Minggu, 12 November 2017

John Fenn, Ed. or the Horse Jumping the Tricycle Incident of 1988- Relationships #6

Hi all,
When we lived in Colorado I had a horse I named Josiah (In heaven I may need to apologize to King Josiah, but my horse was good and zealous like him) :)
 
I used to love riding out on the open prairie of Colorado with him, where there are no fences and only miles and miles of prairie, cactus, prairie dog towns, and a particular plant Josiah loved to jump over, the Spanish Bayonet. The Spanish Bayonet resembles exactly that - it has long, thin, hard spikes up to about 3 feet long (1m) arranged like a bouquet splaying out in all directions. We would be at a gallop and I'd try to steer him around the plants, but he would ignore me and head right for them so he could jump.
 
Image result for picture plant called 'spanish bayonet'
He loved jumping those things, and anything else that height as well, which is unfortunate because my son on his tricycle was that height. 
 
The tricycle incident
Brian was then 3 and he had a tricycle that he rode all over the property. This particular day he got himself into a mess as only a 3 year old boy can. Somehow he managed to get himself and his tricycle into Josiah's corral, and was riding around full speed chasing the horse from one end of the corral to the other playing 'tag'. Barb came screaming to me that Josiah was in a panic and going to kill our son and to come quickly!
 
As I ran to to the corral I saw Josiah running full speed towards Brian, and with perfect timing jumped completely over him, his hoofs missing Brian's head with plenty of daylight to spare. He did it 2x that we saw before I arrived to vault over the top rail of the corral and in one motion pick up Brian and lift him out of the corral to Barb's waiting arms. Whew! Close call. Brian thought he was playing tag with the horse, and maybe the horse thought that too, but we could see the danger.
 
How we initially understand situations determines faith or fear, boldness or cowardice, believing the best or believing the worst of someone. We and the Lord see the same situation; Do we want His perspective or ours? Do we jump to conclusions or wait for all the facts? Was it a horse intent on killing our son, or a game of tag?
 
Barb and I concluded Josiah's good nature caused him to jump over Brian, but he was agitated that Brian was in his 'space'. Game or not, it was a dangerous situation, but no malice on the part of the horse was evident. In fact it was his tender care to jump over Brian the proved he meant him no harm. 
 
That part - whether our horse intended harm or not - could not be known at the first. We had to gather all the facts and see how he treated Brian before coming to that conclusion. Had we assumed he wanted to kill him it would have meant I would have had the horse destroyed. If we draw conclusions for the worst upon initially encountering a situation we might react with offense or anger, when none of that was intended. 
 
Who is Ed you may ask?
In Joshua 22 we have the story of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh setting up an altar, a mizbe'ach in Hebrew, at their border with the other 10 tribes of Israel. A replica of the original sacred altar used by Aaron and Moses was never done before, so the other 10 tribes thought Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were going to usurp the authority of the priesthood and start making their own sacrifices. The 10 tribes gathered themselves for war against their brethren. 
 
When the counsel was called before the attack, the 2 1/2 tribes explained it was not as they assumed, for that altar was not built to make sacrifices upon, but rather as a witness on their border so all would know that they were following the Lord God of Israel alone. The 10 tribes saw the altar and assumed the worst, while the intent of the 2 1/2 tribes was to show their zeal and faithfulness to God. 
 
At that point all 12 tribes decided to name the altar Ed. The Hebrew word Ed translated into English and using English alphabet, means witness or testimony. That marker, that boundary altar intended to be a statement of faith by the 2 1/2 tribes, was mistakenly understood to be a statement of rebellion by the other 10 tribes.
 
Don't jump to conclusions
We could have concluded Josiah was trying to kill Brian. He thought he was playing tag. We had to gather the facts before making a right judgment on the situation about Josiah's intent and motive. 2 1/2 tribes built an altar to tell the world they were serving the God of Israel, 10 tribes thought they were usurping God given ordinances. It took time and talking before they understood the motives of the 2 1/2 tribes. 
 
Why at first did they automatically assume their brothers were guilty of sin? Why were they so willing to go to war based on those mistaken conclusions? Are we also instantly ready to go to war with someone because they offend us? Do we end the relationship because they offended us without first checking our own actions to see if we played a part in the exchange?
 
Do we conclude they have an attitude against us when maybe they are looking for some acknowledgement that we had a part to play in it? Shouldn't we look at our own actions to see if we were first in the wrong before we blame them? Jesus said to remove the 'beam of timber' (Greek) from our eye before trying to remove our brother's splinter (literally, dry speck, saw dust) from his. Matthew 7:3
 
Jesus used the eye as the parable, meaning how we see things, how we perceive someone else's actions. One who jumps to conclusions is as one who has a large beam in their eye obscuring their vision and ability to see the whole picture - the beam is blocking their view and skewing what they think they see. 
 
It is true we tend to judge others by their actions while we judge ourselves by our motives. What if we looked first at how our actions contributed to the misunderstanding? What if we waited until we could hear or see a motive before jumping to offense? Don't assume the worst, and check your heart first.
 
Examine your heart. That altar you take offense at may be another person's statement of faith. 
 
Gather more information, don't assume the worse just yet...and look for the Father's provision in each situation. In this way we learn patience and love, and righteousness. 
 
New subject next week, until then, blessings,
John Fenn
 
www.cwowi.org and email me at cwowi@aol.com
 
 

 
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The Gifts of the Spirit: How to Move in them in Every Day Life Most of us were raised in a church culture that allowed the gifts of the Spirit to operate only (if at all) during a church service, but the Biblical truth is the gifts were seen in everyday life. This series will reset your thinking to what the Bible says as it defines each gift, gives scriptural definitions of each gift, and shares modern life examples of their function in everyday life. This practical teaching will help you realize you’ve moved in some of the gifts for years but because it wasn’t in church and no one labeled what happened, you didn’t realize it. It will also help you move in them more often.  
 







Just a word about our On-line Video Bible School - these classes, so far; Old Testament I & II, Righteousness and Our Authority in Christ - are a go-at-your-own-pace, no test, investment in your own faith and understanding of the Word and Lord. Once registered, your password is good for a whole year so you can take your time, but as I'm hearing from students, once they start they have a hard time stopping! Each class is about 45-55 minutes long, so they are in easy to receive segments...consider investing in a deeper study of the things of God!

Geronimo!

Now that we are done talking about the recent LK10 Conference (for now) and potential future LK10 Convergences (that's what I have started calling the mini-conferences that we're talking about, and I'm going to keep calling them that until someone stops me), it's time to invite you into ANOTHER experiment!

This week we're introducing you to a project that Matt and Toni Daniels are working on. As you probably remember from past conversations we've had with Toni, the Daniels' family has been involved in the training of missionaries, church planters, and house church leaders for years, and they've been South American missions (focused primarily in Uruguay) for even longer. They have their hands in a number of projects, but what they're really focused on right now is finding, empowering, and training apostolic leaders in and for Uruguay.

So instead of me saying a lot more about their work, I'm going to let them tell you some about what they're doing. First, watch this video from Matt. This video describes why they use the name "Geronimo" for apostolic leaders (those who train others in how to become vibrant families of Jesus), and what you can do to join the Daniels' search for Geronimos.



Second, print off the map of Uruguay at the end of this e-mail (let me know if you don't know how to print a picture from an e-mail and I can give you instructions or send you the file), hang it somewhere in your house (on a bathroom mirror, near your bed, or somewhere that you will notice it) and start praying 10:2b for Uruguay in all of the ways that the map says. The Daniels' and lots of other LK10 folks are already praying 10:2b using this map.

Remember at the top of this e-mail when I said that we are inviting you into another experiment? THIS is that experiment. We want to see what happens when we get as many people as possible focused on praying for vibrant families of Jesus and for apostolic Geronimos to pop up in Uruguay, as well as all of the things necessary for those to be sustainable. Check back in next week's newsletter and the Facebook group for more information.

A Different Kind of (House Church) Conference - In With the New

You walk into the room. You've never been here before. The room is completely foreign to you. And yet somehow you feel completely comfortable here.

You look around. Out of the fifty or so people in the room, only a couple of people look familiar to you. Everyone else mills about chatting freely and comfortably, seemingly completely at ease, seemingly friends with everyone they see. And yet somehow you don't feel like an outsider.

Why? What is it about this group of people that makes you feel so comfortable, when the lack of familiarity in this situation should make you feel like running from this place to find a more familiar environment? Why does this group already feel like family?



Last week we talked about what a normal Christian conference looks like. Except for content, most Christian conferences look incredibly similar to any other conference. Large, loud, full of big-name speakers and big-name bands. Calls to action but very little actual practice. A lot of listening to experts, not a lot of listening to Jesus. And the entire thing costs thousands (if not millions) of dollars to put on, and hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of planning by more experts.

This week, we're exploring why the recent LK10 conference was a different kind of conference. And part of what makes it a completely different kind of conference is that, in order to host one, you don't have to be an expert. You don't have to have a lot of money. You don't have to hire big-name speakers. You don't have to hire big-name bands. You don't have to be a master planner. 

Sound extraordinary? That's because it is. Watch the video (click on the picture above) to hear John describe the main reasons it works, but here's the "cliffnotes" version.

First, it works because it isn't "come one, come all." In this conference, we aren't inviting people to come learn about LK10. We're inviting people who are already practicing church with us to deepen their practice with others who are practicing church in the same way. As John says in the video, "this is a conference for practitioners." This means that when someone is planning one of these conferences, they don't have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to get everyone on the same page, or place a lot of emphasis during the conference on helping people get caught up.

Second, it works because it doesn't have to be big. In LK10, we aren't hung up on the mega-church fallacy that "bigger is better." In LK10, family is better. Paying attention to and following Jesus is better. "Bigger is better" is another type of idolatry, and we've sent it packing along with the old way of putting on a massive show of a conference. So we will be doing another large conference next Labor Day (this year there were 50 people, maybe next year there will be 100), but it would be easy to host a similar regional conference in your living room with far fewer people. Maybe 20. Maybe 10. Maybe 5.

As you can tell, we are pretty excited about this, and we want to know if you are excited too. If the idea of hosting a regional conference excites you, please let us know. And as always, come over to the 
Facebook group for more conversations!

Sincerely,
Rosten Callarman
LK10 Communications Coordinator

John Fenn, The Ways of Righteousness #1

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The Gifts of the Spirit: How to Move in them in Every Day Life Most of us were raised in a church culture that allowed the gifts of the Spirit to operate only (if at all) during a church service, but the Biblical truth is the gifts were seen in everyday life. This series will reset your thinking to what the Bible says as it defines each gift, gives scriptural definitions of each gift, and shares modern life examples of their function in everyday life. This practical teaching will help you realize you’ve moved in some of the gifts for years but because it wasn’t in church and no one labeled what happened, you didn’t realize it. It will also help you move in them more often.  
 
 
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Hi all,
Last Saturday morning Barb was sleeping in, Chris was up, bathed, and watching a favorite Christian TV show while playing games on his tablet, and I was cleaning up the kitchen after making Chris breakfast. Over the kitchen window we have blinds - they are horizontal, wood about 2" wide (5 cm), slightly off-white in color, with a wand on the left by which we rotate them closed at night and open during daytime, and a pull string on the right by which to lift them out of the way to see unobstructed out the window. 
 
Being kitchen window blinds they collect grease and dust over time, and as I am always the first one up in the morning I am usually the one to rotate them from closed, which reveals the filth on each slat of wood, to open for the day which hides the grime. Out of sight, out of mind. 
 
For the last month when I'd be at the kitchen sink I'd think to myself, "Somebody really needs to clean those. I wonder when Barb will get around to it." (Just being honest lol) Today however, I was 'Somebody'. I couldn't stand them any longer. Chris was happy, Barb sleeping, breakfast over with. I opened the catch on the bracket, pulled them out and lowered them to the counter, sprayed them heavily with a degreasing cleaner allowing it to soak in several seconds before wiping them clean with a paper towel. 
 
Once back in place I gently touched up remaining spots I had overlooked, and thought to myself, "I wonder how long it will take Barb to notice I cleaned the blinds." As soon as that thought arose I heard the Lord ask me, "What are you going to tell her about why you cleaned the blinds?" My response was immediate, "Because they needed to be cleaned..." but that last word faded from my thoughts like a car running out of fuel and slowly coasting to the side of the road to a stop. I had answered before I had fully realized the Lord was asking for a reason, and I knew what that reason was - He was testing my motives for righteousness in my heart, or would He find pride. 
 
Before Him, you can only tell the truth. He is like the worlds most perfect lie detector machine, a universal truth serum because He Himself is Truth - when He asks you something the truth of whatever is in your heart comes up. It is gentle, yet thorough, and only painful if you aren't teachable, are proud, stubborn, trying to hide something in your heart, or hate being wrong. In short, if you don't love righteousness you'll shrink away from Truth, but if you love righteousness you race to the light to be corrected.
 
Before Him truth happens and you are powerless to stop it from coming out of your heart into the light of HIs scrutiny - your motives just pop to the surface like grandmas's dumplings when they are thoroughly cooked. You are 'done' and there isn't a thing you can do about it. 
 
I immediately changed my answer to the truth: "Alright, the truth is I couldn't stand them being that dirty any more." And then He responded, "But you would have told Barb you did it as a favor to her because they needed it and knew it would be difficult for her to take them down." "Yes. Sorry.", I admitted. "It's okay. You've grown a little today." And that was that. He was silent and I was left with a warm feeling of His presence that I love, intensified because I had grown just a bit more. 
 
I have settled in my heart when Barb asks when I did the blinds and why, I will tell her the unvarnished truth - no spin to favor me and make me look like her hero - I did it because the blinds bothered me being so dirty. I couldn't stand it any longer. Purely self-motivated reason for cleaning them. That was the truth. It wasn't for her. Not for the look of the place. Not because it needed to be done. They bothered me being so dirty and I couldn't stand for it any more. That 's what I will tell her. (She hasn't yet noticed they are clean)
 
When God judges
The Judgment Seat of Christ is what I experienced above, but here on earth. This is what happens at I John 1:9 - if we confess (admit) our sins He forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. If you are wise you will live like this, so that when you die your heart's motives and actions will be fully up to speed with very little to cover between you and Him at that moment. For some, their life will have to play out like a long running TV miniseries because they rarely judged themselves on their motives in this life, nor were sensitive enough to Truth to be honest about the how and why of their actions. 
 
Two women had been best friends for 15 years until one day friend #1 sent an email to about a dozen mutual friends that was in fact a well known 'fake news' item. Friend #2 emailed her back to the fact she had sent fake news, a lie about a person and situation, and thought she would appreciate knowing that so she could correct her mistake to everyone she sent it to. Instead, friend #1 was offended, writing her back that the principle was true even if the story was a lie. Friend #2 apologized, said she was only trying to be helpful, figuring anyone would want to know they were spreading a lie by mistake - but no, friend #1 unfriended her and refused to answer her text messages and calls, even weeks after that exchange. Friend #2 was understandably heart broken and left wondering what she did wrong. That answer: Nothing. 
 
Friend #1 would rather be right than be righteous. Do we want to be right, or be righteous? 
 
Hunger and thirst; believer or disciple?
There is an expected progression of one's life seen in scripture that starts at someone believing in Jesus, and from there they become a disciple. A disciple by definition is 'a learner'. For years people have been debating the dividing line between those who call themselves Christians, who may or may not be believers, versus those who are true disciples, living their lives in a never ending learning process of how to be more Christ-like as they walk with Him through this process called life.  
 
One of the attributes of a disciple of Jesus is what He said in Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Whether a believer hungers and thirsts for righteousness in their life or not, is revealed over time, and over tiny decisions of the heart. The right decisions move them to ever greater truth and transparency and therefore greater growth as a disciple, whereas decisions which are half-truths or made to make them look better (pride) confirm they are mere believers, at least in those particular areas. 
 
The word and tense used by Jesus in Matthew 5:6 for hunger and thirst are ongoing in nature. He isn't talking about wanting a meal and then once consumed being satisfied. He is speaking of an ongoing hunger and thirst that are satisfied within the process, as in the course of a great meal it is satisfying, but you want more - you live within the realm of ongoing, never ending, satisfaction. 
 
We might say it is the act of eating or dining. Eating would be the consuming food quickly and barely tasting it, or dining which takes time and savors every bite, every nuance of flavor the meal offers. Jesus is talking about living by dining on righteousness. Loving the flavor of it in our lives. Loving the nuances what we consume in Him reveals. Desiring righteousness above desiring to be right. 
 
And that is why when Barb eventually asks about the blinds I'll be righteous in my answer: I couldn't stand them any longer so I cleaned them!
 
We'll pick it up there next week, until then, blessings,
    John Fenn
 
www.cwowi.org and email me at cwowi@aol.com
 
 

 
New Products
2 cd's or MP3 ($15 for 2 CD series; $5 for each of 2 MP3 files ($10 total)
 
The Gifts of the Spirit: How to Move in them in Every Day Life Most of us were raised in a church culture that allowed the gifts of the Spirit to operate only (if at all) during a church service, but the Biblical truth is the gifts were seen in everyday life. This series will reset your thinking to what the Bible says as it defines each gift, gives scriptural definitions of each gift, and shares modern life examples of their function in everyday life. This practical teaching will help you realize you’ve moved in some of the gifts for years but because it wasn’t in church and no one labeled what happened, you didn’t realize it. It will also help you move in them more often.  
 







Just a word about our On-line Video Bible School - these classes, so far; Old Testament I & II, Righteousness and Our Authority in Christ - are a go-at-your-own-pace, no test, investment in your own faith and understanding of the Word and Lord. Once registered, your password is good for a whole year so you can take your time, but as I'm hearing from students, once they start they have a hard time stopping! Each class is about 45-55 minutes long, so they are in easy to receive segments...consider investing in a deeper study of the things of God!

Should You 'Fear' God?

 
Image
Should You 'Fear' God?
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​by Chip Brogden
The first mention of fear in the Bible is in the context of man being afraid of God.

You really need to see that a religious person trying to please God is just as ignorant as a “sinner” trying to hide from God. Neither one of them have a right understanding of God. Everything they do is based on fear. One refuses to go to church because he’s afraid of God. The other goes to church because he’s afraid of God. Isn’t it interesting how fear can drive people to do the exact opposite things!

What is driving you? What’s motivating you? What’s controlling you? Fear, or Love?

CLICK BELOW TO READ THE REST...

I am your brother,
Image
Chip Brogden 

Rural, Village Africa: Where Life is Real

Rural, Village Africa: Where Life is Real



Roger
We find ourselves spending less and less time in the villages of Africa. Our role of coaching leaders means that we can normally get more done by gathering them together in a central location, a small town which they can access from diverse locations.
To be honest, there are some parts of going out into the villages that I do not miss. The all-day travel on pot-holed roads that jolt your bones forever, the lack of facilities (toilets) or familiar food or comfortable seating or clean surroundings. Yes, in fact, there’s lots and lots of dirt and dust and heat and suspect food that may or may not result in another round of stomach bacteria.
But…
There is something that I terribly miss if we stay too long without touching life in the villages. There is something richly human and vibrant that can be found nowhere else. People that live in the raw simplicity and purposefulness required by rural life strike a chord deep in one’s soul in a way that nothing else can.
I am not sure how to explain it.
There are the faces of people running toward you as you arrive because you have come so far to see them. Even people you have not met before. They greet you eagerly as their guests, and their lives and hearts are obviously warmed just by your presence with them.
There is their hospitality that, despite their poverty, is abundantly generous and overwhelmingly moving. Whatever they have, or whatever they can borrow from a neighbor, they will bring it to you and are not satisfied until you have eaten and drunk all. They are welcoming you into their family, and sitting with them and eating with them is part of becoming part of them. Indeed, within a short time you feel amazingly close, like family, to people you hardly know because life, love, and family just exudes out of them.
There is the vulnerability that you feel because they do not have trappings to hide behind. There are no nice cars, houses, nor clothes to cover up the nakedness of simple humanity. They are simply people living, working, laughing, crying and doing it all together with many family members in the small confines of a one-room hut and an outdoor cooking area.
There is the deep sense of community as you realize how much they truly depend on one another, including extended family and neighbors, just to survive. What you have one day your neighbor may need the next, to avoid hunger or medical or school fees or help with a dowry or funeral needs.
Finally, there are heartfelt farewells from people you have only just met as they hug and smile and walk you down the road as far as they can go.
One feels opened up to a side of humanity that is deeply moving yet rarely accessible… unless you are willing to leave the confines of one’s own world and enter that of another.
    

Why We Do What We Do

Why We Do What We Do



Brooks
There’s a couple I met a few years ago in Kenya. They live in a rural village area in the ancestral home of the husband. Their life is simple. They live in a mud house with a thatched roof. Their needs are met…most days…their wants are few. They exemplify “if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:8
They have one goal: to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Why? Because they believe they have one assignment:
Matthew 28:19–20 New Living Translation (NLT)
… to go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Caren, the wife, tells me, “We have a heart to go to people. Jesus commissioned us to go and baptize them. It’s very important to have the right DNA that is in Matthew 28, to go, make disicples, teaching them to obey, starting with baptism. Then we gather them together because we share love with each other in a practical way. This is Scripture. It is easy. It is God’s way of multiplication. Even someone who hasn’t gone to school can do these simple things.
“This is what Jesus taught. Our ‘Baba (Father)’ is Jesus. He is our leader. He loves us as his children so we can do the work of God. It works well, this simple method of his. At the end of the day you have a big work of disciple-making and it costs no money. One person just shares the love of God with another person. You don’t leave him. You walk alongside of him and then take them with you to make another disciple. It doesn’t take long. It is very cheap. This is what we do in Kakamega. It is strong and growing. We have many relationships with people who are now good friends. This method we find so many who need and want to be loved. Their lives are being changed.
“What we are seeing is that when we disciple someone they will come out just like us with the same DNA. The first thing we have to do is always to pray. Prayer takes time. We are praying for that man of peace to disciple. We take about one or two months with him, being with him, discovering through the Bible who Jesus is and what he taught. Every week I will meet with them and share. We then take that person with us to share with someone else. This person is now able to make disciples. We always start with Discovery Bible Study in a new group or home. That new disciple goes with me and he watches me; then the next time that disciple he is helping me to do that; the next time we go, the disciple does it and I am there to help him. You can’t just leave the new disciple there alone. It’s like with Peter and Barnabas. You want to make sure that disciple has the DNA of Jesus. This is what sustains the movement.”
Here’s what some of the other disciple-makers are saying:
“With our movement people help each other in very simple ways. They share each other’s burdens. We have very little, but what we have, we share.”
“This is easy. We have received the love of God and we want to share it with others. We can share with so many people because of how easy it is to pass on God’s love. This is the Bible. The Discovery Bible Study is doing a lot. People from all over are seeing and hearing about this movement and what God is doing.”
“I love this method so much because it is God’s way. We can be together anywhere, any time. This is easy. It is not only for the pastor or someone coming to the church. I meet someone anywhere I am, even at the river and I can share the love of God with them. When we meet, we are in the house and they know me and my challenges very well. Here no one is pushed down. Everyone is able to be lifted up. We look at the Bible together and we find what is the Truth.”
“The gospel goes very quickly with this way of disciple-making, because it is a friendship atmosphere. Everyone can do this, not only if you are a pastor.”
“House church people are reading the Word of God together and discovering the Truth. They are ridding themselves of witchcraft.”
“We are reaching people in their homes. You don’t need anything, except Love.”
“We are discovering that we need to be open to people and their problems. When we do this, we find that we can understand and love people very well.”
“Our people are suffering and they are not being helped. House church is the way we can really help people. This is real help for people not just talking about help.”
“We find with DMM there is a way to work with people without fighting. We only serve God and are not in competition with people to find people to add to our church building programs.”
“God will go to any lengths to reach someone. What we are finding is that he usually does it through one person to another person.”