Archives

A Season of Thanks

“‘Tis the season.”

When we hear that phrase, our minds are usually drawn to images of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, gifts, and nativity scenes. In all fairness, this is reasonable, considering that the phrase comes from the Christmas favorite, “Deck The Halls”…

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la La la-la-la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la La la-la-la

For most of us, the jump to Christmas seems to come about the time the last piece of candy is handed out on October 31st. We can’t wait to deck the halls, don our Christmas sweaters and mittens, and break out the egg nog and Bing Crosby records.

Yet, in the shuffle from the ghouls and goblins Halloween to the wonder and worship of Christmas, something tends to get overlooked in the process.

Thankfulness.

thanksgiving cornucopiaSure, we recognize Thanksgiving – the Day. We meet with family and friends, stuff ourselves with turkey and dressing, and watch football for hours on end, but do we really get a hold of the meaning of the season that we have relegated to a single day? A time of thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us by a loving and merciful God. A season of reflection and gratefulness for life in its various forms, trials, and triumphs. To me, the season of Thanksgiving is the perfect and logical precursor to the season of Christmas — of thankfulness and gratitude for the love of a Holy God that took the human form of a baby in a manger.

So with the mess the world is in, what have we to be thankful for? I can only speak for myself, but here are just a few…

  • I’m thankful for my family; for a faithful wife of many years, wonderful children, and for our beautiful and healthy grandchildren. I’m thankful for the heritage of my Godly parents, and my extended family, scattered around this country.
  • I’m thankful for my church family, who I have been blessed to shepherd these past 38 years. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made, for the things — good and bad — we have gone through together, for the team we have built for to share the Gospel all over the world, and for faithful friends who, through service and sacrifice, make it possible for us to do what we do.
  • I’m thankful for this season of life as I transition into a new role, and watch the next generation at Abba’s House (under the leadership of my son, Pastor Ronnie Phillips, Jr.) move into a promising future.
  • I’m thankful I live in a country where I am free to worship the God from Whom all blessings flow.
  • I’m thankful for you, the person reading this right now. I’m thankful for allowing me into your life and home by way of this blog, so that we can be an encouragement to each other, even though we may never meet face to face.
  • But most of all…

  • I’m thankful for an Abba Father who has saved me and blessed me in so many ways, and molded my life in such a fashion that I have the opportunity to be thankful for all of these things.

Maybe you are having a tough time thinking of things to be thankful for. Maybe your life hasn’t worked out quite the way you planned. Maybe, through no fault of your own, your circumstances have not offered you the promise you thought your life would bring.

Well friend, as long as you are taking another breath, there is hope for a better future. As long as your heart is beating, there is a God who is listening to the cry of your heart. I can’t say how things will work out for you, but I can say this with confidence…

As long as there is breath in your lungs, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, you have a reason to give thanks.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. ~ Phil. 1:3-6

From our family to yours… Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Pastor Ron

Come Before Winter

This has been a year of transition for me, as I move into more of an apostolic role in the life of Abba’s House, and watch the next generation take their place, led by Dr. Ronnie Phillips, Jr. as Senior Pastor, to move this ministry into the future. I’m excited to see what God is doing through our new leadership, and I look forward to my new role of traveling  and ministering to pastors and churches around the nation, speaking into their lives God’s goodness, grace, and truth.

This coming Sunday, I will be delivering a message I last preached many years ago called Come Before Winter. I would like to invite you to join me at Abba’s House on November 5 at 10:30am, and bring an unsaved friend.

Here is my personal invitation to you…

What Difference Will It Make?

Warrior 2Legacy.

We hear that word a lot. From pastors and preachers to politicians and presidents, people want to know what difference they’ve made in the world. The legacy of a good person may be filled with multiple success stories and many lives changed for the better, with the positive effects of that life evident for generations to come (ie: Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill, Jonas Salk, etc.). Other, more notorious, historical figures leave a legacy of pain, destruction, and sorrow in their wake (ie: Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, etc).

It reminds me of a quote from the movie Gladiator. General Maximus was speaking to his troops when he said…

“What we do in life echoes through eternity.”

To put it another way, I like these words the unlikely angel Clarence Odbody said to George Bailey in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life…

Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives.
When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to leave a Godly legacy…

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. ~ Proverbs 13:22

One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts. ~ Psalms 145:4

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way,
when you lie down, and when you rise up. ~ Deut. 6:5-7

GB1

So maybe you are thinking, “What I do doesn’t matter.” If that is your thought, then I urge you to consider…

Edward Kimball.

In the 1850’s, while living in Massachusetts, Edward taught a Sunday school class of teenage boys (no easy feat, to be sure). While visiting a shoe store, he led a young clerk to faith in Christ — a young clerk named…

Dwight L. Moody.

Image result for D L MoodyD. L. Moody became a world-changing evangelist. During the Civil War, he ministered to both Union and Confederate soldiers. As founder of the Moody Church and the Moody Bible Institute, his voice and message were heard throughout the nineteenth-century world, in particular by…

Frederick Meyer.

Frederick (F.B.) was mentored by Moody, and went on to have his own nation-wide ministry; a ministry that touched the life of…

J. Wilbur Chapman.

Wilbur was a college student when he accepted Christ at a Meyer meeting. He became a world-renowned evangelist, preaching all over the world; extensively throughout Asia and Australia, and all over the United States. One of his meetings was attended by a young professional baseball player named…

Image result for Billy SundayBilly Sunday.

Billy’s life was changed at that Chapman meeting. He accepted the love of Jesus, and began preaching the Gospel across America. This former baseball-player-turned-fiery-evangelist preached to over 100 million people, not the least of whom was…

Mordecai Ham.

Saved under the ministry of Billy Sunday, Mordecai Ham saw over 300,000 people make professions of faith during his ministry. In November of 1934, Ham preached a crusade in Charlotte, NC. During one of the meetings, a young, lanky fellow by the name of Billy Frank accepted Christ as his Savior. Billy Frank went on to be a minister of the Gospel, preaching to an estimated 2.2 billion people across the globe. While some people in the Charlotte area knew him as Billy Frank, the rest of the world knows him better as…

Billy Graham bw photo, April 11, 1966.jpgBilly Graham.

The ministry of these men, whose ministries combined have seen billions come to faith in Christ, all started because a man named Edward Kimball allowed himself to be used by God to teach Sunday School to a group of rowdy teenage boys in Massachusetts.

So who are you reaching out to with your life? How are you being salt and light in a world that so desperately needs good influences? What kind word or witness can you share today with one person that may affect hundreds (or thousands) in years to come?

Really, you are the only one who can answer those questions. Maybe the idea that you could influence masses of people scares the daylights out of you. If so, just remember this little secret…

Don’t go about it trying to change the world. Just determine to influence one life at a time, and let God do the rest.

So, what difference will it make?

Time will tell, and Heaven will testify.

Breaking Free from the Dungeon of Depression

Fear4Depression.

In 21st century America, we hear that word every day. While depression takes on a variety of forms, a “blanket” definition would be…

“the state of being depressed–a feeling of let down, of hopelessness.”

It can affect the body. It can cause an overwhelming sense of fatigue to come upon a person. In fact, there are studies that indicate that many psychological neuroses, as well as some fatigue diseases, are the results of living with depression.

A permanent cure for depression?

Is there such a thing? Statistics show that multitudes of Americans are hoping for the quick cure. In 2001, it was estimated that 28 million Americans were taking anti-depressants. In 2016, studies suggest that one in six Americans are on some kind of psychiatric drug, a figure nearly double the 2001 number.

When Jesus began His ministry, His very first sermon included a quote from Isaiah 61…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 
~ Luke 4:18-19

In Isaiah 61 (the original passage Jesus quoted), He goes on to say…

“… And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

The Bible doesn’t call it depression. The Bible calls it the spirit of heaviness. There is a demon involved here. David called it “being cast down.” Depression is a state of mourning in your life, a state of heaviness over circumstances. You are under the circumstances of your life. A great many things can open your life to the spirit of depression; circumstances, illness, negative and unhealthy thought patterns, bad (sinful) habits, rejection, death and loss, lack of direction, failure, and loss of passion for God can all be contributing factors that allow the enemy to gain access to your mind. The symptoms of depression as as varied as the causes; feelings of panic, unrelenting dissatisfaction,  unstable emotions, oppression, and feelings of being overwhelmed or forgotten are all signs that you are heading down a dark and lonely road of depression.

So how do you hit the brakes? How do you recover when depression has you bound up? What can put you on the path to positive spiritual and mental health?

In order to be healed from depression, you must experience a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in your life! Isaiah 61 (then again in Luke 4) tells how Jesus would come to the depressed, enslaved, and the broken…

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord anointed Me….”

Jesus came with an anointing, a yoke-breaking, depression-crushing, life-giving, freedom-announcing anointing. All you need to do is ask Him for it. Then ask for a fresh word from the Lord. He says, “I’ve come to proclaim. I’ve come with a word.” He is our help and our salvation!

The third thing you need is a fresh worship offering to God.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~ Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Remember Jesus says to, “Put on a garment of praise.” Don’t be afraid to let God do something different in your worship life.

You say, “Well, Brother Ron, I just praise Him in my heart.”

I can guarantee that when you get up tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., no matter how tired you are, you will get dressed for work. You can’t walk into your workplace with no clothes on, saying, “I didn’t feel like getting dressed; I thought I’d just skip that today.” God said, “I’ll give you a garment of praise.” You put on a garment whether you feel like it or not. Your heart may be heavy. You may have been through some painful stuff, but shout to the Lord anyway.

The devil can’t take away the blood of the cross. Satan can’t take away the resurrection of Jesus. He can’t take away your salvation. Proclaim along with Job…

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”
~ Job 13:15a  (NKJV)

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth”
~ Job 19:25 (NKJV)

This devil of depression must be rooted out, or its impact will be devastating. If the depressed father doesn’t take these steps to overcome it, it could take his wife and it could take his children. Grandmother, it could take your grandchildren. You had better get rid of it.

I used to have to fight this spirit of depression every Christmas. Because of difficulties in my youth and the memories that would flood me, I feel myself begin to withdraw even as my children and friends around me were celebrating Jesus’ coming. God has used my kids to pull me out of this seasonal attack of depression.

Demons can’t possess Christians, but they can obsess, compress, and depress you. They can live in you like a rat or a cockroach. You have to drive them out. I didn’t get rid of them by telling them, “Well, I’m just so sorry you’re here.”  I just told them where to go. “Get out of my life, heaviness!”  And by the power and blood of Jesus, those spirits must flee!

~ Adapted from my book
Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
Copyright © 2010 Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House Book Group

Worship

Why I Stand

Flag 2

With all of the controversy surrounding the NFL, the National Anthem, and Old Glory, I just wanted to share a few thoughts why I, personally, choose to stand.

I stand…

… because our flag, Old Glory, is the symbol of the United States of America, the land I love and the nation of which I am proud to be a citizen. To do otherwise, for me, would be to not only disrespect our nation, but to dishonor God by showing a lack of appreciation for His good and perfect gifts that He has afforded me because I am an American.

I stand… when The Star Spangled Banner, our national anthem, plays because that is a show of respect for the flag that it so eloquently describes, and a show of unity with my fellow citizens. Even when we may disagree about sports, politics, religion, etc., when the words “O say can you see…” are heard, we become silent and unified in our mutual respect for the flag, the anthem, and all that it symbolizes.

I stand… because of fifty-six men from all walks of life who, in putting their signatures on a parchment known as The Declaration of Independence, knew they were putting their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor on the line in the name of freedom. These men were as flawed and imperfect as the rest of us, but found the courage to stand for an ideal greater than themselves.

I stand… because I want to be an example to future generations that we are more than a collection of individuals, each going their own direction.

Flag FoldedI stand… because from the streets of Lexington and Concord to the mountains of Afghanistan and the deserts of Iraq, for over 240 years, brave men and women have given their last full measure of devotion to secure the freedom the rest of us enjoy on a daily basis. I stand, saluting an unfurled flag because of all of the wives, mothers, fathers, husbands, and family members who have been handed a folded one.

I stand… because standing is a universal sign of honor and respect.

I stand… because I believe that our battle is not against flesh and blood, and that we can accomplish more through the power of prayer than through hollow protests.

I stand… because we are better when we operate in unity, as “one nation under God, indivisible…” As a Christian, I believe the truth expressed by the psalmist who said,

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1

I stand… because our flag and national anthem symbolize what is right with our country, not what is wrong with it.

I stand… because there are other countries where people are poor and oppressed beyond measure, and are looking to America to be an example — The shining city on a hill.

I stand… because I am the recipient of a grace that has been granted to me in the form of a life in a free country called America.

I stand… not because we are perfect and have it all together, but as a sign that I am willing to take my place — standing beside you — working together to make America a better place.

I stand… to show that I am up on my feet and ready to go; to be a part of the solution, not a symptom of the problem.

I stand… because I am grateful.

Flag 3O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

                                                      ~ Katharine Lee Bates

Reflections from an Outpouring

Kilpatrick and crowd

Another Big Event is behind us, and after a couple of days to soak in the glory of all that happened at The Outpouring, I want to stop for a moment and say thank you to so many people on behalf of Pastor Ronnie and me…

RP1To all of our attendees… Thank you for joining us for The Outpouring, and for investing your time and resources into what we are doing at Abba’s House Media! We hope that you were as blessed by being here as we were by your presence. It was wonderful to meet and minister to so many of you, and we hope that you will be back with us again soon.

John KilpatrickTo John Kilpatrick and Nathan Morris… you brought His message with a power and anointing that shook the House! We received the Word you brought, and saw miracles and healing take place. Lives were changed because of the time and anointing that you shared with our people… not just here in Hixson, but around the world. We heard from people across the nation and in other nations as thousands of people took advantage of technology and joined us online. Thank you both for being open to the Holy Spirit, and for bringing the streams of revival that are a part of your lives into the river of The Outpouring!

Nathan MorrisTo the Abba’s House Media Team… You guys knocked it out of the park through your diligence, planning, and preparation. Thank you to Pastor Angie McGregor and all the AHM staff for putting in the long hours, hard work, and heart-felt commitment to seeing lives changed.

RP & RonnieTo our Worship, Hospitality, and Servant leaders… From greeting people in the parking lot to taking them before the Throne in worship, you all did such a fabulous job of making The Big Event experience a positive one for every one of our over 800 visitors. Thank you all for your sacrifice of time, energy, and praise. We couldn’t have done it without you all.

There were a number of videos that we showed to our attendees, from testimonials of the work Abba’s House Media does in reaching people, to the vision Pastor Ronnie has for our ministry as we move into the future. I invite you to check them out below. Also, if you missed The Outpouring at The Big Event, and would like to experience it for yourself (or you were here and would like to get a copy to re-experience it, or share it with a friend), you can order the complete set of messages by clicking HERE.

Worth the drive: The Parkerson’s story…

 

Following the Truthtellers: The Heinemeier’s story…

 

Points of Light: Pastor Ronnie’s vision…

Choose To Be (a guest blog)

Coming off a long Labor Day weekend following a week of so much turmoil in our nation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I wanted to just take a moment to encourage you. Last week, Dr. Ronnie Phillips Jr published a great blog that is a timely word for now. Without further ado, here we go…

RonnieEvery day when we wake up we make a conscious choice to be…

…to do, to learn, to grow, and to BE. The choices we make every day determine who we are and what we become. An addict makes a choice every morning to continue down the road of addiction or live sober. A liar makes a choice every day to continue living a lie or to be real. A married person makes a choice every day to be loyal and loving or to be hateful and hurtful. We must make the right choices in our pursuit of Holiness, or we will become that which we despise. I want to challenge you to make a choice… to BE!

       Be… Who God created you to be. Paul said in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Do what God has called you to do in the body and do not try to imitate someone else. If you do not know your role yet, pray that the Lord reveal it to you, but in the meantime, help somewhere.

    Be… Who He says you are, not what the world says you are. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by people — or a society — that either doesn’t understand you or is trying to fit you into a mold or box. The God of the universe has established your path (Psalm 139)… walk in that!

 Be… who God says you are.  When Jesus gives you a new identity that’s who you are: Son, daughter, leader, heir, ambassador… the list goes on. Remember, the past is gone and who you were is no longer apart of you, therefore, no longer identify yourself with the past.

Be… your very best. God called you to be YOU! Be the best YOU you can be. We need originators not imitators in the kingdom. Once you find your role, give it everything you have to further grow the kingdom.

Be… submitted to the Father.  Submission to God brings protection, favor, and blessing from the hand of the Father. He is close to those who walk in submission (James 4:7-8).

Be… spiritually aware of your surroundings. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” The closer we are to God, the more we see things from His vantage point, and are sensitive to what is going on in the spiritual dimension.

Be… strong and very courageous. In the Bible, Joshua was encouraged over and again to “be strong and very courageous”. Sounds like good advice! We must make the right (courageous) choices if we are to become what God has called us to be.

 Napoleon, the great war general, was inspecting his troops when his horse got spooked and began to buck. When a young soldier saw what was occurring, he ran to Napoleon and got the horse under control even though he easily could have been killed. After a moment, Napoleon looked at the lad — a corporal — and said, “Thank you, Lieutenant.”
“But sir,” the lad protested, “I am but a corporal.”
Napoleon’s Adjutant General said to the young soldier, “When the General called you Lieutenant, that’s what you are now.”

So what is God calling you? Regardless of your self-image or the negative words spoken over you by another, God has a high opinion of you, and has called you “child, heir, king, priest”… the list goes on. It’s time to stop acting on the words of others and start BE-ing what God has declared. Choose to be great and walk in the gifts and callings God has placed on you. Remember, for the Church body to thrive, we must all show greatness in the areas God has gifted us in. I pray you choose to be everything God has called you to be and have a blessed day.

God Bless,

Dr. Ronnie Phillips Jr.

RPM InternationalIf you’d like to follow Ronnie’s devotionals and what he is doing around the world through Ronnie Phillips Ministries International, visit here to subscribe.