Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Road to War

    It is a strange thing to try to capture the move of the Holy Spirit in words.  Here at Cornerstone, His intention has loomed large and noticeable since June 19, 2011...

    ..throughout the summer of 2011, we were called to become people submitted to the spiritual disciplines.  In   short, to put Him first, and draw near to Him that he might draw near to us, consistently, that we might have an authentic humility, brokenness, and intimacy with Him...(see blog entries from June 19th through August 24th 2011)...

    ..thereafter - until this past weekend - we have been led to a year of learning to hear & obey His voice...

    In the old testament, it was the God-directed practice of the Hebrew men (during that transition known as the Exodus) to meet annually apart from the women and children in order to receive correction and guidance from God.  The Lord was to serve as their rear guard, watching over their families and easing their minds of concerns/burdens as the focused intently on the move and message of the Lord of the Universe. 

    ..this weekend, in a split operation between our Men's Advance- The Time is NOW (103 strong - awesome of itself in modern America), and the message delivered through Pastor Rowena to those in our "Rear Detachment" entitled Why I Love Jesus  , the Lord has begun to task organize us (put names to missions) for the plans He has for us corporately and individually.  Plainly put, God is on the move in all His aspects, and has provided the patient teaching we require to carry out His orders by His power.  From the training we've received since June, it doesn't look like we are going to be receiving a "pretty" mission.

    We are transitioning, ready or not. Keep your head and hands inside the will of God at all times, and enjoy the ride.

    Between operations in the military, we do several things.  First thing we do is submit a L.A.C.E. report, standing for Liquids (our water and fuel status), Ammunition, Casualties, and Equipment status (vehicles, weapons, etc.).  We let headquarters know what (and sometimes, whom) we need and we drive on.  As the OPTEMPO (operational intensity) allows, we train between engagements with the enemy.  We do this understanding that warfare itself is excellent training.  Right now, for instance, America's armed forces are extraordinarily sharp (and exhausted, paradoxically), and ready.  Warriors fight on as they are being trained, and often before the benefit from resupply from higher echelons.  So it will be for us.

    Standing at this threshold, the Holy Spirit has led us to meet separately in separate locations.  We at "Sow What?" this week labored to not only understand the bottom line for each group, but also what direction was needed for our church as a single, unified fighting unit in this ongoing battle for the Kingdom.    

B.L.U.F. - Men's Advance

1. Die to self and our own designs for our being and circumstances; walk by faith and by the Holy Spirit.  Talk is cheap; Grace is never cheap.

2. Commit, lead and follow as Holy Spirit directed, war (with our mighty spiritual, God-given weapons) & worship to win; NOW.

B.L.U.F. - Rear Detachment

1. LOVE: the Godly verb - not the human sentiment, must prevail if we are to have victory in this season

2. FAITHFULNESS, in our prayer life and our magnification of God is a requirement.  Spiritual and other support must be consistent and robust.  

3. HOPE, without being miracle-minded and expectant that God will be who He is, we will fail.  The minute we consider that something is impossible, we are no longer even talking about our Lord anymore, much less to Him. We fall out of connection with Him, and so from the Holy Spirit power we need to do all that we do.  

B.L.U.F. - Church at Cornerstone

1. Walk by the Spirit to preserve purity and power

2. Obedience born of LOVE (John 14:15-21)

3. Commit, lead and follow as Holy Spirit directed, war (with our mighty spiritual, God-given weapons) & worship to win; NOW.

       Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my                 hands for war, and my fingers for battle  

Psalms 144:1


><> Dan & Nancy

Friday, February 3, 2012

Counting Footprints

    If you've been a Christian for more than a few minutes, odds are you are familiar with the poem below:

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed 
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."

by Carolyn Joyce Carty

     It's a beautiful poem.  Problem is, it's misleading.  

    Truth is, there are almost never two sets of footprints after Jesus saves us.  He shoulders very nearly all of the weight on this journey.  

    Further, when there are actually two sets of footprints, one will often, sadly, be seen leaving Christ's side to head off and blaze their own trail. Or is that on a trail to blazes?

    This week's sermon - The Blessings of His Burden - seeks to set us straight about who carries what as we journey together by the water's edge.  And, sometimes, when we tread the waves themselves.


     The Bereans of "Sow What?" spent Wednesday night scrutinizing the sermon; the key verses are linked to here:

Mt 11:25-30

Ps 68:19

2 Cor 5:4

Burdens God Takes:
 What he has decreed, and What we give Him. God meets us in humility and meekness, handling our burdens tirelessly and in constancy.

Ps 38:4

Luke 11:46

Mt 6:31-34

Ps 81:5-6

Burdens God Gives:
We are not to accept the comfort of the enemy, instead carrying the burdens of God's heart for the world and for one another.

2 Cor 5:4 (yes, again)

Gal 6:2

Hab 1:1-3

Luke 19:41-44
Bottom Line Up Front

Why, exactly,  are His burdens a blessing?

* Leads to Joy 

* Leads to Peace

* Leads to Power and Authority

     We were able to confirm these truths via Ps 37:4 , Is 55: 11, and Am 3:7

How, exactly, are we to carry them?

* Stop Carrying God's Burdens to free your hands for yours

* Galations 6:2!

* Vigilance of your heart; know the Word, know it's Author, stay near to Him via the spiritual disciplines

     As time allows, next week we will discuss what this might look like in our homes, and when we venture out into the world.  

    Lord, help us all, and keep us.

><> Dan & Nancy