EChurch@Wartburg – 7.9.17

Welcome to a Gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

The TWW community would love to pray for you!

Please include your prayer request in the comment section of this post.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=17016&picture=slunecniceSunflower

Here is our Order of Worship

A prayer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer link

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen

Prayer of St. Benedict link

O gracious and holy Father,
give us wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate upon you,
and a life to proclaim you;
through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:15-17 (NASB Bible Gateway)

And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Dear Lord,
I give you my hands to do Your work;
I give You my feet to go Your way;
I give You my eyes to see as You see;
I give You my tongue to speak Your words;
I give You my mind that You may think in me;
I give You my spirit that You may pray in me.
Above all, I give You my heart that You may love in me – love the Father and love all humankind.
I give You my whole self, Lord, that You may grow in me, so that it is You who lives, works and prays in me.
Amen.

From Helpful Prayers link

Benediction (Romans 16:25-27) link

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen."


Comments

EChurch@Wartburg – 7.9.17 — 19 Comments

  1. FIRST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Well, I was first when I posted. I don’t know how Christiane managed to exceed the speed of light…

  3. I have a prayer request. Because I’m hoping that, here, just maybe, someone will understand. We are newly married & are recovering 3rd generation fundamentalist preachers kids. Distressed by much of what we see in Christianity today. We are in a new area, a rural Bible Belt area, and are struggling to find a church that we feel at home in now that we are leaving our strict fundamentalism behind us.

    But we are discouraged. Quite often now we find ourselves just staying home on sundays. We cannot find likeminded community for us who are too liberal for most conservatives but yet a bit more conservative than most liberals. We have missed out on more church this year than I have in my entire life. We feel like I have no stable footing anymore right now. It’s a terrifying and depressing place to be in. We haven’t lost our faith in Jesus or our love for Him, but the rest… we don’t know. We feel so alone. I hope Jesus isn’t disappointed in us. Please pray for us.

  4. @ I Fear a Cage:
    Dear I Fear A Cage…I am a first generation…and recovering from Church horrors. My first years following were scary, wandering, and disappointing. Let me say what helped. This blog helped A LOT. And reading stories of survivors of all sorts. Listening to the Bible on audio. And sermons/songs online whenever I could. Slowly writing down my story of abuse helped, along with talking about it to people who could listen. And in time, I found a church of rest, where I was welcomed but not pushed much. Still hurting awfully, but learning to live and walk with God and tolerate the hurt with a smile. I refuse (now) to be afraid, but go with my gut. Do what I am able and make no apologies for what I cannot do. Thank Jesus for never leaving me alone. And remind myself that He loves me and understands that just like a physical wound, hearts heal sometimes slow or fast. But it’s ok. It’s not sin, to heal slower than someone else. And because you do not care for a church today, doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. When we are strong, we can bear the infirmities of others. When we are weaker, we cannot. It’s ok. Being weak is not a fault. It’s life. Up and down, rich and poor, abased and abounding, happy and weary….you are going to be ok. God considers you valuable and precious. BTW I love your name, and the movie it is taken from. God bless you both, and I am praying.

  5. @ I Fear a Cage:
    Dear I Fear A Cage, I completely identify with your struggle. You are not alone. After 28 years in an abusive, authoritarian church, I have found it impossible to settle into a new community. I occasionally attend a large church where I can be somewhat anonymous, for now that’s the best I can do. I chose a church that teaches the word systematically rather than topically. It feels safer. I am tired of man’s opinions about the word, I prefer to let it speak for itself. I have also sought out others who understand the pain of losing everything we once thought was true and good. They have become the support I need to carry on. I pray God will bring people into your life for you to have fellowship with even though you are not currently in an “official” church. It has helped me is to take a strong stand against the atrocities of the church I left. Though my reputation (as well as all who have left this church) has been destroyed, I know I am doing the right thing in bringing the sins of sexual child abuse and destruction of families into the light. My heart’s desire is to protect others from going into this wicked church. I never thought I would be an activist for anything, but it seems I am. I just have to trust that God will lead me to the right place but in the meantime, I know He is with those of us who are still suffering the effects of being in an abusive church. I hope your struggle ends soon, but please don’t feel rushed. As a dear friend once told me, God can handle it. He is not disappointed in me or you. I am thankful He knows and understands. I thank God for this blog and others like it. We are a group of people with many differences but one thing in common. We are here for each other.

  6. @ I Fear a Cage:

    God bless you and thank you for sharing your prayer request. I wouldn’t call myself a regular here yet, but I completely understand the nature of your struggle without knowing all the details. You just can’t walk into a church on any given night and say, “things are screwed up around here, could you either get your act together or pray with me that I will find a place where they do have their act together”. We prayed for you tonight and I’ll try to post an extra thought or two.

  7. I Fear a Cage wrote:

    we are discouraged … I hope Jesus isn’t disappointed in us

    I prayed for you just now. These are tough times for the Bride of Christ … trying to fit in this thing we call church. Jesus isn’t disappointed in those who long for more, who are burdened and searching for the authentic … He is near the brokenhearted; He loves you.

  8. @ I Fear a Cage:
    You are not alone. I am presently “taking a break” from the church we became part of after leaving a spiritually abusive church, which we had been part of for 25 years. The analogy of the frog in the pot of water comes to mind. Our first church, the water boiled and we were burned before we escaped the pot. The second church, I can hear the gas being turned on, see the flames flickering up the sides of the pot. Like Ellen, my reputation is nothing. But if the reputation I lost is the one that asks no questions, ignores wrong, delights in pretending the emperor has clothes, then what was it worth?

    I think it has been about three months now. And it has been a very calm, rewarding time. It is easy to be assured of my salvation when I am in a crowd saying the same thing! But finding that assurance, the certainty of things hoped for, the promises, the grace and love of our saviour, when I sit alone on a Sunday (or any day of the week) cements the truth. Nothing and no one shall separate me from the love of Christ. I have walked away from “Try Hard” version of Churchianity and I’m still learning about being childlike in my faith – listened to Wade’s talk this morning.

    I have spent some time thinking about the verses in Matthew 10 where Jesus talks about shaking the dust off their feet…I never noticed before that the disciples were to find a worthy” person, to stay at the home if “the home is deserving,..;”. I think I’m not amiss to have found a church home that was worthy, to have stayed there while it was deserving and to now find that I am unable to stay there. I’m not saying that’s what this passage is about. I just find it encouraging that Jesus knew his disciples would come across situations which would seem good and then on further exposure would reveal that they were not. I don’t think Jesus was disappointed with them when they shook the dust off. The Holy Spirit gives us that desire to hang out with other Christians, and I look forward to more of that, just not in a big pot of warming water!

  9. Heather wrote:

    I don’t think Jesus was disappointed with them when they shook the dust off.

    In the condition of the 21st century church, believers are finding themselves trying to strike a balance between two Scriptures: “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together” vs. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins.” These are difficult days for the Bride of Christ to find a place to gather with other believers, one that is glorifying God rather than doing church without Him. It would be better to shake the dust off your feet from such places – to put your behind in your past – than to be caught meeting with the sad bunch come Judgment Day. Jesus warned such churches “Repent or else!”

  10. @ Max:
    I struggled with that verse about not forsaking the assembling together. I had heard it for decades! But I came to realize that the assembling is for a reason; for encouraging one another. Not to be encouraged by one speaker. Or by one song sung on a stage. Or one prayer said aloud. Though these things are often encouraging, which a good. And they have their own uses, for teaching, for worship, etc. As they are here at EChurch.

    It’s the “one another’s” that we assemble for. If in the life of a group of Christians, a church, there is no space for assembling together to encourage one another, then I am not forsaking anything. I might be forsaking being a ready volunteer for carrying out the staff’s vision, but I don’t think that was what Jesus called me to do anyway! So I have a clear conscience.

  11. Heather wrote:

    It’s the “one another’s” that we assemble for.

    Heather, I truly believe that “assembling together” is to put together the pieces of a puzzle that looks like the Church God intended. You have a spiritual gift, I have a spiritual gift, others have spiritual gifts. God draws us together by His Spirit – to assemble us – so that we look like Him.

    “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16)

    We should never forsake that sort of assembly, but God has to do it – we can’t. Look for where God is working and join Him there.

  12. @ Heather:
    @ Max:

    Max

    I’m know that Heather would be delighted to be part of that kind of assembly, as would I. But, as Heather says:

    Heather wrote:

    It’s the “one another’s” that we assemble for. If in the life of a group of Christians, a church, there is no space for assembling together to encourage one another, then I am not forsaking anything. I might be forsaking being a ready volunteer for carrying out the staff’s vision, but I don’t think that was what Jesus called me to do anyway! So I have a clear conscience.

    I haven’t been everywhere, but everywhere I’ve gone I see the same thing that Heather describes. I’ve watched the body begin to form in the beautiful unmanaged recesses of the institution only to be steamrolled by the institution. When I see that, I want to protest at the top of my voice, but I seem to be the only one that sees the destruction. These are not abusive churches by most people’s standards, but the work of Christ in joining the body together always seems to be under attack. People are being managed rather than built up and encouraged. I would be interested to know from the perspectives of both you and your wife what restriction you see being placed on the actual body and how you deal with those restrictions.

  13. scott hendrixson wrote:

    … the work of Christ in joining the body together always seems to be under attack. People are being managed rather than built up and encouraged. I would be interested to know from the perspectives of both you and your wife what restriction you see being placed on the actual body and how you deal with those restrictions.

    No doubt about it! The greatest enemy of the Church is the organized church. It seems that whenever and wherever spiritual life starts to form, the enemy rushes in to discourage it. When a sinner is gloriously saved and starts walking in newness of life, others with a gift of discouragement tell them they will get over it and be like them in a while. When a young person has an encounter with the living Christ, they find little or no encouragement and discipling from older folks to help them mature in the faith. The devil always seems to be getting the microphone and having his way.

    Yep, the Body of Christ has trouble coming forth within the walls of institutional church. Religion can be the greatest foe of relationship. Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions! The institution we call “church” is OK if it is leading others to Christ, assembling and mobilizing the giftings in its midst, and equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry … anything less than that is doing church without God.

    So how have my wife and I handled such restrictions over the years and still attended organized church? We have always looked around us to find folks of like-minded Christians, the Body of Christ amidst the multitude of just regular church folk. You will know them by their hunger for God; they desire to know Him more and to walk deeper in faith. We then assemble with them in home Bible studies and prayer meetings; we minister to each other do missions together. It becomes a Church within the church. We draw near to God and He draws near to us. We may not be as faithful to the organized church as in our younger days, but we will always be faithful to the Bride of Christ wherever it is manifested.

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