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Thursday
Dec012016

God’s Servants to You

Have you ever heard the song “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”? From the time I was a toddler, my dad would sing this hymn to me any time he needed me to stand up—to help me get dressed, to get off the couch, to do a chore. He would sing, and I would pop up. It worked every time. Years later, those words still resonate in my spirit. That old hymn begins like this:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross!
Lift high his royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.

We are Christian soldiers for King Jesus to fight against spiritual darkness. Likewise, God has set in place earthly checks and balances, like the police and military, to preserve and protect our communities and nations against wrongdoers. Romans 13:3-4 (Amplified Bible) lays out God’s purpose for law enforcement and what our relationship should be with them:

“For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. [4] For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer.”

As a way to thank those who protect and serve the Colorado county where Charis Bible College’s main campus resides, Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis hosted an appreciation banquet and fundraiser for their local first responders this past September. Hundreds from the county participated in honoring their firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical technicians, and paramedics. All first responders and their guests ate for free. Each guest also had the option of paying for an individual ticket, sponsoring a table, or donating funds directly to a first responders’ fund. In total, the event raised $55,712, and the money was split evenly between the Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District and the Northeast Teller County (NETCO) Fire
Protection District.

After the fundraiser, a public response was issued from the NETCO board:

“We would like to say thank you to the citizens of Teller County, the sponsors and donors, along with Mayor Neil Levy and master-of-ceremonies Debbie Miller, but especially Andrew Wommack Ministries/Charis Bible College and staff for hosting the First Responder Banquet and Fundraiser. It was truly a wonderful evening and we are honored to have received such praise
and appreciation.”

Through the nonprofit organization Shield616, AWM also provided upgraded armor to local police departments. Sixteen body armor kits were purchased and donated by AWM, enabling God’s servants to stand strong and
be protected.

As I think about the results of this generous gift to a group so underappreciated, I can hear my dad’s voice:

Put on the Gospel armour,
Each piece put on with prayer;
When duty calls or danger
Be never wanting there.

Remember the first responders in your community this Christmas. If you’re not in a position to give to them financially, at least pray for their safety. John 15:13 (AMP) says, “No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends.” As God’s agents, first responders are demonstrating a great love—Jesus’ love—to the community through their service. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can be a blessing to them this Christmas season. Serve each other in love as your heavenly Dad sings over you:

To him that overcometh,
A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory
Shall reign eternally.

Post a comment below if this has blessed you.

 

Join Andrew Wommack in Phoenix, Arizona! Make plans to come out January 5-7, 2017, for the Phoenix Gospel Truth Seminar. (Special room rate available until December 5.) For more information and to register, visit this page.

Monday
Nov282016

Interview with a Nonconformist

Recently Andrew Wommack sat down with Gordon Pettie of Revelation TV for an interview at the 2016 Grace and Faith Conference in the UK. Andrew shared with his host a broad range of things, like what he does to unwind, how he became a worldwide minister of the Gospel, and the testimony of his son coming back from the dead. Here’s an inside look into Andrew’s life—someone who’s allowed the Word to transform him. The following is an excerpt from that interview:

Gordon Pettie: Andrew, it’s a pleasure to have you. Thanks for taking the time to join us on Revelation TV.

Andrew Wommack: Well, thanks for having me, Gordon. It’s a pleasure.

GP: Andrew, when somebody appears on TV screens and on big platforms, people sort of think in some way they’re [a] very special kind of people. Can I just start by asking you a few ordinary questions? Do you ever get time to read ordinary books?

AW: Well, I guess I have the time, but I am so committed to the Word of God and how powerful it is that if I get a few moments, I’ll read the Bible. I only read maybe one or two books a year, and that’s pushing it. I have to force myself to do that. So, I really don’t read much outside the Bible.

GP: Okay, and what about to relax? Do you get time to relax?

AW: What I do to relax is, I have twenty-six acres, and it always needs work. And so I’m always working on that. And then I’ve got a wood shop that the Lord blessed me with. I’ve got some great equipment, and I make bowls, candleholders, and belt buckles—like this belt buckle. And I build stuff out of wood. That’s what I love to do.

GP: All of us have to keep our Christian life real and fresh. How do you do that?

AW: Personal relationship with the Lord. I got born again when I was eight, but when I was eighteen, I had this encounter with the Lord where, I mean, Jesus became real to me. And He changed my life. And, Gordon, I’ve never gotten over it.

GP: Did the Lord give you a vision that one day you’d become an international speaker?

AW: Did you know that when I first got turned on [to] the Lord, I instantly had the desire to have a worldwide ministry. I saw myself ministering to people all over the world, but it was just a desire. And so everything I did was a step in that direction. I pastored three little churches, and I was willing to stay pastoring these churches if that’s what God wanted me to do. I loved it, and I was seeing people’s lives changed. But when I got an opportunity to go on radio again, I just always had it in my heart that God was going to give me a platform to reach large numbers of people. So, when I started on radio, that was a big thing, and I really focused on that. And then our radio [audience] began to grow, and we had responses from all over the United States. And so I started traveling and following those up. And I knew that someday I was going to go on television, but I didn’t know when.

GP: Tell us one of your favorite verses out of the Scriptures.

AW: Well, I’d probably go to the ones the Lord used to change my life: Romans 12:1-2. Those are the first two verses I ever got: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Watch the full interview here!

Post a comment below if this has blessed you.

 

Join Andrew Wommack in Phoenix, Arizona! Make plans to come out January 5-7, 2017, for the Phoenix Gospel Truth Seminar. (Special room rate available until December 5.) For more information and to register, visit this page.

Thursday
Nov242016

Who Are You Thanking?

“Mom! Mom! Thanksgiving Day—who are we thanking?” I’ll never forget hearing that question from a young child in the grocery store. Her mother was trying to explain to her why they were buying a turkey. “It’s just a
holiday, honey.”

Welcome to the great divide in America.

A recent trailer of a summer movie captured the same cultural divide expressed in the little girl’s question. At an extended family dinner, a woman referred to a Thanksgiving-like spread that she had prepared and announced that the chickens, as well as everything on the table, were all local and organic. One of her young nieces asked, “How did you kill the chickens, with an axe or a knife?” Stunned, the aunt explained, “No, they’re rotisserie chickens. You buy them on…it’s already dead.”

American notions of Thanksgiving vary as widely as the family backgrounds of the people who celebrate the holiday. The child who asked her mom “Who are we thanking?” understood that someone was supposed to be receiving the thanks that they were giving, just as the young niece at the dinner table understood that for the chickens to end up on the table as food, there had to be a butcher. It seems that the adults are the ones who have forgotten what is obvious even to little children.

When Our Leaders Forget

Discussing President Obama’s 2011 Thanksgiving address to the nation, Todd Starnes pointed out in his article “Obama Leaves God Out of Thanksgiving Address” that the President never mentioned whom we were thanking, only what we were thankful for: the service and perseverance of other Americans. The repurposing of the holiday is clearly seen in the President’s recounting of the history of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving Day:

“The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain…Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today. We’re grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it’s our turn.”1

“Somehow, They Persevered”

When the President described that he and his family—like many American families—would spend the day eating and watching football, he added, “and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.”2

Although this pattern repeated in 2012 and 2014, somehow his 2013 address was different. In his article, “Flashback: Obama Leaves God Out of Thanksgiving Day Speech,” Rusty Weiss noted that “In 2013, President Obama acknowledged that on Thanksgiving, we should remember that ‘we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.’”3 There is no clear reason, however, for this shift in tone during this particular year.

This divide in history has very little to do with President Obama personally. Instead, it has to do with the general state of our Union. It’s a barometer of what our leadership remembers and promotes about the history of our nation. When those in power chalk up our nation’s formation and early survival to “somehow, they persevered,” we know that the youngest of us sitting around the Thanksgiving Day table this year may never hear from our leaders about the God whom the Pilgrims found to be faithful and deserving of their thanks.

How Did the Pilgrims Persevere?

The surviving Pilgrims held their first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. They were celebrating their first harvest by giving thanks to the God of the Bible for allowing them to survive both the journey and the American winter. Much of what we know about this feast comes from the journals of two Pilgrims on display in a seventeenth-century living museum called Plimoth Plantation:

“In September/October 1621, the Pilgrims had just harvested their first crops, and they had a good yield. They ‘sent four men on fowling,’ which comes from the one paragraph account by Pilgrim Edward Winslow, one of only two historical sources of this famous harvest feast.”4

From these sources, we learn that the Pilgrims were enjoying a time of great cooperation and knowledge exchange with the indigenous people in their area. However, it was due to the kindness of the Wampanoag, one of the local tribes, that the first Thanksgiving feast had its main entrée: the Wampanoag’s gift of five deer. This is what fueled the three-day feast, not the Pilgrims’ “fowling” abilities. The Wampanoag were farmers and had taught the Pilgrims how and what to farm in their new territory, a land that had experienced disaster only a few years earlier:

“The Pilgrims settled in an area that was once Patuxet, a Wampanoag village abandoned four years prior after a deadly outbreak of a plague, brought by European traders who first appeared in the area in 1616.”5

It was an act of God that the Pilgrims found favor in the sight of the Wampanoag after such an event. They even went on to enjoy a signed peace treaty with them for a period of time.

No Confusion About Whom to Thank

The first Pilgrims settled land that had been the site of a great tragedy, one that had struck both Europeans and the Pilgrims’ Native American neighbors. One would think that this should have been a warning to the Native Americans of their future relations with the settlers, but by a miracle, it wasn’t. On their first Thanksgiving feast, the Pilgrims celebrated the faithfulness of God, because neither the climate nor the social conditions were in favor of their survival.

In light of this, let’s lay to rest any confusion about why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and about the One we are thanking. There would have been no first Thanksgiving—or any subsequent ones—without the intervention of the God of the Bible, the one the Pilgrims thanked publicly for their harvest and for their very lives.

If this has blessed you, or you would like to share some of your Thanksgiving memories, please comment below.

1 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/24/weekly-address-thanksgiving-grateful-men-and-women-who-defend-our-countr

2 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/24/weekly-address-thanksgiving-grateful-men-and-women-who-defend-our-countr

3 http://www.headlinepolitics.com/flashback-obama-leaves-god-out-of-thanksgiving-day-speech/

4 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/11/22/wampanoag-side-first-thanksgiving-story-64076

5 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/11/22/wampanoag-side-first-thanksgiving-story-64076

 

Join Andrew Wommack in Phoenix, Arizona! Make plans to come out January 5-7, 2017, for the Phoenix Gospel Truth Seminar. (Special room rate available until December 5.) For more information and to register, visit this page.