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The Little Old Lady from Pasadena (who prayed for Billy Graham)

Monday, June 1st, 2009 Posted in encouragement, essentials, Pastor's corner, sermons | 1 Comment »

The Bible tells us that one day, all Christians will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. Don’t let that frighten you, because this particular judgment happens in heaven, which means you made it!

The Bible says, “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NKJV).

It will be about how you lived your life and what you did with your time and resources.

An awards ceremony

Perhaps we can better understand this judgment if we were to compare it to an awards ceremony like the Oscars, Emmys, or Grammys. Rewards will be given out for faithfulness on this day.

We may expect that the great saints that God has used over the years will reap all the awards. People like Corrie Ten Boom, Jim Elliot, and Billy Graham.

Pearle Goode

We may also be surprised by the rewards won by “the little old lady from Pasadena”!

Yes, there really was one, and her name was Pearle Goode. When Billy was doing his crusade in Pasadena a few years ago, he attributed the success of these events, going back 56 years, to prayer.

If the Graham team had anything close to a personal intercessor, it was Pearle Goode of Pasadena. For many years, she prayed in secret for Graham until he heard about her and made provision for her to attend his crusades so she could pray on-site.

Goode lived to be 90. At her funeral, Billy’s wife, Ruth, paid her this tribute: “Here lie the mortal remains of much of the secret of Bill’s ministry.”

She did her part

Pearle Goode wasn’t a preacher, missionary, or author. She didn’t have a hit song on Christian radio. But Pearle did her part, just as surely as Billy Graham did his.

While Billy was out preaching, Pearle was praying. While Billy was doing his part, Pearle was doing hers.

Don’t worry about what God has called someone else to do. What has He called you to do?

We all have a part to play in getting the gospel out. Make sure you do yours.

Let’s talk some more about heaven!

Friday, May 29th, 2009 Posted in Harvest Crusades, Pastor's corner, sermons | 3 Comments »

This Sunday at Harvest,we will talk some more about heaven! I love this topic and really want to learn as much as I possibly can.

This Sunday,we will deal with issues like:

  • Do people in heaven know what is going on here on earth?
  • Are they watching us?
  • What are the rewards the Christian will receive in heaven?

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The New York Harvest is coming

Our next Harvest Crusades event is just around the corner. The dates are June 13-14 at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island.

So if you are on the East Coast, I hope to see you there. This crusade will also be webcast live, so think about who you could invite to watch it with you!

For more info on this event, click here.

Michael Franzese at Harvest

It was my privilege  to interview former Mob kingpin Michael Franzese at Harvest this last Sunday.

His story is absolutely amazing, as he has turned his back on his life of crime and is now serving the Lord. It just goes to show that no one is beyond the reach of prayer! Don’t ever write anyone off, thinking they could never come to Christ.

The Bible reminds us “With God, all things are possible!” Michael’s story certainly illustrates that.

Click here for an HD version of our interview. I encourage you to click the icon that will make it full screen. The quality of this video is very impressive.

Don’t forget to send a link to a friend too.

Tonight in OC!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

Hey everyone,

Tonight at our Orange County study, we will be in our Essentials series looking once again at the topic of heaven!

It seems to me that as Christians we should be more heavenly-minded. Paul tells us in Colossians 3 to “Seek the things that are above,” or as another translation puts it, “Think Heaven!”

So tonight, we will learn more about how to do that and what we specifically will do when we get to heaven. Please join us and bring someone with you who does not yet know the Lord, as I will give an invitation at the end of the service for people to come to Christ.

The Katinas will be with us!

The Katinas, a very talented group of Christian brothers from Samoa, will be doing special music. You will not want to miss them. This will make, I am sure, for a very special night.

Hope to see you there.

The bubble that bursts!

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 Posted in essentials, OC, Pastor's corner, sermons | 1 Comment »

Tonight, I will be giving a message from the fascinating book of Ecclesiastes.

One word that appears a number of times in this autobiographical book, written by King Solomon, is  the word “vanity.” The word “Vanity” that is used here is not speaking of personal vanity, as in spending too much time in front of their mirror every day.

There are, of course, people like that who “never met a mirror they did not like.”

The word used here, in the original language, means, “emptiness, futility, meaninglessness, ‘a wisp of a vapor,’ ‘a hollow, empty ring,’ nothingness, or a bubble that bursts.”

Nothing will fill the void in your life except God.

Solomon–who went on a backslide and pretty much tried everything this world has to offer–is telling us that there is nothing on this Earth
that will satisfy us completely, apart from God. No thing, no pleasure, no relationship, nothing he found had enduring value in life.

It’s like riding one of those stationary bikes. You pedal and pedal, but never really go anywhere. They have high-tech ones now where you can watch a video of a road with some beautiful scenic landscape, but the fact is that when you get off that bike, you are in the same place you were when you started.

If you want to know more, come join us or watch the webcast. It all happens at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside at 7:00 P.M., Pacific Time.

O.C. Thursdays

Don’t forget that tomorrow night I will be speaking from my Essentials series in Orange County. My topic is “What We Will Do in Heaven.”

I will also be joined by special musical guests The Katinas!

God’s trade-in deal

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, essentials, Pastor's corner, sermons | No Comments »

We have been talking about heaven in our Essentials series.

Did you know that the Lord has an amazing trade-in deal in store for you? That’s right, you are going to trade in your existing body, with its aches and pains, for the newest model.

Of course, that is not a perfect analogy, because there will be a link between your old body and your new one.

Here are some thoughts about the new body God has for you when you get to heaven.

Your memory will be clearer!

The blueprints for our glorified bodies are in the bodies we now possess.

Heaven is the Earthly life of the believer, glorified and perfected. When we pass over to the other side, our minds and our memories will be clearer then ever before.

As the apostle Paul writes: “Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies”  (1 Corinthians 15:43-44 NLT).

No sinful tendencies

This simply means that our new bodies will be the same as our old bodies in some ways, and different in other ways, but without question radically improved!

No more physical disabilities. No signs of age and no sinful tendencies.

A great quote

Joni Erickson Tada is a quadriplegic who has glorified God despite her disability, which was the result of a diving accident in her youth.

In her book Heaven: Your Real Home, she writes about our new bodies God has for us:

“No more bulging middles or balding tops. No varicose veins or crow’s feet. No more cellulite or support hose. Forget the ‘thunder thighs’ and highway hips.

Just a quick leapfrog over the tombstone, and it’s the body you’ve always dreamed of. Fit and trim, smooth and sleek.”

The man from the Mafia

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 Posted in essentials, Pastor's corner, questions, sermons | 1 Comment »

Hey everyone.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and we have a lot to be thankful for in America today, despite our shortcomings. I will have a blog post Monday about that, so check it out.

Tomorrow at Harvest, Michael Franzese will be our special guest at all three services.

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He was once in the Mafia, and was the target of multiple city, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, all with one goal – bring down the man they considered one of the biggest money-earners for organized crime since Al Capone. The son of legendary Colombo family underboss John “Sonny” Franzese, Michael was the Mafia’s youngest and most financially powerful superstar.

Dubbed by Tom Brokaw as “The Prince of the Mafia,” Michael had a criminal empire that spanned multiple businesses, gambling operations, movie production, white collar crime, and enough volume to earn $6-8 million dollars a week at the height of his career, landing him at #18 on Fortune Magazine‘s “Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses” list in the mid-1980s.

He heard our radio broadcast in solitary confinement

Eventually, Michael was arrested and, as he will share, he came to Christ in prison. While in solitary confinement, he used to listen to our radio broadcast A New Beginning every day.

You will not want to miss his amazing story.

What will we do in heaven?

I will be back in our Essentials series with the message “What We Will Do in Heaven.”

Some people have the mistaken notion that heaven will be a place of boredom. Nothing could be further from the truth! We will be active in heaven, worshipping, eating, praying, and, yes, even working?

Want to know more? Check our webcast this Sunday at Harvest.

WorldNetDaily and Weekend Devotions

Here are links to my weekly article at WorldNetDaily, as well as our long-form devotion that we post every weekend.

Recap of South Dakota Crusade

Monday, May 18th, 2009 Posted in sermons | 6 Comments »

Harley riding in South Dakota

Hey everyone! We are back from South Dakota.

Here is our official press release for the weekend.

BLACK HILLS HARVEST WITH GREG LAURIE DRAWS MORE THAN 19,000 PEOPLE TO WEEKEND OUTREACH

Some 1,519 Make Decisions of Faith During Three-Night Harvest Event at Rapid City’s Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, May 15 – 17

RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 18, 2009—The Black Hills Harvest with Greg Laurie drew people from five states over the past weekend, May 15 –17, but the lasting impact on its host city, Rapid City, may be immeasurable. More than 19,000 people—roughly a third of Rapid City’s total population–flocked to the Mount Rushmore Civic Center over three nights to hear a message of God’s love and redemption at the first large-scale evangelistic outreach to take place in the area in ten years.

Hosted by more than 100 Black Hills-area churches, the enthusiasm about the Harvest outreach was palpable throughout Rapid City as media aired numerous stories, students blanketed the city with flyers, and more than 1,000 volunteers showed up to help set up the stage and serve as follow-up counselors. The prayers and support of the community came to fruition when, over the course of the weekend, 1,519 people made decisions to put their faith in Jesus Christ.

Each night of the Black Hills Harvest featured a talk from Southern California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie and music from popular Christian musicians Third Day, Relient K, Jeremy Camp, the Katinas, and Crystal Lewis. Laurie, known for his conversational speaking style, addressed topics relevant to people of every age and stage in life: “What Do You Live For?” “Do You Want to Change Your Life?” and “How to Find Eternal Life.”

Although the nightly Harvest outreach was geared to people of all ages, more emphasis was placed on youth on Saturday evening, starting with a high-energy set of songs from rock band Relient K and a brief talk from Laurie’s 23-year-old son, Jonathan, who shared his personal story of faith.

Speaking to KNBN-TV, the NBC affiliate in Rapid City, Greg Laurie emphasized the importance of reaching youth. “I really think young kids are searching. I think they really want answers. In fact, believe it or not, I think they want an adult to stand up and say, here’s absolute truth that you can believe in . . . I think it’s refreshing for them to hear from someone that believes there is truth that can be embraced and that they can actually have a relationship with God.”

The overarching message from Laurie during the weekend was simple: We make the decision where we will spend eternity. “We’re all the same deep down inside—there is emptiness in every person’s life that does not know Jesus Christ. But there’s good news,” said Laurie. “Jesus says he will never leave or forsake us. God will erase your sins if you confess them and put your faith in Jesus Christ.”

I will be speaking on heaven in the O.C. tonight!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

Hey everyone!

Tonight, in our O.C. study, my message title is “Let’s Talk About Heaven!” I received a lot of really positive feedback on this message when I gave it at Harvest on Sunday, so I am looking forward to sharing these truths again tonight.

The interesting thing is that whenever I give a message, even when it’s from the same notes, it always has its own unique flavor to it. I believe the Holy Spirit will lead me when speaking to have those words “fitly spoken” (Proverbs 25:11) to those hearing (and even those hearing it later in a recorded version).

I am amazed at how someone will hear a message given eight years ago that we put on the radio and it will speak exactly to them in their circumstances. Only the Lord could put all that together.

So come join us if you are in the O.C. tonight, as we learn more about heaven together.

The Black Hills Harvest starts tomorrow night

Friday night is the launch of our Black Hills Harvest in Rapid City, South Dakota.

I am told there is a real buzz in town and people are very aware of this event. That, of course, is what we work toward and pray for. So please remember us in prayer this weekend.

Lannette from Rapid City just posted this on the blog

I live in Rapid City and can’t tell you how excited I am for Harvest 09! I believe it will have such a huge impact on the hearts of the those that will be present.

I just wanted to share an interesting story on how this event has impacted my life and ministry but in a different way. I am one of the founders of a local ministry that focus is on bringing all women together as one in the Body of Christ so they can experience the peace and joy that comes from just knowing and having that personal relationship with Christ! Our ministry is called Gift of Grace.

My sister-in-law is a graphic designer, so when ad campaigns come out to promote events I take notice. Anyway, we were having our weekly meeting, and I was expressing how brilliant the design work was for Harvest 09 and the colors, the design, the wording and how the bumper sticker, banners, and radio ads kept top-of-the-mind awareness and how it all was just so amazingly orchestrated!

My son Christopher designed the campaign.

Well, Lannette, that entire campaign you are seeing was designed by my son Christopher before he went to heaven. I’m glad you like it and that it is being effective in your community.

If you would like to see the art or learn more about this event, click here.  Each night’s program will be webcast live at our Web site. I will also be blogging and twittering, so stay tuned.

That’s all for now, so over and out!

A Cartoon for You!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 Posted in sermons | 21 Comments »

People ask me from time to time if I still draw cartoons. The answer is yes, but usually just to entertain my family and friends.

Since you are my friends, here is a cartoon for your entertainment (and hopefully a little chuckle).

It’s basically me again, over the years, so I have added my age at each image, and it is called “From Pampers to Depends.” Note the hair loss over the years.

Have fun!
Pampers to Depends

Jenny’s story and my response.

Monday, May 11th, 2009 Posted in sermons | 9 Comments »

I received this comment yesterday from Jenny, and I wanted to share it with all of you:

My sister recently sent me Greg’s book sharing the story about Christopher. I have not been able to write about my son, who came to visit his father one night after work and suddenly fell to the ground. Later, we found out he had an anueryism in his right aorta. Gone in a moment.

He and my husband were talking about the Lord and all that he was been doing in our large family of eight children and 26 grands. And thank you for saying in your book that whether you have one child or ten, you will mourn deeply for the one who left.

Levi was 33, had a wonderful wife, a 10-year-old daughter and little Sam, his son, is 2. Very, very sad still for all of us. We are a close family and I am the mom. I get calls all hours from one of my other children, crying and missing Levi. Tough job to handle, but if I can ease any pain for any of them I surely want to try. They say it’s too hard for them to see me crying and missing him, so I find my relief with the Lord and my husband of 35 years.

Yet you were also right about not knowing how the other is feeling and greiving. We both agree that this experience with grief has a life of its own. While we all appear to be functionable on the outside, we all feel this “thud” deep in our bellies all the time.

The hardest part is the inability of this society to cope with a grieving soul. As was pointed out in the book, the comments are usually more hurtful than helpful. Yet I know they can’t know what to say or how this feels. I didn’t. Here we are in a modern culture and all we are taught is to do well and succeed, never about the losses that may overwhelm us or how to love and treat people who experience the deep losses of life that are available.

Thank you for your book and especially the description of how this grief does feel. Somehow this doesn’t sound on paper like it feels in my heart. God Bless you who know and understand what I just said. We are related by circumstances and if anyone would like to respond to this, I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or support or love you have to share.

Jenny

Greg responds:

Jenny,

I am so sorry to hear about your Levi. I understand that people do not really know what to say.

So you will need to go to the Lord and draw your comfort from Him. He has promised to be “near the brokenhearted,” and you certainly qualify for that.

I was touched by your story and pray that God will bless and keep you. I know you know this, but as a reminder–Levi is in pure bliss right now. You WILL see him again. He will have a lot to show you that he has already seen and experienced in heaven.

P.S. I just gave a message this last Sunday called “Let’s Talk About Heaven!” It is archived on our homepage,so you may want to check it out by clicking here.

God bless you, Jenny.

Greg