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Safe Houses Of Hope And Prayer: Your Practical Guide To Organic Church In Your House Paperback – September 11, 2014
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About the Author
Maurice Smith is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an alumnus of Campus Crusade for Christ, International (now “Cru”) and an honors graduate of Denver Baptist Seminary. He is an accomplished author of several books on organic house church, theology, discipleship, and spiritual awakening. Maurice resides in Spokane, Washington with Gale, his wife of 36 years, who is an accomplished artist, illustrator and graphic designer. They have two adult children. Together they coordinate Rising River Media, a non-profit Christian media and publishing company.
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(Spokane, WA: Rising River Media, 2014 Revised Edition, 218 pages)
by R. Maurice Smith
Spokane, WA's pastor/author, Maurice Smith's Safe Houses of Hope & Prayer is more than a “practical guide to organic church in your house.”
It is his passionate plea from the heart calling God's people to look up, look out and find ways to let the spirit of the Living God flow in and through them to His glory.
He has not proposed a new way, but taken an ancient model from the days that Jesus' disciples walked this earth to reinvigorate Christians of the 21st Century. He challenges contemporary Christians to care, to reorganize, to care, to serve, to care, to train up or disciple new and old Christians, and most of all to care for one another, including those who do not yet know Him.
He describes some nuts and bolts, do's and don'ts, not only in a contemporary cultural context, but with humor pushing toward the relevance of Christian thought and action.
A man with a pastor's heart and an apostolic vision, Mr. Smith likens God's calling to a free flowing river of grace and goodness, rather an capturing the water in a static swimming pool.
Pastor Smith outlines the Priorities for an organic house church, those things that were vital in the post-Pentecostal lives of the early church.
First, there was teaching. More than just sharing and expanding knowledge of the things of God, but teaching for transforming lives in loving God and loving our neighbors.
Second, the organic house church is a laboratory and an expression of genuine fellowship. Learning and preferring fellowship with house church members, including the messy parts of life, is “to share a common life in the Kingdom of God and drink from a common River of His Spirit in the bond of Christ (page 80).”
Third, breaking bread together is both the practical and the symbolic Communion of this little body of people with one another.
And the fourth priority is prayer. Recognize that prayer is the
“life-breath of the soul and of the Church (page 85).” Prayer and ministry go together as the works of the church. In the organic house church there is flexibility to engage in one, some, or even all these priorities, as an expression of the needs of the body and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Living in and out your faith in Jesus Christ is the objective of the organic house church. Never easy, but always challenging to live beyond the routine of “going to church,” the organic house church is the call for men and women to “be the church” in the 21st Century.
Safe Houses of Hope & Prayer and all his books are available on R. Maurice Smith's website at [...] through Amazon.com!
Review by David M. Wallace, Elder at Central Seventh-day Adventist Church; Vice President of He's Alive Television; and Coordinator of the World Prayer Team, Spokane, WA, 2015.