The Big Event!

Big Event Collage

It’s here! This is the week! Our annual partner and friends event, The Big Event, begins this Wednesday (September 24). Perry Stone, Damon Thompson, Rod Parsley, Randy Caldwell, and more will be joining me as we celebrate 5 Days of Jubilee!!!

With all of the great worship, preaching, and ministry that will be going on, we believe that God is going to do incredible things. The only thing missing is YOU.

Check out these three short videos (and share them with your friends), and you’ll get a small taste of what The Big Event is all about. I would love for you to come be a part. You can register for FREE online.

The Big Event 2014, starting this Wednesday (September 24-28, 2014)

A Taste of The Big Event

5 Days of Jubilee

Mission: Pine Ridge

I look forward to seeing you at The Big Event: 5 Days of Jubilee!

Pastor Ron

 

Big Event Collage

 

I Want To Be Like…

Any of you that watch my program are familiar with my co-host, Angie McGregor. Along with being on Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, and being the Executive Director of Communications for Ron Phillips Ministries, Angie is also a very talented worship leader, songwriter, speaker, and…

Blogger.

Angie CUAngie recently began her own blog called Real Life. I encourage all of you who follow mine to follow hers as well. She writes things from her own life experience, with deep spiritual meaning woven throughout her words. It’s really good stuff! To visit (and follow) her blog, go to…

http://www.angiemcgregor.com

This is one of her recent posts that I read and, with her permission, wanted to share with you today. I hope you enjoy it! Now, without further ado, I give you my friend…

Angie McGregor.

I Want To Be Like Mary

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.”  Luke‬ ‭10‬:‭39‬ NKJV

There’s nothing like a perfect dinner party or family event. Unfortunately, there are many times I have missed the fun because I was trying to get everything ready! If you have the gift of hospitality you always want things to be right. You want the house to look right, the food to taste good, the porch to be swept clean and the plan well organized. It is a lot of hard work! And often times, the work continues after the guests arrive.

Looking back across the years I realize there have been many moments when I had to ask for the conversation to be repeated when something really funny or really important or really beautiful happened. Why? Because I was working in the kitchen.

Everyone thanks you for a great meal and lovely evening. They leave. You realize that you missed it!

In the Bible there is a story about two sisters, Mary and Martha, who were having a dinner party. They had invited a special friend over to the house. This guest was one that they had welcomed to their home before and everyone wanted to sit and listen when he came to visit. His words were insightful, instructive, encouraging and filling. Jesus was their special guest.

For Mary and Martha it was very important to have everything right for Him. They wanted the house to be swept, the furniture in order a good place for him to sit as he enjoyed time in their home. I imagine they had a room prepared with fresh linens and a water pitcher by the bed so that he would be comfortable in the night if He stayed as their guest.

Martha had plenty of food cooking on the stove and fresh bread baking in the oven becauseBread she wanted to provide a special feast for this Man who had given her so very, very much. When He arrived, everyone was excited and they all gathered in the family room and sat down to spend time with Jesus…everyone but Martha, who was tending to food.

Mary and the other guests listened to Jesus talk about where He had been and about all that miracles that had taken place during His travels. He probably told them about the people who had been changed along the way. And then He began to teach them.

From the kitchen, Martha could hear Jesus teaching in the other room but she couldn’t leave the stove. The bread would burn! And then I imagine that she started to think about her sister sitting at Jesus’ feet.  And she began to feel left out and unhappy with her sister, who was not carrying her part of the load!

After all, she was working really hard for her Lord preparing this meal, making sure everything she was doing would please him. I can imagine her finally saying to herself, “Enough is enough! I’m going to go tell Jesus to send my sister in to help me!”

So she goes into the other room where everyone is gathered and she interrupts Jesus, “Master won’t you tell my sister to get up and come and help me make this meal? I shouldn’t have to do all of the work while she sits here and does nothing!”

Jesus replies in a way that’s really difficult to accept if you are someone who has the spiritual gift of hospitality or service. Jesus says to this hard working friend, “What you’re doing is not important right now. The most important thing to do is what Mary is doing — sitting here at my feet and letting me teach her.”

I know that is hard to swallow for those of us who have spent our lives working hard for Jesus. Having been a staff member at a church for 25 years I certainly understand the importance of hard work in serving Christ. But if I look back over my life and even more than the conversations I have missed during dinner parties in my home, I have probably missed some incredible moments with Christ because I worked myself ragged “doing” while the Savior was sitting in the living room of my heart ready to speak to me. All the while I was in the church doing, or in the laundry room washing or in bedroom sleeping because I was so exhausted from all of my service for Him in the kitchen.

So which one are you– Mary or Martha?

Jesus is sitting in residence today in the living room of your heart. He has so much to share with you! Let me encourage you to find the balance between the two. If you say proudly,”I’m Mary”, please don’t leave all the work to someone else! Do your share so Martha isn’t so exhausted all the time and grumbling because she’s missing out.

If you’ll do your part Mary, Martha will be ready to sit down with Jesus when He shows up at the house!

Martha, if there is too much work to be done and no one else will do it, you have to come to a place in your life where you will stop and sit down at the feet of Jesus for the well-being of your soul and the strength of your mind, heart and emotions. Sit at his feet; listen to His voice and learn from Him while He is near. Jesus told Martha that Mary had made the better choice by sitting down at His feet to learn from Him. Why do you need to be still at times?

So you can be equipped by Jesus to teach your children. So you can serve effectively in the community. So that you will want to be in the house of God. So you’re a better spouse. Better parent. Better friend. Better child. Better employee. Better manager.

I want to be like Mary because too often I find myself in the kitchen like Martha…working.

One more very important thing to note, both women had a personal relationship with Jesus. But all of Martha’s doing didn’t gain her more favor with Jesus than Mary did in her stillness.

We must be about the work of Christ. But doing the work of Christ will not save us. I want to be like Mary. How about you? Have you found the balance in your life?  Pray this prayer with me: Dear Jesus, help me sit at your feet and learn from you so I can daily serve you and others with power, wisdom, love and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Taking Life’s Punches

Looking Glass

In the movie Rocky Balboa, the former boxing champion tells his son,

“It’s not about how hard you can hit;
it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”

There was once a man named Job who got hit about as hard as anyone can get hit…

He lost his possessions.

He lost his children.

He lost his health.

He was a good man who seemingly didn’t deserve all the bad things that were happening to him. Yet regardless of what was happening in his life, his response was always the same… He kept moving forward, kept believing, and kept trusting in a God he knew was a good God. Even when falsely accused and encouraged to “curse God and die”, he refused to heed the voices of despair, but instead stated…

I know that my Redeemer lives. ~ Job 19:25a

Maybe you’ve been hit hard in your life, and you don’t think you can make it.

Don’t give up.

The same God Who got Job through his troubles is only a prayer away, and can see you through your hour of need.

September 11 and Facing the Spirit of Fear

It was the evening of November 30, 1977…

For those of us old enough to remember (and before the days of VCR’s, DVR’s, and YouTube), it was the night that Americans gathered around our television sets and watched with mixed emotions the final Christmas special featuring the great Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, originally taped toward the end of summer that year in London, England, featured Bing along with his family and a few guests. Just over a month after the taping, on October 14, Bing died suddenly from a massive heart attack following a round of golf with friends.

One of the highlights of the program was a duet by Bing and a young David Bowie. It was a beautiful rendition of the song Little Drummer Boy, arranged together as a medley with a song called Peace on Earth. As Bing’s low baritone voice sang out the familiar “ba-rum-bum-bum-bum”, David Bowie sang out the higher counter-melody…

Peace on Earth,
Can it be?
Years from now
Perhaps we’ll see;
See the day of glory,
See the day
When men of good will live in peace,
Live in peace again.*

* Tune and lyrics, written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan

Peace on Earth. Since that night on a Judean hillside when the hosts of Heaven filled the sky with the refrain of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men“, men of good will throughout the centuries have long worked for peace. As Bing Crosby and David Bowie sang once again a plea for peace on Earth, no one knew the irony of what they were singing… and when. You see, the day that they taped that segment of the show was September 11, 1977.

September 11, 2001

9-11Fast forward exactly 34 years as Americans watched in horror the tragedy of that day unfold before our very eyes. A handful of Islamic terrorists brought the reality of their radical ideology to the shores of our country in an attack unlike anything since December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. When all was said and done, four planes had crashed, the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble, the Pentagon was in flames, a field in Pennsylvania was strewn with fiery wreckage, and nearly 3,000 American citizens had lost their lives. They were husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, and grandparents. They were business people, students, athletes, blue-collar workers, housewives, politicians, and children. And in the days that followed, as we learned of the facts surrounding the events of that day, Americans spoke out with a cry of defiant resolve…

We will NEVER forget.

But as we spend this day in reflection on the events of September 11, 2001, I have to ask…

Have we?

Have we forgotten what it felt like that day? Have we forgotten the feelings of fear and uncertainty that gave way to anger for this violation against our nation? Have we forgotten the sorrow at the loss of our friends and loved ones, and the determination to never let it happen again on our watch?

Most importantly, have we forgotten our reliance upon God during those dark nights?

In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle writes…

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

When quoting that verse, we have a tendency to focus on the second part; the descriptive about our enemy. But many times, we neglect our responsibility in the verse, that being the first four words…

Be sober, be vigilant…

I find it interesting that, as a nation founded upon our reliance on God, and having spent the better part of the past 4 decades trying to distance ourselves from God, we now find ourselves fighting an enemy that is waging a war based on a religious ideology, claiming to be fighting in the name of God. The fact is, we are fighting a demonically influenced political ideology that masks itself in the shroud of religion. As we see events unfolding in the Middle East, the persecution and murder of Christians by Muslims, the infiltration of Islam in our own culture, and unresolved events such as the Benghazi attack on our diplomatic team, it is all meant to incite one thing…

Fear.

But the real fear we face is more sinister than just the fear of a group or ideology. The absence of truth and absolutes in our culture has created a vacuum, and fear has been more than willing to fill the void. We have become afraid to speak the truth for fear of being called intolerant. We are afraid of standing up for Godliness and holiness for fear of being labeled a bigot. We are afraid to speak out against social injustice for fear of being called a racist. We are afraid to stand for traditional marriage and family values for fear of being called a homophobe. We are afraid to stand against the evils of Muslim ideology for fear of being called an Islamophobe. The list goes on…

However, cowering in fear from the onslaught of the enemy — whatever socio-political-religious mask he chooses to wear — should not be the response of any follower of Jesus Christ. After all, we have this declaration…

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Being the habitation of God Almighty, we have unlimited power. As recipients of the finished work of Jesus, we have received unrelenting love. As believers in His holiness and righteousness, we have taken on the mind of Christ. In light of these things, as the Psalmist said…

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? ~ Psalm 27:1

So while we are called to be sober and vigilant, and to walk in faith and truth instead of fear, we can walk in the belief that our Prince of Peace has come, and gives us peace — peace that no man can take away. We can move forward from this day — September 11, 2014 — as the day that we resolve to no longer allow the enemy to keep us in bondage to fear, but will live according to the promise of Romans 8:15…

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Peace be with you and yours,
Pastor Ron

What Is The Measure of Your Success?

Through The Looking Glass2

Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and an avid inventor. He actually held 161 patents for a variety of inventions and products. He had this to say about the acquisition of money…

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business”.

Although a successful and wealthy businessman, Mr. Ford understood that money was a means to an end, but was not the end itself. He knew that money was the reward of success, not necessarily the measure of success.

In first Timothy, Paul states that…

the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. ~ I Timothy 6:10

In our 21st century desire for gain, let us not forget the One from Whom all blessings flow, and in the words of John Wesley…

Make all you can… save all you can… give all you can”.

Why?

BibleAs many of you know, our Big Event is coming up later this month (September 24-28). For those of you who may not know much about our ministry, this is a time for our partners and friends of our ministry to come together for a time of spiritual renewal and celebration. We worship, we hear great teaching, we have meals together, an auction (to raise money for more ministry), and much more.

Maybe you read my blog, and you don’t even understand why preachers do what we do. After all, the Bible even refers to preaching and the message of the cross as foolishness…

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ~ 1 Corinthains 1:18-25

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” What we in our finite minds think of as wise has little eternal value in the eyes of God. All of the stuff that we cling to as human beings (ie: money, power, fame, etc) has no eternal significance. Remember the very old and equally true saying, “You can’t take it with you”?

The reasons we do what we do are simple: To share the love of Jesus with the world that needs Him. To heal the broken and hurting. To give direction to a society that is adrift with no oars, no sails, and no hope.

We believe in a God of eternal salvation, spiritual and physical healing, and love beyond measure. As believers in Jesus, it is our job to take the light and love we have been given, and spread it wherever we go.

That is why we do what we do.

I hope you will join me on September 24-28 for The Big Event. Click this link for more info. Below are a couple of videos I hope you will take a moment to watch.

Why? – Jalyn’s Story

Why? – Jeff’s Story

Why? – Mission: Dominican Republic

Experience and the Light of Contentment

Through the Looking Glass

As a general rule, how we see and respond to things in life depends on our own experience.

DickensUpon the death of Charles Dickens, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley delivered a memorial eulogy, praising Dickens for showing by his own example that…

“…Even in dealing with the darkest scenes and the most degraded characters, genius could still be clean, and mirth could be innocent”.

Dickens, who had been through a great deal of adversity in his own life, managed to find the bright side of human nature in some of his most famous characters — people who made the best out of bad situations.

The Apostle Paul discussed this mindset in Philippians 4:11 when he said that “I have learned to be content… whatever the circumstances”. Paul understood that, while the circumstances of life may not ideal, contentment is a vertical choice… not a horizontal one.

Circumstances can be an “undeserved” condition, but contentment is always a choice — a choice to follow Jesus… regardless.