Tag Archives: fellowship

Decision time Is Here! — Post by Mary C. Findley

decision time is here

We at the Christian Indie Author Network want to help you make a very important decision. We want you to decide to join us at our first ever Indie Author Conference. It will be held July 30-August 2, 2015, at the Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 111 East Second Street, Davenport, Iowa, 52801.

We have come up with three reasons why you may still be undecided and we’d like to deal with them one by one to relieve your mind of some of the decision-making responsibility.

questions

I still have questions
Please ask. If we don’t have an answer right now, we’ll get one. Our conference pages do have lots of answers already, though. We hope you’ll stop by the site and take a look around. We’re only an email away if you don’t find what you’re looking for. Check out our sessions or our full conference schedule. Look at the facilities, accommodations, and vendor possibilities. Don’t just keep saying “I don’t know,” or “I’m not sure.”

money

I don’t think I’ll have the money
Many CIAN members are struggling with finances right now, as are many Christian indie authors. We are believing God for finances, praying for each other, and seeking all the financial help we can get, to find vendors and supporters. We look at this as a need. God’s writer people have to help each other learn, grow, and have an impact in publishing. We declare 2015 to be the Year of the Indie. Come meet us, pray with us, and become inspired and informed.

fun

Not sure what our plans for the summer will be
Make sure. Set aside this date and this place and come join us. If you are concerned about Davenport, Iowa being a boring or pointless place to spend precious down time, family time, or vacation time, please keep in mind that the Quad Cities area is a major cultural center not that far from Chicago and other cities. The host hotel has a major jazz festival at the same time as our conference and the hotel is already fully booked beyond our specially discounted and reserved block of rooms. Check around for yourself and see that we’re not asking you to drop into the middle of a cornfield.

vendors title

This post applies to vendors as well. We need swag and swag bags. We need cover designers, on-demand publishers, small presses, editors, writer software providers, marketing experts – Indie authors make their own choices about what services and products they buy. Help them choose you by being there where they can see you.

readers

We haven’t forgotten readers, either. You are welcome, and more than welcome. We need you! Come and see our costumed story characters. Meet authors you know and authors you’ll be glad you discovered. Find nonfiction, children’s and young reader selections, romance, historicals, YA, scifi, fantasy – yes indeed, we write it all! Learn about the diversity that is the Christian Indie Author Network!

CIAN Website/Conference section
http://www.christianindieauthors.com/cia-conference.html

Facebook group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/818894711513293/

YouTube Video (made by Debby De Quilettes-Alten of Alten Ink)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLdzIkr5jR0&feature=youtu.be

who or what wait

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Filed under Writing, Reviewing, Publishing, and about Blogging

Be Ye Holy

(Exodus 22:31, Leviticus 11:44, 45, 19:2, 20:7, 20:26, Numbers 15:40, Deuteronomy 23:14, 26:19, Ephesians 1:4, 5:27, I Peter 1:15,16, II Peter 3:11)

Facebook friends we never met such as Pastor Mike Sproul and John Darrell Askey have linked to several excellent, thought-provoking articles over the past several months. While there were many excellent comments, some were deeply disturbing. One issue I have seen repeatedly is, “So what is worldliness? We are not to love the world but what does that mean?” While I am not the Holy Spirit and I do not know the intentions of these people, the very question troubles both my wife and I.

The command, Be Ye Holy or some other form meaning the same thing, is found in at least 14 verses. We are to draw near to God, not see how far we can get from God and still squeak into heaven.

So what is that supposed to mean? Is it any wonder the pastorate is such a high-stress job? Jesus is concerned about our heart attitudes, what we really believe. This all too common response breaks God’s heart.

The last words penned in the Gospels are And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25, NASB) With so many deeds omitted, why is the command Be ye holy repeated over and over?

Jesus told twelve men to leave all and follow Him. This same command was given to the nameless man we call “rich young ruler,” because he did not give up his wealth and follow. Abraham, Isaac, Solomon, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were allowed to keep their wealth. The man of the Gadarenes who had a legion of unclean spirits cast out of him wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis haw great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

We do not know why Jesus tells one disciple to leave all and follow Him while telling someone else to go home to his friends. Not only are we not omniscient, most of us do not examine our own circumstances very well. The important point we need to understand is that being holy and not loving the world is a heart attitude. Two people, each with the correct heart attitude, might be commanded to take what seem to be opposite courses of action.

There are certain principles that apply to all believers. Loving the Lord with all your heart means spending time with Him. The more you love someone, the more you set aside other things to be with that person. This might mean more personal Bible Study, more time in prayer, taking a mission trip or going to Bible School. The one thing it always means is rearranging the priorities in your life.

We are to go into all the world and preach the gospel, teaching them. “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” We can only do one thing at a time. Every purchase we make, every obligation we agree to either draws us closer to God or drives us a little further from Him. An acquaintance, a fellow believer, in another congregation, owned a Porsche. I asked our Pastor, actually in jest, if owning Porsche was a sin. He gave a wise reply. “It would be for me.”

“Well, so far you have not said if you think electric guitars in a church are sin!” I believe if you are thinking this way, the answer is “yes.” Paul put it this way: For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. (Romans 14:15-21, NASB)

The word “offense” in the Bible does not mean to hurt someone’s feelings. It means to cause someone to sin. The believer who walks up and says, “That offends me!” is sometimes, perhaps most of the time, proud. They need to grow in the LORD and not allow little personal “affronts” to bother them. The weak believers most likely to be offended are also the ones most likely to keep quiet.

If you really knew what a weak brother thought about you, would you watch that movie? Would you watch any movie? Would you watch television?

If you want to be a better ball player, musician, computer programmer or whatever else, you both spend time developing that skill and improving that skill. How much time do you spend reading God’s Word? Studying God’s Word? Praying? Talking to others about the Lord? Teaching God’s Word? Fellowshipping with other believers? (not talking about the weather), staying out of debt? If you are doing these things already, are you examining your walk with the Lord and looking at ways to improve it?

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, NASB)

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Filed under Bible Teaching, History, Uncategorized

The Greatest Commandment


“Master Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

Everything we do, every decision we make must have these two guiding principles. Does it glorify God? Does it show that I love my neighbor as myself? This blog post is inspired by a variety of topics that come across my Facebook page.

People have said in many different ways that they want their Facebook experience to be, in effect, “light and fluffy.” They don’t want to talk about religion or politics. A cute picture or a funny story receives many, sometimes hundreds of “likes,” reposts, and comments. Sometimes we like and repost such things too. But important posts, prayer requests for persecuted Christians or links to important news items, rarely show any evidence that anyone has even seen them.

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are not keeping these two commandments when we keep our lives “light and fluffy.” As believers, we are part of the Church, engaged in warfare. As believers we are faced with daily choices. Are our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit, or are they simply, as the Secular Humanist bumper stickers claim, amusement parks?

The Scriptures have detailed teaching about how a church should conduct itself and what it should expect of its membership, and vice-versa. Failure to follow these Scriptures is sin. A church or an individual needs to condemn failure to follow clear Scriptures or the making up of practices the Scriptures do not teach or allow for.

The Word of God clearly commands us not to fellowship with believers living in open sin. Though it grieves God’s heart, some people in positions of church leadership are living in open sin. Sadder still, unbelievers mock and ridicule the Word of God in the majority of the church buildings of Western Europe and the United States. We can neither glorify God nor love our neighbor in these services. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us discern exactly what type of ministry we should join and support.

But some people say they won’t go to a church service if it does not meet their “needs,” whatever that means. Would you attend a church where men were segregated from women and children? What about a service without pews or chairs, where you had to stand for the entire service? What about a church that met in a different place each service because of threats on the worshipers’ lives?

There are three standards in the word of God for choosing to fellowship and support a local work by joining in membership. First, does it preach the Word of God? This means the whole council of God, not just what I want to hear. Second, is there a place for ministry? If the abilities and gifts God has blessed you with cannot be used in one fellowship, seek out another place where they can be used. Third, can I faithfully attend the services? The perfect fit a thousand miles from your house is not such a perfect fit.

These should not be such high standards. Instead, Christian Churches are filled with people “whose god is their appetites.” Philippians 3:9. These people will only attend a church which meets their appetites. The sad part is, what might be acceptable for one believer, might be a stumbling block and a sin for another believer.

The following is a brief list of some of the issues we have seen which cause people to leave a church. 1) The church is not the right size. These are “Goldilocks” Christians. This church is too big. This church is too small. They go through life forever searching for the church that is “just right.” 2) The music or worship service is not “contemporary” enough. They often tie this to other issues. They say the church is cold, unfriendly, judgmental, sometimes after attending for years and suddenly discovering that all these things have bothered them for years. Do they really mean to say, “I hate this church and I know this church hates me because I hate its music”? 3) The Church isn’t “giving” enough. What they usually mean by this is that other members are not giving them enough. 4) The Church is “legalistic.” This word is so overused that it has lost it’s meaning. In the Bible the word legalism simply means works salvation. Sometimes people simply mean that this particular church has standards they do not like.

So maybe our facebook pages, and our churches, and our lives, should not consist of what is light and fluffy, of what is pleasing to us, but rather of things that fulfill the Greatest Commandment.

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Filed under Bible Teaching, Current Issues, Politics, Excerpts from our Nonfiction Books