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August 2011
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October 2011

Farewell to "Pilgrim 1!"

If you have followed any of my blog postings on, "The River is Here," you most likely are aware that the majority of these posts, those written prior to January 1, 2009, we most likely written from the galley of our motor home, "Pilgrim 1."  Our 1991 Winnebago Elandin "bus" carried us from Revival to Revival from coast to coast. For the better part of 12 years Corinne, Rascal (Rascal the Revival Budgie" and I lived and traveled full time on what we called, "The Highway to Revival."

Then on the first Sunday of January of 2009 one of the most exciting expierences of our ministry occurred when we began a few meetings in a small church in Hernando, Florida.  New Beginnings Fellowship soon became a temporary post for us as we took over as pastors from a couple of great people, Jeff and Pam Burke.  A few weeks later we became permanent pastors of the church and God soon opened other, very exciting doors.

For the first year and a half we continued to live in "Pilgrim 1," then stationed at a local RV park.  However, it soon became apparent that God had a home for us and it was no longer going to be on 8 wheels!  The home we felt that the Lord was going to put us in opened, and last October 1 we moved in.  "Pilgrim 1" was soon relegated to being parked next to the driveway as a reminder of all that God did on the "Highway to Revival."

We were uncertain about what we were to do with our dejected motor home.  As I would look at the "bus" I felt like she wanted to be back on the road, taking us to great places with God.  However, it was not to be!

Then last week someone rang our door bell and asked if the motor home was for sell, and the rest is history!  We no longer own "Pilgrim 1!"  However, we're thrilled about the neat Christian family who now owns her!  

People often ask me if I miss traveling for the Lord.  I do!  Sometimes I have great flash backs of wonderful, powerful meetings.  Do I miss the travel in the motor home?  NO!!!  I'm thankful that that time in my life has come to a close.   We are going to be doing more travel in the ministry of Jesus, however things will be different.  I'm very excited about this great church that God has called us to.  Our people are the greatest and we love them!  And... here's the kicker... who knows when we'll see you on the "Highway to Revival!"  That road still looms ahead.  I'm thinking though, that my future travel plans will include flying high over that "Highway" instead of driving on it!

Good bye "Pilgrim 1"  ....  WE LOVE YOU!

Nervous Nellie

Have you ever heard the term, "Nervous Nellie?"  A long, long time ago there must have been a woman who was very nervous!  She must have been so nervous that her name was permanently attached to her condition.

What do you think.... Is it just me or does it seem that many people are very nervous these days, but are just keeping it within, for fear that to talk about their life's situations may make things get worse.  Peeps are very concerned about the economy and the condition of our nation.  Yet, Saturday night Corinne and I had a dinner meeting with some old, out of state friends and we noted that every restaurant in the area was jammed packed with cars.  So, there is still money being spent so those people must not be too nervous.  Or are they, and just not showing it?

These next few weeks and months are going to be very interesting.  I noticed a church down the road from ours who's sign stated, "We are Preparing for the Rapture."  I thought that was interesting, as our church is "Preparing for advancing the Kingdom of God!"  We actually have on our sign, "A Vision of Hope Here!"

Some of us seem to be hiding our heads in the sand, hoping that all of these problems will go away.  Others of us are ready for the Rapture... Man...get me outta this mess!"  And then there is me saying that we as the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ are entering into our Finest Hour! I'm not into all the judgment stuff.  I see us picking up our armor and going forward "making disciples of all nations!"

I don't see judgment, I see revival and the Third Great Awakening around the corner!  How about you?  Are you ready, ready, ready??

So, if you are a Nervous Nellie, it's time to trade in your condition for a Kingdom perspective.  After all, Priests and Kings are not by nature nervous people!  And... that is YOU my Friend!  That is YOU!

A Vision of Hope!

If your focus is only on the news you see on TV then you have problems!  I watched a little bit of Fox News yesterday afternoon, and within minutes I was almost gasping for air.  Sound bite after sound bite was stating the hopelessness that we face, not only in the USA, but the entire world.  Our stock market was tanking yesterday due to the default position that Greece is in!  Wow!  It's bad enough that we have our own national problems, but to take on the world too...Again I say....Wow!

Our ministry has always been one of revival and hope.  I firmly believe that with God nothing is impossible.  I am a radical believer in signs, wonders and miracles.  I might suggest that many today are in need of such a miracle.  I feel that our ministry is a positive one, not based on fears and traditions, rather based on the truth and promises of the Word of God.  While some are preaching God's judgment falling on America, I'm preaching revival falling in the Church.  Some are preaching how sinful we all are, and I'm preaching that Christ who lives within us is giving us the power to over come sin. (Grace: Heb. 13:8)  Some are preaching doom and gloom and I'm preaching that the Church is now entering Her finest hour!

I guess, I'm still a Revivalist at heart! So to the fearful, I say, we offer a Vision of Hope!

Allow me to close with a very familiar Psalm.  In the past this one has been worked and worked and may seem a little redundant.  However, I feel that it is just now coming into it's perfect time! 

New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 91

 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
      will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
 2 This I declare about the Lord:
   He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
      he is my God, and I trust him.
 3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.
 4 He will cover you with his feathers.
      He will shelter you with his wings.
      His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
      nor the arrow that flies in the day.
 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
      nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.

 9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
      if you make the Most High your shelter,
 10 no evil will conquer you;
      no plague will come near your home.
 11 For he will order his angels
      to protect you wherever you go.
 12 They will hold you up with their hands
      so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
      you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

 14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
      I will protect those who trust in my name.
 15 When they call on me, I will answer;
      I will be with them in trouble.
      I will rescue and honor them.
 16 I will reward them with a long life
      and give them my salvation.”

Follow up to Yesterday's Post: "Speaking in Tongues!"

Since yesterday's blog post about the Gifts of the Spirit and the importance of them, it was brought to my attention just how many Christians today do not speak in tongues.  A couple of years ago, I read where about 46% of people within Assembly of God and Church of God (Cleveland, TN) churches do not speak in tongues and that many of those churches do not encourage this gift and it's operation thereof.

One guy suggested that these days it's difficult to tell the difference between a Baptist church and a Pentecostal church (again, not picking on my Baptist friends here, but just making a point).

As a result of yesterday's blog post, it came to my attention that many today believe in all of the Gifts of the Spirit, except maybe one.... speaking in tongues.  Some just do not see the importance of speaking in tongues.  

Well, that is where I am different, I guess!  I DO see the importance of speaking/praying in the special language that God gave me!  I do it often, and often do it lots!  It has changed my life, and it will yours too, that is if you practice it!

Some have told me in the past that speaking in tongues isn't very important, you know... the least of the Gifts thing!  Some suggest that you don't need to speak in tongues to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  It is interesting to me that in the Book of Acts every time someone had hands laid on them for the Spirit baptism, they spoke in tongues. Actually there is one place where they didn't speak in tongues, however it just doesn't say in that case if they did or didn't.

One guy told me today that he doesn't believe that one needs a "special baptism" type thing, that the minute you get saved, you get it all! It is so interesting, Paul taught other wise.  Look at his ministry in Acts 19!

So, I guess my question would be for you today...."Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed?"

What thinkest thou?

I Highly Value Speaking in Tongues!

OK... here's the oft repeated scenario..

A person gets saved, joins and attends a traditional, non-charismatic type of church.  Some time later the person gets baptized in the Holy Spirit and begins speaking in tongues and moving out into the other Gifts of the Spirit.  So the person is asked to leave their church.  They begin to attend a church where the Gifts of the Spirit are allowed and something happens and for some reason they leave that church.  Today we find that person in a large, "dynamic" church, where people lift their hands to worship to today's flavor of worship music, the pastor wears blue jeans and brings a "good word."  

Often the new church is no longer called, "First Baptist Church," (I'm not just picking on the Baptists here, just using them as an example) rather it's now called something like, "Freedom Worship Center."  Yet, other than things that look charismatic in nature, the doctrine is still pretty much the same...."DON'T USE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT HERE!"  If Brother Jones gets caught up in the Spirit and begins to speak in tongues and brings an interpretation, he's rapidly met by the Ushers who usher him rapidly to the door!

I am amazed by how many "tongue speaking brethren" find themselves in this type of a situation.  I am also amazed at how many have forsaken the Gifts of the Spirit for oh, so many reasons.  I recently heard of a former Baptist pastor who's entire church was kicked out of the denomination several years ago because they began to operate in the Gifts of the Spirit.  The former pastor is today part of a .... you guessed it... another Baptist church!

I for one value the Gifts of the Spirit.... all of them, even speaking and praying in an unknown language.  If I couldn't operate in these Gifts I know that I could not pastor a church.  I am 100% dependent on the Gifts and would never permanently attend a church where these Gifts would not be free to operate!

I'm certain that I'll get some interesting comments, especially from my friends who are not baptized in the Holy Spirit and do not use the Gifts of the Spirit.  But I just want to go on record and state... "I highly value speaking in tongues!"  I value all of God's gifts and I fully acknowledge that they are for today.  They never ceased!  (Hebrews 13:8)

I also am thankful that our great church, New Beginnings Fellowship in Hernando, FL, allows all of the Gifts of the Spirit to operate!  

Yeah Lord!  More!