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Last Night Was Amazing!

August 17th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 6 Comments »

41,000 packed Angel Stadium and 4,169 came forward at the invitation to follow Christ!
Add last night’s stats and that means means so far we have had 69,000 people in attendance and best of all . . . 6,464 people have made a profession of faith to follow Jesus Christ.
Please be praying for the SoCal churches as they now engage in follow-up.

TONIGHT is the night you will not want to miss.

We will have music from the Harvest Worship Band, Crystal Lewis, for King and Country, and America’s worship leader, Chris Tomlin.
My message for tonight is on the topic of the afterlife with the title, “See you in the Morning.”
After the message, we will have a fireworks show to celebrate all that God has done in the last 25 years of Harvest Crusades.
It all starts at 7:00 PM, Pacific.
I hope to see you there!

We Had a Great Night to Kick Off the 25th Anniversary of Harvest Crusades.

August 16th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 5 Comments »

28,000 people came and 2,295 people made a profession of faith to follow Jesus Christ.
Now that’s good mews!
We had amazing music from Phil Wickham and Needtobreathe as well as the Harvest Worship Band.
I also interviewed my friend, former mobster Michael Franzese.

TONIGHT . . . Angel Stadium is going to ROCK!

Skillet, Sidewalk Prophets, and Phil Wickham will be playing.
My message title is “Jesus and You!”
Among other things, I want to talk about the tragic suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams and offer hope to others who may feel so depressed they too want to end it.

One other thing . . .

This crusade is not only webcast LIVE at www.harvest.org.
You can also see it on GODTV which is all around the world.

http://www.god.tv

Let people know about the last two nights of this crusade.
Here is a link to an article that the Christian Post did on our crusade last night.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/28000-people-attend-socal-harvest-greg-laurie-interviews-ex-mob-boss-says-god-is-a-big-eraser-124912/

How to Watch the SoCal Harvest Online

August 15th, 2014 Posted in Harvest Crusades | 15 Comments »

The crusade will be broadcast live from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, each night at 7:00 p.m. Pacific.

Simply go to socal.harvest.org and click on the banner that says “Watch Live Now.”

Please remember, this link will not be available before 7:00 p.m. Pacific.

 

The 25th Harvest Crusade starts Tonight!

August 15th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 3 Comments »

We will have special music from the chart-topping band,Needtobreathe.
The Harvest worship band will lead us in worship
Phil Wickham will be sharing special music as well.
You will not want to miss my interview with former mobster,Michael Franzese.
My message title for tonight is,”The God who loves and forgives”
For more info,go to

http://www.harvest.org/crusades/2014/anaheim/home.html?&utm_source=FeatureBanner&utm_campaign=SoCal2014&utm_medium=banner

A Holy Hurricane

August 5th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 4 Comments »

Here is an excellent article written by our Harvest Crusade director,John Collins about the upcoming SoCal Harvest.

It’s like a hurricane. A holy hurricane.

That might be the best description I can give for the Harvest Crusade. As we prepare for next week’s 25th annual crusade in Anaheim, we are at that this moment in the calm before the storm.

Like hurricanes, crusades don’t show up unannounced. As a hurricane gathers steam and energy, it moves seemingly slowly across the water while people on shore gather news of its direction, their eyes on the horizon. They are alerted through radio and television. They busily move possessions to higher ground. They board up windows, secure doors, stack sandbags, and then they pray. Something big and ominous is on its way.

Crusades are like that. For weeks in advance, churches mobilize their people. Christians busy themselves and alert their neighbors by handing out flyers, displaying bumper stickers, putting up posters and lawn signs. Billboards are hung. Radio and television announce its coming. And Christians pray! Something big is on the horizon.

Hurricanes grab the attention of first responders too. They anticipate that there will be injuries and rescues—even life-threatening rescues will be necessary. They prepare food and water and distribution centers. They mobilize an army of volunteers, people who are ready to assist with the hurting and the homeless.

Crusades are like that! Before a crusade, churches are preparing volunteers to handle the crowds and to provide a safe environment where the message can be clearly heard. Follow-up workers from churches all around the area are trained and equipped to assist the people who have made a life-changing decision to follow Christ. They are there to bandage the wounds of those who’ve been injured by sin, and counsel those who have found the healing touch of Christ.

It’s also a fact that hurricanes do tremendous amounts of damage. A typical hurricane can have winds up to 150 miles per hour, while some have been known to exceed 200. At that speed, trees are torn from the earth, homes are lifted from their foundation, cars and trucks can be tossed around like children’s toys. And in the middle of those furious winds swirling round the eye of the storm, there is an unusual peace and tranquility.

Such is the message of the gospel. It is furious and it is offending. It rips the falsehood off people’s lives and leaves them bare and stripped of excuse. The winds of forgiveness upend the arguments of the wise. The love of Christ shakes the foundations of the most ardent sinner and tosses his arguments around as if they were rag dolls.

They say a hurricane, if you’re in its path, comes upon you with the sound of a freight train. It is deafening. Those in its path are helpless to withstand its power. One can only seek shelter and cower under the power of that which is so big it seems unearthly.

People have said that about the gospel too. C.S. Lewis called it “the hound of heaven.” It was the unrelenting force of truth bearing down upon his soul that left him saying, “I was the most reluctant convert in all England.” Like a hurricane, the gospel sweeps through the crowd at Anaheim Stadium, enveloping all who hear the message of the evangelist, Greg Laurie. It is a faint call that begins with a whisper as people find their seats and listen to the sounds of the church in fellowship. The clapping of hands and the stomping of feet to the beat of worship and praise becomes a rumble as the sky darkens and the message approaches.

Then, from the pages of Scripture comes thunderous truth. All sounds are drowned out. A penetrating voice from the center of the podium is synchronized with the deafening sound of truth. As the message sweeps over the audience, the winds of the Spirit begin to dishevel lives and rend hearts. The foolishness of the message preached grows to gale force; it is louder than a freight train. Submission alone draws the penitent into the Eye of the storm, and once there, there is peace.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, people are stunned at the devastation. All around, things are broken. And yet, in odd twists of fate, certain buildings stand unfazed, unharmed, though not untouched, by the howling winds.

So, too, the gospel. Those who stood defiantly in its path are shattered. Those who yielded to its power are broken, and yet made whole. Follow-up workers remain strong, untouched, canvassing the field for those who have responded to an invitation to receive Christ. Tears of repentance flow while lives are being reconstructed on a foundation that will withstand future storms.

Yes, a Harvest hurricane is coming. It’s about the size of man’s hand on the horizon. It will be here soon. Are you ready?

The Power of your Personal Story.

August 4th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 2 Comments »

One of the most effective tools in your ‘spiritual tool box’ is your personal testimony.
Your testimony is your personal story of how you came to know Jesus Christ.
Every believer has a story to tell.
Granted,some may be more dramatic then others,but all testimonies are valid.
Fact of the matter is,when you boil it down,we all have the same basic story.
We like the blind man who was healed would say,”Once I was blind,but now I see!”

Here are a few tips in sharing your personal testimony.

1.Don’t glorify or exaggerate your past. Accuracy is important. So is truthfulness. Some people’s “testimony” changes with time. It gets more dramatic with the telling.
Another problem is making your past sound more appealing than your present:You might say something like, “I had money,women, power,an amazing car . . .
but I gave it all up for the old rugged cross.” If you have truly been converted, there is no way that your past is better than your present.

2. Don’t boast about what you gave up for Him, but what He gave up for you.
I have heard people speak of the “great sacrifices” they made to follow Christ. Listen to Paul’s words about how he viewed his past:

“Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ” (Philippians 3:8 MSG).

3. When you tell your story, it’s not about you, but Him. Don’t go overly long in telling your story.
Your story is a bridge, not the destination. The destination is Jesus and His story: His love for humanity, death on the cross, and resurrection from the dead.

Just give the big picture and sum it up: You had your eyes opened. You’ve turned from darkness to light. Your life is no longer under the power of Satan but the power of God. And for that, He deserves all glory.

A Holy Disturbance

July 28th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 1 Comment »

It seems that wherever Paul went there was either a conversion or a riot. In Acts 17:6 for example, the people of Thessalonica told their city’ leaders, “Paul and Silas have turned the rest of the world upside down, and now they are here disturbing our city.”

That’s what we need in our culture today—a holy disturbance!

G. Campbell Morgan said, “Organized Christianity which fails to make a disturbance is dead,” and A.W. Tozer said that “if the Holy Spirit were taken away from the New Testament church, 90% of what they did would come to a halt. But if the Holy Spirit were taken away from today’s church, only 10% of what it does would cease.”

Vance Havner wrote, “We are not going to move this world by criticism of it, nor conformity to it, but by the combustion within of lives ignited by the Spirit of God.”

So, if the world is turning you upside down, it’s time to make a change.

And it starts one person at a time. It starts with you and with me.

The early church was just a handful of men and women who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, did not leave their world the same way they found it—ordinary people who were enabled and empowered by God to do extraordinary things. It was the beginning of a movement that continues to this very day.

How about you? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to enable you and empower you? Ask God for a fresh refill of the Holy Spirit today.

This Weekend at Harvest Riverside and Orange County

July 26th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 1 Comment »

We all know what our “marching orders” are from Jesus, right?
We are commanded to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”
But that is easier said than done.
Fact is, many of us are afraid to do this.
But what are we really afraid of?
Failure?
Or are we actually more afraid of success?
Success as in a person saying they want to follow Jesus and now we have a new believer on our hands.
Let me tell you, seeing people grow spiritually is one of the greatest joys I know this side of heaven. The apostle John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).
Tomorrow, at Harvest Riverside and Orange County I want to talk to you about how the power of the Holy Spirit will enable you to follow your marching orders given to you by Jesus. You can join us in person, or watch the live HD webcast at www.harvest.org

Tragic Day, Happy Day

July 24th, 2014 Posted in sermons | 23 Comments »

Reflections on the death of my son Christopher

Today is the 6-year mark of the departure of my son to heaven. These “anniversaries” are never easy.

I remember that day so vividly . . . July 24, 2008. It was a happy day.

The sun was out, it was warm, and I was babysitting my granddaughter Stella. My wife, Cathe, was teaching a Bible study to Stella’s mother, Brittany, and Brittany’s mother, Sheryl. Brittany’s husband, Christopher, was driving to work at his job at our church in Riverside where he was the art director.

It was almost past 10:00 A.M. and usually Topher (his nickname) would let his wife know he was there safely, but there was no message. Brittany called him and he did not answer. She texted him . . . Still no answer.

Brittany told me and I called and texted Christopher. No answer.
My last text to him was “Where are you?”

You can’t text from heaven.

There was no response, because our firstborn son, Christopher David Laurie, had left this world for the next one at 9:01 A.M.

When I heard the news it was as though time stopped. I could not believe this was actually happening to us. But it was.

There is still such pain and sadness there. It was a tragic day.

Yes, even six years later, I look back on that day as tragic. I wonder what went through my son’s mind as he realized he was going to have a collision. It happened so fast.

Did he cry out for his mother?
Did he cry out for me?
Or did he cry out to Jesus?

Many years ago I took a very young Christopher out surfing with our friend Ricky Ryan. We were waiting for some waves when suddenly a monster set started to build. As any surfer knows, when waves are coming, you either catch them or paddle toward them to go over or under them. You never run from them, or you will be pounded in the whitewash.

A little panic hit me as I thought of how vulnerable Christopher was. I was thankful to have a seasoned surfer like Ricky there. We both looked at each other, grabbed each side of Christopher’s board, and started to paddle full speed toward the huge waves,silently praying.

Christopher, just a little boy, with eyes like saucers, saw those waves and cried out, “Oh, Lord Jesus!” Needless to say, we survived that day.

I wonder if that is what Christopher said on July 24, 2008, when he realized this life was about to end here and a new one about to begin on the other side. I’m sure it was something along the lines of “Oh, Lord Jesus!”

For Christopher, as he left this world for the next one, it was a happy day. There in heaven he was welcomed by the Lord. One day we will see him again. And once again, it will be a happy day.

So today is a tragic day. But it is, in other ways, a happy day. And one day, it will be the happiest day of all when we see each other and Jesus face to face.

Happy Christians

July 21st, 2014 Posted in sermons | 5 Comments »

The happiest Christians are evangelistic ones.

The unhappiest Christians are the nitpicky kind—the ones who, in the words of Jesus, “strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24 NKJV). They are so busy arguing theological minutia that they miss the opportunity. They are like someone seeing a burning building with people inside, and they are debating what kind of hose should be used to put the fire out.

There is a joy we are missing out on if we are not sharing our faith. John wrote that his personal joy was made possible by sharing with others the message of Christ. “We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete” (1 John 1:4 ESV).

Jesus said, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7 NKJV). And when the angels came to the shepherds, they brought “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10 ESV).

It seems like some Christians just want to receive and learn, receive and learn. . . That is a noble and biblical thing to do. But if that receiving does not also include giving, then you are missing the point. Does not Scripture tells us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”?

The believers I know who make a habit of sharing the gospel are happy. Proverbs 11:25 says that “those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” (NLT). You are blessed to be a blessing.

But before you preach it, you must first live it. Billy Graham wrote:

“We are the Bibles the world is reading.
We are the creeds the world is needing.
We are the sermons the world is heeding.”

We need people today who walk and talk with Jesus Christ—people who, before they even speak a single word, give evidence that there is something different about them.

We need people who, through their godly lifestyles, have earned the right to be heard.

What we need today are people who have “been with Jesus.”