INTO THE DEEP

The Lord told Peter to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a catch.  This was an unusual command to a fisherman, especially coming from a preacher.  What did this carpenter, turned preacher know about fishing anyway?  Peter found himself listening and obeying anyway.  There was something strangely irresistible in His voice.  The next thing Peter knew, his nets began to rip, and then 1 boat, then 2 boats began to be swamped.  Peter had never seen such a catch of fish.  In all his years on this lake nothing like this had ever been heard of.  Something new was happening.  Peter’s world could never be the same.

 

In 1999, the Lord told us at Victory to launch out into the deep and let down our nets.  The deep was revival and the net was Beyond the Grave.  When Beyond the Grave first started we had no great expectations.  10 years later we have seen about 60,000 individuals make decisions for Christ.  These results were unexpected and unplanned.  They were a supernatural, unprecedented act of God.

 

The Lord is speaking to us again, “Launch out into the deep, let down your nets for a catch.”  This time it seems as if He is speaking this word to all of us.  Launch out in prayer.  Launch out in new depths in studying His word.  Launch out into the realms of His anointing.  This challenge is going out to all who have ears to hear His voice. 

 

He also is saying, let down your nets for a catch.  Could it be that He will use you?  He loves to take untrained and unqualified vessels to display His glory.  You are a candidate for a boat sinking harvest.  What can you do?  Pass out some tracts.  Start a home group. Get involved in prison ministry.  Work with the children or maybe the youth.  Just do something.  2009 can be a pivotal year.  As we launch out into the depths of God and let down our nets of discipleship and evangelism anything can happen.  All things are possible with God. 

 

Just like Peter, standing on the shore listening to the words of Jesus, he had no idea the adventure he was about to begin.  The same may be true for us.  Listen to His voice, I think Jesus is about to step onto your boat. 

                                        .

UNPRECEDENTED ACTS OF GOD

Recently the Lord spoke a word to Parris through our friend Dick Mills.  He called her to check out Isaiah 48:6, 7.  He told her that 2009 she would experience things she had never experienced before.  In 365 days, everything would be different.  When you look up this verse in the ESV Study Bible, you see some interesting reflections.  It described unprecedented acts of God on the horizon, unprecedented so we do not treat His acts “dismissively”.  In Isaiah 43:18, 19 the ESV Study Bible describes a series of exodus like deliverances.

 

Recently we had one of those famous flooding thunder storms on a Saturday night.  The kind of rain that dumps 5 inches in one hour in certain spots.  The weather forecasters call this kind of a phenomenon the “training” effect.  The thunder storm cells begin to line up one behind another like the cars in a train.  I believe this is a picture of the “new thing” and the “unprecedented acts of God” the Lord is speaking to us about.  I believe that the Lord is lining up His train of unprecedented signs and wonders. 

 

The Lord began His church at Pentecost with signs that had never been seen before.  There were tongues of fire on the disciple’s heads.  There was a rushing, mighty wind.  There was a strange manifestation never seen before that time, speaking in strange mysterious languages.  If I know anything about the Lord or His ways, I think He has saved His best for last.  He has not run out of miracles, His supply is not depleted or diminished.  His supernatural train is coming for a visit, it may be this year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Just as Augustine said “Our hearts are restless, until they find their rest in you”.  Mankind is in a constant state of restlessness.  He is worried about the crime and violence, as the crime rates soar through the roof.  His is worried about the economy as the stock market has fallen 40% in 2008 in the U. S. 

 

Man is worried about terrorism as threats of nuclear and biological threats become more likely everyday.  He is worried about health as it seems to be harder and harder to take care of yourselves in this rapid pace we are all caught up in.

 

Restlessness, anxiousness, loneliness, unhealthy ambition, they all seem to steal away our peace and our enjoyment of life.

 

Hungry Heart

 

Restless heart you struggle so

Searching for repose

Looking for that place of rest

That rest man seldom knows

 

Lonely heart-your grieving so

When will the sadness end

You get back up- to face the world

To just fall back again

 

Anxious Heart- You worry so

Your trust seems far away

Who can you trust when things go wrong

Who will you trust today

 

Ambitious heart- it never ends

Will there ever be a time

When you can stop this torrid rush

And place your hand in mine

 

Hungry heart has found its food

To still this longing soul

To satisfy the heart of man

To make the sinner whole

 

In Bethlehem the house of bread

Not far from Calvary

I gave my life for you my son

That you could feast on me

 

As you take off some time for Christmas ask the Lord to give you a hungry heart.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, they will be satisfied.  Jesus said he was the true bread from heaven.  If we would feast on Him we would never hunger, we would have a satisfied heart.

 

I will never forget my first Christmas as a Christian.  Parris and I were newly married. We had nothing.  We lived in a rented travel trailer, we had no money for gifts, but we had Jesus in our lives.  Our restless days had ended; we had begun our feast, our great Christmas feast.  I worked at the chicken ranch, we had a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree, we were 2,000 miles from home, but it was the greatest Christmas ever. 

 

And in this mountain

The LORD of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,

 Of well-refined wines on the lees.

Isaiah 25:6

 

This year come to the Christmas banquet—the banquet of the Lord.  You will be satisfied and your heart will be restless no more.

REFLECTIONS ON THIS RECENT PRESIDENTAL ELECTION

America has elected Barack Obama as its new president.  The most obvious result is that our country has elected its first African-American President.  This could prove to be a great encouragement to African Americans of future generations, that in America your dreams can come true.

 

The other reality is that we have elected a president with controversial and unscriptural views on many areas.  Of course, Pres. Elect Obama is a strong supporter of abortion rights.  He has even supported the right to have an abortion in the third trimester of a pregnancy.  This is obviously against the clear teachings of the Bible.  Secondly, Pres. Elect Obama has a very unbiblical view when it comes to sex between members of the same gender.  This is clearly against the direct teaching of the scripture.  He even wants to include children’s books which are promoting a homosexual lifestyle into our public elementary schools curriculum.

 

We are presently observing the secularization of our society.  Our culture and laws have been framed by the word of God.  Our country is the great result of the protestant reformation.  At the present rate, we will be the same as Europe in the next generation, a godless, secular society.

 

Our hope is in the plans of God.  I believe we are nearing a great move of the spirit, probably the greatest move of our generation.  When we see the events unfold in our world we should rejoice, our redemption is drawing near.  Luke 21:28

 

We should pray for our new president.  He has been placed in office by the hand of God.  Daniel 2:21 The Lord will orchestrate His plans through our new president.  God will be glorified—He always is. 

 

Pastor Frank

ELECTION

I am writing this blog as we are on the verge of a critical election in just a few days.  I think the political events we are now observing are just an indication of the spiritual condition of our country.  When Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, I was struck with the prayer offered by Billy Graham at President Clinton’s inauguration.  He prayed from the prophet Hosea in Chapter 8:4, 7.  He prayed that we have selected Kings, but not by me.  (The Lord was actually speaking).  He said they had … to the wind and will reap the whirlwind.  It has been said that the Lord makes sure we receive the candidates that we deserve.  We must pray that the Lord would have mercy on our nation. 

 

As a Pastor, I am not a politician and do not become involved in political campaigns my focus in on the spiritual condition of our country which can be clearly seen by choices that our country makes.

 

We are living in a very dark time.  Our society does not value human life (ex. Abortion seems to be just accepted behavior).  Our society has become more and more secular, to talk about God seems to be treated as radical unacceptable behavior.  Immorality, divorce, drunkenness, drug use, profanity, course talk and behavior seem to be the order of the day.  To have any standards of holiness is considered to be ridiculous and even judgmental.  If you were to share your faith it would be considered as narrow minded and hypocritical.  We are in need of a true move of God.

 

Despite all of these conditions, we should be encouraged.  In the darkest of times His light shines brightest.  We are poised for a great awakening in our country.

 

As we continue to follow after the Lord and press in to Him He has promised a response.  Hosea the prophet also spoke of this response. 

 

Hosea 6:1, 3

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us, He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.  Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is as sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rain that water the earth.” 

 

Let us press on to know the Lord; His coming is as sure as the dawn.

 

Pastor Frank Bailey

NEW SUNDAY SCHEDULE BEGINNING NOVEMBER 2

Greetings to you in the wonderful name of Jesus!

 

We recently conducted our Harvest Overflow Conference and the Lord brought something to my attention.  I became aware of a hunger in the body for good teaching on various practical areas.  I have been reflecting on this hunger and need and discussing it with our ministers over the last several weeks.  As a result we have come up with our New Life Series which will offer various classes at various times. 

 

Currently we are offering Biblical Foundations and Forgiven and Set Free on Monday nights.  We will be offering several new classes on Sunday mornings as we begin a new weekend schedule this November. 

 

Our new Sunday schedule will be as following:

Airline Campus in Metairie

            9:30am New Life Series (Various classes will be offered – TBA)

            10:30am Morning Worship Service

            7:00pm Converge Service

 

Victory Fellowship North Shore in Covington

            6:00pm Saturday Worship Service

            9:30am Sunday Worship Service

 

Broad Street Mission in New Orleans

            9:00am Worship Service

 

Our new service schedule will provide a later, more convenient time in Covington and at Broad Street.  We will be offering great classes at the main campus with a slightly shorter morning service.  Of course, we will still have our Converge/Holy Ghost service on Sunday night.  Wednesday night we have a night of Saturation in teaching in the awesome presence of the Lord.

 

I am excited about this new schedule and hope it will be a blessing to you.

 

Blessed by His Grace,

Pastor Frank Bailey

THE TIMES ARE A CHANGIN’

These are the famous prophetic words of Bob Dylan from the time we call the ‘60s. I feel the winds of change blowing through our world once again.  Winds of change can cause a feeling of fear, doubt, and insecurity to live with us on a daily basis.

 

We seem to move from one warning sign to the next.  We endured Gustav to be terrorized by Ike.  Before the memory of Ike fades away, there are castrophic collapses in our banking institutes with words like “the great depression” being spoken by our leaders.

 

We have become cold to other dangers on our radar screen. A restless Russia seems to be looking for a place to start a fight. Iran continues to thumb her nose at Israel and the west as it rushes towards nuclear capability.  Korea reconsiders and begins to restore her nuclear capabilities.

 

While the world is reeling in birth pains, preparing for horrific times, prophesied that would precede the coming of the kingdom of God, the church, and the U.S. continue to sleep.  She is content to preach herself improvement sermons while Armageddon is breathing down our necks.

 

The times they are a changing!  Jesus is coming back.  In the meantime we need to return to a God centered message to build our lives upon.  I am thankful for the foundation of God centered theology.  The Lord brought into my life to prepare me for our experience with birth pains called Katrina.

 

Only the foundation of the sovereignty of God in all things and the intimacy of the Holy Spirit sustained me during those incredibly difficult times.

 

We need to wake ourselves and turn fully to the Lord in these perilous times.  Return to a daily time of devotions with the Lord (if you stopped or never started).  Spend time worshipping the Lord and praying in the spirit daily.  Read some old books (Luther, Edwards, Spurgeon, Bunyan).  Prepare yourself for the shaking that is surely upon us.  I believe the best days for the church are the NOLA areas are ahead of us.  Do not be caught sleeping. The Lord’s return is at hand.

 

35“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Luke 35-40

 

The extravagant love of our heavenly Father, the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus, and the Intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank Bailey

THANKFUL

It is so good to be back home after dealing with all that goes along with evacuating for Gustav. I was reading my Bible recently and was reminded of some things that Jesus said about the last days pictured in the life of Noah.

Luke 17:26-27

 

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

 

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

KJV

Jesus told us to look to the lessons in Noah’s flood for insight in these last days. He told us that men’s heart was wicked and was consumed with evil almost constantly. The Lord really had to do something because of the deterioration of mankind. Today is no different than the days of Noah. The wickedness of man is crying out for judgement.

Noah experienced the grace of God to spare him and His house from the coming judgement. Gen.6:8

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

The Lord revealed Himself to Noah by the grace of God. Today, He is revealing Himself to a remnant by His grace.

The grace or favor of God brought several things to Noah.

1. It brought protection  through the ark.

2. It brought a great migration of beasts, A type of the great migration of souls to Christ in the last days

3. God remembered Noah and sent His wind. Gen 8:1
Genesis 8

8:1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

What was Noah’s response? After the water receded Noah brought an offering of thanksgiving to the Lord. Gen 8:20-9:1

20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

All of us can learn a lesson from Noah. We are
kept safe by the grace of God. He is preparing a harvest for us. He has sent the wind of the Spirit in these last days. What can we do? Bring an offering and give thanks to the Lord.

Blessings,

Frank

STORMS

Isaiah 43:1, 2

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:” Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

 

Living in Southeast Louisiana, hurricanes are a way of life.  Every couple of years we have a “scare” and a close call.  Each time we see the potential of a major storm, we recognize several things.  First we recognize the fragile life we all live.  Every one of us lives one tragedy away from eternity.  All of the physical possessions we work so hard for are so easily taken from us.  So one of the great truths that should become real when we are facing possible storms is that our life is not about our possessions but about eternity.  All that we can ultimately keep forever is our relationship with the Lord and our spiritual relationships with family and friends.

 

Secondly, we recognize the sovereign wisdom and power of God and trust Him to work out all things in our lives for our good. 

 

Matthew 8:24 – 26

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Sometimes it may seem that the Lord is “asleep” or that He does not care about our circumstances.  Having past through Katrina, we know the tender and powerful care of our Lord.  We have seen His wisdom and His awesome generosity work in all of our lives. Take courage!  You are not forgotten.  He will care for you and bring you safely through whatever storm you may face.

 

Finally, these times can be special times of ministry.  The Lord seems to speak loudest and clearest when we are in difficult situations.  Listen to the Lord.  Call upon Him name.  Draw near to Him in prayer.  Read your Bible.  You may be surprised at the clearness of His voice.  Hope to see you soon in church.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank Bailey

GOD’S CHORUS

I recently came across an interesting greek word. It is the word epichoreegoo. It means to lead the chorus. You can find this word in 2 Corinthians 9 :10 where it says that the Lord supplies seed for the sower. Adam Clarke made some interesting comments about this word. Clarke says that this word is very emphatic. It signifies he who leads up the chorus. It means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm. Thus God is represented, in the course of His providence, associating and connecting causes and effects; keeping everything in its proper place and dependence on another, and all upon Himself; so that summer and winter, heat and cold, seed time and harvest, regularly succeed each other. Thus God leads up this grand chorus of causes and effects: provides the seed to the hand of the sower; gives him skill to discern the times when the earth should be prepared to receive the grain, and when the grain should be sown; blesses the earth, and causes it to bring forth and bud, so that it can again provide seed to the sower and bread to the eater; and, by a watchful providence, preserves everything. The figure is beautiful, and shows us the grand system of causes  and effects, all directed by and under the immediate guidance and government of God Himself.

This truth is very powerful and applies to our lives on various levels. When a need is present in our lives or the lives of others, the Lord moves our heart to pray for the situation. He then responds to our prayers with His presence and love, His word of confirmation, and then begins to set in motion the circumstances necessary to answer the prayer.

In giving, the truth is seen very clearly. The Lord gives us various talents, he gives us employment that lines up with those talents. He blesses the company we are working for, and brings harvest to us. In that harvest there is bread for food and seed to sow. As we sow the seed, the Lord uses that seed to produce another harvest containing bread for food and seed for sowing. Who can fathom the wisdom and greatness of our God. From Him and through Him and back to Him come all things. His ways are way beyond us. He is leading the chorus. This is a chorus of redemption that those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb can only sing as He leads us in triumph.