Friday, October 10, 2014

I've found that the "What, When, Where, How, and Way" that the Lord speaks doesn't often meet our expectations.  This is why 6 months ago and then last month I heard the Lord say, "PAY CLOSER ATTENTION" and again "PAY ATTENTION" (Hebrews 2:1; Proverbs 4:20). Sometimes He is answering the cry of your heart in the most unlikely places, times, and circumstances.  So we are paying attention to hear the Lord everywhere and at all times and in a variety of ways.  Of course it is important to "verify" that it is the Lord's voice.  I recently posted that we received a prophetic word by a credible prophetic voice about NEW BEGINNINGS.  The children of Israel experienced a NEW BEGINNING when they crossed the Red sea.  But then there was this "in-between" place (liminal space) where they experienced something called Transition.  Interestingly, the most difficult phase of giving birth is called the Transition phase, where contractions start "piggybacking". It is the shortest phase but the most intense, and followed by the last phase, PUSHING.  The children of Israel had a 10-12 day journey from Egypt to Canaan that "got stretched out" to 40 years.  Navigating our transition is critical then, so we don't get stuck.  There are many important lessons to be learned in the transition (even on this side of the cross), namely a "deepened trust" and dependency on Triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  And of course the vision of our Promise keeps us propelling forward (Proverbs 29:18)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This video clip is a powerful example of the SUPERNATURAL POWER of a father's love for his son.  Trained as a child soldier to kill (Blood Diamond), and brainwashed to believe his dad was also "the enemy", this father called out the "gold" in his boy and his TRUE IDENTITY. The Father is calling out his prodigal sons and daughters who have lost their way and been "brainwashed" through the wounds and lies of life.  20 years of working in group care with "juvenile delinquents",  I had to learn to see the Father's heart for "broken" children.  Powerful!!!  KEEP YOUR LOVE ON!!! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can We Dialogue-Pt. 2

Can we dialogue?

This blog is dedicated to building an “atmosphere of dialogue” in the spirit of christian unity, (melting our swords into plowshares),  and recognizing and valuing multiple perspectives on various topics that relate to the current transition we are in.  Some of the topics include transformational spirituality, leadership, community, mission, integration, and a host of others.  One of my friends, Danny Silk, says that the goal of communication and healthy dialogue is not  necessarily “agreement”, but the need to understand and the desire to be understood.  In the end we can “agree to disagree”.   But I believe we gain more than we lose in the process and grow in our understanding of what is progressively occurring in the Kingdom (present day truth).  That more than ever we are experiencing “fundamental shifts” in our theology (our understanding of the nature of God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit), our soteriology (What really happened at the cross), our ecclesiology (how we do church, community and mission), and our eschatology, (the “now not yet” tension of the Kingdom).  I believe we are living in a turbulent transition where EVERYTHING is changing fundamentally, and that we have entered something called “liminal space”.  More on that later.
Several excellent points here will create a “framework” for meaningful dialogue.
First – we need each other. No single voice can speak all the truth, no single “tribe”  can conceive all the options or perspectives, no single “stream”  can acquire all of the revelation and hold “the edge” on truth that is “progressive in nature”.  And ironically, we can learn more from those who thoughtfully challenge our views and positions than from those who simply agree. This is especially true in the areas of theology and biblical studies (our eschatology, ecclesiology, etc.). But this necessitates sitting down in dialogue and exploring both our points of agreement and our points of disagreement.  A current example in our movement  is the disagreement between the east coast prophetic voices and the west coast prophetic voices regarding our theology of God’s goodness, the problem of evil (theodicy), and “hyper-grace”.
Second – we all need to concentrate not on winning battles but on making allies. Ultimately our goal within the church is to search for truth in Christian unity, not to score points or win debates. We are not called to conquer our fellow Christians, victory is reflected in willing unity not enforced submission.
Third – we need to keep working on what are called the “dialogical virtues”, habits of discourse that are conducive to understanding others and to making ourselves understood. Among these virtues are such things as honesty, fairness, and clarity,  and one that stands out in particular, humility (the opposite of pride or self-righteousness).  We can be passionate about our convictions and what we believe, but “make room” for other view points and perspectives because we all “see through a glass darkly (I Cor. 13:12).
Fourth - we need to avoid caricatures, “straw man” arguments, and villainizing or “demonizing” the “other side”, as this “shuts down” dialogue and creates “enemies”.  It’s similar to the “God told me” language that some use which doesn’t facilitate dialogue because we are not allowed to “argue with God”.
Finally - Conversely, conceding a point to keep the peace is not a dialogical virtue. Nor is a wishy-washy anything goes tolerance.  There is truth and there is error. But we find the truth not by proclamation or intimidation, but by patient and thoughtful persuasion. One of our most admired mentors, Bill Johnson, has stated that “God will never contradict His word, but He might contradict “your understanding” of His Word.   I hope you’ll join the dialogue and be a part of a learning community.  Thanks!!!