Tag Archives: Revival

In search of good news? You just found it

1 Timothy 2:1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

I have habitual sayings that I don’t realize until someone brings them to my attention. Such as “Jeepers Socks!” Meaning I’m excited. I actually stole it from a friend; I love it because it brings back an era to my mind (even before I was born) that was a much more wholesome time than we live in today.  Another quote that was recently mentioned to me was “That’s the reality of it.” I had no clue how often this phrase came into to my daily vocabulary until a friend said it back to me and brought it to my attention.

Well, some days I’d like to duck out of reality. Escape to a paradise island apart from the media, any bad news of any sort or any negative Nellie or Ned and live in total peace for the day. But “That’s not the reality of it.” Life is harsh and we must go on. But take heart dear friend there is some good news!

The State of Iowa advanced a Religious Liberty Bill

Not passed, but advanced a bill that would protect Christians and other faiths from being sued for refusing to serve or act in manner contrary to their beliefs. That’s good news! Iowa should be prayed for and God should be glorified!

Christian Athletes give God the Glory at the Winter Olympics

This article tells the story of several of the Christian Athletes who have given God the glory and spoke openly about how their faith has gotten them to where they are. That’s good news! Pray for them and share their story with young people in your life so that they may have the courage to share their Praises of God too!

Oklahoma University Re-Invites Christian Speaker

Oklahoma University had un-invited Ken Ham, Creationist Speaker, to speak at their university because of campus opposition from the LGBT community. They have since had a change of heart because of an outcry from Christians, legislators and local residents concerning the right to free speech. Glory to God, that’s good news!!!

Revival at McDonalds!

On a more personal note for myself: In 2006 I traveled to the Philippines and while there I stayed with Daniel and Jamilla Caba. Dan pastors a church in Manilla. At that time it was a roof top ministry that was set up every Sunday morning for services and taken down at service end. They’ve since graduated to a beautiful facility. Since January of this year they’ve held 3 evangelistic meetings at McDonalds. They’ve had a total of about 350 people attending those meetings and over 200 made a profession of faith! Today they continue to disciple those who were saved creating more workers for the Kingdom of God.

Please pray for our missionaries on foreign fields, and pray for our missionaries America! Can you imagine having a revival at McDonalds? Can you imagine 200 souls saved in less than 2 months? How amazing would that be?!

In this world that is so inundated with bad news and likely no shortages in the future, it’s good to know that there is still good news to be found in the Christian realm. So on days that I am inclined to crawl under a rock and ignore the world around me, I glory God that within a few minutes of searching the web under Christians news I was able to encourage my Spirit! And with one update requested I received the news from Jamilla.

So today I exhort you! Hoping that his blog encouraged you to continue on. Let no rock be crawled under, else the rocks may cry out! (Luke 19:40)

From West Virginia & New Mexico ~ here we come!

Ephesians 6:19-20

 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

This is where it gets real! In less than 24 hours I’ll be on my way to Windom, Minnesota, and as I said to one of the Minnesota Team members this week, it’s like I’m coming home. That may seem somewhat odd for them and anyone who knows me, because I’ve only been there once; so how on earth could it be like going home?! Because home is where your heart is and I have a heart for the people of Windom.

When I arrived at Windom last year, having driven 16 hours to get there, I stepped out of the car at the home of Loretta Jackson and it was as if we’d been friends for a life time, and yet I’d never so much as spoken to her on the phone. I had an address plugged into my GPS and an image of a house from google. That’s it. But two seconds in the door and our mouths started talking and they didn’t shut up for 5 days. Even stranger, this whole journey began in a place I’ve still not been, but long to go, New Mexico! That’s where Dewey Moede is from. Dewey is a Windom, Minnesota born and raised boy who now is a circuit riding preacher in New Mexico as well as the co-founder of FGGAM.org, For God’s Glory Alone Ministry with his wife Sharon. Through social media we connected and began a journey of faith and a collective burden for Revival in our home towns. Miles and Miles apart, yet thanks to technology just a phone call, text, tweet or message away.

With the help of many churches and God’s people in my life, as well as social media, I have friends from across the globe. Some of them are as you would expect… “friends.” But others are F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Genuine, real, I count on them friends. Dewey Moede is one such friend and many of the Minnesota Revival Team on the ground in Windom. We’ve prayed for one another, I’ve cried with them and for them, they support what I do by allowing me to be a part of this extraordinary event. We’re excited!

Please stay tuned to my blog this week as I update the events of the week and most of all join us in prayer. We want God to move, Mighty! And we believe in the might power of prayer to do that. Please pray for our team:

  • Dewey Moede
  • Clara Nelson
  • Pat Fisher
  • Barney Wall
  • Pat Dunnick
  • Jennifer Anderson
  • Rod Byam
  • Maranatha Ministries
  • Gene  and Martha Duerksen
  • Lynn Stoneking
  • Shari Johnson

Are you ripe for the pickin’?

 

The Jesus Chick Attending the Calhoun County Christian Fellowship Dinner at Brooksville Baptist Church with Chuck and Rosemary McDonald
The Jesus Chick Attending the Calhoun County Christian Fellowship Dinner at Brooksville Baptist Church with Chuck and Rosemary McDonald. Photo bomb compliments of Donna Steigleder 😀

It seems like yesterday I had my car packed for the Windom, Minnesota revival with excitement and expectation of what the Lord would do in that place. It seems like yesterday because the revival that started for me in that place is still burning in my heart. From that revival I came back with a hometown desire to see Jesus at work in our neighborhoods and God is ever so faithful to give us the desires of our heart, especially when He is glorified!

The movement of Christian friends had already began with several men gathering each month from several different churches for a fellowship. So, even before I gathered some gals for a breakfast and ask if they’d like to follow suit, God had prepared the foundation. I was just a willing participant that God chose to use in our plight to see revival in our home town. My friend Dewey Moede was the vessel for Windom. His prayer did not come to fruition in a day or two… it took years. It’s all about God’s timing. That was my response to a friend who ask last night, “How did the fellowships begin.” We were ripe for the pickin’ and God picked us to begin a great work. I believe that.

It has to start somewhere.

Ripe for the Pickin’

I recently read of the great New York revival in 1857 and it has once again stirred the fire of desire within me. The North Dutch Reformed Church of Manhattan decided to reach out to the lost masses of people who surrounded them and to accomplish this, the congregation employed a 48-year old businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier, as missionary to the inner city. That one man started a group of men praying, who became thousands and thousands across America.

Lanphier handed out a pamphlet that on the reverse side said:
A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday from 12 to 1 o’clock in the Consistory building of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets. This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers and businessmen generally an opportunity to stop and call on God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is designed for those who find it inconvenient to remain more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well as for those who can spare a whole hour. Necessary interruption will be slight, because anticipated. Those in haste often expedite their business engagements by halting to lift their voices to the throne of grace in humble, grateful prayer
.

Following the economic crash of 1857 over 30,000 jobs were lost in New York City. That and other tensions in our nation made that city “ripe for the pickin’” by God too. According to some eyewitnesses, within six months’ time these noontime prayer meetings were attracting 10,000 businessmen, all of them confessing their sins and praying for revival.

Some would say it was just a knee reaction, well, I guess it was if being on your knees is the reaction they’re talking about. Yes, the crisis I’m sure lead to some crying out, but that’s the thing about despair, its usually not until then that anyone bothers to cry out. It’s all about the timing. America is certainly in a time of despair.

Our favorite revival verse 2 Chronicles 7:14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Ready for Repentence

The people in that city had repentant hearts. They confessed sin, they acknowledge and honored God, they were ready to make things happen once God had chosen them and allowed them to be in the place. Perhaps that’s what’s happening in America now. God is getting ready to do some amazing things because we’re desiring it with a humble heart. It takes a humble heart to get past the name over the door of a church. Revival cannot happen among people who are more concerned with the name of a Church than they are about the name of Jesus. That’s good preachin’ right there.

There are differences in churches attending the meetings in Calhoun, with the exception of Jesus Christ. They are men and women who love the Lord and want to see people come to know Him. They all believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the life and that no man cometh to the Father except through Him. And God is honoring us in this place.

I’m excited about the fire kindled in my soul and I’m praying that it spreads to your town too.

Is there a fire in this generation?

brother-and-sisterI’ve been involved in the lives of six generations of people, and although that makes me feel a little more than aged it also brings me great joy when I reminisce on the days of Great Grandma Florence, Mommaw Vada, Aunts, Uncles and my own Mother and Father; and now watch as beneath my generation are two more. I am blessed. The generations have not been without heartache and woe but praise God each have been filled with strong Christian witnesses that I can look to for strength when I struggle in the these days of wickedness and woe. So when I read the following passage in Judges 2 it breaks my heart more than a little.

Judges 2:8-11

And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.  And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:

The new generation that God brought into the Promised Land, whom He had told “I will never break my covenant with you,” (Judges 2:1b), that generation waited one generation to break away from Him.

The same held true in America. Leaving their country for a land that would promise religious freedom, it took only a few generations for the decline of American spirituality. A great revival in 1857 in New York brought a new hope to the children of God and spread near and far, but not until a crash of the economy. It’s been about that long again, maybe a little more since America has felt the hand of God heavy in leadership and family. As I read the history of the great New York revival my heart longed for that leadership to be in place again today.

It started with one man hired as a missionary to the inner cities of New York. Jeremiah Lanphier, a 48 year old businessman, who was moved by the spiritual plight of the masses, began to visit homes, passing out literature, praying and encouraging others to do the same. A noon time prayer meeting of a few men turned into thousands and thousands across America. Not for preaching, but for praising and praying for the souls of friends and family.

Oh for that fire to ignite in America now…

It has to start somewhere. A recent happening in our county is a countywide Christian fellowship which stirs my heart with great joy. Because I can see the fringe of a mighty fire if we keep seeking Jesus as a unified body of Christ. Letting our churches be “our” churches but incorporating a time of fellowship between all churches to come together to praise God and pray for our friends and family. November 28th is the next event at the Brooksville Church.

If we lead believing… I believe there will be followers. And the body of Christ, the brothers and sisters in His name will grow. It gives me great hope, I hope it encourages you too!

Hometown Boots on the Ground

boots on the ground

Ephesians 6:15

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

On Wednesday I traveled back from my Minnesota journey for fifteen hours in the car. Other than the necessitated pit stops I drove with purpose and without music or preaching which is usually what I occupy my mind with when traveling. But I wanted to hear from God, which was still difficult when my mind has trouble shutting up, it’s such a chatty Cathy! But what I discovered on my journey to my friend Dewey’s Hometown was that Windom, Minnesota and Grantsville, West Virginia have the same common thread running through their tapestry. It’s a raveling. It’s a thread that’s gotten disconnected from its garment. It’s still attached but it yet it’ loose. It’s not holding anything together, it’s just there. I think that’s a very good analogy of the church.

So as I’m driving… and driving… and driving. God keeps putting that hometown thought into my mind.

We’ve become disconnected from our communities. It’s very easy to say that the community is not our concern. It’s our job to be a light for Jesus! Yes, yes it is. And yet when Jesus was His own light in the towns that He was going to, He wasn’t just in the church house.

He was at the well

  • … at a wedding
  • … at the fishing hole
  • … meeting Nicodemus outside of business hours
  • … in people’s homes
  • … in the grain field
  • … in the cemetery

Every place He went was viewed as an opportunity to serve; and I think that’s where the disconnect comes into place in the church. We’ve bought the lie of Satan that church has no place in the secular world, and yet that’s the very place we’re told to take the gospel of Christ. We forget that the church is not a building, it’s a person. A person with a story and a purpose exclusively belonging to Christ, no matter where you are.

I’m fully aware that we cannot preach the gospel in a classroom. However, we can train our children to walk in the light of Christ and share Him with their friends. Most jobs forbid evangelism in the work place, but they usually don’t mind one iota if you live like Christ on the job. They call it ethics, we call it faith. Nursing homes, prisons and hospitals love our kind and usually welcome us with open arms, and yet we seldom go.

That’s the talk God had with me on my way home. “Shari, you’re going back to your hometown, what are you going to do there to make a difference? How are you going to motivate people and reconnect with your community?” And in my earthly wisdom I said to Him, “But God, they’ll not want to hear what I have to say.”

Oh, He fully understood.

Luke 4:24

And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

“Now what your excuse?” I ask myself.  I didn’t have one. But I do have a hometown,, and so do you. And we are without excuse in evangelizing it, starting at the house and working way out.

So I’m working on a way to reconnect the raveling that’s been hanging from my church skirt. I want to prepare the way for Christ’s return like John the Baptist did for his arrival in town the first time. My first step is look for resources… and then I want to get this party started.

A Tale of the Heart of Two Cities

Pastor, Dewey Moede, Pastor Richard Gordon, Shari Johnson-The Jesus Chick
Pastor, Dewey Moede, Pastor Richard Gordon, Shari Johnson-The Jesus Chick

Yeah, I know that title’s been used before, but this isn’t a movie, it’s a tale of how Grantsville met Windom. A town you may or may not have heard of. But for those who follow my blog I thought I’d share a little about my journey there last week. I’ve yet to make it home, I’m currently still in Iowa, and truthfully, I’m pretty sure I left a little piece of my heart there anyway. I’ve doncke that everywhere I’ve ever been invited to speak or sing; so you may wonder how I have any heart left? Apostle Paul explained it like this in 2 Corinthians 6:11

O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.

Apostle Paul felt free to speak what was on his heart with the Corinthians because he’d fallen in love with those people. No doubt from his words, his heart had been broken for the folks of Corinth which was expressed in his letters. It’s an odd thing about a part of the body that’s been hurt, the scar often causes an enlarged place on the skin. That’s kind of how I imagine Paul’s enlarged heart. Each time it was broken it grew larger and more burdened for the people he served. And each time I go to a new town or new church, my heart becomes broken and burdened for God’s people.

My arrival in Windom last week was amazing. The people who had prayed for me, provided funding for my travels, prepared for my stay, who I’d never met before were like old friends before I’d hit the city limits. When I arrived at Miss Loretta’s door on 5th Avenue, she said hello and three hours later we took a breath. That’s God! Miss Darlene, who funded my trip, was a friend in Christ who trusted God enough to send money ahead of the trip to pay my way to Windom and was such a sweet treat to come to know during my brief stay. I met Miss Diane and fell instantly in love with her soul which encouraged mine. Rodney and Debbie Byam were jewels in the crown of Christ whose hospitality and kindness were as shiny as diamonds in the sun for Jesus. Oh what a journey! Pastor Ricky touched my heart with his servants heart and Pastor Dewey Moede… well, that’s a whole blog post on its own. And as amazing as that story is, that’s not the most amazing part.

What’s amazing about a trip like this is how the power of God moved through people in Windom who lived there, people who moved from there and returned, and some who had never been there before in their life; working together for the same cause, with the same broken heart for the city.

What it did in my life was set my soul on fire for my own hometown. I’m ready to make something happen. I have plans. BIG PLANS. Look out Grantsville, I’m headed home. But today I’ll spend a few more hours with three rowdy boys in Marshalltown, Iowa. I plan to leave here early, early in the a.m. to head back down the road through five states listening to preaching and singing along the way. Please pray for me… & pray for my ministry.

Revival Vs. Religion… Chick Fight!

CHICK FIGHT

Acts 14… what an action packed chapter! Who needs Hollywierd when you and the Holy Spirit can grab a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee (my personal fav) and a bowl of Special Fruit & Yogurt Cereal and watch an action packed movie of the mind. It’s amazing! In the words of a dear friend Sandra Lancaster… “Picture this…” and keep in mind that this is the gospel  according to Shari.

Paul had just preached the Word of God in Antioch, he’d torqued off the Jews and stirred up the Gentiles until they wanted to hear part two of his sermon. Evidently they’d never ask the Synagogue staff for part two of theirs because they were very upset! It might have also had something to do with the fact that Paul told the Jews that God had given them the very same word but they didn’t think they were worthy of living forever so they turned it down, and now  we’re givin’ your piece of Heaven to the Gentiles.” (Chapter 13, vs.  46, 47). So Paul and Barnabas end up getting  thrown out of Antioch and head out to Iconium.

It was there that both the Jew and the Gentile heard and believed the Word of God.

Rejection shuts the door to the Holy Spirit

Paul and Barnabas were no doubt on fire by the time they had reached Iconium. (14:1-5) It was no wonder that many of the Jews and Gentiles heard and believed. They could see the Holy Spirit working in and through the Apostles and Revival had broken out in their community. But those who rejected the Word of God and refused to consider the signs and wonders began stirring up strife in the community until the Revival leaders were forced to leave town. They could see it, but they wanted no part of it.

Responsiveness opens the door to the Holy Spirit

Paul and Barnabas fled to Lystra and Derbe and it was there that a responsive invalid opens the door to faith and revival of the heart. (14:8-10)

And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

Did you catch that? Paul could see the man’s faith. The impotent man was believing before the miracle had even happened and he had opened the door to the Holy Spirit which was already evident even before the miracle. He knew something big was about to happen, and when it did, he didn’t grunt and  groan and wallow around on the floor trying to get up, he leaped! Don’t you think that didn’t catch some people off guard and cause revival to break out again! It’s the same way in a good church service when someone gets saved. Our teen retreat was good, but not until a few girls minded the Holy Spirit and testified, and then a young man broke down and realized his need for repentance did it become great! It was then that revival broken out in camp last week. It was on!

Religion Doesn’t even know the Holy Spirit

Imagine if at our camp, when the young man got saved, the kids all bowed down to Steve Boggs who had just preached the sermon that pricked the young man’s heart that led to his salvation.  Imagine if they gave Steve the glory for saving his soul and wanted to build a statue right then and there to memorialize Steve’s power. That would be crazy, but that’s what happened when the lame man leapt. They didn’t recognize that it was God they recognized man and wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas. Religion is just that… it’s the evidence of man’s abilities and not faith that the Holy Spirit made the entire thing happen through supernatural abilities.  When Paul and Barnabas refused to be idolized the crowd (spurred on by Antioch Jews who followed them and Iconium citizens) drew Paul out and stoned him, supposedly to death.

But again, they were looking through the eyes of religion. Paul’s friends the other apostles came and stood around Paul…

And he rose up! Can you see the credits start to roll!!!!

I’d like to thank God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit…

Whew doggy Revival broke out again. Paul left town for a few days to gather his strength but he returned to each city and encouraged those believers to keep on keeping on.

Now that’s the bible according to Shari, but read it for yourself.

Lesson for the day… even in a world that rejects Christ and the Word of God… Revival still happens. Bring it on!!! It starts at Victory at 7 p.m. tonight under an old fashioned tent in the outdoors. If you’re local, bring your chair or use ours and come on out, if you’re too far, please pray for us and we’ll celebrate in Heaven over what the Lord has done.

 

 

 

Another Spirit… and it’s excited!

Numbers 14:24 ~ But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

To set the stage for my message today, the children of Israel had just come upon the Promised Land. Two groups of men went out to spy upon the land and bring a report to Moses and the people. Joshua and Caleb returned full of excitement for they’d seen a land flowing with milk and honey, with food in abundance and all the provisions they would need. But the other men who went brought an evil report, seeing only impossibility and trials. Guess which report was received by the congregation of the Lord?

Why is it that within our churches an evil report is so much easier to believe and spreads like wildfire? It is that report which will be accepted and embraced for absolute truth while a spirit of revival in the soul of the saint, a good report, will be looked upon as a fleeting notion that surely will pass and takes far too much effort for everyone else to get on board that train.

One of my greater frustrations in the ministry is trying to drag people to the party; after all, it will surely end. Can you hear them? “Yes there’s joy in the camp, but we all know that when you go camping you’re not planning on staying, it’s just a vacation that will surely end with the reality of a world full of giants.” Well, me and my cockeyed optimism or my “Caleb-ism” believe that the reason those giants are in my world is help me carry the fruit God’s going to provide. Caleb had “another spirit.”

Their’s was a spirit of discouragement and defeat. They’d given up on the idea of the Promised Land before they even sat foot in it themselves. Neal A. Maxwell was quoted saying “Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage.” Caleb wasn’t worried about the size of the giant, he was excited about the size of the fruit! He knew God would take care of the giant. He had courage!

What about you? Do you have “another spirit?” The children of Israel were living in a camp, and I’m sure the conditions were not the best. The comforts of home were gone, and the menu of life had limitations. But here they stood on brink of happiness and contentment like they’d never known and they believed the evil report over the good. That’s not good enough for me. I refuse to allow the evil report of the day, that I see on the morning and evening news, to discourage me and plant a seed of despair in my mind. I know the obstacles that are before us are big, but I serve a bigger God.

I want revival in my soul; the “other spirit.” I spoke over the weekend at a ladies retreat with a goal to stir them up, and I hope I did. But what happens when you stir the pot is that the aroma comes wafting up and into your nostrils, and that thing that you’re cookin’ smells good, and excites your soul with the joy of what’s to come. My friend Loretta, who also spoke, read this scripture about Caleb and the other spirit. It added to seasoning to my soul this weekend and I could feel that spirit of revival stirring again in my soul. I know what’s to come!

This world is temporary– we are in tents. But that other land, that Promised Land is coming. Don’t spend your time in the tents discouraged, enjoy the journey. When adversity and opposition come against you, think of it as a strength building exercise to carry the fruit God’s going to provide. We’ll have battles, there can be no victory without it. When the naysayers come and tell you that it’s no use to get excited about what the Lord is doing, tell them you have “another Spirit.” The Holy Spirit! The naysayers among the children of Israel died without receiving their reward. Don’t do it.