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Book Review: “Jesus Revolution – How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today” by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn

Book Review: “Jesus Revolution – How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today” by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn

This book has the best cover, don’t you think? I love it.

I picked this up about a year ago, and it got packed in a box when we moved. I found it while rifling through the box looking for a different book to give someone, and saw this one, pulled it out and said… “yeah! I did want to read this.”

Pastor Greg Laurie has written lots of books over the years. I discovered him through the book “Harvest” by Chuck Smith. Greg’s story was one of the stories in that book, these unlikely guys that the Lord worked in and changed and they are or were pastoring fairly large churches at the time.

A few years later, Greg did a movie of his life, sort of a long form testimony of what the Lord had done. That was called “Lost Boy” and it was very powerful. We used it for an outreach in Ottawa and saw a handful of people come to Christ as a result. There’s one scene near the end of the movie, where Aaron Gillespie is singing Amazing Grace, and people are responding to an invitation. It’s very powerful.

I expected this to be similar.

It wasn’t.

Surprisingly, this book is more like a history book. It’s true that Greg’s story is part of the book, and there’s elements of his story here that weren’t told in other books or the movie. There’s also parts of Chuck Smith’s story in this book that I haven’t read or heard in other books or recordings.

But, largely, this is an introduction into the world of the 60’s, 70’s and into today. It’s helpful for someone like me, or even younger than I to know what life was like in those days, how chaotic it was, how uncertain it was, and what fundamental and huge changes our society went through.

Those older than I lived through it and I would expect that would remember the events and how they felt as they lived through them.

The overall point is in in the subtitle. That the Lord did this amazing work in these very unlikely people, during a crazy time. And, that’s easy to say, and point to, but I have to say… the details make that vivid.

And, they did a great job with the details. What the Lord did, especially with the cultural context in immediate view, is nothing short of miraculous. It’s encouraging to remember.

“The Lord’s works are great, studied by all who delight in them.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭111:2‬ ‭CSB‬‬

https://bible.com/bible/1713/psa.111.2.CSB

If you’re doubtful that the Lord could do something wonderful in redeeming in our current society, this would be a book that would encourage you. I’d recommend it to you.

If you love God, and love to study what he’s done, this would also be of interest to you.

A couple of final notes, things I thought about while reading this.

I wonder if one of the reasons that this book was written and published when it was, was to help ease the transition of Pastor Greg and his ministry and Harvest Christian Fellowship into the Southern Baptist Convention. I found it interesting how Greg related some of his more charismatic experiences here. I don’t think his position has changed at all. But, I could see where an SBC stalwart would want to know his position and his leanings and Greg helpful answers that through the story.

Also, Ellen Vaughn mentioned in her acknowledgements that she received so many wonderful stories and testimonies from various people from that time as part of her research. She regretted not being able to include them.

I doubt this post will reach her, but if it does, I would love to read those stories. Maybe a follow up book, that just contains more evidence of what God did during that time, would build on the cultural contextual work in this one, and really drive the point home. There’s hope for us today.

Lord, send revival to our churches!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2022 in Book Review

 

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International Calvary Chapel Pastors & Leaders Conference – Recap

International Calvary Chapel Pastors & Leaders Conference – Recap

I attended this at the beginning of the month. The story is worth telling.

So, I’m in Florida. Gen and I had the opportunity to attend a Pastor’s Huddle for Calvary Chapel down here. While at the huddle, my new friend Chris invited me to the conference and offered to help me get there. He was convinced that I needed to go. Gen and I prayed about it and decided to go for it. That was on a Thursday. On Monday, Zac and I went. He happened to be with me that week, and I invited him, and he had a great week. That’s his story to tell though.

We missed the first session. It was in the evening and the traffic from LAX to Diamond Bar just made it a no-go. That was disappointing, because when we joined everyone on Tuesday morning, we heard over and over again how good that first session was. Pastor Joe Focht from Calvary Philly was talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I went back and watched it with the family when I returned. It was a good and needed message, and well delivered. I’d highly suggest watching it. Joe starts at around 2:38:55

Joe Focht

The best session of the conference for us was Don McClure on the final day. Zac said it best. He said, this is a wise old man that is giving us some perspective and encouragement for the days we are in. It was deeply enriching. I found his analysis of the condition of western society in particular to be engaging. His text was Romans 16:22, how “none of these things move me.” He’s a wonderful Bible Teacher with lots of great insights, quips and humour.

Dear Reader, please take the 45 minutes and watch it. It resonated with me. It’s one of the reasons why I found so much camaraderie and encouragement and fellowship at this conference. I’d love to attend again next year. These people feel like my people.

Don starts at 2:21:00

Don McClure

If you enjoyed those… the next session you should watch was a joint session on Wednesday afternoon with Gary Hamrick and Mike McClure. It starts at 6:21:00

Gary Hamrick/Mike McClure

The other thing that stood out to me from the conference was the ministry tent. There, I was delighted to come across the Herzog Foundation and their desire to come alongside churches and help them launch Christian Schools. I pray those guys are busy and run out of money, because so many churches get going with schools for the families in their churches.

Additionally, it was meeting Jeret and seeing his new software platforms for helping churches do ministry. I really liked what I saw in Ministry Space as a rethink of what we attempt to do with Planning Center. I heard some testimonials of it in use over Covid and I’m sold.

Lastly, I got to spend some time with Joey who was at the anchor.bio table. That looks cool as well. Don’t be surprised if you see a switch to that sometime soon. I really liked it. It made me rethink some of what I’m doing on the internet, and revisit what I would be willing to do in the future. I really liked it.

Like I said earlier. I found camaraderie at the conference, lots of fellowship and encouragement. I’m glad to be part of this movement. I’m already looking forward to next year.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Spiritual Gifts Series

I did a series several years ago on the gifts of the Spirit. It’s still relevant today, and I wanted to share it here.

This came up recently, because at http://calvaryottawa.ca we took a Sunday to look at the baptism of the Holy Spirit that John proclaims in John 1:33. I had a follow up conversation with a couple of people, and the gifts of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit was a new topic for them.

That particular message is available by video or audio.

It was a fun conversation because one of them confessed: “I didn’t think you were one of those guys!”

I suggested listening to this series.

The backstory is that several years ago I taught through “Jude” and it left some people confused about what the Bible had to say about the gifts of the Spirit. So, we took a break from going through the Bible and went back to 1 Corinthians 12-14, and I did a series on the gifts of the Spirit.

In the first message, we looked at how the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit is very much for today, and then examined the common passage that “cessationists” use to argue that the ministry of the Holy Spirit has changed from the time of the apostles.

In the succeeding messages, we took a closer look at each one of the gifts of the Spirit that Paul lists there in 1 Corinthians 12 and how they were manifested in the Old Testament, the life of Jesus, the New Testament, and then we crowd-sourced some current examples.

The final message is a study in 1 Corinthians 14 and how Paul describes how the gifts of the Spirit are to be used in the church meetings.

Here’s the links to the audio files for those messages:

God Speaks! 1/6

Message 2/6

Message 3/6

Message 4/6

Message 5/6

Last one: Message 6/6

I’d love to hear from you, especially if these recordings helped you, or if you have any follow up questions.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2021 in Bible Studies

 

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