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Today’s Reflections as I begin reading ‘Essential Church?’

Does this thought ever cross your mind?

“What do I do now? I’m barely finding church essential to my own life these days; sometimes it is just one more thing I have to get done this week. Maybe I’ll just take a break for awhile until life quiets down a bit.”

Does this thought ever cross your mind?

“I believe…sort of…that I should be taking my own lack of true interest in living closely and dependent upon the God of my past, the God of my parents, more seriously than I am but who has time for such reflection…too busy.”

“And, here’s a real scary thought I don’t want to face. I’m still desiring to get back to a joyful relationship with the God of my past. I know Jesus Christ is returning soon for His Church, his Body, his Bride; but, I’m not at all certain that my own kids have that desire or belief. And that reality is something they’ve picked up, in part, from me. I conceded too many times to my own sinful selfishness in deference to their wishes; but I knew better then, they didn’t, and now this spiritual malaise they feel is quickly put at ease by some other pursuit or purchase or excuse. The reality is that I have nothing that I see in them today to hang a hope on that they belong to Jesus Christ, that they know and love Him. This really scares me and I can’t keep reaching back to their childhood prayers or their Sunday school exuberance as they got the answers right…”

If they learned from you once before, can they learn from you again? If you ask God to help you address the why of your rebellion, you might return to Joy again, and who knows…maybe they’ll see Joy in you and join you in pursuing Jesus Christ in response to His pursuit of you and them.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19

Some of my thoughts above are directly personal and reflect some of the ebb and flow of my relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I also carry a significant concern that my children continue in their love and relationship with Christ as they move through their teen years and early 20’s. I’m grateful to God that we as a family continue to look to God as our hope in this world. My children are demonstrating a faith in God that is not borrowed from us, their parents. It is the investigation of those thoughts, concerns, and realities that lead me to look for opportunities to offer a reason for you to stop, read, reflect, pray and seek God’ s heart as revealed in his Word to inform and lead you in right thinking and right responding.

One thing I take with me from my brief start into this book, it is that many of us need/want help to stop and find the joy and essential life God intends for us and our children and part of that is our involvement with his Body here on earth. Don’t lose hope and don’t linger in the shadows, rather run to your Savior and be saved.

Now, back to my reading…

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Committed to pray – Perspectives Class- NJ – Spring 2014

Hey all – I’m asking God to stir up a team within His Church to pray over the next several months for a group of folks who are pursuing a Perspectives class. A what, you say?… read a bit further.

Okay…for all those who clicked my link on Facebook or who may have simply stumbled onto this blog post I have a simple but significant request of you. Will you commit to pray?

Now, before you ask about what or who or why, I want to make this request as plain and simple as my mind can readily address. Am I willing to pray? Will I commit to pray?

If there is one thing I find too easy to run past in the daily activity of life – yours and mine – it is talking with God about all things, important things, other things than my own, often worldy, agenda.

Here is a link to clue you in.. http://www.perspectives.org/ Go ahead and click on it now, or keep reading.

There is a church, a small church, that belongs to God in the northeastern part of the USA, more specifically it is located in Newfoundland NJ. It’s a simple place, nestled into the forested countryside amidst a great population of peoples – within its reach are peoples from every tongue, tribe and nation. Pretty cool, huh?! This community impacts a great multitude of folks and we reach into New York City every day in some form or another. Get a taste for the investment of your time with God – praying, pleading, interceding and maybe simply getting to know this God, whom you’ve never talked with before, a bit better than you do now.

In just about a week, a small group ( I haven’t even met yet, and I’ll be one of them) will begin meeting on Monday nights to be challenged, taught, exposed, inspired and called to invest themselves in the ongoing work of Jesus Christ whose birth we’ve just celebrated. We are taking a class called Perspectives…
Perspectives..on the World Christian Movement. Building global momentum to help complete the Great Commission.

It is a class that meets on Monday evenings from 6:30-9:30pm, beginning on January 6th and going through to May 5th. Introduction & Orientation – to which you are warmly invited will be on January 6th; it will be 15 weeks with 15 Instructors… yet One Epic Story.

My purpose in calling you in to read and think about this is simply that you are my friends all around the globe. I have been purposed to pray for a group, large or small, of folks who will commit to PRAY for this class and more specifically for those who attend this class, that they will be changed, that in the midst of life’s busyness that they will persevere and grow and change.. Heck, this is what I want for myself!

So will you? You don’t have to be part of this church in Newfoundland NJ, nor do you need to know those who are attending, nor do you, on the outset, even have to know how to pray or who it is you will be entering into conversation with; you just have to be willing and committed. God will make His way known.

I hope you will contact me via this blog or by Facebook message and let me know if you have questions or simply want to ‘enlist’; I am looking forward to how God will act in and through each of you.

By the way, if you’re local to the Newfoundland area and want to get information on this class, please do so quickly… email or call…
Email: Perspectivesclass@greenpondbiblle.org Phone: 973 697 0990

Once again, what are you committing to? You are committing to pray. Pray once a day, all day, pray at mealtimes, pray as you awake and as you lie down to sleep. Commit to pray and enjoy the time you spend with God. Pray for those who will be studying hard each week, reading much, thinking hard, embracing the challenges that come up each week. Also, as often as personal weekly prayer requests are submitted, we will get those into your hands quickly so that you can include specific requests in your conversation with God concerning these matters.

I look forward to finding out who God is stirring up to commit themselves to pray for the Perspectives class in Newfoundland NJ at the Green Pond Bible Chapel.


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I have less and less words to speak of any value, but I find more and more value in the Word breathed out by God. He is holy, He is majesty, He is life.

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Eternal Gospel in 2 Minutes

Parenthetically, this post is for my brother-friend who sent me a text asking me to offer a link to music and/or a sermon. What a privilege to have such a friend for many years. John, I couldn’t help but not give you run of the mill stuff, nor could I find anything spoken in ‘bergenese’. ;p
So, try this on for size.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Ever since the beginning words expressed thought and Truth. God breathed out life in His words to us. We, in response, have taken words to express thought… sometimes His Truth, too many times our ‘truth’.

Moses captured words on tablets, David captured words in psalms, the prophets words were captured in scrolls and the Apostles’ words were written down in letters to the churches.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… for from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:14-17)

Here, the Truth of the Gospel is passed along in a rapper’s wordsmithing… the eternal Gospel in two minutes.

And as a postscript, Trip Lee’s rap was preceded by another who used the ‘spoken word’ to engage with his culture… that of Dr. S.M. Lockridge. Let the Truth of God stir you up as you listen. Blessings.

John L., brother/friend… here is a sermon that I have only listened to partially thus far. If you listen, let me know what you find.

“A sermon should ‘tan your hide’; a sermon should correct you; a sermon should warm your heart, it should inspire you; a sermon should provoke the will, it should challenge you to do what the Lord would have you do.”

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Be Thou my Vision

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Too busy for Gospel living?

Am I too busy to legitimately be able to embrace Philippians 1:27?

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,”

The other morning driving to church, my wife noted that I seemed to be getting perturbed or agitated and I realized it was a result of the fact that I was reviewing and stressing over the mental “to do” list in my mind. I wasn’t thinking about being in the car with my family and enjoying that experience, which will soon enough be gone. I wasn’t thinking about the corporated worship time I would soon be having with my church. No, I was choosing to get distracted with lesser things, and worrying about the time and money it would take to get everything done before the cold winter season set in. I wanted to get everything done so that I could ‘relax’ later… like that ever happens?! ;]

It struck me at our care group as we discussed this passage in Philippians that Jesus Christ knew and never forgot the whole Gospel, from beginning to end. This ‘mind’, His mind, this way of thinking is critical to gospel living. Remembering not just where my salvation began but where it ends inevitably will help me to think and therefore live with the mind of Christ and thus live with a manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Tall order…. breaking away from the lifestyle and culture of living too busy for the Gospel; but doable in Jesus Christ. Glory to God.

Attached here is a link with a short video commentary from Paul Tripp that I listened to this morning. Good thoughts. http://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/paul-tripp-on-the-biggest-challenge-facing-the-church-today/

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Am I living life so busy that I am unable… unwilling to die, to set my agenda aside and count others as more significant than myself? to look to the interests of others and not just my own?


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