Friday, September 24, 2010

Church Is Not A Building

Church is not a building. Church is not an event that takes place on Sundays. I know, its how we think of it. "I go to First Baptist." "We are members of St. Luke's." "Is it time to go to church?" Much to our surprise, that is not how the Bible uses the term. Not at all. When the Scripture talks about church, it means community. The little fellowships of the heart that are outposts of the kingdom. A shared life. They worship together, eat together, pray for one another, go on quests together. They hang out together, in each other's homes. When Peter is sprung from prison, "he went to the house of Mary the mother of John? where many people had gathered and were praying" (Acts 12:12).

Anytime an army goes to war or an expedition takes to the field, it breaks down into little platoons and squads. And every chronicle of war or quest will tell you that the men and women who fought so bravely fought for each other. That's where the acts of heroism and sacrifice take place, because that's where the devotion is. You simply can't be devoted to a mass of people; devotion takes place in small units, just like a family.

We have stopped short of being an organization; we are an organism instead, a living and spontaneous association of individuals who know one another intimately, care for each other deeply, and feel a kind of respect for one another that makes rules and bylaws unnecessary. A group is the right size, I would guess, when each member can pray for every other member, individually and by name.

This is the wisdom of Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles into communist countries for decades. It's the model, frankly, of the church in nearly every country but the U.S. Now, I'm not suggesting you don't do whatever it is you do on Sunday mornings. I'm simply helping you accept reality - that whatever else you do, you must have a small fellowship to walk with you and fight with you and bandage your wounds. This is essential. (Waking The Dead , 192 )

Do we se the parallel in recovery? We must of an accountability team, a sponsor and accountability partners if we are going to survive the war. War? Yes I said did say war. Trust me the enemy of our soul has declared open war upon us and we need to take that as seriously as it sounds. I need to have a platoon (an accountability team) about me to help me to pray, to fight with me and to keep me on track in those times when that is needed.

I am starting to see the word “church” not as a nice place to visit but as an outpost of warriors ready to take the enemy out at his knees.

“God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side. Those who are after me will be sent sprawling— Slapstick buffoons falling all over themselves, a spectacle of humiliation no one will ever forget.” Jeremiah 20:11 (The Message)

No Slapstick buffoons allowed!!

Excerpts from:
John Eldredge’s book, "Waking the Dead"
Plus some commentary from Tim Kelley, CR Encourager Coach Fellowship Bible CR.

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney @ 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Top Priorities

Here are five simple suggestions to help make loving your spouse a top priority, second only to your relationship with Christ. Remember, giving your marriage the time and attention it deserves truly matters to God. He will help you implement these steps if you are willing to order your life and marriage according to His will.

1. Pray together before the day begins.
Couples that pray regularly together experience less than a 1 percent divorce rate.

2. Act out love to experience feelings of love.
One of the mysteries of keeping a softened heart is that we must continue to ACT that way even when we don't feel that way.

3. Spend thirty minutes a day in a shared activity and intimate conversation.
It's a truism that men communicate as the result of a shared activity, while women view communication as the activity itself. Make spending thirty minutes together a top priority so that you can stay connected through intimate conversation.

4. Give your spouse the right to access you any time day or night.
One of the important ways to communicate the priority your spouse is in your life is to allow them to interrupt your schedule. The important point needs to be established that your spouse comes first.

5. Submit your time decisions to the fifty-year rule.
The fifty-year rule simply asks, "Fifty years from now will we be glad or regret the way we used our time today?"
We need to take this advice of Scripture to heart,
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
(Psalm 90:12)
Our marriages all come with an expiration date. We may have only this day to connect our hearts; tomorrow may not come. We need to ask God to give us the wisdom to see our marriage as He sees our marriage. Once we do, we will make it the first and highest priority in our lives after our relationship with Christ.
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts..."

Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Thursday, September 23, 2010
email: cherylmoeller@comcast.net to subscribe

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, September 20, 2010

Greed - The Insatiable Monster of Marriage

Greed is the jealous hunger to obtain more than we need at any cost. A couple driven by greed will never know true peace or contentment.

Why is greed, the insatiable monster, never enough?

1. Greed is ultimately based on a lack of faith in God's provision.
2. Greed is driven by the lie that the things of the world can satisfy our hearts.

The Biblical cure for greed is Thanksgiving:

A life of continual thanksgiving to God is the remedy for greed. Thanksgiving focuses on all we have been given rather than all we lack. Thanksgiving acknowledges God Himself is more than enough. Thanksgiving sets us free to enjoy all we have without comparison or complaint.

(Jesus said to them) "Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15


Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Monday, September 20, 2010
Email: cherylmoeller@comcast.net to subscribe

For information on Celebrate Recovery contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attitude…or Beatitude?

I have a point blank question for you; do you treat people with piercings, colored hair, tattoos or anything out of the “norm” with the same respect as you do a person in a business suit?

Recently I observed a young man receive what appeared to be judgmental looks as well as an attitude from a business man. (With that said, there is NO way for me to know what someone else is thinking. I’m going by my own experiences and what the appearance was at the time and place.)

This young man was taking orders and making sandwiches in a restaurant.
As I stepped up to order after the business man, the young man’s eyes just barely met mine so that I would know that it was my turn to order.
(Whatever the reason was for his lack of eye contact, I felt compassion for him.) I placed my order, went on, got my sandwich, and sat down to eat when I realized that it was missing one of the main ingredients. I really didn’t want to say anything about it, but somehow I knew that’s exactly what I needed to do. I took the sandwich back to the counter where I had ordered. The only person available to speak with was the young man with the piercings and blue and red colored hair. I gently asked him about the ingredients on the sandwich. He appeared somewhat stressed about the error, but quickly and politely took care of it. As he handed my sandwich back to me, he looked as if he were dreading what I had to say to him. “Thanks and have a nice day” was all that needed to be said. He seemed somewhat surprised.

Oh, how important it is that we treat others with the same respect in which we want to be treated!! As is says in the bible; “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

At this moment, my heart was overwhelmed with compassion for this young man. All I could do, at this point, was pray for salvation (if needed) for him, as well as salvation for anyone in the restaurant willing to do so, whenever and wherever possible in their lifetime.

In Matthew, Jesus spoke these words, better known as “The Beatitudes”.
They are guidelines in which to help us in our walk with the Lord…things that will be seen- in us- by others, as followers of Christ.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad for great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

Now, I have no idea whether or not the business man was a Christian or not. That’s not for me to judge. But, I do know this. Those of us who have come to know Jesus as our Savior, really need to make the highest priority of allowing the love of God not only show…but, flow through us.
We have no reason to boast of our own salvation or anything else for that matter. If we are saved, we are saved, not by anything that we have done, but by the grace and mercy that God has extended to us through the death of His only son, Jesus. “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.” Ephesians 2: 8-9 It’s now our job to “keep ourselves in a state” that allows God’s love, mercy and grace to be shown to others through us. Stir up the Holy Spirit within yourself.
Ask God to show you how to show His love to those around you…no matter where you are. Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes?

As I left the sandwich shop that day, all I could think of is how my Savior was pierced…for me...on the cross. His hair was, more likely than not, colored red with blood…for me. His body was tattooed with bruises and injuries from being beaten and whipped…for me…for my salvation…salvation through Jesus Christ, something I cannot earn or purchase. Salvation is a gift that has been given to me and you, freely, by the Creator of the universe. All we have to do is receive it. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes, we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

I wonder if the business man would have reacted with the same look and attitude if it had been Jesus, pierced, red hair and tattooed with bruises, behind that counter? I believe this is a good question for all of us. (In no way, shape or form, do I intend an attitude of judgment towards the business man.) Do you have an attitude or are you practicing the beatitudes? I ask this same question of myself. I want to continue to press into the Lord…more of Him and less of me. It will only make me a better person.

I have to confess…I continue to be amazed by God’s ability to take such a common, everyday occurrence, show His love, grace and mercy through me, a sinner saved by grace, then, give me the words to share with others. I intend no praise for myself through this or any other writing. I am both humbled and grateful to be used and taught by God in this way. It is my hope and prayer that you, too, will find God leading you in the same way.

By :: angie c tipton, "The Landing" worship leader Friday Nights at Fellowship.

If you would like info about Celebrate Recovery or the teen version "The Landing", contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Humility: God's Turbocharger that will Energize Your Marriage

Humility: God's Turbocharger that will Energize Your Marriage
Philippians 2:1-11
Definition: Humility is letting God have the place in our heart that "Self" wants to occupy.

A. What Does a Spiritually Energized Marriage Look Like?

1. We are united eternally to Christ
2. We are living daily in fellowship with the Holy Spirit
3. We are walking in agreement as a couple.
4. We are acting out love to the other person when life hurts
5. We are pursuing oneness in our life's calling and commitments.

B. How is the Power of Humility Released in a Marriage?

1. We give up all selfishness or pride in our married relationship.
2. We consider our spouse's needs before our own.
3. We don't lord our position, role, gifts, strengths, or money over our spouse.
4. We give up all right to use our rights in any selfish way.
5. We let our servant spirit not our controlling attitude change the heart of our spouse.
6. We leave our desire for all recognition and rewards in God's hands.
7. We submit everything to the Glory Test: Will this make a name for me or for God?

Dear Lord God,
I confess I have at times been living my life in pride and selfishness, particularly in my marriage.
I ask you to empty my heart of any desire or right to use my position, role, gifts, strengths, or money in any self-serving way and instead to fill my heart with true humility. I now yield the place in my heart that "Self" has occupied for so long to the control of Jesus Christ. I ask that all I do and say in my marriage from this point onward be to the Glory of God the Father. In the name above every name, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen


Marriage Minutes
Bob and Cheryl Moeller
Tuesday, September 7, 2010


If you would like information about Celebrate Recovery here at Fellowship Bible NW Arkansas contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Monday, September 6, 2010

Do you have a scar?

Do you have a scar? : http://wp.me/p12MHN-16

For information about Celebrate Recovery at Fellowship Bible Church in Arkansas contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Saturday, September 4, 2010

God's Family Lasts Forever

Since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you. Galatians 4:7 (NLT)
Your spiritual family is even more important than your physical family because it will last forever. Our families on earth are wonderful gifts from God, but they are temporary and fragile, often broken by divorce, distance, growing old, and inevitably, by death.
The apostle Paul says, “When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God – some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth” (Ephesians 3:14-15 LB).
On the other hand, our spiritual family – our relationship to other believers – will continue throughout eternity. It is a much stronger union, a more permanent bond, than blood relationships.
The Bible teaches, “To all who did accept him and believe in him he gave the right to become children of God. They did not become his children in any human way – by any human parents or human desire. They were born of God” (John 1:12-13 NCV).
The moment you were spiritually born into God’s family, you were given some astounding birthday gifts: the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance!
By Rick Warren
September 4, 2010 - God's Family Lasts Forever - Daily Hope

For information about Celebrate Recovery 479-659-3679 or roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Says You Are Valuable

You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears. 1 Corinthians 7:23 (TLB)

God says not only are you accepted; you're valuable.
How much do you think you're worth? I'm not talking about your net worth; I'm talking about your self worth. Don't ever confuse your valuables with your value as a person. You can be rich or poor but it has nothing to do with your value as a person.
What determines value? There are two things that determine value in life:
1 - It depends on what someone is willing to pay for it. How much is your house worth? Not as much as you think it is, and probably not as much as it was a year ago. Your house is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it. No more.
How much is a baseball card worth? To some of you, it's worth nothing. To Matthew, my son, it's worth a lot of money. Some people are willing to pay $10,000 for a baseball card.
How much is a piece of art worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
2 - It depends on who owned it in the past. Sometimes something is valuable because of who used to own it. For example, would a car owned by Elvis Presley be more valuable than a car you owned? Probably. Or, would a guitar be more valuable because it was owned by John Lennon? I read about a pair of stinky, smelly, worn out basketball shoes that sold for $7,000 at an auction because they happened to be owned by someone named Michael Jordan.
Based on these two things, what's your value? Ask yourself, ‘Who owns me?’ ‘What was paid for me?’ The Bible says, “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 TLB)
You have been bought and paid for by Christ. You belong to Jesus. How much does that make you worth?
Now ask yourself, ‘Who do I belong to?’ The Bible says you belong to God. God exchanged His own Son for you! The Cross proves your value. Jesus didn't die for junk. You are incredibly valuable. Nobody has ever paid a greater price than God paid for you. You are acceptable and you are valuable!

By Rick Warren
August 31, 2010 - God Says You Are Valuable - Daily Hope


If you would like to learn information about Celebrate Recovery please contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or email roholmstrom@fellowshipnwa.org