Dec 082012
 
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What Does “The Gospel” Really Mean?

Frank Viola has recently written several blog posts promoting a fresh understanding of the gospel:

I have generally found Frank’s material to be very helpful as we pursue the vision that God has given us at Life Church, and the posts above are no exception. Please take the time to read them (preferably in the order in which they appear above).

More About Frank Viola

Frank Viola is an author and blogger. You can explore his ministry more fully at his web site: FrankViola.org.

Dec 052012
 
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Have you ever played wiffle ball? Would you use a guitar as a substitute for a bat in a wiffle ball game? This is one of the questions posed by Shane Hipps, in an unusual yet enlightening sermon. Shane Hipps is one of the teaching pastors at Mars Hill Bible Church and on Sunday June 27, 2010 he taught a sermon entitled “Wiffle Guitar”. In which he explored spiritual gifts and shares some powerful insights about how God views our quest to understand what our gifts are.

Shane’s sermon is available from the Mars Hill web site:

Wiffle Guitar by Shane Hipps – Sunday June 27, 2010

Check it out and enter into a new experience of your gifts and your ministry.

Apr 042012
 
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Abundant Life

In John 10:7-10 Jesus makes a powerful statement about life:

  Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 

The phrase “to the full” has also been translated “more abundantly” and this leads to the important understanding that Jesus has come to give us abundant life. As we examine Jesus’ lifestyle it also becomes apparent that he expected his followers to be a  community – praying for them to be one just as he and the Father are one (John 17:20-23). In other words, the abundant life we have in Jesus includes our relationships with other believers.  If our lifestyles diminish our relationships then we won’t experience life as abundantly as we ought to.

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Feb 102012
 
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Note (April 13, 2017): This post will be updated (something it badly needs) over the next few weeks!

Old Word – New Meaning

Several years ago (probably sometime in 2006), while attending a meeting for local clergy, I heard the keynote speaker make a statement that I have never forgotten:

“Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling you to be who God created you to be, and to do what God has called you to do – right where you are.”

The speaker was the late Pastor James Ryle; he had been invited to address the monthly meeting of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA) by then BMA President Bishop Gideon Thompson. Later that year Pastor Ryle (again at Bishop Thompson’s invitation) taught several sessions at the 2006 Jubilee Christian Church annual convention. He elaborated on this same truth. Up until this time I had always thought of grace as “God’s unmerited (i.e. undeserved) favor” or “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”, but on that day Pastor Ryle gave me a new and extremely helpful way to understand this critical concept. It blessed me so much that I wanted to share it with others; I began looking for Pastor Ryle’s teaching in written form.

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Aug 192011
 
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In 1985 John Wimber gave a presentation on spirit-led ministry at the Signs and Wonders Conference. Here are a few key facts about John Wimber:

  • John was a musician who brought Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley together to form the Paramours. They went on to become “The Righteous Brothers”.
  • He founded the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship
  • John helped to found and went on to lead the international Vineyard Movement.
  • He went home to be with the Lord in 1997.

You can read more about John in his Wikipedia article. The 4 videos in this post show John demonstrating a very relaxed and trusting way of following the Holy Spirit’s leading during times of congregational ministry. I find it to be very freeing. Hopefully you will too.

You can also view the embedded videos right from this blog post:

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Apr 232007
 
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The following observations are drawn from a discussion I facilitated during the April 22, 2007 Christian Musicians Fellowship (CMF) at the home of George and Emily Russell. The topic for the discussion was:

“How can we as musicians present our faith in our respective spheres of influence without going over the top?”

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