Thursday, July 18, 2002

Wow, it's been a while since I've been able to sit down and hang out with my computer--2 whole days!! (Is "blogaholism" contagious?) Anyway, first things first...yesterday was my brother Mike's birthday--he's now 39 (!), but he'll always be my "little" brother, even though he's way taller than me. Happy birthday, dude!

We had a really good gathering last night, even though we all missed Brian, who didn't make it. Some of my thoughts (and those of other members of VBCC) are on The Vine. I think there'll be a lot coming from all of us in the next little while as a result of meditation on that teaching. We discussed Romans 12 as a "rule" (as in Benedictine rule) for living in community. It's worthwhile, if you're looking for a scripture to hang out in for a while, to read through the entire chapter from this perspective.

I managed to get a copy of that tape I mentioned the other day, from the church I used to attend; it's fairly good. A lot of what the speaker had to say was from a "program church" POV, but he made a lot of good points. I thought I'd go through my notes from the tape here (it's as good a place as any to write them out and order them.)

The speaker was Desmond Frey (pronounced "fray"), and he is the dean of Rhema Bible Training Center in Bonn, Germany. His wife, Sandy, spoke a little first, and there was one thing she said that I found very interesting. She was talking about how when people think of missionaries, they almost always think of Africa; but she gave a statistic that I didn't know about--she said that surveys show that nearly 72% of the African population is Christian, but only 2% of Europeans consider themselves Christian. God has been speaking to me for a long time about going to Europe (specifically Ireland), and I have often felt apologetic about that--that if I were really called to be a missionary, I'd be going to Africa or Asia. Knowing this statistic was like a confirmation that there really is a need for people to take the Good News to Ireland (and the rest of Europe).

One of the things I shared on The Vine is a scripture reference. Mr. Frey strung together Isaiah 55:10-11 and John 1:1, which reads together as follows:
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose of which I sent it......In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
This is going to take much meditation to glean what God wants me to from it. What I have so far is this: Not only did Jesus accomplish all that He was meant to before He went back to the Father, but, in virtue of the fact that He lives in us, we will not go back to the Father before accomplishing all that He intends for us . This is very encouraging, but I am sure that there is much more that God wants me to learn through this before He's done with it.

I mentioned the other day that the 3 main points of the message were living intentionally, living relationally, and living generously. Some of the things he spoke about were
1. Give your waitress a break! (That's for you, Liz; you'll be cheering to hear someone else preach that.)
2. Be approachable. He was mainly talking to pastoral types here, but the same goes for all of us. We can't reach people if we're afraid to touch them.
3. Create an atmosphere of acceptance. Reference the way Jesus dealt with the people He ministered to--the sinners and tax collectors loved Him because He related where they lived.
4. Don't shove the Bible down people's throats.
5. Let people know you're a Christian, not necessarily that you're a minister.

One of the best things Mr. Frey said was when he differentiated between "loving" people and "lusting" people. "Loving" is giving at the expense of your self; "lusting" is getting at the expense of others. Some other tidbits:
He quoted from Joel Kominsky's book, The Cell Church Explosion: cell leaders who pray 15 minutes/day see their cells multiply once a year, those who pray 1/2 hour/day see once every 9 months, one hour/day=once every 6 months, and 90 minutes/day=once every 3 months.
I'm sure this was the result of some sort of survey, but I see a real danger of turning it into a "formula" and then being disappointed and discouraged if things don't turn out that way in your church. Other gems: "Cells become 'adult' when they are able to reproduce." and "It's not the method, it's the message";in other words, don't try to exactly mimic what seems to be working in other communities, take the basic message of the gospel and use your style to present it to your particular "mission field".

I'm sure I'm not doing this whole message justice, but that was the gist of it.

Brian and Matt and I are planning to go to a Lexington Legends baseball game tomorrow. It should be fun; I've never seen them play, although I did audition to sing the National Anthem for their games last season. (I didn't get the job, though.)

posted by #Debi at 10:21 PM | permalink | 0 comments


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Hi, I'm Debi. Once in a while I have a thought and I like to write it down before it goes away. This is where I write it.

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