Ridge Burns's blog

Active Faith

A few weeks ago, we taped a podcast with Rob Stoppard about living a lifestyle of active faith. He did such a masterful job of making faith core to our Christian behavior, and to our dialogue with God about certain things that happen in our lives. Rob unpacked the word “faith” and how to actually live a lifestyle of faith that's active. Even people like me—who have studied the Bible all their life, gone to seminary, who understand the background of the Word of God written in scripture—realize they still don't really believe some things in the Bible, unless they have faith. Suddenly, walking on water is a tale, and Jonah and the whale becomes a story. We view it as something that happened then, but that God could never do those supernatural things now. Our faith becomes dull and inactive because we don't appropriate the authority that God has given to us to live and act in faith. Faith is a word that has become soft, but when I read the New Testament, it's not soft, it's radical! It's countercultural, and Rob unpacks that. So, listen to this podcast here . Enjoy! I think it'll change your view of how to live a lifestyle of active faith.

God’s Word Fights for Us

To wrap up our Refresh Conference series on the living Word of God, Steve Volle reminds us that the Word fights for us. It gives us the ability to know that God has gone before us, He's prepared us, and He's given us authority. God has given His power, His grace, and His mercies to us. He gives us everything needed to fight the battle. The Word of God, the living Word of God, fights for us. So, listen as Steve wraps up his series and encourages us to quit fighting our own battles and allow God to fight for us: God’s Word Fights for Us

God’s Word Permeates Us

At our conference last month, Steve Volle spoke in our fourth session on how the living Word of God permeates us. The idea is that the living Word takes root in you, and that root grows and is dynamic, and it permeates every bit of you—your finances, your marriage, your singleness, your doubts, your concerns, your illnesses. All of those things marinate in the living Word of God. And when they do, those things which are burdensome are put into perspective and those promises which are important become alive again. Allow God to speak to you as Steve speaks about how the living Word permeates you: God’s Word Permeates Us

God’s Word Authorizes Us

The third session that Steve Volle spoke on at our Refresh Conference last month was about how the Word of God authorizes us. Not only does it pardon us and give us the ability to enter into God’s presence clean and free of all guilt, but God authorizes us to do His work. It was Jesus who stood up in front of the 5,000 and said, “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world…” It seems like that should be His job. But no, He has authorized us to act on His behalf because of the work He did on the cross. Many of us, I believe, have yet to really take up this idea that we are authorized and that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. So, listen to Steve as he unpacks this idea and motivates us to live in this authorization: God’s Word Authorizes Us

God’s Word Pardons Us

If you read my blog last week, you know that this is the second installment of our 5-week series on the Living Word. Steve Volle led us through this teaching at our Refresh Conference last month. Steve is the principal of Bodenseehof Bible school in Friedrichshafen, Germany. He's a good friend of our ministry and he fought all the restrictions and all of the hassles from COVID in order to come to our conference. This second session focused on how God's Word pardons us—it frees us, gives us a clean slate, and declares that we are no longer guilty. Listen as Steve unpacks this idea in greater ways: God’s Word Pardons Us

God’s Word is Alive

At our recent annual conference in Cannon Beach, Oregon we focused in on the living Word. We wanted to be refreshed in the Word. For those of us who have been Christians a long time—who have been in ministry and been walking with Christ—things can sometimes get a little stale and the Bible can become just a textbook instead of the living Word that it is. How can we interact with the Word and experience how it changes us? We were so blessed by our speaker, Steve Volle, that we wanted to share his teachings with you. Join us for this first installment of our 5-week series about what God says about being refreshed in the living Word. In this first session, Steve speaks to how God's Word is truly alive and he gives an intro to the week of why we need to be refreshed. Enjoy! Click here to listen: God's Word is Alive .

Self-Talk

A few weeks ago, I was praying with someone who’s getting ready to start in ministry. They were struggling with inadequacy, and asking, “Am I good enough? And educated enough? I look at others in ministry and they're just so much more mature than I am. I don't know what to do.” The Lord prompted me to talk to this person about self-talk—the conversations we have in our heads about what’s going on. They’re conversations we have when we're not really even thinking, and sometimes that self-talk can be extremely harmful and hurtful, like it was with this individual. There's some self-talk that ignites us and makes us incredibly gifted in reaching out. Within the quietness of your own heart and head you hear, “I'm a child of God. I'm created to do His work. He loves me. He blesses me. God has embraced me.” God has caused an amazing work in our lives and we no longer live with the talk that says, “I'm not good enough.” But with the truth that, “I live in the riches of Christ. I am a new creation.” It's not about positive thinking or denial, it's about who you really are. What is it that God has really done in your life? What assignment is He giving you that no one else can do, because it's directed right for you? I was in church recently and the Lord prompted me that I needed to get right with one of the other guys in our church. Years ago, we had a falling out, and this particular Sunday God just said, “You need to go and talk to that person.” The whole way walking over to him my self-talk was, “Ridge this is not good. Don't do this. It's not worth it.” But when I...

Understanding

Recently we were doing an interview for a podcast and the person that I interviewed said, “I used to think the goal of communication was agreement, but I have learned that the goal is understanding.” Understanding is a concept the Bible talks a lot about. Isaiah 40:28 says, “He [meaning God] will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.” There’s a big difference between agreement, listening, comprehending and the word “understand.” When someone understands you; you can say something and that person comes back with a sentence or a look or some sort of mannerism that says, “I get it. It's not that I know you, or agree, but I do understand.” It’s helpful to know that understanding is one of the goals of Christian life. Understanding doesn’t come in a hurry. It doesn’t come without work. Sometimes it's hard to understand what a person is really saying, and you have to think about what they're not saying more than what they are saying to really understand what's going on. I was speaking at a school in Europe, and while I was praying with students this one girl was really angry and bitter and she expressed some of that about me. It wasn't that she didn’t agree with what I was saying, or even that she didn’t understand what I was saying, but I was stirring up some things. And so, when I began to talk with her and unpack what her feelings were and gained a better understanding of why she might feel that way, it was a magic moment—a moment when God broke through. As we prayed, we asked for understanding and hope. I’ve spent a lot of time convincing people that my ideas are right. And I think I need to spend...

Andrew Peterson

A couple years ago I was at a conference, and they sang the song “Is He Worthy?” I was very moved by the song. I found my hands lifted high and tears streaming down my face to declare that this God who we love to serve is worthy. Well, little did I know that we were going to be able to interrupt his sabbatical in England to have a conversation with Andrew Peterson , the writer of that song. He's written a new book called The God of the Garden , which is part of the story about what was taking place in his life when he was forced to get off the road and stop touring during the pandemic. He was forced to be still, and, in that stillness, God spoke to him. We had a conversation about what happened to him and what he felt during that time. So, I encourage you to click on the link below and view this conversation about creativity in the church, stillness, soul, and power, and what the church should be embracing in terms of stillness. I was deeply touched by his humility and by his honesty during this conversation. Watch the interview here: Andrew Peterson Interview

Women in Ministry

One of the issues that the Church is dealing with is about women leaders and how we affirm women and their giftedness in light of what scripture says. How do we hold a high view of scripture, and yet also address the issue of how women sometimes feel like they have to be extra good—more than good—as they try to enter into ministry as a leader? I had a conversation recently with Pastor Dave Hess who wrote a book called Side by Side . In his very warm, almost quiet power, Dave wrestles with this issue. As a pastor of a large church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, he was surprised by what God was talking to him about. So, I encourage you to listen to this podcast . It’s about 25 minutes long and leads us through some discussion that I think is important to the church. This issue is dear to our mission, as many of our recruits now are young women who have a passion for Christ, but also passion to lead. And so, we want to open a discussion that will help us discern what the will of God is for this very important issue facing the church and facing our mission. With that said, I invite you to listen in on Dave and my conversation in this most recent episode of our Consider More Podcast here: Side by Side Women and Men Leading Together in the Church .

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