There are alarming tragic events that are happening increasingly in America. When the dust of one tragic event finally settles, it is as if there is another tragedy happening again in another part of America. Why is this happening? Why are there mass shootings taking place in America? Most recently, 19 children and two teachers lost their lives when one teenager walked into a Texas elementary school and forever changed the landscape of a community, a nation, and countless lives forever, leaving so many to ask why?
Once there was a time in our nation when people had difficulty taking the life of another human being. With the endless hours of graphic video games carrying out the digital version of these mass shootings in homes around the nation, that difficulty appears to be all but gone. Are we witnessing the destructive murders in our streets and classrooms from the consequences of digital murders?
What are we to do? How bad does it have to get for us to humble ourselves, and turn our hearts to the Lord. This is what the Lord directs us to do in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people who are called by my name 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.”
We are entering some dark times, probably the darkest days that the Earth as ever seen. What we are presently seeing in the world today is only going to increase and get worse. As the Church, we should not be surprised or worried at this reality. The darker things get, the brighter your light will be in these dark times. So, what do you do in times like this? Think about it like this: before an airplane takes off, everyone receives a safety brief about what to do in case the cabin pressure drops. In this situation, masks will come down from the ceiling. Put your mask on YOURSELF FIRST, AND THEN help the person next to you. The cabin air pressure can happen so fast, if you don’t focus on getting yourself air, you can pass out trying to help the person next to you. As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to be there for others during a time of crisis, but what about you? You may have given your life to Jesus and dedicated your life to Him, but what about your home? Why would you not dedicate everything you have to God, including your home and/or your business?
When we dedicate something to the Lord, we are declaring it holy and set apart to God. God cares about our homes. When we look at Deuteronomy 11:13-21, we can see how important our homes are, and what we do WITHIN our homes knowing they are in full view of God’s eyes. “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you. Could there be consequences happening around us because we have not dedicated our homes to the Lord, and served other gods in the home that the Lord has provided for us? Continuing to read the remainder of this verse, we see what God expects for us to do, “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.” Think about it. God wants us to write His teachings on the doorposts of our homes. You can put a “Mezuzah” on the actual doorpost of your home, which has an actual scroll of the Old Testament from the book of Deuteronomy. This is obviously under the teachings of the Old Covenant. Jesus IS the Word of God, and when we put God’s Word on the doorpost of our homes, we also put God’s Word on the doorpost of our hearts.
When one man decided to give his life and family fully to the Lord, he was shocked to find out that there were sudden unknown sounds taking place in his home in the middle of the night. His story will surely get your attention. As Ephesians 6:12 reveals, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Truth of the matter is, there are spirits that are all around us. There are evil spirits. This is what Ephesians 6:12 is referring to. You can’t punch a spirit. You can’t stab a spirit. So, what do you do? We have to think about that which the Lord has given to us. If we have a business, or a family, or a home and we give our life to Jesus Christ, the light of Jesus comes INTO US. But, what about everything else? If we look at the life we lived before dedicating our lives to Jesus, our business, our home, our family wasn’t holy unto the Lord.
When God gave specific instructions to Moses to build the Tabernacle and the specific items to be made and placed within the Tabernacle, He instructed Moses to ANOINT these items with oil. Exodus 40:9 highlights the specific instructions the Lord gave to Moses; “Then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, so that it may become holy.” For us, when we are anointing something, it represents the blood of Jesus Christ. When something is holy, it is no longer used for common things, it is set apart for the Lord. It’s no longer used for sinful purposes. We can decide to do this to businesses, to furniture, and to homes. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”. This same authority has been given to you as a believer to anoint your own home. You don’t have to call on a priest or a pastor to anoint your home. You need to be able to do this yourself. Not only did Jesus give us authority, but the things we declare with our mouths in the natural impact the spiritual realm as well. Matthew 18:18 points out, ”Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” You can deal with that environment by taking authority over it with the authority that Jesus has given us. You have authority over satan and ALL of the demonic realm through the Blood of Jesus Christ and THE AUTHORITY that Jesus Christ gave you as a follower of Him. Look at what Jesus specifically said in Mark 16:15-17, “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons…”. As believers, we have authority over every demon of hell. When we go into a place, we can tell demonic spirits to LEAVE! You might not have known that you had authority over your home, or over your business, BUT YOU DO IN JESUS CHRIST!
This is the power that Jesus Christ has provided for us when He shed His blood on the Cross. Revelation 12:22 declares, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” There is power in the blood of Jesus and when we declare truth with our words. Don’t stop sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ just because you see demonic activity. There may be demonic activity happening because the church has stop teaching about the power of the blood of Jesus. When one man received a warning dream from the Lord regarding how a pastor was being spiritually attacked, it was the Blood of Jesus that overpowered this demonic attack and stopped the plans of the enemy. If we have given our lives to Jesus, we cannot continue to have open sin in our lives. If we do, the end result will be worse off than how it was before we gave our life to Jesus. This is what Jesus spoke of in Matthew 12:43-45, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.” We can’t play around with this reality. If we are really a disciple of Jesus, then we obey His teachings and follow His ways.
Watch “Empty House, Open Doors” by Greg Lancaster. This message address this very reality of what, why and how we should fill hearts and minds with the teachings of Jesus and to follow them.
If you are at that point in your life deciding whether you are going to dedicate your home to the Lord, you need to decide. Either its yes, or its no. I’m going to dedicate my home to God. I’m going to dedicate my business to God. If so, it’s time to deal with things. If you decide to dedicate your home and/or business to the Lord, then it’s time to decide to also live your life in these places in a holy way before the Lord. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do if you are going to continue to live a sinful lifestyle, to live with open sin in your life, home and business. It’s not that we don’t sin and repent for it; it’s when we are choosing to openly choose to live a sinful lifestyle.
If you have decided to dedicate your home and/or business to the Lord, the first thing to do is to check yourself; as 2 Corinthians 13:5 shares, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” If you failed the test, you can pass the test by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. How much more important are you than your house, or your business, or your property? If you want to give your life to Jesus and would like more information on how to do that, we have that information for you. Now that you have decided to dedicate your home and/or business to the Lord, we follow the leading of the Lord. God may show you that there are idols in your home that you previously didn’t even realize. Jonah 2:8 (NIV 1984) highlights, “Those who cling to worthless idols forsake the grace that could be there’s.” You may have stolen something before you gave your life to Jesus, or maybe you have furniture that sinful acts have been committed on before Jesus Christ came into your life. Whatever it may be, ask the Lord to show you, and He will. That doesn’t mean that you sell it at a pawn shop so that idol can end up in someone else’s home. It could be that the Lord directs you to completely destroy it. It could be music that worships the devil. It could be something on your hard drive. If we hold on to these items, we are giving satan and his demons access and authority in our lives. We do not want to forfeit the grace that God freely offers us.
When you’ve decided to dedicate your home and/or business to the Lord, carry out what the Word of God says. Use a bottle of olive oil and anoint the different areas of your home or business. Walk through the different areas, doorways, hallways, and rooms, speaking out the Word of God in those places and speaking out the truth of what God says over them. If you’re not sure exactly what to say in each area, you can use the following blessing as a guide to lead you through that. As you do, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to pray over and speak out what He leads you to do.
Here is a blessing you can speak over your home as you anoint it and dedicate it to the Lord:
Anoint the door posts and top of door posts, symbolizing the covering of the Blood of Jesus.
I pronounce that the (Name) family are overcomers by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
In the Bedroom: I pronounce blessings of restful sleep. Psalm 3:5 KJV “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.” Psalm 4:8 KJV “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” In the Bathroom: I pronounce promises of health. Exodus 15:26 KJV “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee.”
In the Kitchen: I pronounce God’s promises of provision and strength. Exodus 23:25 KJV “And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
In the Living Room, Great Room or Den: Joshua 24:15 KJV “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” May singing and praise, and talking of God’s goodness and faithfulness be often heard in this room.
In the Entry and Hall: God said, He will bless your goings out and your comings in and that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths.
Act of Dedication
Having been prospered by the good hand of the Lord and enabled by His grace and power to purchase and build this house to be used for the glory of His Name, we now dedicate this land and home:
To Almighty God and to the glory of God our Father, from Whom cometh every good and perfect gift.
To the honor of Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord and Savior.
To the praise of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Source of Light and Life, to Thee we dedicate this house.
Here shall the Word be loved and obeyed. Here shall direction and God’s will be learned and revealed.
Here may the inhabitants of this home and their relatives and friends enjoy supernatural peace and safety from all acts of violence, including break-ins, theft, fire and storm.
Arise, O Lord, and enter into this house.
Put Thy Name in this place. Let your eyes be open toward it. Harken unto the supplication of this family. Establish the work of their hands.
In Christ’s Name, we ask it.
Source of Blessing | JohnKilpatrick.org | Media | Downloads | Blessing on A Home
It is such an encouraging breath of fresh air to have a conversation with those who are down to Earth and humble. Jack Hollis is one of these men and his life is a wonderful, joyful testimony of the faithfulness of the Lord. Greg Lancaster was recently honored to be able to sit down with Jack and take the time to talk about the story of Jack and his wife Shelly had met. Shelly had worked for Cook Electric that repaired aircraft parts. While Shelly was working at Cook Electric, her company had received quite a significant contract for work. As Jack explains, “they got to contract to equip the airplane that filed the Cuban Missile Site”. There was a certain role that was needed to carry out this project, and Jack was the man that got hired for the role. Little did Jack know, that he would soon meet the secretary in the parts department. As Jack recalls that fateful day, “it was lust at first sight”. After seeing Shelly, he now had a reason to walk all the way over to the other side of the hangar, multiple times a day.
When we give our lives to the Lord, we so desperately want to serve the Lord with all of our hearts and imagine what it looks like to live a life completely devoted to the Lord. What does a life consumed with the love of Jesus Christ look like? Sitting down and having a conversation with Jack Hollis, a man who has been walking with the Lord for more than 50 years, reveals that encouraging life story. Greg Lancaster recently had the immense privilege of spending time with Jack and talking about some of the miraculous testimonies that the Lord did through Jack’s life. One of these moments was when Jack and wife Shelly would take time to spend weekends at a one-bedroom cabin to minister to people. One particular weekend, the cabin was filled with 30 people who were hungry just to learn about and grow in the things of the Lord. They would spend hours singing together and worshiping the Lord, and then Jack would share a message from Scripture.
Talking with Jack, Greg recalls that season of the 1970’s as a sovereign move of God as the Lord was drawing so many people to Himself through family. As he shares, ‘it seems like some sort of pattern in the 70’s were, were in this thing as a family, we are connected, the Holy Spirit just connected everybody as a family. There was no time limits. I love being with you. I love being with God. Were eating together. That was just the season.’ What a beautiful moment to recall and remember as the Lord was doing so many wonderful and awesome things amongst His people. It was during this time that Keith Green was building on raw land to have housing and disciple as many people as he could in the things of the Lord.
Isn’t that what is missing today? When people say they love the Lord, do they love the Church? Do they love those that are next to them? One minute the person who says they love God, is now the person that is crucifying you. How does that make sense? As Greg expresses, “if I love you, then I love Jesus. Then if you love me then you love Jesus and our love for God is measured by our love for each other.” If this is what God expects of us, and if this is what is written in Scripture, how did we get where we are today? Why is there so much religion absent of the presence and love of Jesus? We can’t walk in the love of Jesus without our hearts being broken for the things that breaks the Lord’s heart and seeing others and Jesus sees them. Greg recalls that moment when Ken Sumrall, his spiritual father in the Lord, was suddenly overcome with the Father’s heart for the pastors in his community. “I think he was preparing for the message the night before or something, and all of a sudden God just came down and broke his heart and He said you know, basically, ‘My Church is fatherless. All these pastors are fatherless.’ And it just shifted everything.” Think about this important truth. Of all the words to be used in language, God is described as our Father. We HAVE to tap into and connect with this reality. This is river of truth that every area and portion of our lives most flow from.
Jack underscores this important reality by stating this vital truth; “everything is about the Father”. Jack continues to talk about how the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit always glorify one another. When he talks to people about praying, he reminds people to always pray to the Father. If we’re not praying to the Father, we’re wrong. “It’s wrong. Jesus Himself said you’re never going to ask me for anything again. Ask the Father in My authority and He’ll give it to you. He said, don’t ask me for anything. I’ve already given you everything.” This is why Jesus started off the Lord’s prayer with this important words in Matthew 6:9 “Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”” This is what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has provided us access to the Father. As John 14:6 reveals, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” As Jack describes in his own words, “Jesus has given us the entrance into the presence of the Father”. We’ve made it about everything BUT the Father. As a man who has walked this Earth more than 80 years, it’s incredibly wise to listen to the wisdom that one would share. Jack expresses the vital revelation that came to him only a few short years ago, “This thing is all about glorifying God. It’s not about any of that other stuff.”
If we leave Jesus out of the reality of this moment we call life, we will have seriously missed what everything is all about. Greg describes an encounter that he had with the Lord, given to him in a dream, that has forever marked him and impacted his life. “I was standing at the doorway, outside the Throne Room, and the door was opened, but not fully opened, and the presence and awesomeness of God, was just fearful.” Greg continues to talk about the indescribable reality of what it’s like to experience such a profound reality. “It’s not like you can’t bring something up in His presence. It’s like, there’s no room for something else other than Him. As I was standing there, the one thing I think about, you know cause it’s about accessing Him, like you said. I was like, ‘JESUS! I NEED TO FIND JESUS!’ Because Jesus gives us access to this awesome, holy, perfect, God.” Encounters like this don’t simply leave you unchanged. Greg also briefly points out how, in a previous encounter with the Lord, he was shown the Lord on the Cross, and in another encounter, he was able to embrace and fully hug the Lord. Now after experiencing the Throne Room of God, he says, “I’M TERRIFIED! That’s the whole thing. Jesus gave us access.” What is immensely powerful to realize and truly connect with, is the fact that this awesome and holy God loves us and wants a relationship with us.
It is such an encouraging breath of fresh air to have a conversation with those who are down to Earth and humble. Jack Hollis is one of these men and Greg Lancaster was recently honored to be able to sit down with Jack and spend time together. In this discussion, they share the sobering reality of Jack’s grandson, Nick, who does not know the Lord. Greg shares how there is a prayer community that is continually lifting up Nick in prayer for 24 hours, every Monday. As his grandfather, Jack recounts Nick’s swimming abilities at early age of two years old. “He’s a brilliant young man. He’s got so much talent.” Jack continues to share how musically talented Nick is as he can pick up a guitar and just start playing. One day when Nick was visiting Jack, Nick did the same thing when he decided to sit down at the keyboard. “I didn’t know you played the keyboard.” Nick responded, “I never tried until right now.” Unfortunately, as Jack describes, “He was so good, but he threw it all away on marijuana and other stuff.” As Jack, and the entire Hollis family has been praying and interceding for Nick, Greg interrupts their conversation to intercede for Nick. “Well Father we just lean in and just say please… rescue him from this situation. Bring him to Yourself and if You’re merciful in such a way, bring him back to his family. God we pray. In Jesus’ name.” In these moments, that’s all you can say. “Please, Father!”
Many people have asked Jack how to pray for Nick, but as Jack tells them, “that’s why you got the Holy Ghost. Nobody knows how to pray unless you got the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Greg points out the important truth of having a relationship with the Lord, in order to be able to discern His thoughts and know what to pray. “God says He reveals His thoughts to men and it’s for us to discern what He’s saying through Holy Spirit. If you don’t have a relationship with Holy Spirit, how are you going to discern what He’s saying through the Holy Spirit?” We have to remember that God is not limited to the English language. As Greg continues, “get out of this American mindset, and get into praying in tongues, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and He’s just going to breakthrough.” For some reason, we are focused entirely on ourselves when we pray in English. But, when we pray in tongues it sounds more like, “SEND ME TO THE MISSION FIELD GOD!”
It so incredibly encouraging to have people who have lived life, and seen the faithfulness of the Lord do great and mighty things in their lives, to walk alongside us and share their lives with us. In this exciting moment, Greg Lancaster continues his conversation with longtime friend and brother in the Lord, Jack Hollis and talks about Jack and his wife Shelly faithfully led a radio station for 27 years sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jack and Shelly sold the radio station, they planted a seed with Greg Lancaster Ministries that helped birthed the ministry that it is now today. As Greg recalls, “and then, you came to our launch, and you spoke a blessing and prophesied. The things that the Lord laid on your heart has come to past and is continuing to come to pass. Since then, we’ve reached every single country in the world.” It such an incredible blessing to know that there are people that are faithfully standing with you in loving the Lord. Jack talks about how they received support for their radio station as desiring “grass roots” supporters versus that one large donor. “If you got a thousand people giving a dollar instead of one giving a thousand dollars, you’re a lot safer.”
It is such an encouraging breath of fresh air to have a conversation with those who are down to Earth and humble. Jack Hollis is one of these men and his life is a wonderful, joyful testimony of the faithfulness of the Lord. Greg Lancaster was recently honored to be able to sit down with Jack and take the time to talk about the importance of Phileo love and loving others in our lives. The relationship with David and Jonathan was so close, that the Bible describes in 1 Samuel 18:3, “Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.” As Jack points out, many people share their own opinions and confuse their relationship saying it was a homosexual relationship. “Ya’ll just don’t understand love. That’s the thing”. Jack is also reminded of the moment when Jesus restores Peter into ministry when He asked Peter three times if he loved Him. In John 21, the Bible recounts how Jesus had cooked some fish for His disciples, or as Jack likes to describe it “brim and hushpuppies”.
Specifically in John 21:15, When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Jesus more than the fish, as fishing was the life that Peter used to live. Fishing was his old life, before Jesus called him to be his disciple. Jesus asked Peter if he loved him more than the fish three different times. As Jack shares, “that was agape love. The [Peter] said yes. Then [Jesus] asked him a second time. ‘Do you agape Me more than you do this?’”. As Jack continues, the third time Jesus asks Peter, that is when He gets down to the crux of the matter. “The third time, the one that really got em’, you know, broke him down, was when He said ‘do you phileo Me?’” When we understand the reality of phileo love, we understand the reality of what Jesus was asking Peter. “And that’s fellowship love. That’s the kind of love that you want to be with them.” This is what Jesus was asking Peter, and it’s so important that we look at Scripture from Jesus’ perspective and not the world’s perspective. If we look at the Word of God from the world’s perspective, we will get it wrong every time. When Christ gets a hold of our lives and our hearts, we can’t help but to be transformed and begin growing to love others the way that Christ loved us, selflessly. Jack has been so powerfully impacted by the love of the Lord that he can’t even bring himself to harm the life of a deer, as he used to be an avid hunter, and when he sees a turtle in the middle of the road, he will stop traffic to make sure it gets across safely.
In the 1970’s, a powerful and mighty move of God swept America, and the nations of the world. It is now known as The Jesus Movement. What is so important to remember is that this powerful move of God was mainly made up of youth in their twenties, and teenagers! John Wimber was another one of those that God used to lead so many to Christ, as it seemed as though it was overnight that his fellowship was suddenly comprised of more than half being teenagers. It’s important that we do not count anyone out but that we consider every generation. The Barna Group did a study of the State of Church, involving every generation, those who were born before 1946, and every generation up to the Gen Z generation, born between 1999 and 2015. When you look at this study, there is an undeniable shift in the decline of the Church at the year of 2012. What was taking place in the year 2012? The Obama Presidency.
Looking at this graph is undeniable visualization of how the Church has been impacted during these years. 2012 was a bad year for the Church in America. One of the alarming findings that Barna Group reveals in this study is that “…Many young people’s faith…appears to fade as people move further away from their parents.” WOW! If your parents love God, serve God, worship God together, moving away from that is not a wise decision. So many people make a decision to move base on a job opportunity. For the idea of making more money, they will move to a new city, to be around people they’ve never met, FOR A JOB! Putting a job ahead of God is never a good decision. If you want to keep your faith, do everything in your ability to keep your faith. If you decide to move somewhere, is there a pastor somewhere, who hears from the Lord, to put your family under?
God is about to do something mightily. When God is on the verge of doing something mighty, people start getting really weird, and making sudden rash decisions. Moments before the Brownsville Revival started, people suddenly left, and missed God. You want to hold on in these crucial moments. Especially in times of crisis, what you don’t want to do is to make a decision that will take you away from God. Truth of the matter is, making a decision based on a job can take you away from where God wants you to be.
I can’t believe that I spent almost ten years working in law enforcement in our community. What an honor it was to help patrol the streets at night as you slept safely in your homes. What a blessing it was to be there for you when you suffered loss or was harmed or just need someone to check things out. For all those who have had their home burglarized when you were away. I remember the feeling you had of being violated. It was like your entire home now had turned into some place you don’t recognize. Someone came into your home and plundered things that were precious to you and took things that could never be replaced. My heart went out to you as I dusted for fingerprints, took pictures, and inventoried all that you could identify that had been stolen. I remember patrolling through your neighborhoods late at night and in the early morning hours to assure your home and neighborhood was safe. I’d drive by at night and see your lights on and wonder, was that the family watching television together. I would ponder each of your unique homes and stories about your lives. You invited me into your homes for meals, or a friendly chat. I was welcomed into your businesses and restaurants where you would always put an extra helping of the meal you happen to be serving at the time. Some of you wouldn’t even let me pay for my meal. At times I ate so much, the bullet proof vest had to be removed to breathe, LOL. You were such an encouragement to me as I had to see so many sad things in a typical week of patrol. These kinds of moments lifted my spirit many times.
I remember getting so hot, while on duty at Pensacola Beach with the sun up and a bullet proof vest on. It was torcher the heat was so bad. I had many hours to contemplate inventions such as to hook your car AC system up to your bullet proof vest to cool yourself down. Every time I took my bullet proof vest off and said, that’s it, I had it. I’m not going to wear that thing anymore,” I’d get a call “Shots fired, be in route. Man is shooting at…” It never failed. I’d have to put the vest on enroute to the shooting, or stop and quickly put it back on then head that way. Wow, can you imagine your choice of job is one where every day you put on a bullet proof vest!
I remember having to arrest those who broke the law, yet also remembering my heart breaking for them too as it wasn’t going to be good for them. I remember young men who hung out on the streets and were headed to great trouble. They were so kind to me and I to them. I would tell them, you can’t do this, this isn’t good. It won’t end well for you if you continue this. Then I remember, a short time later, these young men being arrested. It broke my heart. I remember one of these young men. He was so kind. His family so kind and such a blessing to many. I warned him not to hang out where he was, but he didn’t listen and got arrested. He was very tall, yet very young. He was in the jail booking area and was weeping. He was so tall my right shoulder was covered with his tears as he was crying on my shoulder. There was nothing I could do at that point. He didn’t listen to wisdom, he didn’t listen to his parents, he didn’t listen to my warnings and he now had been arrested and charged. His life, as he knew it was going to be changed forever. I wanted, more than ever, for this tragic moment in his life to be “undone” but there are things we can unpack in life that can never go back together, we have to live with the scars they cause. We all have those kinds of scars.
I have so many memories of those 9+ years, but most of all my greatest memory is when I was on patrol one early morning. It was quiet and nothing much was happening. I was patrolling as usual and suddenly I had a hunger in my heart to know God. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but I could feel the Lord drawing me to Himself, but I had no grid to understand what was going on. So, I pulled over into a church parking lot and began trying to find a “Christian Radio Station” but was unsuccessful as I had never listened to Christian music. At this time in my life, I listened to artists like Luther Vandross and other similar artists. I called a dispatcher, Patti, and asked her, “Do you know where I can find a Christian Radio station?” She told me, but back then it didn’t come on until 6AM in the morning, I parked there and waited since there were no calls to go on. While waiting there in this church parking lot, I looked up and saw the church sign that said “Dinner Thursday Nights “FREE””! Since I was a single man and didn’t know how to approach God, or “a church” I thought, free meal that’s a perfect way for a single man to get a meal (that I didn’t have to fix) and meet “church people”. It was that Thursday night that I walked into the church, with my future wife Donna (unknown to me at the time) right beside me and my future church where I’d give my life to the Lord. I found out at this church amazing news! I couldn’t believe it, God gave His Son, Jesus to pay the price for all my sins and that Jesus loved me and He proved His love for me by dying on the Cross, paying the price for all my many sins, and was raised from the dead by God three days later. As I wanted to “undo” the tragic arrest for the young man who cried on my shoulder in the jail booking room and couldn’t, Jesus did for me! All my many sins where I sinned against God, sinned against others, and sinned against myself, what I couldn’t do for that young man in the jail, God did for me through His Son Jesus Christ. Wow! To know now, God and His Son, Jesus, was and are both in heaven, Jesus at God’s right hand, saw me, called me to Himself then saved me. Wow, it was at that moment I was all His. Though the ride was bumpy at the start, it got somewhat smoother since I was able to learn more about the Lord, His leadership in my life and being under my new pastor, who is still my pastor today after all these many years, Pastor John Kilpatrick. Here is more about my story: GregLancaster.org/KnowGod
Thank you to all the many law enforcement officers who patrol our streets today and our neighborhoods. We are grateful for you. If you need a drink, a nice meal or a kind chat, know that you can stop by my home any time. If you are wondering what’s happening when you pass by late in the night when you see our lights on know that we are blessed! God has done great things for us and, because of Him, we have the house! You are welcome any time!
God Power Breaks Out in Colleges. Homeless Drug Addiction People are Saved, Addictions Broken, Got Jobs and Off the Streets. The Jesus Revolution Part 3
God has things right where He wants them to be, right before He does what only He can do, as He so clearly demonstrated in the 1970’s which we’ll share in detail. In today’s landscape, it appears that the ways of godliness, and our nation’s moral compass, has all but been lost. While people are leaving God, and others are choosing atheism and agnosticism, many are losing hope. 50 years ago, it was a similar story in America. Leading up to the 1970’s, America was experiencing what many perceived to be some of its bleakest and darkest days. What many were not aware of was the greatest move of God’s Spirit was about to be poured out upon the nation. Men had their thoughts, BUT GOD!
At the same time, on the campus of Asbury College, the Lord began to deal with the heart of one man to share his testimony of what the Lord had done in his life, and confessing his sin publicly, calling sin as sin. As young man began to confess his sins, SUDDENLY! It seemed to catch everyone by surprise. The Holy Spirit took over a gathering of young people on the campus of Asbury College. It was 1970, and this was the spark that began to ignite the whole nation on fire for a passion and hunger for Jesus Christ. Young people openly shared testimony after testimony of what the Lord was doing and had done in their lives. One woman shares, “I’m thankful that this afternoon, I know, that the Lord saved me. I didn’t think that I could really know or be assured as I feel right now. And I thank the Lord because it’s only Him that could do this for me.” This is so incredibly powerful how God moves in those suddenly moments! It’s so vitally important that this was taking place amidst horrific atrocities taking place in the world and the nation. It’s so important that we not judge things based on what we see or what we think. The Lord is so incredibly outside of our minds and our expectations.
Looking at the realities of present day, we can see that we are not so far removed from the darkened and bleak days that were being experienced in the 1960’s and 1970’s. According to Pew Research, what young people believe today, is drastically different than their elders. “While roughly two-thirds of older adults say they believe in the biblical God, just 49% of those in their 30s and 40s – and just 43% of adults under 30 – say the same. Even with this age gap, an overwhelming majority of the youngest adults continue to believe in God or a higher power…” Now we can get an understanding of why things are happening the way that they are in our nation. When young people are not even wanting to go to church, to learn about true godly authority in Jesus Christ, we cannot be surprised when there is all-out rebellion against all forms of authority. Remember, God is the one that establishes authority and all authority comes through him, as Romans 13:1-5 reveals,
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
When satan wants to stir people up, he causes people to buy into rebellion. Amidst this horrific rebellion and difficult times, Time Magazine dedicated the front cover of their April 8, 1966 magazine asking the question, “Is God Dead?” Hopelessness seemed to cover the nation. 5 years later, God had his own plan in mind. God’s Spirit began touching hundreds of thousands of people across America. It was so powerful, and so suddenly, that Time Magazine dedicated the front cover of their June 21, 1971 Magazine. IT WAS A JESUS REVOLUTION! Days prior, rebellion lined the streets, as every establishment of authority was the enemy. Suddenly, young people lined the front pews of church services. “While the rest of the congregation mumble their amens, the kids punctuate Bisagno’s sermons with yells of “Outta sight, man, bee-yoo-ti-ful.”Almost overnight, after hating the police and throwing rocks at them, some of these same people were declaring their love and support for the police. “Chicago police, we love you!…Jesus loves you!” The drug addicts and drug dealers weren’t selling and taking the drugs, there were passing around boxes to put their drugs INTO to give them to the police. What? They passed a bucket and the young people, at the leading of Jesus, put their drugs in the bucket!!! They were getting free from drug addiction. Their faith in Jesus empowered them to trust Him and His leadership in their lives, trusting Him enough to give up all the drugs they used to distract them from life and life’s responsibilities. THIS IS WHAT GOD DOES! The answer is not legislation. The answer is JESUS!
Young people share mighty and encouraging testimonies of the power of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Young people share their transformational stories of how the Lord delivered them from their sins, addictions, loneliness, and anger. “I was a heroin addict. I prayed to Jesus and I was taken away from my drugs without any withdrawal.” This is so powerful. This young man had been so hurt by life, which we all are. The question is, will we turn to the world’s answers for relief, or will we find refuge and life in Jesus Christ? It’s relieving and helpful when the reality that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s desire for our lives, becomes your reality, because we understand nothing in this life can wash away our sins like the Blood of Jesus can. It’s so surprising to someone who comes to Jesus that their sin is what caused most of their problems and issues they’ve had in their life and that Jesus can forgive them and restore them.
Where there had been divisions in families, the Lord miraculously brought families together, through healed hearts, instantly after being water baptized. “A freshly dunked teenager, water streaming from her tie-dyed shirt, threw her arms around a woman and cried, “Mother, I love you!” A teen-age drug user who had been suffering from recurring unscheduled trips suddenly screamed, “My flashbacks are gone!” For anyone, who are parents, you deeply understand the pain of watching your children living their lives outside of God’s plan for them, watching them walking blindly into the dark consequences of their own choices. As parents, you can wrap your faith and your heart around this reality, that whatever the problem might be involving your children, God can fix it.
What is so immensely powerful is how people that were living “successful” lives by the world’s standards were aware that it was in vain. They knew that outside of Jesus Christ, it was still empty. As one young woman shares, “right before I had been saved it was better than it had ever been before. Outwardly, everything was together. I had realized all of my dreams and it was then realizing that I realized they were vein, they were empty, there was no satisfaction in them. And I knew it was nothing without God”. You make think your life is going great until the moment that you see Jesus and realize whatever you thought you had, is nothing without Him. She also recognizes how different the atmosphere is when God’s children gather, compared to the intellectuals of the world. “There was no joy when philosophers got together. There was nothing but contention and strife. When the children of God get together it’s gonna be beautiful.” God doesn’t want one person to be lost and spend eternity without Him. Each and everyone of us have to choose whether we want to spend life with Jesus.
The Time Magazine article continued to recount how many drug addicts of the day were witnessed to and reached for Jesus. “You can use drugs after Jesus, but you won’t need them. If you become Christians, this is what has to happen.” Others testified how the Lord empowered them to say no to the devil’s temptations to return to drugs and addiction but decided to flush it all down the toilet! Be encouraged as you realize that much of this movement took place in San Francisco, California and the West Coast. What is taking place in today’s headlines is nothing that is outside the mighty hand of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t be discouraged, depressed, or hopeless when you see the things that are taking place in our world. Completely sane and filled with common sense, bright leaders are being told that they are the ones that are crazy. This is what the devil does. He brings division and accusation. One man, who shared his testimony thought the problem with the world were people who were working, not him. “I thought it was their fault because they were paying taxes and the war [Vietnam War] was going on because everyone was insane in society. And they were accusing me of being insane, and I thought they were insane.” After coming to Jesus, he understood the reality of insanity and that the only answer was Jesus Christ. He continues to share, “I went into Berkely, and when there was a riot there, and I saw long haired people throwing bricks at the police. And I love the police now. I love this country. I love the people in the country.” Just as things are dark today, they were dark and looked hopeless 50 years ago. Truth of the matter is, deception is when you think what you are doing is right, you’re actually wrong. Sounds equally similar to the people with ANTIFA filling the streets today, rioting against the police. Be stirred for a greater hunger to know this same Jesus Christ that touched millions historically, for He is about to do it again in a way that will make past moves of His Spirit look like an appetizer. MORE LORD!
According to Barna.com, since 2000 there has been a catastrophic decline in the number of Christians in America. “In 2000, 45 percent of all those sampled qualified as practicing Christians. That share has consistently declined over the last 19 years. Now, just one in four Americans (25%) is a practicing Christian.” Obviously, when the light is turned off, the darkness is experienced. Instead of screaming at the darkness, light a candle, for as a believer, are the Light of the World. This is why you’re reading this right now, we are shining the light of Jesus upon you. The Barna Research continues to reveal how this decline in Christianity in America has caused an equally proportionate increase in those not acknowledging God, writing, “This shift also contributed to the growth of the atheist / agnostic / none segment, which has nearly doubled in size during this same amount of time (2003: 11% vs. 2018: 21%).” This is staggering. This explains the realities that we are experiencing in our nation today!
While God is pouring out His Spirit upon the nation, people in all areas of society were being touched and transformed by God. One man who was powerfully touched by God, in the 1970’s, was Bill Bright, who was a successful businessman. Time Magazine reported, “The biggest of the straight groups is Campus Crusade for Christ, 20-year-old soul child of former Businessman Bill Bright. He still means business: this year’s budget is $12 million, and by next month he will have 3,000 full-time staffers on 450 campuses”. This is such a powerful reality to understand. Many people who are “in ministry” never got the proper training of how to manage a budget of that size. Imagine how someone with business experience can bless and serve in the ministry! Many people feel defeated thinking that in order to serve the Lord, they have to be standing behind a pulpit on Sunday morning. This is simply not true. The gifts that you have in your life are given to you from the Lord. You can submit those gifts to the Lord for His glory and for His Kingdom!
At the same time, one young Assemblies of God minister, David Wilkerson, was powerfully touched by God. The Lord had moved on his heart to reach gangs in the downtown area of New York. One particular gang member, Nicky Cruz, beat Wilkerson multiple times for sharing the gospel to him. Cruz ended up surrendering his life to the Lord, because of Wilkerson’s persistence, and their story was written in the book, “Cross and the Switchblade”, which has sold 6 million copies. Be encouraged knowing that there is no limit to what God can do. The book would later be turned into a movie starting Pat Boone, Erik Estrada and Jacqueline Giroux.
God sees you right now. It’s no accident or coincidence that you are reading this right now. You are on the heart and mind of God. If you don’t think that you are valuable or that your life has any worth, those are lies from the devil. It’s no surprise that all of Hell may be coming against you. That’s because God has a mighty plan for your life, and the adversary, satan and his demonic forces, who has set himself against God, is wanting to stop it. You can reach out to God, and call out to Him through His Son Jesus Christ right at this very moment and ask Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior. We have to acknowledge that we are sinners, and we need a Savior. Somehow, by His grace and mercies, He does a mighty work in our lives by the power of His transformation. It’s all for His glory. Jesus is not dead. HE’S ALIVE!