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 The following…

Centre County Court House Bellefonte, PA
The following article is adapted from an article entitled, Call Back America–TGAF II , first published at http://lifegate.hubpages.com/hub/TGAF-II
The Great American Fast II is set for this September 7-8, 2012. The Fast is represented by a website at www.thegreatamericanfast.org and is meant to be a tool to aid Christians in calling America back to her God. Please take some time and check it out. I believe there are many things on the website that will challenge you and encourage you as you seek a deeper walk with your God, but what I want to focus on here is The Great American Fast itself.

The actual Fast will be held from 6:00pm September 7th, 2012 to 6:00pm September 8th, 2012 at Lamar, Pennsylvania. I’d like to invite you all to take part–either in person or via the web address listed above.

September 7th will begin the 24-hour fast at 6:00pm with a sacred music concert. Following this will be a message of introduction, welcome and  challenge by Pastor William Kovacic from the  host church, Lifegate Baptist Church in Bellefonte, PA. Next up will be a round of revival preaching from our keynote speaker, Matthew Skariah from New Mexico. In all my years of ministry, I have never met a man more in touch with God. Matthew knows how to pray and get answers.

One of the topics of prayer for the meeting will be that of revival in America. 9:00pm brings a time for fellowship and relaxation before the beginning of our all-night prayer meeting starting at 10:00pm. Those not wishing to attend the prayer meeting may retire to their cabins or rooms.

The camp has several cabins and dorm rooms available for occupancy during the Fast. All camp lodging will be paid for by Lifegate Baptist Church in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. So don’t wait until the last minute to make your plans. Cabins and rooms will be available on a first come-first served basis.

Even though the ideal is to fast for the entire 24-hour period, I realize that not everyone can fast. What is important is not so much the Fast, but a heart attitude of seeking God’s face. With that in mind, a variety of juices and water will be available throughout the day. If you have special dietary requirements, please let  me know and every effort will be made to accommodate you.

The plan is to have individuals praying throughout the night and day, on a 24-hour prayer clock. Choose your hour and plead for God to work on behalf of His people once again.

The following morning will begin with wake up time at 7:00am. The next hour brings private or family devotions in your cabin. That brings us to the 9 o’clock hour and revival preaching by Michael Adams of Food4Thought Ministries (www.ohiofoodministry.org). Michael will be in the area earlier in the week to do some street preaching. He has a wonderful ministry and a wonderful testimony. You may want to consider having him come to your church. There will be a time of corporate prayer at 10:00am followed by more preaching by Brother Skariah at 11 o’clock.

Pastor Larry Richmond from Anchor Baptist Church in Ledyard, Connecticut will be preaching the noon message. His message will be followed by another hour of corporate prayer. Free time will be between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Enjoy the nature that surrounds the camp or just relax under a shady tree–maybe take a nap!

Pastor Ken Codner of Grace Baptist Church in Spring Mills, PA will be bringing the 3:00pm message followed by another hour of prayer from 4:00pm-5:00pm. Brother Skariah will bring the closing challenge at 5:00pm to prepare us to break fast at 6:00pm. The meal will be provided by Lifegate Baptist Church. Thus another year concluded.

But between now and then there’s much to do. I sincerely hope you choose to come and be a part. America needs each of you to stand in the gap. I realize not everyone can come to the camp to observe the Fast with us, but would you please stand for America by going to the above website and sign up. Keep up with us in cyberspace as we seek the face of our God.

Brother Skariah will also be preaching at Lifegate Baptist Church Sunday morning September 9 at 11:00am. Plan to stay Saturday night at the camp and join us for morning worship with Brother Shariah Sunday morning at 10:00am.

One of the bles…

One of the blessings of my work is some of the people I meet. I have had the blessing of getting to know Michael Adams. Michael has a strong and varied ministry. I have recently interviewed him concerning his service for the Lord, and this is what he had to say.

William: Michael, I first was introduced to you through your writings at http://www.hubpages.com. Since then I’ve watched your involvement in different ministries and was actually able to participate with you in one of your Cross Carrying events in Central Pennsylvania last year. I must say, that was truly amazing. Before we discuss that, could you tell us how you first got involved in ministry?

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Michael: I was in a church years ago and felt led to preach. From there I was involved in preaching, teaching, bus ministry, everything I could get into. Problem was I had conformed to the church, I wasn’t converted. Here I had worked so hard to prove MYSELF, but was lost as all those I was trying to lead to Christ.

During that time though I had made a promise to God to get a ministry degree. Finally after going through years of misery and years of the thinking that I am a man that can work everything out somehow I was humbled by God. I was about to lose my entire life. All that I loved was about to be gone.

December 18, 2008 I fell on my face and cried out to God. I prayed that I was just a man and could not go through this world without Him in my life. I asked God to forgive me of my sins and I was surrendering it all, my life, everything to Him. I prayed that even if God did not save my marriage I would follow Him no matter what. The next morning I was leaving for work and for the first time in four months I gave Tam a hug and kiss before I left and told her I love her.

She responded the same way. I then told her that if we were going to be whole we needed to give our lives to God and get into church. After all that I started looking for online Bible colleges that would be free or at least affordable. I had to live up to my promise from years earlier, though not saved, that I would get a ministry degree. I told Tammy that I may never use it but that I had to get it because I promised God I would.

Once I found Salt Lake Baptist Bible College I had to start school. A few months after I could not help but feel I had to preach, I had to use my God given talent of a big voice. The rest has been God given and blessed. We praise His name for the blessings He has given us.

William: And how did that lead into your Food 4 Thought ministry?

Michael: The church we were in had Cedarville College students coming and we volunteered to serve them good home cooked meals once a month after church. From there our pastor said they had fed kids in a low income apartment complex the summer before and wanted to know if we were interested in taking it over. We took it over and have been there each summer since.

William: If someone would like more information on any of the ministries we’ll be discussing today, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Michael:They can see our website at www.ohiofoodministry.org I built this myself. It may not be the most as to what we do. It also has a contact page. Our email is isaiahmichaelministry@gmail.com which goes to both the computer email and my cell.

William: What has been the biggest challenge for you as you’ve progressed from then until now?

Michael: Mainly getting it out just what we do and getting into churches. We are now on the pastoral supply list for a 10 county area in Ohio. We also are willing to travel to speak in churches. Currently we have open the first week of May and the 2nd week of October. The rest of our weeks are full due to our own revival at South Dayton Baptist Church in Moraine, Ohio. This is going to be a tent revival with Dr. Terry Van Buskirk of Taylorsville, Utah. Plus time has been a burden since we still work in the public sector.

William: The Food Ministry–how does that work?

Michael: We have children come in for lunch that may not eat that day if it were not for Food 4 Thought. We feed them physically as well as spiritually. We did have three little girls saved at the end of our first year, praise God.

We seek donations of food or workers each week. Mostly it is Tammy and whoever she can get to help. We usually end up buying all the food we fix. Tammy has poured her soul into this to feed these children. It is so disheartening to hear her in tears talking of some of these children. This year instead of being in the apartment complex we will be using the church to feed the neighborhood children. (We moved to a different church last year).

William: What about your evangelistic ministry as you go from church to church? What do you emphasize in your meetings? What is the overall picture you want to bring to those that are listening, whether it’s a single meeting or a week or more of meetings?

Michael: I emphasize turning America back to God. Also I look at my own testimony, having been conformed and not converted, and make sure I preach a message that all understand what true salvation is. I want all to see that Jesus Christ is the only way. I want people to know that the greatest healing was the day Christ died on the cross for our sin debt.

William: I know this might be a little tough, but can you tell me what the biggest blessing has been since you’ve given your life to the ministry? I know the ministry is a life of blessing, but what really stands out to you?

Michael: True, the blessing that flows from God for doing His work is great. The biggest blessing aside from that is my wife. The relationship we have is AWESOME. I cannot describe just what God has done for us in our marriage. I truly know what it means to love someone more each day.

William: When it comes to the spiritual temperature of America, what do you see the thermometer reading?

Michael: I do not think it has a reading at this point. Yes I could say it is lukewarm, and we all know how God feels about that from Revelation 3. I feel America is getting what it deserves with the way we have turned from God. I see the heresies that happen day to day and it is mind boggling.

We sat back and let prayer be taken out of school. We let the Bible be taken out of school. We have let the Bible and God be taken out of our nation’s leaders. We Christians have let this happen. I see people walking around with signs by an abortion clinic here in our town. It makes me want to vomit. What if we were on our knees in prayer for the hours they are out there walking? What if when prayer was taken out of school we put hours upon hours on our knees? When was the last time we heard of prayer vigils lasting all night because of the godless atrocities happening in our government? They didn’t call James “camel knees” for nothing!

William: Where do you think America has gotten off track spiritually and what do you think it will take to get us back on track?

Michael: We quieted our voices! We need some callouses on our knees from constant prayer.

William: Okay now, let’s talk about your street preaching ministry–not just the street preaching, but the Cross Carrying events that you do. I mean, you literally carry your cross for Christ. I had the wonderful opportunity and blessing to be a part of a Cross Carrying event when you came to Central Pennsylvania last year. It certainly was exciting for me. Could you explain what the Cross Carrying is all about and how did you first come to get involved in it?

Michael: I felt I had to get involved in it. Brother Stephen Hope (HubPages) has a few you tube videos and I was so convicted from watching them. I looked into his ministry and thought someone from around here had to pick up a cross and walk. I have emailed him and spoke with him on the phone and prayed together. I had to put action to conviction! Wow, that could be a sermon, Putting Action to Conviction. I spoke with a friend at work and he cut the cross for me and we have walked since.

William: Do you see much opposition to the Gospel as you carry the cross or are people generally accepting of what you do?

Michael: Not much opposition at all. Mostly I think people are too stunned seeing a crazy guy carrying a cross to oppose it. I have never had a heckler yet when stopping to preach holding the cross. It has been an uplifting spiritually for me every time. April 6, 2012 is our next scheduled cross carrying day. That is Good Friday. We will leave from church out to the main road (directly across from the Dayton Ohio NCB TV station) and walk a couple miles circling around to a park, there we will have a message. I probably will preach the Tetelasti I have for that day.

William: You will also be preaching at The Great American Fast here in Central Pennsylvania next September? First, what would you like to see accomplished through your time of preaching, and secondly what would you like to see accomplished through the entire weekend?

Michael: In my time of preaching, that God will keep me humble and use my voice that all around will clearly hear His spoken Word. I hope to see people making true commitments to God. Through the weekend I hope to see families lives changed. I hope to see young men called to the ministry.

I hope to see a nation hearing what is going on in a small Central Pennsylvania town and say they can do the same thing in their area. Between now and then I hope to see other Fast members start a Great American Fast in their towns. They may not be able to cross the country to join us in Pa. but they can do the same thing in their home towns. Also we will be carrying the cross again this year when we journey to The Great American Fast.

William: Michael, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your heart with us. Things are tough across our nation and life is hard, even as a Christian. Is there something your can leave with us to encourage us to keep on keeping on?

Michael: To keep on keeping on. I love the verse you use for the Fast, “For such a time as this” who knows if we have been called for such a time as this. This is our opportunity to stand up and call on God to restore America.

Michael Adams is an evangelist and street preacher from South Dayton Baptist Church in Moraine, Ohio. He is available for revival meetings and street preaching in your area. You can contact him at http://www.ohiofoodministry. org. More information on The Great American Fast can be obtained by going to www.thegreatamericanfast,org.

 The following…

Centre County Court House Bellefonte, PA
 
The following article is adapted from an article entitled, Call Back America–TGAF II , first published at http://lifegate.hubpages.com/hub/TGAF-II
 
The Great American Fast II is set for this September 7-8, 2012. The Fast is represented by a website at www.thegreatamericanfast.org and is meant to be a tool to aid Christians in calling America back to her God. Please take some time and check it out. I believe there are many things on the website that will challenge you and encourage you as you seek a deeper walk with your God, but what I want to focus on here is The Great American Fast itself.

The actual Fast will be held from 6:00pm September 7th, 2012 to 6:00pm September 8th, 2012 at Lamar, Pennsylvania. I’d like to invite you all to take part–either in person or via the web address listed above.

September 7th will begin the 24-hour fast at 6:00pm with a sacred music concert. Following this will be a message of introduction, welcome and  challenge by Pastor William Kovacic from the  host church, Lifegate Baptist Church in Bellefonte, PA. Next up will be a round of revival preaching from our keynote speaker, Matthew Skariah from New Mexico. In all my years of ministry, I have never met a man more in touch with God. Matthew knows how to pray and get answers.

One of the topics of prayer for the meeting will be that of revival in America. 9:00pm brings a time for fellowship and relaxation before the beginning of our all-night prayer meeting starting at 10:00pm. Those not wishing to attend the prayer meeting may retire to their cabins or rooms.

The camp has several cabins and dorm rooms available for occupancy during the Fast. All camp lodging will be paid for by Lifegate Baptist Church in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. So don’t wait until the last minute to make your plans. Cabins and rooms will be available on a first come-first served basis.

Even though the ideal is to fast for the entire 24-hour period, I realize that not everyone can fast. What is important is not so much the Fast, but a heart attitude of seeking God’s face. With that in mind, a variety of juices and water will be available throughout the day. If you have special dietary requirements, please let  me know and every effort will be made to accommodate you.

The plan is to have individuals praying throughout the night and day, on a 24-hour prayer clock. Choose your hour and plead for God to work on behalf of His people once again.

The following morning will begin with wake up time at 7:00am. The next hour brings private or family devotions in your cabin. That brings us to the 9 o’clock hour and revival preaching by Michael Adams of Food4Thought Ministries (www.ohiofoodministry.org). Michael will be in the area earlier in the week to do some street preaching. He has a wonderful ministry and a wonderful testimony. You may want to consider having him come to your church. There will be a time of corporate prayer at 10:00am followed by more preaching by Brother Skariah at 11 o’clock.

Pastor Larry Richmond from Anchor Baptist Church in Ledyard, Connecticut will be preaching the noon message. His message will be followed by another hour of corporate prayer. Free time will be between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Enjoy the nature that surrounds the camp or just relax under a shady tree–maybe take a nap!

Pastor Ken Codner of Grace Baptist Church in Spring Mills, PA will be bringing the 3:00pm message followed by another hour of prayer from 4:00pm-5:00pm. Brother Skariah will bring the closing challenge at 5:00pm to prepare us to break fast at 6:00pm. The meal will be provided by Lifegate Baptist Church. Thus another year concluded.

But between now and then there’s much to do. I sincerely hope you choose to come and be a part. America needs each of you to stand in the gap. I realize not everyone can come to the camp to observe the Fast with us, but would you please stand for America by going to the above website and sign up. Keep up with us in cyberspace as we seek the face of our God.

Brother Skariah will also be preaching at Lifegate Baptist Church Sunday morning September 9 at 11:00am. Plan to stay Saturday night at the camp and join us for morning worship with Brother Shariah Sunday morning at 10:00am.

And Hope to Die

Heaven waits!
Heaven waits!

Six-year-old Lori-Anne stared down the road as she watched her mother and father’s Toyota disappear into the distance. Walking up the driveway to her grandparent’s house in Central Pennsylvania, she could recall in detail their parting conversation.

“But Mommy, I don’t want you to go. Who will tuck me in tonight? And who will read my book to me?”

“Grandma and Grandpa will be here, and we’ll only be away for the weekend,” Karen, Lori-Anne’s mother, answered.”

“Mommy,” Lori-Anne whispered, “cross your heart and hope to die that you’ll be back soon?”

“Yes, Lori-Anne. Cross my heart and hope to die. Now give me a kiss, and before you know it, we’ll be back.”

Lori-Anne’s parents’ weekend trip to the Poconos really wasn’t a big deal. She knew Karen and her father Tim, would be less than three hours away. She loved her grandparents, too. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that Lori-Anne had never been away from her parents for any length of time. She was experiencing a new feeling—insecurity. And she wasn’t sure she liked it.

Friday night’s sun was sinking over the mountains, and the shadows began to creep in on the old farm-house that belonged to Karen’s parents. Grandpa read Lori-Anne a bedtime story, said a prayer with her, and tucked her safely beneath the covers. He also took time to wipe the tear that was beginning to form in the corner of Lori-Anne’s eye.

When the light went off, Lori-Anne began to softly whimper. Loneliness was setting in and she was becoming homesick. Grandpa went downstairs, and two hours later, Lori-Anne had finally cried herself to sleep. She awoke about 1:30 and then spent the rest of the night experiencing a strange feeling that she was in touch with her mother.

Tim and Karen arrived at their destination ready for a good night’s sleep of their own. They had met on the ski slopes eight years ago, and this was the first opportunity either one had to go skiing since Lori-Anne was born. The cold January air was invigorating, and with it, came a feeling of anticipation. Morning couldn’t come soon enough. Sleep came quickly, but Karen awoke about 1:30 feeling that something was wrong.

Wiping the sleep from his eyes, Tim managed to calm Karen and persuade her to wait until they could call Lori-Anne first thing in the morning. From then on Karen spent most of the night staring at the ceiling. At her grandparent’s home Lori-Anne spent most of the night staring at the ceiling, too.

Finally morning arrived with a bright winter sun reflecting off the crusted snow. The maroon and green decor of the motel room was now bathed in light, and Karen was already at the phone.

“Hi, Mom. It’s me,” Karen said trying not to sound alarmed. “Is Lori-Anne okay? I couldn’t sleep last night. I thought about coming home, but Tim wanted to wait. Is she okay?”

“She’s fine. It’s her first night without you, but she’s fine. She kept saying she could see you lying in bed staring at the ceiling, that something was wrong, but I convinced her you were having a good time and everything is fine. She’s out with Dad now building a snowman. It’s probably better if she doesn’t know you called.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Just as long as she’s okay. I’ll see her tomorrow night. Bye.”

After building the biggest snowman in Clinton County, Lori-Anne was ready for some hot chocolate. Not a word was mentioned about her mother calling, and Lori-Anne hadn’t taken time to talk about her mother since before breakfast.

The warmth of the fireplace and Lori-Anne’s hot chocolate began to lull her to sleep. A short afternoon nap, and she’d be ready for some sled riding down the hill that led to the barn. She had decided that this trip away from her parents really wasn’t that bad after all.

Nestled under piles of blankets and a fluffy pillow under her head, Lori-Anne drifted off to sleep quickly. Although she was sleeping, she was not still. Within a short period of time, she awoke.

“Grandma, Grandma. Mommy’s hurt. Her ankle is real puffy. Grandma, call her and make sure she’s okay. Please.”

Grandma did her best to reassure Lori-Anne that Karen wasn’t hurt. But still she made the call.

“Karen, this is Mom. Lori-Anne’s worried about you. She insisted I call and make sure you’re all right. She said something about a dream she had, that you hurt your ankle. She’s upset. Can you talk to her?”

“Actually Mom,” Karen began, “I did fall on the slope and I twisted my right ankle. Tim had to bring me back to the motel. It’s sore and swelled just a bit, but other than that, I’m fine. Put her on.”

“Mommy, are you all right? I know your ankle hurts. Are you all right?”

“Yes, Pumpkin. I’m fine. Just twisted it a little, but it will be fine, and I’ll see you tomorrow night, okay! I love you.”

With the assurance that her mother was doing good, Lori-Anne began putting on her boots and gloves while Grandpa was getting the sled ready for her. The path to the barn had already been broken in by some neighbor children. The trail was hard and fast. Lori-Anne could hardly wait. A gentle breeze blew a sprinkling of light snow across the path as Lori-Anne was preparing for takeoff.

Grandpa gave one quick shove and the sled was moving with Lori-Anne behind the controls. The hill was steeper than the one she usually sledded on at her house. In the not too far distance Lori-Anne could see the sun reflecting off a layer of thin ice on the pond.

The path headed straight downhill, then, gently curved to the right away from the pond and into bales of hay next to the barn. But in Lori-Anne’s panic she slipped off the path and began to swerve to the left. She stopped just inches from the pond. That ended her afternoon of sled riding. Not being much for adventure, Lori-Anne trudged up the hill pulling her wayward sled. She was ready for the fireplace and some hot chocolate.

Supper would soon be ready, and shades of winter were beginning to fall on the old farm-house. Night was beginning to settle in, and so was Lori-Anne’s loneliness. Although Lori-Anne was hungry, she really didn’t feel like eating. As she sat playing with her peas, sleet began to pelt the dining room window. The storm made Lori-Anne ready for those piles of blankets and that fluffy pillow. It wasn’t that she was exceptionally tired. She was just missing Mommy and Daddy again. The steady rhythm of the sleet moved Lori-Anne into her dream world quickly and quietly.

“Grandma! Grandma! Wake up. Mommy’s cold and she needs us. Grandma! Wake up. We have to help Mommy. Please, Grandma.”

Grandma was not easy to wake up at 3:00 a.m. She was snuggled beneath her own pile of blankets and was too comfortable to be disturbed by another nightmare.

“Grandma…WAKE UP!”

It was no use. Lori-Anne’s persistence won, and Grandma was heading for the phone. “Tim, it’s Mom. I’m sorry to bother you this late, but Lori-Anne had another dream. She said her mother was cold and insisted that I call. I’m sorry to wake you.”

“That’s okay, Mom. We were awake. The heat went off here, and we’re waiting for it to come back on. It’s freezing, but we’re getting by. The office clerk said the heat would be back on in about a half  hour. Other than that, we’re in good shape. Tell Lori-Anne we love her, and we’ll see her tomorrow night.”

Morning came, and the sun was glistening off the mountains. A frost had attached itself neatly to Lori-Anne’s window obscuring the view. Yet she could tell that it was a beautiful day, and her parents would soon be home. She slept longer than usual and was beginning to feel more confident in her independence now that the weekend was almost over. Besides, Grandpa had promised to take her out for a burger and fries.

She could hear Grandpa’s footsteps coming down the hall. “Lori-Anne, get up, you sleepy-head. There are things to do, like getting a hamburger and fries. You’ve slept long enough. Let’s go.”

“Coming, Grandpa,” Lori-Anne yawned.

The meal was good. The time spent with Grandpa was good, and to Lori-Anne everything was looking up. She was enjoying every moment, but still she would also be glad to see her parents again. Even though the day seemed to drag by, Lori-Anne knew the eventual outcome of being with her Mommy and Daddy again would be worth it.

After lunch it was time for a horseback ride through the snow-covered fields with Grandpa. The wind was cold, but Lori-Anne wasn’t concentrating on that. She was thinking about later that evening when she would see the Toyota pull into the driveway. By 3:15, Lori-Anne was safely tucked away for her afternoon nap.

“Grandma, Grandma! Lori-Anne awoke screaming. Grandma! Mommy and Daddy are all blue. They’re blue!”

Another dream. Grandma climbed the stairs to Lori-Anne’s room. Inside Lori-Anne was hysterical—screaming, crying, and running from one side of the room to the other.

“Lori-Anne, Lori-Anne. You’ve got to calm down! Everything’s all right. Now sit still and tell me about it.”

“Grandma, Mommy and Daddy were colored blue. They looked real sick. Grandma, will you call them? I need to know they’re okay.”

“Lori-Anne,” Grandma answered, “I can’t call them now. They’re on their way home. You’ll see them soon enough. Everything’s fine. You’ll just have to be patient. You’ve waited this long. Another two hours and they’ll be home. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

Snuggled in Grandma’s arms, Lori-Anne felt a little better. Still she wondered why Karen and Tim were colored blue. Lori-Anne’s dreams were beginning to take a toll on her. Every time she would try to sleep, the sleep had been interrupted by dreams. Lori-Anne was beginning to feel just plain exhausted.

Grandma carried Lori-Anne downstairs, lit an oil lamp, and sat down on the couch. Lori-Anne never loosened her grip around Grandma’s neck. Grandpa came in with a cup of hot chocolate. Lori-Anne had about three gulps left when the doorbell rang. “Is that Mommy and Daddy?” Lori-Anne wanted to know.

“Let’s go see,” said Grandpa.

The police officer stood to the side looking away from the house. “Sir,” he said, “Could I speak to you privately for just a minute?”

“Yes, of course.” Grandpa replied, looking a little puzzled. Grandma hustled Lori-Anne off to the kitchen.

“Sir, is Karen Mourant your daughter?”

“Yes, yes she is?”

“Tim Mourant is her husband?”

“Yes. Officer what’s this about?”

“Sir, both Karen and Tim were involved in an auto accident. Neither one pulled through.”

Before the shock set in Grandpa wanted to understand what had happened. The officer continued. “Tim and Karen were traveling on a slight downgrade. They came upon a curve, but in the ice storm, they were unable to negotiate it properly. They then veered to the left where the car slid into a pond.

“I’m sorry, Sir. This is not pleasant for me, but you need to know. Someone will be in touch with you concerning the bodies.” Grandpa, now in shock, managed to get back to the kitchen. Grandma and Lori-Anne met him with a “What’s going on?” look in their eyes.

Grandpa squeaked out the news that Karen and Tim had been killed in an auto accident. As Grandma’s mouth dropped open, Lori-Anne began to scream “Mommy broke her promise. Mommy broke her promise. She promised to come back.”

As she tore around the corner in the living room, she bumped the oil lamp. Fire began to bristle up the old wood walls of the farm-house. While Grandpa dialed 911, Lori-Anne ran upstairs.

The living room was filled with smoke, and the only way out of the house was through the kitchen. As Grandma and Grandpa began to cross the snow-covered field, they realized that Lori-Anne was still in the house. Grandpa headed back and met the fire trucks coming up the lane.

“My granddaughter is still in the house. You’ve got to get her out! Please!”

Smoke continued to fill the house as Lori-Anne remained trapped in the back bedroom. Panic gave way to peace when Lori-Anne came face to face with her mother. Karen spoke quietly and calmly.

“See, Pumpkin. I told you I’d be back for you. I even crossed my heart and hoped to die.”

Webster defines revival in part, as “a recovery of consciousness from unconsciousness”. He describes the word revive in part, as bringing back to a normal condition. I want us to take a minute and consider these two thoughts. How much are we really conscious of the spiritual need around us? How close are we to normal Christianity?

I still remember sitting in a 9th grade science class. The room was very hot and we were all crowded into a a small corner of the room to watch an experiment. Slowly, little by little, the room began to spin and everything turned black. Eventually I met the point of no return. I do not remember a thing from that time until the time of recovery in the nurse’s office. For sure, there was activity all about me, but it was completely unknown to me at the time. I have no recollection whatsoever of that time period.

Could it be that we are spiritually unaware of a world that is spinning out of control and is covered in the blackness of sin? We do not have to look very far to see it, but do we? It is there, but are we conscious of it? Could it be that at one time in our lives we stood against sin, and for the Savior? But now, we have given in to worldly pressures, family pressures, possibly even church pressures? Our zeal and spiritual energy have been drained to the point of numbness, and we are not even aware of what is taking place in the spiritual battle. We have become spiritually unconscious. Meanwhile satan (I do not believe in capitalizing his name) is working his plan just as Christ desires to work His plan.

Maybe you are not unconscious, just a little tired of the battle. Maybe just a little sleepy. May I remind you that there is a lost and dying world out there that is counting on us to make a difference (even if they are not aware of it). The same was true in Jonah’s day. Can you hear the world call “What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not” (Jonah 1:6). Remember that God through the Apostle Paul tells us to be stedfast, unmovable, and of course, always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58). Remember too, not to be weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). The rest of that verse goes on to say “…for in due season we shall reap, if we FAINT not.”

God never expects us to faint, to grow weary, to sleep, to become unconscious to the battle going on around us, but yet all too often it happens. Do not allow the things of God to become dull in your thinking. Keep on keeping on for the Lord.

As I awoke in the nurse’s office, I can remember things seeming a little fuzzy. It took some time to understand where I was and what had happened. It took a few minutes for me to return to normal. If we have gotten away from the Lord, returning to our first love may seem a little strange. There may be some major obstacles we need to overcome, and it may not happen all at once. Gradually, little by little, God can and will allow a return to normal Christianity.

By your choice, He will fan a spark in your heart and cause it to grow into a holy fire. Could it be that at this time you do not desire to be revived, to be on fire for the Lord? Could it be that you are content to live a life apart from God? Returning may be a little fuzzy”, but return anyway. Ask God to give you the desire, to give you that little spark that He can fan. He will.

While I would not argue that we as born-again Christians worship one God, I realize that we worship Him in three persons. In Deuteronomy 6:4 we read, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” I take Scripture at face value. I may not understand everything, but if the Bible says it, that settles it for me. The best example I can give (and it is a poor example) of how God exists as three-in-one is myself. I am a husband to my wife. She sees me as such. I am a father to my children. They see me as such. I am a pastor to my congregation. They see me as such–one person with three distinct roles and responsibilities.

I will use the King James Bible for Scripture references. Many of the newer versions remove Christ’s claims to deity. I also will not argue Scripture. It is what it is. I do not try to make Scripture fit my philosophy, but rather allow Scripture to be my philosophy. My goal is not to preach, but rather to let the Word of God through the Holy Spirit speak. Isaiah 9:6 says,”For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Clearly Jesus the Son is the mighty God, The everlasting Father.

Isaiah 44:6 goes on to say, “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Jesus shares those same words in Revelation 1:17–“Fear not; I am the first and the last.” Jesus is the redeemer the LORD of hosts.

We know that God created the worlds–” In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Colossians 1:16, 17 says this in reference to Christ, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15 talks of Jesus as being the [visible] image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” The word firstborn here has to do with being first in time and place, not in a creation sense. This is connected to the thought in verse 17 as we see that Jesus was before all things.

What about Mathew 28:19–“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Notice that it is the name, not names. Even though there are different responsibilities, there is One name. Notice that Jesus also said in verse 18, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” All power belongs to Jesus. If Jesus is not God, then at least He is more powerful than God…that is absurd.

The writer of Hebrews links Jesus the Son to the Godhead. ” But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever….” The Son is God? That is what it says.

What are we to do with John 14:,7, 9? ” If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him…Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father. To know Christ is to know the Father.

The apostle John nails it on the head when he says in I John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life”.

This is where my wife was coming from in her testimony. She has been given an understanding to know the very Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is the true God and eternal life.

The apostle continues in his Gospel, John 1:1-3–“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Just a side note here–to be in the beginning one must be before the beginning and He is the creator of all things.

The Apostle Paul mentions this in reference to Christ in Philippians 2:6, ” Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…”

Matthew gives us this account of the Lord’s temptation in Matthew 4:5-7–“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee:and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Acts 20:28 tells that God bought His church with His own blood–“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Titus speaks of the equality of Jesus with God as well. Titus 1:3–“But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.“; Titus 2:13–“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”; Titus 3:4–“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…”

Salvation can only come through Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. God with us. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child,and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is,God with us.” (Matthew 1:23). This same Jesus is coming back for His own–“…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:11).”

What does it mean to be one of His own? To have a right standing before this God-man Jesus Christ. Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness]. A blood offering is required for the atonement of sin. Jesus offered His blood once for all. God became human flesh to identify with us as a sheep led to the slaughter (Acts 8:32). He and He alone paid your price. You can know Him personally. You can have a right relationship with the God of Heaven. Come to Him today before it may be forever too late.

“If ye had known me,ye should have known my Father also…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…” (John 14:7, 9).

 

“…But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jeremiah 20:9b)

All over America there are pockets of prayers popping up, Be it individuals, groups. or whole churches, God is calling His people to pray. Still, for the most part, the call has fallen on deaf ears. America may be religious, but she is still lost. America may be filled with churches, but not the Savior. Many claim the name of Christian, but have not the slightest idea what it means to be a Christian.

After an exhausting day at church yesterday, I finally crawled into bed about 10:00pm–and lay for hours tossing and turning, pleading with God silently for our nation. Did He hear? Absolutely! I cannot get the thought of a Prayer Revolution out of my mind.

If you see our country as being okay, you need to try a new pair of glasses. We are far from the God who has blessed us for some 200 years. We have mocked him by our church formalities.Yes, we have blasphemed the God of Heaven in attempting to do the work without the Holy Spirit, and we came up dry What did we expect?.

The focus has become programs, pomp, and personalities. Christ has long ago been ushered out the front door where He remains knocking, pleading for entrance. We have forbidden it. There is a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I can not stay. Perhaps I’m not speaking about your church, but then again maybe I am.

Stop for just a minute–just one minute and think about the condition of America–really think. Is Christ really preeminent in your church? Certainly He is not in the American church in general. But it really does not have to be that way! Let’s start a prayer revolution. This I know. If we do not willingly bend the knee before God, He will bring us to our knees, but then it will be too late.

Would it really hurt you to immerse yourself in prayer for the glory of God to return. I mean immerse. Allow me to vent some steam. I am so sick of so-called prayer meetings where the pastor has a 30 minute Bible study and a five-minute prayer time at the end.Wonder why the church is weak? You know the answer. Very few people cry out to God anymore insisting on His promises to be fulfilled. Very few people take the time to enter into a deep prayer life with the One who saved them. Very few care. I am hoping you are different. Let’s start a prayer revolution.

In my county there are about eight Gospel preaching churches. If one of those churches caught the fire of the Holy Spirit and another one 15 miles down the road caught fire, something very powerful would begin to happen. The Holy Spirit would take those flames and blow them into one flame bigger than either of the two, covering more area than either one could alone. Imagine if God got a hold of all eight churches. Imagine if this took place in many counties in many states–the winds of revival would be blowing of hurricane force.

America will continue to suffer unless a change is made. Unless a change is made your loved ones may burn in hell. Your neighbors will still reject Christ. Homosexuality, pro-choice and evolution will still be taught to your children and grandchildren. Someone has to do something. It might as well be you!

You have to plead with God, not just pray. You have to lay hold of the promises God has given you. You have to resist the devil. You have to get serious. Beg God to work in your life. Beg Him to do something only He can do. Only He can change the face of things to come against this country.

The fact that your loved ones may burn in hell, the fact that your neighbors may still reject Christ, the fact that your children and grandchildren will continue to be taught dangerous and damaging lies is not the reason to cry out for revival. There is only one reason–God Himself. The pure glory of God is the only reason to plead with Him. His glory is the only reason to hold Him to His promises. God is God and that is all we need to know. He deserves His rightful place among us. He will have it if we give it to Him.

Determine now to throw out the ten minute quiet time that eases the conscience. Dive into prayer for an hour or more at a time, perhaps several times a day. Let God be real and transform your life.

There is a burning fire in my bones. I am weary of forbearing. Be a spark. Get others involved. Get your church involved. I am only one person with one story to a few people on a few sites, but together we can multiply the effort and start a prayer revolution. Watch and marvel at what God is going to do.

The Great American Fast needs you–www.thegreatamericanfast.org

A. Preparing the Field of Planning
If you truly want revival in your life, plan now to obtain it. It is God’s will for your life. He will grant it to you if you follow His plan. You must make His plan your plan.
You must possess a plan. Nothing worthwhile happens in life without a plan. There are business plans. School teachers must have lesson plans. Christians must work on developing a life plan. You must aim at something to hit it. Decide now what your plan will be. Set aside a certain time for Bible study and Prayer. Set aside a time each week to witness for the Lord. Plan for times of service to the Lord through your church.
Write it out on paper. To see it written out will help to establish in your mind what you intend to do.
You must process your plan. Once you have your plan written out, you must be faithful to executing it. As with any new habit it may take some time for it to be routine, but be persistent. If you fail on a particular day, pick yourself up and go on (Prov. 24:16). It may be that having an accountability partner may be part of your plan. Be accountable to someone (preferably your pastor). He’ll be able to encourage you and help lift you to a higher level of spiritual growth. If your partner can not lift you to a higher plane, find another partner. But at any cost, make your plan, then work your plan.
You must protect your plan. Be sure there will be many days that satan will try to get you off track—away from your plan. Decide right now that no matter what, God has first priority in your life and He deserves first place. Fit everything else in your life around Him. As you focus more and more on Him, you will see other things fading in their importance.
Get busy preparing your fields. You might be surprised at the results.

Preparing the Field of Purpose

As we continue to prepare our fields for rain we must enter the field of purpose. Revival has a purpose, a purpose in your life and in others. You honestly must feel that there is a purpose to your life–specific God-given purpose, because there is.

We mentioned earlier that our general purpose is to glorify God and bring Him pleasure. We can only do that if we are experiencing spiritual life. If we are living in a state of non-revival, God neither gets the glory nor the pleasure that you were created for.

Gather your purpose–The very fact that you are breathing is an indication that God has a plan for your life. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” The word “abundantly” means superabundant in quantity and superior in quality. It means in excess, both in quantity and quality. God wants to give you more than could ever be dreamed or imagined, but we short-circuit ourselves by not living according to purpose.

Your purpose is found in Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:21). Your life and everything in it is to be centered on Him (Colossians 3:17). Your life is in no way about you. It is in every way about Christ. To reach your purpose, to be truly fulfilled, you need to give up on yourself and turn it all over to Him. You must get your life centered on Christ and revival will come. By the way, if you are centered on Christ, you are revived.

Give of your purpose—A paradox, according to Webster is “a tenet or proposition contrary to received opinion or seemingly absurd, yet true in fact.” The Bible is full of paradoxes. One of them is found in Luke 6:38, “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom…”. Biblically, the way to get is to give, but we should never give just to get. God knows the heart and attitudes as well as the actions.

Give your purpose away. Knowledge that you have of the Word of God is to be shared. His Word will not return void. Do not be afraid to share just because you may not know all the answers. Just share what you know. A witness is one who only reports what he sees or knows as a fact. One of the best ways to witness is to tell someone what Jesus did for you. If He has changed your life, you have a story to tell. Prepare your field for rain by speaking out for the Lord Jesus.

Give of your time. Invest your time in the life of a child. Children hold a special place in the heart of God. Let them hold a special place in your heart, too. Invest your time in service for the Lord. Teach a Sunday school class. Go soul winning. Volunteer to help with transportation. Paint a room. Clean a toilet. Do something for the Lord.

Active people are generally joyful people (at least if we are active for the right reason—Jesus Christ). The more active you are, the more you will accomplish and the more joy you will spread. Joy truly is contagious. Work at making your joy visible.

Give of your treasure. A prepared field means that we are following God’s conditions for income use. He requires 10% of your gross income to go to His church. He also expects offerings to be given (Malachi 3:8-10). Without belaboring the point, you will put your money where your heart is. Although we may not like it, the money you give to the Lord is in direct proportion to your love for Him. Give little—love little. Give much—love much!

Gain from your purpose—Galatians tells us that we will reap what we sow. We will reap if we faint not. God’s promises are sure. The Bible lists seven laws of harvest. If we apply them, we will reap.

Laws of the Harvest:  1. We reap only what’s been sown (Gal. 6:7, 8)
2. We reap the same in kind as we have sown (II Sam. 12:9)
3. We reap in a different season than we sow(Eccl. 3:2)
4. We reap more than we sow (Mark 4:1-8)
5. We reap in proportion to what we sow (II Cor. 9:6)
6. We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere (Gal. 6:9, 10)
7. We can’t do anything about last year’s harvest, but we can about this year’s (Phil. 3:13)

If we study and follow these laws (that work every time) we would reap more. Others as well as you have planted much in your life. There will come a day of harvest if you are true to the principles of God’s Word. This does not happen by chance. There must be a plan. So plan now on the harvest. Put God’s immutable laws to the test. Prepare for rain and get ready for revival.

Preparing the Field of Purity

We can not expect revival in our lives without prayer. We also can not expect revival in our lives without purity. God demands that we be a pure people. God can only work through a clean instrument. God needs you to be pure, to be holy.

Purity is Irrespective–God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; James 2:1). He expects the same from each of His children. He expects us to be holy (I Pet. 1:16).

If we could not obtain holiness, God would never have commanded it. Simply put, holiness is obedience. If we are living a life of obedience, we are living a holy life. But obedience goes much deeper than most of us think. God expects complete obedience from each of us. None are exempt. There are no excuses. So stop making them.

God is looking at your heart as much as He is looking at mine. God is not a respecter of persons in this matter of purity. He not only expects holiness from each of us, but He deserves it. We have become His dwelling, and we need to keep a clean house for the Lord.

If you are serious about seeking revival in your life, then you must take inventory of yourself. You must be willing to deal with what God shows you. Although God expects holiness from all of us, I am only responsible for holiness in my life. You are only responsible for holiness in your life. Do not worry about anybody else. Look at yourself!

Purity is insistent–We must insist on purity. Unless we mean business, we will remain impure. I am not talking gross immorality. I am talking purity. Unless we make a conscious move toward purity, it will never happen. Right this minute, what sin is God pointing at in your life? It must be dealt with. It must be confessed with a heart of true repentance. Read Psalm 51:2-4. David’s desire was to be pure, to be washed. The only way that was possible was to face his sin squarely and recognize who he had sinned against. When our sin does not line up with purity, we are out of step with God. Therefore we can have no fellowship (Amos 3:3). Neither are we in a position to receive blessings from God.

We must insist of ourselves that we live purely before the Lord. Daniel purposed in his heart not to be defiled (Dan. 1:8). When the time came to face defilement the decision was already made. There was nothing to consider. We too must purpose in our hearts not to defile ourselves with sin.

When it came time for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednigo to worship the image, they answered the king, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up (Dan. 3:17, 18).

Their decision of purity was made ahead of time, and there was no questioning it when the time came for temptation. I Corinthians 10:13 reminds us that there is always a way to escape temptation. They were prepared for the temptation and, therefore were able to avoid the sin.

Purity is ideal–Will we sin? Unfortunately, yes. But we do not have to. God provided everything we need to be pure and holy. According to Romans 8:9 the Godhead lives within you. Matthew 28:18 says of Jesus, that all power is given to Him. You have the power to overcome anything, anytime—if you choose. I John 3:9 teaches us that if we are born again, we can not sin. This is not teaching in any way the doctrine of sinless perfection, but rather that the new nature that God has placed within every believer can not sin. However, the old nature that remains can sin. That is where the battle is –between the old and new nature. Living in the Spirit controlled by the new nature of God is to be preferred.

When you were saved, you were taken out of satan’s domain (Rom. 6:14), out of his kingdom and placed in God’s kingdom. We no longer live under the power of sin. We are no longer held in bondage to habits. Why then do Christians struggle with the old, carnal nature? Although we will sin from time to time, I believe that in the life of a growing Christian that we should be sinning less and less. I also believe that we do not have to bound to any addictive behavior.

There are all kinds of psycho-babble today to explain away our bondage to addictions and bad habits, but the simple truth is we choose that behavior. Our past, circumstances, childhood learning, etc. may influence our choices, but the truth is you and I do what we want to do. As Christians we have the power (through Christ) to say no—to stop stubborn habits. Philippians 4:13 says that I can do all things through Christ. “All” includes addictive behavior. Stop making excuses for the wrong that you love and just admit it. Then get right. Ideally, that is what God wants for you. You must prepare your field if you truly expect the rain of revival.