Sonshift study starts on Monday, February 20

YAY!!  Study time!!  Anyone else joining me?

🙂

Paul

 

(as always – comments are disabled here, please leave your thoughts at Mel’s place – thank you)

In My Father's House

sonshift_3dAs I mentioned last month, I want to include you in thecreation ofa study curriculum formy book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace.

I will be postingmy firstquestions from chapter one titled, “What is Sonshift?” next Monday, February 20th.

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The Skeptical Woman Who Became A Christian

Don’t you just love journeying with another Follower?

Might I disagree with some of the footsteps – aren’t some too short … too long … in the wrong place … trodden too hard … trodden too lightly … not yet trodden at all (yet) …

Might I disagree? NO !! !! !! !! !

Not unless Kriz MUST only journey MY journey.  Must only tread where I tread.  Must only follow where I follow.  Must be a mini-me (or – heaven forbid – I have to become a mini-me of Kriz!)  Because just what kind of a journey would that be?  Certainly not Kriz’s journey – not even mine (and certainly not a journey of freedom) – not a journey of love.

I love to journey alongside another Follower.

We never have to complete the same journey!

(as always comments are disabled here, please add your thoughts at Kriz’s place, thank you)

KrizSummer

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? – Mark 8:36

Someone can be so close to knowing Christ, but fail to make Him as the LORD of his life right away.

I for one was an example of that.

I grew up in a Christian Community. My family and I lived for seven years in the same villagewith our Pastor’s family, and our church was just few steps from our house. I never missed a Sunday Fellowship when I was younger. I even remember sitting beside my Mom during the sermon while I envy my friends as they play outside. I was portrayed as a good kid, but deep inside I still have a heart of stone.

I learned about Christ and His sacrifice when I was 8, and it was through my Mom. I didn’t understand back then why is…

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Some homework … really???

“Here’s some homework: Reflect and pray on these verses, asking Him to reveal them in their fullness to you.”
Teach us to pray – The Life Project: Don Merritt

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“‘Father,
I remember with my Mum and Dad – they always were.  They always had been, they always were just “Mum and Dad”.  I was always loved – maybe not always in the way I wanted – but I was always loved.  They had created me.  They had grown me from a couple of cells.  They had fed me, watered, cared, clothed, taught – but always love.  Was my Dad better than my Mum?  No. They were different but the same.  They just “were”.

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hallowed be your name,
This name is not just any old name.  This name is the name of all that is – who I am, who I was, where I came from, where I was birthed – who I am.

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your kingdom come.
That promise. That sacred promise. A promise fulfilled then and now. And – even better – in my lifetime fulfilled in every second – every breath – every heartbeat – every moment of my living!

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Give us each day our daily bread.
What are my needs?  My needs are simple.  My “need” is life itself.  And that requires my body to function – to house my living – my soul.  In even this detail He cares for me.

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Forgive us our sins,
Am I a “sinner”?  NO!  I am His creation.  I am perfect.  Yet imperfect.  Always free to come thither and thither.  To speak this or that.  To think this or that.  To be this or that.  I will hurt myself, I will hurt others – can I hurt Him?  No.  I think not.  So maybe this forgiveness is only for me – so that I know I am loved (even when I think I should not be loved).  Am I “sinner” – no I am not.

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for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
A beautiful reminder: what is good for the goose is good for the gander!  This “being loved” even when I think I am not – THAT is for all – for each – for you (as well as me).  Am I to only “take” – am I to be more loved than you?  No I am not.  So how can I not love you as I am loved – even when we think we are not?  I cannot.  I must not.

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And lead us not into temptation.’”
Emphatically we have the choice to love and be loved, as well as the choice to be loved and NOT to love.  This is not “what about me” – this is “what about you” – this is “love your neighbour as yourself”.  This is Love always is – not just when it suits – nor just when it is easy – not about when there is return on my loving “investment”.  It is about the choice I make that will be imperfect.  It is about companionship.  It is about indwelling.  It is about “your kingdom come” right now, right here, right inside every cell of my body and soul.  It is about this second and the next.  It is about “real”.  And it is not about theory.  Not about “religion”.  This is about living right now.

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WOW!

Now I never knew all that dwelt within!  BIG thanks, Don!

Now …

How about you?

Paul

By the way, God is not a man…

One example is a polemic documentary called, “The Shack: It’s Dangerous Doctrine and Full of Error.” It seems their biggest beef is that the book teaches extra-biblical doctrine and violates “Sola Scriptura.” Specifically, about God directly speaking to people outside the Bible as quoted here:

“The book [The Shack] teaches, clearly, that God is communicating with man outside of the Word of God.”

Okay, there’s a problem with this? So God only speaks to us through the text? How is that conclusion not “extra-biblical,” even contradictory to Scripture?

 

Is Church Set Free different to God Set Free?

Mel Wild reminded me in this post of how The Shack, for me, cut through so much “Christian Tradition” and let me look deep into the eyes of my Saviour.

Whether you have read this book or not, whether you approve or not, whether you hear God or the Devil in this book … Mel’s post is a powerful reminder of how easily we all take sides so quickly and so easily.

(comments are disabled here, please add your thoughts under Mel’s post – thank you)

In My Father's House

theshack_movieA movie based on William Paul Young’s best-selling book, The Shack, is finally coming out this March 3rd! I am very excited to see this for many reasons.

This post is inspired by Cindy Powell’s post, “Hollywood, please get this one right.” I join her prayer that this movie does justice to the book.  But it also got me to thinking about our ideas about theology and God.

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February 2 – Dead Presidents

“How many dead presidents have I been giving to God?”

Beejai caught me unawares with that sentence.

And then those words dragged me back … and again … and again …

“How many dead presidents have I been giving to God?”

If you want to immerse yourself in something I have never seen before – then click to read the original.

(as always, comments are disabled here, please add your thoughts over at Beejai’s place, thank you)

THE RIVER WALK

Dead Presidents

“Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Matthew 22:21)

Read: Exodus 15:19-17:7, Matthew 22:1-33, Psalm 27:1-6, Proverbs 6:20-26

Relate: Real quick, open up your wallet. Grab your change purse or wherever you store your coins and pull some out. What do you see? Honestly, I don’t know who these guys are on my money. Mustafa Kemal, obviously. Images of that guy are everywhere but some of these others… Mimar Kemaleddin, Aydin Sayili, Cahit Arf. Who are these folks? The illustration works better for you Americans than it does for me here. You Americans are probably seeing pictures of people like Washington, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jackson… maybe even one or two coins with Queen Elizabeth (dang Canadians sneaking their money across borders despite Trump’s best efforts to keep it out)

Most of your bills and coins feature dead presidents. Most of those presidents…

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If My Blog Stinks…

Agent X found me.

I wrote.  He commented.  I looked.  And here I am.

There are moments when I know a connection across this internet fellowship is “right”.  And this is one such moment for me.  Because always I have found that sense – with hindsight – to be a gift from my Lord.

So why re-blog this on “Church Set Free”?

Spend some time with Agent X.  Meander through his blog.  And together he and your Father will provide the answers.

(Which is why comments and likes are disabled here. Get out of this blog – be free – and go and see Agent X)

Thank you –

Paul

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

On this blog, I do my best to REPRESENT.  I want you, dear reader, to see JESUS, not so much in me or on this blog, but in that bum you drive past on your daily commute, that bag lady down by your corner Starbucks, that dumpster diver in your alley.  And without the capability of emitting a sense of smell through the website, I must make myself metaphorically stink like Jesus (“the aroma of Christ”) in your nostrils.

I spent an hour talking to a man on the street corner downtown by St. Benedicts a couple of years ago who must have urinated in his pants a dozen times at least.  He was a hardcore alcoholic.  Was drunk at the time when we spoke, but I could not smell the alcohol over the piss.  The smell was overwhelming.  Thank God Lubbock is a breezy place!  I talked with the guy…

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ONLY THROUGH LOVE (guest post)

“Love is our Christian identity. Without love, all we do is nonsense, useless, and nothing! Let us not be known just as Christians who went to church, energetic in ministry, and is active in various social activities. All was good, but above all let us be known as a Christian who full of loving Christ.”

The post is a “guest post” on Karina’s blog and written by Sella. Which is a union of something very wonderful!

Karina Lim Sella Irene  (click the links to find them)

If you know them through their blogs – I think you are close to our Lord and Father.

(as always, comments and likes are disabled here – please pop across and leave your thoughts with Karina and Sella, thank you)

Karina's Thought

Our Christian identity is not like ID card that reads “Christian”, the symbol of the cross, or a painting of Jesus hanging on the walls of our homes. Nor various attributes nuanced “Christian” that we use.

Our Christian identity is LOVE, because love is God’s “FINGER PRINT” in us.Only through the love then the world will know the Father through us.

Have we live and move only in and by Father’s love??

From the beginning the Christ followers had experience a variety obstacles and challenges. Acts 4 tells us that Peter and John were arrested by the priests because they proclaim Jesus’ resurrection. In Chapter 5 the high priest and his followers captured the apostles and put them in jail because of jealous and indignation. And after the martyrdom of Stephen in chapter 6 and 7, many obstacles and challenges increasingly expanded until now.

This is not surprising because…

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