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It’s all about context August 12, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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You ever wonder about the order of the books of the New Testament? Did you know that if you put them in chronological order, especially the letters of Paul, you can get a fresh new perspective and understanding of NT history? When put into context with a timeline, the books can make more sense and one gets a deeper understanding.

Well, Frank Viola has made Chapter 11 of Pagan Christianity, called REAPPROACHING THE NEW TESTAMENT: THE BIBLE IS NOT A JIGSAW PUZZLE, a free PDF download. If you would like a taste of this excellent writing, you can download or read online this chapter. Here is the link;

http://www.paganchristianity.net/Pagan_Ch11.pdf

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I’m hungry…. July 19, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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Often times, I get hungry, and I don’t know what I’m hungry for. So I snak on this and that, only to find I’m not satisfied after eating them. I scour through cupboards and the fridge to figure out what it is I want. Other times, I plan out a meal, know what I’m going after, fix it all up, and satisfy my hunger at the end.

Well, I’m hungry, and I think lately I have been snacking unsatisfactorily instead of eating a meal that is thought out and prepared. I am talking about a hunger for things of Christ, a hunger for deepness of the Spirit. It’s not that I have not been eating, but like I said, it feels like snacks, that just aren’t doing it. I think I must plan and prepare meals, that contain the nutrients my spirit is looking for, that will satisfy and sustain.

In a discussion on an organic church fellowship website I belong to, the question was raised, “what is the greatest desire of your heart?”. My answer was, “that Christ through the Spirit be manifest in me”. I have long wished that I could unzip my Gordon suit and have a Christ-like persona step out. I want to rid myself of this flesh body that so easily gets in the way of my Spiritual life. But I learned that it was not necessarily just ‘taking off the flesh’, it was actually ‘increasing the Spirit’. ‘You may increase and I may decrease”, the Word says. If the Holy Spirit of Christ matures and increases inside, then the flesh of Gordon will decrease, and Christ will be manifested. This increase of the Spirit happens by getting closer, deeper, and intimate with Christ Jesus. I hunger and thirst for that deeper intimacy. Sometimes more than others. Sometimes snacking on this or that, sometimes eating a good meal. Right now, I think I need some good meals, I need to taste of the Tree of Life, I need to get with my dietitian the Holy Spirit and plan out some satisfying meals.

How about you, my dear brother or sister? How is your eating plan going?

A Good Place June 8, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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I was telling my friend Becky about WordPress for her blog. In doing so, I saw how long it had been since I posted. I thought about why I hadn’t posted in a while, and realized it was because I hadn’t been struck with any deep thoughts lately. It seems to be a result of my having started this blog so far into my ‘journey’. I had lots of thought, questions, and enlightenments during the journey that I coulda written about, but by the time I started writing the blog all that had already happened and I am at a lull in the journey. But I believe that I am at a Good Place. Organic fellowship with brothers and sisters, sharing my faith and discoveries with friends at work, participating with discussions on organicchurchtoday.com, and keeping up with other blogs, gives me joy and focus on Christ and being His bride.

I am about to take my oldest daughter to the airport for her trip back home. It has been a blessing to have her visit and get to catch up on life, and to learn more about who each of us are as a person. I turned her on to my blog, I hope she reads it and gets blessed.

Also, as a follow up to my post about Jesus helping us get a new George Forman Grill, I want to share that Jesus helped me get a new (previously owned) motorcycle at a decent price without strapping the family finances. I now have a great commuter bike, a more powerful machine for taking rides with brothers (which I hope will create ministry opportunities).

I will keep pressing on in my journey, as I know the Lord is not finished with instruction and growth in my life. I encourage you to keep on with your journey as well!

It’s bigger than Me April 24, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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Here’s the thought I have been working out recently-

I am part of something larger than just me. What I mean is, I was thinking how we present the gospel as “Jesus loves you, or God’s mercy is for you. We emphasize the ‘personal’ aspect of Jesus’ love or God’s grace and mercy…getting people to accept Christ  because He saved them from their sins. Yet, in this journey of knowing Christ, I have found that being a “part of the body”, or “part of the bride”, takes more than just me to make up what Christ came for. He came to redeem mankind, not just Adam. He came to create a body and bride from a people, not a person.

Am I thankful that God loves me? Of course. But I think I need to take the emphasis off of ‘God loves me’, and make it ‘God loves his children’, of which I am a part of. I need the rest of what makes up the body and the bride, I need fellowship with brothers and sisters to grow, change, and mature. “They will know we belong to Christ by our love one for another”…not by our own great Spiritual maturity, not by testimony of what Christ did for me, me, me and what He can do for you, you, you.

God seemed all about ‘people’, and not ‘person’. Adam and Eve, the Israelites, the 12 apostles, being a body of many parts, and the new temple built by living stones. Should our gospel talk about how God loved US and sent His Son to die for US, so that WE can be a body and bride for His Son? Should we change our thoughts of “thank you God for loving me, for your mercy and grace given to me, for what you did for poor pitiful me, me, me…to something like, “thank you God for loving mankind, the redemption of your Son for your children, and for allowing me to be a small part of your grand plan of eternity…?

Or am I just over-analizing, and it doesn’t really matter?

Give your thoughts please!

conscience, coincidence, or Christ March 30, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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We had decided to replace our older, smaller George Foreman Grill with a newer version. We looked around to see what was available. We decided on the Grilleration G5, with the 5 removable plates. We found it at Kohls with a retail of $159, on sale for $139. I jumped on Safari on my iPhone and did a search, found it listed at walmart.com for $99.99. An internal voice told me not to buy it at Kohls for $139. Sometime later, I went to walmart.com and did a search for in-store inventory (I don’t buy anything online of I can find it in-store for the same price, avoid shipping time and cost). It said that a Wal-Mart near me may have limited availability. When the opportunity came to go there, the store had it on display, yet had none in stock. This wasn’t easy getting my good buy. I looked online again, found a different Wal-Mart a little further away, that also had ‘limited availability’. So I called them. The person who answered the phone asked for the department and proceeded to transfer me, then after a few minutes on hold, the line went dead. Great. Called back, asked for kitchen appliance department, got transfered, after a few minutes a voice came on and said “gardening, may I help you…”. I asked for kitchen electronics, went on hold again, and sat there on hold for about 10 minutes. The little voice told me this wasn’t going to work. By now it’s been a week or so since we decided to buy this grill, yet I cannot get ahold of one locally at the price I want to pay, and I’m telling myself that I could’ve had it already if I bought it online and had it shipped. I am about to decide to buy online, when Kohls comes out with an ad for a sale on Saturday. In the add, is the G5 grill at $99.99. Plus, if you are an early-bird shopper starting at 7 am, you can get an extra 15% off! Saturday morning, up at 6:30am, arrive at Kohls at 6:45, wait by the front door until 7am. Evidently I’m the only one who wanted a bargin, because not only was I first in line…I WAS the line. Well, I went in and got my grill (the only one on the shelf..they only had ONE??) and paid a total of $84.99.

NIce story, you say, but what’s the point? I was talking to someone about this, and I said “funny how that works out..”. “How what works out?” “How Jesus helped me get such a great deal on the grill!” “Do you think it works that way?” “Well, either that little voice I heard was my conscience, or this was a coincidence, or it’s Christ. I just choose to believe it is Christ.” I must tell you that I hear this voice quite often when I’m shopping for something (just ask my good friend Wes). I often have stories of making purchases of things that we need or want, for excellent discounted prices, because I patiently shop around, and listen for that voice inside me for guidance.

So is Jesus helping me shop? Yes, I would have to say I believe He is. Why? Well, because if I have laid everything at His feet, if I trust my life to Him, then I am allowing Him to work in every area of my life, including my buying/spending. The Word says the Father will give us our hearts desire. Not only does He give me my hearts desire, but He helps me to be a wise and frugal shopper in the process. I truly believe this, and it has born out time and time again. Do you believe that Christ works in every aspect of your life…that perhaps sometime when you thought you may be listening to your conscience, or the subject of a coincidence, that it really was Christ working?

I’m in love… March 20, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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As I approach my 45th in a few days, and as we approach our 20th in a month, I find my heart desiring to express gratitude and adoration for that special person in my life. That’s right, my better half, my precious wife, Denise

You, ‘My Rose’, have been a foundation for 20 years. You have stood by and stood up. You have confronted, convicted, and convinced, out of love and commitment. You have represented the Eve that God would have for me, as you have been used of the Lord to guide my path and keep me straight, even when I did not deserve your Love. You have committed with your heart, body, and soul, to this relationship called marriage. You have trusted your man and his heart for Jesus even when you were unsure of our path. You have provided for the family out of your wisdom, knowledge, finances, and emotions. You have filled my life with joy and contentment, you are all that I could ask.

I love you, I need you, and in the words of The Wedding Singer; “I wanna grow old with you”.

XXOO

Frank scores again. March 12, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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Wow.

I’m reading Frank Viola’s new book (revised old book?), ‘From Eternity To Here’, and, wow.

If you want insight into God’s eternal plan, and the purpose that we, the bride, were created for, you need to check out this book. I am not even half way through and already it has me at “can’t put it down”. Excellent reading, and happy to say, easy to read. Flows very smoothly in it’s presentation.

Order it online at http://www.parable.com on a discount.

That’s it for now….. 🙂

Are We Family? March 4, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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A good friend of mine was missing from work for a couple days last week. I eventually called him to see what was up. When I called, he said “What’s up?”, as in “what can I do for you?”… I said, “my friend, I’m calling to check on YOU! Havent’ seen you in a few days and don’t know how you are doing!” He was a bit surprised, but revealed that he had been sick. I told him that I wished I would have known, so that I could be praying for him.

Do you see what I’m getting at? Somehow in our individualistic society we have isolated ourselves from those not within our closest family, by choosing not to share our ‘issues’ with others. Whether it be the flu, the mortgage, our employment, or our walk with the Lord. By not sharing our issues, we deny others, and possibly the Lord, from intervening into the situation. I would like to pray for my brother’s health and a speedy return to work so he can keep his job. But that means that I have to know he is having an issue. I would like to offer finances to help someone cover their bills, but I would have to know the issue. The bible tells us the early church had everthing in common, and no one was in want. They behaved like a close family unit, even when there were 3000 of them! I don’t even know 3000 brothers and sisters, but the 40 or so I do know, are we family? Can we share our issues, as simple as ‘I have a cold that is keeping me from work’, to ‘I cannot pay my bills’?

Let’s look at what keeps us from opening up our issues to others.

1) pride-how will I ‘look’ to others; what will they think of me

2) fear- what if people find out (leads to pride)

3) shame- I don’t want people to know I can’t handle my own bills; I don’t want people to judge me (again reflect pride)

4) learned behavior- taught to ‘cover up’ sickness, don’t let on that you are sick; taught to not expose your weakness to others (still a reflection of pride?)

5) trust- won’t expose oneself or one’s issue because not trusting, maybe hurt in the past

Can you think of other reasons? It appears to me that most of them boil down to pride. We care what others think of us so much, that it hinders us from being open, dare I say ‘transparent’, to those who love us and can be the most help to us.

If I am in your family, I would hope that you are able to let me in on the issues going on in your life, so that I may lift you before the Lord, and then do whatever is in my power to assist you. And friends, if you are a Christian, then I AM IN YOUR FAMILY!! I would ask you to do the same for me if/when I were in need.

Life, or something like it… February 28, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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I didn’t like my early teen years. And now I don’t like my daughter’s early teen years. Her struggle for independence, self worth, self reliance, trust, respect, and maturity, is more than I can bear at times. I can see it happening now as a parent, but of course when I was going through it I didn’t know what all these emotions were. I wanted to run away from home, thought I wasn’t loved, didn’t like the struggles I was going through. Now I see my beloved daughter going through the same things, knowing in my mind “it will all get better, work it self out over time”, but you can’t impart that wisdom to the child going through it. And it appears she MUST experience it, I guess we all must, as a part of growing up.

So, if I know all this intellectually, then why does it hurt so deeply when she wants to run away, and says “you don’t love me”? I’m not sure I ever said that to my parents, but I’m pretty sure I thought it. I’m sure I thought that no one loves me, I was all alone. But from this side, it cuts deeply. Today I pretty much exploded, with loud swearing, upon her statement of running away to somewhere where she is ‘loved’. She has played this card many times before as she was approaching teen years, and we have calmly talked with her about a Mom and Dad’s love, how deep, how wide, how never ending it will always be. No matter how angry or frustrated we are, it never equates to “we don’t love you”. But I have to stop, take a deep breath, and search my soul for why it heightens my emotions so.

When she says she is not loved, she is negating everything that we have ever done for or with her, in my eyes. She is slighting the roof over her head, the bed she sleeps in, the clothes on her back, the ‘toys’ she has, the food she eats, the money for the movies, the driving to the movies and the mall and the friend’s house, etc. etc. She is provided for in every way she needs. I begin to feel like she doesn’t deserve us to do any of these things for her anymore, if they mean nothing to her and ‘she is not loved’. She has never personally experienced truly ‘not being loved’. Does every kid think they have it bad and the grass is greener on the other side? Well, some do have it bad, but not my kid. She is loved, and SHE KNOWS kids who don’t have greener grass. It’s a stab in the heart for her to say “everything you have ever done for me means absolutely nothing to me”, which is what I hear when the words “you don’t love me” are said.

Then comes “I didn’t mean it!”. It was said out of hurt and/or anger. But the bible tells me that “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. Does she truly mean it in her heart, since she spoke it from her mouth? Or do we chalk it up to the emotions from puberty? I could probably deal better with her saying “I hate you”, because at least that is based on her choice or her feelings. But the words “you don’t love me” is personally attacking our motives and our feelings, as well as negating everything that has already been done in 13 years that is a testament to our love.

I pray that my 13 year old will understand this, see the falsehood in her words, and hold dearly to her Mom and Dad’s love. But mostly I pray that this 13 year old will look beyond the earthly love and acceptance she desires, and see that her Heavenly Father has a deeper, more fulfilling love for her that transcends anything she could desire on this earth. A view that I never had at her age, but am able to impart to her at this age. Forgive me, daughter, for my anger and swearing, as I try to be Christ-like in my love for you.

Thoughts about “prayer” February 19, 2009

Posted by Gordon Brock in Uncategorized.
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As I consider the “religiosity” of the things we do as Christians, I can’t help but think of prayer. I spoke a message at my previous IC (Institutional Church, for those who may not know) about praying, and how Jesus gave us an example in what is now called ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. I spoke how the prayer was not a dictation of exactly what one is suppose to say when praying to the Father, but rather a ‘format suggestion’ of HOW to pray. I broke it down something like this; a)acknowledge the Father, His kingdom, and His will on Earth, b)ask for His provision in your day, c)have a repentant and forgiving heart, d)and ask for His covering and protection against the enemy of our souls. Simple. A guideline for talking to the Father, not a ‘magic spell incantation’ that will cause Father to act just because you repeated it word for word without looking, as many ICs will lead you to believe.

Back then I did not believe prayer to be a religious repetitious statement, yet I did believe it to be a solemn, reverent, supplication kind of thing. But now, I’m wondering, what does Father want? If He desires intimate relationship with His creation like He had in the Garden, if we are a ‘bride’ to Christ….what do we do currently; “let’s all bow our heads, fold our hands, be still and reverent before the Lord, as we pray….”.  I know that as a father, I do not expect my daughter to come up to me, bow her head, fold her hands, and quietly begin to plead her needs to me. As a husband, I do not expect my bride to come, head bowed, hands folder, quietly….get what I’m saying? Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. A normal conversation. Does not God want to walk and talk with us today? Does not our bridegroom desire intimate and personal conversation with His bride without the religiousness of a posture or stance as to be submitting to a far away deity?

Am I saying that God is not worthy of honor and reverence? Of course not. But it seems to me that coming to the Lord as a far away deity belongs in the Old Testament, where the Israelites only had religion and the Law to bring them to Jehovah, because they did not have the death and resurrection of Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit to reconnect them to the Father in a true and living way. We, now, are a living temple, the House of God, and the Bride of Christ. I think Father wants to walk and talk with us without religious constraints that we have held on to from indoctrination in the IC. No longer do we repeat “Our Father who art in heaven…” as a magical formula.

Ok, so, how about “…in Jesus’ name, amen”? Did we all learn that that is how to end our prayers? Now, I know that Jesus says “whatever you ask for in my name the Father will give you”. But does that mean then that we HAVE to say “in Jesus’ name” in our prayers or the Father WON’T give us what we ask? In old Europe, when ‘the king’s men’ went out ‘in the name of the king’ to proclaim or request of the people, did they have to say “we come in the name of king so and so” in order to proclaim or request? Or did they come with their signs, banners, and seals that proved they were representatives of the king? Don’t we have a sign, or seal, that we belong to the king? Do we have an indwelling Holy Spirit that proves we represent the king? Do we then need to come to Father and say “in Jesus’ name we ask of you”, or can we assume that Father KNOWS we come in Jesus’ name as we bear the banner of the king within us? I am not saying that repeating “in Jesus’ name” is bad, or God doesn’t like it, I’m just saying, is it so necessary in our communications to Father or do we say it out of trained religiosity? And…Why do we punctuate our prayers with ‘amen’? My daughter does not come to me and ask, “dad, can you take me to the gym to swim, let it be so?”, “would you please buy me a new purse, dad, may it be so?”. Know what I mean? You are talking to Father, in an intimate relationship conversation (whether personal or corporate prayer). I don’t see in Jesus’ example of prayer that we have to punctuate the end of our prayers any more than we have to start with “Our Father”.

I want to strip unnecessary ‘christianeese’  or religiosity in my walk with Jesus. I look forward to any and all thoughts on this topic and hope that people will share how they see it.