Category Archives: Traditional

Acts, Chapter 3.

“Peter and John went to pray.

They met a lame man on the way.

He asked for alms and held out his palms,

and this is what Peter did say.

Silver and gold have I none,

but such as I have, give I thee.

In the name of Jesus Christ

of Nazareth, rise up and walk.

He went walking and leaping and praising God!

Walking and leaping and praising God!

In the name of Jesus Christ

of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

This chapter reminds me of the song I used to sing as a child.  The words explain verses 1-10 of chapter 3. 

The lame man was lame from birth.  This was not a trick.  Because the lame man was brought to the temple daily, most people recognized him and were familiar with his disabilities.  It was especially peaking to their interest when he was healed, because they had personal knowledge of his life before the healing. 

Peter and John acted “in the name of Jesus Christ”, not crediting self, but pointing the action and the power of the miracle to the appropriate owner.  Jesus was the One who healed the man. 

Also note that the lame man instinctively gave praise and credit back to God.  He went “walking and leaping and praising God”.  It was a natural response.  He was excited.  He was grateful.  He didn’t thank Peter or John, he thanked God.  The healed man gave immediate testimony of the miracle to all those present that day.  There was no doubt that the man was healed, and there was no doubt who was responsible for the healing because the man, himself, gave credit to God.  Who better to know the Healer’s name, but the one who has been healed?

The name of Jesus holds immeasurable power.  Have you ever just expressed your faith by audibly speaking in the name of Jesus Christ?

There are times in my life where I remember Christ’s name, audibly spoken, evoking power over the situation.   One such time was during a 5 1/2 minute seizure my son was having.  We were practicing with the praise team when he fell to the ground seizing uncontrollably.  My husband ran toward us holding him and screaming my son’s name.  It was horrific.  I had never seen my husband that scared.

I took Brett, laid him down on the floor, called his name over and over, trying to figure out what we could do to help him.  I think there was several people who were near us, others trying to keep children away, one running to call an ambulance.  A lot of the ordeal was subconsciously blanked out, but what I remember is someone saying they called 911, the images of him jerking violently, his lips turning blue, then hearing the words of one of our paramedic friends say, “There’s just nothing we can do for him right now“……time just ticking by, still seizing, praying in my mind, “Lord, he’s only two…God, please help him, help him Lord“….then, suddenly I hear Cherie’s voice,

“In the name of Jesus……through the power of Your Name….”

Her prayer will always be a remembrance of that day, because the name of Jesus echoes over and over in my mind.  It was Jesus who heard our cries.  It was the name of Jesus that calmed my motherly panic and assured me that Brett would be okay.  The name of Jesus rang out, bursting through all the chaos and noise and confusion, as if it were blasted through a loud speaker in my ear.   Even now, 2 years later, I cannot fully describe the whole power that His name gave over that whole situation.  It is just wonderfully unexplainable.  

The name of Jesus is a powerful weapon.  It cuts through fear and doubt and hurt.  It reminds us that we don’t have to face situations alone.  It brings our ally, the most powerful and victorious One, to our side to comfort, strengthen, heal, and destroy the futile attempts of satan against us.  

This reminds me of another song:

“There is power, power in the name of Jesus.

There is power, power in Jesus’ name.

Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess

The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Son of Righteousness.

Hell is trembling at the strength we possess.

We have power, power, power in Jesus’ name.”

Jesus’ name gives us power, just as we receive through the Holy Spirit, to face each day.  Verse 16 points out that Jesus’ name, through faith in His name, makes us strong.   

Hell trembles at the sound of it.  We have nothing more to fear.  Praise the Lord for the freedom to use the name of Jesus!   

 

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Acts, Chapter 2.

Verse 1

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Acts 2:1

There’s several things that jump out at me about this verse:  1)  The “Day of Pentecost”, 2) the words “fully come”, and 3) that they were all with “one accord”.

What was the “Day of Pentecost”?  From what I have read, it took place 50 days after the Feast of the Firsfruits.  According to J. Vernon McGee, the Feast of the Firstfruits speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  But each one is his own order:  Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”  1 Corinthians 20-26 

The Passover speaks of the death of Jesus Christ:  “…For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  1Corinthians 5:7-8

The words “fully come”, again according to Dr. McGee, could be translated to mean “fulfilled”.  The Passover was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  The Feast of Firstfruits was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Now, the Day of Pentecost, being “fully come” (aka fulfilled) means that it represented the fulfillment of something — the birth of the church, the day the church came into existence.

So, in order to understand the timeline…..

  1. Jesus was crucified.
  2. 3 days later, He was resurrected.
  3. For 40 days, He walked upon the earth, resurrected.  (Acts 1:3)
  4. He then ascended into heaven. (Acts. 1:9)
  5. 10 more days passed.
  6. On the 50th day (Pentecost) the church was born and the Holy Spirit arrived.

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Old-Fashioned.

OLD-FASHIONED…That’s Me

It’s really no secret….I’m a “old-fashioned” girl.  I love “Little House on the Prairie”, the thought of quiet, country living, and as long as I could take penicillin and air conditioning, I would probably be willing to live back in time as Laura Ingalls Wilder did.  I also like my share of city lights, chain restaurants, malls, and latte’s, but when it really comes down to it, I much prefer the simpler life.  Thanks to my Dad, I learned to appreciate the great outdoors, old times, and the loooonnnnngggg Texas drawl he exhibited so well.

I guess because of my roots, I have come to appreciate the old-fashioned way, but to many in today’s world, being old-fashioned is a bad thing. 

Even in our churches, we are seeing movements where it seems that every traditional  aspect of our church heritage is being questioned, and in many cases condemned.  We sit too much, we are too complacent, we are too organized in our services, we dress too formally, we have too many services, we use music in place of the message, we “perform” instead of practice our faith, etc., etc., etc.  It seems to me that “modern” movements within the Christian realm are forgetting about the foundations that our church forefathers worked so diligently to put in place.

I agree that in many, many cases the church “sits, soaks, and sours”, and is out of the will of God because there is no evidence of real commitment to our Christian faith and duties.  Yet, it still seems beyond me to visualize all of our traditions and old-fashioned ways gone. 

Christian “buzz” words like “modern”, “contemporary”, “emergent”, and “missional” are not new to the Christian faith.  If you really look at it, they are just a new expression of what we all should be doing anyway.  Why is it that we have to re-label the values that are traditional, and then call the old-fashioned ways bad? 

Isn’t it good to meet together, pray for one another, encourage one another, respect one another, reverence God in our clothing, sing and worship to our Lord, and exhibit an organized environment focused on reaching others for Christ?  These traditions in our churches are what is being called “out-dated”, “unfruitful”, “boring”, and “outside of God’s will”.  It’s like there’s an attack, a revolution among our Christian brothers and sisters who, I believe, have good intentions, but instead are helping to create an atmosphere of controversy and condemnation with our church family.

It is sad to me to see our churches being portrayed as buildings where worldly people just attend a good “show”.  It’s no wonder why the unsaved people don’t want to hear the message!  We can’t even agree among ourselves. 

New ideas, and new movements toward furthering the gospel of Christ can be good, but only when the focus is on Christ, and not in the condemnation of others who are responding to God in another way.  God gave each of us a particular gift and purpose.  We are all different, yet part of one body.  When one part starts tearing down the other part, it only causes harm. 

I am noticing brother against brother, sister against sister, and even minister against minister and, honestly, I am embarrassed and ashamed.  Our focus needs to return to Christ, who administered the ways of “old”, and who is never changing, and who we should all be “fashioned” like.

Is there a way that we can all work together toward this effort?  I believe so.  I ask you to examine your heart and mind before you respond,

“…laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…” 1 Peter 2:1

“…He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct..”  1 Peter 1:15

“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully…when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, “Who commited no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”” 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability, which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified…  1 Peter 4:9-11

As we look for new ways, new ideas, new directions, let us not forget the benefits of “old”.  There is wisdom we can gain from respecting our early churches and the traditions that come over time. 

Let’s encourage each other to respond to God’s direction, in ALL His different ways. 

The problem is NOT the traditions OR the new ideas, it’s the ATTITUDE of the people who don’t practice the Christian faith as they should.  From generation to generation I expect this will always be a problem.  Until we learn to be “…doers of the word, and not hearers only..” James 1:22, the church will experience seasons of drought. 

Let us respect the ways of old, acknowledge the fruit they have brought over time, and the wisdom we, today, can benefit from them.  On the same token, let us praise those who aren’t afraid to initiate new ideas, those who respond to the modern world and all its’ benefits in order to bring more people to Christ.  Both ways can be useful.  Both ways can be effective.  Both ways can be honorable. 

My clothes dryer is a new, advanced, modern way of doing laundry.  It can dry clothes at an unbelievable rate.  It takes static out, and leaves my clothes wrinkle free.  Yet I have to respect the aged clothesline.  Clothes that are dried outside smell so good!  You can literally smell the warmth of the sun and the natural, God-breathed air.   

Both ways achieve the same result….dry clothes.  Right now, I exclusively use the clothes dryer.  However, I think I will ask my husband to set up an outdoor line as well. 

Why?  Because I have found that it is when we take the time to reverence the things of “old” that we learn to appreciate the advancement of time and all its’ improvements

So…if, in this new age of technology, where dryers are ultra-sized, energy efficient, time saving mechanisms, you drive past my house and see “bloomers” on a line, I hope you will laugh with me, not at me.  

The Lord calls each one of us in a different way, and when we respect our differences, the whole body is complete.   Let us, as believers, remember to “…speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among (us), but that (we) be perfectly joined together in the same mind…”1 Corinthians 1:10 

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