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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoughts...9-30-10

Lately I've been reading "Jesus the Pastor" by John W. Frye. The byline of the book says "Leading others in the power and character of Christ", and it's been such an encouraging and inspiring read to this point.

It's amazing to me to look at Jesus' ministry on the earth through the Pastoral lens, and it's caused me to think through who I am in Christ and why I do what I do, which are very pertinent concepts to ponder.

So here's where I'm at today regarding my thought process for ministry…

"I'm a believer in Jesus, so I'm a member of his family. Since I'm a member of His family I've been given gifts, abilities, a personality and unique experiences that have all worked together to shape me into the leader God wants me to be.

I've been called to full time ministry, I've been trained for Pastoral ministry, and have been given many opportunities over the years to serve Jesus in that role. As a follower of Jesus my guide book is not man made but God breathed and since God's plan (2 Cor. 5:11-21) is a plan of reconciling all men to Himself, and his plan includes me being reconciled to Him and then being used of Him to share that message with the world." The question then becomes "as a leader who has this message and mission how do I as a member of His family (individual) fulfill this mission?

Since I have a dual role as individual member of God's family and recipient of some specific spiritual gifts (Pastor, Teacher, Leader) how does God's guidebook instruct me to fulfill His mission individually and corporately through His body here on earth (The Church)?"

Fortunately, we have 2 clear passages of scripture that outline Jesus's purposeful plan. The Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20) and Great Commandment (Mt 22:37-40) spell out what I need to be abut individually and since the body of Christ is made up of individuals like me the given principles apply to the Church at large as well…Make Disciples who are devoted to becoming more and more like Jesus.

If I seek to be about evangelism, ministry, worship, discipleship, and fellowship in my own life and the rest of God's family does the same it stands to reason that the body of Christ will be made up of that unified lifestyle as well, and the mission of restored relationship with our Creator and a life lived to the full here on earth will be fulfilled.

That's the big picture of my thought process for who I am in Christ, Why I do what I do, and why I believe God has allowed me to experience the things I have and why He has led me to be a part of this ministry at this exact point in time.

I believe that once we know who we are in Christ and what our part in the body is all about we are then ready to be involved in fulfilling His mandates to us as believers and as a church.

I've always liked to think of the organizational fulfillment of the Great Commission and Great Commandment as a healthy balance of the Biblical purposes fleshed out through prayerfully planned and strategically implemented tools to reach an audience, fulfill a purpose and challenge people to either begin a relationship with Jesus or go deeper in their devotion with Him.

The passage that I shared last week with the students at SUNY Binghamton is still rattling around in my heart and mind especially as it relates to wanting to be part of something that amazes people with the power and love of Jesus.

Check out the encounter that Jesus had with the Pharisees and Religious leaders after Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins and just before He healed him of his infirmity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaQEJUN-GF0

My prayer today is that my life, my ministry, my role, everything about me would be so in line with what Jesus desires that the world would take notice...not of me but of the difference maker - Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thoughts...9-29-10

It's late (after midnight so I guess it's actually 9-30-10, but I'm too tired to change the subject line)...I need to go to bed, but I'm reading, reflecting, reminding and after I was revisiting some content on my blog now I'm rejoicing because through it all He's "by my side".

Before I hit the sack though I'm praying that this video encourages you like it did me...No matter what you're going through, what you've been through, where you've messed up, where you've chose wrong, where you've doubted, where you've struggled...He is by your side, and His Grace is still AMAZING!

God bless, and good night!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHgNCj4DU_M

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts...9-22-10

On friday night I'll be traveling up to Binghamton, NY to speak at the Inter-Varsity gathering that meets on the campus. One of our college students who is involved with the group has invited me to come and share, and I'm excited to be a part of what the Lord is doing at the SUNY School.

The theme that the group is running with this semester is "Super Heroes", and the aspect they want me to focus on is the fact that a true hero is driven by humility.

Of course that reminds me of the model we have in what Christ did for us so I'm going to open up the time by looking at the incredible selfless attitude that Jesus had in Philippians 2  and then ask the question "so what does this mean to us?"

The rest of the time we're going to look at one of my favorite stories in the Bible found  Luke 5. It's a great picture of what kinds of things we're capable when we have a selfless attitude.

The angle I'll go with in the text was the fact that the friends of the paralyzed guy were so moved by the love of their friend (I think humility and a selfless attitude can be interpreted here) that they did whatever it took to get him to Jesus (whose reputation of miracles, power, love, humility and selflessness had preceded him at this point)…so they were driven by the desire for physical healing of their friend but Jesus saw the deeper need first (He forgave his sins) then healed him physically.

Some of the things that I plan to bring out is that a hero…

  • Is moved to take action when he/she is selfless

  • Will do whatever it takes (go through any barrier) to meet others needs (physical and spiritual)

  • Will begin to develop a reputation of selflessness and those acts begin to spread, become contagious to others and warrant questions which give them the right to be heard

  • Has an incredible model to follow in Jesus Christ


So, I'd appreciate your prayers everyone, and would love to hear your thoughts about this topic...

How has Jesus shown Himself powerful in your life? How does the fact that Jesus showed incredible humility even though He had the ability to exercise extreme power over his  enemies apply to you?

I don't know about you but I'm so thankful for things like...Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness and the Everlasting nature of my Creator!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbGgA2lIDjc

Thoughts...9-17-10

The word “daily” in the context of our needs is a word I’ve been thinking a lot about these last few weeks. If you were at church on September 5th I talked about “Making Contact With God” through prayer and we looked at the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. If you missed it, click on the text for the mp3 of "Make Contact with God" 

Anyway, in the message I referred to the word “daily” by its original Greek name “Epiousious”. I found it very interesting that the word “Epiousious” was found at the top of a grocery list for perishable items when the dead sea scrolls were discovered in 1945.

God is interested in the big things of our lives and the “Epousious” things of our lives.

So, what are you going through today, this week, this month, this year? God cares, and He is ready to intervene. I want to encourage you to make contact with him daily through prayer and Bible study. The Creator of all things, knows us and wants to have a relationship with us…to me that’s pretty AMAZING!

Thoughts...9-10-10

I’m thinking alot about the events of 9/11 nine years ago. I’ve written about my thoughts and feelings on that tragic day, and today I’m reminded all over again that what the enemy means for evil in our lives, God can redeem for good.

The two articles…”Anything Broken?” and “Amplify” remind me of where I personally was when the 9/11 took place and what God did in people’s lives. I would love to have you read, re-read and contemplate on the greatness of our God today as we remember 9/11.

Anything Broken?

Amplify

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Chapter...Same Book

Hello Everyone,

On behalf of my family I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued love and prayerful support for us. You have all been such a huge blessing to us time and time again!

As you know it's been a very interesting journey that we have been on the last few years, and even though I haven't always understood what God was doing and how He was leading I have constantly been assured that my friends and family have been there backing us up in prayer every step of the way!

I know you have been in prayer with us for God's clear leading regarding our future ministry involvement, so I wanted to let you know that on 6/27 The Mid-Hudson Chinese Christian Church in Wappingers Falls, NY voted to call me as their Pastor of English Ministries. We prayed some more about it and we believe that this is what God would have me do, so we accepted the call to begin serving as The Pastor of English Ministries.

 We're excited to be back in the Hudson Valley, and want to thank each of you for your involvement in our lives over the years.

 I’m really looking at this new ministry as a new chapter in the same book that God has been writing in my life over these many years of ministry. It’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be a learning experience and above all it’s going to be amazing to watch what God does as He uses us in alignment with His will.

 I'll be writing more about everything that God did in bringing this transition about but for now I just wanted to make sure I let everyone know what we're doing, and how God has been at work in answering our prayers.

Thanks again, you are all such a blessing!

God bless,

Brent