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IF you do this, THEN…

I found an interesting thing in reading the Word this morning. In Exodus 34 Moses asks God for favor and to be His inheritance (This caught my eye because part of Pastor Sammy’s teaching last night at Bible study was that we were His inheritance). He also asks for God to go with them and for the glory for all even though the people are wicked. Then God makes a promise to Moses but tells Moses to obey everything that He commands. The next three chapters are filled with tasks and I usually just run through them as unimportant but when I really looked at it every job had a purpose for preparing for a place for God in their lives and for what God was going to do. It involved men and women pulling together their abilities and resources…but only the men and women who had their hearts stirred…not everyone was onboard. In Exodus 40 toward the end (pasted below and highlighted) it says Moses finished the work assigned. The next verse starts with the word “then”….THEN (implies to me they the two passages are connected) THEN THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE. Hallelujah! Does that stir anyone else? God made a promise. Conditions for the Israelites were few considering that promise.

God really spoke to me through these passages and so today I feel called to pray for our people, that all of their hearts are stirred. He spoke to me to pray for the workers behind the scenes that may be overlooked by many of us as even I overlooked the importance of the tasks in these passages. He spoke to me to pray for people to complete the tasks assigned as preparation and to take their assignments seriously.

This really struck me and something I don’t think of very often… Moses didn’t do all the work. He did his part and he heard from God and told all the people what God had commanded and then the work was completed by those that had their hearts stirred and wanted to be a part of what God was going to do. Moses called the people and the people used their God-given gifts and talents and anointing to carry it out. When they all (those with stirred hearts) had worked in unity and done their part to obey all the commands THEN THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE TABERNACLE.

This just excited me!!! Revival is probably many things. It speaks to me through these verses that living in the glory of God night and day, day in and day out definitely involves unity but not to get too hung up on those that are not onboard (YET) and it involves obedience in preparation based on God’s commands. While everyone may not be onboard because everyone’s hearts have not been stirred…it can still come for the benefit of all. Charles Finney said that, “A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.” Maybe he’s right. Maybe it starts with obedience or is revival to bring people to obedience. Maybe it is both. IF you do this, THEN…

Have more to say on this but some of it is still just stirring my soul, like an invention trying to bubble up or something, and I can’t get the word for it yet…if that makes sense.

Exodus 40:33-37

33 Then Moses set up the courtyard around the tabernacle and altar and put up the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard. And so Moses finished the work.

The Glory of the LORD
34 Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels

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I am a preacher and so is mom ; )

I grew up in a church denomination and am a part of a family that has typically allowed no voice to women on spiritual matters. Even today, in my extended family, women do not pray aloud or even say a blessing when there is a man around that can do it. Over the years I have often asked myself how this can be when my mom and her witness is one of the reasons most of the men in my family came to Christ. I have only challenged this mindset twice though. Each time it led to huge disagreements and voices that were a little too loud and my mom in her embarrassment and frustration ended up crying. I can’t bear my mom’s tears…so it has always been easier to just hush up and follow tradition. I am, however, now watching a new generation of women struggle as they too are being told they can’t do certain things because of their gender.

You know, when you are told so often that you can’t do something, it just makes you want to do it all the more. Oh yeah, maybe for the wrong reasons but still you want to just rebel somehow. So over the years this fascination has developed and now while I love to listen to many preachers and teachers, I find myself very, very drawn to hearing women. Go figure. Rebellion? Perhaps. As I have listened something within me is churning and I can feel it rising and I know that one day (though I am definitely not there yet) I will not be satisfied with keeping my mouth shut and my thoughts hidden away in journals. I will not only release my words and ideas and dreams, but I will speak them boldly no matter the cost…hopefully I won’t just burst in some hyper emotional babble but you never know.  Hopefully, mom won’t cry.

So I say all that so you’ll understand when I tell you this “news”— though maybe I can’t even explain it with the appropriate emotion it deserves. Sunday Pastor Sammy was talking about how all believers are called to preach the gospel as it says “go YE therefore” and he asked us to repeat the words “I am a preacher.” We are all preachers he said. He didn’t say just the men, he said all of us. I can’t begin to describe the happiness it gave me to hear these words from a pastor and a man, but I really can’t describe the surprising joy and exhilaration it gave me to hear those words coming freely from my own mouth as we all declared it together– I AM A PREACHER! I AM A PREACHER!! …now just wait until mom hears that she’s a preacher too…Yikes! Watch out! It is almost Thanksgiving ; )

Posted in Hiding His Word

Speaking of mysteries…

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. Ephesians 1:9-10

Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Speaking of mysteries (well some of us were)…I have been blown away these last few weeks by two words…”In Him.” These words keep coming up in different forms like “in Him” and “in Christ.”

In Him….
Ephesians 1:13-14 says In Him we are God’s possession
2 Corinthians 5:17 says In Him we are a new creation
Romans 8:1 says In Him there is no condemnation
1 Corinthians 15:22 says In Him we are made alive
Colossians 1:28 says In Him we will stand as perfect before the Father

That is just of few scriptures of about 114 that reference in some way being IN HIM.

It seems to be everywhere I look lately and this past week even came up in our Sunday school class. We take scripture and do word studies to see what God reveals. From verses assigned we are to choose two words that are speaking to us and then share. Some days we all have the same word, some days different. One of the verses this week was this passage above from 1 Thessalonians.

Seeing a pattern in what God is showing me in scripture and study and what God was laying on my heart, the words I chose was “in”- well, with a word like “in” there is no way to discount the words that follow. So I looked it up in the context of “in Him” or “in Christ”…although I am sure it can apply in others ways as well.

Listed below are the definitions.

“In” definitions – 1 a. 1 a – used as a function word to indicate inclusion, location, or position within limits – IN the lake – wounded IN the leg – IN the summer
2. 2 – used as a function word to indicate means, medium, or instrumentality – written IN pencil – bound IN leather
3 a. 3 a – used as a function word to indicate limitation, qualification, or circumstance – alike ∼ some respects – left IN a hurry- broke IN pieces
4. 4 – used as a function word to indicate purpose – said IN reply
5. 5 – used as a function word to indicate the larger member of a ratio – one IN six is eligible

When I got to definition #5 of the word “in” and put it into that context of “in Him” I almost came unglued. I saw this picture in my mind of the church/body, standing together as one, and we stood tall toward heaven with Jesus- as the head and the whole- (larger ratio). Then each of us and all of us were equally a part of the whole, but individual unto ourselves(smaller ratios that make up the larger). While totally individual, we were all totally a part of each other and each as close to the head as any other, though not the head- the head was only Jesus Christ.  In my “mind’s eye” it was absolutely one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen…as I continued to “see” individuals would fall off of the whole and then – beauty would diminish a tiny bit at a time. But when added to, beauty would increase. It excited me so much and it saddened me too…I know I am not doing it justice because I can’t exactly explain it yet. Maybe it is a picture to paint somehow, someday…in words or on canvas or just in action. Not really sure.

Through that picture though, I had a realization of the need for each individual and for their wellbeing being interdependent (is that the correct word?) with my own needs and wellbeing. I need you and you need me. All of us. There is enough room for everyone to be in the BODY and there is need in the body for every one that He created…though some won’t choose it. Am I totally off base in the way I am seeing this because I just keep getting this picture?

Through these words “in Him” and some other things, God is developing such a burden in me for souls. I have been asking God to send me out somehow…but I thought I meant  for a week or two to some foreign place where no one knows me. In a foreign place they may see me as peculiar in the way I appear but to be peculiar at home, because of who I am, is soooooo hard. Even still, I feel Him calling me here to my home and community and my country.  To do what?!? What can I do here? I don’t really get it yet, but I feel I am being prepared to love in ways that I never dreamed I would and to love some people who I have never been all that interested in…just being honest.

 I asked for it but it is strange to feel it coming to pass in my spirit when my mind is not at all there yet. I expected my spirit and body to follow my mind. Lately though, all I am thinking on is things like “in Him” and unity and the body as Christ sees the body. I find myself crying for it and crying that I will even want it….I KNOW! Don’t say it! …but it is where I find myself. What a challenge! I don’t want it because it is anything about who I am because I am a very selfish person (though I don’t want to be and I pray for a change in my heart every day) BUT I want it because He is putting it in me, despite me.

Have more to say on “in Him” but will save it.  FYI, other word for Sunday School and 1 Thessalonians I chose was “continually”…whoa! way too late to even try to go there tonight : )

Posted in Blogroll

My Church – didn’t write but don’t want this hidden within the other pages.

Biblically there is no such thing as my church or the local church.  We are all part of THE CHURCH-THE BODY OF CHRIST.  Fruit of having my church is that we focus only on MY and OUR and we only focus sometimes on building this church.  And we want to build the Kingdom but the only way we can see to do that is to build this.  How can this attitude not bring division?

God is saying that my church of America has become a narcissistic church.  Narcissism is a morbid love and admiration of self.  Comes from Narcissus (Greek mythology died from hopeless love of his own reflection in water and was transformed into a daffodil).  Church has become so self focused and enamored with ourselves that we died.  We are irrelevant and in many ways dead.  We are changing nothing in our nation.  Thing about daffodils is this…they  are beautiful but they have NO FRAGRANCE.  Says in 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 how we are supposed to bring forth the fragrance of Christ.  No one can say if they are honest that the church in America has mirrored to the world the reflection of Jesus Christ for when they smell us the fragrance they smell is of Him.

Sometimes in our thinking everything we do for God has to flow out of the local church to build the local church. Because we only focus on the local church we only focus on our success.

Not against corporate worship but against an, in some ways unbiblical human centered, need based, self centered organization that is the focal point. Something that was built to satisfy people, not God.  Doesn’t mean you don’t have nice facilities it means you don’t focus on the “sheep pen.”  It is just a place where God houses His people to help them extend His Kingdom into the earth.  Becomes much more than a gathering center, becomes a sending center.  The goal is not to be how many we can gather, but how many we can send.  Yes we will have facilities but facilities will be used for the vision, vision won’t be to have the facilities.  They are to equip the church, not to draw or impress people to build a church.

Never in the scripture is the standard for success built on speed or size.  Our responsibility is not to help build a local church.  Our responsibility is to help extend the Kingdom of God into the earth.

We don’t go to church to worship.  We are the church so we gather to worship and we worship everywhere we go every day.

We don’t go to church to pray.  We are the church so we pray everywhere, everyday.

We don’t go to church to be taught.  We are the church so we gather to equip and disciple so that we can send and equip and disciple elsewhere and we disciple nations. As a church we are to gather but we are also to send.

We don’t go to church to be pastored and to be ministered to.  We are the church so we pastor everywhere and minister everywhere.

We don’t go to church to fellowship, build relationships, etc…  We are the church so we fellowship in many places and we not only gather but we are the church so we pastor everywhere and we minister everywhere.

We don’t go to church to get people saved and healed.  We are the church so we save and heal everywhere we go and then people can get saved and healed more than two or three hours a week.

We don’t go to church to minister our gift.  We are the church so we minister our gift everywhere we go.

We don’t go to church to build up the church.  We are the church so we build up one another and He builds the church.  That is what He said…”I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH.”  No verse in scripture anywhere that says a person is supposed to build a church.

We don’t go to church to hear from God.  We are the church so we hear from God all week, anywhere and everywhere.