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The Great Debate!

Please do me a favor, if you choose to read this blog, please read it in its entirety.  I promise to keep it as short as possible.

Thanks.... Larry

OK, the great benefit of owning a blog site is that I can write whatever I want to, when every I want to.  Why?  Because I'm paying for it, so I get the right to express my opinions no matter how right or wrong they may seem to others. 

Getting that off my mind, I wish to address some of the great debating going on within the Church today.  I became a Christan in 1973, and to be honest, I can never recall a time when there has not been great debates coming forth within the Body of Christ.  If you recall, some of the past debates were even brutal in nature.  However, it seems that there is an abundance of debating going on these days, and so much of it is based upon opinions.  A good example was the other day, an evangelist friend was talking to me about a pastor that was not interested in having Corinne and I in his church for meetings.  The reason was that we were "too spiritual," or something like that. I was somewhat astonished by this, as I thought that we were all to be, "too spiritual."   And to think that this came from a pastor who had never been in any of our meetings!  And here I thought that everyone loved me!  Ha!  Wow, we are so quick to jump to conclusions today, then debate them with others!

Much of today's debate revolves around the way that we "do church," with some saying, meet in buildings, some say homes.   

OK, we're church planters.  When we plant we do plant churches that meet in homes.  Here's why:  I feel that they are the most Scriptural model of church planting.  I base much of my thinking on I Corinthians 14:26-33, "When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said.  But everything that is done must strengthen all of you."  I feel that it is pretty hard to fulfill this in a traditional church setting.   I also see that the "Early Church" met in homes.  Yes there were larger public meeting venues, but if you really study the context of the verses mentioned, these were more open evangelistic meetings, than "church" meetings.    We plant churches, oversee them, and encourage them to plant others themselves, with the bottom line being, they taking their cities for Jesus Christ.

We are also itinerant ministers, we like to call ourselves, "Revivalists."  We minister in all types of churches, from denominations to independents.  Actually we spend most of our ministry time in churches/groups like this.  Sometimes we are asked, "Don't you find it a conflict of interest to minister in more traditional churches when you plant churches that meet in homes?'  And our answer is, "Not at all!"  When we minister in an established church, we consider ourselves part of the staff of that church.  We work hard for that church, we give that church 100% plus of any ministry that we have within us.  We attend the church's prayer/intercession meetings, we go to the streets with their evangelism teams, we even will counsel the people, of course with the pastor's permission.  When we are in a church for meetings we consider ourselves members of that church.  We don't try to change the way they "do church."  No not at all!  Why?  Because we love the Church... we love God's people!  We only focus on one thing... More of God!  When He shows up, it just doesn't make a difference where we meet. 

The Great Debate will most likely rage for a long time, and I most likely will get in my share of personal opinion venting, after all, some of you already know how quick I am to debate these subjects!  The debating  in itself is not bad, actually I feel that it's rather healthy, if for no other reason, than to solidify our own thinking on these matters.  But the real bottom line is our attitudes in all of this, can we still love the others?  If so, then we are right with God.  All we really need is true revival to be manifested within us, then our churches, and everything will be just fine!

OK, I promised to keep this blog as short as possible.  I'm actually going to end here.  I really would love to hear from you about this.  All you have to do is hit the little "comment" button below this article and post away.

Thanks and be blessed this week!


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Is It Revival? No, Not Yet!

Tomorrow April, 18 is the 100th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake.  Yesterday Corinne and I concluded 2 weeks of powerful meetings in the south east region of the Bay Area.  During the duration of our stay there we were acutely made aware of this anniversary.  The papers, magazines and news programs are ripe with information of this terrible event. 

Also we are fully aware of another 100 year anniversary, that of the great Azusa Street Revival.  In many ways this event was even far greater than the earthquake.  It has been said that the Azusa Street move of God has been labeled as one of the 10 most important events of American history. 

We have been doing a little reading on the Revival and have found that many of the "signs of the times" of 100 years ago are the same today.  100 years ago this month, America was being effected by national scandals, high energy costs, killer earth quakes and tidal waves, political greed and graft, and a great lack of desire for the things of God.    Of the period of 100 years ago, Aimee Semple McPherson described it as, "The church today is full of indifference, materialism, unbelief and powerless programs that don't save lost souls.  What we need is the fire of the Holy Ghost."  Wow... it seems as if she was writing about today!

Over the past 10 years we have witnessed the Renewal movement, an increase of signs and wonders, a very sharp increase in prophetic accuracy, yet we seem so far from the longings of our hearts..... true revival.   We have witnessed some powerful meetings, many are reporting wonderful things happening.  Yet when we compare today to the great Azusa Street Earthquake, we continue to fall short.  I might suggest that you too do some fresh research on Azusa Street. 

Church... we don't measure up to it yet!  Do we witness sparks and warm coals?  You bet, thankfully there are embers!  However, if ever there was a time to fan them into flames it is today.  We are heading in the correct direction, now it's only a matter of time until the Holy Spirit sends His water, His fire, His wind!  Will we repeat the Azusa Street Revival?  No.  My prayer is that it will be far greater, and never ending.

Hopefully we will do some important reflection this week.  With all of these 100 year anniversaries, just maybe this will be the week when God once again revives America!

To this I can only add, "More Lord!"

Blessings ~ Larry

Deal or No Deal?

One night it is, "Survivor" another night, "CSI."  In watching a few NBC ads it seems like "Deal or No Deal?" is being aired nightly!  Have you noted lately, the amount of talk about "American Idol" with people asking, "Who do you like?'

If you have a family I am sure you are fully aware of your very busy schedule!  OK, I'll age myself somewhat here, but when I was a kid.....  I recall my junior high biology teacher, Miss Lobdell, teaching us that by the year 2000 scientists were concerned that due to the high proliferation of technology, the average American would be reduced to a vegetative state as a result of all of the free time available to them.  The thought was that we Americans would have so much time that we would sit around and do nothing but grow moss on us.  Ha!  What a joke that is!  Free time... what is that?

How many school events are you taking your children to this week?  Of course these events occur after both Mom and Dad have been involved in the work place all day.  By the way, have you noted that if you are going to be successful in life, make any good money, there is no such thing as a 40 hour work week anymore! 

In the hey days of the Charismatic Renewal, I recall itinerant ministers, like Corinne and I, calling our pastor, TW French of Holland, Michigan and and saying something like this, "Hey Brother, I had meetings scheduled in a town near you and they had to cancel, so I'll be in your area, OK if I drop by for a few nights of meetings?"  Usually a call like that came to Pastor French the night before.  He would always say..."Sure thing Brother!"  The next morning the phones would begin ringing (no email in those days), and that night the church would be nearly packed with people who were hungry for God.  The Lord would heal people, there would be prophetic words released, and the next night even more Saints would be attending.  Sometimes these "spur of the moment meetings" would extend into several weeks of God moving!

Of course times have changed!  Remember the technology?  How about all of the free time we all have?  (grin!)

I think that John had the mind of God for today when he wrote in I John 2:15-17, "Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions.  These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave.  But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever."

I am thinking that to be too busy for God is not a good deal at all.  So to me I would have to say, "No deal to this!" 

Then there are the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."  OK... to this I have to say to Him..."You've got a deal!"

How about prayerfully considering this blog article this week.  Are you too busy for God?  If you are, hopefully you will end up saying to this situation..... "No Deal!"

Blessings ~ Larry

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Rain and More Rain!

OK, Corinne says that I "whine about the weather."  I have to admit it, she's right!  I thrive on warm temps and lots of sunshine.  Cut off jeans, T shirts and sandals are my desired mode of dress.  Right now I'm in withdrawal as the tan lines from wearing sandals all last Summer, on the tops of my feet are beginning to fade!  And here I am in "Sunny California," expecting to renew the tan, being completely drenched in continuous rain!  Wow... what a let down!

In the Sacramento Area, March's rain fall was a all time of record of 20 days.  April is not looking too much better.  Yesterday, April 2, It began raining in the afternoon and continued all night, with a steady, heavy cadence of rain drops, being tapped out on the roof of Pilgrim I.   As I write this,  April 3, at 8:49 a.m., it is pouring in Sacramento. 

As one drives around town, the steams and rivers are flooded.  Discovery Park, where the Sacramento and American Rivers merge, near Old Town Sacramento, the water is flooding over the roads in the Park itself.  The Sacramento Valley is flooding again!

Last weekend, we were in the Sierra Nevada Foothills, at about the 1500 foot elevation.  Corinne and I were invited to minister at the Word-A-Live Church, located in beautiful Penn Valley, CA.  This group is reaching out for revival.  They are seeking God for a strong move of His Spirit, not just for them selves, but so that the entire region, Nevada County, CA can be reached and transformed for Jesus.  This is what true revival is all about!  Last Sunday morning, I brought a prophetic word to the church.  I had been awakened at 2:00 a.m. that morning by the Lord, and He asked me to tell the Church that they were, "A watershed ministry."  In other words, their position was to gather spiritual rain, use it for their purposes, I saw them actually bathing in it, and then send it down the mountain to the thirsty valley below.  During last weekend's rain storms, the streams and rivers in the mountains were totally flowing at full capacity.  And it's not only the rain, but the snow in the mountains is building by the foot, almost hourly.  We were located in the west end of Nevada County and we had rain just about all week there.  However, just a few miles east, at higher elevations, the snow pack is being measured by the foot, not by the inch, with some places there being a 25 foot snow pack!  The interesting concept here is that snow shall eventually melt too, and likewise make it's way to the Valley.

OK, what is the point of this weather report?  As much as I have to agree with my wife, I have been whining about the weather.  However, I also am fully aware of the signs of the times.  Again, I recall my December 2, 2005 blog, speaking of the valleys in Northern California being flooded by God's River, from mountain top to mountain top.  I have to admit, even though I do not like the rain in the natural, I sure do appreciate the spiritual applications.   So, I might suggest to all who are prayer warriors.... Pray for revival! Even if you do not live in Northern California, pray for this region.  It is imperative!  God is beginning the early stages of a great move here.  It will head your way.  Get ready, He's doing something pretty powerful here!

I might suggest that like the Word-A-Live Church in Penn Valley, that area churches get in touch with revivalists, allowing them to help you press in for all that God has for your church, town, and region.  Begin to activate the prophetic intercessors/prayer warriors, encouraging them to call forth the Flood of God's presence.  I would encourage pastors to begin to talk about revival.  This month the 100th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival is being celebrated, so I suggest, Pastors.... tell you people the stories of old!  Light a fire in your church, create a dis-satisfaction with "church as usual."  I know that this sounds risky, but you must take the risk if you are going to enter into the New Day. 

Finally please allow me to quote the following, Zechariah 10:1 (NLT),  "Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds.  And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture."

There you have it, all of this physical rain is making a prophetic statement, revival is on the way to America.  Every field will become a "lush pasture!  To this I can only say....and I shudder to say it as my fading feet will attest, More Lord!

Blessings ~ Larry

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