A Chronicle of Renewal and Revival

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Free eBook now and this weekend – Flashpoints of Revival

A Flashpoints Koorong1Flashpoints of Revival
History’s Mighty Revivals

FREE eBook now and this weekend from July 14.

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Condensed and updated version of this book on links:
Summaries of Revivals

2nd edition 2009 – with updates of community and ecological transformation in the 21st Century.

Using eyewitness accounts, Geoff Waugh takes you inside the hearts and minds of people in revivals spanning the last three centuries. Beginning with the Moravians in 1727, this book gives first-person reports of revivals in Europe, America, Canada, Africa, India, Korea, Chile and more, including recent revivals.

Endorsements:

Dr C Peter Wagner, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena: 
I know of no other book like this one that provides rapid-fire, easy-to-read, factual literary snapshots of virtually every well-known revival since Pentecost.
As I read this book, I was thrilled to see how God has been so mightily at work in so many different times and places. I felt like I had grasped the overall picture of revival for the first time, and I was moved to pray that God, indeed, would allow me not to be just an observer, but rather a literal participant in the worldwide outpouring that will soon come. As you read the book, I am sure you will be saying the same thing.

By Rev Dr John Olley, former principal Perth Baptist Theological College: 
A Goldmine of Inspiration
What a goldmine of inspiring details! Readers may have heard of some of the revivals described in this book, but Geoff Waugh’s comprehensive and up-to-date book provides a global perspective of the unexpected and transforming work of the Holy Spirit around the globe from the 18th century to today. Read, be inspired and encouraged – and open to ways in which the Spirit ‘blows where he wills’.

 

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Christian wife locked out, finds key in a fish

Man locks Christian wife out of house, she finds key in fish’s belly

By Mark Ellis –

key-350x200

After a West African woman began to follow Jesus, her Muslim husband often beat her because of her newfound faith. Steadfastly, she maintained her quiet witness as she served him, all the while praying to God for his salvation.

She recounted the following remarkable testimony to Sudan Interior Mission.

It seems the woman wanted to attend a week-long church meeting away from home. She meekly asked her husband if she could attend. Predictably, the man exploded in anger. “Her husband was livid. A whole week? Who would cook his food? Clean his house?” she related to SIM.

He told her she should focus on Islam and forget the Christian church. He beat her harshly once again.

In spite of her husband’s violent response, she felt God’s leading to attend this meeting, which would nurture her growth and provide needed fellowship with other women.

The man was so upset after she left, he locked up the house and declared to the neighbors that his wife would never enter his home again. To add a dramatic emphasis to his point, he threw the house key into the river as he headed to his girlfriend’s house for the week.

The woman stopped by the local market on her way home from the conference. “She planned to have a hearty meal ready for her husband when he came home from Friday prayers. She had no idea that her husband had already locked her out of her home for good,” according to SIM.

 

Women selling fish on the beach (photo credit: Steve Bloom)

After she got home, she thought it was strange that the house was locked up tightly. She wanted to start preparing the meal for her husband, so she borrowed a pot from her neighbor and began to clean the fish she had just bought.

“When she cut open the fish, a key fell out of its belly. Puzzled, she examined it and remarked to her neighbor that the key looked similar to her own house key. Her neighbor urged her to try it in the lock, and it worked! She opened up the house, cleaned it, and got her husband’s supper ready to wait for him,” according to SIM.

As her husband walked home from the mosque, he was shocked when he recognized his house had been opened and a fire was burning in the outdoor kitchen.

Now he was really angry, thinking perhaps a neighbor had helped his wife bust open the door or break the lock. But when he examined the door and the lock, nothing seemed amiss.

“When he demanded to know how she got back into their house, she told him the strange story of the key in the fish’s belly. Stunned, he didn’t say another word.”

 

The following night he told his wife he wanted to attend church with her the next morning.

After the Sunday morning church service, the man asked if he could speak with the pastor privately. He told him the amazing story about the house key and said, “I want to serve the God of the Christians. He is the One who knows and has power to do what no one else can.”

The man surrendered his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was born again!

God faithfully answered the woman’s prayers for her husband to turn from his sins and follow Christ.

“In his gospel, Matthew tells of a fish caught with a coin in its mouth for taxes (Matthew 17:27). In West Africa in 2018, a house key in a fish’s belly became a key to the Kingdom for an abusive husband.”

“Our Lord is still a fisher of men.”

 

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

To learn more about the work of SIM, go here

Source: God Reports, July 6, 2018

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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‘Star Spangled Banner’ author evangelized through Sunday Schools

The writer of ‘Star Spangled Banner’ helped evangelize the West through the Sunday School movement

By David Roach —

 

Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key wrote the words and music for the Star Spangled Banner
Each stanza of the anthem concludes:
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 

Most Americans likely know of Francis Scott Key’s passion for the United States, expressed in his writing of the national anthem. Far fewer know he also was a passionate advocate of Sunday School whose leadership in the Sunday School movement helped evangelize the West.

____________________________

Key helped establish more than 61,000 Sunday Schools for some 2.7 million pupils over 50 years
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As the United States celebrates its 242nd birthday, Christian educators say Key’s two passions went hand in hand. Sunday School could once again, they say, be a catalyst for spiritual and moral renewal in America.

“America and Sunday School literally grew up together,” said David Francis, a retired director of Sunday School for LifeWay Christian Resources. “Nowhere else in the world has Sunday School been embraced like in America. Nowhere else in the world has the idea of a constitutional republic been sustained like in America. Two ideas. Both of God. At the same time. Spreading together across a continent. What a fortunate coincidence.”

Born in 1779, Key was a Maryland attorney, author and poet. In 1814, he wrote the poem “Defense of Fort M’Henry” after watching the all-night bombardment of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry from a British ship during the War of 1812. Key had gone aboard the ship as an American envoy to negotiate a prisoner release and was not allowed to disembark until after the attack.

In the morning, the sight of an American flag still waving over the fort inspired Key’s poem, which he soon had set to music. Under the title “The Star-Spangled Banner,” it became the national anthem more than a century later.

Lesser known is that Key was “an earnest Christian,” and “a teacher of a large Bible class,” according to Edwin Wilbur Rice’s 1917 book “The Sunday School Movement and the American Sunday-School Union” (ASSU). Key joined the ASSU board of managers in 1824, the year the union changed its name from the Sunday and Adult School Union.

The ASSU’s 1835 Annual listed Key as a “lifetime member” based on his contribution of at least $30 — the equivalent of $815 today.

Francis wrote in his book “Missionary Sunday School” that the ASSU’s aim was to start Sunday Schools across America where individuals from lower economic classes heard the Gospel and learned to read and write “using the Bible as a primary text.” Sunday Schools typically comprised children “who rarely or never attend[ed] church,” and adult classes often formed as a secondary ministry.

Key chaired an 1830 ASSU meeting in Washington, which instituted the “Mississippi Valley Enterprise,” a campaign that established west of the Appalachian Mountains more than 61,000 Sunday Schools for some 2.7 million pupils over the next 50 years, Francis wrote. Many of those Sunday Schools developed into churches, some Baptist, in areas previously without an evangelical witness while others became weekday schools before the era of American public education.

When Key died in 1843, the ASSU stated in its Annual, “By the decease of the Hon. Francis S. Key, of the District of Columbia, we lose one of our earliest and most steadfast advocates and patrons. His frequent and liberal contributions to our funds, and his readiness at all times to vindicate the principles and advance the usefulness of the Society, furnished unequivocal evidence of his interest in our cause.”

Francis told Baptist Press the Sunday School movement under Key and other early leaders “played no small role” during America’s first century in raising up a citizenry that was “both moral and literate.” — Baptist Press

David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service. 

Source: God Reports, July 4, 2018

 

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Russia: Churches use the World Cup to reach millions in church buildings

Russia: Churches use the World Cup to reach millions in church buildings

“They don’t allow believers to share their faith outside of their church buildings. So the churches invite people to their officially registered church buildings where they are allowed to freely share the gospel.” There, people will get to watch the games on a big screen, eat snacks, and encounter God’s word. 

Russia kicked off the World Cup, a month-long spectacle where millions of fans tune in to watch the world’s best soccer teams battle to be number one.

For many Christians this isn’t just a sporting event, it’s an opportunity to spread the gospel in a country that has become increasingly hostile towards evangelism. Hundreds of congregations across Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities are skirting around Russia’s anti-evangelism laws by inviting people to watch the games live in their church buildings.

There, people will get to watch the games on a big screen, eat snacks, and encounter God’s word. Since most of the popular matches are sold out, the setup is a win-win for both the churches and the spectators. The churches have partnered with Mission Eurasia to pass out Bibles, discipleship materials, and invitations to Bible studies.

Mission Eurasia president Sergey Rakhuba believes 3 million soccer fans will hear the gospel, despite the government’s crackdown on evangelism. “They don’t allow believers to share their faith outside of their church buildings. So the churches invite people to their officially registered church buildings where they are allowed to freely share the gospel.”

Source: Sergey Rakhuba

  # 1086 | June 19, 2018

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Japan: Christian persecution sites nominated for UNESCO World Heritage

Japan: Christian persecution sites nominated for UNESCO World Heritage

This month, a dozen Christian landmarks in Japan – where just 1 percent of the population claims Christ – have been officially recommended to be named World Heritage sites.

“First, it recognizes the centrality of hidden Christian history in Japanese soil, which is a significant contribution to Japanese understanding of her own history. Second, it accentuates the cultural value of the resilience of Christianity even under many years of persecution.”

Spanning across the Nagasaki and Amakusa region, these sites represent places where believers during the Tokugawa shogunate (1630-1867) suffered the harshest persecution and martyrdom in the Asian nation’s history.

The list includes the Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki, which memorializes 17 Japanese Christians and 9 European priests who were crucified at the order of the ruler; Hara Castle in Minamishimabara, a battlefield during the uprising when Catholic rebels were massacred, their leader beheaded, and their faith banned; and other ‘hidden Christian’ sites, where Christ-followers carried on their beliefs in secret for hundreds of years.

These landmarks, if granted recognition by UNESCO, would join 14 other cultural World Heritage sites in Japan and over 800 around the world.

“This recommendation by the Japanese government on hidden Christian sites is significant for several reasons,” said Makoto Fujimura, who authored a book on faith in the midst of suffering. “First, it recognizes the centrality of hidden Christian history in Japanese soil, which is a significant contribution to Japanese understanding of her own history. Second, it accentuates the cultural value of the resilience of Christianity even under many years of persecution.”

Source: Kate Shellnut, Makoto Fujimura

  # 1086 | June 19, 2018

Trailer of the movie ‘Silence’ about the persecution of Jesuit missionaries and Christians in 17th century Japan, with actor Andrew Garfield (who stars in Hacksaw Ridge as Desmond Doss the Quaker conscientious objector in WWII and Medal of Honour winner).

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GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The Windowsill of Heaven

The Windowsill of Heaven

Every morning, lean thine arms awhile
Upon the windowsill of heaven,
And gaze upon thy Lord.
Then, with the vision in thy heart,
Turn strong to meet thy day.

Poem by Thomas Blake 

In the early days of his ministry, Dr. Theodore F. Adams vacationed in Wisconsin where he attended an outdoor vesper service led by an Episcopal rector who recited the verse above. Dr Adams never forgot those words. He committed them to memory.

callout
From 1936-1968 Dr. Adams served as senior pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church. During that time he referred to this verse countless times as one of his favourites. He even had desktop placards made and sent to every member of the church.

Many readers are aware that the beautiful stained glass windows surrounding the FBC Sanctuary were part of a renovation project initiated by Dr. Adams in the late 1940s, but they may be unaware of the message he left in one of the windows by which we remember him today.

In the commission of the windows’ refurbishment, Dr. Adams’ goal was twofold. The larger windows that surround the balcony were to portray the significant events in the life of Jesus, while those below were to demonstrate how followers could live out Jesus’ lessons in modern times. Each upper window correlates to the one below it and is interpreted there for modern understanding. Each window is also accompanied by a scripture passage – except one.

There are two windows in the church picturing Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, one in the Chapel and one in the Sanctuary. The Chapel window’s focus is on prayer, but the story in the Sanctuary’s window shows Jesus, having been strengthened by prayer, telling Peter, James, and John, “Behold, the hour is at hand—Rise, let us be going.” The light shining on Jesus comes from heaven and affirms Jesus’ declaration that, “Thy will, not mine, be done.”

garden-of-gethsemane-500px
The Garden of Gethsemane 

Bathed in sunlight in the corollary window below kneels a lone figure, praying the very poem that begins, “Every morning, lean thine arms upon the windowsill of heaven.” These verses are not found in the Bible, but send the message that made such a marked impression on Dr. Adams’ life that he was determined it be memorialized in this window.

windowsill-window-500px
The Windowsill of Heaven

Could he have guessed that with each reading, those who remembered him would also see him reciting it before a congregation of First Baptist Church members, even today?

In writing about Dr. Adams, Dr. W. Randall Lolley, former pastor of FBC Greensboro, NC, says that Dr. Adams was a man, “who truly perceived the earth as the ‘windowsill of heaven.’ Every person he met, every event he enjoyed, every experience he knew worked ‘inside/out’ rather than ‘outside/in.’”

May we put into practice these words so dear to Dr. Adams.

Source: First Things First, the online magazine of Richmond’s First Baptist Church

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES) 

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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Love on Fire

1

A fire burned inside Myo Zaw. It was lit the day the Lord redeemed him, and it grew hotter and more intense every single day. He was like the prophet Jeremiah, unable to keep the love of Christ hidden within himself. If he tried, he felt restless, he felt sick.

Weary of holding it in, Myo Zaw shouted from the roadsides and in market places, “Christ [redeemed] me, and He will [redeem] you also!”

Love on Fire

People thought he had gone mad. Those in his community already knew him as a hot-blooded drunkard who fought with people and beat his wife and children, and now he proved his insanity.

“But I knew I was not mad,” Myo Zaw says. “The love of God just would not simply keep [quiet] in my heart. I wanted to pour it out and share it.”

Independently Ministering

Consumed by a fire that could not be put out, Myo Zaw traveled throughout his region, walking from place to place, sharing the Word of God. He told people “how a sinner like me was found by God.” In three years, he visited 100 communities. His wife, Shway, sent him letters while he was away to encourage him.

Love on Fire

“If your life can change by Christ, there is no one who cannot be changed by Christ,” she’d say. “So wherever you are going and sharing the Word of God, we are here to pray for you. I believe people will be changed by the love of Christ.”

And people were—350 of them. They heard of His great love and saw it lived out in His child, and it changed them.

Following Like Jesus

Not long after, a man visited Myo Zaw’s village and shared about the different places in their country and how Jesus went to a foreign land, though heaven was His home.

The fire inside Myo Zaw intensified. He knew without any doubt that his life needed to be about sharing the Lord’s love with others. It was a powerful love that transformed him, and he knew others needed it, too.

Love on Fire
Myo Zaw (pictured) with his wife, Shway, and youngest son.

He told himself, “It is better that I go and give my life for the people in foreign lands.” So he and his wife prayed and prepared themselves to live in an area where people were unfamiliar with the Lamb of God.

Nearly 10 years later, God sent them to the southern region of their country as GFA-supported missionaries.

Forced Out of Community

In their new community, people quickly realized Myo Zaw and his family were Christians and decided they would have nothing to do with the new arrivals.

“We were [forced] out of community,” Pastor Myo Zaw says, “and it is very difficult to live without community.”

People threw stones at Myo Zaw’s home and threatened to penalize others if they spoke to the Christians. Even Myo Zaw’s young children faced discrimination at school because of their faith.

“Sometimes, when we would go to the market,” Pastor Myo Zaw recalls, “they’d look at us as if we were enemies. All these things we faced, but the Lord showed His grace upon us through which we are still OK now.”

Turning of Hearts

Myo Zaw, Shway and their children trusted Christ throughout the hardships, and with the Spirit’s fiery love pulsating within them, they learned how to love the people in their new community.

Love on Fire

Myo Zaw’s wife, Shway, leading Sunday School in one of the local fellowships.

The pastor started with film ministry, showing people movies they enjoyed and also the film of Jesus’ life. The local children felt Myo Zaw’s and his wife’s warmth and began visiting them. Myo Zaw and Shway would give the young boys and girls treats, teach them songs and bathe the ones that came looking haggard.

The community watched how they cared for their children and wondered why this man and his wife loved them so much. Soon, people talked to them at the market, and Pastor Myo Zaw and Shway were able to reveal Christ’s love to them.

They cared for the sick and took people to the hospital when needed. When floodwaters destroyed homes and livelihoods, they and other GFA-supported workers helped provide relief. Pastor Myo Zaw frequently visited people to encourage them and offer words of life and hope in Christ Jesus. And people visited him as well.

Love on Fire

God’s Most Powerful Weapon

The fire God kindled within Myo Zaw on the first day of his redemption continues to burn brighter and hotter as the years pass.

“My love has become deeper for them. I care for them more,” he says of the people who are now his friends. “That’s why I don’t want to go back to my hometown. That is why I would like to sacrifice my whole life for them.”

After 14 years of displaying Christ’s love, people feel and understand Myo Zaw’s love for them and many return it. They’ve come to know that “everything I do is for them,” he says. And he does it because of Christ.

“What I have found in my life,” Myo Zaw says, “is that love is the most powerful weapon we have from God.”

Sponsor a missionary like Myo Zaw today.

“WHAT I HAVE FOUND IN MY LIFE IS THAT LOVE 
IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WE HAVE FROM GOD.”
—MYO ZAW

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