Monday, July 30, 2007

Spiritual Gifts - Call Me Thomas

Having experienced Christianity in a number of denominations and cultures, there are more then a few bad teachings regarding spiritual gifts floating around out there. They come in three types.

1) NONE - The gifts do not exist since the apostles died. Any supernatural activity in the church, is of the Devil.

2) EXTREMELY RARE - They are not something that you have, or can even predictably enjoy as part of your faith, they are something that God sends when he darn well pleases.... and that is not very often. Or they exist, but we don't know how to use them.

3) WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU IF YOU DON'T HAVE THEM? - The "Everybody has them all" and your faith is so low you can't operate in them... or worse yet, you are not even saved!

All three positions, in my view, are biblically off. There is just too much information about spiritual gifts in the Bible for this issue to end up in one of the above named "catch alls". If we look at all this scriptural information as historical, then Jesus and the church become the same, historical.

If Jesus is alive, then He ought to show up once in a while; or send a representative, don't you think? I know, blessed is poor Thomas that had to see when the rest of us can't. For crying out loud he saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead! Wouldn't you be convinced?

I don't think that who Jesus was, was in question with ol' Doubting Thomas. The question was, how poor pathetic Thomas would live and work with His church after the resurrection! After all, this had never been done before, and it has never happened since! Thomas had no frame of reference for working with a dead but living God. That is the struggle of Christianity... engaging with a supernatural God. It takes faith, stepping out, being humbled, love, hope and a personal relationship with Jesus.

How do we reconcile the scriptures, relate to an invisible God, and participate in the supernatural ministry of the church while doing all the regular religious stuff... and how are they connected anyway?

One question at a time. First, the Bible is very clear on spiritual gifts and there use in the body of Christ. Paul, likened them to the parts of a human body, each working together for the good of the whole. Read Romans 12, Ephesian 4 and 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13 and 14. In my opinion that is a hell of lot of ink for something that doesn't exist. Therefore; I am going to assume that they do exist.

How do we get these gifts from God? Well Paul believed that he could impart them; probably by the laying on of hands, and prayer. Romans 1:11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established... some scholars think these are intellectual gifts... why don't we just make "natural" that which is supernatural! Just call me Thomas!

Paul also said, "Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." If you read the context, I think he is referring to ones that you receive when you are born again by faith. It appears to me, that we are either born again with spiritual gifts and/or they are imparted. I subscribe to both revelations.

If these gifts are so readily available, why don't we see more of them in action? That is a question that needs to be asked by everyone in the church, especially leaders. There are a number of facets to this answer. First, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and how that happens is in question. I believe that the fastest growing denomination in the world is A of G. Why? They understand the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are some other Charismatic and independent denominations that get it too. HERE is the basic doctrine if you need to look it up.

While you are asking questions, here are a few more: Do you want them? Do you covet the gifts? 1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Another facet to the "why" question is training. I find that most "spirit filled" believers can't find a scriptural example of each of the 12 gifts defined in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. Amazing, even pastors don't always know exactly what they believe. Add to that signs and wonders such as gold teeth and olive oil flowing from people's hands, and we don't seem to understand the ways God may be at work.

For those of you who edgy about gold teeth, the smell of frankincense or lilies and other signs and wonders in the church, try this verse. John 20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. For cryin' out loud, He healed a blind man with spit and mud!

I also believe there is sovereign element to spiritual gifting. I don't believe it is specifically character that God uses as a prerequisite to gifting His people. There have been hundreds of anointed Christians that were of poor character and vice versa. It also is about timing and release.

Some of the most gifted people I know, have a hard time working with a pastor that doesn't understand their particular gift, so it goes unused. Sad. Reread Ephesians chapter four, it is pretty obvious what the team is supposed to look like, what type of people should be on it, and what they are supposed to do as part of it.

The spirit is energized, so to speak, by a persons devotion to Jesus, Bible study, worship, prayer, and their ability to love others. These things affect the use of the spiritual gifts. The spiritual climate we live in, and the principalities we live under, all influence the gifts and there workings in the natural realm.

Another common question is this, "Why doesn't everyone function in all of them?" A good question with a simple answer. We are part of a body, therefore; we rely on others with gifting and they rely on us. We each need to function in our gift, working with others functioning in theirs. That is simply how the body is designed to work.

It is rare to find someone that is a great at more then one thing. Most great ball players are not great musicians. Most great organizers are not always great at details. It is the same in the spiritual gifting realm. Those who prophesy, aren't always great at healing. Those that preach, aren't always good at helping others. That is why we need a a body; a team.

Now that you see that this is possible, how do you proceed? I think that it is good to be with others that believe similarly. I also think that you should seek it out like gold. Go to conferences and churches where you hear of these things happening. Then read your Bible and do your best to judge for yourself as the Bereans did. Be careful not to fit God in to your particular worship style or denominational paradigm. You don't know everything about God and you never will.

Here is an example stereotyping in the church. I once met a man that went to a very charismatic meeting during, what was called the Toronto Blessing (I never went). I asked him what he saw there expecting to hear of salivations and healings as I had from countless others. "Well, they didn't have any pews or chairs; everyone was standing during the teaching and I noticed that no one was carrying a Bible. I just don't find that Christian," he said. "No Bibles at church."

I met another man that went to Pensacola during the "Brownsville Revival" (I never went to FL, but I did see the team in Providence, RI.) and I asked him what he saw there? He said he didn't really know how to explain it. He spent so much time on the floor after an altar call, the he said he didn't have words to describe it without tears. I asked him why he was on the floor and he replied, "because the presence of God was so great, that I couldn't stand up or get up!" In the end, he simply said, "I know I was a Christian when I got there, but now I am soooo in love with Jesus, I can't speak of it all." I believe there was a gifted preacher and ministry team there as representatives of God.

If you ask me, the gifts work where there is a need and Christians love. Reread 1 Corinthians 12 and 13.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jay Leno Hoax - An Actual Message Worth Reading

Even though the following is a hoax, the actual column is worth reading.

If you're not a Jay Leno fan read what he wrote anyway. My respect and esteem for him has really increased.

"The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?'' Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?

The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.

They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

We are among the most blessed peoples on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative."

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Jay Leno

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One If By Sea, Two If By Land - Light On Our Lives

I watch enough forensics shows to know that the use of alternate light sources can reveal evidence unseen by the naked eye. DNA tests can reveal the identity of virtually any perpetrator. The entire science of forensics, from gas chromatography to scanning electron microscopes, make it hard to hide anything from criminologists. I also find it amazing that in the city of London there are thousands of video cameras on which all types of activity can be watched on virtually any street.

Undersea remote submarines equally amazing. They have ruined the myth of the Titanic and exposed the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle by finding ships that "supposedly" vanished. Those very mysteries, along with the illusions of Harry Houdini, intrigued me when I was in fourth grade. Even more intriguing is the NTSB as they reconstruct an airliner from a crash site. It is astounding how they seem to find all the pieces, let alone reassemble them!

Have you ever thought about the thousands of years of ancestry each one of us has? I know a little bit about my grandfather and heard about my great grandparents. But I don't know much beyond that. I wonder how many family trees would be altered with a few DNA tests? Isn't it scary the things which technology can bring to light?

If you watch the news you'll hear a lot about the right to privacy in medical records, cell phone calls and more... where do we draw the line? This blog really isn't about privacy invasion or the "big brother" of Logan's Run. God knows we all have something to hide. It is really about the way we live our lives. With technology, we need to be careful where and when we do things. However; as a Christan, we need to be careful what we do, regardless of the fact that there are no security cameras, or witnesses present.

If you ran for office, what dirt would they find on you? If they confiscated your hard drive, what would they find on it? If they published your Internet log, or cell phone records, what would be there? There has been a lot said about our private lives being in the light, what do you think? Here is a story I read some years back. I think it is the perfect illustration of my point.

The Room... Brian Moore

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.

This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.

A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.

Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows & but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content.

I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.

And then I saw it.. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.

No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.

He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.

He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."-Phil. 4:13 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." If you feel the same way forward it so the love of Jesus will touch their lives also. My "People I shared the gospel with" file just got bigger, how about yours?

About the Author:
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote.." It also was the last.

Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teary Valley High School. Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them-notes from classmates and teachers, his homework.

Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen's life.. But it was only after Brian's death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven. "It makes such an impact that people want to share it. You feel like you are there." Mr. Moore said.

Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.

The Moore’ framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it," Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. "I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him."

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What the Hell!?!

20/20 hosted a special on Hell and it's many "versions" Friday, July 13th. Maybe people feel Hell is unlucky... I don't know. The commentator, Bill Weir, presented what I am sure he thought was a balanced view of the subject. What always amazes me about these intellectual and supposedly educated exposés, is that they don't really present the Biblical view. They don't quote any scripture and hence, we get a biased, uneducated worldview which is simply a collection of people's thoughts on Hell. I am sure the average viewer found it enlightening to hear 21 different religious and secular views of Hell. That, I guess, would allow them to make an educated guess of what Hell is to them. A friend of mine thinks that it is always good when we are confronted with eternal issues... I am always concerned that people will believe a lie and miss the real thing.

Here is a quick list of the thoughts presented: Hell is a place for evil people only, hell is reserved for the "baddest" people on earth, Hell is a representation of pain, living on earth is Hell and everyone goes to Heaven. They interviewed people that quote, "know they are going to Hell", and folks that don't want to go, as well as folks that aren't sure. The interview with rocker Marilyn Manson, a recovering drug addict from Alaska and some murderer from New Orleans brought to light the most significant views. All three were brought up in Christian homes! The drug addict had something of an out-of-body-experience, Manson seems content with his lot to be there with all his friends and the murderer didn't seem concerned about it at all.

I have said it before (SEE MY BLOG), there are many nice sentiments regarding the after life, but the Bible is pretty clear on most aspects of it. There are a few things I would like to clear up.

-1 It is most unlikely that anyone can prove or disprove that actual location and decorum of Hell. I'll leave that for the super-educated.

-2 The idea of being bad or good as a way to earn something in the afterlife is not Christian, or Biblical. The apostle Paul said that we all fall short of the mark of perfection. The word "all" that he used in the Greek means all. Therefore; no one is born, or acts good enough to go to heaven, not even Mother Theresa... she too, needed the salvation of Jesus by faith.

-3 The notion that certain acts, or combination of acts deserves an eternity in Heaven or Hell is also not Christian. There is a the law of the Old Testament and the code of conduct in the New Testament, and again, we all fall short in some way. These laws simply point out what it is that we should be doing and not doing. And yes, the more we follow them the better our Christian witness will look. In the end (pun intended) it's is who we have faith in, not what we have done. Remember, Christians are not perfect, just forgiven. Even those who don't believe in Christ can benefit by Kingdom principals, as the laws of Heaven are not subject to the whim or ideas of man. God said there would be a blessing in giving generously and loving unselfishly, and there will be. The problem is when the carnal mind tries to understand the things of the Spirit.

-4 Jesus said that He was the only way to Heaven, this is to the exclusion of all other religions. He has also willed that all men and woman be saved, and made himself known in various ways so that this would happen. That is why it is good to find Him. Salvation is not a specific religious prayer or act. It is the acknowledgement, in our hearts, of the existence of God who came in the flesh to die for our sins and rose again (alive) .

-5 By signs and wonders God backs up His claims which are true. Because Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is at work on earth as He is in Heaven, we can see the results of His working here on earth. No other god or religion claims this. They are all waiting for "some day" in the afterlife. Jesus said, "the Kingdom of God is at Hand." And it is not yet. Satan may have some look-alikes, but who would consider Satanism a way to heaven?

-6 Spiritual realities cannot be understood in terms of earthly experience. It seems that you can ask anyone who seriously believes in Non-Christian religions, psychic and/or the paranormal, that there is another realm that exists. The apostle Paul said "we see though that glass darkly (dimly)." He meant that it was difficult to see the supernatural realms, but most agree that they exist. The notion that life on earth is Hell is simply that, a notion.

With all that said, what about Hell? The Bible is clear that it is a place of torture and a place of separation from God, what could be good about that? It is also says that it is a dry an lonely place, what could be good about that? Is it a place where all the murders and rapists go? Without salvation, we would all be there. Salvation is by faith, not works. James said that faith would have good works as evidence of that transformation, not as a requirement. I guess I can't imagine why anyone would ever think that Hell was a good place? I know that some folks think Heaven will be boring without beer drinking and sex, what will they do when the get to Hell and there is no beer drinking and sex? The promise of Heaven is perfect health, that lack of tears and pain; both physical and emotional. Wouldn't it make sense that Hell would be the opposite? Heaven is the place where we live forgiven for anything that we have done... Hell the is the place where we live condemned for everything that we've done. What would it be like to live eternity in a place where we are totally and completely loved just as we are, now that's Heaven!

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Coming of the Age

A few days ago I went and test drove a few cars as I am pretty sure that I will need to replace my 12-year-old one sometime soon. While I was looking, I just decided that I should take a spin in some of the more exotic 2-seaters. After all, I can always look for a used Honda some other time. What's the big attraction for me? I guess they have always been exciting and I simply decided that this was my opportunity for a little fun. They were cars that I have always wanted to own, but I haven't been able to afford. As I looked past the Estimated MPG window stickers(which was 12 on the 427R Mustang!) at a luxurious and sporty cockpits, I was in another world. In the end, I was impressed with the Corvette, an American automotive legend. The Crossfire, well that was underwhelming to say the least. I really liked the Mustang. It is amazing how the Mustang and Corvette have come of age in 50 or so years.

It appears to have taken a long time for the automakers to return to their roots in some of the long standing classics, the T-Bird, the Mustang and VW bug all have retro styling in their new versions. The new VW even has heat! So what does all this have to do with spirituality? The church has long needed to return to its roots. I attend a denomination that was thriving about 10 to 15 years ago. Today, I don't see the exciting life that once was. What happened? I decided to dissect what was going on then, and compare the results to things today.

I used to own a 1968 Shelby GT-500KR and drove one of the new Shelbys, there is no comparison. The old one had more power, period. The new one handles better and has more creature comforts. I think the church is a bit that way. The old one had raw power, and the new one is made for comfort. For whatever reason, the two just don't go together. You can't have wild revival meetings in a neat little box where everyone is comfortable all the time. If God is there, the Holy Spirit will cause things to happen. It has always been that way.

There was a time when Baptists and Nazarene's (The original Holy-Rollers... yes the rolled on the floor laughing!) both spoke in tongues. But it didn't fit the package and the supernatural wasn't natural enough. It happens all the time. You make a fast car and someone gets hurt, so you remove the engine, right? Or you quench the Holy Spirit and sing a few songs and go home. Amen. Poppycock! You don't limit the car or the Holy Spirit, you train everyone to handle the power. It's about character, experience and training. Read Ephesian chapter 4. The church is meant to be equipped for the work of evangelism, teaching, prophecy, apostleship and pastoring. Last time I looked we were training people in homiletics and counseling. What happened?

Here is what happened. We took a good thing and made it comfy and explainable (natural). In the midst we got all religious about some prayer that worked 40 years ago. And when it didn't work we began to interpret the Bible to fit our needs, our cultures and the lack of understanding of the supernatural. For those that did experience the supernatural, we stopped working at it. We didn't want to pay the price of the anointing.

Now back to my original rant about my denomination. They have a list of of things that make them a denomination; a family, a way of worship. When I read the list I couldn't find one thing that we are doing to that fit. That IS what's wrong. One of our values is to see the gifts of the spirit moving. I would think that it might be in everyone, not just one. We used to train people in those things, now we have the "How Crappy was My Week" time and go home. Honestly, if we are going to race, we are going to have to train.

I'll see you at the finish line.
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