Fellership Blog

for those wondering >>>and wandering

What if…?

HOW MANY OF THESE “WHAT IFs DO WE SEE TODAY?

What if… we have totally missed God’s heart and design?

 

What ifALL the gifts  and callings of God in Eph. 4:11 were intended to be shared and used for the body of Christ in general and not for individual assemblies of saints (a.k.a. local churches)? 


What if…
the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors/teachers (Eph. 4:11) were intended to be itinerant servants to the body of Christ and not locally limited, determined or ordained?

 

What if… God set them in the body, not locally, but the body of Christ (universally) to serve, equip and build up the body of Christ UNTIL we ALL become unified in faith and maturity in Christ (Eph. 4:12-14) to the glory of God?

 

What if… those gifted servants (above), trusted the Lord as their provider and if need be, worked with there own hands to carry out their particular ministry of service to the body (Acts 18:3)?

 

What if… when saints gathered together in the Lord’s name, there were no apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor/teachers present that day?  Could all the members function together and build one another up in love as mentioned in Eph. 4:15 & Col. 2:2?

 

What if… God gave these gifts and callings (Eph. 4:11) to serve the body of Christ in general so the local saints would not become dependent upon just these few gifted servants but rather encourage and build themselves up in love (Eph. 4:16)?

 

What if… visits of apostles or prophets, evangelists, pastor/teachers were a rare treat and great cause of celebration and thanksgiving to all when they arrived (Acts 21:17, 20)?

 

What if.. the practice of “laying by in store” (ICor. 16:2) was mainly to meet the needs of the saints in Christ’s body as well as local saints and friends in need within the community (IICor. 8:3-4)?

 

What if… when these called of God servants moved on, they carried with them the gifts and offerings of the saints to share elsewhere in the body of Christ as needed (II Cor. 8:3-4)?

 

What if… God intended for ALL members of Christ’s body to function and exercise their individual gifts and love for one another each time they gathered in the Lord’s name where ever and when ever that may be (ICor. 14:23, 24, 26, 31)?

 

What if… The Spirit of the Lord was at liberty to flow and touch individual saints and each member allowed the Spirit to minister through them?  Would not the unlearned and unbelievers fall on their faces and testify, “surely God is here?!!” (IICor. 3:17; ICor. 14:24-25)

 

What if… worship was intended to be personal and spontaneous as each is drawn into the Spirit: bringing a psalm, hymn, spiritual song, prophesying, testifying, etc. as the presence of the Lord is manifested in their midst (ICor. 12:7, 14:20; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16)?

 

Last but not least, WHAT IF…God loves His children so much that He is willing to allow the testing and purifying fire of persecution to come to America to unite and draw us closer to the desires of His heart so that He might complete that for which He purposed and began (Phil. 1:6)?

 

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December 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A New Beginning of an Old Blog – Fellership is back!

I’ve decided to begin blogging again.  It’s been a while, but this time I want to just put down some “random” thoughts on here and forget about writing articles as in the past.  I’m leaving most of the old articles up.

Let me explain what the deal is with the FIVE DOORS.  At one time we had several discussions going at once over five or more topics.  We thought we would condense this down to five topics behind DOORS 1-5.  Feel free to explore through ALL our FELLERSHIP topics and share your thoughts as well.  It ain’t fellership if it’s just one-sided.

Thanks for stoppin by

more later,

Charlie

December 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Door #5 Worship and soaking in God’s nature

Is there a difference in worship and praise?

I used to wonder about this question a lot.  I wasn’t really sure there was a difference.  What difference would it make anyway?  We often hear the phrase “praise and worship?”  Why use two terms for the same thing?  Hmmm, maybe there is a difference.

I think I can answer those questions now (at least for me).  I do believe there are several differences. 

PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

(1) Praise is specific.  We praise God for various reasons, but songs/hymns/psalms are written to magnify a certain aspect of God or His interaction with us.  It is a recognition and appreciation of God/Jesus Christ for what they are, have done, or shall do.  Thanksgiving is a part of praise, but thanksgiving is also specific. 

(2) Praise is presented with gladness and joy.

(3) Praise is most often a group dynamic and is often accompanied with music, players and encourages participation of others (unless one is praising alone).

(4) Praise is an offering, like a free will offering.  Praise is something we initiate.

(5) Since praise is intiated by us, it often begins with/in our souls and eventually (hopefully) moves into our spirit and visa versa.  A few examples: “bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me…”  Another example:  “My soul magnifies/exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced…”  One more:  “I will pray with the/my spirit and I shall pray with the/my mind also.”  “I will sing with the/my spirit and I shall sing with the/my mind also.”

I know that some may think I’m streeetching this a bit too far, but just wait and hear me out :).  There may be more aspects of praise and we would welcome further input.  Now let us look more closely at worship.

WORSHIP (must be in spirit)

(1) Worship is recognized and accepted by God ONLY when done in spirit and truth/reality (that is a MUST)…not so with praise.

(2) Worship can be done anywhere, anytime, any place, but more readily done outside the constraints of time and place and for varying degrees of duration (from milli-seconds to hours).

(3) Worship is not dependent upon emotion.  It can be expressed in weeping, laughing, or utter silence and stillness.

(4) Worship can be alone (often is) or with others, but worship is directed to God alone.  Worship, whether in a group or alone, is still one-on-one.  There may be 1,000 people praising God, but only 3 worshipping God, or 997 worshipping.  It depends on who is in spirit during the praising, praying, speaking or listening.

(5) Worship happens.  It is NOT dependent upon us intiating it.  We may begin to praise the Lord, but until a spiritural connection is made, worship has not happened.  True/real worship does not begin until God is manifested in some way.  In fact, it is the manifestation of God – the actual “seeing” God (spiritually) that triggers worship.

SOAKING IN GOD’S NATURE

Worship is initiated by God.  He is seeking true worshippers.  God desires worshippers because they “see” Him.  All creation manifests God, but when we “see” spiritually God in His creation, it spontaneously brings out worship.  Here’s an example of someone seeing God and spontaneously worshipping.  This may come to you as a shock.  It’s found in Mk. 5:6.  This man had many demons, yet when he saw Jesus, he also “saw” something spiritual and this man RAN and bowed down at Jesus feet.  This word bowed (in Greek) is also translated “to worship.”  Seeing God brings about worship, because God is the initiator and He is letting us see Him (with spiritual eyes) for a purpose.

When we are worshipping, it means the spirit connection is made.  That’s the time to take advantage of the opportunity and soak it all in.  God and man in communion.  All that God is and wants to reveal to us can happen when we are linked up in worship.  That’s when God wants to show us Himself.  God initiated this “worship moment” so He could infuse us with His nature.  He wants us to know Him intimately.  He wants us to take on His character, His divine nature (II Pet. 1:4).  God has given us some precious promises and He wants us to act upon and live in them, “…all things pertaining to life and godliness.”

As we take advantage of these “God moments” presented to us by the Creator Himself we are beholding His glory.  Maybe a leaf just drifted down in your lap, but at that moment, God was there in that moment with you.  Now’s your chance, linger, abide, draw closer.  Soak it all in.  As we behold, we also will reflect or shine out.  We shine out what He shines in, His divine nature.

Mary sat at Jesus feet taking it all in.  She recognized the moment and soaked it in.  Martha missed that same moment.  I bet the part that was not recorded ended up with both Mary and Martha serving others.  How many “God moments of worship” do you reckon we miss everyday?

Learning to watch, wait and anticipate

God is seeking worshippers.  You become a worshipper when you see God in spirit, that is true worship and God has set it up for us.  That’s how much He is longing to reveal something fresh of Himself to us.  He wants to bring many sons to glory, like Father, like son.  The prayer Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemene was that the Father would give that same glory He gave the Son to others.  That glory was the oneness (Jn. 17:22).  God’s Spirit in us has provided the oneness in spirit.  We need to be watching and expecting God to reveal Himself, then wait and linger, take it all in while you can.  It’s a lot harder for us to initiate that intimacy with God, than it is to be watching, anticipating and longing for Him to show up in some unexpected way and time.  When He does, dwell there and take it all in while you can.

Conclusion

I used to try so hard to please Abba.  Try as I may, I kept failing.  I tried to get up early, read my Bible, I tried hard to pray and keep my mind focused, but it never lasted for me.  I think it’s a lot easier to let God pick the time and place and we just need to “see” and soak in those times for all they are worth.  When we “see” God, worship happens.  God is seeking many worshippers.

Now here’s another benefit that comes with that.  We get His nature infused into us.  What does that mean?  To me it has come to mean that as I spend more intimate moments and recognize opportunities more, those times in His presence allow that oneness to work into us His nature so that we:

begin to think like God (see situations and people from God’s perspective).  Our mind dwells more on whatsoever is pure, just, lovely, etc.

we feel like God (have compassion, joy, hurt).

we speak like God (with authority, boldness, gentleness)

we act like God (reflect God’s nature in how we treat others).

If you take the fruit of the Spirit in Gal.5, mix it with the famous “love” chapter in I Cor. 13 and add in the beatitudes in Matt 5, you can get a pretty good idea of what God’s nature is, OR just take a look at Jesus.  That’s how He wants us to be toward others.  That’s the beholding, reflecting, transforming life He wants us to live.

Which is better, gut it out, try harder or watch for those God moments (which bring about worship) that He sets up for us and soak it up?  God’s way is the way of life, the way of the Spirit.

Charlie

September 13, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 15 Comments

Door #4 God’s eternal purpose

Discuss gaining a greater understanding of the eternal purpose of God mentioned in Ephesians 3:11. What is God’s eternal purpose?  Many of us are at 1st grade in understanding it.  We should view and live with the end (God’s end,His purposes) in mind.  If our vision and understanding is skewed, so will be our living {see
Gary’s comment # 12 under
HELP!! This Blog is for YOU! }.

Let’s continue our fellership with these topic/doors in mind.  Should you like to introduce another topic to explore, just add it to the list being formulated under HELP!! This Blog is for YOU!  We can also continue fellership with any of the other topics in our archives also.Let’s just keep the fellership flowing!

CLICK BELOW FOR THE BLOG TOPICS AND COMMENTS ACCORDING TO THE MONTH THEY WERE WRITTEN AND ARCHIVED.  

September 2006   

August 2006   

July 2006

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Door #3 Oneness in relationships – body of Christ, God and one another

Door #3  ONENESS – how does it pertain to the body of Christ?  How does it fit in with our relationship with God and our relationships with others?  { see comments #3,4 HELP!! This Blog is for YOU! }

QUESTIONS: Just what is the oneness that Jesus prayed for in Jn. 17 and Paul talks about in Eph.4? Is that oneness in Jn. the same oneness in Eph?  How do we relate to that oneness today?

Is it…Through “church?”
Through doctrine?
Through agreement on scriptural interpretation?
Through which Bible version we read?
Through the name on the “building?”
Through our similar practices, thinking, traditions?
Through the Spirit?

Any, all, or none of the above? OR is it impossible to have that same oneness today?

Let’s continue our fellership with these topic/doors in mind.  Should you like to introduce another topic to explore, just add it to the list being formulated under HELP!! This Blog is for YOU!  We can also continue fellership with any of the other topics in our archives also.Let’s just keep the fellership flowing!

CLICK BELOW FOR THE BLOG TOPICS AND COMMENTS ACCORDING TO THE MONTH THEY WERE WRITTEN AND ARCHIVED.  

September 2006   

August 2006   

July 2006

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Door #2 Seek first the kingdom

Door #2   How do we “seek first the kingdom?” What does that mean in a practical sense?

Let’s continue our fellership with these topic/doors in mind.  Should you like to introduce another topic to explore, just add it to the list being formulated under HELP!! This Blog is for YOU!  We can also continue fellership with any of the other topics in our archives also.Let’s just keep the fellership flowing!

CLICK BELOW FOR THE BLOG TOPICS AND COMMENTS ACCORDING TO THE MONTH THEY WERE WRITTEN AND ARCHIVED.  

September 2006   

August 2006   

July 2006

 

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Door #1 The leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives

Door #1 Continue discussing the who, where, why and how questions concerning the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. {for a review of the 20 questions, see Genuine questions being asked about the Holy Spirit

Let’s continue our fellership with these topic/doors in mind. Should you like to introduce another topic to explore, just add it to the list being formulated under HELP!! This Blog is for YOU! We can also continue fellership with any of the other topics in our archives also.

Let’s just keep the fellership flowing!

CLICK BELOW FOR THE BLOG TOPICS AND COMMENTS ACCORDING TO THE MONTH THEY WERE WRITTEN AND ARCHIVED.

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

September 6, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Genuine questions being asked about the Holy Spirit

 Please read carefully through these.  Consider your experience and understanding and share with us your impressions. 

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead: Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)

1.  These are the words of Jesus as written in the NIV translation/paraphrase. Notice that Jesus is speaking of individuals not groups; He is speaking of individual fathers giving good gifts; He is speaking, I believe, about an individual gift of the Holy Spirit to those who are seeking, asking, knocking. This must be the most perfect gift imaginable. Can you tell me what it is?

2.  How do I experience it?

3.  What is the sign that I have received this gift? Is there a sign of having received it?

4.  How do you know you are following the Holy Spirit’s guiding?

5.  What does it feel like?

6.  Does the Holy Spirit’s presence change you and your relationship/fellowship with God in any way?

7.  Not wanting to get into a discussion of “Calvinism” vs. “whatever” here……but my question to this visitor was that I must believe that as a Christian I too am being led in some way by the Holy Spirit to my understanding of the scriptures and we are at absolute opposite poles in our understanding on this point (among others). How can the Holy Spirit be leading us both…..considering we are both Christians?

8.  What is the Holy Spirit doing for us? Not that this particular issue really has anything to do with our salvation……it is puzzling to me that we can come to such opposite conclusions from the same written word handed down through generations and guarded in it’s inspiration by the same Holy Spirit which is leading us in all our ways. Once again, what is the Holy Spirit doing for us?

9.  How do I know what is Holy Spirit and what is my own sinful nature? Can we know for sure? Are we giving the Holy Spirit too much credit for It’s leadership when our sinful nature can drive us off the mark with such ease?

10.  I keep seeing phrases like, “the Holy Spirit taught me” and, “led by the Holy Spirit to……”.   Just what do you mean by the Holy Spirit taught me? 

11.  Do you get a message directly from the Holy Spirit? How do you know?

12.  How are you led by the Holy Spirit?

13.  Is there a path that the Holy Spirit pushes you down? How do you know?

14.  I see a lot of things attributed to the Holy Spirit, but I don’t know exactly how these things are done by the Holy Spirit.

15.  Ahha!!! If I’m reading you rightly, you are saying that we may not know of the Holy Spirit’s working in us and the guidance that the Holy Spirit gives as it happens.  Just have faith that as we truly desire the fellowship and the “God moments”, the Holy Spirit does it’s work and provides the guidance necessary as we are transformed.

16.  Maybe doctrinal and dogma correction are not given directly because it is the heart that is being worked on……as the heart is transformed, the correct doctrine and dogma may become…..uh……well…..just moot because the fellowship with God does not involve doctrine…or maybe better said, it supersedes doctrine.

17.  Maybe this is the “walking by faith and not by sight” that is spoken of.

18.  Just who/what is the Holy Spirit?

19.  How do we receive it?

20.  How does the Holy Spirit guide me?

All these questions are being asked with a humble spirit and a seeking heart.  Please choose one or a few of these numbered questions and comment.  Also make sure you note what question number/s you’re comments are being directed toward.

Thank you saints.  Let the fellership begin!

Charlie

September 1, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 20 Comments