Several years ago a friend gave me the book, “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” by Jim Cymballa, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle.
The book began with Pastor Jim filling in the pulpit for his father in law at a small dying church….that expanded to helping with two churches in New York….after working hard and becoming very discouraged, he and his family took a trip to Florida and while on that trip he came to the conclusion that if the church was going to survive, it would have to be because of prayer.
When he made it back to New York, he told the little church that the prayer meeting was going to become the most important meeting of the week.
The rest of the book is filled with stories of God doing incredible miracles in the lives of drug dealers, prostitutes and business people.
He told about his daughter running away and staying on the streets of New York….they prayed and prayed and one night at the exact time that they were praying in the middle of the night, God got a hold of her heart and she decided to come home.
I love the book because it provides a window into the lives of real people. There is not churchy schmurchy stuff…the stories are honest and authentic.
A lot like the Bible….
The Bible is authentic…the firstborn of Adam and Eve killed his brother, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were deceivers, David was an adulterer (and a murderer), Solomon was a womanizer, Elijah struggled with self-esteem…I could go on…
I am not underestimating the need for us to live spirit-filled lives, just stating that God uses broken people that are honest about their brokenness.
I can tell you who He doesn’t use: selfish, self-righteous, holier than thou’s with a condescending attitude.
That’s my mini-sermon on Core Value #5, ” Authentic life – Honesty with God and each other.” The main sermon will be on Sunday. One of our elders, Mike Chirveno will be adding much more to this topic from a Biblical perspective.
This value of “Authenticity” plays a significant role in the development of our New Life culture. I REALLY hope you can attend.
Have a great day!
Announcement: Real Life is a ministry that is all about authenticity. If you can come on Tuesday from 12:00-1:00pm, PLEEEEEEAAASE sign up now. There is only a charge to attend if you want a lunch. You will hear from a very authentic speaker on the topic of Marriage. You really need to come. For more info you can go to: http://www.reallifedowntown.org/