Do you have a Hunger Games story?

20200719_073715 What is your personal Hunger Games story? I believe most people have at least one. 

I have collected special movies that inspire me over the years, and I have often pondered if I had to choose just one movie series, which would it be? I do not find it an easy choice, but I finally decided it would absolutely have to be the “Hunger Games”.

When the first movie came out and I learned it was about people forced in an arena and must fight to the death till only one person is still alive, I really questioned if that was a movie I wanted to see? But I soon discovered there is so much more to these movies! They have very deep messages that particularly appeal to me, and with the newest addition to the series, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, the message of the Mockingjay becomes even deeper, and more complete.

I’m only 63 pages into the book, so don’t worry, I don’t plan on any spoilers here, other than the story is AWESOME so far! I’m completely hooked! But as we are in the midst of a SEA CHANGE on planet earth, and also in my own path concerning ministry, I want to start using “The Hunger Games” as an analogy at this site.

I love good analogies. As you know, one of my favorites as a follower of Christ is to live my life like a sailboat with only my sail to catch the wind of heaven and power my vessel. I call this being a Soul Sailor, and several past articles have pertained to being this Soul Sailor.

But as to The Hunger Games, for me, it is all about what it takes for a vision to catch fire and become an inspiration to others. To cause a real movement there has to be at least one main leader who becomes the Lightning Rod for that vision. There will be other leaders too, who probably have smaller platforms, all working together to play their part in the big wave of the movement, but there must be the Lightning Rods, and just how do you catch Lightning in a bottle?

George Floyd probably did not plan on becoming such a lightning catcher on the day he died. He paid for this movement with his life, like many others down through time have, when they caught lightning in a bottle and cast it forth. Sometimes we become a Lightning Rod by accident, but most of the time there is something about the person that perfectly suits them to the task, and such was Katniss of the Hunger Games. This is the magic of these movies, the rising of a symbol of inspiration and fire! The rising of such a person, even though unbeknownst to herself. Circumstances beyond her control played a big part in ordering her path.

She never planned to become the Mockingjay. It was others who saw it in her, and began pulling it out. And now that I think about it, when she shoots that arrow into the lightning and short circuits the whole arena? WOW!!! How symbolic! Lightning in a bottle! And she was willing to die, if that were to happen.

Katniss volunteered for the Hunger Games to save her little sister. She only had a slim chance of surviving. She put herself between death and her sister. She had a talent with the bow, and she loved nature. She knew how to hunt and survive in the woods. She had beauty, was fit and athletic, she had a chance, but no one could be sure what would happen, and Katniss was not even aware of what she was becoming for a long time! She didn’t even want it in the beginning, but they crossed the line! Sometimes something crosses a line with us, and then that’s it, GAME ON!

Brian Sanders and his book/church, “UNDERGROUND CHURCH”, has become a Lightning Rod for me. He is a Mockingjay. Jesus Christ is my ultimate Mockingjay, but I also have others, smaller ones you could say, and I would love to be one in my own small way. That is why we have sought God for a vision, a holy task, a mission to go forth with and it shall develop as we go. The vision has come and we intend to pursue! It’s my Lightning in a bottle sent from Christ to inspire!

Most people are playing a Hunger Game. We are a people of desires! Appetites! Hunger! Wants! Emotions! ETC! But what have we chosen? What do we spend our time fighting for because we desire it? That’s what it comes down to, you know. What is that Lightning in a bottle for us? In our culture of SUCCESS, many are those seeking wealth, materialism, a castle, a personal empire, fame, fortune, pleasure, SELF, etc. etc. Snow was a leader too! He caught lightening in a bottle! But as we well know, so did Hitler, and leaders can be just as evil, as they can be good. What are we personally hungry for? Where do our appetites take us? What are you a Mockingjay for?

The people who know us, when they think of us, what would they say we are a Mockingjay for? In the Hunger Games the bird had become a symbol of rebellion against the rich and powerful of Panem. The Jabberjay was sent out to die! But somehow it survived by mating with the mockingbird, and became a bird known as the mockingjay. It did not die, it adapted and thrived! I believe that is already happening in what we call “church” today. A Sea Change is happening. To what are we to adapt? Do we surrender to worldliness, or is there a great victory ahead for all those sold out to Christ? King Saul was falling even as a little shepherd boy was rising!

“Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) For those who claim to follow Christ, this should be our hunger.

For some of us, Christ and God’s Kingdom is our Lightning in a bottle! At least for a time, the idea of the Mockingjay will become a regular analogy of this site. What does it take to become a leader others are inspired to follow? Are we a Lightning Rod for Christ? Do we hunger for righteousness? Will we catch Lightning in a bottle and give it to others to drink from? There is death connected to this Lightning, but also life abundant! Choose you this day…

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The title of the book also completely intrigues me. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”.

“What I want in a Micro/Simple Church” #2

9025 The Sea Change is happening, do you see it? Are you hungry for it? Or resisting the new flow? What? I don’t want people coming in messing up MY house! Oh follower of Jesus, how great your persecution. Only exceeded by your great love for God and people. Last article ended with a prayer for being REAL. Gideon’s 300 will be revealed. Elijah’s 7,000 will be revealed. Disciples of John the Baptist will be revealed. And the fake will be revealed too.

Micro/Simple church is happening and growing! I downloaded 6 books on the subject just yesterday! I slightly changed my title here to include the word “simple” because that is an important part of what I am looking for, not only in our own fellowship, but in any other I may connect with, a getting back to the simplicity of Christ.

Today I will talk about the “Leader”. I have very definite qualities I’m interested in. But first I’d like to note a side thought that just occurred to me today. As Corona Virus seems to be rising again, and many churches are still tossed to and fro as to whether to regather, or not; it occurred to me how most chose to go down the “virtual” road rather than simply break into small home groups for a time.

Our group has been basically unaffected by this virus. Small groups still work. If someone thinks they might be exposed, they simply stay home. Small groups are much more accountable to each other. It’s very easy when everyone knows each other so well. But most churches have chosen a virtual experience rather than close family. What does this say of us? Are we the faith people, or fear people? Are we the self-sacrificing people, or selfish people? Are we true family, or simply another theater as many of us have been saying. When push came to shove, the church resorted to flat screens and video, as they hid in their holes! Any good lawyer could prove a lot with such strong evidence.

I doubt most big churches could even get enough qualified leaders who would meet “God’s standard” to lead a group, because we don’t raise true disciples anymore. I wonder if there would even be enough people to volunteer their homes, if the godly leaders could be found?

So…the church chose to remain the one-man-show. Put the Pastor on TV and we will all set at home and watch the man of God give us our itching ear message as we have become accustomed to. This is the level of our discipleship? Yes…it is…sad to say.

Okay, I won’t ride that horse any further, for now. This is supposed to be about Micro Church Leaders, and actually…it does relate to previous statements in a big way. Just how would “leaders” be chosen? Don’t they have to have “the call” on their life? Don’t they need a Bible degree from a college? How can you expect ordinary lay people to do the work of Pastors?

In Simple Church the answer is simple. Yes, they do need to be “called and gifted” of God, and many of them are! We simply don’t recognize them and put them into action as the Early Church did! When people know each other well enough, as in also having been in their homes and see how they really live, and know their heart, it becomes OBVIOUS who are the ones called of God to be a Bell Sheep. Those whom God has hung a bell around their neck to lead a group in following the Shepherd! That bell becomes obvious to one and all.

But we have complicated everything. Our potential Bell Sheep do not feel worthy because they see the superstar Pastor, they see him preaching the big messages and looking very “successful”, and they disqualify themself. Who am I? (They think.) Unless they have superstar potential, they drop out! But do we forget, scripture is very plain, God doesn’t usually use the superstars? Not many mighty are chosen? Remember all that? Your Pastor living in his mansion and driving expensive cars, eating at fine restaurants? Who has he become? Who does he think he is? Will you follow King Saul and end up dead, like the armor bearer? Or will you follow a David, even though living in caves, and end up bringing the power of God back into the family!

So now you have virtual services. And the superstar is still center stage, even though most of you have never even been in his home for a meal. My past experience was, the bigger the church, the less likely I would ever be invited into the Pastor’s home. Perhaps today’s Christians see nothing odd about that, but the Early Church would have, and for very good reasons we no longer understand.

Hhmmm, this message on “Leaders/ Bell Sheep” has expanded into more than I expected. This is going to require a 2nd part. I still say Jonathon should have taken his armor bearer and joined David. Or at least his armor bearer should have had the good sense to. Do we hear the voice of God, or not? Are we Spirit led, or man led? You stay with King Saul, over David? How have we been so brainwashed?

IN the Early Church, the church Jesus began and the Apostles built, they chose Pastors/Bishops from within their groups. It was that simple. They all knew each other well. Certain “men”, yes… I said “men”, were nominated because of the obvious faithful lifestyle they lived and the talent for teaching and leading they had. If there was an obvious flaw, someone would know. It would be made known. And finally a choice would be made. It was that simple. Simple Church. 

Many of us have not gone to Bible college, but we have sat under teachers and preachers for 40 + years! We have read and studied our Bible, and other multitudes of books by other teachers for many many years! And we have experience! We have assisted Pastors in many ways for many years! What can a Bible college degree add? It does not disqualify you, but neither does it qualify you! We have turned church into a big system of programs, and people into the products revolving over and over again through the doors! It’s complicated, tiring, and shallow! Yes, it is entertaining. We have very talented people, but entertainment is not meant to be church! It’s meant to be up close, personal, and REAL.

So… with these thoughts in mind…I left the church “system” to find Bell Sheep who lead in this way, with these qualities and vision… > to be continued.

9021 Getting back to basics. A Sea Change.

Early Church for the Last Days.