Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bringing Out the God-Colors in the World

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.

"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.

"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.

"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.

"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.

"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Salt and Light

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:1-16 The Message


Glad to be home...

Thanks for the prayers...

There are 10 new songs on the playlist...

Now, where were we?

22 comments:

Lisa said...

I so get what you said today in service. I stream every week and read this blog faithfully, just never posted. I seen such a wonderful furture as God spoke that the vault is opening just 1 more click. I finally get it now and will allow the blessing and stop feeling I have to make excuses for the good things My Father is giving me. To be a light in the world you can not be ashamed of having rewards to fulfill your call as a servant! Thank you Bishop. I hear you and see the vision and will be a part of this amazing global journey with my global family.
Keep it comming it is good food for my spirit!

Scribe38 said...

Welcome Back Bishop! Hello Family!

As I was doing some studying and reading over some notes from previous years ago written on this day- 06 April, I came across a few passages that GOD prompted me to post because this is a RIGHT NOW Word, for namely you Bishop and Pasor Debye, yet perhaps for some others as well. Just following the lead of the Holy Spirit, so here is the word!

Written: Tuesday Morning/
06 April 2004 @ 0548 Hours

"In this very month, says GOD, you shall receive repayment many times over from those who have transgressed against thee. And this, dear child is a RIGHT NOW RHEMA Word from your Father in Heaven. the beginning and end result for you and your household is Glory, Glory, and MORE GLORY! For you have been faithful in all things that I have set before thee, says GOD.

I AM that I AM and the Kingdoms of darkness or principalities of wickedness shall never overtake thee, says God. I have set you on course and order, guide, and direct your footsteps strictly along the path of righteousness and the trails of absolute obedience. You must obey my commands, for you are totally surrendered and completely submitted unto me and My Will for your life. for the plans and purposes that I have ordained and predestined for you are so MUCH LARGER than life itself. I- Lord God Almighty provides seed for the sower and bread for those who feed my sheep. Therefore, be in irrevocable anticipation and steadfast expectation that miracles, breakthroughs, deliverance, and awesome manifestations are enroute to your threshold, says God. I make no mistake in those things which I utter unto you. He whom is faithful in little shall be blessed with much. And, to whom much is given, much more is required. Unto those whom I require much of, much more is lavishly and generously given. Let all give thanks unto the Lord God Almighty- Strong Tower and Fortress, for marvelous are His works indeed.

This is the time for unprecedented change, Divine Order, and the Restructuring / Reorganization of MAJOR WORKS for your Father. I have chosen YOU, says God so that My Signs and Wonders may pour through you. It has nothing to do with you in the natural, says God because by My Son's Stripes you are healed, whole, and set free. It is by my Spirit that you shall receive the good of the land and Superfluous REVELATIONS and Tremendous Impartations, says God.
CREATIVITY shall flow through your bones like RAGING RIVERS. Music shall pour through your fingertips and Magnificent ARTWORKS shall open paths and pave roads that have never been imagined, says God. I AM your Father and every good and perfect gift- I shall grant you Quickly, says God.

I have prepared for you things that you dare not have spoken to another. The power and glory shall seek you out. Just know that it is all through grace and obedience that you receive Orchards and Vineyards of FRUITFULNESS, says God. GO YE' FORTH TO THE NATIONS and proclaim My Word, says God. Miracles shall pour thorugh you to set others free, says God. I have equipped and empowered you to confound the "worldly wise" while condemning then enlightening the religious and pious, says God. I am not interested in their comforts, but the condition of their hearts, says God. Give me the glory for all things great and small. I shall grant you the heathens as your inheritance. No matter what, I AM still God and all assignments of hell have been pushed back off your life, says God. The weapons of your warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, and mighty in the pulling down of strongholds! Selah...I grant unto thee Power, Love, Sound Mind, and great Wealth so that you may be a Financier and Overseer of Kingdom Works! I have positioned you, says God, as a FORWARD OBSERVER because I utilize you greatly to go survey the lands, implement and facilitate strategic warfare to cut the heads off the enemy so that my people are not defeated, ambushed, or bamboozled, says God.

I- Jehovah God sends forth thee to Restore and Repair all the broken down places so that there shall be no idols of the people erected nor left standing. Before one can rebuild after a tornado, the land must first be excavated. And in all things, declares Jehovah Shalom, YOU MUST TELL THE TRUTH and shame the enemy. Obedience is greater than sacrifice, for this truth is self evident. RAISE UP STANDARDS of Excellence so that all onlookers will know that the Spirit of the Most High God be with you forever more. They that think that they know, says God, are still yet dumbfounded and all that are deemed clueless shall receive Powerful Revelation! The letter and law kills, but Grace Restores and Reconstructs, breaking down walls of preconceived notions. Let everything that have breath praise ye' the Lord. The grave has no power over the Spirit of the Lord God Almighty- for they whom the Son has set free are free indeed! Bow down and worship the Lord God Almighty for the Truth prevails even after the fall.

Increase incoming, Phenomenal Gain of Wealth Quickly, says God. Confirmation of all like kinds enroute to thee. Blessings of every sort and provisions seek you out. Favor abounding outbreaks and beats a trail to your doorstep, says God. Walk lightly and carry a big stick, for I AM your sword and shield. Influx of important communications and Love Gifts are sown into thee right now. Peace Be Still in your spirit and everywhere the soles of your feet tread upon, says God. I AM the giver of Life and every need is hereby met now!

SELAH...Amen.

Avatar said...

Now,where were we?
Well, J.E.S., US'ns had just finished celebrating your fabulous 50, you had lots to say but had to take a quick trip first and then we climbed up here on this hillside and you offered this amazing speech! Sure am glad I brought my hiking boots this morning. And that food and drink part was especially welcome--since I forgot my backpack.

I did notice izjoy has a shaltshaker, and a young man in a green shirt has a lunch bag with him.

Deeper into the Kingdom sounds cool, but say that part about the persecution thing again.

Leesa said...

Bishop, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday! Ok so the actual day of your birth is April 3rd, but I have a feeling that this is the year that will be unlike any other...and it will be a great celebration from now on! We celebrate you! I am glad you and Pastor Debye are home safely and pray you are able to be rested and refreshed. I just want you to know that I am so very proud of you both...what incredible ambassodors of Salt & Light you are! Love you! Leesa

Dennis Caldwell said...

Bishop,
I have been awakend from MY DREAM and I think I see it comming true. I posted it on the church's web site blog and thought I should post it here too. Im glad you went but Im glad your back Bishop, I have missed everyone here.

When I listened to your sermon today I was in tears by the end; it was like a long lost vision that has been lying dormant in me had been reawakened and the Lord was saying “see it is possible” it was beautiful. I haven’t been on your blog for a while or for that matter spoken much to anyone in the last couple of weeks. I get very quiet at times when I am struggling in my spirit about an issue; its that analytical mind trying to justify and figure everything out.Awesome sermon today; maybe we really can change the world WOW! Like you I have seen many “ pray the sinners prayer” not taking away from the value of that; but it hasn’t done much to change the world. When I first heard the message of universal reconciliation I knew in my heart that this is what the world needs to hear and they will come in groves when they do. I think it has started to happen and I don’t think that all the people that the Lord has caused me to come in contact with over the last six years was by chance, including you Bishop. I have known all the time that something is going on in the world at this appointed time and now it has started to happen it is wonderful to behold. I realize some do not “get it” yet but they will, yes they will.I heard the heart to Bishop Jim Earl Swilley today in a way that I have not heard it and I totally connected with you.
Dennis Caldwell
PS
I sent you an email too

Laura said...

We're Blessed
We're Blessed
Thank You Jesus
We're Blessed

I visited Warrior's Cave last night and the message there was
I'm blessed.
How cool is that!!!

Bishop you said you haven't changed but yes you have. When you came in this morning I saw a different man. Tonight when you served communion and your father helped serve I saw that man again.
A true follower you are. I've seen Jesus in you but not like the way I saw Him today. Man you are blessed.

Has the Jet Lag taken effect yet???
Just curious (smiley face)

Iris said...

Wow what a week… what a weekend… the expectancy of what God is doing in the earth is great… It is hard to articulate how my spirit soars with the vision and the wonder of God... I want to break forth in tongues because there are no human words to express the overwhelming since of awe when we behold what He is doing on NOW…

I feel like an eagle soaring to new heights… Going higher and higher… and I am not the only person or eagle up here… It is like we are soaring on each others tail winds of revelation… It’s a whole new world up here… shining… shimmering… splendid… It’s an eternal diamond sky…

Look over there… it’s the Milky Way…. Oh wow… Did you see that star?... It appears like the stars are in motion… There must be a majestic celestial conductor orchestrating their movements… it’s as if on cue the comets and meteor showers are tumbling through the starry ranks… adding variation to the divine dance… Hey… let’s go check out that galaxy over there…. Unbelievable sights… Indescribable feelings… Don’t you dare close your eyes… There are a hundred thousand things to see… Hold your breath it gets better… We’ve come to far… We can’t go back to where we used to be... Every turns a surprise… New revelation… New understanding… New heightening… The colors are more vibrant and brilliant than anything seen in the natural realm… Everything has clarity up here… Do you see the brilliant beams of sparkling diamonds… luminous ruby’s… radiant sapphires and flaming vermilion’s… magenta’s and violet… each of the colors whirl around us… embracing us in our uniqueness as individuals but also the uniqueness of our relationship with each other…

God is here… we are here… soaring… I love the view from up here… I’m sure you do as well…

Bishop, Pastor Debye, welcome home… I am exhilarated to hear about everything that happened on your journey… God is moving… and we are alive at such a wonderful time as this to witness His majesty at work… The dreamers are waking the nations… From the Buddhist to Mormons… The Baptist to Muslims… Sunday morning religious institutions… From the Americans to Iraqis… Jews to Palestinians… All religions… All race’s… ALL the sons and daughters of the most high… are proclaiming “ALL come”… “Awake!”… “Look at God”… Awake to see God embracing all humanity… For the Spirit and the Bride say come…

In closing Bishop, I as others have my hiking boots on … we are climbing with you… teach us Bishop… Teach us how to soar… I want more… I know there are other galaxies to explore…

Avatar… please pass that water bottle over this way… I’m thirsty…

Iris

el ojo y la luz said...

Glad you're home too. Beautiful to see and know and be a part of your ministry to the world. Talk to you all soon. Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Many times we have to climb (make an effort) to get into a quiet place to hear the words of Jesus.

On being SALT and LIGHT and GOD-COLORS;
I want to look deeper into this but here's what I'm thinking so far, with spiritual parallels/analogies. Some of this is from the saltinstitute.org

The salt crystal is often used as an example of crystalline structure. Much salt is TRANSPARENT/CLEAR and large cubic crystals cleave into perfect cubes when struck with a hard object. (the talk of cubes being stuck together makes me think "...WHOSE TEMPLE ARE YE"). We form a crystalline transparent structure together!

KOSHER salt has a larger surface area and it can absorb more MOISTURE (Holy Spirit living water?) This makes it ideal for curing meats (Word of God?), which involves ABSORBING BLOOD from the raw meat. (MY FLESH IS MEAT INDEED, Jesus said.) I'm sure there's more there, what is being revealed to YOU?

Got this from gelighting.com;
..."light" refers to the VISIBLE portion, a narrow band between violet and red. When ALL the colors of visible light are mixed, we end up with white light, such as the light from a light bulb or the sun.

(Here is where I'm thinking GOD-COLOR, in the Spirit, where we know not one another after the flesh(COLOR) but the blending of ALL the colors of our spirits that makes that bright white light of Christ shine forth! - this wonderful INVISIBLE spectrum.)

again from ge...If white light is a blending of all colors, then what do you think black represents? Black is the absence of light.

also...The region of wavelength slightly shorter than violet is known as ultraviolet (UV). Insects and some other animals are capable of seeing UV. "Black light" is a long wave form of UV and is very close to violet. (this is where I'm thinking THE LIGHT SHINES FORTH IN DARKNESS...the light is still there we just can't see it with our natural eyes, because it's in the INVISIBLE spectrum.

Just beyond the red end of the spectrum is infrared (IR). Some bathrooms will have special bulbs, usually red, that help to heat the objects in the room. There are also special cameras (called IR cameras) that can detect the infrared heat created by warm-blooded animals – including people. (...not sure about this one but FIRE shut up in my bones?, or the old campfire song...

It only takes a spark,
to get a fire going
And soon all those around
Will WARM UP to its glowing
That's how it is with GOD'S LOVE
Once you've experienced it
You spread His love to everyone
You want to PASS IT ON.

(ge)...It's hard to imagine that after thousands of years of study, scientists are still not exactly certain about the nature of light. With all of our knowledge and technology, there are still plenty of scientific mysteries to be solved!

LIGHT just IS. What we see and what we don't see. When the Lord said "Let there be light", maybe the Spirit simply said, "here I AM!"

Whew!...I have GOT to go to bed ya'll. Oh yeah, almost forgot, SCRIBE38, I received a lot of that for myself, thanks. I liked the words "irrevocable anticipation and steadfast expectation!", "creativity flowing through your BONES (awesome) like raging rivers, "music pouring through your fingertips, and magnificent artworks". Beautiful.

Dear Bishop, love you, welcome back! I had to work today but God-willing will buy the CD. I'm seriously thinking of leaving that job position within a month. Please remember me in prayer on this matter and more fully realizing the Real me (talents, gifts) and best places for me to thrive and enjoy fully the works of my hands. Thank you greatly. God bless you!
-Karl C.

Kettly said...

DEAR BISHOP,

While worshiping last night.
I heard through my spirit:"I've I said to you, to come up higher to see. While you were higher up, what did you see?

Bish he said you will understand what He's saying and asking.
I pray that the LORD will give you
His own revelation of this word.
Will be writing some more later in the day.
God bless
kettly

Dennis Caldwell said...

Good morning Bishop and all,
A few years back I was doing some short studies on all the worlds’ religions. While doing this I was amazed at how I could see so many similarities in our beliefs and wondered why I had not heard other more educated people speak of this. Of course you have to overlook the differences to see this; maybe that was the problem. I was intrigued and delighted to realize these things. When I thought on all the positive similarities of our religions it was almost like I could see the globe like a big musical instrument playing a beautiful melody. Then I almost felt guilty for feeling so understanding of their mindset, I had not heard anyone else mention anything like this. I thought to myself; well I am overly soft hearted when it comes to other people’s conditions or situations. So I kept it to myself; thinking maybe there is something wrong with me. But at that time I was also seriously studying my new found wonderful truth of universal reconciliation. I couldn’t help but think maybe this is what will “Bridge the Gap” between us and bring peace, love and harmony to the world. I just now began to tear up as I wrote “Bridge the Gap” and my heart began to speed up. You see when I was saved or realized and accepted that Jesus Christ had saved me; very shortly after that the Lord spoke to me in a vision and told me something I have never and will never forget. I didn’t understand it at the time but just kept these things in my heart. The Lord showed me a great darkness with a light from heaven shining down on a bible and a bridge. Then the Lord said “I have called you to bridge the gap” I said what does that mean Lord; and there was silence. I did not understand but I knew that I had heard from the Lord. I also was given the gift of an insatiable desire to study the bible and all I could learn about God, which has never left; even when I was exactly walking in the Lords will. There is more that has happened since then that adds to this word from the Lord that I will not go into here. That was 31 years ago believe it or not and yesterday as I heard you preaching Bishop I began to see many things unfold and clarify that my heart has yearned to know for many years. I am beginning to see all these seemingly fragmented pieces of my life experience start to fit together beautifully. I can’t write anymore I am overwhelmed. God bless you Bishop and Thank you.

Dennis

Dennis Caldwell said...

Correction: even when I was NOT exactly walking in the Lords will.

Dennis

DoubleBack Alley said...

Hope you have recovered Sahib. I am believing for no effects from jet-lag, but believing nonetheless for recovery. DoubleBack Alley-minded, I guess. It sounds like your mission was accomplished, but still has a few sorties yet to be flown. Love what you said about not killing religion. Never really considered how it sounded, but it made sense when I heard it.

After your sermon, I went to my car and turned the radio on. I had it on AM and I scanned the dial. Bollywood, Right Wing, Left Wing, Latino, Rap, Country, Farm Reports, Black and White Preachers, Oldies. A cornucopia of lifestyles, cultures, paradigms, religious themes, and thought processes. It would seem to be a representation of your church.

Couple of things piqued my interest yesterday. Agreeing to disagree is a transition that I have come to realize is a necessity. One cannot live with strife and contention and still see the things of the Spirit. After the tumult, we eventually discover the purpose and embrace the storm. However, I want to believe that truths can be revealed without enduring inane imbroglios.

If we accepted another opinion without agreeing or disagreeing, what would happen? Is it possible to allow a paradigm to orbit our consciousness with no intention of integration? What if the purpose of the cogitation was intellectual nourishment from afar? Maybe the new idea is a moon that affects our tides and seasons. I don’t want to disagree anymore with anyone. I want to anticipate how the new moon will affect my planting and reaping and accept it for what it is. I think acceptance is the key, even more so than agreeing or disagreeing. Isn’t that what the disparate raw materials do? Separately they would agree to disagree that they are viable, but not capable of integration or orbit. However, when a higher power sees their worth, salt, oil, eggs, flour, vanilla, baking powder, sugar, and water create a divine dessert.

On a personal note, I am in no small way, perplexed that you have to semi-circumnavigate the globe to be celebrated. I know the context you projected when you spoke of the folks on the dais and at the table in the Presidential Suite in Seoul, but hopefully, as a seer in your house, the two-thousand or so adherents that show up weekly celebrate you just as mightily in the house that you have in common as did the Koreans. I will make that a matter of changing the acceptance of you by your congregation.

I want you to have your cake and eat it too.

Ain’t God Good?

LP in SC said...

Welcome back, Bish!
And many congrats on such an honor... you deserve it. How awesome to be seated at the table of diversity! I have but one request... if you ever meet BONO, can I PLEEEEEZE tag along ;}

I have an interesting and fun entry today. And timely... depending on how you perceive it. I'm very into jazz, all kinds of jazz. And at some point last year, Ken Nordine was brought to my attention. He's an old guy now... eighties, I think, but back in the day he did a series of 'Word Jazz' albums, one of which is called "COLORS." This particular album morphed out of an assignment that Nordine was given by Bob Pritikin, who worked in advertising with the Fuller Paint Co. This was in the era of black and white TV, and the company wanted consumers to feel the mood of various colors through the Fuller ads. Enter Nordine and his improv, hip musicians and word jazz. 34 colors are represented on his album. I want to share red, yellow, black & white with you, but will share them as separate entries (kinda long). I'll start here with FLESH. This is great!

FLESH, as a color, is an awful mess! Yes.
Ask anyone with flesh; they'll tell you.
Flesh, as a color, is about as close to a problem as a color can get.
Some people think the only color flesh color should be
Is the color their flesh color is...
Which, pure & simple, is color-centric thinking... popular in some corners.
But you & I know, though,
That the proper color for flesh to be is the proper color it is...
Varying from complexion to complexion.
But if black flesh, and white flesh, and brown flesh, and red flesh, and yellow flesh, and tan flesh,
If ALL the fleshes that are flesh
want to establish a sensible similarity among differences,
We'd better forget the flesh & the colors it can be...
And think on the Spirit
And its singular Light!
Otherwise, flesh as a color,
Could be black & blue,
Or even a bloody hue!

More later...

LP in SC said...

YELLOW (Ken Nordine)

In the beginning... ooohh, long before that...
When light was deciding who should be in and who should be out of the spectrum...
Yellow was in trouble, even then.
Seems that green (you know how green can be) didn't want yellow in.
Some silly primal envy, I suppose.
But for whatever cause, the effect was bad on yellow and caused yellow to weep yellow tears... for several eternals, before there were years...
Until blue heard what was up between green and yellow, and took green outside for a serious talk in which blue pointed out that if yellow and blue were to get together ---
not that they would, but if they did (a gentle threat)---
they could make their own green.
"OOOOHH," green said with some understanding.
Naturally, by a sudden change of hue, green saw the light and yellow got in.
Worked out fine.
Yellow got lemons,
And green got limes.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for your comments, Lisa…welcome aboard…Indiana in the house!

Thanks, Scribe38…

Which thing about the persecution, Avatar?

Thanks, Leesa…blessings to everyone in Charlotte…

I’m glad that you posted that here, Dennis…thanks for the confirmation…blessings to everyone in Arkansas…

Yes, Laura, we are blessed!

Beautiful imagery, Iris…

Thanks, El…

Thanks for reminding me of Pass It On, Karl…lot’s of memories connected to that song…

I’m open, Kettly…

Again, Dennis…confirmation rocks!...and so does bridge-building…thanks…

OK, DBA…I receive the blessing of cake-eating…but it’s all good…thanks for looking out for me…

Cool stuff, LP…

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I meant "lots" of memories...

Scribe38 said...

Hello BITN Family:

I'd like to humbly ask that everyone is this "Family" of Blog in the Now please send up some prayers of power and intercession for me. Dealing with a hair-raising situation regarding my landlord and in immediate need of a breakthrough / miracle to resolve situation by Thursday morning! Thanks in advance for all your prayers, encouragement, and support. I truly appreciate having all of you as my brothers and sisters in faith. It really means alot.

Praying for all of you as well.

Avatar said...

Y’all know that feeling of needing to keep up with the group, but you see them leaving, but you’re not ready yet? That —“wait, WAIT? Don’t go yet…” ? What a day to have a milleeyon must do’s! Sigh. There is so much here on this day’s blog!

First, Dennis—so good to see you. I’ve wondered what you were up to. In three weeks there must be more ponderings—post, post! “wondered why I had not heard other more educated people speak of this”—spent a lot of years wondering the same thing and learned to keep it to myself. Sheep bite (and spit and come over the table after you)! And that silence thing that God does. Mmm. Challenging!

Scribe38, no matter what, God’s got it. Praying for Godly order in the whole situation.

Laura, ditto. I overheard many after the service saying the same thing—the same man, yet sooo different, transformed, like Moses must have looked.

Iris, “soaring on each others tail winds of revelation”, amen. Funny thing about that water bottle, it never seems to go empty.

DBA, “not killing religion” keeps rolling around in me too. Tall order, finding a way to make religion work for the good of the world. Good thing we’re post-pentecost! Re: the need for cake preparation this side of the globe and internet, perplexing indeed. Could it all go back to that whole Boston Tea Party thing. We threw out the baby with the bath water?

Izjoy? Whaddup? You on the same journey Dennis went on?

Pastor Debye, (I have to repeat it)—“you’re wife…she is wonderful!”

And LP, thanks! (first, what Bishop said!) but remember when TV guide showed which tv programs were in color? [“Wonderful World of” did, which reminds me of the genesis of limited Sunday night services at CITN(smile)]

Anyway, I thought it was interesting, Bishop that you chose a black and white picture today (well, yesterday) to go with the blessings of the mount. I kept thinking of a coloring book. “Bringing out the GOD-colors” “what color is your parachute?” One person becoming colorful. Salt and light. Then another. If there’s anyone still reading this post, who can name that movie before Bishop does?

Which persecution thing? I was sort of being a smart aleck, Bishop, sort of not, (getting back into the pre-Korea blog attitude I guess). “blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.” Had my climbing shoes on and was imagining hearing the words for the first time. Deeper into the kingdom had to have sounded good…but WITH persecution? Ummm. I imagine I’d have said, “Did I hear that right? Here’s all these blessings and then this one, a deeper walk has to be with persecution? Say that again?” Do you think they pondered it?

I’m also pondering the pic beside “content with who you are”. I’ll admit it, I don’t know who it is.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Hey Avatar,

I'm still on Korea time so I'm up answering comments...thanks for noticing about the picture...it was meant to look like a coloring book...I don't know who the guy is, I just wanted a B&W pic, and I thought he looked happy and confident...and don't encourage Debye...she has made me repeat Dr. Kwok's statement a thousand times already!

Avatar said...

Hey Bishop,
Had to step away a sec. Tried to post this on BBerry and it wouldn't. Maybe that was a sign. (Now there's a new post! I need to change these hiking boots for track shoes!)

Anyway, I most humbly re-submit that "Thousand" seems a bit low. Like this is right up there with the answer to does this make me look fat? But I will submit to your most excellent judgment on the appropriateness of this comment, oh great leader!

Speaking of Korea trip, did any of the words come in handy?

Forgot to mention about the "color" pic here. I helped put a billeeyon pieces of tissue on a college parade float that looked JUST like that!

Changing shoes.

Jonna said...

Dear Church In The Now and Pastor Jim:

I am not a member of your congregation, but I want you to know how much your ministry is blessing me. Thank you for all you do, and all you have been for me personally in my time of transition.

Since September of 2007, I have been without a church home. While I miss the fellowship, the commitment, and the accountability and support that church membership brings; I am reminded of the time shortly after my divorce many years ago. I was missing the union and I was not sure exactly where I fit in the scheme of life. All at the same time, I was glad to be out of an unhealthy relationship.

My church experiences have been much like that. Recently, I have been in semi-regular attendance at your church. I actually drive about 30 minutes, passing several other churches to get there. A few of your members are people I know from other ministries, and from business. I even remember your pastor as a Decatur High School band member from years back.

I love when the holy spirit has liberty to dwell in the service, uninterrupted by the rigidness of scheduled agendas or a prescribed order of service. I understand that the Holy Spirit is decent and in order. As a practicing attorney, much of my life centers around prescribed order. But there is a profound order in being yielded to the purpose of Christ. I find this to be consistent in my worship experience at Church In The Now. So much so, that I actually can’t wait to hear what God has to say to me each week.

For some people, that may not seem so spectacular, but for me…TODAY… it is. I have walked with Christ, and proclaimed salvation for more than half of my life. I was gifted in many of the arts of worship, yet somehow, I stopped hearing from God the way I used to.

Now this may be something you have head before also, but in my case, I was the leader of a Community based Mime ministry, that was reaching out to the hearing impaired and sharing the love of Christ through a visual representation of his word in action and sign for anyone that would receive. (Meaning, I needed to be Hearing from Christ). An interpreter, has a unique vocational obligation to disseminate an accurate translation of what is being transmitted by the orator. In my case, that means I have to hear from God.

My mime was my unspoken voice. Because much like the word of God, once read and understood my life was altered, impacted and forever changed in ways that were not always spoken. I quickly learned that not all ministries were able to receive this gift. I was once even rebuked by a pastor who told me that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” and that I should not be bringing a mute spirit into his congregation.

I am saying all this just to let you know that “His Hands” ministry was awesome on Sunday, and that God really used them to bless me and to affirm my desire to serve him in the creative manner that he has given to me.

I hear the vision of the Pastor as he seeks, to be an ambassador of Christ to all the world. What a wonderful vision, where people are able to come together, and be drawn by love, rather than pulled apart by differences. Sharing the same ostensible examination of life with individuals whose life experiences and exposures have been so uniquely diverse is a huge undertaking. I love that Church In The Now, is being progressive and aggressive in this.

I want to thank you for being a part of my life, and for making a world impact. Even on my small world.

Jonna