It’s only too common,
Churches that are dying.
Those that attend
Their memories recall
Just a Sunday Service.
What can be done?
Never give up hope!
Prayer is the key.
Call those loving members together,
Resolve to pray for revival,
Continuing prayer feasts.
Seek help from a stronger church.
Three or four dedicated members,
Prepared to serve for six months.
Busy with visitation,
Busy with weekday events,
Search for musicians,
Shout for the forming of a choir..
Nothing is impossible.
Then a youth club
One packed with challenge.
Keep the prayer meetings,
Keep the faith.
There will be revival.
Let no church close down,
They are sacred,
Keep them open
You’ve seen the heading!
Forget everything else,
Just follow me now.
I got bored with religion
That was at your age.
I said all religions were the same,
Nothing to attract
I was wrong,
I found Jesus was great.
I found Him in Malaysia
Asian teenagers showed me,
Showed me Jesus.
Once a week they met,
Met to pray and sing and testify.
Non-Christians filled with Jesus.
They radiated enthusiasm,
They shone and glowed.
Weekdays all cycled to school,
Seven am they stopped at the church,
Half an hour to talk,
Talk with Jesus.
Nicknamed “The Cross Bearers”
They changed my life,
I never looked back.
It’s the greatest.
You cannot beat it.
Want some support?
Just blog me!
IDEAS THAT CAN HELP.
1. Find even just one friend on your side.
2. Go see a Church Pastor say you want to start a Christian Teen Group.
]3. Tell him you want a good programme.
4. Support for sports and games.
5. A weekly spot for Christian subjects and discussion, questions. No long lectures. Call it “Adventure Time”
6. Run a recruiting drive.
7. Get hold of teen age Christians maybe from other churches for testimonies.
8. Any musical talent ? Then use it with up beat teen Christian songs.
9. Get ideas fro fellow teen agers on making programmes hum.
Now the above was for one or two Christian teenagers to get something started. What about teenagers who do not believe ? Find a church with a youth group – visit – maybe two or three of you together. Not your style ? Then try another place and if you are really interested inside you find a place and settle down ! Don’t agree ? Then blog me!
I DID IT MY WAY
So goes a well known song
Sung by a so-called “star.”
Most of the world do so.
Go their way!
What a tragedy! It reflects sin,
All me and me and me.
Yet God made us
And not to be that way.
Jesus showed us.
“Love your neighbours”,
“Go the second mile,”
“Tend the sick,”
Then His examples,
He wept for others,
He worked hard for others,
Nothing for himself,
Everything for others.
Then the massive sacrifice,
Dying on the cross,
Showing His love.
Sing a new song,
“We’ll do it His Way”
Again and again and again.
Read this, ponder about whether the cap fits you now or in the past! I used to live my way. I thought I was in charge. My little world! Brought up in a Christian home I still took charge, I had not accepted Jesus as my Saviour. Then travelling to Penang in Malaysia at the age of twenty I joined a thriving church. The Youth Fellowship was great. Many young Malaysians had found Jesus, even though their parents were against such an event. At least one was told he would be disowned. He decided the Jesus Way. Their example woke me up. I realised how important it was to decide one way or another. Thank God! I chose the Jesus Way – shown by teenagers. Thank God for them! Those who read this may be on the Jesus Way – but if not think hard. Your future eternally depends on your choice. Take the plunge, join the Jesus Way!
Everybody has their own ideas about what practicing faith means. I’ve gotten together with two other authors, Lewie Clark and R.E. Clark, who wrote about faith, discipleship, and missionary work to answer some questions.
1. What does it mean to practice your faith?
Lewie Clark: To love God and to love others.
R.E. Clark: Scripture is very direct in describing faith as having no evidence apart from works. James spoke of this in his epistle extensively. He simply declared that faith without works is dead. This is not a faith that comes from our works, but works that a natural outgrowth of faith that is real.
Instead of using the concept of practicing one’s faith, I like to frame it in the context of exercising one’s faith. Faith comes to us in three ways.
First, there is salvation faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11) and by faith are we saved not of works lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2.) Second, unto every person is given a measure of faith (Romans 12.) With this each of us has the capacity to believe God in those times that nothing less than faith can explain the circumstances. Third, some, but not all, receive the spiritual gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12.) This gift allows the person who has received this spiritual gift to believe God in unbelievable times to the point of seeing God intervene in supernatural ways.
Paul Juby: In a nutshell to be do-ers of the Word. Inactivity is impossible.
2. What can happen to faith if it is not practiced?
Lewie Clark: Cynicism. Inner death.
R.E. Clark: Nothing. That is the simple answer based upon Hebrews 11. Without faith nothing happens. Then again, things happen by the sovereign will of God in spite of faithlessness. Now this appears to be contradictory, but it is not.
God gives the faith to believe Him. It is not generated like wishful thinking. Faith can no more be contained that God can and when the will of God is moving faithlessness cannot thwart it. God cannot deny Himself. He is faithful who begins a good work and will see it through to completion. He may use someone else to act upon the gift of faith or the measure of faith, but act He will.
Paul Juby: The spiritual death of a Christian.
3. What role should community play in practicing your faith?
Lewie Clark: I believe that discipleship must begin by engrafting a person into a group (spiritual family) where he feels that he truly belongs, and out of that belonging will flow the spiritual formation of his life and character. Belonging in the first thing.
R.E. Clark: The only element of faith that has a community component is the spiritual gift of faith. Because it is given to the body it is there to benefit the whole. Salvation faith is not dependent on community. This is evident when one person out of an entire family or community comes to know Christ as Savior. The measure of faith is given for specific moments and is given for personal edification. The spiritual gift of faith can have an impact on a community of believers because it is given to edify the whole.
Paul Juby: The Church community – backing up in every way what is being done. The outside community : Each dedicated Christian to have some attachment to secular groups and “radiate” their beliefs, befriend and invite, become known as someone to be noticed because they seem to be is some way worth knowing.
4. What is your favorite way to practice your faith?
Lewie Clark: To build loving relationship among my spiritual brothers and sisters.
R.E. Clark: Again, I take odds with the terminology of practicing faith. I do however find the most rewarding exercise of faith to be in the opportunities of giving my faith away to another. As I share the evidence of faith at work in my life and give testimony of its life changing processes, I am privileged to be present when that person receives the present of the presence of Christ.
Paul Juby: Through evangelical preaching which I do about 3 weeks out of four week each month. Through the writing of my books.
5. What advice would you give to someone wanting to practice their faith?
Lewie Clark: To practice genuine faith cannot be separated from love and from one’s relationship with one’s spiritual brothers and sisters. “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love God is love . . .To live in love is to live in God and God in him.” (1 John 4)
R.E. Clark: Stop trying! If you really understand that faith originates with God you will simply receive it in its simplest form: salvation faith. Accept the gift of faith as a work of grace in your life. Allow God to give you a measure of faith and begin to exercise that faith by believing God in spite of all that you see and hear. Finally, if you are given the spiritual gift of faith then function in faith in all that you do. You will know very soon whether you have the gift of faith or not. You will not be less of a Christian is you do not; you will just discover that God has gifted you in another area instead.
Paul Juby: To link up with at least one other similar person to decide their plans and pray and work together. There are a myriad of ways to invite people to special events, to organize a Question and Answer Group, to aim at definite witnessing.
The three of us have different things to say on several different topics. Check out R.E. Clark’s website to hear about missionary work, and Lewie Clark’s blog to see what we had to say about discipleship.
Are there any golfers around ? You love getting a hole in one! Christians have something similar. When filled with enthusiasm you score your hole in one! What I call “The Big E”. The Big E is contagious and very hard to dampen down.
The two Marys were the first to know Christ had risen. They rushed back to tell the disciples the good news. Once the disciples were convinced they spent their lives preaching and witnessing filled with enthusiasm.
And the result? Many believers and churches being founded in many places.
Then Paul took up the challenge, his enthusiasm was to the hilt. There are no records of churches started by boring preaching or boring Christians!
Today Christianity is worldwide. Proof that The Big E works. Without it we would have been pagans! The Big E has been around for over 2000 years. The poems in “Revival Hallelujah” are written to spread enthusiasm, for The Big E to come into every reader and change the world! And at ground level change themselves and their churches.
These poems are for your lives to be lit up and for your churches to glow.
Have you ever felt that something is just not as it ought to be in Christianity today? You’re not the only one. “Is Your Jesus the Bible Jesus?” (published by WestBow Press), a new book by Marie (Fowler) York, contends that modern Christianity is not true to the Bible – and is actually destroying far too many people who trust their souls to it.
The author, a Biblical scholar for more than 50 years, has scrutinized God’s word and come to the conclusion that Christendom is on the wrong track. Her book issues a clarion call back to the Gospel, and the discipleship, of the first-century Church, a cry going unheard in today’s churches. “Is Your Jesus the Bible Jesus?” represents a bold challenge to the Christian establishment that doesn’t back down from exposing the Church’s failures.
“I have watched Christendom as a whole degenerate into a social society that bears no resemblance to the faith that was once delivered unto the saints,” says York. Today’s Christian faith “is a far cry from that of the early Church … this condition has led to many professed believers who believe in a ‘Jesus’ who is not of the Bible.”
Marie York’s “Is Your Jesus The Bible Jesus?” is very relevant. That question could be stamped on every page of “Revival Hallelujah”. Marie recognizes, knows full well that our Churches need to get back on the rails, to really be do-er of God’s Word. Each person, the elderly, the young, no exceptions and every Pastor. Her book is a clarion call to every one. I add my three word slogan “Just do it!”
For more information about the book, please visit: http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000190146/Is-Your-Jesus-the-Bible-Jesus.aspx
Now, nobody would like to be called a “pew potato.” No one likes criticism and I may find myself in the firing line. But I maintain that almost all congregations of any denomination have quite a few!
Church members who love the Lord, who have attended their churches without fail, enjoy hymn singing and fellowship within their Churches .It is part of their lives.
However their church leaders have failed to teach them that every Christian must be active. All should have a ministry.
The Bible tells us we are all priests.
We are all expected to serve the Lord. To spread God’s Word and help the helpless. Inactive church members have in many instances no guidance, no encouragement, no instruction no organised activities to go outside the four walls of their churches to do God’s work. Many church members are unaware that they are lacking anything.
Pastor and Priests would be wise to appoint leaders to go to every member to have them realise they are needed to serve. To move the whole of each church to a red alert mode with targets to reach. For every member to be a Little Christ.
Why did I choose poetry to bring people to Christ ?
It seemed to me a hard question. I had never written any poetry and yet it seemed unstoppable once I started. I had read poems that were inspiring and that must have been something that was an aid. When I received the leading to urge Christians and non-Christians to come closer to Jesus it just seemed natural to use poetry. Once stated it became a non-stop journey. Titles came into my head by the dozen, I still have literally hundreds written down waiting for poems! Then writing the poems seemed to be an onward work.
Few people find lengthy chapters on religion attractive or inspiring in ways that really stand out. My poems are designed to cover a multitude of angles, all in short forms. All to hold the interest of a reader to get to the point in just minutes. Prayerfully each poem being inspiring and uplifting. Too short to bore and hopefully to show the reader a way into action rather than just something of mild interest.
I now believe poetry to be the best way to hold attention, to have messages retained in the mind. Also the best way to get a message to a congregation, reading these poems in a church service could be the start of a congregation stirring into revival if followed through by action from their leaders.I pray every day for these poems to be life changing for individuals through to their churches.
Out of the blue I started writing blank verse. I have spent many years in Malaysia as a rubber factory Manager and also engaged in a lot of Christian youth work and some preaching.. Returning to live in England the Christian scene was so different and so disturbing. Churches almost empty, churches with no young people and seemingly no real enthusiasm, no plans to evangelise, in fact no real plans for the future. The complete opposite to the crowded churches in Malaysia and Singapore.
Having preached and talked in Methodist, Baptist and Full Gospel Churches in Malaysia I was allowed to preach in my UK Methodist Circuit of 22 Churches.
Some wonderful people in these churches but almost all of pensionable age. Church membership varied from only six or seven to one at a hundred. Four Pastors for 22 churches!
It seemed to me that these churches were at their best static, many were shrinking and I have seen three close. To me closing a church is a sin. There have been no attempts to evangelise and the closing shuts the door on our Saviour Jesus Christ.
I said I started evangelical poems out of the blue. It happened just about overnight! I have never written a poem. I had never planned an evangelical book of this type. I am utterly convinced the direction came from the Lord. A book of poems pointing a finger at churches, at Pastors, at congregations and at fence sitters and unbelievers. In fact, a message to every single person, the good, the bad, the in-betweens, no exceptions..
I felt on fire. Indeed I could not stop and have enough poems for two more books and another six hundred titles for poems so far unwritten!
“Revival Hallelujah” was written prayerfully, written to change lives. A wake up call to dormant Christians, a wake up call to static churches and a wake up call to comfortable Pastors. Written for all denominations. And written with love and with ways to help come closer to Jesus. Yes, some poems are blunt, some point a finger. Christianity in the West must be on “Red Alert”. This book can help.