Tag: Jesus

Church Hopper or Glued on Pew?

Let’s take a test. Are you a church hopper, glued on pew (will you die in the same church you were born in?), or do you make adjustments as God or your heart leads you?

Here’s a statistic: 13 percent have been attending their current congregation for less than a year. Another 16 percent have been at their current church for one to two years, 11 percent for three to four years, 18 percent for five to nine years, 16 percent for 10 to 19 years, and 26 percent for two decades or longer.

People who are 55 or older are particularly likely to be longtime participants in the same church, with a median length of attendance of 15 years.

Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations are particularly likely to have people attending the same church for years and years; the median length of attendance among Lutherans is 12.5 years, while it is 10.6 years for Presbyterian congregations. Nondenominational churches (median of 3.9 years) and Pentecostal/charismatic denominations (median of 5.0 years) are among those with the shortest time of attendance.

https://baptistcourier.com/2007/02/church-loyalty-reflects-length-of-membership/

The definition of a church-hopper in Urban Dictionary is:  A church-hopper is an attendant of different churches who avoids church accountability groups because of rejectionembarrassment, hostility, and control.

I don’t know if that is totally true. I know people who hop just because they get bored. I do know that most of them say “God led us to another congregation”.  I don’t know why God leads some people to different congregations but I guess it’s possible.

On the other hand, I know people who were born at a church, baptized in the same church, married in the same church and they will die in the same church. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, it just makes me scratch my head at times.  If they are happy and God doesn’t lead them away then I guess they should stay.

Most of us are in the middle. We change churches when we move or get married, change in life – (for example we have children and we want a church that has better children’s ministry), our worship style changes, our church’s worship style changes, leadership changes, etc.

I don’t know if there are any right and wrong answers. I’m just curious. How many times have you changed churches? Looking back, were those changes positive or negative? Would you do them again? Were they for good reasons or bad reasons? Did you change because you were hurt? – oh! there’s a touchy one! I bet you’re angry now! It’s ok. You can vent.

Here’s a bigger question. WWJD. Would Jesus hop churches or stay in one place his whole life? Would he attend yours? Would you leave if he did? Would your elders accept him? Would he accept your elders? Would he be allowed to preach on a Sunday morning? Would he dress right? C’mon. Think about it.

Matthew 21:12
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

 

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Pope says personal relationship with Jesus is dangerous

Pope Says Having A Personal Relationship With Jesus Is Dangerous And Harmful

John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In this video the Pope says that the “only way” to connect with God is through the church. And that a personal relationship with Jesus is wrong. Which is incorrect. To have a personal relationship with Jesus wherever you are is Bible Scripture truth!

Here is what he said:

“There is no “do-it-yourself” in the church, no “freelancers.” How many times did we hear Pope Benedict Describe the church as a “we” church? Sometime you may hear someone say, “I believe in God, In Jesus, but the church… I don’t care.” How many times have we heard this? This is wrong. There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and mediation of the church. These temptations are dangerous and harmful. They are, in the words of the great Pope Paul VI, “absurd dichotomies.” It’s true that journeying together is challenging, and sometimes it can be tiring: it may be that some brother or sister (in the church) makes us face a problem, or scandalizes us. But the Lord entrusted his message of salvation to humans, all of us, as witnesses; and in our brothers and sisters, with their gifts and limits, who come to us and make themselves known. This means belonging to the church…”

Thoughts?

Pope Says Having A Personal Relationship With Jesus Is Dangerous And Harmful

Look like Jesus

You want to look like Jesus . . . but do you know what he really looks like?

 

Luke 24:36

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

Childcup

 

What Would Jesus Do?

Every day.  Every news broadcast, print, blog and internet post in 2014 has a news article about LGBT.  Every day.   Some day we will turn to news and we won’t see this but in 2014 it’s not going to happen.  It’s in our face like no other topic.  What was a joke 20 years ago is now reason to be fired, discredited, hated, persecuted and punished.

What would Jesus do?  One comedian recently said, the one thing I know Jesus wouldn’t do is wear those stupid WWJD bracelets!  I had to snicker a little at that one – can you see Jesus walking around with it?  What color would he pick?  How about a “Jesus” t-shirt?  Would he have bumper stickers on his car?

I posted before that I don’t have the answers to the dilemmas facing our walk with God.  I read the Bible and read the verses against this behavior.  I also know people who truly love their same sex “partner” far more than some heterosexual couples do.  I read how Jesus had compassion for sinners.  I also know a God that judges by our hearts and not by out outward actions.

What would Jesus do?

What will I do?  I won’t buy a WWJD bracelet.  I won’t buy a bumper sticker demeaning gays or the government. I will continue to pray and seek wisdom.  I will continue to love those around me – regardless of who they love.  I won’t just accept this as “God’s way” as some want us to.  To me that is just as wrong as those who fight against it without any openness.

Jesus wept over the death of his friend and then prayed for him to be risen.   Jesus later wept as He died and God raised him from the dead.   I sense that Jesus may be weeping now for both sides of this issue.  I wish we heard about Jesus everyday but for now we will hear about . . . well you know.

Mark 15:37  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

Have life in full

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:7, 9-10 NIV

sheep

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/4561405278/sizes/m/in/photostream/        Tim Green

What Happened to Demons?

Mental illness vs demons

You probably won’t hear this discussion in a therapy session or in any mental institution.  I’m not surprised at that.  The medical community isn’t based on spiritual thought and they don’t base problems or solutions on spiritual approaches.

But what about in the Christian community?  I titled this “what happened to demons?” because in the majority of churches in America demons are not really mentioned.  There is occasional talk.  We read the scriptures about them.  We read fictitious books about them.  We may fantasize about them but most of us don’t really go out looking for them on a daily basis.

Let’s go back to scripture.  Demons aren’t mentioned in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament they are mentioned approximately 80 times.  They are mainly included in the passages related to other healings.  It was clear that Jesus addressed some ailments, sicknesses, and unhealthy behavior as “demon possessed.”

So what happened since then?  Did the demons go away?  Did the Bible (Jesus) identify mental illness as demon possession?  Or do we identify demon possession as mental illness?  This is not a subject that can be fully covered in a short blog and it is not my intent to prove anything on either side.  I am certainly not judging those who suffer from mental illness, the professionals who work in this area, or the medications that are being offered.  It is clear that millions of people suffer – really suffer from all types of mental afflictions every day.

But I wonder and I question.  I seek answers from God.  I have seen attempted demon deliverance – it is freaky and scary.  It’s not something for the faint of heart.  I also believe that it can be dangerous.  At this point, I’m going to stop.  I may go deeper into it if there is demand.  I simply ask that you join me in prayer over a subject that is not being addressed in today’s church.

Mark 5:1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

My burden is light

I read this on FB.  I have no idea who wrote it but I liked it:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired:”How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

  1. Matthew 11:28
    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


  2. Matthew 11:30
    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Sadness and Joy

I was told that I couldn’t comment on abortion because I don’t have a uterus.

According to this logic, I cannot comment on the  Trayvon Martin killing because I’m not black.

I can’t comment on the killings in Chicago because I don’t live there.

I can’t protect children from sexual abuse because I was not sexually abused and I’m not a pedophile.

I can’t love, hate, judge or comment on homosexuality because I am heterosexual.

Hmmm

Jesus wasn’t any of those either and yet he did weep.  He prayed.  He loved.  He touched all those issues and more even though he wasn’t always personally involved.   Now change the tense: He weeps, loves, prays, and touches.

John 11:35  –  Jesus wept.

We can all have JOY in that. . . .

 

 

“Feel” Clean

Advertising is an interesting field.  Advertisers want the consumer to believe something without really saying it – because it may not be true.  Take for example toilet paper commercials (sorry).  The ads say the toilet paper will make you “feel” clean.  They don’t say that the toilet paper will make you clean.  They want us to believe that we will be cleaner by using their product because we will “feel” clean.  Is it a lie?  Deceptive?  It’s virtually the truth.  Virtually is another catch phrase that they love to use.

Jesus didn’t use catch phrases or bend the truth.  He said it like it was and is – and that’s what so often got him into trouble.  Jesus is very black and white without fluff to make us “feel” better.  This is a challenge for us as we deal with sin, forgiveness, repentance, life, hurts, and (shhh) judgment.

The world fears God’s judgment and rules.  It wants to soften the message with “feel good” messages.  Jesus said I can make you clean but you need to follow me.  There is a price to pay.  Sorry Oprah.

By fearing the tough stuff, the world misses out on all the great stuff – Love, Joy, Life, etc.

Don’t forget your calling today but stand firm in Jesus commands and in His Love – not empty promises but everlasting life!

Luke 5

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.[a] When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”   13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

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For those of you that read legal or financial documents, you will be familiar with this line.  I’ve always thought that it was silly.  Why take the effort to write that a page is intentionally left blank?  Is there a lawyer getting paid by the page?

Always curious, I Googled it.  Hmmm, here is the answer:  “in which the reader might otherwise suspect that the blank pages are due to a printing error and where missing pages might have serious consequences”.

The point is that the author intentionally left the page blank and he/she wants the reader to know it.  The author doesn’t want any question over whether it is a mistake or that a page is missing.

Jesus spoke clearly and directly to everyone he encountered.  He also made his silence clear when it was necessary.  What scares you more, Jesus talking to you or Jesus standing there staring at you not saying a word?  His silence frightens me.  It makes me look at myself and realize how foolish I am, how powerless I am, and how small I am compared to HIM.  Wouldn’t you have liked to have been one of those with a rock in your hand threatening to stone the adulterous woman only to face Jesus sitting on the ground drawing in the dirt?  Pilot had one of those encounters too.  Very scary.

Jesus is leaving another page intentionally blank – our record.  Aren’t you glad that we have been cleaned by his sacrifice and that we can rejoice with HIM?

John 19:9 and Pilate went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

Blessings to you as you live in His Kingdom!

Brian