Category Archives: Christian Living

-“It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming”

Here it is again. My favorite message of all time for Good Friday is by Dr. Tony Campolo. It has become a tradition on this blog to post it every year on this day.

Here is a link to where the famous tape can be downloaded.

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The whole tape is great but the best part is at the end when Tony Campolo recalls one Sunday when he had a little preaching competition with the head pastor at the church where he attends.

Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon in every way and had taken the congregation to ‘the heights of glory’. As he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Tony patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.” Then Dr. Campolo recalls for us the very brilliant message which followed.

The following is a short printed version of the 45 minute sermon–the printed version doesn’t really do justice to the original, but you can at least get an idea what the last part is like:

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming—

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this.

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.

It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming.

And on that horrible day 2000 years ago, Jesus the Christ, the Lord of glory, the only begotten Son of God, the only perfect man died on the cross of Calvary. Satan thought that he had won the victory. Surely he had destroyed the Son of God. Finally he had disproved the prophecy God had uttered in the Garden and the one who was to crush his head had been destroyed. But that was Friday.

Now it’s Sunday. And just about dawn on that first day of the week, there was a great earthquake. But that wasn’t the only thing that was shaking because now it’s Sunday. And the angel of the Lord is coming down out of heaven and rolling the stone away from the door of the tomb. Yes, it’s Sunday, and the angel of the Lord is sitting on that stone and the guards posted at the tomb to keep the body from disappearing were shaking in their boots because it’s Sunday, and the lamb that was silent before the slaughter is now the resurrected lion from the tribe of Judah, for He is not here, the angel says. He is risen indeed.

It’s Sunday, and the crucified and resurrected Christ has defeated death, hell, sin and the grave. It’s Sunday. And now everything has changed. It’s the age of grace, God’s grace poured out on all who would look to that crucified lamb of Calvary. Grace freely given to all who would believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary was buried and rose again. All because it’s Sunday.

At the end of the message the pastor shouts out:

It’s Friiidaaaay!

And the whole congregation responds:

But Sunday’s Coming!

*Top

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– 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

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-You Will be Mighty in the Land

Let your light shine bright so that others can...

                    (Photo credit: symphony of love)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. -Jer 29:11-14  (NIV)

His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.  …
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
-Ps 112:2-4  (NIV)

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.  -Zech 4:6  (NIV)

For Young Christians (Also for parents, grandparents, pastors and youth leaders):

There is popular message being disseminated to the youth in America today that you will not have a future as great as your parents but must be prepared to settle for less. This thought comes from the pit of hell and should be cast off since it is the intention of the enemy.

But your Father in Heaven has plans for you to proper you and give you hope and a supernatural destiny in the future.  It is the intention of the Lord that you become even closer to Him than your parents and miracles and the ‘supernatural’ become a natural part of your daily life. In the past, work and occupations were considered as separate from ones spiritual life and ministry but no more. They are to be lived as one and the same.

You will not be limited by the might of the US economy nor by the power of the US military but through the Spirit you will receive vision, direction, blessing and an open door for the future. You are destined to be mighty in the land and your light will shine forth in the darkness.               *Top

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-So We Killed Him

STATION XII: Jesus dies on the cross

         (Photo credit: contemplative imaging)

“…so we killed him.”

All of a sudden I was undone and tears were flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I was responsible for his death. All of a sudden I could see that in a way I never understood it before.

I started the morning in my easy chair with a tall cup of strong coffee enjoying my latest sci-fi read when unexpectedly there was a reference to Jesus and how humanity had killed him because he didn’t meet our religious expectations-

“…so we killed him.”

Intellectually I knew it was true after all I passed all my qualifying exams in theology. But this was different and personal, the Holy Spirit had just knocked me down and I was on my knees. I was just as responsible for the death of Jesus as the ones who nailed him to the cross or the crowd who shouted- “Crucify him!” What a surprise and I couldn’t stop crying.

Fact is, everyone who has ever sinned is ultimately responsible for his death but I always self-righteously held special contempt for those religious leaders who planned it. But he did personally die for my sins and now I could no longer deny the implication. In a moment I could see my own part in his death.

But the story doesn’t end there does it! Jesus rose from the dead and everyone who believes on his name will also.

"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…John 11:25-26  ESV

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-What kind of Earthquake Are We Going to Have in California Anyway?

English: San Francisco Mission District burnin...

                     (1906 San Francisco earthquake: Wikipedia)

A small earthquake shook Southern California 24 years ago and a new move of God surrounding the gift of prophesy and the ministry of the prophetic came forth.

I remember it well since I was at that conference in Anaheim when it all started and I have the tapes and the t-shirt to show for it so to speak. John Wimber was scheduled to speak the first night and he referred to the earthquake as introducing and confirming the new speaker. Then he proceeded to introduce Paul Cain to the 5,000 or so folks attending the conference that was supposed to be about ‘Spiritual Warfare’ but ended up being about the gift of prophecy, the ministry of prophets, and the modern church instead. A shaking followed in the Vineyard Movement.

It doesn’t seem possible but 24 years have come and gone with some incredible highs along with lows and lessons learned the hard way. It was the beginning of what some call ‘The Prophetic Movement’ but no one involved calls it that. It was introduced out here following a small quake but how it has shaken the American Church since then has been anything but small.

Now a major earthquake- ‘The Big One’ is long over due in Southern California and many Christians in the last five years or so have had dreams and visions of it. Most believe that it is just a matter of time -God’s timing. But remember, sometimes what God is doing in the natural reflects something that going on in the spiritual realm just like the small quake did 24 years ago.

Along with the dreams of doom many Christians out here and elsewhere have also seen visions of a new revival or ‘Jesus Movement’ that will shake Southern California once again. This time for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A major Kingdom event that could end up shaking the whole church.

So what kind of quake is is going to be? Natural or Spiritual or maybe both?

Actually at VCC Laguna Niguel we are preparing for both. Across the street from our church is the huge federal building parking lot which is designated as a site for emergency services and medical care in the event of a major catastrophe in South Orange County, California. Meanwhile, we have a 24,000 square-foot warehouse filled with food and clothing and 2 years ago we were able to send a cargo container with 100,000 bottles of water and other emergency supplies to Japan when the big one along with the tsunami that followed hit there.

But more indicative of what I am really talking about is the mini revival that seems to be going on in that same warehouse. Hundreds have come to Christ in the last year and major miracles and healings continue to happen nearly every time the place is open to the public offering food and clothing to those in need. The expectation is that it is merely a foretaste of what God wants to do Spiritually all across Orange County and Southern California.

I started thinking about this and decided to share some of my thoughts after I read an account in Charisma of a dream that James Goll had where he saw Southern California represented as ‘a womb’ that would bring forth a major revival once more. A birth that is imminent and overdue just like the ‘big one’ in the natural.            *Top 

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