Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"

Part 1

"So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."
Romans 12:5
"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many."
1Corinthians 12:12-14
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
Ephesians 4:11-12

(Newest ones are last)
Body parts
Body Parts
what's your job?
What's Your Job?
You are important
You Are Important
Who is your boss?
Who is Your Boss?
Official praise singers
Official Praise Singers
You are not a mistake
You Are Not a Mistake
The body hurts
The Body Hurts
When the body comes together
When the Body Comes Together
The body is gifted
The Body is Gifted
Are you out of order?
Are You Out of Order?
A mighty force
A Mighty Force
The body can take action
The Body Can Take Action
Shout from the housetops!
Shout from the Housetops!
Embrace differences
Embrace Differences
One body
One Body
Your Job
Your Job
Keeping God at Arm's Length
Keeping God at Arm's Length
You Aren't So Special
Part 2:  The Body of Christ


1/25/98 Body Parts
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:15-16
COMMENTS: God has made sure that all necessary gifts have been distributed. I am convinced that every church has enough Sunday School teachers, enough deacons, enough toilet scrubbers, enough organizers, enough everything.

Then why aren't those positions filled? The people with those gifts are not willing to, are afraid to, or for some other reason are not going to use them. Some people are afraid that their time will be eaten up if they give it to the church. Some people are not sure that they are capable of using the gifts. There are many reasons why they don't use them. They probably don't realize how they are hurting the rest of the body of Christ by not using them.

 What if your eyes decided they were not good enough to carry the burden of seeing and quit working? What if your legs decided they could quit working and let some other part of the body take over the job of walking? It's not a pretty picture.

God gave gifts for a reason. Those gifts are the type that are meant to continue being given. As it says in Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

Give of yourself and you will be amazed at how you will be blessed!

I neglected to save the 1/25/98 welcome message.


5/24/99 What's Your Job?
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
1Corinthians 12:27-28
COMMENTS: This scripture tells us that God is the one who has picked jobs for members of the Body of Christ and lists some of the jobs and talents that assist in that job. God has given each of His children certain gifts and talents. Those gifts and talents are to be used on behalf of the rest of the Body.

Some people never do use their gifts and talents for the Body. They use them for themselves. Sometimes, I imagine, they never even consider that God was the One who gave them their gifts and talents. They may just figure it was "nature" that was responsible.

Think about how a human body works. Each part has a function. Now, imagine a body with one arm missing. What happens? The other arm takes up the slack. Imagine a body with no use of it's legs. What happens? The arms have to be used to work the wheelchair wheels. That places an extra burden on the arms. When the eyes don't work then the nose, ears, hands, and other parts of the body have to take over the job of "seeing." Are you seeing my point? The other parts of the body have to take up the slack when something is missing.

Let's back up and take a look at the scripture preceding the above verses.

"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."
1Cor 12:18-26

Notice, again, it is God that has set each member in its own place. He has a place for me and He has a place for you. No part of the Body should go empty. Every part is necessary. No part is too small or unimportant!

Oh, how wonderful it would be if every member of the Body of Christ was functioning the way the Lord intended! Just think about it!

Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to do. Ask Him to use you. Until he reveals what your particular job is you need to start training. Get closer to the Lord. Communicate with Him. Get to know Him better. Abide in Him. Read your Bible. Immerse yourself in the living Word of God. Fill yourself with God and fill yourself with His Word.

If you ask God to use you, and you are serious about it, He will. Get yourself ready to be used!
Link to 5/24/99 welcome message.


6/14/99 You Are Important
"And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
1Corinthians 12:6
COMMENTS: The "diversities of operations" is referring to the talents and gifts we've been given by God and the different positions that we are supposed to fill in the Body of Christ. We have all been given uniqueness by the Lord God. We are unlike every other person that exists.

Every single person that the Lord has created has been given something that is designed by the Chief Architect (I'm referring to God) to be used in the workings of the Body of Christ. You, specifically, have something that is meant to be used for the Body of Christ. God has a job for you that is waiting to be filled!

If you do not find out what that job is then there is weakness in the Body of Christ. For every part of the Body that does not fulfill its function there is more weakness. You are extremely important. Even if your portion appears to be small and unimportant to you, it isn't. Take a look at verses 22-24 of the same chapter:

"Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked"

We are to be working together, even though we have not met all the other members of the Body. Like I told you in the welcome message, I've heard from people that have been faithful to pray for me when the Lord laid it on their hearts. That means that, because of their faithfulness to fulfill their portion, I am strengthened, protected, and edified so that I can continue on in the ministries the Lord has given me!

God is the Great Architect. He has already drawn up the plans. There are no flaws in the Body of Christ. There are no areas that have been left to chance. Every thing that is necessary has been provided. If there is anything wrong in the Body it is due to the lack of obedience in the people themselves.

Continue on in Chapter 12 to verses 25 and 26, "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." The thing that cements the Body together is LOVE!
Link to 6/14/99 welcome message.


1/17/00 Who is Your Boss?
"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
Ephesians 4:16
COMMENTS: If you know Jesus as your Saviour then you are automatically part of the Body of Christ. You are a part of the Body that is necessary to the rest of the Body. The word "compacted" can also be translated as "knit together" or "united." Notice that it is what every joint supplies (that's you, one of the joints) that unites the entire thing.

Here's an exercise for you: 1) scratch the top of your head without using your arms. 2) file or trim your toenail without using your hands. 3) cross to the other side of the room without using your legs. 4) read this website without using your eyes. 5) breathe without using your lungs.

Maybe you could do most of those things, but it wasn't easy, was it? Other parts of your body had to pick up the slack. If they weren't designed to do those things then it was more difficult or uncomfortable. The body does what it does best when all the parts are working in the way they were designed.

It is the same thing in the Body of Christ. God has picked a special place for you in the Body. If you find out what it is and do it then you will be in God's will as well as you will be edifying the rest of the Body. You will become an integral part in God's plan. You will be blessed as you are doing what God wants you to do. You will receive blessings as you travel through your life here on earth and then, when you enter Heaven, you will hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

There are so many positions in the Body that nobody knows what they all are. There are many that seem to be the same, but God gives each a separate and distinct job description. For example, there are prayer warriors in the Body. Some have the job of praying for other prayer warriors. Some pray for nations, some pray for cities, some pray for individuals, some pray for churches, and some are battling satan . Each person needs to seek God's direction. Each person needs to find out what their specific job description is.

Let me tell you that God is the best boss you could ever have! He has designed you to fit into your job. He has equipped you with the things you need to be able to do your job to its fullest. He has hand selected you and hand selected your job. Not only that, He is willing to help you every step of the way. He won't toss you in and walk away! He is always by your side to answer questions and to help you along.

He has developed a master plan and you are to be a part in it. 1Corinthians 12:4 tells us, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." Each person in the Body is made up of the same stuff. Think about it. All people's bodies are made out of the same ingredients. Those in the Body of Christ contain the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Christ and the Holy Spirit is God. You contain the same Spirit as the rest of the Body! You are already connected with all the other parts of the Body! You are already important and needed!

All parts of the Body contain the same ingredients through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the ingredients that exist in God. You have love, peace, joy, power, and much much more! If all members of the Body were walking in the Spirit there would be total unity. The Body would be 100% functional and would have power beyond belief! Each member would be upholding the next by faithfully performing the things the Lord has assigned them. It would be an awesome machine, to say the least!

The thing that hinders this from taking place is what makes everyone different. It is "self." Self-preservation, self-promotion, and other self-related things become more important to people and tear down the things God would have them be doing. The only things that keep you from being fully used by God is the self-oriented things you allow in your life. It is all a choice. You can choose to find out what God wants you to be doing, thinking, and saying. On the other hand, you can choose to do, think, and say whatever you want.

Let's see, which would have the better results? You can go with God and be filled with all the love, joy, peace, and blessings you can handle. You can go with self and be filled with all the things you can provide for yourself. Hmmmm...God or self, God or self? Doesn't sound like there is much comparison to me!
Link to 1/17/00 welcome message.


6/19/00 Official Praise Singers
"And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever."
2Chronicles 20:21
COMMENTS: God gave some people the talent of singing and of praising. Those gifts are designed to be used for Him. Can you imagine having a paid position (or, if not paid, then your needs supplied in exchange for this job) of just worshipping and praising the Lord? God wants our continuous praise. He is worthy of continuous praise.

There are so many things that we miss out on because we don't seek to know what our portion is in the Body of Christ. Each of us has talents and abilities that were given us by God. When we don't ask Him where He wants to use us then something goes undone. Either the Body is hurt or it is hindered by our lack of action.

If God wants a group of pray-ers in each church body and nobody is sensitive to His urging then prayers go unanswered and the things He would do through those intercessors are hindered. God knows what He is doing. He has distributed the gifts in such a way that they would fill all the voids, should they be used. He has a master plan and has a place for each of us in it.

It is a sad thing to see the Body of Christ sitting and doing nothing. It is a sad thing when someone decides who is and who is not to be used. It is a sad thing when the Body is treated like they are a group of children or a flock of sheep and are not afforded the recognition and God-given position they deserve.

Each Christian has the Holy Spirit in them. Each Christian was given gifts by God. Each Christian is endowed with power available through the Holy Spirit. Each Christian is a member of the Body of Christ whose parts are described in 1Corinthians 12:22-24 as, "...those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked."

Imagine, if you will, that the Body is a machine with many intricate parts. Each part has a portion in the effective working of that machine. If you disable one part then you reduce the effectiveness of the machine, or you disable it altogether.

Those that are supposed to be teaching should be teaching. Those that are to be praying should be praying. Those that should be encouraging others should be busy doing so. Those that are meant to be praising should be diligently praising. Those that are to be assisting the others who are busy at work for the Lord should be in the midst and assisting. Ask God where, in His master plan, is your place.
Link to 6/19/00 welcome message.


10/16/00 You Are Not a Mistake
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all."
1Corinthians 12:4-6
COMMENTS: There are many different talents and gifts that people have. There are even differences between the gifts of people who appear to have the same gift. That is what this means by differences of administrations and diversities of operations.

As you know, we are all members of the Body of Christ. Just as a human body has different parts which have different functions, so does the Body of Christ. You have ten digits on your hand. Do they all have the same function? Would you miss one if it was gone? If one was gone the others would have to take up the slack, wouldn't they? You have two eyes. Do they both do the same thing? Yes and no. The left eye sees more to the left and the right eye sees more to the right. Each alone can see. The two together see the whole view and the view becomes three dimensional.

God sees the big picture. He sees the future and He sees all of the present. He sees what is needful in every square inch of this planet. He has placed every one of us right where we are. He placed us in this body, in this city, in this state, in this country, etc. We are here on purpose. We are not mistakes. He placed us here to fit into the Body of Christ. Verse 18 in chapter 12 says, "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him."

Our gift fits right in with the gifts of others. Ours may only be a tiny portion in our own eyes, but the tiny portion is just as needful as a larger portion. Can you complete a puzzle with a tiny piece of it missing? You may be able to see the whole picture, but you can never complete it. The pieces next to it might help us to identify what the missing piece probably looks like, but the puzzle will never be perfect.

A puzzle is not a serious matter, but the Body of Christ is VERY serious. Verse 26 of chapter 12 says, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." If one piece is missing then the rest of the Body suffers for it. The other parts have to try to take up the slack. However, it just won't work the same. Something will still be missing. The end result will never be perfect.

The same Spirit, the same Lord, the same God is in every part of the Body. As an important part of the Body, you need to be asking how your gifts and talents are to be used. The whole unit was created and is being assembled by the Master Architect, God Almighty! The difference between an actual building and the building that is the Body of Christ is that the girders, windows, nails, shingles, and other parts of a building are not given a choice as to whether or not they want to be used in that building. You are given a choice. You can choose to say, "No," to God.

However, it is not yourself that you are affecting. Ephesians 4:16 tells us the purpose of the Body: "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." When a part of the Body chooses to say, "No," to God then that particular joint is not supplying its portion. You will be affecting the entire rest of the Body. Look around you and see who is affected. It affects every single person you see.

Don't fool yourself. You are not an island. Your life is not your own. 1Corinthians 6:20 explains, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Christ purchased you with His blood. It is already done and there is nothing you can do about it. You belong to God. He created you. There is nothing you can do about it. You are only fooling yourself if you refuse the call of the Holy Spirit. Any efforts you make on your own are not worth the energy you spend. It is needful for you to seek God's will in your life and to walk in that will.
Link to 10/16/00 welcome message.


2/12/01 The Body Hurts
"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16
COMMENTS: Did God intend for us to struggle through life alone? Did He intend for us to work on the bad things in our lives without any help? He placed us as a small member of a larger entity, the Body of Christ.

When you smash your finger with a hammer you can't just allow your finger to suffer the pain. Your brain screams out, "Emergency! Emergency! Something is hurting!" You feel the pain extending up into your arm. Sometimes you begin to cry because it hurts so badly. Your legs begin walking toward the freezer to get some ice. Your other hand might be dialing the doctor's office to make an appointment. If it was lunch time you probably wouldn't be able to eat because your stomach would be upset. Your heart probably is beating faster. Adrenalin is probably pumping through your body. Your whole body becomes involved.

It is supposed to be the same way in the Body of Christ. When someone is hurting or needs help of some kind then the rest of the Body should make itself available to help in any way that is necessary. We are supposed to find out from Body of Christ's center of operations what we need to be doing. The center of operations in a body is the brain. Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ. He will tell us when we should be praying for each other. He will show us when someone needs a hug. He will show us when we need to call someone or mail an encouragement card.

Prayer is a very important activity that needs to be given more importance in the life of a Christian. God is waiting to hear from us. The Bible mentions praying without ceasing more than once. Even Jesus prayed on a very regular basis. If we are spending very little time in prayer then we are not doing our job. Things are not getting done because we aren't doing our jobs. People aren't getting healed and aren't getting saved because we aren't praying like we should. The "effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." The silence of a righteous man is hurting the Body of Christ. Think about it.
Link to 2/12/01 welcome message.


3/26/01 When the Body Comes Together
"How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."
1Corinthians 14:26
COMMENTS: This is the way the Body of Christ was meant to work. When the Body gets together then each member of the Body brings in something the Lord has given them. Each portion comes together and edifies the rest of the people there.

God has given different gifts in different ways to people. He meant for us all to share what He has given us with other members of the Body of Christ. As we bring together the different things He has given us then it strengthens the Body as a whole. Then the evangelists are strengthened and are given more tools to be able to minister more greatly to the unsaved. The pastors and teachers are strengthened and are given more tools with which to teach.

The Body of Christ is weak. It has not been given the nourishment that it needs to be strong and mighty. The nourishment has been provided to the members of the Body, but more often than not the nourishment is lost before the Body, as a whole, receives it. There is not one member of the Body of Christ that hasn't been given something that will edify the rest of the Body. It is when the members of the Body do not seek to find out about their portion that the nourishment is lost.

Do you know of people who attend church in order to receive something? Do you know of people that go to church to be entertained and fed? There are people who have never said, "Lord use me." Those are the people who have taken an active part in weakening the Body of Christ. Yes, their inaction is actually an action. It is a decision on their part to rob the Body of the portion they were given. They are actually taking an active part by choosing to refuse to be used. It sounds harsh, but it is true.

The sad part is that they, too, are losing out on wonderful things! They think they are getting something, yet they are losing a great deal. The blessings that result in being useable are indescribable. God provides the tools, time, and strength to serve Him.

Having God as your employer is the greatest thing that could happen to you. What happens is He will bless you for your service. The things He provides are unavailable anywhere else. He provides peace when trials try to crush you. He provides the necessities of life when you have no money to purchase them on your own. He will bless you with what seems like insignificant things, yet they all add up to continuous blessings. You see, there really are no words that can adequately describe what takes place when you offer yourself to God as a living sacrifice.

God is God. He can and will take care of you and your family better than you ever could. He can provide you with wisdom, strength, good health, food, peace, love, beautiful sunsets, spiritual hugs, and anything else you desire or need. The thing you have to do is quit focusing on the things you need and want and focus on what God wants. Concentrate on working for Him and you will find yourself on the receiving end.
Link to 3/26/01 welcome message.


4/16/01 The Body is Gifted
"For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us"
Romans 12:4-6a
COMMENTS: There are many members in the Body of Christ. It consists of all Christians. We are all members of that Body and we all have a position (office) in that Body.

We all have gifts. Yet, even gifts that are the same are given out differently. 1Cor 12:4-5 says there are differences of administrations and diversities of operations in the diversities of gifts. As an example, I have a friend who is a mechanic. He is a front-end mechanic. Whenever someone brings in a car for repair that has something wrong in the engine, my friend can fix it. On the other hand, if someone brings in a car that has a problem in the transmission, then my friend turns the job over to the mechanic who specializes in transmissions. If someone has a broken window on their car they still have a car that needs repair, but they would seek out someone who specializes in windows. Do you see what it mans by the differences and diversities?

Verses 6b through 8 in Romans go on to mention some of the gifts: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, and ruling. Not all people with the gift of teaching can teach all people. Some teachers are gifted in teaching children, others can teach adults. Within those two categories are many more categories. Some children's teachers are gifted with the ability to teach difficult subjects like faith and grace and others are gifted in bringing Bible characters to life. Breaking it down even farther, some of the teachers that can bring Bible characters to life are gifted in using puppets and others are gifted in acting out the parts. We could continue to break it down even further!

Some people with the gift of prophecy edify individuals and some minister to local church bodies. Others are given the gift necessary for edifying communities or nations.

Too many times we allow our thinking to be stunted and focus on producing ONLY pastors, teachers, and evangelists. The pastors and teachers focus on getting people saved and teaching them to become more pastors, teachers, and evangelists.

Yes, the ultimate goal is bringing more people to the Lord. That is the bottom line. However, the pastors, teachers, and evangelists all need the benefits of what the people given other gifts can provide. They need to be encouraged by the exhorters. They will benefit from Words of Wisdom and of Knowledge. There are many other people who are gifted with edifying gifts that build up the other members of the Body of Christ. They are equally as important.

There is a shortage of information about the spiritual gifts. Too many gifts are being ignored and even shunned. The Body of Christ is suffering for a lack of certain things God has provided. Some parts of the Body are inactive due to lack of encouragement and of activation of their gifts. Too many people are not assisted in recognizing and learning about their gifts.

I am fortunate because I have the gift of teaching. That gift is universally recognized as a valid gift. However, a few of my other gifts I have had to find out about on my own. Sometimes I feel like a baby bird that was tossed out of the nest before being able to even find out I had wings! As a matter of fact, sometimes I feel like a bird that is being forced to act like a dog. No, dogs don't fly! No, dogs don't eat worms! No, those aren't feathers, that is fur! What is that awful peeping noise coming out of your mouth? Just open your mouth and bark like everyone else!

I feel the Lord might be encouraging me to set up a center for the gathering of information about God-given gifts and talents. I have to pray more about it. If any ideas pop into your head I'd love to hear them! I would also love to hear from you about your experiences in learning about your gifts, no matter what they are!
Link to 4/16/01 welcome message.


10/22/01 Are You Out of Order?
"And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar. And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar."
Leviticus 1:11-12
COMMENTS: This is a portion of the instructions given by God to the Israelites on how to prepare burnt offerings. Notice that God specifies which side of the altar to kill the animal. It also indicates what portions of the animal shall be laid on the altar as well as in what order.

God knows what He wants down to the tiniest detail. What He wants may not make any sense at all to us. We might be tempted to look at the end result and figure that all God wanted was the animal to be burned. If we focus on the end result we might take a different route to get there.

In my mind it doesn't make sense why, when they were all going to be burned anyway, the parts had to be laid out in a certain order. Surely, it couldn't be that important to be laid out in specific places on the altar! The thing is, God had a reason and it isn't up to me to question Him. It is my job to be obedient and do what He tells me.

We don't offer animal sacrifices any more, but we are supposed to be doing things that God wants us to be doing. Are we deciding what steps to take to get to the end result or are we consulting God about what steps to take?

We know that God wants the salvation message spread around the world to every single person. Are we asking God what our particular portion is in that plan? How does joining up with other members of your church and going on a missionary trip to another country sound? That sounds like an excellent and God-approved method of evangelizing! However, what if God wants you to be staying at home and praying for the success of the trip itself? What if the trip turns out to be not successful as it could have been because you weren't doing the portion that God desired?

There are many many different things that God wants His children to be doing. As members of the Body of Christ we each have a function that assists the Body as a whole. We can't automatically assume that we should teach a Sunday school class just because there is a vacant spot needing to be filled. We can't just assume that we are to be in the church choir just because we have a good voice. God wants us laid out in a certain order on the altar. We need to find out what that order is or else we just might be "out of order."
Link to 10/22/01 welcome message.


2/27/02 A Mighty Force
"For the body is not one member, but many. But now are they many members, yet but one body."
1Corinthians 12:14, 20
COMMENTS: The Body of Christ is made up of many many parts. Those parts are people. Yet, all those people are one unit. They are brought together by God to accomplish His will.

God has given each person certain talents and gifts that are designed to contribute to the whole unit. A large group of people, working in harmony, has the ability to do some great and powerful things. When you add God's assistance in you have a MIGHTY FORCE!

God has provided everything that is necessary for the Body to be strengthened, edified, equipped, and filled by the other members of the Body. However, if the rest of the members are not fulfilling their portion then the whole Body is weakened.

Each individual part of the Body must make a decision to become the portion that God has called them to be. That decision needs to be renewed regularly. Each individual must choose to be sensitive to what God wants them doing and saying.

Why do many Christians feel like they are struggling alone? Probably because the other members of the Body that have been assigned the duty to assist them are not doing their job.

Why do so many pastors struggle as they try to be the church leader, counselor, administrator, encourager, janitor, handyman, bookkeeper, and judge? It is because God has called others to share the load. No one person should ever have to be all those things!

There are many instances of what happens when the Body is not functioning as a unit. Find out what your portion is. Are you a finger? An eye? A muscle? If you aren't doing your portion, who is?
Link to 2/27/02 welcome message.


3/25/02 The Body Can Take Action
"Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."
1Corinthians 14:12
COMMENTS: God gives us all gifts. There are different gifts and differences within each of the gifts. We are placed with others that can benefit from our gifts. In return, we can benefit from the gifts in others.

When we are reading our Bibles God reveals things to us a little at a time. He also reveals things to others. Have you ever been in a Bible study where everyone is free to share what certain scriptures mean to them? If everyone shares then it is like putting a puzzle together. Each person has a piece. When you are done then everyone has the whole picture because it was put together by all.

God doesn't reveal the meaning of everything in the Bible to one person, or to a small group of people. The Holy Spirit, in each of us, is our teacher. God will help our understanding as we study His Word. At the same time He is helping the understanding of others who are studying His Word.

A human body has many parts that all communicate information to the rest of the body. When the nose smells smoke then the rest of the body can take action. When the ear hears a wasp buzzing, the rest of the body can take action. When the stomach feels upset, the rest of the body can take action. Different parts of the body obtain information and submit it to the brain for distribution.

In the Body of Christ each part of the Body is designed to interact with the others. Each part is designed to work in harmony with the others.

Let's share what God gives us! I'm sharing with you. How about you sharing with me?
Link to 3/25/02 welcome message.


5/14/02 Shout from the Housetops!
"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops."
Matthew 10:27

COMMENTS: Once again I will remind you that we are all members of the Body of Christ. God gives each of us gifts, talents, revelation, and more that are designed to share with the rest of the Body.

I've often been reading my Bible and some portion of scripture jumps out and makes itself clearer than I ever remember it. All of a sudden there is new meaning behind it. Many times, when I share it with another person who reads their Bible they are able to add to the meaning of the scripture by sharing what God showed them!

Frequently our understanding is affected by our personality, by our experiences, or by other things that are unique to us as a person. That is one reason why God made us all different. He hand carried us through trials and circumstances, knowing that those things would enable us to minister to other members of the Body! He brings us together with other members of the Body that will create a stronger unit.

For example, over the past few years God has brought new friends to me over the Internet. He has also brought someone I hardly knew, but was acquainted with for 12 years, close enough that we are now close friends and prayer partners. It is absolutely amazing how He hand selected these people. Each relationship is special to each of us. We end up going through the exact same things and are able to encourage each other. We do Bible studies together and are able to share the beautiful nuggets of gold we find in the Bible.

The Body of Christ is truly a wonder to behold! God equips us and creates a plan for us before we are ever born. It is almost as if He is putting together a large puzzle piece by piece. He put together a lot of two-piece puzzles (my prayer partners and myself, for example) and then took those two-piece puzzles and placed them together in larger puzzles.

The encouragement and edification I obtain from one of my "puzzle piece friends" is then spread on to another "puzzle piece friend" of mine who is in other small puzzles herself. Something someone (who is a puzzle piece in the Body) does in another country can move from piece to piece, section to section, come to me, and be passed on! Isn't that exciting???

What God has given me and shown me I am shouting from the housetops! I have placed it on the World Wide Web where it can be seen by any person in the entire world. So, how does someone who is seeking one of those gems God gave me to share find it in all the zillions of web pages?? Don't ask me, ask God. I have a huge stack of email from people saying something along the lines of, "I'm not sure how I got to your site....."


Link to 5/14/02 welcome message.


6/4/02 Embrace Differences

"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.'
Romans 12:6-8

COMMENTS: We are all gifted differently.  God did that on purpose.  He wants us to share our gifts with each other.  He wants us to concentrate on our own gifts and learn to use them to the fullest.

I was sharing something that God revealed to me with a good friend the other day.  I was surprised that she didn't get as excited about what I saw as I did.  It confused me at first, but the more I meditated on it the more excited I got.

It actually was a good thing that she and I weren't both focusing on the same things.  God gave me more of a burden for the Body of Christ.  He shows me many ways that the Body is hindered.  He gives me insight for a reason.

My friend is gifted in different areas as well as in some of the same areas.  She sometimes gets excited about things that never occurred to me.  We teach each other all the time.I

f we all had the same gifts, to the same extent as everyone else it would be like everyone in the world being a doctor.  Who would fix cars?  Who would work in stores?  We need to embrace differences in people!

Let's concentrate on what God has given us.  Let's just hop on the train that God sends us and go where it takes us!

Don't serve God in the flesh.  Don't push yourself into a position that is not within your calling.  Let God show you where He wants you.  He has placed you in the Body of Christ and has given you the tools that you need. God will put you together with others.  You will fit in nicely where He places you.  I've said it before, but it is worth repeating.  You are like a piece in a puzzle.  You fit together perfectly with others in the Body.  Other pieces will move in around you and something beautiful will be the result.

Be open to what God would have you do.  Be searching.  If you aren't sure then be preparing.  Prepare by reading the Word and by praying.  Keep seeking a closer relationship with God.  Allow the Word that you read to become alive within you.  You are designed to be used in the Body.  Let God be your guide.  He will show you your portion.  Pursue that with everything within you.

Link to 6/4/02 welcome message.


9/5/03  One Body

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
1Cor 3:16

COMMENTS:    How many temples did Solomon have built?  How many temples were in Jerusalem when Jesus was there?  (Hint:  the answer is very small.)  (Hint:  the answer starts with an "o" and ends with an "e.")  That's RIGHT!  ONE TEMPLE!

Paul was talking to the people in Corinth and was telling them that they were the temple of God.  They were one temple of God.  The Holy Spirit lived in them. This applies directly to us today as well.  As Christians, we are all one temple along with all the other Christians.  We are also referred to as the Body of Christ.  Notice that we are not the Temples of God nor are we the Bodies of Christ.  We are ONE Temple and ONE Body with many parts.  Just as the temple was made of many stones, pieces of wood, etc. we are made of many parts.

 Just as a body has arms, legs, eyes, and many parts we are made of many parts. The connecting factor that causes us to be one as separate physical beings is the Holy Spirit.  The same Holy Spirit that is in me is in you.  The same one!  The Holy Spirit is the tie that binds us all together.

 Think of the ramifications of this.  God has a plan.  The Holy Spirit is telling you your portion in that plan.  Your portion ties in perfectly with my portion.  My portion ties in perfectly with every other portion.  There is no conflict in the Body of Christ.  WAIT!  That wasn't a true statement, was it?  Let me rephrase that.  There is no conflict in the Body of Christ IF WE ARE DOING GOD'S WILL.

 Why don't Christians give the appearance of being one?  We have different denominations, different viewpoints, different opinions, different feelings...... As a whole, we are more human than Spirit.  We are allowing our human side to rule the spiritual side.  We aren't seeking God's will for what words to speak.  We are jumping out in the flesh to do things instead of waiting on God.  Shame on us!

Why do many people speak badly of Christians?  That shouldn't be!  The word hypocrite should, in actuality, never be able to be applied to a Christian!  Yet, a large majority of Christians learn and speak one thing and do another. Yesterday I heard on the news that the "Christian" who murdered an abortion clinic doctor was put to death as punishment. 

How can that be? How could a Christian kill a doctor?  How many "Christians" are trying to push the gospel down peoples' throats?  If God is providing the words and actions to use in each situation then there wouldn't be a feeling of forceful opinions being shoved on the unsaved person. The list goes on and on.  As a matter of fact, what do non-Christians think of you as a Christian?

Link to 9/5/03 welcome message.


12/23/03  Togetherness
"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
1Thessalonians 5:11
COMMENTS:  Christians are not meant to be isolated and alone.  We are members of the Body of Christ.  A body does not consist of just a toe or just an eye.  God's plan is for the different members to work together to accomplish His purposes.

He knows that the world will hate and attack the members of the Body.  He knows satan will try to isolate us from each other.  Satan knows that we will not be as effective if we are alone.

This scripture exhorts us to comfort each other TOGETHER and edify each other.  It is important that we get together.  There is strength when the Body gets together.  When I was in a church that was seeking God's face as a whole I would leave there feeling strengthened and refreshed.  It encouraged me to diligently seek Him on my own time.  Beginning on Wednesdays I would have a countdown to Sunday because I was so excited about getting together with others of like mind.

Have you ever been praising God with others who were also praising Him?  I don't just mean singing songs about how God has done things for us.  I mean telling Him how worthy, wonderful, marvelous, awesome, etc. He is.  I mean doing as it says in Ps 103:1, "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." 

When a group of people focuses on Him and gives their love and worship to Him without thoughts of getting something in return then that's when you can feel Him coming in to receive.  It is glorious.  He touches each person individually and strengthens and encourages them individually.

Each person is empowered and then begins seeking His will just out of love for Him.  It is being together that is a key in building our relationship with Him.  He teaches each of us in a different way.  He reveals things to us as we can understand them.  Then we can take those things and share with others in the Body. 

Have you ever found that God gives different keys to different people that unlock various parts of understanding so that when the parts are all unlocked the picture becomes whole?  As a group of believers in the Body of Christ we bring together different things that are necessary for the comfort and edification of the entire group.

Isolation from others is not a good thing.  I know of people who were isolated and ended up not needing other members of the Body, or so they thought.  They took what God taught them and didn't look for any more.  They thought they had all the keys of understanding.  That is a bad thing because their spiritual growth is stunted.

It isn't necessary to get together with members of the same denomination, either.  The doctrines about God that man has "set into stone" are not part of God's plan.  God deals in individuals.  He gifts us and teaches us so that we can connect with other individuals.  We must get together somehow and be comforted, edified, strengthened, and loved by other members of the Body.

The Internet has been a tool God has used to bring together people that otherwise would have never met.  I believe that the previously ignored and abandoned gifts (in most churches) have been nurtured by connection with others on the Internet. 

I know that I was able to break out of my box of understanding thanks to someone I met on the Internet.  I had always thought I was open to what God wanted to do through me, but I misunderstood some of the gifts He had given me and was not using them correctly.  I needed to have that last wall of the box broken down.

Wow!  Maybe I won't update this next week just because there is a lot to chew here.  I know I won't be done chewing on it for a while.

Link to 12/23/03 welcome message.


5/10/04  Your Job
"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
1Corinthians 12:27
COMMENTS:  The Body of Christ is an important topic here at the Clarion Call.  It is the Body that is instrumental in bringing God's will to the Earth.

You are a member of the Body.  You are important!  You have been given a portion to do that fits in perfectly with the portions given the other members of the Body.

Don't ever get locked into thinking that the only jobs in the Body are pastors, teachers, and evangelists!  There are probably billions of different jobs.  You may have one or you may have many.

A few examples of jobs in the Body of Christ in your church:
Encouraging people
Picking up after church service is over
Babysitting in the nursery
Helping clean rooms
Restocking supplies in classrooms or bathrooms or?
Doing the church calendar
Drawing pictures or designs for Sunday school classes or plays or ?
Sending a child to camp
Filling communion cups
Sewing costumes for plays or curtains for windows

A few examples of jobs outside of your church (most of which are demonstrating God's love):
Taking food to an unemployed neighbor
Smiling at everyone you meet
Raising Godly children
Volunteering to help in secular schools
Giving money back when you are given too much change
Participating in community clean-up
Driving courteously

Be open to where God wants to use you.  He doesn't always work within the boundaries of a church.  There is more ministry done outside the church than inside.  He also doesn't always give jobs that are strictly evangelistic in nature.  There are many jobs that minister to people who are already saved.  The Clarion Call is an example.  God has me ministering to and encouraging people who are already saved.  I still need to be open to what He wants me to do.  Every once in a while He brings me someone who is unsaved and I am to witness to them.

It is God who gives us talents and gifts and God who will show us how He wants us to use them.  It is our job to be reading His Word to find out more about His heart.  It is our job to listen for His direction in what to do and say.  It is our job to be busy about our Father's business in any way He directs.

As in all things, don't ever get locked into a mindset that will cause you to miss what God wants to do through you.  Don't assume that because you are a Sunday school teacher that you will always be one or that singing will always be your ministry.  God does mix things up now and then.  Be open, be listening, and most importantly... be willing!

Link to 5/10/04 welcome message.


9/29/04  Keeping God at Arm's Length
"And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die."
Exodus 20:19
(I purchased teaching tapes from the Elijah List Internet Ministry for a year a couple of years ago.  I couldn't find a good time where I could listen to them and concentrate on what they were saying so I stuck them in a drawer.  Now that I am exercising regularly in the mornings I am listening to them.  The one I am listening to now mentioned the relevance of this verse to what is taking place today.  It struck a deep chord within me so I am taking what I heard and expounding on it.)

The Israelites were not interested in having a personal relationship with God.  They decided that it was too scary.  They heard trumpeting and thunder, saw lightning, and saw smoke coming from the mountain and it scared them.  Yet, they knew that Moses had gone up there and met with God and was unharmed.

Have you ever thought about the things the Israelites did when they were out there in the desert and wondered how they could be so foolish?  Here was their opportunity to hear what God had to say, straight from God's mouth to their ears!

God had parted the Red Sea for them.  God had provided Manna to feed them.  Their clothing was not wearing out.  God had provided water for them.  God "went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light...." (Ex 13:21)   They were well aware that God was watching over them and yet they grumbled and groaned.  They made comments that God took them out in the desert to kill them.  They made a golden calf and worshipped it while Moses was up the mountain.

It is nice to think that we wouldn't be that foolish now.  We like to think that we would react very differently if it were us in that position, right?

God told Moses, "...for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai." (vs 11)  The people got themselves ready to meet God.  God wanted to meet with ALL of them.  He had already told them in verses 4-6, "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation."   They were special to God, yet when it came right down to standing near the mountain and listening to God, they were afraid.  They were afraid that they would die!

1Peter 2:9 says to us, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."   How can we be a royal priesthood if we don't have a personal relationship with God?  We need to seek Him on our own.  We need to be taught by Him and trained by Him.  We need to find out all there is to know about Him in the Bible, on our own!  We need to learn what He wants us to do.  Are those things going to happen if we allow someone else to do those things for us?

How many people in how many churches today expect their pastor, minister, priest, or church leader to be like Moses and hear from God and then let them know what God says?   How many people only open their Bibles during church service when their church leader is teaching them what it means instead of read their Bibles for themselves during the week?  How many people are comfortable just listening to what church leaders and teachers preach to them?  How many people feel their obligations to God are fulfilled by attending church service once a week?  Those things, my friends, are called "playing church".

We are members of the Body of Christ.  We aren't just a blobby body with all parts mixed together into a kind of soup.  We are individual parts with individual functions with individual jobs with individual personalities with individual relationships with God.  We are placed into a larger entity, the Body of Christ.  In that Body we each have an important function that is ours alone.  That function ties in perfectly with the functions of other members of the Body.  We are designed to interact with other members of the Body for edification, encouragement, and to learn more about the things of God.

A body moves and does things under the direction of its head.  The Head of the Body of Christ is NOT a priest, not a pastor, not a teacher... it is JESUS!  As members of the Body we are to be looking to Him for direction and training.

Why do you think people fear or choose not to have a personal relationship with God?  Perhaps they want to stay in control of their own lives.  (In actuality, do they really have control??)  Perhaps they are in a church that does everything for them and they aren't ever encouraged to step out and be what God wants them to be.  Perhaps they are in a church that says, "Sit down and listen and take what you hear somewhere else and be all that God wants you to be."

God gives each of us a portion.  We are meant to be sharing those portions with the rest of the Body.  He doesn't give anyone any portion that is more important than anyone else's.  Some may seem smaller or less important, but we are seeing things through human eyes and not spiritual eyes.  They are all equally important.

Look around you.  Are you in a boat made of man-made materials?  Are you allowing yourself to be spoon-fed the Word of God?  Has the Word that you are being fed already been chewed and digested and analyzed by someone else?  Do you feel God urging you to seek out others that are wanting to seek His will and to share what He is teaching?  Do you keep asking, "Is that all there is?"  Alrighty then, if you haven't already, it is time to JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT!

WHAT????  Are you crazy?  Jump out of the boat?  What will happen to me?  I'll sink!

What happened to Peter in chapter 14 of Matthew when he stepped out of the boat?  He walked on the water when he put all his trust in Jesus.  Then, when he took his mind off Jesus and noticed the wind he became afraid.  He cried for help and wanted to get back where it was safe.

Don't sit there in your "safe" comfort zone.  Don't allow yourself to be spoon-fed just because it is easier.  Don't keep asking, "Is that all there is?"  There is always more if you let God teach you!

Are you hungry, like I am, to interact with other God-seeking members of the Body of Christ?  Are you hungry, like I am, to share what God is teaching me and to learn what He is teaching them?  Are you hungry, like I am, to worship God in spirit and in truth with others of the same mind IN ONE ACCORD?

You are not alone.  They are out there.  They may be hard to find because today's traditional churches often squash their attempts to do what God leads them to do.  They are often moving from church to church looking for one that is allowing God to have what He desires and one that isn't stuck in any "church as usual" routines and traditions. 

Many are not in any church at all because they are discouraged and tired of watching as people "play church".   Some have been wounded by others in the church and have retreated to quietly sit in a corner.  Some are wondering if they are crazy because, when they share what God is teaching them (or even just share that God speaks to them) they are treated like they are out of their minds.

  Many are keeping silent because their church leadership makes it clear that the leadership will not listen to any person about what God wants or about what should be taking place.  Some are afraid that what God wants them to do will hurt or offend people and so they are keeping quiet.

They are out there but, for obvious reasons, are not necessarily easy to find.  There may be others in your own church, neighborhood, or social groups that are hungry just like you and just may be keeping it to themselves.  The enemy has a good tactic that is working.  It is division.  He separates people using whatever people allow him to use.  He definitely wants to keep God-seekers apart!

It's time to stand up and step out of the boat!  It is time to stand up and speak and do what God desires, in the spirit in which He directs.  As we step out into the path God has set before us then we will be seen by others who desire to walk the path He has laid out for them. 

It's time to take our places in the Body of Christ and, just as importantly, allow others to do the same.  Notice, I said allow.  We must be very careful not to think of ourselves as more important or special than others.  God gives each of us something to contribute to the whole.  Let's end with Romans 12:1-8:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness."

If you want to do more study on the Body of Christ, here are previous Bible studies on that topic.

Link to 9/29/04 welcome message.

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