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Re-Launch

March 8, 2010

I have started blogging again but decided to start with a fresh template/approach – I wanted to leave this blog online due to the fact that it still gets a decent amount of hits but I will currently be blogging on a new site/template.

You will find it here.

(I’m still waiting for http://www.brendanwitton.com to be set up to re-direct to the new address so if it has brought you here just click on the link. It will be changing soon.)

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My break is going to continue…

February 11, 2010

Originally I was going to take the month of January off blogging but I’m going to have to extend the break a little bit. There are some really cool things happening at CWL that will require a lot of my attention for the next season.

I will still be twittering during this time and I will definitely be back to blogging at some point in the not too distant future.

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Blogging Sabbatical

January 6, 2010

I’m going to be taking the month of January off blogging… God is really doing a lot in my heart right now and I want to take this month to put extra focus in on that. I also want to get some fresh vision/focus/direction for what I want to do with it.

You can expect me back on things in February.

I will still be twittering though so you can continue to follow me there if you want.

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Another Funeral this Week…

December 20, 2009

I already mentioned the passing of Oral Roberts this week but there was also a pastor who was not as nearly well known who passed away in our community in the past seven days – Harold Reid.

I met Harold when I first started Church Without Limits and I was contacted by a pastor inviting me out to a bi-weekly prayer meeting of local pastors. I was only 22 and I remember being incredibly nervous as I went to meet with this group of men to pray – Harold was one of those men. I quickly got over the nervousness and have been greatly enriched over the years by these times of prayer.

Approximately a year ago I heard Harold was sick – I had not been able to attend the meetings as much so I was a little disconnected. I would hear bits and pieces and then this past Monday received an e-mail letting us know that Harold had gone home to Heaven.

This past week my brother and I attended the “Celebration Service” for his life at Pickering Pentecostal Church. It was a great time of reflection and sharing from a number of significant people – Harold obviously impacted many, many people.

After leaving the service there were several things that really stuck with me:

  1. Harold was a great husband – Harold obviously loved his wife very deeply and really saw her as a partner in ministry. You could tell that he really valued and supported her – and encouraged her in what God had called her to do. This reminded me of how important it is that I cherish, support and encourage my wife.
  2. Harold had a huge heart for the nations – one of those sharing commented how excited he was when someone from a new nation was added to their church body (they ultimately had 76 nations represented I think). Two of his children were married to spouses of a different race and yet he was completely supportive and accepting (sadly, even in Christian circles this is not always the case). This reminded me of the importance of having a heart for the nations and celebrating diversity.
  3. Harold was passionate to release people into ministry – from calling himself the pastoral team leader, to his insistence that everyone was called to ministry, to the fact that the pastor replacing him had served alongside him for nearly 15 years it was obvious that Harold was not just about himself but he was about teams and seeing people released into ministry. This reminded me of the importance of always cultivating the same heart.
  4. The importance of investing my life – as I sat in the funeral I began to reflect on the day that my funeral will happen (many, many years from now :)). What do I want people so say? What kind of legacy do I want to leave? How hard am I pushing towards that right now? I was really reminded that some things matter, and many things ultimately do not. I want to focus on the things that matter.

One last thought – I have to admit that there were several times over the years that I disagreed quite strongly with a position that Harold took, or theology he held during our times of discussion and prayer (one thing I love about the pastors gatherings is that there is a genuine love and openness – and we can debate topics and discuss issues without becoming offended at each other). I hadn’t realized how much this had impacted my view of him – I sometimes saw him through the lense of our disagreement.

The funeral reminded me that he was a great man who loved God, loved his family, loved the church and loved those who do not know Jesus. I knew this of course, but there were moments that I would lose sight of it. I was reminded and challenged that even when I disagree with a brother or sister in Christ that they are still my brother or sister and we are ultimately playing on the same team.

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Oral Roberts Passed Away Today

December 15, 2009

Today Oral Roberts passed away at the age of 91.

He hasn’t been in the spotlight as much for the past two decades but from the 50’s to the 80’s he was one of the most influential and impacting leaders in Christianity. As with all great leaders he was loved by some and hated by others but I don’t think there would be anyone who would deny his legacy and contribution.

I think the words of Dr. Jack Hayford give a great perspective on his influence:

“If God had not, in His sovereign will, raised up the ministry of Oral Roberts, the entire charismatic movement might not have occurred. Oral shook the landscape with the inescapable reality and practicality of Jesus’ whole ministry. His teaching and concepts were foundational to the renewal that swept through the whole church. He taught concepts that spread throughout the world and simplified and focused a spiritual lifestyle that is embraced by huge sectors of today’s church.”

My prayers are with his family and those close to him. I’m sure he is having the time of his life right now as he has crossed into eternity.

You can read more here.

You can go to a memorial site in his honor here.

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What Not to Name Your Church

December 10, 2009

Imagine churches with the following names:

  • Accident Baptist Church
  • First Church of the Last Chance World on Fire Revival and Military Academy
  • No Hope United Methodist Church
  • Boring Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • Faith Free Lutheran

Fiction right? It would seem not… check out this post.

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Bill Johnson: A Blank Cheque

December 9, 2009

I came across a great little article from Bill Johnson (from his monthly newsletter):

As kids, many of us dreamed about being granted one wish. Solomon got the “one wish.” When God appeared to Solomon and gave him that opportunity, it forever raised the bar of our expectations in prayer. The disciples were given the same “wish,” only better. Instead of one blank check, they were given an unlimited supply of blank checks. And this gift was specifically granted in the context of their friendship with God.

Surrounding their promotion to friendship, Jesus gave His disciples this amazing list of promises. Each promise was a blank check they were to live by and use throughout their lives for the expansion of the kingdom. They are as follows:

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16)

If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)

“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Fatherin My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)

In order for us to properly receive what Jesus has offered us in these verses, any robotic understanding of what it means to be a follower of God has to change. God never intended that the believer be a puppet on a string. God actually makes Himself vulnerable to the desires of His people. In fact, it can be said, “if it matters to you, it matters to Him.”

While much of the church is waiting for the next word from God, He is waiting to hear the dream of His people. He longs for us to take our role, not because He needs us, but because He loves us.