Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Journey to Simplicity

While we all have our own specific journey, the markers on the path from Institutional Church to "simply follow Jesus" are remarkably similar.

1) After much thought, prayer and soul-searching, disconnecting from the IC (i.e. not attending church events anymore).

2) Uneasy freedom (like a cat easing out into the yard) becomes ecstatic freedom (2 year old escaping from the bathtub). No manmade constraints!

3) After the freedom in #2 turns to isolation we yearn to connect with others in His body... but only in a simple/organic/non-heirarchical way.

4) The quest for others who are like-minded begins. This can take a long time.

5) You find others, proceed with caution, acknowledge that we will never agree on every little issue and that how we interact is critical as we seek truth together.

To simply follow Jesus, right here, right now, together... that's the heart-cry for me, and for more and more folks I meet. How we relate to each other is of critical importance... more important than us getting all our theology right to begin with :-)

I would offer the following as a place to start. http://livewickmedia.com/simply-follow.html

Ever onward.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Forget the farce of trying to be a blank slate. Not happening. We have expectations, and we always will.

So, when we interact, we should be up front about expectations.

Waiting for others to share theirs first results in a lot of staring and little talking. We should help ourselves - and others - by being willing to share our expectations and hear what others have to say about them.

Are they reasonable?
Are they fair?
Are they consistent with Scripture?

A friend recently shared the difference between a peacekeeper and a peacemaker. Peacekeepers want peace at any cost... so any disagreement or conflict is contrary to their purpose. This results in staying in the shallow end of relationships. A peacemaker will help people on different sides of a conflict understand each others’ point of view, and find biblical common ground to build on. The peacemaker also recognizes that there will never be resolution of everything, so there will always be some disagreement among folks who leave the shallow end and go out deeper in relationships. Together, we can go deeper in Christ, and with each other, without combat.

Attention more mature disciples of Jesus: this is a key area of responsibility and opportunity for you! As “parents” in the family of God, you must model the grace of God in action when differences emerge between people. We never sacrifice truth to appease egos, but we don’t light sincere questioners on fire either. We seek truth above all, while maintaining mutual respect for each other. Elders, create a safe environment for people to ask questions, to seek answers... to learn and grow as they follow Jesus.

The question is, what are your expectations of others? Of yourself? Are you willing to be the imperfect example as you simply follow Jesus with others today?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kingdom Principles: Listening to the Spirit Together

The reality is that God wants ongoing communication with us, in our spirits. Yes, anything the Spirit speaks to/shows us will be in line with the Bible. But we must know that God wants to lead us and communicate to us right here and now in a variety of ways. 

Listening requires humility and a concern for others. 

Have you known people who talk over others? They stop listening and while the other person is still speaking they talk louder than them at the same time. This is disrespectful and sends the message "What you are saying does not matter."

I usually have an idea for date nights with my wife. But, unless I  want to surprise her I ask what she would like to do. 

When we come together should we talk over God? We can't surprise him with our plan for the gathering. So, should we not ask him what he wants to do? 

The bottom line is when we come together we bring the Lord with us. It seems good and right to yield our thoughts and plans to him on the front end of a gathering because of humility and respect. I dont mean that we need a hollow form or ritual "opening prayer" because, well, that's just what we do. I mean that sincerely acknowledging Him as our head is good, right and has a way of bringing us into alignment with his purposes. 

Also, sitting in silence and just listening to the Spirit is a discipline worth learning. He may share things with you that you are not to share with the group. He may give you a song, or a phrase to share with everyone. He may give you a vision, a prophecy or a tongue with interpretation, or a gift of healing may operate in you to benefit another. 

Simply put: true fellowship, true Kingdom living is boldly and clearly centered on Jesus. HE is our life, our reason for being... And for being together. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Still The Biggest (and most important) Challenges

"In answer to your enquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be

religion without the Holy Ghost;
Christianity without Christ;
forgiveness without repentance;
salvation without regeneration;
politics without God;
and Heaven without Hell." 
- William Booth, Founder if The Salvation Army - 5 January 1901 

William Booth walked with God in the power of the Spirit. There was no "as long as" in HIS love and commitment to Jesus. His words are prophetic and we slog through that very pit of bubble gum religion in America today!

Let's pull together and follow Jesus without reservation ! He is Lord and worthy of our all right here, right now... Every day!  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Measure

The Measure

The measure of how we live
Is not in what we get
But in what we give

Mine, mine,mine
All around us
All the time

Never ending sucking sound
From hollow people
All around

Get, get, get
Take, take, take
All around us
All the time

Resist the frantic idolatry 
Yield to him who gave all
For hollow you, hollow me

Now, not hollow
But full and free
Free to love
Free to give
All around us
All the time

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Consumerism produces self-centered, lethargic critics. New Testament Jesus-following produces Jesus-centered, active servants.

Jesus message boils down to "repent, believe, follow". Repent or turn from other gods, including self. Believe Jesus is the resurrected savior. Follow him because you have made him your master or Lord. Do these things and your life will change both inside and out.

More at http://www.livewickmedia.com/

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: Take It or Leave It

I have to decide what to take into 2011 and what to leave behind. If I don’t decide, I’ll just drag everything into 2011. Bad plan. Growth requires change, and change happens by decision. No decision = no change = no growth. God wants growth; so do I. Therefore, decisions are necessary.

In 2011 I will:

Leave: vague feelings of not measuring up

Take: clear statements of what matters most and what to do about it

Leave: waiting for the perfect words before writing anything on this blog

Take: write plainly and simply about what matters on this blog

Leave: over-qualifying/over-explaining what I’m saying, or not saying, lest anyone misunderstand what I’m saying or not saying… and taking forever to say… things

Take: clear thoughts, in the moment, plainly spoken

Leave: seeing life as a classroom/laboratory for understanding how it all works (academic)

Take: seeing life as my journey I share with others, learning as we go (expedition)

In 2011, my hope and prayer is that the Body of Christ worldwide will:

Leave: being the “sin police” for the world around us

Take: living out our faith as our #1 priority to the world around us

Leave: pouring time, energy and money into petty self-promotion of a person/group/entity

Take: living out the life and message of Jesus to each other, and to the world around us, period

Leave: looking for a greater “market share” of those who already profess to follow Jesus

Take: simply following Jesus as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, intentionally being among “the world”

What will you take and what will you leave?

- Steve