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Archive for January, 2014

As 2013 came to an end, my wife and my participation with the organized church also came to an end.

After so many years of feeling dissatisfied with organized religion, we decided to make a break from the traditions, rules, regulations and doctrines we each grew up learning.

It can be a scary decision to stop attending something that has been part of your life since you can remember. So many friends don’t understand why we made this decision. So many people who feel we are wrong and have fallen from grace.

Now let me say, neither of us think there is anything wrong with participating in organized fellowship. We do think we need to call it as it is, church is not a building or place we meet God. The Church is made up of each of us followers of Christ and it is a life-style that goes on day by day, anywhere, anytime.

God says we are now His temple and He lives within us, not a building made by hands.

Looking to the new year, we see it as a time of new beginnings with our walk with God.

We see this as a new start away from law-living and following man-made religion. It’s beginning a path walking with Jesus as our friend and partner in the grace and freedom He provided.

It is a walk consisting of loving God and loving others. Accepting all those we come in contact with each day. It is not a set of rules to follow, or things we need to do to be a better Christian.

It is coming to realize that what we do or don’t do, does not make a difference in our relationship to God. It is letting Christ live through us and letting His love touch people. It is knowing that Christ paid the price for our salvation and learning to live by grace, and grace alone, not by adding law and works.

After so many years of ‘going to church’ each Sunday, we don’t know for sure where the path will lead us in this new walk, but we know that we both feel closer to God. We feel a new dependency on fellowship with our Father and with fellow believers. We also feel a renewed sense of excitement now that we are out of the box of organized religion.

We look forward to see where God takes us and how He will touch people with His love as we walk with Him day by day.

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We are starting the year off with the theme of ‘New Beginnings’.  Here is the list of links for this month:

Jen Bradbury – Enough

Abbie Watters – New Beginnings

Cara Strickland – Bursting

Carol Kuniholm – Acorns, King, Beloved Community

Done With Religion – A New Year, A New Beginning

Kelly Stanley – A Blank Canvas

Glenn Hager – Overcoming The Biggest Obstacle To Reaching Your Goals

Dave Criddle – Get Some New Thinking

David Derbyshire – Changed Priorities Ahead

J A Carter – The Year of Reading Scripture for the First Time

Damon – New Beginnings: Consider These 5 Questions Before Tying The Knot

Jeffrey Kranz – Where To Start Reading The Bible

Joanna990 – On survival – my one word for 2014

K W Leslie – Atonement

Happy – my One Word 365 surprise

Michelle Moseley – Ends and Beginnings

Matthew Bryant – A New Creation

Liz Dyer – It’s a new year and time to make some new mistakes

Edwin Pastor Fedex Aldrich – Foreclosed: The beginning of a new dream

Jennifer Clark Tinker – Starting a New Year Presently

Loveday Anyim – New Year New Resolutions

Loveday Anyim – New Year Resolution Dreamers

Loveday Anyim – New Year Resolution Specialists

Loveday Anyin – New Year Resolution Planners and Achievers

Jeremy Myers – Publish Your Book with Redeeming Press

Amy Hetland – New Beginnings

Phil Lancaster – New Beginnings

Mallory Pickering – Something Old, Something New

Margaret Boelman – The Other Side of Grief

Kathy Escobar – One Image

Sarah Quezada – Which Comes First: The Beginning Or The End

Doreen Mannion – When It’s Over It’s Just The Beginning

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Jesus wasn’t a Christian? How can you say such a thing?

Especially here in the USA, when we think of Jesus we think of Christianity. Actually Christianity is just another religion. Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. Men started calling those who followed Christ as Christians, but in our modern era, Christianity is thought of as a religion more than it is a lifestyle of following Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t belong to any particular religion. He loves and accepts people no matter what they believe. He came to show the love of the Father to the human race, not start a new religion for people to fall in line and follow.

If we mean Christian as being a follower of Christ, then there is nothing wrong with using this word to describe our fellowship with Him. If we use Christian as a sense of belonging to a particular church, following a particular doctrine and set of rules, then I would rather not have anything to do with that term.

Jesus is the Son of God, and He loves all people. He doesn’t see Muslims, Jews, Christians or any religion. He loves people. He sees people who need the love and acceptance of God. The only way people are going to come to true fellowship with God is through Christ…not Christianity.

It’s time we stop looking to the organized world of religion as our way of becoming acceptable and pleasing to God. We need to look to Christ and allow Him to live through us and let Him love all those we meet each day. Stop demanding that people come to follow your doctrine, your rules, your beliefs and accept people as they are. Show the love of Christ to them and let God work in them the way He sees fit.

We are never going to completely agree with each other on doctrine and religion. Only through Christ and the love He gives will we be able to love and accept others. Let us be known by the true sense of the meaning of Christian, being someone who is doing the works of Jesus, and letting Him reign as Lord of lords and King of kings.

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