Sunday, September 25, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
As a new believer having experienced a powerful conversion, the Holy Spirit spoke to me one day and told me to take out a sheet of paper and draw a pyramid. I was then instructed to draw various bisecting lines beginning at the top. Next I was told to label the top tier as apostle or pastor. The next division underneath was labeled elders, then deacons and various 'offices"or functions, The last division, occupying the bottom and largest section of the pyramid was labeled members or laity.
When the diagram was completed the Lord spoke again and said;
"What is this?"
I responded, “It is the church,”
I immediately received a resounding, "NO!"
"It is the American corporation!"
I immediately recognized that I had seen this drawing before in High School. All I could say was "Amen". I knew this was true. Subsequently I was instructed to "take the pyramid diagram and Turn it upside down!"
As I stared at this inverted image I heard in my spirit, "This is MY church. See how the ones who were formerly on top and were supported from below now bear the weight of all those above."
Immediately I recalled the word of the Lord:
33 They came to Capernaum; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. 35Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” 23 He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24 And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matt: 20
This revelation really upset my apple cart. It has revolutionized my understanding of "ministry (service) and "church". No longer do I desire either position or power except the lowest position - that of a slave or servant. In writing this I am once again brought into remembrance of one additional beautiful picture of service.1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing thatHis hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, 4 *got up from supper, and *laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet5 Then He *poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you,you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord,then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher andLord; and [b]you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." John 13:My lesson continued, " See how the one who was formerly on top and supported from below now bears the tremendous weight of all those above. This is MY church."
Then the Lord showed me how “the Gentiles Lord it over one another but it will not be so among you. For he who would be greatest must be the servant of all."
This revelation has ruined me for the worldly corporate or organizational or institutional church” paradigm that I had been conditioned to identify with the Lord's 'church".
In addition i came to realize that the true pastor or leader is not at the top. Further more i understood that there is no office of head pastor or leader. ?the term pastor would be better translated as Shepard one who cares for, guides, and protects sheep. the term 'pastor: is one of function - it is not an office or position. When it comes to the position of a "leader" there is only one prescribed position.
I must always remember the example and teaching of our Lord who said:
"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you." John 13:
Sunday, August 7, 2011
As the song goes: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone…”
This is true with respect to those people whom God has placed strategically in each of our lives: beginning with our Mothers!
I am already experiencing a growing sense of loss as I recall my Mother, Betty Dunn. I realize more and more what a blessing she was to my life! Though her passing is such a great loss - deep inside, in my heart, her presence is still alive and well. Her kind and gracious words and the many truths she imparted to my young heart are still as fresh to me as when they were first shared.
My earliest recollections are of the sound of mom's sweet voice as she sang and read to me. I still hear all those wonderful bedtime stories that she used to teach the deeper truths of life and heart. From “The Little Match Girl” to Aesops Fables, Mom skillfully and wonderfully taught us the importance of cultivating qualities like caring, sharing, compassion, honesty, truthfulness and giving.
She not only taught them with her words, but she modeled them before us with her life.
Whether it was with her kind words, alms or her fine hand quilted pillows, my mother demonstrated to us that giving was not just a virtue to be cultivated, it was a way of life.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he’ll not depart from it” was my mother's adage. It has certainly been proven true in my life. The older I get, the more I return to those age old foundations - to those simple but profound eternal truths that my mother planted so many years ago in my young spirit.
Thanks Mom! I haven’t forgotten. I still remember!
I cannot speak highly enough of Godly mothers in general and mine in particular. Often it is true that you really don’t know what you've got til it is gone! Day by day my admiration and thankfulness for Betty June Dunn continues to grow as I recall all that she was.
As another song testifies, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” or in today's vernacular, MOMS RULE! Indeed they do!
Please hear me when I say:
"All you mom’s are important. You are more important than you know."
I received confirmation of this truth a number of years ago when I was asked to speak to a rather large congregation in Durham, North Carolina. I was asked to bring the message on Mothers Day Sunday! I must admit I was somewhat terrified at the prospect. I knew I was expected to preach a Mothers Day message but the more I prayed and studied, the more I came up blank! As the day approached, despite many hours of prayer and supplication, the "message" did not come. Over and over as I sought the Lord, only one thing came to my mind. It was a single scripture:
“I would that men everywhere would pray lifting holy hands without wrath or dissention.”
"What does praying men have to do with Mother’s Day, Lord?" I asked, but I heard not even a whisper. Heaven seemed uncomfortably silent and I felt increasingly anxious and uneasy.
Mothers Day arrived and although I had carefully crafted a message on the power of prayer and the need for men to pray, I knew that something vital was missing. Sunday morning, after a gracious introduction by pastor Z.D. Harris, I ascended to the pulpit. I was extremely insecure about this message I was soon to deliver. I began by readimg the text. Then I prayed a simple heartfelt prayer, "HELP"!!!!!
Then I began the sermon with; "God wants men to pray... because believing prayer is powerful in its effect."
Then, suddenly, I found myself departing from my prepared script as I blurted out:
“How many men here today in this congregation believe that they owe their salvation to a praying mother! Will you stand!"
As I waited with bated breath, I watched every man in the congregation rise to his feet and begin to applaud and give thanks.”
Then I heard myself say;
“Here’s your tribute Mothers! Look around you! You’ve done your job well! Here is the fruit of you labors! Happy Mother's Day!"
The entire congregation continued to clap and cheer these faithful women of God.
So today, as we remember the life of Betty June Dunn, my mom, I stand up and say:
“Mom this is your day. Here’s a tribute to a life well lived, from your greatful son, George!"
and it almost seems that somewhere in the background I hear His still small voice say to her:
"Well done Betty, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of thy Lord."
Welcome Home, Mom!
And all God's people said:
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
As part of my wife, Nancy’s histology training, she talks about having to be a deaner and assisting with autopsies at the Cleveland clinic. Nancy vividly remembers her first time assisting the medical examiner. She recounts that as she stared at the “person” lying on the table the pathologist came over and put his hand on her shoulder. “Obviously,” says Nancy, “He could see my nervousness.” Then the pathologist whispered in her ear, “Don’t worry Nancy, this is just the house the man lived in - but he’s not home any more.”
For we who are believers in Jesus Christ, the truth is not that the man is simply not home any more but that the man has truly gone home: home to where he truly belongs - in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As the scriptures attest, “Absent from the body present with the Lord.”
I am comforted to know that my dad, Elton Dunn, has indeed gone home!
For some reason, when I think of dad I also think of his father, my beloved Grandpa Roy. Whenever I think of myn grandpa Roy, I recall sitting next to him in church and hearing him sing, with great gusto, When the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there. As I listen to the music, in my minds eye I see my father crossing the ramparts of glory and arriving on high. Then as I hear the name, Elton Dunn called out, I see dad raise his hand high, like a child in school as he shouts out, “Present”!
"Absent from the body present with the Lord!"
Welcome home Elton! Welcome home Dad!
Some years ago a survey was done of senior citizens. One of the questions asked was;
“What is your most precious possession?”
Want to guess the number one answer???
why? because photographs are about memories and our memories are indeed our most precious POSSESSIONS.
A number of times recently I have been blessed to go to the funeral home's web site and view the marvelous photo journal of dad and our family. Whenever I have lingered there, my mind has been flooded with images - sweet memories of “the Acts of Elton Dunn.”
Until we are reunited with those who have departed we have these precious photographs and our memories. This indeed is a precious gift which Dad has left behind, this gift of remembering. It is one gift that cannot be taken away.
Let us take time in the days ahead to remember all that Elton meant to those of us who were loved by and who loved him and let us share those precious memories with one another.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The coin or currency of the realm
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Monday, July 11, 2011
Lately that's what I am thinking and writing, to myself, about. How can the world see God? And…What on earth is God doing? This question is, for me, the beginning of a new journey of exploration, contemplation and self examination.
Ican tell you from experience that lately God has been doing some stuff. Just yesterday He (in and through me) spent time with His friends Dennis and Paul and with his wife Nancy. They talked about responding to homelessness, poverty and the needs of those less fortunate in our community. Later, He helped his wife pack and get ready for her trip, and yes, God is married. Later, God (in me) spent time purchasing and programming a new cell phone for Nancy’s trip to Michigan and ordering her special vitamins and protein foods to be delivered to where she will be staying. Later He (in me) made and confirmed Nancy’s rent-a-car and hotel reservations. God even helped wash some of her clothes – reluctantly and it certainly must have been Christ in me because I don't do clothes!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
May the Lord grant you understanding!