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Well, it’s happen already – time has pushed out writing! I told my wife that I have not written a new blog entry for a couple of weeks and she asked me why. I told her I had not had time to sit down and develop an entry. This is where the lecture began. Blogging is not about developing a story but to write down the ramblings of my thoughts. Boy, would that be a trip with Alice through Wonderland J!

So I decided today that I would begin my ramblings in a more coherent pattern. So here goes! I wanted to ask you a telling question today.

“Why are we so afraid of prayer?”

Now, I know that many of us will say, “we are not afraid of prayer!’ But let me first ask you to take a moment and to really allow God to search your heart to see if this is really true or not. Last night as we meet in our Executive Board meeting, Phil M. asked us to allow the Holy Spirit to point out to us what it is that is preventing us from allowing the power of the Light to dispel the darkness. So I ask the question again, “Why are we so afraid of prayer?” It seems to me that many people may be afraid of prayer. Is it because we are afraid that God will not answer our prayers? Or is it because we are afraid that He will answer our prayers?

Sometimes I think that we may hesitate to pray as fervently as we can or as pointedly as we can because we might be afraid of what that means for us. For example, if I seriously pray that God reach our community it will mean that I will have to make major changes and adjustments to our lives and ministries. Henry Blackaby tells us that any time God speaks to us it creates a crisis of belief. I want to ask does it create a crisis of belief when we talk to God.

Give me your thoughts and some feedback. Remember I am just thinking out loud and have not reached any final decision on this issue.

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This past Sunday, I was privileged to see the Kingdom of God displayed. I was asked to preach at my home church, Island City Baptist Church in Wilmington. While I was there, Pastor Ron baptized a young girl named, Jasmine. This lovely young lady was the center of God’s Kingdom being displayed. It was because of her baptism that members of three of our churches had joined together that morning to celebrate with her and to worship the Lord together. Island City, First Baptist Manhattan and members of First Baptist Manteno were all together in one accord focusing on Jasmine’s celebration of her new birth in Christ.
For four years, I have been telling our churches that when one church baptizes a new believer all of us baptize a new believer. When one of us celebrates all of us celebrate. That is what the Kingdom of God is all about. Our being able to work together creating synergy for the Kingdom. Synergy is simply the sum of the whole is greater than sum of the individuals added together. In other words we can do more together than we can do alone.
TRBA is located in the midst of over one million lost people and because of that we need all of the synergy we can generate. Sunday was just one example of how three churches had cooperated together in influencing one family for the Kingdom of God. I eagerly await fresh new examples of this synergy was we continue in the journey together not for our kingdom but for His Kingdom.

Francis Chan in his book “Crazy Love” talks about how extras in a movie often get 2/5’s of a second on the big screen. Yet, they like all of us make a big deal out of their 2/5’s of a second of fame. They invite all of their family and friends to the bid screen preview of their 2/5’s of a second of fame. It may only be a shot of the back of their head but it is important to them. The problem lies when we begin to think that the movie is all about our 2/5’s of a second of fame. Francis goes on to tell us the movie is really all about God and not our little scene.
So in the scheme of things Francis feels that we should make our 2/5’s second be all about making much about God. My hope is that this blog will be exactly that — using my 2/5’s of a second to make much about God.

DISCLAIMER

Well, here we go. This is my first attempt at blogging as your Director of Missions. Therefore, I need to clarify a few things as we begin. First, I am not a writer never claimed to be one never aspired to be one. So as you read this blog be fully aware that you will find the following: typos, misspelled words, and the cap key might be left on or left off. (I am not yelling I am just too lazy to shut it off or turn it on.) I write most of the time in thought blocks rather than sentences. This works for me but might be annoying to you. If so let me apologize to you right now. So do not look for a solid punctuated perfect blog. Just please enjoy my thoughts, challenges, and questions as we take this journey together.

My question is “What does a Spiritually Healthy Church” look like? A good friend of mine David Tolliver (Executive Director for the Missouri Baptist Convention) says that you cannot have Spiritually Healthy churches until you have Spiritually Healthy Christians. He defines Spiritually Healthy Christians as followers of Christ who are (1) Saved (2) Filled with the Spirit (3) Devoted to personal discipleship through daily devotions (4) Holy in the their lifestyle (5) Passionate witnesses for Christ (6) In love with the Lord’s church.
Let me break these down for you.
(1) Saved: Are you really saved? I mean not just in word but in reality. You see being saved means that Jesus is Lord of your life not just you fire insurance policy. Is Jesus Lord of your life? All of it? Is He seated on the throne of your heart, mind, soul, and body?

(2) Filled with the Holy Spirit: Here I am not talking about a second blessing but is He active and in control of your life on a daily basis? Are you filled to over flowing with the Fruit of the Spirit?

(3) Devoted to personal discipleship through daily devotions: I am not talking about are you reading a daily devotional but are your daily walking with the Lord through His Word and His world? Are you daily seeking to become more like His Son?

(4) Holy in their lifestyle: Are you in the world but not part of it? Can people see a difference in you? Not an oddity but something that is spiritually attractive in you? Are you living a holy life? Or are you seeped in the ways of the world?

(5) Passionate witness for Christ: Spiritually healthy Christians cannot wait to tell others about Jesus. They are so impressed with who He is and what He has done that we cannot wait to tell others.

(6) In love with the Lord’s church: Many of us are in love with the Lord’s church as long as it is my way. It must match “my” image of what the church is and should be. No mind is given to the fact that it is the “Lord’s” church we are talking about. We must remember it was Christ who died for His church, not us for ours concept of church.

So what’s all the fuss about Spiritually Healthy Christians and Spiritually Healthy churches? Because without both of these many people in the TRBA area lives will end tonight without any hope of heaven or joy. To many people’s lives hand in the balance for us not to be doing all we can to be Spiritually Healthy. If your life was in danger of destruction would you want a healthy person attempting to rescue you or a sickly weak person trying?

Drop me a note – give me your thoughts. We will continue down this road for a bit and see what God has in store for us.

Spiritually Healthy Churches
Multiplying
To Radically Transform Communites
For the Kingdom of God