Stand Up Church

In this age of free and easy access to answers to our most inane questions and our deepest philosophical quandary’s, the internet, for all its faults and failings is on the forefront providing the answers. For thousands of years, lay people relied on the learned few to share their knowledge and provide us with the answers to our deepest questions. Then one day a few decades ago, the information that we relied on others to provide became readily available to all of us. Sacred texts were now available, holy texts, literary classics, rare – if ever seen manuscripts and scrolls we now ready to be accessed by anyone anywhere that wanted to see them.

It seemed as though all the answers to every question in the universe could now be found. Every question we could ever think to ask could now be answered. Today I can search and find the answer to anything I want to know. Whether I trust the “answer-er” or not, is a topic for another time.

There are several major internet search engines; Google and Bing are the two largest and most accessed. In 2018, there were 5.6 billion searches per day on Google[1] alone.  That’s a bunch of people asking a bunch of questions! So it begs the question, what are they looking for. When it comes to faith, what are the big questions that are in need of an answer? I took a look at the results from my own little blog search results to see some of what folks were asking; the results are clear. This is just a brief list of the taken from this year’s statistics.

  • I didn’t want to give up my sin
  • Bitter truths about rapture
  • Jesus and the Cross
  • What is cherished sin?
  • I believe God hates me
  • The truth about rapture
  • God are you real?
  • Am I saved because of Jesus death

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Wisdom and Revelation

As we are approaching the end of this age, we will come to see that those things which are to be shaken shall be removed and only those things which are not to be shaken shall remain. May we therefore seek for things unshakable which come through the spirit of wisdom and revelation.”[i]

Recently we began an all Church Bible Study called Experience Life by Pete Briscoe. In the week two study, we are challenged to develop and deepen our relationship with Jesus by committing ourselves to spending time with Him, becoming more the person He desires us to be. “Discipleship requires Discipline” “We have a new life in Christ – a relationship with our living Lord!”  Just as when we meet a new friend, we want to get to know them better, we do this by spending time with them – talking, learning about them, their past, their likes, their dislikes, etc. “For the Christian, isn’t that what spiritual growth really is – getting to know Jesus better, communicating with Him, learning what He likes and doesn’t like, and adapting our lives to His?” Continue reading

Transforming Presence

Transforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything-From the Inside OutTransforming Presence: How the Holy Spirit Changes Everything-From the Inside Out by Daniel Henderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why did Jesus say it would be better for Him to go? He said the coming of the Helper – the Holy Spirit – was that important. And that the Spirit who so powerfully turned bumbling disciples into unstoppable world changers is alive in us. But misunderstandings, confusion and contention are keeping us from the abundant, satisfying life God has for us in Him.

Transforming Presence by Daniel Hendersonis an eye–opening book on the subject of Holy Spirit. The author reminds and teaches us that He is not just a “member” of the Trinity. He is God. “Because Holy Spirit is a person, He can be intimately known deeply loved, and clearly understood. Because He is God, we relate to Him in abandoned worship, unquestioned obedience and full surrender.” (Page 84) And as such we have the gift of the indwelling presence of Holy Spirit in each of us; our role is to let His presence invade not just our life and the life of our churches as well.

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Truth of Holy Spirit

“Jesus said: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” John 16:7

 

Who is Holy Spirit and where did He come from?

There are many mistaken beliefs about who or what Holy Spirit is, or isn’t. Some view the Holy Spirit as a supernatural force. Others see the Holy Spirit as an impersonal, distant authority that God makes available to followers of Jesus Christ.

“What does the Bible say about of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.”[1]

How can Holy Spirit be God? The Bible tells us that Holy Spirit is fully God. Along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ), God the Spirit (Holy Spirit) is the third member of the Godhead or the Trinity. (more about the topic of the Trinity in another post) We read this in the very first lines of the Bible – Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” 

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Alive in the Spirit

Alive in the Spirit: Experiencing the Presence and Power of GodAlive in the Spirit: Experiencing the Presence and Power of God by A.W. Tozer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is the Holy Spirit active in your life? Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.

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Praise is My Weapon

praise-is-my-weapon-by-dan-willis-1629113409[1]

 

Praise Is My Weapon by Dan Willis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“”I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High. When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.” Psalm 9:2

Life is hard. Even as believers, we are constantly barraged by challenges, sickness, attacks, and tragedies. Loved ones die. Good people get hurt. The faithful are besieged. It is no wonder we are often plagued by questions that plant seeds of doubt in our minds.

And yet, we are not powerless or empty-handed in the battle for our faith. As children of God, we are legal authorities in the kingdom of heaven, charged with taking control of our circumstances and enlarging our territory. And one of our greatest weapons in the war is praise.”

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Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today

Releasing Spiritual Gifts TodayReleasing Spiritual Gifts Today by James Goll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This book isn’t just about discovering our spiritual gifts, or even receiving them-it’s about releasing them! God wants you to experience the great wonder of moving in and through His grace, on a daily basis.

As you read, you’ll first gain an overview of spiritual gifts and be introduced to the way the Holy Spirit moves and operates within them. Then you’ll explore the nine most widely recognized spiritual gifts. These are not the only gifts God gives His children, but they are vital to understand and then activate according to His leading.

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Hearing God

Hearing God: For Intimacy, Healing, Creativity, Meditation, and Dream InterpretationHearing God: For Intimacy, Healing, Creativity, Meditation, and Dream Interpretation by Mark Virkler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“In this interactive journal, Dr. Mark Virkler takes you on a life-changing journey that reveals three powerful ways you can hear God’s voice and recognize how He is speaking in your life everyday. As you hear God’s voice and respond to what He is saying, you will receive direction, experience healing, and unlock creativity in your life like never before”

Hearing God by Mark and Pattie Virkler is an interesting book filled with a lot of information and exercises designed to help the reader to increase the ability to hear, and discern the promptings of the Holy Spirit with clarity in their own lives.
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But God

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” Eph 2:1

When I look at the life I have in Jesus it is no doubt that satan wants to stop my forward

but-god
movement by filling my thoughts with “what if…” the “what ifs” of my past; what if I had made a different decision in 1998 or 2008 or 1972 or 1979. How different my life would have been. The images and thoughts are not ugly thoughts, they are not condemning thoughts. They make me want a “do-over”. They almost make me long for those days again. But do they really?

Then I read just a bit further to Eph 2:4 and I see… “But God…” But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much

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Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda

Hosting the Presence Every Day: 365 Days to Unveiling Heaven's Agenda for Your LifeHosting the Presence Every Day: 365 Days to Unveiling Heaven’s Agenda for Your Life by Bill Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

”The Holy Spirit lives within you. This is a fact for every single Christian. The question is: Are you experiencing the power of the Spirit resting upon you? He lives within you for your sake, but He comes upon you to transform the world around you.

Experience deep intimacy with the Father, catch a fresh vision of Jesus, and discover how you can walk in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit as your new normal. Transform your world as you begin Hosting the Presence Everyday!”
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