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Find Extreme Favor

  
This year at our Fresh Oil New Wine Conference, our theme is EXTREME FAVOR. In the tough times in which we live, with political and social unrest in our world, and terror and uncertainty on every side…

What does it take to have extreme favor in your life?

How can we have extreme favor with God?

Join me March 6-10 as I welcome some very special guests… Perry Stone, Rabbi Curt Landry, Tommy Bates, Randy Caldwell, Ronnie Phillips, Jr., Dwain Miller and more.

We also welcome back Susanne Cox for our Women’s Luncheon on March 9.

It’s time to get off the sidelines and into EXTREME FAVOR!!!

You can register online by clicking here.

For more information, please visit http://www.abbashouse.com/fonw

I hope to see YOU at Fresh Oil New Wine 2016!

Make A Difference (Ducks & Martyrs… pt 2)

RPLast week on my blog, I discussed Ducks, Martyrs, & Suiting Up for the Wrong Fight, in which I talked about how many Christians in our society are using the power of social media to wage war against anti-Christian bias in pop-culture; namely, the recent controversy concerning Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. While standing for solid Christian principles and against the “spirit of Antichrist” that exists in the media is commendable, it appears that we do so at the expense of very real, life-and-death persecution going on in other places in the world. To paraphrase one person that responded to my article, we as Christians can fight more than one fight at a time.

So… why don’t we? Why are we not more vocal about the plight of Christians elsewhere?

I understand that, when the media blacks-out such activity, such stories have a tendency to slip from our radar. However, with so many alternate media sources today, and limitless resources on the internet, there are many ways to, not just stay informed, but to actually make a difference. Paul had this to say in II Corinthians 10:3-6 (I like how The Message puts it)…

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

With that said, let’s looks at a few ways we can make a difference…

Get informed.

Sometimes it takes a little effort on our part, but by simply doing a Google search (Christian persecution 2013, killing Christians, Christians killed in ) you can find limitless stories about the plight of Christians around the world. While I understand that you cannot believe every single thing you read on the internet, there are many, many reputable resources that are telling the truth about what is happening to our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

Pray.

As II Corinthians 10:4 says (NKJV):

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

We must diligently fight the war against the forces of darkness in the place where we can do the most good… on our knees. We must commit ourselves to fasting and prayer for the toppling of governments that support the killing of Christians, the defeat of radical Islamic groups around the world (including on our own soil), and for the courage of our political leaders to stand up in the face of such activity and say that we will not support or aid any nation that participates in these atrocities.

Vote.

We the people have a powerful weapon against the abuses and apathy of those in the power-centers and decision-making halls of our nation… it’s called the ballot. It is time for we as a Christian nation to stand up and say to our elected officials, “We sent you to Washington to serve. You were elected on the assumption and promise that you were going to do what is best for our nation. If you are unwilling to do this, we’ll put someone in office that will.”
What is in the best interest of America is following the tenants of Scripture, and standing up in the face of tyranny, not just in our nation, but around the world. This includes suspending aid for governments guilty of participating in, or endorsing, the persecution and slaughter of Christians. This means demanding that our leaders hold accountable rogue and radical Islamic governments who violate the rights of Christians (and others).

Get involved.

You may be limited in what you can do as an individual or even a church. However, there are plenty of Christian and humanitarian organizations that are on the front lines, making a difference. Do what you can to support those that are “fighting the good fight” with your prayers and resources. Groups like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Compassion International, and others do much to provide relief in countries hard hit by poverty, war, and persecution. Our own ministry (Ron Phillips Ministries) works among the poor in countries like Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Let your voice be heard.

Most of us have access to social media on a regular basis (Facebook, Twitter, etc). Use your influence to help draw attention to what is going on as you become aware. All it takes is a few well-timed posts to get the ball rolling, and to raise awareness in your corner of influence to what is happening across the globe. We hear reports about Christians being assaulted, raped, and murdered on a daily basis, and much of it comes through social media. We have but to open our eyes to find such reports, and raising awareness can be as simple as clicking a “share” button.

Not every person or individual can do the “big thing.” Not everyone can be in these far-flung places to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But ALL of us can do something, whether it is a comment on Facebook, a few dollars sent to assist, or a few minutes a day spent in prayer. In the end, the question will not be, “Why didn’t you do the BIG THING?” The question will be, “What did you do with what I gave you?”

Now… Go make a difference in your world.

Saving the One

Arlington2 In the Academy Award winning movie, Saving Private Ryan, 8 soldiers set out across the French countryside in the days following D-Day. Their mission is to find one soldier, Private Ryan, deliver his discharge order, and get him back to safety and home. By the end of the mission, only two of the team members survived. Six of the men that originally set out to save Private Ryan sacrificed their lives so he would be saved.

Helmet2Jesus talked about the Good Shepherd, who left his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that was lost.

Some may say, “That’s crazy… to sacrifice many just to save one.”

It sounds crazy… unless you are that one.

We were all that one.

The Bible says that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The theme song from our TV program, Ron Phillips from Abba’s House, has the following lyrics:

Wherever you’ve been
Or what you’ve been through
The Father is waiting for you

If any one of us as individuals had been the only one needing to be saved, Jesus still would have gone through the torture, the pain, the anguish, and the death… just to save the one.

Just to save you.

He thought you were worth it… and He still does.

A Final Thought for Christmas

Christmas is tomorrow, and if your house is like ours, the excitement is building, children are getting more and more excited with each passing moment, and last minute presents are gathering under the tree. But before we tear into the presents, I’d like to give you one last Christmas thought that, hopefully, will be one we all consider into the New Year and beyond…

Peace on earth… good will to men.

It was the word given by angels to shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. It was those words that accompanied the announcement that the Messiah had been born.

But we live in a world where peace is elusive. We live in a nation that has been mired in wars and rumors of wars for the majority of our existence. We live in a country that, for all of our advancement and progress, just doesn’t “get it”.

The promise of the Messiah came with some “fine print” we have ignored. Consider the words of Isaiah…

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulders: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

The government shall be upon His shoulders… The government was meant to rest upon His shoulders: His wisdom was meant to be the foundation of society and civilization. When we take ourselves out from under the authority ordained to lead us, failure is not just a possibility… it’s guaranteed.

His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor… If He is Counselor as the Scripture suggests, we might do well to heed His word. What is the purpose of having a Counselor that you refuse to listen to? Maybe… just maybe… His experience, purpose, and plan is better that yours.

… The mighty God, The everlasting Father… HE is the Almighty! HE is the creator! HE is everlasting to everlasting! When will we stop wasting our time looking to the foolishness of leaders who have no more integrity than sense, and whose lives are but a vapor – here today and gone tomorrow? When will we stop ignoring HE who is Almighty and Everlasting – whose name is Faithful and True???

… The Prince of Peace. A prince is a ruler, one of authority, power, and prestige. Our failure – as individuals, houses of worship, and a nation – to elevate Him to His proper place in our lives, churches, and nation has come with dire consequences. We have traded our birthright for a “mess of pottage”. We have sacrificed eternal hope and promise for fickle and temporary “comforts” that have only proven to lure us into a place of complacency, hopelessness, and despair. We have given up our place at the table of the eternal King (seated alongside the Prince of Peace) for a pile of table scraps outside the gates of the banquet hall. We have relegated the Child in the manger from a place of prominence in our lives, courthouse lawns, and town squares to the dark recesses of storage closets and basements, both in our homes and our hearts.

But there is hope.

The words of the great Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ring in my heart…

KS12480

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

As we enter 2014, let us determine in our hearts to make Him LORD once again. Let us do as Paul encouraged us, lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us, and run the race set before us. Let us determine, as we close another Christmas season, that the spirit of the Child in the manger will be alive in our hearts the other 364 days of the year.

May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas, and a blessed New Year!

P.S. Please join us tonight at Abba’s House for our Traditions Christmas Eve service. It begins at 5:00p.m. If you can’t be there, watch online here.

An Odd Beginning…

“Marley was dead: to begin with.”

KS12503With these words, Charles Dickens begins his classic tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge, who found life and redemption after living a life of greed and misery. A story that begins with death ends with life.

Kind of ironic, huh? Well, there is another story very similar…

It is the story of people who were born into death, with no hope. Yet, in their darkest hour, a baby was born with the power of life in His hands. A child was born who would become the Savior of the world.

It is our story… yours and mine.

It is the story of all of us who have found hope in the life, death, and life of a risen Lord. It is the story of all of us who have called upon the name of…

KS12499Yeshua…

Immanuel…

Jesus.

During this Christmas season, maybe you are looking for something the presents, songs, and sentiments of the season just can’t satisfy.

Jesus invites you to make Him the center of your holiday by making Him the Lord of your life. This year, give Him the greatest Christmas gift you can… your heart.

From our House to yours, may you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

BREAKING NEWS!

I am so happy to announce that, after months of hard and diligent work by the staff at Ron Phillips Ministries, we have just launched two great new ways to stay connected…

Our new website is now online!!!

“So, what’s the big deal with the new website?”

I am SO glad you asked!

  • Webstuff 1

    Watch the last four weeks of Sunday services anytime.

  • Listen to messages from 6:33 and subscribe to the 6:33 podcast. (6:33 is our Wednesday night service, featuring the teaching of Pastor Ronnie Phillips, Jr.)
  • New giving portal. Give quickly as a guest, or create a new profile to store your info and track your online giving.
  • New embedded live stream makes it easier to watch.
  • LifeGroup search engine lets you search for a group based on your criteria.

And if that wasn’t enough… we now have an APP!!!

  • Webstuff 2

    Watch the live service stream directly within the app.

  • Watch the weekly television broadcast or listen to the sermons from 6:33.
  • Get the 411 on what’s going on at Abba’s House.
  • Easy links to our various Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Get Pastor Ron’s blog.

And what’s more… the app is FREE!!!

So visit the website, get the app, and stay connected to all we are doing at Ron Phillips Ministries.

Go ahead… click HERE to visit the website.

To download the app, click HERE

Recognizing Greatness

Through the Looking GlassI have often said that I pity anyone who isn’t from East Tennessee in the fall. With the changing of the colors, and the cool, crispness in the air, it truly is a beautiful place to be.

However, the coolness in the air prompts my mind to wander back a few years, to a time when my team and I were on our way back from the Gambia in Western Africa. We had just finished a week of ministry, it was early January, and we had a short stay in Barcelona, Spain on our trip home. Barcelona just after Christmas is a beautiful place… much of the seasonal decor is still up, and that, combined with the hustle and bustle of after Christmas shoppers and the beautiful architecture of this centuries-old Spanish city made our short stay most enjoyable.

Antonio Gaudi was a famed architect, responsible for some of the most celebrated architecture in Barcelona. When Gaudi died, half of the city of Barcelona mourned his death.

This made the circumstances surrounding his death even more tragic.

You see, three days before, Gaudi was hit by a tram. As he lay injured in the streets of Barcelona, no one would come to his aid. Cab drivers looked at his ragged attire and passed him by, afraid he wouldn’t be able to pay the fare. This renowned architectural genius died in a pauper’s hospital from those very injuries.

We pass people by for many reasons…

… the way they look;

… the way they act;

… they don’t look or talk like us;

… they see the world a little differently from the way we do;

… or, we’re simply just too busy to take the time.

However, Jesus said in Matthew 25:40…

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In this parable, He is making it very clear that the manner in which we treat others (yes, our enemies too) is the way we treat Him. Our attitude toward Him is reflected in the way we treat those around us. The fact is that, when we pass people by, we are passing by greatness. Just like the passersby in Barcelona failed to recognize the great artist that lay wounded before them, we are passing up the opportunity to reach out to the very people Jesus died to save… people made in the image of God Almighty, who have great worth and potential in the eyes of Christ.

So… the next time you are about to pass someone by, look again. What you see in their face may be the very face of Jesus.

What It Was Was Football Life

Through the Looking Glass“It’s football time in Tennessee!!!”

Ok… it’s a little late, and I’m actually an Alabama Crimson Tide fan (Roll Tide!), but if you live in Tennessee like I do, you are used to hearing those words in the fall of every year. Not just a declaration – it is a warcry. It is a call to Saturday football, friends gathered around television screens, popcorn and potato chips flying everywhere when your team scores, an occasional pilgrimage (for some) to Neyland Stadium, and lots and LOTS of orange.

Regardless of your persuasion of team choice (or what color you think you look good in), there is nothing quite like a good football game. When it is neck-and-neck, back and forth battling on the gridiron, the energy is contagious – the excitement nearly impossible to contain!

It reminds me of some quotes by icons of the game:

Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. ~ Vince Lombardi

I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game. ~ Tom Landry

Never be too proud to get down on your knees and pray. ~ Paul “Bear” Bryant

Three different coaches. Three different quotes. One important message, not just for football, but for life…

Be prepared.

Just like a football team has to practice, condition, and prepare in order to have any chance of winning once it walks out onto the field, we have to prepare for the challenges and trials of life through education, dedication, hard work, and…

Prayer.

In the Bible, Paul stresses, over and over again the value of preparation…

“Run with perseverance”… “Endure hardship”… Hebrews 12

“Everyone who competes goes into strict training”… I Corinthians 9

“Put on the full armor of God”… Ephesians 6

In order for us to win in the “game of life”, we must prepare. As Christians, we do that through worship, prayer, studying the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers (just to name a few).

Years ago, the late Andy Griffith had a comedy routine called What It Was Was Football, in which he described the game of football from the vantage point of a “good ole country boy” who had never seen the game before, and didn’t understand the rules.

As we go through life, are our lives shining and crystal-clear examples of the love of Jesus, or something that is foreign to those that are observing our lives at arms-length? Do we point people to the love of Christ, or confuse them with an unconvincing and unattractive “performance” devoid of passion, love, or commitment?

Take the time today to assess your “game plan”. If you see that it needs work, a good place to begin is on your knees.

Understanding Mystery

I think that it would be safe to say that archaeology fascinates most people. Whether it is the stories we see on the news when a significant artifact is located, or historically-based fictitious movies such as National Treasure or the Indiana Jones movies, people are drawn to a good mystery that has it’s roots in truth.BLOG_ARC

I would contend that there is no more intriguing mystery or powerful truth than that contained within the pages of Scripture.

   BLOG_NOAHFrom Noah’s Ark to the Ark of the Covenant to the crucifixion of Jesus, the earth itself holds clues and keys in unlocking the veracity of these historical objects and events. Is it possible that the Bible explains the origins and events surrounding discoveries like…

  • The skeletons of giants discovered in places like France, Turkey, and China that range from 14 to 17 feet in stature?
  • Encapsulated sulfur (brimstone) in the ash and rock formations located near the base of Masada in Israel (the location of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah)?
  • A grave site around which no bones were found?
  • Burial clothes in which no body was actually found?

Blog_AtlantisOr maybe some of the “myths” we have learned about as children – that have been turned into folklore and Disney movies – are actually based on scientific, historical fact:

  • Are angels and demons real?
  • Was the lost city of Atlantis an actual place?
  • Who were “the Magi”?
  • Do we know the real identity of the one known as Melchizedek?

Do you struggle to find the answers to questions when it comes to science and faith?

Do you want to have the ability to give an answer for the hope you have?

Do you want to understand why you are more than an accident of evolution, destined for more than a six-foot hole in the ground?

My new book, Unexplained Mysteries of Heaven and Earth (Charisma House) will help you unlock some of the mysteries of the faith, as well as bridge the gap between science and faith. For more information, click the image of my book in the sidebar to the right.Blog_Pyramid

Don’t Just Do Something… Stand There

Through the Looking GlassActor/director Clint Eastwood has made a successful career out of playing quiet, brooding characters. He once conveyed this little anecdote…

“My old drama coach used to say, ‘Don’t just do something… stand there.’”

In our society today, we are addicted to noise. Everywhere we go, our auditory senses are being constantly assaulted to the point that, for most of us, silence makes us uncomfortable.

What is it about being still that bothers us so much?

What is it about silence that scares us to death?

In Psalms, God gives us a command…

“Be STILL… and know that I am God”.

Could it be that, in the silence of stillness, we face God on His terms? Is it possible that, without distractions, all of our mental “hiding places” are stripped away, and we have to be honest about our need for Him?

Are you looking for a fresh revelation of God in your life? Don’t just do something….

Stand there.

Stand still.

And listen for His voice.