Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The next five minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The New Testament Church

Good stuff from A.W. Tozer’s "Paths To Power" .

The (Early) Church was not an organization merely, not a movement, but a walking incarnation of spiritual energy. The Church began in power, moved in power and moved just as long as she had power. When she no longer had power she dug in for safety and sought to conserve her gains. But her blessings were like the manna: when they tried to keep it overnight it bred worms and stank. So we have had monasticism, scholasticism, institutionalism; and they have all been indicative of the same thing: absence of spiritual power. In Church history every return to New Testament power has marked a new advance somewhere, and every diminution of power has seen the rise of some new mechanism for conservation and defense. If this analysis is reasonably correct, then we are today in a state of very low spiritual energy.

The only power God recognizes in His Church is the power of His Spirit; whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit, while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained and devoted intellect. Bright personality has taken the place of the divine afflatus.

Only what is done through the Eternal Spirit will abide eternally.

The essence of true religion is spontaneity, the sovereign movings of the Holy Spirit upon and in the free spirit of redeemed men. When religion loses its sovereign character and becomes mere form this spontaneity is lost also, and in its place come precedent, propriety, system–and the file-card mentality. Back of the file-card mentality is the belief that spirituality can be organized.

For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was — a device for wasting time, a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience, a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability. But of late she appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god Entertainment she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his power.

Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere. The world is whitewashed just enough to pass inspection by blind men posing as believers.

Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard. Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life. Our religious mood is social instead of spiritual. We have lost the art of worship. We are not producing saints. Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities. We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser. Our homes have been turned into theaters. Our literature is shallow and our hymnody borders on sacrilege. And scarcely anyone appears to care.

Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song and made palatable by religious entertainment. Christ calls men to carry a cross; we call them to have fun in His name. He calls them to forsake the world; we assure them that if they but accept Jesus the world is their oyster. He calls them to suffer; we call them to enjoy all the bourgeois comforts modern civilization affords. He calls them to self-abnegation and death; we call them to spread themselves like green bay trees or perchance even to become stars in a pitiful fifth-rate religious zodiac. He calls them to holiness; we call them to a cheap and tawdry happiness that would have been rejected with scorn by the least of the Stoic philosophers.

A new Decalogue has been adopted by the neo-Christians of our day, the first word of which reads “Thou shalt not disagree;” and a new set of Beatitudes too, which begins “Blessed are they that tolerate everything, for they shall not be made accountable for anything.” It is now the accepted thing to talk over religious differences in public with the understanding that no one will try to convert another or point out errors in his belief. Imagine Moses agreeing to take part in a panel discussion with Israel over the golden calf; or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue with the prophets of Baal. Or try to picture our Lord Jesus Christ seeking a meeting of minds with the Pharisees to iron out differences.

The blessing of God is promised to the peacemaker, but the religious negotiator has better watch his step. Darkness and light can never be brought together by talk. Some things are not negotiable.

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is [Zoe] Life, always.

The modern vogue of bringing science to the support of Christianity proves not the truth of the Christian faith but the gnawing uncertainty in the hearts of those who must look to science to give respectability to their faith.

Science, the sweet talking goddess which but a short time ago smilingly disposed of the Bible as a trustworthy guide and took the world by the hand to lead it into a man-made millennium, has turned out to be a dragon capable of destroying that same world with a flick of her fiery tail.

The Bible tells of another world too fine for the instruments of scientific research to discover. By faith we engage that world and make it ours. It is accessible to us through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

-A.W. Tozer, Paths To Power

Monday, October 20, 2008

Next Revive

Our next Revive is this Thursday Oct 23, 2008 @ 7:00pm

Worship led by Amy Tosney
I will be teaching from Jeremiah 2.
Come join us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why so serious?

Why so serious? I wanted to share a thought that just ran through my mind a couple of seconds ago while walking up the stairs. I don't know who all of my readers are but I know that there are several of you subscribed to the REVIVE blog. Half of which I don't even know personally. In any case, I felt I might want to share why I am always so serious on this blog.....if any of you have ever asked that question or let that thought cross your mind.

From the beginning of the REVIVE blog, I have felt God has called me to use it strictly for ministry purposes rather than for personal drama/silliness etc.(and believe me, I have drama!) I realize that some of what I share and post are very hard things to ponder and may seem harsh at times, but the LORD has not given me permission to change that tone. The LORD has reminded me time and time again that REVIVE is to sharpen and strengthen us, His Church. No fluff. No funny business. Not here. However, I am not opposed at all to the lighter side of things in the blogger world. Not at all! I totally recognize that God can be equally effective through that kind of blogging.

And, just for the record I am real. I do have feelings. I do bleed, get bruised, get knocked down, hurt deeply and struggle with every day life situations the same as everyone else. My marriage is not perfect, my parenting skills are shabby and my walk with the LORD has it's peaks and valleys. I do love to play and have fun and even be very silly on many occasions. And if you are looking for that kind of blogging from me I hope to allow that side of me to spill over on my other blog. In the meantime, the REVIVE blog will continue to be a tool that the LORD can use to help build up, challenge and strengthen the Bride. He is pursuing His people, hard, very hard....because His delight is not in a wayward Bride, but a completely devoted Bride in full adornment! Bear with me ladies and gents...God is working!

Thank you for allowing me to share with you the things the LORD is about in my life through the REVIVE blog.

Many blessings to you.

Where is all the money going?

Yesterday I heard about a man in the state of Alabama who pays approximately $400 to attend each home game for his favorite college football team. After calculating up the gas to travel to the game, the price of a ticket for he and his wife, and the cost of food before, after, and during the game it totalled $400. This did not surprise me and as a math lover I was happy to see someone taking into account ALL of the costs and not just the ticket price.

This got me thinking though. Could that $400 have been used better? Are there really causes out there that are more important than college football, more important even then spending a Saturday with friends? Of course the answer is yes.

That same money could have easily fed 400 people for one day or 1 or 2 people for 1 year and 35 days assuming it cost $1 per day to feed someone like this little man pictured below. (keep in mind these are rough estimates)

Now, I know many of you will think I am a spoil sport but allow me to make my case. I love spending time with friends, I like watching college football. These things are fun and the enjoyment of them is not inheritantly evil. These are just examples to show how entertainment and self-satisfying endeavors have taken the place of our love for others. In our very comfortable world where we wake up, choose and outfit from our full closets, choose our breakfast from our multiplicity of choices, spend time in climates that are adjusted just right to keep out the summer's heat and winter's cold, and slide into plush, posturepedic beds at night in relatively safe neighborhoods we forget that there is a world that is STARVING for food and for the gospel. People are literally dying or losing abilities such as sight because they have no substantial food or no food at all.

All I am asking is that you consider it. I have had to consider myself how my budget is applied each month. As a single woman with a good job, no house payment, no car payment, and no dependents, I have money to spare each month. The question is.....has this money been given to me for my accumulation of things or for my sister in Africa, in Asia, in Alabaster? Lord, let us see our wealth and GIVE IT!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Excellent Movie!

I know I have mentioned the movie Fireproof a couple of times already on this blog, but I finally saw it this past weekend and it far exceeded my expectations. Facing the Giants was great, however the level of acting could have been much improved! I knew the level of acting had to be better with Kirk Cameron starring in this film, but I was REALLY impressed with this movie! It was hilarious, very moving and extremely powerful. The role of the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church was beautifully displayed. It was an excellent movie!

I wanted to encourage you to all go and see it whether you are married or not. It is a MUST see! If you know of someone who is struggling in their marriage, do as my friend Shawn said yesterday....."buy them the tickets, the popcorn and drink" march them into the theater and stand guard at the door". This movie is truly an answer to prayer with the issue of marriages that are falling apart today. It is strengthening marriages and changing lives! Go see it!

Would love to hear your comments on the movie for those of you that have seen it!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood by John Piper

Click on link to read.
The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood

Thursday, October 9, 2008

God Speaking to the Church

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.
1 Corinthians 14:26

Can you take this in a minute? This is a word to the church so listen up. EVERYONE (in Christ of course) has been given a hymn, a word of instruction (lesson) a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Each of us! If you are in Christ, God is communicating to you in some way. WOW! God gives us some kind of communication in order to share with the church. This is how the church is built up, strengthened.

Heavens knows that the church needs to be edified in our day and age. Look at her. She is struggling. People are falling apart and falling out left and right. Marriages failing, addictions running wild, strongholds of sin abound. Encouragement is needed, strengthening is needed, purifying is needed! We must all work together and do our part in order for the church of Jesus Christ to function properly.

So, are you doing your part? God is speaking to you. Is He saying anything to you about something you need to be doing for the church? Are you listening to what God is saying and are you sharing that with the body of Christ? Are you? Or are you too caught up in running after the lusts of the age and staying so busy with nonsense that you aren't able to hear what God is saying to you? Listen, God has a part for you in this. Don't miss it. The church needs building up and it can't function properly with out you.

God is speaking. Please, please hear me brother or sister.....Start Listening!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Red Letters Campaign