So what are people looking for in Christians and the Christian community?
1) People are looking for authenticity and not hypocrisy
2) People are looking to be loved for who they are and not what they can provide
3) People are looking for holiness and not a holier than thou attitude
4) People are looking to belong to a community who will embrace them and not a clique that will exclude them
5) People are looking for us to remember their name and find out about them and not to be treated as a number who just makes up the numbers
6) People are looking for their shepherd and their shepherd is looking for them
Two powerful and unnerving quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.
There was a time when the church was very powerful—in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society
If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century
Here is a wonderful video from Alan Hirsch on the centrality and authenticity of faith in Jesus, summed up in three small words – Jesus is Lord.
A timely reminder of the simplicity and radical nature of the call to follow Jesus in the midst of our consumer drenched world.
Well worth the time to watch and meditate on.
Alan Hirsch: Jesus Is Lord [VERGE video] from Verge Network on Vimeo.
Prophecy for City Edge
Wednesday November 23, 2011
Isaiah 54:1-5 MSG
“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family. You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities. Don’t be afraid-you’re not going to be embarrassed. Don’t hold back-you’re not going to come up short. You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth, and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory. For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.
Some notes from the message on Maintaining Our Spiritual Health – Sunday April 17, 2011
Preach the Gospel to yourself regularly
At Easter Jesus was condemned. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. http://bible.us/Rom8.1.ESV
The gospel or good news is not just the grace of God that saves us but it is also the grace of God that sustains us. We don’t start with the spirit and seek to perfect ourselves in the flesh – it begins and ends with the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and showing us the way.
Study Romans for the most complete understanding of the Gospel and Galatians for Paul’s personal and impassioned plea to never loose what was gained by Jesus for our benefit – the good news.
Read and study the Bible regularly
Listen to worship or uplifting music
– Simply being in a room with people is not fellowship.
– Find out about each other by asking questions.
– Pray for each other
Get over offenses quickly
– Forgive those who hurt you
– Pray for them
– Do good to them even if it is not returned
– Speak with them and do your best to get things cleared up
Guard your heart against all forms of pride
Keep in good physical shape
– Keep active
– Keep hydrated
Keep in good financial shape
– Prepare a budget
– Stick to your budget
– Live without a credit card if you can or keep a very small limit and try not to be tempted to increase it
– Save for your future and regular holidays
Be an encourager
– Be genuine
– Initiate and don’t always wait to be encouraged
– When you think of people pray for them or txt, call or inbox them
This is a great video interview between Rick Mckinley, pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland Oregon and Eugene Peterson, author of “The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language”.
In this interview we see a man who has learned over time that he was a pastor by gifting, ability and eventually calling, who then had to learn how to actually be a pastor.
There is some heartfelt, wise, and timely advice along with a warning or two for all of those called to pastor as well as giving those who are being pastored an insight into the challenges of this vocation.