Friday, 13 March 2009

"breaking into" the "planned pattern" at church? .... and "God night" meetings? ... so what is a "gathering of Your church" ?

Sunday, January 13 2008

“Prophetic word” at church (through Pastor ___): Today: turning point: God turning this congregation back into what He intended for it – out of the overflow of the love of God in individual lives, God will begin to build this house.
- like a battered old car – someone chooses that make, that style, and takes it apart and restores it from the bare frame up
- God sees what it can be – and He begins to blow, hammer, chisel
- fresh wind blowing across this congregation

- prepared by letting the Word of God get into us and change/ prepare our hearts and minds

January 14, 2008

In pre-service prayer yesterday (thank You for prompting me to go! Sorry I haven’t gone (or been willing) for some time…) … it was prayed that people, during the service, would be led by Your Spirit to give a word, share a testimony, or lead out in whatever way You prompted them. But then during the service the usual program carried on, it was not mentioned that people could do that, and really, there weren’t any opportunities (spaces) in which to do it.

I would have liked to share what You showed me in Your Word yesterday and encourage people to ask You to show them how You want them to approach the Word and to be ready to listen and converse … but I was not sure if that was just “me” wanting to share, or from Your Spirit. It would not be good to just “break in” to the “planned” pattern – or would it? Some people would not be happy. I think it would be important to be certain it was You giving direction to do so. But I was also noticing how even the set up of the chairs (rows all facing front etc) discourages interaction – as does the “pastor and worship team” at the front on the platform, and the pre-planned, regular kind of “liturgy” etc…

Then we had a little meeting of the Women's group leaders. There were already plans for most of the upcoming meetings and events, but one event didn’t have a plan. I was asked what we used to do for WM when I was “in charge.” I said I was more like a facilitator, and that we just met and followed the flow of the Spirit and if it seemed right we did a Bible study series I prepared, and if not, no problem. And that people were free to bring their kids. Someone then suggested we call it a “God night” and asked, “So shall we call different ones to prepare for different things, like call ___ and ask her to prepare worship music etc?

And I, and another woman who had been in WM back then, said, well, that really kinds of defeats the purpose. We said that since not everyone is used to the idea, that we could announce for people to come prepared to share what God is showing them (testimony, scripture, prayer, a song, poem, exhortation, etc) and also be willing to share if God places something on their heart at the time. There seemed to be hesitancy… wanting good planning and organization… but it was agreed to give it a try – as long as I would be “in charge.” [later note: this meeting didn’t happen… another “event” ended up being planned instead… Lord??]

Oh Lord – I am hereby “passing the buck” to where it belongs – would You please be in charge altogether! I don’t even want to “facilitate” except to maybe give some “hints” about listening for Your voice, sharing one’s personal daily relationship with You, etc… and even for that I really need – totally require!!! – Your direction to me!

And that brings me to the upcoming “Bible study.” Lord, I don’t really see it as “church”… I mean, I don’t see it as the gathering of Your body all together because it’s only women (and in a home, and not officially connected to “the church”) … but I do want Your Spirit to be totally in headship and the rest of us to be in as much as possible on equal footing. I want us to “learn together” from You. Honestly, I don’t even have a topic yet! I would like to share some of the things You have been teaching me… and I would like to hear what You’ve been teaching others, and I would like to sing together, and pray together just whenever You lead us to… and I’d even like us to be free to help each other, spontaneously, as needs are “discovered” … so I guess, yes, I do want it to be a gathering of Your church! Well, maybe that is how You want to work in this way… start with a few who can share it with others.. Well, I just don’t know at all! But I do want to say – and do – and think – and have the full attitude – Your will be done in all things! Thank You!

Funny, I have not been rushing to prepare. I got some study materials out but do not seem to be “getting at them” and don’t really even sense any “panic” [or even direction] to do so.

Yet at the same time, You have brought to me The Shack, He Loves Me! Pagan Christianity, even So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore? to re-read (which I haven’t had a chance to do, yet)… plus some totally amazing times with You, in Your Word, and just “with You,” dear Spirit… and along with/ through You, with Jesus and Father (learning to love and know Jesus again!!!) … and also chats with various people. And then those things that happened before and at the Sunday service…. It just seems to me that “Your plans are not our plans” and that You are “preparing our hearts” to let You truly take Your position as Lord – rabbi, guide, teacher, comforter, head of Your church, abiding with us and bringing us into abiding with Father – with You all – with God! As You plan and intend! Eternally! Wow! Thank You!

Well, perhaps it is appropriate that my old pen should just now run out and need to start a new one… for I sense that You are starting a new way, Your way, among Your people… individually, in our “church gathering(s),” in our “ladies Bible study,” in our relationships with You, within the body, reaching out to the world!

….. I really started realizing, from reading The Shack and Pagan Christianity, how very individualistic our – my – “Christianity” has been… how it is really so much about “me” … “my” walk with God, God’s will in “my” life, etc etc… But really, in scripture, it is about the church, the body, Christ’s bride, unity, all of us corporately joining into the Oneness of relationship in the Godhead through accepting and abiding in Christ.

Oh Lord, please get my mind off me! I have striven so hard to overcome “me” … and yet I have stumbled into “me-ness” in another format! You do love me individually, there is no doubt of it… but Your purposes are for Your body, family, church, bride! Oh dear God, please open my eyes and heart to see as You see, to see beyond the bounds of my “cultural/ sociological” baggage… even my “religious baggage” … help me to know You, not just in personal relationship (though that is a piece of it) but in community, in family with You and the church, the body, of which You are head, and Lord, and God!

Thank You that You love all of us, and yearn to bring all of us, united in You, into abiding in and with You, and therefore with Father God….

Praise God! thank You, Jesus!!! Praise Your Name – Amen!

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