Cathy and I will be at Yearly Meeting Thursday through next Tuesday. It will be good to see my dad & Cathy’s Mom and Sister, plus the Pastors of Eastern Region. George Sutton & Pastor Dave Householder are also going up to Canton as Delegates. Pray for safety in travel and that we will be strengthened in the Lord.
Continue to pray for revival. America has experienced them before and we sure do need one now. Greg Laurie lists a few lessons from previous revivals.
- Come to church with a sense of expectancy.
- Worship was passionate & heartfelt.
- There was a hunger for the Word of God.
- They believed Jesus was coming back.
- They invited people to Church & to know Christ.
Here’s another one that I know is crucial:
- It was bathed in prayer.
Richard Meadors is asking if anyone has a large car trailer so he can tow the 2013 Church van to his shop to fix the damage that the vandals did to it. Otherwise, he will have to have it towed. Contact Richard if you have a trailer at (804) 496-9821.
Congratulations to Eric & Emily McKinley on the birth of their daughter, Brianna Grace. We rejoice with them for this addition to their family!
You are probably hearing and reading more about UFO’s recently, especially the 60 Minutes Special. UFO’s or UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon) have existed in popular culture (movies & books) for decades, but the Government has been strangely silent or purposely keeping the issue quiet. Not now. Why now? What’s their agenda now?
We’ll find out soon. Next month, the Department of Defense & Pentagon are required to give a report on UFO’s. A former Assistant Secretary of Defense leaked radar of UFO’s to the New York Times in 2017. This proof forced their hand.
Most Americans believe in UFO’s, they just don’t know what they are. Lots of famous and important people have testified to seeing “something.” People like former President Jimmy Carter, Astronauts, Navy pilots, Harvard astrophysicist Ari Loeb and Paul Hellyer, the former Defense Minister of Canada. There’s Roswell in New Mexico, The Rendlesham Forest incident in England and the Phoenix Lights occurrence. The evidence is overflowing for “something.” But what is it?
The first word is the most important word in UFO sightings. “Unidentified.” That doesn’t necessarily mean aliens. It could be a natural phenomenon or man-made objects like hot air balloons or missiles or drones. Most sightings are this. Could it be a spaceship from a distant galaxy? In my opinion, unlikely. Could it be advanced technology by our Government? A government psyops?
My theory & personal belief is that it is demonic. Ephesians 2:2 – “in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air…” Ephesians 6:12 – “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In Ezekiel 1, Ezekiel has a vision that looks like a UFO!
Someday, if there is an alien “disclosure,” be very suspicious & cautious. Don’t be gullible. Don’t fall for deception. I believe it is fallen angels. Feel free to dialogue with me on this.
Jacob Waldron penned this piece called “Church Is Hard.” I’m sure there is something you can relate to.
Church is hard.
Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.
Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.
Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.
Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.
Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire way to the worship service.
Church is hard for the single mom next to couples holding hands and seemingly perfect families.
Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after church.
Church is hard for the church leader with an estranged child.
Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.
Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.
Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous husband.
Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.
Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God will bring them a mate.
Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.
Church is hard for the sinners.
Church is hard for me.
It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.
Yet underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.
But, here is the beauty of church—
Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.
Church is a body.
Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.
Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.
Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.
Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.
Church is a lesson in faith and trust.
Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.
Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.
Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.
Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where Jesus resides.
So even on the hard days at church—the days when I’m at odds with a friend; when I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again; when I’ve walked in, bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face; when I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung; when I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away; I’ll remember. He has never failed to meet me there.
I am so glad for Hanover Evangelical Friends Church! You make this a place I look forward to coming to.
Revival comes when the Spirit of God blows over a place. It is a Sovereign work of God that can’t be manipulated. But, according to Charles Finney, there are things a Christian can do to prepare when it comes.
- When the wickedness of the world grieves and humbles us enough, we will cry out to God.
- When a spirit of prayer for revival is kindled. People join together to pray earnestly.
- When the minister preaches against sin and for God’s power and holiness.
- When Christians confess their sins to God and one another.
- When Christians willingly make sacrifices, allowing God to do what He wants with them.
Pastor Dave will be preaching Saturday evening, Pastor Charles will lead a time of prayer and reflection on Sunday evening and I will be preaching on Sunday morning and Monday night. Join us at 6:30 for a “Time of Refreshing.”
I hope you will attend some or all of the Time of Refreshing (revival) March 20th– 22nd at 6:30 p.m., and also Sunday morning March 21st. Invite a friend, too!
When is revival needed? Probably the best answer is always! What are the signs it is needed?
- When there is a lack of love in a church, when jealousy, gossip, and divisions are prevalent.
- When people are content with dead formalism or are living in sin.
- When unbelieving culture is influencing the church in negative ways.
- When lost people in the surrounding culture are dying and going to hell and the church is unconcerned.
I don’t have a sense that we as a church are living in all 4 of these attitudes, but I do know that most of us could be more loving, holy, and passionate for the lost around us.
So be praying God will sovereignly use these 3 days (and after) to challenge and refresh us spiritually.
This coming Sunday looks like good weather, hopefully!
Lent begins Wednesday the 17th. Liturgical churches do a good job of emphasizing the Christian calendar better than Evangelical ones. I want to provide some suggestions for you to enhance your observation of Lent.
Lent focuses on repentance. We are moving toward Christ’s suffering and death and resurrection on Easter morning. We prepare our hearts & humble ourselves like He did.
Often people will fast or remove something from their daily lives those 40 days. You can certainly do that. I want to suggest adding something instead. Work on your memory verse of John 3:16. Read the 40 passages below, meditate on them, study them if you wish, and apply them as the Spirit leads.
Here are a few other suggestions on what to add. Add 5 more minutes to your prayer time. Do 2 kind deeds each week and don’t tell anyone. Email, text, call or visit a neighbor to encourage them. Spend 20 minutes helping food ministry (fold plastic bags). Use your gifts to help someone this week and advance Christ’s Kingdom.
Here are the 40 readings for Lent:
- Isaiah 40: 1-5
- Daniel 9:4-19
- Nehemiah 9:16-21
- Luke 13:1-5
- Hebrews 3:8-19
- Romans 1:18-32
- Colossians 1:15-20
- Colossians 1:21-23
- 2 Timothy 4:1-5
- Revelation 19:1-8
- James 3:1-6
- 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
- John 14:1-3
- Luke 15:1-7
- Mark 1:1-8
- Romans 5:12-17
- Galatians 5:1-5
- Psalm 90:13-17
- Psalm 121:1-8
- Isaiah 61:1-3
- Deuteronomy 28:1-14
- Jonah 2:1-9
- Habakkuk 3:1-4
- Matthew 21:1-11
- Mark 14:17-26
- Isaiah 40:28-31
- Revelation 1:5-7
- John 12:23-28
- Galatians 2:17-21
- Acts 3:17-23
- Isaiah 53:1-7
- Isaiah 53:8-12
- Psalm 22:1-8
- Matthew 27:11-26
- Matthew 27:27-31
- John 20:16-27
- Luke 23:44-49
- Luke 23:50-56
- Matthew 28:1-10
- Matthew 28:16-20
I hope you will listen to Pastor Charles’ sermon on our website. It’s on the greatest thing: love. It’s excellent!
If you are looking for a devotional for February, check out this link. It’s from a blogger/pastor I follow named John Piippo. I always benefit from his writing.
“Truth is stranger than fiction.” You can’t make this stuff up. I have an example of that.
This story comes out of Oregon. A young mom pulled up to the door of a convenient store and left the car running while she ran inside to buy a few items. She left her child in the car seat in the back seat.
A car thief saw her walk into the store and he jumped in her car and zoomed away. He didn’t get far when he noticed the child in the backseat. He drove back to the store and waited for the mom to come out. When she did, he lectured her on what a bad mother she was leaving her child unattended in a running car. He ordered her to remove the child. She did. Then he promptly drove off. So, who was more ethical?
I am sharing Sundays on spiritual gifts because of the hour we are in. We don’t want to fall short in fulfilling God’s purpose for us in our community. Listen to Paul’s heart in these 2 verses: Romans 1:11 – “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – “ and 1 Corinthians 1:7 – “Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
Wednesday is Inauguration Day and who knows what will happen? There might be something unusual. We should be watching and praying that day for our country.
“For Richmond” has sent out a prayer guide for that day. I encourage you to use it.
Consecrate yourself. 1 Timothy 2:1-8 As we pray, let’s start off by focusing and consecrating ourselves. The word consecrate means to dedicate ourselves for God’s work. Read the call for consecration in 1 Timothy 2:1-8 and pray accordingly.
Lament. Psalm 10 A lament is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow to God. Feel free to express your pain to God and expect God to meet you in that pain. Be guided by Psalm 10 as you pray.
Confession. Isaiah 58 Listen to the prayer of confession and song of lament. Start with an examination of your own sins and shortcomings and move outward to examine the sins and shortcomings we are engaging in a community. Talk to God in your heart or through journaling as you engage Isaiah 58.
Intercession. Matthew 5:43-48 Intercession is praying on the behalf of others. Read Matthew 5:43-48 and use it as a guide in your prayers for those in your family, friends, neighbors, and enemies.
Benediction Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: In might, spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.