Years ago, God gave me the vision that “Revival” of the Church will start in Alliance Ohio. From MY question to God, “Why have you brought me here???”
I was born and raised in Columbus Ohio, and shortly after graduation from High School, I joined the United States Navy. I served for 8 years. My career was cut short because my disabled father had implored me to get out so that I could carry on the family furniture business. The business was in Alliance Ohio. So, I was obedient and was honorably discharged in 1990. So, with my (then) wife and 3 girls, we traveled to Alliance Ohio. I’ve heard folks say “Nothing good comes out of Alliance!” Nothing good happened to me here until 2008. My first wife left me with the 3 girls, then as I was starting my life over, she came back to get them. Shortly after she left, I lost my place in the family business because my dad and step mother couldn’t see eye to eye, so she bought him out, gave me a severance and I said good bye to any chance of having a legacy… (at least with that…) I then lost my house, no job, so I had to move in with my neighbor (who’s boyfriend ironically took off with my wife at the time)
To fill in the blanks, I D.J.’d for awhile where I met my SECOND wife. Things were good at first, and then she got pregnant with my FOURTH daughter, and adopted her son. She too desired not to be with me.
As I tried to pick up the pieces AGAIN, I lost the factory job I had held for ELEVEN years! So, here I am again, homeless….again. No job, no wife, my older kids were out of state, and I wasn’t allowed to see my daughter for a long time…
As time went on, I met who is NOW my THIRD wife. This was God.
I got saved in 1982, but “fell off the boat” for 25 years….ALL THE WHILE…God through His Holy Spirit kept calling me back…
Long story short (at least I’m trying to make it short)I married my third wife (My Soul-mate, God chosen), and we moved in together (not necessarily in that order)
As she was going to church, I too started going back to church, gradually declining in my drinking, we finally came to a place where God told us to open up a Christian bookstore in 2009… And THAT is where I got the vision. God wanted me, anyone, SOMEONE to see His vision for His children and orchestrate a ministry that would be the hub for ALL the churches in Alliance to band together, igniting the spark that would create the flame, for the FIRE of the Revival of the Church…. THE WHOLE CHURCH!!
I know, I know….sounds “Twilight Zoney”; Sounds made up….
I felt I was crazy, up until about a year ago when we hooked up with a street ministry that was focused on the same thing… we “dropped the ball” somewhere along the line, and I feel that someone saw the vision as well and picked up the mantle.
That ministry has been strong in bringing unity to the churches in
Alliance….then last night, 6 to 8 churches got together for a unity night! 2 pastors preached at a church that wasn’t theirs.
Wednesday, 2 more pastors preaching at a different church.
Thursday and Friday, more of the same. Christ Followers from all over are attending each night of worship and to hear the word…
The common theme: UNITY.
Why such a big deal? It’s a big deal because we are all “One Body, One Spirit, One Faith, One Baptism!”
Jesus prayed this prayer in John 17, verses 20-23: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Paul IMPLORED the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. “
Paul said it again in Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.“
Below is an excerpt of a sermon that Max Lucado wrote in 2012 at a “Promise Keepers Convention”:
“God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose—to carry us safely to the other shore.
This is no cruise ship; it’s a battleship. We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.
Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal
encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call. He found us among the shanties of the seaport and invited us to follow him. Our faith was born at the sight of his fondness, and so we went.”
I wish I could put it ALL here, but I think I wrote too much… 🙂
The gist is that to run a “tight ship” we must ALL be looking at “The Captain” for guidance, and follow HIS lead… inso doing, there is UNITY because we are all FOCUSED ON THE SAME THING!!
Today’s “Christ Followers” are known by the world of what they are against…not WHAT or WHO they are for…
The world sees “The Church” as an ancient religion, all washed up. How much LESS do they see Jesus??
Why are we not being the “Light of the World”? Why are we not going “out into the world making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit??
Why are we so involved in our “Country Clubs” our “Social Clubs” that we don’t see the LOST out there?
If the CHURCH were unified..(like we are in Alliance this week) Wouldn’t you think the WORLD would see Jesus in a more
POSITIVE AND EFFECTIVE light?
If God chose me years ago with this vision, and obviously others in the past several years…. how many more are there out there??? Let’s get to it!!