Fountain of Gardens Ministries
P.O. Box 470581
Fort Worth, Texas 76147-0581
Living Water > Living Water 9
Living Water 9

As I was writing the following, I was wrestling with whether it was best suited as a personal blog entry or whether it was weekly ministry letter material. But as I progressed further into this, I saw clearly that it was relevant enough for either or both and chose to send this as this week's ministry letter.

This evening I got a peak at the July 2012 monthly ministry letter sent out by my spiritual father and I'm in the midst of Acts 15:31 rejoicing over it's encouragement. Unbeknownst to him, Holy Spirit said several specific things ABOUT this ministry through his penmanship. Perhaps before very long some of the things I got out of that letter will either be the subject of one or more of these weekly ministry letters or blog posts, or they'll at least be lightly seasoned from now on by the tremendous encouragement we've received from Kenneth Copeland Ministries via the July 2012 ministry letter they sent out.

Right now, I'm also in the midst of reading a small book called “Conversations on Preaching” that's edited by Michael Duduit. The back cover says Salem Publishing and gives www.preaching.com as a weblink. I've not visited the site yet, as of this writing. I got the book at Half Price Books in my neighborhood which isn't a reliable destination, generally, for specific titles of books since their selection changes daily. Beyond that, I'm not certain how to come by other copies of it and hope the aforementioned weblink is helpful. The book's the precise length for books that we're hoping to begin offering before very long with the printing ministry we'll soon begin.

I've objected to writing books in the past because when most people hear the word “book,” they're not thinking in terms of the 60 to 80 page books we would aspire to be our maximum sized books, but are generally thinking 200 to 1000 pages and I absolutely refuse to do that for the simple reasons of keeping our message clear and accessible, to keep our printing costs down, and the great tendency to go further with editing larger manuscripts than a specifically message-based ministry would be comfortable with. I always want to present as accurate of a reflection, as possible, of what the Holy Spirit has said rather than what overly enthusiastic editors of the English language have said that He said, because they may not have the mind of the Spirit at all times with regards to punctuation or other matters they might tinker with.

What I like about “Conversations on Preaching” is the comments from various preachers on preaching that I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting in the Church services of. It gives me their perspective on WHY they do what they do. Men like: Rick Warren, Tony Evans, John MacArthur, Jack Graham, W.A. Criswell, Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, David Jeremiah, Jerry Falwell, and many others, including John Maxwell and Ed Young, Sr., whose ministries have blessed and benefited me several times over the years. This book enables a finger on the pulse of members of Christ's Body that are on opposite ends of His flesh and bones from myself and I love books like that that enable me to get something out of the actual wisdom of members of Christ that don't involve clashes over doctrinal distinctives where we'd clearly be on opposite poles on those other matters and equally persuaded of the righteousness of our cause in confronting one another's perceived errors.

This is neutral territory from all of that and even if I pick up little that immediately changes or informs my preparation and presentation habits and styles, I've at least communed with some great men of God that God is using to bring God's Kingdom to the earth, when in other contexts I wouldn't be as ready or inclined to listen to them because of the emphasis God has given me that I'm not to turn to the left or right from pursuing, nor to allow anything or anyone to cause me to stumble, pause, or slow down regarding. We are one Body in Christ Jesus and we are to love one another with a fervent love, even if our assigned tasks by Christ keep us from eating at one another's tables for the foreseeable because of specifics. I can still esteem and search for the good in the motives and in the fruit of men and women of God that I would not wish to sit under the ministry of, month after month. Reading these types of compilations on specific neutral territory subjects is a way to do this without nitpicking over where we've gotten our fertilizer from, whether Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Arminius, Winchester, MacDonald, Kenyon, Hagin, or whomever.

 

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For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2

 

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from a solid Center Column Reference Study New King James Version Bible. Where Center Column Reference alternate renderings are preferred, they're not always noted on the site at the time of their usage in a given context, if there's a discrepancy between our quotation and a NKJV that our site's visitors use that's missing the Center Column Reference notes that provide more literal renderings, alternative Hebrew and Greek manuscript variations, etc. Sometimes an "Understood Subject" from the given chapter of the Bible or the particular book of the Bible (perhaps previous chapter) is given attention to while teaching. Reading (and rereading) each book of the Bible [in it's entirety] that's being quoted from in the midst of each subject is [always] greatly encouraged for added clarity! While we're [deeply] supportive of what's understood to be orthodox Christian doctrine on all matters, we're always looking for what God's ADDITIONALLY saying to us in each subject being taught.