Posted in Call, Christ, Disciple, Faith, God, Passion, Prayer, Seek Christ, Serve, Triune God, worship

Where is Church?

Why this question?

In looking around the blog world the other day, I stumbled on a blog by Michelle Lesley. It is well written and thought out but definitely not in line with how I interpret  the teachings within Timothy’s. No problem, 1 John 4:1 tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”.  I’m not saying Michelle is a false prophet. I am saying that I (we) are to test what we read and hear against God’s word. Not to challenge it or argue against it, but to ensure we are believing, following, sharing, teaching and preaching the right message.

Christ himself gave us an example of how we are to have this conversation in Acts 19:8 when he entered the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus: “Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things of the kingdom of God.”

In a nutshell she was discussing the role of women in the church, which is not what we’ll talk about today. In a brief exchange between us, I asked “If you believe 100% what you have written here, then you believe 100% what you have taught, proselytized, preached (different people will apply different words to what we bloggers do) here. How does your work here not go against what you have said the Bible does? ” Her response took me back, “The instruction is that women are not to preach to, teach Scripture to, or exercise authority over men in the church. A blog is not the church.”

What is Church?

I have written about this before (Where We Gather and Here & Now – Worship) as this question as well as what is worship are ones far too many of us do not understand or experience.

A quick survey of a variety of versions of the Bible show that the word church shows up a little over 100 times in the New Testament. When God talks about the church with us, He is not talking about the man made denominations we’ve created, He’s talking about His people. In the Old Testament, church did equal the Temple and people were expected to gather there for sacrifices and teachings (the men anyway). But in the New Testament, Christ changes this format. The Bible does give references to congregations, but those are congregations of cities or communities, not a physical institution. So, what is church?

For the purist among you, the word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia meaning ‘assembly’ or ‘called out ones’.

First of all, we need to understand that the church is Christ:

“He is also the head of the body, the church;”.   Col 1:24 (HCSB)

Then we need to understand that church is a place of gathering, but it is a place where two or more gather.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Matt 18:20 (HCSB)

Some would argue that the Holy Spirit being present can be counted as one since He is a participant in prayer; I don’t think this supported biblically but can understand the argument when Christ gives us examples like the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matt 26:36 (HCSB) also Mk 14:32

And when we’re instructed to privately talk with Abba, one-on-one; two are present.

But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.  Matt 6:5-6 (HCSB)

Christ first mentions the work of building a church in Matthew, but He is not talking about the confining walls of a building, but The Church (of Jesus Christ) full of people.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.  Matt 16:18 (HCSB)

To truly understand what the church is, we must go to the Book of Acts and recognize some major shifts in societal and physical behaviors. One of the largest is the clarity of the message that no one is excluded.

The Disciples were baptized by The Holy Spirit and received His power (Acts 1:8).
Women were included in acts and in gifts. (Acts 1:14, 2:17,18)
Pentecost brought the time of speaking in tongues so the Word of God would be heard by so many more. (Acts 2:4)
One expectation was laid out for followers, REPENT.  (Acts 2-38-40)
A picture of church is presented, people who devote themselves to learning, gathering, breaking of bread (eating) with a joyful and humble attitude, and praising. (Acts 2:42,46)

With all of this, we can now go to the question, are we on this blog, a church? Are we discussing, teaching, preaching, sharing, learning and supporting each other in the name of Christ? Are we asking questions to ensure what we learn is true? Does this technology allow us to find God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? I believe so and I believe I am responsible for each person who reads or shares this.

What I do not believe is that this makes me the head of a church or places me over any man who may be reading this. Just as women were including in the act of praying in the upper room, teaching in homes throughout Acts and receiving calls directly to guide others, they were not the head of their churches; they were answering God’s call to teach, proselytize, praise, whatever their gift was.

After Michelle and I chatted, I searched out many more blogs and websites hosted by women Christians and I was astonished at how many did not accept responsibility, most saying (in various ways), ‘I can not control who reads what I write’ and ‘if a man chooses to read my writings that is on him’. Really? How is ones accountability for what one shares with one gender any different than the other?

I stand in my conclusion that, I am a Disciple and it is my humble prayer that God uses me, through the Holy Spirit, to reach out to anyone who knows or does not know Him who saves us all, and provides either encouragement or hunger for their own walk with the Triune God. I know I am challenged when I sit down and do this blog for fear of false teachings [2 Peter 2:1]. I humbly pray if any of you ever feel I am guilty, you hold a conversation here with me so we all may grow.

FYI: Those of you that have followed me for a while know I use a multitude of versions of the Bible. I do this for two reasons; one, some versions have wording that is easier to understand and two, to help show that although the words may be in a different order, the meaning is the same. Currently I’m using The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)).

Posted in Advent, Call, Christ, Disciple, God, Lord, Passion, Seek Christ, Triune God

Therefore, Go …

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, —Matthew 28:19 NIV

Where are you going?

Today. Where are your feet taking you?  Where are the wheels of your car transporting you?  Where are the words you are going to speak or write or think, thus act on (or not), going to land?

Where are you rushing off to now that I’ve made you very uncomfortable?

If you’re not uncomfortable, good for you, maybe you’re on track.  Maybe I’m on track.  If you are uncomfortable, STOP!

I confess, I never know what words are going to go on this page until I have prayed.  I do believe they are from my heart, but inspired; that they are messages for someone, sometimes me, out there reading this someday.  Maybe it’s you today, so just stop for a moment.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, —Matthew 28:19 NIV

Every Sunday when I leave church I wonder how many really heard more than just the words and went through just the motions.  How many of my fellow ‘Christians’ are not just going through the habit of acting like they believe.  

When is the last time you’ve read, considered and accepted the words of Matthew 28:19?  When is the last time you spoke of Jesus with another person let alone a non-believer?  When is the last time you did more than let your neighbors let you see your home in your Sunday best going to that place those people go to instead of sleeping in?  When is the last time you explained the Triune God to anyone or even mentioned them to anyone?

I know, this is a scary thing to do.  I remember first stepping out and being excluded because people didn’t want to offend me.  So I went anyway and showed them I could be a Christian there too, and after a while, some of them came to me so I could disciple.

From here courage increased.  No, not everyone came and accepted, but that was okay, everyone isn’t my job, but someone was.  Next came the harder task, the person I was to get in their face about.  That was a near 10-year task.  Life by example at first, then gentle nibbles, then face-to-face, over drinks, hard conversations.  He didn’t turn into a rebel rousing preacher, but I don’t doubt his place in heaven.  I’m not telling these stories to brag, but to give you examples of where your feet could take you today, tomorrow and always.

Live as He desires you to live, others will see and ask, then answer.

Speak of Him, them, gently and unobtrusively.  When a heart is softened, it will seek to know more from you.

When your told to be a Paul and get assertive, say “Yes Sir”, pick up your Bible and whatever other tools you need and go.  It will hurt and be hard but oh the eternal payment will make it so worth it! Angels will be singing!

Remember, you’re not a denomination, you’re a Christian, a follower of Christ, the Son of God.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, —Matthew 28:19 NIV

Posted in Freedom, God, Passion, Prayer


Growing up I had noone to teach me what it meant to standup for what you believe in.  I was introduced to the idea of it when I developed an obsession, at the age of 6, of watching every news program I could, desperate to see the face of my brother, terrified that I would see his body.  It was at this tender age  I learned about history, war, valor, love, peace, fairness and compassion.  At this time an uncle taught the value of family, commitment, honesty and showed how coming together, working together, made us all stronger.  I ended up being a very passionate person, one who believes if something is worth expending my belief in it, then its worth energy.  I don’t understand apathy.

In the last several years our country has been very loud, at least in words, about loving our first responders & military men & women, and many on issues and groups that have been busy lately; however, I was shocked and then saddened recently when I went to a ballgame and at the national anthem people talked, laughed, carried on, and didn’t salute. I understand not everyone serves in the military but I also know in a group of 500 people, I’m not the only veteran.

Perhaps it was just an off night and I noticed it.

          Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

           If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

           May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 
           so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
           Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:5-7

This is a season of prayer.  We have dangers all around us. and have had since we left the garden.  And will have until we 9o home.
Sometimes those dangers are from others,  Sometimes they are from within, like apathy.
While in prayer examine your beliefs. Make sure you can answer for them, stand up for them. 
Pray for strength & courage to stand against the people of Sa+an.

Blessed to be a blessing!