Category Archives: Mission

Identity Theft: Jesus Style-Will It Happen at Annual Conference?

imagesIt’s one thing to misplace your wallet or purse; yet to have valuables stolen  by identity theft is really heart breaking. images

One of our sons has had some one steal his identity, raiding his bank accounts! Faith shaking! This graphic is  from a popular film that’s just come out from Hollywood entitled: “Identity Theft.”

Ever since the Roman emperor Constantine legalized followers of Jesus Christ; identity theft with Jesus has been attempted. The “conservatives” have tried to claim Jesus Christ without social justice. The progressives or “liberals” have tried to cast Jesus over the years as primarily being about “social justice” and without John Wesley’s concern for “scriptural holiness”.  Within the Pacific Northwest and Western Jurisdiction there even is a popular faction that denies Jesus’ Atonement.

No one steals Jesus for who He is! Jesus Christ, the word of God made flesh is the “I Am Who I Am”, the one who is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is unchanging as God Himself is!  People may try to cast Jesus in a certain role, trendy theology, or passing cultural fad but Jesus who is truth stands for Himself. As Jesus said to Pilate:  ” In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me (John 18:37).”images

In the case of our boy-he’s lost thousands of dollars.

In the case of the Annual Conference  meeting this week in Wenatchee, identity theft can be attempted  by presenting Jesus without requiring personal repentance for sin, a Jesus captured by those who leave out a sincere interest in serious discipleship and evangelism within the conference.

Jesus Christ stands for himself and as the scriptures say:” everyone on the side of truth who listens to me.”

Beginning this Friday June 14 I will be writing daily blogs on the doings of this Annual Conference. Stay tuned!  Hang onto your true identity in Christ. Christ will hang onto His!  Brother John

Soul Cafe Coming to Ritzville !

imagesIn today’s post modern culture people are into ‘spirituality’. This means everything from Oprah Winfrey’s view of religion and spirituality to Wicca, or more established historical world religions, including interest in the occult and all kinds of cults.

Organized religions have helped battle  the suffering of the world’s people  yet religion is almost dead in Europe and the percentage of folks into weekly church attendance continues to decline in today’s American culture. Many of the mainstream universities and colleges, hospitals, orphanages and public social service agencies all were initially started by people of the Christian faith.Yet times have changed.

The younger generations may have interest in Jesus Christ but don’t understand ‘church’. Ever since the Vietnam war and the Watergate scandal of the 1970’s all institutions are viewed with suspicion and cynicism.

Instead of assuming people will be attracted to ‘church’ we followers of Jesus Christ must go out and engage people where they are at. Music, simple limited foods such as home made soup and bread will all help to create a safe trusting environment where relationships between people can develop.

images 81A new model of faith sharing is needed besides church. The idea or vision is called The Soul Cafe. The vision is to provide a non denominational safe gathering place for people of all ages to gather in a Christian environment. The organizing committee of which I am part is made up of people from Trinity and the Ritzville community! The committee’s priorities include: to form an official governing board, to incorporate as a non profit organization, and to decide on a downtown building location. Six buildings have been visited and the committee will decide on a location  in due time.

The Soul Cafe we believe is God’s idea and it will happen God’s way and at God’s time!  The Soul Cafe is coming to Ritzville-stay tuned!  The Holy Spirit is alive and well!  The Holy Spirit isn’t through with us yet!  Pastor John

Who’s Kidding Who? Are We Forward or Backward Christian Soldiers?

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ-Our peacemaker!

Jesus taught with metaphors, and so did His missionary named The Apostle Paul. Thinking of the image of a ‘solider ‘ Paul says in I Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

No, this is not a physical military fight we are involved in; but a spiritual fight, so to speak, for the souls, minds, and bodies of people!

No hymn of the faith has lifted up men and women, boys, and girls as contenders for the faith more than the hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers.”  I came across a different version of this hymn which goes like this:

            Backward Christian Soliders-Anonymous- (to the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers)

Backward Christian Soldiers, fleeing from the fight,

With the cross of Jesus, nearly out of sight,

Christ, our rightful master, stand against the foe

Onward into battle, we seem afraid to go.

Chorus: Backward Christian soldiers, fleeing from the fight, with the cross of Jesus, nearly out sight.

Like a mighty tortoise, moves the Church of God

Brothers we are treading where we’ve often trod,

We are much divided, many bodies we,

Having different doctrines, but not much clarity.

Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,

But the cross of Jesu hidden does remain.

Gates of hell should never’ gainst the church prevail.

We have Christ’s own promise, but we think it might fail.

Sit here then ye people, join our sleeping throng.

Blend with ours your voices in a feeble song.

Blessings, ease and comfort, ask from Christ the King,

But with our modern thinking, we won’t do a thing!

Oh God do we really have a sense of urgency for reaching the lost who don’t know Christ as the Savior of their lives?

Stay tuned.  Brother John

 

Up Front-Get to Know Me!

As I prepare for The 2012 General Conference I want to be up front about myself.

My roots include a grandfather and dad who were Pastors.

My goal as an observer at General Conference April 24-May 4th will be to report on the doings and decisions of General Conference.

I am a sinner saved by grace through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I hold dear the Wesleyan basics of prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. I believe that the Holy Scriptures are the inerrant word of God and standard for life.  For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, truth, and the life God intends for all of His creation, made possible solely by his death and resurrection. I believe in the work and leading of God the Holy Spirit.

With my blog I covenant with you to be respectful but to the point about what I view and write about.  I believe that Almighty God has created The United Methodist Church by Him and for Him. Deep in my soul I have believed for many years that Almighty God is recreating The United Methodist Church. By this I mean  the UMC  is once again returning to recapture the greatness from its Wesleyan past. Once again being Christ centered, biblically orthodox, and Holy Spirit driven, for the cause of God’s salvation and justice for every person. God is recreating The United Methodist Church to mirror and become more and more like Jesus Christ, his truth. We are created to give glory and honor to God and His Holy Church. We are not made right by our political ideology. I reject the politics of the right or left for this is Christ’s church not some co-opted religion or pawn of the state. The word religion for me refers to a man made type of church. We as believers in Christ are His Church, the bride being made more holy and ready for the returning bridegroom Jesus Christ.

As I vow to honor you and your point of view I ask that you honor my God given free will and point of view.  May we all bring Christ the glory and honor through our shared words on this blog. If you use profanity in your dialog then your response will be deleted. Thank you! Further recreate The United Methodist Church worldwide O God, so that Your Son Jesus Christ will beUp Front eternally honored and praised!

Holy Spirit Count Down to General Conference!

Hello Holy Spirit. The United Methodist Church is God’s; created by Him and for Him.

Millions of Jesus followers within the UMC are turning their hearts, minds, and souls toward Tampa and the upcoming April 24-May 4 General Conference. God’s Holy Spirit is alive and well. God is faithful. One thousand from all over the world will make decisions determining the next four years for The United Methodist Church.

If this is your first visit to this blog site-welcome in Jesus’ Name!  With my being at General Conference I want to be a vessel though which you may receive first hand reports about General Conference’s actions.

Let us keep in prayer all delegates as they travel. Let us pray for the upcoming deliberations and decisions that the delegates will make.  One scripture promise which gives us all hope for GC is   I Cor. 2:9: “No eye has see, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  May Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords and King of Kings be lifted up!  Stay tuned!    Brother John

What is the Holy Spirit telling you? What are you doing about it?

John Wesley

John Wesley

Welcome to Lift Up Christ blog.  My purpose is to communicate and dialog with anyone interested in Christ and the Holy Spirit within the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church.  What really matters today is to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.

My initial interest will be reporting to you on the events and decisions of the upcoming General Conference held the last of April in Tampa, Florida.

Stay tuned and may the Holy Spirit bless you in your walk and mission for Jesus Christ.