Do we truly EXPECT transformation?

Do we honestly expect transformation in the life of the believer? Do we walk in a way that brings instruction? Would we hesitate at Paul’s bold instruction these days? Would WE say these words: As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact youContinue reading “Do we truly EXPECT transformation?”

The need for spiritual community

“People are God’s method. The church is looking for better methods: God is looking for better people.” — EM Bounds We get so fooled into trying build a better mousetrap in ministry rather than taking people God gives us and seeing the image of Christ formed in them. God consistently took people in the BibleContinue reading “The need for spiritual community”

“Jesus is Lord” is a confession… and call to ACTION

Christianity touches ALL of a person. We are to understand the need for transformation in thinking, feeling, and doing. It’s not a matter of simply changing behavior. It is a matter of changing DNA so that the fruit is different. We don’t produce the fruit of the Spirit by behavior modification. The fruit of the Spirit flowsContinue reading ““Jesus is Lord” is a confession… and call to ACTION”

The strong AND the weak belong together in the community of Christ

“Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer    

The expectation of transformation

I came across this synopsis of transformational change that comes when our hearts are being renewed. (David Henderson, “The Art of Voice Recognition”, which I found in James Wilhoit’s book, Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered) As our hearts are transformed by faith, we will move: — from self-absorption to concern for God’s Kingdom (Matt.Continue reading “The expectation of transformation”

Am I willing to be “Exhibit A?”

Transformation of the heart, soul, and mind isn’t done in a vacuum. This isn’t a “me and Jesus” effort. This is a BODY OF CHRIST effort. We need to surrender our ideals about “rugged individualism” and see the benefit of the Body of Christ. Walking in true transformation means I need to be willing toContinue reading “Am I willing to be “Exhibit A?””

Transformational thinking starts with suffering. Really.

Picking up N T Wright’s book, After You Believe, is a tremendous bonus as I work through these texts on “live dead” for my messages on Sunday. Wright does not pull any punches. He examines the New Testament texts thoroughly. While a lot of his writing sounds a lot like the old “Kingdom Now” theology,Continue reading “Transformational thinking starts with suffering. Really.”

The call of discipleship

I am reading Transforming Discipleship: Making disciples a few at a time by Greg Ogden. We have been developing this thought for training leaders in our church. We want intentional leadership not mass produced in a classroom. Small groups and one on one develop disciples in a stronger way. But it is a decision toContinue reading “The call of discipleship”

To “live dead” is to walk in new life

Philipp Jakob Spener was a great Lutheran pietist. He followed on the heels of Luther’s Reformation and fully believed in the education of the Christian. It is important to be taught the way of Christ. People can be trained to respond to the gospel. Wilhoit’s book, Spiritual Formation as If the Church Mattered, gives a synopsis of Spener’s philosophy.Continue reading “To “live dead” is to walk in new life”

Can we “break” prayer?

I am in and out of a book by James C. Wihoit called, Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community.  He gives some challenging thoughts on prayer that are good reminders for me. Prayer is an experiment in partnership with God. Prayer is such a powerful tool that I needContinue reading “Can we “break” prayer?”