JohnSWilson3 Blog


The Church as Family by Molong Nacua
October 31, 2010, 2:57 pm
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

Thought this was a wonderful description of the organic nature of the body of Christ by brother Molong Nacua from a facebook post who lives in the Philippines. Thought I would share what he said:

“No plan at all, we meet together as family, ‘being church together as family,’ we don’t go to church. No schedule to meet, we don’t meetings but we meet a lot. It is doing life together/JEsUS LIFE TOGETHER, that is while doing things togeth…er, cooking, eating, sleeping, walking to the market, gardening. swimming – lots of discussions happen, lots of prayers happen = everyday. Yes, everyday.

“We live from house to house, we encourage every family to live close together to look after each other, either a family is renting a house or buying or building, let’s live close to each other because we are family. It’s easy doing the 58 one another in the Bible because we live house to house like the early church. How can you put schedule of meetings in these types of gathering? What kind of religious activity does this kind of life fit into? When you eat, you eat with other brethren next door, or they come to you, when you have coffee have coffee together, when you go to the market take someone with you, this does make you busier? No, because you use the same time you do things to other people.

“When they get sick, everyone knows directly, everybody shares something ‘without prayer either God will lead you,’ you are family, they are family, thats normal, help is normal in the family. Purpose is giving is sharing, if you give and others don’t give this is giving only, not sharing, Guest gives but a family shares.

“No program meetings, schedules whatsoever. ‘NO TRACE OF RELIGION” here. Jesus is our life 24/7, how can you “attend a meeting” to Christ on that? We sing, we pray, we laugh, we cry, because Jesus is our life. In Him we live and move and have our being.”



How I Came Out of the Institutional Church
October 31, 2010, 1:02 pm
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

This is a facebook message that I sent a brother about how I came out of the institutional church, with some editing:

I guess if you’d like to read some of my testimonies from my blog of what we have been learning you could get some background: https://johnswilson3.wordpress.com/category/1-discovering-organic-church-life-testimony/

For a number of years the Lord seemed to have been moving my family and I away from the institutional church, but didn’t realize it. Many years ago I had read “Paul’s Idea of Community” but somehow never got the connection with it and organic church, after this past year it makes all the sense in the world!

The Lord allowed my last seminary class (yes I was attending a seminary extension, lol) to be on Missions and read “Church Planting Movement” and it opened my eyes to cell and house churches, a more relational form of church. Something about relational form of church moved my heart and so began to learn more about it. At the same time I had gotten involved in helping to transition a church to a cell church, and after about a year it blew up in our faces, a lot of hurt people, pastor was “relieved” and I was slandered. During that time I had read “House Church Networks” by Larry Krieder which began some of God’s dealings with me regarding meeting organically, e.g. a cell group that did not have a leadership hierarchy like cell churches do (cell churches are very leader heavy).

I retired from the Army and at the same time was no longer able to afford or attend the seminary extension and realized God had removed that “institutional” aspect of my life. I began teaching 7th grade science and later I got involved with a ministry to a couple churches involving small groups and cell groups, but I was ever the person to organize and administer and got pulled into teaching Bible studies basically.

Our son, Teddy, was diagnosed with lyphoma during the first year after my retirement which was probably some of the hardest times we have had as a family, since we had left our previous “church” due to the cell “explosion” (in the negative sense) so it was also a very lonely time for us, dealing with how to take care of Teddy, especially for my wife. But that first summer after retirement God gave us grace and the lymphoma was destroyed and Teddy is considered cure now after five years.

After a couple churches later we settled into attending a local baptist church and decided to no longer “minister” while attending the “worship services.” My wife and I met some wonderful couples and one whom we love a lot and just focused on relationships. I had been getting e-mail ministry messages from House 2 House and George Barna from previous research into church life and such and began reading a number of books just last summer: Revolution, The Rabbit and the Elephant, and Pagan Christianity and a host of others. My understanding of “Christianity” was forever changed as a result.

I got onto facebook as a result of a friend of mine and started meeting others of similar understanding of the church. I also got connected to HouseChurchResources.com and started getting updates on blogs and conferences. At the end of the summer of last year it just so happened that Milt Rodriguez and Frank Viola were hosting an Organic Church Life Conference in Houston. I attended the weekend conference. While there I met the brothers and sisters who lived in the western area of Houston (Katy, West Houston, Sugar Land) and have been meeting ever since. The rest of the story is mainly the rest of the blog under “Discovering Organic Church Testimony.”

Over the past year of reading the Scriptures and looking at them from an organic perspective I have found them to be truly consistent and practical in every sense of the word. I have gotten into reading from Milt Rodriguez, Frank Viola, Jon Zens, T. Austin Sparks and Watchman Nee to name a few and realizing how the Lord wants us to experience the riches of Christ together and only in face to face community and living by His life together is that truly possible, even from the brief time we have been together.

As Frank puts it organic church involves both the gore and the glory of Christ. It involves crucifixion and resurrection. I have found that the Scriptures now truly make much more sense learning to live by His life with other brothers and sisters in face to face community. The flesh and the Spirit, there is definitely a conflict! It is not for the faint of heart, it will test your faith and love for one another and Christ. “With patience, bearing with one another in love” and “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to be angry” seems oft needed words from the Lord for me and the group as we learn Christ together. We are still learning to detox from being religious to being authentic and real with each other, trusting each other, loving one another. It is very difficult since all of us have been in the institutional church for many decades, with the many masks that we learn to put on, and it is hard for many of us to see the baggage and drop it. I could go on but think this kind of spells out where I am coming from. Hope that helps brother.

God bless as you seek Him and live by His life in an organic way with other brothers an sisters in Christ, to know Him better!



Learning to put off the old man in organic church life
October 24, 2010, 2:33 am
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony

I have to say I’m not really sure how to approach this topic since putting off the old man tends to sound negative, but to be truthful, while learning organic church life there has been great blessing but there has been a cost involved. But we have found that the cost of putting off the old man is actually a needed thing because it allows the body to put on Christ. Putting off the old man has dealt some death blows to a lot of selfishness and pride in many in our group. Christ is not yet done. In other cases it has caused others to no longer share life with us.

I do not plan to share all of the gore of what has happened the past year or so that we have been together since attending the “Organic Church Life Conference” in Houston, TX, that would really be insensitive to our brothers and sisters. Learning to live by Christ’s life in an organic way is very difficult for those who come from the institutional church, me included. Most leaving the institutional church to an “organic” church environment have a lot of religious baggage and we oftentimes don’t even know we are carrying it. Our group is still detoxing even after a year of gathering. While we have been gathering for just over a year we have still yet to really move beyond a once a week gathering. We have yet to see “everyday they continued to meet together” due mainly to the distance that we are from one another. We desire to be together and so the travel to meet at least once a week has been one of our main sacrifices we have given for one another. We have tended instead to meet in smaller groups in an even more informal setting every so often, some time during the week, mainly in just spending time together in various “family” settings. Organic church life is really like being in a family, a place where you are free to share life with others in authenticity with no masks.

Getting to where we are now has been necessary in how Christ is knitting us together as a body. A brother on facebook asked about some of the challenges that we have had in our group and I guess this is the reason for this post to my blog. Here are some of my thoughts that I shared with him that gets to what I have been trying to say:

“…whenever we meet it generally is different every time. Sometimes it is just a time of sharing, others a time of singing. Many times it is sharing, singing and serving one another in various ways. Sometimes we are meeting in a home together or at a park or at a restaurant. it depends.

“We’ve had some families straight out of the institutional church and they bring their baggage of expectations with them, not understanding how to share relationally, and not listening to Christ and responding as He leads (of course all of us are still learning this, lol). We’ve also had some who had refused to listen to the brethren on a number of occasions because they were controlling the body life and even refused to listen to the body; was very distressful. So yeah, we have lost three families in this past year of learning to gather organically.

“In flow of spiritual gifts I’d have to say yes and no, it depends. Gathering as a body means gathering like a family, God’s family, so most of us have a big focus on getting to know one another really well. Where there is genuine love and trust, freedom to share with each other, I have to say the gifts in the body seem to flow organically, when something is amiss in the group it is spiritually noticeable, the focus has moved away from Christ, this too we are still learning.

“Learning to bear our crosses, dieing to ourselves, is of primary importance to the Lord if we are ever to live organically. Learning to live by Christ’s life is a challenge and at the same time immensely satisfying! We desire His fullness.”

A sister asked something similar and this was my response to her to add to what I just shared:

“Our group met at Milt and Frank’s “Organic Church Life Conference” in Houston last summer and started following the part 3 of Finding Organic Church. We did some of it, read it together in the group and discussed some of it. Most in the group have read Frank’s as well as many others, such as Watchman Nee, T. Austin Sparks, Alan Hirsch, Milt Rodriguez (Franks church planting associate), etc. But we have only read the part 3 of Frank’s in the group. Our group tends to like more spontaneity than reading a book (although I don’t mind, since I’m a reader, lol). Sometimes I’m the one who shares from what I’ve read in the book as a result, lol. We have used MP3 audios and notes from the meetings we had as a reminder from time to time. Most of our focus has been getting to know one another, learning about each other, etc. Through this the Lord often leads us to pray for one another, sing together, search the Scriptures, speaking words of encouragement to one another, etc. We want Christ as Head and it has been a learning process, eg. putting off the old man, bearing with one another in love with all patience, and putting on Christ.”

As we learn to live by Christ’s life together everyone has grown spiritually in a tremendous way! And while it has not all been “fun” it has been completely worthwhile and He has given us blessing upon blessing. I know that my own wife’s spiritual life with Christ has grown amazingly! Our children now have fun when we meet with the brothers and sisters! Learning to be free from religious duty and to focus on living by Christ together relationally in face to face community has made a big difference in how we see daily life, expressing Him in our homes, neighborhoods, with friends, at work with co-workers, with institutional church brothers and sisters, etc. All of us can share testimonies of various ways God has expressed Himself through us in the everyday things of life, for His praise and glory! Truly we learn Christ in community, and it makes a big impact in how He lives Himself through us to others. It really is all about Christ, His relationship in and through and for His family, and His love and grace being lived through us to one another. As Frank Viola and Milt Rodriguez have said many times – resurrection comes after crucifixion! It is so true. We are still learning by faith to see ourselves, our flesh, as having died with Christ and that Christ is our life. So we continue to learn to “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

We look forward to seeing our Lord find a place of rest for His family, His bride, His body. There have been times of weeping and joy when we have experienced in a small way this blessing together. We look forward to “attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

If this is what you desire, a fresh life with a relational God, the Lord Jesus Christ, then seek Him and others who desire to live by Christ’s life together. Open up your home, share life with others, remove the bonds of religion, and drink deeply of Christ. See the Scriptures come to life as you live by His life organically with other brothers and sisters in Christ. May you be a part of that same kind of face to face community in each others homes, in each others lives, so that He to may find a place of rest in your home, in your neighborhood, and in your workplace. You will have to put off the old man of living the self life if you ever to put on the New Man with the brothers and sisters. We are the body of Christ “and in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.”

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”



“The New Man,” words arranged by John S. Wilson III
October 16, 2010, 2:26 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Led to write some words about Christ and His bride and Journey’s song “Open Arms” came to mind. Using Ephesians and Colossians and the tune of “Open Arms” this is what came out. Have tried singing it to Open Arms and think it fits, fun!

Living inside us, never to leave
Blessed with all blessings in Christ
Asking to know You, our mind is Yours
Bearing with one another in love
His peace rules in our hearts
Christ is our life
His family and body

Chorus:
God raised us up with Christ, seated in h’vn
Open to grace, open to Your love
God loves us so, with His great love
Looking to see Your life living in us
The New Man

Setting our hearts on th’ings above
Not on earthly things that are dead
Wanting more of You, bearing our cross
How much we want You to dwell

Come now brothers, sisters
Christ revealed in love
Yes, our everything

Chorus:
God raised us up with Christ, seated in h’vn
Open to grace, open to Your love
God loves us so, with His great love
Looking to see Your life living in us
The New Man

Words arranged by John S. Wilson III



“How He Loves” by David Crowder Band
October 10, 2010, 2:13 pm
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

http://www.onlylyrics.com/hits.php?grid=11&id=1034792



“…he might show the incomparable riches of his grace…”
October 10, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

Starting into the second chapter of Ephesians is truly remarkable! After Paul paints an incredible portrait of Christ and His church, whereby “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” Paul immediately contrasts this with how far we were from Christ.

In the literal translation it says: “And you being dead in the trespasses and in the sins of you, in which then ye walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit – now operating in the sons – of disobedience; among whom also we all conducted ourselves then in the lusts of the flesh of us, doing the wishes of the flesh and of the understandings, and were children by nature of wrath as also the rest…” In chapter 1 Paul told the church in Ephesus that “in love he predestined us to be adopted (placed) as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his good pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace”! At one time we were “sons of disobedience” but now we are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”! As Paul told the churches in Galatia: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.” Have we really thought about how much He took away in giving us of Himself? Jesus said “the Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.”

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” “His great love for us” is literally:”because of the much love of his with which he loved us.” Can we really get into these few words? The depth of there meaning! No wonder Paul kept “asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” The song by David Crowder Band “How He Loves” comes to mind (http://www.onlylyrics.com/hits.php?grid=11&id=1034792). Oh, how He loves us. he loves us so much that “even when we were dead in transgressions” He “made us alive with Christ.” To the church in Colosse Paul said that “when you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature (literally “flesh”), God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” It’s been taken away! Wow! “It is by grace you have been saved!” (I think Paul would have put an exclamation point their!) Being saved is about being made “alive with Christ.”

We “were dead” and walked by our flesh and were “sons of disobedience.” But now because of Christ, receiving Him as Lord, we have been made “alive with Christ.” That IS salvation! He is salvation! While we are now sons of God here on this earth at the same time “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” We are no longer of this world! Christ sees us with Himself in eternity, right now! “Our citizenship is in heaven!” But God has a purpose. Being made “alive with Christ,” being saved, being a citizen of heaven was according to “his good pleasure and will,” “the mystery of his will,” “the purpose of his will” which was that we “might be for the praise of his glory!” “He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” His purpose was that “in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” He desires that His Son be manifested to all of creation through His sons and daughters! As Paul told the church in Rome: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

The Father desires to see us live by His Spirit that dwells in us in a corporate way not just individually, because it is when we do we together begin to “show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” When we listen and follow the Spirit together then His life will be shown forth. I cannot reveal all of Christ by myself, I need my brothers and sisters to see the fullness of Christ. His life of love, His life of grace which are “incomparable” to anything we can think of or imagine! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The church is God’s workmanship or literally “poem.” I get the sense that another way of saying this is “For we are God’s poem, created in Christ Jesus to be His song.” A song expresses the heart. The church is Christ’s expression, His song, that shows His beautiful life of grace! When the church of the living God is living by His Spirit in close loving relationship with one another with their Lord His life will be made manifested. And we will see His life expressed, “the incomparable riches of his grace”! “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.” Let us ask our Lord together “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” How we need to know Him better, how we need to know “His great love for us with which He loved us!” Let us be His song, let us live by His life together so that the world may see a different a new creation, a different kind of people, a family of God, a life of faith, love, hope, grace, and freedom. The world awaits such a song.



“The Ecclesiastes Project” by Mark Van Hoeven
October 6, 2010, 2:34 am
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Some great music by Mark Van Hoeven, titled “The Ecclesiastes Project.” Go to his website and listen! http://markvh.com/