The Hindes and Paschalls have a small group of people in Gvegas that we’ve met with a couple times. This is the official title of what we’re calling this “thing”: The Gathering (A random and spontaneous alternative to normal church). The slogan keeps morphing, so I doubt that’s the final product.
Anyway, this week we Gathered for communion and some foot-washing. We didn’t tell anyone about the foot-washing bit, so everyone was wigged out, wishing they’d gotten that pedicure over the weekend. Thinking through the preparations, it dawned on me that Jesus washed down and around. When He grabbed the towel and scrubbed on those guy’s missing nails, toe-jam and calloused heels, he did it to show them how he wanted them to prefer each other. Jesus didn’t wash up. He washed down and around. Jesus didn’t want them to turn around and wash his feet. He wanted them to wash each others feet. He wanted them to serve. He wanted them to prefer. He wanted them to honor and rejoice in each other. He desired that they approach and be willing to be approached. He wanted no breach among the brotherhood. He knew what they were going to face. He understood they would need each other.
Think about this and I’ll be done: Jesus sent a very personal message to the disciples. If you want to honor up… you must serve down and around. “To the least of these… you have done unto Me.” True spiritual authority gets a bigger thrill in watching you serve down and around.
… another from the project. – mdp-
“Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly brings punishment to fools.” Proverbs 16:22, NIV
I have to confess that I am having so much fun today as I write this entry. I’m in the largest cigar lounge in Central Texas. To make it even better, it’s in my hometown! So, it’s the ultimate man-hang for a little God reflection! This isn’t my first rodeo here and it is one of my happy spots. It’s interesting what happens when you allow God to show his face in such surroundings. The understanding, referenced in today’s text, is a little different from the standard words commonly used in the scripture. This is understanding that is like insider trading, information that has gone deep and because it’s gone deep, it insures success. The corollary of a person, who possesses this knowledge, has the chance to be a source or spiritual vitality to those who need it in the natural nasty now! Stewardship of such a spiritual water supply means that you are “on call” 24/7. You never know when God might want you to do a little gushing!
So, I was in this very lounge a couple nights ago. Actually, it was Valentines and the joint was empty! Patti was in another town and it was the perfect opportunity for me to flop on a big leather couch and partake of what makes the lounge so appealing. I did what you’re supposed to do… I fired one up! It was the ultimate chill, just hanging out, enjoying my alone time! A couple puffs on my CAO, and a guy I’d never met or seen, walks in with his wife. They had cigars and an iced-bottle of Champagne. They nestled in a couple couches away and the guy starts engaging me in small talk. Honestly, I was annoyed and slightly pissed that he wouldn’t shut up. He needed to be lovin’ on his woman and I needed to be lovin’ on my stogie! After about 5 minutes Sherman said, “Man, who are you? There is something about you. Do I know you? What’s the deal?” I raised my eyebrows and thought, “Really dude, you don’t want to go there right now.” Then he said, “Are you a preacher or something?” I guess the busted look was a dead-give-away. Before I could respond, “Would you come over and pray for my wife and I?” I looked around to make sure we were still the only ones in the place, set my cigar down, and started walking over to sit on the couch with them. By the time I got there, Sherman was crying uncontrollably! His wife’s hands were up and she was calling out Jesus’ name. I placed my hands on his head and began to prophecy to him about his natural dad’s love for him. “Your dad is proud of you… he loves you… you’ve done good Sherman… you’ve done good!” Come to find out, Sherman buried his preacher dad about a year ago. He had serious doubts that his dad was proud of him. He had been striving for a long-time to get his dad’s approval. It hurts your heart to see such pain in a 57 year-old man. He was pretty busted up and my cigar went out, but God showed up! The deep fountain gushed. That is what fountains are designed to do! Our job is to let it happen, anywhere, at any time!
There is a new podcast available on this site recorded February 13th at Emmanuel Christian Fellowship in McGregor, TX.
I recently saw this quote and thought I’d post it for your introspection:
“We harden into hell. We take on an unforgiving attitude and don’t even realize we’ve done it.” Gerald Vann, British Roman Catholic Theologian, 1906-1963
“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.” Proverbs 1:8, NKJ
It was a big deal when you got the word “hear” in Wisdom literature. The Shema, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!” Deuteronomy 6:4, NKJ, was the basic confession of Judaism. The name is derived from shâmaʿ, shaw-mah´ meaning to hear with your intellect and give attention to its truth with the intent to obey. All kinds of bells went off to the severity and importance of what you were going to be told. So, Solomon’s instruction centered on the one-two punch: dad’s commandments and mother’s enforcement of those commandments; also known as truth and law. I don’t want to distract from my path today, but some people can relate to the fact that dad issued the commands and mom policed the action. That was kind of the way it was in the home where I grew up, so it was very important to hear on the front end to avoid confrontation on the back end, if you get my drift.
Very little happens with the Body of Christ without our finding a way to attach a label to it and properly catalogue the experience. For example, we can’t just hang out in worship, waiting to hear what the Lord might have to say. We have to call it something, so we call it Harp and Bowl. Then we develop a curriculum about how to orchestrate Harp and Bowl. Then once we have a curriculum, we write books about Harp and Bowl. If we have enough interest about that topic, then we’ll put on a conference and have in big name speakers all to talk about Harp and Bowl worship. I often wonder if God ever looks down on all our activity and scratches his holy head? I doubt David ever called it anything. He just went into the Holy place to hang out and to hear God.
I know there are all kinds of operations of intercession. The surfacing value and strategic roll of intercessors has drastically increased in the last 20 years. Prayer is not new, but the way of intercessors and their role in the Body has taken on new forms and powerful strategies! I have full appreciation for the relevance and importance of Spirit led intercession! But, when you really get to the meat of prayer, you have to understand the importance of being able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. In fact, the core of prayer is hearing, not blabbing. Have you ever tried to comfort or counsel someone who is wounded and won’t shut up long enough for you to try to tell them something? Honestly, it is exhausting trying to respond in the midst of all that! We do that in prayer sometimes. There is no new information you can tell God. He already knows all about what you are burdened with. He knows your need before you ask. Go ahead and ask, He’ll be glad you asked, we are invited to ask, but we need to spend way more time listening instead of running our mouth. Hearing or listening is not a style of prayer; it is prayer. You may have a counter-argument… fine… go ahead… I’m listening.