Resurrection Sunday

Forty-eight years young in the Lord!

On Resurrection Sunday, 1965, I had a deep, deep conversion experience as I totally surrendered to the Lord. I’m told the tears on that old wooden floor made permanent stains.

graceWow, how time has passed. It’s been – and continues to be – a wonderful adventure, and even during some tough times I never once regretted belonging to Him.

Through it all, I’ve always felt His hand on my life and was blessed with a solid foundation from Godly parents and mature teachers, which has served me well over the years.

In an age of crazy doctrines and postmodern spiritual angst, that foundation yet stands firm for those willing to surrender their sensibilities to the Living Word and His written Word.

Really, it’s just not that complicated, but it does mean letting go of your own impulse to define Jesus – and what ultimately is right, real and true – on your own terms.

My life is a living testimony to His sovereign Lordship, and His passion is my very life.

I invite you to also surrender, and find life.

~ Jim

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Regeneration

A friend posted this short video on Facebook and it’s too precious, timely and relevant to pass up. As you listen, may God mercifully and lovingly wound you in order to heal you.

It’s by Paul Washer, who I first mentioned in a blog back in March (see God Is Not Passive). His burden for the Church touched my heart then, and continues to do so now.

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Post-Release Community

I’ve been meeting with various brothers who also minister in the informal Christian networks I’m part of, along with others, to discuss starting a weekly fellowship (possibly in my home) for ex-inmates. My burden is for men whose lives are dramatically captured by God in jail, but then stumble when they get out because they can’t find authentic Christian community in our churches.

Stuck in a RutI’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but health issues and distractions over problems in my local church prevented me. The church problems persist, but my health has improved and my heart is stirring once again over this. That’s causing me to ask whether it’s time to stop putting the Kingdom of God on hold while waiting for some who hold local church offices to climb out of their seemingly perpetual leadership ruts, to begin moving forward, and to trust that God’s provisions will follow.

Maybe, my heart is saying, the best outcome is to provide an opportunity and a motive for churches in general — including mine — to get their acts together and start being the church, rather than doing “church”, by showing what’s possible when people of vision become engaged with each other and engaged in what God is doing in the earth today. After all, the Kingdom of God is much, much more than “church”, although hopefully each of our local churches are part of that progressively advancing Kingdom!

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Conversion

It’s interesting how God sometimes returns us to our spiritual roots, even while we are pressing forward in the faith.

Forty-four years ago on Easter Sunday, 1965, I became a Christian at eight years of age in response to a sermon preached by George Batson. George was then a young Assemblies of God pastor starting his first church in Annapolis, Maryland, and my parents were among the first members of his young congregation.

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God is Not Passive

I’m seeing others who also are quietly moving forward, with fire stirring in their spirits, to proclaim true repentance, Christ’s Lordship and the Kingdom of God rather than conformist, complacent Christianity.

These co-conspirators are being compelled by God to preach outside our churches because too many of our pastors have been unwilling, so far, to be jarred out of their desire for peace, stability and the comfort of long-standing personal relationships. For those pastors, complacency has become a hindrance to God’s progressively expanding Kingdom.

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