We have our marching orders from the Lord Himself:
To go into all the world and preach the gospel.
God wants to use you to shake the world. Think about it- God shook the ancient world with just 12 men. They did not have all the modern technology we have today.
Peter did not text James. Thomas did not tweet. And Paul was not on Facebook! Yet, in a relatively short period of time, they reached the culture of that day with the gospel.
This Sunday at Harvest-
This Sunday at Harvest I am going to talk about this in my message: “Twelve Men Who Shook the World!”
It is from my new series in Matthew, Follow Me!
You can join us for one our three morning services. 7:45, 9:45 and 11:45 AM.
(We will not be having our 5:00 PM service due to an event we are doing for our families called “Hallelujah Night” on Halloween.)
These services will be webcast live and will all be archived as well at Harvest.org.
You can check out my weekend column at www.worldnetdaily. It’s titled, “Who’s Immortal? All of Us.”
It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.
If you chase after pleasure, you will eventually come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full.’ But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2 TLB).
The Bible tells us that if the driving desire of our lives is to please ourselves, that very quest will be the source of endless problems and heartaches. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it” (James 4:1-2 NLT).
The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it.
It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It’s ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of. Certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure—a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being.
Lasting happiness comes from God.
Pleasure isn’t in itself a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because God is the creator of light and laughter and joy…beginning here and now, and stretching on into eternity. The Bible teaches, “You have made known to me the path of life; will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NIV).
Cheap thrills are a dime a dozen. True and lasting happiness comes from the hand of God.
If you were God, and you wanted to touch the world, how would you go about it?
You could raise up an army of mighty angels,who would gladly do your bidding. Or you could just roll back the heavens and speak audibly to planet Earth and say something like, “Hello Earth. I’m God and you’re not, and I want you to believe in Me, now!”
No, that is not how the Lord decided to impact our planet. Instead he used 12 men.
They were hopelessly human, remarkably unremarkable. Peter, James, John, Matthew, Thomas…we know their names well. But do we know them?
Tonight at Harvest Orange County
Tonight in Orange County, I want to introduce you to them.
Because God is still looking for men, and women, to shake the world.
No, none of us will ever be apostles, as the original 12 were, but we can be God’s representatives to touch our world today.
It all happens at Harvest Orange County at 7:00 P.M.
For more information, go to http://www.harvest.org/oc/general-information/location-and-directions.html.
Let’s say that your phone rings tomorrow morning, and it’s a call from the manager of your bank.
He tells you, “I received a very unusual call the other day. Someone who loves you very much and is quite wealthy has given you a large sum of money. This anonymous donor will be depositing 86,400 cents into your account every single day.”
“How’s that again?” you ask.
“Every single day, this person will deposit 86,400 cents into your account.”
Is that much money? you wonder at first. Then you get out your calculator and figure out that it amounts to $864 every day. That’s pretty good, you’re thinking.
“But there is one condition,” the banker continues. “You have to spend it every single day. You can’t save it up. You can’t add it to the next day’s balance. Every day, you must spend that money. What is not spent will be taken away. This person will do this each and every day, but the condition is that you must spend the money.”
So you go back to your calculator and figure out that $864 times 7 equals $6,048 per week. That amount, multiplied by 52, comes to $314,496 per year. That’s a pretty good deal. And that is also a fantasy.
Spend your time wisely.
So let’s deal with reality. Someone who really does love you very much deposits into your bank of time 86,400 seconds every single day. That someone is God. And the condition is that you must spend it. You can’t save up time today and apply it toward tomorrow—there’s no such thing as a 27-hour day. Each and every day, you have the opportunity to invest your precious commodity of time.
The Psalmist wrote “Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life” (Psalm 39:4).
I also like the way Paul wrote about this in Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV):
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Lost Boy: The Next Chapter just won the Best Documentary film award at the 2010 Transforming Stories International Christian Film Festival!
From their press release:
“108 films were submitted from 18 countries around the world and from the 108 submissions, 12 semi-finalists were selected in each category, of which 5 finalists were chosen. From this, Transforming Stories International Christian Film Festival is proud to announce the 2010 Winning Documentary Film: Lost Boy: The Next Chapter.
Seven awards so far
This brings a total of seven awards for this film from around the world, including:
Best Documentary at the 2010 Transforming Stories International Christian Film Festival
Winner of the 2010 Redemptive Storyteller Award in the Distinctly Gospel category at the Redemptive Film Festival
Best Documentary at the 2009 Riverside International Film Festival
Best Documentary at the 2009 International Christian Film Festival (Irvine, CA)
Best Documentary at the 2009 International Film Festival South Africa
Official Selection at the 2010 Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival (invitation only)
Official Selection at the 2009 National Outreach Convention Film Festival (invitation only)
Tonight, see Lost Boy: The Next Chapter in Newport Beach.
We are really excited to see how God has used this story.
Tonight, see Lost Boy as it was meant to be seen- on the big screen!
Lost Boy: The Next Chapter is showing tonight at the Lido Theatre in Newport Beach.
There are two showings.
I will be there speaking briefly after each showing.
If you would like to attend click here-
Attention all Socal People!
The film about my life, Lost Boy: The Next Chapter is showing tomorrow night at the Lido Theatre in Newport Beach.
There are two showings.
I will be there speaking briefly after each showing.
If you would like to attend click here.
I want to talk about these words and more in my message this weekend at Harvest, “The whole story.”
These were the words of Jesus to a man named Jairus who had just heard the worst news imaginable: his beloved daughter had just died.
Right there, his world came crashing down on him.
I have been with fathers on two occasions where they were told their daughters died. You cannot imagine how devastating of a statement that is. It is as though your world has ended.
Father and daughter have a special bond.
There is a special bond a father feels with a daughter. One aspect of it is you are there to protect and provide for her. She feels safe and secure in your presence.
As is often the case, I’m sure Jairus may have felt personally responsible. “It’s all my fault! I should have dragged Jesus here faster!”
Jairus could so easily have accused Jesus of making a mistake. Neglecting him in his hour of need.
But he did not.
Keep on believing!
He was still trusting.
But to Jairus, a true seeker, Jesus revealed Himself and said these words: “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Matthew 9:36).
It was the words of Jesus to Jairus that made the difference. “Jairus, you’ve had a certain amount of faith when you came to me, and your faith was helped when you saw what I did for that woman. Don’t quit now! Keep on believing!This is not over yet. You still don’t know the ‘whole story!’.”
Weekend services and writings
You are welcome at any of our four services this weekend at Harvest in Riverside.
7:45/9:45/11:45 AM and 5:00 PM.
It is all webcast live at http://www.harvest.org/
Finally, check out my weekend column at Worldnetdaily – “Not Just Sunday Jesus.”
You can also read my longer-form devotional, “Suit Up for Battle.”
After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.” (Mark 2:1-5, The Message)
The Gospel of Mark gives us the account of a group of men who wanted to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing. Jesus was teaching in a home, and the men couldn’t get in the door with their disabled friend because of the huge crowd. Undaunted, they climbed up on top of the house and dug through the roof to lower the paralyzed man inside…dropping him right in front of Jesus.
Your past is behind you!
When Jesus saw the faith of these men, he looked at their paralyzed friend and said, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you” (Matthew 9:2 NKJV). Jesus was saying, “You no longer have to be afraid of the penalty for your sin. Your past is behind you. I am giving you another chance in life.”
Jesus then told him to get up, pick up his bed, and go to his house. When you think about it, this man had a choice. He could have stayed on his sickbed forever, a perennial “victim of circumstance.” He could have said, “I can’t,” or “I won’t,” or “I’m just not sure. Let me think about it.” He had a choice, and he decided to respond. His brain sent the command to muscles that had never worked before, and he stood to his feet.
Some people don’t want to change.
There are people today who don’t want to change. They don’t want to leave their lifestyle or turn from the choices they have made. They refuse to take hold of God’s promises and provision and power.
If you want to change, if you want to break free from a vice that has you in its grip, a lifestyle you are trapped in, or an addiction that you can’t seem to shake, then Christ has a word of encouragement to you: “Get up and walk. You can do it. Be of good cheer, and arise.”
Our life is like a story.
We are each the featured character in our own movie called life.
“We spend our years as a tale that is told” (Psalm 90:9 KJV).
It is full of conflicts and twists and turns.
Too bad we can’t reshoot the ending, because sometimes we don’t like the way it is going.
Imagine how Joseph felt mid-story,around the time he was in prison.
Joseph and Job.
Imagine how Joseph felt mid-story, around the time he was in prison.
It started off well. Loved by his father, but then betrayed by brothers and falsely accused.
Imagine how Job felt mid-story-
His children dead, possesions stolen, his health gone as well, and a wife driving him crazy.
But both of those stories had a surprise ending.
Remember, there is an author to your story, a director in your film, and that is the Lord.
God has a plan.
He has a plan, that’s all you need to know for now.
And utlitmalty, it’s good!
I will be speaking on this tonight in Orange County as we look at the stories of two people
where it looked as though all hope was gone.
But these stories had a surprise ending!
Come join us at Harvest/Orange County.
For more info, go to oc.harvest.org.
Many of you may not know James Lee, but he worked faithfully behind the scenes with me at Harvest and edited all of my blogs and many other writings.
He was a very talented and loving young man who deeply loved the Lord and his family. He knew and worked with my son Christopher at Harvest as well.
While we were in Israel, I heard the news that James had a brain tumor. As I usually communicated with him, I sent him an email. I wrote:
You are a good and godly man. You faithfully labor behind the scenes and do your work diligently and with excellence. We do not want you to leave us. But God is in control here. Do not abandon hope. There is much we do not know here:
Why did this happen?
What is the purpose of it?
But there is much we do know as well:
God is sovereign and in control.
God loves you.
Heaven is 100% real and guaranteed to you because you have put your faith in Christ. God causes “all things to work together for good…” (Romans 8:28). So now we must fall back on we do know instead of what we don’t know.”
James wrote me back:
“I wanted to write and thank you and Cathe for all of your prayers these last few weeks while I’ve been in the hospital. It truly has been a blessing to know how many people have been lifting up my family in prayer, and supporting us in any way possible. I guess we should never, ever be surprised when we see the church rise up, inspired by God, to support their own.
I do not know what the future holds, or how long that future is for me, but I am fully trusting the Lord and He has given me great peace—a peace I could not have imagined going into this. On a slightly different matter, I also want you to know that I am available to edit your blog posts again. I cannot guarantee the split-second response that you’re used to with me (I am still working on regaining all of my typing skills: a side effect of the chemotherapy wafers), but I want to continue to help you proclaim the gospel message to the people, and this is one way that I can do so.
So feel free to send me your entries and I will post them as quickly as I can. It’ll be just like old times again!”
That was James.
Despite the fact that he was receiving treatments for his cancer, he wanted to still use his gift to serve the Lord.
We prayed many times for James, but he was not healed as we had hoped. He was called to heaven on Friday, October 15 at 5:20 in the morning.
I spoke with James only hours before he went to heaven and I told him I loved Him and that heaven was going to be beyond his wildest dreams.
He told me he was ready to go.
In a blog post about my son Christopher’s departure to heaven, called “Missing Christopher,” long before James got cancer, he edited it and then wrote me back saying,
“Just edited and updated your blog post for today and Facebook post for you… Continuing to pray for your family today…I miss Christopher tremendously too…”
Now, James and Christopher are together again.
James Lee will be missed.
Please pray for his family—his wife Dani and his two children Jimmy and Emma.
I have no question that James has already heard the Lord say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:21 NLT).