Monday, December 29, 2008

So far so good on the Summer Internship 2009!

With our desire to see a reformation of New Testament Christianity spread across America we are focusing on raising up Next Generation Leaders to reach their own generation - one that is largely exiting the modern American Church. This generation longs to experience the Jesus and the miraculous power of God they have only read about in Scriptures.

One such young college student recently stated that she has read about freedom in the Bible but that she just cannot experience it for herself. The truth is that there is freedom from everything for everyone who desires it. We have done a great job talking about who Jesus is and what He offers but we have not done such a great job showing people how to experience all that Jesus offers. Our young adults have watched us - their parents and leaders talk about freedom but then not have it in our own lives. We have a settled in for a less than what God offers all of us. They (younger generations) want to experience the Jesus they have read about - the Jesus of the New Testament, the Jesus of resurrection power.

So far so good on our attempts to enroll a group of young college age students to attend our internship in Jackson Hole this coming summer 2009. We are more than halfway of our goal. Both Anthony Marks and Mark Goodman our team leaders will take the group through a process of intentional discipleship that will enable every young leader to go back home and make the difference in their own generation. If Jesus and freedom is what they are seeking then it is Jesus and His freedom that we will give them to give to others. To say the least it will be a transformational summer for the group. And, they get housing, food and employment in one of the most beautiful places in America. So each intern can leave broke for the internship and come home with some savings.

Please pray for this internship program and for all the young leaders who attend. From my experience, nothing has profoundly changed my life like this training. After more than 25 years as a Pastor of growing churches, my eyes have been opened and it is so New Testament and so simple. Why do we have to complicate the simplicities of God's redemptive plan?

God is already and will continue to use the Next Generation Leaders to bring a reformation of New Testament Christianity to America. I am truly seeing this happen in my lifetime. See sunministries for more info.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What does Christmas mean to you?

Our son Matthew and his wife Liz and baby Silas have a Vizla - a Hungarian dog and here's a picture of the breed at top. I'm not sure if the Christmas dog is a Vizla or not -sure looks like it could be.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Help me reach them....

Many in our younger generations have left or are leaving the modern American Church. While some appreciate their church roots, many more are scarred by them. A few years ago I was called out of the modern American Church in order to be an instrument of reformation in America. Even though it angers my pastor/leader friends when I bring up the fact that the church in America is in trouble- I still refuse to refrain from speaking truth.

God has given me a heart/burden for younger generations as well as a deepened understanding of what they are facing. God has helped me see that younger generations have a deep love for God as well as a passion to make a difference in this world for Him. The problem is that they are not interested in serving through the modern American Church. The modern American Church has turned them off for a variety of reasons. For one, they are tired of not seeing (the Jesus they have read about) show up in power and victory. They have watched their parents profess Christ without power and victory in their own lives. They long for something more than what the church offers them. They want to experience the God they have read about in Scriptures. The powerless modern American church has left them filled with hopelessness.

My Facebook friends list is growing mostly from younger generations. As I read their notes many of them love Jesus but cannot see the church in their lives. I don't need to post statistics here. You know I am correct when I say they have left or are leaving. Believe me when I say they want God without the church in her present form.

Through Disciple Driven Church and Sun Ministries we are launching New Testament movements by raising up young leaders who are being set free from the baggage and hopelessness of their lives. When these younger generations experience the God of power and freedom - they become totally committed to reaching others in their own generation with the same message of power and freedom.

THE SAD NEWS IS: I cannot turn to the modern American Church for prayer and for resources because they are busy doing their old thing. They have their own churches to run, resources are used up for their own mission. So I am appealing to you, my peers, friends and younger generations to pray and to give. We already know God is in this - the question is, do you want to be in this?

Please partner with us by praying for our young leaders and our efforts to show them a God of power and Glory like they have never seen before.

Also if God is speaking to you about supporting our efforts tax deductible gifts may be sent to: Disciple Driven Church - P.O. Box 876 - O'Fallon, MO 63366

The younger generations will be the generations that bring Holy Spirit empowered New Testament like Christianity back to America and around the world. God has a plan to use you (younger generations and my age group with resources) to bring reformation and transformation to America.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Thots about Funerals...

Funerals are not evangelistic moments, they are God moments!

For far too long I have felt the burden to use funerals for evangelistic purposes. I now know I was wrong! Funerals are times when Jesus wants to reveal Himself and His message of Hope! When funerals are used for evangelistic purposes people leave feeling guilt ridden and judged. That is not my job! My job in a funeral is to reintroduce the congregation and family to Jesus, a messenger of Good News. Jesus is the answer and He is the one who enters into our suffering. In the story we see that Jesus even wept with the family upon the death of a loved one! He weeps with us in our suffering.

I used to think that I was supposed to explain this or that passage when really I should have just told the stories of Jesus and applied them to where people were living. That's what my son, Matthew did in a recent family funeral. He simply told the stories of how Jesus enters into our lives and into our suffering and how He understands what we are going through. He held the audience captive with a relevant Jesus who is there (here) for everyone. He spoke of resentment and what it does to us and how we must trust God to do what is best.

I saw another side of Jesus and how to communicate. In the end, one after another was touched with truth about Jesus in such a way that they were drawn into His presence and into His work in all of our lives. I have learned that Jesus is not at His best in Church, a service of worship! He is at His best in the settings among the hurting and grieving. Jesus just showed up. His message was proclaimed and was natural and not forced evangelism! Jesus did what He Himself needed to do through the Holy Spirit.

I now see that most people already feel guilty for their sin. They don't need me to seize the moment of conviction/condemnation. The Holy Spirit has already revealed our need to seek Him in forgiveness. We all need to see Jesus in all of His splendor and glory as the One who cares for each of us in our stations in life. God is present - ever present with everyone!

I must bear the message of Jesus and His life and it is not my job to bring conviction, that's the job of the Holy Spirit. Because of this lesson, those in a recent family funeral - some who may be far from Jesus are the ones who saw Jesus up close and personal!

Funerals are God moments NOT our moments! We must show the world who Jesus is and how He enters into our lowest moments! He does have the answer - He is the answer! We need to rediscover the role of the Holy Spirit and how it greatly differs from ours.

If you will see this principle - those who are seeking and/or hurting will flock to your Jesus and mine! I recently witnessed this miracle of God's Holy Spirit and His power. I long for you to see it as well. If you will, others will see Jesus because of it.

Funerals are God opportunities - Not ours! Let's do our job while making room for God to do His!

From kingdomgrace...

Disciples or Converts
December 3, 2008 ·

I have lots of thoughts swirling in my head about sterility, reproduction, and organic versus artificial life and growth. Let’s see if I can pull them together into anything coherent. I will start with a story…

When our kids were little, we raised butcher chickens so that they (the kids) would have daily chores. In the spring, we would get a box of cute little chicks in the mail. We kept them warm under lights and fed them high-octane feed. In a matter of months, the chickens that survived were fully grown and plump. Then we brought the chickens in crates to “visit” Fred.

These chickens were genetically engineered for fast growth. I am not sure if they would be classified as hybrid or mutant. My husband, Farmboy, says that in crops and grains, fast-growing hybrids also lack reproductive ability.
How this relates to discipleship

It is vitally important that we understand the genetic reality of spiritual life, the organic nature of spiritual growth, and the inherent reproductivity of the life of Christ, beginning with the reality that we are born of the Spirit and that all growth and reproduction is a function of the Spirit.

The gospel of the kingdom has been distorted in many ways. There is the evangelical gospel of personal salvation which reduces the gospel message to a guarantee of heaven and insurance from hell. The seeker gospel promises answers for our personal problems and felt needs. The prosperity gospel assures us that God only wants the best for us.

Church membership numbers are not necessarily an accurate reflection of growth in the kingdom. Megachurch member rosters are filled with transfer members. Counting decisions for Christ usually leads to exaggerated claims and coerced conversions. Not only that, it treats conversion as a single transaction and diminishes the ongoing nature and process of salvation, dismissing the reality that the journey to knowing God is a lifelong endeavor with many moments of decision and commitment.

So yeah, the missional church might not have large congregations of converts. Instead we are attempting to make disciples in a manner in which conversion is viewed in the context of establishing a long-term relationship with Jesus and with other believers which may never be reflected in the roster of a particular church organization.

This from David Watson:

Making disciples is about a relationship with Christ that results in a lifestyle of obedience to the commands of Christ which requires disciples to make more disciples. Making converts is about adhering to the doctrine of a particular faction, church, denomination, sect or religion. One can convert without becoming a disciple of Christ.

Artificial additives

I think that we often circumvent the real life of the Spirit in conversion methods, discipleship methods, and in the way that we function together as groups of believers. What are the ways that we tamper with natural growth and unintentionally cause lack of reproduction and other genetic deformities?

Sometimes, in a rush to notch our evangelism belt or perhaps our genuine fear of car and truck accidents, we rush people to a decision statement prematurely rather than trusting the work of the Spirit that is already occurring.

Then in a rush to transform our new converts into shiny, happy christians we train them into every aspect of cultural christianity rather than trusting the process of transformation by the Spirit that begins within before it becomes evident to others. The goal is to get them looking and acting like good christians as soon as possible.

So we feed them high-octane food in order to grow quickly.

Oops! Wrong story. Back to talking about church.

We give them high-octane teaching in order to grow quickly. Many formats for discipleship revolve around teaching which is evidence that we see growth as transfer of information and knowledge.

One of the things we have to ask ourselves is if our practices are effective in making disciples. Do our programs and services produce “fully devoted followers of Christ?” At what point did we begin interpreting that phrase to mean people who are committed to the needs of the church organization? When we disciple them into serving the programs of the church we are producing members, not necessarily disciples.
Organic growth - It isn’t pretty

(Cindy’s carrot)

Organic growth can be messy. It usually isn’t straightforward and doesn’t necessarily produce uniform results.

Are we willing to patiently allow the real work of transformation by the Spirit in a person’s life instead of expecting them to conform their behavior before it is an internal reality?

Will we ever trust that the Holy Spirit could catalyze and orchestrate community and gathering?

How insistent are we that individual and corporate lives look a certain way - uniform, ideal, polished?

How enamored are we with our methods?

If we were to admit the real lack of reproduction within the church, perhaps we would discover that the reason for our sterility is that we have abandoned our true genetic nature and failed to rely on the life of the Spirit for growth and reproduction.

You can read more at kingdomgrace.

All I can say is, Hmmmmmm!

From the Christian Network, Ron Teed. Sorry for the format problems as seen below!

Full-Page Citizenship Challenge To Run Twice,
December 1st and 3rd
D.C. National Press Club Event: Dec 8th

An Open Letter
to Barack Obama:

Are you a Natural Born
Citizen of the U.S.?

Are you legally eligible to
hold the Office of President?

We The People Foundation
For Constitutional Education, Inc.
2458 Ridge Road Queensbury, NY 12804

December 1, 2008
Mr. Barack Obama
Barack Obama Transition Office
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 So. Dearborn St.
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Dear Mr. Obama:
Representing thousands of responsible American citizens who have also
taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America,
I am duty bound to call on you to remedy an apparent violation of the
Compelling evidence supports the claim that you are barred from holding
the Office of President by the “natural born citizen” clause of the U.S.

For instance:
• You have posted on the Internet an unsigned, forged and thoroughly
discredited, computer-generated birth form created in 2007, a form
that lacks vital information found on any original, hand signed
Certificate of Live Birth, such as hospital address, signature of
attending physician and age of mother.
• Hawaii Dept of Health will not confirm your assertion that you were born
in Hawaii.
• Legal affidavits state you were born in Kenya.
• Your grandmother is recorded on tape saying she attended your birth
in Kenya.
• U.S. Law in effect in 1961 denied U.S. citizenship to any child born
in Kenya if the father was Kenyan and the mother was not yet 19
years of age.
• In 1965, your mother legally relinquished whatever Kenyan or U.S.
citizenship she and you had by marrying an Indonesian and becoming
a naturalized Indonesian citizen.

You have repeatedly refused to provide evidence of your eligibility when
challenged to do so in a number of recent lawsuits. Instead, you have
been successful in having judges declare that they are powerless to order
you to prove your eligibility to assume the Office of President.
Incredibly, the judge in Hawaii actually said it would be an invasion of
your privacy for him to order access to your original birth certificate in
order to prove your eligibility to hold the Office of President.
Before you can legitimately exercise any of the powers of the President
you must meet all the criteria for eligibility established by the Constitution.
You are under a moral, legal, and fiduciary duty to proffer such evidence.
Should you assume the office as anyone but a bona fide natural born
citizen of the United States who has not relinquished that citizenship, you
would be inviting a national crisis that would undermine the domestic
peace and stability of the Nation.

For example:
• You would always be viewed by many Americans as a
poseur - a usurper .
• As a usurper , you would be unable to take the required “Oath or
Affirmation” on January 20 without committing the crime of perjury or
false swearing, for being ineligible you cannot faithfully execute the
Office of the President of the United States.
• You would be entitled to no allegiance, obedience or support from
the People.
• The Armed Forces would be under no legal obligation to remain
obedient to you.
• No civilian in the Executive Branch would be required to obey any of
your proclamations, Executive Orders or directives, as such orders
would be legally void.
• Your appointments of Judges to the Supreme Court would be void.
• Congress would not be able to pass any needed legislation because
it would not be able to acquire the signature of a bona fide President.
• Congress would be unable to remove you, a usurper , from the Office
of the President on Impeachment, inviting certain political chaos
including a potential for armed conflicts within the General
Government or among the States and the People to effect the
removal of such a usurper .

In consideration of the escalating constitutional crisis brought on by the
total lack of evidence needed to conclusively establish your eligibility,
I am compelled to serve you with this First Amendment Petition for a
Redress of this violation of the Constitution.

With all due respect, I ask that you immediately direct the appropriate
Hawaiian officials to allow access to the vault copy of your birth
certificate by our forensic scientists on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,
December 5, 6 and 7, 2008.

In addition, I ask that you deliver the following documentary evidence to
the National Press Club in Washington DC by 10 am on December 8, 2008,
marked for my attention:
• A certified copy of your original, signed “vault” birth certificate.
• Certified copies of your reissued and sealed birth certificates in the
names Barack Hussein Obama, Barry Soetoro, Barry Obama, Barack
Dunham and Barry Dunham.
• A certified copy of your Certification of Citizenship.
• A certified copy of your Oath of Allegiance taken upon age of maturity.
• Certified copies of your admission forms for Occidental College,
Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
• Certified copies of any legal documents changing your name.
Each member of the Electoral College, who is committed to casting a vote
on December 15, 2008, has a constitutional duty to make certain you are
a natural-born citizen. As of today, there is no evidence in the public
record (nor have you provided any) that defeats the claim that you are
barred by law from assuming the Office of President because you fail the
Constitution’s eligibility requirements.

All state Electors are now on Notice that unless you provide documentary
evidence before December 15, that conclusively establishes your eligibility,
they cannot cast a vote for you without committing treason to the Constitution.
“In a government of laws, the existence of the government will be imperiled
if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent,
the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people
by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a
lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become
a law unto himself; it invites anarchy .” Olmstead v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this urgent matter.

Robert L. Schulz

This Open Letter to Mr. Obama will be published in the Chicago Tribune on both Monday, December 1, 2008 and Wednesday, December 3, 2008.

A Huge opportunity!

I have been out of touch for the past week. I went to see my parents and family over the Thanksgiving weekend. While there, my older brother's daughter died from an 18 month fight with cancer. We prayed for God to heal her and that is what God did -eternally. Dorie Lynn Carder, age 32, went to be with Jesus. She leaves behind a 14 year old daughter, Alexys and a 10 year old son, Barek! Please pray for them.

I had the privilege of doing the funeral along with my son Matthew Carder who brought the message of hope and healing. God truly showed up and all present entered into God's presence and glory.

I saw the power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to speak into the lives of those searching for answers. Thanks for being a vessel of the Good News, Matthew! And most of all, praise God for His presence and healing!

I've been out of touch with you while being in touch with those open to Jesus for such a time as this.

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