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crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 A Year To The Day!

Dear fellow members, friends, brethren and to those 'lurkers' out there (The Lord bless you too!)

Earlier this week in talking with Greg it dawned on me that today would mark 1 year since the day the Lord answered my longing for food and drink that I knew existed somewhere and like a weary traveler, sustained on scraps and parched for Living Water in a dry and dusty land...
One glorious day, came across a link to this site that had A. W. Tozer audio sermons and the moment I clicked that link and the page unfolded before my eyes, [i]I knew[/i] I had just been led into a grand buffet of spiritual nourishment!

To borrow from the apostle Paul, I hope you can put up with a little of my boasting. This morning the Lords hand is heavy upon me, in a way hard to express, but it is with an overflow of heart gratitude to my Lord for all that has transpired over these past 12 months. Without rehashing to much prior to coming here to SermonIndex I was beyond malnutrition and [i]confused[/i]! Coming out of a mixed bag of mostly false and at best poor teaching and weak doctrine, the Lord had led me back down the trail, back on to the old paths. To give proper credit it was Chip Ingram (Now president of 'Walk Thru The Bible') that had brought to my attention A.W.Tozer in stating that he keeps a well worn copy of "Knowledge of The Holy" with him and reads it through yearly. That for me was a new beginning, because for the first time that [i]'something'[/i] that I knew was missing in much of what is considered
'Christianity' in these modern times just resonated within me when I first read dear Dr. Tozer. And the 'something' was the spirit of truth.

Coming here on that blessed day, I believe my reaction was "[b]Goldmine![/b]" Oh the incredible things the Lord has done...
Leonard Ravenhill, never heard of him, but there was much discussion going on here about this man and boy did he knock me down, pick me back up and hit me again! Praise God! I needed it! Though at the time '[i]it was painful'[/i]! Thought he was rather "harsh" at the first, little did I know why, had not heard anyone who preached this way and it took a little while to understand that this man had a burning desire to bring back the holiness that belongs to our God and the holiness of His children that should be our reasonable service. Today, he is like a dear old grandfather to me, in fact I even had a dream about him last night (seemed there were replaying his old sermons on the radio and were about doing some kind of memorial for him).

But this is just the very tip of this grand iceberg. So many great men of God here who have challenged, rebuked, encouraged and taught me.
In addition to that is the men that influenced them, far far to many to list. But they are here talked amongst ourselves and that leads me to you, the members, the brethren, my new found friends.

What a unexpected and true blessing you all have been to me personally!

Greg. Brother I am your Jonathan, you are in my heart and on my lips before the Throne, may the Lord keep you always. What the the Lord has wrought in and through you, through this vast ministry...brother only Heaven will reveal all that has been done through this grand work of the Lord!

Probably couldn't do justice to all here that have touched me with their love and their willingness to share their lives and experience, your care and big hearts, willingness to be often transparent, to be of a great help not only to me but to all who frequent here, you great love of the Lord and your seeking for truth just causes me to overflow with gratitude to the Lord that this morning is just overwhelming. May the Lord keep you all close to His heart! As the Lord leads I have and will continue to pray for you all.

I have learned so much and grown so much in this past year to review it all even in part leaves me breathless. This is a spiritual seminary we have here, a bit unorthodox perhaps but in spirit I will go out on a limb and say not unlike the early church in many ways though we are separated by many miles and lack a 'physical' eye to eye contact amongst other things. Still, this is much more than just 'another website', the testimonies we have heard from some who's lives have been radically altered through this ministry attests to that and what great joy springs forth to hear such incredible things! All over the [i][b]world[/b][/i] no less! I suspect that there may be much happening that we are not privy to, could this be a prelude to revival? I don't know and wouldn't dare to even guess, but I know many of us long for it and whatever may be happening in Gods grand scheme of things, [i][b]something[/b][/i] is going on around here...

For all the 'lurkers' out there, again God bless you! I hope you all are gleaning spiritual nourishment through all the resources available here. Perhaps many of you have more wisdom than to come and make a complete fool out of yourselves as I have often and will likely continue to do, but I do hope it may have helped to break down whatever stereotypes that can be attached to these "Fanatical Whole Inspired Word Inerrant Bible Believing Fundamental Holiness Uncomprimising..." [b]*[/b]whatever you want to call it, best I can tell it's just supposed to be 'normal' Christianity and that is the goal. Hope you feel welcomed either way even if you are not inclined to join in the discussions. I do hope that if you are being fed that you can pray for this ministry and support it if you are able and led of the Lord to do so.
[b]*[/b](Related post [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=2234&forum=23]What is the "Deeper Life"?[/url])

The things that are most striking to me that I have gained in this time are many. But a few stand out. My misconceptions of many great men of God that I had only heard bits and pieces of and to my shame had written off without really investigating, have learned some humility and not to be so quick to judge. Another grand and precious adjustment that is still in progress is in what lies behind truly [i]'dying to self'[/i], oh the misconceptions there! What a blessed freedom awaits in this! It is one thing to mull it over in your mind as something necessary and a kind of check mark on a 'things to do list' but to live it and as Paul put it somewhat related, "I die daily"... the words of our Lord begin to really hit home and become true.
If your concern is not on yourself but on [i]Him[/i] so much just falls to the wayside, all the baggage, all the insults, the 'fear' of man, the circumstances of your life...what can you do to a dead man? Brother Zac Poonen said it well, "they just lie there!" Not completely there by a long shot, but this pilgrim life here can be so entirely different and blessed even in the midst of all the difficulties. Unbelief. O what an eye opener. Something very simple I heard yesterday I believe from Beth Moore was in her own walk how this came to bear down on her for all that she thought, the studying and prayer, that the Lord showed her that she had a belief [b]in[/b] God, but she didn't [i][b]believe[/b][/i] God! Certainly it is a process but will we ever really truly learn to believe Him without spending much time in His presence? Beyond a mental assent, beyond a "Well of course I believe You Lord, I am a Christian" while it is something we say with our lips but our lives betray us...

Which leads me to the last and I believe the most pressing issue of our time for us who name the name of the Lord Jesus Christ;

[b]Prayer![/b]

We must be a praying people or just forget it all and close up shop. It is not a side issue, or a 'part' of this Christian walk. It is the very fiber of what we are made of, look back through your scriptures, look at the great men and women of God through the years, look at [b]Jesus![/b]
If this brings us under conviction, well praise the Lord! No sense in wallowing in our tears, use it as an opportunity to repent on your knees, better on your face for your lack of prayer and you can rejoice in the fact that you are now praying! It is a vicious circle: Unbelief stemming from a lack of prayer producing no fruit and heaping up guilt producing even more unbelief...And the remedy is so simple to put a blessed fork in the whole thing.
Just do it!
It may be hard work at times, but so what? It is not always so, mostly it is a blessed time of fellowship with our Lord who we will be spending all eternity with, heaven can wait?

[i]When we acquire the habit of prayer we enter into a new atmosphere "Do you expect to go to Heaven?" asked someone of a devout Scotsman.
"Why, man, I live there," was the quaint and unexpected reply. It was a pithy statement of a great truth, for all the way to Heaven is Heaven begun to the Christian who walks near enough to God to hear the secrets He imparts.[/i]

E.M. Bounds

And I might add when we get off our faces we have not ended but only just begun to pray if our fellowship with the Lord is to be unbroken. If the Lord wills I will prod us all into a life of prayer by shear nagging if need be, may I become a screeching in you ear to the point that you will pray that I shut up about praying and maybe then we will have begun to take this seriously.

For all the gushing accolades here and I harbor no pretense, there is much darkness in this world. The time is short, 2 tim 3 is in full force, "[i][b]many[/b][/i] there be" on the broad road and sadly to many sheep that need to be led back as well. It is a day of deception, of moral depravity and false teachers. There is much to weep over, much leaven of the world in the church.

And so it is this shining light, this beacon in the storm stands out like a city on a hill. A refuge from the storm. May the Lord continue to watch and keep SermonIndex unspotted from the world and continue to lead us all into a spirit of truth, that which is in our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.







_________________
Mike Balog

 2004/6/11 12:22Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: A Year To The Day!

Dear Brother Mike,

I am praising God with you! I know what it's like to be so dry and know that there's something more out there, yet not know what it is or where it's at.

I was just thinking of this today in my own life. I remember going around to different people who I thought would maybe have the answer for me- who could possibly just read my mind and say "aha, this is what's going on with you!"

Even though my journey was a bit different and i did the majority of my "God's School" by myself in this wilderness, it is so nice to come along some who have been going through the same things and see many of the same things going on in Christendom that just aren't right. (I wish I knew about you all when the Prayer of Jabez came out. I felt so alone with that whole thing. I was searching all over the internet for info on that. :)I thought I was crazy!:)

I pray that the Lord would keep you to Himself no matter what and that you will be glued to the hem of His robe and follow Him around wherever He goes forever and ever. I will be right there too! (i hope) :)

This glorious work He has done in you and in me and others like us who have come from lukewarm Christian City to where we are somewhere in one of the wildernesses- is such a miracle. I just hope and pray that many others come along for the ride. It's torture at first but so worth it.

The surrendering of the will and all the rest of it is "where it's at". So many people are so caught up in the other "good things" but really there is nothing better than giving it all up for Him and to Him.

Even though we are seperated by miles, our hearts are very close because of our foundation. We are part of His church that He is building - one by one by one. It's so exciting when you get this close to seeing it built almost in the natural. (i hope you know what I mean, I tend to talk in my own language about these things sometimes:)

Be blessed as you continue your journey to the City of God and may I see you when we get there. :)

Hidden in Him, Chanin


_________________
Chanin

 2004/6/11 21:52Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2726
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: A Year To The Day!

May God bless you Mike. And I don't just say that as some glib cliche, I really mean it. Thank you for sharing your heart with us on this forum, you are like Nathanael, a man in whom is no guile. Your honest and open posts have been an encouragement to me, thank you.

Quote:
We must be a praying people or just forget it all and close up shop...It may be hard work at times, but so what?



I was reading something from Andrew Murray just last night about this that really touched my heart...

[i]Just imagine what the result would be if the child of God had only to ask and receive and go away. What unspeakable loss to the spiritual life would result! Difficulty and delay require persevering prayer to obtain the true blessing and the blessedness of heavenly life. As we persevere, we learn how little we delight in fellowshipping with God and how little faith we have in Him. We discover how earthly and unspiritual our hearts still are, how little we have of God's Holy Spirit. We come to know our own weakness and unworthiness. We yield to God's Spirit to pray in us and to take our place in Christ Jesus, and we abide in Him as our only plea with the Father. There, our own will, strength, and goodness are crucified. There we rise in Christ to newness of life, with our whole wills dependent on God and His glory. Let us begin to praise God for the need and the difficulty of importunate prayer. They are perhaps His choicest means of grace...Men of all ages have quite correctly prayed with the sense that there were difficulties and barriers in the heavenly realms to overcome. As they pleaded with God for the removal of the unknown obstacles, and in that persevering supplication were brought into a state of utter brokenness and helplessness, they became entirely resigned to Him, in union with His will, with the faith that could take hold of Him. Then , the hindrance in themselves and in heaven were together overcome. As God conquers them, they conquered God. As God prevails over us, we prevail with God.[/i]

In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2004/6/12 0:55Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: A Year To The Day! Round 2

Perhaps some redundancy here, but that shouldn't surprise anyone... :-(

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Honest to God"

My, what a phrase. Usually something that can be said in a glib or unthinking kind of way. But it came to mind when Josh, our own Preacher in the Park to the Lords jewels, made reference and sent a note with a 'Happy Birthday' and my reaction at first was... :-? ? Likely would have gone right on by, "Honest to God", he noticed that 6/11/05 marked two years of tenure here and his own 'Birthday' follows two days later, Happy Birthday Josh! (in advance) and thanks, a wonder and an awe to be so closely 'related'...

Musing on this I though that it's more of an anniversary until this morning, feeling so poetic and analogies springing up one after another, bit unsure if any of it is really poetic or otherwise... But would say that it was again another 'Birth' and a [i]day[/i].

Reflection can be a wonderful thing and the day of this 'birth' here, Day 1, still has not lost it's incredible gasp that took my breath away for a moment, the stunning realization that I had just walked into, after being led without any doubt out of my misery by the Lords mighty hand to this Beulah land. It is still as vivid as the day, now two years ago..."Oh my, Oh my... [i]this[/i] is what my heart has been searching for...!"

Every once and awhile the same word is used by some that have been blessed to 'discover' (?) this vault of spiritual treasure... "Goldmine!" and it warms the soul, brings a wide grin and an Amen, tis true, ever so true.
A little Pauline foolishness here on the order of ...

2Co 11:1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Might well sum up my sentiments towards all the brethren that I have come to know here and my, what a wonder that is! To back track a bit, this past year the Lord graciously brought an answer to prayer that was fulfilled here [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=4385&forum=12&post_id=&refresh=Go]Mike and Greg meet finally :P[/url] After wondering how on earth I would ever get to Canada, the Lord decided to move Greg (Our beloved webmaster) out here just so we could met up! :-)
And to top that off the incredible pleasure of meeting face to face another SI-ite, Josh (openarmsinc), a true brother with a beautiful family and a home where the Lord dwells richly. Forever embedded in my heart and mind was the not so subdued reality of waking up in this mans home and strongly yet oh so subtly (as contradictory as that may sound) the sense of the Lords Presence. Praise God.

A bit unsure what the expression is here... no, not true, it is [i]thankfulness[/i], great gratitude. There is this peculiar sense of 'not overstating it', that has got to be the devil himself. This place is more than a collection of messages, a gathering of a few heart seeking after the Lord brethren, it is a church in a true sense at it's very core, the beauty being that it, like the Lords intent and purpose is never closed or merely enclosed behind four walls. Pardon the liberty and excuse what I am not saying, many a thread here on 'churches', definitions, types and mannerisms. Just alluding to the depths of spirituality-reality that is available here for all to partake of, to share and grow and learn...

2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

With certainty that is the possibility available here and the nagging utterance to [i]mine[/i] this treasure trove. This mention yesterday from Dohzman; "[i]... ,in prehaps, the largest bible school in the world.[/i]" Oh that it might not be misconstrued, but what a statement, not to be gloried in of ourselves as some exclusive, separate entity, but the truth of that is in a spiritual education, [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=2843&forum=31&post_id=&refresh=Go]THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST[/url] that which is in the heart and not the mind alone.

Personally, life and the Lords Sovereignty over all things extant, has been one of incredible change. Everything turned upside down and inside out, job change, pressures financially, difficult times at home, loved ones hurting, hardships and 'afflictions' in different forms and fashions and taken with a whole lot of perspective and contemplation, the usual contrast and always helpful realization that though some things can be deeply grievous, still there are those brethren of ours in other countries being slaughtered, tortured, persecuted for the faith that we can take for granted often times. Hope that we all can give more heed, thought and serious contemplation to these our own kind, are knit together brethren who are laying down there very lives, given over to unspeakable torture, all because of Jesus. Is it not an incredible wonder to realize that the Man of Peace can produce such a response? Truly men are evil at their very core, what that a need of explanation is needed to the problem of the human race of man. The absurdity is that a prevailing dishonesty to face facts, to attribute our problem to be Gods, the problem of evil in the world, all the while it is [b]US[/b],

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

(Note of interest, quick check on "Darkness", revealed 45 instances in the NT alone, perhaps a good study...)

Have met some precious saints through all this. My heart and soul is knit to many here, you have made this fool even more of a praying man and solidified the truth of,

"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:22-27

[i]Likewise[/i] indeed. Often the best that can come up out of unclean lips is just, "And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest." Not to mention,

Psa 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

At the very same time there has been a bit of turmoil...

We have been granted the beauty of ugly things oft times, being exposed of our true selves before one another. Spiritual truth seems to come forth like a shoot breaking up through the soil, the 'ugly', dirty, sweat producing toil of farming our own land with the help of some day laborers, thrusting in the shovel, breaking up that fallow ground. If I have learned anything over the past year here, it is to forebear more. The privilege and felt responsibility of playing something akin to 'traffic cop' (thanks brother) in this role of 'moderator' here at bottom is to attempt to keep the unity of peace, that which I think the Lord was after when He stated,

"Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

And in truth that the last of that verse be true, that through all things that come through here this could be kept in mind, we just don't know WHO is peering in on all this precious saints. Just as well the need to admit my own shortcomings here, the zeal and concern for the sheep of which I find myself very much only but one regardless, still can be caught up in misguided emotions often times, misreading and sadly even pre-judging at times.. though some bring that out by just their own conduct and puzzlement abounds that the hearts that congregate here are generally forthright and honest, striving after the Lord in all His fullness. Manners, pride, lack of humility, disregard for others, for the whole, for the 'lurkers' about us and the things left for others to read. Sometimes it's overt, sometimes unrecognized, and sometimes it is just misconstrued, misunderstood where some are coming from and it can take time to discern it all. Out of that has come some quick apologies and a wonderful, though grievous process in understanding to get there, opening up to others who have vastly different upbringings, experiences,...denominational- abominational upbringings (Ravenhill, again ;-)) Often times it seems that we can be choked off at the head and a wonder if the deep truths of Gods word has ever cut to the heart, other times the swelling of hearts can overtake our God given brains and produce... I digress, but it does seem to be a danger when our imaginations and one or the other gets to far of our sanctified selves, that we might learn better to [i]listen[/i] more than just 'hear' in all things, from each other in consideration one to another but supremely before the Lord, all things measured and filtered by Him.

A little open heart surgery here. This wonder of wonders that the Lord has led our brother Greg to produce... it has gone out into all the world, hmmm seems right on track with our Lords desire, who would ever have thought that something like this would be [i]freely[/i] available to [i]Preach[/i] in such a variety of ways [i]AND[/i] make disciples as well as be a church in that quirky kind of way, the essence of ecclesiastical fellowship, from the heart...

Much like the sheer gratitude I have for Chip Ingram who gave me A.W. Tozer and by way of that brought me here in a search of more in this profound line of thought, it was from that and out of that... that this misfit found something that had finally rang true in my heart, that which was missing, some real gut level honesty, the true sense of,

Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Oh, it has ruined me forever, blessedly ruined. It is indeed a "Happy" "Birth" "Day". My brother Greg, to you 1Sa 18:3 still holds true and to all,

2Co 11:11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do!

The Lord is being lifted up here profoundly and at times there can be some straying from that, my prayer is that we never lose sight of what this site is all about ultimately,

2Co 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as merely your servants for Jesus' sake.

and...

Psa 85:6 Wilt thou not [b]revive[/b] us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/6/11 10:14Profile
moreofHim
Member



Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632


 Re: mike

Mike,

wow! Has it been another year already?! How this time in the school of Christ has flown by :)

You touched on many points- such good ones.

Quote:
Often times it seems that we can be choked off at the head and a wonder if the deep truths of Gods word has ever cut to the heart, other times the swelling of hearts can overtake our God given brains and produce... I digress, but it does seem to be a danger when our imaginations and one or the other gets to far of our sanctified selves, that we might learn better to listen more than just 'hear' in all things, from each other in consideration one to another but supremely before the Lord, all things measured and filtered by Him.



Quote:
we just don't know WHO is peering in on all this precious saints



Do you know that I have a friend who has been a "lurker" ever since I have been on SI? She has watched from afar all that has gone on and we have discussed many things through email. Wonder of wonders! This might go on with others as well, who knows. But yes, there are people who are watching and learning and growing right along with us.

Quote:
The Lord is being lifted up here profoundly and at times there can be some straying from that, my prayer is that we never lose sight of what this site is all about ultimately,


Quote:
2Co 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as merely your servants for Jesus' sake.



This last verse says it all, really.

Happy "birth" day again :)

Once again, if we never meet here on earth, we will meet in the City of God. We will all see each other there :)

Hidden in Him, Chanin


_________________
Chanin

 2005/6/11 11:24Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Mike
Just wanted to take this opportunity to say that I am quite sure that you have been God's gift to Greg and to us all in your work here on SI. Thank you your your faithful watching and willingness to take responsibility as occasion has demanded. I think the 'eldership' of a website of this nature is a unique calling and demands a unique spiritual 'skill set'. You are part of God's gift to us in these days and I do thank God for you.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/6/11 15:13Profile
markm
Member



Joined: 2004/11/4
Posts: 46


 Re: A Year To The Day!

Thank you for that Mike.

 2005/6/11 16:00Profile
disciplejosh
Member



Joined: 2003/6/13
Posts: 210
Southern California

 Re: Mike and precious brothers and sisters

I really do thank God for His goodness to all of us. Greg being obedient and diligent to set this up. Mike for his openness to be used and pour himself out here. Chanin, Ron, Robert W, Yodi, rahman, dezcall, Hulsey, etc, etc. The fellowship has been sweet and with great expectation I look ahead to what God will do.

Let us lift up SermonIndex to God and ask Him to do with us as He will.
Prayer Groups
Conferences
Fellowship
etc


_________________
Josh

 2005/6/11 21:26Profile





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