Where is the Cry?

Hello everyone!

Welcome to this unplanned, impromptu version of Into the Pray. (Apologies about the seagulls!)

This episode is a brief devotional from Psalm 106 and, regarding our current juncture in church history, poses a vital question of the utmost importance at the end.

Continue reading “Where is the Cry?”

Calling YESHUA

It was back in December 2020 that the Lord began to take us from one degree of being overwhelmed to another.

(Film script below)

We’d recently had an important encounter with a “word of faith christian” who, uninvited, had counselled us to simply “get back to choices” in order to end our eight years of fertility barrenness.

According to her, we didn’t yet have children because we’d lost sight of our “legal rights” as believing heirs, hence our not having (yet) had the joy of having children of our own.

But this kind of thing shouldn’t have been all that surprising to us; prior to this I’d sat face-to-face with a senior leader of an Elim church who, casually sipping coffee, had dared to insinuate that perhaps there was some kind of “sin issue” for us to have not (yet) had the joy of having children of our own.

The thing is, these encounters with obscene variants of christian spirituality are all the more disgusting because Mairi had been in the process of sharing her beautiful testimony of the work of the Holy Spirit in her life Who had recently graced her with breakthrough in this most pain-filled area.

She (we) was now able to confess: “Even if we never have children of our own, Father, You have always been – will always be – our Very Great Reward.”

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

Psalm 73:25 (ESV)

It was through this encounter that we then decided it was high time for us to “bottom out” some theological disquiets that we’d had lingering in our hearts and minds; this startling form of “name it and claim it” blasphemy had shone a spotlight on the most overwhelming reality of all: the whole of the Church are lost.

Denominationalism is the most common understanding of the Church on the planet: we all have our camps and preferences and upbringings and theological distinctives but, when all is said and done, it doesn’t really matter. I have written a book about this here.

We came to see through this startling encounter that we had been set up deliberately – and divinely – to be exposed to the proof that so-called denominational polarities really do matter; and the greater reality that, as a result, a little like Ezekiel sitting overwhelmed by the Kebar River, it was the corporate whole who have, in effect, been exiled.

Just what was going on behind the scenes with these theological funks? Just how widespread are they? Where do they come from? From whom do they originate? Where are we supposed to go for truth? Both extremes can’t be right! Someone is very wrong! What hope do our young people have to last the course being taught that? Is it really faithful to just, “leave them to it”? Why does the corporate whole tolerate all these contradictions and polarities – this chaos?

And why is it that it’s always a heretic that’s doing the exposing of heresy?

Hence Calling YESHUA.

The script for this two-part film/worship project slowly began to emerge in our fasting and praying as we began to cooperate with the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As He more fully and progressively revealed to us the entombing deception that is the common understanding of ‘denominational spectrum and stream’, as He brought to remembrance the panicky childhood memories of being lost in gargantuan walls of Hampton’s maze, He once again taught us of the radical straightening preparation of the Bride who will have made herself ready for His return.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Luke 3:4-6 (ESV)

What Manner of Man is the Prophet?

What manner of man is the prophet?

Abraham Heschel

This is the important question posed at the beginning of Abraham Heschel’s book, The Prophets.

We are dedicating the whole of season 4 of Into the Pray to exploring “all the prophets”. You can listen to the preview episode of the season here.

In our first Friday guest episode of this season, we are welcomed by Gregg Cunningham, Executive Director of the Centre of Bio-Ethical Reform in America. You can read Gregg’s full bio here.

Thank you to Gregg for recording with me and also for providing permission for publishing his notes, below, here on Firebrand Notes. Each bullet point has a page reference to Heschel’s book should you wish to read it.

“Indeed, the sort of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which we regard as normal, as typical ingredients of social dynamics . To us a single act of injustice–cheating in business, exploitation of the poor – is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence: to us, an episode; to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.”

Heschel
Continue reading “What Manner of Man is the Prophet?”

Calling YESHUA (update)

Full details about our forthcoming project, Calling Yeshua, here.

We started working on our latest film/music content six weeks ago with the studio recording of the music component down in Yorkshire, England.

Since then, we have experienced significant struggle in completing the project not least from practical interferences from COVID and unseasonal gale-force winds in the northern-most parts of the Scottish Highlands.

However, we’re grateful that the music is now finished and will soon be ready for you to download and use in whatever context you see fit!

With the film entering its final stage of post-production this week, we hope to release the film and music next week.

If you would like to support this project, please consider sharing this to your networks for us. Donations can be made here.

Calling YESHUA (a song & extended time of worship)

How To Understand Idolatry

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to the resumption of City of Temples, our teaching series through the book of 1 Corinthians.

The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not; They have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither can they make a sound with their throats. They who make idols are like them; so are all who trust in and lean on them.

Psalm 115:4-8 (AMPC)

Last time we concluded chapter 9 and today we will go through the first 11 verses of chapter 10. 

(*Please excuse the pigeons in today’s recording. We’re experiencing a “heat wave” here in Scotland so I needed the window open!*)

Continue reading “How To Understand Idolatry”

Resist the Wench

ONLY QUOTE THE BIBLE ON “christian” INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS IF YOU WANT TO GET BLOCKED

A sobered disciple

Yesterday I quoted Paul’s words at the end of 1 Corinthians 9 on a post from what I thought was a young Christian’s Instagram account.

Continue reading “Resist the Wench”

Rediscover Bethel (a response to Bill Johnson & Dann Farrelly)

“Rediscover BETHEL” is a new video series from Bethel Church in Redding California that’s trying to address some of the common “misconceptions” regarding their theology and practices.

Here is the video in question:

This is the best I can do to be as gracious as possible while unashamedly seeking to address one primary audience: those who also have concerns but may well be feeling intimidated by the subtle but potent narratives laced through this type of church.

Lord willing, we have a new flagship film out this month that addresses this error in the Church more generally.

Apologies for the occasional soft focus in camera 1

More content: https://firebrandnotes.com
The Draft Film: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/399333114
2020 Review – The Year Churches Closed: https://youtu.be/ruyeu0u6gag
Body Zero Book: https://www.bodyzerobook.com
Into the Pray podcast: https://podcast.firebrandnotes.com

Love is not Love

We’re currently 27 episodes into our study through the book of 1 Corinthians and have just finished chapter 9. (Search for the Into the Pray podcast and the City of Temples series).

Thus far, the two lingering thoughts from the heart and mind of Paul that have stayed with me the most are chapter 2 verse 2 and chapter 9 verse 16:

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2

For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

1 Corinthians 9:16(b)

It’s all very well agreeing and even aspiring to Paul’s Messianic heartbeat, but how do we actually do this in our 21st Century world that’s dowsed in a very vocal and potentially intimidating false gospel?

How do we move beyond the incessant fibrillation of our hearts when we agree in principle that we must preach but then, more often than not, fail to preach at all?