lessings on all of you bloggers! Unconditional love to the blurkers. My concept of my relationship to bloggers vs. blurkers (in case you don’t know, “blurker” is a cyber-term for the peeping tom, eavesdropping “looky-loos” who just observe the dialogue, but never engage in it) is similar to my thoughts on givers and non-givers. I Timothy 4:10 says that Jesus is the Savior of ALL people, “ESPECIALLY” those who believe, and that concept helps me better deal with all the non-participants in my ministry. In other words, I truly love the many, many non-tithers and non-givers who regularly receive from me through CITN and cyber-CITN, but I am SO GLAD that I don’t have a church full of them, or there would be no CITN or cyber-CITN at all! In that respect, I am the pastor of ALL who hear my voice, but “ESPECIALLY” those who believe in my message enough to help it continue to be heard! In the same way, I am the webmaster(?) blogmaster(?) of ALL who frequent BLOGINTHENOW, but “ESPECIALLY” those who actually blog, because without them there would be no point in doing this. In my mind, blurker is to blog what non-giver is to church…you gotta love ‘em, and you appreciate that they admire what you do, but the presence of too many of them would shut your entire operation down. They’re not intentionally or consciously dangerous or threatening to what you do, but you seriously have to hope that they don’t reproduce after their own kind. I unconditionally love ALL of the people who are close to me (or who say that they are close to me) who never acknowledge what I am doing here, but I want all of you regular bloggers to know that you are "ESPECIALLY" loved by me…you are E-SPECIAL to me!…
et me say, however, that this does not apply to those who have just found this site through surfing the net, because I believe that, for them, reading my/our words here provides a non-threatening, non-intimidating way for them to understand what we are all about, before making a decision in regards to their possible participation here or at CITN. So, for those of you who silently and secretly observe what goes on here every day because you are trying to figure us out…you are more than welcome…you are our guests, and you are free to engage. or not engage…at your own comfort level…
n the other hand, I make no apology for making a demand on your potential as a supporter of all that is Church In The Now, Now Ministries, or Jim Swilley Ministries (including BLOGINTHENOW). You know good and well that you were connected here supernaturally, so why wouldn’t God supernaturally enable you to fully support it in every way? Look, if I can believe that, eventually, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…how can I not believe that, eventually, every seat will be filled at every service ITB, that every member will become a participant in every way…attendance…service…GIVING…and that everything I/we put our hand to will prosper…most importantly, that everyone will, eventually, TOTALLY GET IT?! Jesus said that, lifted up, He would draw all peoples to Himself…I believe that His drawing power is working right now, even as I write this…even as we lift Him up in every service, sermon, song, act of charity, manifesttion of reconciliation, illustration, prophetic utterance, conversation and blog entry on this site!
od is moving by His Spirit in the earth right now, and this metron is a major player in that movement! Isaiah 43:18, 19 in the TNIV says "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; DO YOU NOT PERCEIVE IT? I am making a way in the wilderness and STREAMS in the wasteland.” That question “Do you not perceive it” haunts me sometimes, because I always want to PERCEIVE when God is doing something significant in my world…I don’t want to be so preoccupied with small stuff that I miss the power of the big picture! The thought of that happening is, well, suffice it to say that I ask myself every day “DO YOU NOT PERCEIVE 'IT'"? And, speaking of the blog…do you think that it is by accident that what comes over the internet is called “streaming”? Why “streaming”? Hey, I just want to know…is there anyone living out there in the wasteland who receives life-sustaining support from this STREAM? Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!
plan on living out my promised 120 years (Genesis 6:3), but since turning 50, I have become acutely aware of how important and precious time is. I don’t want to waste what time I have here with doing or thinking anything trivial or pointless…I want to be a part of something that changes the world (I just added “With My Own Two Hands” by Ben Harper to the playlist…check it out)…Speaking of music, I have officially stopped saying that there was no good music after 1979. As much as I love 60’s and 70’s music, I am discovering some really cool new artists like him who are prophets and poets…I’m happy to announce that good music isn’t dead! And life is beautiful…I’ve got an awesome word for tomorrow night…this morning Pastor Murray texted me and said that they are shooting for the last week in May for the Israel trip, so it looks like it’s a go (I haven’t even told Debye this, but while she stepped out of the office yesterday he talked about me/us coming to Paraguay in August)…I just proofed the article for Hope Today Magazine (they e-mailed the copy this morning to make sure I was happy with it) which is very cool…I just had an amazing conversation with Kim Clement (we’re definitely on the same page), and I’m waiting for him to call back to confirm a May date because we are discussing him coming here as soon as possible…just while I was sitting here, Bishop Huskins e-mailed me and asked me to speak at the ICCC conference the first week in May in Buffalo, NY…I have been invited to go to Nashville this Thursday for a sold-out rock concert with a group of Hindus (don’t ask…it’s along story…and this has nothing to do with the other stuff…this is purely for fun)…when I get back Friday, Christina and Sofia will be here for Sofia’s first birthday (we’re having the party Saturday)…I can’t wait for what’s going to happen Sunday, and Monday, Debye and I fly up to Washington for the steering committee meeting for the Global Peace Festival this summer…when I say it’s all good, I mean IT’S ALL GOOD!
ever underestimate the power of a covenant connection (and I don’t mean the thing that we do at the end of the Sunday services). I’m quite aware that the concept of covenant has been abused in some places, and that there are some Pastors and Bishops who have selfishly manipulated their congregations with distorted ideas about it…but to the pure in heart all things are pure…I do believe in covenant, and I believe that it is empowering. The more connected we become…through prayer, conversation, communion, exhortation, fellowship and financial exchange…the stronger we become. In the second chapter of Acts it says that the early church grew because they were DAILY in each other’s homes, breaking bread…in the 21st century, a blog is one of the most effective and efficient ways to visit each other daily to “break bread” in our respective homes. This blog is here to help increase the power…the light…the strength…we might not have it all together, but togehter we have it all!
ruth comes to us, line upon line, precept upon precept. You know how I’ve taught about putting the right words together in the right sentence to find the right paragraph so that you can be on the right page in the book of the history of the world? Well, every time we connect in covenant, we form a sentence, because each of us is a word from God. When I join to you in some way our two “words” become a powerful phrase. For example, “I” is a word, and “can” is a word, but separately they don’t communicate very much. But when you connect the two, “I can” becomes a phrase that can change the world!
ow can you say you love God Whom you haven’t seen, if you don’t love your brother who you have seen? Yesterday in one of his comments, Peacemaker mentioned about giving horizontally…instead of giving or tithing to try to vertically appease or “pay off” a divine entity (my words)…I agree…God has declared the end from the beginning about how he feels about us, but we’re still building the Body of Christ with each other here. Our efforts are for each other…we give of ourselves so that all can be blessed…
.A.C.H. – EVERYONE ACTIVELY CONTRIBUTING AND HELPING…that’s a dream to which I am completely committed, and, believe me, it’s a walk of faith. I’m actually writing this acrostic, letter by letter (line upon line)…I’ve never done a post like this before…usually, I write it and then post it…but I want this to have a feel of the immediate, so while I am writing, some of you are already beginning to comment on the part that has been posted, which is what I wanted to happen (Yvonne, I guess you realize now it wasn’t just “b.l.o.g.”). Anyway, I just read Donald’s “vent” (BTW, I got your card yesterday…thanks), and I thought he brought up an interesting point about people thinking that their “widow’s mites” don’t make a difference. Let me put it this way…you could live without your two front teeth, or your little toe, or your little finger, or your tonsils, or any number of “dispensible” body parts – but would you want to? Look, you all know this stuff…you’ve read Romans 12…walk in what you already know! Everyone is important. Everyone is needed. Everyone matters!
o matter what you perceive to be happening around you in the natural realm, remember that you are already in the Kingdom of God…you just have to be born again to “see” where you really already are (Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again.” – John 3:3 TNIV). If you didn’t hear my message about that last Sunday, you probably should get a CD or DVD of it ASAP. I think that it is an important word, and everyone who is connected with this ministry should be on that page. Interestingly, that’s what Kim said he ministered on last Sunday where he was, and he even talked about Jesus telling the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat! Things that make you go hmmm… By the way, I just talked to him, and it’s confirmed that he will be here on Sunday night (May 18), Monday night (May 19), and possibly Wednesday night (May 21st)! The 18th is our church anniversary, and I will be preaching that morning…he and his family are coming back early from Europe to be here for that night because he believes that it’s really a God thing. Then he will be back the next night. Tuesday night of that week is one of the high school graduations, and then Wednesday night we’ll see how it’s going, and if there’s a flow he’ll be back that night. I know it’s a big week (3 huge graduations) but it’s all good, and I want everyone to be excited about it…we run and are not weary!!! Listen people, we’re about to move into warp speed, so you might as well get used to the schedule. This is CHURCH IN THE NOW!!!
n that Sunday morning, the 18th, I’m going to be ordaining several ministers in the service, and I want to say something about that. When I lay hands on someone to set them apart for ministry, or to acknowledge their gift or calling, it is by the direction of the Holy Spirit. It’s not something that people should ask me for, or should apply for. That may be the way that it works in other ministries, but it’s not the way that I flow. On occasion I have had people ask for me to ordain them into the ministry, and it just wasn’t necessary for me to do that…what they were doing (or wanted to do) for the Kingdom was important, but it didn’t require an ordination to do it. And in reality, all of us are called…all of us are anointed…all of us are able ministers of the New Testament. Ordination is about relationship…about covenant…about certain connections that need to be made for various reasons…so everyone just needs to be happy and supportive and mature about who I believe needs to be (or doesn’t need to be) ordained on that day. I believe that you hear what I am saying with Spirit-anointed ears…but I also command a blessing on everyone here who is actively doing something in the ministry…I decree that your gift makes room for you, and that your calling is irrevocable. Be blessed in everything you do in Jesus’ name!
hen you finish reading this, I want you to do something, especially if you have been reading while I have writing. I’ve literally been writing this, off and on, all day long…stopping only to answer phone calls or texts or e-mail, or talking to Kim and scheduling the meeting with him, or running a few errands…but, basically, I’ve been in the flow of this all day, and there is a strong presence that I am feeling right now, even as I write this. It should be posted around 7PM, EST, and when it is, I’m going to put my hand on my computer screen, and I want you to put your hand on your screen, and for a few minutes I want us to pray for each other over the internet and just see what happens. I want to take this blog to a new level today…to do something that hasn’t been done before…so as I begin to pray, and as you begin to pray (or connect, or meditate, or whatever works for you) wherever you are around the world, let’s all unite in the Spirit. When you’re through praying, post a comment and let me know what you experienced. Selah.