Monday, October 24, 2016
Sure! It is in the Constitution.
So, what is the big deal?
Well, there are several big deals.
There are many things in a country that are technically legal but are rarely practiced. For example, it is "legal" in the USA to say what you think. Freedom of speech is one of the things that is guaranteed by the Constitution. So, what is the problem?
If practiced, a person can lose his/her job or be attacked verbally and even physically.
So technically, we have the "right" to speak freely but we do not have the ability to actually say some things lest we get severely punished. Try going on TV or radio and say you think some "Civil Rights" people are actually racists.
In Russia, faith is legal unless a person attempts to practice it. It should be a secret or be punished.
It is no secret that we speak clearly about our faith so you can support us at the link here.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
I am going to Colorado tomorrow to the Future Church Conference to discuss these issues with the people at Group Publishing. They do a lot of research on this topic and have published several books about it.
I read several books, monographs and articles on outreach or evangelism or church growth. All seem to agree with several points. Why Nobody Wants to be Around Christians Anymore, Thom and Joani Schultz, The Rise of Nones, James Emery White, “What Works Today,” by Rob Toal, in The State of Church Ministry in America, 2017. Ctpastors.com, October, 2016: Church Refugees, Ashleigh Hope and Josh Packard, Group Publishing. I have also interviewed several leaders, young people and retired persons about their perceptions of the situation.
The recent monograph from ctpastors.com summarizes the biggest barriers to outreach this way. “Today’s church faces profound challenges within the broader culture: political correctness, postmodern relativism, religious pluralism. We live in a society full of unchurched people who don’t know the basic tenets of Christianity or thee redemptive story the scriptures tell. The church at large has a poor reputation among non-0Christians. Many hold distorted views of Jesus, the gospel, and traditional Christian faith, so they are biased against us before we had a chance to start a conversation.
Our ability to engage the world is also hampered by internal issues. Some Christians question the motive behind traditional outreach efforts, viewing them as a bait and switch. Many in our congregations seem reluctant to share the gospel, either claiming that evangelism isn’t their gift or hiding in fear of potential rejection.
As a Seasoned Believer myself I think 2/3 of the people in my shoes are interested in a gathering that has the following attributes.
1. Transcendent. A place that God is sensed and sought and that shows up regularly.
2. Has a permission attitude that encourages everyone to get involved as he or she wants. No pressure and nobody saying no to the people that want to do something.3. Recognizes the gifts and talents of every person.
4. Little up front teaching. Open dialogue that everyone can enter.
5. Gentle worship.
6. Prayer for the sick an regular answers.
7, Meets anywhere. Bricks and mortar are not important.
Read Church Refugees to see their ideas about why so many Seasoned Believers are dropping out and why many Pastors do not care.
You can support y ministry here is you appreciate what you see and learn and get from me. Otherwise, don't bother.
I am speaking at 7:00 AM on Tuesday November 2 at PROVOKE at Southbrook Christian Church in Miamisburg. The topic is GRIT in November.
Provoke is an hour long time on the first Tuesday of each month at Southbrook with a guest whose testimony is evidence of facing and dealing with a challenge in life.
I am the "Color Commentator" after the guest is interviewed by Charlie McMahan.
The weekend services at SB are also tremendous so if you want music and worship that combines contemporary style with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the best teaching I know, try it out.
An article in the National Review Mr. Stanley Kurtz wrote an article about a book about the best ways to destroy conservatives. As we know from recent events, that includes conservative Roman Catholics and Protestants,specially we who believe in the Bible.
In 2007, Robert Creamer published Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win, a tactical handbook for the left that he wrote while serving a prison term for tax evasion and bank fraud. Creamer’s advice on how to handle conservatives (pp. 74-6) makes for interesting reading about now: In general our strategic goal with people who have become conservative activists is not to convert them—that isn’t going to happen. It is to demoralize them—to ‘deactivate’ them. We need to deflate their enthusiasm, to make them lose their ardor and above all their self-confidence…[A] way to demoralize conservative activists is to surround them with the echo chamber of our positions and assumptions. We need to make them feel that they are not mainstream, to make them feel isolated… We must isolate them ideologically…[and] use the progressive echo chamber…By defeating them and isolating them ideologically, we demoralize conservative activists directly. Then they begin to quarrel among themselves or blame each other for defeat in isolation, and that demoralizes them further.
Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Do you see why we who follow Christ must keep our eyes focused in faith on God in prayer? Keep building each other up and support one another despite our differences.
Support our positive, faith filled ministry with prayer and donations.
Friday, October 21, 2016
I mentioned a friend named Delores Winder this week. She lived to a ripe old age and currently resides with the King of Kings forever.
The Kingdom of God on earth needs many like Delores. There is so much sickness, disability, war and violence in the world that good people are wearing out and Delores had an amazing amount of energy to pray for people and see God touch them.
We met Dolores and Bill in Colorado in 1978 or so at a Presbyterian Renewal Conference. I did a session there that focused on inner healing and Christian Counseling.
Dolores and her husband were there and she spoke and prayed for anyone with any issue. A friend went to her session while she was in a very down mood. Her sadness and low energy had lasted for months so she was worried about another session of deep depression.
Just before the meeting started, Dolores said, " There are three people here with depression. If that includes you come up after I speak and you will get prayer."
My friend went forward and started to tell Delores what was happening. Dolores interrupted her to say, "Oh, you don't need to say anything, I already know the root issue."
With that she touched my friend on the forehead lightly and prayed for a few seconds. The sadness and gloom lifted immediately and never returned.
I saw examples of similar situations dozens of times. The sessions were low key and soft in tone. Every time I was with her God came with love and power.
One time I was standing next to her at CHPC with about 600 or so people in attendance. She bolted from the front of the sanctuary and made a beeline to a man we both knew who sitting with his wife about ten rows back.
She leaned over the man and said, " I know exactly what you sin is and so does the Lord. He is calling you and your wife to confess or God will bring disaster on you."
He was shocked and so was I. I had heard of his adulterous activities but Dolores had not. Not until the Spirit told her and she acted immediately. I fear he never repented and his wife never complained.
Come Holy Spirit. Ignite your holy fire again. We need your cleansing presence.
You can go here to thank our ministry for all it has done for you and so many others.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
We need to ask good questions to promote congregational thinking and ownership of the future. unity and mission thinking.
- Will our walk with God change as a result of this program, proposal, event?
- How does this proposal, program, help us accomplish our purpose?
- How are we fitting our church to our mission and vision?
Use times of fellowship and discussion to promote thinking and bring out creative thinking. Formal meetings require some sort of order with a proposal, vote, etc. We need times when discussion can proceed without Robert’s Rules of Order.
At one church we had a discussion, took a straw vote to discern the way things were going, and made a decision whether to call for a formal vote. If there was not a consensus we would assume we had not heard God clearly and postpone the vote.
About 90% of all organizations do the same thing. It is the 10% that is done uniquely that makes the difference between the good and the bad. Peter Drucker:
Gary Sweeten You can say, Thanks, Here!
Gary Sweeten You can say, Thanks, Here!