Great entries on what you are thankful for! Keep them coming!
I want to speak Wednesday night about thankfulness and why we ought to be giving praise and thanks, not only on this special day we call Thanksgiving, but every day.
You can come join us or watch the live webcast by clicking here.
Lucy Laurie is coming!
Lucy is the name that Christopher and Brittany picked for their little daughter to come. Of course, she is already here, but not yet born.
According to the doctor, this is the week she will be born, so please be praying especially for Brittany to have a safe delivery. I will let you know as soon as she is here!
I wanted to let you all know about a few things going on this weekend.
First of all, there is my weekend column at WorldNetDaily. This week, I talk about prayer, particularly in light of our having recently elected a new President.
To read that, click here.
We also have a long-form weekend devotional available, which you can sign up for at harvest.org. This week’s devotion is on one of the keys to spiritual growth.
To read the weekend devotion, click here.
This Sunday at Harvest
I have asked James Merritt, one of our Preach the Word Conference speakers to be our special guest in the pulpit on Sunday. It is sure to be a blessed service, as James is a powerful communicator of God’s Word.
Speaking of Preach the Word, we are going to post some highlights of the conference soon for your viewing and listening pleasure. Find out for yourself why many have described this as the best conference they have ever attended.
Franklin Graham is coming!
Also, mark your calendar, because Franklin Graham is coming to speak at Harvest on Sunday, November 30 at 6:00 P.M., Pacific Time. This service will be webcast live, and musician Phil Wickham will also join us.
This is something we have been doing for years as we were one of the first churches to participate in what has now become an international phenomenon, Operation Christmas Child. This is a project where you fill up a shoebox with toys and a personal letter, and they are sent to hurting children around the world with a gospel message.
I have personally seen the joy on the children’s faces when they open their box and discover what is inside.
To see more about Operation Christmas Child, click here.
There is a book that has been very popular, titled, 100 Things to Do Before You Die, written by Dave Freeman. In the book, he offered this counsel:
This life is a short journey . . . How can you make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on earth before you pack those bags for the very last time?
He goes on to detail some ways to “really make life count” by doing things like attending the Academy Awards, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Frankly, as I have watched some of the people running from these bulls, I think that ought to be in a book called 100 Things to Do So You Will Be Sure You Die!
The sad thing is that Dave Freeman just died at the age of 47, after hitting his head after a fall in his home. He had only accomplished Half of the items on his list.
The one thing to do before you die
But life is not just about visiting the coolest places and having the most fun. There is a place for that, but life is about glorifying God and following His will. That is the one thing we should all be doing.
The Bible tells the story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha, two of His friends. Martha wanted to make Jesus a gourmet feast and was working slavishly in the kitchen, while Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him. In frustration, Martha went to Jesus and demanded that He tell her sister to come and assist her.
The fact of the matter is, there is a time for work and there is a time to sit and listen to what God has to say. Mary understood that.
Seeing Martha’s frustration, Jesus said to her, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her” (Luke 10:41-42 MESSAGE).
“Only one thing is essential,” said Jesus. Mary understood that one thing was having time with God. And it also meant to glorify Him with her life.
Now, do we understand that? Because it’s not a matter of if you will die but when. So do what you need to do now, and then you can live with a clear conscience, ready to meet God at the time He appoints, whether it be today or 80 years from now.
My son, Christopher, was walking with and glorifying God when he was called home. I was proud of him then (and I told him so) and I am proud of him now.
The election is over and America has decided. We have a new President-elect, Barack Obama.
So what should be the posture of believers at this point? Scripture commands us to pray for those who rule over us.
BTW, this is something we should do, whether we voted for them or not!
Pray that the Lord will give our future President wisdom in the decisions he will make. And remember this, God is in control. Things will fall into their proper place as God brings about the events He said would transpire before His return.
Remember, history is “His story.”
A new administration
In the book of Daniel, we read about a transition of power where one administration was passing and a new one was arriving. In Daniel’s case, Darius was the new ruler over Babylon.
So what did the prophet do? Daniel studied the Scripture and prayed. But what is interesting is that Daniel prayed for himself and repented of his personal sin, as we read in Daniel 9:
It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, was studying the writings of the prophets. I learned from the word of the LORD, as recorded by Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years.
So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I wore rough sackcloth and sprinkled myself with ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and keep your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. (NLT)
You can read the rest of Daniel 9 to see what else the prophet prayed for. But that is what we need to be doing right now as Christians, praying. The election is over, the voting is done, and the decision has been made.
Sometimes, believers can go too far one of two directions when it comes to elections, voting, and even politics in general.
One extreme is to not participate at all, and thus miss the opportunity to make a real difference with your vote and be the best influence you can be for godly principles. I’m glad enough people voted to say “Yes” to Proposition 8 here in California, because we believe in God’s order for marriage!
America has voted for change
The other extreme is to make politics your passion instead of Christ! Where you become more focused on these things instead of your primary mission, which is to preach the gospel.
America has voted for change. What that change will be remains to be seen. But the only way to bring lasting change is when it happens in the heart. And government cannot do that for us, only Christ can.
One day, He will come back and take “The government upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). But for now, we have mankind doing the job, and it will always disappoint, regardless of your party affiliation.
This Sunday at Harvest
This Sunday at Harvest, I want to talk about how the early Church used prayer so effectively, and how we can do the same, especially in these days ahead. My message will be titled “The Power of Prayer” and it is part of my series Upside-Down Living.
With this presidential election so close, and so many crucial issues at stake–like the lives of the unborn, future Supreme Court justice appointments, etc.–we as believers really need to pay attention and, most importantly, vote!
So I hope that you will familiarize yourself with each candidate’s platform and vote knowledgeably. One good Web site that will help you be informed is Wallbuilders.
I wanted to let you know about a special edition of A New Beginning that will be heard
In Southern California today that we are doing live in studio at KWVE here in Southern California.
We will talk about what the Lord did at our crusades this year, as well as focus on our upcoming Preach the Word conference. For those of you outside of Southern California, this special program will be aired sometime this week.
I will post a link to this program tomorrow, but if you want to listen live, you can go to KWVE’s Web site and listen in “real time” at 8:30 A.M. Pacific time.
I wish I could say everything has gotten easier for me at this point, but it really hasn’t. Our hearts still ache for our son, especially as we get closer to the birth of his daughter, our granddaughter, only days away.
We so wish he could be here to witness it, but that is not to be. He is in the presence of God, and who knows what he knows at this point! Perhaps, from the heavenly and eternal perspective, he already knows more about her than we do!
All I know is that I miss him every day. Believe it or not, even though it has been more than three months, it is still so hard to believe he is gone from us, at least on this earth.
We are bracing ourselves for what will be a difficult holiday season, as I have been told that the “first” Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc., are the hardest when a loved dies.
Christopher sure loved Thanksgiving! Especially the sweet potatoes with marshmallows that my wife makes so expertly each year. She always wanted to try new recipes out, but Topher was insistent that we have sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows because he had been eating them every Thanksgiving since he was a little boy.
The Bible tells us that there is feasting in heaven, so I am sure my son will have meals that will surpass ours. Will there be marshmallows in heaven?
He might even get my grandmother, Mama Stella–who is also in heaven–to prepare him some of her amazing biscuits.
Lost Boy film
We have been working on a new version of Lost Boy: The Documentary, for obvious reasons. With the death of our son, our story has changed, and it too is now part of my story.
Lost Boy was and is about redemption, and in the update, we will talk about that redemption work in Christopher’s life as well.
Topher was very involved in this film project, and he helped me, along with Cathe and Jonathan, to know what to leave in and leave out. He did all the graphics and titles for it and had been telling friends how excited he was about how the Lord was using this story.
Now it’s his story too, and he will be major part of it, whenever the new film is shown.
Lost Boy screening in Albuquerque this weekend!
We are screening a shorter verison of the Lost Boy film at Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque this weekend during their Saturday night and Sunday morning services. They are also showing the film statewide.
I will also be speaking and signing copies of Lost Boy. So if you know anyone in New Mexico, please let them know. For more information, click here.
That’s all for now.
We are enjoying some beautiful and very warm weather here in Southern California, and it is good to be home.
As I mentioned earlier this week, I am speaking this Sunday at Harvest and I am returning to my series from the book of Acts that we are calling Upside-Down Living.
It has been three months since I taught from this series, as my son’s unexpected death pretty much brought everything to a halt. We had some wonderful guest speakers filling our pulpit in my absence, including Chuck Smith, Jon Courson, Alistair Begg, Jack Graham, and many others to whom I am indebted.
As a matter of fact, the message I will be giving this Sunday was the one I was working on the day my son Christopher went to heaven. It was almost completed, so when I went back to it, the words took on a different meaning to me, as much of life has.
There is one section in it where Peter is told to do a certain thing and his response was, “Never, Lord!” I will point out how those two words cannot go together.
We can say, “How, Lord,” and even “Why, Lord,” but not “Never, Lord!” Because if He is truly Lord, the only proper thing to say is “Yes, Lord.”
Book signing at Barnes and Noble
Don’t forget I will signing copies of my autobiography, Lost Boy, at the Barnes and Noble store in Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California, this coming Sunday, October 26 at 3:00 P.M.
I hope to see some of you there and I would be delighted to sign your copy of Lost Boy.
For directions, click here.
My weekly column and weekend devotion
Each week, I write a column for WorldNetDaily. To view the most recent article, click here.
And to read my weekend devotion, click here.
Happy Columbus Day everyone!
I am here in New York City, awaiting our final crusade event of the year at the famed Madison Square Garden! This coming Wednesday, I will be speaking to around 500 pastors here as part of an event sponsored by WMCA, the radio station airs our program A New Beginning locally. For more info on that, click here.
We are going to be putting together a special web-only broadcast for this coming Sunday that we are calling a “blogcast.” I will be taping it while we are here in the city and we will give you updates on all the Lord is doing in our NYC outreach, as well as a special “new” version of Lost Boy: The Documentary. More on that in a couple of days.
New photos on my personal Web site of Christopher
I have posted a new set of photos of and by my son Christopher, who is now in heaven, at my personal Web site. (BTW, Christopher designed my site). Just click here and then click the camera icon to see the photos.
That’s all for now.