church.

We rarely missed the three weekly services and that didn’t count Easter Pageant practices and Friday night youth events. I left those pews for Bible college and left Bible college for church staff positions. I spent the first thirty-something years of my life inside the church walls.

I’ve heard hundreds of topical, expository, textual, and biographical sermons. I’ve listened to dozens of personal testimonies and shared some of my own. I’ve attended discipleship courses and witnessing classes. I’ve done Beth Moore Bible studies for countless Thursdays and I’ve attended my fair share of Christian conferences. I have five versions of the Bible and 12 crosses in my home decor. I know a hundred Christian songs.

I took it all in. I was a beefed-up Christian.

But for most of my pew sitting years, I ignored something very important.

I was full of faith, but I wasn’t obedient.

Our churches have everything these days–killer kids programs, cool and traditional decor, an array of worship styles, and some even have bookstores and coffee shops, fitness classes, x-box game rooms, multi media events, but something is lacking.  It’s obedience.

I’ve read the Bible my entire life, but for most of my time on earth, I haven’t done what it said. I stayed away from the big sins and wore my Christian t-shirts. But often when I was asked to serve or say yes to God, I would answer, “Let me pray about it.”

I got fat on the Good News. I hoarded it all to myself and didn’t share it.

And then a few years ago, I got fed up with my unhealthy diet of the American Dream. I was sick to death with affluenza. I was bored and busy with temporal things that didn’t matter.

I was cured when I decided to do whatever God told me.

I said yes and I will keep saying it–even when it feels small, even when I don’t know what to do next, even when I am inadequate. Because it’s not the results that matter–the success or failure–it’s that I am being obedient.

I’m sad that for most of my Christian walk, I fell for the lie that church was the holding tank for believers. If I just went to church, that was enough. But church isn’t the culmination of Christianity, it’s the springboard for our obedience to God.

I love my church. I look forward to attending every week! But the truth is we were never meant to just attend church. There are people all over the world dying for this faith. There are people held captive by sin and poverty, waiting on someone to come share the news about Jesus. Christians don’t have the luxury to add church to their lives like it’s an optional elective.

Church isn’t the place where we draw the line at the door and say to those inside the walls  “We are good. We are right. We are done.” Because when we do that we are saying to those outside, “You are bad. You are wrong. You don’t matter.”

Instead we are commanded to turn our churches into a hospital for hurting people, not a club where we are comfortable. When we walk in obedience, it’s risky. It’s scary as hell. It’s the wildest thing we will ever do. When we are willing to walk away from our comfort zone and say to God, “I will do whatever you tell me,” we’re embarking on a journey that will change our lives. And nothing will ever make us feel more alive or fulfilled.

This is Christianity. This is faith in action. These words from James chapter 2 (Message translation) leap off the page:

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”

Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

19-20 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

21-24 Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?

25-26 The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn’t her action in hiding God’s spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.

This is the truth no one is talking about.  Obedience transforms the church from a meeting place to a moving body with flexible parts so that together we can reach a broken world.

A couple of Sundays ago, we drove a loaded u-haul truck in front of our church that they had rented for us to hold the donations. What started as a simple yes of obedience turned into an avalanche of action from our church. My daughter asked, “Are we going into church today?” We had an hour drive to the refugee apartment complex where we would serve the rest of the day. I looked at my watch, “No, honey. Today we won’t be going into church.”

“Instead we are going to BE the church.”

We are going to put our faith in action.

We worked like dogs for people who’ve been treated worse than dogs most of their lives. We were hot and sweaty and outnumbered. We were overwhelmed and exhausted.

We were the church inside out.

At one point, as I led an elderly man around with his voucher to choose his 15 most needed items, he stopped and said in broken English, “Do you love the poor? Only people who do this love the poor.”

I stopped and answered slowly, “Yes, sir. I love the poor.”

And without hesitation he looked me square in the eyes and said, “Then you must love Jesus.”

The truth of his words were like a sucker punch.

I am compelled to obey–not because I just want to do more–frankly, I have enough to do. I am compelled to obey because I love Jesus and I have to share him. It’s an overflow of the miracle that has happened within me. This is the gospel.

This is our job. This is the moving body of Christ.

There is a local ministry in place that is helping refugees and I’m just joining in. But as I’ve started talking to local churches about supporting this new refugee endeavor in our city, I’ve been cautioned, “We can give you money, but if you need people, that will be challenging.”

It’s time we exchange our comfortable seats for a place of service. It’s time we say, “We are full; we have enough, it’s time to share.”

It’s time to make our churches a hospital.

It’s time to open our eyes to the needs around us, right in our own cities.

It’s time to stop just attending church and start being the moving body of Christ.

With feet in action.

 

 



Allen Springer / Faith Community Church / Garner NC
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

In Clayton there is a play-place called “Go outside and play now”.  It’s a funny name but likely something every parent has told their kid(s) at some point.  Sometimes I think we need to be told, as adults, “go outside and talk to people now”.  We need to be told to go outside and meet strangers and so we can have an impact in their eternal lives.

On Monday morning I prayed that my week would be filled up with talking to people about the Gospel – believers and nonbelievers.  It’s too easy for us to be busy with good things and miss the great calling to Make Disciples.
John Blausey’s encouragement  for us to be involved with and be Gospel-driven with our Upward Soccer ministry was a great challenge to all of us.  This should have an impact in our ministry involvement at church but also as we go outside and meet people every day of our lives.

Jesus went outside and talked with people.  Some, like in Matthew 8, wanted him to just go away.  Others, like in Mark 5, came out to meet him joyfully and were healed.  We need to be like Jesus and “GO OUTSIDE AND TALK TO PEOPLE NOW.”
This week the Lord provide an opportunity for me to interact with 3 people.  Christine overheard my conversation in a restaurant talking about the church and inquired.  She wants to come and needs a ride.   I gave her a church business card and told her to call me, so we can set up transportation.  Yesterday, the Mitzi was cutting my hair and she shared about her 16 year old daughter and how they want to go to church but feel like they won’t be accepted because her daughter got pregnant out of wedlock and has a newborn baby.  I shared the GOOD NEWS about how Jesus died on the cross for all our sin and his grace is so good to cover our sins.  I also shared with her about the fact that they Bible says we all sin and she will find a great church full of grace filled sinners who love Jesus and will love her family.  I gave her some church brochures and business cards and invited her to church.  After that I walked over to a shop to meet with Andy, who needs Jesus and to be discipled.  He wasn’t too inviting of my invitation to meet together over a meal but I gave my phone number and told him if he ever needs a friend or anything at all to please call me.
Why do I tell you all this?  Because I believe if you and I are going to ever be obedient to Jesus’ call to make disciples, it is going to begin with us going outside and talking to people now.  Not later, now!  With one of these interactions, I felt too busy, with the other the timing was perfect, with the last one I didn’t “want to” go there and the guy didn’t “want” my offer.  But with all 3, I was seeking to be obedient to God’s moving around me.  So that was just Monday and Tuesday, I can’t wait for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  How about you?  Will you “go outside and talk to people now?”  Will you seek to move in step with what God wants to do through you this week?  I am praying for you.  I am praying that you will go outside and talk to people now!
I love you and thank God for how the Gospel is transforming you to be like Jesus!
Blessings!
Allen


Bin Laden is dead
Friday, May 6th, 2011
From: NoYesMan <thockaday1@yahoo.com>Add thockaday1@yahoo.com to my Address Book
To: bbclayton@earthlink.netAdd bbclayton@earthlink.net to my Address Book, wwjddjww@gmail.comAdd wwjddjww@gmail.com to my Address Book, bob.brandsberg@wnco.comAdd bob.brandsberg@wnco.com to my Address Book, asurit@yahoo.comAdd asurit@yahoo.com to my Address Book, csnover@nc.rr.comAdd csnover@nc.rr.com to my Address Book, chuckcamp2002@yahoo.comAdd chuckcamp2002@yahoo.com to my Address Book, joshua-lane@juno.comAdd joshua-lane@juno.com to my Address Book, Darrylforbes@aol.comAdd Darrylforbes@aol.com to my Address Book, deirdre_business@yahoo.comAdd deirdre_business@yahoo.com to my Address Book, jlofink@nc.rr.comAdd jlofink@nc.rr.com to my Address Book, krmoragne@gmail.comAdd krmoragne@gmail.com to my Address Book, caringhfk@yahoo.comAdd caringhfk@yahoo.com to my Address Book, kyle.petterson@gmail.comAdd kyle.petterson@gmail.com to my Address Book, luisymarsha@yahoo.comAdd luisymarsha@yahoo.com to my Address Book, mfetting@nc.rr.comAdd mfetting@nc.rr.com to my Address Book, dixon17@nc.rr.comAdd dixon17@nc.rr.com to my Address Book, mrezriders@gmail.comAdd mrezriders@gmail.com to my Address Book, PBROWN003@ec.rr.comAdd PBROWN003@ec.rr.com to my Address Book, paul@christshomefellowship.orgAdd paul@christshomefellowship.org to my Address Book, joe.sayas@gmail.comAdd joe.sayas@gmail.com to my Address Book
Subject: Osama Bin Laden is Dead!
Osama Bin Laden is dead!!!

The Lord says, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the
wicked turn from his way and live … Ezekiel33:11

But wicked, evil, murderous men like Osama Bin Laden is a terror to those who
seek to live in peace. They create chaos, disorder and disturbs the peace of
individuals, families, neighborhoods and nations! As much as it is possible we
should attempt to live in peace. However, this becomes impossible when there are
religious zealots who think that killing others is a great service to their God.

(In John 16:2, Jesus forewarned His disciple that they would face such religious
murderers)

David said,  I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a
native green tree. Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more …  Psalm
37:35-36

Most men desire to live in peace. We are encouraged to pray for “all who are in
authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life” (1 Tim 2:1-2) among
other things because “When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices!”
This is why, “… when the wicked perish, (goodbye Osama) there is shouts of joy
! (jubilation) Proverbs 11:10
Grace to You, and Peace from God!


Oswald for today
Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14

Are you determined to have your own way in living for God?
We will never be free from this trap until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no one else, but it wounds His Spirit. Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set on our own ambitions, we are hurting Jesus. Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting Him. Whenever we rely on self-respect, we systematically disturb and grieve His Spirit. And when we finally understand that it is Jesus we have been persecuting all this time, it is the most crushing revelation ever.
Is the Word of God tremendously penetrating and sharp in me as I hand it on to you, or does my life betray the things I profess to teach? I may teach sanctification and yet exhibit the spirit of Satan, the very spirit that persecutes Jesus Christ. The Spirit of Jesus is conscious of only one thing— a perfect oneness with the Father. And He tells us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 ).
All I do should be based on a perfect oneness with Him, not on a self-willed determination to be godly. This will mean that others may use me, go around me, or completely ignore me, but if I will submit to it for His sake, I will prevent Jesus Christ from being persecuted
bryan
The Cafe’ – www.thecafechurch.com
“1st century passion, 21st century practice”
Mt. 6:33 (NLT)



Forwarded from John Paschal (jrpaschal@gmail.com)
Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Author unknown

From a friend of a friend:

“When we were in Texarkana last week, there were signs in people’s
yards that said, ‘America, prayer is our only hope’ with 2 Chron. 7:14
underneath.  We certainly need God’s help!

I have no idea who started this, but I certainly agree with this
e-mail. We need to pray for our nation that things will turn around.

After a day of contemplation and soul searching, I have decided to
reach out to my friends and relatives and ask you to do something that
has been troubling me for a long time.

Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you
look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a steady
move away from the things that made us a great nation. The principles
upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone.

2 Chron. 7:14
In God’s Word He states, ‘If my people who are called by my name will
humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal
their land.’

I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and
ask for forgiveness. So I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord.

Would you please send this to your brothers and sisters in Christ who
are in your address book (send it to all of them); ask them to pray
EVERY DAY. (25 to only the 5th power is 9,765,625 people.) IMAGINE if
each person reaches TEN others…or all TWENTY FIVE!

If you do and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of
prayers a day to our Creator.

Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan ‘If we ever forget that we
are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.’ Let us
as Christians stand up and remind people of this.

Have a blessed day!”