-Beginning of Revival in L.A. High Schools

There is the beginning of an extraordinary revival in some L.A. and Orange County high schools in Southern California. Here’s the story from God Reports:

About 2,500 students at 15 high schools hear the gospel each week through campus Christian clubs, which invite One Voice representatives to speak, Giglio says. Kids have been saved from drugs, violence, sexual sin, and hopelessness.

The move of God began in Roosevelt High School two years ago. A watershed moment came when opposing gangs put down their weapons and met each other in the gym for prayer, along with 400 other students who had gathered to hear a heartfelt and compelling message. Giglio says the Holy Spirit came into the room and the kids just broke down weeping. …

On-campus Christian clubs, run by students, have a right to use facilities and invite outside speakers, Giglio said. Principals have been known to monitor these meetings but usually are happy to see students hearing positive messages about getting out of gangs, drugs and other life-ruining traps.

<Read the whole article>

This is just the beginning but it is spreading to other schools in Southern California including several Southern Orange County high schools that I know of where kids at our local church come from. I have also heard some antidotal evidence that it is also spreading to some of our area colleges and universities. Somewhat under the radar at the present time but a real move of God none the less.            *Top.

-The Call for Prayer in 2015

CALL TO PRAYER

2015 has begun with a number of different calls for prayer for America. Following the slaughter of two New York policemen Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. of the Church of God in Christ issued a call for justice and prayer. Following that George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, issued a supporting call to prayer for the first week of January. Now beginning Jan. 10, 2015, the Church of God Prayer Ministries is calling for 21 days of prayer and Fasting for revival in the church and awakening in the nation.

This is the first time I can remember any year beginning with such urgency from so many different church leaders seeking to call the American church into prayer for our nation.

Add to that the over 20,000 mostly youth who recently attended the Onething Conference in Kansas City where Reinhard Bonnke called out a new generation of Christian leaders to pick up their mantle and save America and the world and then another 20,000 or so youth meeting at the Passion 2015 Conference in Atlanta and you begin to get the feeling that 2015 may be the beginning of something very different for America and the Christian community.

What I am talking about is the sheer number of Christian leaders that feel that it is important start the year- 2015 by crying out to God for America and Christians all around the world.

2014 was one of the most difficult for Christians both in this country and around the world. According to a report that Open Doors came out with this week, last year was the worst ever for the persecution and killing of believers around the world and yet they expect that the worse is yet to come from the rise of Muslim extremists. Seeing what just happen in France we should all be concerned.

Meanwhile in our own country, Christians are being fined and sued out of business and fired from their jobs over their Biblical faith. Just a couple pf months ago the city of Houston, Texas was demanding pastors to turn over every sermon or speech where they mentioned homosexuality. Later that was dropped but the lawsuit goes on. Most American Christians are still asleep and unaware but we are seriously in danger of losing our freedom of religion in this country or having it re-interpreted to merely be ‘freedom of worship’ within the four walls of an official church or house of worship.

If there was ever a time to pray for America, now is that time.

*Top

-Merry Christmas 2014

04567_Christmas_nativity_scene_at_the_Franciscan_church_in_Sanok,_2010

(Image via Wikipedia)


Merry Christmas to you and yours and may God truly bless you this Christmas Day.

The Real Christmas Story

When our children were growing our family had a Christmas Eve tradition to read about the ‘real’ Christmas story in the Bible.

You’ve probably seen a dozen or so ‘Christmas stories’ on TV in the last couple of weeks but the real Christmas story is found in Matthew (Matt. 1:18-2:18) and in Luke ( Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-40). However, Isaiah should never be ignored:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Matthew gives us the story largely from the perspective of Joseph, including the dreams that he had and his family genealogy. In this gospel the ‘Kingship’ of Jesus is the major topic. Starting with the Davidic Kingly genealogy through Joseph and the coming of the Magi (Wisemen) who are looking for the new king. Also King Herod’s reaction is in Matthew.

The events in Luke are given to us from Mary’s view. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary and announces the coming of the child. Mary’s genealogy is also given in Luke (Luke 3:23-38), she was also a descendant of David, but not in the ‘Kingly’ line. Chapter 2 begins with the Christmas story that everyone is familiar with:

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

However, nothing explains the real reason for the season better than John 3:16-17:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  -KJV

*Top

-Messianic Jews Making Gains in Israel

Flag_of_Israel.svg

Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jewish folks who have accepted Jesus (Yeshua) as their savior and Messiah. Yet they continue to maintain their identity as Jews and embrace many of the traditions of their people. A recent article by Rabbi Barry Rubin in Ministry Today Magazine celebrates the gains that Messianic groups have recently made in Israel- “Messianic Judaism Gaining Momentum in Israel.” The following are a few quotes:

The primary evangelistic work in Israel is not through missions. It is being done through local Messianic congregations. … There are 150-plus congregations in Israel with as many as 15,000 Messianic Jewish believers…

The growth in the number of congregations has increased over the last 20 years…Nearly every year, another indigenous congregation or two springs up, and as more and more Jews from around the world return home, this will only increase.

Israel is a small country—about the size of New Jersey—so these congregations are easily noticed by their fellow Israelis. More and more, Israel is increasingly aware that there are Jews who trust Yeshua as the Messiah and savior, much as it was in the New Testament era.

These Messianic Jewish congregations are now led by Israelis, even though they may have a mix of Jews and Gentiles. Most services are in Hebrew (sometimes Russian, Amharic, French or Spanish). The music too is indigenous, as is the style of worship —very Israeli. The melodies have a distinctly Middle Eastern tone to them. Most meet on Saturday when Jews generally hold worship services. These congregations of Yeshua-followers are clearly Jewish.

Messianic Jews are gaining more acceptance in Israel. Instead of being perceived as threats to the Israelis, due to prejudices going back 2,000 years, they are recognized as friends, fellow citizens, and an active part of Israeli society.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This is really good news and we should remember to pray for our fellow believers in Israel. For years the Messianic Movement was opposed in Israel but now because of the faithfulness of the Jewish Israeli believers they are increasingly being accepted as never before. You can add Israel to the many nations that are seeing an exponential growth in the number of believers and  groups.

Meanwhile the enemy is trying to destroy Israel but the Lord has plans of His own for that land and people.            *Top

-Happy Thanksgiving 2014

300px-Thanksgiving-Brownscombe

       ("The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth": Wikipedia)

Happy Thanksgiving 2014 to you and yours. Our traditional Thanksgiving message follows:

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American celebration that began nearly four centuries ago with a deeply religious people, the Pilgrims, giving thanks to God for preserving them though a very hard year and bringing them their first bountiful harvest which they gratefully shared with their indigenous neighbors.

It was our first President George Washington who proclaimed that our first official national day of public thanksgiving should be dedicated by observing and:

“…by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.

In recent years the ‘politically correct’/secular crowd has rewritten the history of the first Thanksgiving placing an emphasis upon the hand that the indigenous American Indians played in helping the original Pilgrim community to survive. In the process they have redirected the emphasis on thanks towards neighbors and friends and away from the providence of Almighty God.

While it is always good to be thankful for others who have enriched our own lives and certainly that has a good part to play in the celebration. Nevertheless the major emphasis of Thanksgiving should always be upon God as it was on that very first occasion.

For my family and I, we will be praising and thanking the Lord God Almighty for the bounties and the providence that he has bestowed upon us this year in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. May Our Heavenly Father bless your family today and continue to bless all of us and this nation during this holiday season and in the year to come.           *Top

-SBC President Calls on Churches to Pray for Another Great Awakening

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is pleading, encouraging, and calling the 46,000 churches in his denomination and beyond to “extraordinary prayer” for revival and another Great Awakening. Here’s the message from his blog:

book-pleading-page

<Read the whole message>

He has also made available his complete message in an 16 page e-book which can be downloaded for free:

Pleading-with-Southern-Baptists-Cover-Blog-209x300

Response: Charismatic and Pentecostal pastors and denominational leaders should jump on this immediately and stand as one and add their support to Dr. Floyd and the SBC in prayer and intercession for our nation.

Most of us have been praying for this for quite some time. We should stand together right now, ignore sectarian boundaries, and lift our voices in unity. We have long held that revival and a new Awakening is needed now in America as never before.

The nation is currently going through radical cultural changes that could make it very difficult for conservative Bible believing Christians in the future. Political power and pressure will never bring the nation back to its Biblical foundations. Our only real hope is that the Holy Spirit will sweep once more across our great nation and bring revival and another Great awakening. Now is the time.           *Top

- We Should Be Praying For Our Leaders Regardless

English: President Obama just about to deliver...

                                              (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are very few political leaders right now in America that I whole heartedly agree with particularly the President and the Governor of the state I live in (California).

Nevertheless we should be praying for them regardless. This reminder is for me if no one else. Remember Paul counseled the early Christians to pray for the Roman leaders and as bad as some are in the USA none are in the category of a Nero or Caligula at least not yet.

Here’s a short article reminding us to pray anyway from Citizen Link President Tom Minnery:

“In the Old Testament, in the day of Daniel,” Minnery said, “through the means of directing Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzer and Darius, God handled those despots fairly well to effect His own desires for the Israelites. We saw that in the Old Testament time and time again.

“Obviously, God can, and does, direct the heart of any leader at any time He wills it – even those who don’t believe in Godly principles.”

“Pray for righteousness, pray for our leaders, pray for them to act,” he said. “Do not give up in expecting that God will maneuver human circumstances to accomplish His will.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: While we are at it, remember to pray for our judges and judicial system. Our religious freedoms sometimes are hanging by a thread as cases make there way through the courts. We should particularly be praying for the current Supreme Court justices for their health and for them to receive and accept Godly wisdom.            *Top

-Washington DC: Kick Starting Revival?

U.S. Capitol Building at Night

          (U.S. Capitol Building: Kevin Burkett)

Thousands of folks in Washington DC have reportedly been saved this month during a three week ‘spiritual assault’ on the American capitol called- "Celebrate America."  Here’s the story from CharismaMag.com:

"And we’ve seen over 23,000 people pray the prayer of salvation," Gonyon said of Celebrate America’s overall evangelism efforts.

But these three weeks of street evangelism and nightly meetings are just meant to be a spark. Gonyon emphasized that getting those hundreds of Christians out into the streets of D.C. to witness has been the most crucial part.

"Once somebody wins souls—because most don’t—their heart is broken for the lost," Gonyon explained. "So when Celebrate America is over, this isn’t about, ‘Oh, that crusade is over.’ They’ll continue to win souls in their sphere of influence."

The organizers of "Celebrate America" hope that steam rolls into a move of God nationwide.

"We’re believing God for another great spiritual awakening in America," Gonyon stated. "We’re believing that the church will wake up and fulfill the Great Commission."

<Read the whole article>

Response: Hopefully that spark will lead to a raging fire all across America. So many disappointing policies and decisions have come out of Washington lately that it is great to see something edifying and down right encouraging coming out of there instead.  Praise God!           *Top

-Is it too Late to Pray for Another Great Awakening?

FLAGS

                                                  (Photo credit: sadler0)

This week Americans celebrate the 238 birthday of our country. It began with a document that declared that all human rights were derived from our Creator and not from human governments and kings.

If the Declaration of Independence was written today it might be declared as ‘unconstitutional’ for mentioning the Supreme Being. Meanwhile our current governmental system is defining ‘rights’ and revisions to the natural order of things that were never intended at the dawn of creation.

There are currently two major conflicting visions for the future of America. One would like to take this nation which has been ‘under God’ for hundreds of years and replace it with autocratic  secular rule which no longer officially recognizes God or allows his name and his Word to be spoken of in the public square.The other would like for God to continue to bless America and bring forth another great revival and awakening. Lately the secular vision seems to be winning.   

The American culture is changing so fast and it seems like what used to be considered as evil is constantly being referred to as moral in the dominant media and that which is based upon Biblical teaching is now being portrayed as bigoted, evil, and on ‘the wrong side of history.’

Among Christians, a week does not go by when I don’t hear someone say that it is too late for America that a line has been crossed that cannot be reversed. Is that the case? Should we just give up and stop praying for revival and another Great Awakening? I don’t think so. Meanwhile the whole world is in the midst of the greatest harvest there ever was with more people coming to Christ than ever before except in America and the West.

Here’s a quote from an article by Franklin Graham giving hope and encouraging Christians to continue to pray for another revival and Great Awakening:

While doomsday appears to be knocking at our door, let me take you back to the early 1800s. Many think of it as "the good old days," but history tells us that society, even then, was as bad as it could get at that time. John Marshall, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote to President James Madison and said, "The church is too far gone ever to be redeemed." When we examine why, we find that preachers had stopped preaching the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the people were not hearing God’s Word.

What changed? Christians began to diligently pray for revival—and the result was the Second Great Awakening. When people’s prayers stormed the heavens, and when the Bible was opened in the pulpits and the Word of God proclaimed by passionate preachers, the church was awakened from slumber by the Holy Spirit, who moved in hearts, spreading revival throughout the heartland of America.

<Read the whole article>

Also here’s an prophetic article which also finds hope in our history and calls forth and sees prayer warriors and intercessors rising up once more to take back America for God: “Prophetic Intercessors, Don’t Give Up on the Great Awakening!

In our area here in South OC California we see Christians rising up in prayer as never before. Pastors of all denominations who just a few short years ago seem to be competing for members are now gathering together supporting each other in prayer for our area, our churches, our economy, and our government. Last year our head pastor Mike Hudgins at VCC Laguna Niguel had a vision of 100 men meeting once a month to pray for our families, our area, and our country. Last month nearly 90 showed up and there is a real hope that the vision will soon be realized.

God has not given up on us yet and His Spirit is calling forth intercessors and prayer warriors to rise up all over America. May God continue to bless America.            *Top

-Bonnke: “American Shall Be Saved”

USA Flag Map

         (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Bonnke has been known best for his major evangelistic campaigns in Africa for the last 30 years or so. Now he is turning his efforts toward the USA with a new campaign called “American Shall be Saved” beginning in July:

Bonnke’s next stop is Miami, where he will preach to a crowd at the American Airlines arena on July 18-19. Over 200 churches across racial, denominational, cultural and even linguistic barriers have joined forces to help Bonnke witness Jesus to South Florida.

Here’s what He has to say about the new effort:

"I am scanning the skies for men and women who pray and weep for the salvation of America. As Bill Bright used to say, ‘Let’s leave our logos and egos.’ Let’s rally at the foot of the cross of Calvary and preach the Gospel of salvation to the nation," Bonnke says. "The Holy Spirit will cooperate. God is pouring out His Spirit with glorious indifference to our differences! He said, ‘I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh.’ And it seems to me He pours Himself into the mold of any vessel."

Response: A few years ago many of us were expecting revival and a new awakening to break out across all of North America. Instead we ended up with the big push for gay and LGBT rights including same-sex marriage which is beginning to trump religious liberty in the courts and culture all across America. Increasingly we are being told that religious freedom is now only Constitutionally assured within the four walls of an official place of worship.

Now Christians who believe in the authority of the Bible are increasingly being cast and misrepresented as ‘bigots,’ ‘haters’, and irrelevant folks who are on the ‘wrong side of history.’ At least that is what is happening in the dominant American culture on the West Coast where I live and in New England and within the main stream American media.

This turnaround has happened in a very short time. In 2009 at the inauguration of President Barack Obama evangelical pastors participated in giving the prayers but by 2013 we saw a pastor who had been invited to give a prayer hounded until he resigned over preaching a Biblical lesson which included homosexuality 18 years ago. Now conservative Christian business owners who do not want to participate in same-sex ceremonies are being sued and forced to either provide their services or be fined. Times are changing in America so much so that if the trend continues Bible believing will soon be considered ‘immoral’ by folks in the dominant American culture.

Point is, it really is time for Revival and for Bible believing Christian to stand up for their faith and refuse to go quietly into the night. One way is to join in campaigns like what Bonnke is initiating and particularly join him in prayer to change America for the better before it is too late.

We are in the middle of a battle and most American Christians don’t even realize it and yet the Gospel is going forth among the nations at an unprecedented pace and millions are coming to Christ every year. Also millions of Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith and we are actually in the midst of a new age of martyrs though it is being ignored by most American Christians.

I do not believe that God is through with America but it is rapidly becoming a mission field which may see African pastors and Asian evangelists from China and Korea soon helping in a new push to save Americans. I believe that Bonnk’e effort is just the beginning.  May God really bless America once more.          *Top

Enhanced by Zemanta