My Very Own Cloud of Witnesses

NOTE: Wade is in surgery today, but we do have our first guest blogger. This post. comes to us from our beloved “baby” sister, Dale, a valued member of the Lazarus Project team.

They’ve added spice to my life–like a well-seasoned oven roast–in fact, I am who I am, in large part, because they’ve touched my life and I love them still, deeply in my heart. Though they are gone from this world, their fragrance is all around me. It’s kind of like those cookbooks, full of colorful photographs that almost let you taste each recipe. Continue reading

He’s the Vine, but What or Who are the Branches?

Surprising Statistics. In the Vine and Branches passage in John 15, Jesus referred to branches in the plural. Curious, I highlighted all the plural forms of “you” I was amazed to find 51 of them in the first 17 verses alone—averaging three per verse. Yet I found no singular forms.  Except for verse 5, Jesus speaks to “us” collectively, not “me” individually.

Our Vertical and Horizontal Connections. Yet when I used to read it,  I personalized and individualized the passage applying to myself.  Jesus wasn’t speaking to me. He was addressing his church.
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Consider God’s Other Dimension

 Key Ideas from our Blog:

 1. CHRIST’S DREAM CHURCH. Our Lord prayed three times for us to be “one”, that the world may believe. His dream and ours is to see the church’s “love one another” dimension restored, proving to the world that Christ is true and Christians are the real deal. We’ll truly be His witnesses when local churches are cooperating more than competing!

2. IT’S GREEK TO ME: If you don’t know biblical Greek and wished you did, well, our KOINE Road won’t make you Greek scholars, but you will discover mysteries hidden in the KOINE language and culture. Along the way you will see why the Horizontal Church is so critical to fulfilling the Great Commission.  

3. WHY DON’T WE GROW? What is the modern church missing? Why aren’t we winning our neighbors? We pray that local congregations will lay claim to Christ’s promise that the world will believe. Our reputation will zoom when we begin to obey His love mandate. His plan is growth through attraction more than promotion.

 4. NUTS AND BOLTS: You will find in this post practical steps for church leaders to get started building horizontal church within congregations and with other local churches. We include prayer, worship, witness, mutual care, healing our divisions and small groups. Please share your own ideas.

 5. IF GOD BLOGGED, might He tell us our divisions are killing our witness? A million scattered lights cannot pierce the enemy’s darkness. But if we seek to unite in common cause, pray and work as a team, we will shine with His great light and, as He said, the world will believe.

 6. GOD’S TEAM: It’s been said people are like sheep—stupid and helpless. Yet sheep, unlike goats, are productive when they team up in flocks under a shepherd. When believers finds their true identity as a team, united in His love, we will be light and salt to the earth and fulfill His Great Commission.

 WHY WE DON’T DEBATE.  The history of the church is filled with doctrinal disputes which have divided us beyond belief. Since our focus is harmony in the body, we seek honest conversation and questions, not argument…. “Be tolerant of one another, overlook your differences and add love, which binds all things together in unity.” (Col 3: 13, 14 Our translation)