Archive for July, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough

July 31, 2009

image001Some people don’t read every book for earth-shattering-life-change.  Instead, they sit down with a cup of coffee, and hope to find a good friend.

If that is what you hope for in a book, then Blue Like Play Dough is the book for you.  Tricia Goyer is a mom, MOPS speaker and writer – and you can tell.  She is just the right person to encourage young moms that they don’t need a 1-2-3 plan for parenting.

She is also an encouragement for those of us stumbling through life – God has a plan, and He will work it out – you need to trust, take steps of faith, and let Him do the work.

Want to read Blue Like Play Dough?  I have an extra copy to give away to the first to ask, and you can buy it from the publisher here.

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Living in the Spirit – Chpt. 2

July 27, 2009

The Baptism and Fullness of the Spirit

Favorite Quotes:

“Worship and work – these are the purposes of the Spirit.”

“The totality of what God wants…to do in the Church and in the world cannot be done unless we are filled with the Spirit.

Overview:

This chapter is clears up questions regarding the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit at conversion vs. the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

There are, traditionally, three primary views within the church to describe the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  (They aren’t all right.)

  1. When we give our life to the Lord, we are automatically baptized in the Spirit. (Thus if you haven’t received the baptism in the Spirit, you aren’t saved)
  2. The highest goal of the Christian life is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and once the goal is reached, it need not be sought after again.
  3. “Spirit baptism is a distinct part of our entrance into the full Christian life, along with salvation and water baptism.  These can each occur at different times, but I believe it is God’s purpose to make this a cluster of initiation events into the Christian life.”

There are two results of our baptism in the Spirit:  deeper worship of God through prayer language, and power in Christian witness.

There are five terms used of the Baptism:

  1. Baptism in the Spirit

When we receive Christ, we receive the Spirit – all receive the Spirit of God in conversion.  There are three separate events of note:

 

  • The Holy Spirit baptizes, or immerses the person (now new believer) into the body of Christ.
  • Christ baptizes the believer into the Holy Spirit.
  • The minister baptizes the believer in water.

2.  The promise of the Father

In Luke 24:49 Jesus said he would send “what my Father has promised”, referring to the coming events of Acts 2. “In scripture, the word utter means “to speak out loudly and clearly.”  There is an emphasis upon enthusiasm… When the Old Testament used the verb utter, it referred to prophetic speech.”

So, the promise of the Father is something seen and heard that gave the disciples power to utter boldly.  “The promise of the Father comes upon us so that we might have the power of utterance that magnificently declares God’s glory and greatness.”

3.  The gift of the Spirit
4.  Receive the Spirit “The word receive is used precisely in Acts to describe the baptism in the Spirit.  But in John 20, it is used precisely to describe conversion.”
5.  Filled with the Spirit. “We should never take a view of the Holy Spirit that once we are baptized in the Spirit we have all that He offers.  While there is one baptism, there are many fillings of the Spirit.

Initial Evidence

Response to experiential theology criticism:  “We understand that Spirit baptism comes in two ways.  First, we set forth the pattern of Scripture as found in Acts 2, 8, 9, 10 and 19.  Second, history is full of cases of the Spirit falling on people without their prior expectations. Just as Peter did in Acts 2, they then went to Scripture to find an explanation.

Kim’s note:  I’ve been listening for some time to those who wonder if tongues are the initial evidence because people, D.L. Moody for one, have an experience where they encounter the Holy Spirit and are changed.  It would appear that this would be exactly what we are being accused of – experiential theology – having an experience and building a theology around it.  I don’t know exactly what they experienced, and I don’t doubt that they encountered God in a way different than they had before, but scripture is pretty clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as noted in Acts 2, 8, 9, 10 & 19 is always accompanied by the outward evidence of tongues.

There are three words to describe the Spirit’s activity:  Outpoured, Immersed (in the Spirit) and Filled.  Interestingly, all are words also associated with water.

But God

July 27, 2009

Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, bound, being carried toward the fiery furnace.

Daniel, tumbling down into the lions’ den.

Job, his children and possession gone, the boils taken over his body.

Martha, her brother breathing his last breath.

Sometimes God just doesn’t make sense.  Life hands us more than we can handle.

Things are thrown at us with such fury that a feather has the weight of an anvil.

In these instances, we look beyond God’s silence to His character and say “yet will I trust Him”  “even so, come Lord Jesus”.

With the chorus of so many come before us, we wait for His reply and expect a miraculous breakthrough.

Training Camp

July 25, 2009

462089_cover.inddBoth of my favorite books this year came directly from the local library!

Seriously.  Most of the books I review I get from the publisher.  However, both of my favorite books this year I’ve picked up at the library.  The first was Seth Godin’s “Tribes”.

This book is my second favorite of the year.  Training Camp is a leadership fable.  I happen to be a huge fan of leadership books written in fable form.

Training Camp follows Martin Jones, an undrafted rookie at an NFL training camp as he discovers himself, his purpose, and ultimately his career.  His journey begins as Coach Ken takes him under his wing and gives him a Playbook on What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else.  As we follow Martin through his journey, we learn what the best do better, and how to apply it in our lives.

Training Camp is an incredibly quick read – only a couple hours will do it – and well worth your time.  Enjoy!

Balance

July 23, 2009

There are a lot of ways to live your life.  I submit that there is a permeating need to live it all in an attitude of balance.

Some would use balance as a shield to keep them from risk or doing great things.  After all, if you are to do great things, then you have to go all out at some point.

Failing to do great things to maintain balance is an excuse.

Failing to maintain balance while doing great things is failure.

Living in the Spirit – Chapter 1

July 22, 2009

I am reading through George Wood’s new book and thought I’d blog it for you.  About once a year, I like to read a book on the Holy Spirit, and so far, I’m liking this one.

Chapter 1 – Person of the Spirit.

Quotes of Note:

The HS brings creation out of chaos.  “I would suggest to you that this also describes the work of the Spirit in your life and mine.  Our life without God is chaos.  The Spirit of God wants to create in us the personality of Jesus and to breathe into the formlessness and the void of our life the life of Jesus.” (page 36-37)

“If you read the Book of Acts carefully, you discover that time and again in the life of Jesus’ disciples, at critical junctures in their lives the text says, “They were filled with the Spirit.”  That filling of the Spirit is a post-Pentecost filling.  It is not the filling of Acts 2; it is a filling subsequent to that.  The Spirit continued to fill the disciples at moments when they faced challenges they had never faced before, when a new level of power was called for in their personality that they had never needed before.  With each new challenge comes a new demand for a fresh filling of the Spirit.” (Page 45)

The Holy Spirit is a person

  1. The HS is described with personal pronouns
  2. He has a name
  3. He has Intellect (1 Cor. 2:11), Feelings (Eph. 4:30), Will (1 Cor 12:11) and Actions.
  4. His Actions are:
    1. He speaks
    2. Testifies
    3. Teaches
    4. Convicts
    5. He intercedes for us
    6. He guides us into truth
    7. He reveals God’s Word to us
    8. He can be tested
    9. He can be lied to
    10. He can be grieved
    11. He can be resisted
    12. He can be insulted
    13. He can be blasphemed (and if you are worried that you’ve blasphemed, then you’ve proven that you haven’t)

The Holy Spirit is Divine, and bears the attributes of God:

  • He is Eternal (Heb. 9:14)
  • He is All-Knowing (John 14:26; 16:12, 13)
  • He is all-powerful.
  • He is present everywhere (Psalm 139:7-10)
  • He does the works of God
    • He is involved in creation
    • He is involved in regeneration  (Ps. 104:30)
    • He is active in giving us the Scripture. “All scripture is God-breathed”
    • He is involved in the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 8:11)

Symbols of the HS:

  • Wind
  • Water
  • Seal (like sealing a document, not the grey Sea World kind)
  • Oil
  • Dove

Four things are noted in the Book of Acts about the Spirit in our experience:

  1. He creates unity.
  2. He taps the potential in our life that no one or nothing else can reach
  3. He is always leading us in two dimensions simultaneously.  He’s always leading us deeper into God and He’s always leading us out into the world.
  4. The HS is a Person, and therefore, we can resist Him, ignore Him or welcome Him.

A Perfect Mess

July 21, 2009

image001

Most of the time, the first chapter of a book tells the story.  You read it, you get the whole book.

I read the first chapter of this book, and I wasn’t going to recommend it.  But then I read the second…and the third… and I was hooked.

I don’t know where you are at in your walk with God, but if you are looking for a bible study that will bring you encouragement, I think this will do the trick.

Lisa Harper is the author.  She is authentic and open, but brings good scholarship to the topic without being heavy.

A Perfect Mess is a romp through the Psalms.  It touches on our attempts to be perfect, looking for approval, emotional upheaval, anger, fear just to name a few of the topics.

You can get it from the publisher at This Site.  You can buy it in paperback or ebook form!

I have a special free copy to give away.  Tell me why you need to have this study right now.

Holy Roller

July 17, 2009

HolyRoller_jkt:Mechanical FileI just finished reading Holy Roller, an autobiography by Julie Lyons.  I’m going to do two things today to tell you about the book.  1.   I’ll tell you what I think you can learn from it.  2.  I’ll give you the press clipping. 

First, if you know nothing about Christianity, you would learn a lot – about God, about Christians (the good, the bad and the not so bad).

The strength of this book lies in the story of what a life looks like lived out in community over 20 years or so.  In the church today, we tend to keep people at arms length and have polite conversation, not getting too close.  Julie’s church is different, perhaps because they are small.  They get in your face and build real community – much like I believe a small group in any size church should operate.

I felt that the deficit of the book was that there was a lot of time spent talking about the failings of church leaders throughout the world.  However, this book was so good in its ability to show the strengths of following God in a community of believers, that it left me in an attitude of prayer rather than mulling in frustration.

Here’s the official press description of the book:

Julie Lyons, a white, middle-class professional, was working as a crime reporter at the Dallas Times Herald when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results? Indeed there was and is, claims Lyons, whose story landed on the front page of her alternative weekly newspaper and became the basis of her new book, Holy Roller.

            Holy Roller is Lyons’s firsthand investigation into God’s power, the activities of the Holy Spirit and the inspiring results of prayer and faith in the lives of society’s overlooked people. In South Dallas, people search for answers and find them. They ask for help with overwhelming problems, and receive it. And when God performs a miracle during a Sunday church service, no one is surprised. It is an eye-opening, entertaining and inspiring tale that takes readers to unexpected places

So.  You can buy this book on the Random House Website.  Also, I will give my copy of the book (slightly used) to the first person who asks for it.  It is a good summer read.

Can You Hear God’s Voice?

July 16, 2009

“I know how to make money on Twitter!”

The post caught my eye from a new follower.  Not for a good reason.  This person followed me on Twitter in hopes that I would follow them back.

They wanted me to want to be like them.  However, two posts later, they admitted “I’ll post a picture soon”.  They are pretend marketing Twitterers.  They are trying to market themselves instead of being good at Twitter.  Who wants to follow a pretender? Pretenders are boring and waste my time.  Do you sometimes feel like a pretender in your walk with God?

Are you pretending to have the right answers?  Are you convinced that God is the right answer for the world, so you are trying to tell everyone they should love Him, but you aren’t sure what following Him really means?

Do you know what His voice sounds like?  Is your gut response to His voice, “Yes, Lord”?

Lately I’ve been noticing there is a huge difference between people who are Christians (as in they believe the creeds) and people who actually know God’s voice.  In John 10, Jesus says:

  • His sheep listen to His voice
  • His sheep follow His voice
  • He knows His sheep by name
  • His sheep have eternal life
  • No one can snatch them out of His hand, they are safe
  • He leads His sheep
  • Those that aren’t His sheep don’t believe

Shortly thereafter, they tried to stone Him for claiming to be God.

Hearing God’s voice and following it is a walk on the wild side.  It is also the safest place to be.

There was a time when I thought God loved me accidentally – just because He loved the whole world.  I even worked to show people how to follow Him, because I was convinced that He was the right answer.

But, thankfully, I knew His voice.  Over time He broke through all the layers of emotional issues to show me how much He loved me personally.  It doesn’t matter where you’ve been.  It only matters Whose you are.   God’s sheep hear His voice, and He can mend any problem.

You may feel like you ‘don’t have your picture up’ when it comes to being able to share Jesus with people.  That’s okay.  Knowing everything is the worst (because who wants to be spammed?).  The best is knowing the person of Jesus and what He means to you.  That is what will made a difference for you, and that is what will make a difference for others.

And if you don’t know God’s voice, ask Him to reveal Himself to you.  I was talking to my 9 year old last night.  She is just beginning to realize God’s activity in her life.

  • The first step in learning to hear His voice is to read His Word (the Bible).  From this you can hear what He says, hear His character, His way of operating.
  • Second, be in a worship service weekly.
  • Third, ask God to show Himself to you daily.  Try to set aside 15 minutes to just talk to Him (like go for a walk or something).

Relationships take time.  Learning takes time.  Learning to hear God’s voice and recognize it might take time.  Give yourself the time and space to develop in your relationship with Him.

Busted!

July 14, 2009

0310283205Well, I truly am “Busted”.  I was sure this tour was on the 17th.  Luckily, I did a brief interview with my daughter last night.

You see, not every book is for me.  However, I have an 18 year old who is called to ministry,  and lives in a world where her friends don’t know Jesus.  I was pretty sure that this book would be for her.

I asked her to read a couple of the chapters and give me a review.  She took it with her for the weekend, and this is what I got in the car on the way home (mind you, she wanted to talk about THIS BOOK, not anything else):

  1. This book is so awesome, I’m going to read the WHOLE THING!!!
  2. These are all the issues people I know keep bringing up.
  3. His approach is right on – he approaches it like “if they are right, then this.. and this.. would have happened.  But it didn’t.”  (I think we call this a historical/logical approach.)
  4. “This guy just saved me like five years of research!”

Well, if my (mostly grown) child, who doesn’t read and research for the love of it, gives this book such high reviews, then you should definately grab it!  Especially if you:

  • Care about people who don’t know Jesus
  • Want to care about people who don’t know Jesus
  • Are a youth pastor
  • Know someone under 30

You can buy it from here:  on Amazon

Here are the other blogs on this tour:

http://bbhchurchconnection.blogspot.com

http://icrucified.com/icruciblog

http://theologicallyspeaking.com

http://twelve60.blogspot.com

http://blog.buildingchurchleaders.com

http://frankviola.wordpress.com

http://johnharmstrong.com

http://jchrisland.blogspot.com

http://www.biblegeekgonewild.com

Special “Busted Book Giveaway” – Thursday, July 16

http://www.flowerdust.net