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Archive for September, 2011

Check out this amazing short documentary film about the LA Harvest.

Friday, September 30th, 2011 Posted in Harvest Crusades, video | No Comments »

This documentary film, A Night to Remember was directed by Dwight Thompson jr. Dwight is a very talented filmmaker who also directed the award-winning film, Lost Boy: The Next Chapter.

In this documentary, you will get a behind the scenes look at all that goes into a Harvest Crusade event.

So, enjoy and share it with a friend!

Tonight at Harvest Orange County: How to Reach Our Culture with the Gospel.

Thursday, September 29th, 2011 Posted in sermons | No Comments »

Tonight at Harvest Orange County, I want to talk about reaching our culture with the gospel.
Much is said about the unique and seemingly daunting challenges that we in the church face as we seek to speak to this post-modern culture. But I suggest to you the answer to this dilemma is found by going back 2000 years.

I believe the early church knew exactly what they were doing and, in a relatively short period of time, changed their world with the message of Jesus Christ.
The title of my message is “First Century Principles for Reaching the 21st Century” from Acts 17.

We will also be joined in music by worship leader/psalmist extraordinaire Marty Goetz!

It all starts at 7:00 pm PDT and it will be webcast live at www.harvest.org.

Why Did I Just Say That?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)

I can think of so many times when I should have kept silent, but I just had to speak. On more than one occasion I have said something, and the moment it left my lips, I thought, Why did I just say that? And I have found myself instantly wishing I could have those words back.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to say the perfect thing, but instead, you ended up saying the lamest thing possible?

Peter on the Mountain.

It reminds me of when Peter, along with James and John, witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus. What an awesome privilege these three men had been given! Their eyes were the only ones who got to see Jesus’ face and clothes suddenly becoming shining like the sun. And then they had the privilege of having a front row seat as Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus about His upcoming trials. Even as this conversation was taking place, however, Peter blurted out, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here…” (Mark 9:5). Mark includes this interesting commentary: “He did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid” (verse 6).

Is it the Right thing to Say?

But Peter wasn’t quite finished. He said, “Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” (verse 5). I wonder if Moses turned to Jesus and asked, “Who is that guy?”

“Oh, that’s Rock. Never mind.”

How easily thoughts can jump into our minds, and we just say them without thinking. But how much better it is to think about it a moment and ask ourselves, Is this the right thing to say? Would this be an appropriate statement to make? Would this glorify the Lord?

Ephesians 4:29 (niv) says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

If we applied that filter to our conversations—“Will this comment build this person up? Will these words benefit this person?”—imagine what a difference there would be in the content of our words.

This Weekend at Harvest!

Saturday, September 24th, 2011 Posted in sermons | No Comments »

 Judas Iscariot-

His very name is synonymous with evil and treachery. But was Judas Iscariot actually misunderstood? Was he really a good guy actually trying to help out Jesus?

Or was he one of the most wicked men who ever lived? That is what we will be looking at this Sunday at Harvest as part of our series in the Gospel of Matthew, Follow Me!

Judas’s life stands as a warning to people who have been raised in the church and have developed very hard hearts. For he spent three and half years in the presence of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, yet betrayed Him.

So join us as we look at this paradoxical character in the message “So Close, Yet So Far.”

A Film you will want to see!

We are also going to be premiering a short documentary film made by talented filmmaker Dwight Thompson Jr. called “A Night to Remember: The 2011 LA Harvest.”

(Dwight was the director of my autobiographical film “Lost Boy: The Next Chapter” which won eight international film festival awards in the “Best Documentary” category.)

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes footage that helps you to see some of the inner-workings of a Harvest Crusade. It all happens this Sunday at Harvest Riverside and Orange County.

Service times for Riverside are

7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 am.

Harvest Orange County service times are

9:30 and 11:30 am.

It will all be broadcast live at harvest.org

This Thursday at Harvest Orange County.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

God is in control of your life as a Christian, not you.
The Bible says,  “ How can we understand the road we travel? It is the LORD who directs our steps” (Proverbs 20:24).
We can accept that premise when things are going well in life. But what about when things are going badly? Is God still in control?
I’m glad you asked that question!
That will be my topic this Thursday at Harvest OC.

My message title is “Songs in the Night.” It is based on what happened to Paul and Silas in Acts 16 and how they were able to rejoice despite very difficult circumstances and how we can learn to do the same.

Join us live for our service at 7:00 pm or watch the webcast at www.harvest.org.

Bring Your Flowers Now!

Monday, September 19th, 2011 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

My granddaughter Stella loves to pick flowers. She will come to me and, with a smile of her beautiful face, say, “These are for you, Papa!” It always warms my heart.

There is a story in the Bible of a woman named Mary who understood what Jesus meant when He said He was going to die. Though it somehow did not seem to penetrate the minds of His own hand-picked disciples who had spent their every waking hour with Him for three years, Mary understood.

One night, Jesus and His friends were gathered at the house of Simon in Bethany. She listened as the Lord quietly spoke to the audience gathered. But with intuition inherent in women, she saw and heard something else. She saw the lines etching His face, and read aright the problems reflected in His eyes. An inner sense told her that the disciples were wrong in expecting a kingdom. The Master meant what He had said, and said what He meant: He was literary going to Jerusalem to be crucified.

She could not grasp something so terrible, but accepted it because He said it. She had to do something. She would not wait to give some floral tribute at His funeral. She would bring her flowers now! She would give the very best she possibly could!

Very expensive perfume.

So Mary took some very expensive perfume that was probably a family heirloom and poured it on the head of Jesus. Some were angry at her and criticized her for such a waste, as the street value of such a perfume was around $25,000. But in Mary’s mind, nothing was too good for Jesus, and she wanted to show her love to Him.

Jesus was impressed and even commended her for it. He said “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Matthew 26:13). Nothing is ever wasted if it is given with a right heart for God’s glory.

Let people know now!

That’s a good thing to remember about people you love—people who have impacted you as a Christian. Don’t wait until their funeral to say it. Say it now.

Go to them, or write them a letter or an e-mail or even a text and tell them what they mean to you—your husband, wife, child, friend, a spiritual leader—because you never know when you will have your last conversation with them.

So bring your flowers now, not later.

 

 

This Sunday at Harvest Riverside and Orange County!

Friday, September 16th, 2011 Posted in sermons | No Comments »

Whew!

What an amazing weekend we had at Dodger Stadium.

I am glad to be back in the pulpit this Sunday at Harvest Riverside and Orange County. I will be back in my series Follow Me! from the Gospel of Matthew. My message title is “No Regrets.”

I hope you can join us. I will give a report on some of the wonderful things God did at Dodger Stadium as well as tell you what our future plans our for L.A.

So join us in person if you can. Our service times in Riverside are 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 AM.

Orange County service times are 9:30 and 11:30.

It will all be webcast live at www.harvest.org.

Tonight at Harvest Orange County

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

Join us tonight at Harvest Orange County for our Bible study from our series Upside-Down Living from the Book of Acts.
My topic tonight is “The Problem of Pain.”
What is the purpose of adversity, trials, and hardship in the life of the Christian?

Find answers tonight.
www.harvest.org.

Check out this excellent article from my wife about the day after a crusade in our home.

Monday, September 12th, 2011 Posted in sermons | 13 Comments »

“The Day After”

Yesterday was the Dodger Stadium Harvest Crusade in L.A. We went to bed well past midnight, blessed and exhausted (Greg far more than me, for sure). He has described the ramp-up to a night of crusade preaching like being in a vice. All of us in the Laurie household, down to the grandchildren, try to be sensitive to the pressure as we pray for him.

This morning, the day after many long days and nights of anticipation, preparation, praying, and waiting, we look over our shoulders at last night, thankful that God touched lives in truly amazing ways, in some ways exceeding our expectations.

There is a sense of euphoria about evenings like last night; one can get caught up in an emotional high that can leave you flat the day after. But after many years of such evenings, I keep my mind and emotions in check, thankfully grounded and balanced by Jesus’ words to the disciples when they returned after seeing God work through them mightily: “Rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

But today is Sunday. As I write this you may wonder what do we do the Sunday following a night like last night? Well. . .we get up and go to church.

I am there because I need to be there, not because people expect me to be there (after all I am the pastor’s wife!) and not because I am under obligation to attend Sunday morning church. I am Christian first, and in order to love God the way He wants me to love Him, I must tremble at His words, and “not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. . .” (Hebrews 10:25).

There may be times when it is not convenient. There may even be those days when I don’t feel like it. But it is His will for all Christians, and not least the Pastor’s wife, to attend church faithfully, joyfully, expectantly! At the end of the day, all of us, whether in full-time ministry or not, are children who should love to hear and obey our Father’s Word.

Listening to Greg preach for almost 40 years (!) I can say, apart from the fact that he is my husband, he is also my pastor and I need to hear him teach. I smile at times, having lived many of the illustrations he uses in his sermons. Many times I can finish his sentences before he does. And after church, I will go home to ordinary tasks like doing his laundry, although (by choice) he does his own ironing! Yet when I am in church listening to him preach, I expect God to speak to me. . .every time. I come with my pen and paper and an ear ready to hear what the Lord has to say.

I recently came across this list of questions on Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ blog that wonderfully helps in examining our hearts so we can get the most out of Sunday worship. I was challenged and convicted by them and hope you will be too!

Do you highly esteem, respect, and reverence the Word of God (Nehemiah 8:5; Psalm 138:2)?
Do you prepare your heart to hear the Word of God (Psalm 119:18)?
Do you find delight in hearing the Word proclaimed?
Do you listen attentively when the Word is being read or preached (Nehemiah 8:3; Psalm 85:8)?
Do you expect God to speak to you every time you hear His Word proclaimed?
Do you have a teachable spirit (Psalm 25:9)?
Do you tremble at the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 66:2; Ezra 9:4)?
Do you pray for those who proclaim the Word to you, that they might be pure, anointed vessels of God (1 Thessalonians 5:25)?
When the Word is preached, are you conscious that you are not listening to the words of men but to the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13)?
Do you have a commitment to obey anything God shows you from His Word (Matthew 7:24; James 1:22–25)?
Do you respond in faith, that is, acting on the Word you have heard (Hebrews 4:2)?
Is your heart good soil that receives the Word and produces fruit (Luke 8:15)?
Are you willing to let the message sit in judgment of you rather than you sitting in judgment of the message?
Do you take the message personally (James 1:22)? Or are you more focused on how it applies to the people sitting near you?
Do you pass on to others what you’ve learned from the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:2)?
Do you express appreciation and gratitude for those who minister the Word of God to you (Galatians 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:12–13)?

We had an amazing night at Dodger Stadium!

Sunday, September 11th, 2011 Posted in sermons | 22 Comments »

Good Morning Everyone-
Wow, what a night we had at Dodger Stadium. 50,000 people showed up for the L.A. Harvest and thousands more listened on over 500 radio stations across the United States. We had thousands more view it on the Internet as well.

But the most exciting thing is we saw 5,934 people come on the field to make a profession of faith to follow Christ!
All told, we gave out 7,700 Start! Bibles so that number my even be higher.
Thank you for your prayers and TO GOD BE THE GLORY!