Sunday, February 22, 2015

Favorite Sites

My favorite site is Life Stream by Wayne Jacobson - found at Wayne was an early pioneer in the relational journey and has provided a wealth of helpful information via books, podcasts and written articles that shed much needed light on what the "God journey" is and how it can be accessed. I highly recommend you get familiar with this man and site.

Wayne, along with Brad Cummings, also hosts The God Journey, a weekly podcast that deals with a wide variety of issues and challenges regarding the relational journey. There is an archive of earlier podcasts that are very informative and helpful to aid you in finding your way along the relational pathway. You can access it at -

The U. S. Center For World Mission is a great site to get lots of interesting information about what we're learning regarding reaching and discipling lost people world over. I find that many of my observations regarding the relational journey and the need of a new model for discipleship confirmed in much of their findings through their own independent studies and dialgoue with practitioners around the globe. The first three issues of 2011 have been insightful and challenging. Highly recommended! Click on this link -

Frank Viola is another voice that needs to be heard. Frank is a leading proponent of doing church in houses, which is not my primary focus. However, I do recommend that you get very familiar with Frank's books and articles. He is working diligently to provide much needed help in focusing the body of Christ on what is essential in its spiritual journey. His ministry site - Present Testimony Ministry - can be accessed at

Here are some blogs I currently follow:

  • Lifestream Blog -

  • Finding Church -

  • Reimagining Church -

  • Video Series

    I highly recommend Bob Mumford's video series "Unshared Love". It deals with the journey to biblical intimacy. It's my personal belief that every person who claims to be a follower of Christ should be requried to watch this series. It is that life impacting. This is great for small group study and reflection. Each lesson is approximately 30 minutes long. Bob has a shorter DVD series covering most of the same material called "The Agape Road". For information about either series and workbook go to Lifechangers at

    Another great resource comes from Family Room Media. They have produced a four part video documentary exploring church life. It's entitled "Church Outside The Walls". It provides a very brief but helpful historic overview revealing how the church got where it is today as opposed to where it started in the first century. It challenges many of our current church practices and provokes thoughtful reflection. Great for small group viewing and discussion. You can find the series at

    Another video you might find helpful is the"Tidal Wave."  It provides an insight into the emergence of "simple church". The following quote is a description taken from the video: "Tidal Wave gives an insider's view of the worldwide phenomenon known as simple church. From living rooms to coffee shops, offices to parking lots, under trees in Africa and underground in China, these new expressions of the body of Christ are rapidly multiplying around the world." You can view it by clicking on this link -

    Derek Prince produced a great discipleship resource based on the six foundational principles found in Hebrews 6:1-3. His video series "Laying The Foundation" includes 10 one hour sessions packed with great information that is practical and foundational for our life in Christ. It is very suitable for small group viewing and discussion. Warning: there is a lesson dealing with the baptism in the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues. So if that would bother you then you need to heed this warning. To access this information go to Derek Prince Ministries at

    Friday, February 20, 2015


    Finding Church by Wayne Jacobson.  If you are either contemplating leaving the organizational structure commonly referred to as "church", or you've already left, this book offers many great insights that point you to a simpler life where you'll discover the joy and fulfillment of what it means to "be" the church without having to "go" to church.  My friends and I are currently studying and dialoguing about it.  Highly recommended!

    So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman. Don't let the title throw you - this is a solid book that introduces the relational journey in a very practical and personal way. Can't recommend it high enough. I can't count how many I've given away. Must reading!

    He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobson. Finding and enjoying Father's pleasure apart from a performance-based lifestyle is the core focus of this book. I don't know of a person who claims Christ as his or her Savior that doesn't need to read this book. I've given scores of them away. Must reading!

    Living With Jesus Today by Juan Carlos Ortiz. Though this book is out of publication it would be worth a read if you can find a copy. Juan uncovers nuggets of insight into the relational life with Father through His Son. Before it became popular to say, "I am the church", Juan said, "We never go to church because we are the church" (p. 47). Very Christ-centered! Juan helps you to see that the real thing followers of Christ need to learn how to do is to live in Him and to Him. I only regret I didn't find this book in 1982 when it was first published. FYI, I've found and ordered many used copies from to give away. Everyone I've given it to have said it was a very helpful book.

    The End Of Religion by Bruxy Cavey. It is subtitled, "Encountering The Subversive Spirituality Of Jesus". From the back cover of his book, "Was Jesus of Nazareth an irreligious agitator? Was his message more radical than we've been led to believe? Has the Christian religion missed the point? Bruxy Cavey thinks so." Another good book outlining God's desire for a relationship with people free of religious interference.

    Let's Return To Christian Unity by Kokichi Kurosaki. It is subtitled, "Ending Division In The Body Of Christ". If you are one longing for the unity of God's family then I recommend this book. This is written by a Japanese follower of Christ who has witnessed firsthand the division brought about by different mission agencies and denominations among his own people - all in the name of Christianity. Mr. Kurosaki offers a fresh, yet simple, biblical insight into how unity can be restored, not just among Japanese followers of Christ, but within the global body of Christ. This is something I long for too! It can be ordered at the following link -

    The Shack by William Paul Young. A great, though at times challenging and controversial, portrayal of the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who love us more than we know. I've given scores of them away.

    Ultimate Intention by DeVern Fromke. An excellent book outlining God's eternal purpose and its intended impact on our lives as followers of Christ. Highly recommended. To order click on this link -

    Spiritual Slavery To Spiritual Sonship by Jack Frost. The value of this book is found in chapters 1-7. They are great at revealing how followers of Christ can find their true place in God's family. Though I do not agree with many of his thoughts in chapters 8-10, the chapters noted above are loaded with insights to help believers on their relational journey. I have read and benefited from this book.

    Jesus Has Left The Building by Paul Vieira. Focused upon being the church and not upon going to church - this book examines the current state of church as we know it and shines a light onto the pathway of becoming the church as God wants it.

    Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna. This book explores the roots of our church practices like no other. Every follower of Christ ought to read it. A very challenging and eye-opening critique.

    The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch. This book is aimed primarily at leaders in the body of Christ who are in a place to influence the mission of the church. It is filled with many challenging thoughts to help rethink how we do "church planting" and discipleship in our culture.

    Rediscovering The Kingdom by Myles Munroe. Few believers in the body of Christ have an appreciation for, or an understanding of, the Kingdom of God. This book shifts our attention away from religion and places it upon its rightful place - the Kingdom of God. It is filled with great truths about the kingdom and its impact on how we are to live our lives. His companion book Applying The Kingdom should be read after it.

    The Saving Life Of Christ by Major W. Ian Thomas. Many inside and outside the institutional church have said that the church today has the language of a Christian but not the life. In this classic book Major Thomas calls the church back to its life - to be the human vehicle of God's divine life. Highly recommended.

    James Thwaites has written three books that attempt to help us connect "church" to real life. The titles are self-explaining - Church That Works, Renegotiating The Church Contract, and The Church Beyond The Congregation. I need to let you know that these are not easy reading but they contain much insight into "being" the church as opposed to the concept of "going" to church. As with any book, I do not agree with everything the author writes, but I have found many useful nuggets in all three books.

    If you are looking for a book that will challenge you to "keep in step with the Spirit" then read The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, by R. T. Kendall. One highly respected national church leader wrote, "Every pastor who leads and every leader who follows should read this book on their knees." I've read it, underlined it, reread it several times and written notes in the margins. It's especially relevant to what God is doing in the body of Christ today. Highly recommended.

    Permission Granted To Do Church Differently In The 21st Century, by Graham Cooke and Gary Goodell. I do not endorse everything written in this book (or any book) but it does contain a lot of good information to help God's people conceptualize how they might "do church differently." Graham is considered a "prophet" in many segments of the body of Christ. Graham also wrote, Divine Confrontation, Birth Pangs Of The New Church. This was one of the many books I read that helped me along in my transition out of organizational/institutional Christianity into a relational expression. Graham speaks and writes from a charismatic perspective.

    Who I Am In Christ, by Neil T. Anderson. If you've ever struggled with believing God loves you then this book is for you. Neil provides 36 biblical identity statements, all rooted in the scriptures, with application to real life to help God's people grasp Father's true feelings about His spiritual family. Must reading!

    Victory Over The Darkness, by Neil T. Anderson. The subtitle of this book says it all - "Realizing The Power Of Your Identity In Christ". For years I searched for a resource to put into the hands of God's people to help them understand who they are in Christ - this is that resource! Great for small group or individual study. Also has a study guide available.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    About Me

    Update:  It's February 20, 2015 and I'm still on my journey.  It's been six years since I first posted "About Me" on my blog and those years have flown by.  Six years since and I'm convinced that I'm still on the right trail - living relationally with other brothers and sisters without the baggage of institutional and organizational structures.  The freedom to love people and to live in Father's love is truly amazing.  I'm so glad I've taken this journey.  

    Who am I? If you don't know me personally, that's probably a question you're thinking as you peruse this site. What I say about myself won't really matter a lot because I am only what you accept me to be. Religious titles are superfluous. I am only what you receive me to be. No more, no less. However, if it will help you to know me better, I can tell you that I have been a follower of Christ for over 39 years and served God's people for over 36. I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in Bible and theology from two of the leading Christian colleges and universities in the United States. I've served in every capacity within the organized church system - e.g., church planter, assistant pastor, senior pastor, and everything in between. I'm in my forty-third year of marriage, have two children, and four grandchildren. But all of that really doesn't matter. What matters is that you know Christ and are able to hear Him - everything else is filler. If you don’t know Him or hear Him then nothing else really matters. I pray that you will come to know Him better and hear His voice more clearly through some part of your interaction with The Journey Dialogue.

    There is more you need to know. In March 2008, after a six-year period of transition, I left the system of organized religion that I once served to begin a new spiritual journey outside that system, but I did not forsake my relationship with Christ. In fact, I am more vitally connected to my Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, more deeply committed to my relationship with Them, and more secure in my relationship with Them than at any time in my life. At the same time, I'm also experiencing a greater freedom and desire to love and serve His growing family of followers. Why did I leave? It's a long story; one that I won't share here, but basically I left because I grew increasingly disillusioned by organized religion and finally lost all hope in it.

    I still love Jesus and love serving Him. I just do it now in a different way, in differing contexts, and I'm finding more satisfaction and better results. My life is now focused upon learning better how to live for Father's pleasure and helping His family learn to do the same. My heart's desire is to help God's people grow into the people He desires for them to be.

    Unlike a lot of people I know, I'm not looking for a better way to do the thing we call "church". I'm seeking a better way to help people grow into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Isn't that the goal? Seeking the "better way" has led me out of the "church" as it is currently practiced in our culture. I'm learning to embrace and practice a different way - what I consider to be a better way.

    The Journey Dialogue is a forum for sharing what I'm learning in my new journey and some of the lessons I've learned during the time of transition that led to my exiting the "church" as it is currently understood and practiced. It's also a place where I can list some resources that might aid others who are considering a similar journey. And finally, I hope it will also provide a forum for open, loving and honest dialogue with others about what is important to God's heart and purpose - what is central to Him.

    The Scriptural theme for the rest of my journey is found in Colossians. The New Living Translation expresses it best - "So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ." (Col. 1:28) That's my goal. To help people become "perfect in their relationship to Christ".

    I want to close by asking this question: "Can a person have a vibrant life-changing relationship with God without joining an organized system of religion?" How would you answer that question? Let's talk about it. Welcome to The Journey Dialogue.

    Upcoming Podcast

    February 18, 2015

    All podcasts are listed under The Journey Dialogue in the iTunes Store.  You can access all podcasts by clicking on the following link -

    I've been away from podcasting for a very extended period of time but am finally preparing to get them working again. It's kind of like doing "church", sometimes you have to back away from something in order to get some fresh perspective and consider a different approach.  Hopefully that has been accomplished.  We'll see!  I would appreciate any suggestion you might have - topics you would like to have addressed. You can email them to me at I only wish I could record the many, many conversations about Father, and how to live in relationship with Him, that I have throughout a typical week around a cup of coffee, lunch, on a golf course, standing in my garage, or just sitting on my back porch. Those times are so warm, natural, fresh and stimulating. They are without doubt the most enjoyable part of my journey. I wish, too, that I could enjoy some of those same times with you.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Brief Teaching Themes

    Posted June 21, 2011

    Has anyone out there heard of Rob Bell and the controversy surrounding the book he wrote, Love Wins? How about Paul Young and The Shack? Have any of you heard of “Chrislam” and the names of prominent evangelical leaders such as Rick Warren, Robert Schuler and Jim Wallis allegedly connected to it? Perhaps you have heard of the term, “Emergent Church,” and men by the name of Brian McLaren, Doug Pagett, or Tony Campolo. These are just a sampling, from many to choose, which reveal the intensity and viciousness of “body-bashing” now taking place within God’s family. Here’s a direct quote taken from the Internet site “”: “Here is a story of a group in Nigeria that is blending Christianity and Islam. They call it Chrislam. We're sure that Brian McLaren and other emergents would see no problem with this.” As Tommy Boy said so well, “Oh, that's gonna leave a mark!” Unfortunately, Jesus feels the pain, too. (That’s what Paul learned about his own actions of body bashing when he encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road – read Acts 9.)

    No one who knew Jesus considered Him to be an “insider” of the Jewish religious system and its practices. He was viewed more as an “outsider”. Why? Because His efforts were aimed at trying to get people connected to His Father, not to a dysfunctional and self-righteous religious system. That’s what made the religious establishment so mad. They were the “self-designated, self-appointed, self-anointed” gatekeepers of religious life and if anyone was going to connect with God it would be through them and their system. In their lofty opinion, they alone were smart enough to amass God’s total and complete revelation, discriminate what was to be included and excluded from it, and then instruct clearly and accurately what was in “accord with sound doctrine”. If someone was outside of that narrowly defined stream of belief and practice then that person was not legitimate and therefore he or she was considered a fraud, or a heretic, and not a legitimate representative of God. Does that sound familiar? As Yogi Berra said, “It's like déjà vu, all over again.”

    I read an article in the May-June 2011 issue of Missions Frontier and found a quote on page 17 that just had to make the religious spirits explode with anger and disgust. I loved it! I’ve included it below. I’m lifting the quote out of a portion of the testimony of a young Hindu man who converted from Hinduism to following Jesus while studying in the USA. It’s instructive.

    “…I have since returned to India, and I am very much part of our Hindu community. I am engaged in all the activities of our family and extended family. There are many discussions about Jesus, and I am sharing the Bible with many people in our community. Because of my academic qualifications and the good job I now have, I have a very good standing in our community, and so people listen to me. I continually explain to them that I am not trying to “convert” them to Christianity but to “convert” them to Jesus as they live out their lives in the Hindu community. Now I have quite a few friends who are followers of Jesus, and we meet regularly to pray together and share the Scriptures and to encourage each other. We sense that God is causing many people in our community to know and love Him. We are claiming the verse in Isa. 60:22 that a little one shall become a thousand and that a small one will become a mighty nation and that God will hasten all this in His time. This is already beginning to happen.” (To read the article click on this link -

    Wow, I love this young man's insight into converting people to Jesus, not to an institution. Can we really do that? Can we have Jesus in our hearts, and a relationship with His Father, without the trappings and obligations of the institutional system that has come to be known as “Christianity?” What do you think? It sounds like this young man is trying to do the very thing Jesus tried to do. Connect lost people to a person(s) not an institutional belief system or practice!

    Humility would seem to require us to acknowledge that in the expansion of God’s kingdom family, He is not limited to “Church-as-we-know-it” or “Christianity-as-we-know-it”. That was Peter’s profound revelation in Acts 10. God poured out His Spirit upon those outside the line of Peter’s “sound doctrine” boundary. God was inclusive when Peter thought God was exclusive. Peter had no clue that God would move in the lives and hearts of people the way He did with Cornelius and his household. His orthodox style of religion – “Church-as-he-knew-it” and “Christianity-as-he-defined-it”, didn’t manage to keep God corralled. That’s the lesson Peter had to learn! That’s the lesson I think the body of Christ needs to learn today.

    The body of Christ needs to quit bashing the body of Christ. Think about these questions. Is it possible to have an intimate, vibrant and growing relationship with Father and not know every truth that can be known about Him? Is the mastery of God’s truth a prerequisite for a relationship? Is there some sort of provisional status provided for God’s children until they are able to become experts in all matters pertaining to God’s revelation? Is there no room for some wrong ideas and incorrect beliefs regarding Father’s revelation of Himself, His dealings with humanity, His requirements for relationship, etc. within His family? If not, then who gets to set the bar of standards? Who determines the minimums required for a relationship? Is the Christian life about agreeing with and adhering to a set of beliefs about God and His ways? Here's a thought, instead of bashing others over our differences, why not let God’s family spread the tent wide – God will sort it all out as He should. That’s His job, not mine! Isn’t that the lesson of the parable of the “Wheat And The Tares”? The world needs to hear about a Father who loves them more than they know who desires to bring them into His family, not a religious system, as sons and daughters. That’s good news!

    Do you recall Jesus’ teaching about the broad and narrow way (Matt. 7:13-14)? I’ve changed my mind about what that means. I used to think that the “narrow way” (i.e. the way of insuring God’s approval and pleasure) was the way of increasing legalism and religious performance – and therefore a more legitimate route for travel. In my view, the “narrow way” led a person to become more devout, committed, separated, holy, accountable, etc. I thought those kind of things were the desired and expected outcomes of traveling the “narrow road” that led “to life”. Now I find that I think the opposite. Instead of the “narrow way”, I now think the “broad way” is actually the pathway to more legalism and religious performance, because for most believers that’s the most natural way to travel – the way of ever-increasing legalism and religious performance, and the byproduct is nothing like the “life” Christ intended.

    Since Jesus said it’s the “few” who find the “narrow way,” we need to know “what” is that "way". I now believe the “narrow way” is the road we take in order to maintain an intimate and responsive relationship to the Father through the Son without getting trapped and strapped by rule and performance based religious systems. The “narrow way” is the pathway where you learn to “live loved” and to “live love" - i.e., the way Jesus lived, without bashing Christ's body into an unrecognizable pulp. It’s the “way” you learn about and fulfill Jesus’ “New Commandment”; "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (Jn. 13:34-35). My own personal observations within the body of Christ lead me to conclude that there are not many followers on this road – in fact, there are way too few! I believe the “narrow road” is defined by verse 35 - "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another". Jesus said His family is to be defined and known by its peculiar and special way of relating, not believing. That’s the “narrow way” that leads to the kind of “life” Father intended.

    I’ll close with a quote from 1 John 4:7-8. It focuses upon a way of relating, not a way of believing. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

    Pursue Faith & Love, Not Character
    Posted January 21, 2010

    A friend of mine was with another group of men when the topic of the Promise Keepers came up. The question was asked, “Why did Promise Keepers fall apart?” In response one of the men answered, “Because they didn’t keep their promise!”

    A lot of sermons we hear are focused on developing godly character. Those sermons are generally filled with a lot of “do and don’ts”, “should and shouldn’ts,” “ought and oughtn’ts”. This encourages rule-based behavior and the character it develops is rule driven too. Is that really what God is after? Does God want His children to live their lives under a list of rules?

    I think you would agree a failure to keep a promise is a character issue. Promise Keepers built their movement upon making and keeping the “7 Promises of a Promise Keeper”. So, how did that work out? Where is Promise Keepers today?

    As followers of Christ we tend to define the depth and vitality of our relationship with God by our character – but there has to be something else that God appeals to in us instead of our character. Why? Because even as followers of Christ our character is imperfect – just like Promise Keepers.

    Though it gets pointed to most often, character is not what makes the new life in Christ work. Then what does? The Apostle Paul answers the question for us. He writes, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:6) I like the way The Message paraphrases it, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” What makes our new life in Christ work? Faith expressing itself through love! That’s a little bit different than character.

    In most of the religious circles I’ve traveled the tendency is to make everything about character. Don’t misunderstand me. I think character is very important. However, do you think God chose us because He knew we would develop stellar character and always live perfectly? No! God chose us knowing we would always come up short with character this side of eternity. What God looks for is faith working through love – that’s what counts to Him. If He finds that then He knows everything else will fall into place in time.

    You might ask, “How can God love a person who consistently misses the mark of Christian virtue?” Well, just maybe, we have a belief about God that is not totally accurate. I believe Philip Yancy provides a helpful corrective for much of the faulty thinking embedded deeply in the hearts and minds of many of God’s people. In his book, "What’s So Amazing About Grace?", he captures the real essence of “grace”. He writes, ”Grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more…And grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.” Do you believe that about God? I do! We need not make our character the basis for our relationship with Father. Father already knows our character is flawed and will likely remain flawed in some area of life until we’re with Him. Instead, we need to focus our energy and effort on faith (getting our focus on Christ who is in us and in His ability to work His life into and through us) and love (relating with God and others in an agape love posture just as Jesus did). These approaches place us in a position where character gets developed in the everyday arena and routine of life. But it is important to remember that character improvement does not increase our intimacy level with Father.

    Do you think Jesus chose Peter without knowing that when the “chips were down” Peter would deny him? Jesus chose Peter knowing full well that his character would fail him when it counted. In spite of a promise otherwise, Peter denied the Lord three times. (Have we not done similar things?) Jesus knew Peter would deny him so what did he do? He prayed. “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail (because I know your character will). And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (I love Jesus’ confidence in Peter’s faith)." (Lk 22:32) Jesus was saying in effect, “I know you’re going to fail, but I don’t want your faith to fail. Your character will let you down but that’s okay – if your faith stays in tact I can deal with your character. It’s your faith that will sustain you, not your behavior."

    Have you noticed that when Jesus restored Peter He didn’t ask him to live more righteously? He simply asked him if he loved Him. “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" (Jn 21:15) Jesus didn’t say, “Now go out and prove you love me by never failing again and I might be able to use you.” He didn’t appeal to a list of outward manifestations of character but to an inner motivation, or working, of the human soul/spirit – love.

    In Luke and John Jesus weaves “faith" and "love” together. He knows if we put our focus upon those two virtues the rest will work itself out in time even in spite of our many failures.

    For me, the journey is about learning to focus my energy upon the things Father says are important. Faith expressed through love is one such thing. There is no need to fear. If faith and love are present and operative in our life, then Christ-like character will be produced. Will it always be “perfect” character? I doubt it. But you can live loved by the Father even when you are less than perfect. That’s “good news”! Truly, you have a Father who loves you more than you know. Do you believe that?

    The Secret To Fruitfulness?
    Posted 2010

    What is the answer? Abiding! John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” What does it mean to “abide”? It means to “maintain unbroken fellowship”. It means to “stay at home.” It means to be “rooted in and knit to Him.” It describes an intimate, personal and constant relationship.

    Therefore, the focus of our lives should be upon intimacy, abiding in Jesus, not fruitfulness. John 15 teaches us that fruitfulness is the result of intimacy. You don’t have to work at being fruitful – it’s a natural result that flows from a life lived in close fellowship with Jesus. It is out of such a union that Jesus says fruit is born. Fruitfulness, then, is an effect, not a cause. In other words, fruitfulness doesn’t produce intimacy, nor does it prove it. If it did, Matthew 7:21-23 wouldn’t be in the Bible.

    I have found through countless personal conversations that most believers wrongly suppose that if they work hard enough, and do enough good things, they will grow closer to Father and He will love them more than He does now. But that’s not how it works! I like the way The Message puts it - "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing.” “Intimate and organic.” I love it! That’s the secret to fruitfulness. It’s produced out of a relationship that is both “intimate and organic” (i.e., without being forced or contrived).

    As followers of Christ, we need to understand the fruitfulness that matters is the kind Jesus considers to be worthwhile – it’s only produced out of an intimate and sincere relationship with Him. Can a “Christian” produce “fruit” outside of an intimate relationship with Jesus? Yes, unfortunately, we do it all the time. Much of it is, from a human perspective, somewhat impressive. However, we need to realize that fruitfulness apart from an intimate relationship with Jesus, regardless of how great it looks or feels, will be considered wood, hay and straw and will ultimately burn – that’s “fruit” that doesn’t matter to God, no matter how impressed we may be (1 Cor. 3:10-15; see also Matt. 7:21-23). In fact, Jesus calls whatever we produce outside of an “abiding” relationship with Him, “nothing”. In other words, a big fat zero!

    Jesus, the pattern Son for all sons and daughters to follow, never had to work at being fruitful. His fruitfulness was a direct result of His intimate relationship with His Father – who just happens to be our Father too. He just maintained a love relationship with His Father (John 14:31) and He was fruitful. Jesus “bore much fruit” because He would never violate that relationship. We are to follow His lead. Just as Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing, said only what He heard the Father saying, and went only where He saw the Father going, so are we to do the same. It was the secret to Jesus’ fruitfulness. If we do as He did, then we can rest in knowing our fruit will remain when the fire comes to test its quality.

    I could say more but that's enough for now. What do you think about it? Let me know. Welcome to The Journey Dialogue.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011


    All podcasts are listed under The Journey Dialogue in the iTunes Store.  You can access all podcasts by clicking on the following link -

    May 18, 2011
    The Apostle Paul's life was radically transformed as a result of a revelatory encounter with Jesus Christ. The Person he met shifted his whole life in dramatic fashion. Seeing Him opened His eyes to see everything as it should be seen. Is such a life-altering encounter possible today? Join Vince and me as we begin a discussion about the need for our own personal encounter with Jesus Christ so that our lives might be altered in a similar way as Paul's.

    To listen to this episode click on the player below:

    March 1, 2011
    Jesus said that leaders in His family were not to "lord it over" or "exercise authority over" the other members of His family. For much of the past 1700 years the church has virtually ignored these words. The New Covenant is about the "Commanding General" coming and living inside of His "troops." Join Vince and me as we begin a discussion about the issue of authority in God's family.

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    February 7, 2011
    Using an article from the Jan.-Feb. 2011 issue of Mission Frontiers (“A Discipleship Revolution, The Key To Discipling All Peoples”) as a point of departure, I delve into the systemic problem of discipleship prevalent in most of the Christian religious systems of our culture. The article above laments the failure of the organized church to produce disciples who in turn produce disciples, but I don’t think it has failed. They just don’t like the kind of disciples it has produced! Do you want to change the product? Then change the process! Join me as I talk about some practical things to think about when considering discipling others.

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    January 7, 2011
    It seems that wherever two or three followers of Christ gather - the issue of "authority" becomes an issue. If you’ve been in the family of God for any length of time then you’ve probably been affected one way or another by someone "in" authority in the body of Christ. What does Jesus say about authority in His style of Church? Join Vince and me as we begin to discuss the notion of authority within and among the family of God.

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    December 27, 2010
    The following quote from a 2008 "Pastoral Care, Inc." article provides the backdrop for this podcast - "The number one reason pastor's leave the ministry - church people are not willing to go the same direction and goal of the pastor. Pastor's believe God wants them to go in one direction but the people are not willing to follow or change." Join us as Vince and I begin a discussion about the real goals of body leadership and offer some practical advice about what needs to be done to accomplish them.

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    June 7, 2010
    The "shared experience” is about learning to "live love" as a way of life. It's not a program to implement or a bible study to attend. It's focused upon learning to live the way Jesus lived. Join Vince and me as we take a final look at how Father's love is to be shared with others.

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    April 11, 2010
    The “shared experience” of our relational journey is focused upon learning to share the love we receive from our Father with the people around us. In this podcast Vince and I look at Jesus’ life to see how He shared His Father’s love so we can do the same. Join us for part 2 of our look at the shared experience.

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    March 24, 2010
    In this podcast we begin to examine the second half of the journey - the "shared experience". Learning to live loved by the Father is the prerequisite for learning how to love others as we are loved in obedience to Jesus' new commandment. Join me as I begin to explore the shared experience - learning to love others as we are loved (John 13:34-35).

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    February 10, 2010
    Pastor Greg Souders joins me to talk about his personal journey into knowing Father's love. He shares how the revelation (realization) of Father’s love has impacted, and is still impacting, his personal and professional life. As a senior leader in the body of Christ, Greg shares from a unique perspective. You can read more of Greg’s thoughts at his blog site – Join us as we talk about some of the lessons we are learning on our journey.

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    January 15, 2010
    This is Part 3 of “Getting To Know Our Father”. As I’ve said before, I believe our spiritual journey is comprised of two halves – an “individual experience” and a “shared experience”. In this segment we’ll take a final look at the individual experience of our spiritual journey. I believe you’ll be interested to hear what Vince has to say about Revelation 3:20. He paints a picture of Jesus that we all need to see. Join us as we dialogue about Father’s love and His desire to have a relationship with His children.

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    January 8, 2010
    As the mediator of a New Covenant Jesus gives us a singular command - love one another as I have loved you. How are His followers to interpret His New Commandment in light of the two Great Commandments found in our New Testament? Join me as I begin to examine and contrast the two Great Commandments with Jesus' New Commandment.

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    December 4, 2009
    In Part 2 of “Getting To Know Our Father”, Vince and I take another look at the “individual experience” of the spiritual journey. Though each person has a unique growth experience there are features we all share in common. So what do I need to know, on a personal level, in order to live in a love relationship with Father as Jesus did? Three major things came to mind as I contemplated how to answer that question. Join us as we talk about our identity in Christ, thinking like Jesus, and keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.

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    November 11, 2009

    Vince Lewis returns as my guest and joins me as we begin to focus upon the unique features of the “individual experience” of the spiritual journey. In our last podcast I stated that I believe the spiritual journey is comprised of two major parts: an individual experience and a shared experience. Both correspond to the two Great Commandments. In this session we will begin to examine how the individual experience correlates to the first great commandment – "to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind." Join us for part one of "Getting To Know Our Father."

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    October 2009

    Vince Lewis is my special guest as we dialogue about some of the unique features of the "relational journey" as followers of Jesus. Jesus didn't leave us ignorant about what is important to the heart of His Father or what is important to our life as His followers. He left us an example to follow - one that He set Himself. Join us as we talk about some of the distinct differences of a relational journey with Jesus as opposed to an organizational or institutional one.

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