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 within 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 catastrophic 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 that were prophesied  would proceed 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 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 man’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 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 passed 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 His 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.

LAKELAND

Recently, there was a great stir with the meetings in Lakeland, Florida conducted by Todd Bentley.  Thousands of believers came hungry for revival from all over the nation and various parts of the world.

 

As stories of these meetings began to spread rapidly all of us began to wonder could this be another wave of revival?

 

For those of you that know me, my life and ministry has been dedicated to the move of the Holy Spirit.  I would give almost anything to see a “move of the Spirit”.  I would give almost anything, but not anything.

 

When we hear reports of a move of God we should check things out before we embrace them.  What should we check out?

 

First, we should check out the life and lifestyle of those leading the move.  Redemption from sin is what we are about, but what is the testimony of the leaders of the move.  Have they lived an upstanding life after conversion and especially after they began their ministry.

 

Secondly, does the message line up with the teachings of the Word of God?  Alarms should begin to go off in us when there is an unhealthy emphasis on what people have experienced rather than God’s word and God Himself.  We must insist on a proper doctrinal emphasis and not some fringe element teachings.  Jesus must be central to everything—not visions, angels or anything else.  Of course, I believe in (and have experienced) visions, and also the ministry of angels, but they are not our message.  I believe in prophesy and the gifts of the Spirit, but they are not the thrust of our message.  We must preach Christ.  He is central and He is our message.

 

Lakeland reminds us of two things.  First it shows us how vulnerable the church is.  It shows us how quickly those who claim to be Christians can be led astray. Secondly, it reminds us of the true revival.  The Lord can change everything in a day.  Let Lakeland put a hunger in our hearts.  Let us return to the Lord, return to a God-centered life and lifestyle.  Let us press on to know the Lord and know that His visitations are certain. 

AUGUST NEWS

We have had a great summer.  Parris and I went on a mission trip in June to Tanzania with a team from our church.  We worked together with Egon and Hannah Falk of New Life Ministries in Tanzania as well as Sam Carr from Word of Life in Shreveport.  We ministered to 3,000 pastors and leaders for a one week conference.  It was a great honor to sow into the lives of these men and women who are pastoring churches all over Tanzania.  The team ministered at orphanages, a school, and in the marketplace in Arusha.  After the conference, the team went on to minister in the churches relating to our missionary Aurora in Uganda.  They returned with great reports of the work Aurora is doing as well as testimonies from ministering to thousands of children in outreaches in Uganda. 

 

Parris and I just returned from a ministry trip in Australia.  We ministered at the Wired Conference for David Hall in Adelaide.  We were able to be part of a great week of Holy Ghost meetings day and night.  We also ministered at churches in Melbourne and Sydney while we were there.  What a great privilege to sow into the nations the things that God has given to us. 

 

Back at home we had another awesome Feed the Multitudes.  Thousands came for the food and other various services we provided for our city free of charge.  This year there was a greater freedom in ministry as there was preaching, testimonies, and awesome music in various tents.  God is awesome as He opens doors of ministry to us.

 

We are very excited about this fall and the upcoming events.  We are having an Overflow Harvest Conference on September 19 & 20.  There will be a cookout on Friday night as well as a lunch on Saturday.  This conference will have general sessions with Parris and myself as well as a variety of workshops for ministry preparation.  Some of the workshops will be on gifts and giftings of the Spirit, outreach and evangelism, prison ministry, hospital ministry, worship, training for greeters and ushers, and a host of other sessions.  Leadership from our church will be teaching the sessions as well as special guest Anna Donahue.  Check out our website for complete information. 

 

Beyond the Grave is gearing up for its 10th season.  Auditions have taken place, a new script is being worked on, and excitement is building for another great season of ministry.  Our first performance is scheduled for September 26 @ 7:30pm.  This is going to be a great year.  Hope to see you at our Overflow Harvest Conference!  The Lord has a place of ministry for you.

 

Blessings from the Lord!