Revival on the River 2015

Revival on the River Unity Night Take the CityWe are so excited that this year’s Revival on the River event is going to be a two day event! Please join us for Unity Night on Friday April 24th for a night of food, fun and music. Also, we would love for you to join us on Saturday for the “Take The City” outreach which will be sending out 100 teams all across the area. This will be the largest organized community-wide outreach the Chattahoochee Valley area has ever had!
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In April of 2014 we had over 2,500 people from theChattahoochee Valley area come together for the very first Revival on the River – Unity Night! It was an amazing night of celebration as over 50 churches from the area came together. We would love for you and your church to come and even get involved this year! 
 
Here are three great ways you can get involved:
  1. Get involved at the Take the City outreach on 4.25 @12pm – Click Here to Sign Up
  2. Have people join the Intercessors team for Unity Night – 4.24 @ 5pm
  3. Have any singers from your church join the Unity Night Choir

Thank you all so much for joining us in prayer as we finish up all the final preparations for this exciting event. We anticipate that God is going to do tremendous things this year at Revival on the River!

WWJD?

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I remember growing up in elementary and middle school when this really interesting fad hit the southeastern United States that involved these colorful bracelets with the letters “WWJD?” on them. In fact, when I first begin to see these bracelets on people I can distinctly remember pretending like I knew what the letters stood for before I really even had a clue. Maybe as I mention them you can also remember these bracelets. The interesting thing about these bracelets that I remember is how suddenly they became hugely popular in the community where I lived and how suddenly everyone not only had one but some people actually would wear 5 or more on a single arm. It was the cool thing to do and so of course I began to follow and got one or two of my own!

WWJD?The interesting thing about these bracelets that I distinctly remember is that over time people at my school that were not Christians and were not involved in church whatsoever suddenly began to wear the bracelets. It seemed as if everyone was asking this same question, “What Would Jesus Do?” I remember how the popularity of this bracelet seemed to be a huge success for the Christian community but now that I look back I wonder what impact it really even did make on our culture?

Last night I was reflecting about a friend of mine who was over at my house earlier this week and was doing some hilarious impressions of me and some of our other friends as we were all just hanging out. It was so funny when he began to do the impression of me because of how accurate he was in impersonating me. Everyone started bursting out laughing from the moment he started speaking because his voice and mannerisms suddenly resembled mine in such an astonishing way. My friend then told me something that really caught my attention. He said that he couldn’t do impressions of certain people because he had not really had time to watch them and study them.

I later realized that this is a really interesting fact that he demonstrated at my house. My friend taught me in this situation that we couldn’t represent or imitate something we are unfamiliar with! We must study and spend a lot of time with someone if we really plan to imitate them and act like them. In fact I have been around people that were so close in relationship that they could literally finish one another’s sentences! This is a demonstration of true intimacy and friendship.

peter pan peanut butterI want to offer one more example that I just thought of us well. Let’s pretend that someone you know really well has asked you to run to the grocery store for them and purchase something for them before you come to visit them. Imagine if that specific brand of whatever they wanted was out of stock. You would immediately know how this person would respond. For instance you may already know that if it is not “Peter Pan” peanut butter then you may as well not even purchase anything. You would then make a really well informed decision for them without even having to ask them. You wouldn’t even need to call them because you already know what decision they would have made. This is what true intimacy looks like! This is when you know that you really know someone well. You know them well when you can easily imitate and represent them!

Now I want to look back at the “WWJD?” bracelets that I originally brought up.  The whole point of these bracelets is to remind people to always ask the question wherever they are what Jesus might do in that situation. While I think that this question is of extreme importance in our everyday lives I want to suggest that there is a key ingredient that is necessary before this question can even be relevant. We must intimately know Jesus before we can ever assume or imitate what He might do in our everyday lives.

Do we really even know Jesus in such a way that we can easily do what He might do? Have we spent so much time with Him recently that we know how He talks and responds? Could we imitate his mannerisms to others without really even putting any thought to it? Have we spent so much time studying, reading and memorizing His word that we can quickly say what He might say in any situation that we find ourselves in? Do we even have a relationship with Him in such a way where we are qualified to answer this important question about what He might do in whatever situations we face on a daily basis? I think that these questions are some important ones for us all to look at and ask ourselves.

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Lastly, I want to say that I love the “WWJD?” bracelets and the question that they represent. I think that it is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis as we live our daily lives. The amazing thing is that when we combine this question with a lifestyle of studying His word and practicing His presence then anything becomes possible! When we memorize His word and devote ourselves in the secret place of prayer then we have the opportunity to become so familiar with Christ that it becomes more and more easy to imitate Him in our everyday lives. In fact, I want to suggest that when we devote ourselves to living in intimate communion with Him that the question of what He might do becomes totally irrelevant because we just naturally begin to act how he might act and say what He might say.

We create a recipe for the supernatural to become natural as we begin to combine a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus and the question, “what He might do in our everyday situations?” When we combine these two things then suddenly people will begin to encounter Christ in us which is the only Hope that they truly have. People don’t need to encounter us or our weak impressions of who we think Jesus might be. They need to see Jesus in us in such a way that their lives are forever changed. These type of encounters only come through people who are truly abiding in an intimate relationship with Jesus.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

A Flight Cancelled

Cancelled Flight(At first when reading this post you may wonder why I have titled it, “A Flight Cancelled.” I want to invite you to read the whole story and see how it will make sense towards the end. I don’t usually post anything this long but I really thought that this story was worth telling…) 

I had an experience this past weekend that absolutely changed my life. I was in Columbia, SC for a few days preparing for an outreach that we were doing that weekend. It was a Saturday morning and I was trying to get everything together for a large group that was coming together to meet before the outreach. Some of our plans changed so I was trying to find a meeting place for our group. We prayed and then the hotel suprisingly volunteered to give us their conference room that typically rented for $250 per day for free so our team could prepare for the day!

After leaving the front desk of the hotel I walked into the dining area where the hotel was still serving breakfast. I had already eaten breakfast but for some reason I just walked back in there. I saw two women who were getting their breakfast and was suddenly drawn to talk to them, so I walked over and grabbed a plate so I could get some food as well.

I ended up getting a waffle and one of the women wanted a waffle as well so I volunteered to make her one and we began talking. After I made her a waffle I made my own and then went to go sit down. As I was heading to my table I really felt the Lord say to go and sit with them and eat breakfast. Before I could even ask them one of them said, “Hey, you wanna come eat with us?” I told them, “Sure!” and sat down with excitement because I knew God was up to something.

As we started talking they asked me why I was in SC. I told them that I was with Teen Challenge and that we were reaching out to people in the area struggling with addictions. Then I began to tell them part of my story and how I got involved with Teen Challenge in the first place. They started asking a lot of questions and I was able to share with them some of the miracles that happened just before I came to Teen Challenge and then how God radically changed my life when I encountered His love. As I shared my story I was unusually emotional and could feel God’s presence so strongly. I looked over and one of the girls was crying as I shared the story.

After sharing my story the woman sitting next to me began to open up and to my total surprise she confessed to having a 15 year addiction to meth. I was blown away. She then began to tell me a story that absolutely astounded me. She said that earlier that week she was released from jail early so that she could come to SC and see her neice graduate. The day before we met, her and her girlfriend had a flight back to the west coast but it was cancelled because the door on the plane would not shut properly. They both were then sent to the same hotel I was staying in. That morning she said felt like rushing to breakfast but ended waiting for her girlfriend to finish getting ready to go eat…

This series of events led them both to come out to the eating area at the exact same time when I walked in. The woman began to tell me that she NEVER would normally invite someone to eat with them. Her partner nodded and laughed because of how unusual it was for her to do that. She then told me that inside she didn’t actually want to invite me to the table but something told her to invite me. She said she fought it at first and then suddenly she found herself inviting me to come over. She said, “something was just pulling me… it was like an energy or something.”

She told me that she saw something inside of me that drew her. She then told me that when she heard me share my story that she was suddenly open to sharing her own story with me. She told me how she had been battling this addiction for years and had told almost no one about it. She said that after sharing with me she felt so relieved and felt excited that she had met a new friend!

She began crying as we were talking together and I asked her if I could pray with her. She agreed and as I began to pray God started to pour His love on her in a really special way. I asked her if she was ready to follow Jesus and she said that she was. We prayed together and she made a decision to follow Christ. After praying she told me she suddenly felt so much peace. She said she felt so much better and couldn’t really describe what was going on inside of her. I smiled and reassured her that now she was a new creation and that from this day forward that life would never be the same.

imageIt felt like I had known her for years after we spent that hour or so talking together. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that God had allowed her to get out of jail to come to South Carolina and then cancelled her flight back home all so that we could meet. It absolutely blows my mind how God orchestrates our lives and plans them out. I had no idea that this was going to happen and honestly it happened when I was the most busy and least expected it. I am so humbled and so grateful that God allowed me to meet her and lead her to Him.

I gave her a number to a women’s Teen Challenge in her county and also my own contact information. She said she had been looking for a program like this so that she could change her life. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in her and through her life! I know that she will never forget how God revealed himself to her this past weekend and I won’t forget either! God is so amazing!!!

Testimony from Daytona Beach

IMG_1164This past November I had the chance to partner with Evangelist Jed Lindstrom and Let’s Go Ministries for an entire week in Daytona Beach Florida. We took guys from the Teen Challenge program and did ministry all over the area each day and late into the night in preparation for an event called the Freedom Experience. It was amazing to see the hundreds of lives that were impacted all over that area and also how the Teen Challenge students were activated and became excited about sharing what God had done in their own lives with others. God did so many miracles it was hard to keep count. It was an amazing thing to be a part of.

The following video is a short testimony from a man we met one afternoon while out in the community. As I approached this man I suddenly felt the Holy Spirit give me a short message to share with him. I stepped out and just said what I felt God had shown me and then the man allowed us to pray for him and for his family to be restored. It was amazing to see God touch this man’s life in a way that he will never forget!

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Community Transformation Testimony – Take the City

Here in Columbus, GA we began doing outreach efforts consistently in 2013 all over the Tri-city area through an initiative called Take the City. In the beginning we would go sporadically from place to place each month and see some great things happen but we quickly realized that we needed to begin to plant ourselves in communities on a consistent basis to see the impact that we knew was possible. God led us to a neighborhood called Wilson Homes one month that summer and began to open up doors of relationships there like we had never seen before. We knew that God was leading us to key People of Peace who would help partner with us as we pour into this neighborhood. We decided then to stay in that neighborhood consistently and watch God move.Take the City outreach

Over time we began doing things on a weekly basis and watched God move powerfully. We would host activities for the children and have bible study each week in the activity center of the neighborhood. We saw people getting saved, healed and delivered each week as God began to move powerfully! It was amazing to see the momentum in this neighborhood as we partnered with People of Peace to see lasting change in their neighborhood.

Today we have a consistent Kids Club that happens each week. We are pouring into the children there and believe God is raising up a new generation of kids in that neighborhood. The kids know our team all by our first names and have grown to love everyone who has committed to serve there. The kids often go around the neighborhood with us during our outreaches to pray for the sick and share the Gospel. It’s amazing to see how God is using the kids to impact their own neighborhood for the glory of Jesus!

Take the City outreachWe also have a Living Free group that happens there in the community and are currently raising up the leaders from within that community who will continue to lead Living Free in that community under our guidance. It’s exciting to think of the day that we have empowered these community members in a way that we can move to another neighborhood and start to see God do the same things there! We are believing God for a multiplication of our efforts in these areas.

“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities” Isaiah 61:4

As we see the church rise up and join together in unity to reach the lost I believe we are going to begin to see our cities rebuilt, restored and renewed. Our goal is to go and help raise up people in broken and devastated communities who will rise up out of the ashes and be used by God to bring renewal to their community. We are all called to be those who take part in the rebuilding, restoring and renewal of cities as the Kingdom of God advances. As we depend on God, abide in His love and go to the lost we will truly put HOPE within reach and see God transform our cities and nations. 

Let me know if you would be interested in somehow partnering with this effort over the next year! We are always in need of people who are willing to donate supplies or finances to help us with these efforts.

Take the City

For this last year I have had the amazing privilege to lead a movement here in the Chattahoochee Valley area called, Take the City. It had been amazing to see racial and denominational lines broken as people from all over come together to share God’s love with their community. I wrote out a description with more information that will be handed out next week at an event in Phenix City and wanted to share it on here. If you would like to come and be involved then check out our event page for this month!

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In 1958 a young, skinny preacher by the name of David Wilkerson went to an unfamiliar city sent on a mission by God. His calling was to go and do whatever he could do to help the children involved in gangs and drugs in New York City. Little did he know that he would bring an entire city of churches together for one common purpose and spark a ministry that now has over 1000 programs worldwide that is in 96 different countries. From the very beginning the heart of Teen Challenge has been evangelism. The early days of the ministry began as ministry workers spent days and nights in the streets sharing God’s love with the least of these in that city.

Take the City is a movement that desires to spark the same momentum of evangelism and unity that David Wilkerson sparked in New York City. We believe that it is our duty to follow the commission that Jesus gave to us to go and to share the good news with anyone willing to hear. There are already countless stories of miracles and testimonies of entire families coming to Christ as the church went to where the people were.

take the cityOur passionate desire is to see the church in this area come together in unity and inspire people to get outside of the four walls of the church to reach the thousands of people in this area that are without hope. Many people may never enter a church and it’s our passion to go to them where they are and to share with them God’s amazing love and grace.

In John 17:20-21 Jesus prays to the Father, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” We believe that as the church comes together the unbelievers will without a doubt know that God has sent us to share the amazing news of the Gospel.

We believe that God wants to revitalize and heal our land as we humble ourselves and seek His face. Our hope is that you would join us in the effort to see this area transformed by the love of God expressed through His sons and daughters. We would love for you to join us each month as we have people come together from various churches

We have gatherings where people from local churches meet each month and go do outreaches all over the city. Here are a few of the things we typically do on a monthly basis:

  • -Street Ministry
  • -Homeless Ministry
  • -Kids in Lower income neighborhoods
  • -Retirement Homes
  • -Prayer Team that will stay back and pray for our teams