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The BORG has a Queen?

Greetings,

I was watching The Star Trek film FIRST CONTACT awhile back and it struck me how much the BORG is like the Traditional/Institutional Church.  Like modern church missionaries the BORG sends out its workers to convert and assimilate  people of other cultures and lands into its own collective, robbing them of  their own uniqueness, distinctions and personal qualities.  Then the church teaches them to tithe which really is nothing new to the native converts because in their tribal religions they are accustomed to paying off a Deity to avoid punishment and bring blessings and goodwill to their tribes.  Sure the “church” says they are teaching its new members to be more like Jesus, but in the end all they really do is make them more like themselves.  Where have I heard that before?  Oh yeah it was Jesus in Matthew 23:15 “You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.”  Truth is that much of the “church” wants clones and NOT disciples.

Breathe Captain, breathe….

Back to FIRST CONTACT…. And just when you thought the BORG was some sort of utopian socialist collective of peers and equals… WHAM …. there it is!  The BORG has a Queen!  It is not communal it is a freaking Hierarchy!  The worker BORGS actually work for and serve the Queen and NOT the collective.  Now where do we see  this in the Traditional church?  We see it when A PASTOR, or Pastors rule over a congregation with some sort of hierarchy.  Where there is ANY sort of pecking order and someone is getting paid honor and perhaps money there you have an non-biblical hierarchy.  I say “non-biblical” because the ONLY possible biblical hierarchy in the New Covenant is this:  JESUS IS The KING and all the rest of us are NOT!  The Jesus way is simple and He says it this way, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi” (Master, or any official title of honor), for you have only one Master and you are ALL brothers.  and do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’ (Pastor), for you have one Teacher, The Christ.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.  (Matthew 23: 8-12)

That all seems pretty darn clear to me.  The truth is that no Christ Follower is supposed to be positionally OVER or UNDER another Christ Follower.  We are all supposed to be humble equal sibling peers and the absolute greatest calling any of us has.. is to truly BE a loving Sister or Brother to whosoever will.

Love and…….

Kirk Out!

P.s.  It was pointed out to me that I may have painted with too broad of a brush on this particular blog post.  Of course not all “churches” are as cold, mechanical and uncaring as the BORG.  Normally I use the words much or most of the institutional/Traditional “church” when referring to the System.  For some reason I failed to do so today and for that I apologize.  The IC system is wrong and damages most of the people inside of it and for saying that I won’t apologize.  Sure some IC’s are better than others and some ways of churching or more excellent than others.  I hope this clarifies my heart on this matter.  Thank you.

p.s.s.  Talena and I are taking a road trip East to see our children and grands starting Sunday early morning.  Libby our granddaughter age 13 is going with us too.  I will also be participating in the Searching Together gathering then flying home.  Talena and Libby will be driving home together and being rock hounds along the way  We will be gone about 2 weeks and I won’t be blogging again until we get home.  Please pray for our trip?

 

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The Final Frontier?

Greetings,

The film critics all hated, “The Final Frontier”, the fifth Star Trek motion picture.  It was pretty universally panned and called a failure.  However, I really liked it.  The heart of this film was not its special effects, guest stars,  or complicated plot.  The simple art of friendship was at its core.  It all boiled down to three old friends sitting around a campfire, talking, eating and singing songs.  I just love that!  It might not make for an exciting film base or big box office, but it makes a huge comment on what life should really be all about.

Captain Kirk, Spock and Bones were celebrating life together in its finest form.  They were having fellowship with one another.  The New Testament Greek word for fellowship is koinonia and it means partnership, participation, communion, friendship or social intercourse.   This important word is used over a dozen times in the New Testament and it is an all important ingredient to actually BEING the Church.  1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”  I know the movie analogy breaks down here because their fellowship was not in Jesus, but you get my point anyway I trust.

True fellowship in Jesus includes intimacy, partnership, participation, communion, friendship and social intercourse.  Sitting in a pew and singing along to a few tunes is not really full participation.  1 Corinthians 14:26 puts the truth right out there when it says, “…When you come together, EVERYONE has a song, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.  ALL of these MUST be done for the strengthening of the church.”  In true church fellowship EVERYONE has a contribution to the ongoing dialogue and conversation.  True church fellowship is NOT a series of sermons or monologues.  It is open sharing as The Spirit leads with multiple people sharing.  Anything less is, well less than what GOD intended for all of us.  Just how often do we settle for less, and why?  Sorry, end of rant.  I just get really passionate about the church and its need to be fully open, participatory and free.

Now back to friendship…… we really ought to deeply know and get along with those we fellowship with. True friendship should come and flow naturally between those who love Jesus.  Sharing our complete lives with one another is something Jesus desires for us.  This is much more difficult within large groups, so I suggest smaller groups whenever possible.

I had difficulty writing this blog today.  There is so much I want to express, but I feel limited by words.  And please do not get me wrong, I am not giving edicts and telling everyone what to do.  All I want to do is share my portion and be an encouragement.  If I failed at this today, then I apologize

Love and…….

Kirk Out

P.S. I hope all of you have a few very close friends you can just hang out and just BE with.  It is really simple, but oh so sweet too.  When we have those in our lives that we can completely bare our hearts to, it makes our lives so much easier to navigate.  That type of caring and openness is just so valuable, needed, rare and awesome.

p.s.  HEALTH UPDATE:  I do NOT have cancer.  The ultrasound showed that I have a scrotal hernia that will likely require surgery at some point.  Thanks for all the prayers!

 

 

Where the hell is Counselor Troi when you need her?

Greetings,

What I am about to share is not a popular topic among most Christians.  It is one of those “close your eyes and pray, maybe it will go away” type of things.  But, facts are facts and they should not be ignored.  My name is Christopher Kirk and I suffer from major depression and PTSD among other things.  There!  Now it is out there and we can discuss it.  I was diagnosed about 20 years ago, but I really believe that my depression started at an early age.  Being brutally abused in about all the ways you can possibly be abused (sexually, physically, emotionally, verbally) has a way of messing with your head.  The beatings alone do a big trick on your brain chemistry.  At a time when your brain really needed to be further developed.  I honestly do not know what my psyche lacks, but I am thinking that there are some huge holes in there that need some serious patching.

Don’t get me wrong, The Lord has brought me a ton of healing over the years and we have made great progress.  However, my pit of despair seems to still be with me most days.  I take anti-depressants every day and most of the time they help some, but it is like I never get fully over the hump of my sorrows. Jesus is with me in this I do not doubt because HE too was,” a man of sorrows familiar with suffering.”

Paul wrote in Romans 9 that, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.”  If this apostle suffered in such a way… why should I be exempt?  Yet there are many religious folks out there that simply say that God’s children should never suffer from such things.  They pray for healing (which I am all for), but if the healing does not come.  They say the one who was suffering must be in sin or lacking in faith.  When the simple truth is that some depression or suffering is just part of living life on life’s terms in this day and age.

The way I get through each day is simple.  I depend on Jesus and fellowship with my siblings in Christ.  Since I have not tried to hide my afflictions my sisters and brothers are able to come alongside me and help carry my burdens, and in turn I do the same with them.  When I say fellowship I do not mean sitting in rows where all I can see and relate to is the back of someones head.  To me fellowship is an all inclusive deal.  It is totally shared life between believers.  It means totally being there for each other with warts, blemishes, sins, farts and all. I am talking about deep relationship here.  I am talking about shared life and holding nothing back from the table, not even the embarrassing stuff.  When I get depressed and down they lift me up.  When they get in a jam I am there for them.  Quite simply we are more than family and we belong with one another.  Through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of life,  We are HIS Body.

Today is not such a great day for me, but due to some encouragement from my believing friends I will get by.  Better than that eventually I will overcome.  But, until then ” I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death. and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Love and……,

Kirk out!

P.s.  Wow!  I wrote this blog post in August 2011, the very first month of this blog’s existence.  I sit here now in awe of just how far Jesus has brought me in the last 8 years.  These days depression is minimal in my life and I rarely visit “the pit of despair” and I haven’t had a full blown PTSD episode in over 6 years.  I literally take less than half the amount of medication that I used to and will be reducing it even more in the coming months.  I am pretty certain that makes me a walking miracle.  I have the best friends anyone could ask for and the fellowship we share in Christ is so full and rich that I cannot hardly begin to express its depth with mere words.  Jesus has put the most wonderful wife in my life and I am very grateful for that.  Feelings of fear and dread that used to be with me everyday are simply nowhere to be found now.  I now look forward to every day and my future is very promising.  Thanks to Jesus, my sibling peers in Christ, Talena, my Spirit filled psychiatrist, and a counselor who is closer than a brother.  I am now living my life in Christ to its fullest with no regrets.  I would not be who I am today without being able to share openly and honestly about my afflictions, struggles and problems.  Totally free & open, Spirit led fellowship and being able to hold nothing back has set me free.  That is why I deeply desire to help others find true, rewarding and rich fellowship.  Freedom is out there people.  So please don’t give up.  Thanks for listening.

 

 

“Damn it Jim, I’m a Doctor not a cook!”

Greetings Crew,

When our little group of believers gather together for fellowship we “normally” start with a complete shared meal. Eating together is an extremely important thing for churches to do.  Breaking bread with one another is something deeply human and deeply Spiritual.  We gather together to share our blessings both temporal and spiritual and the home cooked meal represents how we go about sharing these Divine blessings with one another.

At our time of gathering EVERYone brings a substantial contribution to the meal.  Each household is responsible to bring enough food and drink to share with their whole church family.  We rarely organize this ahead of time, except for perhaps a few phone calls to make sure we are not doubling up on any given dish.  Our fellowships take our communion meal so seriously that we honestly refer to ourselves as THE FIRST CHURCH OF MEAT COOKED ON FIRE.

So we sit down and share a big meal together.  We all sit around the table and around the room where we are either side by side or face to face with our fellow eaters.  All of this is by intentional choice.  Yes, we really want to just hang out and just eat with one another.  And as we eat the conversations flow in a great number of directions and topics.  Yes, exactly just like we are gathering with our extended natural family.  Because we totally recognize and surrender to the Spiritual fact that we really are HIS family and we belong to one another in the Body of Christ.

After the meal we all clean up together and after that we reassemble for a more centered and focused time of sharing, singing and prayer.  Guess what?  We treat this time together just like we went about preparing for the common meal.  EVERYONE has a contribution.  We then all share in turn as The Spirit leads us.  Then we simply eat from the Tree of Life found in one another and converse until we are full.  It is that simple!  It is that real!

The second chapter of Acts talks about the early church coming together to share teaching, fellowship, eating and prayer.  It says they broke bread in their homes and “ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”  Should we in the 21’st century settle for anything more or less?  GOD has not changed!  And YES it really is that simple.  Every member brings their portion to share and it always works out and Jesus is always lifted up and glorified in our midst.

Love and…….

Kirk Out!

 

Please Pray And Consider Participating In The 2019 Searching Together Gathering?

This years gathering will take place June 20th thru June 23’rd in Dodgeville Wisconsin.

I will be there.  For more details please contact me?

What follows is my report on Searching Together 2018……………….

Greetings,

“If we walk in the light as HE is in the light we have fellowship with one another…”

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

This years gathering was off the charts awesome.  HIS people from five different states drove miles upon miles sacrificing their time, energy and money to simply come together under the Headship of Christ alone, to experience true Body life with one another.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: this was a fellowship gathering and NOT a conference or a seminar.  We came together in simplicity to hear and experience from every member their portion of the Truth in Love in Christ.Jesus  We had no featured speakers or so called experts.  This was not at all about sitting in rows and quietly listening to sermons or structured teaching.  We sat in a circle so that we could gaze upon the glory of Christ that shone forth from each others faces as each member shared their experience, strength and hope with the rest of the Body.

This was totally open and free, Spirit led sharing from our hearts.  It was an entirely interactive, true give and take, Holy ebb and flow, participatory gathering.  This remained true in our times of meeting, breaking bread together, or relaxing in our guest rooms.  We met, shared, played, sang, shopped, ate and cleaned together.  This was a time of true community and living together in total unity and because we surrendered to that in every aspect….God bestowed upon us all HIS very grand, complete, and whole blessing.

In the meetings or in conversations over dinners, everyone there got to share their stories and testimonies of God’s grace and leading in their lives.  We shared the good, the bad and the ugly; including challenges we have faced or are still facing.  We held each other up in prayer and will continue to do so.  We laughed and cried together.  Because we opened up our hearts and lives to one another and Christ we forged relationships that went very deep, very fast.  At Searching Together 2018 we became more than just friends, now we are family.

In four days of open and free sharing without a Pastor or one person in charge of our gathering there was not any petty contention at all!  In true open fellowship there will be differences of opinion at times, but those differences need not divide us.  We lived that at this gathering.

Love, acceptance and forgiveness are the way of Christ and learning to walk in these attributes together takes a lifetime.  Christ and HIS Body the Church are to put relationship first and foremost.  Jesus said that, “There is no greater love than to lay your life down for a friend.”  That is a very high call my friends and I believe it starts by being willing to lay down our point of view or opinion on even biblical issues for the sake of others until the time is right for all involved.

I loved and embraced every aspect of Searching Together 2018.  The Lord used each and every member there to mold and reshape all of our hearts and minds.  I love real life, real time relating to whatever comes up along the way.  Hope to see others there next year and I am so glad that the fellowships I relate to practice Spirit led, free & open gatherings all of the time.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

Prepare To Be Amazed….

Greetings,

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”  Ephesians 6: 19

Many people have recently asked me why I have so much success in leading people to Jesus. They wanted to know if I had a rehearsed plan or spiel, like the “Roman’s road or The Four Spiritual Laws”, that I used to get folks to “buy in” to Jesus.  I can honestly say that I have no advance plan, agenda, script or formula that I follow in sharing Christ with others.  My sharing with them is always entirely spontaneous and Spirit led, moment by moment.

What I say to people can be a mixture of my personal testimony, actual words of Jesus, or other pertinent passages from the bible.  I always try to speak from the heart, not from a script.  I seriously doubt if I have ever used the same exact wording with more than one person.  I feel the main reason I easily connect with others is because I am authentic, real and genuine. With me what you see is exactly what you get with absolutely no guile or pretense. (But even I have bad days)  I sincerely love all people and it shows and that draws people to me I am certain.  I view all people as precious and valuable to God and potential members of my Spiritual family.  I see the spark of HIS Creation in everyone’s life and only want to offer them a full and rewarding relationship with Jesus and The Body Of Christ.

Another reason I have been able to impact lives with the Love and acceptance of Christ is that I pray continually for Jesus to prepare the hearts and minds of the people He is going to put me in direct contact with.  I also pray and submit my will to Him asking that He continually prepare my heart, mind and message; so that I can always be ready for those He sends my way on a given day.  This is not rocket science.  I purposely and intentionally make myself available to Him and others.  When I do this He fully equips me and makes me more than able to share the Truth in Love with whosoever will.  You see it really is ALL about Him and not about me.

I hope you can now see how simple sharing Christ can be?  It doesn’t take smarts and extreme biblical knowledge.  All it takes is an open heart and complete surrender to the pathway He picks for you.  Along the way on that path you will encounter those who need His Love, Grace, Mercy and Truth.  Then in the proper moment simply open your mouth and allow Him to speak His words through you.  It is all about simple conversations, real give and take dialogue.  Worked for Jesus, worked for Paul and it still works for me.  “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”  Trust Jesus to use you in this manner also, and then prepare to be amazed.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

Water Into Wine…..(2019 Update)

Greetings,

Normally I would open here with a bible passage.  However, I can’t today because just about a half hour ago I gave away my last bible.  Now I won’t be able to afford one until I get paid next week.  I could go online and find a passage, but I just don’t have that much time right now.  If I could quote a passage here it would be the Gospel of John, the first half of chapter two.

I am just home from eating an early dinner at Applebee’s.  The restaurant was crowded so I sat at the bar to eat.  When the bartender asked how I was doing, I said overflowing with the Joy of the Lord.  She was a bit taken aback by my response, so then I added ….Jesus just makes me feel good about life.  Then she smiled at me and said, “I wish I could feel good about life too.”  I responded with….. Jesus can do that for you…can we talk?

For the next 45 minutes we had an awesome conversation as she worked.  I shared the words of Jesus with Kristen, words of truth, love, grace and life.  She wondered if Jesus could ever really love or understand someone who serves alcohol for a living.  It was then that I told her that the very first miracle Jesus ever performed was turning water into wine at a wedding banquet.  That simple fact nearly blew Kristen’s mind.

Next she told me that “Christians” have never treated her well.  That when they come there to eat after their “church” services they are rude and rarely ever tip well.  Kristen said that she had tried going to several churches over the years, but always left the building feeling judged and condemned instead of loved and comforted.  Right then I shocked her when I explained that I did not go to church, as she understands it, that I simply met with other followers of Jesus in homes.

I went on to say that in home fellowship we had open and free, Spirit led conversations where everyone gets to share, rather than sermons given by one “man” in charge called Pastor.  She wanted to know more about what happens when we meet so I told her that we would pray, sing, share testimonies and read the bible together in no particular set order.  I said it was a family gathering where we ate and shared our hearts with one another in celebration of Jesus.  At which she exclaimed, “I would just love that!”

Next our conversation turned directly towards her and Jesus.  I asked her if she wanted Jesus in her life.  She said yes, but that she had so much to change in her life before Jesus would ever accept her.  I said the good news was that Jesus accepts everyone right where they are in life.   She said, but what about all my sins, poor judgment and foul behavior?  I told her that Jesus accepts her just the way she is and that in time if her behavior needed changes Jesus would help her with that along the way, no matter what!   I said we don’t change in order to be saved, but rather freely receive salvation in order that Jesus can make changes for and in us.  I told Kristen that everything begins and ends with relationship with God via Jesus Christ.  After that we prayed together and she laid her burdens down at the foot of the cross.

My heart is simply overflowing with His love.  I cannot restrain or contain it.  It is a little scary because it seems so out of control, but I can’t deny it.  I am so in love with Jesus and the Spirit has anointed me to share the Good News.  I do not know how long this season will last in my life, but I am just holding on to Him for dear life as He races before me preparing hearts to receive His love, truth, mercy and grace.  I mean this is so unbelievable and wild…every time I buy another bible He has me give it away within a week.  I guess all those people who accuse me of not valuing the bible and using it incorrectly need to just back off and shut up.  Jesus and His words are just so alive and real to me right now.  I am nothing, Christ is ALL!  Please pray for Kristen?

Love and ….

Kirk Out !

P.s.  That wonderful conversation occurred going on 6 years ago.  I tried to stay in contact with Kristen, but when I went to check on her at Applebee’s the manager informed me that she had transferred to another location.  The Lord has led me to pray for Kristen many times since our conversation, but I had no idea where she was or how she was doing.  Well, she called me in July 2014 and told me she was now located in Indianapolis.  She said she is still following Jesus and that HE has been teaching her and setting her free in every area of her life.  Kristen now has over a dozen friends that also follow Christ and they get together to share, eat and pray often.  Six of her friends she actually led to Jesus when she shared her personal testimony during a conversation over a meal.  She tried going to a “church” building again, but being there just made her feel “yucky” in her Spirit, so she has not gone back.  She thanked me for sharing Jesus with her in August 2013 and also for giving her my bible.  I encouraged her to continue in simple fellowship with her friends under the Headship of Christ alone.  She told me she would stay in touch and I told her that she was loved and appreciated.  Kristen now calls me about once every six months and says that Jesus and the Body of Christ were becoming more and more real to her every single day.  We both laughed when she told me that now Jesus has her giving away her bibles too.  Then she invited me down to Indy for fellowship whenever I could make it there.  I told her that sounded awesome.  She then suggested that we end our conversation in prayer and let me tell you that was some GREAT prayer.  Seems that in Kristen’s very first year of following Christ she started a fellowship in her home and led others to Jesus and has continued doing so for over 4 years.  Now do you see what I am talking about in this blog?  It does not take special schools, education, titles or training to plant a simple church.  It doesn’t even take that much time.  All it takes is a willing heart and an openness to the things of the Spirit.

I am overwhelmed by HIS Grace, Mercy and Love once again.  Simple, Spirit led conversations lead to such wonderful fruit.  Nearly three dozen more have come to Jesus that way since August 2013 and I don’t see this current pathway ending any time soon for me.  Share LIFE and the simplicity of Jesus along the way instead of weighty Law, judgement and doctrine, then everybody wins.

Kristen called again last week and is still loving and serving Jesus everyday.  The fellowship that gathers in her home is also growing via word of mouth and evangelism.  All it took was a little give and take conversation at a bar.  GOD is Good!