Michael Spencer's posts on grace (here, here and here) gave me an "aha!" moment about what was off-base, spiritually speaking, in the Geftakys Assembly, and other legalistic groups. That kind of perfectionistic performance-based teaching invokes a schema that is all about the individual. Do I have the right attitude - "Are you rejoicing, sister?" Am … Continue reading It’s not about me….
Joe Sperling posted this on the Assemblyboard: "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy". (Rom. 9:16) I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to stop and remember the day that I was saved. I have to ask myself, "Was I … Continue reading It’s not because we’ve run fast enough….
Lee Irons has a blog post on Keswick Burnout. If you have been depressed lately over the quality of your spiritual life, this is a must read. Dave Sable has this response to Lee's post: "Great thoughts by Lee. I downloaded the lectures to listen to. Here are some thoughts his post raised in me. … Continue reading Keswick Higher Life….
Christians who have been spiritually abused often have a prolonged feeling of antipathy toward everything associated with Christianity - church, the Bible, even God. Not only do they feel they aren't growing spiritually, they feel they have lost whatever progress in the faith they might have had. They begin to wonder, "Am I still a Christian?" … Continue reading “Am I Still a Christian?”
"Oh dear friends, the time is almost up, and I've only just scratched the surface of all the Lord has shown me - the deep things of Gawd!! You must press on to see these things, friends, strive to enter in! I tell you, you're not going to hear these things anywheres else! If you knew what … Continue reading The deep things of God….
Joe Sperling over on the Assemblyboard posted these thoughts on Psalm 147: Praise ye the LORD: for [it is] good to sing praises unto our God; for [it is] pleasant; [and] praise is comely. The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel, v.1-2. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth … Continue reading Psalm 147 – An incredible sandwich….
After five years of post-Assembly recovery, it seems that quite a few former Assembly members have regained some sense of stability in their lives and the beginnings of restored faith. But the parents among them may still be watching their children struggle with life. Many of us who left long ago - maybe even most … Continue reading Our children….
Reading in Matthew I came across the passage in the sermon on the mount about false teachers. Jesus gives a strong warning - "Watch out for them!" He gives one way - and only one - by which to recognize them: their fruit. Gal 5:22 immediately comes to mind - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, … Continue reading False teachers and fruit….
When I was in high school my mother (later known in the Assembly as Sister Mayo) began a library for Fountain Avenue Baptist Church in Los Angeles. She and I had a great time discovering Christian books that were new to us. I remember my mom reading Watchman Nee's book, The Release of the Spirit, … Continue reading Quest for the spiritual secret….
Joe sperling posted today on the Assembly bulletin board: "For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me" (Psalm 40:12). "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, you … Continue reading Troubles….
This was one of those Sunday mornings that was a minefield of triggers, hymn triggers. I've learned I have to look over the bulletin for roadside bombs before the church service begins. So there it was, the hymn before communion - "Let us love and sing and wonder" (Little Flock, I think). I haven't laid eyes on this … Continue reading Hymn triggers….
Here is a thought-provoking quote from iMonk Michael Spencer: || Why are Christians the most incomplete, frantic, "wretchedly urgent" and religiously imbalanced of human beings? Could it be that our conception of God is, "What can he do for me? What must I do for him?" rather than, "The God I worship is the God … Continue reading A different concept of God….
Joe Sperling posted this devotional thought on the Assembly bulletin board this morning: || "Our enemy, as always, seeks to alter our perception of God. He seeks to turn Him into a Judge, with "consequences" for every wrong. Thank God he has "not rewarded us according to our iniquities"--- Psalm 103:10-14, "He hath not dealt … Continue reading That old enemy….
In 1905 a young woman named Belle was hired by J. P. Morgan to be his private librarian. Almost single-handedly she shaped his huge collection of rare books and art into the world-renowned Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle had a passion for rare books, and constantly consulted with world experts in the field. One of the … Continue reading Narcissism and “malignant naricssism”….
This morning I ran across something I had written a year ago about recognizing God's presence in daily life: I was reading through the really great encouragements in the "Light from the Word" section of the GA.com website this morning. It struck me repeatedly that a part of me was responding, "These thoughts made more sense to me … Continue reading The fellowship of the Holy Spirit: Prequel….
This morning in my reading in I Peter 1, I was struck by Peter's concept that faith is something more precious than gold, and suffering grief in all kinds of trials refines your faith and proves it genuine. Peter's urgent point is, don't allow trouble to destroy your faith. It is of tremendous value to God, … Continue reading Faith is incomparably valuable….
As I've mentioned, I've been reading Phil Yancey's book, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, and I want to say that this book definitely made a significant difference for me, not only in my awareness of God's unceasing care and presence, but also in my approach to prayer. Chapter 4, "The God Who Is", opens with … Continue reading The fellowship of the Holy Spirit….
I've been reading Allen Shawn's book, Wish I Could Be There: Notes from a Phobic Life. What piqued my interest in the topic was a comment made by an AK (Assembly kid) to another AK, "They made us afraid of everything." That synched with my awareness that quite a few FAM's (former Assembly members) experience … Continue reading Wish I could be there….
Andrew Compton, a recent Westminster graduate and husband of our fabulous organist, Pam, preached for the first time today in our church. He chose the Book of Ruth for his text. It left me thinking, a lot of former Assembly members are like Naomi in chapter one. She and her family went to Moab because … Continue reading Sermon on the Book of Ruth….
Last week, for some reason, a phrase from the song "A Debtor to Mercy Alone" kept running through my head. It was from the last verse, "...Yet I to the end shall endure..." So what hymn should we sing yesterday in church but that one, and I noticed the context of that phrase in the song as a whole, i.e. … Continue reading Mercy Alone….