JohnSWilson3 Blog

Life and Death in Organic Church Life
August 29, 2010, 11:16 pm
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

I have to say Christ taught us a lot today as the brothers and sisters gathered together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ was so real. Christ is reality was the thought that comes to mind, a thought that He had been showing to me this past week. I cannot describe everything that was shared but hopefully correctly. Brothers and sisters have been coming and going throughout the year, learning Christ together by His Spirit in an intimate way is hard to accept by many, especially for those who have learned about Christ in the non participatory, performance based, information focused life of institutional church. For those who remain we are learning to see Christ in everything, to let Him be our everything, and to accept His body, one another, each others functions, in spite of our differences.

The joy of being able to come together, eat together, laugh together, pray together, sing together, share life together in freedom has been so wonderful! Today was no exception. We spent time gathering together in Katy at Ify and Vivian’s home. We ate together, drank coffee together (for some of us 🙂 ) and talked about what has been going on with each other. Some were in the kitchen, some in the living room, with some of the kids upstairs. Adults were helping kids, kids helping kids, (think I saw some kids helping adults, lol)…fun!

We settled into the living room and the kids had already made their way upstairs to have fun playing games together. We had a good time sharing about some things that happened this past week. This led to the need to pray for others. Between spoken prayers some felt led to sing prayers to God. A brother led by the Spirit shared a dream that he had had some time ago and felt this was the time to share it with the group. The gist of the dream was something like this: he saw a storm cloud, the cloud began to rain, each drop produced a flower, more rain occurred and more flowers grew, soon the rain caused a flowing river, the flowers were taken by the river, soon the river ended and all that was left was dry ground and death. The body sat in silence to hear from Christ. A brother asked if he might know what the meaning was. The other brother shared that God was in the storm cloud. Some other thoughts shared was that as the body of Christ lives by His life, and follows His directions we not only find life but also death. Many Scriptures were shared, some were: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me;” “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” This seemed to be the theme for what Christ was revealing to us today.

Another couple arrived midway in the meeting with their new baby girl and we were blessed to see them after having been absent for a few weeks. A couple of the women helped the new mommy in the kitchen while the other brothers and sisters continued to share with each other. Some laughing and joking around made the time together light but refreshing as we sought Christ together.

A sister shared some of her notes from the Organic Church Life conference that most of us attended last summer. it seemed to be something based on the dream shared that God was leading her to read. She had not been able to sleep last night and so she had spent the early morning reviewing her notes from the conference. She read some of them with the group. The focus was on John 12 where Jesus spoke saying: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.” Many brothers and sisters shared stories and discussed what Christ was telling them. This led to wrestling with the understanding of living by His life versus following religion. Matthew 5:43-48 was shared. Others seemed to have been brought to this passage by the Spirit earlier as well. “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” seemed to describe the fact that being in Christ, we are seen by the Father as only in Christ, who is Himself perfect and by learning to live by His life, His perfect life will be displayed. This was in contrast to following outward religious duties that Jesus spoke of in the next few verses in Matthew 6.

A sister shared that we are new creations in Christ, reading the verse from 1 Corinthians 5:17. A brother shared a story that he had heard from some brothers and sisters from China: “it was about a follower of Christ in prison who showed love to an evil person who was also there, a person who no one wanted to be around for fear of their lives. The evil person received Christ as Lord. The fellow prisoner who loved the evil person was asked by others why he would do that. The Christian prisoner said that he only saw Christ in him instead of the evil person.” Another brother exclaimed how this reveals how God chose us before the foundations of the earth. That we should no longer look at people from the flesh but as someone who would be in Christ. Another brother read from 2 Corinthians 5:16 mentioning that it is interesting that this verse is before the one spoken earlier by the sister of Christians being a new creation: “Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.” This gave new meaning to sharing Christ with others, looking not at the evil things that they do, overlooking their sin, and seeing them as Christ would see them and love them with Christ’s love. This led to everyone sharing in turn about the challenges of the workplace and the human traditions and sin that often beset us. The brothers and sisters encouraged one another.

The brothers and sisters continued to share while some couples had to leave. One couple was going to the airport to visit with friends arriving at the airport on their way to Nigeria so another couple took care of their children and took them back home later that afternoon. We spent more time sharing and praying. One prayed asking for faith to accept the truth of the words of Paul: “I HAVE BEEN crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself up for me.”

May we live organically by His life like the flower, the fruit will blossom because of the Living Water, living by His life, listening to His voice, following His directions as He leads us, while we will find death, we will also find life.

Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear)
August 28, 2010, 7:05 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

I really love singing this song to the Lord, and now especially in our organic church group. Heard it sung at a Promise Keepers conference way back when. Joseph Garlington does a great job singing it:

Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear), by Graham Kendrick

All I once held dear, built my life upon,
All this world reveres and wars to own;
All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
Spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all, You’re the best,
You’re my joy, my righteousness,
And I love You Lord.

Now my heart’s desire is to know You more,
To be found in You and know as Yours,
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh to know the power of Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings;
To become like You in Your death, my Lord,
So with You to live and never die.

�1993 Make Way Music (ASCAP)(Admin. by Integrity Music, Inc.)

More Precious Than Silver
August 28, 2010, 6:41 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

I will always remember my daughter Eva singing the first verse of this song to my wife and I when she was about 5-6 years old. Another great song that we sing a’cappella in our organic church group. It is somewhat modified from the words by Lynn Deshazo. Not sure who wrote the modified words in the second verse.

Lord, you are, more precious than silver
Lord, you are, more costly than gold
Lord, you are, more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares with you.

Lord, your love, is deeper than oceans
Lord, your love, is wider than seas
Lord, your love, encompasses your people
There’s nothing I want more inside of me.

Our Awesome God
August 28, 2010, 6:01 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

This is a song that I modified, from Rich Mullins chorus, for our ekklesia. It has been really neat to be able to sing it together a’cappella! The younger brothers and sisters who meet at my middle school in the mornings before school begins really enjoy singing it as well.

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is an awesome God

(just the brothers)
Our God is so Wonderful
He reigns within each of us
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is so Wonderful

(just the sisters)
Our God is so Beautiful
He reigns through His Lovely Bride
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is so Beautiful

Our God is a gracious God
He reigns through us, His Body
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is a gracious God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from Heaven above
With wisdom, pow’r and love
Our God is an awesome God.


“Revelation Song” by Jennie Riddle
August 28, 2010, 5:22 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven’s Mercy Seat
[Repeat 2x]

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You…!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I – will – adore You!

Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name
Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I – will – adore You!

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come,
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And – I – will – adore YOU…

(Chorus) (Repeat at a cappella)

Come up lift up His Name
To the King of Kings…
We will adore YOU Lord…
King of heaven and earth
King Jesus, King Jesus
Aleluya, aleluya, aleluya!
Majesty, awestruck Honor
And Power and Strength and Dominion
To You Lord,
To the King, to King
To the King of Glory

(Singer: Kari Jobe)

More lyrics:

We have seen Christ is reality
August 28, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

We have seen Christ is reality:
But it’s not sufficient just to see:
He in our experience must be
Everything to us.
We in prayer behold Him face to face,
In the Word and meetings know His grace;
But in daily life, in every place,
What is He to us?
Hallelujah! By His light we see
Oh, how real, how full our Lord will be
If we’ll only turn to Him at every time,
in every day,
Every thing, in every way and—
Be specific for reality!
And be done with generality!
If we’ll just apply Him, we will see
He’s everything to us.

Life is full of opportunities
Ordered by our Father’s hand:we see
Everything’s the best that it could be,
So let’s gain Christ!
Christ our content and reality
To shine out from us unceasingly:
He must have a way in you and me,
He must have a way.
Hallelujah! In the body we
Bear the death of Christ continually:
Thus His life comes forth for all to see as
The outer man is broken down,
The inner man is shining so that—
In these earthen vessels men can see
There’s the treasure of reality!
Thus the gospel’s glorious light will be
Shining out from us.

Not just doctrines and theology,
But the content of reality:
Christ as everything in you and me,
He’s everything to us!

Response About Organic Church Life
August 17, 2010, 2:40 am
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

We are called to love one another deeply. We love because He first loved us. “Behold, how they love one another.” “The fruit of the Spirit is love…” Sacrificial love, agape, is based on Christ’s life being lived through us. The institutional church mainly focuses on works, on doing something for the Lord. The organic church focuses on what Christ wants to do in us. He wants to dwell richly in His people. Our focus is on Jesus Christ as head, He is the one directing our gatherings. The basic problem of the institutional church is the institution, the structure that has replaced Christ as the head of His body.

Brother Tim from what I read you have concluded that living by Christ’s life, living like the New Testament early church is fruitless and impossible.

I do not think living a shared life together with other brothers and sisters, gathering in each others households, sharing Christ with one another to be “foolish and stupid arguments.”

I am not sure what “non church” looking means from your perspective. To the organic expression of church it means no institutionalism with no hierarchy with each person able to function freely to love one another. The families and brothers and sisters who we meet with are still learning to love one another as Christ loved us. We have a lot of religious baggage we are still trying to put off so we can learn to put on Christ. We are learning to sacrifice for one another, in most instances it is a sacrifice of our time, sacrificing our conveniences to spend time together and to learn about one another in order to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and to love one another deeper. We have found the importance of discerning the flesh and putting it down as we spend time together and accepting Christ’s life as our own by faith. We have been learning to bear with one another in love, to forgive one another as the Lord forgave us. We are learning to let each other share and not take up most of the time sharing. We are learning to let others lead songs and share their hearts to the Lord for all to be blessed. There is a myriad of ways we have been learning to help each other function.

Brother Tim we are learning not to focus our lives on going to this meeting or that meeting, to be a proper witness of the Lord and do as much serving as we can. Brother, Christ came to save those who are without a relationship with Him. It is ALL about relationships. To preach Christ apart from a deep loving relationship is to preach another gospel. Christ desires a relationship, our gatherings are about a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and with one another. It is not about meeting someone elses expectations of “church” it is not about judging one another because they are different, it is about loving one another in spite of our differences. We do not preach, that’s the job of the church planter, we teach one another, we exhort one another, we encourage one another, we sing to the Lord together, we share with each other, we listen to one another, etc. We are members of one body and He desires peace to rule in our hearts and to have Himself dwell richly within us. Only when this happens will we begin to express that same love to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.

It is not about how many to convert but how deeply we can love one another and in so doing allowing others see that love and desire that same kind of love that comes from the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s the church in the New Testament, His body, in whom His fullness dwells. That only happens when we love one another deeply from the heart, when we are enslaved to one another in love, because of the love of Christ. That’s what the world desires someone who will love them unconditionally and authentically and relationally not to be put into a system of programs and services to make them a religious person focused on what they do for the Lord.

I hope that this will become real for you that the love of Christ would move your own heart to allow Christ be the head of His church, to get out of the way and allow all of God’s people to share freely and to function freely. Our problem is that too often we do what we know we do what we have seen. And that too often is religious stuff, people in charge of this, people doing this program, people just sitting and listening. We learn relationships at a distance too often in our institutional churches because the system is set up that way, it helps to isolate us from one another, therefore no one really is able to function under the Lordship of Jesus Christ personally or corporately under His headship. The reason I guess that many complain about the institutional church is because they desire LIFE WITH CHRIST in a relational way with ONLY Christ leading and directing our times together and they are not finding His life in the institutional church. That takes time, it is a deconstructing process to learn to put off the old man of religion, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and to put on Jesus Christ, the tree of life.

Just some thoughts. God bless you brother.