August 2011

29 Aug What Have We Done to His Church?

I recently came across a book that has become a welcome addition to my library, J.B. Phillips' The Young Church in Action. This book, published in 1955, is a translation of the Book of Acts and is a forerunner to his New Testament in Modern English. While I've had his New Testament in Modern English translation as a part of my library for 30+ years, having The Young Church in Action excites me because this book adds something that wasn't included in his translation of the entire New Testament, Phillips' preface to his translation. After reading this preface, I knew that I needed to share a brief excerpt from the writings of an individual who had lived and breathed Luke's writing about the Early Church.   "It is impossible to spend several months in close study of the remarkable short book, conventionally known as the Acts of the Apostles, without being profoundly stirred and, to be honest, disturbed. The reader is stirred because he is seeing Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history ...

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15 Aug Let’s Take a Walk

You may not believe this, but as a child, my elementary school report cards often had comments from the teacher informing my parents that I was an excessive talker. I often joke that my teacher’s favorite day of the school year was the day that I didn’t come to school. While my academic marks were quite good, my deportment or conduct marks showed that I needed to strengthen my ability to refrain from talking and making funny comments. Believe me when I say that my parents took the teacher’s comments to heart (or, pardon the pun – to bottom), and got down to the bottom of the problem (in more ways than one) and changed my desire to be the student who always had something funny to say. Fortunately, I learned a long time ago to not give the Holy Spirit a negative deportment grade for excessive talking. In fact, I continually urge Him to kick it into overdrive and talk and talk and talk to me. It was during one of these times this week that I heard Him remind me of a truth that I had been neglecting. Consider this: "The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever. And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your  descendants also be counted. Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you.” Genesis 13:14-17 (The Amplified Translation) As I read this, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that His movement in our children’s ministry is limited by what I can see and where I walk. As God told Abraham, we are to change our point of view (“life up your eyes”) and look beyond our present location and “reality” and to begin to see what He sees. Next, God told Abraham that what he could see would affect both him and his children. Then, after changing what we can see, we are to get up (“arise”) and to begin to be the forerunner and walk in and experience this new land. I could easily write several paragraphs and take several minutes of your time to enlarge upon the truths shared by the Holy Spirit. But, upon your request, the same Holy Spirit who spoke to me can and will speak to you. After hearing His voice, you will see afresh and anew His passion for moving in and among the children and also be challenged to begin to travel into the realm of the Spirit so that your children can follow you into the heavenlies. Now, close this program, turn off the computer and ask the Holy Spirit to begin to talk to you. Then, begin to listen to Him. Then, begin to dream and see through His eyes. Then, get up and start walking. Believe me, you are long overdue for a good long walk. Selah … Billy ...

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08 Aug Are You Jesus?

I had one of the cutest things happen a few weeks ago in our mid-week 4-year-old class. I came by the room that night to check on and communicate with the teachers for a couple of minutes and in doing so, I became engaged in conversation with an adorable little boy who was enjoying playing with Play Dough. After a talking for a while, I asked him, "Do you know who I am?" Looking up at me with the most loving eyes, he said, "Jesus?" At first, the cuteness factor was almost too much. I wanted to laugh out loud at his statement. Me? Jesus? Was he kidding? But later, the Holy Spirit reminded me that on that particular evening, I had been given the opportunity to be Jesus' representative. To that little boy, I was Jesus-in-the-flesh. While this blog entry isn't my typical blog telling of flowing with the Holy Spirit, it is a gentle reminder of my need for being dependent upon Him. After all, on that particular Wednesday night, I was His agent for representing Jesus. Think about it. ...

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