Monday, August 29, 2005

Alone In A Crowd

Have you ever felt alone in a crowded Church service? I have, many times I have slipped in and out of church, sitting unnoticed in the back pew, never greeted by anyone, never prayed for by anyone, never praying for anyone myself. It is possible to be alone in a crowd, just go to a ball game or the mall - you are surrounded by hundreds or maybe thousands but you are a stranger to them all, and it happens in church every Sunday.

The question I have is how do we get involved in our brother's & sister's journey of faith? How do we interact with each other in such a way as to have an impact upon our lives, so that we are transformed each time we gather? How do we avoid being a solo act in a crowd? How do we capture the understanding of first century "ekklesia" and carry it out in our daily walk of faith? How do we develop a strong community of brothers and sisters that extends beyond the four walls of the "church" to fill up the rest of the week, not isolated until next Sunday?

I know, too many questions. But we need to start finding solutions to the isolation and it is in the understanding of "ekklesia" that we learn we are more than a group that meets in a building one or two days a week. We need to understand what we are called out from and what we are called to be - the visible earthly representation of Christ, his body, his dwelling place.

"...oikos theos hostis esti ekklesia zao theos..."

"...the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God..."
(1 Timothy 3:15 - Young's Literal Translation)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Good Old Days

I received an e-mail today from a fellow refugee of the Jesus People Movement. In reading about the many things that he has done along the way since then I began reflecting on my own life's accomplishments. I was wondering if I have made any major contributions to this world. Have I made a difference in anybody's life at all? At the end of my sojourn here on earth will my life have counted for anything or will all that I have spent my time and energy on been for nothing?

I think that I have done a great many small things rather any one great thing. But the Father knows my heart and I always want to keep moving so as not get stagnant. I believe that it is in the quality of the daily walk that one is measured rather than the one or two grand accomplishments that one could boast about. So I keep looking forward and taking one step after another.

As the apostle Paul said... "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14)

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Church is not in the Bible

Our small gathering has been looking into the word "church" and what it means to gather in Jesus' name. My friend Richard is doing research on the word church for a paper he is writing titled "The Church Christ Built - A study Of The Word Church". He is not quite finished yet but what he has found so far is quite interesting, his research has found that the word "church" is not in the Bible. Ok, don't pick up the rocks to start stoning the blasphemer just yet. True our English translations have the word "church" in several places, but based on the original Greek language of the New Testament the word rendered as "church" and our English word church are not related at all. Richard states that "In tracing the word “church” back to its earliest recorded occurrence, we learn it came from a Greek word meaning “of the Lord” (kyriakon). The earliest written record of kyriakon was more than two hundred years after Jesus and the twelve (apostles) died. People used it of the building in which Christians met for corporate worship, kyriakon doma or house of the Lord."

Here is a link to Richard's blog about "church" What is wrong with "church"? - Check it out.

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Cow Poop, Beer & Pot

We were up late last night, went to the fair to see old time rock-n-roller Tom Petty - American Girl, Refugee, I Need to Know, Don't Do Me Like That, Don't Come Around Here No More, I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin'.

This is a BIG fair but still a country fair so the whole place smells like a cattle feed lot - YUCK! Not going to make that mistake a second time, even if I get seats at half price again like we did for last night's show... still not worth it. These were the "cheap seat" and when we got there we knew why, "nose bleed top right" - couldn't see a thing the whole time. All we got was the smell of cow poop, beer, and pot all mixed together - too weird for me!

It wasn't the best time we ever had, but it was cool to hear Tom Petty live. Tom did "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" I actually closed my eyes and was singing it as a prayer, oh well guess you can find God anywhere.

Tom has been kind of a rebel, he has always been out spoken. I found a RollingStone article that is a few years old but worth the read...

Tom Petty Is Pissed... And he's got plenty of good reasons

Maybe those of us thinking about how church operates should take a listen to Tom... "Everything -- morals, truth -- is all going out the window in favor of profit."

Anyway, got to go and get more coffee...

Peace, Love, and Light through Jesus the Christ!
Kevin (Cloud)