New wine in old bottles, No way!

A paradigm* shift for the Church! A simple Gospel!  How refreshing to put new wine in new bottles. To be a child following Jesus. No more temples, clergy, reverends, tithes on demand and silly man-made names, titles or rules to divide us. The New Covenant sets us free. A follower, not a fan! Amen Come Lord Jesus! Matt 9:17 

Let’s build the Church. We have the foundation #. When we are together we are able to be the Church! All that is needed is to acknowledge Jesus, invite Him to join us. Peter and the disciples went fishing and had breakfast with Jesus! John 21.  Perhaps you are like me and in your heart, you know that the model of today’s mainstream American Church is not the model in the New Testament. Of course, some groups are focused on Jesus and doing the right things as they follow the mission. If that is you and yours, “keep running the race”  Perhaps you have left the model that you once had as a child and followed this or that because you like the seed of the sower fell on rocky soil, or have been distracted by life events and the cares of the world. Fan or follower? Chan asks this question in his book “Crazy Love”

The traditional mainstream church in the CONUS is terribly divided with different doctrines, rituals, traditions and least of all names. If you read 1 Corinthians you see that early Church was divided, yet Paul called them Saints, Sanctified and the Church. My plea is not to throw rocks at anyone’s church or doctrine. My prayer is the same as Jesus when He said ” That they may be one” John 17: 21-

Paul wrote the Church at Corinth” I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 
My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 
What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas ”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? ” 1 Corinthians 3:10-13 niv
I am not advocating you give up anything of your faith. We are all learners, we are all followers if we truly seek Him. We are divided because we are human and we have our own mind. When we put on the mind of Christ we can see these differences and still agree to love one another.  What does God’s word say to you? Does it matter what I believe vs what you believe? Does what I think matter? Not really. What matters is the relationship we have with Jesus above and beyond all those traditional things we call religion and church. Religion has never saved anyone. Religion placed Jesus on the cross.
To begin we must find common ground. Do you love God with no reservations? If that is lacking you need Grace. I have many times, like a bratty child throwing rocks at God. He still loves me and I paid dearly for those tantrums. Accept His Grace.
When Jesus talked about forgiveness He is clear we can’t fail if we ask for Grace.

He said “Ask and it will be given unto you, poured out, overflowing. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. ” Luke 6, read the whole passage in your bible and forgive your biggest debtor, yourself.

My prayer for you today.
Lord, I come hungry and thirsty for your love. I come to drink, to fill my soul with you. I am redeemed by your cross and will be glorified in your resurrection. My sins are forgiven, my regrets are history and my death is defeated. Empowered by your Holy Spirit I can do all things through Christ. Without you I am nothing. I welcome your Lordship. I am happy to be your child. Nothing can separate me from your Love, Nothing comes to me that has not passed through you. In the name of Jesus above all names, Amen!
Accept His forgiveness, Grace and mercy, learn to love as a child. Jesus said, “Such is the Kingdom. “

* “Paradigms are the mental maps that we use to describe the world around us.” Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Successful People

#“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 3:11

Salt, Light, Wash Feet Ministry

My former blog from my active teaching years is here    my journal of things we do is

Now that I am looking at my next career I must plan on a strategy, not that I had always planned and laid out well-laid plans. I depended on the false god, Luck for far too long. It was years later when my mom had begun to think I was her older brother Jack who had been in the Navy during WW2. Uncle Jack was a man’s man and my role model. I never knew of anyone around him that did not speak highly of his integrity and friendliness.  She talked to Uncle Jack when we visited her in the nursing home as she entered her 80s, only it was me she told the sister -brother things, like about

Best pic2

how she would pray for me several times a day, every day I was gone overseas and in fields of fire.  Do you trust God or luck? God has been more reliable for me. Luck is a scary trickster!  Every time I made/make poor decisions, bad judgement calls and do/did stupid stuff God has taken my futile failing efforts and made the path clear when I return to trust Him.  “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. ” Psalm 119:115

To be the salt that makes life tasty for others. Being a good neighbour and loving those around us, forgiving our enemies, especially ourselves. Many times I am my own worst enemy as Pogo said: We has met the enemy and he is us!”

Is the person that drove this forklift unlucky or fortunate? Oops

We will trust God in our life, no chance, luck or charm, magic or mystical incantation. We will get back to the simple word of God. We will cast off the man-made rules and rituals of religion and forgive. Learn to love the ones around us. We will depend totally on God’s Grace and mercy.  Our worship will be to be the church where we are. Was not that what Jesus told them to do?

In Acts of the Apostles, Luke wrote that “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.  They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 Does your Church look like this model in Acts? I think it is a good place to start if the heart of your worship is missing Grace. 

To dwell in this presence of God among our neighbours is our goal. What are your goals in the time you have left?