Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Body of Christ ... Dr. A’s Passion, a Tribute to Mankind

by Dale Shumaker
Spirit Savvy Network
Finding your mission, Empowering your life through prayer,

Becoming a Missionary in the Marketplace
Leading others to be Missionaries in the Marketplace

He was a president of three colleges over his lifetime. A leader in Spiritual living. Although his last book the Body of Christ was never published by his denomination. So he published it himself with only a few hundred copies in circulation.

He was really ahead of his time and the model for the Body of Christ in Power is relevant to many settings... how to have a Spirit-empowered business, a home study group, any group that meets with the goal to grow spiritually, solidly, in Truth to God’s guiding principles. It is remarkably very relevant to the society who looks for true Spiritual living. It is my view it was Inspired, by God, for a generation to come. We are entering that generation.

The following is based on excerpts from his book and my personal experiences with him. He shares views of various aspects of what has been called the Body of Christ, the Church, the power of prayer partnering and God’s ideal plan.

Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft was called Dr. A by those who worked closely with him. I affectionately use Dr. A in reference to him.

My tribute to Dr. A. Here's some of what He said about the Body of Christ and its significance. (I have used Jesus is Us as my aka for the Body of Christ.)

The following reflects Dr. A’s way of explaining Jesus…who now literally is living among man as a corporate unit. Instead of just one man (Jesus), being God's representation of His Spirit, we as a group are now all Jesus was when on earth. That's why his emphasis on unity and being One... with each other, as with God's Spirit.

I have included extensive excerpts from Dr. A's works on the Body of Christ... and its relationship to Spiritual Power…Spiritually Vibrant, Exhilarating Living.

“The Body of Christ in Action”... as per Dr. A. (Quotes are Dr. A's)

The Apostle Paul in the Bible (note 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 in the New Testament) made an analogy between the human body and how Jesus returned to live in us right after He physically died.
Dr. A called it "incarnation"... He lives in us...individually and as a group. We now as a group represent the "Body" of Jesus.

We have all the privileges of Spirit as when the very Spirit of God was in human physical form... Jesus. Jesus was referred to as the Christ... meaning God Himself was in Jesus' Body.
Dr. A explains.

"God manifests Himself in the earth today through the Body of Christ."

"Jesus explained that it was expedient that He go away. For greater things were to be done which may not be done with Him being present. He had a plan... the Holy Spirit to form ‘again’... another Body... the Body of Christ as Paul the Apostle calls it. And what was expected of the first ‘Body’ of Jesus is also being expected in part of the Body of Christ Presently Manifested on the earth."

"For this reason, the forming of believers into the Body of Christ.. the bonding, Yes, BONDING of believers... is Absolutely Necessary for the fulfillment of the purpose of God."

Believers totally absorbed into this intertwined group of people form One Group.... Jesus is Us... as a whole. What was the significance of water baptism during Jesus time?

"Water baptism suggests burial... death; death to the sovereignty of the physical nature. This is a powerful lesson for us. When we come to Christ and surrender our lives to Him, we end the sovereignty of the natural man and come under the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit."

"We can see that our baptism into the Body of Christ causes us to be completely oriented to the life of the Spirit and to dedicate ourselves in service to the needs of others. We die to the life of selfishness and come alive with the life of sharing. ...When we die to self, we minister to others.  All are contingent upon our sensitivity to the needs of believers or humanity at large."

Jesus Spirit now among all believers produces gifts in all believers. And that's what they are ...Gifts, a privilege, not a possession.

"Manifestation of the Holy Spirit are not possessions, they are functions of the Holy Spirit. Often it appears as though the individual has these gifts as his own possession, they are manifestations of the Holy Spirit for the entire Body. ...they are given for the good of all. They are not for the possession and exclusive use of certain individuals."

"There is mutual sharing of need and supply. Whenever the Body of Believers are in that Spirit of unity there is opportunity to
--communicate one specific need to the body of believers
--receive the answer to any specific need."

Dr. A emphasized that when we pray, our first question should be... what is my role in answer to this prayer; helping with this need?

(He believed much was a practical thing. That we all do what we can when we know of a need by someone we pray with, pray for.)

Then, share information, ideas you get in prayer that could help in answer to this prayer.

How should this Body be managed?

"The Body of Christ is the instrument through which God has chosen to reveal Himself and to accomplish His work in the world. And this is under the administration of Christ Himself as the Head of the Body."

"Just as God was revealed and acted through Jesus Christ, His Son, on the earth, so now, He is revealing and acting through Christ's Body, The Church!"

"Note: It is important to observe that a crowd or congregation, even an ecclesia (assembly of people) is not equal to the Body of Christ. It takes more than membership or association. It takes being knit together."

Today the term "church" is a confusing term. Dr. A told me his views on the Body of Church were radical and this makes it radical to today's views of what The Church is. The Church, authentic Church, is the name the Bible gave to those who Believe, Live Out, and were genuinely Connected in Spirit with each other

…not limited to building, location, organizational name, membership or attendance. We do not “go to” church; Believers “Are” The Church!... wherever they are.

“When 2 or more gather in Jesus Name... That’s Church, ” Dr. A emphatically stated one day. And he added this is a radical view. Especially when you compare it to today’s mindsets of what a church is. If we don't communicate out of love and care for each other than out of love, we are not really part of The Church, even though we do the things Dr. A described above.

"It is the Holy Spirit who forms the Body of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who will bring the Body of Christ into unity and productivity."

Interesting observation is that Paul, the Apostle, who wrote about the Body of Christ, was not a personal disciple of Jesus. He was not personally under the teaching of Jesus while Jesus was alive. He learned what he learned from the other disciples who were with Jesus and through Spiritual Intelligence, through Spiritual Revelation.
We have the same privilege as Paul.

Dr. A always encouraged me to hear from Spirit directly and
trust the voice of Spirit through my mind...
To be bold, in what I was led by the Spirit Voice to do;
Use the Bible to double check to make sure it was consistent with Spiritual principle;
To follow my heart and not man's voices.

I have learned to read the Scriptures and trust the impressions I get from them. “That’s how God speaks to you, learn to trust that,” Dr. A encouraged me. In this one area Dr. A had the greatest impact on me. I struggled to believe that I could trust these impressions, ideas as from God. I always felt I had to defer these thoughts and find out what God was saying through someone else.

"Don't be ignorant. Know the difference between the Spirit-led life and the life of sensuality. The contemporary lifestyle of our time is more than the problem of sexuality. It is sensuality.

By this we mean that we are under the spell of our self-life and pleasing one's own sensual desires."

"They (Corinthian Believers) had been 'carried away' by... under the spell of ...the cultural patterns which were entirely sense related.

They worshipped dumb idols, material idols.
They had no awareness of the Holy Spirit! The objects of worship were in the material realm or oriented to physical pleasure."

So characteristic of today's society which is materially driven and sensually focused.
One thing which I fear is that high energy praise and worship today may become more a sensual experience than Spirit-led worship in mass meetings. Those who manage such events must be careful of this. It may seem very "spiritual" but only be a "sensual high" we think is Spirit. Then too, some deep meditative exercises may be a pseudo-spiritual state as well.

Each have merit, but to double check ourselves in that they are truly Spirit-led. It is so important that we learn how to follow the genuineness of Jesus Spirit within us and allow that to control us and all we do.

Jesus Spirit should be the regulator for our conscious, Jesus Spirit should be our consciousness and life as directed, controlled and precisely guided by Jesus Spirit... of love, humility and compassion for man around us.
Always remember... Jesus Spirit lives in us.
Jesus is Us!

"Spiritual intelligence, communications, physical needs, material necessities are all provided under the leadership of the Holy Spirit to believers in community... the Christian community."

… the Jesus is Us group.

"Each time the believers are in Spirit of Unity and koinonia (spirit of sharing), each believer looks around him to see whom he may minister to or help with something... and also be open to receive the ministry of the Body of Christ."

"The human body is the analogy which Paul the Apostle used to impress upon the Corinthians how the Holy Spirit will fulfill His ministry. Here are some obvious lessons to be learned:"

1. The believers are precisely and very intricately interconnected like a web. All actions (good and bad) affect all others.... directly or indirectly.

2. Every one of Jesus Spirit has a very unique role and everyone should help each other identify it and encourage them to put it to work. Our role is being "gift spotters" and "gift motivators" based on what Jesus Spirit has put in them and for the purpose Jesus Spirit has for it.

3. When any part of Jesus is Us is hindered and not allowed to use his Spirit Gift, it drastically limits the total effectiveness of the whole group. In Spirit we are all interconnected, so it puts a drag on the whole system. It just pulls everyone else back and pulls the power down.

4. When one member suffers the others should stand ready to be responsive to help.

"Manifestation of the Supernatural for the benefit of the Body is a priority. The world outside becomes a beneficiary of the powers of the Holy Spirit through the Body of Christ. So much depends upon the practice of caring for one another."

"When one suffers, we all suffer." (Paul the Apostle)

"This implies the degree to which each member participates in the need of other members of the Body of Christ... the entire Body. This is also the price of discipleship. So much depends upon the application of this practice."

Each person has a personal mission that needs encouragement.
All parts of Jesus Spirit, Jesus is Us, is necessary. It is necessary for all facets, differences, styles, types to work together.

"Differences, yes! Divisions, no! We may have differences, but no divisions."

We can't overemphasize "the importance of sacrificial love. It is the cement that unites and holds together the unity so needed in the Body of Christ."

"The high priority for each individual in the Body of Christ is to be fully yielded to the Holy Spirit. It is obvious that in our humanity, it is impossible to achieve this quality of love. So, we are locked into total dependence upon the Holy Spirit. The emphasis and practice of waiting for the Spirit must be our first consideration."

No matter what we do, if love for others is not the motivating nucleus of our actions, it basically counts for nothing. As human beings we can't love to the level of Jesus Spirit and His Heart. So we have to allow Jesus Spirit and His Heart to whole-heartedly possess our very human being... heart, mind, soul, and body.

Spirit lives in us… it is imperative we allow it to do what it does best.... allow it to take its loving control to a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and compassion.

There is a power in Spirit we’re not experiencing, and we can!

May we all work as a unit to reclaim what has been lost since Jesus time on earth. And may we set our goals to exceed Jesus Example.

“You will do even greater things.” (Jesus)

Dr. A desired anonymity as this writer also does. He wanted himself out of the picture as he was just one person, one small part of this Body, I call Jesus is Us. I desire the same. It is about Jesus is Us… not me.

As an insignificant person, I was surprised by the significant attention he gave me. This is my tribute to Dr. A.

So Dr. A., this is Dale saying thank you
... and it is again on its way!

I hope someone takes this attempt to share a view of Jesus we both knew, and wanted to be like and share, without fanfare, recognition, wealth or fame...and share it with one another.

The work we set out to do will be passed on, one at a time. and in time, many may know. But hopefully, many will begin to live in the vision we both saw for mankind.

May I do my part to see it comes about. And if I share in rejection as you, I count it a privilege to work for what is right and what is Jesus’ Heart as we saw in our hearts and Spirit.

We knew each other’s hearts; we saw the same things.
We were different, but one in vision.
It’s now time for me to take what I have learned from you
and press on.

To pick up from where you stopped and continue on. And pass on what I know. Maybe all this will grow and we’ll see Spirit in Power blossom again.…which was your Passion and mine as well.

You are with Jesus in Spirit now, the one you loved so much.
I am still on earth. I miss you.

As you often said “Chambers really hit me today.”
Today, Chambers really hit me.

"It is not wrong for you to depend on your 'Elijah' for as long as God gives him to you. But remember that the time will come when he must leave and will no longer be your guide and your leader, because God does not intend for him to stay. Even the thought of that causes you to say, 'I cannot continue without my ’Elijah.’ '
Yet God says you must continue."
(My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, August 11)

Dr. A,
you were my Elijah,
...and I will continue!
Love ya Man! and Thanks so Much!

A committed friend …for our mutual friend, Jesus.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Three Feet from Gold ... on earth and in Heaven

by Dale Shumaker
Spirit Savvy Network

Finding your mission, Empowering your life through prayer,
Becoming a Missionary in the Marketplace
Leading others to be Missionaries in the Marketplace

Three Feet from Gold by Sharon Lechter and Greg Reid brings us an update of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich Classic and how it still is having a revolutionary impact on business success today. The authors interviewed the highly successful of today as Napoleon Hill did in the early 1900's. They found most attributed their success to being students of Napoleon Hill's works.

To establish the theme for the book, Three Feet from Gold, they told the story of how a speculator went looking for gold. He made a discovery, invested in more excavating equipment, but then ran out of finding enough gold to pay back his investment. He gave up and sold his land to a junkman. The junkman hired a mining engineer to help evaluate their mining and he directed the junkman to go perpendicular from the direction the original mines were going.

It turned out they were only three feet from a major gold fault line. The previous miners were digging the wrong direction. The point is don't quit and get expert advice when you run into a snag.

He cautions us... do not make major decisions in a valley. Write down your dreams, review and revise constantly and keep pursuing new avenues from your failures and setbacks. The direction we choose every day is up to us.

The success formula is
(P + T) x A x A = success.
P... what's your Passion.
T... then add your Talent.
A... multiply this by your Associations.
A... then multiply all this by Action.
Later on they added faith to the formula as the book was nearing being a published reality.

One unique point is the problem of overplanning. Most overplan they say, and it is important to keep taking action as you know what to do next. Learn from each step and from that determine your next best action step. Each experience trains you and leads you to another. Keep climbing safe. Focus on people more than profits.

More of Greg's discovery nuggets from his interviews.

Be Goal Driven. Set high standards.

Use master mind groups. Use intelligence and accomplished experience from others who know something about what you are attempting to do.

Every wealth creator is crystal clear about two things... a vision and a mission.

Believe in yourself. Find others who believe in you... even if only one person. Run from people with negative attitudes.

Build energy, idea stimulating associations. Most important... find good ones that harmonize with you and that inspire you. Never let people stand in your way.

Turn adversity into advantages. Turn your doubts and doubting people into a catalyst to persevere. Be willing to change. A dream is a reality waiting for you to get there. Don't quit. (Keep saying this. We need to hear it a lot.) Never let mistakes define who you are. Make diversity and defeat motivators. Every adversity carries a seed of a greater benefit. It's the way of thinking of the achievers, accomplishers of visions and dreams.

It's always a new beginning... sometimes the worst situations turn out to be the best opportunities.

Act as if your dream is already happening, and never believe in never. Don't quit five minutes before your miracle. You're three feet from gold.

Add Faith to your success equation.
Passion plus talent times associations times action... adding faith...
equals success.

At the end of Three Feet From Gold, there is an outline for creating your own personal success equation.

In Prayer, we can storm Heaven with our requests. In prayer, we are only a few feet from gold, Heaven’s gold.  Heaven’s riches we cannot measure.

In Purpose of Prayer, E. M. Bounds expounds on the possibilities of prayer.

In prayer we have the greatest privilege of God's Presence and interacting with God with His purpose than any other activity in our lives. E. M. Bounds in his book, the Purpose of Prayer, we learn how this is so important. Here are excerpts from chapter 2, "Possibilities and Necessities of Prayer."

"These men knew how to pray and how to prevail in prayer. Their faith in prayer was no passing attitude that changed with the wind or with their own feelings and circumstances; it was a fact that God heard and answered, that His ear was ever open to the cry of His children, and that the power to do what was asked of Him was commensurate with His willingness. And thus these men, strong in faith and in prayer, “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in war, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

"Everything then, as now, was possible to the men and women who knew how to pray. Prayer, indeed, opened a limitless storehouse, and God’s hand withheld nothing. Prayer introduced those who practiced it into a world of privilege, and brought the strength and wealth of heaven down to the aid of finite man. What rich and wonderful power was theirs who had learned the secret of victorious approach to God! With Moses it saved a nation; with Ezra it saved a church. And yet, strange as it seems when we contemplate the wonders of which God’s people had been witness, there came a slackness in prayer.

"It takes effort and toil and care to prepare the incense. Prayer is no laggard’s work. When all the rich, spiced graces from the body of prayer have by labour and beating been blended and refined and intermixed, the fire is needed to unloose the incense and make its fragrance rise to the throne of God. The fire that consumes creates the spirit and life of the incense.

"Without fire prayer has no spirit; it is, like dead spices, for corruption and worms.“The greatest and the best talent that God gives to any man or woman in this world is the talent of prayer,” writes Principal Alexander Whyte. “And the best usury that any man or woman brings back to God when He comes to reckon with them at the end of this world is a life of prayer.

"And those servants best put their Lord’s money “to the exchangers” who rise early and sit late, as long as they are in this world, ever finding out and ever following after better and better methods of prayer, and ever forming more secret, more steadfast, and more spiritually fruitful habits of prayer, till they literally “pray without ceasing,” and till they continually strike out into new enterprises in prayer, and new achievements, and new enrichments.” It is only when the whole heart is gripped with the passion of prayer that the life-giving fire descends, for none but the earnest man gets access to the ear of God.

For all of chapter 2 of the Purpose of Prayer, go to
The Christian Classics Ethereal Library features many books by the Christians who walked in the very power of the Holy Spirit throughout the ages.