165 Almost Daily Devotional – Life Without Following The Rules

by Cliff Ravenscraft on October 26, 2011

in Almost Daily Devotional, Encouraging Others Through Christ

It's been just over a month since our family made the decision to “stop going to church.” I'm sure that many people wondered just how far off the path I might get when it comes to my priorities and my spiritual life. Heck, I'll be honest and tell you that I had wondered the same thing!

In this episode, I admit that I seem to simply share a random stream of consciousness as I share just the slightest overview of how wonderful this past month or so has been.

What's funny, is that I'm not all the concerned about impressing ANYONE with how the past month has been since I decided to “Live Life Without Following The Rules!”

With that said, I believe God does want me to share just a bit of the journey I've been on and how LIVING LOVED BY HIM has been changing me from the inside out and helping me to have a great capacity to love those who surround me.

I do hope that this episode will be a blessing to you. Below I will place a link to the things mentioned in this episode.

1) You can listen to Podcast Answer Man Episode 230, titled Why I Do What I Do, by going to http://PodcastAnswerMan.com/why.

2) You can view the photo of my new written journal by clicking here.

3) You can see the pen that I received as a gift by clicking here.

4) The scripture I read in this episode was from the Message Translation of Galatians chapter 2 starting with verse 15. You can read this, online, by clicking here.

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  • Anonymous

    Having been raised in a similar denominational environment, I appreciate your honesty here Cliff.  I’ve been wrestling with similar issues, as many others also are. That explains my *long comment* here :)

     I had a little thought pop in my head when driving yesterday and wanted to bounce it off you.From listening to your podcasts, and experiencing your guidance this summer in the AtoZ Course (outstanding – thank you!), it’s apparent to me that you are an “Equipper”. That’s not just a professional skill – I would suggest that God gave you this spiritual gift in your spiritual DNA. It manifests itself in the excellence and inclusiveness of all you do. The passage in Ephesians 4:11-12 comes to mind – and this says that God’s gifts are for the purpose of *equipping* people. Your God-given talents are in the marketplace and impact far more people this way.So this might explain your penchant for real community – you’re not satisfied with passivity in any form. You aren’t going to settle for having “listeners”  – your audience must be as passionate and prolific as you are! You want to activate others – not go through the motions. It also explains why you keep prospering – it’s because you keep growing by sharing what you’re learning with the rest of us. This is probably the way it is really supposed to be per God’s design!This might also explain why you are outgrowing the stagnant “Sunday Morning” paradigm along with many others of us. If you’re not being equipped, or activated to equip others in a traditional church paradigm, this is going to be extremely difficult to reconcile. It sounds like you’ve wrestled with this for some time!I have also had the experience of being in an equipping church environment where we would then go into places like street fairs and health food expos. We would actually do stuff like interpret people’s dreams, heal physical ailments (often), and impart hope and encouragement to people. It was very “out of the box” and a blast – because it demonstrated God’s love to people, as we learned to hear God’s voice more clearly and sensitively for others. Unfortunately I moved to another state where the more active churches I find are not nearly as effective or equipping – although the buzzwords are the same. I simply ask God what he wants me to do, and I say “no” a lot more so that I can do more impactful things. It is not easy.There are a number of solid resources out there that can guide us forward. Are you familiar with Frank Viola’s writings – particularly “ReImagining Church” and “Finding Organic Church”? I find his books to have a deep love for the Church (people, not a building), respect for leadership (but not superficial structures or traditions), and great suggestions for moving ahead.  I appreciate what you’ve done to equip me and so many others, and I’m glad you have the courage to take this step forward into the unknown :)

  • Nathan, Thank you so much for such powerful and encouraging feedback. WOW! I praise God for you taking the time to share what you have seen at work within me.

    I have not heard of Frank Viloa’s writings. I’ll keep an ear and eye out for that should the Spirit lead me to look into it further. I’ve been enjoying the podcast at http://thegodjourney.com/ and while their site doesn’t look amazing, I’ve found so much value in the blog and podcast that they have at http://www.lifestream.org.

    One thing is for sure, I’ve been experiencing TRUE JOY AND PEACE in my relationship with Jesus and I’m continually amazing at how I am able to interact with others who are on this journey on a DAILY basis. I love BEING the Church!

    I look forward to continuing to share all the things that I’m learning as I move forward. Thanks for sharing what this has meant for you, and once again for sharing what you have seen at work within me.

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