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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Only Unanswered Prayer of Jesus


"Christianity promises to make men free;
It never promises to make them independent."
~ William Ralph Inge



Christians are arguably more like the world in one respect than any other: criticizing Christians.


So begins the message I’m sharing today. A respected pastor I'm blessed to call friend, Peter Pollock (pictured with his wife Debbie), honored me with an invitation to guest post for him today.

You can follow me over to his blog by clicking on this title

or you can copy and paste this link:
http://blog.hafchurch.org/peter/index.php/2009/11/church-unity-guest-post-by-anne-lang-bundy/

Hope you’ll follow me over there, and that you won’t allow Peter’s glowing intro to scare you off since you all know it’s just me. ; )

~ Anne

8 comments:

  1. If we just point the finger, shame on us but if we admonish and encourage each other to live life in obedience and holiness then we do what we are called to do.

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  2. Your message sits with me. So much stirring in me today. Glad to have you share God's words.
    ~ Wendy

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  3. OOOPS! Yeah, the mix -up yesterday was my fault!

    I'm really sorry about that!

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  4. I was unable to leave a message over there but brilliant. I can't wait to give Jesus a hug.

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  5. Peter, NO worries! The Lord's timing is always perfect and I trust His hand in everything.

    Wendy, if we share this with others by no more than example it will be enough.

    Denise, thank you for the beauty with which you bless my life by your own love.

    T. Anne, I'll take that "brilliant" to mean that Jesus' light was evident. ;D

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  6. Natasa, if you'll allow me to be honest, the word "admonish" scares me. It does appear in the NT, though usually in the context of someone in a position of recognized authority or responsibility giving instruction to others. Even when Paul uses it to address the church at large in Romans 15:14, he qualifies it thus:

    "Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another."

    How much "admonishment" occurs these days absent mature goodness and knowledge? What is its purpose? My message goes beyond addressing those who "point the finger" in criticism or gossip. It goes to the heart of Christians who see the obedience and holiness to which God calls us as the means and not the ends. We will never achieve holiness by outward conformity, no matter how obedient or good it is. Holiness is a condition of first the heart, which is then expressed outwardly.

    I've rarely shared that I wear a simple yet fashionable headcovering. It's not something I hide, but I do choose to minimize it to avoid how divisive the issue can be. I don't wear one to display holiness. My heart yearns for purity and submission. The outward expression of that includes a headcovering, but is by no means wrapped up in it (no pun intended), nor in the dresses I wear.

    My observation is that a headcovering is too often a focal point. Guess what? I'm the only one among perhaps 300 women attending our church who wears a headcovering, where I've been for two years. I'm very visible at my church, having roles on the drama, worship music, and dance teams, and last year I served on the Ladies Ministry Board. But I believe the effusive love I exhibit is far more visible than the headcovering, and that's what people notice. Perhaps 3 or 4 people have asked me about my headcovering, but not a single person has expressed offense or debate about it. This was not the case at my last church, which split and eventually dissolved over legalistic attitudes.

    Back to admonishment and encouragement. I think they are appropriate if they are done in the context of:
    • Authority, teaching, and / or established relationship exists
    • Mentor has victory over sin in the involved area of his / her own life (Matthew 7:3-5)
    • Mentor's speaks in a spirit of love and gentleness (Galatians 6:1)

    And of all the things we would admonish and encourage, by far the most important one is establishing that Jesus is living Lord of one's life (Romans 10:9-10). Second is to "love the Lord your God with all you are." Third is "love your neighbor as yourself." Once we get these right, the rest comes more easily.

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  7. Dear Anne,

    I was unable to read the post at Peter's site, though I tried to follow both links several times. I'm so disappointed, because I know it was excellent. But your responses here are so rich I felt I received my share of edification that you are specially gifted to share. :)

    You are a treasure, friend. May our heavenly Father, our Abba-Daddy, be near. May His Presence fill you with peace.

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