Tag Archive | Prayer

Food For Thought: New Media Edition

Every week here at Pursuing Glory I try to bring together the best posts I’ve found that will equip the end-times church to operate in her God-ordained destiny.  These are the best blogs, articles, books and other resources related to our purpose here at this site.  Feel free to visit, comment, and make use of the resources found at each site.

I thought I would try something new this week.  I’ve always meant to include other media besides blogs on our “Food for Thought” posts.  It just so happens that this week there are a couple of significant contributions from the organic church world that I think are worth taking a look at.  Let me know if you find any of these helpful in the comments section, and if people find them helpful I may try to find more.  Enjoy!

Plant a Church in His Projects?

Kieth @ the Subversive1 blog has been tearing up the internets with a series of articles on how to minister to the poor.  Alan @ The Assembling of the Church references that post in this blog and he quotes a song by LeCrae that illustrates why church planting among the homeless and poor is absolutely necessary.

Pioneering Blog #6 Living with the Awesome Factor

Shawn is a prophetic voice that has been pioneering a church in L.A. amongst the creative community there.  He’s been posting at Shawnbolz’s Weblog about the difficulties of pioneering, and this post talks about the difficulty of continuing to walk in breakthough throughout our everyday lives.

Training

Guy @ The M Blog writes about the need for continual training as we pursue the establishment of God’s Kingdom.  I think continual training is a must for anyone serious about Kingdom transformation.  Don’t miss the excerpt from Curtis Sergeant’s “What We Can Learn from the U.S. Marines.”

Thoughts…

Len at Next Reformation has been thinking deeply about Ephesians chapter 4.  Here he quotes various authors’ and thinkers’ thoughts on the realities found in Ephesians 4.  What I love about these quotes is how they tie weakness and vulnerability together with displaying the glory of Jesus.

Starfish Files Winter 2011 Edition

Starfish Files is an e-magazine put together by the leaders of the house church movement in Canada.  Don’t miss the feature article: “Repenting of Dead Works for a Great Harvest of Souls.”

Christ is the Gift

Neil Cole teaches on the true place of the five ministry gifts listed in Ephesians 4.  I love Neil’s emphasis on Christ as the source of all the gifts.  There’s a lot to be learned here.

Photo Credit: Design Probes – Food for Thought by centralasian.

Advertisements

The Wayback Machine: January

Some things just get better with age.  “The Wayback Machine” posts occur at the end of every month and reference the best posts of that month in years past.  My hope is to provide a good jumping on point for readers who have never been to Pursuing Glory.

2010

Why You Come To Pursuing Glory

This post was my 199th post.  It was my attempt to sum up the reasons why people come and participate in this crazy blog and also articulate a little bit what the path forward looked like.  If you’re wondering why you’re here or you have an interest in revival, apostolic ministry, the global house church movement, interecession, or our personal lives, you should check out this post to find out why you’re in the right spot.

2007

Called To Give an Account

I wrote this blog because I was in a season of trying to plant a house church and was finding out very quickly not everyone was going to be as excited about it as I was.  You also will get a good look at me wrestling with whether I wanted to bear the stigma of what was (and still is) part of belonging to a house church.  The good news is the Lord is faithful and we’re still here.

Our House Church Came Together

This post came out of the very first gathering of our house church.  We’ve grown a little numerically, we’ve grown a lot in community and in each other’s lives.  This post ought to give you some great insight in where we started. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years.

Photo Credit: Dr Who by Aussiegal

My Take on our African Over Night Prayer Meeting

If you hadn’t caught my twitter feed you probably didn’t know that I spent Friday night (New Year’s Eve) and Saturday Morning with my friends from Full Grace Ministries as they held their over night prayer meeting.

If you’ve never been to Africa, let me explain the idea of an “over night prayer meeting.” First of all, while there is prayer that goes on, it is not just a prayer meeting.  When I’ve  been in Africa in the past, a common question they ask is “Where do you pray from?” What they mean is, “Where does your church gather and have their meetings at?” So an African over night prayer meeting is more like an extended church meeting that goes through the night.  My first over night was in Uganda.  The rest I’ve participated in here in America with Full Grace Ministries.

My job, as I understand it from the Lord, is to continue to encourage my African friends who gather that they have something to offer us in America.  They carry a deposit of Jesus that we cannot understand as Western Americans apart from their help.  So, I join them as often as I can and when the Lord allows, I encourage them to become everything Jesus designed them to be.

That said, here is my take on what happened on Friday night:

What I Learned

This particular night I was able to hear a number of speakers who where truly African in their message and their mindset.  One of the things that I noticed about these speakers was that their version of Christianity is a very “now-centered” Christianity.  They do not wait for God to move some time in the future.  They believe God is a God who acts now.

How God Met Me

I knew that there was the potential for me to end up addressing the gathering.  I was also somewhat nervous after hearing the first two speakers.  They were definitely fiery and it was obvious that their style of preaching was more what the folks gathered there were used to.  I even leaned over to my buddy Sean (who has joined me for previous over night prayer meetings) and said “Now I understand why everyone is so quiet whenever I talk.”

But God met me, ironically, during the intermission.  John, a new friend of mine, came up to me and introduced himself.  He went on to tell me how last year when I spoke, he said to himself, “This man is quiet but the Lord is with him,” and how excited he was that I was back.  It was encouraging to hear that my friend could hear the Lord even without me changing my speaking style.  It definitely gave me courage when it was my turn  to speak.

What God is Doing

One of the things I was privileged to share with Full Grace Ministries was that God has placed them very strategically where they are.  They carry a genuine prophetic African anointing that we Americans know very little about.  I believe the Lord desires to use them as messengers and missionaries to a declining American church and an increasingly secular culture.  We need the spiritual DNA that they carry and I strongly sensed the Holy Spirit empowering them to be a voice to us that night.

Summary

I’m thankful for everything the Lord did.  I believe that what happened will be a picture of what you can expect to see increasingly in the years ahead: Americans receiving from the Lord things our African brothers walk in, while we get to come alongside and encourage them as well.  The result will be a stronger church in America, empowered by the Spirit to be a voice and to walk in the supernatural power of Jesus.

Photo Credit: Africa in Hearts by futureatlas.com

Secret Life

“[A] day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life,” (Romans 2:16, NLT).

This is one of the facets of Paul’s Gospel. God isn’t just coming to inspect the result of our lives. He will have particular interest in that part of our lives no one else has ever seen.

With that said, how are you spending your secret life? If you are spending it poorly, there is grace for you to spend it differently. If you are spending it well, you are bringing joy to your Master.

The important thing is to know how you’re spending it. It’s always better to judge yourself now than to be judged and found wanting later.

When You Just Don’t Understand (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 27)

This blog was temporarily overtaken In September by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. This post is one of the final days I did not get to post until now.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

One of the joys of this journey is that I’m beginning to hear on a much clearer level than I have in a long time.  This is great.  The only problem is, what happens when you totally do not understand what you hear?  What do you do with those things you don’t quite get?

Case in point: I woke up this morning with a very clear word on my heart.  It was like God whispered it to me when I woke up.  He said, “I’m giving to you the books of service.” What does that mean?  I immediately began to recall the heavenly scrolls that God would give to his prophets.  These weren’t for reading, the scrolls (or books) contained heavenly realities that were being imparted to the prophets (Ezekiel 3:1-3, Revelation 10:8-10).  So, I guess I have a little bit of a grid for what God is talking about.

The other interesting thing is when I went to lunch today I was thinking about what I heard and was tempted to write it off as just something I dreamt.  But as I was eating, I read some of Nudge by Leonard Sweet.  I just “so happened” to be reading the the part of the book where Len focuses in on spiritual hearing being the main source where we become awake to what God is doing.  To paraphrase what I read, everything begins with what you hear and whether you are willing to listen.

So while I feel like the Lord is confirming what I heard, it doesn’t answer any of my more specific questions.  What is a book of service?  And what should I do with it? What is it supposed to impart to me? And how do I respond to this?  I’m asking Him these questions when I’m not listening.  I’ll let you know when I get a response.

As you were listening, did you hear anything you didn’t understand?  What did you do about it?  Tell us in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For all of September we spent 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asked us to do.  Then we blogged about the changes that were occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Loving A Brother (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 26)

This blog was temporarily overtaken In September by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. This post is one of the final days I did not get to post until now.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

So today continued a string of hard days.  My “situation” still is not resolved.  But to make matters worse, instead of just not being able to workout the situation with my brother, I had to be in a social environment with him where it would have been inappropriate to bring the whole thing up.  If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know it’s hard not to stew on the whole thing and get really agitated.

The beauty of the day (which I’m attributing to my time of listening) is that the Lord gave me the ability to love my brother in reality.  In a similar situation in another month, I probably just would have avoided being in the same part of the building as my brother.  But today God gave me grace to not only be with him in the situation, but also to bring up the “elephant in the room.”—us getting together to deal with it. 

Now, I’ve been able to make decisions to do hard things before.  But today I did this because I genuinely cared about my brother.  That kind of love you can’t make up or manufacture.  It comes from Jesus, and I believe I got some of it by hanging out in the presence of God and listening.

How about you?  Have you noticed through the experiment God giving you virtue that isn’t normal to your character?  Tell us about it in the comment section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Walking In Obedience To Yesterday’s Leadings (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 25)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

If you’ve been participating with me and/or reading about this journey I’m on, you’ll know that there are days where you don’t hear anything.  Today was one of those days.  That doesn’t mean that today was a failure.  Part of the mystery about listening to Jesus and following His leading is that there is power in His voice and because of that there is power in your obedience.  Today instead of hearing a lot of new things, I obeyed a bunch of old things and it really seems like some positive stuff is going on because of it.

Positive Thing #1- We had our block party.  Here’s the fun thing about this party: We not only obeyed the Lord in having the party, we actually planned it the way He asked us to plan it.  We included a “person of peace” on our block in the party planning.  Now the day that our “person of peace” planned the party for ended up being one of the coldest and rainiest days all month, so instead of having it outside, we had in our neighbors’ house.  But the party was a huge success.  We got to know people we didn’t know.  We bridged some relational gaps on the block.  Everyone had a great time.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I was freaked out about the rain up until an hour before the party, but God helped us regardless.)  So we obeyed what the Lord told us and even when things looked terrible, following Him and obeying His ways paid off huge.

Positive Thing #2- My situation is still really eating at me.  I’m still having a hard time praying.  However, the Lord very kindly reminded me that He had spoken to me some things about this situation the first time around and that those things are extremely relevant still. The Lord is definitely leading because things He spoke weeks ago are even more relevant today than the were when I first received them.

Positive Thing #3- Finally, the book I received as a sign a few days ago I finally gave to the couple I was sensing it was for all the way back at the beginning of the month.  I don’t think I would have had the courage to breach the conversation with the couple if I hadn’t had the Lord speak to me several times about all of this.  But tonight, I started the conversation.  There will be more to come, I’m sure and I’ll need to be bolder than I was, but I started the conversation and I’ll report back on the fruit as we go.  As I was contemplating starting the conversation tonight, I was reminded that I had heard a similar thing for this couple several years ago and I could have spoken it then and possibly saved them some heartbreak.  Instead, I disobeyed.  I’m rejoicing in the fact that God is merciful and speaks more than one time and that tonight I was obedient to His voice.

All of these positive things came from something the Lord had spoken days, weeks, or even a month prior.  I know sometimes it’s hard to obey a word that you haven’t just heard recently, but if you sense the Lord stirring that word in your spirit, don’t be afraid to step out.  Obedience to Jesus’ voice powerfully affects the world around us for good.  Don’t wait.

Do you have things that Jesus has spoken to you about doing that you haven’t done yet? It’s not too late.  If you’ve obeyed something recently that God spoke to you about a while back, leave a comment, tell us the story, and encourage the rest of us to be obedient to the voice that is always speaking.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams