FCC Public File - contact: Ken Anderson 618.997.1500
    Listen to WBVN online!
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .

Uncategorized

We Are Messengers

Posted on by Laura Posted in Concert Photos, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August newsletter: Who teaches a canary to sing?

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Who Teaches A Canary To Sing?

What do you think? As believers, has God given such a tough burden to perform in living the Christian Life that we simply cannot accomplish it? Sometimes re-evaluating the purpose of our Faith performances will help us not to burnout, crash, give up or get discouraged. After all, Jesus taught us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Does that Scripture (Matthew 11:30) sink in? Apostle Paul teaches that if we take up Christ’s yoke we will find rest, not stress! Is that our experience? It’s true that Jesus indicated we would have much to deal with in this life. (John 16:33) Some parts of our natural lives will be heavy and cumbersome. But, just as importantly, He indicated that one of His purposes in coming was to help us through tough times that would come our way, and also the tough times that we create for ourselves.

Scripture reveals that Jesus is the true vine and without him nothing, including our best human performances, could produce the Christian Life. (John 15:1…) Our role is to bear much fruit, significantly, His Fruit. Sometimes, it gets ‘heavy’ trying to do the Christian thing with only our ability. When we began the Christian walk, Christ became the author and finisher of our new Faith. Being made alive unto God, He started a process in each of us. He alone will be able to complete it. Sometimes along the way we quietly, casually, have picked up more than we can bear or our human attempts can change.

How many trees do you know that think to themselves, “Um, I’m a tree and trees have to bear fruit.” Nothing is needed on their part other than simply being created a tree. When we are ‘created’ anew, the Life we bring forth can come from simply becoming what God intended us to be all along. Years ago in a conversation I had with a friend, he simply asked me, ‘Who teaches a canary to sing? It just sings because it’s a canary!” They just do what canaries do best. It does that because of what God made it to be; it doesn’t do anything to become a singing canary. Christians don’t perform nor do they bear much fruit to be Christians; they bear much fruit because they are Christians. Fruit bearing ability is located on the inside, they are Spirit carriers, and the Spirit bears the fruit. Jesus gave us a simple clue about that when mentioning that he only did what he saw the Father doing. (John 5:19) Being made alive unto God, being created anew at that moment, deposited the ability to become what the dream of God before the foundation of the world was about you.

Resting in Christ gives us the opportunity to relax, trust and believe that God will live through us. There’s a chorus in the song from the band Cain that says, ‘Sometimes I wonder, is He faithful? Does He see me in my trouble? Does He understand? Sometimes I question if He’s able. Can He rescue? Can He save me? Yes He did, Yes He can.’ What God has done in the past, He can do today in and through our lives. We can serve God by yielding our lives to His ‘Living’ through us. I know that sounds ‘goofy’ compared to how we usually talk about serving God. Laying down our life can simply mean, laying down our agenda and letting His Spirit come forth. It can mean making our life at Peace and Rest so that God can use it for His purpose.

I remember a teaching by the author of the Lifetime Guarantee book, Bill Gillham. Bill taught that ground is just dirt unless God is present. With the presence of God it becomes Holy ground. God’s presence in our lives is what makes anything we do Holy. Even the very best we can do is not Holy without His initiation and presence in it. Bill was illustrating scripture found in Exodus 3. It was a discussion between God and Moses. You know the story, God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh but Moses wanted just a bit more confirmation. In the exchange God tells Moses: I have seen, I have heard, I have come, and I will do something. Moses was not the people’s savior, he was simply the one to deliver the Message from God. God would perform it. Of course Moses being Moses sulks a bit but God states, ‘Moses, Who Am I?’ He gave Moses this answer: ‘I will be with you.’ God said to tell Pharaoh that I Am who I Am, tell them I Am sent you. It’s a name that implies present tense and an active form of the verb to be. God was telling Moses He was unchanging, constant, unending, always present, always God. God is that forever and is that right now in our life. **(Check out the extra post at the bottom of this newsletter.)

Years and years ago, during one of our Celebrations, Mike Middleton and I were talking about how to live the Christian Life. We were discussing the necessity of reading scripture and keeping our minds on Christ. We both agreed study is very important. However, Mike noted that study alone would not permit us to experience the Christian Life in full. He suggested that the Christian Life is similar to many of the artists that we bring in concert. Once they’ve written the song, learned the lyrics, they no longer need to read the words off a page to sing that song. They sing them effortlessly, without having to even think about the lyrics. They’ve placed those lyrics in their hearts and perform them without having to have a sheet of paper with the words on it. That’s not to say that we should not read the Word of God-obviously we should. There is no substitute for reading the Word of God. Hearing the Word of God is exactly what turned so many of our lives around. Jesus taught that a believer who hears the Word and does the Word will be blessed. Doing the Word actually became possible when the Spirit of God came and ‘alived’ us. At that moment, everything we needed to empower us to live the Christian life was placed at our disposal. According to His divine power He has given unto us all things that pertain unto Life (Gk: zoe, life as the Father would have it for us) and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue (2Peter1:3) Jesus revealed a mystery in John 14:20, the mystery of Christ in you! (The Word lives there, Worship lives there, the Spirit of Christ inhabits there. It’s Good News, but it’s so amazing it’s hard for us to believe.)

Just like that canary singing without ever being taught to sing, we can live a Life that’s God-guided and made possible unlike the life we experience without Him. We can sing a new song; we can live a new Life; being God’s new creation, we can experience a new way to live that’s natural and designed for us from the first imaginings of God, Son and Spirit for creation.

Most of us have read stacks of books, perhaps listened to hundreds of teachings on YouTube, or attended church for decades and still ask what is the Will of God for us. We can seem stumped about what we think God wants us to do next. However, over time, some of the teachings in the Gospel should have become natural for us to do. Just like those artists’ song lyrics, Life things should be so imprinted in our hearts that we do them instinctively; we hardly think of them at all. There should be progressing in things that let us do the Gospel as easy as that canary singing. Occasionally I’ve mentioned to friends: I sometimes watch myself do things. What I mean by that statement is that many times I do things that emotionally I’m kind of opposed to. I do them because they are simply things I know are appropriate to do because Christ said so. I do those even when I don’t necessarily want to do them. Jesus taught that there were people who were always learning but never coming to the Truth. Always memorizing and quoting but never living like the Scripture they had memorized. I believe the knowledge of God is in the reading, but the preservation and the experiencing the God kind of Life is in the doing. Christ wants us to take up His ‘burdens’ and discover they are easy because He is there. He is I Am in every moment. Those things He asks us to do are possible because He is the one who will accomplish them. Canaries don’t go to canary school– they just draw on the song God put inside them to sing. We can experience Him in the very same way.

**

God said to tell Pharaoh that I Am who I Am, tell them I Am sent you.  It’s a name that implies present tense and an active form of the verb to be.  God was telling Moses He was unchanging, constant, unending, always present, always God. God was telling Moses I Am the center of everything, I Am running the show, I Am the same every day, forever, I Am the owner of everything, I Am the Lord, I Am the Creator and Sustainer of Life, I Am the Savior, I Am more than enough, I Am inexhaustible and immeasurable, I Am God.  If God’s name is I Am, Moses’ name must be I am not.  I am not the center of everything, I am not in control, I am not the solution, I am not all-powerful, I am not calling the shots, I am not the owner of anything, I am not the Lord…I am not running anything, I am not head of anything, I am not in charge of anything, I am not the maker, I am not the savior, I am not holding it all together, I am not all-knowing, I am not God.  God: ‘This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. His name would endure to every generation that would inhabit earth-even to our generations, mine and yours.

In short, the translation I Am is simply ‘Be’.  What we do not understand, He makes up for being with us.  What we do not do, He makes up for being always present.  What we get wrong; He makes a way for never leaving us.  What we do not see; He makes up because we know He is our Light in any darkness.  When we do not have enough; He is enough.  What we do not know, we have I Am to trust in.  What does not feel good, I Amstill has His hand out to grab ours and lead the way.”

(Material taken from the book i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio)

Big Daddy Weave 2021

Posted on by Laura Posted in Concert Photos, Uncategorized | Leave a comment