Posts Tagged ‘evangelist’

You really can go home again

Here’s a name from the past: Steve Hill. Name still not ringing a bell? Think about a church service happening nightly with a line around the building.

Brownsville Revival, anyone? Oh, that Steve Hill.

If you think that he sure has been quiet since the glory fell in the late 90s, you would be right. But he has certainly still been active, as we see in this story from Charisma.

Hill has been a pastor in Irving, Texas of Heartland Church since 2003. This came as a shock to me because I – like tens of 1000s around the world – have been touched by his ministry. Then suddenly in 2000, he vanished like Elijah’s chariot visited the tropical state and swooped him up.

Before we touch on the cool thing he is doing now, a little about where he’s been.

Hill left Brownsville in 2000 and later founded Heartland Church. But since being diagnosed with a “vicious” melanoma in 2001 that has spread into his bloodstream, forming two tumors near his lungs, Hill has increasingly been using the Internet to evangelize.

Who knew? That is so sad considering all the lives he touched, and when he was sick, no one could touch back. Ah well, back to the story. Apparently, while the fiery evangelist realized talking wasn’t a big thing for him at the moment, he could still type feverishly, so he did.

Early last year, Hill launched ProdigalsOnly.com and, much like his brimstone bellowing in Brownsville, this net casting venture is catching quite the school of fish for Jesus:

Hill said God showed him there were 20 million prodigals in the U.S. alone, but the site has drawn visitors from 130 nations, including China, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. On the website, Hill shares his testimony of overcoming addiction and the parable of the prodigal son from Luke 15. He then invites visitors to recommit to Christ and share their stories with the ministry, which is working to help direct people to a local church.

As quiet as its kept, Hill is about to endure his third clinic trial at M.D. Anderson Center in Houston – considered one of the best cancer treatment facilities in the world.

In fact, at his church next month, Heartland is having a reunion service featuring John Kilpatrick and Lindell Cooley (That brother can blow on stage. Talk about anointed.) This service is going to be a fund raiser hoping to offset Hill’s medical costs.

Think about that? At one time, you were known as the world’s soul catcher. Then, once the glorious haze lifted, you disappear only to fulfill a call as a pastor in a city with so many megachurches anyway.

The one gift you have is quelled because of cancer. Do you quit? Nope. You speak through your fingers and reach 1000s more prodigals because that’s what you were created to do.

Talk about practice what you preach. Wall Watchers, let’s talk to God for him and for a healing. Peace be unto you.

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We’re back. A wheelbarrow full of concrete mix, lots of water and ready to get my masonry game on brick-by-brick on this amazing wall God has allowed us to build over the past year plus.

Although over the HOLY-days, religious news was scanty, I did locate one editorial from AOL’s “Sphere” that tickled my fancy and got my charismatic pants shuckin’ and jivin’.

In case you didn’t take two Tylenol PM on December 31, you may have ventured to a New Years’ Eve party (or two). Perhaps, you heard the hollow-throated Dick Clark on TV (so, so sad)? Either way, if you are an “open-air” street preacher, you would be hard pressed to find more of a bountiful harvest than one of those shindigs, as Steve Friess opines:

Yet these revelers did so both with great amusement and plenty of spite, reactions to a far more incongruous sight for the wildest party Sin City throws each year: A row in the middle of Las Vegas Strip of about 30 evangelical preachers waving gigantic placards warning of eternal damnation for the “porno freaks,” “baby killers,” astrologers, Mormons, Muslims, gays and “so-called Christians” in their midst.

Hell no. You will go. Read my sign. It's about time.

Let’s get this clear: I unequivocally admire street preachers.

I have often exclaimed that anyone can do what a megachurch pastor can do if the spirit is right. You know, the band is playing something smooth, a message has been shared about God’s redemptive power and then out goes the nets.

Trust me, with an atmosphere like that, an Atheist could reel in a fine catch of new souls for the glory of God.

Now, get that blinged out pastor on a dusky-hued street corner mano-y-mano and they become slack jawed troglodytes who can barely stammer their way out of Genesis. If you can win one soul in that situation, you are a pro at this Jesus thing.

That said, here’s my question: Does picketing the lost really do anything but harm to the greater good?

Look at the picture. They are smiling for four reasons:

  1. They are completely hammered on boxed wine.
  2. They read the signs and think the tools holding them are well… tools.
  3. They can’t believe Criss Angel gave them a dollar and made it disappear.
  4. Or… all of the above.

Either way, do those signs really plant a seed? I remember the days when I used to roam the streets aimlessly and not one of those signs outside a night club throttled my zeal to go inside and forget they were freezing their blessed assurance outside.

When Jesus finally got my attention, it wasn’t because of those magical seeds planted by Johnny Appleseed barking at me from a turned-over milk crate. I heard Jesus because of a still, small voice that shared love, care and change.

Don’t take my word for it:

Friendly is not a word most would use for the reception the posse of proselytizers received standing shoulder-to-shoulder outside the Mirage Hotel-Casino in a swarm of hundreds of thousands of partiers. The preachers took turns on the bullhorns, with a typical message coming from a fellow named Jeremy from New Mexico who shouted: “You’re on the road to hell right now. Hell is a place of fire and brimstone. Must you all go to hell before you understand that God is not playing around?”

Granted, the message is right. However, is the method? People will hate us completely. It’s in the Bible and we should expect it, but at least, let them hate because we are showing them God’s love.

How many times in the synoptic chapters do we read of Jesus encouraging his 12 eager ragamuffins to dollop some paint on a piece of animal hide and find the town floozie to make her feel bad enough to beg for forgiveness?!

Wall watchers, if there’s anything we need to do in 2010 is get real with God and encourage everyone – the lost and the found – to do the same. Lukewarm only gets you one thing in life and I’m in no mood to become one of God’s lugies!

If I see a transgression, I’m calling it out but I want it to stick. I want it to matter. Does picketing outside gay night clubs with completely inappropriate signs, “God hates fags” matter to anyone other than the dolt who wrote it?

The art of a harvest begins with properly planting a seed. If that seed is thrown on dirt, they’ll only get dusty and blown away. Put that seed in some soil, regardless how damp it is, and that thing has the potential to blossom.

I know we will all remain steadfastly committed to calling out the slack, the false profits, the riff raff and the scam artists. However, if we see anything remotely resembling a picket sign, call it out and teach its author how to make it matter.

Maybe if there are no more picket signs and no more hurling denominational malarkey, we can finally create a unified message of God’s reality and make more of them stick. Maybe then, they will read. Maybe then, it will matter. Maybe.

Courtesy: Tulsa's NewsOn6.com

Wall Watchers who have been praying for Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty, and have commented on the previous post that broke the news about his battle with lymphoma cancer, it is with a sad heart but a hopeful spirit that I post this.

According to the Tulsa World, Pastor Daugherty died after 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

From his obituary in the column:

In addition to founding one of Tulsa’s largest churches, he was founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute with about 900 campuses in 93 countries, and Victory World Missions Training Center which has sent 1000s of missionaries around the world.

His television show, Victory in Jesus, reached more than 100 million households in North America, in addition to satellite and internet distribution worldwide. He and his wife, Victory co-pastor Sharon Daugherty, have written more than a dozen books.

Daugherty was one of America’s best-known charismatic pastors, preaching an upbeat and sometimes controversial message that Jesus came to bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing, and blessing and prosperity to mankind. He regularly brought some of the top charismatic preachers in the world to Tulsa for Word Explosion, Victory’s annual summer conference.

In 2005, when Steven Wayne Rogers walked an aisle and hit Daugherty in the eye during an altar call, this pastor showed what it meant to stop preaching a sermon and start living one. People learned what compassion in action was all about when Daugherty visited this guy in jail and prayed for him – by himself, no cameras, no press release, no reason.

During that national imbroglio, I met the man behind the headlines while I was representing another client and never forgot his kind demeanor, his gentle spirit and his obvious exposure to Jesus Christ. Needless to say, he made an impression on me, as well as he did on the millions who supported and appreciated his ministry.

The Body of Christ lost a prince today, but rest assured he is with the King of Kings in paradise waiting for the rest of us. Billy Joe Daugherty will be missed but his legacy will live on in Tulsa, and in the hearts of those who had the pleasure to meet and know him.

He is survived by his wife Sharon and their children John, Paul, Sarah and Ruthie.

Peace.

In our days of church visitation, membership and revivals, I’m sure we have seen our fair share of traveling evangelists.

You know the type:

  1. Sweaty Weight Watchers Guy – This is the dude who sounds like he is snoring in his sleep while very much awake. I mean, if he inhaled any deeper the choir loft drapes would be down his gullet.
  2. Theological Big Wig Guy – He’s typically a pastor with alphabet soup after his name and delivers that perfect homiletical sermon that will either inspire you quietly or put you to sleep like Sominex.
  3. Famous Just Got Saved Guy – Usually an athlete that TBN traipses out on TV like a prized Lipizzaner stallion. All he has to discuss is his testimony (meh) but hey, he’s famous so it’s good for ratings and attendance.
  4. And there’s this guy… er, kid. For my entertainment and ecumenical value, I’ll take this toddler any day. He preaches with more fire than I have seen in quite a while. Enjoy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Cross Eyed: Toddler gets his preach on!“, posted with vodpod

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

If any eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, it's his.

If any eyes has seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, it's his.

Very few people alive can ever find true inspiration from their own words. Regretfully, that’s the case with the most esteemed and recognized statesman of the Church in the 20th century, Billy Graham.

As a nonagenarian, things will fade. It’s expected. Only, not with Rev. Graham. His legacy is his life… and ours for the viewing. He is one of those people you would expect to escort Jesus back to earth upon rapture.

However, that’s not to be the case, per his friend and fellow man of the cloth, Jack Hayford.

In a recent interview with Minnesota’s KTIS Radio, Rev. Jack Hayford said Graham ‘can hardly talk now.’ You can understand him, but he could not get up and speak before a group,” Hayford explained.

Heartbreaking. According to the story, his long-time spokesperson and personal friend, A. Larry Ross, notes Graham is “does have bouts of weakness, but is lucid and remains interested in current events.”

I’m sure he does still ask about politics, religion and about the weather, but all that begs the question (in all seriousness):

Do you pray for healing for a 92-year-old preacher who has clearly done his work for the Lord, or just hope the Holy Spirit allows Graham some peace as he goes home?

In my life, I have known of anointed people taken from us way too early and others who are so old they sat behind Jesus in study hall. Yet, my experience with them was within years of going home to be with the Lord.

I, like most of faith-based Americans, feel like they grew up with Rev. Graham. And then there are those like Hayford and Ross (Larry, if you’re reading… I’m praying for you, my friend), who actually have.

So, do you pray? Do you just wait for the headlines? Or, do you just wait and see? What do you do?

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15 ESV)

With death of the saints being precious, can you imagine the hullabaloo Rev. Graham’s passing would cause in heaven?

Heck, a sizable portion of folks on the good side of pearly gates are probably there because of one of his crusades.

That said, is it selfish to pray for Billy Graham to stay or more of a godly thing to let him go? I don’t know but if he could talk, what would he say about the quality of his days now?

Godspeed, Billy Graham. After you, there will an infinite chasm in the Church that will never be filled.