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Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

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Old 02-03-2018, 01:58 PM   #1
jmloy
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Default Greetings and introduction

Hi,

I go by jmloy but my name is Mitch. I'm a neo-pentecostal (trinitarian), a gifted musician, song writer and Bible School teacher. I am currently earning my Master's degree. I'm 53 year's old and I'm dedicated solely to the Lord and His service. I've never been married nor am I interested in it. Praise, worship and principles of the Kingdom of God are the core things that I care about.

I am looking for a home fellowship in Naples, Florida. Does anyone know of any in that area?

Thanks,

Mitch/jmloy
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:36 PM   #2
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Hi brother Mitch! how in the world did you find this website? I can personally recommend the principle of marriage.
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Old 02-12-2018, 05:55 PM   #3
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Hi brother Mitch! how in the world did you find this website? I can personally recommend the principle of marriage.
I happened upon it by looking for websites for former "Local Churches" or splinter groups. I am trying to find a fellowship in Naples, Florida but haven't found one yet.

I'm not interested in marriage because I want to focus on the Kingdom and building it. Marriage is awesome but I'm not called to it.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:48 PM   #4
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OK, that's cool. Most of the time in Christianity when we say local church we mean whatever churches are near you. In the Recovery that term means only those groups who receive LSM publications, and whose elders are recognized by the blended brothers.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:08 AM   #5
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Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group...
Yes... But there are many sheep in all groups who don't care for Christ as we are called to... And therein lies a difference.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:05 AM   #6
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Yes... But there are many sheep in all groups who don't care for Christ as we are called to... And therein lies a difference.
I left the LC's because there were far too many in the leadership "who don't care for Christ as we are called to ... And therein lies a difference."

I really wish brother Steel would become a little more familiar with the characters he now defends.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:15 AM   #7
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I left the LC's because there were far too many in the leadership "who don't care for Christ as we are called to ... And therein lies a difference."
And that's fine... You made a choice based on your conclusion of what you understand from scripture, and how what you saw in the leadership of the local church differed to what you understood from scripture regarding the matter.

Ohio... I am not in anyway trying to say you are right or wrong for the view you have in this matter. Your view is between you and the Lord alone. And hopefully, you are today exactly where the Lord would have you be... Just as I hope the leadership of the local churches are exactly where the Lord would have them be.

My concern for you is the same concern I have for all believers.

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I really wish brother Steel would become a little more familiar with the characters he now defends.
I remember my mom always saying, "If wishes were horse beggars would ride." . . . And for sure I know that scripture tells us that God hates those who lie... And, Ohio... God knows I am not defending anyone or anything... Because He Himself has brought me to see that I have nothing in me to do so with.
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Old 02-16-2018, 12:06 PM   #8
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Yes... But there are many sheep in all groups who don't care for Christ as we are called to... And therein lies a difference.
And the same doesn't apply to "the Lord's Recovery"? You and Drake keep telling us that we need to be more forgiving/understanding of "human error." Why does that only apply in your direction?
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:03 PM   #9
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And the same doesn't apply to "the Lord's Recovery"? You and Drake keep telling us that we need to be more forgiving/understanding of "human error." Why does that only apply in your direction?
I can't speak for Drake... But I've said nothing about you and others being more forgiving/understanding of "human error"... Please don't try to place words in my mouth.

What I have said is that we simply need to turn to Christ in all things... And what comes after that is according to Him... Not me... Or you... Or Drake... Or anyone else.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:15 PM   #10
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I can't speak for Drake... But I've said nothing about you and others being more forgiving/understanding of "human error"... Please don't try to place words in my mouth.
That's fair. If you did not say that, then I apologize.

Quote:
What I have said is that we simply need to turn to Christ in all things... And what comes after that is according to Him... Not me... Or you... Or Drake... Or anyone else.
Steel, have you ever considered that what is according to Christ may not be in line with Local Church practice, Witness Lee's ministry, etc., etc.? Is that even possible? Do you assume when you make this kind of statement that the proper result would always be in line with your (the "Lord's Recovery") way of thinking?
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:16 PM   #11
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That's fair. If you did not say that, then I apologize.
Amen.

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Steel, have you ever considered that what is according to Christ may not be in line with Local Church practice, Witness Lee's ministry, etc., etc.? Is that even possible?
Absolutely... Sometimes multiple times a day... And I say this from my own experience... So, at least for me, it certainly is possible.

For all intents and purposes I was just told in an usher's meeting that I would have to cut off my beard in order to continue being an usher in the meetings... I've had a beard for maybe ten years or so (on and off... literally)... And I didn't grow it because of "...dignity..." (vanity) as per teh ministry speaking. I simply though blades for my shaver were getting too expensive and I also have a large mole on my cheek which would often get cut as I shaved, so I made up my mind th just grow a beard. But here I was being confronted with, although denied as a legality by the elders here in Austin, in my mind being confronted by legalism... Which I am very much against. I hate religion.

So what should I do? I waited, making no decision, even while inside of me I struggled with a binch of feeling regarding the matter. Then one day this week, being on the list to usher this weekend, I took it before the Lord again, and this time He simply reminded me of a very precious brother who has very bad hip arthritis buy still serves as an usher. In fact, he heads up the ushers in the district I meet with. Brother Larry was who asked me a few years ago with I could help out with the ushering as some of those who ushered with him had moved to other places. I simply said "yes" to him then... And when the Lord reminded me of the brother this week I immediately knew what the Lord's leading was for... And just said "Amen, Lord" and went and shaved my beard off.

Even as I was shaving my beard off I was coming up with a plan to regrow it during the three weeks between my ushering service (we're in a rotation)... That's how badly corrupted I still am... I said "Amen" to the Lord... And yet was still trying to get my natural human way... Eventually I just smiled at the Lord... How well does He know each of us.

Koinonia... I don't have a clear understanding of myself... How then can I have a clear understanding of what is according to Christ?

I bearly get by each moment of each day.

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Do you assume when you make this kind of statement that the proper result would always be in line with your (the "Lord's Recovery") way of thinking?
I try not to "...assume..." anything anymore... If what I do is in the Lord... Then it's in the Lord... And if what I do is not in the Lord... Then it's not in the Lord... The Lord knows... And will do what is necessary regarding both.

My only response is to believe He will... And trust that what He does/allows will gain me according to His need.
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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For all intents and purposes I was just told in an usher's meeting that I would have to cut off my beard in order to continue being an usher in the meetings... I've had a beard for maybe ten years or so (on and off... literally)... And I didn't grow it because of "...dignity..." (vanity) as per teh ministry speaking. I simply though blades for my shaver were getting too expensive and I also have a large mole on my cheek which would often get cut as I shaved, so I made up my mind th just grow a beard. But here I was being confronted with, although denied as a legality by the elders here in Austin, in my mind being confronted by legalism... Which I am very much against. I hate religion.
Let me throw this out for you, Steel.

Back in 1978 as a new brother in the LC, another brother grew a beard, and came to visit our LC, when the senior worker was in town. As you know, many of the leaders were Chinese, who don't grow beards very well. In the meeting the speaker "out of the blue" told us how someone who grows a beard "must have a cold heart to the Lord." For some 25 years after this event I was convinced that only a true bona fide Christian backslider would even think of growing a beard.

Then I studied the Plymouth Brethren who were our forbears in the Recovery. I purchased a book Chief Men Among The Brethren with 100 short bios and pics. Nearly every one of these British brethren had beards. Shocking! Spiritual men with beards!

Then it hit me. It was all cultural. Nothing spiritual about it. The Brits thought beards were spiritual, and the Chinese did not. Their teachings and practices followed their culture and not the scripture. Even Jesus, Peter, and Paul most probably had beards. Not so in a Chinese cultural church setting!

You must shave your beard off to please the brothers!

I met a LC brother about 10 years ago who had grown a beard. He told me that the Lord told him to grow it. How about that!
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:11 AM   #13
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As his anecdote makes clear, Steel shaved his beard because he wanted to please the Lord. The Lord is intensely personal. He is also sovereign. In His sovereignty, He arranged this situation for Steel. He engineered it, using all things, matters, and persons. These circumstances stir up the reasoning self. Steel, by the Lord’s mercy neither tried to obey out of desire to please man nor did he immediately disobey. He fellowshipped with the Lord, then was supplied to obey the Lord’s word, at least temporarily (because the Lord wants him to contact Hin again and again about this matter). Now this transaction becomes an eternal memorial beteeen him and the Lord. May we all have many such positive experiences. There are all kinds of tests from the Lord—He wants to train us to touch Him, remain in constant fellowship with Him, especially in situations that beg for us to act in ourselves, out of our evaluation of it. Were He not also supplying us all the time, we could never do it, or we could do it for a period of time and then burn out and grow bitter. What is impossible for a certain man (what? Shave my beard when I have every good reason not to, including how it might be a cultural thing?) becomes possible with God. The beard matters nothing; it was the fellowship with the Lord that mattered. If Steel shaved it but did not contact the Lord, that would also mean nothing.
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Old 02-18-2018, 02:23 AM   #14
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As for the brother who felt the Lord wanted him to grow a beard, then he should. If he does, perhaps he would need to then deal with the perception from others that he is not spiritual. Who knows? Is it wrong for others to think that he is unspiritual when he obeyed the Lord? Sure, but as far as that brother is concerned, if he cared more for his appearing spiritual vs the Lord’s presence, then it’s a problem. The Lord told Abraham to kill his son then told him not to. The Lord is very much different than our concept. He is also very good at tailor making our experiences for our growth in life. Like Steel said, just keep contacting the Lord.
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Old 02-18-2018, 07:00 AM   #15
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Ohio>“You must shave your beard off to please the brothers!”


I had a beard off and on for 40 years. No one ever said a thing. Others who came also had beards. No one said anything to them. A person just needs to ask the Lord about their groom, clothes, etc.

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Old 02-19-2018, 07:37 AM   #16
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Ohio>“You must shave your beard off to please the brothers!”


I had a beard off and on for 40 years. No one ever said a thing. Others who came also had beards. No one said anything to them. A person just needs to ask the Lord about their groom, clothes, etc.

Drake
If you are ushering in any of the meeting halls in the Austin area it is the "feeling" of the elders that you be clean shaven. They said it's not a "legality", but it is listed on a piece of paper as being one of the seven or so requirements for an usher.

This is specific to serving as an usher and is not something required of the wider meeting body. Whether or not it is something that is required for the "serving ones" I don't know (except that they all seem to be clean shaven).

We ushers were told though that this only applies to our locality, and that what other elders choose for their locality is up to them.

The reason given was Witness Lee's speaking on Leviticus 13:29 (although I feel that there is some current LSM influence also), where he talks of the scripture verse referring to... "a disease on the head and on the beard." . . . You can read more here... https://www.ministrybooks.org/books....=K40KI1NX01DUI

Thing is... If you go on and read the scripture that follows the above referenced verse from Leviticus you will see that it says...

Leviticus 13:32-33... "And on the seventh day the priest shall look at the infection; and if the scale has not spread, and there is no yellowish hair in it, and the appearance of the scale is not deeper than the skin,... Then he shall be shaved, but the scale he shall not shave. And the priest shall isolate the one who has the scale seven days more."

In the above we can see that even... after... the priest had looked at the infection on the face of the bearded person who may have been sick... "...AND PRONOUNCED HIM UNCLEAN..." meaning, as in having "...leprosy of the head or of the beard..." (Lev. 13:30)... This man was not required to shave. It is only after a seven-day isolation and checking again by the priest, who has then found no further indication of sickness, that the shaving is carried out and the man is isolated for seven more days, after which, if again, no negative symptoms are displayed, he is declared clean and can go about his normal daily life.

This is a very specific matter that has nothing to do with normal beard or hair growth in and of itself... But instead has to do with "...scales..." out of which the hair growing may be thin and yellowish thereby indicating a sickness.

It is the "...scales..." that point to a potential sickness, and the hair changing is used to confirm it. In fact, nothing in this scripture verse even hints at a beard being the indication of a sickness. And this is further supported by the fact that even when the first thought of there being a potential sickness arose, the man's beard was not immediately shaved. The shaving only took place as a kind of precaution, allowing the whole faced to be thoroughly checked after seven days... And note, nothing is said regarding this person — or any person — not growing a beard.

After seeing this, I then researched the matter of the Chinese culture regarding beards and came to see that there are very strong cultural thoughts regarding beards... Both negative and positive... And then realized that this could of had some effect on Witness Lee's speaking on the matter.

So what to do?

For some two weeks I considered the matter before the Lord, and then while doing so one day last week, I felt the Lord remind me of my brother Larry who kind of leads in the organization of the users in the district I meet in. I won't go into details, but I'll simply say that I saw that it was not a matter of the elders "...feelings..." and my thoughts regarding the "...right or wrong..." of whether to keep the beard and stop serving as an usher... But was simply a matter of what the Lord wanted. And when He qucikened me to consider brother Larry, I immediately knew what His need for me was. And that was all that mattered.

How wonderfully simple it is to just follow Lord... No Witness Lee... No LSM... No elders... And no me... Just the Lord, and what He needs.

Just to make clear... I am not a "hipster" type person... I have had a beard on and off for most of my adult life (possibly because it was just a daily activity I didn't want to — or feel to — have to do), and for the past maybe seven years had decided to have a beard because one day I went to buy some blades for my razor and found them to be outrageously expensive, so I just said to myself that it would be cheaper for me to grow a beard and just keep it trim with the beard trimmer I already owned. Additionally, I have a large mole on my cheek that I often cut when shaving, and so I thought to myself that not shaving would take care of that problem as well. I can't say I really ever thought about my beard in a vain way.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:03 AM   #17
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Let me throw this out for you, Steel... Then it hit me. It was all cultural. Nothing spiritual about it. The Brits thought beards were spiritual, and the Chinese did not. Their teachings and practices followed their culture and not the scripture. Even Jesus, Peter, and Paul most probably had beards. Not so in a Chinese cultural church setting!

You must shave your beard off to please the brothers!

I met a LC brother about 10 years ago who had grown a beard. He told me that the Lord told him to grow it. How about that!
Ohio... The more I've gone on with the Lord the less I find myself caring about (meaning placing value in) human culture... And this lack of care includes the being of persons who fall into/hold to human culture... In the sense of their personal natural rationalizing of it.

I don't really care (place value in) the why people do what they do... All I find myself considering these days (to a degree, as I am certainly not yet perfected) is how the Lord sees things and what He needs from me.

Did Witness Lee say/write what he said/wrote about beards out of a type of holding to his cultural background? . . . To be honest... On the one hand I must have some care about whether he did or didn't, as I researched the matter... But on the other hand, I am pursuing trying to not really care... And this goes for all matters and the people related to these matters... As time goes by I have less and less interest in what they are thinking regarding a matter... In the sense of my need before the Lord that is, not in terms of my caring for their condition and salvation.

And don't for a moment think that this is something I just woke up one morning and thought I'd do... It's been twenty years of hardship and suffering that the Lord has used to get me to this point. There are some days that I don't know whether I am coming or going... Some days that I tell the Lord I don't want to do this (have this type of calling) anymore.

But does He listen to my complaints? . . . Thankfully not.

Beard, no beard... Suit, no suit... Short hair, long hair... The Lord knows, and is still seated on the throne... Meaning... He is still in control... And that's all I need to know, and live according to... Everything else... According to scripture... Is simply passing away.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:19 AM   #18
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-2

Thanks Steel. That is a powerful testimony of following the Lord.

In periods where I had facial hair, or not, I always considered it before the Lord. Always follow the leading of the Spirit but I was not always clear or obedient especially in the matter of clothing.

One time I wore pants to a training that can only be described as “John Travolta Saturday Night Fever tight and stretchy”. I looked as if I had been poured into them. I wore them in many places but in packing for the training the Lord said “not those”. I kind of ignored the inner speaking. I packed them.

Then when we got to the first meeting (out of almost 30 in those days) the Lord really shined on those pants, which I happened to be wearing. Sitting on the second row near the front didn’t allow those pants or me to hide from His shining. The only other pants I had were worn Levi’s to travel in and I tried hard to get to a store but occasion to do it escaped me. The Lord was teaching me a valuable lesson for ten days. No one said anything to me but they didn’t have to and anything they could have said paled in comparison to the brightness of His shining about those britches. Later I came to appreciate that some things may be alright for me but for the sake others I need to have a broader consideration. In any case, those pants did not make too far after that if memory serves me. Their dancing days were over!

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Old 02-19-2018, 10:20 AM   #19
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Ohio... The more I've gone on with the Lord the less I find myself caring about (meaning placing value in) human culture... And this lack of care includes the being of persons who fall into/hold to human culture... In the sense of their personal natural rationalizing of it.

I don't really care (place value in) the why people do what they do... All I find myself considering these days (to a degree, as I am certainly not yet perfected) is how the Lord sees things and what He needs from me.

Did Witness Lee say/write what he said/wrote about beards out of a type of holding to his cultural background? . . . To be honest... On the one hand I must have some care about whether he did or didn't, as I researched the matter... But on the other hand, I am pursuing trying to not really care... And this goes for all matters and the people related to these matters... As time goes by I have less and less interest in what they are thinking regarding a matter... In the sense of my need before the Lord that is, not in terms of my caring for their condition and salvation.

And don't for a moment think that this is something I just woke up one morning and thought I'd do... It's been twenty years of hardship and suffering that the Lord has used to get me to this point. There are some days that I don't know whether I am coming or going... Some days that I tell the Lord I don't want to do this (have this type of calling) anymore.

But does He listen to my complaints? . . . Thankfully not.

Beard, no beard... Suit, no suit... Short hair, long hair... The Lord knows, and is still seated on the throne... Meaning... He is still in control... And that's all I need to know, and live according to... Everything else... According to scripture... Is simply passing away.
The problem here, again, is hypocrisy. LC members expect others to conform to their rules--even when they are not justified--and avoid an examination of the basis for their own behavior. It is upside-down, as usual. It is perfectly fine, as a matter of conscience, to make a determination whether or not to do this or that (when it is not sinful) in respect of the considerations of others. However, this should not be used to shut down the conversation.
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Old 02-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #20
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Steel’s example is due to his desire to serve as an usher in a service. Consider if he had just begun to learn piano and makes many mistakes when he plays but wanted to start playing piano in the music service. What problem would there be for those in that service to say that he needs to be more proficient before he can play in the meetings? Conversely, say a world-famous pianist gets saved and begins to meet. He considers the piano playing subpar and insists on playing, because in his mind he would uplift the meeting when he jazzes up the music. Those on the service do not want jazzed up version which would draw attention to the piano player and not the Lord and they know that this newly saved believer has yet to enter into many of the experiences delineated in the words of the hymn and thus his playing would lack the depths and would be a detriment to the meeting. In the newly saved one’s mind, this is not justified. Can a service have standards that may or may not be justified in those wanting to enter it?

A brother with a beard can have a beard but if he is in Austin (sovereignly arranged by the Lord) and wants to be in the ushering service, then he needs to have that conversation with the Lord. If the Lord wants him on the ushering service, He will provide the way if the brother keeps talking to Him. He will supply the brother inwardly with a confirmation this is His desire in this instance. and outwardly, if it’s too expensive, the Lord will have opportunity to meet that need (helping him find a cheaper source for blades, being gifted blades, or more financial means. Or perhaps the Lord desires to touch some aspect of his relationship to money He may use the purchase of blades as an entry point. Again, who knows?), all of which strengthens the brother’s faith and deepens his experience with the Lord.

Many in the the recovery testify of these kinds of experiences. They are part of God’s ongoing salvation. A sister shared that she wore lots of makeup when she began to meet. No one says anything to her about not doing so. She begins to serve the young people. One day she is preparing to help give a lesson to the young people on Christ living in us. She is reading Gal. 4:19–My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you. There is a reading that says that as a pregnant woman would consider the effect of her diet on her unborn child and adjust it accordingly for the sake of the baby’s growth, so we who have Christ in us need to take care of this One in us. At that moment, the Lord spoke to her that she cannot give this lesson with her face full of heavy makeup. She argued with the Lord but having just read that verse and portion, could not argue this was His speaking and desire. In the months following, there was much back and forth with the Lord on the topic. Again and again the Lord showed her that she was enslaved to makeup and in fact had her identity rooted in her appearance. That she could not leave the house without makeup was something the Lord intended to save her from. Through much prayer and pray-reading the word, this sister was saved and was able to not wear makeup publically. She threw away her makeup only to have her mother retrieve it from the trash, testing her further. But finally she was free. Her not wearing makeup was not to conform to a religious standard. It was because she cooperated with the inner operating God who works save her from more than eternal perdition. He did this for her in the context of the local church, in service, and with help from the Word as opened up by the ministry. In the end it was His supply and her obedience that saved her but He used these other factors.

The Lord looked upon the rich young ruler with love as He asked him to sell all he had. The young man could fulfill all the other commandments, so the Lord found the “one thing” he could not do and asked him to do it. The young man went away sorrowing. Don’t go away sorrowing. if he had remained with the Lord, the Lord would have saved him from his love of money.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:34 PM   #21
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Very touching unreg. It reminds of a statement made by Brother Nee or Lee (can't remember which) that Lord arranges circumstances to create opportunities for us to have hundreds and thousands of conversations with Him.

Thanks for coming by, and if you have a chance be sure to register. Many unregistered come by. UntoHim the moderator insures anonymity so your "handle" just allows us to follow your thoughts.

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:48 PM   #22
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Steel’s example is due to his desire to serve as an usher in a service...
The subjective experience of a few does not justify legalism. How many have been turned away by the legalism?
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:28 PM   #23
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Ohio... The more I've gone on with the Lord the less I find myself caring about (meaning placing value in) human culture... And this lack of care includes the being of persons who fall into/hold to human culture... In the sense of their personal natural rationalizing of it.
I made an observation about *beards* based on my study of church history.

That's all it was.
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:47 PM   #24
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How wonderfully simple it is to just follow Lord... No Witness Lee... No LSM... No elders... And no me... Just the Lord, and what He needs.
On this we can agree, Steel. Thanks.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:34 AM   #25
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It is upside-down, as usual.
If I had received a penny each time I thought to myself how "...upside-down..." (messy, messed up) this world we live in is, I'd be a wealthy man... But praise the Lord... His thoughts are not according to my natural human thinking.

There is hypocrisy in me... And there's hypocrisy in you, Koinonia... So what ground do we have to point fingers at the hypocrisy we think we see in others.

Honestly... I'm in no hurry to see yet another problem... In anyone or in anything. I've seen enough problems in my life... I'm tired of seeing problems.

Back on 1997, when I first came into the church life — the overarching church life, not the more specific, Recovery related church life — things were not going well for me. At the time I was living in an apartment that I couldn't pay for, and would soon have to move out of; and the electricity in the apartment was already disconnected. I remember lying in bed at night and reading the New King James bible that my brother had given me... And doing so with a small flash light... No real knowledge of where scripture had come from... No real knowledge of related doctrines, or certain teachings... No real knowledge of related rules or regulations... Just me, with nothing much going for me (in a worldly sense) and what I was reading in this bible... And I was fine with it... I never felt that something was missing... All I remember feeling is that there was so much to gain... Why hadn't someone shown me this thing called a bible before.

Some years later I created a company called A Gift of Light... Why?... Because that's what I felt scripture was... A gift of light.

But as I went on in my walk with the Lord things related to my disposition towards the things of God (the church, pastors, religion, doctrines, teachings) began to get complicated ... I started to see "...problems..." related to other believers... I started to see "...hypocrisy..." related to other believers... I wanted everything to be perfect... And things weren't perfect... Why couldn't everyone just be poor and reading scripture by flashlight in the darkness... I can't begin to tell you how filled with life I was during those hours... I'd smile with the Lord... I'd weep with the Lord... I'd see my fallen self with the Lord... I'd hope with the Lord... I'd trust with the Lord... I'd be encouraged with the Lord... At nighttime, lying in bed, reading that bible with a flashlight... I believe I was truly hidden in the Lord... In those hours He was everything to me.

Even now as I sit here writing this there are uncontrollable tears flowing from my eyes as I remember what we, the Lord and I, experienced during that time.

And I had no clue about anything regarding scripture knowledge from any particular ministry. All I know is that for me, at that time, being able to lie in bed and read my bible, even by flashlight, was something I somehow, dispite all the negative in my life, desperately clung to... All day I would be trying to figure out stuff related to my daily practical living... But late at night, I could hide myself away from all that... And it wasn't as if I was spending the day thinking about it in this manner... I wasn't saying to myself "I can't wait for night to come so I can hide myself and read scripture with the Lord."... No... I barely knew what to think about from one hour to the next... And going to bed was simply something that I did because there was nothing more, practically, for me to do. But when I went to bed, I would find my secret hiding place waiting on me.

In the above paragraph, where I describe myself as having "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... I struggled to find the proper words to use... I wanted to use maybe "...appreciated...", or maybe "...enjoyed...", or "...cherished...",... But none of them properly expressed what I felt... The truth is... I "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... And this is how my relationship with scripture began.

And it is how my relationship with scripture is today... When I read scripture... Whether it be in the day or in the night... Whether it is in a meeting hall full of people, or in the fellowship of just another believer... Or just by myself... For me... There is no light other than that coming from a small flashlight... Because everything else is just darkness... And that light, I have come to know... Has a Name... And is a Person... Christ Jesus... And what this Light reveals in and through scripture is simply Christ Jesus.

Today I know that my secret hiding place is simply the revelation/realization of Christ Jesus... The revelation/realization of Himself to me... By Himself.

And even now, some twenty years later... I still desperately cling to Him.

And I know that nothing else matters... Because in doing only this... Desperately clinging to Christ Jesus... Everything is actually... Right side up... Meaning... In proper order.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:43 AM   #26
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On this we can agree, Steel. Thanks.
Praise the Lord, Igzy... And now you can, in Christ Jesus... Place your "...agreement..." with me... Under the killing of the cross... So that the Lord may bring it into resurrection and we may both enjoy, together, the reality of... His oneness... That is the proper and true "...agreement..." all believers already have and share... In Him.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:01 AM   #27
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If I had received a penny each time I thought to myself how "...upside-down..." (messy, messed up) this world we live in is, I'd be a wealthy man... But praise the Lord... His thoughts are not according to my natural human thinking.

There is hypocrisy in me... And there's hypocrisy in you, Koinonia... So what ground do we have to point fingers at the hypocrisy we think we see in others.

Honestly... I'm in no hurry to see yet another problem... In anyone or in anything. I've seen enough problems in my life... I'm tired of seeing problems.

Back on 1997, when I first came into the church life — the overarching church life, not the more specific, Recovery related church life — things were not going well for me. At the time I was living in an apartment that I couldn't pay for, and would soon have to move out of; and the electricity in the apartment was already disconnected. I remember lying in bed at night and reading the New King James bible that my brother had given me... And doing so with a small flash light... No real knowledge of where scripture had come from... No real knowledge of related doctrines, or certain teachings... No real knowledge of related rules or regulations... Just me, with nothing much going for me (in a worldly sense) and what I was reading in this bible... And I was fine with it... I never felt that something was missing... All I remember feeling is that there was so much to gain... Why hadn't someone shown me this thing called a bible before.

Some years later I created a company called A Gift of Light... Why?... Because that's what I felt scripture was... A gift of light.

But as I went on in my walk with the Lord things related to my disposition towards the things of God (the church, pastors, religion, doctrines, teachings) began to get complicated ... I started to see "...problems..." related to other believers... I started to see "...hypocrisy..." related to other believers... I wanted everything to be perfect... And things weren't perfect... Why couldn't everyone just be poor and reading scripture by flashlight in the darkness... I can't begin to tell you how filled with life I was during those hours... I'd smile with the Lord... I'd weep with the Lord... I'd see my fallen self with the Lord... I'd hope with the Lord... I'd trust with the Lord... I'd be encouraged with the Lord... At nighttime, lying in bed, reading that bible with a flashlight... I believe I was truly hidden in the Lord... In those hours He was everything to me.

Even now as I sit here writing this there are uncontrollable tears flowing from my eyes as I remember what we, the Lord and I, experienced during that time.

And I had no clue about anything regarding scripture knowledge from any particular ministry. All I know is that for me, at that time, being able to lie in bed and read my bible, even by flashlight, was something I somehow, dispite all the negative in my life, desperately clung to... All day I would be trying to figure out stuff related to my daily practical living... But late at night, I could hide myself away from all that... And it wasn't as if I was spending the day thinking about it in this manner... I wasn't saying to myself "I can't wait for night to come so I can hide myself and read scripture with the Lord."... No... I barely knew what to think about from one hour to the next... And going to bed was simply something that I did because there was nothing more, practically, for me to do. But when I went to bed, I would find my secret hiding place waiting on me.

In the above paragraph, where I describe myself as having "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... I struggled to find the proper words to use... I wanted to use maybe "...appreciated...", or maybe "...enjoyed...", or "...cherished...",... But none of them properly expressed what I felt... The truth is... I "...desperately clung to..." reading my bible by flashlight in bed at night... And this is how my relationship with scripture began.

And it is how my relationship with scripture is today... When I read scripture... Whether it be in the day or in the night... Whether it is in a meeting hall full of people, or in the fellowship of just another believer... Or just by myself... For me... There is no light other than that coming from a small flashlight... Because everything else is just darkness... And that light, I have come to know... Has a Name... And is a Person... Christ Jesus... And what this Light reveals in and through scripture is simply Christ Jesus.

Today I know that my secret hiding place is simply the revelation/realization of Christ Jesus... The revelation/realization of Himself to me... By Himself.

And even now, some twenty years later... I still desperately cling to Him.

And I know that nothing else matters... Because in doing only this... Desperately clinging to Christ Jesus... Everything is actually... Right side up... Meaning... In proper order.
Steel, I readily acknowledge that there is hypocrisy in me. The difference is that I am not wielding spiritual authority over others. I respect your experience of the Lord, but your spiritual justifications for unjustifiable legalism is a cop-out, and it means that no one in the LC system is ever accountable for anything. If I choose not to have a beard for spiritual reasons, that is between me and the Lord. If the LC in Austin chooses to make clean-shaven-ness a requirement for service, that is legalism and a likely stumbling to others. If LC leaders refuse to deal with sexual immorality and blame innocent people for criticizing, that is spiritual abuse and a huge stumbling to others.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:23 AM   #28
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Steel, I readily acknowledge that there is hypocrisy in me. The difference is that I am not wielding spiritual authority over others.
But according to scripture, you most certainly are...

Matthew 18:18-19... "Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven... Again, truly I say to you that if two of you are in harmony on earth concerning any matter for which they ask, it will be done for them from My Father who is in the heavens."

And why...

Matthew 18:20... "For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst."

But perhaps you're not so clear on exactly what "...spiritual authority..." actually is.

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I respect your experience of the Lord, but your spiritual justifications for unjustifiable legalism is a cop-out, and it means that no one in the LC system is ever accountable for anything.
But I haven't tried to justify legalism — spiritually or otherwise... So there can be no "...cop-out..." on my part... I have said in one of my comments that before the Lord each believer is absolutely responsible for their actions... And I certainly include myself.

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If I choose not to have a beard for spiritual reasons, that is between me and the Lord.
Absolutely.

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If the LC in Austin chooses to make clean-shaven-ness a requirement for service, that is legalism and a likely stumbling to others.
Absolutely... Praise the Lord for the grace He gives us as we go through the sufferings He allows...

Romans 5:3-5... "And not only so, but we also boast in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces endurance;... And endurance, approvedness; and approvedness, hope;... And hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

Have you never stumbled another believer, Koinonia? . . . If so, are you not still in Christ Jesus... An eternally saved member of the Lord's one body?

And if you have stumbled another... Did you not have a way to turn, repent, and through this be brought back into the economy of God in and through which the working out of your full salvation continues?

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If LC leaders refuse to deal with sexual immorality and blame innocent people for criticizing, that is spiritual abuse and a huge stumbling to others.
Absolutely... But praise the Lord... Scripture tells us that He is able to bring good out of that which was meant for evil... And do so for His glory.
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Old 02-20-2018, 09:26 AM   #29
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But according to scripture, you most certainly are...

Matthew 18:18-19... "Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven... Again, truly I say to you that if two of you are in harmony on earth concerning any matter for which they ask, it will be done for them from My Father who is in the heavens."

And why...

Matthew 18:20... "For where there are two or three gathered into My name, there am I in their midst."

But perhaps you're not so clear on exactly what "...spiritual authority..." actually is.



But I haven't tried to justify legalism — spiritually or otherwise... So there can be no "...cop-out..." on my part... I have said in one of my comments that before the Lord each believer is absolutely responsible for their actions... And I certainly include myself.



Absolutely.



Absolutely... Praise the Lord for the grace He gives us as we go through the sufferings He allows...

Romans 5:3-5... "And not only so, but we also boast in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces endurance;... And endurance, approvedness; and approvedness, hope;... And hope does not put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

Have you never stumbled another believer, Koinonia? . . . If so, are you not still in Christ Jesus... An eternally saved member of the Lord's one body?

And if you have stumbled another... Did you not have a way to turn, repent, and through this be brought back into the economy of God in and through which the working out of your full salvation continues?



Absolutely... But praise the Lord... Scripture tells us that He is able to bring good out of that which was meant for evil... And do so for His glory.
More spiritualizing cop-outs.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:26 AM   #30
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Steel’s example is due to his desire to serve as an usher in a service.
Well... Not really... You were closer when you said this "... Steel shaved his beard because he wanted to please the Lord..." in your earlier comment.

And to be honest... I wasn't consciously thinking that shaving my beard was akin to my wanting "...to please the Lord..." . . . Often, my disposition towards my relationship with the Lord is kind of like that of a petulant child.

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Can a service have standards that may or may not be justified in those wanting to enter it?
I'm thinking that "...service..." is in and of itself a "...standard..." . . . A "...standard..." that has requirements that must be met/adhered to in order to be upheld as a "...standard...".

If we consider the matter of the "...standard..." as related to the Roman Empire, we'd find some very interesting related meanings... Most, or even all, of which are focused on the need to satiate fallen man's vanity.

The truth is... There is only one "...standard..." that has any reality and therefore value... This being God's "...standard..." . . . And God's "...standard..." is simply Himself. . . . Which is why the "...standard..." of a believer in Christ Jesus is simply God as our "...standard...".

And if we are to take God's "...standards..." then there is no need for any justifying on our part... It's basically His way or no way.

Now... Being clear regarding what the "...standard..." for a believer is... When I read your above quoted speaking, Unregistered, it concerned me that you seem not to be clear regarding the difference between a "...standard..." and a "...requirement..."... And yet think to speak on the matter as having some authority regarding it.

Our service to God... Which should be what is expressed in all our daily living and being... Is simply an aspect (type of) of our worship of God... And according to scripture... This service we render unto God should be according to the measure of grace God has given each of us for the purpose of rendering this service to Him.

Ephesians 4:7... "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ."

Ephesians 4:16... "Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love."

So if there is any "...justifying..." regarding our service/worship unto God taking place... It is according to God's measure of grace He has given each of us... And not according to any human contrived requirements thought to be put in place in regards to the carrying out of this service/worship... According to the ministry footnotes... "In Rom. 12 it is the grace that produces the gift. Hence, the gift is according to grace. Here the grace is according to the gift, according to the measure of the gift. This is similar to our blood supplying the members of our body according to their size."

Therefore... According to scripture... My service/worship unto God should be according to the grace He has supplied me with to carry out my service/worship unto Him... And this being the case... The need is then on of ensuring the grace has been supplied, and that the person carrying out the service/worship is exercised in this grace while doing so.

In reality... Any "...requirements..." applicable to the bearing (carrying out) of the "...standard..." (service/worship) are contained within the measure of grace given by God to the person being asked to do so... And the need of those others who are related to it is not to become legal in their own zeal to carry out what service/worship God has brought them into... But to humble themselves and make up any lack found within those they are cooperating with the Lord to cowork with in the carrying out of God's economy on this earth.

I must help my brother and sister to exercise themselves in the measure of grace God has given them... And they must help me exercise myself accordingly... This is the reality spoken to in Ephesians 4:7 being expressed in and through teh members of the one body of Christ.

It is in and through grace that the body is built up and properly functions... Not in and through legality/legalism.

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A brother with a beard can have a beard but if he is in Austin (sovereignly arranged by the Lord) and wants to be in the ushering service, then he needs to have that conversation with the Lord... Again, who knows?), all of which strengthens the brother’s faith and deepens his experience with the Lord.
Or, the Lord may use this brother with the beard to expose an element of legalism that has crept into the thinking of those overseeing the ushering.

Or do you think that all the various problems related to the various churches referred to in the book of Revelation are not applicable to those overseeing matters involving the various local churches... That the overseeing ones are not susceptible to the corruption other lesser members of tehe body might suffer?

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Many in the the recovery testify of these kinds of experiences. They are part of God’s ongoing salvation. A sister shared that she wore lots of makeup when she began to meet.... In the end it was His supply and her obedience that saved her but He used these other factors.
Notice... In your above anecdote, the experience was divinely organic... Not humanly instituted.

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The Lord looked upon the rich young ruler with love as He asked him to sell all he had. The young man could fulfill all the other commandments, so the Lord found the “one thing” he could not do and asked him to do it. The young man went away sorrowing. Don’t go away sorrowing. if he had remained with the Lord, the Lord would have saved him from his love of money.
Who is to say that the Lord didn't do just that at a later date?

John 9:1-3... "And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.... And His disciples asked Him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?... Jesus answered, Neither has this man sinned nor his parents, but he was born so, that the works of God might be manifested in him."

DO you know how many times Jesus may have walked by the man spoken about in the above scripture verses... Before healing him?
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:28 AM   #31
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More spiritualizing cop-outs.
Or perhaps you simply are too caught up in your own cop-out to receive my fellowship regarding this matter.

As the saying goes... There are three fingers always pointing back at us when we think to point at others.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:40 AM   #32
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Or perhaps you simply are too caught up in your own cop-out to receive my fellowship regarding this matter.

As the saying goes... There are three fingers always pointing back at us when we think to point at others.
Steel, you will seem more credible when you apply your spiritualization to everyone else outside of the LC. The posture of the LC is consistent--grace toward themselves and righteousness/judgment toward everyone else.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:51 AM   #33
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Steel, you will seem more credible when you apply your spiritualization to everyone else outside of the LC. The posture of the LC is consistent--grace toward themselves and righteousness/judgment toward everyone else.
I meet with the local church here in Austin, and though there might be shortness in many areas... Scripture tells us that the comely should make up for the uncomely.

Back in Miami, I once had a brother who had just started meeting with the local church I also met with, say to me that one of the reasons he knew he could meet with us is because one of the elders (pretty much a brother who was kind of looked at as being the head elder) wore cashmere sweaters.

Now this brother who said this to me was quite wealthy, and had a pretty opulent lifestyle... So I kind of got the "cashmere" link... But when he said it to me my first inclination was to put my hand to my face and say "Oh my brother..."... But I didn't... I simply looked at him, smiled, and said "Amen brother."

Was my response "right"... Was it "wrong"... I don't know... I simply tried to do the best I could, and hoped that (and know) the Lord would come in and solve any problem either he had, or I had... Or both of us had.

It's pretty the same today with all that I encounter and participate in.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:51 PM   #34
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In every church in Revelation there is the call to overcome. And it is “he who overcomes”—ongoing process, not category. This applies to all—those in the Lc and those not; those in the lead and those not. Woe to those who sit on their laurels. But woe also to those who criticize more than they pray when facing degradation. We are not unaware of the enemy and his stratagems...

A member should be received, beard or no beard. A member who wants to serve on a service will have fellowship with the Lord and then with the other members of the group. If things go according to (the Lord’s) plan, transformation will happen for all involved—grain ground against grain to produce the loaf (salt, the cross plus oil, the Spirit, also needed).

We can all testify that are also many anecdotes (now this seems not the right word) that are further along in the experience of life—not just putting off of makeup (that’s from the early section, maybe being delivered from the world) but being cut up in the very fiber of one’s natural constitution, the source of which cutting will seem like this fleshly person in the church or that infuriating matter in the church—it will not seem very divine at all, and it will almost be impossible to put into words, because it touches the very core of your being and you are being reduced to nothing so Christ can be everything and you can be buildable and not merely spiritual. The piece of wood being cut not because it’s bad but because it needs to be a doorframe. The rice being cooked not because it’s bad or wrong but because it’s raw and needs cooking to be a source of food.The messy kitchen of the church life, where the garms are in all the fallen being of every member (leading ones included) but at least you got warned (or enlightened) in message after message that this is what the Lord will do to you—perform surgery on your contaminated person—if you keep taking this way. The instrument will be blunt and it will often be the other members. Yet somehow there is the supply, now not only from the Lord only but from the other members, and you appreciate the Christ in them, even the very legal ones, and the Lord shows you your non-legality may be your own form of legality imposed on others and not Christ. But you keep contacting the Lord (He may come to you again and again, but why not just stay in contact with Him if you can?), let Him impart His essence into you via the cross. He then shows you these things—sometimes directly from the Word but also from the ministry and there is an echo in your being because it explains what is happening to you and it makes you love the Lord more each passing day, month, year. And He exhorts you to pray against the degradation in the church (how could there not be—it’s in the Word) and for the rekindling of the first love for everyone He puts on your heart.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:41 PM   #35
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Beard, no beard... Suit, no suit... Short hair, long hair... The Lord knows, and is still seated on the throne... Meaning... He is still in control... And that's all I need to know, and live according to... Everything else... According to scripture... Is simply passing away.
Amen Steel. That's been my consideration too.
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