-“See You At The Pole” 2016

Today is “See You At The Pole” Day 2016, when thousands of students gather around their flag poles at school to pray together for the nation, the schools, administrators, teachers, and fellow students. From the SYATP website:

SEE YOU AT THE POLE 2016
Wednesday, September 28
WE CRY OUT
A generation seeking Him!
Psalm 24:3–6clip_image002
Global Week of Student Prayer
Sunday, September 25 through Saturday, October 1, 2016

For the last 25 years, See You at the Pole has been about one simple act—prayer. SYATP is still about students uniting themselves in prayer before God interceding for their generation.
There are two opportunities to unite in prayer with your friends:

  • DAY: SEE YOU AT THE POLE day is on Wednesday, September 28, at 7:00 a.m. local time. All around the globe, in every time zone, students will be gathering at their flagpoles, praying for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities. SEE YOU AT THE POLE is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for your generation.
  • WEEK: The GLOBAL WEEK OF STUDENT PRAYER (Sunday, September 25 through Saturday, October 1) encourages students to find new and unique ways, places, and times to pray throughout the week. Whether you attend PUBLIC SCHOOL, PRIVATE SCHOOL, or HOME SCHOOL, gather your friends wherever and whenever and pray! The GLOBAL WEEK OF STUDENT PRAYER is dedicated to prayer and launching your on-campus Bible clubs, prayer strategies, and student ministries.

-2015 A Turning Point in America?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’’

America is Moving in 2015 But Which Way is it Going to Go?

Many of us have been praying and looking for revival and a new awakening in America and many of us have hopes that 2015 would see the beginning of a new move of God –a turning point to bring the nation back to God and his purposes.

Another Kind of Turning Point

In the midst of that real hope that the Holy Spirit has been guiding many of us to pray for is another reality that is rising up in America. An evil design that could bring a different kind of turning point in our country where our religious liberty and freedom are questioned and re-defined. Where churches are forced to decide between following the Bible or the increasingly secular culture.

If the trend continues like it has so far this year, it is not too difficult to see that conservative churches may find themselves as outcasts and receive real discrimination in the years to come with 2015 being an evil turning point. It is critical that intercessors and prayer warriors rise up now while there is yet day for the night may be descending quickly and take us all by surprise if we stand silent and motionless at this critical time.

Here’s a prophetic word that I found completely on point and one which confirms what I have recently been seeing in the early months of this year and have been concerned about. From Daniel K. Norris:

“2015 will demand believers to be resolute in their beliefs. The media and culture has found a voice of influence into the church and this year will begin to exercise that voice with a greater authority. Culture will seek to define what is and is not acceptable Christianity. Many will allow their faith to be shaken. Some will come into agreement. Many will choose to simply be silent. Very few will stand as a resolute voice. We must unashamedly declare truth and boldly display love. There will be many who disagree with you, but let them not be uncertain about your love for them.”

Read the whole article where he addresses the current trends that support what I am writing about. Evangelicals including Charismatics and Pentecostals are in danger of seeing major divisions in their churches and denominations/associations over homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the near future and this year could be the turning point in America and the American church one way or another.           

-Is it too Late to Pray for Another Great Awakening?

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              (Photo credit: sadler0)

This week Americans celebrate the 238 birthday of our country. It began with a document that declared that all human rights were derived from our Creator and not from human governments and kings.

If the Declaration of Independence was written today it might be declared as ‘unconstitutional’ for mentioning the Supreme Being. Meanwhile our current governmental system is defining ‘rights’ and revisions to the natural order of things that were never intended at the dawn of creation.

There are currently two major conflicting visions for the future of America. One would like to take this nation which has been ‘under God’ for hundreds of years and replace it with autocratic  secular rule which no longer officially recognizes God or allows his name and his Word to be spoken of in the public square.The other would like for God to continue to bless America and bring forth another great revival and awakening. Lately the secular vision seems to be winning.   

The American culture is changing so fast and it seems like what used to be considered as evil is constantly being referred to as moral in the dominant media and that which is based upon Biblical teaching is now being portrayed as bigoted, evil, and on ‘the wrong side of history.’

Among Christians, a week does not go by when I don’t hear someone say that it is too late for America that a line has been crossed that cannot be reversed. Is that the case? Should we just give up and stop praying for revival and another Great Awakening? I don’t think so. Meanwhile the whole world is in the midst of the greatest harvest there ever was with more people coming to Christ than ever before except in America and the West.

Here’s a quote from an article by Franklin Graham giving hope and encouraging Christians to continue to pray for another revival and Great Awakening:

While doomsday appears to be knocking at our door, let me take you back to the early 1800s. Many think of it as “the good old days,” but history tells us that society, even then, was as bad as it could get at that time. John Marshall, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, wrote to President James Madison and said, “The church is too far gone ever to be redeemed.” When we examine why, we find that preachers had stopped preaching the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the people were not hearing God’s Word.

What changed? Christians began to diligently pray for revival—and the result was the Second Great Awakening. When people’s prayers stormed the heavens, and when the Bible was opened in the pulpits and the Word of God proclaimed by passionate preachers, the church was awakened from slumber by the Holy Spirit, who moved in hearts, spreading revival throughout the heartland of America.

<Read the whole article>

Also here’s an prophetic article which also finds hope in our history and calls forth and sees prayer warriors and intercessors rising up once more to take back America for God: “Prophetic Intercessors, Don’t Give Up on the Great Awakening!

In our area here in South OC California we see Christians rising up in prayer as never before. Pastors of all denominations who just a few short years ago seem to be competing for members are now gathering together supporting each other in prayer for our area, our churches, our economy, and our government. Last year our head pastor Mike Hudgins at VCC Laguna Niguel had a vision of 100 men meeting once a month to pray for our families, our area, and our country. Last month nearly 90 showed up and there is a real hope that the vision will soon be realized.

God has not given up on us yet and His Spirit is calling forth intercessors and prayer warriors to rise up all over America. May God continue to bless America.           

-Bonnke: “America Shall Be Saved”

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  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Bonnke has been known best for his major evangelistic campaigns in Africa for the last 30 years or so. Now he is turning his efforts toward the USA with a new campaign called “American Shall be Saved” beginning in July:

Bonnke’s next stop is Miami, where he will preach to a crowd at the American Airlines arena on July 18-19. Over 200 churches across racial, denominational, cultural and even linguistic barriers have joined forces to help Bonnke witness Jesus to South Florida.

Here’s what He has to say about the new effort:

“I am scanning the skies for men and women who pray and weep for the salvation of America. As Bill Bright used to say, ‘Let’s leave our logos and egos.’ Let’s rally at the foot of the cross of Calvary and preach the Gospel of salvation to the nation,” Bonnke says. “The Holy Spirit will cooperate. God is pouring out His Spirit with glorious indifference to our differences! He said, ‘I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh.’ And it seems to me He pours Himself into the mold of any vessel.”

Response: A few years ago many of us were expecting revival and a new awakening to break out across all of North America. Instead we ended up with the big push for gay and LGBT rights including same-sex marriage which is beginning to trump religious liberty in the courts and culture all across America. Increasingly we are being told that religious freedom is now only Constitutionally assured within the four walls of an official place of worship.

Now Christians who believe in the authority of the Bible are increasingly being cast and misrepresented as ‘bigots,’ ‘haters’, and irrelevant folks who are on the ‘wrong side of history.’ At least that is what is happening in the dominant American culture on the West Coast where I live and in New England and within the main stream American media.

This turnaround has happened in a very short time. In 2009 at the inauguration of President Barack Obama evangelical pastors participated in giving the prayers but by 2013 we saw a pastor who had been invited to give a prayer hounded until he resigned over preaching a Biblical lesson which included homosexuality 18 years ago. Now conservative Christian business owners who do not want to participate in same-sex ceremonies are being sued and forced to either provide their services or be fined. Times are changing in America so much so that if the trend continues Bible believing will soon be considered ‘immoral’ by folks in the dominant American culture.

Point is, it really is time for Revival and for Bible believing Christian to stand up for their faith and refuse to go quietly into the night. One way is to join in campaigns like what Bonnke is initiating and particularly join him in prayer to change America for the better before it is too late.

We are in the middle of a battle and most American Christians don’t even realize it and yet the Gospel is going forth among the nations at an unprecedented pace and millions are coming to Christ every year. Also millions of Christians are being persecuted and killed for their faith and we are actually in the midst of a new age of martyrs though it is being ignored by most American Christians.

I do not believe that God is through with America but it is rapidly becoming a mission field which may see African pastors and Asian evangelists from China and Korea soon helping in a new push to save Americans. I believe that Bonnk’e effort is just the beginning.  May God really bless America once more.

-9 Bad Charismatic Habits We Need to Break”

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J. Lee Grady has an article which lists 9 bad habits that we really should reconsider. I have experienced every one of these one time or another and it is a matter of degree in each case.

Anything that is a natural response to the Holy Spirit is one thing but when some of our actions become ‘expected’ and part of an act or when we attempt to re-create something that was a blessing at some conference or another is when we enter the territory that Grady is talking about here. It is the traditional ‘formulas’ that actual sap the strength of the Holy Spirit and drive it right out of the room.

9 Bad Charismatic Habits We Need to Break” (Link NLA):

1. The body slam.

2. The courtesy drop.

3. The song that never ends.

4. The amateur flag corp.

5. The wannabe telethon offering.

6. The sermon with seven endings.

7. The praise-a-go-go dancers.

8. The ear-shattering amp.

9. The “jump-start” glossalalia.

I have experienced this many times in churches which don’t even believe in the ‘gifts’ so it may be an American pastoral problem in general.

Also I have been at a service where there was a ‘song that never ends’ and no one really wanted it to since the Spirit was really in it. I have also endured what Grady is talking about which is was a ‘formula’ trying to make something happen that the Holy Spirit really isn’t in.

The one listed here that has always bothered me the most is the ‘jump-start’ on tongues. Personally that was tried on me and I didn’t get it then but latter one morning when I tried to order breakfast at a restaurant. So much for my highly educated respectability. I laugh every time I think about how I struggled that morning to order my eggs and sausage.           

-When The Foundations Are Being Destroyed?

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“When the Foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?” –Palm 11:3

The very foundations of our country were shaken when 26 children and teachers were recently killed in Newtown, Conn. What is the real answer to the causes of events like this in our country. Is is really all about guns? 

In 2013 we are living in a culture where the foundations are being destroyed. What is our role? We now live in a country where  evil is now considered good and visa versa. What now can we say?

A couple of weeks ago a Christian preacher who was chosen to give the benediction at the inaugural was deemed unworthy and dismissed because he once preached a Biblical sermon against homosexuality. Also another evangelical pastor was sued for “crimes against humanity” for his anti-gay teaching. We now live in a world that is upside down- Gay is good and traditional Biblical teaching about homosexuality is bad.

Some in the media are now calling for the Bible to be changed and there is a serious ongoing discussion about doing away with prayers and the Bible when political leaders are sworn into office. Some actually now claim that the Bible is too ‘evil’ and full of ‘wrong teaching’ that offends 21th century cultural sensibilities. It also opposes a secular/progressive agenda for necessary change so must be eliminated. How can Bible believing Christians respond to all of this?

When the foundations are being destroyed it is time for believers to stand on the sure foundation of the Word of God and refused to be moved. It is also time to celebrate and rejoice and demonstrate the real blessings that we have received and continue to receive through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit sent by our Father in Heaven.

May His Kingdom break through in America in ways that can no longer be hidden or ignored and let us continue to stand on the one foundation that can never be destroyed in time or eternity.          

-“10 Stupid Things Ministers Should Never Do”

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Ministerial accountability has become a major issue among Christians and particularly in Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. Here’s an timely and poignant article by J. Lee Grady that addresses some of the major and most common areas of potential failure that those in the ministry should avoid. The article actually went viral with links to it from several major news sites. I even found it on The Blaze.

10 Stupid Things Ministers Should Never Do

Here are the first five:

1. Take illegal drugs. I know people who never got complete deliverance from their drug habit—and then when the pressures of ministry grew intense they turned to illegal substances to escape. That’s stupid! If you aren’t in control of your actions 100 percent of the time, you have no business in the ministry.

2. Reject accountability. The Lone Ranger may have been a great comic book hero, but isolation doesn’t work in real life. Lack of accountability is stupid! If you don’t answer to people smarter than you, you are an accident waiting to happen—and you’re going to hurt God’s people. You have no right to be in authority if you are not under authority.

3. Beat or abuse your wife. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7clip_image002 that God will not listen to your prayers if you mistreat your wife. If you are an abuser (and even if you are a master at hiding your sin from others), the Lord will oppose you until you seek help.

4. Surround yourself with adoring fans. Years ago, fallen PTL founder Jim Bakker said his biggest mistake was planting “yes men” around him instead of people who had the guts to challenge his bad decisions. If you aren’t willing to invite input—including criticism—from your followers, you are a weak leader headed for disaster.

5. Fabricate spiritual gifts to impress others. In our movement there’s a lot of pressure to produce the sensational in order to keep people entertained. But if you stoop so low as to fake a healing, conjure up a false prophecy or push someone to the floor, the Holy Spirit will step aside and let you run the sideshow without His power. It’s stupid to mix strange fire and risk offending God!

<Read the whole article>              

-Millions of Youth Pray for Spiritual Awakening

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From Charisma News:

Before the opening bell on Wednesday, millions of students from across the country gathered at their school’s flagpole to pray for their nation, their towns and cities, and their schools at the annual See You at the Pole (SYATP) prayer gathering.  …

The First Amendment guarantees students the right to pray on school grounds. During any noninstructional time—before or after school, in between classes, during the lunch hour or on the playing field—students may express their opinions verbally or in writing. Prayer is a form of speech, and therefore during noninstructional time, students have the constitutional right to pray individually or in groups.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Yesterday was the 22nd annual SYATP prayer rally and according to reports it is an event that continues to grow. This year the focus was upon spiritual awakening for America.

With a crucial election around the corner and world wide challenges to our Constitutional rights to free speech and religion it was more than timely to have millions of youth praying across America for our future and for revival.  Praise God- may those millions of prayers move heaven and earth and bring a new Awakening to a dry and thirsty land. may God bless America once more.  

-America Needs a Third Great Awakening or It’s Over?

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(united states currency seal: kevindean)

This is not a popular message among Christians in America but many leaders are beginning to sense a turn in history that America may not be able to recover from unless God brings on a Third Great Awakening in our nation.

Many see the economic problems that face our country and hope that they will be solved by merely electing a new president with exceptional business experience. Unfortunately, the choice before us is between a professing liberal Christian with a secular world view and a Mormon that shares our values but maybe not the Holy Spirit that is so needed in these trying times.

But what about the decline in our culture and the headlong charge towards same-sex marriage and the continuing secularization and the increasing demonization of Christianity in the public square? What about the very real decline in religious freedom in our nation? Pastors being arrested for holding Bible studies in their homes. Social change trumping the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. Secularists claiming that conservative Christians that stand up for traditional marriage and hold to Biblical teaching when it comes to homosexuality are ‘immoral’ unethical discriminatory bigots that need to be silenced and controlled. Liberal church leaders claiming that homosexuality is ordained by God and evangelicals who oppose it are actually opposing the teaching of Jesus to love one’s neighbor?

What about the upheavals in nature and changes in climate? Are they just happenstance or has God lifted some of his protection from our nation? The fact is that the problems facing America are greater than any one person or group of people will be able to solve. Without a new download from heaven I fear that America is headed for the dust bin of history along with other great world powers of the past that have seen their day and lost their power. Does this sound overly pessimistic? I hope it’s just that.

For a long time I have been convinced that a major revival in America was just around the corner and now I am really concerned that we may miss it at the very time when we need it the most. I am still convinced that revival will come to some areas, some churches, and some communities in our nation regardless. But it is a Third Great Awakening from coast to coast that is really needed to bring our nation back from the brink.              

-America of the Founders and Now

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Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on the paper they penned these words on but also in the hearts of the people. America has always been a nation ‘under God’ and ‘freedom of religion’ has been a primary right of its citizens.

One only has to visit Washington DC and look at all of the messages etched in stone to realize how much faith in God has been as part of the American experiment and experience. Stroll into the Jefferson monument and view the different references he made to the Creator. Yet he is supposed to be the champion of ‘Separation of Church and State’ and progressive thought. 

We now live in a generation when some are challenging those rights and liberties in the name of ‘separation of church and state’. Some would even like to remove all vestiges of religion or faith from the public square. Every week we find new challenges to our religious liberties.

I have seen many changes over the course of my life when it comes to religion in the public square. When I started school in the 50’s every day began with a prayer and the pledge. Also, I can remember studying the Bible in elementary school and when it came to Christmas all of the traditional Christmas carols were naturally sung. Prayers were still given at my baccalaureate, commencement, and even before some of the football games in the 60’s. None of the public displays of faith seemed out of place then.

Now that is all gone from the public schools and really no way that it can be recovered.

Growing up, I can remember that every family went to some church or another on Sundays except for the next door neighbor who was a Seventh–Day Adventist and the Jewish family down the street who preferred Saturdays for their worship instead.

It had been much the same way in America when my parents grew up and my grand parents also. In fact my mother told me that the readers they used in school (1915-20)actually taught them how to read using Bible passages. How foreign that would be today in our current schools.

It was also a time when America rose up and took its place among the top countries of the world on many different levels. This country has been tremendously blessed by God.

If God is erased from the public square and discourse of America, then what will be the new basis and foundation of our freedoms? So much of what we have was actually built upon the foundation of Christian civilization that owed its very existence to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and his disciples. What will be the new standard if any that assures the continuity of freedom in America if not the Creator?

Shall we be left to rely upon politicians and judges and the sifting sands of popular notions? Or will scriptural principles continue to light the way like this NT passage did?:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –Galatians 3:28-29

All distinctions were done way in Christ and American society eventually has followed suit and provided equal justice and freedom for all.

What kind of America will my grandchildren and great grandchildren be living in? Will America continue to lead the world in freedom, commerce, and faith or will it decline into the dust pan of history?

I pray that Americans will continue to respect and worship God from whom all of our blessings and liberties flow.