Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


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Who unites us is greatest!

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This is a thank you to the Ecumenical Youth Network here in Winnipeg. I was invited to be the MC (the leader of the worship service) tonight – I told everyone that I was the comedy leader since as a vineyard pastor I’m so unfamiliar with written liturgy (we’ve got liturgy, it’s just mostly unwritten). We had lots of fun!
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Is prayer an activity of the church or the central piece?

Luke 19.46 – 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

When Jesus proclaimed the main description for his church he said: My house will be a house of prayer. Now he could have said that it was to be a house of justice or worship or righteousness or obedience or whatever the latest trend is – but he said prayer. Jesus’ desire and declaration was that his family would be known for prayer – people who’s most common activity was being with God in conversation.

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I like what Pete Grieg wrote when he was trying to articulate why young people were opening 24/7 prayer rooms all over the globe, he said, “The vision is Jesus.” It’s Jesus that we love and follow, it’s Jesus for whom we lay down our rights and dreams and plans, it’s Jesus for whom we go without food or a proper place to sleep, it’s Jesus for whom we give all we can! The vision is Jesus – we must know him, we must hear from him, we must follow him, we must be with him – until we are, we’ll be unsatisfied. In Jesus is our greatest treasure. In Jesus is all beauty. In Jesus is fullness of joy.

Now, don’t worry if what I just wrote sounds like a fantasy, and not even a dream – Jesus promised that he’d change us to know and want all this. This week as I pray for what God is doing through Alpha, I’m going do it with the vision of Jesus. I pray because He’s worth it – time with him is never wasted and time in prayer is what he wants for us. Prayer is a terrible strategy for ministry success, but it is our key activity because the vision is Jesus. Knowing him, seeing him, hearing him, loving him, obeying him and being with him.

As I write this, I feel that my approach to prayer needs a major overhaul – it’s not about me and my needs; but it’s about Him and his worthiness to be worshipped and his invitation to relationship. He wants me to be a house of prayer, so today, I’ll let him start that work. Will you join me?


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Revival comes the hard way, not the easy way

Ralph Sutera was a young leader when the revival in Saskatchewan broke out in the early 1970’s.  Since then he’s had a ministry of bringing the revival to churches and regions.  I first ran into Ralph when I was a 20 year old student at Briercrest Bible College and found him a little quirky – he and his twin were quite full of joy!  Since that time I have grown to see the wisdom of his words both in my personal life but also in the life of the church.

This article explains that the revival we long for comes from working backwards to the way we’d like it to work.  Revival starts with me and ends with others receiving salvation.  In other words, evangelism is not meant to be work, it’s meant to be the overflow of a life ruined by Jesus.  Here’s how Ralph puts it.

Objectives of a Revival Ministry
by Ralph Sutera
“to the inner life of the local church”

I. OPERATION CLEANSING: “INWARD” direction of revival

This is the time of heart-searching and brokenness before God as people deal with sin and self-centeredness to be filled with the fullness of God.

2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 32, 51; Proverbs 6:10-20, 28:13; 1 John 1.9

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