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Archive for July, 2008

Please pray for the Laurie family

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 Posted in encouragement, family | 22,995 Comments »

Please continue to pray for the Laurie family.

Christopher Laurie, son of Pastor Greg Laurie and Cathe Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., passed away on July 24, 2008 in a car accident. A resident of Huntington Beach, Laurie, 33, served as the art director at Harvest Christian Fellowship for the past three years.

In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Brittany, and daughter, Stella, as well as his brother Jonathan. Christopher and his wife are expecting another daughter in November.

Please leave a note of condolence and encouragement for Brittany and the family on the comments section of this blog post.

Memorial Service

A memorial service was held on Friday, August 1, at at Harvest Christian Fellowship. You may watch the archived webcast of the service by clicking here.

From one to many

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 Posted in encouragement, sermons | 5 Comments »

We all know how God mightily used Simon Peter as an apostle. But do you know how Peter originally came to believe in Jesus? His brother Andrew told him about the Lord.

We never read in Scripture of Andrew preaching to multitudes of people. Andrew never wrote any books of the Bible. Nor did God work miracles through his hands.

But God used him to reach his brother, Peter, who did all the above and more.

We can’t all be Simon Peters. God is looking for people like Andrew too. The fact of the matter is, if we had more Andrews, we would have more Simon Peters.

This reminds me of a more contemporary version of this point.

DL Moody

From selling soles to saving souls

Edward Kimball was an ordinary man who taught Sunday school at his church.

He sensed God’s leading to share the gospel with a shoe salesman. After nervously pacing outside the store several times, he found this young man in the storage room. Kimball shared God’s love and the salesman received Christ.

The year was 1858 and the salesman’s name was Dwight L. Moody, who went on to become one of the greatest evangelists in human history. But the story doesn’t stop there.

Frederick B. Meyer

But wait, there’s more!

Several years later, when Moody was preaching, a pastor named Frederick B. Meyer was deeply stirred by Moody’s preaching. As a result, he started a nationwide preaching ministry.

A college student named J. Wilbur Chapman accepted Christ after listening to one of Meyer’s sermons. Chapman became a pastor and started holding evangelistic outreaches. One of the assistants he hired was Billy Sunday, a former baseball player. Sunday went on to become a powerful evangelist, reaching thousands and thousands of people with the gospel in the early 20th-century.

Billy Sunday

From Billy to Billy

One of Billy Sunday’s evangelistic crusades was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Afterward, a group of enthusiastic businessmen wanted to do more outreach in the area and asked another evangelist named Mordecai Ham to come and preach.

During Ham’s revival meetings, a young farm boy known to neighbors as Billy Frank made his way down the “Sawdust Trail” and gave his life to Christ. Today, we know Billy Frank by his given name, Billy Graham.

So look at this chain of events, starting with this unsung hero. Kimball reached Moody, who touched Meyer, who reached Chapman, who helped Sunday, who reached businessmen in Charlotte, causing them to invite Ham, who reached Graham!

Billy Graham

It starts with one!

It all began with the simple witness of Edward Kimball!

If we had more Andrews, we would have more Simon Peters. If we had more Edward Kimballs, we would have more D.L. Moodys. If we had more Mordecai Hams, we would have more Billy Grahams!

So do your part to reach someone today. Who knows, they could be the next great evangelist God uses to reach a generation!

This just in from Mount Rushmore

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 Posted in Harvest Crusades, lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, photos, sermons, travel | 3 Comments »

Just flew in from South Dakota! And boy, are my arms tired! (Dah-dah-bump!)

Had a great time in the beautiful state of South Dakota on Sunday night and Monday. I spoke at a huge gathering of believers called Hills Alive with some 20,000 people present. I could not tell exactly how many, but they were everywhere!

I had the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to them, and for that I am always thankful.

The next morning I formally accepted an invitation from the pastors and Christian leaders there in Rapid City to hold a Harvest Crusades there in May of 2009.

Riding Harleys in God’s country

After that, we took a Harley ride to end all rides as we made our way up the winding roads leading to the absolutely amazing Mount Rushmore! That was indeed a sight to behold!

South Dakota is filled with classic Americana everywhere you look. Great little western-type towns, interesting attractions, nice people, and Harleys everywhere!

I am looking forward to our time of ministry there next year.

Lost Boy at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa this Sunday

We have a big Lost Boy event coming this Sunday, July 27, at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. The Lost Boy film will be shown, followed by a message from me. If you are in the Orange County area (or anywhere in Southern California, for that matter), I hope that you will come!

It will start at 7:00 P.M., and will also be webcast online and broadcast live on KWVE (107.9 FM).

Lost Boy book signing at Barnes & Noble in Newport Beach

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Sunday, August 3, when we will have a Lost Boy book signing at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Fact of the matter is, a great deal of my personal story took place in Orange County, including Newport. I will look forward to meeting some of you there!

Hanging with Chuck Smith and Raul Ries

Saturday, July 19th, 2008 Posted in lost boy, travel | 6 Comments »

We had a great time on the Praise the Lord program Thursday night on TBN. If you go to iTunes, you can actually download the show for free.

I was a guest, along with Raul Ries and Chuck Smith, and we were interviewed by Paul Crouch Jr., who I thought did a really good job. Chuck actually teared up when he was sharing about his Christian upbringing.

The whole two-hour show was a wonderful tribute to Chuck’s life and ministry, which was richly deserved. It is well worth watching.

Raul also shared his powerful story of coming to Christ and I was able to share my story as well. They also showed a few clips from the Lost Boy film. I will post a couple of clips from the show on Monday for you.

This Sunday at Harvest

Don’t forget, this Sunday I am back in my Acts series Upside-Down Living with a message titled “Unsung Heroes.”

Our special musical guest will be my friend, Marty Goetz. Marty is a Messianic Jew, who uses his incredible gifts of songwriting and singing to glorfiy God. I often think of what the Psalmist David might have sounded like when I listen to Marty.

Check out the live webcast by clicking here.

I am preaching in South Dakota on Sunday night

I will be there speaking at the Hills Alive Festival on Sunday at around 7:30 P.M., South Dakota time.

I will also be meeting with some pastors there the next day about a potential Harvest Crusades event in South Dakota. I am also going to take a Harley ride and we are going to see Mount Rushmore. That is a first for me, and I am really looking forward to it.

For more information on that, click here.

Etc., etc.

Here is my column this week from WorldNetDaily. And here is my long-form devotion.

Unsung Heroes

Friday, July 18th, 2008 Posted in encouragement, lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, travel | 9 Comments »

We live in a celebrity-obsessed culture. Never before have we known so much about people who, in many ways, matter so little.

It makes one wonder, where have the heroes gone? We have a lot of celebrities today, but very few real heroes.

One person put it this way: “The hero is known for achievements; the celebrity for well-knownness. The hero reveals the possibilities of human nature. The celebrity reveals the possibilities of the press and media. Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.”

We need more real heroes today, don’t you think?

Unsung heroes

A hero usually gets the credit for their act and that is why we call them a “hero.”

In contrast, an “unsung hero” is the person who perhaps never gets the credit. We may discover their deed of heroism much later than when they performed it. We may discover them long after they have died.

Unsung heroes are sometimes wives, and other times husbands. Sometimes they are children, but more often they are parents. They can be a teacher, a coach, an uncle, an aunt, or a grandparent.

They are people who worked behind the scenes to help someone else, but while that other person may have gotten the credit, these unsung heroes know they played a part.

Can you think of some unsung heroes in our culture today? Maybe we would recognize them, or they are only known to you. Share with us who they are.

“Unsung Heroes” this Sunday at Harvest

This Sunday morning, I want to talk about unsung heroes. I am going to focus on three men from the Book of Acts who filled that role.

You may be an “unsung hero” too, so I hope this will encourage you.

I’m going to South Dakota!

I am going to be speaking in Rapid City, South Dakota, this Sunday night, July 20.

I will be at a large Christian festival called Hills Alive. I will speak right before the band Switchfoot performs. So remember us in prayer there, if you would.

For more info on Hills Alive, click here.

Lost Boy news!

We will be showing Lost Boy: The Documentary at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa on Sunday, July 27, at 7:00 P.M. I will also be giving a message following the screening.

So if you are in the Orange County area, mark the date and come join us!

The Jesus Movement

Thursday, July 17th, 2008 Posted in lost boy, photos | 5 Comments »

The Jesus Movement, what a great time that was!

This was a time of what I believe was a genuine spiritual revival that took place in the late ’60s through the early ’70s. Many of the mega-churches that are impacting our culture today were born during this time of the outpouring of the Spirit of God.

It was during this time, in 1970, that I came to faith in Jesus Christ. I have a whole section on the Jesus Movement in the film, Lost Boy: The Documentary, and have even thought of writing a whole book on it someday.

A key figure of the Jesus movement was Chuck Smith, the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. Chuck was willing to let young people with long hair (I was one of those kids!) into the church without a haircut. Now I wish I had any hair!

Chuck’s contribution to late 20th-century and early 21st-century Christianity has been significant. Our church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, was one of the very first Calvary Chapel outreaches in the early ’70s.

Chuck and I will be on TBN tonight!

I bring this all up because Pastor Chuck, along with my friends Raul Ries (Calvary Chapel of Golden Springs) and Mike Macintosh (pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship) and I, will all be guests on TBN tonight. They are having a “Jesus People”-themed program on their Praise the Lord broadcast.

It all starts at 7:00 P.M., Pacific Time, and can be seen around the world. I hope it will be part of your world tonight too!

So check it out, if you can.

Ben Born Again

During those early days of the Jesus Movement, I came up with a cartoon character named “Ben Born Again”. (Get the play on words… “Been Born Again?” Hey, I never claimed to be Shakespeare!)
:)

Some people said Ben was just a cartoon of myself. That may have been true. So, here is a drawing I did today of Ben to take us down memory lane from the old days, and then a new, updated version for 2008.

PS
When you see Ben in the future, he will not look like the ‘older’ version but the young one. That is one the great advantages of being a cartoon character. You only need 3 fingers (think Mickey Mouse) and you never, ever age (think Charlie Brown)!

No limbs, no limits . . . no worries!

Monday, July 14th, 2008 Posted in lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, photos, video | 7 Comments »

On Sunday morning, I interviewed Nick Vujicic. What a wonderful young man he is.

God is using Nick in a powerful way to bring encouragement to people all around the world. He has been featured recently on the TV program 20/20. He will be on Oprah Winfrey’s show in the near future, as well.

Nick takes his disability and uses it as an ability to glorify God. Who can argue with a man who has faced the setbacks that Nick has? He is a living testimony of God’s grace.

Here is a video of the interview I did with him:

Long lines at Barnes & Noble for Lost Boy

I had a secret fear that not many would show up. Well, that was unfounded! Tons of people showed up and we had a great time.

It was fun to meet some of my “blogging buddies” there as well!

Speaking of book signings, I will be doing another one at Barnes and Noble, but this time at their Newport Beach store. That one will be on August 3. More on that later.

Lost Boy book signing at Barnes & Noble

Saturday, July 12th, 2008 Posted in sermons | 13 Comments »

This Sunday, I will be doing a book signing at a Barnes & Noble store for the first time ever.

This is kind of exciting for me to have my book in a large-scale outlet like this. But I have to admit, I also harbor this secret fear that no one will show up!

I can see myself sitting there waiting to sign a copy of Lost Boy and having people think I work there and I can tell them where the bathroom is in the store! Come to think of it, would you ask a guy who wrote a book called Lost Boy for directions?

So . . . I am hoping that a lot of you will show up for moral support! It’s all going to happen at 2:00 P.M. this Sunday, July 13. The Barnes & Noble is located at the Galleria at Tyler, 3485 Tyler Street, Riverside. For more information, you can call 951-358-0899.

The new 3g iPhone

I tried to get one yesterday, but the lines were too long!

Did any of you get one? Well, how is it?

One cool thing is a new Bible app you can put on the phone. Check it out!

Back to Upside-Down Living!

I am back in my series from the book of Acts that I am calling Upside-Down Living. My message this Sunday will be from Acts 9 on the very unexpected conversion of the notorious Saul of Tarsus.

Saul was one of the worst persecutors the Church had known up that point, hunting down followers of Jesus. One day, on the road to Damascus, the hunter became the hunted! And Saul met Jesus.

Come join us or check it out online by clicking here.

An amazing story from Nick Vujicic!

Nick Vujicic will be my special guest at all three Sunday morning services, when I will interview him. He will also speak Sunday night at Harvest for our Day 7 service.

You will be amazed and blessed by Nick’s unique and moving story of how he has been able to overcome the disability of having no limbs. For more info on Nick, check my previous post.

Some cool stuff to check out

Here is a link to my WorldNetDaily column that runs every Sunday.

Here is a link to my long-form devotion for this weekend. And don’t forget that you can subscribe to get my daily devotions via e-mail by clicking here.

Lost Boy showings in Southern California

Friday, July 11th, 2008 Posted in Harvest Crusades, lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, questions | 4 Comments »

Once again, the Lord did “above and beyond what we could ask and think” with the Lost Boy film and a message at Calvary Chapel South Bay last night. More than 100 people came forward.

All told, since we have shown the Lost Boy film (at Harvest and in Kendall and Fort Lauderdale, Montana, Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, and Calvary Chapel South Bay), we have easily seen 1,000 or more people make commitments to Jesus Christ.

I never knew this story would be an evangelistic tool of this kind. I am as surprised as anyone!

We have a couple of mega-Lost Boy events coming up in the next few weeks at two Southern California Churches. I will let you know more about those in the days ahead.

Now, for a few thoughts about the Church.

The Church: Many Critics, No Rivals

Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the strong stumbled or how the doer could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, his face marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and falls short again and again: There is no effort without error.”

It is easy to stand on the sidelines and be critical of the church. It is easy to say, “They are not doing this right,” or “They are not doing that right.” But it is another thing when you are in the game, playing. It is another thing when you in the arena, fighting.

It’s even easy in the Church to take shots at one another. You might be criticizing another Christian or another church for their attempts to reach our culture with the life-changing message of the gospel.

My question to you is, “What are you doing besides tearing others down?”

J. Vernon McGee used to say, “The only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions and running others down.” How true that is.

A woman once came to the great evangelist D.L. Moody, who did evangelistic crusades similar to Billy Graham’s outreaches and what we do today through our Harvest Crusades.

She said to him, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!”

Moody’s response to her was, “Well ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?”

She replied, “I don’t!”

Moody responded, “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”

Well said.

Don’t be so quick to attack others, but rather ask yourself the question,what are you doing to reach others with the message of Jesus Christ?

The Lost Boy story touches lives… again

Thursday, July 10th, 2008 Posted in encouragement, lost boy, Lost Boy Blog, photos, questions, sermons | 5 Comments »

We had a fantastic night at Calvary Chapel of Golden Springs. We showed Lost Boy: The Documentary and, once again, the response was fantastic. More than 100 people made commitments to follow Jesus Christ.

Again, it seems like just about everyone relates to some aspect of this story, from old to young. As Joan, one of my “blogging buddies,” said:

I think one of the reasons your book has resonated with so many people is because there are multiple facets of experience brought out through each chapter. You have honestly portrayed so many different types of households. For example, I completely relate to Charlene’s home. My parents are super conservative. And I totally relate to your searching. And when you were saved, all my old memories come up of how I was before and just how it happened and how things slowly but evidently changed afterwards. The details and honesty of this book, I think help others to see their own lives – like a mirror.

Thanks, Joan, for those kind words.

Lost Boy live tonight!

Don’t forget, we will be showing Lost Boy tonight at Calvary Chapel South Bay. I will also be speaking.

For more info on that, click here.

Life without Limbs. . . or LIMITS!

I have only recently become aware of Nick Vujicic and his amazing story.

Nick was born without limbs, meaning he has no arms or legs. His father was physically sick when he saw little Nick for the first time, and the nurses tried to hide him from his mother, after she had just given birth to him.

But God had a powerful plan for this young man.

As a child in school in Australia, Nick was made fun of and even called a freak. But by God’s amazing grace, he was able to overcome these challenges and discover that the Lord wanted to use him to encourage others who had disabilities or challenges of any kind.

Today, Nick Vujicic travels the world, telling people about Jesus Christ and how they can have a life without limits.

A friend sent a video of Nick to me and I was amazed by it. So, I found his Web site and was delighted to see he was posting a few of my devotionals!

Nick Vujicic will be at Harvest this Sunday!
So we contacted Nick’s people and invited him to come in person to Harvest Christian Fellowship and he will be with us THIS SUNDAY! I will be interviewing Nick at our Sunday morning services, and then he will give a full-length message Sunday night.

You will not want to miss this. He will truly inspire you, no matter what you are going through right now. Watch this video of how a family was impacted by Nick’s powerful life and testimony.