Tuesday, October 29, 2019

My Dilemma

I Have a Dilemma

I love history and I love my family the universal Church. The Bible inspires me because it is divinely inspired. I have concluded that local churches and denominations are like people. No church is alike. With this being true, then why do we bicker over doctrines and methods of worship?

Church division is not my dilemma. My dilemma is big church or small church, mega church or home group. Which is best?

I have been in both. I have been in a big church of about 4,000 members and I have been in a home group of 10. Of course, the difference was huge. (Some say a mega church is over 10,000 but 4,000 was big for me)

In the big church there was lots of things going on. The worship was high quality, the children’s ministry covered all ages, ministry for teenagers, singles, married couples and the elderly. There was even outreach to the poor, the streets and a ministry to unwed mothers. In the big church there was offered cell groups or home groups. I noticed the home group attendance seemed to vary at times according to the attention it got from the leadership. Mater of fact, I noticed ministries would rise and fall in reflection to the attention they received from pastors and leading staff.

The cell groups were usually good. People made friends and were usually ministered to on an individual basis. Some cell groups I attended were fairly structured and some were rather loose. There were groups located in the area of town you lived in and there was groups organized for those of like-minded interest or ministry outreach. When I was single I was in a local cell group and after marriage in a family group and a prayer group.

We were all part of the large church where we would worship together and hear a relevant Word from the pastoral staff every Sunday. In this church we attended, there was even a set of lessons or catechism we were encouraged to attend and study. These studies helped us to mature in the Lord and come into a unity of beliefs or doctrine.

Although this church we attended provided many ways to get plugged in, get ministered to and for us 
to minister to others, I noticed there was the presence of people on the sideline. These were people who would attend Sunday but did not participate in things offered during the week. I have a feeling these people on the sideline were either traditional church goers or either had a limited commitment. I don’t want to pass a negative judgment on these people because I didn’t know their situation. (There are seasons in life when there may be greater involvement outside the church, like work, school, etc.)

This particular church was of a Charismatic expression and many people matured in the Lord and went on to minister in the gifts of the Spirit.

Then there was a time when my children had grown up and my wife was working many hours. I would attend a home group not associated with the big church. This home group had people that came together mainly because they knew each other from work, school or from a church. They just seemed to be people seeking an unstructured community where they could receive ministry from or they could minister to others. This group would meet weekly and there would be 10 to 20 people. The couple who owned the home were we meet would loosely guide the meeting. There was usually snacks and sometimes full-blown meals. We would usually have a short Bible study and discuss the main theme in the study. Often visitors would come that were friends of the core attendees. The lead couple were good about ending the meeting with ministry to those that desired it. There was even opportunities for outreach to their community and a local school. Overall this was a healthy group. The good thing I liked about this group was that the spiritual atmosphere was serious.

So I have experienced healthy home groups as part of a large church and also attended independent home groups.

In my early years as a Christian, I attended a few home groups that were set up more like a small church. These were good for new believers. Most of these did not have a connection to a larger church. Some of these small groups were on their way to becoming structured churches. This is often how local churches start out. But there was a problem with many of them. Often, they were led by people that had been hurt in another church. They had an underlying bitterness against the established churches. Often when they came together, they would tailor their teaching against “them”. They felt only they had the correct interpretation of the scriptures. (This exclusiveness is how denominations or cults from.)

I seen most of these exclusive groups either go into scriptural error or just disband with the members being hurt.

I do have to add a personal note here. My experience with these exclusive groups was during the Jesus Movement of the 70s. Many hippies were getting saved and most of the established churches just did not except them or know how to minister to them. So groups formed as a backlash against being shut out. We were just filled with our newfound joy and we just met wherever we could.

So let me get back to my dilemma. Which is best the big church or the small group? My conclusion, as of now, is they both have positive and negative elements. A big church that has small groups where people can get individual ministry is good; and a small group that has oversight from a larger church or network is good also. Small groups can be at risk if they do not have a well versed and balanced teacher. Even a small group needs an authority or oversight entity.

There is only two churches mentioned in the Bible: churches that meet in homes and city wide churches. (Acts 2:46, Ro. 16:5, 1 Cor. 16:19, Col. 4:15, Philemon 1:2, Rev. 1:20-3:22) That is a bigger subject to be tackled at another time.

Actually, I think I have talked myself out of my dilemma.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Missions: Pray, Send and Go

Matthew 9: 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Having been involved in missions for most of my life, I have found that praying, sending and going are the main pieces of missions.

Mark 16: 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

2 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

“For all men” means all; from your family, your community, your city and your country to the furthermost parts of the earth. God desires that all men come to trust in Jesus. Also, God desires that we partner with Him in leading people to Jesus. We can partner with God by praying, sending and going. God has chosen to work through us.


We are asked to pray that the Lord will send laborers to the fields. His fields. The Lord is looking for intercessors to start the process. He puts the need in our heart and then waits to see if we respond. He reveals the mission field to us and then ask us to petition Him on their behalf. (He wants us to be moved with compassion for them like He is.)

First we pray for the field. We pray that the Holy Spirit would go forth and cause the peoples hearts to be turned from stone to flesh so they may be acceptable to the Gospel. Then we pray for the laborers to go. We ask the Lord to choose, equip and ordain people to go. Also we ask the Lord if we are to go.


Here is where we also partner with the Lord. He wants to send through us. God wants to provide us with finances to give to those that go. This is part of God’s economy. God wants to bless us by letting us be a part in His work through our generous giving.

Also a big part of sending is the roll played out by church leadership. They are charged with hearing from God as to who is to go and commission them by the laying on of hands. (This laying on of hands is to release the anointing of the Holy Spirit to guide and impower.)

Acts 13: 1-3 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.


If the Holy Spirit speaks through the leadership for you to go, then you have the green light to go. Never go without the oversight of church leadership and the anointing of the Spirit. (As Christians we are to be under authority no matter what your place of service is.)

Going is to be moved by compassion for others and recognize you have the ability to reach out to them. In most cases that does not mean we have to relocate to another city or another land. We are all to be missionaries to those we have compassion for. Going is taking the Gospel anywhere and everywhere. Jesus said to take the Gospel into All the world. All is your family, neighborhood, job, school, etc.; wherever you find that you have been placed.

My belief is that as Christians we are to do all three. Pray for the mission field, give so others can go and go yourself.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Life Formula

Joy + Discipline + Vision + Convergence = Legacy & Eternity

For me this is a formula for life. These are principles that have helped me live an overcoming life as a Christian.

Let’s explore what this looks like for us in our walk with Christ…

When I gave my life to Jesus, He gave me joy. I am not talking about happiness, but something deeper that has a measure of assurance in it. Jesus was so real to me in my conversion, that deep down I have never doubted Him. I may have had the thought but my confidence in God dispelled it. I am talking about a gift of joy because of confidence. The non-Christian will not have this. They will move in and out of happiness.

Second comes discipline. Oh, wow, I sure fought this one. I had some bad habits that were destructive. I thank the Lord for His patience with me. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to me in one of those awe moments that got my attention. One day I found myself saying something out loud that revealed a deep inter passion I was carrying. Then immediately the Holy Spirit spoke, “You are not ready”. Also, “It may be years before you are ready”. So, I asked, “How do I get ready”? “Discipline son, discipline.”

As the years passed and I stumbled through learning discipline, vision began to form. Vision was driven by passion. I begin to get insight of my inter desires. Once you understand the vision in your heart you must fight for it. In that fight you develop the life skills you will need. I was listening to James Goll the other day and he said, “When discernment and revelation meet, insight occurs”. Oh, how you will need God’s wisdom for a clarity of vision.

Then the time comes, when God puts it all together for you, that is convergence. It is when everything lines up. Your passion is being fulfilled. You have great joy because you see ultimate purpose. You have enough discipline that God can trust you. There is a peace of mind that rules your steps. It could be just the right job; one in which you are meeting all your needs physically, financially and emotionally.

There is a great joy in knowing you are pleasing God, your loving Father and you are doing what He has designed you for. See this has been His plan all along to bring you to your greatest potential. You are content because you know God is pleased.

Joy + Discipline + Vision + Convergence equals:

So, what does all this get you? How do you benefit? You leave a Legacy that others can follow. The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Legacy will live on as long as people remember you. If your deeds are published, your legacy could live many, many years.

Then comes Eternity. Eternity, according to the Bible, is heaven or hell. God’s ultimate justice is heaven or hell. At death you are in God’s bliss with Him or in a place of eternal punishment, separated from Him and His Kingdom. All these steps culminate in your destiny.
Here is the good part, you don’t even have to work out this formula in order to get to heaven. You can be a failure in every point. Your eternity is decided by this, have you accepted Jesus or not?
By the way, I am still working on this formula. I think we work on this all our lives.
Ask yourself, "Where on this journey am I?

Friday, May 24, 2019

What Is Upper Room Gornja Soba?

What is Upper Room Gornje Soba?

House of Prayer

First Jesus said His House would be a House of Prayer.

Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Then we have the Tabernacle of David, where David set up 24 hour prayer and worship.

In both tabernacles the center piece was the Arch of the Covenant which was the presence of God. The Temple in Jerusalem was where the Jewish nation sacrificed to God to atone for their sins. The Tabernacle of David (ToD) was a preview of what worship would be like after God had completed the atonement through Jesus.

Since Jesus has completed the atonement (washed away our sins with His shed blood) we should follow the example of the ToD. Here at Upper Room Zagreb the ToD is our guide line. Why is the ToD our guideline? Because the prophet Amos and the Apostle James said it would be a key guide for fulfilling our mission on earth. Jesus commanded us to disciple the nations. (Matthew 28:19)

Amos 9:11 “On that day I will raise up
The [i]tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And [
j]repair its damages;
I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old;

 Acts 15: 16 ‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.’

An important key here is “So the rest of mankind may seek the Lord”.

So why Upper Room Gornje Soba?

As you study out the Tabernacle of David you learn two things. First it made a way to accomplish Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.” God is always with us but when we praise (worship) He comes in a greater measure. Second, it is very evident that when God is enthroned on/in His people, a canopy of protection and guidance is present.

Therefore, Upper Room Gornje Soba is set up to be first of all a place where Christians can gather and worship God. Second, we pray for His guidance and protection. Since we are located in Croatia and we as Christians are commissioned to disciple the nations, we feel responsible to pray for Croatia.

Upper Room Zagreb is here to be a safe place to worship God because He is worthy of our worship and to pray for Croatia. God is glorified and the country is blessed.

Personal Rewards
It is a well-established principle that when you honor God with worship and pray for others, you are blessed. God rewards those that diligently seek Him. Those that participate in the house of prayer have been physically and mentally healed. They have realized greater purpose for their lives.

Is Upper Room a church?


URGS is a place for Christians to meet with God. Everyone is welcome, even those that do not know God. (For those that do not know God we hope they will experience Him in the prayer room)

Is URGS a substitute for a church?


Everyone that participates in URGS is encouraged to be part of a local church of their choosing. All denominations are welcome. We do not teach doctrine in the house of prayer. (Principles of prayer and worship are shared to protect unity)

Key verses:
Matthew 6: 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Isaiah 4: 5 then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. 6 And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.

In and Out Lifestyle

Moses and Joshua
    Deut.31: 1 Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them: “I am one hundred and twenty years old today. I can no longer go out and come in.
    Numbers 27: 15 Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”
    Joshua 14: 11 As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. 12 Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said.”

King Solomon
     I Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

Come in one way and go out a different way.
      Ezekiel 46: “But when the people of the land come before the Lord on the appointed feast days, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship shall go out by way of the south gate; and whoever enters by way of the south gate shall go out by way of the north gate. He shall not return by way of the gate through which he came, but shall go out through the opposite gate. 10 The prince shall then be in their midst. When they go in, he shall go in; and when they go out, he shall go out.
Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

This is why the Lord shows up in a more powerful way when saints are together to worship Him.

Exodus 33:14-16  (NKJV)
14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

Why Pray For Croatia?

Matt. 28: 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Amen.

Isaiah 62:6-7

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall [
a]never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

URGS is here as a ministry to Croatia.

Seven Mountains or Spheres of Cultural Influence: Family, Religion, Media, Education, Government, Arts and Entertainment, and Business

Family is the most basic unit of the culture. Family was instituted by God with Adam and Eve. Within the family children are to be nurtured and set on a path to adulthood.
Psalm 127:4  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.

Man’s search for a creator.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

All religions are man reaching out to God. Christianity is the only religion where God reaches back. All others connect with created objects or beings.

Media is the announcement and publishing of information.

Where knowledge is taught. Facts are truth – opinions are just opinions.

To control the un-pure motives of man. Regulations that set the expectations and procedures of the culture.

Celebration and display of man’s creativity. To lighten the heart, fun.

Exchange of goods and services. Build honest relationship centered around fairness.