Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Can you see the signs of the time? More than ever, there is no peace in our sleep. Every night we're awakened to pray. In just the last few months we have seen a massive drought sweep across America's farmlands. New volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are breaking out across the globe. A river in China turned red. Two tornadoes hit New York City on the same day. Another hurricane hit New Orleans on the exact same date as Hurricane Katrina. Nature itself is announcing judgment on the world.
Meanwhile, our nation continues to push for abortion on demand, gay marriage, and now a new movement has risen to the surface and that is the push for open marriage (multiple partners within a union). Waiting in the wings are those who want the right to express their sexual orientation to legally engage in physical relations with children. There is even a push to legalize incest. Also, there are staggering numbers of young girls who are trapped as slaves in human trafficking, right here in America. At the same time, we continue to see random shootings and bizarre acts of violence. Homes and schools are now included as some of the most dangerous places for children.
Then the most alarming reality is that over three years ago the Department of Homeland Security released a report to all local law enforcement agencies, stating that conservative groups (people who oppose abortion or gay marriage) are now considered to be domestic terrorist. The hatred against Christian Believers is at an all-time high in America. We could go on and on, but we’re not trying to depress you or scare you. However, we are trying to stir you into action. And that action is to join us in PRAYER.
2 Chronicles 7: 13-15 reads, “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”
Immediately following the National Prayer Gathering that will take place in Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday, September 28-29, the Lord has put it on our hearts to meet every Sunday afterwards for worship and prayer starting Sunday, September 30th. We’re cancelling all of our plans and schedules. We’re just going to meet for prayer every Sunday until further notice. Just like we did three years ago, we’re going to start leading prayer sessions with our church family and with all who will join with us across the nation.
This prayer is not about politics. We’re not praying for Obama or Romney to win the White House. We’re not praying against liberals, conservatives, Republicans or Democrats. Our prayer is far more desperate than that. We’re responding to God as a church family. We’re seeking God’s face and turning from our wicked ways.
We just feel that we’re at a place in Urban Life Church, where personal issues and our national problems are beyond Chris and Carol Green’s sermons. Individual situations might be beyond personal consultation and counseling sessions with us, as pastors. Many circumstances are beyond motivational speeches and fund raisers. We can see the signs of our times. It’s time to PRAY!
We are bold and honest enough to tell our church family that what ever they are going through, their pastors cannot help them in the way they really need it. However, we can certainly lead them to the throne of Grace. We don’t intend to sound cruel or insensitive, but the prayer sessions are going to be far more effective than a personal conversation with us. Now is the time for each one of us to seek God, like never before. The times are so desperate now, that pastors cannot help their people get through it. But we know the ONE who can!
So that’s why we are calling upon all of us to humble ourselves, forgive one another; release people and seek God. Let’s go for it! LET'S COME TOGETHER AND PRAY!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
They displayed a tremendous gift of hospitality by preparing all of the food for this special church activity. They even had a portable pool and some toys ready for all of the children. It is a great blessing to have people who step forward in their gifting like they have done. We praise God for them.
The gathering also gave us the opportunity to show a video from our home church’s 25th anniversary celebration. Finally, we were able to give you guys a brief glimpse of where we come from and what we have always desired to establish in Harrisburg.
Now as we move forward and the season changes from summer to autumn, we are preparing the ministry for change as well. Our Midweek Gathering is coming to an end for this year. We’ll host the Lifetree Conversations throughout the month of September and conclude them on Wednesday, October 3rd. After that date, we won’t host any more Midweek Gatherings throughout the remainder of the fall and winter months.
In the meantime, we are preparing for some awesome teaching and discussions in our Sunday Gatherings. We will conclude our teaching on Financial Contributions in the local church by talking about the Principles, Practice and Purpose of Tithes and offerings. After three weeks of discussing the historical perspective and controversies surrounding money tithes, we can finally get into the Benefits of Tithes and Offerings.
Many people thought we were denouncing the money tithe, even though we repeatedly said we were not. We simply needed to lay out the documented history and the doctrinal conflicts about tithing money so that you would know that we are not using coercion and compulsion when we teach about the tithing principle and its benefits.
After that teaching, we will jump into a timely discussion titled “Church Hurts” so that we can walk everyone through another level of healing in their hearts and in their families.