What it means to be a Christian by Brennan Manning

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“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”

‘Nuff said!

Amazed by God again!

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“The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I was not prepared for what happened to me tonight. I went to Set Free Nashville tonight hoping to do more than take up space and be a warm body. I had no idea what to expect, only that God would be there. And was He!

I ended up having a really good conversation with one of the homeless men. He shared his life story with me and I listened, which is an accomplishment for an ADDer like me. I ended up receiving the blessing that I thought I would give. The guy I talked to and I are not that different– in fact, the only difference is a couple of bad decisions on his part. Apart from the grace of God, I very easily could have done worse.

I ended up praying with him and as he walked away, I whispered a silent prayer of thanks to God for this conversation. I think my frozen heart is finally starting to thaw and I am just beginning to learn what it means to love with the love of Christ. I know now that what God wants is simply my availability and flexibility. He wants me to show up and wait for Him to really show up! He did.

I didn’t do anything. God did it all. I like to close this blog with very appropriate lyrics from a Sara Groves song:

“Something changed inside me broke wide open all spilled out
Till I had no doubt that something changed
Never would have believed it till I felt it in my own heart
In the deepest part the healing came
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine
Something so amazing in a heart so dark and dim
When a wall falls down and the light comes in
And I cannot make it
And I cannot fake it
And I can’t afford it
But it’s mine”

That is exactly what happened tonight. All praise to the God who can use anybody anytime anywhere to reach out to anyone!

Why we need each other (some thoughts I had)

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I think one of the reasons that community is so important is that it enlarges our view of God. I like to think that each of us carry puzzle pieces of what God is like. Each has a few pieces that reveal a limited aspect of God. When you get to know me, you add more pieces to your puzzle and your view of God gets bigger and clearer. When I get to know you, the same happens for me.

The more people whose lives we invest in, the more pieces and the bigger our view of God becomes and the more the pieces fall into place and connect into more coherent forms.

I truly believe that we grow as believers and our knowledge of God increases only in the context of community, where we share with each other and serve one another in love. There’s no way I can figure out God on my own, apart from other believers.

There it is. That’s my thought for the day. Hope it helps.